Sunday, February 22, 2009

Loving What Is

I have recently read a book that has made an impact on me and I wanted to share it. It's called Loving What Is by Byron Katie. It is pretty amazing. It fairly easily, with just 4 questions, helps you let go of what you THINK reality is. We make up stories about life every day to suit our own memories, perceptions, wishes. But Loving What Is helps you to ask yourself some questions to really see what is and isn't. We all want to mold people to be like we want them to be. To change situations to be accommodating to our needs. To recall past incidences, which then only allows them to rule our "now."

I used the technique recently while I was flying back from a trip. I am not been a great flyer. I am scared of heights and when the airplane hits turbulence, I imagine all kinds of awful scenarios. I just HATE it. But for the last 4 years or so I have been able to calm myself enough to get through it. And I really haven't had any terribly bumpy flights--until this last one.

We were in Atlanta and there were tornado watches. Planes were being rerouted and we were waiting on a plane to arrive so we could leave. I was hoping that we would not takeoff in this bad weather, but like the airlines tend to do, they sent us off. I was petrified before I even got on the plane. Then of course, once on, it was very turbulent air. My palms started to sweat, my heart was beating wildly, and my mind was racing. Then I remembered Byron's questions. Basically I asked myself, is it true what I am thinking? Can I know that we will crash? Can I really know that it is true that I won't make it home? NO! It isn't.

And also, she explains that wherever we are is right. It is what it is and no amount of fear, desire, wishing, whatever, will change it. And it must be right because of the very fact that it is happening. So I closed my eyes, tried to relax my muscles and said to myself, "This is what it is. I am calm. It is supposed to be happening. I am safe. I accept whatever happens because I believe it is for my greater good."

I also did my grounding exercise that grounds me and everyone on the plane. Which usually helps the bumpiness subside. So with grounding and acceptance of what is, I made it through that experience less stressed than I typically would have been. And I proved to myself that all those scared thoughts of crashing, were just that--my own fear and thinking.

How many times has your own thinking messed you up? Have you gotten yourself in a tizzy only to find out later you were wrong or that you wished you had been more calm? I suggest you get a copy of Byron's book and try what she calls, "The Work." It is a powerful thing when we can accept what is---and love it.

This also works for your expectations of other people. When you think or wish someone would act "better" or differently based on the rules you have in your mind. Should your husband not beat you? No, he shouldn't but, if he is, than that is what is. And no amount of you wanting him not to will change the situation, but you accepting it so you can be calm and centered enough to then find a way out, is right. It isn't for us to judge anyone else's behavior. There really isn't a right or wrong. There just is what is.

If you find this in the least fascinating or feel you could use this learning, I encourage you to move forward and try the book.