Say Yes to Change

The spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra shared meditative techniques that can help deal with difficult times. He says in the face of a crisis, the human mind tends to react in conditioned, limited ways that usually only intensify our pain. We may project into the future, getting caught up in fears and worst-case scenarios. Instead of becoming trapped in the mind’s repetitive and ultimately self-defeating thought loops, we can use the following mantras to move through a difficult situation and return to our innate state of balance and well-being.

In the state of pure awareness, there is no struggle. We feel safe and connected to life. Solutions to problems spontaneously emerge. As the physicist Albert Einstein stated, “No problem can ever be solved at the level of awareness at which it was created.” The only way to solve our problems is through expanding our awareness, which opens us to greater clarity and new possibilities.

One of the best ways to experience quiet awareness is to practice meditation. There are many kinds of meditation techniques that can help the mind’s noisy internal dialogue.

Meditation on the Breath

The following recommendations help individuals get the most out of meditation:

Sit quietly with your eyes closed and gently put your attention on the tip of your nose.

Breathe in and out normally, feeling the air flowing through your nostrils.

Now, envision your breath as a faint cloud of pale golden light going in and out of your nose. Feel the soft energy being carried by your breath. Let it relax and calm your mind, easily, without forcing anything to happen. The process will take care of itself.

As we become quiet, facing a difficult challenge, we can receive an expanded awareness with solutions that flow through us in ways that we couldn’t have imagined or predicted when our awareness was constricted.

Say Yes to Change

A crisis can bring up fears of the unknown. Uncertainty can make a person feel like he or she is out of control and helpless. Although we can’t stop extreme changes, we can learn to see change as friend rather than foe. We could feel a willingness to look deeply into the situation and then, with heart-opening clarity, see and understand the need for change.

We could ask ourselves, “Where is the gift in what is happening right now? What opportunity is in this transformation that I could learn?” With this approach, we may feel acceptance and don’t need to experience pain.

Here are some tips for how to deal with change:

Begin your meditation by bringing to your awareness a current situation that is changing in ways that make you feel uncomfortable. Notice how deeply agitated you feel and what it is doing to your body.

As you connect with the pain you feel, you can try to push it away or tamp it down. Take note of how your body and heart feel as they try to push it away. Most likely it doesn’t feel good to push it away. It’s asking you to deal with it now, at this moment and change your perspective.

Focus on Gratitude

Whatever we put our attention on expands in our experience. If our mind is focused on what’s not going well in our lives, our fears about the future, and our grievances, we will experience a reality that feels painful and negative. On the other hand, if we focus our attention on blessings for we are grateful, we will experience a reality filled with love, joy, appreciation and peace—even during a difficult event or situation. Instead of dwelling on what is lacking, we appreciate what we have, and we notice the many ways in which the universe is supporting us in every moment.

Gratitude is also a powerful tool for emotional well-being and physical health. As scientific research shows, people who focus on gratitude experience less stress, better sleep, more energy and greater levels of joy and happiness than their less-appreciative counterparts.

Following are examples of how to focus on gratitude:

Consider things you have in your life for which you can be grateful for – nurturing and supporting relationships, material comforts, your body and the mind that allows understanding about yourself and everything around you. Breathe and be grateful for the air that is filling your lungs and making your life possible.

Acknowledge the miracle of your body and your amazing aliveness. Let your awareness appreciate your sight, hearing, smell and touch.

Feel the love, compassion and understanding that gratitude brings into your heart. Notice how gratitude brings your attention into the present time, which is the only moment in which you can experience peace and joy.

Reference: Deepak Chopra, MD, is the author of Unlimited Learnings, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center.