“When you open up to life as it is”

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“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.” Pema Chodron

I really enjoy this teaching from Pema Chodron, especially since I feel it applies so well to my travels here in Thailand. She teaches us that by opening our mind and body up to the fact that things are always changing, we will not be as shocked and unwilling to respond positively when curve balls are thrown our way. Things are always changing for good and bad and we must open our minds (through mindfulness) to these possibilities. Chodron teaches us that what you may once have received as negative news or an unfortunate change in plans, depending on how you receive that news and what you decide to do with it, can always be morphed into something positive.

If we look at ‘life as offering endless possibilities’ we will then find more and more ways to recognize our true selves and to always practice mindfulness, compassion, and understanding. If we learn to live more in the present moment, to take each obstacle as it comes rather than looking into the future and worrying about what may or may not happen, we are that much closer to enlightenment and to truly being present in all aspects of our bodies. Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Our appointment with life is in the present moment. If we do not have peace and joy right now, when will we have peace and joy–tomorrow, or after tomorrow? What is preventing us from being happy right now?”

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