Dropping the Struggle

We’ve all heard the phrase “drop the struggle”, but what does it mean and how do we do it?

Our natural instinct is to try to control everything that happens in our lives.  Our brain is only looking to help us survive and that is its natural behaviour.  However, when things don’t go to plan, we resist, we fight against whatever life is presenting us with and we create stress, anxiety and other emotions that can feel very heavy in our heart.  Fear is a major contributor to this process, as we are not comfortable with not knowing what lies ahead in our future.  

Although it is a survival mechanism embedded in our brains, it only makes things worse for us, as the more we fear, the more anxiety we experience, the more stress we create and it becomes a vicious cycle that grows like a snowball unless we stop the process.

What do we do then? 

There is a grounding technique used often in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) called “Dropping Anchor”.  Just like a boat would do in the harbour as it is caught in the middle of a storm.  This technique will help us come back to the present moment and be able to observe what is going on without being dragged by the storm.  Here is a link to a video that offers a simple guide on how to apply the technique. 

As we manage to come back to the present moment, we can practice some mindfulness exercises.  We can observe our thoughts patterns and catch the story we are making up in our minds.   By doing this, we would be able to keep some distance from the story and avoid getting hooked.

Following this, we can remember that live is happening FOR us, not TO us.  Anything that is going on in our lives, is giving us exactly what we need in order to grow and expand our consciousness.  It will help us align and move in the direction of our soul’s path.  We are deeply loved and supported. And so, we might start getting in touch with a sense of Trust.

As we begin to Trust, we release the need for control and so, we become more receptive and able to listen to our inner guide, which in turn will give us directions on how to deal with our current situation.

Of course, this is not something we achieve on the first go, but the more we practice, the quicker we can get from dropping anchor to trusting and allowing for the light to come through us and guide us on what action to take and the direction we need to move towards.

A sense of peace and relief will be achieved and we will be able to drop the struggle.

Please give this method a go and let me know how you go. Leave some comments below.

Perhaps you are able to achieve contacting the present moment only at first, but this is a great start.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

No need to rush

We were taking a walk by the beach with the kids.  We were enjoying our time, although my husband was rushing ahead of us with my eldest daughter.  The little ones were stopping every second minute to look at a shell, to check the sand or the water and a little fish swimming by.

The Island at Wellington Point, QLD, Australia

My husband stopped to look how far behind we were and asked us to “Hurry up!” At that moment, I looked around and saw the beautiful sky with fluffy clouds in funny shapes, the sea, the entire landscape and felt an amazing peace.  This state of bliss lasted a few seconds and some words came to my head: “There is no need to rush!”

The message was clear to me.  What is the need of going through life rushing from moment to moment? What is the point of taking that walk if we are not willing to spend the time to appreciate the details of the place you made such an effort to get to?  How many things are you missing out on?

Take a deep breath, pause for a second and look around you.  Take a moment to appreciate your day, your kid/s telling you about their day, the place you work at, the morning coffee.  Savour that breakfast in your mouth.  Enjoy the moment.

What is the need to rush, wanting to be somewhere else, rather than where you are right now?  Savour the present moment! You may discover wonderful things you may have been missing out and be grateful!

No need to rush!

Maria De Vivo

Mindfulness and The Four Agreements

Many years ago, on my path of self-improvement and the search for Truth, a beautiful Earth Angel put in my hands a book. This book was The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Don Miguel Ruiz is a Mexican author, direct descendant from the ancient Toltecs, who has dedicated his life to share their wisdom. The Four Agreements is one of his bestselling books, where he teaches us very simple principles that can help change our lives.

Realising that we see life through the light of our own “smoky mirror”, Don Miguel Ruiz encourages us to unlearn so many agreements we have made since we were very young and instead, presents us with a very simple formula that if put into practice, can be that thing that takes us to the next level of awareness, open our consciousness and reduce our suffering.

The proposed new agreements are:

  1. Be Impeccable with your word. By this, he means to always speak kind words to and about others. He advises us to always speak the truth in a constructive way.
  2. Do not make Assumptions. If you are not sure, check. As we all see life from our own experience, we see things differently and we can’t assume or make conclusions without checking first. We sometimes take as a fact, a situation that only exists in our own mind, bringing unnecessary pain to our existence.
  3. Do not take anything personal. As said before, we all act from our own experience and from our own pain. Understanding that the way a person acts only has to do with the way they are feeling and seeing life at that moment in time and that it is not really related to us, we can free ourselves from fear of judgment and from getting offended by someone else’s story or behavior.
  4. Always do your best. And our best is not always the same. We can’t do as many things on a day we are feeling sick, as on a day that we are healthy and rested. There are days when we can run a marathon and others when we can’t get out of bed. Be compassionate with yourself and if you fail to practice the agreements one day, there is always another opportunity to try again.

This great gift given to us by Don Miguel Ruiz goes hand in hand with our Mindfulness practice. By practicing The Four Agreements we are forced to be aware of our every action and the impact it has in our own and other people’s lives. Out of the “automatic pilot”, we become more present and our actions will come from a place of love and are more balanced.