For most of my life, I’ve felt like I was drowning, feverishly thrashing under the water scrambling my way to the surface which is forever out of reach. No matter how hard I try the surface remains tantalizingly beyond my fingertips. I neither sink nor ascend remaining exactly where I am. My efforts are futile, my doom is forthcoming. Then at the point of resignation in complete acceptance of my fate, the thrashing stops and something miraculous happens. I relax and float to the surface to once more taste that sweet, sweet air…
In terms of spiritual or mental development, this is known as getting out of your own way. Most of us are so wrapped up with the often pointless cares of day to day existence that we forget to relax and float awhile upon the ocean of life.
Relaxing is not only good for the soul, but good for the body too, and even better for the mind, to have a few moments each day of doing nothing is a priceless treasure that we all have within our grasp.
There’s also something else that goes on, which is very, very strange, when things are at their worst if you willingly accept them as they are, to accept the world as it is as opposed to as you’d like it to be then everything changes. The lesson has been learned and you move on to the next class.
“Don’t seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.”
This is something that I’ve personally found to be very strange indeed, it makes me think that maybe the idealists are right that mind does, in fact, create reality, this and other episodes of synchronicity make me highly suspicious of the materialist worldview, but that’s a topic for another day.
You can get out of your own way, by indulging in meditation (Buddhist style), begin by watching the breath, focusing the mind purely on your breathing, should any stray thoughts get in, simply move your attention back to your breath again, keep it up for at least ten to fifteen minutes or longer if you feel that you can.
The View from Above or The god’s eye view
The view from above is a brilliant technique from none other than our favourite roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in which you imagine yourself and your cares in the third person seen as if slightly above you, then you zoom out to a ceiling height level, before again zooming out to roof height level, then a bird’s eye view before finally taking a god’s eye view. At each stage in the process, you should be increasingly aware of just how limited and trivial your concerns are.
“It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquillity within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Getting out of your own way is your greatest and only true refuge, it gives your subconscious time to come up with new things and solutions to the problems that face you as well as allowing you to refocus your existence on the only thing that you can be sure that is real and that, of course, is your sense of ‘I’, the full-on, deep down inner you that is the core of your experience of living, the silent watcher of thoughts, emotions and passing time. It’s the real you, that you owe to yourself to experience.