How many times have you found yourself in a repetitive cycle you just can’t seem to break? Are you back to that same old situation again, the one that makes you feel powerless and miserable? It’s easy to judge yourself harshly as you think, What happened? I did all that healing work and focused my intent to change my life, and now I’m back here again?
There’s no shame in having slipped back into old territory. We all do so when we experience our triggers, or on anniversaries of losses or events that caused us pain. Remember, we’re all on an adventure that has its dramatic elements.
You Can't Run from the Present Moment
You can’t avoid repetitive landscapes altogether, because predicaments and challenges are part of the human experience. Every Enchanted Map has permanent features you can’t transform, places you must visit — perhaps more than once. It would be great if you never had to return to the Valley of Loss after being there and learning its lessons, but that’s not how life works. If you run away from the present moment because it’s too painful, your map will correct your course as if you were on autopilot. There’s a little mischievous creature called the Goblin who will trick you into visiting and revisiting these troublesome landscapes.
There is no escape from any terrain on the map except through surrender to the present moment and accepting that you are in it, however unsettling and upsetting it may be. Denial will take you to the Field of Poppies, where you’ll repeat the same experience over and over until you change it. Be here, now, and watch the magic begin as Spirit shows you the shadow and light of this land, providing you wisdom and insights that will empower you on your adventure.
Being Mindful: Surrendering to the Now
Of course, when your emotional experience is so intense that it feels as if it’s never going to change, it’s hard to surrender to the now. As soon as you access your mind’s ability to step back from the Sticky Swamp or Valley of Loss and remember that you hold the power to interact with your Enchanted Map, you’ll know that no feeling lasts forever and that you are not your emotions. Even someone you might think of as an angry person isn’t angry every minute of every day. It’s not that emotions sustain themselves indefinitely, but rather that you continually regenerate them.
You can’t erase distressing landscapes from your map, but mindfulness will help you stay grounded in the present, where you must embrace your emotional experience.
Mindfulness Must Be Learned
For many of us, mindfulness — that is, the ability to keep our thoughts on the present moment — must be learned, because it’s not our habit. When I first began to practice mindfulness meditation, I found it very difficult. My mind loves to run here and there with great enthusiasm, but I was determined to learn how to calm my thoughts. Frankly, it was excruciating in the beginning, as “now” seemed like the last place my mind wanted to visit.
I noticed that I was best when wandering around environments that had to do with unresolved past relationships and anticipating my future career successes or potential failures. Being able to accept this time-wandering habit of mine without judgment was liberating and allowed me to start developing mindfulness. I had to keep working at it; and eventually, with regular practice, I did become more mindful — and it made all the difference in the world. I believe it is essential that all of us adapt this manner of remaining present in the now, given the hysteria accompanying the collective shift we’re all experiencing in these times of global upheaval.
The paradox is that just being able to recognize that your mind is “somewhere else” empowers you to choose where to be. To feel compassion for yourself for not being “here” right now actually brings you back into the present. And as you learn to work with your map, you’ll increase your power to remain there; to leave a difficult landscape when you’re meant to, not prematurely; and to avoid unnecessary trips to lands of sorrow and suffering. You can stop feeling lost in the past or the future, running away from what you have to face.
Synchronicities and Time
When you identify the emotional landscape you’re inhabiting and realize that it’s overly familiar territory, it’s a sign that you still haven’t truly taken in the lesson of this place. You might think you have, but maybe there’s wisdom here that you overlooked.
Why do you keep getting snapped back into the traumatic emotional landscapes of your past? It’s because much of your interaction with the Enchanted Map is unconscious. You have to become aware of where you are; when you are; and, as you’ll see, who is guiding you. The more mindful you are, the more you’ll recognize the synchronicities in your life. Then it will be much easier to remember that you have the power to get out of the repetitive landscapes where you experience suffering.
Being in the Present Most of the Time
These synchronicities are actually part of Spirit’s cleverly designed alarm system that alerts you to the nature of time itself so that you remember how to work with it properly and be an efficient time traveler. The idea is to be in the present most — but not all — of the time. You need to dream, reminisce, learn from the past, and prepare for a future that always involves the unexpected.
To remain in the present, you have to learn to envision the future without obsessing about the details of what will happen or trying to micromanage it. (In fact, I don’t do predictive readings for people more than twice a year, because I know that it’s easy to become obsessed with what may be instead of focusing on your life today. I wrote about this at length in my book Messages from Spirit in the section on oracle abuse.) It’s so important to not get ahead of yourself. You also have to resolve your past issues so that you’re not constantly re-traumatizing yourself, or second-guessing whether you should have done things differently.
As spiritual beings temporarily having a human experience, we’ve chosen to live within time . . . to perceive that there is a past, present, and future. These categories of experience can be helpful for understanding our lives and healing ourselves...
Reprinted with permission. Published by Hay House (©2011)
and available at all bookstores or online at: www.hayhouse.com.
The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life
by Colette Baron-Reid.
You don’t have to feel lost or disoriented in this time of global transformation, or be at the mercy of the winds of change. The Map invites you to boldly claim your power to direct your journey so that you may find meaning, purpose, and joy. Step into the magic, and harness the extraordinary power within you to shape your destiny.
About the Author
Colette Baron-Reid is a popular intuitive counselor, psychic medium, seminar leader, radio personality, motivational speaker, best-selling author, and musical recording artist (with a top-selling meditation CD, Journey Through the Chakras ). She currently lives in Sedona, Arizona, with her husband and their two furry children. For information on seminars, intensives, and private sessions with Colette, as well as original meditation downloads to support your work with this book, visit: www.colettebaronreid.com.