I must have dozed off. It had been a long day, actually a really long two weeks for that matter, and I was exhausted. So much travel, so much to do, so much to learn, and not enough time!
The announcement over the hum of the jet's engine was loud and clear and woke me up with a jolt, "In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person."
"Secure your mask on first" was right. It is what I found myself struggling with all my life.
I was constantly giving. Giving even when I didn't have anything left to give just so others would like me and think me worthy of being their mother, daughter, sister, friend. It didn't matter who it was, I just needed to feel like I could take care of everyone. Me? I didn't matter. 'Their happiness is my happiness' was what I believed with every breath I had left in me.
Until one day I woke up to find the rug pulled from under me by the very people that I loved and cherished. I begged for their help and compassion and suddenly realized that they would deny me the very thing I needed to survive. The oxygen was taken from me and I was suffocating. I had ignored the oxygen mask and now I was depleted. Not only that, but slowly and surely, one by one, they walked out of my life.
It was a rude wake-up call. I suffered silently and went into deep sadness, carrying a heavy load of grief. And I wallowed in blame. I blamed myself, I blamed others, and then when there was no one left to blame, I blamed my karma. It was exhausting, all this blaming.
On a morning walk one day, as is my habit I put on my earphones and shuffled my iPod for some inspirational audio to listen to. This day it happened to bring up Jack Canfield's The Success Principles. Jack's voice was telling me that I was to take 100% responsibility for my life. I argued in my mind, "how could I have been responsible for the atrocious hands that I was dealt with? The betrayal, the rejection, the loss, and even that near fatal accident that almost took my life, how did I bring about those things?"
Yet he continued to make his case and convinced me that he was right. No matter what had happened in my life I was responsible. I must own the fact that everything that happened and continues to happen in my life was my responsibility. I had always had a choice. Hindsight is 20/20. Those red alerts that I had chosen to ignore, those voices and those warnings that I pretended were not relevant to me, they had been very clear all along. But I insisted it was just my mind playing tricks on me. After all, people you love don't ever mean to do you any harm. Or do they?
We are each one of us choosing at every moment. Whether we eventually choose to make the same mistakes or take a path that is unfamiliar hoping for a different outcome, we have an option. The fact that we have a choice empowers us and puts us in control of our destiny.
Once I am able to view life from this lens of having a choice, I am no longer subservient to the drama of life and other people. I can choose to get irritated or angry, or choose to remain calm and collected. When I choose to be calm rather than reactive, I reveal the mastery I have over my own mind. My calm response is not a weak or a passive one, but rather comes from an inner strength that allows me to remain stable when faced with a situation. It is not that I am suppressing my anger, but instead I am making a deliberate decision to walk the path of wellbeing for my own benefit and that of others.
Jack Canfield's success principle #1 states a profound formula that I now live my life by: E+R=O (Event +Response=Outcome). My response to any event will bring about the outcome that I must face. Therefore I am deliberate and mindful now on how I respond to any event. I am looking for a beautiful outcome to every situation and I choose to take my time to respond. The old me would snap and react in the blink of an eye without giving much thought to the outcome. But the new me has learnt the cost of doing so. The stock of calm within me has accumulated over time as I continue to learn to clear the clutter from my mind.
When faced with a challenging event or situation I take the following steps:
1. Practice stillness: I go within to check with myself. Does the situation warrant an immediate response? If not, I walk away and give myself time to mull it over. After all, I want to make my decisions based on love, and love only.
2. Breathe deeply: I focus on my breath. Breathing in calm and breathing out tension. This helps slow down my thoughts and relaxes my mind and body, thus allowing me to gain clarity and focus so I may understand the situation better.
3. Connect with a beautiful memory: I'm transported to a place of beauty and tranquility. I allow feelings of serenity to flow into me, filling every part of me with a deeper sense of stillness and peace.
4. Connect with my Higher Self: I see myself inside a beautiful golden temple in the presence of my Higher Self, receiving Divine Guidance. I feel His Grace flow thru me.
Feeling empowered and refreshed I emerge with renewed energy and clarity. If the situation I'm facing warrants a response, it is one of love, and for the highest good of all concerned.
All is well in my world.
Remember that you always have a choice. You are one hundred percent responsible for your life. The option to remain calm and peaceful is yours as well. You choose how to react, and based on your reactions you are responsible for the outcome in every situation you face in life. Whether your reaction is one of love or that of fear, it is your choice to make.
Be fully present and aware at all times. It is your responsibility to make the better choice, because if you don't then someone else will choose on your behalf. And that, more often than not, will bring about an outcome that may not be to your liking.
This I know for sure!
"When you think everything is someone else's fault, you will suffer a lot.
When you realize that everything springs only from yourself,
You will learn both peace and joy."
~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
© Rani St. Pucchi, 2016
For more information on Rani please visit www.ranistpucchi.com