Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Expanding our Consciousness

Have you ever had one of those moments when you thought things could not possibly get any worse and then they did? I had one of those moments just last week. I know that I've mentioned my upcoming wedding a few times in my posts, but I'm not sure if I mentioned that I decided to have a destination wedding. Well, guess which country I chose to have as the destination? Mexico.

Poor Mexico. They've had a rotten year. First the Mexican drug war made national headlines. That was bad enough, and the coverage stressed me out a little, but this stress was manageable because I knew that the violence was mainly affecting border towns. My wedding was going to be in tourist Mecca, right near Cancun. I felt it was unlikely that the Mexican government would let one of its main tourist hotspots turn into a dangerous place to visit.

Then the swine flu made national news. People were suddenly dying from this strange flu, and visitors who got the flu were spreading it in their home countries, upon their return from Mexico. This became the headline of every news story for days; the possibility of a pandemic was even discussed. I couldn't believe it. Now, I was getting seriously worried. I tried to remain calm, telling myself that it was still early, that this would probably blow over in another few weeks. I talked to the resort, where our wedding is booked, and they reassured me the flu was mainly in Mexico City. I took a deep breath and figured that if this was the worst that could happen, it was good that it was happening now and not nearer to my wedding date.

That's when the earthquake hit Acapulco. I just looked up into the sky and half laughed, "Really? Are you serious?" I was beginning to think that I was being punished for some unseen thing that I had done in this life or some past life.

Sometimes life does seem that way doesn't it? It's easy to get caught up in the "why me" state of mind. This happens especially when we think at the micro level -- when we are deep in our own universe, we don't see past our personal and limited consciousness of the world. In truth, this series of disasters wasn't happening to just me. It was affecting thousands of people, not to mention many who were faring a lot worse than me. Some were dying, while I was perfectly fine (besides being stressed). Only after I had taken a step back was I able to take in the bigger picture and put these events into perspective.

Eckhart Tolle talks a lot about this idea of expanding our consciousness. When I last wrote about his audio program, Bringing Stillness into Everyday Life, I mentioned that I would be writing much more about his work. I have to keep coming back to him, because there is just so much to what he is trying to communicate. I have listened to his programs again and again and have still not absorbed everything. His work is as profound as it is simplistic. It's hard for the mind to wrap itself around what he suggests, because our ego clings desperately to what is familiar. We naturally rebel, finding it too easy to continue living and suffering in our own micro universe. Yet what would it mean to start living this new consciousness? If we were truly connected to everything, what other things would we have to change about our lives?

Do you have an experience you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below

1 comment:

Pat Matson said...

It's so wonderful to see you talking about this! I believe that our minds, our consciousness, has a big job in filtering out all that the news media provides, much of which is scary.

I think that if we could just stay focused inside our own minds and recognize that THAT is what Cause is, we could then create only safe circumstances for ourselves. Sounds like you reasoned through much of this and I congratulate you.

I wish there were tons more Blogs out there with spiritual orientations.