As many of you may know, my husband died suddenly. This gentle reminder is dedicated to Gregg Simmons, the man of my infinite dreams.
The night of his death I was unable to get warm. I kept saying over and over to myself, “I can’t believe it.” In hindsight, I realize I was in shock.
I arose the next morning reminded that grief is one of the lowest levels of consciousness. I also felt keenly aware that everything I think is a matter of choice and that now, more than ever, was the time to be self-aware and on-purpose. Now, more than ever, was the time to choose my intentions.
As you may recall from our Managing Thought workshop, what we feel and what we experience depends on what we choose to focus. Furthermore, our focus affects our perception, which in turn affects what we perceive as reality. We have the ability to choose our focus and ultimately our reality. We choose our focus by choosing our intentions.
With Gregg’s death, I knew that I could choose to give in to the dark side of grief or I could choose to be illumined by it. I chose—consciously, intentionally—to be illumined. I know that in a low state of consciousness, I can be highly susceptible to what others say and do. I chose not to take what others said or did personally, because I realized that they too were processing Gregg’s death and perhaps even the passing of other family or friends that they might not have fully processed. I chose to listen and be compassionate.
I know that a difficult time, or a low period, is the time to gather energy and rejuvenate. I chose to take care of myself, to eat healthy foods, to take extra time to be quiet and meditate each day so that I could remain calm and connected to my higher awareness. I also know that during difficult times, our brains can retrieve difficult experiences and present information that may not be useful today. I chose to observe my thoughts without judgment, to acknowledge and experience my moments of pain and to face my fears. And as I usually do, I chose to be of the highest service to Gregg, to his son, his son’s mother, myself and to all those whose lives were touched by Gregg and who were also grieving.
Was I perfect? No. There were instances where I could have said or done something different. Was I perfect? Yes. I did the best I could and am doing the best I can. I am learning a lot in this process and I am inspired to continue my own self-cultivation. I know two things are certain—I do practice what I preach and I am still learning.
Needless to say, during this experience, I have had many thoughts to observe and so I offer the following gentle reminder. In periods of low energy and low thought patterns, our lower awareness emerges and old, negative, weak thought patterns emerge. They can be the result of a previous tendency to take a fight or flight position. They can be the result of conclusions we’ve drawn on similar experiences. They can be a result of habits we’ve developed in dealing with past circumstances.
When we practice self-awareness, even in difficult times, we can see these thoughts for what they are—thoughts. We know that we are the observer of these thoughts and we can choose whether to utilize these thoughts or not. We can choose our intentions.
When these weak and negative thoughts reappear, they can be frightening. You may ask yourself, “Why are they back? I thought this was long gone, not a part of my nature anymore?” The key observation and reminder here is that the reappearance of these thoughts is, in fact, a form of detoxification—a purification of your thinking. Old, negative, weak thinking stored in your brain from past experiences is rising to the surface to be washed away. The fact that you are observing the thought, and not unconsciously surrendering to it, is indicative of the growth you have achieved. In choosing your intentions, you forge a higher course of thinking and action. You break down old patterns and build new ones. The initial fright, the purification, the acknowledgement of growth and the building of new, powerful patterns should all be acknowledged and celebrated.
I offer one more gentle reminder: the significance of remaining calm and connected to your higher awareness. Over the years I knew—first intellectually and later on a much deeper level—the importance of remaining calm and clear of negative, weak thinking in order to be able to access my higher awareness and to keep my creative channels open. I can say that now, following Gregg’s death, I really know it. I am now incredibly aware that while I am holding on to feelings of fear, anxiety, self-pity, criticism, judgment—any negative or weak thought pattern—I am not connected to my higher awareness. I am not connected to the sea of infinite possibilities. I have lost my ability to be creative, to be inspired. Instead, I choose to be connected.
The power to choose your intentions is one of the greatest powers you possess. When you choose to be illumined by every experience, you will be. When you intentionally face and fully experience each moment and let it go—whether it is grief or fear or even profound happiness—you will. When you choose to observe your thoughts without judgment, and you choose whether to hold onto them, you will. Then you will remain true to your purpose while in a state of calm, joy, creativity and inspiration. When you choose to acknowledge and celebrate how far you’ve come, you will continue to learn more effectively, to become more creative and ever expansive.
And the world of opportunities just keeps getting bigger!
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