When we are about to have a car crash, it is said the best thing we can do is relax. Typically though the opposite is true, and we tense up, which is very natural, however this can lead to more severe injuries. I remember travelling down the M1, a major motorway in the UK, at 70 miles an hour when my front right tyre burst. Thankfully I was listening to Eckhart Tolle, the Power of Now, and was incredibly present. I was aware of everything happening all around me, and still remember now, this incredible calm inside me. Everything happened in slow motion, which I know I have heard others who have survived crashes or incidents have said can happen, feeling as though a second is ten minutes.
I was travelling in the middle lane of the road at the time, and I calmly indicated to move into the inside lane. Just ahead was a parking sign and so I pulled in, got out and checked out my tyre. Then I rang the Roadside recovery. I recall even now looking back that I can't remember feeling that calm in my life. I truly believe that being so present and so relaxed before my tyre blew, helped me to navigate out of the situation safely.
Meditation helps us to build up a foundation of presence, we can then use Mindfulness to keep us connected to that foundation during our day, to help keep us relaxed and soft, to be more flexible and therefore more resilient when difficulties arise. Meditation isn't about tolerating our difficulties or suffering but about connecting us to that bigger and vaster part of us. When we begin to be more aware of the awareness that notices the difficulties rather than the difficult situations themselves, then we start the journey towards inner freedom.
The more we soften, let go of control, the more we can accept and surrender to life as it is. This is freedom. It is a work in progress, we will go back to our natural habituation of tensing up and controlling many times, before we really relax into trusting ourselves and life. It can be a lifetimes teaching. I feel this is what Jesus meant when he said "The meek shall inherit the earth." We can see meekness as softness, as acceptance, not fighting, not controlling, allowing things to be as they are. This was also the teaching of the Buddha.
Where can you soften? Where can you let go of control?
Here's to softness, that is were the love is.
With warm wishes,