By Jena Griffiths | December 5, 2018
Autumn is the time of year that reminds me that each one of us is like a leaf, both ordinary and extraordinary. Our lives are fleeting and, like leaves, even when we can no longer contribute as we did before we can still contribute long into winter and beyond but in a totally different way.
What can we do when we no longer feel useful?
The other day a 90 year old friend shared with me how useless she felt about her current physical state. She wondered why she was here taking up oxygen that others could use.
I think that no matter how old we get or disabled, as long as we are still breathing there’s a lot we can do, that we don’t realize matters, to help
“sweeten the soil” for future generations. We can just be fully present and simply keep breathing.
Breath is divine spirit and as we breathe into whatever is, and allow our feelings to flow, we process the unintegrated past, like a gardener composting leaves.
How to do this?
Breath deeply into your lower belly,
Feel it rise and fall with every breath.
As you breathe, say to yourself:
You might find yourself getting tearful.
Thoughts may come. Blame. Anger. Sadness… let them flow.
Thinking is how we avoid feeling!
Instead of focusing on the thoughts, keep bringing your attention back to your body sensations and any feelings that may arise.
The 90 second rule
A feeling can’t last more than 90 seconds unless we keep reigniting it with thoughts. By sitting with our feelings and actually feeling them, the feeling dissolves and we free the energy from the past so it can be used differently in future.
We let go of the story. No matter what happened to us or no matter what happened to our parents or grandparents or their ancestors during eons of collective trauma or misery, we break the habit of repeating the past by allowing ourselves to feel deeply and let our warm tears thaw the freeze so the energy can move again.
Each time we come back to who we really are at core: love, peace, joy, compassion. And each time we do, we are able to make a lighter choice. How to stay centered and express ourselves authentically as who we really are?
This is how we sweeten the soil.
By carefully tending our own inner garden, by composting the past, we are gardeners of the future.
Useful resources for this work:
Michael Brown – The Presence Process