It is not uncommon to express with great drama the age-old cliché “I got handed the shit end of the stick” after life has dished up a circumstance of calamity that one would not necessarily have chosen if given the chance. But in reality, picking up one end of the stick, also inevitably leads to picking up the other. Sticks are just this way. Certain circumstances and situations of our personal lives are just out of our personal control. Experiences that disrupt our inner peace mirror the act of picking up the stick, the whole stick that is. Maybe we don’t have control over the circumstance, however, we do have control of our perception of what we are experiencing. At any moment in our lives we have the choice to change the quality of experience with just as much simplicity and ease as choosing what to eat or wear.
Practices that bring ones conscious awareness into the present moment provide the greatest opportunity for anyone to harness a human’s greatest power, the power of our perception. A human life is multi-textured, and because there are so many layers to the experience of living, it is easy to be drawn out of the inner temple of peace and into the fluctuations of what is rising and falling away in the relationships we manage with the passing of every minute and hour. From the subtle relationships we manage with our own minds, emotions, energetic and physical bodies to the more gross relationships we manage with families, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, strangers and all of the facets of the world we are living in.
This gift bequeathed to each of us, at any moment to change our minds, only requires doing so. With that the shit end of stick no longer outshines the cleaner end and all of the space in between. Sometimes great patience and great diligence are required to choose new perspectives rather than our old stories. However, the perspective shift is what brings us back to the inner peace, joy, and harmony, not the outer circumstance being experienced. There is no doubt that some circumstances lend themselves more easily to these inner states, but these states of being are available at any moment to be enjoyed with so much as a simple shift of perspective.
The more time we take to be with ourselves be it through meditation, yoga, tai chi, or just present moment awareness the more able we become to put on a glove before picking up the shit end of the stick, or put it down and wash our hands. Or better yet, pick up the end that doesn’t stink, the end that is lighter and provides a bigger perspective seeing beyond the view of victim, empowered by the power of mindfulness.
With Love, Always, In All Ways, For Giving, In Joy,