It seemed fitting that this past week (that we have spent reflecting on our past year of creating Daring Spirits) started with Memorial Day, a day all about remembering and celebrating memories.
We often joke during play (work) sessions, when things feel challenging or are not making sense, when we have realizations and find the amusement again, that we are making memories. It has become sort of a code word to bring the amusement back in -- that in the midst of sharing this information with the world, we are creating memories, for ourselves, for our readers, for our program participants, those around us, etc. Memories. Actual memories. Pieces of information, pictures, funny stories, that others will share with their family and friends, that others will reflect on, that others will carry with them.
We each do that, every day. We make memories. Some memories we want to forget right away and other memories we want to savor and cherish for days, months, years, and decades to come. On this Friday after Memorial Day, as we stand poised for summer festivities to begin, a time full of memory making opportunities, we wanted to take a moment to remind you of the power you have in creating memories...
Memories. I am very aware that my memories before I learned to ground are very different than after I learned to ground. I don't know how else to describe that, except that I can pin point a shift in my life and my memories when I learned to ground and learned the other meditation techniques we work with and share here at DS.
With that awareness, I also become conscious of the powerful choice I have in the memories that I create. We store memories, often in the form of pictures (the movie Inside Out really does a nice job laying it all out) that we access and use throughout our day. If that memory is tainted with happy versus sad, my body responds differently.
Now, please hear me, I'm not saying every memory is happy or we need to make every memory happy. I am suggesting that when I move throughout my day conscious of the memory I am creating or not creating by walking away from an opportunity, I choose to do things differently, not necessarily better or worse, differently.
For example, when I am stopped at a NJ Turnpike rest stop with a sick toddler in tow and three big sisters all needing the bathroom sharing a stall, we can all either get annoyed, irritated and upset with one another for various reasons or we can choose to laugh at the humor of the situation and turn a miserable memory experience into a comical one.
What memory are you going to make today? And how does that change things for you?
It was amusing to me to look at a post titled "Bracing for Change" and then read about memories. One feels forward-thinking, the other...actually, the way Elizabeth wrote about seeing that we are constantly making memories feels forward-thinking, too. That got me pondering what it might look like to brace for change when what you're changing is a memory. More specifically, when you're changing the way you view a moment in the past.
As someone who practices being in the present moment as much as I profess to, I spend a lot of time looking back. Looking back at my childhood, looking back at defining moments, looking back at my path and the paths of those around me, sussing out patterns and connecting dots. One thing I find is that people tend to view their memories as static, like photographs, snapshots frozen in time - and seen from a particular point of view.
Have you ever been at a family gathering and heard one of your childhood memories described by someone else? It's a little disorienting to see something that's a part of your story through the eyes of another, right? There might be details that get shuffled, an emphasis on a different aspect of the story, rose-colored glasses. or distortion of "the facts." You might walk away from an exchange like that feeling lighter, or you may walk away feeling confused, betrayed, or even angry.
Then what? You can't un-see something, so now the picture has more depth, there's more story there. How do you handle it, especially if it's wildly different than your recollection of the memory?
You find some neutrality with it. You allow both pictures to exist side by side, knowing that each of you had the experience you had - and you aren't going to change the experience. You change the memory. Update the picture.
Then look at what's changed in this moment, in the here and now, now that you have more information. Are missing pieces of a puzzle falling into place? New mysteries slipping out of the woodwork? That's the moment when you may want to brace yourself - because things will start getting lit up.
And then things will change, if you're paying attention.
ps - That's exactly what reading a past life does - fills in gaps, updates memories, brings past information into present time. More on that another time, I promise.
pps - To learn how to access the grounding Elizabeth mentioned or the neutrality Barbara wrote about, check out our AMP (Active Meditation Practice) Program, wherein we teach those techniques and more.