What is the next step? When we are in a financial or emotional turmoil, we usually want out problems to disappear immediately and magically. And they can. Yet, most of the time more interaction with life is needed. Most masters would say that when we are given a problem we are always given the power to handle and overcome it at the same time. Not after the problem, but with the problem. Because we chose to learn a lesson through that issue. It is a learning process rather than a test. However, we have the free choice to face up to it, or let it pass. Again we are told my many masters – and you might have experienced it on your own - that when we let the lesson pass, the second time it comes around, it seems to be a little harder than the previous one. That is why in many mystic schools of thought it is advised to face up to pain and suffering and accept it, learn from it and move on.
I was re-reading a wonderful book by Julia Cameron, “Letters to a Young Artist”. A friend of mine discovered this book in London a couple years ago and recommended it to me. It is not available in Turkish, but I do recommend it to those who may get a hold of it. Although I had ordered my copy from Amazon two years ago, I do see copies of this book in bookstores in Istanbul. I would like to share a few passages from it:
“This is America. We are taught to think about life in monetary terms. We are taught to value our talents according to the financial return they give us. But can talent really be quantified financially? Look at your hero, Vincent Van Gogh. He was not a financially successful artist, yet who is more loved and revered? ‘Success’ doesn’t always come to us in worldly terms, as cash and prizes. Sometimes success is more intangible than that – a feeling of self-respect at living on our own terms, a sense of self-satisfaction at a job well done.”
“Unmade art will always pain and distract you - yes, even when you’re supposed to be listening to your child’s homework or focusing on world peace. Don’t get me wrong or understand me too quickly. Children matter. They deserve to be really listened to, and we cannot do that if our unmade art is still competing for our attention. World peace matters, but you may not be able to do anything constructive about it today, while you can make art - and, in my opinion, if we put a little more energy into creation, we might put a little less into destruction.”
How did we come here? Oh, we were asking what the next step is.
Life seems to be about taking one step after another. Most of the time we will not be able to see the whole picture, yet it is essential to take a step. Otherwise, we are paralyzed. It is important to take the best next step. That insures the best future one step at a time.
In order to gain the clarity on the next step, it is important to go beyond the cloud of thoughts, mainly worries that clog our perception. Julia Cameron says to open up your thinking to creative solutions to any problem it is good to write three long-hand pages every day first thing in the morning. I have written about this exercise before, so some of you have heard of it. But it is very essential, so I would like to repeat it over and over again.
In this recommended exercise, as soon as we wake up, we are encouraged to write down all that comes to our mind without any filtering for at least three pages and long-hand. This allows us to clear the fears, and worries and feelings of anger, resentment and even hate that might be lingering inside. And sometimes very positive feelings will come up and that will also help to remember and enjoy these feelings even more. This will bring us even higher. Try it for a few weeks. The results will be so amazing that this will become a habit you are not willing to give up.
Thinking more on an unresolved issue does not clear our minds. Do something else. Take a walk; take a shower; play your instrument if you play one; go out dancing with friends. Set your question out. Then, do something not related to your problem. Change your focus for a while. This will allow your mind to look for and find solutions at another level. Has it ever happened to you that you go to sleep with a difficult problem in mind at night and when you wake up you suddenly have a solution you never thought of before? This happens when you are able to relax and let go of the problem for a while to allow your mind and soul to find solutions. Trust that this issue came up or was invited into your life for a reason.
With a clear heart and mind, making choices and finding solutions will not be burden, but a creative act.
You probably know Oprah Winfrey. She is the American multiple-Emmy Award winning host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which is the highest rated talk show in television history. She is also an influential book critic, an Academy Award-nominated actress, and a magazine publisher. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, and according to many she is one of the most influential women in the world.
Oprah Winfrey says that when in a crisis she asks herself the question “What it is here to teach me?” The famous American show host says that she is aware that there is a gift in every experience no matter what it looks like. She says “Experiences make me who I am. So I welcome all experiences; I only make sure I put healthy boundaries.”
My own teacher Moshe reminds me that when a question is sent to the Universe, an answer always comes. I believe “What is the next step?” is a valuable question to send out; more valuable than the specific answers we seek about our future.
Let us move on to better and better next steps with each new day.
I wish you days filled with love, joy and laughter.
Meditation for the Week:
Please read the text below before you start your meditation and set out the intention to work on this topic.
“Everything I need is at hand. It gives me pleasure to arrange my things in such a way that when I am looking for them I can easily find them. Everything is in Divine Right Order, from the stars in the heavens to the clothes in my closet and the papers in my desk. I love the ceremony of my daily routines that exercise my body and train my mind. It seems that when my life is in order, I have the time to be creative and open to new insights. And still, my routines are flexible and fun and effective in helping me do what I came here to do. I am part of the Divine plan. All is in perfect order.”
You may meditate on this text or you may read it to yourself preferably out loud two to three times a day and repeat it whenever you like it.
Natural Remedy for the Week:
Rosewater may be used for the aroma of a rose and benefit from its healing and energy opening effects. It is relatively cheaper than the essential oil. Rosewater is soothing, cooling and anti-inflammatory. Rosewater is very good for the treatment of conjunctivitis. You may wet cotton pads with rosewater and place them over your eyes for relaxation and to refresh you eyes. Rosewater may also be used as a gentle toner, especially for dry skin. It is very gentle to be used on sensitive skins. It is also a gentle antiseptic. Of course, please make sure that you are using pure and natural rosewater.
Affirmation of the Week:
“I calm my thoughts and I am serene.”
By Louise L. Hay
Quote of the Week:
“You are lost the instant you know what the result will be.”
Book of the Week:
“Science of Success” By James Arthur Ray
This book is available in Turkish under the title “Bolluk Yasaları”.
Please always consult your doctor first in case of any medical problems. All information, remedies, techniques given here are for your information only and should be used only under the consent and supervision of a medical doctor, and only as a supplement not a substitute for your medical treatments.