The broad path reveals views of river and lawn. Further along overarching trees enclose, their cool embrace enveloping and sheltering. All around branches sing in the fresh spring breeze. This sheltered space, a place protected from wind and sun, has womb-like security.
Your Calling Responds To Contemplation
We can nurture security in our lives by taking time for contemplation. If we have a problem with a person or situation, we can learn to sense the answer. It is helpful to have a relaxed, undisturbed place for your contemplations. My favourite is a long walk up the river.
When I go upriver I walk along the Lagan Towpath. Before I enter the towpath I pass a small attractive shop. I usually go in and buy a few nice things to eat and drink. With my picnic complete I head up river to Moorlands Meadow, where I sit under a tree with my treat. After my picnic I lie with my back against the tree and contemplate the situation with which I am seeking guidance, by lovingly holding it in my awareness and allowing ideas, feelings and thoughts to form. Quite often I return from the walk with complete clarity about the way forward and the actions I need to take.
Through contemplation we are able to discern higher quality solutions and resolve dilemmas and problems. For example I recently visited the local DIY store to buy some shelves for my consulting room. In the store I was drawn to two different types of shelves. The first set of shelves was contained within a frame. These drew my eye because this frame would be able to hold my many books, without them sliding off the end of each shelf. The second set of shelves was more attractive with soft curves, but had an open-ended design, not apparently suitable for holding books in place. After standing in the shop contemplating this situation for an hour with my wife I received a wonderful insight. If I chose the attractive shelves and placed one above the other at just the right height, then the wooden brackets that supported the shelves would act as bookends. Now that I knew how to store my books securely I was happy to buy the more attractive shelves with confidence.
Quiet contemplation is particularly good for solving design or business related problems. Business managers please note, the typical business environment is very far removed from that best suited to quiet contemplation. Could this be one of the reasons so many executives suffer from stress? (See Your Calling Helps You Succeed At Work). We may have to contemplate a situation for a long time before it is resolved. This is often true with bigger decisions. When contemplating a major decision we need to be able to live with feelings of uncertainty and confusion for protracted periods. This can feel uncomfortable, however it is important not to try and relieve the discomfort by jumping at a decision before everything becomes clear.
For example I was considering how to publish this book. I had three alternatives. I could approach publishers, find a literary agent or publish it myself. I did not know which to choose and lived with this dilemma for six months. During those six months I explored the various choices. I discovered that getting a publisher or a literary agent was going to be a very difficult and protracted task requiring proposals to be sent to many different organisations, most probably receiving a plethora of rejection letters in return. When I contemplated applying to lots of literary agents and publishers I had a dead feeling inside and had no enthusiasm for the task. My inner guidance was suggesting that I wait.
Then one day while surfing the net I discovered Booksurge, a company that do everything for the self-publisher. I saw that with their help, self-publishing was practical and feasible. I allowed this idea to settle and as it settled I became clear that I wanted to self-publish with Booksurge. The confusion I had experienced for the last six months disappeared and I felt totally at peace with this choice.
Contemplation is also excellent for helping us resolve relationship problems. The key to successful relationships is to always act in loving ways. If we are holding negative feelings about our partner, this will separate us from our inner guidance and we may pursue misguided actions that we later regret. By lovingly holding the difficult situation I share with my partner quietly in my awareness, I am able to sense the best course of action, (see Your Healing From A Broken Relationship).
For example my wife and I were employing some men to cast a concrete step at our front door. Carolyn wanted a curving semi-circular step. I wanted a rectangular step with chamfered corners – this was because I wanted to tile the step myself at a later date and tiling a curving step was going to be very difficult. Carolyn and I discussed the problem and after taking time to contemplate our dilemma we received a wonderful insight. We decided to do a curving step. But instead of tiling the whole step at a later date, we bought a small number of small tiles that matched in with our front door, and asked the workmen to set them into the step in an attractive design when the concrete was still soft. The finished step looked wonderful. Through contemplation and discussion we had come to a decision where both our needs were met and we had created a better quality solution.
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