I want to share a quote from an ancient wisdom text:
“A man beating a rug with a stick does not aim at the rug but at the dust inside it. Your ego is covered with many dusty veils you cannot remove them at once. With each blow, little by little they will disappear from the face of your heart."
Rumi’s Little Book of Life.
What I like about this quote is that it shows that “removing the dust” to reveal the clarity of our heart takes time and persistence. This is encouraging for all of us who are doing inner work.
Sometimes when we work on ourselves, we make some progress and feel the wonderful beneficial effects. At other times we slip back into old patterns and later wonder how that happened or keeps happening.
Rumi is saying, keep doing the work and know that it’s not a small task! He also indicates that it is worthwhile work – to uncover something of immense value.
Often what we are doing in counselling and with mindfulness specifically is making what’s unconscious conscious by bringing the direct power of our attention to it.
We can focus on making our thought processes conscious, our emotions conscious, our physiological reactions conscious, and our behavior conscious. Making these aspects of our experience conscious simply means noticing it, becoming aware of it.
Although it seems simple, it is not always easy to look within and there may be several barriers to doing so. By noticing our experience fully, however, an element of clarity comes in and with clarity, choice comes in as well.
We are empowered through our awareness of our experience to make changes at the level of thoughts, emotions and behaviors and these changes can shift our experience substantially.
Wherever you are in your inner journey, keep going!
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