Many Doors, One Sanctuary: 10 Doors to Active Wellbeing: Doorway # 1

A few years ago, I had a dream that I was standing in a hallway.  To the left and to the right there were a number of doors, and at the end of the hallway, one single door.

As I began to walk down the hall, I tried each door.  Some seemed to be locked.  Some weren’t locked but the knob didn’t seem to work.  And some, the most confusing ones of all…would open a crack but when I pushed on the door…the door pushed back.

That was the way with each one of the doors…except for the one at the end of the hall.  It opened easily.

As I stepped over the threshold, I found myself on a windswept beach.  It was night, but I could see the dark surf and hear the waves as they kissed the sand.

I began to walk down the beach and as I did, a man approached me and he said, “What are you doing?”

I stopped. “I was in there and tried all the doors,” I told him.  “They wouldn’t open, so I came out here.”

He shook his head.  “Go back inside and open those doors.”

“Okay,” I said, and as I turned to go back, the dream ended.

I have thought a lot about that dream – its possible meaning, and the ramifications for my life if I had stayed on that beach.  I could have played it safe and walked along beside the surf…perhaps never knowing lay beyond any of those closed doors.

What is behind Door #1, or #2, or #3, as Monty Hall would say on the game show Let’s Make a Deal.

Behind one door was a brand new car!; behind the others, goats..like nanny or billy goat.

But what happens when Monty Hall isn’t there and you have too many doors to choose from?  Which door do you choose first?

Living in the gap…

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. – Viktor E. Frankl

It takes a fraction of a second for the information we receive through our senses to reach our brain.  We form our reaction with what seems to be the speed of light.  It is so fast that we may not detect it, but this space, or gap, is there.  It is the space of the observer.  It allows us time to consider our reaction and decide if it is worthy of sharing.  It is in the gap that we transform reaction into response.

This gap is accessible to all.

In order to access this space of thoughtful choice, of clear-eyed executive decision, we simply have to take the time.  To sit with our reaction for a few seconds longer than usual…to realize that it is there.  This breaks the cascade…the chain reaction that keeps us chained to fear-based habits and responses.   This is how we create an elegant inner Sanctuary.

In this space, we are invited to examine our thoughts and consider, as Buddhist teacher Tara Brach says, that our thoughts are just thoughts.  We don’t have to believe them.  There is a profound freedom in the understanding that we don’t have to believe our thoughts.

Thoughts are real but they aren’t true. – Tara Brach

We realize freedom through gentle, tender, consistent practice.  Repetitive gently flowing movement not only soothes the body, but it also soothes the mind.

The Way of a Peaceful Warrior…

As a peaceful warrior, I take a stand.  I will not be daunted by circumstances.  In the face of adversity, I survive.  In the aftermath of adversity, I thrive.

Our world has been catapulted into a new frontier, it seems.  During these tumultuous times, when everything is changing, our active engagement is needed more than ever.

What can we do when we are stuck inside, face to face with our fears and foes?  A peaceful warrior turns and faces their foe.  The hero of their own life, when everyone is running away from their discomfort, the peaceful warrior runs toward it.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going…

Active engagement is the solution to passive acquiescence.  We are giving in instead of giving up.  We are giving ourselves the qualities and companionship we need in order to weather this crisis…to not only survive but to thrive in spite of it.

The following 10 doorways offer us keys to activating our inner warrior.  In this new frontier, flexibility and adaptation are vital traveling companions.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. – Viktor E. Frankl

Frankl’s brilliant observation was borne from extreme adversity.  It is wise to give it our attention.

We have a choice.  We can cultivate our personal resilience in the times when we can do nothing else.  Interestingly, we can realize the power of the human spirit best through adversity.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. – Viktor E. Frankl

Active engagement.  What does it mean to you?  When circumstances require our active agreement regarding physical distancing and staying home as much as possible, to acknowledge the very real threat to our lives and the lives of those we care about…what can we do?

We can step through doors that open us up to a new frontier.  We can act in a manner that defines us as elegant beings.

  1. Active Relaxation

Active relaxation is truly wonderful!  It includes practices such as Qigong and Yoga.  These can be practiced in your living room, bedroom or anywhere that you have a few feet of space.  There are superb videos available for FREE on Youtube.  Here are two to get you started.  I love these videos and am so grateful for the skill of the instructors and the internet for making them available:

Qigong:

 

 

Yoga – I love Adriene!

Awaken the Artist Within

These are a perfect place to begin!  There are 9 more steps to living in the gap in this manner.  Over the next days, I will share more information and insight into each one.

2. Active Consumption

3. Active Thought

4. Activity!

5. Active Rest

6. Active Mothering

7. Active Fathering

8. Active Creativity

9. Active Connection

10. Active Community

Take care, friends, and stay healthy!

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Published by Paula D. Tozer

I am a writer, poet and singer/songwriter. I am a Toastmaster, motivational speaker, personal creativity coach, and workshop leader. My most sincere wish is to share my words with others, and that we both benefit from the exchange.

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