Saturday, August 25, 2018

Denver West Wash Park Counseling: Steady Progress

Today's Blog Post

Steady - Not able to be moved or disturbed easily; Stable.

Progress - Movement forwards, advance towards maturity.

“Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose - a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.” Mary Shelley

“We plod from structure to conveyance to employment and back again. We live within the boundaries that science has determined for us. The measuring stick is short and sweet. The full gamut of life is a brief, shadowy continuum that runs from gray to more gray. The rainbow is bleached. We hardly know how to doubt anymore.” Richard Matheson.

The above quote is an example of how we may get caught in the norm, and wonder what is wrong. This is not Your Practice, this is society telling you what to do and how to feel.

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” Frank Zappa.

To be well adjusted to a sick society is not a sign of health.

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." Winston Churchill.

Humans are fallible, and the only important thing is that we try our best. By setting the more realistic goal of progress rather than perfection, the individual is far more likely to enjoy the journey, life.

Those who expect perfection are easily put off by any failures. They can use these failures as an excuse to give up. The all or nothing approach of the perfectionist is similar to the mindset of an active addict.

People in recovery have a tendency to push themselves too hard. By focusing more on progress, they will be able to lighten up and excuse their occasional failings. These people will be willing to accept failure and learn from it because they are not afraid to try and keep trying with a good heart.

They get to appreciate what they have at this moment rather than waiting for some perfect day that will never come.

“Recovery is to be enjoyed and not endured. It is not a good idea for people to push themselves too hard aiming for perfection. The individual needs to be aware that there will be times when it doesn’t feel like they are making much progress. Sometimes it can even feel like you are going backwards, but this is usually followed by a great deal of progress."

It seems that our spiritual progress develops well when:

✳ Others notice that we have changed to the better.
✳ We have fewer wishes and are more easily satisfied with little things.
✳ We notice more space, allowing us to reflect before reacting. 
✳ We stop dreaming about becoming a great yogi by meditating 10 hours a day, which we never do.
✳ We start to do our practice regularly with joy instead of a sense of necessity or dread.
✳ We stop self-priding ourselves by focusing on more meaningful, simple things.

Do you remember what it was like when it was bad? Have you progressed? Well, keep going.

The journey up a mountain is in savoring each step. If you try to run up the mountain, you will fail.The big things are made up of many small things. We must be fully aware of, and in awe of the small things in life. Then we will naturally progress towards a fruitful goal--one that we may never have imagined. Choose one or two small things in your life and use them to practice your steady progress of being aware:brushing your teeth, walking across the room, talking and actually Listening to someone, eating a meal. Choose a small thing to fully enjoy and savor, and then slowly and steadily begin extending that to all of your life.

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” Lao Tzu. 

"The moment of awakening is marked by an outburst of laughter. But this is not the laughter of someone who suddenly acquires a great fortune or has won a victory. It is, rather, the laughter of one who after having painfully searched for something a very long time finds it one morning in the pocket of his coat.” Zen Quote. 

✳ How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
✳ The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
✳ The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for. 
Posted with permission from author, Mark Wagner.

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