You can survive a crisis only by dealing it with one day at a time

AVIS-on-Happyness

In crisis situations, just carry on stepping!

Don’t expect your problems or challenges to vanish into thin air. Don’t try wishing that they weren’t there. It is the nature of Life to have problems. Deal with Life, especially in a crisis, one step at a time.
Life in a crisis is pretty much like the headlights of your vehicle. You know where you want your vehicle to go. You know the destination. But in the darkness of the night, the headlight can’t get you to see the destination. But it sure can light up some part of the way, a few feet at a time, and as you make progress you get to see what lies ahead. This goes on, until of course, it is daylight or you reach the destination you were driving to. Life works exactly the same way. The night, the crisis, is not likely to go away immediately. A new dawn awaits you, but it is never dawn until daylight arrives. So, in the darkness of the night, follow the headlight principle. Don’t expect the entire road to be lit up. Be content with being able to see just a few feet at a time. In Life, therefore, when in a crisis situation, don’t expect clarity and answers to what lies a week down the road, a month, a year or in the distant future. Just believe that you will survive. Know that you will ultimately prevail. Know that you will eventually achieve your goal, reach your destination, realize your dream.
This is as true a statement as it is to say that a day always follows each night! Live each moment and each day completely__keeping your focus on where you want to go, living in the awareness that if you can see a few feet ahead, if you can survive today, you are making good progress. Don’t ask why are you in the dark phase or why you are groping with a crisis? Don’t wish and pine for the crisis not to have been there. These sentiments will cause you agony and hamper your ability to think clearly. The truth is that the crisis exists. The truth also is that you are caught in the throes of it! Accept it. Tell yourself that if you can last the next few steps of the journey, you will be blessed. Then when you pass each day, when you last that phase of the journey, work on lasting a little longer. And keep going until time relents, the crisis blows away and you are bathed in the warm glow of daylight, or what the world will call, ‘your success’! 

An old Chinese proverb reminds us that to get through all journeys, even the hardest ones, we need to take only one step at a time, but what’s important is, we must carry on stepping!

Cooperate unconditionally with the inevitable present

The present moment is inevitable. What happens in it is inevitable. So, why are we resisting the present moment?
The beauty of Life resides in the moment. In the present. Whatever you may do, you cannot prevent the present. You can grieve your past. You can worry about your future. But you can do nothing__other than live through it__about the present moment! Before you know it, it is here. In front of you. And you are in it! And then it is gone. And a new present is born. So, how can you ever avoid the present? It is impossible. As people who have gone through a basic education, who like to live Life by understanding it better, this one powerful unputdownable thought should lead you to a lifetime of peace and bliss.
Spiritualist and writer Anthony D’Mello (1931~1987) shares a parable that goes like this: 
“What is the secret of your serenity?” asked the disciple. 


“To cooperate unconditionally with the inevitable,” answered the Master.

So beautiful. And so simple. As you finish another week reflect on this thought. Resolve to accept, collaborate, partner, and be in the inevitable present. Cooperate unconditionally with it. See how it transforms your Life __ helping you stay happy and peaceful__ despite all your circumstances.

Don’t churn the past or the future – just let it all be

The human mind is powerless in the present moment. That’s why it insists on dragging you back to the past or into the future.

An important and fundamental clarity we must all have is over the functioning of the human mind. It thrives in the dead past – spewing thoughts of anger, grief, guilt over what has happened. And it thrives in the still unborn, unknown future – throwing anxiety, worry and fear over what may (or may not) happen. So, as long as the mind is controlling you, you are oscillating between the past and the future. The mind never allows you to settle. Such is its nature. 60,000 thoughts arise daily and all of them invariably dwell in the past or concern the future. This is why we often feel chewed up and are desperate for clarity. And this is where mindfulness comes in. When you are mindful of the present moment, immersing yourself in your current reality, your mind is powerless. When your mind is not controlling you, and when you are directing it instead to be in the present, there can neither be grief or guilt nor can there be worry or fear.
Once you understand this basic concept about intelligent living, you can begin the practise of mindfulness. It requires that you train your mind. And the principle to remember is that just like the human body can be trained, the human mind can be trained too. Mindfulness begins when you stop churning the past or the future in your mind. Just let it all be. You focus only on what is, on what is available, in the present moment. It may be difficult – as is the case with any new practice – but if you keep at it, you will make progress. Surely, over 21 days of daily practise, you can learn to be mindful.
I love what the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has to say about mindfulness. He says it so simply, so beautifully: “To be mindful is to bring body and mind back to the present moment so that you do not miss your appointment with life.”