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“It just takes moments, sometimes, to move from that place of deep inner quiet to the place where the world enters in, bringing with it the chaos of the moment.”

"Just become so still that your mind won't be bothered to remember the mundane, and then you'll feel it like the shifting of the winds. Then you'll know when the mountain changes from exhaling to inhaling. That's not so important in itself, but the mind that is quiet enough to notice, is." --The Monkess, dailyzen.com

It just takes moments, sometimes, to move from that place of deep inner quiet to the place where the world enters in, bringing with it the chaos of the moment.

We are so quick to give up that stillness for the earthquake of general existence.

When we stop for a second and read words inspired, see the sunset or the night sky, or just close our eyes and breathe in deeply, we are reminded of how our bodies and minds can just be. We are reminded that we have choices and we are asked to make those choices each and every moment.

Because of circumstances she was experiencing, my sister Dee, from Lake Havasu, was told she would need to be put on high blood pressure medicine for the rest of her life. Knowing the effects such medicine can have on the kidneys and liver, she said, "There has to be another way." And she found that way by monitoring and quieting her thoughts, and reviewing the way she was seeing her circumstances. She chose to change her perception of her life. Actually, her life didn't change--only her perceptions did. The doctor was amazed. He said most people can't / won't make those shifts in consciousness.

My girlfriend Vivian, from New York, was told she would need to go on diabetic medication. Again, knowing the side effects of those pills, she too said, "There has to be another way." And she chose another way for herself...being aware of her attitude towards the foods she was taking in and increasing the amount of walking she was doing. The doctor is amazed that she is being able to reverse her sugar readings without medication--again, because most people he meets will not inconvience themselves to make changes in their lives. They instead will hand over that responsibility to another to give them a quick fix, however temporary and eventually devastating it may be to their health.

We all have areas in our lives in which we could sit and commiserate with friends, counselors or doctors. It's such an easy place to slide into. It takes much more vigilance to take the responsibility to make the changes, which (most of the time) we're fully aware need making.

With this in mind, it would lend credence to the idea that this time here on Earth is a space for learning...for changes...and for taking responsibility for those challenges we have drawn to us. On the surface, these challenges carry hundreds of names and affect body, mind and spirit. But under each challenge lies the choice and our ability to respond in a life-affirming manner to that choice.

"Can't teach an old dog new tricks?" I love the answer one meditator received to that statement: "You don't truly know how old you are."

For in the "no-time," outside of this life, we know that everything we do here affects everything that will come afterwards. If we can keep that one point in mind, we would take the gift of each challenge and work with the choices to suck every bit of life and wisdom from this act--before the curtain comes down. We may not be able to take the possessions we have accumulated here, but we can take the lessons we have learned, the truths we have garnered and the insights we have gained. Those are ours forever...and that's a long, long time.

Blessings, Joann Turner