Monday, 28 April 2008

Resisting What Is

Today marks the second day of strike action at the Grangemouth Refinery here in Scotland. The employees are protesting against changes to their pension schemes. The employees return to work tomorrow. As this particular refinery provides fuel to about 80% of the country, shutting it down during the strike will have an effect on the supply chain. However, there are sufficient fuel stocks in reserve to cover ten weeks of normal petrol consumption levels. In addition, more fuel stocks can be brought in if required.

Given the information above (which I’ve tried to keep as objective as possible) how do you, as a petrol consumer, react?

Do you:
* Get upset and verbalise this in your conversations with others by saying things like “This is ridiculous! I don’t understand how this can be allowed to happen! These employees shouldn’t be allowed to strike and cause a disruption to petrol supplies!”
* Rush to the nearest petrol station to fill up your car, convinced that supplies will run out despite assurances to the contrary. As you do this, you are experiencing feelings of outrage, anxiety and fear that if you don’t act quickly others will get in there before you, leaving you with no petrol for your car.
* Watch the news footage of queues at petrol stations and reports of some running out of stocks, and feel justified that you reacted as you did, telling everyone “I knew this would happen! Thank goodness I got in there quickly!”

Or do you:
* Accept the situation for what it is and go about your normal life, leaving your petrol consumption patterns unchanged.
* Remain calm and present, unaffected by others’ panicked reactions to an imagined future event (no more fuel anywhere).
* Know that you live in an abundant universe and that all your energy needs will always be fulfilled.

The outcome of the first set of reactions to the event is the creation of a reality that matches exactly what people feared – namely competition for fuel and shortages of supplies. The irony in this situation is that these reactions created a self-fulfilling prophecy: as people panicked and changed their normal consumption patterns, demand outstripped supply. Had people not reacted blindly to an imagined future and instead continued to buy fuel at their normal rate, scheduled fuel deliveries would have more than adequately met demand levels, even though the refinery was closed for a few days.

My husband and I made a choice to respond to the event, rather than react unconsciously. Our car was due to be filled up, but it was a task that could wait a couple of days. We went about our daily life, secure in the knowledge that there were sufficient fuel supplies for the country. Sure enough, by the time we had to fill up our tank, the initial rush to petrol stations had died down and we were able to fill up our car during the normal course of our day without any bother at all. While other people’s conversations were filled with talk of “the fuel crisis”, ours concentrated on other topics altogether. While other people experienced anxiety, fear and anger over the last few days, we experienced calmness and joy.

We experienced similar polarised reactions from others when we had a burglary recently. Although we didn’t condone what had happened, we did accept it. Once it had happened, we knew that we had a choice: either stay present, and follow through with what was now before us to do, or fight against what is and add negative emotions of anger and fear into the mix. Remaining present throughout the process opened up a space in which peace and joy could remain paramount, and as a result, I could feel a very clear energetic shift inside me and a stronger connection to Source.

Quite a few people with whom we interacted during the process displayed a similar response. They were supportive (emotionally and in practical ways) without dwelling on the negative aspects of the event. In our conversations with these people, the focus was on gratitude and the continued commitment to the creation of a friendly community in our block of flats. Overall, these interactions were uplifting. There were, however, others who had a very different reaction. These interactions took the form of moral outrage and a stream of invective against these criminals in particular and crime in general. Ironically, in their resistance to what had happened, these people seemed to suffer more as a result of our burglary than we did.

Suffering is not a given. More and more, I realise that reacting blindly to an event and fighting what is causes suffering, whereas acceptance and present-moment awareness frees up energetic space to create a live filled with love, joy and abundance.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic – are you able to accept what is happening as it is happening, or do you resist and wish things were unfolding differently? Do you notice that you suffer more as a result of your reaction to an event than as a result of the event itself?

[Edit: Andrea Hess’ latest blog entry deals with this very subject, specifically around spiritual practices – please read it if you haven’t already done so! In the meantime, since this topic is obviously coming up in my reality, I’m going to reflect on it some more and see what it is in turn reflecting for me!]


Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul said...

I could really relate to this article, Mags! About five years ago, we had a gas pipeline coming in to Phoenix break, and there was a huge gas (sorry ... petrol) shortage in town. People totally flipped out! Of course, Phoenix is huge and everyone has to drive ... but it was definitely the self-fulfilling prophecy you mention.

I used to drive all over town back then as a massage therapist, working in my clients' homes. I definitely needed gas in my car in order to get to work. However, even in the midst of panic, I found gas at the one gas station I tried, and by the time I needed more the crisis had passed.

It's easy to be carried away by the hype and forget that we're okay! With our reaction, we truly create our reality. Fabulous reminder!!!


Mags | Woo-Woo Wisdom said...

Great story! Thanks, Andrea.

You're so right - it has made (quite literally) a world of difference to me to not engage with the hype (of others around me and the media)!