Have you ever met someone who seems to embody wisdom and inner peace? Someone who seems to “rise above” all the issues that keep the rest of us mere mortals anxious and annoyed? Someone who walks the planet sharing their love and light for all beings, without judgment and blame?
I met David De La Paz (pronounced Daveed) when he came to Rancho La Puerta a couple of years ago to join our amazing fitness staff. Just being with him, in passing, in extended conversations, knitting or stretch class, I always feel something akin to what I can only describe as divine light.
Years ago, I might have judged someone like David and made up a story that he was not in touch with reality. I might have thought something critical and self-righteous like, “Doesn’t he watch the news? Can’t he see what’s happening in the world right now? Why isn’t he hysterical, reactive and anxious like the rest of us?”
Today I believe David is more in touch with reality than I may ever be and freely offers his gifts of healing and loving connection to a world that desperately needs it!
Recently David shared how he was on his way back to The Ranch when his flight to Tijuana got diverted to Mazatlán due to mechanical issues. This led to a 15-hour stay at the Mazatlán airport. Most of us can imagine and understand the passengers’ frustrations as they try to adjust to a circumstance that is out of their control. David witnessed the passenger’s distress as they tried to settle in on the Mazatlán airport floor for an uncertain length of time. He made a conscious choice for himself to use the time to practice the wisdom to choose love and patience. He lay down in peace and waited out the time with ease, soothing himself with the wisdom that to struggle against “what is” only adds to our dismay. While others were suffering and adding stress to the environment, David was at peace and spreading love.
I imagine that in the same situation before I had access to Inner Fitness tools to help guide me on a better path, I would have been fretting about how uncomfortable it was. While I’m not as smooth as David is in his practice, I have access to practical skills that help me through challenging situations. One of the most powerful tools in my kit is my Nurturing Parent, an inner, non-judgmental and always truthful voice that helps me see more clearly and act most wisely. She whispers in my ear when something is amiss inside of me, “Hey sweetie, I can see that you’re upset about something.” She suggests that I pause and take a breath or two before proceeding, giving me the opportunity to slow down and activate curiosity, a wonderful antidote to our judgmental nature. She lovingly validates my feelings, then asks me these simple questions, “What’s happening in your circumstance, and what’s happening in your inner world of thoughts and feelings?” This simple act of becoming curious can redirect the old fear patterns that cause stress and suffering. The suggestion to pause and bring our attention to our breath allows us to slow down enough to reach for gratitude and compassion, powerful antidotes to blame and resentment.
Here are the steps to Choosing Love:
- Pay attention to the ways you get trapped in your patterns of fear and scarcity
- Witness yourself through a kind and non-judgmental lens of higher wisdom
- Pause with intention, engaging curiosity and compassion
- Redirect your mind to see clearly and act wisely
If I had been in David’s shoes, I would Choose Love by doing the following:
- Recognize my anxiety and annoyance
- Pause and breathe to help me realign
- Consciously choose to be at peace with what is happening and not stress over what I cannot change
- Use a meditation app on my phone to promote calm
- Look around and feel compassion for all the passengers with children, or elderly, or anyone just having a hard time and perhaps even feel an urge to find a way to help soothe others
As we move into 2022, this aspiration to Choose Love as a way of being motivates me. We continue to face many unknowns: Covid, climate change, inequality, and painful divisions in our families and communities. For most of us, these challenges weigh heavily on our hearts and minds. We have trauma to heal, anger to process, and intense uncertainty to contend with. More than ever, I want to meet these issues with an open heart and make choices that heal.
Before you second guess yourself for not being like David, keep in mind that human beings are wired for survival. This means that most of us will default to living in fear unless we pay close attention and actively choose the paradigm of love, instead of fear, as our personal navigation system.
What I love most about the beginning of a new year is the vibrations of hope and the possibility of a fresh start. Seize this wave of optimism and positivity! It’s a global collective excitement that invites us to clear out the old and bring in the new, releasing old patterns that no longer serve us, thereby setting ourselves free to align ourselves with our truest nature to live and love wholeheartedly. It’s a perfect time to set intentions for how we will love, honor and respect ourselves in the coming year. It’s a perfect time to vulnerably declare our deepest desires and commit to discovering our unique path to greater joy and meaning in our lives. My New Years’ commitment is to Choose Love, and instead of adding fear and separation to these uncertain times, I plan to spread joy and healing around the globe… just like my dear friend David.
Happy New Year to you all! May all your dreams come true!
Feel free to explore more Inner Fitness practices on my website. I look forward to seeing you all back at The Ranch soon.
Emily Boorstein, Founder, The Inner Fitness Program™