As Take Your Metta To Work Week comes to an end, I was planning to add an additional post giving an overview of the benefits of taking your practice to work. I have decided to hold off on that post for now to share a bit more of my personal experience with this practice.
As someone who has been practicing meditation for over 30 years and focusing on living from a deep heart centered place for more than decade, I still find that there are times when doing all the “right” things is difficult. It’s almost three months since I began the Heart of Awakening. During that time, I made a decision to really step forward in working with organizations in addition to individuals. This is something I have done in various ways over the years and now has become something I feel truly passionate about doing.
This desire to bring awareness, authenticity and a heart-centered approach to organizations and the workplace was one of my motivations in adding Take Your Metta To Work Week to this year’s May is for Metta program. Today’s post really focused on what can arise inwardly as we practice. And, it is this material, the voices, thoughts, and limiting beliefs, which we are more able to access during meditation or loving-kindness practice, that can really keep us stuck.
Although outwardly it may seem as if I have been very active this week posting daily on May is for Metta and elsewhere, inwardly I have been experiencing a strong feeling of being stuck. As I have been working with the Metta practice and moving forward with my work, many negative thoughts and beliefs have been coming to the surface. Some of these include feeling not good enough, worthy enough, and capable enough to do all I am setting out to do, even though what I am doing is really just a shift in the focus of my work. It is easy for my friends and colleagues who support me to see that these feelings and beliefs are not really true, and yet, when I am experiencing them, I can feel hopeless, powerless and incredibly stuck.
I am sharing this part of my experience because this is something that can emerge whether you are a brand new practitioner to Metta and meditation or whether you are an experienced practitioner. When we create stillness in our lives and enter into the heart space, stuff comes up. We face what’s inside ourselves and if we are able to continue our practice, we begin to change. But, it’s not always easy.
I tend to find that work is a place where I set such high standards for myself that I am destined to feel like a failure even when I am incredibly successful. This is a pattern that has become more evident to me during this month’s practice and it is also one that has had the power to keep me from moving forward in the past. It has not been easy to face this aspect of myself. Even while doing the daily practice and actively bringing Metta into my daily life, I have found it extremely difficult to be consistently gentle and loving with myself over the past week. I feel like I have touched on a pattern that goes so deeply into my core. And although I have felt challenged in many ways, I know that when these types of feelings and struggles are at the surface, they are closer to being transformed.
Life is a process and through our practice, we learn where our inner work lies. I am continually amazed at how powerful our conditioned mind and habitual patterns remain even when we do so much to change them. This is one of the reasons why daily practice and building a strong foundation of loving-kindness is so important. It’s important to stick with it even when it feels like things are falling apart or we feel like we are stuck. It is often in these moments when we are about to have a paradigm shift; we just don’t know it yet.
I am thankful for everyone who has shared in the journey of May is for Metta so far. I am excited to see what emerges in our final week of online practice.