All Posts

Not on My Terms

Ferris Thompson
October 19, 2022
 min read

How often does life not go our way? When we really pay attention, is it every day, every minute? While we may not want to accept it, impermanence is a natural law of the universe.

We are now living through a particularly powerful moment in life. History is amplifying our experience of ‘not on my terms.’ At this moment, the global pandemic is delivering unimaginable impact across the world and in millions of homes – the forever loss of loved ones, jobs disappearing by the millions and an unknown economic future. This in turn is creating real emotional internal struggles such as anxiety and depression. In just the last month I’ve seen clients lose their jobs, their businesses and worst of all, their loved ones who have had to leave the planet alone without even a hand to hold.

So how to can we possibly come to terms with this?

The first step is to notice where you are right now, without judgement, comparison, or attempting to fix it. It’s been said that desperation or inspiration can bring us to our greatest moments of surrender and vulnerability. Moments like these can transform our entire perspective on life. This age of uncertainly may be our greatest moment of possibility.

Once you begin to meet this moment with an open heart, you become available to what you don’t know. Then you can begin to respond rather than react to the external world. How are you reacting or responding right now? Is it coming from a place of resentment or forgiveness? Fear or compassion? Envy or gratitude? This is the moment to shift the way you choose to respond to the external and internal catalysts in the world.

For thousands of years spiritual leaders, psychologists, and great thinkers have talked about how significant transitions in life happen: some come through lightning bolt experiences, but for most of us, transformation comes slowly over time. For change to occur, especially during times like these, we must begin with incremental steps.

It’s through this step-at-a-time work that we come to terms with what our life is, rather than what we think it should be. We can begin to literally change the way we react to the world through a thoughtful, mindful response. In turn, our experience of the world changes – no matter what is going on “out there.”

Turn this moment of uncertainty into your greatest moment of possibility by using the following skillful practices daily:

Start where you are – cultivate vulnerability and an open heart

Share – find someone or a group to connect with and share this experience together

Support – create a daily mindfulness practice to support this transition in life

And Repeat – until you find equanimity.

Here is a short, guided mindfulness meditation for arriving in the present moment, just as you are.