Life tests us when we least expect it. We can get metaphysical and see it as an opportunity for spiritual growth, yet tests challenge us. They feel uncomfortable, stressful, confusing and even painful, they may bring up our anger or disappointed. Tests are asking us, or forcing us, to change. It can be as subtle as a shift of our thought patterns or as explicit as how we live every day.
Our physical body, mind, emotions and soul are always unconsciously striving for a state of alignment with each other. An illness may cause our mind to struggle with our body’s lack of cooperation. The death of a loved one may cause our heart to question the body’s purpose as we are left behind while their soul has moved on.
In the midst of being tested, there is a temptation and a tendency to suppress discomfort. But our physical and emotional discomforts are indicators. They will guide us through life’s tests, if we listen. They bring awareness to our combined physical, mental and spiritual state of being.
To lessen the discomfort without just postponing it, we have to pause to listen to our intuition. The act of stilling the mind through meditation, tuning into our breath (body) and listening to our soul, may initially draw our attention to the discomfort. But with a bit of commitment to breathing through the edgy space, it will reduce our suffering.
When we listen to our inner-guidance it shows us what we need in order to walk through the fire of life’s test. It may tell us it is time to step away from a relationship or job. It may point out that it is time to commit to our health by changing the way we eat or to taking regular time for our creativity.
Meditation is deep listening. By listening we are consciously participating in alignment of our physical experience with our souls intention. This alone reduces stress regardless of life test we are experiencing.
The beauty is that we don’t have to stop living to listen. As Thich Nhat Hanh says we can invite inner-peace through consciously breathing in and out no matter where we are or what challenge we are facing. It is that simple.