compost binThe most fertile soil is made of things that were once unpleasant yuck.

Do you compost? Then I’m sure you know what I mean.

Composting is a real art, at which I am no master. I tend to just throw stuff in a pile and let it rot. :-)

That works, but it can smell pretty noxious. Looks gross, too, should you dare to open the lid.

HOWEVER, it eventually cooks up into a wonderful, dark, rich, sweet-smelling mass that helps things grow like gangbusters. Sweet veggies, luscious blooms. Yum!radishes

It happens, eventually, by itself. But turning the pile now and then helps the process along – and keeps those unappealing odors to a minimum.

So it is with our experiences.

All that has come to us is the stuff in which we grow our current lives, and plant the seeds for our future.

We all experience lovely, pleasant things in our lives.

Sometimes, we experience unpleasant, frightful, heartbreaking, or even horrific things.

When this happens, those rotten experiences have to work their way through our psyches. Sometimes this occurs naturally. One day we suddenly realize that what was once painful has become simply a part of our past that expands our empathy and wisdom, and feeds our creative hearts.

But sometimes, what has happened to us sits heavy in our hearts. Negative events can lodge themselves there and putrefy, polluting our lives so that our entire awareness, all that we think and do is tainted with their stench.

compost fork

When this happens, it’s time to turn the pile.

In a compost pile, there are two types of bacteria and little microscopic critters that break things down: those that use oxygen (aerobic) and those that don’t (anaerobic). Both make things rot. But the process is very different.

Anaerobic rotting takes a long, long time, and smells pretty horrendous.

Add oxygen, and the process switches to aerobic rotting. This breaks down the yucky stuff WAY faster, and is far more pleasant to experience.

To get a compost pile that is decomposing anaerobically to switch to aerobic rotting is simple. You just have to turn the pile. (I said simple, not easy! Turning compost is hard work, but if you love to garden, or just don’t like having a smelly pile of anaerobically rotting organic garbage in your backyard, it’s well worth the effort.)

You will work through your experiences, regardless. But just letting them fester may mean that it takes many lifetimes, and you probably won’t have much fun in the process.

HOWEVER – there is a way to work through even the most dreadful of ordeals that will help you process them much more quickly, so you can begin enjoying your life again.

How? Turn your negatives into positives.

This is what you have already done, without realizing it, with those events you’ve processed naturally and now can accept as simply a part of your past. You can do it with the experiences that are still causing you pain, as well. But you may have to help that inner healing process along a bit. This is what I mean by turning the pile.

There are as many ways to do this as there are stars in the sky. I would like to offer you one that came to me spontaneously one day while I was watching a meditation video called The 7 Samadhis.* Try this little visualization on a painful experience to bring a little fresh air in to your healing process. It may also be helpful if you feel you are being held back by your past, but can’t put your finger on any particular event.

Blossoming Flowers Visualization  

peony

Find a quiet place where you can be alone for a little while. If you like, put on some soft music or nature sounds, such as ocean waves.

Close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. When your breathing becomes deep and regular, bring your attention to a point just in front of the base of your Adam’s apple.

Now, imagine all that has come to you rising up from the center of the earth, through this point. Along with everything will come the energy of all you have ever experienced.

Some of that energy will be very positive. Allow this to infuse up into your being. You may feel a tingling sensation, or a feeling of golden warmth.

Some of that energy may not be so pleasant. You may experience feelings of grief, or fear, or anger. Acknowledge these feelings, and collect them together into a mass. What color is it? What shape? Does it have a smell? If you could hold it in your hand, what would it feel like?

Let that mass settle near the base of your throat, but keep breathing deeply. Let the air flow past it and through it.

When you are ready, begin mentally moving that mass upwards in conjunction with your breath. With each outward breath, let it move upwards just a little bit.

If it slips back down a bit, don’t worry. Just use your next breath to work it upwards again.

Bring it upwards, up through your throat and towards the top of your head. As it moves upwards, notice that it is changing form. Your mass is transforming – into a seed.

What shape is your seed? Is it long and pointed, like a marigold seed? Or smooth and round like a buckeye? Slowly, in harmony with your breath, imagine that seed moving upwards towards and through the top of your head.

And as it comes through the top, imagine that seed sprouting, and then bursting into fragrant bloom. You may even find yourself with a whole field of flowers, on top of your head!

Take a few moments to enjoy the blossom(s), then take a few more deep breaths and open your eyes.

Next time you think of an experience that is still painful to you, take a few deep breaths and remember your flowers. Know that everything is connected, and that – just as Nature turns that unappealing mass in your backyard bin into fertile, life-nourishing compost – you have the power to take that negative thing you experienced and turn it into something new and wonderful!

What are some good ways you have found to turn your negative experiences into positives?

yellow iris

 

*The 7 Samadhis meditation video is currently in beta. I’ll let you know when it’s available.

compost fork photo credit: Bookshelf Boyfriend via photopin cc

Filed under: Grief and lossInner healingSelf care

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