Perfection!

We live in a perfect universe.

We live in a conscious universe guided and orchestrated by an infinite loving intelligence.

 

“The world is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment, every sin already carries grace in it” says Hermann Hesse.

 

Allowing life to happen led me to begin to realize that life is perfect.

Knowing now that life is perfect helps me to allow it to unfold even more.

 

Before I was diagnosed with MS, I had no idea I was sick!

MS came to heal me! It came to make me aware of what I was oblivious to.

MS was the perfect vehicle for my evolution.

Life is only reflecting what we cannot see because it is unconscious thus impossible for us to see.

 

It is very helpful to know that life unfolds with divine perfection.

There are no random events, no coincidences, no mistakes.

Life unfold with mathematical precision.

All is in divine grace.

 

It is also very helpful to know that life happens for us.

Life does not happen to us.

We are not powerless victims of life. We are 100% responsible for our experience.

We are powerful co-creators with life.

 

Since the day we were born, we are co-creators.

Whether we know it or not. Whether we want to or not.

That’s just the way this vibrational universe works.

 

We create with our thoughts, feelings and actions. But most of our thoughts are unconscious.

We need to make the unconscious conscious.

Day by day, in every way, we can become more and more conscious.

 

We don’t have to go looking for what is unconscious in us. It is perfectly reflected in our body and in our reality. We can work at creating something else if what we created is not to our liking.

 

Obviously we begin as unconscious co-creators.

We can learn to become conscious of our creative nature.

 

Every moment there is always more right than wrong in us!

Every moment is sacred.

Every moment is perfect.

Every moment there is only infinite intelligence happening.

 

That is not always easy to accept! But I believe it makes it easier if we know life happens for our highest good and for the highest good of all.

It is also very empowering to know we have a saying in the creation of our life!

 

Everything that happens is exactly what is supposed to happen.

It is exactly what we need for the evolution of our consciousness.

 

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment,” writes Eckhart Tolle in his beautiful life changing book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.

“I know this world is ruled by infinite intelligence. Everything that surrounds us – everything that exists – proves that there are infinite laws behind it. There can be no denying this fact. It is mathematical in its precision,” said Thomas A. Edison.

 

Did you ever consider the fact that life is perfect in all its perceived imperfection? 💜

 

I sure did not before this diagnosis of MS!

Now I am waking up to this fact!

The art of allowing!

Allowing is such a beautiful and powerful skill!

It is an attitude we cultivate on the inside.

It can sound very passive. On the contrary, it is a very active way of interacting with all of life, both our inner life as well as the outer life.

 

Allowing may sound simple, but it is not easy.

Allowing leads to listening. https://mouninabounaaly.com/listen/

 

Before this diagnosis of MS, I did not know anything about allowing!

I was all about resistance! I am learning to allow!

 

Allowing is saying yes to life.

Allowing is accepting what is.

Allowing is loving what is.

Allowing is receiving what is.

Allowing is opening to what is.

Allowing is welcoming what is happening.

Allowing is being non judgmental towards what is and realizing it is not good, it is not bad: it simply is.

 

In a deeper sense, allowing is raising our consciousness.

 

Allowing gives us our power back!

It invites us to realize we are at the center of our own experience.

We are not victim of it nor guilty of it.

We are 100% responsible for it.

 

In no way does it mean we want it to be that way forever, or that it should.

It simply means it is that way right now.

 

We don’t have to like it. It is just easier if we do.

 

“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.” says Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is.

Allowing is the opposite of resisting.

“What you resist, persists” said Carl Jung.

Nature knows no resistance.

 

Allowing is the opposite of fighting against what is.

Allowing is what requires the least effort!! 💗

 

I have infinite gratitude for Marie Lise Labonté who introduced me to this powerful way of being!!

 

Allowing is the opposite of arguing with reality.

No amount of arguing with what is will change what is.

What is simply is.

 

Our conditioning (our family, our culture, our society) can keep us from allowing, accepting and loving what is.

Our conditioning is the unconscious part of us.

 

Today I know that allowing is the magic key that opens the whole magic of this universe!

 

Only when I allowed my whole world to fall apart did everything start to change.

 

Allowing opens the doors to healing.

Allowing opens the door to transformation.

 

First we allow, we accept.

 

Then we realize this is here to teach us something.

This is here to show us something we where unconscious of up until now.

 

As scary as this might sound, we trust that if it is happening, we have everything in us to deal with it. Only by accepting what is happening can we move forward and grow with what is happened. The only way out is through.

 

From the simple act of allowing miracles follow!

 

Do you know you have the power to create what can seem like a miracle? 💜

Acceptance

We learned a lot of different mindfulness practices throughout this Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course.

 

https://mouninabounaaly.com/mindfulness-based-stress-reduction/

 

Some were formal, meaning we would dedicate a special time out of our daily schedule for the practice: mindful gentle yoga, body scan, sitting mindfulness meditation.

 

Others were informal, meaning they were to be practiced during the day as part of our day-to-day activities: mindful eating, breath awareness, mindful walking.

 

At the end of our course, we learned, by practicing together, mindful walking. It simply consists of walking very mindfully, completely conscious. Being aware as we bring one foot up, being aware as we move it forward, being aware as we bring it back down.

 

Very simple, but not so easy to be so aware!

 

We were practicing in quite a small room, walking around in circles.

I could walk almost normally but I would get tired very quickly.

One time we were practicing and I felt myself getting quite tired with this walking.

 

Instead of my usual reaction to go beyond my limits, instead of not listening my body’s signal that it was enough walking, I unexpectedly completely accepted myself in this moment.

 

I decided to stop walking.

I decided to sit down.

I decided to listen to my body.

I decided to honor my need to sit down.

I decided to accept to be different from everyone in the room.

 

I realized I could choose my response: resist or accept!

 

I never knew anything other than resistance.

It was such an act of love from me to me. I had never even dreamed of giving myself such acceptance! It completely changed my life!

I discovered the attitude of acceptance towards myself!

 

I saw that acceptance is an act of love.

When I begin to accept myself, I begin love myself!

 

I began learning about acceptance. I began learning about loving what is. Slowly I began to abandon my resistance towards this powerful life.

 

I already tried really hard to fight against what was.

I exhausted myself fighting against what was.

I only felt even more defeated after this battle against reality.

And now reality was catching up with me, showing me even more than before that something needed to be heard. Something needed to be liberated. Something needed to change.

 

Are you fighting against yourself and life or are you accepting yourself and life?

Can you surrender your ego and end the war? 💜

 

https://mouninabounaaly.com/surrender-%F0%9F%92%9C/

 

“Resistance intensifies suffering and acceptance diffuses it. Surrender is the road to true power”, writes Robert Schwartz in his mind opening book “Your Soul’s Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born.”

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

“Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We feel more alive. We also get immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.” describes Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.

 

I had such a profound experience of just being during my 10 days’ meditation retreat that I wanted to go deeper into the experience.

 

I would often read about a method developed more than 30 years ago by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

 

One day I was thrilled to find out by sheer chance that this course was offered near my home at the Department of Medicine of the McGill University as a Whole Person Care Program http://www.mcgill.ca/wholepersoncare/mindfulness-based-programs/wellness.

 

So without any hesitation I jumped into this next experience!

 

It is a method that helps us fall in love with the present moment!

 

Several attitudes are the foundation for mindfulness meditation according to

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn:

 

Non-judging: becoming aware of the constant stream of evaluative and judging thoughts that we have – then step back. Things are seen as neither good” nor “bad” – but simply present or absent.

 

Patience: understanding and accepting that things have their own time for unfolding. The mind has a “mind of its own” and patience allows us to simply observe the unfolding of the mind and body over time.

 

Beginners’ mind: seeing everything as if for the first time. Find the joys of the world as it unfolds around us, as if we are all children – freed from our old expectations based on past experiences.

 

Trust: you are your own best guide. It is far better to trust your own feelings and intuition than to get caught up in the authority of “experts”. If at anytime something does not fell right to you, pay attention, examine our feelings, and trust your own inherent wisdom.

 

Non-striving: meditation is different form all other human activity. Simply being – not doing. There is no objective other than to be conscious of yourself as you are.

 

Acceptance: acceptance involves seeing things as they actually are in the present. We may not like it, but if that is the way things are, so they are. Acceptance allows us to cease struggling to change things that are beyond our ability to control and is the first step in any genuine process of change. Acceptance frees the mind.

 

Letting go: we put aside the tendency to elevate some parts of our experiences and reject others – simply letting our experience to be what it is.

 

Gratitude: the quality of reverence, appreciation and being thankful for the present moment.

 

Gentleness: characterized by soft, considerate, and tender quality.

 

Generosity: giving within a context of love and compassion, without attachment to gain or thought of return.

 

Empathy: the quality of feeling and understanding another person’s situation – their perspectives, emotions, actions (reactions).

 

Loving kindness: a quality embodying benevolence, compassion, and cherishing, a quality filled with forgiveness and unconditional love.

 

Those attitudes where very new to me!

 

One of them really got through to me and it was a major revelation for me!

One of them planted a seed in me that blossomed by the end of the course.

It was life changing! Can you guess which one? To be continued …

 

Are you aware of your breath, your body, your life? Are you intimate with yourself and with life? 💜

What are the truths of life?

Buddha teaches us there are three universal truths of life.

These three characteristics describe ourselves and our life.

They are: impermanence, suffering and egolessness.

 

To learn about these qualities and see their truth in ourselves and in our life is to learn to relax with things as they are.

Learning to relax in life in general and in the face of a diagnosis like MS is crucial!

 

#1 The first truth of existence is impermanence.

Impermanence in a fact of life.

Uncertainty and impermanence go hand in hand.

http://mouninabounaaly.com/comfortable-with-uncertainty/

 

Our body is ever changing. The body we were born into, where is it today?

Every second 25 million cells die!

Every second 25 million cells are produced!

 

Our emotions flow through us.

As the name implies, emotions are energy in motion.

If we allow them to circulate, they will last only a short amount of time.

 

Our thoughts are ever changing just the same.

We have 60 to 70 thousands thoughts everyday!

90% are the same day after day!

Over time we entertain the same thoughts day after day, which keep us living in the same life.

 

#2 The second truth of existence is egolessness.

It does not mean we let go of our personality.

On the contrary I learned that we need a strong and flexible personality to live a healthy life.

 

Egolessness means we have a flexible personality.

Egolessness means we are curious, open, playful and humorous.

We don’t take ourselves so seriously. We take ourselves lightly.

 

Otherwise our personality can keep us separate from each other and the world around us if it is rigid and fixed.

 

#3 The third truth of existence is suffering.

-We suffer because we resist the first truth of existence: impermanence.

We resist the fact that life is constantly changing.

We expect what is impermanent to be permanent, thus we suffer.

We resist the fact that we change and we will die someday.

 

-We suffer because we resist the second truth of existence: egolessness.

We think we are a solid separate fixed individual, when the truth of our being is openness.

 

-We suffer because “we mistake suffering for happiness” Buddha said.

We think we will find happiness where only suffering can be found.

“We look for happiness in all the wrong places” Pema Chödrön says.

We suffer when we look outside for happiness, while happiness is an inside job!

 

Can you use these truths to learn to relax with things as they are now and help soothe your nervous system? 💜

This too shall pass!

Vipassana meditation is one of the oldest meditation technique of India.

Vipassana literally means to see things as they are in reality.

It is a process of self purification by self observation.

 

So there I was with uncertain health and the life I knew destroyed by MS.

I decided it was the perfect time to try again a silent 10 days’ meditation retreat.

 

That was my first meditation marathon!

This time I went an hour away from Montreal to the Goenka Vipassana meditation center https://www.suttama.dhamma.org/.

 

We would wake up at 4h in the morning to begin our first meditation.

We would meditate for more than ten hours every day.

We were not allowed to talk or read or write.

We were not allowed to do any physical exercise.

We ate very little.

 

This time I was able to sit in meditation for hours everyday.

It was everything but easy!

It was painful at times in my body.

It was boring at other times.

It made me sleepy sometimes.

 

It was also fascinating to spend so much time just observing.

Nothing external could distract me.

I could observe all my internal distractions! And they were unending!

 

This is the perfect place to practice just being!

 

I experienced the first of the three universal truth of life: impermanence. Experiencing this truth was one of the most valuable lessons of my life.

Just sitting still, trying to watch my breath, as the air goes in and out of my nose. I could observe how everything in my field of awareness is constantly changing.

 

Sensations in my body change from one moment to the next.

Emotions flow through me like the waves in the see.

Thoughts come and go at an amazing speed like the clouds in the sky.

Everything is changing. Only my awareness remains unchanging.

I am the observer of all the phenomena that constantly arise and fall away.

 

I came back home with a new mantra to put on my wall: “This too shall pass”.

If something unpleasant is arising, rest assured that his too shall pass! So relax!

If something pleasant is arising, just the same, rest assured that this too shall pass! So relax and enjoy!

 

This teaches us to go beyond duality!

It helps us to develop equanimity: the ability to be with something whatever it is, the ability to go beyond the mental labels of good or bad.

It helps us welcome whatever appears.

 

“Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind.

To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all,” Buddha teaches us.

 

This was the beginning of meeting myself, the beginning of getting to know myself.

 

Do you ever spend some time getting to know your precious self? 💜

Sense of identity

Who am I?

 

My second relapse of MS clearly affected my cognitive abilities.

This time my memory was severely affected.

This left me unable to do my usual work. All my actuarial knowledge had been deleted from my memory!

This is when I knew that the life I knew had ended!

There was no more room for denial!

 

I had to stop working.

This was devastating to me for many many years!

I was really faced with what I was identifying myself with?

 

What we identify ourselves with consists of an endless list.

 

Who am I?

Am I my name?

Am I the daughter of this woman and this man?

Am I the friend of this person and that person?

Am I the wife of this man?

Am I a mother (ok that one does not apply to me: I don’t have kids)?

Am I my body?

Am I a woman?

Am I a Canadian or a Mauritanian?

Am I my thoughts and beliefs?

Am I the voice in my head?

Am I the emotion I am feeling right now?

Am I an emotion I memorized that is stored in my body?

Am I the story of my life?

Am I a disease or diagnosis?

And above all for me in this instance: am I my job?

Am I my title?

Am I my role?

Am I what I do?

Am I what I have?

Who am I beyond all those identities?

 

For many years I suffered from the loss of my identification with my job!

For so long I did not know who I was!

 

Through meditation, through education, through self-enquiry, self-reflection and self-study, I connected with the simple but profound joy of being!

 

I discovered that I did not need any identification to exist.

 

I AM.

 

Just BEING is enough. I exist. That in itself is the miracle!

I started to feel grateful for the miracle of being alive!

 

From this, anything can be added.

I discovered a whole new way of life.

I use to want to have, then do, to finally maybe be.

Now I am learning to BE first, then DO, finally HAVE, even GIVE.

 

Who are you? What do you identify yourself with? 💜

Perception

Reality just is.

Everything is neutral.

We assign meaning to events, situations, conditions and circumstances.

 

At first, when I was diagnosed with MS, I thought that was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. In fact, the worst thing that ever happened to me was not listening to my body, not listening to myself, not listening to life.

 

The worst thing that ever happened to me was clearly not listening to my intuition!!

Listen to your intuition!

 

Years later, I learned a lot.

I did a lot of work on myself to transform and change myself: to heal myself.

Then I thought this diagnosis was the best thing that happened to me because it healed me!

 

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change,” Dr Wayne Dyer teaches us.

 

Now I think MS is just something that happened.

Not the worst, not the best: just a thing part of my life journey.

 

Everything is neutral until we assign it meaning.

 

Perception is a mental and spiritual faculty we all possess.

It is our point of view.

 

We have the ability to give meaning to any situation.

We have the ability to choose our reaction to whatever comes our way.

 

Truth be told, our reaction to an event, situation, condition or circumstance is not even our own, even though we think it is.

It is based on our conditioning: our family, our culture, our society.

It is based on the way we learned to view life. It is based on our subconscious programming.

It is not really our point of view. It is the point of view shaped by the world around us.

 

From my experience, I have to admit now that in reality I do not know if something is good or bad from my limited human perspective. I am learning that it is so much more empowering to withhold judgment.

 

Not judging allows us to remain open so the good in any situation can reveal itself to us. Nothing is only good or only bad. We live in a world of duality. Everything comes with its opposite.

 

It is human to quickly judge.

It helps to move through a situation if we pause our internal judgment and get curious.

 

From the point of view of our soul, everything is neutral.

From spirit point of view, nothing is good or bad.

 

“Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure. Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really we just don’t know”, Pema Chödrön teaches us.

Do you know you get to choose your perception? Do you know you have the power to perform miracles through the choice of your perception? 💜

Listen

Listening is the first step in healing and in life in general.

Noticing what we are noticing is the first step in awareness practice.

 

I did not know anything about listening before I was introduced to this practice by Marie Lise Labonté http://marieliselabonte.com/.

 

I did not know my body could speak!

I did not know my emotions could speak!

I did not know my intuition could speak!

https://mouninabounaaly.com/listen-to-your-intuition/

I did not know LIFE could speak!

I did not know LIFE was alive and so precisely intelligent and loving!

 

We can begin listening to what is very obvious like our body.

Listening, just like noticing, is a skill with a beginning but no end.

We can always refine these skills. We can always go deeper.

 

Before we can listen, we have to allow life to happen.

Allowing leads to listening.

Only when we allow whatever is happening to happen can we begin to listen.

 

To listen is to be humble. To listen is to give up our illusion of control and recognize we don’t control LIFE.

 

To listen is to love. To listen is to know and trust that whatever is happening is actually happening for our highest good.

 

We can begin, like I did, by listening to our body.

Our body is divinely intelligent.

Our body does not lie.

Its symptoms are not random.

They deliver a precise message.

 

We listen with total acceptance.

We listen with complete non judgment.

We listen with an open and receptive attitude.

We listen with the right hemisphere of our brain.

 

The right side of our brain in the YIN side of ourselves.

The YIN side of us listens.

The YANG side of us acts.

YIN and YANG form a complete whole.

We need both aspects in healing and in life in general.

 

I began studying awareness with Mary Morrissey http://www.marymorrissey.com/.

 

With our awareness, we can notice what we are noticing.

 

Can you notice your left hand?

Can you notice your right foot?

Can you notice the tip of your nose?

Can you notice the gentle breeze on your skin?

Can you notice the smell in the air around you?

Can you notice the sounds in your environment?

Can you notice the thoughts you are thinking right now?

 

Are you listening? Can you notice what you are noticing? 💜

Surrender 💜

There is an Infinite Loving Intelligence in charge of this Universe.

Every moment there is only Infinite Intelligence happening.

This life is perfect in all its perceived imperfection.

 

In 2010 I had my second relapse of MS.

I lost all sense of coordination and equilibrium.

I was alone in Dominican Republic for a course on the silence within.

The relapse was so severe that I felt I had no choice other than to SURRENDER TO LIFE!

This is the best thing that ever happened to me!!

This has been my greatest lesson!

I am not in charge of life. LIFE IS IN CHARGE!!

I began my journey of learning to SURRENDER more and more every day to LIFE.

I began discovering that there is an Infinite Loving Intelligence guiding and orchestrating this whole Universe!

 

I had studied surrender as part of the yogic philosophy.

I had learned surrender intellectually.

That time in Dominican Republic I experienced it first hand!

 

There was nothing I could do.

I had to accept life in all its drama.

That was the most humbling experience!

 

We are not in charge of the universe. We don’t make life happen. Life happens.

There is no arguing with life. She is always right!

 

I never wanted to surrender my ego like that.

I thought: I will make it happen! I thought: I will be in charge!

What an illusion! A very limiting one!

 

I had to let go of my will to make things any different than they already were.

I was invited to surrender.

 

I accepted to let go of control and let life take over.

 

I began the lifelong journey of learning to surrender to life.

I began learning that being a partner with life is much more powerful than my own limited will.

 

First we set an intention for what we want.

Then we work as best we can with the expectation of attaining our intention.

Finally we surrender the result. It will happen: probably not on our terms, but on life’s terms.

 

Surrendering is opening to the unknown.

Surrendering is letting go of ourselves and the way we think life should be.

Surrendering is very scary to the ego or the personality!

Surrendering is opening to the mystery of life.

Surrendering is relaxing in the moment and being open.

Surrendering in not resisting nor ignoring life: it is allowing it.

 

Are you aware there is an Infinite Loving Intelligence guiding and orchestrating this whole universe? Can you relax and trust in it? 💜