Sunday, August 30, 2015

" Truth ... "

“ ... Can't Believe how you set me free
The way you purify this soul don't you know

Ohh, Tell me what you want
Lose it all take the fall
Let it ride
As long as I have you at my side

Tired of singin to myself
I need a lesson
I need a blessing

Ohh, tell me what you want ... “

~ Bamboo ~ Truth ~

It can feel at times that our environment is one extreme or another.  It can feel busy, overwhelming and chaotic.  So what if we adopt the idea that the truth can be found in the middle, right in the heart of this chaos?  What if we can find stability and a sense of peace in the center of problems we encounter?

Emotionally charged conversations and opinionated views fill our lives.  With this, it is hard to distinct and understand what IS and many triggers can result in blaming others.  If powerful enough, it can damage and destroy years of connection ... or it can dissipate altogether from a lack of emotional energy or changing the environment surrounding it.

The middle way begins with courage and patience and can result in love, compassion and clear thinking.  This begins with probably the one of the most difficult things I am trying to practice ... not taking things personally.  When we are comfortable with who we are and our life, we become less affected than someone who is at odds with themselves and feels insecure.  Because when we are unsure, we feel the need to prove a point.  The more comfortable and secure we are within ourselves, our hearts and minds, the less we will let external events or the opinions of others affect who we are.

Patience and love for oneself and others can help us learn to step back and find that truth, that middle way.  The middle way  provides a means to the center of calm, that it is accessible, regardless of your challenge.  

... Spending time looking within has helped me to see the baggage I’ve been carrying around so long.  They are old and heavy and stuffed full of old habits and self doubt.  They cloud my vision and cause me to react before I’ve had a chance to look at a problem from another perspective ... 

And so the middle way is between the extremes of indulgence and self-denial, free from sorrow and suffering.  It is about learning to embrace the change rather than seeking resolution.  We let ourselves open and relax in the middle and we discover, life is manageable. We realize that it is not our task to create the ideal, it is our task to see how it is and to learn from the world as it is. And we understand that for the awakening of the heart, conditions are always good enough. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

" Rock Bottom ... "

“ ... I feel like I'm walking a tight rope, without a circus net
I pray that god answers, maybe I'll ask nicer

That's Rock Bottom

When you feel like you've had it up to here
'Cause you're mad enough to scream but you're sad enough to tear ... “

~ Eminem ~ Rock Bottom ~

You are walking into the ocean and big wave comes and knocks you over.  You find yourself lying on the bottom, with sand in your face. Gasping, drowning, searching for a way.  And you have a choice ... you keep lying on the bottom or stand up and start to keep walking out to sea.

It is easier to keep lying on the bottom because you know that there is another big wave approaching, possibly to knock you down further. And so you ask yourself, do you want to live?  There is something within you, that answers YES ... and in that moment when you decide to cultivate courage and bravery ... humour arises.  Because you realize that the waves never stop coming but they may seem to get smaller.  You realize that you may just need float on your back rather than swim against the current. 

There is a softness and vulnerability that emerges during this time, with your best qualities come out of suffering.  When these things happen in our life, and we choose to get up, and keep walking out to the sea, we are not shielding ourselves.  We are not guarding ourselves.  We are real.

And so ... walking out to sea, that same wave keeps knocking me down.  Falling face forward, with sand in my mouth, I get up, again ... I realize how tired I am but also that the waves may not be smaller, but my ability to swim or ride gets better.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

" Dear God ... "

“ … Dear God the only thing I ask of you
When I'm much too far away
We all need that person who can be true to you 

And now I wish I'd stayed
'Cause I'm lonely and I'm tired
I'm missing you again oh no
Once again

Some search, never finding a way
Before long, they waste away
I found you, something told me to stay
I gave in, to selfish ways
Once again… “

~ Avenged Sevenfold ~ Dear God ~

“ I guess you’ve found God now “ was recently said.

Initially perplexed, I answered … “ I am learning to let go of fear with the intention to live the rest of this life with purpose and clarity “

You should have seen the expression on their face. ... 

Naturally during times of illness, great pain and suffering, we may gravitate toward a spiritual practice, as it provides a way sometimes to heal the grief, sadness and bitterness all held up in our hearts.  Spirituality can be a means to cope.

Yet personally speaking, it isn’t about have a better connection with God. It is about having a better connection with Life.  Not believing that a Divine being out in the Universe will grant me immortality, rather I’ve been exploring the dysfunctional relationship I have had with life  …   

Each moment, each day, dealing with what comes up … and realizing that when I face a type of suffering, my faith is tested.  True faith begins with detachment becoming open to whatever arises, the unknown.  An opportunity in the face of this unknown to experience a special kind of peace, that there are infinite possibilities.  Faith is about letting go of certain outcome, a certain solution. Faith is about trusting the process.  Faith is believing All Is Well, regardless of what is.

This comes at a time when acceptance is necessary.  That a certain solution may not exist.  That you don’t have to figure it all out in this moment.  And that maybe there really is nothing TO figure out.  Shifting to a place of being, and tired of doing.  I often think of cancer or any severe illness as a type of dance.  Hoping to take the lead and be in control but not knowing it could switch in a moment.

And so spirituality allows me to shift to a place of acceptance … to manage, cope, deal and thrive, despite of this challenge.  Great words to live by and a guiding mantra recited within every day.  As I said recently to family, no one said this was going to be easy.  Yet having the ability to let go during times of darkness is where my faith truly prevails.  

“ … rather than being better. today. be there for yourself. when you wander or feel stagnant. know your path and you are one. and just like your breath. up and down. your path is about learning. to love. you. unconditionally. so today sweet soul. trust what is within you. enjoy who you are. more than enough … “

Monday, August 24, 2015

" Used ... "

“ ... You come walkin' round here
Actin' like we're somethin', ohh
Then you up and disappear
And make it real clear that we're nothin'

I've been used
Damaged by you

Yeah cuz I've been used
Guess I knew
Cuz that's what you do ... “

~ Hayden Panettiere ~ Used ~

The catch phrase used these days is “mindfulness”.  With many defining it as “heart-mind”, being present and being fully aware in the moment.  Mindfulness can be viewed as a holistic approach or tool that can have profound affects on your mind, behaviours, habits, health and well-being.  

Yet mindfulness can and has been overused too.  Some consider it a social movement, others a lifestyle trend.  When mindfulness becomes something we do than the essence of what it is, fades.  Rather, mindfulness is a part of emotional intelligence, empathy, compassion and kindness ... which are our natural states of being.  Mindfulness is a constant not something you do once in awhile at meditation class.

And so mindfulness carries a big intention.  It has been said to be “the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgementally

My teacher explains  that when practicing mindfulness, an intimately attentive frame of mind arises, where we experience relaxation and alertness, and overall equanimity.  Mindfulness is not a badge of enlightenment or a successful achievement.  There are no expectations or requirements.  Allowing us to BE fully and give permission for others to BE them.

Being mindful, being present as we are, authentically.  Giving our fully attention and awareness to the one in front of us in that moment.  Selecting our words with compassion and kindness. And appreciating what life has to offer, regardless of the challenge or joy.  

... its about moments. moments of being true. and being you. moments of listening to your heart. and following where it leads. moments to nurture your soul.and nourish your mind. so find your power. and stop hiding. admit your pain and fears. admit your love. and dare to live. shine your light sweet soul. all the way home ... 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

" Important ... "

“ ... Maybe if I liked being alone 
I could give you your life back and let you go ... 

I guess I'm important, 
but what about them standing there they can't get in ... 
They're smiling at me, I guess they're used to this. 

Maybe I'll stop wondering when I'm gonna die.
Maybe then I'll stop holding so hard to my life.
Maybe next time I see my reflection my mind won't be with me ... “

~ Lisa Marie Presley ~ Important ~ 

Recently I was asked this question ... Who is the most important person?  As we pondered, the answer came back as the person in front of you right now.  Perhaps not the answer you would expect.  As we are taught that WE are the most important person in the world.  Yet consider this ... the most important person you will ever meet is the one in front of you ... the most powerful thing you will ever say is what you are about to say right now ... and the most important moment in your life is the one you are in at this time. 

We have been in situations where we drift into autopilot and zone out.  We are not fully present ... unless the situation changes.  A situation like when we meet someone with an impairment, with a disability or something that slows us down.  We may begin to articulate our words better, listen fully and simply soften up a bit.  We take better care to check for understanding.  We become more thoughtful in being present fully, so we don’t miss anything.  We allow the person in front of us to be the most important and what we say may be more thoughtful.  As for the moment, we only have this one ... and now the next ... and so on ...

Personally, I remember a time when the company I worked at had a Vice President with a speech impairment.  He was young and had suffered a stroke early in life.  He was working his way back AND he was our keynote speaker.  It took everything in the audience to listen fully, be present fully and completely aware of what was being said.  It made us truly listen, really listen.

So what if we took that approach in every interaction?  Not judging those in front of us, but giving ourselves fully and completely in the moment.  Are we able to slow the chatter in our minds?  And how much extra time would it really take?  Yet in a society that is about convenience, it can be a challenge for some to slow down.

Life is beautiful as it reflects back what is inward.  If we feel a void where we are not truly heard, it may be a time to explore if we are hearing ourselves.  Our higher self recognizes that those in front of us are another expression of the Divine.  So as we treat those in front of us as the most important person in that moment, we are truly giving this gift back to ourselves.