We become that which we dare not see.

What if the way to abolishing the parts of ourselves that take us furthest from the Light (from communion with the Divine, the source of all Being, Love itself, etc…) is to bring them to the light? 

What if the reason these parts of ourselves keep coming back, leading us to make the same mistakes over and over again is because we’re always trying to push them back down instead of letting them pass through and evaporate into the ether? 

By suppressing our imperfections we give them power, and the more we suppress them, the stronger they become. Their potential energy increases each time they start to surface and are prevented from actualizing. Winding up before throwing a baseball is a physical example of this idea. 

I propose an examination of our least favourite parts. I, myself, have been doing this for awhile now and I have observed some incredible results. After my son was born I had trouble accepting how my body had changed. Though I was never thin to begin with, I had grown accustomed to my particular curves and felt pretty good about the way I looked. After he was born, I avoided looking at myself in the mirror and tried to cover up with baggy clothes. The more I did this though, the more I would dislike the way I looked in photographs, and instead of enjoying the process of creating beautiful and fleeting moments with my son, I was focused on myself. One day I decided enough was enough and I looked at myself, I really looked. I saw my size, my shape, my dimples and wrinkles and I decided it was beautiful. I gazed at myself in the way I imagined God was gazing at me. This dramatically changed my perception of my appearance. I stopped covering up, I stopped being ashamed of myself – in essence, I made light of this phase of my life and chose to enjoy it, all of it, and the outcome was, big surprise…joy and lightness! I no longer emphasize what I deem negative, instead I choose to see beauty and peace within myself which allows me to see beauty and peace within you. 

“I gazed at myself in the way I imagined God was gazing at me.”

Change starts with a simple thought, in order to think differently you need to cultivate an awareness of what is. This ability stems from the practice of objectively (without judgment) seeing yourself and learning about how you think and behave.

Awareness = illumination. You’ll be amazed how easily negatives melt away when exposed to light.

Stop judging and start being – this is the key to your flourishing. 

Blessings and peace.

The Paradoxical Nature of Life

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the paradoxical nature of life and how accepting that one fact can facilitate a more peaceful and joyful existence. 

The truth of this began surfacing the more I reflected on my journey out of anxiety and panic disorder. Basically, my treatment consisted of my staying put, both physically and mentally, as my sympathetic nervous system started revving up. I would be feeling the “fight or flight” response running rampant throughout my body and mind and, instead of reacting to those feelings, I would just stay present and accept that this was the experience I happened to find myself in at the time and that that was ok. I had to learn to allow both active and totally peaceful states to coexist.

I started paying more and more attention to what frightened me or made me uncomfortable or upset and I kept finding that the actual problem was that I wasn’t able to allow two seeming opposites to exist together, my experience was consistently unbalanced. Rather, the natural progression of events was disrupted by my inability to let them be. 

Wise teachers and guides have been saying this for centuries, that the way to true joy is to simply be present to what already is. We are both observers and participants – we’ll know how to participate effectively once we learn to observe properly. This is another paradox, in order to know how to act, we must know how to be still. There is no one way, there is only balance, and it looks different for everyone.

“…in order to know how to act, we must know how to be still.”

Where is the imbalance in your life? Do you know when to be still and when to act? Start by paying attention, notice where the kinks are and make some space for them to relax back into the natural flow.

Blessings and peace.

The Antidote to Worry

I dreamt last night that I was visited by a gentleman whose purpose was to help me plan, rather direct my planning of, my funeral. My sister was with me as well as my husband. I was surprised that this man was here, as I was not aware that funeral arrangements were required at this time. I kept asking him why and pointing at my husband and my sister, saying “What about them?”. I was feeling desperate and alone. However, he ignored my questions and kept insisting that I choose the drinks to be served and pick the music. He totally ignored my surprise, confusion, and despair. Interestingly, it didn’t feel like he was being unsympathetic, more that my feelings just weren’t relevant, the outcome was going to be the same. And then I woke up. Reflecting on this dream, I am struck by two points: 1) though we know death is inevitable, we never want it to be us and 2) time keeps passing regardless of how we feel.

In regards to the first point, we know it is common knowledge that we’d prefer to avoid death all the while knowing that is an impossibility. Yet, we spend so much of our lives actively working on avoiding it – we don’t take certain risks, we obsess about our weight and activity levels, we feel guilt for not keeping up with the latest healthy living trend. If we added up all the hours spent on worrying about avoiding the inevitable, I’m sure we’d all feel a bit foolish because ultimately that’s all wasted time. During every minute of worry, we were alive! We could have been spending that time enjoying our lives, giving more attention to whatever task we were partaking in, or better yet, being at peace. How about this as an antidote to pointless moments of stress? Just be. When worrisome thoughts pop into your mind try to focus on the space between them. Eventually, your mind will wander away from the fear-inducing, joy-destroying thoughts and you will be able to move on with what is actually within your control (i.e. how much effort you choose to put into whatever task you were trying to accomplish). All worry does is steal our progression in this life and once we start to stagnate we begin accumulating weight (the weight of fear, dread, self-hatred, etc…) which then makes it that much harder to move forward. If we replace the stagnating thoughts with openness and space within our minds, we will avoid taking on all that extra baggage and instead promote the dissolution of previously acquired gunk.

“When worrisome thoughts pop into your mind try to focus on the space between them.”

As for the second point, we all know the truth, we can’t stop time – it passes as it passes regardless of how we feel. No matter if we are prepared for the future or not, it’s coming and it’s coming for you! (And me, and your neighbour, and everyone else on the entire planet) So, though we are alone in one sense, we are totally connected in another, it’s really a beautifully balanced combination of individuality and community. Instead of focusing on how we feel, let us ponder the fact that we all feel the same emotions; therefore, we can help one another. At the root of all our fears is the one biggest fear -> that we are alone and must walk through life as lonesome creatures. We are the only us and no one will ever have our exact experiences. However, (and this is a big however), we can rest in the fact that this is true for everyone. This truth binds us together. The solution to our angst is community. Once we realize this, the notion that time keeps passing ceases to be of concern because we begin spending that time connecting with each other and those connections are what prepare us to face the reality of what it means to be human, to be born into this world alone and with nothing and to leave it in the same fashion.

“The solution to our angst is community.”

I’ll leave you with one final thought for today. We exist in a web of paradoxes one of which is that we are completely alone at the same time as we are all one. The best self-care is care for another. In this way, we exponentially increase the experience of love.

Blessings and peace.

Where have I been?

Hello world!

It’s so good to be back! Over the past five years I’ve had to dig deep, find strength (and love and trust) and go through some pretty major transformations. I’ve rid myself of a bunch of muck that had been weighing me down and now I’m ready to share what I’ve learned with you. Through it all I’ve maintained my love of yoga and mysticism (frankly, those were both big contributors to my evolution and continued evolving) and I’ve picked up knowledge and respect for cognitive behavioural therapy which provided me with tools to get through the immediate manifestations of anxiety and panic. From here on out I’ll continue posting motivational, inspirational, and encouraging tid bits to help y’all (and myself, of course) get through it (i.e. life).

Namaste.

An Insight into Escapism

We have all created escape routes, avenues to quickly access in times of uneasiness. Facebook, twitter, daydreaming, yelling, eating, and drinking are all examples of activities we use to get ourselves (if only for a moment) out of our current situation. Doing this is a great disservice to ourselves. The more you escape the more you are going to be confronted with what you are trying to escape from. Life events (even the most minute) are not arbitrary. Every experience you have is an opportunity to learn and grow, to evolve into a greater being. Wherever you find yourself know that there is a lesson for you there, there is something just for you that must be learned in order for you to move on. Distracting yourself from an experience only prolongs the suffering you endure. Imagine life as a horizontal track and every experience presents itself as a set of stairs to a track above the one you’re on. If you have the experience and learn the lesson then you get to climb the stairs to the next track. However; if you choose to escape the experience by means of whatever distraction you’ve chosen then you will continue on the same horizontal track until the next set of stairs appears when you will again be presented with the choice of learning and moving on or staying and then being faced with the same situation again and again until you decide to fully go through it. The choice is yours, where do you want to be tomorrow? next week? month? year? ten years?

Namaste.

An Insight into Relationships

We all want friendship, love, acceptance, kindness, and understanding from others. In fact, when we don’t get it we are told to demand it, to say, “I deserve to be treated better, I deserve a promotion, I deserve love, etc…” What we often forget is that the way we are treated by the world is a direct reflection of the way we treat ourselves. If you are not getting the love you desire, it means you are not loving yourself to the degree at which you could recognize love from another. We must know something first, the seed must be planted within us before we can perceive it  from the outside. If you are not being treated kindly by others, ask yourself, “ Are you kind to you?” Again, if the answer is “not really” how can you expect to know when others are being kind? Additionally, how can you know how to be kind to others? It all starts with you. What thoughts do you feed your mind, what actions do you feed your body, what stories do you tell yourself about who you are? We cannot expect change to come from the outside in, the world is shaped by your perspective. Every possibility is out there and you are the filter. Do not only treat others the way you want to be treated,  treat yourself that way you want to be treated. Both are equally important. If you want to live in a beautiful world, if you want happiness, if you want success then you must acknowledge yourself as beautiful, as happy, and as successful. Sit in front of a mirror and gaze into your eyes, say to yourself  “I love you, I forgive you, You are beautiful.” Smile to yourself. Give yourself a tight hug. Our relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship we have because it dictates our relationship with the world.

 

Namaste.