Mastery and Miracles

Life is not happening to you. Life is responding to you.

“When I see someone smile, I know immediately that he or she is dwelling in awareness.” 
~Thich Nhat Hanh~

One of the most important aspects of mastery is being willing to take responsibility for your own state of consciousness. What would your experiences be like if you viewed everything as a miracle? Every interaction and every breath would simply become a loving conversation between you and the Divine.

This connectedness shifts our perceptions in a profound way. In order to remain aware, we must learn to rise above the mechanisms of the mind which seeks only to remove the magic and mystery from life.

Choosing to see the magical is the difference between viewing a tree and quoting all the facts that you may know about it compared to quietly opening your heart to it in order to experience its essence, patience and wisdom. Each approach comes from a different level of consciousness. The latter, more expanding experience brings a sense of awe, sacredness and respect into the equation.

Practice experiencing the mysterious in nature. Move gently through the world and allow your vision to transform the mundane into the miraculous.

Seek the Lesson

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Every experience, without exception, plays an active role in your awakening.

“The more we practice with our own struggles and relate to them as our vehicle to awakening, the less we will judge our struggles as defects. Likewise in relationships: the more we can remember that others also have the wish to learn from their struggles, the less we will judge others as defective when we see them caught in their distress.” 
~Ezra Bayda~

When in the midst of a challenge, it can sometimes be difficult to recognize the lesson or the gift within the situation. One way to open yourself to receive clarity is to include any challenges that arise in your daily gratitude moments saying, “I’m grateful that this situation with so-and-so has occurred. Even though I may not see the gift contained within it yet, I know that there is one and am grateful for the opportunity to grow from this experience.”

If you are fortunate enough to recognize the lesson while the situation is in play, own it, accept it and embrace it. Observe the aspects that you already handle consciously as well as those that may require a purposeful and mindful approach in order to rise above the mechanisms of the ego. When you seek the lesson, your growth is assured. Everything and everyone in this vast universe conspires to assist in your awakening.

Resistance keeps challenging situations in play. Acceptance creates the space in which a transformation can occur.

New Vision

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Choose to recognize the sacredness in all that you see.

“Spirituality is not the practicing of any virtue; spirituality is the gaining of a new vision. Virtue follows that vision; it comes on its own accord. It is a natural by-product.” 
~Osho~

This moment is filled with limitless possibility. It offers a new beginning and a new way of being. We must become aware of and disconnect from the patterns, thoughts and behaviors that distract us from seeing clearly. Mind-made burdens often keep us from recognizing the sacredness that is within us and all around us.

As we learn to rise above the mechanisms of the ego, we bring a new vision to life. There is vast potential within you and all around you. Surrender to the present moment, seek to honor its perfection and discover the joy and empowerment that acceptance brings.

When we stand in the presence of the Divine, our humility and gratitude open portals to higher levels of existence. Seeing with the heart transforms everything in your experience. A sense of awe and wonder is the result of living an awakened life. Imagine how your relationships and interactions would be transformed if you purposely recognize the sacredness in another and choose to respond to that rather than interacting from the level of ego and desire. That is the space in which a transformation can occur.

The Beauty of Contrast

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Your awareness and attention bring deeper meaning to all you experience.

“There is a rhythm in life, a certain beauty which operates by a variation of lights and shadows, happiness alternating with sorrow, content with discontent, distilling in this process of contrast a sense of satisfaction, of richness that can be captured and pinned down only by those who possess the gift of awareness.” 
~Louise Bromfield~

Every situation contains gifts of insight and awareness. As you search for meaning in the exploration of life, you’ll come to realize that your consciousness and perception gives meaning, rather than seeking it from outside yourself.

As we evolve, we see things differently. The chaos of modern life makes the stillness of a tree even more beautiful. We can lose ourselves in the contemplation of a flower – it’s sacredness and energy – and ultimately learn to bring that awareness and stillness into daily life.

Observe things around you without labeling them. Simply see and experience them without the mind’s interference. This can take you deeper within the truth of your own nature. Imagine how you would walk through the world if you saw only the energy of the Divine in its various forms.

Discomfort

Challenges spark exploration into places we would not normally venture.
“As much as we deny it, we still believe we’re supposed to be perfect. Our ongoing anxiety and sense of inadequacy testify eloquently to this unexamined truth. In spiritual practice, this trap takes the form of making one attempt after another to measure up to some ideal of how a spiritual practitioner is supposed to be – more calm, loving, wise, or simply more together. Yet becoming truly calm and loving requires that we first see clearly the extent we still punish ourselves by clinging to ideals of perfection” 
~Ezra Bayda~

Perceived failure, embarrassment, obstacles and challenges often allow us to strengthen the lessor used facets of our personality. They force us to pivot into unexplored territory. And yes, this can be uncomfortable. It’s important to remember that your soul knows exactly what it is doing and facing your fears will allow you to emerge transformed.

Ruthless self-observation is required in order to enter new realms of experience. When you’re ready to recognize the places in your life situation where you may feel stuck, it can be uncomfortable. The ego will create stories which promote procrastination and it’s important to push through to the next level of your evolution. When you love yourself enough to face your fears, you’ll discover that the past has no power over you. Trust that the processes of life will align you with whatever is required for the next stage of your souls evolution.

Even though discomfort is an indication of growth, that doesn’t mean that we will never feel safe, secure and happy. We most certainly will. The concepts of embracing uncertainty, facing our fears or transforming our challenges into aspects of personal strength and empowerment ensure that any discomfort will not be extended by buying into the stories of the mind.

Remember that “this too shall pass” and simply take one more conscious step forward. As you awaken to the infinite potential of your true nature, you will discover that you have the tools to navigate through anything life throws at you.

Awakened Living

Life is a pilgrimage and the goal is to awaken.

“True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.” 
~Richard Carlson~

Everything you experience offers an opportunity to awaken. There are no accidents, no obstacles and you are never “off your life-path” nor making a mistake. In all situations, you are seeking greater insight and peace.

Awakened living calls upon us to bring a higher consciousness to our interactions. When you set your intentions for the day, verbalize your desire to see with the heart rather than the mind. Open yourself to receive the assistance and blessings that await discovery.

Give up the desire to plan or play it safe. Taking a step into the unknown calls upon us to walk forward in faith while being completely present and aware. It’s time to stop sleepwalking through life and honor the seeds of enlightenment that are ready to grow.

Peace through Self-Acceptance

You are perfect in your imperfection.

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” 
~e.e. cummings~

There is great joy in self-acceptance. When we no longer need to seek outside validation for how we present ourselves to the world, we begin the process of expansion. Life becomes a place to simply explore who we are in the presence of another.

Give up trying to please or attempting to determine what others might want. Instead, realize that you are a multi-faceted being who is evolving. Allow your enthusiasm and passion for life to express itself by embracing your unique way of being in the world.

Peacefulness comes when you live in alignment with your true nature. And in your explorations, should you discover you’ve made a turn down a road that doesn’t feel appropriate, love yourself enough to accept that sometimes you have to be who you aren’t in order to discover who you are. Life is a process of discovery. Adjust when needed, release doubt and self-criticism and choose to open to your full potential.

Sadhana in Relationships

Our relationships are the playground of spiritual awakening.
“Whenever your relationship is not working, whenever it brings out the ‘madness’ in your and in your partner, be glad. What was unconscious is being brought up to the light. It is an opportunity for salvation.”
~Eckhart Tolle~
Relationships, whether with lovers, family, co-workers, friends or the frustrating person behind you in line at the store, play a significant role in your souls development. Each can be your sadhana, your spiritual practice. When we bring a higher consciousness to our interactions, there is a greater possibility of staying present in challenging situations rather than becoming reactive.
If you interact with someone who is caught in the pain of unconsciousness, become a source of compassion. Observe what arises for you and hold it in your loving embrace rather than feeding the situation with negative energy. Eventually, this will become easier and easier – this is the barometer which lets you see how much you are evolving.
One of the greatest gifts you can give another is a healthy and safe space to express himself or herself. As you stay present and listen without defensiveness or judgment, you create a space where a transformation can occur. As long as one person is conscious, new energy has the potential to break through old patterns and limiting beliefs. See yourself as a loving agent of change.

Share Your Gifts

There has never been, nor will there ever be, someone with your unique way of being in the world. This is the moment to let yourself shine.

“Giving connects two people, the giver and the receiver, and this connection gives birth to a new sense of belonging.”    
~Deepak Chopra~ 

Sharing increases the energetic flow between the souls involved. There is an opening, a transcendence, that supersedes all else and together we create something entirely new. Thus, the most beautiful way to accelerate your own transformation is to honor your gifts by bringing them into the world of form.

When your focus shifts from what you can get from the world to what you can give, joy emanates from your very being. Your light begins to spark awareness in others. Your journey of awakening becomes an inspiration. Your laughter, a healing balm in a world that is often filled with uncertainty.

Each of us has a specific role to play in the expanding consciousness of which we are all a part. Let love guide you and honor your unique way of being in the world.

Honoring Your Feelings

Taoists teach that tears are the “first sign of ice melting” and that they can be a powerful movement of Qi energy.

“Across the planes of consciousness we have to live with the paradox that opposite things can simultaneously be true.”    
~Ram Dass~ 

As we awaken to our exquisite beauty and divinity, there will be times when the illusion of separateness creates feelings of fear, loss, lack or anxiety. The veil of tears is a sign that indicates a breakthrough is at hand. Feel whatever it is that you are feeling, then go deeper. Look for the story that you have come to believe and then see beyond it to the truth of the present moment.

Within our awareness of temporary unconsciousness, we are actually becoming more conscious. Awareness is the first phase of transformation. So, do not reject feelings that arise – use them as the doorway to new insight, meaning and purpose.

Bless the moments of paradox when they arise in your experience. There is a blending of mind, body and spirit that is occurring and ultimately it will lead to a new level of understanding and peace.