The Beauty of Contrast

Freddy07

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.

Acceptance

Acceptance, at its highest level of expression, is unconditional love.

“Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it not against it… This will miraculously transform your whole life.”    
~Eckhart Tolle~ 

When you operate from a space of acceptance, ego involvement in your daily experiences decreases. When you choose to interact with a lack of expectation or judgment, you create a space where others feel safe while facilitating the opportunity to have an authentic connection.

Practice non-reactive listening and ask questions that bring you a greater understanding of alternate viewpoints. We have so much to learn from one another and there is nothing to be gained by triggering others’ defensiveness.

Acceptance allows life to be more simple and meaningful. Rather than focusing on what needs to be fixed or understood, practice being okay with what is. Operate from the assumption that everything is unfolding in the perfect way for your soul development and move forward from there. Acceptance must begin within. Tend to your own needs and be aware of your state of consciousness. When you are in balance, your capability to bring peace, acceptance and grace to your life situations increases.

Be the Change You Wish to See

As we change, the world around us is transformed.

“Early old soul behavior is characterized by a period of internalization, soul-searching and a feeling of no longer fitting in with the mainstream of society. Once this aspect has been ‘discovered’ and fully internalized, the next step is determining, How am I going to show up in the world?”    
~From Michael, The Basic Teachings~ 

Those who are able to see life from a higher perspective often feel that they live just outside of commonly held beliefs and ideas. Part of the old soul experience is learning to be okay with being different. We walk in the world as students and as teachers, ultimately discovering the joy of being.

Many view old souls as simplistic because they have learned to see beyond the intricacies of drama to a broader viewpoint knowing that, in spite of appearances, all is well. And because of that, there is nothing to be “fixed”, instead they seek only to view and respond to life as objectively and compassionately as possible.

Each of us has an incredible impact on the world around us. Strive to be a loving example of what you wish to see in the world. Let your life be your message. Your kindness plants seeds that will eventually take root and grow.

 

Be Different

Strive to bring a vibrant, authentic version of yourself to all of your interactions.

“Once you have seen a buddha, an enlightened one, a tremendous flame suddenly starts blossoming in you. If this beauty, this grace, this wisdom, this blissfulness can happen to any man, then why can it not happen to me?”    
~Osho~ 

Your purpose is to discover your passion, your joys and your truth and live them fully. Just a spark of your beautiful energy is enough to awaken light in others. When people respond to you, they are responding to the echo of their own divinity. Set an intention to be a loving reflection, helping those you encounter to see aspects of themselves to which they may be blind.

There is no one special you need to be, no specific level of consciousness to attain, no need to worry about not being enough. Just be your authentic self. Let joy guide your actions while you walk gently in the world.