The Self

Sometimes you have to be who you aren’t in order to discover who you are. Inner journeys through darkness bring about a yearning for light and the search then takes us exactly where we need to go. The greatest gifts can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

Don’t fear the shadow side of your personality. The yin and yang, dark and light, fear and security are simply the opposites found within any experience. Ultimately, complete acceptance of the Self leads to peace, happiness and wholeness.

Your soul is ready for expansion and expression. By moving into Presence we become more self-actualized and aware… and awareness heals.

We all look at life and circumstances based upon the level of awareness at which we reside. There are always new and amazing things waiting to be discovered and infinite roads ultimately lead us to the Divine. The most empowering thing that you can do is live consciously and cultivate the wisdom born of experience.

Dear one, you are right where you need to be. Trust the process of awakening rather than fighting what is. The desire to seek the gift or lesson inherent in all situations ensures that it will be found.

It’s Not Personal

“Life is a continuous ebb and flow, like the seasons, like the ocean’s waves. When we learn to ‘ride’ with them, our life becomes easier, with less resistance.”

~Romy Macias~

Yesterday I was on the receiving end of a barrage of anger from a neighbor. Because I am not bi-lingual, it was difficult to know exactly why she was angry; though, it didn’t take any great psychic ability to get the gist that she didn’t want me to use her trash can. So, responding to that, I simply said that I was sorry and would not do it again in the future. As the yelling continued, I finally was able to indicate my lack of understanding and wished her a good day as she glared at me, seemingly desirous of a confrontation of some sort.

In that moment I could recognize that she was likely triggered by something else prior to the interaction and observed (thankfully) that I had very little egoic engagement. Even if the attack was personal, I couldn’t understand so no reactivity arose within me.

That led me to realize how easily we can walk in the world when we view egoic reactivity as speaking another language. Understand that everyone has their own struggles and more often than not, others’ reactivity is not personal.

If you speak the language of compassion, then anger can be recognized as an entirely different level of communicating. To be gentle with one another, seek only to be aware of your own state of consciousness, own what’s yours, and discard the rest.

 

Hatred Begets Hatred

“If people can learn to hate they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than it’s opposite.”

~Nelson Mandela~

The ego has a vested interest in being right. It creates opinions based upon ones level of consciousness, attaches to them, and sees opposing viewpoints as wrong. To strengthen itself further, the ego seeks out others to reinforce the story. Collectively these energies come together, strengthen one another and plant seeds of opposition. Fighting against “the other” becomes the only thing that’s important. To further the narrative, any idea of kindness, listening or compromise is viewed as weak. The concept of compassion itself is transformed into aligning with the enemy.

Conversely, intention and commitment combine with humility and are ultimately axiomatic of wisdom. The spiritual seeker understands that as consciousness expands, perceptions change. Broader viewpoints arise within the paradox when one is willing to be flexible, fluid and ever-evolving. The integration of love creates a powerful foundation to operate from as we walk in the world. Each of us has a powerful opportunity to be a light in the darkness. We have purposely chosen to be here now, in this place… how can we demonstrate love?

Conscious Suffering

 

Spiritual practice has little to do with logical explanations. The mind will always question ‘Why?’ when challenges arise. This desire for knowledge is an egoic trap which tells us that we must understand in order to alleviate our discomfort. Any reasons we discover – psychological, physiological, karmic, etc. – are only part of the story. Oneness teaches us that everything is interconnected – and the infinite nature of complexity means both that we can discover multiple approaches that help us on our journey as well as the truth that, as humans, our vision and ability to understand is very limited.

There are blinders that obscure our vision. Deep understanding never lies within the cognitive world of ‘why’ but in experiencing the complexity of the present moment with an openness that defies explanation. We encounter both minute and life-changing challenges as we navigate the path of transformation and during each, the spiritual seeker has the option to suffer consciously. The contrast we discover between the mechanisms of the mind and the playfulness we experience when we feel balanced and connected is the paradox that teaches through the human condition in a way that leads us ever closer to the Divine.

All things work to the highest good (whether one has the ability to see it now or later). Should clarity elude you, take one more conscious step forward honoring each moment as part of your unique journey of awakening. Faith in the process of your development is key. There are gifts to be discovered in the midst of every challenge.

Love What Is

“The ego says, ‘I shouldn’t have to suffer,’ and that thought makes you suffer so much more. It is a distortion of the truth which is always paradoxical. The truth is that you need to say yes to suffering before you can transcend it.”
~Eckhart Tolle~

The human experience is paradoxical. Through anger we discover peace. Limitation teaches how to expand. Hatred transforms into love. Judgment paves the way for compassion. By immersing ourselves in whatever unfolds in the present moment without resistance, we can begin the process of loving what is. This shift becomes more fluid when we approach our daily life situations with conscious awareness rather than reactivity.

When you are ready to shift something in your experience, honor it with gratitude and proceed with the knowledge that it has taught the lesson or cultivated the new attribute for which it was meant.

To honor your path as sacred means to understand that everything plays a valuable role in your awakening. Nothing is dismissed as unimportant or “not spiritual.” On the contrary, all you encounter becomes meaningful and worth your loving examination. Self-reflection is the key. Turn inward, bring yourself into balance and experience life with an open heart.

Labels Create Limitation

“I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Once we drop mind-made labels of race, religion, sexuality, health, politics or heritage, we can explore life more fully. Labels create limitation that is often expressed throughout our varied interactions. Righteous judgment or reducing others to one dimensional entities is the ego’s way of creating division. Judgment and love cannot coexist in the same space; therefore, we evolve more quickly by choosing to love our way through challenging situations.

Many feel the need to belong or explain the tendency to act in a particular way; however, there’s a fine line between understanding ourselves and managing to a particular belief about a diagnosis or way of being. Rather than adopting an identity based upon one aspect of yourself, know that you are multifaceted, infinite and ever-evolving. Should you be working through a particular challenge, you may find it helpful to say, “I am working on becoming more balanced and present” rather than repeating the label and managing to it.

Work consciously to expand your vision. There are infinite aspects to explore and the willingness to drop limitation is required. Each person’s story is unique and through them, we can discover new ways of viewing the world and cultivate greater compassion. By giving up  preconceived ideas about others, we open to the love that already connects us.

Awakening From the Dream

Enlightenment is not about being perfect. It’s the process of experiencing a conscious, empowered life as best you can with what you have from where you are. Anyone can experience higher levels of wisdom, awareness and spiritual connection in meditation or on a mountaintop; however, mastery is bringing that same energy down from the mountain and infusing it into your day-to-day experiences.

There are dreams and desires that play scenarios in the mind. The “What ifs?” and “If onlys…” distract us by constantly projecting an imagined future, replaying the past or distorting our perception of the present moment. When we project our desires and attachments, others simply become a screen that reflects our projection to us, for a time. And then we awaken from the dream thinking “This isn’t what I thought it would be…” and of course it isn’t. It never was.

To be aware means that you are shattering the illusion and flaming passion for life as it is rather than an projected image of what it may or may not be in the future. The ego is a by-product of illusion. As we awaken, we begin to recognize this and experience it’s mechanisms less and less. This is the joy of awakening – discovering the beauty of the Divine within ourselves and everything around us and seeing through the dream.

The Joyful Heart

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

~Henri Nouwen~

Empowerment, mastery, fulfillment, abundance, freedom… all begin and end with joy. The only thing over which you have any control is how you choose to respond to life. Occasionally, the ego (in its reactive state) will tell you that imbalance is not only necessary, but expected. These are the moments when your intention is transformative.

When you observe yourself getting lost in the stories of the mind, purposely and lovingly seek out something which brings you joy and place your full attention upon it. Your attention determines where energy flows. In the midst of challenge you can choose to stop for a moment, watch the clouds create artistry in the sky, breathe deeply, and reclaim your balance.

You are more powerful than you know. Joy amplifies that power and expands your perception. Imagine how higher level responses can change the trajectory of a chaotic moment. Laughter is the outward sound of a soul that is awakening. It bubbles up, takes over and scatters the heaviness of the mind. Nothing is more important than your state of consciousness in this moment.

The Artscape of Emotion

Whether flashes of joy, celebration, fear, overwhelming passions, or the arduous journey of self-exploration, feelings create an artscape through which we must travel. Emotions add flavor and nuance to the journey of awakening.

When seemingly untenable feelings arise, it’s empowering to turn toward them. The light of your consciousness is transformative and facing your shadows begins the process of deeper self understanding. You are right where you need to be. Whatever is unfolding in your experience contains gifts that will allow you to shine. By honoring your pilgrimage as sacred, you can drop the ego-driven belief that something is wrong.

It’s healthy to observe and feel deeply; however, it’s equally healthy to cultivate the ability to recognize when the voice of ego is in play. It will always jump to ones deepest subconscious fear and amplify it; therefore, feel with understanding. Feel with purpose. Feel to cultivate compassion for all sentient beings who seek fulfillment, peace and balance in their experience.

Earth can be a challenging playground. The paradoxes of humanness are storied, and yet absolutely required for the artscape of your unique adventure. All of life participates in your awakening. Realize how far you have come. You are amazing.

Intensity

“For most people, their spiritual teacher is their suffering. Because eventually the suffering brings about awakening.”
~Eckhart Tolle~ 

Suffering, whether self-inflicted or the result of outside events, brings hidden aspects of our shadow self to the surface of our consciousness. Often these are things that have been repressed or ignored in the past and their appearance now has great import on your path of transformation.

When you are faced with intense internal challenges consider viewing them as teachers rather than something that needs to be eradicated or hidden. Look deeply within to the source of your conflict and then purposely surround it with love and compassion. Know that you are on the verge of an awakening.

These inner paradoxes lead us down roads we would never consciously choose to travel. They call upon us to shatter the ego-self and strip away things and ideas that no longer serve us. Intensity accelerates your spiritual growth in ways that simple study and desire cannot. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are ready for this. Your spirit has requested movement and the fact that something new is arising indicates that you are ready to navigate your way to higher levels of consciousness.