* Haiku – bygones

Image from Google

Image from Google

~

Embrace this moment

Let bygones be in the past

Find Your Middle Ground

 

If you are new to this site, welcome!

Follow these links to find out more about finding your middle ground and the steps to take you there

 

* Reflection – The Two People Living in You

transcend the ego

Photo Credit: Ariko Inaoka

“Two people have been living in you all of your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, and calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to.”

~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

I often hear others on spiritual journeys say that they are working to overcome, conquer, or destroy their egos.

But can this truly work? A part of me says not. This is because crushing, overcoming, and conquering are themselves acts of violence and therefore acts of ego.

The judging of ego as “bad” is an act of ego.

You cannot overcome ego with ego. Ego is who you’ve always thought you are, so trying to overcome who you think you are, is an assault upon yourself.

The path beyond ego is to recognize your ego self and embrace it for what it is.

Ego is necessary and important because it defines our sense of self, clarifies our boundaries and develops our personality while protecting us from disappointment, rejection, and harm.

The ego always needs validation and identification with a persona to remain nourished and to grow.

By resisting it and fighting it, you are helping it to grow. The more you resist it, the more it will show itself in a new more acceptable persona.

So, when it reveals itself with criticisms and judgments, or by showing off and caring about what others think, pause and step back. Notice and then accept it for what it is.

Don’t fuel it with more drama. If you damn it, it will resist and become stronger.

Instead, love it as you would a small child who doesn’t know any other way to be.

This is the way that ego will fade into insignificance… and your heart will fill with love and compassion for yourself and other human beings struggling right beside you.

Namaste

* Tao Inspiration – Push and Pull

 

push and pull

Photo from Pinterest

“The way of the universe is a symbiotic flow.
As one part pulls, another part pushes.
A part that has excess will lose. A part that is lacking will gain.

Presently, society acts against this flow.
Where there is abundance, there is power to acquire even more.
What is it when excess is freely offered, rather than accumulated?
It is the way of Tao.

The sage works without expectation of return:
Achieving without need for recognition,
Doing without dominating.” *

~ Lao Tzu

 

How relevant to society today. Yet the Tao te Ching dates back to the second century BC.
The wisdom is never ending as the universe continues to flow. May we find understanding in the balance of yin and yang in all things.

 

 

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David (2012-12-02). Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 1015-1026). . Kindle Edition.

* Tao Inspiration for our Times

winder weather

Sometimes a passage from the Tao te Ching comes to light at just the right time. With the storms in the Western US and the upcoming change in government, this seems to be a timely share.

Water is unquestionably soft and yielding,
Yet it can carve massive canyons
And sweep away entire cities with ease.

This is because it does not rise up in solid fragility like the structures of humanity,
But flows in low places, fluid and flexible like humanity itself.

There is great strength in what seems weak,
Great instability in what seems strong.

The creation of grand structures implies their inevitable destruction.
Humble, flexible, transitory existence implies true continuity.

In this way, things imply their opposites.

We all know this, because we have seen it.
Somehow, in living our lives, we forget.*

~ Lao Tzu

“Things imply their opposites” yet we make judgments, along with our plans. Are we  really ready for the unexpected?

The future has yet to unfold.
Be open. Be ready.

Be ready to be fierce. Be ready to be kind

 

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David. Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 1028-1041). . Kindle Edition.

cute duck

* Let’s Dance

I am home from Scotland and getting back into the daily routine.  I had a great time meeting some old friends and being with family.

One of the best memories was at a family gathering at my brothers house. It has become a tradition that at some point in the evening everyone gets up to dance and let their hair down. Its so much fun!

As Brene Brown writes in The Gifts of Imperfection:

“Laughter, song and dance create emotional and spiritual connection; they remind us of the one thing that truly matters when we are searching for comfort, celebration, inspiration or healing : We are not alone.”

Towards the end of 2016 I shared with you some of my favorite music for relaxation and Savasana. Now I’d like to share some dance music in the spirit of connection and mutual goofiness… as well as burning up a few more calories.

I hope you will join me. Let’s dance like noone is watching!

Thinks … I’m pretty sure I caught a glimpse of Hariod Brawn in this BBC production.

 

 

* Haiku – Unfolding Year

As you read this, I will be landing in Scotland for a week with the family, and connecting to my roots. I send you with this message for the New Year.

Homeland

~

Let the year unfold

with kind heart and open mind. 

Hold your Middle Ground

~

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year. May we all find peace and appreciate the little things that matter the most.

 

If you are new to this site welcome!

Follow these links to find out more about finding your middle ground and the steps to take you there.

Namaste

* My Words for 2017

fierce and kind balance

It will be a time of change. Life is unfolding along an unexpected and uneasy path, with so much outside of our control. When moving into the unknown, it is helpful to sit and pause and listen to our inner guide. In those Middle Ground moments, the words that keep coming up for me are:

Be ready to be fierce.
Be ready to be kind.

We must be prepared to stand up for what we believe in our hearts and be ready to take action against bullying, greed, violence, injustice and the unfairness that surrounds us.

Be fierce to protect what grows from kindness and love. Be ready to answer the call to educate, inspire and lead others on a higher path.

We must also be ready to be kind. To represent the kindness and humanity that we hold so dear.
We must be compassionate for those who are ignorant and fearful… and for those who also see injustice, but from a different perspective.

We must commit to understand better and do no harm.

be kind

So, take time to pause before leaping to conclusions or into action. Come to a place of inner stillness and seek the guidance from your heart and soul.

Find your Middle Ground. Open your heart and listen to the small loving voice within.

It is time.

Be ready to be fierce.
Be ready to be kind.

* Its Time for Kind Sight

As we come to the end of the year, its natural to reflect on the year that has gone by, as well as to look forward to the new year ahead. This is a time for “kind sight” once again.looking backBelow are two journalling exercises to explore, now that the rush of the Holidays is over. I like to think of this as a Middle Ground pause. A time for being present, reflecting and allowing your inner wisdom to inspire you for whatever comes next.

Take a few moments to let yourself get settled and comfortable. Start by reflecting with “kind sight”on the past year. “Kind sight” means being kind to yourself, instead of being critical or judging. With “kind sight” we are able to see mistakes as lessons, and life’s challenges as times of resiliency and personal growth. 

Ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers:

Looking back on 2016…

  • What was a highlight?
  • What was a lowlight?
  • What was a surprise?
  • What do I feel proud of?
  • What do I feel grateful for?
  • What did I learn (or am still learning) from either the highlights or lowlights?

    Some people do a month by month reflection, while others evaluate important areas in their lives. (For example – career, family, health, hobbies, learning, contribution, spirituality, travel, environment, self-care, personal growth)

Once you’ve reflected on 2016, write a Future Gratitude Letter:

letter to myselfThis is a letter to yourself written a year in advance, describing all the things that you are grateful for during the year. Start with the date December 31 2017 and address it to yourself.
Include who you’ve become and what you now have or are moving towards.  Be careful not to include anything that feels like a “have to” goal or something that you “should” achieve.

This is a letter of “kind sight” for the year ahead. The key is in the energy.  If your energy feels uplifted when you think about the things you’re grateful for in a year’s time, then you are tapping into your own passion and inner wisdom.
This can be a revealing and inspiring process, letting the creative juices and intention begin it’s journey.

lotus

* Music Inspiration – Om Mani Padme Hum

Om Mani Padme Hum has no direct English translation, but is often said to mean “Hail the jewel in the heart of lotus” or “Behold! The jewel in the lotus!”.

As you site or lie down comfortably, notice how your shoulders relax and the tension begins to melt away. Imagine being gently held in the heart of the lotus.

This is one of my favorites for lying down in Savasana and letting go into the fullness of our being.

open heart flower

School Prayer

This poem by Diane Ackerman really touched me deeply. Thank you Radiating Blossom for sharing it today 💕

Radiating Blossom ~ Flowers & Words

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.

~~ Diane Ackerman ~~

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heart-meditation-light-surreal-main

* Music Inspiration – Luminous

Realize deeply that this moment is as it is

That you are not fragmented from the universe

You are the universe

Just relax

You are complete

Just rest in the warmth of your awareness

* Music Inspiration – Forgiving

Parijat is known for beautiful relaxation and Reiki music. This is one of my favorites.

Let this piece hold you gently.

Let it soothe the inner tension.

May it allow you to release.

… And let go whatever it is that no longer serves you.

Namaste

* Inspiration – Join the Dance

change

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

– Alan Watts

I love this message … especially as we move into a new era that is sure to bring about many changes here in the US.

What we resist only persists… and adds to our own inner struggle.

Stop resisting, and start to accept that we are in for …  Something that is yet to unfold.

When the seeds of change open, there must be growth.

So let’s embrace it, join in it and dance with it.

Each of us is a part of a future that has not been written.

Something much bigger than ourselves is at work here… and we are a part of it, whether we like it or not.

Don’t be a wallflower.

Join the dance.