How Do you Feel About This?

I was raised in a family where this question was rarely asked. There was a guiding principle of conformity and an expectation to fit in with what those in charge wanted.

Denying our feelings becomes a part of being a child of a narcissistic parent or partner.

I grew up putting aside how I honestly felt, and instead, attuned to the needs of others. I became very good at sensing the emotions of others, and how to please them. I did it with my parents and then with my first husband.

I found myself in a career that my father would be proud of, that left me feeling empty and confused.

Along the way I lost touch with how I felt.

This was not the road to happiness, but I told myself that lifestyle was the most important thing.

It took me over 40 years to wake up to what happiness is, and to let myself feel the feelings that had been suppressed for so long.

For those of you in your twenties and thirties who can relate to this, please don’t waste the next twenty years of your lives.

I believe that we all deserve to honor our feelings… the good, the bad and the ugly. To honor them and then take responsibility for them. Even if it is goes against the grain or what others expect.

Those feelings are trying to tell you that something needs attention and understanding.

We all need to be true to ourselves, to honor how we feel, and own our feelings.

This is being real and authentic in the world. Only from here, can we take the right step forward and find happiness.

 

 

Inspiration – What Comes and Goes

scenic view of mountains during dawn

Photo by Stephan Seeber on Pexels.com

Whatever comes, do not push away; whatever goes, do not grieve. Everything appears just like clouds floating by; they just come and go. Stay only as the unmoving awareness. Awareness and Truth are one.*

~Mooji

 

Clouds are a wonderful metaphor for the comings and going of nature and life itself.

Next time you look up, remind yourself that you are the witness to what comes and goes. Don’t get attached to your thinking about things that have happened in the past, or might happen in the future. Stay in the unmoving awareness.

Truth is in our awareness, not our thinking.

 

 

*Mooji. White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 249-251). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.

Haiku – Heart Awareness

architecture door entrance exit

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~
Open heart expands
Closed heart contracts and defends
Awareness brings flow
~

When something is bothering me, one of the most useful questions I ask myself is “Is my heart open or closed?”

And in that moment of recognition, it hears and something is released.

It begins to open with love and understanding.

Everything comes and goes.

We get stuck when we get attached to our thinking.

Awareness opens the heart and brings flow.

Boomerang Thoughts

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The other day, I came across the expression “boomerang thoughts”. It made me pause and wonder…

So often we forget the power of thought and we say something unthinkingly or think an unloving, critical thought about someone or something. Then we wonder what is wrong with us, why we are unhappy, or why life is so difficult.

What if it was our own negative thoughts boomeranging back to us?

Try to remember that – as you think so you are.

Start right now by looking for the very best in every situation. Don’t let yourself dwell on the negative.

Rise above it.

Become all you can be.

What Makes Someone “Difficult”?

highly sensitive person

source: Pinterest

“What makes someone difficult?   Essentially, it’s their energy. We don’t have to be students of quantum field theory or Buddhist metaphysics to sense how much the energies around us affect our moods and feelings.  What makes someone tough for you to take? Basically, it has to do with how your energies interact with theirs.

Every one of us is at our core an energetic bundle. What we call our personality is actually made up of many layers of energy — soft, tender, vulnerable energies as well as powerful, controlling or prickly energies. We have our wild and gnarly energies, our kindly energies, our free energies and our constricted, contracted ones.

These energies, expressing themselves through our bodies, thoughts, and emotions, and minds, manifest as our specific personality signature at any given moment. What we see on the surface, in someone’s body language and facial expressions, is the sum of the energies that are operating in them. As we speak, its the energy behind our words that most deeply impacts others.

The beginning of change, then, is learning how to recognize and modulate our own energy patterns. The more awareness we have — that is, the more we are able to stand aside and witness our personal energies of thought and feeling and (rather than identifying with them) the easier it is to work with our own energies. This takes practice. Most people don’t start out with a highly developed awareness of their own energy or the way it impacts others — and even fewer of us know how to change the way our energies work together.”

~ Sally Kempton

This except from an article by Sally Kempton at Awkin.org caught my attention. There is wisdom here, and an opportunity to expand our insight into our energies and how they impact us and those around us.

Its easy to sense a “difficult” person, but do you have insight into how we may be “difficult” too? 

And when you realize your energy is impacting others negatively, are you able to modulate your own energy patterns?

I pondered these questions for myself, and came up with a resounding “I’m not sure”.

There is an old saying “It takes one to know one”. We see in others what we like and what we don’t like in ourselves. That difficult person’s energy is connecting with the same energy within ourselves.

Negative interactions become an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, and also to modify our own energy patterns.

Modifying our energy patterns is something that most of us have already experienced as we go through life.

Think of when you are feeling stressed out. What is the best way for you to let it go and feel better? It can be going for a run or a walk in nature, rolling out your yoga mat, reading a book, painting, playing an instrument, journaling, blogging or simply opening the Reader on WordPress.

These practices help the negative energy transform into something positive, so that it moves through you.

Awareness is the first step. Noticing how we are reacting to someone else’s energy, and how it is sparking the same energy within us.
Rather than reacting to what’s “wrong” with them, step back and consider what they may have touched within you. This can give you valuable insight into how you may be also be difficult to others.

 

 

Haiku – rainy days

© creativecommonsstockphotos ID 82979524 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

~
Rainy summer days
Can’t dampen the joy within 
Find Your Middle Ground
~

Find your Middle Ground is about finding balance in life and coming home to our selves.  When we take time to pause and be mindful we open a door to our natural state of being  – accepting, loving, peaceful, kind and happy. It is there for every one of us.

No matter what the external circumstances we find ourselves in … or the challenges we face… or the weather(!), we can slow down and find the joy within.

Namaste

 

 

Can you Recognize When Life Gets Out of Balance?

centering

This is a reblog of an earlier post about finding balance. My week has also been off balance. I have a Yoga Teacher Mentor workshop tomorrow on Low Back Issues, and I found myself researching so much I lost the overall intention of what I wanted to share with others, and I became overwhelmed. The analytical brain hijacked my heart… and I became disconnected from others around me.

Despite yoga I lost my middle ground this week.

So what was missing?

I stopped and took a breath, and then launched right back into exactly what I had been doing before. There was not enough time to pause fully and observe or to reflect on what was happening.

It was more like a break in a never ending marathon of getting things done. This is not enough to nourish mind, body and spirit or find real balance.

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When you have found your middle ground, life is in balance. There is no overwhelm or anxiety, no fear or regrets.  You are in the present moment and content. 

Knowing that this place is available to us is reassuring … but our minds have “minds of their own” and still prefer to go into their own tailspin of thoughts about the past or worry about the future. Worried man

How do we recognize when our emotions start to sabotage us or our overactive thinking takes over from reality?

By regularly checking in with ourselves.

We may do it formally in yoga or in meditation, but a really helpful informal daily practice is to to do mindful check-ins with yourself.

These are referred to, using the STOP acronym.

S = Stop for a moment

T = Take  a breath

… And then a few more until you feel the mind start to settle and you land in your body once more. Perhaps bring hand to your belly and tune in to the sensation of breath, and the feeling of connection.

O = Observe…

… Ask “What am I aware of right now? In my body, my mind, my heart? … Can I be with it – without judgment? This practice is STOP not STJP!

Take time to reflect and perhaps journal about what brought you to this place. Be an observer of yourself from a caring place. Perhaps imagine what a loving friend or grandmother would see in the situation, and what she might say to you.

P = Proceed…

… After acknowledging thought, sensations and emotions, accept them for what there are right now. Allow them to move wherever they need to go.

As a practice it helps us understand that whatever arises, it does indeed pass. We don’t need to react to it. We don’t need to overcome it or run away from it. By recognizing it, it will lose its power. No matter how difficult or intense the experience can be, we are able to find our way to living it  with more balance and peace.

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Ask yourself now. “Am I really stopping and finding balance or I am just taking a break in a marathon of getting things done?”

Namaste