Self Questioning

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“To have the courage to

Question one’s certainties, is

True courage.”

~ The Lost Writings of Wu Hsin translated by Roy Melvyn

Sit with this a while and see what comes up for you…

Bringing our awareness to the beliefs that we hold, and usually take for granted, is the first step in our personal growth and spiritual self inquiry. When we look inwards and question our thinking and assumptions, it opens up new perspectives and gives us the opportunity to learn about what has been unknown…. or what may never be discoverable in this life.

This venture into the unknown is a courageous path because the ego-mind will be alert for any conflicting views or threats to its long held position. The ego holds on to those beliefs that have become our certainties about life. It can keep us rigid, stubborn, critical and damning, or simply safe and stuck.

The choice is ours. To embrace the new or hold on to our certainties.

To those on the path of Yoga teacher training, take courage as you embrace what is beyond belief.

Namaste

 

Breaking All the Rules

break free

There are moments when rules
are meant to be broken; when
bursting out of context is the
sole way to see with new eyes.
There are fences built only to
be torn down. The slats look
solid, but no one drove the nail
in tight. There are barricades
around the heart asking to be
breached. Sooner and later we
all run out of excuses for
staying small and safe.

~ Danna Faulds

May we all find the love and courage within us to break free!

Courage

Beautifully expressed thoughts on Thich Nhat Hahn’s words. Thank you Shobhna.

Shobhna Wadhwa

Hatred and fear blind us,

We no longer see each other,

We only see the faces of monsters and

that gives us the courage

to destroy each other

by Thich Nhat Hahn.

I read this recently and it explains so much of what is happening within relationships around the world. I have been concerned about the amount of hatred that is present in speeches given by leaders and the actions being taken against groups of people globally. Courage rooted in hatred and fear will eventually dissolve, but after having harmed people and the earth. We have seen this happen over and over again in our history. In destroying others we invariably destroy ourselves too.

Removing fear and hatred within our own minds takes courage. Because we are left feeling vulnerable without the protection of the monsters face to scare others with. As that monstrous face peels of, the authentic, genuine…

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* Greeting Card Words

have courage and be kind“We can talk about courage and love and compassion until we sound like a greeting card store, but unless we’re willing to have an honest conversation about what gets in the way of putting these into practice in our daily lives, we will never change.”

~ Bréne Brown

This made me pause. There are so many of us who can be stuck in the place of wishing the words to transform our lives.  Yet, greeting card words are not enough.

It made me think about what gets in the way of living from a place of compassion, or as Bréne Brown puts it, living “wholeheartedly”.

And what keeps coming to mind again and again is that we can only be courageous and kind when we become aware of our inner world of thoughts, beliefs and feelings, and accept ourselves fully.

When we accept all aspects of ourselves without judgment, then we are able to let go of what other people think. This takes courage.

It takes an inner resilience to look at the parts of ourselves that are hidden or that we may not like.

We have to be brave to look at the stories we have created for ourselves and see them for just that – stories.

It takes courage to let go of what we have always counted on to reinforce who we want to be; to become vulnerable to the truth instead of covering it up or denying it; to show our authentic face to the world.

Bréne Brown gets to the heart of the matter beautifully: “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

~ Bréne  Brown

This is dedicated to all of you who have found the courage to be authentic, express your real self, and connect to your inner being. You rock!!

* Be a Bold Writer

courageous writer

“If a writer is so cautious he never writes anything that cannot be criticized, he will never write anything that can be read. If  you want to help other people you have got to make up your mind to write things that some men will condemn.”

~ Thomas Merton

This is an alternative version of this morning’s post.

What’s the Difference Between Strength and Courage?

Courage comes from the French word “coeur” meaning heart. Being courageous means facing our fears and coming from our heart rather than our head. Its a place where we face our vulnerabilities and overcome them through compassion and love. As a child in Scotland I was told I had to be strong.

Scottish-LuckenboothThis isn’t just a family legacy, but a whole cultural one! We Scots are independent and strong. But we also have big hearts, often hidden behind the strong exterior. The Scottish Luckenbooth symbolizes our heart and our national pride…. But I’m getting sidetracked here!

Here is an inspirational poem about the difference between Strength and Courage to help you choose for yourself. If anyone knows the author, please let me know. Val x

The Difference Between Strength and Courage 

It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard,
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide your own pains,
It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.

~ David L. Griffith

Whenever you feel you have neither, may the heart of the universe hug you today with its warmth, and love.

And may the wind carry a voice that tells you there is a friend sitting in another corner of the world wishing you well!


			

* We Can’t Change Another Person But We Can …

Its one of the hardest lessons in the highs and lows of life. Accepting that others really are different and we can’t change them … no matter how much we want it!

mother daughter conflict

We can never make an other person change, no matter how hard we try. We can make requests. We can show them how we want them to be. We can manipulate them or even resort to nagging and bullying … but in the end it will always be up to them.  They have to be willing to change themselves.

As adult human beings we only have the ability to change ourselves.

We do have options however! That is what this post is about. You can apply this checklist at work, at home and in any situation where you are having difficulty with an other person.

Here are the 5 options I share with my clients and would now like to share with you.

Before you jump ahead, take a moment to think about a recent difficult interaction and how you wished that person would change in some way.

pause

Now consider these 5 approaches.

1. Can you make a request of them? Can you share with them the impact of their behavior and how you feel, then request a different behavior?

2. Can you change your own actions? How might you have contributed to this situation? What can you do differently?

3. Can you change your thinking and re-frame by seeing things from different perspectives? From their perspective? And as an observer?

4. Can you open our heart and find empathy for the other person as an imperfect human being? … just like you! Can you accept them for who they are, faults and all? This is the spiritual path of acceptance and compassion.

5. The final option is the remove yourself from their company. Step away and regroup. You can review these options and if it keeps coming to option 5, then consider making a break from this person.

So next time when you realize you are expecting someone else to change, instead of going over the same old frustrating negative thoughts and habitual responses, try a new mindful approach.

And keep practicing …

I certainly still am!

Hugs,

Val