Haiku – Heart Awareness

architecture door entrance exit

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

~
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.

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

 

 

In Time of Anger or Despair

angry sea

Angry Sea – Source: Dreamstime © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

“In a time of anger or despair, even if we feel overwhelmed, our love is still there.
Our capacity to communicate, to forgive, to be compassionate is still there.
You have to believe this.
We are more than our anger, we are more than our suffering.
We must recognize that we do have within us the capacity to love, to understand, to be compassionate, always.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Come back to the love that is there, and let go of the anger eating at your heart.

Step away, breathe deeply and find your center, and its deeper knowing.

Distressing emotions are a part of life.

They pass when we stop holding on to them in our thoughts.

Learning how to handle them takes patience, insight and compassion.

Understand that beyond fear and suffering is always love.

Namaste

Listen to the Message of Emotions

Wisdom from Tara Brach for these difficult times. May we listen to our hearts and to our children. 🙏

“I’ve had many waves of anger, fear, and aversion in reaction to the harm being perpetrated in our society. In my own practice, it helps to keep starting right where I am, not judging my own reactions, thinking “I shouldn’t feel this.” Rather than trying to let go of these feelings, I often reflect that “this belongs,” it’s the inner weather of the moment. Then I can feel the fear or aversion with acceptance and kindness.

This also allows me to listen to the message of the emotions. Reactions of horror and outrage can be healthy and intelligent. They alert us to the very real suffering around us and they help move us toward action. When we accept and mindfully open to these emotions, they unfold to reveal the deep caring that is underneath. But this doesn’t happen if our minds fixate on stories of bad other. If we are lost in our stories, we are lost in our own egoic reactivity. To listen to the emotions and respond from our most awake heart, we need to make the U-Turn, coming out of stories and back to our vulnerability and our tender heart….

It’s essential to respond actively whenever possible and to stay in good touch with others who care. Our shared caring is what keeps hope alive in difficult times—it’s the strongest medicine. Here’s a quote from contemporary Bodhisattva, Fred Rogers:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.

We are not alone. People all over the globe share the same longing for a more loving, just, and peaceful world. People everywhere are opening to the sense of our true belonging with each other and all of life.

May the suffering of our times awaken our deepest understanding and compassion;
and may we respond in a way that serves healing and freedom…​”

~ Tara Brach

Depth of Feeling

Image from Google

“We are so unused to emotion

that we mistake any depth of feeling for sadness,

any sense of the unknown for fear,

and any sense of peace, for boredom.

We are so schooled away from the life below, that anything beneath scares us.”

~ Mark Nepo from “The Book of Awakening”

It’s a scary place to start to look at ourselves beneath the surface. To face who we are when no one is looking.

We are afraid of what we might find and the depth of our feeling. Yet this is the place where the heart can truly open to all the experiences and feelings that have been denied.

I like how Mark Nepo reflects,  “When we bring up what we keep inside, it is sacred and scary, and the rest of us don’t know if we want to touch it or not, like reaching from a ladder into a nest of baby birds….But I invite you to anyway… For each of us is a fledgling that eventually, if fed, will fly.”

May we find the courage to reach for the sacred place with kindness and a gentle touch.

Nurture your precious baby birds. Let them grow strong and fly.

 

* Inspiration – Like a Giant Tree

giant tree

Photo from teratrees.com

“Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow

come and go like the wind.

To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.”

~ The Buddha

Let the winds of change move through your branches.

After all, that is what this season is about.

Namaste

* First Step to Forgiveness

So many of life’s experiences challenge us and give us the opportunity to learn and grow – especially in relationship to others and getting to know our authentic selves. As we grow in awareness, we take responsibility for all our experiences and our feelings. With patience and practice we stop blaming others and learn to look inside ourselves instead, with curiosity and compassion.

power struggle

This is the first step in being able to forgive. In order to truly forgive an other we must  take responsibility for our own feelings. We have to own how we feel and acknowledge all that is going on inside of us.

Although someone else has said or done something that distresses us, these are our feelings.

The action of the other has triggered a tender vulnerable part of us. When we become reactive and defensive, we lose touch with the real issue (what we are feeling) and it becomes all about them.

This triggered reaction is part of our survival mechanism. Yet it is our ego and smaller self that defends and holds on to resentment. Our heart and higher Self only wants to love.

We can’t make anyone else change, but we can change ourselves. We do that by acknowledging what is happening, shifting our thinking… and letting go of the need to be right.

Owning our feelings is one of the most important steps in growing from an adult into a loving mature human being.

The next time you feel resentment towards someone else, bring your attention inwards instead. Ask yourself:

“Do I really want to feel this way?”

“What is really happening here?”

“How have I contributed to this?”

“What is my heart telling me?”

“What do I need to let go of?”

… “Am I ready to forgive?”

Namaste