In the Hands of Man

Photo by Gantas Vaiu010diulu0117nas on Pexels.com

“He who creates a poison, also has the cure.
He who creates a virus, also has the antidote.
He who creates chaos, also has the ability to create peace.
He who sparks hate, also has the ability to transform it to love.
He who creates misery, also has the ability to destroy it with kindness.
He who creates sadness, also has the ability to to covert it to happiness.
He who creates darkness, can also be awakened to produce illumination.
He who spreads fear, can also be shaken to spread comfort.
Any problems created by the left hand of man,
Can also be solved with the right,
For he who manifests anything,
Also has the ability to
Destroy it.” 

― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Once the horror and grieving is over, let’s get to work with our right hands to bring balance and peace.

Namaste

Inspiration for the Lows of Life

Paper Mill waterfallThis is a re-post for those of you who may be facing challenges right now.

From my heart to yours. 💕

oo0O0oo

I walked two of the dogs this morning along our road and stopped a while at the little waterfall on Paper Mill. You can see how the sunlight captures the moving water and the dappling of the shadows. The noises were of rushing water and birdsong, and a distant lawn mower. No fragrance from the day lilies here, but the air was clean and fresh before the heat of the day.

I felt such gratitude for being here in this moment.

“Life is a series of highs and lows. Be grateful for the highs. Be graceful in the lows. Enjoy life fully and find contentment in your Middle Ground”

My thoughts have been turning to the human condition and humanity. Someone asked me the other day what I got most from my trip to the Gambia (a few years back). It was so clear to me. I got in touch with what we have in common as human beings. Our humanity and also the human condition.

As human beings we are all capable of love, compassion, nurturing and kindness. We are not alone in this.

As human beings we all have the same challenges, needs, struggles and doubts. We are not alone in this.

In the highs of life embrace your humanity

In the lows of life acknowledge your human condition

Know it will pass

… and that you are not alone.

Namaste

* Become Aware of Silence

lotus

“When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning.”

Eckhart Tolle

What a great reminder that we can be more than beings of habit and conditioning. Becoming the witness to this inner still alertness, opens a door within each of us. The door that leads to freedom and peace.

That is how yoga and meditation enriches my life. I have just returned from a YTT 500 hour teacher training module about Yoga and Transformation at Kripalu.

I see clearly that it takes dedication and a willingness to put in effort, to get to this place of inner freedom and peace.

Being disciplined was never a strength of mine – I rebelled against being told what to do, even by myself! Until I realized that discipline comes from the word disciple meaning follower.

What do I choose to follow? Can I continue to do this? This becomes a much more loving approach…. and one that I continue to take.

Beating myself up for being weak or not being good enough will never make it happen.

Reading about it and expecting it to magically happen will never be enough either.

The answer lies in each of our own experience, and tuning into to this still alertness within us. This is the spark that is alive in us. In each moment.

When we find ourselves off the path, remember that the inner stillness and alertness is just a breath away.

Why not take this moment and let yourself come to this place right now….

Namaste

* Ego 101

People around me are starting to ask questions about ego, what it means and how it has an impact on our spiritual journey. I was inspired to go ahead and publish my own insights , following  Trini’s post this morning asking What is Ego?. Lets get the conversation going on this big and edgy topic.

EGO

Here goes:
The term “ego” can be confusing as it has come to have different meanings. In every day conversations it is often associated with people who have grandiose ideas. When we see someone “getting too big for his boots” we tend to think that this is what ego is about. Our ego is far more than this and is very complex.
Its no wonder it can be hard to “get” it.

First of all, we all have one. The ego is our thinking mind and beliefs, as well as our image of ourselves. Ego can sometimes be referred to as “self hood” or “persona”. If you find you have a negative reaction to the word “ego” itself, then choose an other one.

These musings are from an non expert perspective, and come from my personal experience and readings from psychology, yoga and spirituality.

I call it Ego 101 and not Ego Ph.D so please take in the spirit it is intended – to enlighten and uphold the journey that we are all on to awaken to and connect to something more than our individual self.

newborn baby

When we are born, we don’t have any knowledge or consciousness of our own self as an individual human being.  We are innocent and completely vulnerable in this world.

As babies we become aware of  ourselves as a reflection of our interactions with our mother and then others. Our ego identity is born. But this identity is a reflected one. It is not our real being. We do not yet know who we truly are; we know what others think about us.

baby in mirror

As we interact more in the world, we form our beliefs and thinking about ourselves, others and the world around us. We must have this to survive. At its core is an intelligence that responds to external circumstances. We learn what hurts and what feels good, and we adapt our behavior to fit in to the world around us.

As we grow up, the more interactions and reflections we experience, the more complex our ego becomes…. and the more we believe it to be the truth about who we are.

Our ego is an accumulated phenomenon, a by-product of living with others. As human beings we have to have an ego to survive in the world. Our ego is not our enemy, its keeps us alive.

Awakening

“Awakening” or “self realization” is when we wake up to a  sense that there is something more than our individual self. That we are all somehow connected and that we are part of an expanding consciousness, spirit or universal presence.

This is when many of us find ourselves drawn to spirituality and become seekers of the truth beyond our ego and separate self. We want to connect to the essence of who we are and embrace a new way of being in the world. This way is one of interconnectivity, compassion and loving kindness. 

I believe that we have to have a strong ego in order to get to know  the truth. We cannot know the higher Self without embracing this functional part of our mind or smaller self.

First we have to know that which is not true. We have to see the untrue nature of our ego. Some refer to it as our false self vs. our true self. At this stage we are likely to reject this ego part of ourselves and judge it as “bad”. However, it is our own thinking that is creating judgments. Our ego isn’t good or bad, it just IS.

woman looking sat self

When we are ready we begin to explore this ego part of ourselves. What do I believe is “me”?  What is “mine”? What are my needs? What image of myself do I cling to? What aspects of my self do I reject? “Who am I really”?

We can only grow beyond our ego when we accept it and love it for what it is, rather than reject it and try to overcome it and push it away. As Trini says, imagine your soul is the parent and the ego, its child.

The more we judge our ego and reject it, the more it is threatened … the more we persist in not recognizing it, the more it resists. And we create an inner battle of our own making. When we try to deny it, it will raise itself to be seen in a new way…. And it may take us a while to realize that what we thought was the Truth is actually an other image of ourselves and set of beliefs that our brilliant ego has created for our survival.

The journey is from one of “being separate” to one of “interconnectivity”.

From one of  “me” to one of “we”.

From one of “small self” to one of ” higher Self”.

From one of “judgment” to one of “acceptance”.

From one of “thinking” to one of “knowing”.

From one of “fear” to one of “love”.

I have more to share about ego and its part in our spiritual journey. Looking forward to having conversations here and over the blogosphere. 🙂

Namaste

 

* Water Those Roots

Here we go … with more gardening metaphors for life. Lets face it,  you can’t keep a grateful gardener down 🙂

water those rootsAs I watered my pots yesterday I realized that we take the blooms for granted and sometimes forget that its important to pay attention and water those roots. Plants need their roots watered so they can be their best. The strongest trees and the best flowers come from the strongest roots.

Just like our plants, we have needs that have to to be taken care of first if we are to grow strong and be our best selves.
Once our basic survival needs* are met, we have higher needs that are important for us to grow into being our best. These needs can take the shape of feeling loved in our closest relationships. Being counted on by our dearest ones. Being respected by colleagues. Being recognized at work. Being encouraged by friends. Belonging to a great community.  Being free to make our own choices. Making time for rest and relaxation. Being able to express our thoughts and share our talents.

We rarely stop and look at our needs. There is a bit of a stigma there. After all … we don’t want to be seen as needy … right?

We may also judge others who are needy. Which often reflects on how out of touch we are with our own needs….

It can be a touchy subject, as acknowledging our needs makes us feel vulnerable.

Human needsBut needs are at our very roots. From the basic needs to survive with food and water, to feeling loved, to expressing our authentic voice in the world. We all have needs. They are part of being human.
We need these roots watered in order to grow and bloom fully. When those roots aren’t being watered, we become driven by the needs that aren’t being met. Just like plants, we can become weak and over extended…. or invasive into others’ space to take what we need from them.

Needs are part of a human condition. When we get them met, we can embrace our humanity and be fully authentic in the world. We can relax and get on with living fully 🙂

So take a moment here and consider how you can water those roots of yours.

I’ll be exploring more about our needs and getting them met in future posts.

 

* Survival needs include air, water, food, shelter, sleep and security.

Inspiration From a Little Waterfall

Paper Mill waterfallI walked two of the dogs this morning along our road and stopped a while at the little waterfall on Paper Mill. You can see how the sunlight captures the moving water and the dappling of the shadows. The noises were of rushing water and birdsong, and a distant lawn mower. No fragrance from the day lilies here, but the air was clean and fresh before the heat of the day.

I felt such gratitude for being here in this moment.

“Life is a series of highs and lows. Be grateful for the highs. Be graceful in the lows. Enjoy life fully and find contentment in your Middle Ground”

My thoughts have been turning to the human condition and humanity. Someone asked me the other day what I got most from my trip to the Gambia (a few years back). It was so clear to me. I got in touch with what we have in common as human beings. Our humanity and also the human condition.

As human beings we are all capable of love, compassion, nurturing and kindness. We are not alone in this.

As human beings we all have the same challenges, needs, struggles and doubts. We are not alone in this.

In the highs of life embrace your humanity

In the lows of life acknowledge your human condition

Know it will pass

… and that you are not alone.

Namaste