Val’s Word for 2020

two birds in a tree

I wasn’t planning on choosing a word for this year, but one has been showing up in my thoughts and dreams. As always, it is what is behind and beyond the word itself that makes it impactful – how we bring the word into our lives.

Let me explain a little more.

In December I was at Kripalu for a training and retreat. It was a wonderful educational and enlightening experience taught by Yoganand Michael Carroll. We stepped lightly into the history of yoga and then took a deep dive into yoga philosophy and renunciate nivritti practices.

Throughout this intensive and powerful experience I felt a reassuring and familiar presence. I have noticed this awareness growing over the past few years, and have come to call it the Witness or Presence.

I shared the Vedic parable of the two birds in an earlier post, which describes how there are essentially two parts of ourselves. There is the doer, the part that is active in the world and has a sense of my family, my work, my children and so on. This is also called the I-maker or ego. The other part is a conscious witness within us, at a deeper level.

I believe that we can touch this deeper part of ourselves when we are still and turn our attention inwards. When we Find our Middle Ground.

Now I see that being still is a way to get to know it, but we can experience this deeper level of being in the world and can bring it into our every day.

When you have integrated the witness into your being, there is no need to wait to go to yoga or to sit and meditate. It is always present, and is always there to give you wisdom and guidance. This is the knowing, higher part of yourself who sees through the stories and the everyday actions and distractions of the doer.

This higher discriminating intellect, in the Samkhya tradition (before the time of Buddha), is called Buddhi.*

Whenever we notice the doer getting caught up in reacting to the world and being distracted by senses, desires and fears, we can call on Buddhi.

Buddhi doesn’t judge and make us wrong, it simply guides us into a higher state of being and brings clarity and balance. It brings us closer to the state of consciousness or divine.

So, how does this affect us?

As humans we are all doers. And as doers we have to protect our things and our selves, we need to feel safe and we have minds that make up stories to make sense of what happens to us and to make things right. We have our senses and feelings that constantly pull at us.

donuts and bagel display

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Pexels.com

So….. As I think about what to choose for dessert, or begin to open a new bag of cookies, or sit back on the sofa with a glass of wine and turn on the tv, I will ask: What would Buddhi do? 

As I find myself avoiding taking the next step towards something important and making up stories about why I can’t do that right now, I will ask: What is Buddhi’s insight here?

When I notice that I feel anxious and fearful about the unknown future or am drawn into regrets of the past, I will ask: What would Buddhi tell me?

When I notice myself judging others and being critical, I will say: I need you now Buddhi!



* Buddhi Definition from Yogapedia:

Buddhi is a Sanskrit term derived from the root, budh, which means “to know” or “to be awake.” Therefore, buddhi refers to intellect, wisdom and the power of the mind to understand, analyze, discriminate and decide.

 

 

 

Haiku – distractions

distractions

Photo credit: Dreamstime

~
Distractions abound
Pulling you here, there, and back
Find your Middle Ground
~

No matter what comes up that distracts you from your path, know that when the time is right, you will feel drawn to come back.

Second or third time around, it may look a little different, and that’s okay. Don’t dwell on how things were, or how you should be.

Pause, find your Middle Ground and embrace where you are now.

Put the phone down.

(Seriously)

Let the next step open up from within.

 

 

 

The Body’s Truth

back view beach clouds dawn

Photo by Riccardo Bresciani on Pexels.com

In the final analysis, we can control only ourselves. But we are often dismayed at our inability to master even this. What prevents us?

When we feel out of control, it is usually because there is a conflict between what we think and what we feel. Our feelings may scream one thing while our minds demand something else. But our bodies, which are the storage units for our feelings, simply cannot lie.

Whatever we feel in our bodies is our truth.

~ Judith Lasater

Take time to tune in to your body today. Listen to its message without judging it or medicating away any feeling of discomfort.

Be compassionate as you discover your truth.

Namaste

If we Believe in the Unity of us All

unity

Photo by Matheus Bertelli on pexels.com

If we believe in the unity of us all
Then we must let go of judging an other.
Judgment keeps us separate
And grows thorns around our hearts.
As long as we judge, we will suffer.
We are no longer living in connection
With ourselves or others.
Pause and listen to what wants to be known
Let go of spiraling thoughts.
Feel what needs to be felt.
We must touch the love within
And open our hearts to all.
This is the path to contentment.
Namaste

Action or Motion?

man wearing blue suit on beige ground near building

“To the disciples who were always asking for words of wisdom the Master said, ‘Wisdom is not expressed in words. It reveals itself in action.’

But when he saw them plunge headlong into activity, he laughed aloud and said, “That isn’t action. That’s motion.”

~ Anthony De Mello

 

I love this definition, and the laughter in this story.

Are you keeping busy, always moving from one activity to another? Or are you taking action?

Action is acting with intention. It means having an outcome in mind, purpose or sense of meaning.

When you apply the wisdom of your words and bring them into your daily activities, you are being true to your self.

When you are authentic in this way, you share your wisdom with the world.

Let us all be more mindful in our actions today.

Namaste

Today’s Experiment – Wonder

This is a re-post and reminder to bring wonder into your day today 💛

Thoughts and beliefs create how we see the world around us

This is our reality

Our thinking is not the truth

The truth is beyond our thoughts and beliefs

Trust that there is so much more than what is already known

Take time to come into the present moment

wonder

And see your world through the lens of wonder

Notice with an open heart and mind

Let go of your thinking

And let in whatever shows up that was once hidden

Namaste

Haiku – still hibernating

 

hibernating
Still hibernating.
There is nothing wrong.
Winter’s Middle Ground
~

A lot of people are in a bit of a funk right now. The cold and flu viruses have been challenging this winter. Perhaps you also  feel the lack of energy, motivation or inspiration …

Remember that we are connected to Nature and its seasons.

There is nothing wrong.

Here in the North, this is a time for nourishing and replenishing before the seeds of Spring start to sprout and inspire us to new growth.

So embrace this time by taking time for yourself and allowing yourself to simply be.

Step back and listen to your deeper wisdom in preparation for new growth that will naturally come.