Inspiration – Birthright

(C) Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

Despite illness of body or mind,
in spite of blinding despair or
habitual belief, who you are
is whole. Let nothing keep you
separate from the truth. The soul,
illumined from within, longs to
be known for what it is. Undying,
untouched by fire or the storms of
life, there is a place inside where
stillness and abiding peace reside.
You can ride the breath to go there.
Despite doubt or hopeless turns of
mind, you are not broken. Spirit
surrounds, embraces, fills you from
the inside out. Release everything
that isn’t your true nature. What’s
left, the fullness, light and shadow,
claim all that as your birthright.

~ Danna Faulds

We realize we are whole when we can touch the deep stillness and space within us. There is love here waiting to be known.

Bringing awareness to our breath, and using it as a tool to calm the mind can bring release and healing. It brings us into the present moment so we can touch this space.

I call it our Middle Ground.

It is there for each and every one of us.

Namaste

* Awakening to What?

Most of us who see ourselves on a journey of evolution or spirituality, have a sense of awakening. But an awakening to what? I wonder if we all awaken to the same thing, or if we awaken to whatever we are ready to awaken to…

Whatever it is, when we find it we think “This is it!” But it is really so? Is it the final piece of the puzzle or just an other piece along the way that finds its rightful place?

pieces of the puzzle

As I reflect on my life there have been moments of awakening, when it seemed like my inner world and outer world launched into a new way of being. Yet, on reflection it is now clear that these have just been pieces of the puzzle.

As these pieces connected to each other, yet they revealed only a part of a great unknown picture.

Here are my reflections on my journey towards the unknown and the awakenings along the way.

Life Awakenings

I can only imagine what it must have felt like when I first discovered I was no longer merged with my mother. This experience is beyond my thinking mind. But I can imagine how traumatic and profound it must have been becoming separate and in all that bright light!

The next awakening was when I learned who I was in relation to other things and people. My ego developed as I grew into a separate human being with preferences and beliefs. I learned how to get what I wanted, how to be in relationship with others. I created beliefs about who I was as a girl child, daughter, sister etc…

Not long after this revelation came the waking up to feeling hurt when I didn’t get what I wanted, or when I was not seen in a way that I wanted to be seen, or when I felt abandoned and unloved. I believed that there was something wrong, and it was me. I wasn’t good enough. So I would try to be good and perfect.

This part lasted for quite some time. I continued to learn who I was in this world from those around me, and in the roles I played. I was looking outward for validation and love.

Then as an adult I awakened to the part of me that wanted to express herself fully. To slough off the conditioning and expectations of others. I started to look inward so I could find the real “me”, not through anyone else’s eyes, but through my own… Awakening to myself as a strong individual who mattered… Stepping into my own shoes and expressing myself to the world.
From not being good enough, I realized I was precious, unique and strong. I could make things happen! I took on challenges and overcame my fears. It was a period of tremendous personal growth.

Around then I began training to became a life coach. For the past 15 years I have worked with people to discover who they are as unique human beings who can overcome challenges and be their very best in the world.

Yet, this was not the end. From this place of confidence and expansion, an other kind of awakening started to unfold. One where I started to question who “I” was.

spiritual being

At a time when I was disillusioned the competitive, self absorbed human beings around me, I fully embraced yoga and took my first yoga teacher training. Unlike a lot of yoga trainings nowadays, our practice was more than asanas and breath. We had time for self reflection, read yoga philosophy, and committed to following the eightfold path of Patanjali.

Through yoga I became aware that my personal “self” was made up of my thoughts and beliefs. The world around me mirrored my own perception of it.  I had been creating stories about who “I” (this “small self”) was. I had grown as a person, but had replaced stories of not being good enough, with new stories about all I could achieve and show the world.

A part of me still got caught in patterns of self-doubt, fear and worry. I also had moments of glory and immense satisfaction and had glimpses of the timeless beauty and mystery of being alive.

In yoga I felt drawn to the belief that we are all connected and share the same Source or Conscious Presence. When one says “namaste” in greeting and farewell, it means that one recognizes the light shining within each of us.  This inner light is our true spiritual Self.  We connect to something more that our human body and thinking mind. Whether we call it God, the Divine, Brahman, Source, Presence or the Universe. There is a part inside of all of us that is connected to an infinite beingness, that words can’t fully describe.

egg opening

Egg World by Bradley Blazed. http://www.deviantart.com

Then something happened. It was like the outer shell cracked and the gloriousness of what was within was revealed. From understanding in my mind, I experienced a overwhelming feeling of love and connection with my fellow human beings, animals and nature.  A deep sense of oneness that is profound, no matter what is happening in the life. It is hard to put into words, because it is beyond words.

If I were to try to use words, it was be something like a veil had been lifted to reveal what had always been there. It is something that once felt, can always be accessed.

The aum symbol of yoga symbolizes this seeing beyond the veil and embracing an unchanging reality of oneness with spirit or pure consciousness.

aum symbol with meaning

 

Finding Your Middle Ground

Finding your middle ground is the gateway to this awakening.  The starting point is when we take time to pause and become self aware. We begin, by simply learning to slow down and noticing what is going on inside: our thoughts, judgments, emotions, body sensations …

I like to think of it as the phase of personal expansion and growth. Its a place of new perspectives, letting go of the past, and understanding and accepting who we are as imperfect human beings. We discover new aspects of ourselves, our passions and what gives us meaning in life.

From here, can come new insights into who we are beyond our beliefs and thoughts. Beyond our own small separate self.

With more compassionate self awareness, meditation and mindful living, a new way of seeing ourselves and the world unfolds. We realize that we are not separate, but are connected to something so much bigger, and to each other. We realize that we are not the master of the universe, but are simply a part of it all.

There is no right or wrong, because we know that it’s our thoughts that make it so. Everything becomes as it is. We stop resisting life, and begin to let go into its own flow. We let go of ego and surrender to being small as we connect to the Source of being.

Wherever we are on life’s path, we can open ourselves to new insights and awaken to a new way of expanded being.

As human beings perhaps our purpose is to awaken to what we are ready for, and to be open to surrendering to the next unknown.

What a ride!

These words from Mooji reflect this so well:

“What is the ego-mind’s fear of awakening? It is: Who wants a relationship with Miss Nobody? Who will employ Mr No-Mind? What kind of future is there for one who is desireless?
But I am reminding you that all these are the ego’s taboos, imaginings and attempts to distract you from your ever-perfect nature.
In truth, your awakened life will be magnificent, harmonious, joyous and complete.
Follow your intuitive sense of the divine within. Welcome its presence and vibration. Like this, your insight opens to fully recognise the real as your own Self.
The awakened heart invites and allows the Supreme to shine its light upon this world.”*

 

*Mooji (2015-12-03). White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 232-238). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.

 

 

 

 

* Inspiration – Our True Nature

observing ourselves

“We can learn to transcend our ego, gradually, by placing ourselves more and more in the position of the transcendental Self, which knows no likes and dislikes but simply witnesses all experiences and states of existence. As our capacity for witnessing – mindfulness – increases, we automatically slip more and more into our true nature.”

Georg Feuerstein

When we have a mindfulness practice our ego begins to lose its power over us. We start to see ourselves as connected beings rather than separate.

What does this look like? We notice our self reflected in others. We have more compassion for our self as well as others. We become part of  humanity and beingness. We learn to let go of expectations of how things should be and trust in each moment as it unfolds.

The more we practice and connect to our higher Self, the more we let go of the past and our worries about the future.

There is no need to escape, because we are already home.

We learn to trust and live in place of love rather than fear.

This is our true nature.

Some sages say it takes years of practice with discipline and willpower, while other modern sages  say that we are able to open to it in the moment when we live from our true nature. Georg Feuerstein’s words capture both elements of the traditional long path and the modern short path on the spiritual journey.

* Inspiration – Gregory Colbert’s Feather to Fire

Moments that take your breath away … as you pause in awe … and feed your very being.

In exploring the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working towards rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people saw themselves as part of nature and not outside of it. The destiny of whales cannot be separated from the destiny of man, and the destiny of man cannot be separated from the destiny of all of nature. I am exploring new narratives that help build a bridge across the artificial boundaries we have established between ourselves and other species.
Gregory Colbert

Feather to Fire from Gregory Colbert on Vimeo.

* Return to Nature

These words are from a really inspiring post by Christopher over at Creative by Nature. I encourage you to go and explore over there.

love nature

“Like a drug addict, modern technologically developed cultures don’t seem to know what to do, how to break the spell of our habitual fears, aggression and ignorance, how to transform the destructive thinking and behavior of a species out of balance with Nature.

Meanwhile, all around (and within) us the Universe moves to a different paradigm, a more natural and balanced beat. Our physical bodies function as a harmonious whole, all the cells and systems working together as one, in synch with the surrounding world.

yin tang of natureWe breathe in oxygen given to us by the trees, drink water from lakes and springs, take in materials from plants that grow in the earth, their leaves gathering energy from our local star, the sun. Every moment of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not, we live in unity and interdependence with the creative wisdom of the natural world.”

Christopher Chase

So many of us have forgotten who we are and have lost our way. Yet we are still all connected and part of nature and the universe.

May we wake up and appreciate all that we have been given … before doing irreparable damage to ourselves and the world.

Namaste

* Haiku – dog love

sitting pretty dog

~

Dog sitting pretty

waiting for that special treat

Love is food is love

~

Contented puppy

every need is being met

apart from nature’s

~

The call of freedom

Comes alive in vibrant dreams

Nature is true love

~

dog running in nature

Today I’m sitting with the question… What can we learn from dogs about our true nature?

* Where the Light Enters

This is one of my favorite poems from Ihsan over at iiThinks. This is taken from his book “Finally Back Home”. I love how these words lead us gently to the priceless treasure that is buried deep within us all.

shining into the dark

Where The Light Enters

Nature is a sacred text
Pages with the deepest Truths
Beyond all the outward forms
Lies the secret place of wisdom

Valuable things are buried deep
The ocean’s pearls and mountain’s gems
If you wish for worthy objects
You must brave the depths of darkness

Here is where the lesson lies
It’s the same with you and I
We must feel the hurt and pain
Campaign in the aching grief

Beyond all the crippling fear
Beyond all the violent tears
Unveiled is the greatest treasure
Nothing but your holy heart

So meet the dark with a smile
It’s a gift that knows no price
Priceless is the path
And each step that leads you in

Jaffer, Irfaan Ihsan (2014-07-20). Finally Back Home (Kindle Locations 741-743). . Kindle Edition.

Ihsan, Thank you for sharing Rumi today and letting us know you are well.
We miss you and your soul inspiring words ❤