There Are No Perfect Human Beings and We Can all be Assholes

“There are no perfect human beings! Persons can be found who are good, very good indeed, in fact, great.

There do in fact exist creators, seers, sages, saints, shakers, and movers…even if they are uncommon and do not come by the dozen.

And yet these very same people can at times be boring, irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, or depressed.

To avoid disillusionment with human nature, we must first give up our illusions about it.”

Abraham Maslow from Motivation and Personality

This reminds me of fellow blogger Ann Koplow’s Asshole song from her debut Fringe show in Edinburgh.

We can all be assholes!

So what?…

So expect others to have their good days and bad days.

So give yourself a break when you are not feeling on top of the world all the time, or if you know you have been an asshole.

So let go of the illusion – the beliefs about how you “should” be, and how others “should” be.

Accept that life is a series of highs and lows.

And most importantly – be kind towards the parts of you that are in the dark.

Embracing Shadow Self by Rita Loyd

Embracing Shadow Self by Rita Loyd

Hugs to all parts of you.

The asshole in me greets the asshole in you.

Common Humanity

common humanity

“Do you suffer sometimes, want to be happy, but don’t always know how to make that happen?

Congratulations! You’ve just discovered you have something in common with every other person across the world and across history.” *

And with this realization we know we are not alone. We are all human beings, experiencing what we experience.

It’s when we believe that we shouldn’t be feeling like this, or that there is something wrong with us, that we create more suffering for ourselves.

When we are feeling down or down right miserable we tend to think that we are the only one feeling this way. We become very self absorbed. We project our misery on to the world around us and think that everyone else seems to be so happy, and have their act together. We ask ourselves “Why are we the only one feeling alone and miserable”.

Don’t believe this inner critic. Your thoughts are not the truth.

It’s human nature to go through highs and lows in our lives.

Knowing that you are not alone, and that everything changes, can help you move through this… and find compassion for yourself and others along the way.

Give yourself a hug or go hug someone right now.

Feel the love.

💛🙏💛

 

*Abblett, Mitch. The Self-Compassion Deck: 50 Mindfulness-Based Practices (Kindle Locations 1151-1175). PESI Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Bring it Home

hands on heart

Put your hands on your heart and say to yourself,

“May you be happy.

May you be healthy.

May you be safe.

May you be loved.”

…. Repeat four times.*

 

So often we give to others and tend to them, and also dismiss kindness towards ourselves.

Its time to build your capacity to bring kindness home.

In times of turmoil and chaos, this is the least that we can do to stay grounded and remind ourselves  that we are all vulnerable feeling human beings who all want to be happy, to be healthy, to feel safe and to be loved.

Its time to share some love with yourself.

Namaste

 

*Abblett, Mitch. The Self-Compassion Deck: 50 Mindfulness-Based Practices (Kindle Locations 1097-1111). PESI Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Be Gentle with Yourself

For today and every day.

“Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You may not be perfect, but you are all you’ve got to work with. The process of becoming who you will be, begins first with the total acceptance of who you are.”

~ Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Legs up the wall

It only takes ten minutes to feel nurtured and connected to your self. Try lying with legs up the wall, placing one hand on your belly, and the other on your heart center.

Stay here for a while. Let the breath be slow and nourishing. Allow the body, breath and gravity to bring the mind towards peace and acceptance.

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

Accepting Who You Are

opening heart

I love this exercise from Steve Flowers and Bob Stahl in “Living with Your Heart Wide Open”. This is a book I’d also recommend for those of you who would like to cultivate more mindfulness and compassion in your lives, while freeing yourselves from unworthiness, inadequacy and shame.

“Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You may not be perfect, but you are all you’ve got to work with. The process of becoming who you will be begins first with the total acceptance of who you are.”

~ Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Self Compassion Exercise:

If you met with a friend and she confided in you that she felt completely worthless and ashamed, how would you try to comfort her? What would you tell her to so the her troubled heart? In what other ways would you express your loving kindness and compassion?

Take a few minutes to reflect on this and journal about what you would say.

Now consider some ways you too have felt sad and unhappy, and offer words of compassion that are similar to what you would share with a friend.

Notice what happens in your body and mind as your offer this kindness to yourself. Pay attention to what comes up for you physically, mentally, emotionally. Turn towards your own aching heart and perhaps place your hand on your chest, and then acknowledge to yourself “I care for this suffering.” Feel deeply into this and inquire into the attitude you would have towards your friend or loved one….

Breathe into the tight places in your body, inviting a little more tension to release with each exhalation. Be tender and caring, even toward whatever comments arise from your internal critic…. From time to time, repeat to yourself “I care for this suffering.”

Let your heart widen like a ripe pomegranate widens – so filled with caring and compassion it actually bursts out of its shell.

 

For Teachers, Mentors, Parents and Guides

friends

Last week before class one of my students said how much she  enjoyed my  blog – not just for the guidance, but to show her that I wasn’t perfect. We laughed 😊

Then she asked “So I have my Val, who is your Val to support you?”

Thank you R for caring. It made me realize how important it is for all of us to have compassionate support. It could be a sibling, a teacher, a best friend or a spouse, or perhaps a special pet. Someone who doesn’t judge us, but holds space for us in that moment.

Take a moment and consider: Who do you have to support you in finding your Middle Ground?

Namaste