Call of Loneliness

woman in black cloak with fishing pole standing in beach

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These words made me pause and touched me deeply.

“Inside our loneliness is a longing to be released from the pain of separation and the confusion it entails. We’ve all been taught that there is something wrong or even dangerous about being lonely. But such an assumption is based on a misunderstanding of what loneliness is and how it relates to our life here.

Loneliness is a kind of wisdom, a recognition of something, an urge toward genuine transformation.

There is nothing to fear about loneliness. There’s no reason to run from it or to tighten down when it comes. If we allow ourselves the chance to attend to the loneliness, to be with it at a feeling level — physically — then the harsh overtones dissolve. What we called loneliness turns out to be something else entirely.

Each of us is longing for something. This longing runs deep. Sometimes it manifests as loneliness, sometimes as grief, anger, or something else. Whatever way it comes, we can be with it respectfully, openly, allowing it to exist. This so changes our relationship to it that we never need fear it or run from it again.

There are times when the body is calling for attentive care. There are times when the signal is there, but our response is self-hatred or dislike, and the body’s call gets ignored.
Loneliness is such a call. We need to turn to ourselves as a mother to a child and wait, without judgment.” *

Longing for something is not wrong.

Listen for its call.

We must tend to it with kindness and allow it show us the way.

Namaste

 

 

*The Prayer Of The Body

An Interview With Stephen R. Schwartz
by SY SAFRANSKY, editor and publisher of The Sun.

Ahimsa and Kindness

person holding clear and red floral ball

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Ahimsa or non violence is the foundation of all yoga philosophy. Most of us might think we are not violent people. We don’t go around bullying or hurting others or animals. We are loving and giving, and would never want to do any harm.

However, there are many ways that we unconsciously do “violence” on ourselves.

How often do you stay at your desk to get through your work without a break or refreshment? Are you pushing yourself to exhaustion?
Is your self talk kind and supportive, or do you judge yourself harshly and put yourself down?

To paraphrase Gandhi’s words “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Being forgiving and compassionate to yourself is the essential step to practicing ahimsa in the world.

This is fundamental for all of us on the path of yoga.
We must start with ourselves and allow the past damage of inner violence to heal.

Everything starts with our awareness of it.
Here are ways to bring about more awareness and change.

Decide to commit for one day to notice your internal conversations. Take time to journal and capture your thoughts.
At the end of the day. What did you notice? Is it time to change your conversation?
How can you start every thought with kindness?

An other practice is Loving Kindness Meditation. If your usual meditation is guided or based on mindfulness or mantra, commit to a loving kindness practice instead.Choose words that resonate with you.

May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you free of trouble and the causes of trouble
May you live your life with ease

metta-prayer

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