Monday, June 21, 2010

Remembering Grace

First say to yourself what you would be: then do what you have to do. ~Epictetus

The truth is everything is here and now. The challenge is remembering how to overcome my fears and access grace or divine love in this moment. It comes down to self discipline to exercise a transformation heart/mind choice. This profound spiritual act comes down to applying not hiding from my greater self. So much of my life has been distracted by doubt, depression, despair and other self destructive mindsets. Much of my shadow side I can overcome by challenging me to cultivate an attitude based on exposing what is true. Either I can opt for more heavenly opportunities or reside in the hell of doing the same thing expecting different results. Being a creature of many unwholesome habits it is easy for me to become lost in the current societal drama. Getting out of my head and focusing on my heart/spirit connection is my salvation or what I call grace.

All my conscious life I have struggled to find my way in this world. Lost or asleep to life to being fully in contact with the pulsation of daily life; it’s very trials and tribulations I flee from. I believe I am not alone. Western civilization is at a crossroads where today’s outer conflicts can be traced to inner demons.

One of most amazing insights is how can I love all of life so intensely while not fully embracing parts of my own self? Cultivating self love that is reverent for the interconnection of all things is a life-long challenge. Paying attention to a deeper spirit requires tenderly listening to my own heart beat. Nature constantly reminds me to find grace. It show itself when I care for all things in this world. The delicate balance for me is how and what I identify myself with. My greatest challenge has to see how I can expand my love and forgive myself at times when I fall short. When I observe how I love all creation then I realize I just another drop in this pool of universal compassion.

My suffering is lessened when I realize that the “I” is rather a “we.” In these difficult times I believe all of us wish to find harmony amidst the turmoil. Inside each of us we have the gift of unearthing greater awareness liberating our collective unconsciousness from our deluded wants and providing light of our sacred needs. There is not greater treasure we can provide in our life time then for us to reduce our anxious wealth to relaxing with the cultivation of well being.

Is not life’s quest for each person on this planet to find peace within themselves thus leading the way? If we wish to lessen terror, improve our environment and help others ultimately we must whatever plagues our human condition we must go within. Real change can only happen when each of us change ourselves. Leading by example is the tenor of the times.

A rich life comes down to skillful interpersonal skills. How we treat all things, most importantly our very self is an extended act of divine love. The more evolved and successful one becomes is based on how we interface with people, things and places. Since these are extensions of our large self or the world when we show respect and sensitivity for them we ultimately show self love since truly it is all interconnected. The challenge is develop a positive feedback loop to celebrate our passion to be kind, gentle and sensitive. Greater awareness that all things are not separate I become gentler with myself. In this mysterious path of gracefully going forth the key is to remember not to fear or forget what matters most.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Loving Guest House

Rumi once wrote “there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Now I wish to celebrate all the ways to show my compassion. This for me is a natural remedy for my “dis-being-at-ease” or mental disease. When I visualize a vibrant white light this helps me embody the practice or “being at ease.”

I believe we are at a fantastic time where a spirit of magic is knocking at our individual and collective doors. Can we allow it in?

This spirit is wonderfully described in Rumi’s poem “Guest House.”

This being human is a guest house.
Every day a new arrival.

A joy, depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame , the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond.

Have you ever sensed that you have guide from beyond helping you? Not as a form of mental torture yet a door to freedom. The hardest thing in my life is to face my darkest shadow. So I welcome my guide. The question is can I quiet my mind and listen to my heart for this too is my guide. For me my torture can only be calmed by allowing spirit to come in and touch my soul. This spirit comes from the mystery; the wind or just simple beautiful bird at your window. Can we be awake and listen to its silence to let it in?

How can I serve what is true and deep to honor my soul? Only if I am gentle with myself and not so self absorbed can this miracle occur. I guess a revolution of kindness is at our door step waiting to enter if we can just trust our guides. Yes, people are generous in crisis, such as hurricanes, death and many other forms of natural and human forms of disasters.

The earth today is filled with increased stress and constant pressure. Helping to promote mindfulness is an antidote. Quieting my mind and listening to my heart is how I have been transforming my anxiety into enthusiasm. If I can show up with the good and bad while treating them as equals. Showing up allows me to transform my stress and worry. I believe the all wise and enlightened being have found peace this way. If I can step into the consciousness of the heart the more time I can to run the deep with inner peace. Wise teachers from the beginning of time I learned about the power of this emotional regulation or mending our broken hearts. Just focusing on positive feelings such as appreciation, care, or compassion, I can create dramatic changes in my heart rhythms. This lessens my stress and anger and leads to my greater well-being. There is a chain of biological changes including lessening blood pressure and stress hormone levels. I can stimulate greater chi, by simply focusing on my heart energy.

When I engage in my heart more I come into balance. Quieting my mind and listening to my heart brings focused clarity, optimal health, and high performance. Also allowing me to accept my shadows provides me with the courage to be present to even the greatest things that haunt me. Whether things are a blessing or a curse, I challenge what Rumi suggests,

Be grateful for whatever comes.
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cultivating a Grateful Heart

When I focus on opening my grateful heart I awaken to tremendous new possibilities. Love and appreciation are two attitudes transforming my world. Focusing my mind with a greater heart connection happens when I count my blessings regarding the wonderful of it all.

There is no greater gift then being grateful and compassionate since this the ultimate act of celebrating life. When I exercise my “loving appreciation” this provides me with a gift that keeps on giving.

Today there are many unconscious self destructive acts both coming from individual and collective sources. Grateful love is evident by kind, aware and wise intentions. Simply reflecting about all the things that I am compassionate about I change my mind-set. Love, does not separate, it connects. In love is how I can lessen my suffering or disconnection and increase my well being.

Gratitude allows me to overcome so many fear-based emotions. I challenge you to reflect on your own appreciation? What about the many wonders and gifts you have experienced? By constantly remembering and cultivating a grateful spirit I foster an intention of the sacred and such attention to this illuminates my world even more. This is the door of light I welcome you to open!

Like many, I search for greater meaning. All I have to do is deeply listen to my own grateful heart. My gratitude is so interconnected to how I care for all things in this world. When I celebrate my appreciation and love for all creation then I allow myself to swim in the collective pool of universal compassion.

More conscious ways can lessen my suffering and provide me with greater happiness. When I cultivate a grateful heart I transmute my anxiety into vibrant new enthusiasm to greet and meet live with appreciation and compassion.