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Loved

A perfect sky of endless blue greeted me with no judgment

Within its infinite reach, the sky held space for the changing weather

Rain, sleet or thunder moved through it unencumbered

No judgment

Could my soul become like the sky?

Could I hold my humanity, in all its heartbreak and sunshine, and still be endless?

I looked to the sky for validation.

The sky did not answer me.

Instead, its vastness descended upon me and washed away my wondering

It did not change me or challenge me

It only welcomed all that I was, all that I am and all that I might be

Part sky and part Truth

Endless and finite

Beauty and fear

Held tightly and set free

Loved.

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Truth Lives

I was under the impression that to awaken, the body was something to overcome.  I spent my time fighting with its tendency towards fear, anxiety and the physical manifestations of these states.  This battle raged for many months and years until one day it stopped.  The fear, anxiety and physical manifestations did not, but the resistance to them lessened.   As my grip fell away from manipulating the body’s experience, this is when peace would visit.

The mind will be frantic at first without a problem to solve.  It will buck against the framework of simply being.

It will want to move, to alter, to make better or more.  It will hate to be still.

Invite this resistance to come sit at your table.  Offer it a chair.  Let it be wild with its anger.  Let it try to scare you into action.  Let it do whatever it wants.

Beyond this chaos lives the Truth.

No need to reach.  No need to strain.

Truth lives.

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The Deep Heart of Listening

If you want to deeply listen to someone else, you first have to be clear on what your inner experience is.  You have to connect to the present moment and let your thoughts, judgments and feelings come into your awareness while not attaching to them.

The miracle of listening this way allows the talker to unfold into their own brilliance.  Without letting our busy-body minds interfere with their process, an invitation is extended so that Truth may enter.

When Truth enters, healing occurs.

The story and its circumstances are not altered, yet the talker is allowed an opportunity for inner transformation if they are ready for it.

However, as a listener, if we are invested in validating, interjecting and sharing our own ideas about how this story ‘should be’, we block the flow of the miracle.

Yesterday, I mindfully listened to a woman who shared a harrowing and unjust life story.  Instead of responding with my words or gestures, I let the story sweep over me.  I saw inside myself the judgments, labels and rising tides of emotions.

These were mine.  Not hers.

But because I waited through that uncomfortable urge to say something, the story slowly shifted to immense beauty.  While it included heartbreak, the lights of resilience started to shine through it.

My labels and judgments were soon replaced by sheer awe.

When awe enters, it is easy to detach and yield with an open heart to the Love that lives inside struggle.

Where else could we yield?  What miracles await us if we simply let go?

I am ready to listen.

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Healing Reimagined

In my years of searching for Truth, my motivation rested in changing the self that I am.  The amount of effort I poured into finding inner peace rivaled that of an athlete training for the Olympics.  I read countless books, meditated daily, had a spiritual mentor and began a yoga practice in earnest.

Each of these may or may not have been valuable on this path.  I have no regrets only compassion.  The self that searched with all her might endured a suffering few can imagine.  When a self experiences the world as a dream but then is dropped back into the personal experience of it, all hell breaks loose.

This self did all she could to survive and mitigate the internal, constant noise of ‘living in two worlds’.

Over the past few months, this self’s course has down-shifted.  There is less urgency to reach a goal of peace.  Rather, the emphasis has changed to accepting where this self is on the journey.

Peace may come to stay, but it is okay if it does not.  A healed mind may manifest, but it is okay if it does not.

There is something to be found in loving the present moment exactly as it is.  There is great value in accepting ourselves right here, right now.

“…, you are already perfect just as you are, in the sense of already being perfectly who you are, including all the imperfections.”

-Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness

Jon Kabat-Zinn

It is helpful to redefine healing in a way that will make it available to you wherever you are on your path to wholeness.  The shift comes by focusing on accepting what is and letting go of the constant striving for change.

Jon Kabat-Zinn redefines healing beautifully in Full Catastrophe Living:

” … my working definition of healing is coming to terms with things as they are.”

Healing will find us if we breathe open-heartedly into this present moment.

Let it be.

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Honor it All

The root of all anger is fear.  Fear of not being seen, of not being heard and ultimately, not being loved.

Sit with that for a moment.

Where is there anger inside you?

Where are you holding onto something that needs releasing?

There is no need to change any feelings of anger, just notice where this anger might live within you.

Watch it.

Maybe it will teach you something.  Maybe it won’t.

Anger can make us feel powerful when our fear seems as if it may overtake us.  Anger seems to protect us.  Anger feels like the easier option when our authentic, hurtful thoughts bubble to the surface.

Consider anger might be masking something.  Just consider.  Honor wherever you are.  Angry, upset, peaceful, joyful, lonely, sad, happy.

Honor all of it.

We cannot know the power of our light if we do not investigate the dark.

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The Shift

Let’s get back to you.

Let’s get back to your story.

What are you telling yourself right now?

Take a deep breath and pause.

Listen.

Really listen to your story.

Is it kind?  Are roots of compassion flowing through it?  Is it scary?  Are there judgments of less-than and not-good-enough swimming through your head?

We are taught from a very young age to believe everything our minds tell us.

What if these thoughts weren’t true?

Would you feel freedom or terror?

Maybe both?

By observing the thoughts rumbling through our heads we make room for grace.

Who or what is watching these thoughts?

Is it you?  Is it me?

Is it all of Us?

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The Deep Center of Night

In the deep center of night, joy resides.  It may not feel that way as you toss and turn feeling suffocated by the weight of the world, but it is there.

Waiting.

If sleep evades you, maybe peace is knocking on your door.

If you are able, step back from the stories of your mind and watch.

Watch how your mind imagines painful situations from the past while projecting fear onto your future.  Notice that neither are true.

In this moment, you are tucked in bed breathing in and breathing out.

Nothing more and nothing less.

Let the mind do what it wants.

It can only hurt you if you believe what it is telling you.

Question everything.

Keep the thoughts that Love you.

For Love is what you Are.

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