Tag Archive | mindfulness

The Tunnel of Life

In the tunnel of life we are always told to keep facing forward. Our eyes must remain fixed in place at all costs. Even on our most broken days, we must keep marching towards the tunnel’s illuminated endpoint.

The light at the end of the tunnel holds the All of Everything we need to finally be whole. Redemption awaits us there. The banquet tables of celebration are set in anticipation of our arrival.

We are not to question anything. We are not to notice that the light seems to move farther from us with each step. The light is not for the weary of faith. It is for the believers. Believers never question.

Eyes forward, no questions.

Keep marching.

The world and its wisdom shouts at us to keep trudging. Even if we stumble and twist our ankle, we grab some crutches and go.

The light waits for no one.

We march in packs mostly, but today, as exhaustion settles into me, I find myself unable to keep pace. At first, I slow my gait. Eventually, when this does not quell my malaise, I come to a halt.

I am not going to make it to the light.

My hands scrape down the tunnel as I fold my legs into a seat on the floor.

It is cold. It is damp.

It reeks of utter defeat.

I try to comfort myself. I gave it everything I had.

It was not enough.

I begin to accept the quiet possibility that I am not enough. I am not made for this journey. The light is not meant for me.

My heart drops low in my chest. As my senses adjust to the absence of light, a spark at the edge of my despair catches my eye. Fear forces me to avert my gaze.

Yet, it is persistent.

Soon, the all of my sadness is alight with bursting, blinding, brightness. It fills my being, my heart, and my soul. The entire tunnel is shining. I am able to see in all directions. The past, the present, the future.

As I take in this new source of light, I notice for the first time the full magnificence of the tunnel as it is.

Right here, right now.  This moment, this beauty.

It is everything.

Until now, I never considered the tunnel was beauty.  No one ever said the tunnel itself was beautiful.

If I never make it out, I have enough right here to sustain me.  Here I am fed by eternal, untouchable beauty and reminded of my inner light.

The tunnel and I are one.

The tunnel is the light.

Therefore, I am the light.

I am the light.

I have always been the light.

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All Our Ways

In our rush to fix what is broken, we often exert tremendous efforts towards mending ourselves.  We read every book, download every class, meditate with the masters, and seek answers for the empty questions walled within our hearts.  All this effort may offer us temporary comfort and a flash of clarity, but it rarely holds steady.

Maybe it isn’t our brokenness that needs mending but how we view our brokenness.

For every healing measure we undertake in our lives signals our soul that we are damaged.  Over and over, again and again, our continuous seeking mires us deeper in the quicksand of not being enough exactly as we are.

You are not broken.

You are Love.

Let your soul hear that.  Even through the pain and all the wrong turns of life, you are Love.

Brokenness does not determine worth.  Brokenness helps reveal the truth when we have covered and forgotten it.

We are Beauty in motion, Light in full-force and Perfect in all our ways.

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In the Night of Uncertainty

Uncertainty came to me through the night of my soul.

“I am here to serve,” It told me.

“I do not want you here. Wherever you go, Uncertainty, fear always follows.”

“I am here to serve,” It told me again.

“That cannot be true, Uncertainty, for you blur the edges of my future until I cannot see them anymore.”

“This is my greatest gift,” said Uncertainty.  “Without a future you will soar away to Beauty.”

Realizing Uncertainty was here to stay I said, “But I am small and afraid. Without a future, where do I go?

How do I live?

What do I do?”

“I am here to serve,” said Uncertainty.

Frustration bloomed through each and every one of my limbs and the soles of my feet cemented in the Now of Being.

Rooted in place, the wind caught my attention and carried me.

Everywhere I landed Uncertainty greeted me.

“I am here to serve,” It said.

When the wind stopped, I had arrived.

The Dream looked different than planned, but it Loved me.  Infinite and true, it suited me better.

“I am here to serve,” said Uncertainty.

I looked Uncertainty in the eyes.

“Thank you,” I said.

Uncertainty met my gaze and vowed to always be with me.

Together, we carved grace from the Tree of Life.

Together, we held every possibility in the Infinite Unknown.

Together, we walked straight into fear until it transformed into Love.

“I am here to serve,” we said together.

 

 

 

 

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This Is Life

Within life’s shatterings, a wisdom will find and guide us.  This wisdom watches and waits without judgement.  It knows the Truth of our hearts.  When life does not match our heart’s Truth, it starts to crumble away.

Even if we are aware of this process, it will not prevent the pain associated with it.  If we attempt to avoid this pain, it only prolongs our suffering.

First the crumble, then the pain and then we meet our Truth.

Most of our pain is attached to our illusion that we are in control of how life unfolds.  This can take many forms.  It can look like ‘security’ with the way things are and a belief comfortable circumstances will remain the same.  It sometimes shows up as imagining a future goal and our desired outcome of this goal will free us from our feelings of inadequacy.  The most common and habitual deflection of the fear of life’s constant shifts is placing our anger, guilt, shame and blame on others.

We can stay trapped in this ‘otherness’ for a lifetime.

It is okay if we do.  We are human.

However, we can make freedom choices within our human framework that originate in awareness.  If we choose to be present as much as we are able, Truth might reach us today instead of tomorrow.

This is the practice.  This is life.

This is Everything.

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Complete Happiness

When your story begins, you do not choose the participants.  You make the best of who shows up.  You can dance, sing, cry, scream or in the worst cases, make yourself invisible all in the name of seeking outside validation within your story’s confines.

You can do this for as long as necessary, until your inner well empties and you feel as if you may die from thirst.  This thirst burns at you until you take ownership of what is going on inside your heart.

Grief.  Sorrow. Regret.

I have walked along the path of life with these as my companions.  I did my best to ignore them.  I ran faster, tried harder and configured myself into images I believed might make me lovable.

Nothing I did worked until one day exhaustion forced me to stop.  As I rested Grief, Sorrow and Regret finally caught up to me.

“Why are you running?” they asked.  “Where are you trying to go?”

To my freedom I told them.

“But that is not The Way.  Freedom is not a destination, it is an understanding.  It is not there, it is here.

Right here.

Always.”

I had not realized it yet but Grief, Sorrow and Regret had become my friends.  By talking to them and letting them have their say, they bestowed gifts upon me.

As I feel what needs to be felt and express what needs to leave me, I am learning the greatest lesson of all.

Even love unreciprocated heals us.  For every blind heart we have turned towards is a reminder that the only love we need is within us.

You are complete.

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As True as You Are

Within this moment the Truth resides. It wants for nothing as it knows abundance beyond all form.

How does an ordinary person find this Truth?

The first steps are looking inside and listening to what the mind has to say. You may not like what you hear but at least you are noticing.

There is power in the noticing.

It is not up to you to change the mind.  It morphs at the speed of light.  It is rare anyone can catch it.  Even if you do cast a net wide enough to envelop your thoughts, they will slip through the openings to be replaced by the mind’s next great disaster.

There is power in letting thoughts be.

Fill your heart-stores up with compassion because as you let go of controlling your thoughts, fear may start to seep in and wash away your resolve.

It feels easier to revert to control when our feelings begin to surface.

For this moment, what if we gave ourselves permission to be exactly as we are?

Of course we would still be flawed in deep and interesting ways, but could we learn of a truer version of ourselves?

Give yourself five minutes a day where no change is required in thought, body or mind.

In these moments, what might you find?

Peace? Beauty? Love?

Each glimmer a lifeline towards hope and wholeness.

Already arrived and permanent.

As True as you are and always have been.

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Find More Love

There is a great misunderstanding that courage only shows up as stoicism.

What if it takes more courage to fully access the depth of our fear and pain than skating over the top of it like ice on a winter pond?

Do not underestimate the healing power of your tears.  They are meant to bathe you in self-compassion and understanding.  They are purposeful in their manifestation.

False bravery abounds if we remain on the fringe of what we feel in our hearts.  Fear becomes anger projected outward, pouring out of us and taking no prisoners.  Anger projected inward becomes so injurious to our soul, it begins to falter and life loses its luster.

There is healing in the full spectrum of emotion and experience.  Leave one part out and the brick and mortar of existence disintegrates.

Today may not be the day you face all that is hidden.  But when you can, when you feel able, lift the light of awareness and wash it over the darkest, most unseen parts of your being.

Quite possibly instead of everything you fear, you may find more to love.

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Feathers

Strength is not defined by exertion alone.

There is fortitude in the pausing, gaping space around the fear of your experience.

Change is not the answer.

Being present with life as it is holds a unique kind of safety.

Even a plummeting cliff fall becomes Loving if we open our hearts beyond our minds.

The wider the opening, the softer the fall.

Let the wings of compassion catch you and waft you towards healing.

Light as a feather you may recall you are unbreakable.

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Courageous Grace

“Imagine you are walking in the woods and you see a small dog sitting by a tree.  As you approach, it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared.  You are frightened and angry.  But then you notice that one of its legs is caught in a trap.  Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern:  You see that the dog’s aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain.”

-Tara Brach

True Refuge:  Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Opening ourselves to a wider understanding of another person’s perspective is the first step towards cultivating a compassionate heart.  We can learn to do this by becoming quiet in the easy moments.  Themes of our thinking may or may not show their constancy, but we soon learn individual thoughts come and go like soft waves lapping and retreating along a coastline.

By familiarizing ourselves with our thinking’s lack of structure, we realize that others may be experiencing an onslaught of confusion in their minds as well.  If they happen to attach to a negative or fearful thought sequence, this may spill over into their world experience.  They may lash out or in some instances, shut down completely.

If we are left to look at the surface of what they are presenting, we remain stuck in fear right alongside them.  If we open ourselves to the possibility of a deeper understanding, compassion naturally replaces our hurtful interpretations with grace.

From grace, we no longer need to concern ourselves with another’s behavior.  All we need is to recognize the mutual beauty that exists between us far beneath the surface of what appears in the world.

The only question is, how deep are you willing to go?

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Small Moments

As you come to embody your personal experience more fully, you will begin to notice life in a new way.  Living in Presence affords you the beauty of seeing Love’s abundance surrounding you.

Small moments become deeply moving as your heart awakens.

With all this noticing of Beauty, you come to know other truths about yourself.  You may find searing judgments and criticism below the surface of your life.  In fact, you may be shocked at how harshly you speak to yourself.

Therefore, as mindfulness breathes awareness through your experience, you have to fill your emotional stores replete with forgiveness.

Yet, as you grow your heart in its most Loving direction, you will become more adept at handling the hurtful stories you tell yourself.

Space begins to form around difficulty.  From this opening, healing may enter and wisdom may rise to your consciousness.

The greatest salve of humanity is forgiveness.  Forgiveness of the world, forgiveness of ourselves and forgiveness of each other.

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