Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gaining Equilibrium

Balance... and suddenly see-saws are for kids again.

During a conversation with a friend the other day, I asked how she was doing. She replied “Overall, things are good. There are still times when I’m feeling challenged, but for the most part, I seem to have a deeper sense of ease in my life these days.” Wow. Rock on, my friend!

We all know deep in our hearts that the challenges will never go away. There may even be a subconscious part of our Selves that bring them on, and yet when they arise, so does our frustration or despair. It’s as though we can forget we’ve encountered innumerable challenges up to that point in our life - and handled everyone of them.

Finding balance is one of the biggest challenges we can face. Riding the see-saw of easiness and exigency can make even the sanest person go mad. How do we stay in the middle? How do we not get carried off by the drama, the story lines we write for ourselves? What can we count on to bring us strength? Perhaps the answer is as simple as seeing it for what it is – another challenging experience. Maybe we can minimize our reactions by just being “with” it, rather than “in” it, and allowing ourselves to notice our awareness of it. Because, behind it all is a strong and true spirit with the wisdom to handle all that arises – just look back and you will see her. She has been with you a long time. Perhaps you will find, as challenges continue to occur, a growing sense of ease and equilibrium and solid footing in your steps.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Releasing The Prisoner

Forgive… and suddenly you have set yourself free.

There is an anonymous saying: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free — and discover the prisoner was you.”

I suppose there are a million quotes on “forgiveness” and it’s no wonder. The subject of forgiveness has been a long-time pondered one that spans hundreds of years - and rightly so - as it generates from the most basic and fundamental human emotions: love and hate.

I like this quote because it points directly towards taking ownership of our own stuff. We all know what it feels like to harbor resentment, and it’s ugly. But, when we feel we or our loved ones have been wronged, we find ourselves hard pressed to let it go so we can make sure it won’t happen again, … and there we are once more, caught up in the ocean of suffering the Buddhists call samsara. We think we are protecting ourselves, when, in actuality, we are simply perpetuating an inner-world of negativity – even if whoever or whatever it is we are not forgiving is unaware.

Sometimes the most difficult forgiveness to find is for ourselves and yet this is probably the most important. If we cannot forgive ourselves, eventually we can wind up projecting what we hold –pain and suffering. We cannot avoid getting hurt in life, but we don’t have to play the victim. We can choose what we will keep and what we let go. Releasing our own prisoner from the grips of unforgiving, frees up space in our heart for… well, YOU choose!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Power of Receiving

Receive… and suddenly you are bestowing riches upon others.

You are strong, independent. You can take care of yourself AND others. You know what you need to do, you know what’s best for you, after all – you’ve known yourself longer than anyone. You can handle your finances, your workload, your love issues, your children’s issues, your health – of course you can, you’re a grown-up, right? So many of us are more than capable. We each have our own wells of knowledge, wisdom, insight, intelligence and intuition. So, reaching out or accepting help that is offered to us doesn’t always feel immediately comfortable. Doesn’t that mean we are inept? Incapable of controlling our own affairs? Weak?

We all have periods in our lives when we need “help”. IT’s designed that way. It’s the way we humans connect. Opening up enough, becoming vulnerable enough to allow another human being to help us is one of the greatest gifts we can offer. In light of the previous post, think again about how YOU feel when YOU are able to help another. Staying close enough to our heart during painful and difficult times can remind us that we ALL share that same pain – different stories – but it’s the same pain. Softening to an offering of support perpetuates the cycle of connecting and re-connecting - through the one(s) helping you - to the ones you, yourself, will go on to help.

Don’t stop receiving.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Power of Giving

Give…. and suddenly you have everything you could ever need.

A moment of your time; a dollar for the street musician; a compliment to a stranger; a seat on the subway; a hug to the hurting… Have you ever noticed in those moments, however small, the way you feel after you’ve just “given” something of yourself? This, my friends, is the pure essence of the divine, our true god/goddess-like nature shining through, connecting us to that higher source we are all a part of.

Buried deep within every one of us, beneath all the wants and desires and woes and denials lives a loving, open heart that yearns to grow and glow. Of course, we are humans and not saints and live in a culture that tends to distract us everyday from this mindset. But, we do know it’s there and we all possess the power to tap into the abundance that giving can provide, for others and for ourselves. It’s a two way street where everybody wins.

Go and give… and live in abundance!