Relationships

My Confession Of Loss

OrchidThe lessons contained in loss are infinite and ever available. One of the more curious lessons I am presented with now, when catching up with friends, or having dinner with family, is why it seems so insurmountable to merely admit the loss I have sustained. I feel I have to explain how and why my nearly decade long relationship ended. And I feel like I’m grasping at reasons their minds will find satisfactory, and that will help me to be understood. For years my own mind regularly spun reason after reason for both striving for the continual sustenance of a loving relationship and the acceptance that it could no longer be sustained. While this may not sound adequate to the mind, the truth is, I stepped out from this known into the unknown because for me it truly couldn’t have been otherwise, and I couldn’t ignore my inner knowing that the hardest thing was the right thing to do.

In jest I have found myself saying lately that parting from someone I will always carry love for was much harder than brain surgery. But that laughter just makes it more comfortable to say something I know to be true. Facing the possibility of my own mortality was easier to accept, while watching the death of a love partnership was almost unbearable. Yet, I bore it. I am bearing it.

The other, more significant, lesson that I experience regularly now is the transmutation of pain through acceptance. I accept the pain I am going through now, and because of that the pain doesn’t cause me suffering. The experience of this pain is necessary; it will course through my atmosphere until it dissipates in the light of my consciousness. I know I do not have to hold onto it. I know my awareness can contain it and not be demolished. I know that whenever I need to I can give myself permission to not think, and instead merely perceive. In this way, the present moment is a refuge from suffering. Even when I feel most alone here, God is here, and I can never be alone.

I thought at first it may have been easier for my mind if something had “happened,” or if I was angry. But letting go because I knew I had to, with gratitude and love still in my heart, will emerge as a God given grace. And I will find that, as I already do in some moments, the love we created lives ever inside of me and is available for me to call on whenever I most need it.

To those who are sustaining new losses in their lives, and to those navigating long-lived experiences of loss, our hearts are one. I wish you peace, I wish you love, I wish you comfort. It is easy to feel our oneness now. May my healing be your healing, as yours too is truly mine.

Standard
spirituality

How To Practice Being Yourself

NatureIt is easy to believe a spiritual practice will help you feel better. But from my experience, spiritual practice necessarily cannot concern how you feel.

Today I remember that sometimes I will not feel like engaging in the sadhana which is set before me. Yet, each day I do it. Sometimes I am sleepy, sometimes I feel listless. I experience the practice with those feelings. Some days I am motivated, some days peaceful, and I experience the practice with those feelings too.

A spiritual practice gives clarity to the inner world of emotion through its consistency among the fluctuating and fleeting nature of feelings. It shows up emotions for what they truly are: not you. Anything changing cannot be you, rather you are here experiencing change. Doing the same spiritual practice each day gently lays the ephemeral at the feet of the unchanging consciousness that you are, lets you gaze upon it, and do with it what you will.

Standard

merry christmas

2015

Merry Christmas!

Image
Inspiration

Dear Alchemists, Notice What You Make

ImagineConsider all that your consciousness has taken in this year. The facts and figures, news stories, challenges, experiences, human interactions.  You are an expert witness to this creation day in and day out.

What are you bringing forth into this world each day?  When I think back to the un-work related conversations I hear at work, most of them fall into the category of “the horrors of existence.”  We discuss the worst things imaginable, often with lamentations for a broken world.  This is not being well informed. Knowing what is going on with other people and languishing in their misery are two very different things.

The mind can toil forever over a problem it can’t solve, which is precisely why it tries to keep these conversations going.  If the voice in your head is telling you that these conversations will help find a solution, that is because it doesn’t know life-changing solutions arise from a still and quiet mind.

In the coming year let us shift our attention from what is coming at us to what we are sending out.  Let us resolve this year to imagine better.  If we put out encouragement, kindness, hope, and love in equal measure to the complaining and agonizing that are all too commonplace, we will start to see our small pockets of existence transform from base metal into gold.

What you put out into the world is not dependent on your happiness or optimism.  It is a conscious effort to make manifest the deepest desires of your heart.  You are an alchemist; your thoughts and feelings transform your world. Make a choice to use that power to beautify all that you see.

Standard
Inspiration

A Diet We Can Believe In

KindnessIt often feels like there are a million reasons to be grieving.  Celebration and gratitude can seem out of place in a world desperately in need of love and healing.  But to foster love we need to lean in more than ever to celebrating life.  For healing we need to lean in to gratitude.  We can take our hearts, so tender from imbibing all of the world’s pain, and use that softness to bring forth the sweet fragrance of forgiveness, understanding, gentleness, and caring.

Thoughts about what is going wrong are like candy to mind; addictive, enjoyable, and they eventually make us sick.  Thanksgiving is chance to practice replacing those thoughts with the fruit and vegetables of the mind which are thoughts of thankfulness and gratitude.

There are so many small things that I forget to be thankful for that are truly miracles to experience.  For example, I can walk and talk, my digestive system works well and my body is healthy, I can sing and dance, I can gaze at the moon on clear nights, I can hear birdsongs in the early morning.  These thoughts are seldom mulled over in my mind the way worries are.  So this holiday season I’m going on a mind diet; less candy, more fruits and vegetables.  You can do this too by noticing what thoughts are most consistently running through your mind and making a choice to consume thoughts of thanks instead of complaints.

On a personal note, I have to tell you all how thankful I am every day for the community here at Let Yourself Learn, for this opportunity to delve more deeply into the ocean of living with you all, and for your love and support which permeate my every day.  Bless you truly, and good luck with your holiday mind diet!

Standard
Surgery

What happens in a year following brain surgery?

FlyingI’m grateful to be here and okay.  I never really considered that it could have gone otherwise.  But anything could go otherwise.  And I’m grateful.  So what have I learned in this one year since surgery?

What I think will be the hardest things for me to live through, won’t be.  Other things will be harder.  They will not be what I expected, so there is no need to worry.

Physical pain is not forever and often has an antidote.  Psychological suffering requires conscious effort.

While physically painful, I look back on the months of recovery after surgery as a beautiful time of peace and loving-kindness.

Life is always worth it.  No harm no foul.  We are life and there is no alternative to being who we are.

Suffering unites each of us with all of humanity.

My feelings of happiness and sadness are almost always prompted from the outside.  They don’t have to be.

When it isn’t happening right now, it is as if it never happened.  Experiences can live on inside of us if we let them.  They can make us suffer or make us happy, but either way they are no longer absolutely real.

When the thoughts of others seem important that is a sign I see my thoughts as important.  I don’t want my thoughts to be important.

Desire depletes experience of authenticity.

Sleep, meditation, and silence are life giving.  They enable us to wake up.

Life experiences are seasonal.  Winters contain Christmases.  Darkness is the platform upon which light is born.

Thank you for being with me in spirit this past year.  It is my wish that the love, seen and unseen, which you have been pouring out, will return to you having grown and multiplied.

Standard
Inspiration

“There is no situation to which miracles do not apply,” ACIM

NatureThe only time a miracle can occur is now. Past and future occur as thoughts, and miracles are not the result of thinking. Stay in this moment, it is the place where all new things are born. And when your mind begins to drag you along on a habitual train of thought, remind yourself why the now is worth it and watch for the miracle.

 

Standard