Daily Om ~ Finding Deep Strength

amethyst geode sliceWe have all faced moments in our lives when the pressure mounts beyond what we feel we can handle, and we find ourselves thinking that we do not have the strength to carry on. Sometimes we have just gotten through a major obstacle or illness only to find another one waiting for us the moment we finally catch our breath. Sometimes we endure one loss after another, wondering when we will get a break from life’s travails. It does not seem fair or right that life should demand more of us when we feel we have given all we can, but sometimes this is the way life works.

When we look back on our lives, we see that we have survived many trials and surmounted many obstacles, often to our own amazement. In each of those instances, we had to break through our ideas about how much we can handle and go deeper into our hidden reserves. The thought that we do not have the strength to handle what is before us can be likened to the hard surface of a frozen lake. It appears to be an impenetrable fact, but when we break through it, we find that a deep well of energy and inspiration was trapped beneath that icy barrier the whole time. Sometimes we break through by cutting a hole into our resistance with our willpower, and sometimes we melt the ice with compassion for our predicament and ourselves. Either way, each time we break through, we reach a new understanding of the strength we store within ourselves.

When we find ourselves up against that frozen barrier of thinking we cannot handle our situation, we may find that the kindest choice is to love ourselves and our resistance too. We can simply accept that we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and stretched, and we can offer ourselves loving kindness and compassion. If we can extend to ourselves the unconditional warmth of a mother’s love, before we know it, the ice will begin to break.

Source: Daily Om

Darling People

hugsDarling people, I just feel moved to write this little letter to you all. You see I read an article on Citizen of Fashion blog that really saddened me. You can check it out for yourself but what I’m writing about here is kindness and compassion. In this world there is so much competition, fast-moving lifestyles and greed and yet we suffer. So many of us are in pain and are suffering and all that is needed is kindness and compassion to ease the pain.

Dear people, let’s be kind to one another, let’s remember that we share the same human make up and frailties. No matter what skin colour, race, religion or class, we are still human and we need each other. We need to be kind to one another, to ourselves.

There is so much pain it is indescribable… but we can change this, we can turn the coin over and experience joy and peace. I’m not going to preach or bang on about spirituality or anything like that. I just want to talk about kindness, for ourselves and each other. We have the same emotions – grief in India is the same as grief in America; happiness in China is the same as happiness in Australia. You get my drift? Fundamentally, and most importantly we are ALL THE SAME.

Being kind to ourselves and each other isn’t that difficult. It starts with being aware – of what we ourselves need and what others need too. It starts with mindful awareness. Slow down and be kind, gentle to yourselves. If you can do that you will do it for others too.

Dear people, do one thing of kindness for yourselves today and pass that kindness on to someone else too. Note how it makes you feel.

Blessings to you all

Deep~Glade

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Daily Om ~ In The Presence of Difficulty

In_The_Distance_by_EmptyHeartsBleedLessTrue compassion recognizes that all the boundaries we perceive between ourselves and others are an illusion. Compassion is the ability to see the deep connectedness between ourselves and others. Moreover, true compassion recognizes that all the boundaries we perceive between ourselves and others are an illusion. When we first begin to practice compassion, this very deep level of understanding may elude us, but we can have faith that if we start where we are, we will eventually feel our way toward it. We move closer to it every time we see past our own self-concern to accommodate concern for others. And, as with any skill, our compassion grows most in the presence of difficulty.

We practice small acts of compassion every day, when our loved ones are short-tempered or another driver cuts us off in traffic. We extend our forgiveness by trying to understand their point of view; we know how it is to feel stressed out or irritable. The practice of compassion becomes more difficult when we find ourselves unable to understand the actions of the person who offends us. These are the situations that ask us to look more deeply into ourselves, into parts of our psyches that we may want to deny, parts that we have repressed because society has labeled them bad or wrong. For example, acts of violence are often well beyond anything we ourselves have perpetuated, so when we are on the receiving end of such acts, we are often at a loss. This is where the real potential for growth begins, because we are called to shine a light inside ourselves and take responsibility for what we have disowned. It is at this juncture that we have the opportunity to transform from within.

This can seem like a very tall order, but when life presents us with circumstances that require our compassion, no matter how difficult, we can trust that we are ready. We can call upon all the light we have cultivated so far, allowing it to lead the way into the darkest parts of our own hearts, connecting us to the hearts of others in the understanding that is true compassion.

Daily Om ~ Finding Peace Within

If we are to have true peace in the world, we must first find it within ourselves.

Most people agree that a more peaceful world would be an ideal situation for all living creatures. However, we often seem stumped as to how to bring this ideal situation into being. If we are to have true peace in this world, each one of us must find it in ourselves first. If we don’t like ourselves, for example, we probably won’t like those around us. If we are in a constant state of inner conflict, then we will probably manifest conflict in the world. If we have fighting within our families, there can be no peace in the world. We must shine the light of inquiry on our internal struggles, because this is the only place we can really create change.

When we initiate the process of looking inside ourselves for the meaning of peace, we will begin to understand why it has always been so difficult to come by. This in itself will enable us to be compassionate toward the many people in the world who find themselves caught up in conflicts both personal and universal. We may have an experience of peace that we can call up in ourselves to remind us of what we want to create, but if we are human we will also feel the pull in the opposite direction—the desire to defend ourselves, to keep what we feel belongs to us, to protect our loved ones and our cherished ideals, and the anger we feel when threatened. This awareness is important because we cannot truly know peace until we understand the many tendencies and passions that threaten our ability to find it. Peace necessarily includes, even as it transcends, all of our primal energy, much of which has been expressed in ways that contradict peace.

Being at peace with ourselves is not about denying or rejecting any part of ourselves. On the contrary, in order to be at peace we must be willing and able to hold ourselves, in all our complexity, in a full embrace that excludes nothing. This is perhaps the most difficult part for many of us, because we want so much to disown the negative aspects of our humanity. Ironically, though, true peace begins with a willingness to take responsibility for our humanity so that we might ultimately transform it in the light of our love.

The Daily Card: The Enchanted Map ~ Heal the ouch!

I love today’s card, it’s so sweet, especially as I do love foxes and raccoons. The card is named Heal the Ouch and on the surface it looks cute and quite sweet but this card has a powerful message. It’s about forgiveness, which is something many of us find hard to do, especially forgiving ourselves. I have to say I struggle with forgiving myself so this is a wonderful card to receive considering the difficult time I went through last week and the feelings it brought up in me. Here’s what the book says about it:

Forgiveness is the healer of the soul. This is a time for great soothing of the heart, body, soul and mind, as this card indicates that healing will be prevalent in your life now. If you are drawn to study the healing arts, you’ll be successful in developing your natural capacity to restore others to wellness. however, the message may be that you’re being called to change your behaviours in order to heal the earth. Perhaps you’ll switch to a cruelty-free diet, eating less meat; or perhaps you’ll pay more attention to how much water or electricity you use. You’re asked to be conscious of your footprint on the sacred earth and all life and to commit to the healing path. The ‘Heal the ouch’ card may also be an indicator of old wounds and broken bonds being mended. Reconciliations are possible now. Let bygones be bygones.

It’s really this thing about forgiveness that caught my attention – namely forgiveness for ourselves, which many find very difficult to do. We have all made really stupid mistakes in our lives that have damaged other people – I know I certainly have! We’ve done wrong! No two ways about it! The first step on self forgiveness is owning up to what we’ve done and taking responsibility for it. Trying to make amends with the person we’ve hurt. Sometimes talking about the mistake or wrong-doing in a safe and trusting environment helps us to see things clearly. quite often we have fantasies in our heads about how others perceive us but when you talk about things you often realise that other people are very supportive of you. Of course, the main person to talk with is the one you harmed. It takes honesty, love and compassion and that’s not always easy especially when the hurt runs deep. So this stage may take some time but don’t give up on it. As we are gentle and compassionate with others we realise that we must be like this with ourselves too. After all, if we are truly remorseful then we’ll be feeling a lot of shame and guilt too.

So how do we actually show forgiveness to ourselves? Well really the same way we show it to others – through kindness, understanding, compassion and love. I’m always reminded here about how the Great Prophet Jesus behaved towards Mary Magdalene and other ‘low lives’ whom other people shunned for being black than black. It does not matter if you are a Christian or not to take an example from this man. Of course there are many examples too through life but he always seems to stick in my mind – probably because I was once a Christian.

Another means of self-forgiveness is not over thinking – not churning scenarios around in our brains constantly. This never brings clarification, only more confusion and you end up in a veritable mind fog. Practicing mindfulness each day helps with curbing the over-analysing gremlin. Be honest with yourself (although it really hurts) but realise this…you are not who you were then in the past…you are who you are NOW, in the present. you made an awful mistake and you fucked up badly but that was then and it’s not who you are now, nor will it be you in the future. If the person you wronged has had the good grace and love to forgive you then you need to forgive yourself too – otherwise their forgiveness really means nothing doesn’t it.

The Daily Card: The Enchanted Map ~ Goblins

We’ve all got goblins haven’t we – those dark shadows lurking in the depths of our psyches. Today’s card is Goblins, and it’s a great card really – those lurking green slit eyes in the depths of the hollowed tree roots just waiting to pounce on you, and the toad like creature with big bulgey green eyes…they are goblins!

Here’s what the book says about this card:

Fear is an illusion. Choose love today. Forgive yourself and others. Goblins are born when you’re wounded and something essential is lost in that experience. From that point on, as you forget your wholeness, they remain with you in the shadows. There they remind you of what brought them into being, by mimicking your own voice, tricking you into believing that you’re unworthy, victimized, or unlovable. They hold you hostage through low self-worth, self sabotage, and the feeling that you’re lacking what you need.

If Goblins pay you a visit, know that they represent the shadow of your own self, or someone else’s, and that they’re leading you into a potentially reactive situation. Goblin card’s appearance is an opportunity for growth, however, and a signal that you must love yourself. No human is without flaws. The Goblin’s message is that you must release resentments and negative self-talk. Within you is the spark of the Divine. Ask Spirit to help heal you. Let go of negativity!

Fear may be an illusion but it does have a purpose. It can help us avoid dangerous situations. However, fear can become out of control and distorted, making us frozen and unable to move forward with our lives. The task is to find a balance between constructive fear and destructive fear.

However, let’s talk about Goblins, those creatures of slime who live deep in our psyches. I think we all have them don’t we and they chatter and screech at us in unholy voices. So much so that we just cannot forgive ourselves or others for past woundings. In the end they drink our inner blood and we become shrivelled and caricatures of who we are truly meant to be.

How do we overcome these Goblins? The simple answer is Love! Love has a ‘fluffy bunny’ connotation these days for many. It’s as if it’s just too simplistic an answer to everything but the bottom line is that it IS the answer, and real love certainly isn’t fluffy bunny! Love is tender and compassionate but it’s also strong and courageous. Love can kick asses if it needs to, make no bones about that! Having love for yourself and for others quells those goblin voices and in time they become mere whispers and then dissolve into silence. I admit I’m still working on this but I can attest to the validity of this card and how manifesting love for self and others does silence the goblins. The companion book’s explanation of goblins is spot on and I need not repeat it here.

However, quelling those voices and learning to love ourselves and others isn’t easy and takes a lot of hard work and time, also each individual goes about it in different ways. Sometimes, if you have more than one person to forgive and learn to love it takes different approaches. I know that I’ve had to use different approaches for each person who has let me down or hurt me in the past. One in particular I’m still struggling with. But I think the more one manifests love and compassion in general the easier it gets…so don’t give up.

Often when we’ve been terribly hurt in the past a part of us wants to hang on to that hurt, some part of us wants to stay as a victim harbouring anger and resentment – well this part is the Shadow, the goblins deep inside. Unfortunately by hanging on to the anger and resentment, no matter how seemingly justified, it does impact on our relationships with others in the present. We may come across a person who reminds us of our wounded self, or the person from the past who initially hurt us. So we relive these old hurts and traumatise ourselves over and over again, and the blame never really stops – we blame them and ourselves. What kind of a life is that really?

When this happens to me – and it has happened – I have to learn detachment from the person in the present who is unconsciously reflecting myself or the person from the past. I have to realise that this person is NOT the person from my past who hurt me, nor are they ME! They are merely reflecting my shadow, or part of it – a Goblin! So the onus is on me to manifest love for myself, to nurture myself and care for me. Not in a selfish way but in a kind, loving way – I have to forgive myself! That’s really hard when I know that I too have really hurt others in the past too and done damage to them. It’s not at all easy but it’s important I do it. The first thing is to give myself time, to do it gradually and bit by bit – day by day – I realise that I am starting to love myself and accept myself.

Another important way of learning to love yourself is to remain detached in the face of people or situations that start the old goblins hollering in your head. Staying detached does not mean relinquishing caring or compassion, it just means not giving your emotional energy to the person or situation. This takes practice too and I do it, or help this process by daily affirmations and making them a daily habitual part of my life now. It also means manifesting courage and inner strength in love for the other person. I have begun to use a psychic shield, a bubble of irridescent purples, greens and blues, and that is really helping. For someone not used to shielding in this way it might sound silly but the truth is shielding does work and thousands of people can attest to that. However, like affirmations it takes practice.

You see, manifesting love does take work and practice because the natural inclination of mankind is to harbour grudges and see things through a negative lens. We only have to watch the news to see this in action. Being positive and manifesting love and compassion takes practice, responsibility and hard work. However, it is the most important work you can do for yourself, for others and the world.