You ARE the peace.

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“If there is peace in your mind you will find peace with everybody. If your mind is agitated you will find agitation everywhere. So first find peace within and you will see this inner peace reflected everywhere else. You are this peace! You are happiness, find out. Where else will you find peace if not within you?”

~ Papaji

Isn’t it true? When we’re in a good mood, feeling fine – everything seems to go our way. We hit all green lights on our way to work, our kids do what’s asked of them without complaining, and we love our jobs.

When we become agitated, just the opposite is true. We notice every single annoyance and ignore the multitude of blessings that surround us. The traffic lights are all still green, we just don’t notice it. We’re too focused on all the things we DON’T like.

The ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ (for lack of better terms) are both always there. And, in fact, they are interchangeable based on our perspective! We decide. Day by day. Minute by minute. Breath by breath.

This life isn’t happening to you. You are creating it. So why not create a life filled with as much joy, peace and gratitude as possible? It’s a misconception – an EXCUSE we use – that we have to ‘look for’ and ‘find’ good things in life. It is an error to believe that joy is something that exists outside of you. Everything you need is right in front of you. Within you. All you have to do is open your (inner) eye and see it.

Namaste.

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Zombies and Ghosts and Memories…oh my!

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Zombies chasing me. Old homes I’ve lived in that are now dark, abandoned and echoey; the rooms scattered with my old dust-covered belongings. Acting in a play and not knowing any of my lines…

My dreams have been all over the place lately; most of them peppered with fear, uncertainty, and a feeling of no control. Some of them echo real-life difficulties I thought I had worked through (but perhaps I haven’t!); others are just confusing and surreal, perhaps related to something I saw on TV or a story someone told me.

I don’t know if you’d call it lucid dreaming, but when my dreams become too intense or uncomfortable, I’m able to intervene on my own behalf and steer the storyline in a less frightening direction. I always know I’m dreaming on some level and am amused (and grateful!) that I can interrupt myself. :) But I also wonder what my subconscious is trying to tell me.

This morning there is a heaviness in my brain; rather than feeling well-rested after a good night’s sleep, I feel nauseated and foggy and emotional, my head full of cobwebs that need clearing out. But how?

Do you ever have lucid dreams?

 

Oversensitive or Empathic?

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I didn’t even know what the word ‘empathic’ meant until someone I trust very deeply looked me square in the eye and told me that’s exactly what I am. This allowed me to stop being so hard on myself and I have since been trying to recognize it as a sort of gift. How about you? Take this quiz:

QUIZ: AM I AN EMPATH?

Ask yourself:

  • Have I been labeled as “too emotional” or “overly sensitive”?
  • If a friend is distraught, do I start feeling it too?
  • Are my feelings easily hurt?
  • Am I emotionally drained by crowds and require time alone to revive?
  • Do my nerves get frayed by noise, smells, or excessive talk?
  • Do I prefer taking my own car places so that I can leave when I please?
  • Do I overeat or turn to substances to cope with emotional stress?
  • Am I afraid of becoming engulfed by intimate relationships?

If you answered “yes” to 1-3 of these questions, you’re at least part empath. Responding “yes” to more than 3 indicates that you’ve found your emotional type. Read more about the traits of empaths and how to take care of yourself here.

Namaste.

Communicating Your Reality

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“…words can be communicative only between those who share similar experiences.”
Alan Wilson Watts, The Way of Zen

I stumbled upon this quote this morning, which was quite apt because I’ve been thinking about communication styles and the uncountable differing realities we humans have.

How often have you been asked, ‘What are you TALKING about?’ in a heated discussion with your parent/child/lover/co-worker? I will venture to say that it has happened at least once.

Likewise, how many times have you been in a conversation where someone is expressing an opinion and you think to yourself, ‘I can’t believe what I’m hearing!’ It’s happened to me many times.

What IS ‘reality?’ Surely, MY reality is different than yours. Yes, we can probably all agree that the sky is blue, scrambled eggs are usually a breakfast food, and Barack Obama is President of the United States. But we each come from our own individual family with its own belief systems, feelings, habits and circumstances, so my feelings about eggs or blue skies or the President may be VERY different than yours. We grow up with different friends and experiences than anyone else. And due to the unique variables of these experiences and who is in our lives at any given moment, our definition and understanding of these situations may be completely different than someone who hasn’t encountered anything similar.

Sometimes my mind is like a runaway train. Depending on my state of mind, confidence level, or even how much sleep I’ve gotten, a simple statement may be interpreted as something with hidden meaning, and suddenly there is a novella being written in my head, completely fictional and borne out of fear. Then, the funny thing is, I TREAT THAT LITTLE STORY AS FACT, unbeknownst to the speaker of the original statement – which then leads to misunderstanding, resentment, and hurt feelings; not to mention confusion and maybe even exasperation on the other side.

Can you relate?

Perhaps this is why we feel inexplicably drawn to some people. We might say, ‘You really GET me!’ And we get them, without feeling we have to interpret what is being said. Many times when this happens, we find that that person came from very similar circumstances as we did. We may be able to complete each others sentences or share almost identical belief systems. Oh what joy it is to feel understood! The need to explain oneself vanishes, and you find yourself resting comfortably in this kindred spirit’s presence.

Remember that each of us comes from very different origins, none better or worse than our own. And be grateful for those who just ‘get’ you. It’s no small blessing.

Namaste.

 

Own Your Way.

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I like walking because it makes you own your way. Whenever I walk somewhere, not only do I remember the way, but I also feel like I have a legitimation to be there. I visit a place by train, and I am a tourist, I walk to the same place on foot, and the place is suddenly mine, we belong together, I don’t feel like an alien anymore. I like that feeling. -Christoph Rehage

 

It’s not realistic or feasible for most of us to do what Christoph Rehage did – spend a year just walking. But it IS very possible for each and every one of us to own our way – to take off the blinders of our habit-driven and technologically-hypnotized lives and start paying attention.

Stop what you’re doing.

Breathe.

What does the sky look like in your corner of the world right now? How long has it been since you simply gazed in wonder at the clouds?

Your thoughts are a veil on the face of the Moon.
That Moon is your heart, and those thoughts cover your heart.
So let them go, just let them fall into the water. – Rumi

Close your eyes – listen. What do you hear? The chirping of birds? The laughter of children? The wind in the trees? Rain hitting the pavement?

Shall I not have intelligence with the earth?  Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself? – Henry David Thoreau

Open your eyes. What can you see? What do you really see? Look closely at the color that surrounds you, the veins of the leaves, watch an ant and see where he goes. Marvel in the miracles of this planet.

You didn’t come into this world.  You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean.  You are not a stranger here. – Alan Watts

How long can you go without checking your phone?

There is nothing so much like God in all the universe as silence. – Meister Eckhart

How many minutes can you sit in silence without giving in to the urge to fidget or turn on the t.v. (OR LOOK AT YOUR PHONE?).

Wisdom begins in wonder. – Socrates

Own your way. No matter what waits for us after this life, all we have is now. I encourage all of us to shed the insignificant that we mistake for significant and make it matter. Easier said than done? Maybe. Or maybe that’s just an excuse we make so our Ego can stay fed. I think it begins with simplifying, silence and connection to Source. Remember, everything you need is already within. Can you find it?

Namaste.

A Heavy Curriculum

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Posted June 27, 2012

If somebody is a problem for you, it’s not that they should change, it’s that you need to change. If they’re a problem for themselves that’s their karma, and if they’re causing you trouble that’s your problem on yourself. So, in other words, when Christ was crucified, he said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” They’re not a problem for him; rather, he’s trying to get them out of being a problem for themselves, because he’s clear. Your job is to clear yourself. In ideal situations you would clear yourself within the situation, but very often it’s too thick and you can’t do that.

So, what you do then is pull back and do the stuff you do in the morning or at night or before you go to work, you do the stuff on weekends, you do the stuff that quiets you down and then each time you go into the situation to where you have to work, you lose it again. And then you go home and you see how you lost it, and you examine it, and then you go the next day and you lose it again, and you go home and you keep a little diary “how did I lose it today,” and then you go and you do it again, and after a while as you’re starting to lose it you don’t buy in so much. You start to watch the mechanics of what it is that makes you lose it all the time.

If I’m not appreciated, it’s your problem that you don’t appreciate me. Unless I need your love – then it’s my problem. So my needs are what are giving you the power over me. Those people’s power over you to take you out of your equanimity and love and consciousness has to do with your own attachments and clingings of mind. That’s your work on yourself, that’s where you need to meditate more, it’s where you need to reflect more, it’s where you need a deeper philosophical framework, it’s where you need to cultivate the witness more, it’s where you need to work on practicing opening your heart more in circumstances that aren’t optimum. This is your work. You were given a heavy curriculum, and that’s that. There’s no blame. It’s not even wrong or bad – it’s just what you’re given.

You hear what I’m saying? It’s interesting. Can you all hear that one?

-Ram Dass, Summer 1989