Friday, 30 January 2015

The Word of the Week - Space


I create the space in my mind to increase my awareness so that I can be fully present in the now.

During my yoga practice, the instructor always affirms that we are to create space in our joints, as well as space in our thoughts when we are forming a pose; to become present and aware in that moment of now by using our breath as an anchor. When you practice mindfulness, you begin to notice how cluttered your mind is with its continuous chain of thoughts.  Recently I became aware at how jammed my mind became first thing in the morning,  even before I have had a chance to open my eyes!  It was as if all those concerns that I had relegated to the back of my mind, suddenly catapulted to the front of the queue, demanding to be heard.  Had I not learned to cultivate the element of space by being aware of my thoughts, I would not have noticed this pattern that tried to become a habit.

When you grow in terms of your awareness, you begin to practice  how to consciously direct your thoughts to that which you want and release those that you do not.  Basically, my ego mind is not as successful as it once was during my conscious waking hours and I have noticed that the only way that it can sneak in those simmering thoughts, is to bombard my mind with them first thing in the morning. I believe it is the only time that it can slip in without my guard being up.  Now it may seem as if the ego is the ultimate enemy and needs to be vanquished in order for you to lead a happy healthful life, but that’s only because we make the ego seem much bigger than we are and that is the biggest illusion of the mind.  For it can NEVER be bigger than the spirit of your Higher Self.

Being aware of your thinking allows you to observe yourself from another perspective, from a place that is without judgement or emotional attachment.  When you watch your thoughts this way, the mere act of watching without attachment creates a vacuum; that much needed space for you to discern and choose again.  It is learning to take your foot off of the gas, to slow down, to take a breath and just notice what is!

Just for today, take yourself off of auto pilot with your habitual behaviours, your repetitive thinking and become the observer.  Notice your breathing, where you expand and contract in your lungs.  Immerse yourself in the moment of now by heightening your awareness to what you are doing.  If you are typing notice the sensation on the keys, if you are sitting in a chair, feel the seat beneath your bottom.  This awareness  allow you to become mindful, because once you learn to notice, you can then learn to change.


Friday, 23 January 2015

The Word of the Week - Defense

I love myself enough to create the space for others to be who they desire to be without judgement.

Sometimes we assume too much about the people around us.  We make judgements, take offense to slights and then build barriers against those very same people; closing off our heart space in response to a habitual defence mechanism of what we perceive as an attack by another.
A Course in miracles says  “I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts.”

Is it not just a thought you have about a person,  a situation or an experience that determines your reaction to it?  Does it not follow that you can then choose how to perceive that person, situation or experience in a way that does not come from a place of fear, but from a place of love.
When you are in a situation where a person acts defensive, abrupt, curt or short with you.  To some, the first reaction (which is  learned and more often than not habitual) is to take offense and react from the ego perspective.  However, if before you decide upon this course of action, you review your choice of the following, in order to process and gain clarity in your mind before you react:

  • ·         You could see the wounds of the person in front of you that seems to block their light in that moment and thus you could be more understanding that it is only their ego that is reacting and not their authentic self who IS a reflection of you! (This concept right here is the one that stops us separating from the human family, for it is only the ego that sees the hate, the anger and the differences, love only sees love.)
  • ·         You could choose to not perceive their behaviour as an attack because only LOVE is REAL and we are all created from the essence of love, the Source of all creation.  You cannot possibly defend against something that is an illusion, that which is created only by the ego and not your true Source.
  • ·         You could know that in your defencelessness lies your strength.  For when a defence arises in you, it is an opportunity to learn that your thought about this situation or circumstance that you find yourself in needs healing.  So you pause, you take a breath and you learn what your defensive nature is trying to teach you.

In life, always bring the lesson of life back to your SELF.  For it is your own thoughts that create the emotions in you.  With love, patience and kindness, all thoughts of defence are healed in this way.

Just for today, look at what your defensiveness is trying to teach you and accept the healing light of love to replace and correct that thought.


Friday, 16 January 2015

The Word of the Week - Change

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.
As a man changes his own nature,
so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ...
We need not wait to see what others do.”
Mahatma Ghandi

As I meditated this morning, the quote associated with Mahatma Ghandi (of which  the above actual quote is from Ghandi) “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” came to me and I asked myself the question, what changes could I make to myself to help heal the world. Given the extensive news reporting on the terror attacks that took place in France but even more so the lack of news coverage on the attacks that killed 2,500 people in Boko Haram in Nigeria.  When I first discovered that there was a blanket silence on the latter my initial response was to question why would the media choose to report one terror attack over another?  Then I realised that I felt a judgement arising in me over the injustice that one did receive more media coverage than the other!

Ghandi’s words came flooding to me in that moment, as I could feel the anger rising in me.  I took a breath and pondered, how could I view this situation differently, how could I reconcile my emotional attachment to this situation?  Be the change you wish to see in the world, the voice  in my head reminded me.  In order for me to be the change I could not let my anger, whose root cause is fear, be the impetus for any of my thoughts.  I could not let hate or any such emotion fill my being because that would make me into the very same people who cause these terrible atrocities.  The antidote to hate and fear is love, so how could I view this from a place of love?  I began to understand what Ghandi meant, as I looked to my own environment, in my own workspace and in my own community.  Be more kind loving and compassionate to those who are closest to me.  I understood that I needed to cultivate more of a quality of forgiveness to those whom  I had passed judgements towards.  I understood that I need not feed into the opinions of others and reinforce the hate and fear that such reports fuel into our psyche.   

Each day that we are given the chance to live and breathe again, choose to cultivate the change you wish to see in the world.  If you wish to see more love, then cultivate more love in your heart.  If you wish more peace in the world, then act in peaceful ways towards your fellow man.

Just for today, breathe life into the qualities that you wish to see into the world by encouraging those same said qualities in yourself.  The healing of our planet begins with you, let this weekend be the beginning of the change you wish to see.


Friday, 9 January 2015

The Word of the Week - Take a Breath

I direct my thoughts and control my reactions to all circumstances by taking a breath

There was a movie that I watched a while back now called “After Earth” with Will and Jaden Smith.  I don’t think it did very well at the box office but the message that it conveyed was deep and profound.  In a nutshell an estranged father and son crash land on an uninhabited and hostile Earth, where the father is a soldier but is injured, his son has been training to be a soldier and has to go on a perilous journey to get a signal for assistance from their home.  The father has to keep in radio communication with his son and each time his son panics, begins to become stressed out or even frightened, his father orders him to take a knee.  This means he is to literally bow down upon one knee and to take a pause.

To me this was a profound expression because it conveyed that in every circumstance and situation in life, where we are unsettled, panicked or fearful, we need to stop, take a breath and centre yourself to the Divine consciousness within.  Oftentimes the outside world can move at such a speed we feel that it is almost impossible to stop and take a breath because decisions need to made in a heartbeat.  Throughout the film decisions needed to be made in every circumstance,  both in intense life threatening situations and those that were not.  However, throughout it all, the “taking of a knee” was the anchor which enabled the character to succeed in his mission.  Our life mirrors this to some degree, where if our initial thoughts and subsequent reactions are left unchecked it ends up causing us more harm than good because we are unable to filter first the words and the arising emotions that  come in every given situation.

In my earlier teachings, we were told to think five times before we speak in any situation… other words to take a breath before we follow through on our first reaction because more often than not in my own experience my first response  to someone annoying me would be to cuss them off or say something that I really did not mean.

Just for today, take a breath, take a pause and take a moment to centre yourself to the Divine within before you say, do or react, this enables you to come from a place of peace and love rather than knee jerk ego aggression.

Have a mindful weekend.