Don’t fight it

A client who came to class today had this image of climbing up and up during an 18 minute exercise that looked like reaching up to grab thick rope and pulling down on it as if to ring church bells, alternating hands each time. At the end of it, her image turned into falling down bottomless. Her translation of this last image was of failure, and her reaction was something like “no!” She was fighting the idea of failure after having accomplished the 18 minute climb. 

She had resistance against her own thoughts: a visceral reaction against the idea of falling and failing. 

I asked, “What if you just said ‘so what if I failed?’ or just looked at your visual with curiosity, without conclusion? Or what if you embraced what you perceived as failure? After all, failure could only follow having tried, and trying isn’t failing.” 

The point is, why judge and resist a thought that comes up when you can simply look at it as a release?  

Especially during meditation: things bubble up from the past. And they simply need letting go. No judgment. Just compassion. 

Gifting someone the benefit of doubt

…benefits you more than anyone else.

It makes for a happier life, and you see the brighter side of people.

When there is doubt, and you approach with the assumption that they meant well rather than with malice, then you enter into a more open dialog. You let down defenses. 

If you are wrong, that karma belongs to the other person and you move on. Assume good, and you raise the chances of good. This doesn’t mean don’t do due diligence, but it does mean don’t transfer past experiences onto others, nor unfairly judge others. There is more potentiality in relating this way, and the possibilities open much more in your favor. 

Hearing each other

All anyone really wants is communication. Meaning without the sarcasm, without the bravado, without the hidden agenda, the pretense, the judgments and accusations. Just some straight talk. This requires some vulnerability, asking real questions, making sure you’re defining things in the same way when it seems you’re not on the right page, looking for the commonalities, and choosing what battles to fight and what to let go. 

How else will you be heard? How else will you hear the other person?

May we be privileged

“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” 

– Brene Brown

When we give a gift to someone who is so delighted by it, it becomes easy to gift that person again and again. When a receiver barely acknowledges it, or throws it aside, not so much. 

The Universe gifts us at every moment. What do we do with them? 

May we be privileged. 

What we pay attention to grows. Why? That’s the language between the Universe and us. By paying attention to what we pay attention to, we are telling the Universe what we want. That is why with gratitude comes abundance. And when we pay attention to what we don’t have or don’t want, there is more of that to experience.

May we know what we have and see the silver lining in every challenge. May we know our privilege. 

I think it is no accident that Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday season bookended by the New Year. We get to go into the season – a gift really – filled with giving, receiving, and coming together, even when completely challenged by our families. We set aside time for them; something many of us won’t do during the rest of the year. Or we get to see how we can create community – a family of choice. There is opportunity for gratitude as we step into the holidays. We get to see and work through the important issues that we bury under a lot of busy-ness the rest of the year. Those issues come alive during this time… effectively setting us up to close the season and start fresh on New Year’s Day with renewed inspiration, determination and intention for new possibility in our lives.

May we embrace the gift of holiday to see what we need to see and harness them to become what we need to become. For we are privileged. 

Sat Nam.

Wonder why sometimes what (s)he does bothers you and at other times it doesn’t?

It depends on whether or not your tank is full. 

When you are emotionally triggered, your gas gauge is telling you to fill up. 

Every human being has spiritual hungers, which have to do with matters of existing: hunger to exist, to be seen, to be heard, to be touched, to be loved, to be affirmed, to be respected, to be understood, to matter, to know another person, to feel connected to others, to love, to express, to experience fully, to learn, to trust, to touch, to be valued, to make a difference, to fulfill one’s purpose, to know God… 

In truth, everything we do in our life is a way to make us feel whole, which, in essence, is our hunger to know God, or to know oneSelf.

The more whole you feel, the less triggered you are. 

When you are feeling slighted, angry, or frustrated, instead of concluding that it’s because the other person did something to you, ask yourself, what am I hungry for that this person could have this much power over me?

Identify your spiritual hunger and then take ownership for getting that hunger met. It doesn’t have to be met by the person who triggered you. Get creative. You can find ways to affirm yourself. You can ask someone to say something good about you– you’d be surprised how amazingly thoughtful and generous they can be in answering your request. You can ask another person to give you a hug and not let go for at least 10 seconds. You can ask your significant other if (s)he would put away the dishes tonight. The point is, you are making a clear request. No one has to guess what you want. And what a relieve for both of you!

This practice not only gets to the source of your pain, but it helps improve communication, and it makes you less vulnerable to triggers.

A time for compassion

In this time (of the Aquarian Age), 1/3 of the population will commit suicide, 1/3 will go mad, and 1/3 will wake up.  

Yogi Bhajan

Just a few days ago, I reached out to my brother in San Francisco to make sure he and his family were doing okay with the smoke coming from the fires; they were wearing masks. Today, friends from Los Angeles reached out to make sure we were safe. There was a shooting at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital where people died. 

Hopefully you identify with the third of the people who are waking up. Because things are crazy right now. 

If you are, it’s time to let go of judgment and have compassion for the amount of pain and fear that the world is experiencing. It will be your light, strength, and love that will make the difference. It will be the community of light, strength and love that will provide solace to those in despair and confusion. Safety goes beyond the physical. We are in such a spiritual crisis, people are choosing to leave their physical bodies, and some are taking others with them, and it will be in finding ourselves – in our togetherness – that will create the healing and transformation we need to find peace. Plugging into our communities is vital. 

Stop sharing things that divide. Ask yourself, is what I am sharing or saying elevating? We need the elevation. Judgment doesn’t serve to educate and change others for the better. It divides and creates hate. At the end of the day, every person wants to feel acknowledged, and it is from that place that peace and healing can happen. Find a way. Be the light. 

Here is a powerful prayer to recite when it feels like things are falling apart for yourself or for someone else. Recite it for the planet.

Love before me
Love behind me
Love at my left
Love at my right
Love above me
Love below me
Love unto me
Love in my surroundings
Love to all
Love to the Universe

Peace before me
Peace behind me
Peace at my left
Peace at my right
Peace above me
Peace below me
Peace unto me
Peace in my surroundings
Peace to all
Peace to the Universe

Light before me
Light behind me
Light at my left
Light at my right
Light above me
Light below me
Light unto me
Light in my surroundings
Light to all
Light to the Universe

Are you an enabler?

  1. You are allowed to set boundaries.
  2. You are allowed to wave bye bye to anyone who doesn’t respect them

–source unknown

This isn’t about changing someone. It’s about changing yourself. It’s about creating healthy boundaries so that you aren’t left feeling less than.

I.e.: used, abused, unappreciated, forced, desperate, drained, side-tracked, compromised, addicted.

The more you do what compromises your soul, the more you lose yourself in the weakness, hopelessness, childishness and cruelty of others.

Close your eyes to get your answer. Find a way to express yourself anchored in that answer rather than lost in any question. Understand that you are not asking. Your answer is not up for debate. Come from a place of compassion because you can only be enabling someone who is in pain or fear, and therefore that person will feel attacked and afraid. You can understand the difficulty in that situation without losing yourself in the process.

This is why the heart center resides between the navel and throat.

You might feel something stuck in your throat – an expression that is afraid to come out. Or maybe you feel an ache in your heart – this circumstance is so hard, so heartbreaking or you feel betrayed. Or you feel it in your gut, like you got punched in the stomach. Or all the way down, like this is shaking up your sense of security.

Either way, close your eyes and connect with the heart center, where your soul’s desires and Truth reside. Then connect with the navel center to find your courage to protect your divine right to unapologetically exist, and journey back up through the heart center to connect with the compassion you have for the other person and the experiences they have had, and the work they are doing that you will no longer be doing for them, and then move up to your throat center to unapologetically express. May it be clear, firm, unwavering, and kind in saying “no”.

The key is to come from self-love and compassion rather than from a punitive or judging place. They won’t like what you are doing because getting the enabling rug pulled out from underneath feels unreasonable, inconvenient, hurtful, mean and shocking. It will feel like you are changing the rules on them. It will feel like you are changing a long contracted agreement. They will both be true. And you will have done the most loving thing for yourself and for the other person. Because you will have liberated both of you from the co-dependency, empowering both of you to move forward with the work each of you were meant to do.

Sat Nam.