Our latest VLog on our travel plans for early 2018 and where we’ll be next.
Our very first VLog entry. Sharing on where techniques came from, more on the heart chakra + the heart centre.
There's times along my healing journey I've felt an internal battle going on. Old feelings of darkness, with the other of light and hope. How the two sides draw out very different approaches to life, and ultimately it is up to me to choose which approach I will take.
I've often lived the one in darkness, that led to anger, hostility, passive aggressiveness, hurting myself and my actions having a negative impact on others and relationships.
I've also lived the road of light and hope. Feeling love for life and all that comes my way, feeling lighthearted and easy going, an underlying of peace in everything I did and said.
What I've had to do is accept both sides of me. Accept these two wolves so to speak, that are inside me. They come about for different reasons, different experiences, different places and people. But both are completely ok. I can't live life in regret and be remorseful, since those experiences have taught me valuable lessons. Plus it has brought me to the place I am now in awareness, and fully loving and accepting myself, which is a true form of forgiveness.
In my readings by Jeff Foster, he shared an analogy of resistance as being an ocean, where some waves are welcome while others are not. We divide ourselves up into parts, accepting some parts while rejecting others. These are often based on old patterns and things we have been taught or conditioned to believe.
One of my greatest areas of resistance has been what I've called "negative feelings", feelings of helplessness when things don't go the way I want them to go, feeling resentful, upset, angry. Then these get fueled, because I'm putting all my attention on them and justifying them. On one hand there's nothing wrong with this, but the consequence is many experiences of pain and suffering. Lashing out at others and blaming them for a quick fix to re-affirm power, because I'm uncomfortable and feeling very helpless with these feelings, rejecting these waves in my experience. At war with myself.
But what I can do is have a deeper level as acceptance. Going back to the analogy of being the ocean, all waves are welcome. Then in the story of two wolves, I invest my time and energy on the waves that resonate the underlying experiences of peace, light, and hope. This is the journey of ending the internal war, accepting any feeling whether it's deemed positive or negative, as ok. No more running away, no lashing out, no quick fix or urgency to re-establish power during feelings of helplessness. It's a new approach to life, experiencing life in the fullest, and harnessing and empowering myself to decide where I will invest my attention, to have the inner peace within the path I'm also walking and experiencing on the outside, aligning my body, mind, and soul, as one. No more battles, as everything is ok, and accepted, at the deepest level. There's now no effort in acceptance, it is simply noticing life and all these waves are already accepted on the outer level, with no more need for any battles and inner conflict.
On my healing journey, I realized I've wanted to ignore the obstructions in my life that have to do with the heart. There's many obstructions there that are holding me back from experiencing and living life in unconditional joy and love. I've been reading more of Anthony De Mello's writings, and he went into detail on 4 truths that I've studied and have been open to applying it in my life.
1. I must choose between my attachment or happiness: There's past and current attachments I have carried, that I believed I needed in order to be happy. Such as living in a certain neighbourhood, having a certain job, needing to accomplish various achievements, needing various relationships and friendships. While on one hand they can be very rewarding experiences, I'm awakening to the fact they do not create my happiness. Otherwise it is a lost cause, if they aren't in my life then I'm miserable, unhappy, etc. I become a slave to conditions around me, and joy/love/happiness become dependent on something or someone.
2. Where did your attachment come from? You were not born with it. It's a lie that you have told yourself, without this or that I can't be happy: I've had to really look at my life and what I've experienced, and be willing to have an open mind that this is in fact true. There's times I wanted to put the blame on someone, something, some situation, that was causing my unhappiness. I've had to come to terms with the fact that I have been conditioned in many ways with this false belief and accepted it as normal. As I go through life with this false belief, I become co-dependent on someone or something, which leads to all sorts of dysfunction.
3. If you wish to be fully alive you must develop a sense of perspective. Life is infinitely greater than this trifle your heart is attached to and which you have given the power to so upset you: This has been very challenging at times, when I begin to get tunnel vision. Making one thing or another so important, that it MUST go this way or that way, in order for me to be happy with life. Then when it doesn't, I feel the extreme reaction of frustration, anger, and the belief life is unfair. Losing trust in Life and the Universe, that what's happening I can get through it, and be grateful they are challenges that are there to teach me something, rather than losing all hope and resisting life.
4. No thing or person outside of you has the power to make you happy or unhappy. You and only you decide to be happy or unhappy: When I first read this, my mind wanted to say "yeah, but you don't know what I've been through, you don't know what I've seen, you don't know what it's really like!". I want to automatically go into defense mode. But in his teachings, De Mello shares this is normal. For those that keep their guards up and don't want to look deeper at this, the suffering will continue, and when one is finally ready to let go of suffering, just on the other side is joy and love. No more needing to be a slave to conditions and demands on someone or something for joy, love, happiness. No more seeking, when it's already inside me. I just need to move the obstructions away of old beliefs, and let the truth of joy, love, happiness, emerge and shine through.
When I look back on my life and this journey of healing and growing, I see more clearly the baggage that I've been carrying for most of my life. These included sad, mad, angry, fearful, judgemental thoughts and emotions of myself and of others. It was like carrying a sack on my back, and my arms and hands also full with this baggage, leaving me very little resources or attention to put on where my life is here and now. I was too occupied with all this baggage.
On this journey of healing I have begun to put down, piece by piece, the baggage I've been carrying. Finding another way to move through life. Not bogged down with old thoughts and emotions.
The first step in healing was to simply see I was carrying all these things, which was increasing awareness. I had little awareness of this baggage up until a couple years ago, this had been how I always was so never questioned it.
The next step was to just observe this without judgement. These were all old patterns imprinted which I was following. No judging, no self hating, no blame on myself or others, tapping into the acceptance of what is here and now.
Through the practice of breathing and meditation, I began stepping out of these old patterns. Which began the process of dissolving those old patterns. Which led to new patterns and ways of being. A different outlook on life. Living life in the here and now, not in the past or the future. Processing, facing these fears, no longer running, is the path to true freedom.
Compare the serene + simple splendor of a rose in bloom with the tensions and restlessness of your life. The rose has a gift that you lack: It is perfectly content to be itself. It has not been programmed from birth, as you have been, to be dissatisfied with itself, so it has not the slightest urge to be anything other than it is.
-Anthony De Mello
Self-intolerance has been a theme throughout my life. A lot of conflict when wanting to be something I'm not, being jealous of what others have, not being content with my life here and now. Not accepting myself or life.
I've learned self understanding is the way out of this mess.
There's no fight or desire to change who or what I am, simply the step to understand who and what I am.
This has been where the practice of breathing + meditation has taken me. Learning to observe thoughts with no judgement, letting them come and go. Observe what's happening in my body when I have one particular thought, able to let it go if it brings about discomfort or distress, while entertaining and embracing the thoughts that resonate with my spirit of love, peace, and joy.
As I practice this, the awareness of self understanding increases, which is always going to be based on self acceptance, and unconditional love for myself, and life. As all judgements of myself and the world around me drop away.
“Peace doesn't require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you. The problem begins and ends there.” ~ByronKatie
I have many life lessons that has proven this to be true. There is no other way.
Whether it is in my job, my personal life, no matter the situation. Inner peace is my responsibility.
That doesn't mean I become a pushover if something outside of me is happening that I want to change, or decide to move in a direction for change. Or that I can't have my own opinions on a matter.
The difference is when I blame someone or something outside of me for disrupting peace within, I've lost touch with my true self and my spirit, whose essence is peace and joy. Then I develop a self righteousness, that that person has to do this or that, or this situation has to be this way or that way, for me to attain peace.
When I go within and feel peace regardless of the storms around me, then that's the filter I will see the world in. That the situation and person is no longer responsible for my peace. I am. That will bring me deeper within, I am peace.
With that, I can move forward in life, promoting change, promoting justice, promoting peace and love, from a place of peace and love.
words of encouragement,
written July 22, 2016
When you're so sad and crying a lot, it's all ok. Be gentle with your heart and know your heart and soul are there to embrace it all. Although you have intense feelings in this moment, remember you are whole and complete, pure, and completely lovable. You're absolutely fearless with your willingness to bare your heart and soul to others. Despite it not resulting in some of the action right now that you want, know you are on a path exactly where you're supposed to be.
You won't always know all the answers, or understand why things unfold the way they do. But, we know what ever happens is for the greater good.
You'll always be fully happy and content, and satisfied, to the fullest and deepest depths no matter what happens on the outside.
People come and go, family, friends, lovers, but this unconditional love from within will never go. It is eternal, you are eternal. You are love and loved.
Be gentle in these times of sorrow and sadness, stay present. Enjoy every moment, no matter what comes your way.
Life is an adventure. Filled with ups and downs. In these feelings of downtime it's inevitable it will be back up again. This too shall pass.
Love always and forever,
The world is full of sorrow
The root of sorrow is attachment desire
The uprooting of sorrow is the dropping of attachment
How does one drop it?
One only looks and sees that it is based on a false belief
The belief that without this I cannot be happy
That's false, the moment you see that's false you're free
-Anthony De Mello
I've had a lot of examples of these false beliefs in my experiences.
One recent experience was having all these plans for an outing with a friend be cancelled. Plans had been made, was going to be dinner, a light walk afterwards.
That was the simplicity of it, the dinner outing was cancelled.
The false beliefs I was having that led to suffering were the stories. I'm not a priority, why is this happening to me, why does this always happen to me, what's wrong with that person. So many judgements and stories, layering on top of the basic reality that plans had been cancelled.
I was basing my happiness on plans going as planned, and if anything changed those plans, I was no longer happy.
I can be happy and free once I had the awareness of the false belief I needed that event to happen in order to be happy.
I recently watched a short video clip by Eckhart Tolle. He shared the following: Whenever you have become defensive about something, know that you have identified yourself with an illusion. [course of miracles]. The knowing is not part of the illusion. In the knowing, you are free of the illusion.
I've had a lot of episodes of defensiveness in my life. Wanting to be right, wanting to be heard, wanting to make a point.
All of these are ok, except when I begin to lose myself in the actions. Identifying and escalating my position through anger, hostility, frustration. Infusing my actions with this energy.
Yet, I can also make a point, take a stand, be heard, without losing myself. In fact I'd have a lot more clarity in my approach, interactions with others, and peace, when I don't lose myself.
What are some triggers that have brought me to losing myself, and identifying with the thought? It's almost always what someone says, or so it seems. If I take a step back I will recognize it's not what they said, it's what I'm thinking or believing based on what they said (as how Byron Katie puts it).
If it was what they actually said, then that would mean they are controlling what I think and how I feel. Then I'm ultimately losing myself, at the mercy of someone saying something that makes me happy, makes me sad, makes me angry, etc.
Once I see it's not what that person says, it's what I'm thinking and believing, I can have a handle on the situation. I can choose how to react or respond.
I can take a few conscious breathes, see the numerous thoughts coming and going, and choose the thoughts that resonate with my spirit. While letting the other thoughts go. Recognizing not all thoughts are true, and the ones that unnerve me, shake me, scare me, are always not true. The ones that bring peace and comfort are true.
Inner peace, love, harmony, is my true self, and from that place I can recognize old thought patterns that go against this, and create and develop new patterns.