Saturday’s Wisdom: Be True To Yourself

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Letting go of the Self

“Your vision and life purpose will become clear only when you look into your heart.”

when-ego-is-lostCarl Jung said that and he was most definitely correct. By being willing to leave your level of consciousness and reach into your higher levels you will find that there is so much more of YOU than you can comprehend within your daily awareness. It is in your unconsciousness where you will find the authentic you, as the spiritual being you are. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer expressed this as that

“in order to produce something that is greater than yourself, one has to go out from one self, raise above one self, detach oneself and enter higher regions, so as to capture elements from these regions.”

For many individuals this is something very frightening to do. As a matter of fact, most people do not feel comfortable with even the thought of that there actually is so much more to life – in any dimension – than that which they already have come to grasp. Why? Because it challenges who we think we are at our most fundamental level. It means we are forced to “see” something that we know we can not control – a different ground of self rather than our conditioned sense of need, control, security or the many other ways that we are looking, looking and further looking for outside of ourselves to validate who we are – as it so clearly reveals to us an ever-present dimension of reality beyond mind, time and our embodiment through which we can be clinging to materialistic things for false security.

Serenity%20tor%20rainbow%20quote%202012This fear is burrowed so deep into our self-sense that most of the time we don’t even notice it as we don’t find any resistance on the conscious level. It is at the deeper level of our being that there is a unverbalized resistance because it is plain scary to discover that we are in fact what is – the infinite ground of everything, itself. Of course this realization is essential if we want to transform and, when taken from a fearless (more or less at least) perspective of spiritual growth, frees us from our false identification with our personal history and all the ways things have been as we open up to true divine – and mind-blowing I may add – transformation. To once again quote Dr. Dyer, who put this in a more straightforward way:

“[…] If you refuse to accept responsibility for the incarnation of a new and higher concept of yourself then you reject the means – the only means – whereby the attainment of your ideal can be affected. […] To make this transition from the ordinary level of consciousness to the super level of consciousness involves such a fundamental renewal, such a dramatic change of personality, that few are prepared to make such a commitment to the fullfillment of their own dharma.”

A very good way to reach deeper levels of unconsciousness is by deep meditation. Personally, it has taken me years of practise to manage to truly “go inside” and…connect. In the beginning of my conscious spiritual journey I really did not take to meditation. Looking back I realize that I instead chose some kind of theoretical devotion – it probably felt like a much quicker path to Enlightenment (yes, my impatience probably had a great deal to do with my “short-cut” approach).

man sunrise meditatiionI did however try meditation many times – as I’d heard of it. I sat down, in Lotus-position as that’s what I’d learned that that’s what “true” devotees would do (jeez…I know!) but I wouldn’t really manage to let go and drop my identification with thought, feeling and sensation. At numerous times I’d fall into a specific level of depth and then I would (intentionally, I believe) distract myself – probably just to avoid confronting the frightening truth that at the center of it all there is NO THING, nothing at all. Not even my ideas of who I am. My own experiences make me feel compassionate for each and everyone that gets frightened by such (sometimes painful) discovery. It challenges everything our society and “modern world” has taught us, everything as we know it. We don’t like to realize it as it is. It’s scary. However, the only way out is to let go off it all – to drop our false and in fact shallow “self””.

Once we are being ready to be challenged – and actually seeing the amazing beauty of that challenge – an entirely new (although old) world/dimension opens up. One in which we have the opportunity to truly (re)discover our life’s purpose, our vision and true love as our soul knows it. Again, spiritual progress is not usually experienced as some event-changing shift. It is a gradual awakening composed of many shifts and realizations. And it’s a beautiful beautiful journey because that which we find in our meditations generates such different kind of energy and awareness that it reaches far beyond self conscious protection – we find our safe haven and true joy for this life we are given. We find our authentic selves and there is no greater joy. It makes you strong, courageous and happy happy HAPPY (and a little bit craaazy) – I promise!

“The purpose of meditation is to stop thinking for a time, wait for the fog of thought to thin, and glimpse the spirit within.” – Dr Chopra

Freedom from the Ego

finding-happiness-2480Some nights ago while doing a spiritual clearing and cleaning I stumbled upon some lessons with Craig Hamilton from a couple of years ago. shifting through the material I realized what treasure lies within his teachings as the guidance he shares so well is truly inspiringly . As a matter of fact, I find Craig Hamilton’s spiritual teachings to probably be some of the most “straight to the point”-spiritual teachings I know of, yet they are full of clarity. I want to share this article with you as I find it so well spoken about the Ego and how we by simple awareness can let our Ego be a part of our spiritual transformation instead of letting it pull us away – even temporarily – from our spiritual path. Read and reflect.

Many of us today are engaging in a tremendous amount of spiritual work on ourselves. We’re meditating, praying, attending workshops, seminars, and retreats. And yet the vast majority of us are making the same mistake. We tend to put far too much significance on the need to work out our personal psychological issues as part of our spiritual path. It’s important to recognize that this isn’t our fault. This tendency grew out of our psychotherapeutic culture which basically told us that we were all messed up by our childhood and that we have “inner wounds” that need to be healed in order to become happy and fulfilled as adults. And, as the great enlightenment teachings have been imported to the West, this psychotherapeutic worldview has gradually become superimposed onto the spiritual path.

The way this plays out practically is as follows: let’s say that I take up a spiritual practice in earnest, and I notice in the course of that practice that I’m deeply defended against life and intimacy. I won’t let other people see me. I always wear a social mask which actually hides a lot of insecurity. Well, upon discovering this, as a psychologically informed modern, my tendency is going to be to withdraw inward, to go back to my past, to start plumbing the depths of my psyche to try to find and uproot the personal causes of this fear and insecurity, and this tendency to hide myself from life.

But in an authentic spiritual context, we would point out that this “personal problem” you’ve discovered is in fact simply one of the basic, ordinarymanifestations of ego. And, rather than sending you on an endless and pointless archaeological dig into your psyche, we’d simply encourage you to face directly into the Truth of what you were seeing, to see the psychological tendency clearly, and the motivations that are driving it in the present. Most importantly, we’d encourage you to make direct effort in the opposite direction of your habitual response. So, in this example, when you see yourself preparing to put on a good face, we would encourage you to instead take the frightening leap to be transparent and vulnerable.

Upon reading this, many psychologically informed experts will protest, asserting that, if it were that easy to change, everyone would have already changed and there would be no need for . . . well, no need for psychotherapy . . . And this is a perfectly reasonable response from someone who has had no experience engaging in the kind of spiritual practice I’m describing. But what happens when we let go of this compulsion to work out our problems, and instead begin to directly engage in a path of active transformation like the one I encourage, is that we suddenly find that we have access to a part of our self that is already free from our ego’s limitations and issues. It’s a part of our self that was never wounded or traumatized, that doesn’t need to be healed, that is already whole and complete, and has access to boundless energy, creativity, and positivity, and is completely ready to participate in life fully,boldly, passionately, holding nothing back. And, in this, we feel instantly connected to the heart of the spiritual thrust behind the Kosmos.

Miraculously, what we find in doing this work is that when people awaken to and begin to act from this deeper, truer part of the self, then all of the psychological issues, blocks, wounds, complexes, and neuroses that would have taken years to work through suddenly seem to dissolve. Now, the truth is that they haven’t dissolved. They can still be reactivated if we step back into the perspective of the ego. But in light of this newfound, higher potential, and the profound sense of purpose and meaning that comes with it, we discover a powerful reason to no longer fall prey to our “issues.” Simply put, they are no longer interesting to us, and in that, they lose their power over our psyche. And that seems to make all the difference in the world. In this, we begin to discover the real meaning of freedom from the ego. And we learn that this freedom is not something we have to wait for. It can happen now if we’re willing to give our heart and soul to it.” – Craig Hamilton (Integral Enlightment)

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Perfection

Ilife am not perfect and that’s a really great thing for which I am very grateful! Me stating this may not make sense – especially considering that we in our western world crave perfection in all its natural and unnatural forms – but it is a statement which is deeply true. My imperfections and perfections – the divine essence of whom I really am – are the results of a passionate fascinating interesting life, or many, lived. A life (or many lives) that has taught me so much, made me experience even more…but most of all’ve made me grow as a spiritual being. My spiritual journey has taught me who I am rather than the one I, or anyone else for that matter, thought I was. And the best part is that even after 15 years of spiritual awareness and “lessons learned” I am still learning about myself and of everything that our spiritual paths has to offer. It’s fantastic and I am so very very thankful!♥

In her book “Radical Self-Acceptance” buddhist teacher and author Tara Brach talks about the importance of acceptance of who you are – who you truly are. A part of this is to recognize all our feelings, each and every one of our thoughts and analyze our actions – all in order to truthfully know ourselves. This means that those feelings of unworthiness, shame, feeling unloved…all of them can teach you something about yourself without victimizing you. If you are willing to pay attention to them – acknowledge them as being part of who you are – they can tell you about yourself and your spiritual lessons in a truthful divine manner.

For people of our times – individuals who are working on their self-improvement, in a spiritual sense – these feelings are signals of something that we fear (although it may take some really honest inner dialogue to see what it is) and therefore need to work with. We are not to reject them or deny them but to embrace them as what they are. It is not until we do this as we truly can heal and become whole. It is everything about you, perfections and imperfections, that contribute to your uniqueness and it is all the events in your life – the good experiences and the ones that left a wound in your heart – that create the mix that defines the fascinating spiritual being that is YOU.

It is also by accepting our own imperfections just as much as our perfections that we can get to experience the love of others despite their “imperfections” – the experience of a true soulful spiritual loverelationship – as we recognize the reality of the spiritual being they are. Remember the greater picture – the Divine Purpose – “rather than a journey of perfection our journey is towards wholeness” as stated by Tara Brach. Spiritual worthiness.

Until you see the necessity of owning all of who are, you can’t extract the jewels from every experience of your life and your story will continue to use you. It will continue to clobber you over the head and make you act as though you’re small. But the moment you see the value in the parts you hate as well as those you feel good about, the moment you recognize that painful event as the perfect ingredient to make your recipe complete, you will witness the magic of transformation. You will bless what you formerly saw as a curse. You will watch as the horrid becomes holy.” – Debbie Ford

“A Grateful Heart

...is one who’s lived through trials along the way… Then found the strength to look ahead and face a brand new day. A grateful heart is one who knows that sorrow does not last, and morning brings a ray of hope to chase away the past. A grateful heart will always be much stronger than the rest, for they have weathered every storm and conquered every test.” ~ J. Lemming

Life: Path to happiness

Many people, including myself from time to time, feel that as global citizens we are over-stimulated on so many levels. This over-stimulation has led us to a point where it at times seems that we have lost the ability to pursue one thing at the time, out of fear that we’ll somehow miss out on all the others. It also has led us to lose our connection with our inner voice. Sometimes to such a degree that we forget to saviour the blessings God has provided us with.

The silence of ones inner voice – or purpose, if you’d prefer – is without doubt one of the main reason that the people I’ve been working with have experienced some or many parts of their life as a struggle. A tough, many times seemingly never-ending, struggle for “something else” or “everything”, be it greater “success”, that promotion, a job,  another job, the perfect partner, more money, a house, a bigger house, a more expensive car or even two, preferably more material things or anything else that in one way or another provides a (false) sense of being “good enough” or “successful” – more admiration, or even better, envy from others. More, more and more stimulation or anything that can satisfy ones Ego in its search for validation, short-term gratification and external recognition. Mostly at any price.

Yet there’s still a feeling of not being good enough – a sense of emptiness – and/or a void within. A void that not even the deepest precious love from our nearest and dearest can fill. A void that seem be always present – hence the feeling of never-ending struggle. Lack of happiness. And as a “problem-solver”, instead of looking at their selves some individuals instead express themselves as victims. OthersimagesC even put blame on their loved one(s) for “not providing” that which they feels their loved one(s) in fact should be providing – the picture-perfect relationship and/or family – without acknowledging that it takes two to tango or simply understanding that two half individuals can not and should not become one whole. For some people this widely spread denial of ones own responsibility for ones own life, choices and happiness have caused them to stir up emotions, relationships and even families because they were “unhappy” and someone (else) should’ve fixed it. As humans we want and need to feel authentic, to contribute, to experience and to give more love, wanting to ‘do what I came here to do’ and yet instead of doing and becoming this with our loved one(s) close to us – embarking on the journey together – we go separate ways. And continue to look for that “perfect partner” and/or “new family” whom will “make” us happy…and the next one…

What we need to do is to stop moving forward like a run-away train and start looking inside of ourselves to ask ourselves some important questions. It is only by doing so we can take our first steps along the path of our true destiny and purpose – towards total happiness. One needs to connect with one’s heart and to honor one’s soul’s deepest yearnings and not just follow the “regular”, “normal” and socially accepted path and, by that, simply take what you get. And then you make your choices and take proper action – based on honest (to yourself), compassionate, loving and wise grounds.  It’s all worth it, which is something that many people whom already are happily engaged on their own fulfilling path – contributing to the lives of others, waking up each day happy to be alive and bursting with a sense of purpose and deep personal satisfaction – will vouch for. I’ve been blessed to follow many of my clients on their journeys, sometimes even from their momenmeditatingts of shifting gear into a new exiting path. It is truly a wonderful experience and blessing – every single time – when an individual come to discover that all his/hers answers are found within. Answers that simply might have been long-buried under feelings of self-doubt, confusion, over-thinking, other people’s expectations or perhaps even all the above.

So, how do you reach this inner knowledge? How to you truly get to know yourself and that which will bring you true happiness? This is where meditation steps in. For you, as for many others, meditation can be the key to discovering what you are “all about”.  your greater Purpose. Meditation, with a consistent repetition, is a wonderful “tool” of learning that surely can take you from where you are today to significant spiritual, emotional and intuitive growth. Meditation not only allows us to connect with our divine consciousness – and thereby gain access to wisdom that resides beyond the reach of our everyday consciousness – but it also provides for invaluable insights about oneself and the nature of ones own purpose.

By practising meditation – and prayer, if one wants to separate them (I read somewhere that what separates themImage1 is that “in prayer You are asking God the questions and in meditation He is providing you with the answers”) – we somehow can familiarise ourselves with our true nature and gain a deeper awareness of ourselves. Finding ourselves means learning to observe ourselves, our lives and the evidence they present to us about who, or what, we are. It does require though that we are transparent to ourselves, in other words that we are being honest, non-judgemental and loving towards ourselves regardless of what we “find”. And eventually, as you begin to master your spiritual growth and go along through this journey I am confident you’ll eventually find that you begin to practise the same approach to other people.

Meditation really is a path to greater self-awareness. And it’s simple. Listening is the key – and trusting, knowing and allowing are the doors it opens. Remember, it’s never ever too late to begin again and you’re never too old to start living your life on your own terms. We are all God’s children, just beginning to take our first tentative steps. And if you’ve been struggling be thankful that this struggle has led you to meditation because meditation will lead you to happiness.

Monday Wisdom

“Living a reflective life is a powerful spiritual discipline. Periodically and intentionally looking back over the past months brings insights, joys, and perhaps regret. Regret can be a wonderful teacher, full of lessons that motivate future behavior.” – Jean Houston

Life

The practise of mindfulness…

001295…can be said as being the art of staying in the moment – accepting what it is – because it is already here. Mindfulness was originally developed by Jon KabatZinn in order for him to assist and help individuals with a wide range of medical issues. The practise is based on Buddhist philosophy and involves meditation, yoga and stretching techniques as well as some principles of cognitive behavioural therapy.

So what is mindfulness? Well, contrary to popular belief mindfulness is not simply about learning how to relax. It is a way of being, about about learning to be in the moment – in the Now – with help of observation. By practising mindfulness you become aware of what you are experiencing with acceptance, not trying to change things as they are at any given moment – the way they are right now – for better or for worse. It might sound strange or difficult to practise, and at times it is. I’ve learned from experience that this applies especially for very ambitious individuals whom been thought that you need to do whatever it takes in order to get what you want. The ones who feel the need to have control over their lives and by trying to do so live their life days, months or even years ahead of the present moment while the years pass.

Mindfulness isn’t  about letting go of your own responsibilities for your own life or to just let things be as they are. It is more about doing your best at every given moment and feel satisfied with as well as accept that. Mindfulness gives everyone the ability to live life to the full and everyone can have it. The only thing you need to do is to investigate your mind and harmonise your senses.

“Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is.
In the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today.
To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows how to dwell in mindfulness night and day,
‘one who knows the better way to live alone.”
Bhaddekaratta Sutta