Archives for posts with tag: spirit

shadow

As each day passes, the light becomes brighter
Bringing clarity to matters of heart and head
That once seemed impossible to figure out
Leaving me wonder how long I must tread
 
Toiling and troubling, my mind would circle round
Trying to make sense of the direction I should take
And examining the hidden messages
To learn of the lessons, for my own sake
 
With Pluto demanding  nothing but the truth
I’ve been forced to face the shadows of darkness and death
Shut away and hidden, rejected and repressed
Always preventing me from complete soul’s rest
 
Now I know, without a shadow of a doubt
That you were all part of the cosmic plan
Reflecting the parts of which I had been so ashamed
I confronted them one by one, lifting their perennial ban
 
Slowly, I resuscitate each and every part of me
Breathing life into every crack, crevice and corner
I implore them for their forgiveness and understanding
And with such simplicity, I have paid the debt I incur
 
With humility and gratitude, I receive such grace
To unlock myself from these chains
Giving myself the choice of being
I have fallen in love with freedom’s taste
 
LOVE YOUR SHADOW.
 
With Love,
theDesignLife
 

Day 20 – Thanksgiving Thankfulness – My Heart:  You bring me unspeakable joy, as well as unbearable pain.  Yet, even in that pain can glory and grace be found in the lesson it is teaching and the healing it is providing.  You are the only one who tells me the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  You don’t speak the language of hate.  You don’t rule by fear.  You don’t make excuses or rationalizations.  You are honorable and trustworthy, even when I don’t want to hear what you have to say, or reject what you’re telling me.  You teach me that the only way to live is to love.  My sage. My savant.  My soul.  In the words of Milan Kundera from his book “The Unbearable Lightness of Being:” “When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.”  Thank you. Xx      

Day 15 – Thanksgiving Thankfulness – Namaste: I just recently learned what ‘Namaste’ means – the Divine within me bows to the Divine within you. It takes my breath away – how incredibly powerful and so very humbling is this one word! As I continue along my self-discovery journey, I am tapping more and more into my spiritual nature. At this point, I am of the school of thought that believes the Divine, that incredible creative energy, lives within all things – material and immaterial, seen and unseen. You and I are born of this energy and will remain apart of it until eternity. As I see it, what all this means is that we are all one. How I treat you, my environment, my material things is all a reflection of how I treat myself. Boom! May I continue to be reminded of this powerful knowledge to walk forward in the paths of humility, respect, compassion and reverence. No matter what the Divine means to you – God, the Universe, creative energy, Highest Self, Inner Light.. And the list goes on – it seems to be everywhere when I need it, guiding me toward my purpose and reason for Being. Thank you. Xx

Day 9 – Thanksgiving Thankfulness – Voice: Voice is one of the most powerful tools we have to communicate our thoughts and feelings, individually and collectively, internally and externally. Voice transcends vocal chords and written word – it is the unmistakable spirit that inspires and empowers us to take stands against injustice, spread new ideas, forge deeper bonds, pass on generational traditions and create a community of oneness. All it takes is an act of kindness, a nonviolent protest, a reassuring hug – no doubt your message, your intention, your voice, will be clear as can be. Amazingly, through technology, your and my voice have gained spread and meaning. Our voices can be shared amongst an entire global community to help provide support, information and understanding. To quote Sheryl Sandberg in her HBS Class of 2012 speech: “… Now ordinary people have voice… Anyone with access to Facebook, to Twitter or a mobile phone. This is disrupting traditional power structures and leveling traditional hierarchy. Voice and power are shifting from institutions to individuals.” At first, I was set on finding my perfect pitch. Now, I realize that my voice will continue to morph over time as my belief system, authentic Self and circumstances change. Thank you. Xx

universality
the quality of being universal; existing everywhere
 
u·ni·ver·sal
of, affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases.
 
I love running along the West Side Highway.  Its paved paths, scenic views and fellow runners provide the perfect mix of utilitarianism, inspiration and motivation to keep me going.   
 
The path closest to the West Side Highway serves bikers while the waterfront one serves runners.  I typically opt to run on the biker path, prudently sticking to the far edge of the narrow lane so that I minimize my nuisance to the bikers racing by me.  I like it because it is the path of least resistance.  It is the first path I encounter of the two.  Since getting me out to run in the first place requires a strong dose of willpower, I am overly eager to start running the millisecond my heel hits the black pavement of the biker’s path.  The bliss of starting so that I am that much closer to stopping outweighs the desire for full frontal waterfront views. 
 
Today, for whatever reason, I decided to cross over to the runner’s path.  Most of the path has uninterrupted views of the Hudson River and our neighboring New Jersey cities.   I was imbued with a sense of Godliness, which, to me, means nothing more than feeling humility, connection, gratitude and joy.  I felt honored to be spending my present moments in a city I feel so connected to; I felt energized by the surrounding stream of people whizzing, pedaling, pacing trying to get up and get out, just as I was; I felt a connectedness to the energy pulsating abuzz, knowing that we were breathing one universal breath; I felt grateful for the support, love and kindness that is gifted to me everyday by my family and friends.  At the sound of my alarm, indicating when my one-way 10 minute trek was up, I pivoted into my run homebound. 
 
Toward 14th Street, there is a break in the path that directs runners inward in order to pass in front of the large sports complex that makes up part of Chelsea Piers.  Runners are disconnected from the waterfront for a few short minutes, yet in that timespan, the scenery changes drastically.  At the point where the path starts to break off, I entered a small crooked curve partly enclosed by several wooden boards.  It created a tiny enclave.  In that enclave, I saw bags of trash, which caught me by surprise given how well the rest of the path is maintained.  My eyes probed furthered.  I caught sight of a homeless man crouched behind the wall of trash bags.  For at least that very moment in time, this enclave acted as this man’s home. 
 
After a quick left turn, I excited the enclave and resumed direct forward motion.  A man passed me in the other direction, and I wondered if he would see the homeless man sitting there.  I wondered how many people pass through that enclave and see him… or not.   
 
At first, my mind entertained thoughts of responsibility and ownership.  Then, thoughts of my own life interrupted me abruptly.  I was asked to recall all of my moments in need during my past and present, and most importantly, the generosity and kindness bestowed upon me by family and friends alike in order in order to provide help.  There are no questions.  There is no judgment.  There is only a helping hand when I need one.  In this moment, I was reminded that I should do the same for others.  He is me.  I am him.  We are one. 
 
If we are to create better for ourselves, we must create better for everyone. 
 
My ego-driven self has been very focused on my wants and needs as of late, as I examine my purpose, search for a career path and plan for my financial security.  However, there is always space to do more for others.  I remind myself that giving does not always have to be quantifiable.  It is a way of thinking, living and being. 
 
In the meantime, I am finding my own way to serve the needs of those around me.  Below are some of the ways that I am learning to give.
 
Remember Our Universality
Our judging minds play an active role in everyday life as we sort and sift through immense amounts of incoming data.  It serves to categorize and qualify so that we can understand and make decisions.  However, these judgments can also act as a disservice to us.  When we start to live life as an us vs. them model, we fail to see our interconnection.  Yet, we are all born of the same energy, of the same love, of the same creative force.  We breathe the same air.  We drink from the same water.  We walk the same Earth.  We wish on the same constellation of stars.  Within us resonates and resides all of us.  
 
Love Unconditionally
When we can start to truly accept that we are all one, compassion comes much more easily.  When I faced my own truths about my life and the times of my need, I saw myself in that homeless man.  I could understand what it was like to face challenge after challenge and to need help.  Circumstances don’t always arouse compassion, especially when personality and behavioral differences are magnified, but beyond that, there is still an essence to which we can connect – the intent, the embrace, the empathy.  Just the other day, a jarring voice spoke abruptly: Just do it!  I was trying to read my book, so it felt disruptive and annoying.  Then, I connected.  I heard a girl trying to motivate her girlfriend into action.  At that point, I couldn’t help but smile.  I have been on the giving and receiving ends of the same type of encouragement, so could relate completely to her spirit.  It was that easy.  I just had to turn my thoughts around.
 
Become An Observer
Over time, as we start to disassociate ourselves from our judgments, we can become detached observers of the world around us.  The world becomes this marvelous study of human interaction, behavior, motivation and emotion.  When we see objectively from a third party perspective, we can understand ourselves through others, helping us to become more empathetic, more compassionate and more loving. 
 
Start In Silence
No doubt feeling connected and loving at all times is a huge challenge when we are running late, feeling bad or getting stuck.  So, start in silence.  Start meditating on the universality and interconnection of all things when you have space, can be alone and feel good.  With practice, meditation will increase and expand.  Over time, just like with gratitude, or other practices, feel the connectedness spillover into all areas of your life.
 
These are my first steps to giving back to myself and to the universe at large.  I am reverberating as much love and compassion out there as I can, or as I remember to do.  This is the person I want to become – love. 
 
GROW YOUR HEART.
 
With Love,
theDesignLife
 
fear·less

lacking fear.

Since we (or rather, I) are on the topic of fear, I thought I would continue down this road, especially because I heard something today that is very pertinent to this discussion thread (or rather, my mind’s chatter :))

 
I believe that it is neither possible nor necessary to become completely fearless.  As human beings, we will always carry some sort of fear with us, and in some cases, as I have mentioned, we need this fear for good cause.  I support the school of thought that admonishes trying to eradicate your fears but instead embraces your fears as part of you.  Our inward journey includes identifying, understanding and, finally, accepting all the parts of our Self.  Fear is one of those parts, and when you follow it to its origin, you have the opportunity to uncover so much knowledge about why the fear exists in the first place.  As you continue along this discovery path, eventually, you will understand how your fear has shaped your perceptions about yourself and the world, as well as how it is preventing you from living your best life. Then, we can redefine the fear to empower ourselves to create a new paradigm.  Straight up – we create a new reality.   
 
Like most things in life, the thing in and of itself, a thing like fear, is neither good nor bad.  What makes it good or bad is how we use it to do good or bad.  Here are some ways that I have been using fear to become fear-LESS:
 
Recognize The Resistance
Half of the battle is just recognizing the fear.  Fears are sly.  They are like chameleons and can camouflage themselves into thoughts, feelings, words and actions.  While they often like to take center-stage in our lives, they can be very hard to identify.  The best way to identify fear is to take note of any resistance that appears in your body and mind.  I am huge proponent of using both body and mind to recognize signs.  I personally like all the help I can get to learn about myself, so I take any opportunity I can to slip into my body via meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques.  In addition, recognize when you start to feel stuck, inert, unwilling or unwanting. You may find that there is a fear making you stall. 
 
Make Peace With Fear
Once you recognize your fear, don’t chastise or blame it.  Fear is not the enemy.  Fear has been the body and mind’s learned built-in mechanism to help defend you when you didn’t have anything else, like your socialization skills or rational mind, etc., to help you sift through and make sense of external threats.  When you view fear as the enemy, you are creating opposition within yourself, causing more harm than help.  This may seem counterintuitive to most, but my recommendation is to thank fear for doing its job, for protecting you and for loving you in the best way that it knows how.  Then, dismiss it.  Tell your fear that it’s not serving you right now and lay it aside.  Oftentimes, we just need to create our own productive methods of dealing with our internal chatter that’s trying to vie for our attention in hopes of fulfilling our perceived needs and wants.
 
Use Fear As A Tool
Fears can also be passed down from your parents and then internalized to become your own.  My grandma’s and my mom’s fear and dislike of cats was transferred to me very easily, and it was only until recently that I started to overcome it!  Other fears can be a lot more complex and will oftentimes stem from a deeper, embedded insecurity about something.  Our belief systems become formulated at a very young age mostly by our parents, or by whomever we are surrounded most frequently.  Essentially, we are taught what to believe and how to behave.  Entwined within our belief systems are fears that condition us to respond to the world in a very specific way.  Use your fear as a guidepost to start your journey and unfold your story.  Fear is a very effective tool to deep dive into understanding who you are and how you tick; from there, you can decide for yourself if, what and how you want to change.  Why does your fear exist?  Why does it think its serving you? Where did you learn your fear from?  Best yet, does it still serve you?
 
Take Steps Toward Transformation
When you identify your fear and truly allow it to tell its story without judgment or criticism, you create a fabulous and yummy space within to develop a deeper kind of self-love.  Praise yourself for all of the hard work that you have performed and shower yourself with nothing less than love, respect and honor.  Once you release yourself from the burden of self-criticism and underlying insecurity surrounding your fear, you have started the process of forgiveness and healing.  You no longer live in the grip of fear should you choose not to, and instead, you create a strong foundation of love and understanding from which to take another step into your Self.  Slowly but surely, you will experience a new reality that’s based on a different and kinder truth that will lend itself to greater compassion and empowerment.  Like I say, life stops leading you, and you start leading (your) life.
 
As we examine our fears in a new light, we have the power to transform them into a new and better reality that stops limiting and starts creating the kinds of possibilities that we would not have otherwise known if our fears remained unchallenged.  In the words of Christopher Reeves:
 

There are lots of ways  of being fearless. I highly recommend it. To a large extent, the key to  fearlessness is the “no matter what.” Keep that in mind. It’s truly  amazing what we can do by allowing the spirit and mind to flourish.

 
http://aaablogs.uoregon.edu/podssocialactioncareers/living-a-fearless-life-christopher-reeves/
 
With Love,
theDesignLife