Thoughtful Quote from Byron Katie

“When you say or do anything to please, get, keep, influence, or control anyone or anything, fear is the cause and pain is the result.” Byron Katie

Our Life is Our Meditation

Carl Jung believed that working on our childhood issues is a necessary first step towards spiritual consciousness. Carl Jung wrote, the “personal unconscious must always be dealt with first…otherwise the gateway to the cosmic unconscious cannot be opened.”   He understood that in order to realize our divinity we first work on clearing  the blocking parts of our childhood experiences.   Some people only want to focus on positive thoughts in order to become clear but that approach doesn’t touch the beliefs stored in the wounded hearts of our younger years.

The events and relationships of our lives direct us to those beliefs every day.  They are not difficult to find.  You don’t have to dig deeply and suffer longly.  For example, perhaps someone has a creative block in an art project and finds themselves procrastinating starting, working, or completing the work.  There is always something else we can find to do to alleviate the anxiety of facing our creativity…….taking the chance that it might not turn out how we hoped and realizing it is but a step in the direction of our learning and evolution.   Instead of running away, how about just noting without judgment what we are doing.  Just observe the behavior.   How often does this behavior surface in other ways in our lives?

When did we first start this behavior of trying to escape from something we want to do but we seem to be afraid of entering into a relationship with it and actually engage in the process of creation?  Were we judged as children in our display of unique creative expression?  How did we continue this behavior in other years of our lives as we were growing up?  In what ways have we blocked ourselves from the joy of creating?  What is the mantra that we have told ourselves quietly in our minds:  I can’t be creative; My work is not good enough; I am not good enough; Everyone else is better…….or whatever the words might be.

Sit with that thought quietly.  Surround that little part of you that first perceived that he/she wasn’t able to create for inner joy, with a cloud of compassion, soft and gentle and loving.  See it permeate all around that child, every cell filling with acceptance and compassion.   What if that part of you had grown up with the belief that she/he could freely create and express the self with artwork, writing, dancing……whatever.   See he/she expanding in innovation in every direction.  See the smile on the face as the body moves with grace creating from the heart.  The belief is now:  I create freely, my self-expression is uniquely my own.  Hold this part in your heart with tenderness and understanding as you pick up your brush, dust off your dancing shoes, get the guitar out from behind the couch, get ready to cook in the kitchen, or dip your pen in the inkwell.

If we pay attention with mindfulness, we can see and hear every day the blocking beliefs that keep us contracted into our limited selves.  Healing these blocking beliefs by acknowledging them, holding them without judgment in our awareness,and bringing compassion to each one of them will turn on our light more brightly as we free ourselves.  It is this work that we need to do before we try to enter the higher realms of higher consciousness.  This work brings us there.  After a while of living our life meditation and clearing our limiting beliefs, we look around and realize that we are different……we see more clearly, we accept more readily (even if we don’t like it), we say ‘yes’ to what is as we begin to move into that space of co-creation with Spirit.  We can’t jump over our daily work by only thinking positive thoughts.  The limiting beliefs need healing and acceptance.  Positive thoughts only serve to cover up the contractions for a while……..only to rise up and tug at our hearts again and again.

Our daily life is our greatest teacher.

2010andreaavaristevens

Are We Afraid of Our Shadows?

I have been wondering  how awakening and reality can connect in a healthy way.   I hear from some people that they do not want to read the newspapers or listen to the happenings of the day.  They seem to feel that being in contact with the shadow side of life will contaminate their affirmative perspective of life.  Their focus appears to be on connecting with that which they consider to be higher realms of consciousness.  They want to live in the light, as many of us do, as well.   I guess they think that by associating with the reality of life with the corruption, war, poverty, racism,  deception, illness, sadness, powerlessless and all the rest of it, that their lights will be dimmed.   Perhaps they think that if they are busy awakening then……..everyone will be served…….eventually.

I am wondering if that thinking pattern is based in fear?  If God flows through everything, then why is part of everything excluded?  Why is the part that would realistically cause us to cry out in injustice not recognized?  Why would we want to hide from it?  Remember ‘The Secret’?  And The Law of Attraction?  What is it that draws people to focusing on creating what they want….like cars and houses?  Are we being deluded by creating at the level of the ego?

Because we all have inner work to do in varying degrees, isn’t that part which creates houses and cars (me stuff) more likely to be of ego vibration than Higher Self?   Asking the Divine Intelligence (or whatever you want to call it) to flow through us as we work to dissipate our emotional and mental blocks seems to me to be more effective than creating from our ego.   If I want peace in the world, my work is creating it in myself on all levels.  I can hold that thought for periods of time, but if I am embracing and clearing my shadows…..then my light shines more brightly in the world.  And the world reflects each and every light brightening.

So why is it that some people are not able to embrace the shadow of the world?  Is it because they don’t want to embrace their own shadow and do their work?  Is their fear of their own deep inner work projected onto their connection of being in the world?  Didn’t Jesus say something like  ‘be of the world not in it’?   To me, that seems to mean be in the place of observer and not to be attached to it.  Being close to the fire we can get burned but only if we are attached.  If we are attached we will feel it as though it was our own process.  That is scary to some people.  But if we are clearing our own blocks,  then we do not attach to the suffering.  We can be an observer and release the attachment energy into concrete action.  We see it as it is…..in its teaching role for all us to become more Love.

Mother Teresa saw God in all afflictions.  What if we can be in the world and turn the tables of the money-changers over as Jesus did?   What if we can be present and really hear the reality of life and not be overwhelmed?  What does that take?  Working our stuff which creates a higher vibration within ourselves so that we are not emotionally charged by our own past losses, deception, illnesses, poverty, injustices, etc.  Then our activist selves can work at our chosen level to facilitate change as we hold the vision of peace on earth, surrounding our world and everyone with healing luminescence.  Concrete activism can take place when we write our representatives about our visions, give money to assist those we need it, write articles, speak out, and volunteer to help where needed, and all the other beautiful things that people are doing right now.

Julian Assange modeled that work for us this week.  His website, Wikileaks, released pages of war notes.  They are not pretty.   But they are necessary for us to read to increase our awareness of what is going on around us and what we are choosing to support with our money.   (However, publishing names of individuals who could be hurt by disclosure is not appropriate, IMO).  We can be aware of and send light to all involved in this war in all levels of government and countries, send light to the soldiers on all sides who commit abuses in the name of ‘peace and freedom’, send messages to Congress and others (and we do not focus on the outcome of our messages…..but on the doing of the action itself).  We can experience outrage at the injustices and move into action.  We do not need to be afraid of being stuck or contaminated by the injustice or our anger.  It is a teaching just as incidents and relationships in our own lives are teaching us to heal out of fear and victimization into Love.

I imagine myself telling an Afghan woman who is struggling with fear for herself, her children, her family…….her dear life……..that I can’t hear because I am busy being awakened.  I will hold the light on for her, though.  I see her blank eyes stare at me.  My vibration expands if I see her in the present moment of her struggling, and I lend my heart and hand as I listen and really hear her pain ….without attachment……but deep compassion………to speak out for her, to seek accountability, to send money, to write……..as I feel her pain but not sink into it…….and to hold her trustingly in connection in my heart as I work.  Just as I hold in my heart with much light the soldier who after shooting and killing unarmed civilians…….as though it was a video game……. summarized the scene by saying one word…….”nice”.    Are we afraid of our own shadows?

copyrightandreaavaristevens2010

A Prayer

Dear Divine Essence:

My desire, my priority is inner peace.  I want the experience of deep universal Love.  I don’t know what would bring that to me.  I leave the process of self-realization to your energetically transforming healing.   I trust in the process of life always deepening into Higher Consciousness.  I know that the qualities of my compassionate soul draw to me that which perfectly teaches me to love myself and all else in infinite expansion. I know that as my light shines more brilliantly…..so does the world.  The greed and corruption, lies and deception…..all forms of fear of surrendering to Love……..will gradually dissolve into the higher vibrations of compassion, cooperation and love as we each learn to walk our talk in healing our wounded hearts.   May grace surround us in our courageous transformations.

I continually beam my light to all the people and events of the world to join with their light as we realize who we truly are.  I am so very grateful that we are One in the core of our Being.

love,

Andrea

2010andreaavaristevens

Expanding Beyond Fear

This week I discovered that I have bands of protection around my heart.  If someone had told me that before I discovered it, I would have said……..no way!  Uhhuh…….don’t think so……can’t be. I do my work.  I have already taken care of any supposed ‘protective bands.’   I am open; I am vulnerable……I would say to myself.   And then…there they were……beautiful protective bands doing their job with steel commitment….gleaming in the light that shone upon them………keeping my heart safe.

I am deeply grateful to these bands of safety.  They were there for as long as protection was needed. And these bands that wound around my heart were not going to abandon me as long as I needed protection.   And as it turned out, I really did need them.

There were concealed wounds and fear that needed to be hidden from the penetrating invitation that is always pulsing from the energy of higher love.  And now the universe had initiated the clarion call to healing.  I was being called to love more deeply.  That is such a good thing.  And then there is the huge challenge  in being called to love in a way that one has never loved.   It is unknown territory. More

Self-Compassion

Some days we just wake up and don’t feel very good.  There is a certain anxiety in the air and it is vibrating through the cells of our bodies.  We can’t put our finger on the source; the uneasy feeling kind of feeling swirls all around us.  We might be a little edgy with those around us……quick to jump to conclusions…..a tad sharp in our responses.  We know it is happening but we seem to be caught up in the flow of it.

If we allow ourselves to just sit quietly for a moment…taking a deep breath in and then releasing it….and then again and again……recognition of a type of thinking begins to surface from the depths.  We are talking down to ourselves internally.  We did something wrong…….we should have done something differently……we should have known…….why didn’t we?……if only……..what if?……..all these statements direct us to a degree of fear that is resonating within us.

Spending time intellectualizing each statement and rationalizing the answers will not bring us peace in our hearts.  We just need to bring the energy of compassion to ourselves.   Compassion is the vibration of understanding without conditions, loving what is, allowing whatever to just be.  We need to remember that compassion is an energy that is always available to us.  All we have to do is to direct our awareness to it and it is us instantaneously.  We swim in the loving energy, letting it permeate all cells of ourselves.

The ego hops in and wants to fix it but that is a temporary fix.  If we struggle holding onto the high vibration of compassionate energy, we visualize Mother Mary, Kwan Yin, Isis, Shakti, in all their nurturing beauty of openness and allowance.  We see them in their total embrace of everything…….everything…..including us with warts and all…… as complete and total loving understanding.  The compassionate energy instantly vaporizes the fear.

We are left with quiet mind; the desire to figure it all out has disappeared.  We only know peace and love in our hearts.  We can feel that all truly is well.  We don’t have to know the hows and whys of it all…it just is.  As we practice…..we remember to bring our awareness to the beautiful vibration of compassion surrounding and permeating us more often.  The practice becomes a habit in evermore present moments as we realize a loving heart is always with us.  That heart is our heart.  We can live there.

2010andreaavaristevens

Afraid of Fire

“None can teach you, none can make you spiritual.   There is no other teacher but your own soul.” Swami Vivekananda

The power of uncertainty is flowing through and around us.  Some days we breathe deeply, relax and float with it; other times we stiffen up, grab onto whatever is close with a tight fist, and rigidly watch through squinty eyes as life passes us by.  It is our choice.  Sometimes we forget we have a choice and become victims of the happenings of our lives.  We lose our center and then fall in the mud.

We get so tied up in not trusting the process of life.  Within wholeness is the duality of dark and light.   In our core, we are light.  Being human invites us to both celebrate the light and to integrate the dark.  Well, the first part is great, the second not so much, we say to ourselves.  We are afraid of the fire of transformation.

Watching American Idol, yes, that is true!  I am reminded of Crystal Bowersox……MamaSox.  Here she comes from a small town to millions of people watching her every move and listening and judging her every note. She dresses and wears her hair as she likes, speaks thoughtfully as she transitions into a new lifestyle…..expressing the uniqueness of her Being.   Her boyfriend and she decide to not continue their relationship and he goes home on the day of the  final performance!    Her response?  It gives her ‘fire in her belly.”  And if you saw her perform that night…….she was not afraid of the fire……she faced it, made it her own and sang beautifully.

From 12 Step programs we hear the statement……there are no victims,  just volunteers.   Our soul brings us experiences for us to integrate.  They are gifts in their teachings to us.  As we move through the darkness, the clouds lift and the light shines from our hearts.  It’s not easy because we are human and full of emotions; it does not have to be difficult and scary.  We are always surrounded in love; we are never alone.  We are guided on our path to integration.  We pray, meditate, contemplate that all loving energies around us surround us with wisdom and compassion for ourselves so that we may love ourselves deeply as we transform the clouds of doubt about who we really are…….into the heart knowing that we are love.   May we all experience ‘fire in our belly’ when we are challenged to move more deeply  into wholeness.

copyright 2010 Andrea Avari, Ph.D.

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