CC’s: What We See

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau

A faithful reader here on Power In Pause commented on how simply getting caught up in his day to day life was one way he could lose track of the meaning of what life was actually presenting. I know we all can relate to this…Life happens and all of a sudden, we finally stop and say,

“How did I get HERE?!?!”

(Notice we have to “stop” before we can notice!)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve “come back to the surface” and started attending to what’s going on around me, usually realizing I had missed out on a lot! This brought me to the question:

What concrete action can I take to help myself practice a more “Here, Now” mindset?

The Thoreau quote above has always been a favorite of mine because it gets right to the crux of our issue with Presence:

Whatever we attend to…is what we are choosing for our Reality in that moment: ultimately, whatever we notice IS our choice about what we are experiencing.

We are SEEING whatever we are looking for, “good”, “bad” or “neutral”.

We exclude other things that may be present and select what we want to see…

And usually take our next step based on that choice.

And this is why the Power that is in Pausing is so crucial:

Whenever we actually “come to the surface”, noting what we are experiencing (whether physically, mentally or emotionally)…this is our moment of Pause.

We are enabled to take in more: our blinders are off for a moment.

So our Pause is the perfect place to check back in and reassess how we’re choosing to live our lives.

But…just how can we get there more frequently?

*********

One of my most successful actions regarding practicing mindfulness is to set an intention for the day…and I do this BEFORE I get out of bed in the morning, as it is freshest in my mind and more likely to have the strongest impact…plus it is usually the only part of my day that I can count on where I am not needed for something else! However, if morning isn’t suitable, you would choose another short space of quiet time that works for you…but you must be free to concentrate uninterrupted…

And of course, committing to be consistent is key as well.

So, shortly after I wake, I mentally scan my schedule for that day, imagining what circumstances (visual, aural, tactile…even tastes/smells) I would most likely encounter frequently. These experiences I call Common Catalysts (CC’s). Then I use one or more of these CC’s as the trigger to Pause for one deep breath. And with that single breath, I am immediately pulled back into my body and more deeply aware what I am actually doing and what is happening around me.

Some examples:

If I am running lots of errands, a CC could be each time I open the car door (Pause)…or walking through a door into a store (Breathe)…standing in line (Pause)…pulling money out of my wallet (Breathe)

If I am drawing, it would be the act of picking up my sketch pen (Pause/Breathe)…or putting it down. (Pause/Breathe)

If I plan to read a book, the turning of each page. (Pause/Breathe)

If I’m playing a round of golf, it could be the feel of each new grip of the next club I choose…or maybe the act of approaching each new tee box. (Pause/Breathe)

Perhaps it’s each time I wash my hands…(Breathe).

Oh and here’s one CC that will ALWAYS bring me back often:

Every time I pick up my phone!

(Ever notice how frighteningly integrated your phone is in your daily life?!)

For a challenge: try to go ten minutes without even THINKING of interacting with your phone and notice how often you are just thinking of it, not to mention actually using it.

Mind blowing to the max.

************

So your Common Catalyst can be anything concrete that you know will be coming up frequently in that particular day. You are essentially setting up subsequent Pauses by taking one Pause in the morning to set your intention to “watch out” for your CC’s.

By visualizing myself going through these CC events BEFORE they take place, their appearance “wakes me up” to the moment because I am, in a sense, returning once again to the Present to notice them.

Another help:

Jotting your CC’s down in your phone or on paper can also be extra reinforcement, using your visual and tactile senses…and then plan to check in later in your day to return to that list to see what CC’s you’ve utilized, as well as being reminded of ones you may have left out.

You can see how this type of practice might snowball into a well-established habit:

If I am attending to such “small” things as opening car doors, turning pages or picking up my phone…

How much easier will it be to notice the larger events that show up during my day?

The whole point is to improve the frequency of my return to the Present.

It’s not about being Perfect

It’s about PRACTICING. Practicing Presence…

That idea of “the journey, not the destination” that we so often hear of.

And EVERYONE is capable of practicing…

No Perfection necessary!

************

Thoreau hit it spot on:

The choice of focus ALWAYS dictates your OWN experience.

And if we awaken just enough to realize we want a different experience…

Then that is the time to Pause and change what we’re looking at…

So we can truly “see”.

“CC”?!

See?

See!

Un”Modified” Love

Some musings from Courtney A. Walsh…

“Dear Human:

You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. . . You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.”

************

This passage is so encouraging…

And so necessary…

As we all need to be reminded…

To be “Re-Minded”:

To choose a moment or two

To take the next step

In learning the practice of shifting perspective.

To discover yet one more jewel

Shining just there…

In the Crown that is our Soul.

To uncover more of

Who We Are…

AND

To relearn the Truth that this is all that is ever needed or required

Of any of us.

We ARE Love.

And each moment we choose to be completely present

With only our love exposed…

Each moment we arrive

With no other expectations

Or judgments…

Each moment we leave behind the “attachments” that hide and smother

The Love that we are…

Then those are the moments we shine, reflecting the Wholeness of Who We Are…

With ALL the components that make us each so uniquely different…and yet simultaneously reflections of each other.

Now that’s ironic, isn’t it?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

There was no separation ever intended to exist between

“Us and them”…

“Me and you”…

She and he”.

This has always been of of our own making

Along the path of our life…

This divide…

Sometimes handed to us by another

Sometimes formed of our own fears and doubts.

Separation is the opposite of Love…

And this is the only clue we need in order to know where we stand:

If we feel apart, we have hidden the Love we are.

If we are sharing the Love we are, there will be no separation.

************

To keep our balance

To keep our hearts steady

Our minds clear and our souls free of projections…

To return to the fullness of living

For which we were always intended…

It is crucial for us to Pause…

To “Re-Mind”’ourselves

Over and over:

We are created in Love

By Love

For Love

To BE Love.

Everything we need…

Was already “installed” within us at the beginning.

It’s already present in our “operating system”…

Right now.

So if we can just sit still a few moments

And allow this realization to bubble to the surface

We will not only begin to know our own power

And love ourselves

For all that we contain,

But we will also begin to remove the darkened shades from our eyes

The shadow bruises on our spirit…

And to see the same Love

That lives

Within each of our fellow beings…

No matter whether they are showing Separation

Or Love

Themselves.

************

I am thankful that Walsh took the time to pen her beautiful passage above…this “Re-Minder”…

Nudging me to make yet another Shift in my outlook.

I am honored to have been

“Re-Minded”

That I am enough.

And all that is required is that

I “shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die” as ME.

New Worlds

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

Anais Nin

My daughter recently posted a picture of herself with two close longtime friends and the joy on each of their radiant faces inspired me to search for quotes about friends. I looked for quite some time before I finally found the one that reflected what I was feeling from this photo…and you just read that quote above.

The power of friends…

Where even are the words?!

************

I began to contemplate “new worlds” being born…simply because of the presence of a true friend in my life and how deeply grateful I am for each of them for what they taught me about myself…fostering that change for the better within my mind and soul that did indeed bring forth a “new world” in my life.

And so often brought me to do so for others too.

I am feeling very humble right now, just beginning to touch on thoughts of so many amazing people that have appeared in my life…

Some for shorter visits…

Some for extensive stays.

But each presenting some rare jewel that no other could quite have brought.

Today then, is about Friends and New Worlds.

Get ready to sink into just how wonderful your life has been.

************

Just for a moment, gift yourself with a Pause to bring to mind someone in your life who caused you to find a “new world” within yourself.

How did they do this?

It could be a tiny world…

Or a giant world…

Or any size in between.

Perhaps they laughed with you.

Or cried with you.

Shared a beautiful picture with you.

Told you “You can do this! I can SEE it!!”

Maybe they dove down into darkness with you with the sole purpose of bringing you back to the surface.

Perhaps they were silent, able to hear more deeply beneath what you were saying or doing than you were able to…then from that, helping yourself to hear and see more clearly.

Maybe they allowed you to sit and voice an opinion very contradictory to their own… without making you feel you had to conform or be anyone else but you.

Or they may even have spoken the words you were afraid to voice…but yet, in your hearing them pronounced, you were finally freed from some internal struggle that had been holding you back for so long.

They might have brought you food when you were so upset you had forgotten to eat.

There may have been a time they opened a door in your mind to a new way of seeing or interacting with your world…not so much giving you an answer but instead lighting a way to your discovering a new solution.

Were you ever gifted with a friend who…

showed you a future vision of yourself you never would have conceived of…

But because they did, you struck out on a path to see who this different “you” truly was…

And found that your friend knew you better than you knew yourself?

Because of such a friend…

You became More You.

Tears are in my eyes as I am overwhelmed by all these treasures I have received…

Uncountable

Miraculous

More than I can hold.

************

Pause.

Think of just one person who has opened a New World for you.

Think of what they did or said.

How they did or said it.

How you felt then…

And now.

If they are no longer here in this realm, speak gratefully to them in your heart…as you sift through the memory of their imprint on your life.

If you have lost touch with them, go within yourself to name what they did…and then send them appreciation for their part in the changes they helped you to make.

If you are fortunate enough to have a way to reach out…

With a call

A text

A handwritten note

A visit…

To tell them of even just one tiny shining corner of what they brought to your life…

Share that with them.

Do it.

And soon.

In that moment of gratitude in that memory, you are not only reliving the New World they brought to you…

You are also gifting them with a New World as well, simply with the expression of joy you are bringing into their life.

************

A New World will always create yet another New World…

But we cannot see how truly miraculous and infinitely numerous they are…until we take a few moments to rest in remembrance…

For it is there we find we are ALL renewed once again.

Welcome…

To a New World.

Radix Amoris (The Root of Love)

“Love is the most radically subversive activism of all, the only thing that ever changed anyone.”

Ann Voscamp

Voscamp takes a very forceful voice with her language here, so I thought we might have a little “etymology adventure” with three of her words.

First, we have “radically” which comes from “radix”, Latin for “root”.

Then the word “subversive” (that which undermines an established system)…stemming from two more Latin roots.

“Sub”: beneath

“Vertere”: to turn

Then finally “activism”

From Latin again

“Actus”: “event”, or “a thing done”

(And here, I am moved to Pause just a moment to express deepest gratitude to my father who taught me as a child to love words and their sources. He, and his love for words, lives on in my own learning, reading and writing to this day! Gratias ad te, Pater meus…amo te.)

Back to class now!

So with Voscamp’s quote we’re being pushed strongly to look at the roots, the underside…

Where it may be a bit darker

And harder to get to things…

Those roots we don’t see

Often don’t acknowledge

But that nevertheless “feed” what is growing and reflected above ground for each of us.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now wait! Don’t back away quite yet…

We’re just going to dig just a little more, to keep us going.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Even though “subversive” is often used with a negative connotation, we can Pause to change even that outlook, by asking:

“How could Love be a positive subversive force today…for me?”

Will I use it to undermine some “established system” stuck within myself?

Would I begin to dig around and loosen some resentment that comes from not receiving something I think I have a “right” to have?

Or shall I exhume some anger grown from a past wrong another has done?

Do I begin to extricate a belief that something “must be” exactly as I see it and can’t be changed?

And how about the “activism” of Love?

Well, that’s self-explanatory, because action implies movement

Shifting

The possibility of change.

And yes, you know I am compelled to mention Responsibility here, because the only changes that we are in control of are those in our own hands.

If I see Love as something that constantly moves and shifts,

If I see Love as a choice I make in every moment?

The “turning beneath” unearthing part is not so sinister as at first glance…

Because it means I not only have the power to move;

I am also in charge of choosing to be WILLING to move.

To turn away (even a little)

From something that is keeping me locked down….

Rooted…

Where I, if I am being truthful, really don’t want to remain growing.

Love has the power to do that.

And the source is

Gratitude

In the moment.

That’s where we will start every time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love stops and notices and embraces ALL that comes along.

It is no High Judge.

It only receives

And is grateful for ALL.

Love lives IN the Pause.

By standing still

And strong

In its infinite peace…

It pulls ALL into its arms.

It says,

“You belong.

This belongs.

Everything you see

Touch

Feel

Imagine

Whatever you can experience?

BELONGS.

I can

And I WILL

Hold it all.”

Love changes everything

And everyone.

From beneath.

Radix.

Radix amoris.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pause today to notice how many of your senses can be involved in gratitude…

In acceptance of the present moment and what it is offering you.

Then notice what changes:

Within you?

And then beyond you?

Did your clenched stomach relax or your mental churning slow down just a bit?

Did the redness of a flower deepen and glow more intensely…or the clouds orchestrate a fabulous array of shapes just for you?

Did you notice the soft silkiness of your dog’s fur as you slowly stroked her head…and did you see an angel looking at you through her warm amber eyes?

Love is something we give…

And because of its profound quality of infinite reciprocity,

It is also something we are constantly receiving.

No matter what our current trials may be?

We will always find sources of gratitude right there before our eyes…

Patiently Waiting….

For us to Pause

And dig a little…

To find yet another Radix Amoris.

That shift?

The “unstuckness” we seek?

Is just a thought away.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today, each time you reach out with Gratitude…

Watch how your Love becomes

Radical

Subversive

Active

Instantaneous

And then ultimately…

Wondrously magnified.

Hummingbird Moments

Susan Chernak McElroy shares here an unforgettable experience…

What we can learn from broken Humming birds…

Many years ago I was working for the Marin Humane Society when someone brought a young adult hummingbird that had been caught by a cat. The tiny bird rested in a tissue-lined jewelry box that had never held anything as precious, brilliant, or dazzling as the cargo it held then.

I lifted the bird into my hand and felt a wave of nausea wash over me at the sight of her injured wing. Broken into jagged pieces, it hung from the bird’s shoulder like a crushed flower petal. There could be no rescue for this hummingbird. I held her sadly on my open palm and could not have been more surprised when the tiny bird dusted herself off like a chicken after a bath, teetered up the hillside of my hand, and came to perch confidently on my index finger. She began a thorough preening that included the remains of her useless wing, unmindful of my startled face a mere four inches away.

I walked carefully to the employee kitchen with the bird on my finger and mixed her up a quick sugar drink, I don’t imagine she had ever seen an eyedropper before, but she eagerly reached her sliverlike beak to the dropper and drained it in an instant.

“When I put my face closer to marvel at her, she met my gaze, eye for eye. Hers was the size of a grain of translucent black sand. Mine was blue and as large as her body. Her boldness astonished me. How could something this small, with potentially everything in the world to fear, be so courageous? I had handled probably hundreds of wild animals in distress and seen none as calm and trusting as this braveheart hummingbird. On some level she must have proclaimed me ‘safe.’ And that was that.

She did not seek me out in her crisis, but neither did she run from me. We faced each other across the catastrophe of her brokenness and came together for a too-brief few moments of gentle, sacred exchange. I had few heroes in my life at that time, but she instantly became one of them. That I could not offer her life and recovery was devastating to me. Perhaps that is why I still carry her jeweled green face and starlike eyes with me a full twenty-five years across time.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pause.

Close your eyes and let this story sink a little deeper

Into your mind

Your heart

Your soul.

What comes up for you?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now read it a second time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

What was new?

What did you experience differently that shifted your first view?

And what changed within you?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~

What happens

When we Pause

To look

Again?

We gift ourselves.

And so we cannot help but gift our world as well.

Such giving is always interconnected…

And always brings a change.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

McElroy’s words are riveting for me: I was totally drawn into the story…

And so very grateful she took the time to pen her words!

Captivating and poignant… 
The meeting of two beings with open hearts 

Vulnerability

Trust… 

Courage…

All this creating a soul-wrenching beauty

A love/awe experience between two creatures expressed simply in complete presence…

No words needed.

In such moments of connection:

Miracles are revealed 
Wisdom shared 
And strength exchanged 

In just that one single moment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every Pause is a gift.

And always… 

We EACH have 

SO very much

To give.

The moment I cease my thoughts, my actions

Simply to notice what is being offered to me?

That is truly a moment of creation.

Yes.

We create…

In remembering to ask myself:

“What Hummingbird Moment will you find hidden today…

Within this Pause?”

Truly all

Becomes new

Before my eyes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Will you go now…

And begin your creative journey?

Pause.

Look.

Look again.

See?

Hummingbirds everywhere!

(Photo credit: The picture of the quite “unbroken” hummingbird above was taken by my dear friend Kara Salvagno in her very own backyard. My very deepest gratitude to you, Kara, for sharing your beautiful friend with me…and with all who come to alight here amongst these words!)

Our True Garden

“When in doubt, choose change.”

Lily Leung

“Same doesn’t allow for growth.”

Tamara Lechner

~~~~~~~~~~~~

If I notice myself

On one side

Fearing to speak up

Or to act

Differently

While

On the other side

My inner voice says

“Do it!

Be different!

Choose change!!”

Then I am in that moment facing full on

A miraculous opportunity

To shift…

To become

More.

MORE.

MORE!!!

In this moment of Pause

I am being presented

(Again!)

With the chance

To bloom….

But I realize anew

With wonder and joy

Something even more

Astounding:

I am assured

To my very core

That I am not just a single flower…

Oh no, I’m not.

I am an entire

Endless

Garden.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Take a moment to close your eyes.

Take a few deep, relaxing breaths.

What Conflict is most present for you right now?

Hold it in your mind and heart.

Easy now.

Gently.

If judgment tries to take control, ask it to step aside…

Just for a few minutes.

(We often have to do this more than once! Know that this is normal. Just keep asking Judgement to step aside again.

It will.)

Now…

Observe both sides of the Conflict.

First, see yourself choosing to stay the same.

How does your body react?

Your mind?

And now your feelings?

Now switch.

Imagine yourself choosing a different course of thought and action in dealing with this Conflict.

How does your body react?

Your mind?

And now your feelings?

Which choice brings you…

Freedom

Relief

Openness

Joy

Comfort

Authenticity?

Which vision

Makes you feel most vibrant

And real?

THAT is your True Garden.

Now…

Please…

Love yourself enough

To go walk among your beautiful flowers.

As Lily Leung pleads with us:

“Choose change.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Change is so often difficult

Because we haven’t experienced this exact circumstance before.

But if we DON’T change

Just think…

We would still then be living

As we were.

Do we really want that?

(Tell yourself the truth.)

If your inner voice is saying,

“GO BE MORE!!”

Aren’t we all just a little bit curious

To explore…

What THAT Garden really looks like?

Yes…

Please!

DO go walk there.

And know this also:

That there will be other eyes

Watching as you go…

Gaining just enough strength

To Pause.

And wonder.

To believe finally in their own Garden

Waiting…just there, over the rise.

Empowered at last

To take a first step

Down their very own path.

And we’re we able to fly above it all?

We would discover

That ALL our Gardens

Are connected

In a miraculous astounding rainbow blanket

Of never ending color…

As far as the soul can see.

A “Re-Minder”

Some beautiful musings from Courtney A. Walsh…

“Dear Human:

You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. . . You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

This passage is so timely…

So encouraging…

And so necessary…

As we all need to be reminded…

To be “Re-Minded”.

To choose a moment or two

To take the next step

In learning the practice of shifting perspective.

To discover yet one more jewel

Shining just there…

In the Crown that is our Soul.

To uncover more of

Who We Are…

AND

To relearn the Truth that this is all that is ever needed or required

Of any of us.

Underneath it all?

We ARE Love.

Each moment we choose to be completely present

With only our simple love exposed…

Each moment we arrive

With no other expectations

Or judgments…

Each moment we leave behind the “attachments” that hide and smother

The Love that we are…

Then we are reflecting the Wholeness of Who We Are.

We are including ALL the components that reside within us…

No exclusions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

There was no separation ever intended to exist between

“Us and them”…

“Me and you”…

She and he”.

This has always been of our own making along the paths of our lives…

These divides…

Some handed to us by another,

Some formed of our own fears and doubts.

Many whose roots are deep and as yet unknown.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

To keep our balance?

To keep our hearts steady?

Our minds clear and our souls free of projections?

To return to the fullness of living

For which we were always intended?

It is crucial for us to Pause…

To “Re-Mind”’ourselves

Over and over

That

We are created in Love

By Love

For Love

To BE Love.

To be “Re-Minded” Now…

And then at the very next Now…

And then again, at the next Now.

Everything we need?

Was already “installed” within us at the beginning.

So if we can just sit still a few moments

And allow this realization to bubble softly to the surface,

We will not only know our own power

And love ourselves

For all that we contain;

We will also begin to remove the dark shades from our eyes,

The shadows on our spirit,

The masks over our feelings…

Enabled again to see the same Love

Living within each of our fellow beings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am thankful for Walsh’s passage

Her “Re-minder”…

Nudging me to make yet another Shift in my outlook.

To help me see the miracles…

Ever present.

All around.

I am truly grateful to have been

“Re-Minded” today…

Yet again.

Outside-In Thinking

“He who seeks for applause only from without has all his happiness in another’s keeping.”

Oliver Goldsmith

If I am giving my power away to another person or circumstance,

Allowing the result I desire

To be out of my own control…

Then I am not truly living my own life.

I am not Whole.

What happens if I Pause to filter my day today…

With noticing

Any instance I wish for outward confirmation, support, encouragement, acknowledgement…

And then, with that awareness, immediately choose to turn within

Asking my heart instead

To show me

How it actually holds…

The very thing I was seeking all along?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s in there, what I need.

I know it is.

But I’m not in the habit of remembering to look there consistently.

I am often too strongly drawn

To the “outside”

For my wellbeing.

Now why would that be?

Am I believing that “anything has to be better than what I might offer?”

Am I saying to myself,

“There’s no way I could be capable, strong enough, competent or fully prepared…to handle what’s going on?”

Yes, we do need to know when to ask for help…

At times we may need support, counseling, physical assistance.

But if I’m being truly honest with myself?

There are many instances when I could choose to trust myself to come up with the words or deeds or thoughts that I need in that moment in order to express care for myself.

In doing so, I move towards independence.

And am therefore no longer a pawn or victim of circumstances or someone else’s responses or expectations.

I know, down deep, all the confirmation…

All the strength…

Any resource I need…

Is ALWAYS within me.

Every bit of it.

And each one of us knows this as well.

How?

Because we have either FOUND it in there…

Or we have at least sensed it.

A soft tiny feathered bird…

With eagle’s wings…

Waiting to leave the cage of doubts, fears

And hardened beliefs

That hold it captive.

Why is our bird there

In the dark

Unable yet to leave?

We are often simply afraid…

Of our own miraculous power…

And what would then be required of us.

Yes, there would be more required…

BUT there would always be more available within us

To fuel it…

To balance it.

There would never be lack.

There would always be enough…

To balance.

Because we will be going WITHIN

For our strength..

Our energy…

Our love…

Our peace…?

Everything.

Is.

Already.

There.

So all our assumed outside needs

Are rendered

Completely

Unnecessary.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

We can use each time we find ourselves seeking outside…

As catalysts

To remind us to turn and look within instead…

To discover a new way to release our bird

With the eagle’s wings.

And we only need practice this

One instance at a time

(Not all at once)

Until we learn to forget…

There was any other way to seek…

Or any other place to look❤️

Nurturing The Artists We Are

“If we become addicted to the external, our interiority will haunt us. We will become hungry with a hunger no image, person or deed can still. To be wholesome, we must remain truthful to our vulnerable complexity. In order to keep our balance, we need to hold the interior and exterior, visible and invisible, known and unknown, temporal and eternal, ancient and new, together. No one else can undertake this task for you. You are the one and only threshold of an inner world. This wholesomeness is holiness. To be holy is to be natural, to befriend the worlds that come to balance in you. Behind the facade of image and distraction, each person is a artist in this primal and inescapable sense. Each one of us is doomed and privileged to be an inner artist who carries and shapes a unique world.”

John O’Donohue, in Anam Cara

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh my…

These words…

The thoughts and images they invoke for me…

Are beyond incredible.

As I read them, I long to stay immersed in them

Until I absorb all that they are saying

About each one of us…

Our beauty

Our power

Our potential

Our purpose…

Take just a few moments to wade into just a single one of these phrases…

Whichever one tugs at your mind

Your heart

Your soul.

Listen.

You WILL be changed…

So get ready.

Where are they pleading for you to walk with them?

Where in your world do they ask you to take them?

Now…reach for the soft hand they offer you…

And find a way to walk…

Looking around intently

To see where they may want to rest next.

A kind word.

A smile.

Throwing away some trash left behind by another.

Forgiving some word or deed from your past…

Speak, if you feel called.

Yet do so with gentleness for all concerned.

Act…if you dare…

For some courage

Some vulnerability will be required of you.

Look around.

And you will suddenly find yourself emerging slowly but surely from your previous protective cocoon.

And you may finally be able to notice behind you…

Your miraculous wings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

How do O’Donohue’s words affect you today?

Do you, like me, find yourself loving yourself, your uniqueness, your value…just a little bit more?

Are you somehow then deeply drawn to repeat this acknowledgement…

This acceptance

Of yourself

Of all beings

Of all that surrounds us in nature?

Repeating this experience again…

And again?

Do you discover, perhaps underneath it all, a shining piece of yourself

Seeking to be seen?

And along with it, a soul longing to share that…

Ray of light that is You…

Somewhere in your piece of the world

As soon as you can?

What happens when you do?

Loving The One (Sequel to “Finding The One”!)

“When does one know one truly accepts n love [sic] ourselves as we are? Self love? When do we know we come to that stage?”

Shashi, in Mysuru, India

(Shashi posed this question to me after reading “Finding The One”)**

I was so intrigued with digging further into this query, that I decided to create this sequel post that same day using the answer I gave to Shashi, plus a few additional thoughts.

Some interesting timing to mention…

I posted “Finding The One” on Sunday.

I answered Shashi’s query on Monday…and also completed most of “Loving The One” on Monday.

Then this quote appeared in my inbox this morning (Tuesday) as I was wrapping up this blog to send out!

“Falling in love is a small awakening, and the further we follow our Imagination, the more we fall in love with all things.”

Martha Beck

Interesting how everything works, yes?

So away we go…

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello Shashi,

I am truly grateful for your question, the time you took to acknowledge it within you and the curiosity that encouraged you to ask it. I am hoping that many others may add their insights here to respond to your query, but for now, I will humbly offer my perspective frim my own experience.

The process of learning to truly love who I am has been one of slowly uncovering layers of accumulated beliefs about myself…rather like peeling an onion little by little. It is more recently an ongoing practice for me, as I am coming around to being more consistently aware of, and thus better understanding, my “internal talk” about myself…and how it affects my views and interactions.

Whether I approve or disapprove…

Whether I am content or agitated…

Whether I am grasping or pushing away…

The beginning of self love always involves a simple noticing when self-judgement (“good” or “bad”) occurs, at any time at all. Having a regular practice of meditation has been one important key in helping strengthen this habit of “noticing.”

Observation of my inner reactions to past and present thoughts, actions and feelings…

Reflections on what I COULD then think, do and feel…

This “art of loving myself” is what I am now trying to make more and more consistent. With patience and practice, Who I Am and how to love ALL of me, is slowly being revealed.

So COULD we ever “arrive” at perfect self love?

My feeling (again said here with great humility from a beginner’s mind) is that it seems at first glance to be an ongoing growth of noticing, accepting…noticing, accepting…with NO judgement allowed.

And oh yes, it’s often not easy to leave judgement out of the picture…it hovers constantly!

The key, though, lies in the Present, the “moment by moment” pieces of our lives that we ALL possess: we can all do anything we wish IF we look at the moments one by one…the single steps we must take.

I remind myself perfection is not needed…only just a simple pause to “see myself” in any moment… to discover the beliefs behind my “seeing”…and to decide, from that “mental step away”, how I would like to proceed with any future actions.

Pausing to observe – to take a literal or figurative breath – gives me the time and spacing to observe, away from the action. As a result, I find my decisions begin to have less “harmful” results.

When I choose to love Me in that very Now moment, I suddenly realize I could only ever BE as I am in THAT moment…

How could I be otherwise?

It is exactly where I have landed…

As a result of past circumstances…

And so I AM only exactly where I CAN be.

There is only ever this Me Now, to face and to love.

For this I can choose to be grateful…

As gratitude IS love and acceptance of everything about ANY moment I choose to notice.

There is only ever this Me Now to face and to love.

For this I can choose to forgive (myself, others)…

As forgiveness is the act of freeing myself from past weights, events, pain…

And is therefore an act of love as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The only way I could be different NOW is for something to have been altered beforehand.

And it wasn’t.

I cannot be any more or less than I am right Now…so this is the only point in time where I CAN accept and therefore love ME.

This is where I practice.

Now.

The Me I see

Now

Is the only Me available

To love

In this single moment.

(Note how this holds true for how we see others as well).

Since the past has passed, Now is all I have…

And its power is infinite, should I choose to Pause and consider even ONE of the possibilities available for my next thought, act or feeling.

That would then create

The Next Me

For me to love.

How would I wish this Me to think, act and feel?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is how we grow our love for ourselves…

Little by little

Moment by moment.

What if I don’t like what I am seeing?

If I struggle to love the Me I see, I could bravely say instead,

“I am willing to CONSIDER loving You.”

This at least allows a door to remain open for exploration…

I am promising myself:

“I will not shut you out.”

(See here also how we can transfer this concept to others as well?!)

Then, in the next moment, I am already changed.

Because I shifted…

I am no longer exactly the previous Me.

So then I choose again to love (or consider loving) that Present Me as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

In keeping a repeated moment by moment love of Self going, a continuous chain of awareness is forged….helping me begin to peel back again the how and why of my thoughts, actions or feelings. And this helps me to be able to change and grow in all areas, if I am willing.

With all that said, there is one more thing emerging as I write this:

Yes, practicing self-love does appear at first to be an ongoing process….

So it would seem we never would truly ever “arrive” at fully loving ourselves, right?

In a sense, we would never feel complete…we would never finish…

Always in process

Never done.

How frustrating!

But consider this:

If we do not love ourself NOW, when could we ever do so?

This moment by moment practice of awareness…like a “river” hidden beneath…is helping us to to become adept at continuously loving ourselves.

And therefore this moment by moment flow of single “drops” of love means we ARE “arriving” at self love with every moment!

Since each moment of self-love IS its own “arrival”…

We are actually always complete…

Even as we move along.

Quite the oxymoron:

Arrival = Moving On.

Moving on = Arrival.

Our moment by moment “arriving” enables us to love ourselves continuously….

And completely…

And then to carry this practice outwardly into our world.

Our “river” seems to be a whole never-ending entity…

Until we realize it is simultaneously made of many single drops as well 💧 💦 🌊

~~~~~~~~~

So…

When do we come to the stage of truly and completely loving ourselves?

It happens

In every moment

We choose to say to ourselves

“I love you now…”

Drip.

“…just as you are.”

Drop.

“I love you now too.”

Drip.

“And Now as well.”

Drop.

Then:

Trickle…

Stream…

River…

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Many best wishes for your continuing exploration and discovery, Shashi. Your question has helped me so much on my journey as well…and I am grateful for your presence here. Thank you so much for “stopping by” to Pause at this post!