175: In Service Of Love

We’re brought into this world by it, we sing countless songs about it, and yet it’s the only thing we haven’t got enough of in this world. Love, the mysterious force that holds all things together. Some have called it “gravity” or “attraction” or even “spooky action at a distance” but I know the truth. The truthiest truth is actually what we all know but most of us don’t know we know: love is the answer. The first moment I let the truth melt my heart, I was in an indignant rage over some kind of comment or tone that had rubbed my ego the wrong way. I looked at the person who was the target of my anger and a wave of helplessness washed over me; I had no idea what to do. I could leave the discussion in tears and hope that he gave in, but to what end? I saw myself in him. That was the key. I didn’t want him to suffer because my self-conscious ego needed stroking. In that moment I chose not just to love the separate part of me, I chose to serve the uniting force that keeps societies and families together. In service of love I laid down my ego and chose togetherness.

Choose love and there are no cons, only pros. The best part? It gets easier every time.

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163: Reflections On Choice, Change & Intuition

Perfect stillness comes from the acceptance of perfect truth.

Humans are channels for the divine

Intuition: channeling the divine

In the last nine months living in Madrid I’ve learned to do some things pretty well like speaking Spanish, making soup and teaching high school students. When I went to Peru at the end of 2012 I didn’t know I was going to meet the girl-angel who would tell me about the perfect next step to take after my college graduation. When I committed to moving to Spain to teach English, I didn’t exactly know why I had to leave the USA but I sensed it was the next step and for once in my life, there was no arguing with my intuition. You see, I never thought about it before but intuition really does play a large role in how I make big decisions in life. Now that I’m involved in all the new-agey spiritual woo-woo like chakras and intention, I realize that every time my mother spoke about following her gut she was talking about her intuition and it’s a shock to me to realize that this habit of listening to my inner voice has actually rubbed off on me.

Leaving the perfect boyfriend for a largely unknown reason was hard to explain. Suddenly I was marching off to Spain as a high school English teacher leaving behind the opportunities offered by a 3.6 GPA and an architectural thesis that had won two awards before I graduated. Whenever I tried to defend my decision to either myself or another, I was silenced by a heavy stillness deep inside me and a deafening silence rang out from someplace between my heart and my diaphragm. Over the course of surviving this decision the universe made for me, I have realized the stillness is the physiological manifestation of my psychic senses speaking to me. You can’t imagine how odd it is for me to see those words pouring out of my fingers and forming a sentence. “Me, psychic? Ha. Okay,” says the old Veronica but the new one realizes that these are just the words we use to speak about touching our true center.

Intuition is the guide to creating the best version of ourselves.

Growing up, my family was heavily immersed in the submissive paradigm. I recall being lectured on how children should be seen and not heard and that parents had to love their children but were not obligated to like them. I also recall knowing this was not the way things should be. Where did that sense of right speech come from? Who taught me that truth? I had no role models growing up who taught me that I deserved affection and attention but something inside me has always known that to be true and has always sought spaces where that truth is alive and well. I guess that must be my intuition too.

Anyway, the point is that we all know things without intellectualizing them. Having said that, what makes a long-held belief more valuable than one that is foreign to us? When the inner voice can lead us to prosperous and healthy ways of living, what makes consciously intellectualized beliefs more or less valuable? Just because we’ve lived our whole lives by one set of rules, what is stopping us from changing them?

natureteacher

This is about advocating for our own abilities to create ourselves. Like all self-critical humans, I spent a few years thinking about how I wanted to be, what things I needed to change in order to live a certain paradigm and eliminate certain habits. I was an obnoxious and worried mess until the stress became so intollerable that I just knew there was no way to keep surviving in that mental space; so I started to do some reorganizing. But why wait for the breakdown and the burnout to make the change? This is about our power to change the very fabric upon which we paint our daily lives, simply based on choice.

Crossing the threshold and breaking the cycle of negativity…

So you’re angry a lot; you lie in bed at night listening as the voice in your head screams at the people in your life and the world in general. Amazing! You’ve just crossed a threshold with the simple act of acknowledging that negative pattern, your eyes are now open. Now change the pattern. Seriously, just do it! Find stillness and listen to the inner voice that wants to help you shape better habits. You already know how to be your perfect self. Mindfulness is not easy in comparison to blindness but it’s your only choice. Once you open your eyes there is no way to go back into blissful oblivion. The only way out of the crushing depression that comes from a self-depricating spiral of naming negative habits is the satisfaction and affirmation that comes from the knowledge that at least you’re doing something about your character flaws.

After we make the choice to do something about our negative patterns we have broken the cycle and from there it is all uphill. Like any uphill climb it is harder than going down in the opposite direction and at times the journey can be quite discouraging. Fatigue is inevitable and breaks must be taken but always if the ultimate peak is to be reached the sojourner must keep in mind only two things, the direction of the final destination and the ground immediately beneath her feet. Keep walking. It’s hard, no one will ever deny that who has walked the path of affirming themselves, but we can all tell you: the view from the top is unimaginable. You are already on the path the moment you open your eyes, the only sensible thing to do is keep moving.

Choose change with patience, respect and compassion for yourself.

Fake it until you make it. So you’re not feeling especially adventurous today? Perfect. Take a seat on that bench over there and spend time looking out over the valley you’ve just started to climb out of. If you’ve even taken two steps up the hill, you deserve validation. Tomorrow you can climb some more and if the day after that, you realize you need to climb down a bit, that’s okay too; you’re the only one who’s going anywhere – the mountain is not. You’ve opened your eyes to the fact that valleys and peaks even exist at all when yesterday, there was nothing. Congratulations! I’ll see you at the top.

compassionAt the beginning of my journey into myself I didn’t know that’s what I was doing and I certainly didn’t have any proof that it would work out for the better. I didn’t know that what I would find at the center of me was my intuition, I just did what all the most successful adventurers have done: I jumped. The more times we take that leap of faith that comes from following a hunch or listening to our gut, the more easily we begin to recognize the intuition’s cues which guide us to our gorgeous mountain top. We are never alone, there is always a still, peaceful place at the center of our being just waiting for us to return for guidance. A deep breath will take you to your center and then it’s only a matter of choice: will you listen and choose action or won’t you? You’re already on the path, you might as well take advantage of it. With your intuition as your guide choose change; keep moving and keep your gaze on the ground ask you tackle the journey one step at a time and feel the distance to the peak of perfection as it shrinks .

Day 115: Activating Security

Security…it’s simply the recognition that changes will take place and the knowledge that you’re willing to deal with whatever happens.                     – Harry Browne

Recently I watched this time lapsevideo of a little girl growing up and couldn’t help but notice that when the preteen years struck, so did the insecurity shown in the self-conscious looking away from the camera and hair-fidgeting. Days later I also ran across a Dove advertisement based on the same concept. I remember a time in my life too when I saw my girlfriends shriek at the sight of a camera and practiced the same acts of insecurity, simply because it seemed like what everyone else was doing. I still find myself trying to correct this wrong.

Security is not something I recognize or even understand. Growing up with an emotionally abusive father and a mother who suffers from PTSD meant that I’ve had to teach myself everything I know about what it means to be safe and secure. Luckily I’ve got the help of many wonderful teachers including Deepak Chopra who has put together this amazing meditation with Oprah as part of the Finding Your Flow Meditation Challenge. I’m sharing it below because I believe in the message.

But why even bother with security? So you feel insecure, whose business is it? Everyone’s. You are a precious and unique part of the fabric of the cosmos, the circle of life, and the network of sentient beings on this planet. We are all depending on your ability to share your gifts and your health is what makes that possible. Your peace and happiness benefit us all.

beingDeepak talks about the connection between security and the root chakra. This ball of energy that dwells at the base of the spine is our energetic foundation. If we wish to know what it means to truly be we must begin or end with what it means to be grounded, safe, whole in the present moment. Traditionally this is the beginning of the spiritual journey but I urge you to take comfort in the fact that eight years of rigorous work has led me to today, the first moment I grasped the concept of inner security and stability.

Note: I said “grasp,” there’s a lot of work left to do. Looking forward to it! Join me? What has taught you about security? Are you grounded and stable? Did you start off that way? Leave a note below!