Walking the Circle of Life

 

Heal   Learn   Grow

Does Learning & Growing Mean Striving for Perfection?

grow know true self learn Jul 30, 2019

I have been involved in countless conversations over the past forty years about how to be a better person, how to meet some standard that has been set, how to please God, gain God's favor, etc. I began looking into myself at a relatively young age. The Judeo-Christian standard set for me left me sad, frustrated and extremely good at judging myself. All of this self-flagellation brought little lasting change and an ongoing battle with low level depression. Ultimately, I became a bible teacher and was fortunate to receive solid training in how to study and interpret the bible. Seeing the importance of things like historical context and word studies began to set me free.

For example, an Old Testament verse commands that a man must not wear women's clothing. When that was spoken and recorded, everyone wore the equivalent of a dress! This historical data makes it necessary to look further and interpret context as well as multiple references. There are no other such admonitions,...

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GROW...into True Self

divine love grow true self Jul 23, 2019

True Self - so simple it needs little said. So eternal it can be explored forever.

True Self is that Essence of Being that I Am. Often called one's spirit or soul, it is the eternal that outlives and transcends this third dimensional reality. It is Divine Love manifesting this bodymind. It is Divine Love manifesting in and through this bodymind, personality, identity. I could write lots of words about this. Lots and lots of words.

True Self transcends words. It is felt and experienced and known and quite indefinable. It is unseen and real in the sense that it outlives physical existence which is temporary, transitory. It is love, peace, oneness, wholeness. It emerges from the Great I Am, Great Mystery, All That Is. It is the real or true me.

Third dimensional reality, this physical life, seems in opposition to this truth.

Remember that the shadows give definition and clarity to the light (black and white photography is a beautiful example). Life presents us with paradoxes. In...

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Staying Open to Learn

learn open heart open mind Jul 16, 2019

I have practiced and taught hatha yoga and meditation for almost 30 years. This enhanced my mat practice and has brought my meditation practice to a level that takes me deeper into my True Self and my relationship with the Divine.

Just before signing in to write this particular blog, I visited the web site of a local studio to check out their current schedule because I am always open to new experiences on the mat, whether moving or sitting. I remain open also to teachers who approach their classes differently than I would. 

I remain open to learning...period.

A person who has come to believe that they have all the answers for themselves and, often, for others is missing out on life experiences that could bring growth, love, laughter, and sometimes tears (whether in the sorrow of loss or the joy of gain) to their life.

I thought my days of teaching were probably over. Oh, perhaps I would have an occasional student who wanted to understand meditation better, but not teach classes...

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Do You Dwell On The Past?

Do you dwell on the past? If you do, are you remembering loving and joyful experiences or are you caught in the cycle of ongoing regret, embarrassment, or fear that others will find out? 

If you remember joyful, happy memories and those memories elicit joy and happiness in the present moment, good! If you remember happy, joyful memories and those memories cause you to compare them to your current situation, what experience are you creating in the now? If you bring forward experiences that are painful and then judge yourself or your behavior, what experience are you creating in the now?

Do you consciously realize that you have a choice every moment to create your own experience? I learned at an early age to bring the past into the present and it wasn't always in order to experience the blessings of my life. My past mistakes were brought up to me in an accusatory manner or to make me the brunt of humor. The goal was to embarrass me. It worked.

I was fortunate to learn,...

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HEAL...LEARN...GROW

These three words describe the course of my lifetime. As I sit at my keyboard, I realize they make sense in any order:

HEAL...LEARN...GROW:     I had to discover how to heal myself by releasing counterproductive or harmful behaviors. Once the healing began to take hold, I was able to open up to clearer, healthier ways to live and interpret life. This resulted in mental and emotional growth, understanding, maturity.

LEARN...GROW...HEAL:     As a child, I learned a lot about what works in life by watching others. I tried on different behaviors, seeking approval and a sense of belonging. As I grew toward adulthood, I sought marriage and a family and I was blessed with both. I also faced disappointment and tragedy which taught me what I needed to heal from within.

GROW...HEAL...LEARN:     All through life I have been blessed with loving, compassionate spiritual teachers. They came to me through both the Catholic and Protestant sides of the Christian family....

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Rest, Please!

Our physical, mental, and emotional bodies are designed for balance and wholeness. Talk of proper diet, sufficient exercise, sunshine, and water abound. It isn't very often the conversation of sufficient rest arises. Human beings have decided, for the most part, that multi-tasking is a necessity and technology has taken this practice to unbelievable extremes.

Eating out is an education. Look around at other diners, even in gourmet restaurants. It is common to see people sitting together at a table using phones and tablets, never interacting or looking at one another. I'm not thinking of a group of friends sharing memories of favorite books and films. That would enhance conversation and even quicken our memories of other details to be shared. I'm thinking of times when I was not able to interact with someone at a table because they never stopped texting. They say they are present with us but they are not.

Do they ever let their eyes, fingers, or brains rest? Rest is vital to...

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Divinely Human

The Inner Stillness that I Am dwells in the very depths of my being. It is that sweet place that remains peaceful even when my mind, emotions, body - or perhaps all three - are in chaos.

During a particularly challenging time in my life, I let myself collapse in primal tears in the middle of my dining room. My mind and emotions were filled with fear, frustration, anger and disappointment. My body shook with the intensity of it all and my tears erupted into screams. In the midst of this I became aware of this oasis of peace in the core of my body, behind my naval. It felt so weird to be in both experiences at once but it told me that I was okay; I wasn't losing my sanity. Chaos was clearly under-girded by deep abiding peace.

I now understand that the Inner Stillness is the essence of my Being; it is True Self. My practice now is establishing me in this Inner Stillness so that I may live from this place: consciously, peacefully, powerfully live from the Essence of my Being, from the...

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First Thought

The importance of mindfulness and being aware of the present moment are no longer new ideas yet being aware of our own level of awareness is an ongoing practice. Mindfulness is easier in a yoga class because the teacher calls us to our breath and to what we are doing and experiencing in our bodies. In meditation, we are invited to focus on the flow of our breath and to notice our thoughts. How do we take what we are learning and practicing in a class off of the mat?

I first noticed my own awareness levels when my first yoga teacher's voice began to live in my head. I would hear her guiding me to feel my breath or notice my thoughts when my mood shifted. Everyday things became lessons in mindfulness.

It took awhile but, at some point, I began to notice my first thought of the day. Rather than jumping up as I awoke, I would turn onto my back, place my hands on my belly, take a few slow breaths and notice my first thought. Some mornings, my first thought was soft, peaceful and...

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Divinely Human

The Inner Stillness that I Am dwells in the very depths of my being. It is that sweet place that remains peaceful even when my mind, emotions, body - or perhaps all three - are in chaos.

During a particularly challenging time in my life, I let myself collapse in primal tears in the middle of my dining room. My mind and emotions were filled with fear, frustration, anger and disappointment. My body shook with the intensity of it all and my tears erupted into screams. In the midst of this I became aware of this oasis of peace in the core of my body, behind my naval. It felt so weird to be in both experiences at once but it told me that I was okay; I wasn't losing my sanity. Chaos was clearly under-girded by deep abiding peace.

That was many years ago and I now understand that the Inner Stillness is the essence of my being; it is True Self. My practice now is establishing me in this Inner Stillness so that I may live from this place: consciously, peacefully, powerfully live from the...

Continue Reading...

Perfection - Good Luck With That!

A book could be written about where this idea of being perfect originates but let's just deal with what is in this moment. I have been involved in countless conversations over the past forty-five years about how to be a better person, how to meet some standard that has been set, how to please God, gain God's favor, etc. I began looking into myself at a relatively young age. The Judeo-Christian standard set for me left me sad, frustrated and extremely good at judging myself. All of this self-flagellation brought little lasting change and an ongoing battle with low level depression. Ultimately, I became a bible teacher and was fortunate to receive solid training in how to study and interpret the bible. Seeing the importance of things like historical context and word studies began to set me free.

For example, an Old Testament verse commands that a man must not wear women's clothing. When that was spoken and recorded, everyone wore the equivalent of a dress! This historical...

Continue Reading...
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