My last entry was intense, especially if you look at ahimsa, non-violence, as behavior or a state of being that you have to "make" happen. Even the idea of that journey is exhausting when viewed as a standard so high, so perfect, that it becomes the impossible goal. "I'll do the best I can but I'll never make it."
Let's make it simple, remembering that simple isn't always easy. Mindfulness, compassion toward myself, honesty about what I think and feel are all necessary to live a non-violent life. However, changing thought patterns and behaviors is not the best place to begin. It can be frustrating and fruitless if these changes are not emanating from a fundamental shift in what I believe about mySelf, my True Nature.
If I continue to believe that I am born a sinner who must gain the approval and love of a judgmental God, then judging myself and attempting to control my thoughts and behaviors will be my path. This path brings me right back into himsa, violence toward myself....
This moment gives birth to the next.
This statement is an invitation to mindfulness, being present in the moment. What do I mean by this? Thank you for asking and for inviting me to take you deeper.
If I am in a truly unhappy, difficult experience and I am advised to count my blessings I will feel a small smile forming on my face as I quietly nod my head. Years ago, a woman older and wiser than myself told me that gratitude opens the heart for further blessings. In order for my heart to open and receive what I need right now, I must be mindful of current blessings. The Circle of Life is evident here. If I desire blessings, I must see blessings right now in this moment. The gratitude I feel in this moment gives birth to the blessings and gratitude I will feel in the next moment. It is a circle within the Circle of Life.
How? Nature has always brought me...
The importance of mindfulness, being aware of the present moment, is no longer new to most of us. 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 guided meditation, we are invited to focus on the flow of our breath and to notice our thoughts. How do we take all of this into our everyday lives?
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.
Intention is a powerful form of thought energy. It guides the flow and sets the tone for my experience. It is about consciously flowing with life rather than reacting or trying to control it. Awareness of my first thought reminds me to form a conscious intention for my day. How does this work?...