Transforming Misery into Peace

 

Transition and transformation aren’t necessarily big deals. They can happen on a daily, moment to moment basis. The ability to be able to shift our state of consciousness and emotion is essential for peace of mind and resilience. With practice, we can choose to make the transition from misery or fear, to peace and contentment, in moments. I believe this is one of the most vital skills to practice for those of us who are holding a vision for a fulfilling life of contribution and a peaceful world.

 

Let me explain what I mean by misery. To my mind, it’s different from grief.  Grief is a natural process of remembering and letting go of people, and aspects of our own lives and identity, we have loved and lost. This certainly includes anguish at times – knowing that your loved one has gone and is never coming back in physical form, can hurt terribly. Feeling remorse at things you said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do, can also be agonising. These are raw emotions arising from love.

 

Misery, on the other hand, as I see it, is another layer of mind-made suffering that keeps us stuck in old stories of self doubt and self hatred.  Eckhart Tolle’s concept of the painbody is brilliant on this. Watch a short video here.

 

Misery happens when we get caught up in a toxic recycling of old, limiting thoughts and feelings, that keep us stuck, angry, bitter, depressed and wanting. Misery is a state where you identify with the belief that you are not ok, or life is not ok. It’s a state of resistance to what is. A loss of freedom.

 

There is real misery in the world in bucket-fulls.  Loss of  homes, homelands, starvation, sickness, complete hopelessness.That’s real misery. But as you’re reading this you’re probably a privileged westerner like me. We all have our struggles and life is challenging and heartbreak happens, but we don’t really need to hang around too long in misery. It’s a choice. For me, it’s taken several decades of therapy and spiritual practice to free myself from this kind of mind-made misery.  It may still rear its head temporarily but I can usually turn it around pretty fast these days. And the more I experience peace and contentment, I am unwilling to tolerate anything less than peace.

 

I’d like to share a process that could help you next time you find yourself stuck in misery.

 

 

 

Step I: Stop and identify the thoughts misery is feeding on and write them down.

It may be something like:

  • Nobody loves me the way I need to be loved
  • I don’t deserve to be happy
  • I’m not good enough
  • The world is going to hell in a handbasket and there’s nothing I can do
  • I don’t have enough

We’ll come back to these thoughts later.

 

Step 2: What does misery feel like?

Take a few minutes and really feel into your body, your mind, your emotions. It may be something like:

I feel trapped, overwrought, lonely, unappreciated, afraid, hopeless, shut down, empty.

Write these feelings down.

 

Step 3: Now shift your focus and remember what peace feels like.

Recall the last time you felt at peace. How did you feel? Take a few minutes to sink into this memory.

It may be something like:

Contented, fulfilled, present, alive, connected, relaxed, grateful, open hearted, generous.

Make your own list.

Can you feel your desire for peace? Really feel it.

 

Step 4: Choose peace.

Shift your attention from the thoughts and feelings of misery to the feelings of peace. If you’re really struggling you may have to do this over and over. Keep making that choice for peace. Whenever the thoughts and feelings of misery arise, choose peace.

 

Step 5: Go back to the list you made in step one with your thoughts about misery, and for each thought on your list, ask:

Is this true?

For example, I don’t deserve to be happy. Is this true?

I don’t have enough? Is this true?

If it is true, can I do something to change this?

If I can’t change my outer circumstances, can I change my attitude to this reality?

How can I love and nurture myself now?

 

Step 6: make a list of three things that bring you peace.

For example, mine are:

  • Being outside under a big sky
  • Writing
  • Flowers

Nurture yourself everyday with at least one of your three favourite peace aids.

If this practice is helpful, I’d love to know.

You may be saying, well that’s all very well Rose, when I feel bad it’s not as easy as that to turn it around.  I know it’s not always easy but we do always have a choice. And that is where freedom lies. Sometimes in my own life I’ve felt I’ve been wrestling with a demon trying to turn my mood around. It’s the practice and the intention that make the difference.

 

It isn’t always easy to turn around old patterns we’ve been carrying for a lifetime, or even for several lifetimes, or carrying them for our parents. It takes time and commitment and practice. What I’ve realised is the tools we need to turn things around in a more positive direction are simple, it’s the application and the repetition that takes the commitment.

 

None of us needs to do this alone. That’s why I have created my experiential programme, Sitting with Death and Choosing Life, Transforming Grief and Loss.   The programme will be available soon and it t has a lot of simple practices like this one I’m sharing with you today. It also provides the support of the bigger energy field of a group of people practicing together.It really makes a difference, to know you are supported, encouraged and held accountable to your own deepest desires. The first part of the programme is a series of conversations, which you may enjoy.

 

Wishing you peace and peace to our world,

 

Rose

The Soul Journey

If you can read and understand this poem,

send something back; a burning strand of hair

a still-warm, still-liquid drop of blood

a shell,  thickened from being battered

year on year,  send something back.

 – The Images, from A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far, by Adrienne Rich

 

It is a wet, misty Friday morning in August. Late summer, yet so gloomy I turn the lights on so that I may read. It could be any day, because there are no landmarks in this new territory, no separations. Only the cycling of days following nights and summer getting ready to let go into the keener edge of autumn.

 

And yet, I measure out my life in time: 20 months since Woods died, 14 months since David died, 5 months since I migrated back from New Zealand and had to start all over again to find myself. Whilst my other hand, all the time, was intent on losing myself, on stripping to the bone.

 

When I say “trying to find myself”, I mean longing to come home, when home is neither “over there” in the brighter future breathed by the Land of the Awakening Dawn, nor here amidst the ancient killing fields and pockets of sacred resistance, we call the United Kingdom.

 

I can only guess at the significance of this chapter of my life, perched as I am on a windy hillside, on the sacred land of Pen Llyn, looking out across the soft green valleys of Wales towards the Snowdonia Mountain ranges, with Snowdon directly opposite my window to the North East, a shining star of an ancient dawn. And although, I find myself once again on a raw edge and I’d prefer a more nurturing garden, I have chosen to trust in the rightness of my being here; that my soul has led me here for its own reasons.

 

Perhaps a vision of a United Kingdom has been carried in the soul and in the blood, down the centuries; a dream that can only be consummated in each human heart. And for me, not so much a Kingdom as a Queendom, or a United Androgyne.  This coming home to the united self involves the gathering of all the lost pieces of the soul, here and now, and down through the ages.

 

 

It appears I am here for an act of grieving, however long it takes. A mourning, a letting go, a revelation. Just as when the trees let go their leaves in autumn, revealing the architecture of the tree, so too, as the old stories of the self fall away, and false perceptions of reality are seen through, and duly mourned, the shape of the soul becomes more visible.

 

For forty years this has been my most vital quest: to know the soul. Soul has been my guiding light, my North Star, calling me home. When I listen for her whispers, I enter into a different territory. With intention as the doorway, and listening the key, when the door swings open, I slide through into a bigger space, a watery medium. This is a timeless world where strands of memory trail like seaweed, and flashes of sunlight on the surface, illuminate buried treasures for a fleeting moment and then disappear, leaving me an enchanted explorer in uncertain waters. As an explorer of the deep I have had to learn radical trust and accept this drifting far from the mainstream into the slipstreams of my own unique soul journey.

 

My favourite poet, Adrienne Rich wrote about this in her poem, Diving into the Wreck.

 

First having read the book of myths,

and loaded the camera,

and checked the edge of the knife-blade,

I put on the body-armor of black rubber

the absurd flippers

the grave and awkward mask.

I am having to do this

not like Cousteau

with his assiduous team

aboard the sun-flooded schooner

but here alone. …

 

 

I have to learn alone

to turn my body without force

in the deep element.

And now: it is easy to forget

what I came for

among so many who have always lived here

swaying their crenellated fans

between the reefs

and besides you breathe differently down here.

I came to explore the wreck.

The words are purposes.

The words are maps.

I came to see the damage that was done

and the treasures that prevail.

I stroke the beam of my lamp

slowly along the flank

of something more permanent than fish or weed

the thing I came for: the wreck and not the story of the wreck

the thing itself and not the myth….

 

 

We are, I am, you are

by cowardice or courage

the one who find our way

back to this scene

carrying a knife, a camera

a book of myths

in which our names do not appear.

 

 

When I began to navigate this new and ancient territory of the inner being forty years ago, I had no language, other than poetry, to describe my experiences. Nor did I have anyone on a similar journey to talk with. My attempts to communicate usually brought forth ridicule, or I was labelled and stuffed into some pigeon hole of consensual reality, or at best handed a dismissive, “very nice dear”.  Even my friends called me “the crazy, creative one” and saw me as idealistic and “out of touch with reality”. At another time, I might have ended up in a psychiatric hospital, or gotten me to a nunnery, or chosen, like one of my other literary heroines Virginia Woolf, to let the waters of the river carry me into oblivion.

 

Yet, once the door was open, I had no choice but to continue my explorations.   Compelled by curiosity, longing, and creative excitement, I chose to write poetry. This was my bridge to this mysterious, watery world of soul.

 

 

Despite the accusations of impracticality, I managed to keep the strands of my life together through some major inner deconstructions and reconstructions. I paid the mortgage, participated in group life, even started a business. I had no idea then that all over the world, others were waking up to this underwater reality, in their own ways.  We were a new culture of pearl fishers; a generation born to do our spiritual work, not within an enclosed order or sanctuary, but, like the Tibetans monks exiled from their homeland, to navigate the cracks in reality and take faltering steps, trusting in this deep calling of the soul, while being active in worldly life. This is no mean feat.

 

If you are one of these watery edge dwelling explorers, who like me, has spun webs of creativity from the centre of your own being, and stubbornly eked out an existence from a foothold of no compromise, then please take my words as rainbow bridges reaching out to you in recognition, solidarity, compassion and celebration.

 

I’ll finish today with this poem, Iceberg, which I wrote back then, when the journey was beginning:

 

 

Iceberg

 

I could draw poetry out of silence

with the patience of a fisherwomen

I cut my circle in the ice

and wait.

 

 

I want to find the courage to dive deep

beyond conception

to hammer diamonds from the glassy wall

and suck hard at meaning

to make transparent the opaque.

I want to trace with burning fingers

the unique and perfect pattern of each frost flower

to wear a skin so thin

my blood’s heat will melt the edge of ice

and make the inert flow.

 

 

I want to write poetry with muscle

words that can’t be pummelled into submission

but swagger seeking across a page.

I want a new vocabulary for living

a grammar for contradictions

where mind and body rhyme

and my heart’s beat

sounds in the sea.

 

Rose Diamond, 1982

 

 

 

 

What happens when your motivational foundations are stripped away?

Grief is potentially a transformational process

There can surely be no doubt that, as a species, we humans are facing devastating problems which threaten all life on Earth, and which we are blatantly failing to solve at a political level.  We each find our own ways of living with this deathly knowledge – some choose not to watch any mainstream media news; some numb out with alcohol, drugs or food; some choose denial; others go into over-drive; some rely on spiritual beliefs to make it all o.k.

 

I’ve used all of these strategies at times, haven’t you? It’s normal. Because to really face into the possible extinction of our species, or the long-term effects on the planet of our consumer and lifestyle choices, and the depths of degradation and cruelty we humans can sink to, and then to keep choosing life, takes enormous courage.

 

Throughout my adult life, the ways I’ve found to make sense of being human and to find the motivation to get up every morning and to keep going, have been: my love of lifelong, whole person learning; my spiritual path and belief in the soul journey; and a passionate desire to contribute to the good of humanity, through my creativity. Above all, what comforts and inspires me, is knowing that I am part of a global movement of millions of people who are choosing conscious evolution, personal transformation and wholeness.

 

I wonder what your motivational foundations are?

 

And what happens when these motivational foundations are stripped away?

 

This was what happened to me, last year, after my brother’s death. Every death and every grieving process is different and unique.  Maybe it was because my brother was my last surviving family member; maybe because my closest friend, Woods, had died six months earlier; or perhaps I was just up for a big transformation. Whatever the cause, my grieving process stripped me, for a few months, of everything that had given my life meaning and kept me alive and ticking.

 

“ When death comes suddenly and unexpectedly, you may feel that a hard spoon has cracked down on the eggshell that bound your life together. Like Humpty Dumpty, you can’t imagine how you’ll ever be put back together again. Everything feels out of whack. You’re dazed and confused and you can’t see any future. Your life, which only moments before, had a direction and purpose, now lies in fragments at your feet. You have no idea who you are, why this is happening, or what to do next. There is only this terrible sense of jangling loss and startled disbelief.”  – From my e-book, Sitting with Death and Choosing Life.

 

It’s really hard to suddenly feel so stripped of power, identity and meaning, especially for those of us who are used to being there for others as carers, healers, parents or teachers. We’ve all been well trained in our culture to hold it all together. To keep our intense emotions to ourselves. To “grin and bear it”.

 

This really raw state lasted in me for about three months, during which time I was incapable of doing much beyond lying on the sofa watching tv. And the grieving process has gone on since then through several more phases. When you’re grieving it takes as long as it takes and it is not predictable. But as challenging as it is, grief is potentially a transformational process. Being stripped to the bone, rendered raw and vulnerable and exposed, is an opportunity for the letting go of the old, and moving towards a new, more authentic knowing and integration of the self.

 

Transformation is a creative act and death can be a great awakener. But in order for this to be so, we need to engage intentionally with the process of life and death, as it is showing up now. When we consciously choose to become more awake and aware, we act and experiment in ways that bring something new and evolved into being, whether that is a new version of the self, or a new version of the culture.

 

Learning to sit with death, to surrender to the inevitable passing away of old forms, is essential – whether that’s the death of a loved one, letting go of illusions about ourselves and what it means to be human, or habitual limiting thoughts. And not only is it challenging and essential but we are all being given so many opportunities now to make this choice.

 

My Sitting with Death and Choosing Life programme is one phoenix that has arisen out of the ashes of my own grieving. Through it I will be offering stimulus materials in the form of e-books and recorded conversations, community forums or exploration and conversation, and simple daily practices, you can use to transform grief and loss into a  new life.

 

I’ll be launching the first part on September 4th, if you are interested to follow this thread please join my facebook page.   I am really excited to be taking this vital conversation about death, dying, grief, loss and transformation, out into the community.

Creating a good life story – the skill of staying focused

Creating a good life story –  the skill of staying focused on what’s most important

 

 

I’ve just returned from a trip to West Wales, where a new story is pushing green shoots through the earth of my life. That’s set me pondering how we take the raw materials of our life – however nurturing or challenging these are – and create a good story from them.

 

Think about your life story for a moment – right now, does it feel like a tragedy, a comedy, a drama, a magical mystery tour? And are you in the role of hero, villain, unrequited lover, magician, goddess, or?

 

If you’re anything like me the perspective on your story changes from day to day, depending on whatever life’s flow is presenting. There are times when the threads of the story come clearly into focus and fall into a beautiful, inspiring pattern in which everything has its place. And then there are times when meaning and purpose disappear into a mist of chaos and confusion.

 

When I drove back from West Wales yesterday, we set off early in the morning, through mist and then, half an hour later through fog, and then rain, and finally an hour from home, the sun broke through and a beautiful summer’s day was revealed. During the misty, foggy stretches I was hyper aware how important it was to stay focused, since in such poor driving conditions any lapse in concentration can be costly.

 

That afternoon I watched the men’s singles final at Wimbledon.  Roger Federer’s mastery of the game was truly inspiring. Once again there was the demonstration of focus – don’t take your eye off the ball. And he combined this concentration with strategy developed through years of experience and with physical strength and fluidity.

 

What does all this have to do with your life story? It seems to me that we don’t have a lot of choice about the conditions of our lives – we don’t choose whether its misty or foggy or sunny, or whether the government reflects our views, or the number of terrorist attacks in our country are escalating, and the icebergs are melting.  But we can choose how we respond to our changing conditions, and staying focused is a very important skill that transforms our conditions. In our life story, when we hold the focus on our highest values, we manifest our highest purpose.

 

Let me give you an example from my own life. I’m sitting writing this on the bench in front of my cottage, looking out onto the grand sweep of the Snowdonia mountain ranges as they wrap around Cardigan Bay. I’ve been blessed to live with some stunning views ever since I began my spiritual journey and this one takes the gold medal for splendour. I arrived here by serendipity. When I left New Zealand I wasn’t thinking, ah, I’ll go and live in North Wales. Yet here I am. And although it’s been challenging living here on this, sometimes, raw edge, sitting with the grief of my best friend’s death and then my brother’s, I can also appreciate what a perfect soul sanctuary my intuition has led me to.  This has deepened my trust that I really am carried and taken care of by the much bigger forces I call soul and a loving universe.

 

Often when we manifest something really good others say, “You’re so lucky!” and I do feel enormously privileged and blessed. But it wasn’t luck that led me here. It’s that magic mix of serendipity, readiness and skill. Infinite possibilities are available to us always yet to actualise any possibility we first have to be alert to its arising and then to listen to and  follow our heart and intuition, and to choose it. What enables each of us to transform seeds of possibility into a good, creative, life story is the skill of staying focused at all times on our highest and most important values. When you keep your eye on what you’re here for and what gives your life meaning and purpose, something bigger takes over and arranges the details.

 

For me, my highest value for the last 25 years has been what I call the soul journey. I choose to follow my soul and, as I do so, it becomes increasingly clear to me that I have a massive opportunity in this lifetime to heal and whole my soul. I am connected right now to many, many others who are on a similar soul journey. We are part of a collective movement of consciousness and culture at the growing edge of humanity’s evolution. None of us are making this challenging journey for ourselves alone but in some mysterious way, my healing and expansion of consciousness, and yours, also contribute to the healing and wholing of humanity.

 

This is what I choose, this soul work is my focus, my reason for being here. I don’t always understand at the time why I’m making certain choices. I often need to feel into my experiences and surrender to what doesn’t feel comfortable.  I need to take it all personally for a while, to deeply experience and know my personal pain and confusion and allow it to move through me and transform it into transpersonal truths – the truths of what it means to be human and reaching for wholeness in these turbulent transformational times. As I do this, the story becomes more clear and focused, more integrated and resilient.

 

Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more of my stories with you. There’s the story of how I came to leave New Zealand and return to my homeland to support my brother; the story of my brother’s dream and his death and how I found meaning and inspiration in that. There’s a story of soul friendship and the bigger unfolding story of the soul journey. When I write these stories I’m always reaching for the place where the personal intersects with the transpersonal – where my story touches yours. I believe when any of us is really authentic, when we listen deeply to ourselves and we’re true to our experience, then we touch into common experiences.  I hope, by doing this, I cast a little light across your path and leave you feeling a little more connected, a little less alone, especially when you are travelling through the mist and fog of confusion.

 

This place where the personal intersects with the transpersonal is one of the greatest gifts of authenticity. When we are authentic we touch something bigger than the little self. Isn’t that why we all love stories? Down through the ages we humans have loved to have our hearts and souls touched by a good yarn.

 

This post has explored two essential skills of the transformational process: staying awake to possibilities as they arise and staying focused on what matters most.   I wonder what matters most to you?

 

If you’d like to connect with me more please go to: https://www.facebook.com/Tribe.in.Transition/  and share your responses to what I’ve written here. I’d love to hear

There’s nothing wrong with you!

In all the work I’ve been doing over the last few years, I keep coming back to a central myth that is so deep in our human conditioning it’s hard to shift. The myth is: If things go wrong there must be something wrong with you.

I want to bust this myth wide open and have a look at it. It really doesn’t help. Creating through challenging times is difficult enough without adding another layer of self-blame or self-doubt.

I’ll start with a current example from my life. I’ve been having trouble recently with my internet connection. I’m sure you can relate to that, it happens to all of us at some time. It’s been very frustrating, with the signal fading and cutting out on and off all day, or working perfectly for a few days and then, just when I need to rely on it for that special call or interview, now it’s gone again. This is stressful, and when we’re stressed we tend to revert to old patterns. In this case, I first became obsessively hooked on trying to fix it, repeating the same strategies over and over. Soon, I saw the folly in this and took a step back, turning my attention to becoming calm, mindful, inventive and solutions-oriented.

I began to reflect on how these interruptions in the internet signal are also mirrored within my own mind. Most of us are not fully connected all of the time; our consciousness waxes and wanes. Now we’re here, now we’re gone. And it seems to me that for those of us on a conscious path, this is the state of the art at the moment. We’re learning how to become stable in a new level of inter-connected consciousness in which we can stay creative within the disturbed and fragmented world we are part of. It’s truly a heroic journey.

I think we’ve been sold a number of myths which add to the difficulty. These have come both from the consumer culture and from spiritual and personal growth teachings.

For example, when my conscious spiritual path found me twenty-five years ago, I like so many others, set off on a quest for enlightenment. I thought this was a destination I would finally arrive at – maybe a lifetime or three down the track – a stable state of bliss in which all suffering would be at an end. Well perhaps… but over the years I’ve come to see it all rather differently. I no longer think in terms of a final goal but of a process of gradual awakening, rather like the opening of a flower. Through this process, we have the opportunity, as spiritual beings having a human experience, to connect with, and grow into, more and more of our essential wholeness. This requires experiencing more of who we are and what is here now, rather than trying to get somewhere or trying to fix those parts of ourselves that are inconvenient. It’s an opening, an allowing, a letting go, a relaxing, a being present with what is, a releasing of what no longer serves us, a making space, a resting in the unknown.

 

 

This process of awakening into a more integrated, unified consciousness; this becoming more whole, is fabulously exciting and also deeply challenging. Far from reaching a stable state, I find I’m continually in a process of expanding and contracting – like the breath, or the waves on the shore, or the waxing and waning moon. One day, I’m open and expanded and I can marvel at the big picture in which everything is perfectly harmonised and synchronised. The next day I may be more contracted and stressed and feel disconnected from the source of life. Recently, the process is quickening and I can experience both states within hours or minutes. Just like my internet connection fading in and out.

For a long time this has been my normal and one of the things I am learning from it, is to avoid getting attached to either state. So when I’m feeling expansive I relax into it but don’t take any credit for my good fortune, and when I’m feeling stressed, I remind myself this too will pass, and I don’t take it personally.

When you’re feeling less than you know you can be DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!!!

It’s simply the breath of life moving through you, informing you, touching your mind and your emotions.

Use each contraction to discern what needs to be released from your emotional body or from your mind. Use it as an opportunity to breathe and relax and do your consciousness practices, but please don’t use it to blame, criticise and judge yourself. Only self-love and acceptance will release the flow of energy, and the movement towards wholeness again.

In other words, there will be days when you feel more connected, inspired, well and contented. And there will be days when you appear to lose the connection with the source of well-being. This is normal. It’s life.

The consumer culture has tried to brainwash us into the belief that life should be fabulous all the time, that we deserve it, and if that’s not what’s happening we should do something to fix it – go on a trip, find a new partner. Why not go out and buy all those goodies to fill the hole inside? Let’s plug our inner emptiness with food, alcohol, sex, drugs, fashion, toys and over-work, to keep the world of commerce turning.

Instead, a different and more radical choice is to learn to sit with our emptiness, to face our unhappiness and anxiety; to get to know whatever monsters we believe are lurking in our inner world. That’s what I mean by Sitting with Death – it’s a choice to sit with our most difficult, intense, challenging, most vulnerable feelings – and to welcome them home into the community of our being.

I read recently that Deepak Chopra, someone whose work I admire, was offering a programme on how to transcend our emotions. I don’t think transcending our emotions is what we, as individuals or as a collective, need. Rather, in my experience it would serve us more to make the choice to descend into our emotions, to become more embodied, more fully connected, more fully here, awake and alive.

Easier said than done, I know. But that’s my current mission, and if any of this rings true for you, there will be lots of opportunities coming up soon to join me in this exploration of Sitting with Death and Choosing Life.

The New Paradigm – how’s it going for you?

 

Since you’ve made your way to Tribe in Transition, my guess is you’re someone who sees reality through the lens of a paradigm shift. And part of becoming skilled in paradigm shifting, is letting go of the old, making a space for the new, and then creating it.

 

In this spirit, Tribe in Transition is in the process of major renovations – I’m in the middle of creating a new programme on transforming grief and loss, the website is up for a complete make-over, and I’m polishing 13 years work on transition and transformation and getting ready to roll it out into the world.

 

Last week I felt I was walking through mud, part of me leaning forward to completion while my feet just couldn’t get any traction. I’m sure if you’re involved in your own passionate, new-culture-making project, you will have felt similarly stuck and bogged down at times. Even though my Big Why for doing what I’m doing is clear and good, the whole endeavour suddenly seemed absurdly ambitious and overwhelmingly futile and the threads I was holding felt like chaos in my hands.

 

And then something happened, don’t ask me how – sometimes the answers to questions come out of the blue – and suddenly I saw the complete picture, a whole new gestalt, a map of the way forward.  It wasn’t an image but an inner shift, as if everything had just settled inside me into its true place. I realised I hadn’t been able to move forward confidently before, because I hadn’t had the whole picture. And now I can. Confidence, motivation and excitement returned, I’m off and running.

 

So, I’m thinking about this mysterious process of paradigm shifting and the co-creative dance between me and the something-bigger-than-me which is also part of the creative conversation. I’m sure if twelve of us were gathered together, we’d have twelve different versions of what a paradigm shift means. For me, one of the most exciting parts of my work is coming together with others in the kind of deep exploratory conversations in which new insights arise out of our collective energy and intelligence. This is one vital thread in the vision of Tribe in Transition and I’d like to kick off this conversation by telling you my definition of a paradigm shift.

 

The kind of ah-ha moment I described above is one sign that perception is shifting. I see it as an evolutionary process seeded by universal intelligence which causes a re-ordering of information, experience and perspective, so that perception falls into a more integrated and meaningful whole. This more holistic vision leads in turn to behavioural and cultural changes.

 

At this particular moment of our species history, many of us are awakening to new perspectives which are changing our understanding of power in our world, away from top- down, hierarchical domination and rational/materialistic scientific “fact” and towards an intuitive knowing of the interconnectedness of all life and quantum leaps. In moments of clarity, we suddenly know we are part of, and held by, an energetic, sentient intelligent web, which we

call life. And this great interconnected whole survives and prospers when diversity is respected and encouraged, alongside an honouring of the needs of the whole. We transition from the power-over model, in which the strongest and richest dominate, to a vision of power-with in which collaboration and co-creation are our greatest resource.

 

This same paradigm shift operates within the creative process of each of us. It’s one thing to understand the concept, it’s quite another to live this vision of interconnectedness and to embody the values of power-with, even within our own selves. And that’s part of the mission of Tribe in Transition too – to bring our knowledge down from the head, or up from the soul, into the heart, and to embody it and fully live it.  As an educator, my work is to identify the kind of skills and support that will be helpful to this process. As an author, my job is to find the words to communicate this to you. And, as a healer, my task is to practice what I preach, and keep growing into my own wholeness.

 

In my lifetime I’ve witnessed countless experiments in living in a more conscious and holistic way, starting with the hippies in the 1960’s and proliferating through the women’s  liberation movement, civil rights, the peace movement, the environmental green ecology movement, the anti-nuclear movement – so much movement – so many of us marching, sitting-in, speaking out, getting together for consciousness raising, experimenting with new ways to live and relate, building communities, creating projects, changing the world.

 

And with these many strands of evolutionary progress there has been a growing awareness that the changes we long to see in the world begin within the individual, with increased self-awareness, expanded consciousness, deepening wisdom and mindful behaviours. It’s been such a long journey and yet it often appears that the crises in our world are even more dire than they were before.

 

On one level, it’s so much easier now for we new-culture-makers to find each other through the internet. We can talk and spread ideas around the globe in an instant. And yet, in other ways, it doesn’t get easier, because an essential part of this process we’re in, is the necessity to keep stretching into the new, into the unknown. It’s a healing journey as well as a creative process. To create the new, we have to first clear out the old from our physical, emotional and mental bodies. On any normal day, we are operating on so many dimensions at once. The healing work draws us down deep into the inner world, and then back out to build and mend bridges in our relationships, and to express ourselves creatively.

 

What I’m noticing in my own creative process, as the new paradigm energy and information moves through me, is a shift away from linear goals and timelines and towards a more organic, intuitive weaving of the threads. Whilst a clear vision and strong intentions are still vitally important, it’s becoming more and more obvious to me that I am not in control of this process, that I am part of a much bigger unfolding that has its own organic rhythm and timing, like the opening of a flower.

 

It is possible now to create the conditions under which a rose, or a peony, or a lily, will flower in any season, but that same rose, peony, or lily still unfolds according to a rhythm and pattern held in its DNA. You can’t force the rose to bloom until it’s ready.

 

I am learning these days to be much more patient with myself and my creative process.  When we engage with our soul work, it is a process that unfolds over a lifetime, in successive waves and in different forms. And this shift to a new paradigm culture can’t be hurried either.  At the end of my last e-book, Sitting with Death and Choosing Life, I wrote:

 

“ This crucial shift in consciousness is a shift from hard work to creative play; from efforting to allowing and witnessing; from pursuing time-oriented goals to facilitating the emergence and unfolding of life. Some might call this a shift to a more feminine, intuitive, natural way of being. I believe this is the paradigm shift so many people are talking about now. The key is to trust and surrender to the intelligence of life, of which we are each a part. To move forward with grace, we need only align with what is true and co-operate skilfully with life’s intelligence. This is the process of transformation and how we can individually and collectively give birth to a whole new human and a whole new world.”

 

I’m practicing a new art I call “loafing with my soul”, or living every day as a holy, whole-y day. I’m here in a spectacularly beautiful spot in North Wales, with a 180° vista of the Snowdonia mountain ranges, where gentle lyrical hills reach towards upwardly aspiring mountains and curve around the blue sweep of Cardigan Bay. And although my life is mostly solitary, I always feel part of a universal conversation which speaks to me in many spontaneous ways – through books, or conversations on the internet, through mainstream news and the invisible channels of the sensate soul, always alive to information coming from the Earth, from the collective unconscious, the wide open spaces of cosmos.

 

So, when I feel my creative wheels flailing in the mud, I go outside and sniff the air or find a pool of sunshine to sit in. I say hello to the cat or make a juice. I lie under a big sky and watch the clouds. And I reaffirm my Big Why and my trust that the new paradigm is unfolding perfectly in its own time, and we, should we choose to accept the mission, are the servants and guardians of a sacred process.

 

How’s it going for you?

 

Rose Diamond, June 19th 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 19th 2017

 

 

 

Landscapes of the Transforming Soul


letting_go_by_bandico-d5s1eyh
 I’m on a path of transformation as I’m sure you are. How can we not be? Life is a continual process of transformation, journeying into the unknown. Only the mind attempts to solidify passing states into a reality we can know and understand and cling onto. The growing edge is learning how to live in the unknown and ride the waves of transformation.

I’m experiencing an intense part of my journey just now because in the last 7 months I have lost two of the people closest to me – my dearest soul friend, Woods, died on the last Winter Solstice and my brother, David died in June this year. They were both part of the apparent solidity of my world; even though they were often thousands of miles from me they gave my world stability and gave me a sense of being held.

The death of loved ones is an uncomfortable time and yet very rich and full of possibility. For me it is a time of spiritual opening and nothing is more important than sucking the nectar from this unexpected flower. With my friend and brother gone a vast and unknown space has opened up and I am feeling my way into this new reality. These poems are my attempt to give voice to the subtle and not so subtle inner psycho-spiritual states I am experiencing. Through writing I create a space of presence that holds me as I focus inward. I am putting them on my blog as a way of reaching out to those of you who may be experiencing something similar. I know all our experiences are very unique and yet we are in a collective process of awakening and similar waves of energy affect and impulse us. What excites me and gives my life purpose is finding a common language for our unfolding experience.

When I want something to read I am always looking for someone who can reflect back my experiences, reassuring me I am not alone or crazy and taking me just a little bit further in my understanding. This gives me a more solid ground to stand on as I can take my next step.  If my poems touch you and connect with you then they have fulfilled their purpose.

Namaste,

Rose Diamond

 

1:  Let Go

going with the flow 2 

On a wave

rise up and see the view

everything looks friendly and smells of fresh air

 

then, tip over the edge and slide

down the other side,  lost in the mist

plunge deeper into green sheer ocean

fighting for life

and at the same time surrendering.

 

 

How is it possible to fight and surrender at the same time?

What is being fought? What is being surrendered to?

 

self is being obliterated

stripped apart bit by bit

until there is nothing left to hold onto

no one left to receive projections.

The act of dissolving into no-thingness

is not as terrifying as the thought

but it is very intense

this living on the edge of life and death.

 

 

I am not a nice person

there is something raw in me

I want to rub away

but the rawness holds a power

that is burning off the old chrysalis

and whatever is tucked into the unfolding layer cannot be controlled.

 

There is nothing to hold onto except this moment

everything else is fiction.

 

Have you ever tried to hold onto a moment?

The best you can do is merge into it, inhabit it,

walk around in it, become the moment

with the fullness and intensity of a child.

That way you don’t waste a single drop

you experience yourself

and know who you are.

Even though you may not like the experience

there is no escaping the raw energy charging through you.

 

 

The time for repressing, suppressing and controlling is over

everything must be released and allowed to breathe

let go every stored up hurt, resentment, judgment, fear and habit

set it free to evaporate in the mist.

Become a dynamic sky

through which the universe is playing

and play hard – life depends upon it.

 

 

 

 

2:  The Great Re-Cycling

landscape of the soul 2

 

 

confined in a small space without an exit

suspended in a sleepy hammock with no choice

a lazy soporific drug has been poured into the brain

simple words refuse to make themselves known

mind is full of holes and the darkness of space

nothing connects; reality is flattened and reduced

everything collapses into the self

there are no other possibilities than this.

 

At times a pulse pushes against the constricting skin

refusing the downward pull of entropy

a demonic thwarted power roars its outrage at this confinement

yet is stripped of will and volition, unable to act

as everything collapses into the self.

 

self is destructing,

its frozen faces locked in habit

appear like taunting ghouls in a hallucinogenic dream

demanding attention, love and friendship,

insisting on being seen

then melt like icebergs on a doomed planet

back into the ocean, evaporating into the clouds.

 

And yet amidst this disappearing act

something watches, something knows

something strong and unbreakable

something soft, yielding and fluent

something ancient holding hands with something new.

 

chrysalis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your creative process a dream or a nightmare?

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How do you feel when you begin a new creative project?  If you’re anything like me I guess you feel a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I’ve written the first chapter of a new book this week. In some ways I’ve been working towards this book for nearly 40 years and it explores one of the central themes of my life. It matters to me and I know, if I write it well, it could touch many people. In fact, if enough people were able to make the shift of perspective I’m exploring in my book it would change the world!

Because there’s a lot riding on it so it’s not surprising that doubts kicked in right away: Am I a good enough writer to do justice to my subject? Can I express myself clearly enough and simply enough to really inspire and move people?

I’m an experienced writer and I’ve written a lot of books so I know these kind of questions are inevitable and I don’t let them stop me. But I know this is where many people get stuck – right at the beginning. And I’m not just talking about writing, it can happen with any kind of creative project you care about. You get all fired up and excited and then, as soon as you begin, all those “am I good enough?” doubts leap up like scary monsters to make your life a nightmare.

The thing is, yes, you have to be “good enough” but you don’t have to be perfect – and there’s a big difference. Perfectionism at the beginning of a creative project is a killer. So when you see it coming, maybe it’s time to make another choice. Put your doubts aside for now and choose to see your creative work, not as your nightmare adversary, but as your dream friend with whom you are building a glorious relationship. For most of us becoming “good enough” with any skill only comes with practice. I’ve learned to write by writing just as you learn to ride a surf board by surfing – and in both cases the process includes being willing to have fun, make a mess, fall off the vehicle and then get back on again – and to do that over and over just for the fun of it.

For me, stepping onto the fresh virgin page of a new book and making my mark on it, always has the thrill of a new adventure. I know I will be tested and I will also be charmed and surprised. Even though my subject matter is familiar to me, when I enter my project in the spirit of discovery, I’m being led into new territory and if I show up 100% and give it my best, I will certainly be transformed by the process. I will also come face to face with my limitations and this can be humbling. But my limitations also motivate me. Other people have told me many times in my life that I couldn’t do something I wanted to do and that just made me more determined.  The trick is to maintain an attitude of curiosity, experimentation and non attachment even when I’m doing something I really care about and want to succeed with.

Yes, I’d love to write something startlingly original which opens hearts and awakens minds, and at the same time, I know that writing is a vehicle for my growth. The real questions that matter are:

Will I allow the ideas and inspiration coming through me to open, touch and move me, so that I become the change I want to see in the world?

Will I care enough about myself to show up every day at the page?

Will I give myself the satisfaction of completing my book?  

When I allow myself the joy and excitement, the deep sense of purpose and the new learning that comes from meeting challenges; when I nurture a growing trust in the creative process and appreciate the strength that comes with keeping promises to myself, I know that anything further is a bonus. The only transformation I can commit to, is mine. This is where I begin and writing is my best trusty travelling companion.

If you are exploring your creative process through writing, my next Do You Want to Write a Book programme starts on May 16 and this could be a perfect way to support you to get into a satisfying creative rhythm and a writing practice that will support your creativity in many ways.

Or, if you prefer to discover and explore your creativity through conversation I have  a Deep Discovery Conversations training starting on the same day.

If either of these options appeal to you, please contact me now., the door will be closing on Monday 9th.

I’d also love to explore any questions you have about your creative process. What questions are arising for you?  Click on the “Leave a reply” link at the top of this post and send me your questions.

Here’s to your creative joy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Want to Write a Book?

1What is the practice you use to connect you with your authentic inner wisdom and direction?  How do you integrate your experience, or explore new ideas? What works every time? We’re all different and each of us has our own favourite modalities – for some walking in nature is the key, for others it’s making music, having a great conversation, doing ritual, or a yoga or bodywork practice. For me, it’s always been writing. I’m passionate about writing and writing has been my passion now for more than thirty years.   This message is motivated by a desire to reach out and connect with those of you who want to write more often, with more focus, clarity, joy and fulfilment.

I’m sure, like me, you’ve had plenty of people telling you couldn’t or shouldn’t do what you long to do. In my early thirties my boyfriend scoffed when I said I wanted to write a book; my mother was impatient with my “silly ideas”; my friends told me I was unrealistic to think I could do what I wanted and anyway I’d never finish anything.

Well, I proved them all wrong. Over the last 30 years I’ve built a body of work including several full length transformational books, many e-books, 100s of blog posts, four volumes of poetry and several training manuals. The first thing I wrote was a thinly disguised autobiographical novel which I sent away to an agent. It really wasn’t good but the point is that I finished it and believed in it enough to take action. Since then, I’ve learned to write by writing. It’s the only way. Inspiration kick starts the process and keeps it juicy but to find fulfilment as a writer it’s essential to combine inspiration with dedication. And that means regular practice.

I’ve come to love all the stages of the writing process. Nothing beats the inspiration phase where I’m setting off on a new adventure, ideas are flowing and I feel held and carried by a bigger energy. Finding the right words to express complex intuitive feelings and ideas is a challenge that stretches and grows me. When it comes to editing, tweaking and refining, I love the feeling of being a sculptor and seeing the shape emerging from the rough stone; letting the book find its own true shape. Designing the final product is also lots of fun, especially when it’s an ebook and I add photos and art work.

What I am most grateful for is how writing has given me a very strong sense of purpose and meaning. I honestly can’t imagine what my life would have been without it. It is the main vehicle for my soul work. Writing for me is a practice of deep attentive listening; it reveals me to myself and it opens up the mystery of life. It teaches me what it really means to be a spiritual being having a human experience; it shows me more of the human condition; it connects me with universal intelligence and with the intelligence of the Earth. It enables me to exercise my brain and play. It gives me the sense of being sovereign in my own domain in a crazy world. Even if nobody ever reads my words I know the process of writing is making a difference. I am so, so grateful for this gift.

And so now, one of my biggest desires is to ignite this joy and passion in others. I meet so many people who talk about writing a book one day but who never get around to it. I meet many others who long for a deeper connection with self and a clearer sense of purpose and who flit from one flower to another, unsure how to release the nectar of personal fulfilment.

If this is you, please take a look at my Do You Want to Write a Book programme and see if it tempts  you. I have a group starting on February 22nd and two places left. You will get weekly assignments to work on alone, and in the small group and 1-1 coaching sessions, you will get plenty of my attention as well as sharing in the group wisdom and the expanded intentional energy field we’ll create together. Please write to me this week if you are interested.

If you want to write a book because you think it will make you rich and famous this probably isn’t the right course for you – although you will certainly enrich yourself and this may well lead to outer riches and fame. This programme is about YOU – it’s about you finding more joy, passion, fulfilment, purpose, direction and meaning. It’s about developing a writing practice that will connect you every time with your intuition, your authentic wisdom, your own magic and power. It’s about setting out on the amazing adventure of writing a book and giving yourself the chance to see it through all the way to the end.

Please join me also on my new facebook page.

Namaste,

 

 

 

 

Growing Compassion as We Step Out of the Shadows

loveIn my last post I explored why the transformation of consciousness is such a big challenge both within our own psyches and within the culture. Today I want to take that a bit further and sketch some of the ways our spiritual power has been obscured over the ages as part of our evolutionary process. I’m doing this because I think it really helps to have this big picture perspective. When we take our own challenges, limitations and struggles too personally it becomes more difficult to free ourselves; we can get all tangled up in self doubt as in a spider’s web. When we are clear that we are cells in the evolving body and mind of humanity and part of a big picture of cultural unfolding, and we understand some of the historical processes that have shaped us, then we can align with a bigger movement and energy of liberation.

I am attempting to summarize a massive and complex subject and I apologise for any simplistic reductionism. I imagine I will not be saying anything you don’t know. My intention for attempting this is simply a plea that we remember the immensity of what we are up against and be kind to ourselves and each other as we make whatever efforts we can to transform and uplift consciousness and culture.

The old paradigm

For many thousands of years there have been people who have been so hungry for power, wealth and control they have stopped at nothing to satisfy their appetites. Such people are representatives of a life denying worldview or paradigm – which many of us know as the old paradigm – and which is all too clearly playing out on the world stage today. Within this human drama the majority of people, animals, nature and the soul have been subjugated and disempowered.

Here are some of the ways this story has unfolded:

Theft of land and other vital resources

Theft of land – as with the North American Indians and the Australian Aborigines, deprives people of what the New Zealand Maori call, turangawaewae – a place to stand. Our connection with the earth is the foundation of our lives and, for indigenous peoples – and we have all at one time been indigenous peoples – has always been imbued with the sacred and the recognition that all life is interconnected. Driving people from their land – the source of our livelihood, community and sacred sites – severs the root of our power at the base chakra,  resulting in alienation, shame, rootlessness and loss of meaning. One of the vital resources that has been purloined by the corporate giants today of course is seeds and the future of food sustainability.

Suppression of indigenous spiritual practices.

Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the undermining of the lunar, goddess religion 4000 years ago, which connected humans to the cycles of nature, and an intimate relationship with earth, water, air and fire. The usurping religion worshipped a disembodied patriarchal sky God, divorced from the Feminine, and this has had untold consequences down the ages as we have become progressively dissociated from body, nature and soul.  Again, in the Native American and aboriginal cultures, we can see clearly how theft of land and destruction of spiritual practices tragically sucks out identity and self-esteem, destroys community and fills the resulting vacuum with the false promises of alcohol and drug addiction. This closes down the solar plexus, site of our essential identity, self worth and soul power.

Changing the primary creation myth

This Christmas Day, which I spent with my brother, I was listening to a service from Kings College, Cambridge, which has always been a tradition of my agnostic family, and because I love the angelic singing of the choir. I listened with renewed incredulity to the sermon repeating the old story of the temptation of Eve and how she and Adam were exiled from the Garden of Eden by a punishing God, forever to be in exile until God sent his only son to redeem us. This cultural myth gave rise to the ideology of Original Sin and cut humanity off from our connection with our inner divinity, intuitive knowing and mystic vision – the power of the top two chakras. I’m sorry if I am offending any Christian readers, it is not my intention to undermine the teachings of Jesus Christ, which I understand to be primarily about the necessity to cultivate unconditional love, but the institution of the Church has railroaded the purity of these teachings and turned them into an excuse for murdering many thousands of innocent people during the years of the Inquisition, not to mention the billions who have died in the cause of holy wars.

The myth of unworthiness

The majority of humanity, now cut off from our roots and denied our connection with the divine, have been subject, over the centuries, to a systematic programme of indoctrination by the Church, brainwashing us into believing in our essential unworthiness and dependency and making anyone who disagreed with this doctrine, a heretic, punishable by death.

A devastating corollary of the fall/redemption tradition is that religion, with original sin as its starting point, and religion built exclusively around sin and redemption, does not teach trust. Such a religion does not teach trust of existence or the body or of creativity or of cosmos. It teaches both consciously and unconsciously, verbally and non-verbally, fear; fear of damnation, fear of nature – beginning with one’s own; fear of others; fear of the cosmos. In fact, it teaches distrust, beginning with distrusting one’s own existence, one’s own originality, and one’s own glorious entrance into this world of glory and of pain” Matthew Fox, Original Blessing.

 

Persecution of healers and suppression of natural healing practices

Our innate knowledge of how to heal body, mind and spirit is intimately tied in with our connection to soul wisdom and earth wisdom. Many of those who were burned during the Inquisition as witches, were healers. In the suppression of indigenous cultures healing traditions held for centuries have been kept alive and passed on through practice and word of mouth and have been emerging back into mainstream society over the last decades as forms of natural and complementary medicine. But the pharmaceutical companies maintain their monopoly on medicines and invasive medical practices continue to alienate people from the natural processes of living and dying. Furthermore, these pharmaceutical medicines, including anti-biotics, are excreted into the earth where they contribute to the poisoning of the biosphere and the development of more virulent viruses.

Repression of sexuality, fear of the body and the persecution of women

This is such a huge subject, I can’t begin to do it justice in one paragraph. Suffice to say that a doctrine of original sin, with the temptress being a woman, opened the door to pervasive repression of sexuality and violence against women over thousands of years, which is still widespread throughout the world today. For example, the stoning of women accused of adultery in Iran; the genital mutilation of women and girls in some African countries and among Muslim women; child prostitution and sex trafficking; rape as a weapon of war; the pathologising of women by psychiatry; the unnecessary cutting out of women’s wombs by hysterectomy; and the widespread domestic violence that is still pervasive today in so called “civilized” countries.

“ What unconscious negative beliefs about herself might woman in every culture carry as a result of the silent suffering and outright persecution she has endured for millennia? What unconscious misogynist beliefs do men still hold which allow them to injure, rape and murder women in this way? Fifty thousand mainly Muslim women were raped in the Bosnian war; 400,000 in Rwanda; an unquantifiable number of women and young girls in Dafur and the democratic republic of Congo. Rapes are currently an intrinsic part of the appalling suffering of civilians in Syria… Only a minute handful of men responsible for these rapes are convicted of the crime because rape has always been regarded as a legitimate weapon of war.” The Dream of the Cosmos, Anne Baring.

 

Science

In the 18th century, progress in science began to challenge the hegemony of the Church and the established worldview. Alongside the scientific discoveries which have helped to liberate us came Newton’s theory of a mechanistic universe and Descartes establishment of rational thought as primary. Both of these, along with, Darwin’s Origin of Species, shattered the foundations of the medieval worldview and the story of the Creation and the Fall and opened the way for a new secular world in which God is dead and the sacredness of life is overshadowed by man’s belief in his own omnipotent supremacy. This led to two of the most brutal wars in history and a world bereft of meaning for many.

 

War

One third of the world’s resources today are spent on the development and stockpiling of weapons. …

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates that military spending by the Unites States has increased by 81% since 2001, reaching $710 billion in 2011, with global military spending on the arms trade reaching an all time high of $1.74 trillion.  The example of the United States has been followed by other nations – China, Japan, India, Parkistan, the UK, France, Israel, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia among them – many of whom are adding to their own arsenals of weapons and, at the same time, selling armaments and combat aircraft to other governments, often with corrupt and oppressive leaders….(In 2012)More than 36.4 million people in more than 120 countries have been affected by militarism. Refugees, migrants, internally displaced persons and stateless people flee from fighting or are forcibly driven out of their own countries as a result of internal disputes.  Anne Baring, The Dream of the Cosmos

 

Liberation

If you have stayed with me this far I ask you to pause for a moment and really take in the enormity of the life denying cultural forces that are bearing upon us and have been shaping humanity’s evolution for centuries. If you do this, you may feel so overwhelmed by the deep dark shadow that exists and runs rampant in our species that you want to give up. Or you may, like me, experience awe at the human enterprise of self liberation. The dice appear to be stacked against us and yet the attempt at liberation is the most compelling game in town, for many millions of people today. Alongside awe, at our temerity to attempt to transform human consciousness and uplift life on Earth, arise complex emotions. Human beings have wreaked and are wreaking havoc throughout history and throughout the planet. We have a lot to answer for. But if you, like me, have encountered psychological and behavioural patterns in yourself that are hard to shift, no matter how hard you try, you will have some appreciation of how slow and painstaking the transformation of consciousness is and how deeply the shadow and the legacy of unworthiness lives in each of us.

It is my intuitive feeling that real change can only come when we can look at the human condition through clear eyes and find a deep unconditional love and compassion in our hearts. So next time you are wrestling with inner demons, or looking frankly at qualities in yourself you really don’t like, or failing once more to be creatively successful in the way you dream of, please exercise self compassion. Don’t give up. And remember, punishing yourself for not being as whole or perfect as you would like to be, is playing into the hands of the life denying culture.

“ In the major religions, the spiritual journey seems to be presented in two ways. One is like a journey out of this messy, broken, imperfect world of suffering, into a sacred realm of light. At the same time, within the same tradition, the spiritual journey is also experienced and expressed as going right into the heart of the world – into this world of suffering and brokenness and imperfection – to discover the sacred….

The bodhisattva doesn’t need a place to stand because he or she flies – flies in the “deep space” of the Perfection of Wisdom. And the two wings on which the bodhisattva flies are compassion and wisdom. Instead of looking for a safe harbor, for a place where you’re all protected and cosy and safe, you just fly high on these two wings and place your trust in them.” Joanna Macy

January 13 2016

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