Now

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“Your life is your practice. Your spiritual practice does not occur someplace other than in your life right now, and your life is nowhere other than where you are. You are looking for answers, insight, and wisdom that you already possess. Live the life in front of you, be the life you are, and see what you find out for yourself.”

Karen Maezen Miller

The Importance of Love

image1 (1)“Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it, we must have it because, without it we become weak and faint. Without love our self-esteem weakens. Without it our courage fails. Without love, we can no longer look out confidently at the world. With love, we are creative. With love, we march tirelessly. With love, and with love alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.” –

Chief Dan George, Geswanouth Slahoot, Tse-lai-Watt Nation (1899-1981)

Move Away From Suffering

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Image from humaneeducation.org

“If you put your hand into a fire, does anyone have to tell you to move it? Do you have to decide? No: When your hand starts to burn, it moves. You don’t have to direct it; the hand moves itself. In the same way, once you understand, through inquiry, that an untrue thought causes suffering, you move away from it.” – Byron Katie

Our Tender Places- Jeff Foster

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“It’s easy to say “I love you”.
It’s easy to talk about love,
and presence, and awareness,
and a deep acceptance of what is.

It’s easy to teach,
to say things that sound true,
and good, and spiritual.
But they are just words.
There is a world before words.

When anger surges, as it will, can you stay close, and not numb it, or lash out?

When fear bursts in the body, can you breathe into it,
and not fuse with it, or run away into stories?

When you feel hurt, rejected, unloved, abandoned,
can you make room for that feeling,
welcome it in the body,
bow to its intensity, its fire, its presence,
and not attack, or act out, or call people names?

Can you commit to not abandoning yourself now that you need your own love the most?

It’s easy to talk about love.
It’s easy to teach.
Until our old wounds are opened.
Until life doesn’t go our way.

What triggers you
is inviting you
to a deeper self-love.
Can you see?

There is no shame in this:
We all have tender places.”

~Jeff Foster

Get Real- Jeff Brown

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Photographer Erkin Demir

“I know we often want it all happy and positive, but that’s just not where much of humanity is. Many of us are overwhelmed with pain, undigested sadness, unexpressed anger, unseen truths. This is where we are at, as a collective. So we have two choices. We can continue to pretend it’s not there, shame and shun it in ourselves and others, distract and detach whenever possible. Or we can face it heart-on, own it within ourselves, look for it in others with compassion, create a culture that is focused on authenticity and healthy emotional release. If we continue to push it all down, we are both creating illness and delaying our collective expansion. But if we can just own the shadow, express it, release it, love each other through it, we can finally graduate from the School of Heart Knocks and begin to enjoy this magnificent life as we were intended. Pretending the pain isn’t there just embeds it further. Let’s illuminate it instead.”

~ Jeff Brown

Uniquely You

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Image from http://www.lovethispic.com

 

“My darling, your heart so beautiful, so creative, so true. Let the world make nothing else out of you. Do not compromise your uniqueness for a copy.

Value your special way of seeing the world,  do not be shy in telling your story.

Your life is yours so live it so. Do not care for whether people agree.

And when they try to make you someone else, tell them no.

Stand strong in your originality.

The trees will stand with you.

All things wild, free and as they should be salute you. You are not alone. There are those that have stayed true. Your path is a rarity. And upon it you will find all of wonderful you.”

~S.C Lourie

As I Began To Love Myself by Charlie Chaplin (maybe?)

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Pic from www.artpeoplegallery.com

I’ve read quite a few online blogs that discuss the true source of this beautiful text. I can’t tell you whether it was Charlie Chaplin or Kim McMillen. But I will say that it’s a touching piece and every word rings true to me. Hope you enjoy it too.

“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!

Be Still and the Answer Will Appear

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“Every feeling has a message. Maybe that message is simply to allow yourself to feel the emotion until it dissipates. Maybe the feeling is guiding you toward some action… If something persists—anger, fear, or anxiety—simply ask it what it wants to tell you. Sit quietly and allow the answer to appear. When you feel peaceful, you have your answer, whether or not you like what that answer says.”

~ Amber Adrian

Awaken-Jeff Foster

 

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“Nobody else is responsible for your feelings. This realization can end the blame game once and for all, and leave you standing in your true place of power – the present moment.

Yes, others may trigger pain and sorrow in you, they may contribute to the field in which your old, unresolved pain can resurface, but they cannot make you feel how you feel.

Nobody can make you happy, nobody can make you unhappy. You are only invited, constantly, to meet what remains unmet in yourself, to touch what you never wanted to touch in yourself, to explore the field.

Making others responsible for how we feel is the beginning of all violence, both internal and external, all conflict between people, and ultimately all wars between nations.

Let others off the hook. Honor what is alive in you right now. Learn to hold your own feelings like beloved children, however intensely they burn and scream for attention.

Celebrate the aliveness in your hurt, the vibrancy of your disappointment, the electricity of your sadness. Kneel before the power in your anger, honor its burning creativity.

From this place of deep acceptance, you do not become weak and passive. Quite the opposite. You simply enter the world from a place of non-violence, and therefore immense creative power, and you are open to the possibility of deep listening, honest dialogue, and unexpected change.

In suffering you become small. In love, anything is possible.” ~Jeff Foster

Creating a Little Joy

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“Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to change the world so that they can be happy. This hasn’t ever worked, because it approaches the problem backward. What The Work gives us is a way to change the projector—mind—rather than the projected. It’s like when there’s a piece of lint on a projector’s lens. We think there’s a flaw on the screen, and we try to change this person and that person, whomever the flaw appears on next. But it’s futile to try to change the projected images. Once we realize where the lint is, we can clear the lens itself. This is the end of suffering, and the beginning of a little joy in paradise.”

Byron Katie 

Painting by Robert Wyland