Held, Not Healed

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HELD, NOT HEALED

Stop trying to heal yourself, fix yourself,
even awaken yourself.
Stop trying to Fast-Forward the movie of your life.
Let go of ‘letting go’.
Healing is not a destination.
Be here.

Your pain, your sorrow, your doubts, your longings,
your fearful thoughts: they are not mistakes,
and they are not asking to be ‘healed’.
They are asking to be held. Here, now, lightly,
in the loving, healing arms of present awareness…

– Jeff Foster

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“You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them.”

~ Iyanla Vanzant

Image from www.ashleymariephotography.co

I am enough. And so are You.

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“I am so tired of how hard we are on ourselves. Not attractive enough, not smart enough, not cool enough, not purpose-full enough, not spiritual enough, not flexible enough, not creative enough, not rich enough, not happy enough, not healthy enough, not sexy enough, not wise enough. It’s like a collective shame-fest that begins when we are born and continues until we are dead. Billions of us walking around convinced we are not something enough. Methinks we are missing the point. Just being alive on this mad planet demands that we are enough. That we are here means we are enough. How about if we begin every day with an ‘I am enough’ meditation? Yes, lets begin right now, “I am enough!” I AM ENOUGH! (And so are you).” -Jeff Brown

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“Whenever you encounter someone who’s trying to become a better person, someone who’s learning, someone who’s growing, someone who’s living their truth, and you’re not ready to add value to their life, just respect them, their path, and their energy, and admire them from afar. Please don’t interrupt their becoming. Don’t try to dull their fucking shine.” -Creig Crippen 

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“We can’t find our path without getting messy. Messy comes with the territory. We came in messy. We learn messy. We love messy. We leave messy. I never found my way to clarity without first befriending confusion, in all its chaotic forms. I never found a path that felt like home before falling into quicksand. I never established a new way of being without trying the wrong way of being on for size. I never found the light without stumbling around in the dark. I never tasted God before getting a little dirt in my mouth. In the heart of the chaos is the clay that shapes us home. Chaotic Magnificence!” -Jeff Brown

Fear

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“You consistently hear messages about putting fear aside and being fearless. To keep yourself in a place where you avoid feeling fear is to resist the very nature of being human – growing, learning, feeling and ultimately creating.

To be human requires you to feel fear. When you keep trying to make it go away and you are still alive, you can experience tension.

The goal is to be in a long term, committed relationship with fear. Only by accepting that fear will always be there for you can you become curious about what it has to teach you. When you get to know fear from curiosity, you can transform the angst and tension into patience. This relationship can be one of the most fruitful ones you have.” -Samira Far

The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo

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“When a plate breaks, we call it an accident. When a heart breaks, we call it sad. If it is ours, we say tragic. When a dream breaks, we sometimes call it unfair. Yet ants drop dirt and manage more and birds drop food and peck again. But as humans, when we drop what we need, philosophies and complaints abound.

It’s not that we moan, but that we stop living to hear ourselves moan. Still, stars collide and histories begin. In our world, something is always letting go and something is always hitting the Earth. Often that which lets go survives by releasing, by not holding on until what needs to go is ripped from it. Often that which is hit survives by staying soft, by allowing what hits it to temporarily shape it the way stones shape mud.

As humans, we take turns letting go and being hit. Love softens this process, and peace slows it down, until in moments that are blessed, we seem to play catch with what we need.” ~Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

YOU ARE WILD NOW By Jeff Foster

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‘Sometimes you are walking alone, and it is late, and you are lost once again in the dream of past and future, of yesterdays lost and tomorrows unlived, of choices to be made or not made, of words to be spoken or left unspoken. Yesterday’s enlightenment feels a million miles away, and the spiritual clarity you thought you had has faded into the evening. Now, there is only the sound of footsteps on a cold pavement, the rustling of trees before sleep, the naked glow of orange streetlamps, and a deep melancholy burning inside. You are out of time, out of body, finding your home in neither form nor the formless. Perhaps you are the only one of your species on the planet. Perhaps you do not even exist at all. Perhaps this is the price you pay for awakening, for your commitment to opening your heart to everything, this never ceasing questioning of everything solid, this abandonment of every single reference point.

And suddenly you remember: this too is life! For whatever reason, you turn towards your present experience, you hold it again the way a mother holds her new-born baby. You focus on what you have, not what you have lost; what you see, not what you may never see again. Your solitude is sacred, you remember, your doubts are nothing less than holy, the evening breeze on your cheeks is a caress, a kiss, not a block to some imagined future. It is okay to feel the way you feel. It is okay to feel a little broken by life. It is okay to touch the depths in yourself. It is okay to forget, and to remember, to remember and to forget. All movements are held in the vastness, as the ground holds the trees, as the sky holds the planet, as the house holds the family, as the story of your life is held in pristine awareness on this night of all nights. Even your disconnection is so damn connected. There is something humbling about never being able to come to a conclusion, something touching in your raw vulnerability to the evening, the way you are moved by everything now, your sensitivity to even the subtlest movement of consciousness, your heart that cannot be closed.

You vow to never lose your love for these evenings. They have brought you so much.

Presence is not a destination, friend, it is the ground.

You are wild now, and unbound.’

– Jeff Foster

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‘When a feeling of sadness, despair, or anger arises, we should stop what we are doing in order to go home to ourselves and take care. We can sit or lie down and begin to practice mindful breathing. The daily practice of breathing can be very helpful. A strong emotion is like a storm, and when a storm is about to arrive, we should prepare so we can cope with it. We should not dwell on the level of our head and our thinking but bring all our attention down to the level of our abdomen. We may practice mindful breathing and become aware of the rise and fall of our abdomen. Breathing in, rising; breathing out, falling. Rising, falling. We stop all the thinking because thinking can make the emotion stronger.

We should be aware that an emotion is only an emotion; it arrives, stays for some time, and then passes, just like a storm. We should not die just because of one emotion. We should remind young people about this. We are much more than our emotions, and we can take care of them whether we are feeling anger or despair. We don’t think anymore, we just focus 100 percent of our attention on the rise and fall of the abdomen and in that moment we are safe. Our emotion may last five or ten minutes but if we continue to breathe in and out, we will be safe, because mindfulness is protecting us. Mindfulness is the Buddha in us, helping us practice belly breathing…

We are like a tree during a storm. If you look at the top of a tree, you may have the impression that the tree can be blown away or that the branches can be broken anytime, but if you direct your attention to the trunk of the tree and become aware that the tree is deeply rooted in the soil, then you see the solidity of the tree. The mind is the top of the tree, so don’t dwell there; bring your mind down to the trunk. The abdomen is the trunk, so stick to it, practice mindful, deep breathing, and after that the emotion will pass. When you have survived one emotion, you know that next time a strong emotion arises, you will survive again. But don’t wait for the next strong emotion to practice. It is important that you practice deep, mindful breathing every day.’

– Thich Nhat Hanh