‘Let yourself sit quietly and at ease. Allow your body to be relaxed and open, your breath natural, your heart easy. Begin the practice of gratitude by feeling how year after year you have cared for your own life. Now let yourself begin to acknowledge all that has supported you in this care:
With gratitude I remember the people, animals, plants, insects, creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, all whose joyful exertion blesses my life every day.
With gratitude I remember the care and labor of a thousand generations of elders and ancestors who came before me.
I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the blessing of this earth I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the measure of health I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the teachings and lessons I have been given.
I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given.’
Your legs ache. You’ve been on your feet all day. You’re in a long line waiting for the ticket machine. They’ve just announced your train is delayed.
You feel the frustration mounting. Impatience, annoyance, aggression.
Suddenly you remember, you are breathing. And it is Now. And you feel your tired feet rather than thinking about them. You give them a little attention, which is love. And you feel the frustration in your chest and belly rather than trying to delete these innocent sensations.
And you feel the weight of your body, the way it gently rests in gravity, supported by the sacred earth. And you feel your belly expand, slowly, rising on the in-breath. Falling on the exhale. And all the sounds around you are now innocent; you are a soft microphone. And the thoughts whirring around in your head, they are just little birds, singing their songs, flapping away. And it’s all ok. It’s all ok. It’s all present. It’s all ok.
And you find gratitude again. You are alive, you have been given a day. A day to live. A day to breathe, and taste human experience, taste the joy and sorrow of it, the bliss and the boredom, the frustration and the rush and the whirr of it, the silliness and the crash and the pull and the chaos of it.
You are already surrendered. And you find yourself on the train home, trusting some unfathomably ancient schedule.
“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower. You didn’t have to struggle to make your face different than anyone else’s on earth. It just is. You are unique because you were created that way. Look at little children in kindergarten. They’re all different without trying to be. As long as they’re unselfconsciously being themselves, they can’t help but shine. It’s only later, when children are taught to compete, to strive to be better than others, that their natural light becomes distorted.” ― Marianne Williamson
‘After decades of research into the meaning of Enlightenment and a series of dark nights of my ego, I came to find that the definition of Enlightenment is simply this: the release of the resistance to what is. Out beyond resistance, right in the heart of all distress, all pain and all despair, is untarnished Enlightenment just waiting to be realized. When we drop the resistance to what is, the clarity of True vision is restored .
Enlightenment is an awareness already inside of us and when we remove the blocks that veil us to this Truth, Enlightenment is revealed. What are the blocks that we need to remove?
Block 1: The resistance to what is. What resists what is? Our ego! Block 2: The resistance to Self Love. What resists Self Love? Our ego! Here’s the deal about Enlightenment: the undoing of ego resistance requires a Universe of Self Love to undertake. But hey, in Truth we are one with the Universe so guess what? We have a Universe of support in this Self Love department!
The release of the resistance to what is is not about checking out, turning our back on injustice, or not standing up for what’s right. The release of resistance is about checking in, accepting this moment exactly as it is and saying “Okay, I trust that whatever’s going on right now has been invited in for my Awakening and the Awakening of Humanity. Instead of resisting what is, I will use this situation as an invitation for Enlightenment. I will choose to take action from a place of Love, and to start, I will Love my Self that much more . ”
There’s a great intelligence in our suffering, for our suffering is a gateway to our Enlightenment. Enlightenment is not about reaching some static plane of cushy bliss by any means. Enlightenment is an underlying Peace that endures even in our deepest Human grief and it is often through our darkest hour that we pierce the veil of suffering and enter into a surrendered state of Grace. From this place of non-resistance a profound alchemy occurs, we transcend the egoic spell of fear and doubt and the remembrance of an Omnipotent Love is returned to us. Give resistance it’s freedom and you will know Enlightenment.’ -Alana Leigh
“Embracing the paradox that we simultaneously are and are not our story is precisely what enables us to keep writing new ones. My story about the abuse I experienced at the hands of my father will always be a part of me, but it no longer defines me. Of course, I sometimes spiral back into trauma; unlike the self-help pundits who say it’s possible to simply let go of the old hurts by cleansing them with a dose of love and light. I know that even as the impact fades, this experience is something that will be with me for the rest of my life.
That said, healing is not a linear journey. Old trauma is wrapped up in the fabric of the new stories I’ve created for myself, and the resulting pattern is not nice and clean and neat. In fact, the deeper we all go, the messier and more chaotic it will get. It is the contrasting loops of darkness and light, life and death, defeat and triumph, that make the human story such a compelling and gorgeous one…”
(~an excerpt from ‘Women for One’ founder Kelly McNelis’s new book, ‘Your Messy Brilliance’)
‘There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your vision with despair,
practice becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.’
‘When we think of our personal self love it is important to remember that it does not have to be perfect for us to do and receive amazing things. Yes, a growing self love will brighten your life and attract wonderful experiences, but that does not mean that it is a requirement for good things to happen.
Amazing things sometimes come even in our darkest moments, and difficult moments will arise even after we have accomplished much growth and developed our peace. This is the nature of life, it is an ocean that moves between calmness and storms, the movement of the water is what nurtures our experiences that grant us wisdom.
We should not pause our lives and wait for a time when our self love will be perfect, instead we should move forward with our goal of self healing as a constant aspect of our lives. Always open to release, always learning, always keeping a part of our awareness inward so that we can observe our truth, always seeking to live harmlessly and love actively. Sending love to all beings. May we all understand that we have so much to give. May we all be open to receiving. May we all heal ourselves and the world.’
‘After feeling driven my whole life
something very near the center has
unwound and I can no longer hurry
through airports or return all my calls.
And sometimes people I barely know
swim up like old worn fish to show me
the map of their gills, and the one long
gash of something they once swallowed,
and how it has cut each breath since.
And I am honored to warm them
like a blanket. But when alone, I
find it hard not to watch
what I swallow.
When alone, these things
I’ve wanted to know since birth
feel so unanswerable, I must
have been torn from them.
I’m sure a hawk doesn’t know it’s a
hawk. I’m sure a spirit doesn’t know
it’s being spiritual. Or a screen door
slapping, like a tired life, in the night,
if it’s opening or closing.
Though we give up the murky fears,
we still can’t know our worth, any-
more than a faceless treasure
can fathom why
it was boxed
“We are in this together. None of us truly walk in isolation, even when we cannot sense the presence of another for miles upon miles. Even in the worst of our desolation. Even during our coldest 3am breakdown. Even when we shut out the world and spin in circles until we collapse. Even then the light still gets in. Even then the heart still opens and reaches, tendrils of hope curling and bending toward slivers of light. Upward, outward, in all directions – seeking light at all cost. One way or another, we all grow toward the light.” – Jeanette LeBlanc