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“We often move away from pain, which is helpful only before being hurt. Once in pain, it seems the only way out is through. Like someone falling off a boat, struggling to stay above the water only makes things worse. We must accept we are there and settle enough so we can be carried by the deep. The willingness to do this is the genesis of faith, the giving over to currents larger than us. Even fallen leaves float in lakes, demonstrating how surrender can hold us up.” 


― Mark NepoThe Book of Awakening Quotes by Mark Nepo

Allowing Ourselves to Experience Our own Beauty

 

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Happy 38th Birthday to me and all of my parts, the good and the less desirable. They’re all beautiful really. I simply need a little reminder sometimes. Thank you Ram Dass for that reminder.

‘When I start thinking, “I’m Ram Dass, and I’ve worked on myself, and I’m supposed to be equanimous, loving, present, clear, compassionate, accepting,” oftentimes I get tired, I get angry and petulant, and I close down. For a long time I’d get into those states and I would feel really embarrassed, because that isn’t who Ram Dass is supposed to be. So I would appear like I was warm, charming, equanimous, compassionate, and there was deviousness and deception involved. Then I realized that’s bad business, because that cuts us off from one another… and I had to risk my truth. I had to risk being human with other people, and realize that what we offer each other is our truth, and our truth includes all of our stuff.

The first thing I had to do was accept my own truth. I had to allow myself to be a human being.

Now, what I found was that as I started to allow myself to be more human, just allowed what I am, things changed much faster in me. I mean, things fell away more quickly. It was as if I was locked into a model which was based on that negativity, that dislike of myself; and once I just allowed myself to be human, with all the foibles, things started to flow, and I could feel change occurring in myself.

Then, I started to experience my own beauty and it frightened me, because it was so dissonant and discrepant from the model that I had cultivated of myself over the years. Dissonance between the idea that I had to do good in order to be beautiful and that idea that I just am… and that what is, is in its own way beautiful.

You look at decay, and it is beautiful. Laura Huxley, who is a very dear friend, in her kitchen has these jars over the sink, and she takes old beet greens and orange peels and things, and sticks them in water on these long, beautiful pharmaceutical jars. Then they slowly start to mold and decay, and there are these beautiful decaying formation of mold. It’s really garbage… it’s garbage as art. We look at it and it’s absolutely beautiful. There’s absolute beauty in that.

I’ve begun to expand my awareness to be able to look at the universe as it is, and see what is called the horrible beauty of it. I mean, there’s horror and beauty in all of it, because there is also decay and death in all of it. I mean, we’re all decaying – I look at my hand and it’s decaying. It’s beautiful and horrible at the same time; and I just live with that. And also with it, I see and live with the beauty of it.

So we’re talking about appreciating what is. Not loving yourself, as opposed to not liking yourself, but allowing yourself. As you allow, it changes. I think that gets behind the polarities. I think that’s what’s important.’

– Ram Dass

Taken from https://www.ramdass.org/our-own-beauty/

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What If You Just Let Go?

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“Let go… How would your life be different if you learned to let go of things that have already let go of you? From relationships long gone, to old grudges, to regrets, to all the ‘could’ve’ and ‘should’ve,’ to the dead friendships you still hang on to… Free yourself from the burden of a past you cannot change.”

– Steve Maraboli

Open Your Heart- Chögyam Trungpa

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“Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.”

-Chögyam Trungpa 

                            Image from Creativelife.cz

Letting Go is Self-care

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Photo by Katie Andelman Garner on Fivehundredpx

 “There is a big difference between giving up and letting go. Giving up means selling yourself short. It means allowing fear and struggle to limit your opportunities and keep you stuck. Letting go means freeing yourself from something that is no longer serving you. It means removing toxic people and belief systems from your life so that you can make room for relationships and ideas that are conducive to your wellbeing and happiness. Giving up reduces your life. Letting go expands it. Giving up is imprisoning. Letting go is liberation. Giving up is self-defeat. Letting go is self-care.

So the next time you make the decision to release something or someone that is stifling your happiness and growth, and a person has the audacity to accuse you of giving up or being weak, remind yourself of the difference. Remind yourself that you don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to live your life in the way that feels right. No one has the authority to tell you who to be or how to live. No one gets to decide what your life should look like or who should be a part of it. No one, but you.”

-Daniell Koepke

Attachments- Pema Chödron

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“We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.”

Pema Chödron

Photo of sandbank, photographer unknown

Tigers Above, Tigers Below-Pema Chödrön

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There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.

Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World

Beyond Illness

BEYOND ILLNESS: NOTE TO A RECOVERING FRIEND

7ebe48e69c655cd30be46e7275723246‘Your illness is not against you, friend. The aches and pains you feel in your body are not punishments. You did nothing wrong. This day is not an indication of weakness or failure. You are receiving yet another invitation – to slow down. To rest. To take each moment as it comes. To let go of all that which is unnecessary, including perhaps your search for answers. To reassess your priorities, to remember that which is primary. To turn towards the present moment, this moment, the only moment there is, your true home, your resting place, your place of connection.

To stay rooted here, in the present scene of the movie of your life. To stop rewinding the movie into past scenes of regret, missed chances and wrong turns. And to stop fast-forwarding the movie into future scenes of pain or sorrow, further missed chances, unattainable goals or even death. To come right back here. To befriend uncertainty, rediscover the thrill of not knowing. To say YES to this moment, even if you feel like a NO. To include the NO, too.

To use your aches and pains, not be used by them; to meet the sensations in your body with gentleness and curiosity, not to resist or try to make them go away. To sink deeply into the moment; not to try to escape it – and to allow yourself to want to escape it too. To trust the intelligence of this incredible body, its extraordinary capacity to heal and deal with anything that comes its way. To admit that you are exhausted from the struggle of pretending to be a ‘me’, tired from trying to fit in, trying to say the right thing, trying to be a success in the world, trying to hold it all together, even trying not to try.

To find a place of humility, and even gratitude, amidst the rubble of the old dreams. To let go of your idea of ‘How Life Was Going To Be’, and to embrace ‘How Life Actually Is’. To rediscover a sense of sacredness, where you are, how you are.

This just may be your invitation to awakening. Drop the word ‘sickness’; see this as a path of deeper healing, beyond the physical. A calling to Truth. Always a beginning, never a defeat.’

– Jeff Foster

Osho: Letting Go

“Move as a total being, and accept things. Just for twenty-four hours, try it – total acceptance, whatsoever happens. Someone insults you, accept it; don’t react, and see what happens. Suddenly you will feel an energy flowing in you that you have not felt before.” ~ Osho

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