Is the word MERCY in your vocabulary? Does being merciful enter your mind on a conscious basis?

 

What does the word: MERCY mean to you?

Consider writing what words and images come to mind as you ask yourself this question. Then ask the equally important question of: How can I be merciful towards myself as a conscious outpouring of what I AM?

The truth is that you were born inherently perfect. We all have what researchers deem as an innate capacity for being merciful. In fact it is something we do as a natural outpouring of who we are. If you watch very young children, before they are taught rules around politeness and ‘socially appropriate’ kindness, these young children only know how to give compassion, mercy, and love.

A growing body of evidence suggests that, at our core, both animals and human beings have what Dacher Keltner at the University of California, Berkeley, coins a “compassionate instinct.” In other words, compassion is a natural and automatic response that has ensured our survival. Michael Tomasello and other scientists at the Max Planck Institute, in Germany, have found that infants and chimpanzees spontaneously engage in helpful behaviour and will even overcome obstacles to do so. They apparently do so from intrinsic motivation without expectation of reward. A recent study they ran indicated that infants’ pupil diameters (a measure of attention) decrease both when they help and when they see someone else helping, suggesting that they are not simply helping because helping feels rewarding. It appears to be the alleviation of suffering that brings reward — whether or not they engage in the helping behaviour themselves.

Recent research by David Rand at Harvard University shows that adults’ and children’s first impulse is to help others.

Research by Dale Miller at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business suggests this is also the case of adults, however, worrying that others will think they are acting out of self-interest can stop them from this impulse to help.

 

We intrinsically want to help – we have the hard wiring to instinctively be merciful. As adults, showing mercy becomes a decision of our thinking brain and our deliberate choice – our free will – and at times, for various reasons, we may opt out of what is such an important human ability.

How we are and how we act with others is symbolic of how we are able to be kind and loving – and merciful to ourselves. It is much easier to show others kindness, compassion, love, and mercy when we are able to readily do this for ourselves.

Mercy may be defined as: co-existing in love, forgiveness, compassion, loving-kindness, understanding, humanity, generosity, and faith.

Wikipedia defines mercy as: “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm”.

It’s within our power to punish or harm someone at any time in theory, and yet perhaps its in those very instances where someone has wronged us or hurt us that we need to be MOST mindful of practising an outpouring of mercy.

 

I hear my client tell me about all of the comments that she receives anytime she goes home to visit her Greek orthodox family living in Montreal. How their words impact her decisions and her everyday behaviours and yet she is a 34-yr old nurse working and thriving in Toronto. (She is told by friends that she looks better with a tan after travelling to the Caribbean on holiday so she admits to me that she is now going to a tanning salon regularly to keep up her glowing appearance; she is told by her grandmother that she is heavier than last visit and so she has now returned full force to the gym; her mother has always told her that to be beautiful she must wear makeup and high heels and so on the day of our session she isn’t feeling well and apologizes for her appearance – because she is not wearing makeup, nor heels. Her entire image of herself is tied up in what others say; she has not found herself and her true beauty that exists – enhanced perhaps by the makeup – but originates as who she already is. My client is one of many who look to others to establish their feelings of self-acceptance and positive affect in the words and remarks of others – and in doing so, can never be truly merciful towards herself. She continues to take the harsh comments and criticism of her friends and family – and does the same internally in her self talk – because it is all that she knows to do – and it has been the way in which she has defined herself. How many of us do this – or parts of this?

It doesn’t just happen with my client’s family, it happens with all of us regardless of our heritage, religious background and family of origin. What are the messages of your earlier life experiences that have set you up to judge yourself harshly, to be unmerciful, to be self-loathing, to deny, to avoid, to disavow – who you truly are?

Perhaps this is one reason why as teens we often rebel against our family – society – social mores – and instead look to our peer group for support and as a source of validation (as they too are experiencing the same kind of need to explore, to rediscover, and to take a stand in what they believe in). We don’t always acknowledge that we are all hardwired to be …who we truly are – what I call our AUTHENTIC self. If we have been stifled, denied, or told we must fit a certain stereotypical ideal, we learn from a young age to dishonour our TRUE self.

As a teenager and young adult, if we are fortunate enough to seek out answers and to decide what we believe in, what we feel passionate about, and what we want to do with our life, – and if we allow ourselves to dream and to follow what truly excites us, then we are making choices based on knowing our self best. And yet, we still hold many of the cultural and societal beliefs that have been so deeply ingrained, that say we should follow a certain practical plan for living our life, we should earn a certain income, we should wear a certain designer label, and that all of this is important – critical in fact – to being successful and happy. Some or all of this may very well be important – but as long as it is what we have chosen based on what is truly important to who we are – certainly none of this is wrong – as long as it is true to what is right for who we are – rather than what we tell ourselves we should do.

So its not surprising that much of the work that I do each day has its roots in helping people find themselves – and helping them uncover the truth about who they are so that they can live the rest of their life from a place of authenticity and self-honesty. When you can be honest and real with yourself and others, you free yourself to live with mercy. Maybe as you look over your definition for what mercy is, you most likely included such words as: honesty, deliberate kindness in action, compassion for self and others, loving and of course…truth.

When you can live with mercy directed towards yourself, it will be even easier to live it outwardly. This is because if you are overly critical, harsh, judgemental, uncertain, and insecure, this cannot help but come through as you look outwards at others. One might say that this is one of the reasons why we have constant conflict and war in the world. If we are not able to be merciful, to be kind and loving to ourselves and others, then we cultivate all of what is opposite: unkindness, impatience, judgement, intolerance, envy and hate.

Being merciful is how we embody true kindness and understanding. It is how we show others our compassionate nature.

The following visualization is best experienced if you can close your eyes for a few moments and take 3-5 deep breaths. Take even more breaths if you feel that it will help you quiet your mind as you go within to answer the following questions.

(And, if you would like a little more practice and a deeper experience in calming your mind and feeling a total body relaxation, please follow this link: to one of my guided meditations – perfect for taking you a little deeper within yourself.)

When you are ready to proceed let the following be a guide for what you then envision in your mind, allowing whatever answers that surface be what you reveal as your truth:

Think of a time either in the recent past or maybe a memory from childhood in which someone showed you mercy. Maybe there could have been a reason for you to have been punished because of what you did – whether it was something done innocently or intentionally – when the other person could have been intolerant, angry or blaming, but instead you were given compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and love – in effect – you were shown mercy.

Next, recall a time when you acted with compassion and mercy when perhaps it would have been socially acceptable to chastise, correct, scold, or punish. And yet you showed only mercy – kindness, forgiveness, and compassion. Recall what your experience was as you did this? How did YOU feel as you saw the face of the person, perhaps the child, the friend, the spouse, the work colleague – that you were being merciful to? Imagine for a moment how your actions of mercy felt for them?

When we are shown mercy – when we receive compassion – or as we demonstrate compassion and mercy, we experience something much more – much like a gift. What did you receive in the exchange with another? What did you receive when you were shown mercy or in being merciful?

In so many ways we have the ability to be who we truly are. When we elicit compassion and grace towards another living being we are being merciful. When we are compassionate and merciful, something remarkable happens inside of us. Something bearing truth is awakened from within.

 

The path of mercy is our path back to finding ourselves

 

Finding ourselves begins with the mercy that we can show ourselves. From here we see how easily it is to expand upon this – to allow others the gentle freedom to make mistakes, to be human, to not always do what we would do.

All world religions share in the importance of what it means to “be love”. They also share similar definitions of “mercy”, “forgiveness”, “compassion”, and “truth”. I share this because it reminds us that across all religions and spiritual beliefs, we are reminded and taught of the importance of being merciful, loving and kind.

Regardless of our religious upbringing most of us have heard the words: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12 / Luke 6:31).

Being merciful is your namesake. It is what we can offer to ourselves and one another that speaks to the truth of what are are. We are all seeking the same goodness; the same acceptance; the same attachment to one another in kindness. Showing mercy is our way to be loving – to accept others as they are – to allow for those moments when others may not always be at their best.

How you can be more deliberate in your practice of being merciful? Where in your daily life can this become a greater practice and privilege for you? The reason we consider in advance how and where we will do something is to ensure that it finds a place in our lives and a means by which we can be this – daily.

Think about the typical situations that you encounter – with your partner and spouse, your children, your parents and extended family, with siblings and friends, and with those you work with? How can you be merciful and any of the other words and descriptors of mercy as how you defined it? BOTH WITH YOURSELF AND OTHERS?

If you are already actively mindful of showing mercy in your daily life, ask yourself, ‘What are some different ways that I can expand upon this?” Can you practice deliberate acts of mercy even when you are annoyed, offended, hurt, and when you believe strongly that you are right and someone else is wrong?

Where in your daily life can you practice mercy unto yourself – and to others? When you do so, what would it look like? What would your inner dialogue or self talk be that would help you to remember to be merciful?

Challenge yourself to find new ways of showing mercy in these tougher moments (both to others and to yourself)and when it may seem easier to do what you’ve always done. Write these and place them where you can see your list each day. This becomes a plan that will help you to make this happen.

Close your eyes once more with the intention to give yourself a few more minutes of calm, relaxed breathing. When you open your eyes again, you are ready (with a clear mind) to answer a few more questions as you journey within to experience what it means to be merciful. (At any time, you can close your eyes even momentarily, as it will likely help you call up some of your past memories and experiences).

 

Imagine who you were as a child. Maybe it’s a memory where you can go back in time and yet you can feel right now as though you are this incredible child again. Maybe its a photo or image of your younger self that you see in your mind. However you come to imagine and envision yourself as a most incredible child, begin to paint the picture in detail of who you were based on the following questions I’m going to ask. (Please remember: If you don’t have all of the answers to these questions, that’s perfectly okay, your subconscious mind may give you more answers as you continue to think about this).

As you ask yourself: “Who was I?” take a brief pause as the answers spontaneously reveal themselves. Pause after each of the following questions to give your subconscious mind the time to reveal the answers:

What did I look like?”

See yourself in action. Ask: “What activities or games did I enjoy most?” “What used to make me laugh?” “What did I enjoy doing?” “What was I naturally good at?” “What would I think or daydream about?”

What were some of my proudest moments?” “What did others compliment me for?” “What did I dream about?” “When was I happiest?”

Next, describe your personality? “What core features, characteristics, and mannerisms made you special, unique, original?” Allow the memories to flow into your conscious mind without judging whatever you remember.

Sometimes our mind will show us the difficult or negative moments of our past. Please know that this is perfectly natural. Allow all of the memories that reveal themselves be part of your experience. The difficult moments of our life teach us much about who we are. While we may not be aware of this at the time, whatever you learned from your earliest life experiences has contributed to who you are today in ways that have made you resilient and courageous even if you may not think of yourself as so. For now, if you begin to recall any difficult or painful memories, remember that they don’t make you any less incredible.

Remember all of who you were as an incredible child.

Write all of your answers to: ‘Who was I as a child?’ including the details of how you felt as you saw yourself being your authentic – carefree, happy, curious, and courageous – self.

Now here’s a BIG SECRET that I hope you will remember. When you think about any of the behaviours or mannerisms that you have that cause you discomfort or that you do not like about yourself – these are not (nor were they ever) who you innately are.

In most cases, you learned by observing others or perhaps you were taught certain ways of being. If you think about it, any of the behaviours that you might label as ‘bad’ or wrong – stem from learnings that occurred beginning in childhood. As you reflect on all of the innate goodness of who you were as a child in your answers to the earlier visualization, see if you can remember who you were before or without any of the teachings in which you were taught to dislike, to judge, to be hurtful or mean, to be boastful and show no mercy, and anything else that causes you or others – to suffer. Who you truly are is not these things. Perhaps take one more review of your “Who was I as a child?” list right now to see if you have written anything that you were taught to believe, to act, to fear, that truly wasn’t yours to begin with. Write anything else now about who your original self really is. Allow your inner child to shine through. Let yourself feel connected once again to what you once were.

When we remember who we are, we can begin to reclaim our authentic self. Your inner child is your inner navigation point. It is your truth. Before each of us were told what “not to do”, or how we “should” behave or feel because it is somehow more acceptable, we were intuitively and perfectly being – our true nature.

Finding your way back to who you are begins with acknowledging all that you once were.

Remember all of the goodness of your inner child. Close your eyes one final time as you hold the image of your incredible self – the younger version of who you were – – hold the image of the incredible child that you see in your mind. See yourself clearly, feeling proud, confident, free, strong, and happy. Sit for a few more moments with this impression – allowing it to sink in … deeper. Feel, see and imagine all of the ways that you are incredible – both as your younger self and then….. as you are now.

Consider the moments when you allowed your adult self to be: funny, playful, thoughtful, generous, kind, honest, loyal, curious, excited, happy. When you are being any of these …are you not being your true self?

When we allow our inner child to shine through – we can be childlike in ways that are both beautiful and authentic. We can speak the words of our truth rather than hold ourselves back for fear of “saying the wrong thing” or “being too emotional”. When we allow our inner child’s vulnerabilities to show through we reveal to others our true nature – and this makes us ‘approachable’, ‘honest’ and ‘real’.

And finally, I have one more question about your life as a child?

What would have been your mantra as a child? A mantra is a word or phrase that you repeat to yourself either quietly or aloud to elicit the feeling state of what you are telling yourself.

Maybe your mantra as a child was: “I can do this!” or “I’m special” or “I’m smart” Think of a mantra based on the words that your inner child would have spoken.

Allow yourself to repeat this mantra silently to yourself. Envision your inner child as you do so. Feel what you feel throughout your body. Now open your eyes again. Take a final few moments to write the words of your mantra. (Hint: Make it an “I AM” statement).

Notice how you are feeling right now.

The journey back to finding ourselves begins in our childhood with the innocent and completely honest depiction of our true self. Your homework from here is to remember all of the childlike qualities that best represent the truth of who you are. As you reconnect with your adult self again, remember these qualities and allow them to come through in everyday life. Let yourself be who you once were in more ways than you have ever been. As you reveal and relax into more of your true self, you will come to feel far more connected with your inner child again and most importantly – to feel connected with the truth of who you are.

 

 

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10 Ways that Meditation Heals YOU

The secrets of meditation were originally shrouded in secrecy out of respect for, and even in fear of, their innate power. The ancient yoga masters guarded these secrets as they believed that this spiritual power has the capacity to corrupt and that it would be disastrous for the wrong person to learn these secrets. Therefore, these advanced meditations were only made available to disciples proven to have pure hearts. Even today there are different schools of thought for teaching meditation. It remains important for you to find a teacher that you feel a comfortable confidence in, and that teaches meditation as a spiritual practice in a way that resonates with your beliefs and values.

While I teach Mindfulness Meditation, Transcendental Meditation, and Medical Meditation (which uses specific breathing patterns, postures and movements, particular mantras, and a unique mental focus). I have also developed a type of meditation that teaches you how to open your seventh chakra and to be aware of the universal divine intelligence flowing through you in all moments. This form of meditation I have named, “Divya Prajna”: the Sanskrit words for: DIVINE WISDOM. This type of Meditation teaches you how to harness the universal consciousness to access Divine Wisdom and Truth.

Whenever I teach meditation, I use some or all of these different types of Mediation mentioned above, in order to accomplish the effects of healing and awakening, opening you to a deeper experience of yourself as a being of energy. You may check out some of my guided meditations by visiting: https://soundcloud.com/dorothyratusny or

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3ierJvf7b8y5xOHzqgwC6g

Breathing is an integral element of Meditation. Breath awareness with intention is both the primary ‘action’ and ‘benefit’ of meditation.

1. Deep, controlled, rhythmic breathing helps heal as it shifts the body out of the ‘fight-flight-flee’ response that occurs quite automatically when we experience “stress”.

Why is this important? When stress is not balanced by relaxation techniques such as meditation, it operates far too often in the sympathetic mode (the ‘fight-flight’- or flee’ mode) pulling energy away from your immune system and away from the various recovery mechanisms that promote healing. Over time, this destroys the body. Prevailing illnesses strike, viruses spread, bacteria proliferate, and the glands and organs of the ‘fight-flight-and flee’ response become exhausted. The heart may begin to beat erratically. The endocrine glands that provide youth and zest degenerate. Muscles begin to ache. Symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue may appear. Aging sets in. Illness occurs. Deep, controlled, rhythmic breathing done with conscious attention can reprogram your autonomic nervous system (the system responsible for these involuntary actions). Simple breathing exercises which include frequent attention to ‘proper’ diaphragmatic breathing – can be done in minutes throughout the day, both as a way of building-in the benefits of the healing, rest-and-repair parasympathethic mode of the autonomic nervous system but also to shift out of the ‘fight-flight-flee’ mode that you were previously in.

2. The calming hormones melatonin and serotonin are increased by meditation, and the stress hormone cortisol is decreased.

3. People who meditate consistently for the ‘long-term’ experience 80 percent less heart disease and 50 percent less cancer than “non” meditators.

4. 75 percent of insomniacs were able to sleep normally when they meditated.

5. Mindfulness Meditation has been proven in studies to decrease panic attacks, decrease general anxiety, reduce levels of chronic pain, reduce incidence of headaches, improve response rates to drug and alcohol addiction treatment, and reduce obesity.

6. Transcendental Meditation (based on approximately 600 ongoing studies, many in peer-reviewed journals since the mid-70s) has been proven to achieve the following:
* Reduction of anxiety
* Reduction of chronic pain
* Lowered levels of cortisol (a stress hormone)
* Increase in cognitive function
* Reduction of substance abuse
* Lowered blood pressure
* Improvement in post-traumatic stress syndrome
* Reduction in use of medical care and hospitalization

7. Another fascinating study of Transcendental Meditation was one that measured biological age – how old a person is physiologically rather than chronologically. Determinants included blood pressure, vision and hearing. Participants who had been doing Transcendental Meditation for five or more years were physiologically twelve years younger than their non-meditating counterparts. Even the short-term participants were physiologically five years younger than the controls.

8. People who meditate regularly secrete more of youth-related hormone DHEA as they age than those who do not meditate. DHEA (a natural hormone believed to be an effective marker of a person’s biological age; is claimed to enhance immunity, memory, neural functioning, combat osteoporosis and atherosclerosis, and cancer. Meditating 45 yr-old males have an average of 23 percent more DHEA than non-meditators, and meditating females have an average of 47 percent more DHEA. This helps slow aging, increase longevity and strengthen the immune system, decreases stress, improve memory, preserve sexual function, and contol weight.

9. Meditation creates a unique hypometabolic state, in which the metabolism is in an even deeper state of rest than during sleep. During sleep, oxygen consumption drops by 8 percent, but during Meditation, oxygen consumption drops by 10 to 20 percent.

10. Meditation is the ONLY ACTIVITY that reduces blood lactate, a marker of stress and anxiety.

And some further interesting antidotes on the amazing benefits of Meditation and Breath:
* In Asian cultures, it is believed that the rhythm of breath is mankind’s own signature vibration, which unites man with the vibratory force of the universe. Modern Asian yogis have stated that the vibration of human breath interlocks the finite magnetic field of humankind with the infinite magnetic field of the universe. The ebb and flow of breath is seen as a link to the motions and tides of the entire cosmos, outside our bodies, and within our bodies.

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Real WISDOM is to know our true nature…

If ego is the absence of true knowledge of who we really are, then real wisdom is to realize this and seek to know our true nature.

Examining a philosophy developed in the Himalayas a thousand years ago helps give us a useful three-step approach to cultivating the principle of egolessness. (According to the Buddhists, “egolessness” doesn’t actually mean “without ego”. (Although for our purposes, its a good way to begin thinking about this term). It’s original definition means “that there was never any ego at all to begin with”. – The best example of egolessness in action that I can think of is when we are children: innocent, authentic, and before any need to prove ourselves.

In the midst of completing coursework for my Phd, I’m captivated with Sogyal Rinpoche’s book, “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”. In it, he refers to ‘The Three Wisdom Tools’ as described by Tibetan Buddhist Masters as a way of discovering the freedom of the wisdom of egolessness.

Before describing the first of these Three Wisdom Tools, it’s helpful to think about how they came to be. They were believed to help free us from our ego – what we in Western society might refer to as the incessant noise of our mind, our attachment to ‘things’, our need to prove our self through our identify with a ‘role’, a ‘title’, or through our actions. Ego is developed as we slowly move away from being our authentic self (in childhood), to conforming and abiding by what society deems we should ‘do’ or ‘be’. Our ego-mind plays a key role in our daily existence as we are distracted by what we tell ourselves is true rather than simply observing what “is”.

Each of the Three Wisdom Tools helps us to discover and experience the deeper knowing of our true nature.They move us out of our ego-mind and into our present moment awareness.

Not only are these worth remembering….but adopting each of these tools as a part of your daily practice will forever change the way you approach and live life. Embracing the three tools will significantly improve all of your relationships. It will most certainly improve the relationship you have with your ‘self’. Using these wisdom tools will awaken you – to see and know what “is” rather than what you have been telling yourself is true.

If you are already on a spiritual path, then you may recognize the difference between your ego-mind and the voice of your inner wisdom (what Rinpoche defines as “your hidden spiritual being” – what I typically refer to as your soul consciousness). As you listen more and more to your inner voice, you begin to notice how it acts as a wise guide in helping you. As your inner voice becomes stronger and clearer, you begin to distinguish between its truth and the deceptions (and empty promises) of your ego. For example, your ego-mind might sound like any or all of the following: “If I could just make more money, my life would be so much better”, “Why can’t I lose this extra weight? What’s wrong with me?”, “Maybe there is no one out there for me and I’ll just end up being single the rest of my life?”, “I should be in a better financial position right now”, “I’m not calling her/him anymore. If they can’t be bothered to make an effort why should I?” etc, etc, etc.

 

As I help clients resolve whatever issue or problem that they initially came to therapy for help with, I always offer them the opportunity to pursue their spiritual path. This includes teachings for how to become more aware of the reality of their inner wisdom as their own best source of guidance. Embracing one’s spiritual self is how we deepen our ‘self’ knowledge and awaken to our authentic nature. This instantly builds confidence and self-reliance. (It isn’t that you won’t ever need or rely on another person to give you suggestions or support, but ultimately you feel skilled to make wise choices for your life based on knowing yourself best). Indeed, there are limitless spiritual teachings that we experience over a lifetime. The initial exploration and discovery that I show clients, includes a process of guided meditation together with techniques for how to live with awareness that you are more than your physical being.

Regardless of where you are along your spiritual path (and even if you are far removed from it right now), you can use any and all of these Three Wisdom Tools to develop a deeper awareness of your authentic self (your true nature). In doing so, you enrich the many experiences of your life. Putting these tools into action will also help you to become aware of what ‘illusions’ (perceptions) are causing your suffering and unhappiness. Contemplating what you have been “taught” to believe as a child, and what you now know to be true is one way to begin a spiritual path.

 

The first of the Three Wisdom tools is THE PROCESS OF LISTENING AND HEARING.

The process of listening and hearing begins by listening both to our inner voice and as we are guided instinctively to formal spiritual teachings (this may be in the form of a book that grabs our attention, a new spiritual practice – such as learning meditation, returning to informal methods of prayer or seeking out ‘teachers’ in various forms). Listening to this new and at times, preexisting information, guides us back to remembering who we truly are (our hidden wisdom nature).

As we listen to these varied spiritual teachings and as we surround ourselves with resources and people who uplift and inspire us, certain passages and insights resonate deeply within us. We feel a deep sense of authenticity in what we are remembering. We begin to awaken, discovering that we have the potential to be more than we currently are – not because we aren’t good enough already – but rather because what we desire for ourselves has become more and we are ready to be the person we have been contemplating, imagining, – even dreaming of. (As an aside, many times we would like to be different but we give up before even getting started. We talk ourselves out of the possibility and this is why it never happens. It will only ‘never happen’ if we give up.)

Listening is a far more difficult process than most of us imagine. To truly listen as intended by the ancient Tibetan masters is “to let go of ourselves completely; to let go of all the information, all the concepts and ideas, and all of the prejudices that our minds are filled with”.

 

Like the Zen master Suzuki-roshi has said, “If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” “If we really listen with an open (beginner’s) mind, we might really begin to hear. If we listen with a silent mind, free of all preconceived ideas that we already know the answer, then it becomes possible for the truth of the teachings to pierce us, and for the meaning of life to become startlingly clear”.

“The more and more you listen, the more and more you hear; the more and more you hear, the deeper and deeper your understanding becomes.” -Zen master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Stay tuned for my next WISDOM blog and the second and third Wisdom tools that will complete your practice.

Namaste everyone!

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Can we REBIRTH ourselves in order to heal our past?

As I watched my godchild lay tenderly asleep, her hands cushioning her face as she nestled in the arms of her godfather, I thought about the beauty of baptism. Baptism (or “baby blessings”) defined across various religions – depicts the notion of rebirth; cleansing, anointing and adopting one as a part of a particular religious community (or church)….and of making pure again…. what already is pure.

It’s interesting how we choose to baptize our infant child far before they can even conceptualize what is being is being done. Infants really have no need for a cleansing and a rebirth since they are already living life so purely.

 

What’s interesting is how we might look at the idea of baptism for our own life.  How many times have we secretly wished we could be absolved of our past mistakes; of behaviours that we shudder whenever we think of them because who we are today is so far away from the person we were then?

 

I watched as this loving priest generously splashed “holy” water on the heads of all the children being baptized this morning. Symbolic to the simple notion of rain cleansing the earth; or perhaps the feeling of being cleansed as you stand under the flow of water in your shower at home, allowing the water to cascade down your body, or the feeling of being ‘washed over’ by the ocean waves as they pull you back with their gentle force, before passing over you. There are many symbolic ways to consider how you might ‘cleanse’ or ‘rebirth’ that have nothing to do with religion, but yet are meaningful in how they serve to bring a renewed sense of optimism and hope.

Embracing a spiritual life, you might consider the many ways that you have already been ‘cleansed’ of the past. Being forgiven by yourself or another is one form of rebirth, and an opporutnity for starting over. As special as a religious ceremony may be, you don’t need such an event to rebirth. Every time that you make the conscious decision to be different; to change what you may have always done, or to offer yourself forgiveness even for one act of unkindness or unkind thought – you are making it possible for yourelf to begin anew.

Baptism is said to be an outwardly symbolic rite of an inner change and transformation that has already taken place. Important to emphasize is the idea of repenting or acknowledging whatever mistake, misdoing, or error we want to overcome, forgive, and release. This is the simple yet powerful notion of how we can continue on, without self-beratment and self-hatred – in a path that reminds us of our incredible capacity for healing and rebirth.  

Consider a time when you forgave someone for their wrongdoing. Notice how doing so, freed you from any further pain or sadness that this hurt may have caused. Now apply the same idea to yourself. Becoming better at self-forgiveness is how we heal, and how we move forward.

It’s interesting how our society has needed to baptism the innocent child, but is quick to hold an adult at fault for a lifetime. How well we forgive ourselves for our ‘humanness’ and how easily we are able to forgive and forget others’ mistakes is a testament to our ability to practice ‘baptism’ – rebirth – renewal – not as a one-time religious ceremony- but as a way of life.

A helpful afterword on the definition and meaning of Baptismin both Christian and Jewish perspectives:

Baptism (from the Greek noun βάπτισμα baptisma😉 is a Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also a particular church. 

The usual form of baptism among the earliest Christians was for the candidate to be immersed, either totally (submerged completely under the water) or partially (standing or kneeling in water while water was poured on him or her). While John the Baptist’s use of a deep river for his baptism suggests immersion, pictorial and archaeological evidence of Christian baptism from the 3rd century onward indicates that a normal form was to have the candidate stand in water while water was poured over the upper body. Other common forms of baptism now in use include pouring water three times on the forehead, a method called affusion.

History of the Jewish Mikveh

The term mikveh in Hebrew literally means ‘any gathering of waters’, but is specifically used in Jewish law for the waters or bath for the ritual immersion. The building of the mikveh was so important in ancient times it was said to take precedence over the construction of a synagogue. Immersion was so important that it occurred before the high Priest conducted the service on the Day of Atonement, before the regular priests participated in the Temple service, before each person entered the Temple complex, before a scribe wrote the name of God, as well as several other occasions.

The Mishnah attributes to Ezra a decree that each male should immerse himself before praying or studying. There were several Jewish groups that observed ritual immersion every day to assure readiness for the coming of the Messiah. The Church Fathers mentioned one of these groups called Hemerobaptists which means “daily bathers” in Greek. Among those used to regular immersion were the Essenes and others that the Talmud calls tovelei shaharit or “dawn bathers.”

On the third day of creation we see the source of the word mikveh for the first time in Genesis 1:10 when the Lord says, “…to the gathering (mikveh) of waters, He called seas.” Because of this reference in Genesis the ocean is still a legitimate mikveh. (Maybe this is why the ocean is such a sacred experience for many of us!)

* Sources:http://www.bebaptized.org/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism

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Active Laziness

In his book, ‘The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’, Author Sogyal Rinpoche uses the phrase “active laziness” to describe how we are constantly cramming our lives so full with compulsive activity that we don’t ever have time to examine the ‘real’ issues.

 

Our life seems to dictate to us what we do; possessing its own bizarre momentum – and carrying us away with it.  Sadly, we often feel that we have ‘no choice’ or ‘control’ over what we “have to” do.

 

If we pause to look a little more closely, we begin to see how many unimportant tasks (so called “responsibilities”) accumulate, taking up valuable time – and keeping us from experiencing what is really important.

 

We tell ourselves we have “no time”, that we will “make time later or tomorrow” for things that are important to us  …. and yet by the next morning, we wake up and do it all over again.

I’ve been gently reminding people that we eventually “run out of time”; that there is purpose in “living IN this moment”, and not waiting to do something you’ve been meaning (or desiring) to do.

lifeiswhatwemakeit

Because months (and let’s be honest), decades of our lives can “get away from us”…all we have is the present moment.  Practically speaking, it only takes minutes to write down what you would really like to experience, do, enjoy, and be …for today, along with some ways you will go about making these happen.

After all, life is a series of many moments….and the culmination of all of our experiences of these moments. Hopefully we can remember that we are in charge of our moments…by choosing so.

Namaste everyone!

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Witnessing Your Incredible Nature Through the Eyes of Others….

As much as we may experience the challenge at times of seeing ourselves with loving eyes (often we are our own worst critic, repeating many of the same words that we’ve grown up hearing others say to us), I am always in awe of  how incredibly healing it is to hear how others “see” us.

 

Whether from a friend, loved one, or perhaps someone we don’t really know – hearing genuine kindness spoken quite deliberately affects us deeply.  Hearing words of truth that are spoken through another’s eyes gives us a new ‘landing point’ – a way to see and evaluate ourselves differently.

At times the parts of our selves that we are struggling with most need reassurance, loving words, and acceptance. Having others acknowledge our greatness can help us to believe in our self; and to see with approval all that we already are.

Having nothing at stake, we can more easily consider the words of others spoken sincerely, and allow these words to sink ‘in’ …feeling their positive effects in ways we had perhaps not imagined.

 

Consider witnessing yourself through the positive words, adoration, and kindness of others.  Write these words so you can see and read them later  – and at moments when you may begin to doubt yourself.  Remain open to the ways in which messages of ‘truth’ and appreciation about who you are finds you… and trust that these are exactly the words that you need to hear at that moment.

 

Namaste everyone!

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The Purpose of Meditation

*Sometimes I feel a message is worth repeating.  This blog comes from one of my previous Notes of Wisdom…. A weekly series of inspirational thoughts meant to encourage you to think about life differently 🙂
P.S.  You can always request my Notes of Wisdom to your email in-box each week by clicking the link to the right:

“Meditation is an experience that reminds us that we can simply ‘be’; to experience ourself in this moment – NOT as what we are thinking (nor our thoughts of our self) but our true state of being.” – Dorothy Ratusny

 

Meditation is the art of focused attention on a single point. Each time the mind begins to wander off, you (the gentle observer of the mind) simply direct the mind back to a focal point. At first, you may notice just how often your mind wanders, and how easily it is distracted. Each time you observe and then re-focus your mind on what you have given it as it’s ‘task’, you improve your mind’s ability to hold attention.

 

Each time you sit in meditation it is always a different experience. Some days your mind will be more receptive to focusing and on other days, it will far more challenging to stop the mind from jumping from thought to thought.

In gentle stillness, and with the solitary task of being mindful of your breath, you can experience the quiet, inner peace that exists beneath the layer of thoughts that are the typical workings of the mind. Meditation is how you cultivate inner calmness and the ability to simply exist in the perfection of each moment. Meditation is also how we are able to go deeper within to hear and know our infinite wisdom.

*Some of this also appears in my upcoming book: ”The Book of Wisdom’ which i’m so excited to be completing!!
Finally, I’d thought I would share a gentle guided Meditation in Nature (under one of my favourite new trees!) Enjoy!
Namaste everyone!
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How we Know GOD

How we come to know GOD is through who (or what) we believe HIM/HER to be.

 

The path of GOD is not to follow an omnipotent being rather to be LOVE in the model of how we have been taught GOD is.

 

The path of SPIRIT is to acknowledge that we are ONE with every living creature in the universe.  That our breath is truly sacred; each time we inhale we breathe in the beauty of life force energy – that which keeps us alive and thriving, but also reminds us of our true nature as energy.

 

What do you still think of when you think of GOD?  Is it someone or thing that you need to believe in? …to behave for?

 

Do you examine the mysteries of faith that have been chosen and adopted by various cultures as organized religion – following passages and beliefs that other people have chosen for you?

Spirituality and the science of Metaphysics suggests that there are some things that cannot be explained by precise measurement and proof; that there is a marrying of both ideas and facts in how we come to know that the universe is indeed a creation and also something that is created by its inhabitants.

 

We can offer the most serious thoughts and expressions of what or whom created the Universe and yet each of our actions in real time has a mark on what the universe continues to become.

 

Consider what you intuitively feel GOD to be.  Is God truly a being to be feared or one to be explored?  Is GOD another word (or name) to describe a universal consciousness; an infinite intelligence? or have we personalized GOD as someone only to obey?

 

Find your own significant interpretation of what GOD is for you by considering the purpose of how GOD exists in your life.  Honour your intuitive findings and perhaps the idea that “GOD” is both an idea and a reality; a model of greatness and simultaneously who each one of us already is.

 

 

GOD is how you come to know yourself.  your inner calm, your gentle innate nature, your capacity to love.  In moments of quiet deliberation; regardless of what formal religion you may have been taught…. consider what the concept of GOD means in your life; how the concept of GOD is alive in your life…. or is it?

 

How you know GOD will instinctively happen as you make steps toward knowing SELF….for one is a part of the other. One is the other in human form.

 

Namaste everyone!

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The WISDOM of LOVE to Cure all things….a Metaphysical Perspective.

One of these days, I’m going to write a more extensive blog on the topic of channeling.  Channeling Divine energy is simply the act of being in touch with your Highest Self.  On some days (like this morning :)) I channel bold global statements that I feel are worthy of sharing – trusting in that those of you on your spiritual path will find the words I write comforting, and inspirational.  To channel or ‘communicate’ with your Highest Self is simply bringing the Divine out of you – whether that be in words, actions of kindness and love, or beautiful thoughts that become wonderful things.  Enjoy!

Love is infinitely strong in its grace; in its capacity for freedom,and acknowledgement of all that is good, comforting, and just in the world.

Love deliberately and joyously given… strengths and heals past wounds for in being forgiving, LOVE overrides despair and initiates understanding and healing.

 

Love does not imitate false hope nor does it pretend that which is untrue or unfaithful.  Love cures all things.  Because of your capacity to elicit love, you feel its healing effects – its soothing properties of lightness and bold expansion coursing through you.  This is how you experience yourself as ‘larger than life’ (not in a boastful, ego-driven way, but as true immensity for greatness).

 

Holding love for others means you can hold more for yourself.  

‘Holding’ (feeling) love for others fills you with the feeling of love.  It is though this that you experience the depth of love you are capable of – directed inward.  Learning how to love the self is one of the greatest life lessons we could ever know.

Namaste everyone!

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“H e a l i n g” …..Musings for this Month of May, 2013.

Sometimes a situation cannot heal until you release the challenge completely – allowing healing light to enter it.  

To realize a healing, you must first stop focusing on “what is wrong” and instead affirm: “Everything is in Divine and perfect order right now”.

Hold thoughts of love around any situation that needs healing.  Visualize the situation as HEALED NOW.  Give thanks to the Divine (God) for this healing and completely release it.  

 

Practice this method of healing in your quiet moments of meditation and see what profound impact it holds for yourself and others.  Namaste everyone!!

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RETREATING Within

April has begun with a gentle quietness.  There are signs indicating a ‘break’ in the weather and the coming ‘thaw’ of Spring.  Yet even with the promise of warmer temperatures and the anticipation of nature’s gentle ‘rebirth’, there are also gentle reminders (like the small snow pellets falling last week and the intermittent cold days!) of the need for patience; to prepare, contemplate, and plan.  One does not walk into a new or next phase of life without having some things remaining to completefinish, or perhaps release

 

Now is the perfect time to introspect and to deepen one’s resolve toward what we desire most.  Working toward our goals and ambitions means we can enjoy the fruits of our labour – much like the enchanted gardener who, even while she carefully plants spring bulbs in the late fall …. hoping, trusting, and believing in her efforts in the months to come; continues to prepare the soil in early spring; planting more. 

 

While we may be in anticipation of the coming warmer months, there is perfection in using this time thoughtfully, considering what gentle preparation and ‘inner’ work is needed in order to experience our self in bloom in the months to come.

 

One way you can easily do this is to commit to quiet time in self-reflection and meditation.  Let yourself be guided by your true desires; all you need to do is decide on the ensuing action steps that will move you toward what you most want.

 

I also know how helpful it is to have a sacred Meditation practice; a personal and intimate time that you dedicate in quiet silence – allowing the inner voice of your soul to be heard.  Whether you have such a beautiful gift already in place in your life, or you would like to begin one…. this Mediation ‘retreat’ is a perfect experience both for how you contemplate being LOVE in the world, but also how you develop the ability to open yourself to the experience of Meditation in your life.  Namaste!!

 

Being Love

A Meditation Retreat with Dorothy Ratusny

This Retreat is ideal for anyone who has ever wanted to experience Meditation, deepen an existing practice, and for those who have been “in love”, grieved love, or who may be looking for a new love relationship.

Being Love is both a deliberate action and a state of mind – a conscious decision to act and live in ways that model love in the world and in your life.  We have evolved as humans to a place of conscious transformation where living “as love” is no longer a lofty ideal but a certainty we can all work toward.  Acts of our love already show us the power of being love. If we ever needed a reminder all we have to do is remember how our loving words and actions touch the hearts and minds of others so deeply.”                 – Dorothy Ratusny

Retreat Highlights:

* Experience how to heal the past with meditation, love, and compassion.

* Discover the inner peace that comes with unconditional self-love and acceptance; and the freedom of feeling LOVE from within rather than seeking others to love us.

* Experience the freedom of healthy detachment and the ability to ‘let go with love’.

* Learn how to send loving energy in a way that improves and heals relationships, and opens the hearts of those you care about so deeply.

* Experience through meditation how you can live with your heart open and as a being of love without being hurt; and how your open heart helps you to enjoy the richness and natural “bliss” of life.

* Discover how to access the Divine wisdom of your heart chakra for knowing TRUTH.

* Learn an essential breathing technique for reconnecting with the loving energy of your Divine nature.

Please join us!

Venue: Metropolitan United Church56 Queen St. East., TORONTO, Ont. 

Workshop Fee: $95 (includes hst)

SATURDAY, APRIL 20th Noon-5:00pm

Please Register with: Dorothy Ratusny  t: 647.889.8722e: dorothy@dorothyratusny.com

Dorothy Ratusny is a Certified Psychotherapist in private practice in Toronto, Canada who specializes in Cognitive Therapy. She is the Author of ‘The Purpose of Love’ (Insomniac Press, 2007), ‘Live Your Life’s Purpose’ (Insomniac Press, 2008), ‘WISDOM: Divine Guidance for your Spiritual Journey’ (2013), and her NEW Meditation CD, ‘Being Love’ (2013).  She maintains a longstanding devout daily meditation practice and teaches meditation extensively.  For more information please visit: www.dorothyratusny.com

 

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Experiencing the After Life

 

What does it mean to have eternal life?  How are we immortal?

If you choose to honour life in its infinite perfection, and for the many experiences – all of which give us incredible opportunity for knowledge, growth, healing, joy (and fun), etc. – then the experience of death is yet another experience of life.

Experiencing death through the expression of life means that we see death as the ending point of ‘this’ life experience, but certainly not the end.  The majority of organized religions believe in the immortality of the soul; and of another life that follows when the embodied soul leaves our physical being.

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The soul as a densely inspired grouping of matter (energy) is what returns to Source.  In it’s divine state, our soul looks to reclaim all of its earthly ‘physical’ experiences, to acknowledge its sojourn as pureness and infinite love.  The hopeful ideal is that the soul’s earthly time in physical form has served to heal and release past karma from previous lives spent as a physical being and to become acknowledged and integrated by the “self”.  Remember the soul is both within us and a part of the universal soul (universal consciousness) and is infinite love.  Our free will determines whether we allow the soul to shine outwardly from within us – its presence to be felt and integrated wholly as the energy of love – or not.  (Free will whether experienced as conscious or unconscious choices exist in humans and in animals; and is always challenged by impulse, instinct, habit – and specifically in humans as ego, and the busy ‘thought’ distractions of the mind).

 

Does the soul consciousness know when it is “time” to leave the physical body?  Can the soul experience a sense of ‘completion’ of its “work” or “objectives” in the physical world and is this related to why some people claim they feel peacefully “ready” for death in the final stages of life?

The physical body does what it is designed to do; live (thrive in fact) until it can no longer (either by our free will choice to die and with that, a refusal to care for our physical body until its uncertain demise, or in some cases, our continued mistreatment of our physical ‘home’, and the unnecessary ‘suffering’ and eventually failure of our physical condition).

If you believe in the theory that we are all energy… that “our” soul energy never ‘dies’ with our physical body but returns to ‘Source’, then all of us are never really dying.  While our physical body does have an ultimate ending point; the soul is eternal.  Remember that the soul (as energy) will at some later time, be embodied in another physical being. Those of us who have the ability to know we are about to ‘leave’ this world have the luxury of making some final plans, of perhaps ‘making peace’ with others, or simply preparing to go.

The soul doesn’t experience physical death – only the moments just prior to death. At ‘death’ the soul consciousness if it is prepared to leave, simply moves from the physical (body) form back into the world of energy.

In the case of animal souls, it has been said that their ‘shorter’ life span has very much to do with the fact that they have completed what experiences or ‘purpose’ they set out in search of.  An animal (and most certainly a domesticated pet) is infinitely loving – something that we as humans spend a great deal of our life failing to master.

 

Do our animal pets contemplate the ending of their life?  Do they have thoughts of “wishing” they were “healthy” or “wishing to die?”  Perhaps we will never have a provable answer to these questions, although it is likely that an animal is more often than not – simply living each moment in the present – and in the best way that they can.

Animals in general… and certainly the animals I have chosen to raise, love, and care for… have always gifted me with lessons of hope, bravery, strength, and unconditional love.  They remind me of the beauty in the simplest of actions, and the perfection in being present in each moment, living intentionally, and of course loving purely and intensely.

 

If we remain observant, animals remind us of our innate nature as: peaceful, curious, vulnerable, playful and loving.  They show us the pure joy in being their innate perfection: watching, running, jumping, chasing what moves, and thriving on being alive.  Sadly it is our ‘human nature’ that creates the complexities, confusion, and angst we live with, robbing us of our pure infinite potential.  Our four legged loved ones also teach us about the simple actions of life and death and of simply moving to another place as ‘energy’.  While most of us fear death, or at the least feel unsettled about it; animals teach us how to live in the physical world until at some point they no longer do so.  They don’t contemplate the ‘ending’ of their life in the same way we do; nor do they (likely) deliberate on it.

 

Animals are instinctive by nature.  They accept whatever is and do their ‘best’ in that moment.  They do not understand labels such as ‘terminal illness’ so they continue living in whatever way possible (and as best as they can) until they can no longer do so.  In many terminal conditions such as cancer, the body slowly deteriorates and the animal’s physical abilities decline until they are just a physical ‘shell’.  The soul remains until the moment of physical death but the animal (and how it was known to be) certainly appears to be ‘gone’.

 

 

It remains to be seen whether all of the ways we attempt to hold off death are really humane after all.

If you knew that you were going to a better place; (if you were shown pictures, or able to watch a movie depicting what your experience would be), would it make it easier to pass, leaving behind this life?  If you were able to remain present and to live each moment, then you likely would not spend much time contemplating what was coming.  Your attention would remain on how you were living right now.

 

Perhaps the most significant thing death teaches us is how to live…how to free ourselves of the unneeded worry and suffering and instead – thrive, enjoy, honour the life we have been given.  Remember all of our experiences are experiences the soul yearns for.

 

Namaste!

www.dorothyratusny.com

 

An added afterthought and update:

This is what we want to hold onto; we want to enjoy the privilege of having the physical moments of: holding, hugging, touching, kissing, and feeling the kinesthetic luxury of being spirit embodied.  We absolutely want to hold onto this physical life and all of its gracious pleasures for as long as we can – even if the quality of our life has changed or deteriorated.

We can also influence a soul’s decision to leave by not wanting the physical being to go.  The idea of ‘giving permission’ for the animal or human to die is a way of energetically detaching – of gently releasing the soul from the physical body – particularly in cases where the soul energy is ‘hanging on’ for the sake of others.

 

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February 2013: Surrender and Release…

The message of February’s ‘SURRENDER AND RELEASE’ reminds us of the power in “letting go”, of shedding the parts of our self (and our life) that are no longer working, nor contributing to the good of our Highest Self.   When you surrender it means you can stop forcing something that may not be divine timing or ‘right’ for you; instead looking at what is available, what is in front of you, what is more aligned with your ‘truth’.

 

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When you ‘let go’, ASK for help and Divine Guidance from your Highest Self.

Then trust that everything you surrender and release to will either be replaced by something BETTER or become HEALED.

These become powerful lessons in “faith” and “trust”; important for all of us on a spiritual path.

This month’s message comes at a perfect time when we need to consider everything that is not working in our life and make a conscious decision about what to do with it.  Holding onto (whether physically or metaphorically) the things that aren’t contributing to our quality of life, that feel like a burden or ‘difficult’, or that cause us stress and unhappiness – are the precise ‘things’ what we need to surrender to.

 

This doesn’t mean we have permission to give up on a relationship, or stop working on our goals; rather surrendering is about pausing, observing, and ASKING to be ‘shown’ the gift or blessing in what we are struggling with in order to learn something important.  What we learn always helps us! 

 

Be willing to surrender your fears; visualizing them being carried away –  and replaced with what you need instead.  (Consider what you need in any situation.  e.g. courage, confidence, patience, etc).

When you think of issues you want resolved you can ask your Highest Self to give you a “higher” or “healed” version of the issue.  

You can also ‘release’ the issue to your Highest Self and ask that it be taken care of for you.  Sit quietly, relax, and close your eyes.  Surround the issue or situation in light and release it.  For the next 5-10 minutes, see yourself receiving answers and ‘right’ guidance.  

 

Feel yourself being supported by the divine Wisdom of your Highest Self. 

Namaste everyone!

 

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January 2013: FIND the BLESSINGS in everything……

How do you embrace January?  What events and life circumstances have been presented that you need to examine; to experience; to go within and contemplate… and to feel BLESSED by?

 

What situations have you been ‘challenged’ by this month?  It’s not too late to reflect on the notion of BLESSINGS and the idea of looking for the hidden BLESSINGS in each life event.  Can you see the BLESSINGS of what is? of what will be?

 

If we can wait ever so patiently for what we contemplate, to provide meaning for us… for life’s answers to reveal themselves with perfect presence, giving us the tools and information that we truly need, then we will always see the perfection in everything.

How do you find the BLESSINGS in what you judge to be ‘sad’, ‘unjust’, or ‘deeply painful’?
This month in particular, we are reminded we have extra blessings around. Perhaps, you too have recently experienced some challenges, or maybe you are currently asking for extra help. Either way, trust that you are surrounded now with more Divine LOVE than ever.

 

This month’s message of BLESSINGS is to hopefully remind you that you are not alone. It is only our fear that makes us forget (and ignore) the presence of divine support that exists for us. Ask that your fears and (perceived) challenges be lifted away …and then …let them go.

Feel truly BLESSED and very loved; knowing that you are.

Namaste everyone!

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The Path….

The soul’s journey is one of a peaceful existence.   We listen to and allow the many ways in which the soul speaks quietly, purposefully to us and we are gently moved in the ways of spirit.

What does your heart say that honours your spirit best?

This is how you best guide your next actions – your next focus – the guidance that holds your truth is at once the perfect nature – your soul’s path AND the path you are already on.

 

In all of the daily requirements of life, make space in the abundance for inner work; for acknowledging the needs of the soul drive your ‘highest’ actions.  Consider that the way in which you realize the most perfect things in life are also the needs of the soul.

Honour the needs of your soul by asking, “What honours me best right now?”  Then listen and hear the words spoken from within your heart (not your mind).  This is the path you must follow.

Namaste everyone!

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