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.

 

 

Share
Continue Reading

A Mother’s Day Inspirational Message

Helping a Mother Understand what it means to be Gay: Healing a Relationship of secrets, pain, and anger.

 

My client and her mother are not so different from other Mother and Daughters. As I sit before both of them I feel hopeful. A Daughter willing to enter into therapy to work on gaining closeness and understanding with her Mother and to overcome the hurt of offensive comments and past wounds that she has carried largely in silence. A Mother, not knowing what it means to live in shame and self-loathing, nor to be misunderstood by those who are supposed to love you the most, is open and willing to be part of a process that she has little knowledge of, and certainly no idea of where it will lead.

 

What makes my client’s story so interesting for me has nothing to do with her sexual orientation (she initially dated men and women before deciding she would prefer a gay relationship). Rather it is the level of commitment that each woman brings into the therapy session that highlights the value they place on one another – on being a family, on improving the way in which they communicate so that words are not spoken without consideration of the other, and perhaps the ultimate hope of healing the past so that there can be a new way to experience one another – a way that they both can trust in.

 

What I see (and I tell them so) is two women reestablishing their relationship as ‘equals’. The “role” of Mother as I explain, is very different than how it existed before. There are no diapers to be changed, nor lessons on how to cross the street at a crosswalk, or what to expect with a first period. The vast amount of ‘Mothering’ has been completed almost two decades earlier; the role of Mother today needs to be one of: supporter, validating her Daughter’s painful hurts from the past (like the times when she was physically hurt by her older brother and then threatened if she ever spoke of it). The “role” of Mother today is simply to listen, to validate her Daughter’s journey in discovering who she is; and to ask the necessary questions that will provide her with understanding and knowledge so that she never again prejudges or mistakenly condemns her Daughter’s choices.

 

Mother’s day means different things to each of us. Perhaps you too have experienced a “shifting of roles” in your relationship with your Mother, relying on her for different things (perhaps just to lend an ear as you talk about a current issue on the phone, or having your favorite dish waiting at Sunday brunch). Perhaps you now see her as your equal. Or, as in some cases when roles actually become reversed, you can accept that your Mother has technically completed her ‘duties’ as your ‘go to’ for everything. You may have become someone that she now comes to for guidance and help.

 

Most important is to appreciate your Mother for all that she has done, accepting that her new role in your relationship may be something quite different. Finding what that ‘different’ is will (if both of you are willing) help heal the wounds of the past and build new parameters for what your relationship is…and is becoming.

 

I always appreciate my sessions with my client and her Mother.  I can see their closeness deepening (like the time recently when Mother reached out and took her Daughter’s hand, holding it gently as she listened to the story of how her brother used to pick on her, and become physical when the Mother was not around).  I can hear the patience in my client’s voice when she listens to her Mother tell her some of the backdrop to the past; how being a single parent with two young children was only one of several challenges that she rose above.  I know that these women have already begun healing…their laughter and sharing of one another’s lives in our session highlights how they are learning much about one another – as who they are now.

 

Share
Continue Reading

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!

Share
Continue Reading

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!

Share
Continue Reading

Miracles…reflections for October 2012

In this brand new month of Autumn it is easy to see what is changing in our environment.  Noticing the new season with appreciation of what is perfect and beautiful is how you allow yourself to accept what IS with miraclous appreciation.  This same philosophy is how you might view all of the miracles of life that are constantly occurring all around you.

 

Appropriate especially to this ‘ever changing’ time of year, the idea of miracles reminds us to be clear about the miracles we most desire …and to look for them to show up in our life with belief and faith.  It also reminds us to go in search of what miracles of life we want to manifest with positive action.

When we are open to even the smallest miracle – we always receive so much more.

I remember as a child that sometimes my grandmother would lay next to me as I was falling asleep.  She would always lie close to me; so close that I could feel her breath on my face.  She would hold my hand firmly in her strong yet delicate hand.  I used to think that maybe it comforted her to do so.  I felt her expression of love vehemently and this gesture connected us to one another as we both fell asleep.

Visiting her in the 24-hr care facility where she has just celebrated her 89th birthday, and living in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, she took my hand – the first words she quickly spoke were, “I love you”.  As my sister and I sung traditional ethnic songs along with her and spoke in short conversation, she held my hand firmly – lovingly.  It was as if nothing at all had changed from all of those times as a child; except for the miracle of experiencing the power of her gesture.  The miracle in those moments was that she – in all of her frail, sometimes confused, and likely scared state of being – was comforting me.

I was reminded of all of the beautfiul ways that she had comforted me throughout life…and in that moment it was the greatest gift to feel comforted by her.  It reminded me of the miracle of love that transcends all obstacles, illness, and time – for all of us.

 

As you begin this new month and look ahead to all of the perfect ways you might experience the simple miracles of life…first be open.  Expect that miracles are present everywhere…and all that you need to do is allow them to touch your heart.

See EVERYTHING as a potential miracle…without judging it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’; and experience the perfect magic of miracles that exist everywhere.

Namaste everyone!

Share
Continue Reading

February 2011: ‘New LOVE’

Entering into our second month of this new year, February’s inspiration is an emphasis on love, romance, and intimate relationships.  

But consider the notion of NEW love.   

   

Some ideas worth contemplating…   

Photograph by: Tanja Askani

 

Open your heart to a new infusion of divine love – with a (new or existing) partner; a different activity, hobby, or personal interest; or a new behavior or way of being. 

What in your life can you bring new love to? 

Be open to changes in your current relationships, without clinging to ideas of how you think relationships should be. 

If you flow with the current of love, you will find that old parts of your love life wash away (as well as painful or difficult memories of past relationships).  Current relationships may end, or they may act as a transition into a new phase of passion and renewed love.  If you are currently single, a new partner may enter your life. 

New LOVE may also be an inspiration for contemplating what in your life can you begin to embrace differently, or to actually love?   

What elements of your existing (love or other) relationships might you appreciate in different or new ways? 

How can you practice opening your heart …or keeping it wide open…to  l o v e  all people? 

Love and blessings this month everyone, 

Dorothy 

Share
Continue Reading

just…let go

How would you assess your first week of a brand new year in your life?

Have you experienced everything exactly as you have imagined…or have there been challenges?

Any time you set an intention you can be sure that you will receive Universal Guidance, help, and the occasional challenge to test how well you are doing (and to give you a gentle reminder of that original intention).

In my previous blog, I encouraged you to consider the month of January as a time of ‘surrender and release’ to all that is not working in your life; and to all things that do not serve your highest good. 

 

Anytime you are faced with: conflict, hardship, awkward / tense moments, critical thoughts, a difficult situation, or any challenge that creates disharmony; consider surrendering to it and releasing – letting it go. 

Give up your typical way of responding to these events:  e.g. fighting to hold on to it, needing to fix or change it, making it your responsibility / obligation / or duty, and notice what freedom you make room for in your life. 

The idea of a practice of “letting go” means that you can free yourself.  Ideally you free yourself to come back to the right direction of your life, your purpose, and your path.  Letting go also means freeing yourself of all of the moments (and sometimes hours or even days) of analyzing, critiquing, replaying a story narrative in your mind, and the emotions of angst and unhappiness that go along with your ruminating inner thoughts. 

To truly surrender and release means that you can let go of what you have always done (and which likely isn’t working) and examine the situation from your own perspective.  This isn’t an opportunity to point a finger outward and blame others, rather let others be who they are without needing to personalize their behavior as something that was done to you.

Focus on how you will let go (‘surrender – release’):  feeling hurt, sadness, worry, anxiety, grief, anger, or any other emotion that comes from all of the conscious (and unconscious) inner dialogue that you have created in your mind.

Bring your attention back to how you can let go / release the situation, the events, or the person that wronged you – and return to your life, your focus, your goals and intentions for how you wish to be, all that will serve your highest self (the part of you that is most pure; and closest to god-like).

Surrender and release means you bring the focus back to you as a changing, evolving, loving being and how you might return to living your life the best way possible.

When you begin to walk around in your life….reminding yourself to surrender and release to things that otherwise caused you disappointment, upset, or inner turmoil, you actually create moments of “pause”… of positive reflection on who you are and where you’re headed before you move toward it…ever so gracefully.

‘…Surrender and Release’

Share
Continue Reading

if every day…

GENEROSITY Visit www.ElenaRay.com for more beautiful photography

What does the magic of Christmas feel like?  Think about it for a moment and re-experience those feelings within you.  Christmas inspires your heart in ways you don’t always experience.  We associate Christmas with ideals of love, kindness, giving, joy, hope, and special moments that come from our ideas and ideals of what it means to share, love, and be joyful. 

It isn’t the 25th of December that conjures these inner feelings in your heart but the idea of what you associate Christmas to mean. e.g. LOVE, WARMTH, t e n d e r n e s s, kindness, appreciation, L A U G H T E R, goodness, pleasant thoughts, magical momentsCHEER, good will toward others. 

So I ask of you this:

“What if every day…”

…you woke up, feeling excited about the promise of what today would bring

…you looked forward to seeing family and spending time having fun, laughing, sharing, allowing the day to simply be

what was important was the idea of giving kindness to others

…you wanted to make the most of every moment

…you gave others gifts…sometimes store bought, mostly gifts from your heart

you made an extra effort to be on good behavior

…you loved…simply because you could

What if every day were like today…like you decided it needed to be?

Merry Christmas Everyone!

…and special blessings for every day of you life.

Dorothy
Share
Continue Reading

A Gift of Helping…

If you remember back to a recent post this month… I talk about the idea of 

B A L A N C E. 

Here is an element of how to create true balance in your life…now and always:

Do you wonder if it is when you reach out toward others that you somehow feel supported, cherished, loved?  Is it because of the inspiration that comes from helping others, or is it of knowing that you can help?

Much of the time we do not realize the value of being able to help.  The need to connect with others to share of ourselves with them in part teaches us the nature of freedom in our own life and in our ability to become true servants of god.

When you make the decision to be of help you are saying that you realize the potential of your nature – you realize the freedom of your life to take on new opportunities and challenges… to seek out beauty for your life. 

When you realize the incredible power in helping others: heal, learn, know…it is like you are saying that you know – that you have the ability to do something well, to share, to help…and it is in sharing this knowledge outwards that you realize the true nature of what is possible.

This is the true meaning of love – to create joy for others through helping, sharing, being kind and gracious.  This is how we will all learn and grow. 

Blessings for this time of year and always,

Dorothy 

Share
Continue Reading

You Already Are…

Hualapai Indian Territory, 3500 ft at base of Grand Canyon

I think about the fact that we are both perfect and at the same time, evolving…a work in progress.  This notion is prevalent in Yoga practice: in the idea of Sankalpa which encourages us to be, enjoying our perfection and our beautiful nature as unique beings – while at the same time, considering what our true life’s purpose is and creating that in our lives. 

While it is important that you continue to evolve, grow, and nourish your self – seeking out ways to become more, better, kinder; consider that you essence – your true spirit – is perfect and has always been exactly what you need; exactly what you want to become. 

You both are and are evolving at the same time. 

You are the hockey coach, the concert pianist, the philanthropist, the author, the photographer, the poet.  You are whatever you truly desire to be – while at the same time you are the evolution of this self.

Just as this magnificent tree exists, growing among the rock (where the Colorado River established its course through the Grand Canyon at least 17 million years ago), you exist –  already magnificent, perfect – perfection – while at the same time, growing and evolving as well. 

 
Live by the knowledge that you already have within you all that you will ever need.  The other part of your human experience is to bring out – to evolve – your self in order that you may live your life’s purpose…that you may live in your full magnificence.

 
If you wish to do some further reading on the idea of life’s purpose and to discover what the purpose is of your life, I can suggest a book that I’ve heard some good things about….
 
Namaste!

 

Share
Continue Reading

It’s November! ….. Now Consider Looking Backwards for just a Moment

Alas…here we are…in the eleventh month of this year!  Do we look forward or reflect back on how we’ve done so far?

I’m going to suggest backward first….take a moment and consider what inner growth you have made this year?  Are you able to see the results of some hard work….showing kindness, patience, practicing altruism? (You may want to have a look at a brand new incentive that I am committed to teaching and sharing with the world: www.theuniversalaltruismproject.com)

Maybe you’ve been focused on some other things: getting your finances in order, healing from the ending of a relationship, looking for love, overcoming injury, building or growing your business, returning to academic study or contemplating doing so…..the choices are endless and they are all important.  

But what about the inner you?  What about the part of you that needs nourishment, compassion, kindness, motivation, help, encouragement, advice, and/or love? (We all need love!)

Before the end of the year is completely upon us, take this month for delving into the inner you…being kind and nurturing to yourself…and see how much more peaceful, thoughtful, and happy you naturally feel.

And just to get you started…..here are a few ideas:

– leave work early (or on time! without putting in overtime)

– allowing yourself a nap if you feel tired

– going to bed early….how good do you feel the next day?

– letting your feet crunch on some leaves – on purpose!

– taking a walk in nature

– the sweet aroma of a finely brewed cup of coffee and nothing to do but enjoy it

– breakfast out

– trying a new restaurant

– a hot shower!

– another nap! (remember… our bodies’ natural circadian rhythm requires a little more sleep this time of year)

– spontaneous hugs from a friend

– you get the idea……

Consider what you’ve been doing to self-nurture, self-heal……..and get on it!

Share
Continue Reading

The UNIVERSAL ALTRUISM Project

A LOVING INITIATIVE FOR THE PLANET…

Altruism is defined as a caring and self “less” concern for, or devotion to the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Sikhism, among many others.

To be altruistic means to help others by ‘doing good’ without rewardPure altruism is giving without regard to reward, or the benefits of recognition and need.

The purpose and mission of the Universal Altruism Project is to remind us of our innate potential to demonstrate intentional kindness, compassion, joy, empathy, sharing, love, truth and respect.  These eight foundational elements offer significant guidelines for how we might better live our lives, and in doing so, teach our children how to live their lives with this same knowledge and meaning.  The Universal Altruism Project has its purpose in demonstrating and teaching the planet how we can live intentional, compassionate lives, in unity.

The idea of the UNIVERSAL ALTRUISM Project is for you and everyone else on the planet to become far more consciously aware of the impact of your actions and words, and of the intentions of your actions on all others.  It is an expression of the possibility that we all can create a better world, a higher level of individual meaning and purpose, and a way of life that follows far more closely to what was likely intended.

Visit the website and learn how you can begin to cultivate altruism in your life…. Become mindful of and begin practicing the eight fundamental principles that make it easy to act with altruism.

www.theuniversalaltruismproject.com

Share
Continue Reading

The Veil of Truth

We all see what we want to see. 

The ‘veil of truth’ is what we would like to think is true.  For all of the times we have told ourselves something in the hopes of it satisfying a particular need, validating a wrongful behaviour, or deciding that we are justified in feeling a certain way and acting accordingly – there is always the mechanism of real truth ­– right there beneath the surface.

Real truth is like a homing device.  No matter what information we ‘tell it’ – our internal mechanism of knowing what ‘is’ always “spits” out the real truth.  Deep down we know that we were less than truthful when answering a question, somehow justifying our ‘omission of information’ because we thought the truth would be received with a ‘worse’ reaction.  And yet how possibly can we keep the truth from revealing itself at some point – causing just as much if not more damage?

Nowhere is it right to be anything less than honest and truthful when it comes to what you reveal to others.  But how do we get so far removed from being truthful?

One of the main ways in which we begin to operate under a veil – a shroud of truth – is by deciding how we think others will respond and then augmenting our behaviour accordingly.  It isn’t enough to understand how much better it is to honor and respect someone else choices – know that you can’t possibly decide for them whether or not they can handle the truth. 

Instead….be willing to offer up truth with a full explanation of what you are thinking and your rationale for your decision and let others come to their own conclusions.  It is their freedom of choice to do so.

In the end you may have to compromise somewhat, but it becomes a compromise that lets you both rejoice in victory rather than imposing your choices and beliefs on another.

Truth they say – is in the eyes of the beholder. 

Real truth isn’t what you perceive to be true – rather it originates in the heart.  Living fully from a place of being honest and authentic means that your truth is simply what is – not what you think it should be.

Share
Continue Reading

Chakra Energy

Chakra Energy……a brief excerpt from my forthcoming book: UNIVERSAL WISDOM…..I invite you to check back here for more shared excerpts in the weeks and months to follow as UNIVERSAL WISDOM becomes complete and ready to be shared with the world!    Namaste! 

                                              – Dorothy

Chakra Energy

The reason for acknowledging and using our chakra system as a means of expressing truth is simply so that we may become one – aligned with god – with source energy.  For it is when we can become quiet and connect with source energy that our thoughts are of incredible things, of gracious acts of kindness, of love and understanding – of truth and wisdom.  God – universal source energy – the divine – is good.  There are only positive ideals and thoughts of brilliance to be found in aligning one’s self with god.  The chakra system allows us a way to relate and to express our oneness with god in a way that we have never seen or experienced before.  We now have the means and the way of connecting our energy back to where it came.  The more we can be aware of our ever-present connection to god, the more open, pure, and complete we become.  The easier it is to define our life as one of greatest because we are living truthfully, integrally as a divine being of our own right – with an ever present connection to the greatest source of wisdom possible.

Share
Continue Reading

Practicing Non-Judgment

Begin to pay more attention to those moments when you feel a sense of unfairness in your world.  Does this happen occasionally – or all of the time?  Now take an honest look at your own practices around fairness, kindness, honesty, and compassion.  What needs to change in the way that you are currently operating in your life?

While we can’t go back in time and change past behaviors, we can choose to live a more honest and authentic existence from this moment forward.  We can practice conscious awareness of our thoughts and intentions.  And we can attempt to always show kindness and non-judgment in the way in which we live our lives. 

Because we can’t possibly walk in others’ shoes, we rarely have all of the information necessary to make an appropriate judgment.  When we judge others negatively, we deem them incorrect, different, or wrong.  We rarely judge others in a positive light.  Judgment predicates negative treatment.  We decide that others are in some way less than ourselves and this perpetuates a further interchange of inappropriate actions and behaviors. 

A necessary life skill is the ability to see others at face value.  In order to accept others for who they are, we need to understand that there is always much more to their lives than we can ever begin to see.  To practice understanding and acceptance means acknowledging that differences are neither right or wrong.  With our intention to learn about others’ differences, we begin to understand – and hopefully to embrace their difference from us as simply that – a difference.  When we can learn about their opinions, beliefs, insecurities, and fears we create an opportunity for greater understanding.  With understanding it is much easier to practice acceptance and non-judgment.  With understanding comes compassion.

We learn best about others’ differences by remaining open and by asking questions.  In generating honest dialogue from a place of genuine curiosity, we learn.  When we learn, we are better informed.  Our new knowledge allows us to see others (and perhaps the world in general) with a different perspective.  A different perspective is neither better or worse – just different.  Out of knowledge comes greater understanding and the possibility for acceptance.  With acceptance of others’ differences we can be fair and compassionate.  

What would our world look like with fairness and compassion….with acceptance of our self and others?

Share
Continue Reading