Category Archives: Authentic Expression
I love the quotation from Milarepa. “Act so that you have no cause to be ashamed of yourself, and hold fast to this rule” is such a good foundation for life.
I believe that when we follow the promptings of our hearts, we never do anything to be ashamed of. And yet shame and guilt play such a big part in so many people’s lives, always with a negative impact. Why is this?
None of us feel ashamed of ourselves when we’re young. We’re born comfortable with who we are, happy to run around naked in the rain or on a beach with never a care in the world. We don’t judge ourselves with the language of shame. We do what comes naturally and say what’s on our mind without any of the constraints we obey later in life. We’re honest, bright creatures, born with integrity.
So where does shame come in? It must be that we are taught it. We learn the word “ugly” and along the way we start to feel less confident about our bodies. We start to judge ourselves by other people’s standards of achievement. We become self-critical, instead of loving us for who we are.
That’s why I think the phrase “original sin” is such a terrible one. It suggests that our origins themselves are to be ashamed of, which is the opposite of the truth.
Mostly this affects us how we look at ourselves physically. How many of us are truly happy with our bodies when we become adults? How many of us are truly comfortable with our sexuality? If we were truly happy with our bodies, would we ever consider botox, face-lifts or implants?
It seems to me the media teaches us to judge our bodies negatively, instead of enjoying their beauty. Worse still, we’ve been taught that sexual desires are something to feel bad about. Just look at the language. Having a “dirty weekend away” really means taking a break from our busy schedules to spend time loving our partners. How different it would be if we were to take a “healthy weekend away” instead!
It’s no coincidence that the notion of “dirtiness” is also linked to money: hence we talk of the “stinking rich” or “filthy rich” rather than the shiningly-clean rich! Men particularly are taught to feel guilty if they are not earning sufficient quantities to meet social perceptions of wealth. The shame surrounding this can be so acute that people will take their own lives rather than continue to live in “failure”.
So how do we rid ourselves of these learned attitudes of shame?
For Milarepa the solution was to live alone in a cave high in the mountains. Here he ate whatever grew nearby and practised metaphysics to such a high level that he is said to have put his hand into the rocky cave wall in order to prove his mastery of the world to a doubting disciple. I have not been there, but am told that you can visit this cave and place your hand into the indentation where Milarepa did this.
Yet, most of us can’t simply up-sticks and head off into the hills. We have obligations. And besides, the life of a hermit is not for everyone.
I do believe that we can all rid ourselves of shame, though. We just have to appeal to our inner beauty, to remember the Divine Self that resides within us all. That Divine Self, shining and confident and free, is who we truly are. We knew it when we were young. We just have to remind ourselves of its presence within us – and within everyone else.
The simplest way to do this is to look at ourselves in the mirror, holding our own gaze until the physical melts away and we connect with the spirit inside.
On top of that, if we start each day by saying: “I am a Divine Idea in body, mind and spirit” this helps to shift the balance. And when we add the simple phrase: “I love myself for who I am” we direct ourselves back onto our Divine Path.
On that path we meet neither guilt nor shame.
The trick is to do this every day, again and again, until the learned behaviours are truly washed away.
My best wishes, as ever, Richard.
This flower coming out of the brick wall that graces the entrance to my house here in Austin, Texas struck me for many reasons. I hadn’t noticed it at all for the entire time that it was emerging. Then all of a sudden it seemed to just be there! What a smile it brought to my face when I spied it the other day!
What is astounding to me is that this lonely flower is growing out of a crack in the brick wall and actually seems to be quite happy with it’s unique growing spot. A friend of mine wondered how the heck it was getting enough nourishment to even grow.
To me it is a combination of desire, right environment, and a passion if you will to emerge from the dark and grow towards the light. There is also an innate and complex coding that has flowers….. and people….follow the path that has been laid down for them even amidst what seems like difficult circumstances. This is what we like to call the Divine Design.
Somehow the seed of this flower had just what it needed in the depths of the brick wall to bring it forth out into the open and expose its particular expression. Was there doubt, hesitation or fear on this flowers part to emerge? We cannot know the many possibilities that presented as this seed was implanted in the wall by wind, bird or other means. Perhaps there were many possible outcomes as the seed sought what it needed in order to grown and thrive.
This display of natures innate call to create touched me deeply as I beheld this single flower finding its way towards unique expression. It reminded me that even in the challenging moments of our lives that there are many possibilities to grow and thrive….even in the depths of a crack we have fallen into.
Thank you natural world for being such an exquisite teacher reminding me of the stuff from which I am made. There is always an opportunity to come into the light…. Is there a “crack” in your life that needs to be explored just a little more??
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath Preview and Reviews can be found here:
As 2012 begins I am struck by the generosity of the natural world and the reflection that it mirrors back at us of our own true and essential nature. The water flower above radiates an energy that is so perceptible it feels that even if you could not see the flower you could feel it! The water droplets only add to the magnificence and the depth. I believe that we are meant to be that generous with our being….. G.A.
IT FELT LOVE
How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to the world
All its Beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its Being
We all remain
We Invite You Into Our Website: www.ResonanceWithLife.com
ANNOUNCEMENT!! We invite you to go to the Natural Wealth website to see a Sneak Preview of Gaye’s upcoming book: Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath expected out in e-book and soft cover by 12/1/11!! Go to the page Be Breathed – Our Daily Breath.
Would love your feedback as the book is not quite finished yet…and your comments would be most welcome! Also check out the video that took Gaye so many takes….and laugh along. It is such fun to be human!
Thank you for taking the time to take a peak at the Sneak!
Gaye Abbott Give Us This Day Our Daily Breath
What a beautiful metaphor for the transition I am now making! Thank you. I feel in good company as many of us on the planet, and the earth itself, are in great shifts right now – yes, a rebirth.
You speak of trusting this new support system coming in as I transition into the fullness of having streams of income be completely from my own creative efforts. This transition I am finding is a powerful one, and also one in which there are choices to be made while navigating the new territory.
Last week I had a dream that I was out in the ocean by myself happily swimming around when I was caught in a rip current. At first I was afraid of drowning and struggled a bit to free myself from its grip. Then I remembered that you are supposed to simply let go and allow the current to take you where it is going. Once I surrendered there was no more struggle and I was carried quite rapidly to the point where the rip current ended and was once again back into calm waters where I could then swim back to shore.
This dream was clearly a gift from the unconscious to support me during a time last week when I was attempting to do a task that would have taken a very steep learning curve to perform well. In the time constraint that I was under my frustration level grew with the stress of knowing what I wanted, but realizing that there was no way I was going to pull it off if I didn’t ask for help.
I could choose to struggle or I could ask for help and not struggle. But was that really the issue here? What was more at stake was an attachment to being the one that could pull this off and save some money. The attachment was causing the struggle in the first place. Was I going to sink, swim, or merely let go and see what would arise as a resolution to the challenge I was facing. I do believe that the solution or resolution to any problem is there before the problem…and so it was in this case.
I was attempting to format a website (in fact the Natural Wealth website) and didn’t have the expertise to do so in a timely way. But, I did have a resource that was right at my fingertips. This person had already done some beautiful formatting work for us. As I released the attachment to being the one to pull it off, it became very clear what course of action should be taken.
As the choice was made to have this task done by a professional I became free of the attachment and was in fact able to swim in waters where I could be effective without the struggle. Breathing eased and opened. My frustration level went to zero.
My efforts were then much more effective because I was enjoying a challenge that inspired me (swimming freely in the ocean) instead of frustrating me (the rip current). Someone else was handling what felt to me like a rip current, but to her was an enjoyable challenge.
I can truthfully say that this new support system is powerfully nourishing……. if only I remember to let go of the attachment of how I “should be” within it. No struggle necessary. Be breathed and follow the heart indeed! On that note I end with this quote:
Carry a jar of bubbles in your car.
Add a little fantasy
to the next traffic jam. – Jennifer Louden
P.S. Our Natural Wealth website has just been launched! Go to: IgniteWealthNow and have fun exploring. We invite comments, “Likes” on Facebook, and suggestions for inspiring and enriching videos!
Dear Richard – A year ago last July I wrote a prologue and one chapter for a book that I wanted to write on the breath. It then sat for an entire year patiently waiting for me to renew the contract with my commitment to bring it to life.
The commitment that was so alive a year ago was buried underneath doubt. Doubt that I had what it takes to complete the book and bring it to publication. And going more deeply, doubt that I had something of value to share with others.
Instead I had put attention on a job that was not nourishing me, and a lifestyle based in scarcity and lack. As many of you know who read this blog regularly, that has changed significantly over the last few months as the leap (read “action”) was taken to a new home environment, and a blossoming of the creative and autonomous life that I was innately craving inside manifested on the outside as well.
Richard you spoke of “taking action”, and trusting instead of having hope when those illusional walls seem to be right smack in front of you. After taking such a strong action on behalf of my dreams and thriving just 2 months ago I was under the illusion that it would be easy from then on to see beyond the doubts and fears that arise from time to time. But somehow the wall still got erected in my mind.
Now I realize that those doubts and fears can sometimes be there as a necessary stimulus to come face-to-face with. Then the opportunity is there to breathe the feelings that arise through the body, thus creating space for something else to take their place.
Take this book that I had put off for so long. Instead of continuing to dwell in scarcity of monetary streams in my life, which had most certainly erected that wall brick by brick – I chose instead last week to put aside 3 days to unplug from all outside contact and electronic media.
During that time I developed an outline for the completion of the book and all the steps necessary to bring it to publication; listed people that would support me in the process, edit, and write great reviews to put on the inside and outside covers; wrote 12,000 words; and completed over 50% of the first draft of the book.
This was a decision born out of trusting in who I am and the quality and value of what I have to bring out into the world. I was positive that clarity and a sense of creative accomplishment would take the place of doubt and fear. As it turns out, I received much more than that!
During immersion in the process of writing I found that there was a creative muse inside and a host of guidance from other places streaming words right through my fingers onto the screen before me. During food and time out in nature breaks the fact that this was actually happening had me in awe of the simple act of trusting in dreams and taking heart based action towards them.
The outcome of this simple move from resistance (based in fear and doubt I suspect) to creative action resulted in opening into a wide open expanse to play in (no walls here), delight in playing with words, moments of complete surprise, wonder and gratitude about what was moving through me, lots of laughter (guaranteed better than insect repellent for doubt and fear bugs!)…….and an ability to experience what happens when you simply “unplug” from distractions and plug into what you Richard would call the Divine Design of your life. . (see most recent post on BreathingSpaces – STOP! Unplug – Focus One Point and Breathe)
How do I feel now on the other side of this 3-days? Excited that I no longer need to put on climbing gear to scale the walls! In fact I am presently dancing with my arms open wide. To be continued as this book takes shape….
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:
“There are times when wind is howling
and the ocean is roaring so loud
you can’t hear your own cries of delight.
When layer upon layer of beauty press on you with such force
that you barely have the courage to press the shutter. – Dewitt Jones
This may seem like a strange response to your last post Richard, but Dewitt, who is a world-renowned photographer, has touched me with the beauty and depth of his photography and words so many, many times. This just so happened to be the e-mail photo and words of the day. I received it after the event I speak of below.
As I was driving home, just moments ago, from a great weight training and swim workout with music loud enough to make my body want to move some more, a very large hawk flew directly across my windshield in perfect timing for me to feel the free flight energy (versus the free fall!) and for her to give me the indisputable message – fly free as you become “gainfully unemployed”!
As Dewitt’s quote above reflects I was in absolute awe of this creature of nature and her message to me. I did cry out in delight, and it was challenging to hold all of the energy that flowed in within that particular moment in time.
Nature often brings us messages. In fact I would say it constantly brings us messages if we will open our eyes, ears, and heart to receive them. I was blessed to have received such a powerful message today as I start my very last week in a conventional job. (last day on 7/1!)
As nature brings us daily messages so does our body. Your 7 simple suggestions for health are a great reminder! You are correct in that I do all of them, but occasionally forget when I most need to remember! Just the simple return to increased water intake resolved much of my “crash and burn” syndrome at the end of the 10-hour work day.
That is not to say that this work environment is good for me over all, but at least I am able to finish out the last few days with simple gratitude for the energy I do possess. This is the life energy that will now go into creative livelihood, and I suspect it will skyrocket!
When we are doing what we love, and what “turns us on” I have learned that our bodies respond with increased energy and vital health. However, there are times when there is an imbalance present and we fall prey to some malady – hopefully minor like a headache or cold. Are there messages here as well?
So here I am drinking more water, and my attention is on “free flight” with the ability to touch down or change direction at any time I so desire. The “free fall” was perhaps more about letting go of control and served its purpose. Now at this point in the journey it feels good to see the texture, patterns, and lay of the land so to speak from a bird’s eye view, and have curiosity and my heart lead the way for the next stages of this journey.
Thank you for your presence in my life!