Diwali, also known as festival of lights is a 5 day celebration. It marks the arrival of God Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu) after 14 years of exile. During his exile he defeats Ravanna and signifies good winning over evil; Wisdom winning over ignorance. In Sanskrit, Diwali also means row of lit lamps. Although the festival is marked by different celebrations based on regional and religious beliefs wishes for joy, prosperity, light, love and success are the same.
On Diwali and in the year ahead I wish you all wholesome happiness, love, compassion, hope, unshakable faith, and an inner nurturer who helps you shine in joy and spread your wisdom.
This is a Book Review of Braving It : A Father, A Daughter, And An Unforgettable Journey Into The Alaskan Wild
In this book the author and dad, James Campbell, brings trust, faith, fear, fearlessness and love in an adventure with his daughter. In this space, his daughter, Aidan boldly steps into being vulnerable in the face of difficulty and unknown circumstances. Aidan, relies on her abilities, confidence and intuition as she makes difficult decisions through their adventure in Alaskan wilderness. Not everyone can embark on such a journey through Alaska, however cultivating empowering relationships is within everyones reach. In this profoundly written book, James Campbell shows a glimpse of what its like to cultivate a wise relationship, with ourselves, each other and nature while being in an unknown place and on uneven ground.
I selected this book from http://www.bloggingforbooks.com
Hatred and fear blind us,
We no longer see each other,
We only see the faces of monsters and
that gives us the courage
to destroy each other
by Thich Nhat Hahn.
I read this recently and it explains so much of what is happening within relationships around the world. I have been concerned about the amount of hatred that is present in speeches given by leaders and the actions being taken against groups of people globally. Courage rooted in hatred and fear will eventually dissolve, but after having harmed people and the earth. We have seen this happen over and over again in our history. In destroying others we invariably destroy ourselves too.
Removing fear and hatred within our own minds takes courage. Because we are left feeling vulnerable without the protection of the monsters face to scare others with. As that monstrous face peels of, the authentic, genuine and compassionate face is revealed to ourselves and the world. In the process we alleviate our own suffering and of those around us.
Cultivating peace, promoting well being and harmony in good times is easier to do. When there is anger, fear, hatred, greed and intolerance around us, it takes clarity, discernment, and sheer focus on actions enveloped in love. Courage that leaves us feeling vulnerable and wanting to protect ourselves and others from harm is rooted in love.
There are so many people all over the world who are looking for food, shelter, safety, and belonging. We can choose to turn away from their suffering or alleviate their suffering. We can choose to destroy them because of our own fears or choose to protect them from harm.
For a few months, I left this quote on our kitchen wall as a constant reminder:
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage ~ Lao Tzu
I believe in order to live an authentic life, we have to be vulnerable and in order to be vulnerable, we have to have courage. To be courageous, we also need to feel safe, which is intricately connected to love and trust.
Brené Brown has spent years doing research on vulnerability, shame, worthiness, connection and belonging. In this You tube clip she talks about moving past the critics, including the inner critic that don’t truly serve us.
Brené quotes Theodore Roosevelt in this talk as being pivotal in shifting her own perspective about critics. The quote is poignant and sheds light on what resilience looks like and the courage it takes to keep trying.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
I came across this Labyrinth recently and practiced walking meditation. Although walking meditations can be done anywhere, a labyrinth reflects wholeness, balance and coming back to oneself. Labyrinths invite a person to practice taking steps with gentle awareness.
Walking Meditation by Thich Nhat Hahn
Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.
Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.
Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.
Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.