Kindness

Be Kinder to yourself 

And then let 

Your kindness 

Fill the World

                                    By Pema Chodron

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Namaste,

Shobhna

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Courage

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.

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Namaste,

Shobhna

Vulnerability

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

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

Dance of Aliveness

I did my meditation outdoors today. With cool grass under my feet and a gentle warm breeze under the morning sun, tuning into my own inner self was a gift.

Todays meditation was a guided meditation by Tara Brach, an invitation to relax and awaken the body with an openness  to receive life as it is.

https://www.tarabrach.com/meditation-opening-aliveness/

Cultivating mindful awareness and compassionately viewing our experience is a way to step out of auto pilot.  Although meditations can be done at any time of the day, a morning meditation can set the tone for the day.  Words and phrases from a guided meditation can serve as reminders to bring awareness to our thoughts and actions.   From todays meditation, the phrase “Dance of Aliveness”  resonated from me.  To be aware and at ease in this world.  To be rooted in the present moment and be flexible in each moment.

 

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Hummingbird visiting the Bergamot

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

 

Break Open The Sky

We are not trapped or locked up
in these bones.
No, no. We are free to change.
And, love changes us.
And if we can love one another,
we can break open the sky.
– Walter Mosley

Stephan Bauman, in Break Open The Sky  encourages readers to choose faith over fear in daily life. Bringing relationship with God to the forefront, as the vehicle, to transform a fearful life to one of liberation, love and risk.  He brings his personal experience of working with people from all over the world.
Difficulties and hardships due to health, finances, relationships can all be transformative when courage, indispensable faith, trust and love are put into action.  Examples from modern day challenges and stories from the Bible, together provide a perspective on how to live a life that embodies grace.
We cannot be in the past or in the future, while genuinely being in the present.  This book is a reminder to let go of fears and worries in exchange for unshakable faith.

“Peace is expensive. It requires risk taking. Its personal. It makes you vulnerable. And peace always involves action. Resistance is part of the calling.”  ~ Stephan Bauman
I received this book from blogging for books.  The book review is based on my genuine opinion.

Namaste,
Shobhna

Down to Our Core

The mind does not comprehend

Words cannot explain

Yet deep in our soul

Down to our core

We can feel

Sorrow and pain

Of innocent lives lost in

Meaningless ways.

Sending forth today for all of us and generations to come

Under sunny skies so blue

Prayers for a love so deep that all may know peace

Regardless of color of skin, religion or heritage

No matter gender, age, occupation or location

May each one feel a love so deep that

down to our core we are Peace.

 

Namaste,

Shobhna