I value the honest sharing in response to my weekly blog posts. Thank you. I admire your transparency and candor. Through it, I feel we all grow, myself included. I would like to answer a question I received in response to my last blog entry Finding Balance In Relationships: “When do we stay in relationships for our own personal growth and when do we end relationships because the other person’s neediness and controlling behaviour has made it toxic for us?”
When Do We End Relationships?
I understand and believe that all that happens in our lives is for our growth. The universe lovingly supports us, be it through situations we find painful or pleasant. Usually we experience pain because we are in resistance in some way. When we are not in resistance, there just is, witnessing, unfolding, I am. In that state of co-creation we are connected and interconnected to all that is.
A relationship that challenges us is an opportunity to go deeper into self-awareness and ask ourselves what we are being asked to learn. In that state of receptivity, we begin to sense what we are learning. When a relationship feels constrictive, it is good to remove ourselves for however long we need, be it for a moment through skilled witnessing, as I described last week, or be it for weeks, months or years to gain some quiet objectivity. In silence, we go within and explore what triggers our constrictive reaction. Then, if it feels expansive to do so, we go back to explore the relationship with that new-found wisdom. Through the practice of witnessing, we can experience release and spaciousness where there once was reactivity. We learn to be present, to be with what is, rather than trying to change this moment to suit our needs.
We can find in most relationships an inner, expansive presence in which to evolve. However, when a relationship begins to feel predominantly constrictive despite one’s effort to practice witnessing, it is time to move on. When we do so, it is good to leave in gratitude for the teachings we have learned, rather than in anger, judgment, resentment, guilt or blame. Inwardly or outwardly we can thank that person, as he or she has been our teacher. As we move on, if there is any doubt that we have not learned all we could, do not worry. The laws of the universe will ensure that we do, either with this same person somewhere in our future or with another, in which very similar patterns exist. In this place of gratitude, we maximize our ability to receive the gifts of each moment along our path.
We Are All Students
I too am learning to practice balance in relationships. Relationships touch root issues and provide perfect fertile soil for growth. Inspired by the candor in the responses to my weekly posts, in this entry, I share a humbling process that keeps the teachings alive and real for me. Please know that each time I post, whether I say so or not, I too am working my own process. I trip. I stumble. I soar. I cry. I laugh. I doubt. I transcend. I believe. I live. I am. We all share this humbling, rich and powerful journey.
Virtually minutes after I posted my last blog “Finding Balance In Relationships”, I was brought face to face with opportunities to put into practice what I had just shared. I call that “instant karma”. Like a universal, predestined “put your money where your mouth is” law that guarantees we walk the talk, “instant karma” ensures that our actions align with our thoughts and speech. It may come as a gentle feathery tap on the shoulder, or a bold, even life-threatening strike. Instant karma is a wake-up call to help us be righteously aligned with our highest potential. We may miss it, attached to our ways and absorbed in the speed of life. We may see it as we slow down and receive its grace. Maybe willingly we have learned to slow down and expand, or maybe we have been cornered by some unbending circumstances that seem to have conspired for us to learn the lesson without fail. However we come to see it, what I call “instant karma” provides an amazing opportunity to evolve…quickly.
Walk The Talk
I am often shown ways to ensure I am living what I speak, teach and sing about. As a performer and healer in service to awakening I Am consciousness in all beings and in all I do, I feel a deep calling for integrity. As such, I welcome instant karma. In my current show and album “Yoga In the Nightclub”, I step into the role of an Avalonian Goddess Natamba whose wisdom-compassion transforms the desolate Earth into a blissful I Am landscape. More than entertainment, the show is full of active invocations such as in my song “I Am”, as well as unseen invocations of energies that converge to create a transformative group experience. If I am to be a channel for multidimensional transformative energy, I feel I must be true to my word, which must align with my actions with complete integrity and transparency. If I am to be of service to awakening I Am in others, I need to be fully aligned with that within myself.
I see instant karma at work whenever I put myself out there in an expanded way, be it in media interviews, live performances, or teaching and healing individuals and groups through YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, or just talking to friends. Whenever I am seen by others in expansion, the universe reflects the energy of such back to me to ensures that the expansion is fully integrated in my own body being. The universe compassionately provides an opportunity for me to internalize and embody the expansion that I just shared. If I experience something in an expanded state that I have not yet fully integrated, I will get an instant karma opportunity to integrate the wisdom personally.
The Perpetual Student
So…last week, moments after I posted a list of relationship principles that I choose to live by, I was given a chance to look at my relationship principles. In particular, I had to look at how I express my needs through healthy boundaries and follow through to act upon them. As we all know, it is one thing to think or write about something and another thing to do it. When we align our word, thought and action, we give ourselves a chance to experience the infinite power of multidimensional co-creation. Touching down of sorts by bringing the breadth of thought and inspiration into active form, we bring together the power of expanded, infinite spirit into the finite, temporal body and material form. With sincerity and humility, evolution towards I am happens as we align our thoughts, words and deeds with our soul’s expanded voice, which is an expression of the universal.
To ensure I was integrated with my sharing, I had another chance, just moments after my last posting, to put to action what I had just written. This time it was about the gift of people pushing my buttons. One such person in my life who has an uncanny ability to push mine did so right away. Instant karma. I was given an opportunity to voice and act upon what supports me from a place of balanced witnessing. Yet, this time, my witnessing wore thin. I lost my patience and I jumped into the lake along with the button pusher. “Ok”, the universe says, “Nice words! Have you fully embodied these teachings?” and I, the perpetual student, reply, “I am open, ready and willing to be completely restructured around the positive possibilities of being me. I lay my ego down and surrender to die the temporal death and be reborn into I Am.” Faced with the knee-jerk desire to react in anger, I remembered the story of the master who took the annoying chai boy on his meditation retreat to the mountain caves, the master telling his students that this boy was his teacher. So thanks to instant karma, I am humbly reminded that my button pushers are my teachers and I a perpetual student. How the universe conspires to inspire!
Deeper Still Into Dreams
Clearly, these immediate teachings right after my posting were not enough. That night I had a significant dream. In it, I saw that within the basement of my psyche I have more clearing to do, which involves changing the way I am in the world and the way I treat myself. In the dream I saw unseen layers of my blind spot and was given tools to grow stronger through releasing them.
My Recent Instant Karma Lessons
Thanks to the instant karma teachings after my last blog post, I have been able to think, speak and act with new strength in situations I have found previously challenging. I saw new layers of how my mind still goes towards wanting others to make me happy, relying on their behaviours to be the source of the way I feel.
In my daily meditation practice, I cultivate a place within that is steady no matter what the outside may be. This place can only come when I have released attachments to the external projections of my mind, be it wanting, seeking or pulling on the outside to try to fill me, or pushing things away to keep me feeling ok.
Last week I posted “The Chinese Taoist master Lao Tzu from the sixth century B.C. reminds us: “If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be truly fulfilled.” In that I got to see myself. Then I came across a similar quote “by chance” from my guru Amma: “Peace and contentment depend entirely on the mind not on the outside.” Relying on others to make me happy would be like relying on the wind to keep me steady. Then I asked, what is steady? Even aligning ourselves to the rhythms of the Earth is a non-constant, as it too fluxes with radiant sunny days and devastating Tsunamis. Is it then not only the quiet, immense and perfect expanse of this moment, pure consciousness arising, upon which I can rest? And do I rest, or do I dissolve there? It seems in the dissolving, in that death, there is true life and an eternal constant. I know that I wish to make others happy, because it brings me great joy to see others smile. I expand when others do. We all win. Yet sometimes, there is selfishness there. In what seems like giving, the sneaky ego can in fact be trying to get… get approval, get attention, get temporary connection, get a wanting fix to keep the voice of loneliness at bay, even for just a moment, until it rises again. When I meet those with an insatiable appetite to take, I am reminded that I too am in the picture, my voice, my space, that inner flow which is no less or greater than the another. My “I AM” voice within tells me when it is enough, when I feel I have given enough.
When we take that leap to try something new and not chase the person who is leaving us because we want their approval, or wish for their love, but rather pause and wait, breathe and be, there is a vast space that opens beyond the pain of constriction, of holding onto old patterns, beyond the fear of being alone, left helpless in this big world. In that space, we find a new life, a freedom from limiting beliefs, a renewed vitality, and a field of possibility. We also find that we are alone.
For the faint of heart and for those new to the path, the aloneness can teeter into feelings of abandon and loneliness based on wanting and a fundamental disbelief in our own innate beauty and ability, capability to be here, to be now, to be interconnected in this moment. For those who at that juncture wobble into incapability and constricted emotions, a new opportunity will return to once again give them the chance to release the holding of old patterns.
For those who welcome the aloneness, we find tremendous strength and renewal. In that aloneness, everything is. There is the space to be who one is without interference. There is the place of possibility to connect with another without losing oneself. In the aloneness we are not in any way severed from anything but majestically and richly interconnected to all. In that aloneness we are more “with” than without. In that place of aloneness, we can touch our own place of enough. Aloneness does not need to exist in physical solitude, though it may. Aloneness exists in the contented completeness within the infinite Self that is everything, everywhere.
Instant karma highlighted these things for me this week. For this, I feel grateful.
It is healthy to be in a place of renewed beginner mind, ideally, constantly. This really helps us receive the teachings of instant karma, especially after the ego can creep in when we have put ourselves out there in an expanded way. The universe immediately comes swooping in to give us a chance to grow beyond ego. In this way we learn best when we are humbly open and receptive to this moment and all it brings. Even that which we feel we already know becomes new and fresh. There are always deeper teachings and richness that may be revealed to us.
Take The Instant Karma Challenge
So in the coming week, I invite all who read this post to take the instant karma challenge. Notice when you say something wise or do something new or think something inspiring. See what immediately follows. Do you see the universe reflected back to you? Do you see the opportunity to align to what you think, say and do? What are you learning?
Instant karma is such a loving gift. Open to it. Thank the universe and willingly receive. To me this is part of the co-creative dialogue we all have with the Universe at all times, whether we are aware of it or not. What comes back to us is a reflection of what we put out. What comes back, be it pleasant or not, is the universe caring for us, giving us all we need to grow. There are no mistakes. All that occurs is perfection, teaching me how to live rooted in I am and return to the One. And, yes true to my word, I will soon write about what that means to me, as promised in response to a posted request a few weeks back. I have not forgotten.
May all beings be free. May all beings be happy. May all beings be well. May all beings be at peace. Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu.