All posts tagged being yourself

Rebirth and Renewal

In my creative work, be it composing and performing music, singing, writing books or teaching workshops, I am inspired by a wish for each one of us, myself included, to find permanent freedom by connecting to our essential true nature. As we rest into our natural self, we connect to the planet, to all things and to the Divine. The oh-so-very human ability to “fall off path” and discard any spiritual awareness when our ego gets triggered is both humbling and empowering. As Eckhart Tolle reminds us, when painful emotions are active, our “pain bodies” are alive. Consciousness is then temporarily eclipsed by our attachments to our small, divided sense of self. We close off from life, hide in our hardened self-created shell convinced that life is “happening to me”. We blame. We resent. We act out our suffering on those around us and in turn, we all suffer. Through the experiences that challenge us, we are given the gift of a powerful fertilizer to fuel our spiritual growth. The process of rebirth, renewal is available to us in each moment, if we are willing to soften, open and be present for what is. It is entirely up to each one of us – and therein lies great power – to let go of our own…

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It Is Up To Me: Cultivating Self-Love

From Self-Betrayal To Self-Love: Steadiness and Gratitude On The Path Part 3: It Is Up To Me Over the last few weeks, I have been sharing here what I learned when I recently found that I was being unkind to myself. My last post was during the first period of Lent, as Christians prepare for Easter. Today I post this blog entry as we enter into the week of Passover, a Jewish festival that celebrates the miraculous release from slavery. To some extent, we all have parts of ourselves that feel enslaved, whether we are conscious of them or not. It is also a tendency for most of us to want others to free us from these painful places. But as I was reminded in my recent experience, when I saw that I was turning myself black and blue, it is not for anyone else to “save” me, take away my pain or fix my perceived broken bits. I need to face my inner demons just as you do, just as the next person does – on my own, in my own time, in my own way. It is a kind of miracle to realize that we have the ability to free ourselves in this way. By turning on our inner light, we invite grace, transformation…

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A Light Goes Home: Thank You, Debbie Ford

Years ago, I was beginning to notice a pattern in my life: I was attracting people who often left me feeling depleted. I knew it was a pattern, but I did not know what the pattern was trying to teach me about myself. During my quest to find insights into this pattern, I went to a local bookstore where I came across Debbie Ford’s book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. I instantly bought it, went home, tucked myself in and started to read. What followed was an opening of an inner window that had long been forgotten. Debbie’s kindness and care leapt off the pages and gave me the courage to enter into a new realm of self-understanding. As a child I was taught, perhaps like many, to break up my world into “good” and “bad”. I wanted the world to only see my “good”, and learned to shove, like we tend to do, those things I judged as “bad” somewhere into the recesses of my being. Yet from the power they gained stored away in the dark, those severed places continued to wreak havoc in my life. The disowned parts of me needed attention and integration in order for me to learn to become whole. It was not until I began, with self-love…

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Success, Joy and Abundance

Everyone has his own personal definition of success. Culturally, we tend to consider success when we receive accolade and praise from external accomplishments, like fame and fortune. For the most part, our measures of success are external.    Some people measure their success based on an internal compass, attempting to meet their own personal best. However, often, even these seemingly internal measures are driven by attachments to external ideas of success.    I met someone recently who asked me, puzzled: “If I don’t want to be better, how will I ever become better?” Success for her was out there, and she was tired running after it. She felt there must be another way, but was unclear what it could be. She had lived a life driven by what she felt others wanted for her rather than fueled by her own personal joy.    Joy often seems elusive, something we will get to eventually, once we complete this task or that one, or once we have achieved this goal or that one. To me, living like this is being the proverbial donkey that chases the carrot held out on a stick in front of him. It is an impossible chase. In that situation, our impulse to move arises from what we think will make us happy ‘over…

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Ask Parvati 40: Distractions – Keeping Your Eye On The Prize – Part 1: Focus, Discipline and Courage

Dear Parvati, Thank you for your posts. I found last week’s particularly useful as it spoke to the way I want to make changes in my life this year. Though I love pursuing my life as a creative writer, I find I too often get pulled into listening to other people’s problems. I can literally spend hours a day helping people. I am happy to help, but then I feel drained, with little energy left after my day job to pour into my creative pursuits. Any words of wisdom? Thank you for this question. I understand the situation and often find myself needing to be quite ruthless with my time and how I spend it. Distractions always present themselves throughout the day. We must consciously choose how to spend our time and where to place our energy. Whether you are pursuing the life of an artist, are making life changes or wish to start a creative venture, you must have focus, discipline and courage. If you have not yet read Amma’s New Year’s message, she addresses this to some extent by reminding us that our most valuable asset we have is time, which we too often squander. Keeping focused on the purpose of our life is paramount, especially as we move through the day and encounter…

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Ask Parvati 39: Overcoming Stage Fright and Performance Anxiety – Part 4: The Inner Critique and Self-Love

(Continued from To Risk Speaking Up And Saying What You Feel) I have a saying that gets me through every show. If there are three people in a room, one person will hate what I do; another will love it; while another will not care. I find this very helpful. Everyone will have their own, personal experience and opinion of what I do. My job is not to worry about what others think, but to do the best job I feel I can do and have fun while I do it. People may not like what we say, and react to it. But that is their stuff and is no reflection of who we are. Our job is not to try to fix or change anyone, but get on and do what we are each here to do. We do not need to try to convince someone we are worthy of love, because we already are worthy, simply by being. If we look deeply into the root of stage fright, we will find that we may need to cultivate a bit more self-love. Self-love is different from self-confidence. Self-confidence can get us to the stage. Self-love will help us enjoy delivering the show. If we don’t have self-love, our self-confidence becomes bravado – thick on the…

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Ask Parvati 33: When Are We Being Too Rational?

Dear Parvati, I’m still having a really hard time thinking outside of the box and thinking about possible experiences. I am not happy in my current work situation but fear taking risks. I know the kind of person I am. I need to feel financially stable before I make a move. I won’t throw all my money to the wind and say, “let’s travel the world”. But I want to travel and take courses but I need to feel like I have an interest in the travel and there is a reason why I’m there (besides just the experience). Am I being too rational about all this? Do I just need to take a plunge? That scares me to no end. Please advise. ALONG THE SPIRITUAL PATH, WHEN ARE WE BEING TOO RATIONAL? Being rational is an impediment to the spiritual path when it squelches joy and stops us from expanding and evolving. Joy is expansive. Joy amplifies evolution, as evolution in its very nature is in alignment with the fundamental vibration of the universe, which is love. Joy is one of the things we bring when we pass from this Earth. When our body disintegrates and all matter that we thought was who we were is no longer, our spirit soars and our soul moves…

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Ask Parvati 26: Follow Your Bliss – Part 2, Name It To Claim It

PART 2: NAME IT TO CLAIM IT (Continued from Whose Life Are You Living?) “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
 – Eleanor Roosevelt I have shared in these blog entries the need for us to challenge our core beliefs, because there we find the voices of external authority that we have internalized, which are not the voice of our soul. We need to ask ourselves, who is really in the driver’s seat of our lives? Is it our soul joy? Or are we trying to please our mother, our father, our schoolteacher or our religious leader? We need to look at what is writing the story of our life and reclaim authorship over it. Our unconscious patterns are part of creating our reality until we have the courage to look within and find out what is really going on. In my case, the depression and ill health I experienced when I was in architecture was a gift from my soul that helped me wake up to live the life that expresses my joy. Living the life of an artist is not an easy one. I understand why my parents, though they encouraged my artistic skills, discouraged it as a career path. There is tremendous financial uncertainty and stress and…

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Ask Parvati 23: The Voice – To Speak Or Be Silent? Part 5: When To Voice, When To Be Silent

PART 5: WHEN TO VOICE, WHEN TO BE SILENT (Continued from Part 4: Gauge The Stage) Every day of our lives, we are faced with many choices, whether to flee or to face, whether to voice or to remain silent. There is no quick and easy answer as to how to find our right voice. We learn that to voice is an unfolding process. Giving voice is central to my spiritual path and a root reason for my personal being. So my life feels like one big experiment in voicing. As with all experiments, we find great teachers, we go through the ups and downs of trial and error where hindsight becomes a powerful ally. Finding our vocal power is connected to finding our authentic expression and our place in the world. As such, it is part of growing, maturing, becoming wise. There have been times that I have given voice when in hindsight, it would have been wiser for me to remain quiet. And the opposite has also been true, when silence weakened me and I allowed it to hold me imprisoned. But there are few times that I regret what I have chosen to do, whether I chose to speak up or to remain quiet. I don’t believe regret brings us anything other than…

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Ask Parvati 23: The Voice – To Speak Or Be Silent? Part 1: Soul Confusion, Vocal Tension

THE VOICE: TO SPEAK OR BE SILENT? Dear Parvati, I am having difficulty knowing when to speak up or remain silent about what I feel. I experience this confusion with things that make me feel uncomfortable and with things that I like. I thought that perhaps you, as a singer, may have some insight about the voice and how to know when it is a good time to use it, or when it is best to keep quiet. Thanks. PART 1: SOUL CONFUSION, VOCAL TENSION “That” person is coming into the room! Your heart suddenly races. You feel pressure in your head. Your cheeks flush. Your mouth dries and your throat automatically tightens. You feel panicky, sweaty, weak-kneed. With your heart speeding, you feel short of breath. There is something you want to say. It is stuck, like a lump in your throat. You try to speak. Your mouth is wide open, but there is no sound. Suddenly, you wake up. This is just a nightmare. Or is it? Some dreams reflect back to us aspects of ourselves that we dare not yet see. Many people dream of trying to speak only to find themselves feeling trapped and  unable to find the words or the means to express how they feel. Some people experience that kind…

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