All posts tagged self-compassion

How to Succeed at Your New Year’s Resolutions, Part 2: Resolve Rooted in Joy

It has been a busy start for the year for me. Actively working to launch a comprehensive website to embody my work in music, yoga, words and activism early in 2015, I am at the end of a weekend blitz to get the project to completion. You will be seeing the new site very soon! How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Here is the promised conclusion to How To Succeed At Your New Year’s Resolutions. HOW TO SUCCEED AT YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION (Part 2) Resolve Rooted In Joy In my posting “Wanting Won’t Get You What You Want”, we explored how our ego, which is fuelled by wanting, knows only how to categorize life in likes and dislikes, a bit like permanently judging ourselves and others for what is here right now. We either latch onto something we perceive as good and feel temporarily fulfilled – like “I finally got this perfect boyfriend, so I am now happy” – or we push back at things we don’t like – like “The perfect boyfriend is not being so nice right now, so I am now unhappy”. Is joy happiness? While happiness can come and go depending on circumstances, joy is deeper and more lasting. It is an effervescence that arises like the bubbling…

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Healing Pain Through Love and Acceptance

LOVING MYSELF AND THE WORLD BEYOND CONDITION The choices you make right now, based on how you choose to perceive this moment, are literally creating your future. This month’s Parvati Magazine explores the theme Equilibrium. My article “Finding Balance In Relationships” looks at how our core beliefs affect how we perceive and therefore choose to interact with the world. As often is the case when I share, I get immediate opportunity to put my teachings into practice. I feel this happens because the universe is the ultimate compassionate teacher. It lovingly makes sure that I am walking the talk and serving to my utmost by presenting me with many life lessons that support my growth. This week, I had an encounter with someone through which my feelings were hurt. As I processed my experience, I discovered that some of my core beliefs needed revision. So I went within and took stock of how I choose to perceive life, asking myself if I am living in unattached truthfulness or projecting and validating my assumptions onto the world. I also went back to review my blog posts that celebrate the power of the divine feminine, a five part series written in December 2013 through January 2014. If you have not yet read them, they are pretty juicy and…

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Finding Compassion For Those Who Hate

When you put yourself out there, share your heart and voice with the world, there will inevitably be those who love you, those who hate you and those who just don’t care. Being on the spiritual path, I find this to be an excellent teacher and a perfect ego grinder, because whatever people think of me, it does not matter. Of course, my ego says, I would love everyone to like me. But I have no control over what people think and do, or how people judge. I can only do my best, love as best I can and humbly continue to open to each moment and learn the lessons each one brings. In the end, what matters most is my relationship with the divine, which affects how I treat others and myself. What is essential, lasting and true is that I practice seeing the divine in all, even in those who may not like me. It is hard to understand the motivation of hate, but in essence, we all have the capacity for it. No one is immune to its seduction. When I am lucidly honest with myself, I can openly say that I have felt it rise in me and take me over. I have felt its burn singe my heart. I have fallen…

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From Resentment to Forgiveness – Part 3: Painful Experiences As An Opportunity

We have been exploring the topic of resentment and how we can begin to heal deeply held emotions. Last week we touched upon the idea that we tend to project onto others what we want to see in them, rather than see actually what is. When we feel hurt by another person’s actions, in some way we have not seen them clearly, and have lost sight of our connection to the divine.   The great news is, another person’s actions are their choice. Our response to their actions is our own choice. Through my meditation practice, I saw how I lost myself in taking another person’s choices personally and in wanting them to be other than they are. There is tremendous power in these realizations. In seeing them, we reclaim the energy we have lost in being attached to incorrect perceptions of reality.   Rather than seeing painful happenings as a punishment that could build resentment, what my quiet meditation sit showed me was that a hurtful experience was an opportunity to recalibrate around deeper truths, greater clarity and fuller wisdom. It was the universe’s love showing me to be bigger, to let go of wanting, to let go of hoping someone would be the way I wanted them to be and that they would be…

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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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Transforming Pain into Love

From Self-Betrayal To Self-Love: Steadiness and Gratitude On The Path Part 2: Transforming Pain into Love Today is Maha Sivaratri, an annual Hindu celebration in praise of Lord Siva who out of compassion drank poison and in so doing, saved the world. “Om Namah Sivaya!” to all those who honour this festival. Every year this celebration happens during Lent, when Christians turn their hearts and prayers towards Easter. Though my spiritual teacher was born in the Hindu tradition, I grew up in a Christian home. I went to Sunday school every weekend, said grace at meals and was guided by parents who openly discussed their faith. My father had a daily morning contemplative practice and my grandmother was the first to introduce me to meditation and practiced for over 50 years. After a year living in India, having left my career as an architect to deepen my understanding of yoga and meditation, though circumstance I ended up working part time as a lay assistant minister (non-ordained) for the church where I was baptized in Montreal. I have felt a close relationship with this spiritual path and have felt very grateful for the guidance I received as a child to be open to spiritual “otherness”, no matter what spiritual path we may choose. Yet, the whole Judas betraying…

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Beating Myself Black And Blue

From Self-Betrayal To Self-Love: Steadiness and Gratitude On The Path Part 1: Beating Myself Black And Blue A couple of weeks ago, I watched myself react dramatically when I felt I had made a mistake. It was not a big thing, but I made it into one. The situation triggered me. I became so angry with myself and felt like a failure. I dove into the deep end of beating myself up, talking to myself with such aggressive criticism that inwardly, I was turning myself black and blue. I reached out to my partner for help. But he did not stand a chance to get through to me, faced with my attachment to auto-destruct. So then I reacted and blamed him for not giving me what I wanted. Ultimately, I was hell-bent on feeling that everything in this moment, including me, was not good enough. I was so attached to feeling this way that I even cleverly used my partner’s response to me to fuel how I was feeling. So I felt worse. Now I was not only feeling not good enough; I also felt alone. Then I remembered something my spiritual teacher Amma teaches. The words rang in my being as though a meditation bell had been struck within my soul: “Progress is being made when…

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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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Ask Parvati 43: The Present Is The Present – Part 2: Turning Drama Into Fierce Discernment

(Continued from “The Bounty of Boundaries”) Bill can be a bit of a drama queen. He too is sensitive, like Suzie, but in a different way. He can easily lose his sense of self with others, should someone say something that may trigger him into feeling that he is a bad person. It could be the simplest thing. But for him, it becomes big. He then allows himself to get taken over by the idea of being a bad person, to the point that his drama queen will act out to draw attention to himself, so he can feel temporarily better. But like any painful cycle, drama can become exhausting. So Bill has been courageously doing therapy to look into these self-destructive patterns. Interestingly, Bill is an active devotee of the Hindu warrior goddess Kali. When faced with tricky, dark energies, Kali is never sucked in. Without a moment’s hesitation, She fiercely pulls out her sword, fully present for whatever is before Her. With razor sharp discernment that cuts through even the subtle complexities of Time and Karma, She severs any demonic ties and protects the evolution of light. Bill could choose to feel a victim to life and use his drama queen tendencies to act out his pain. Or he could choose to see his…

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Ask Parvati 43: The Present Is The Present – Part 1: The Bounty of Boundaries

Problems May Actually Be Opportunities Dear Parvati, Someone said to me the other day that even the things about myself that I don’t like are actually gifts. How can this be true? Sometimes it’s easier to learn about ourselves by observing others. I have found watching people in my life, (at times working my way though judgment, blame, anger, guilt, envy or jealousy – the whole range of emotions one can project onto another), I have been inadvertently taught by those around me. Take one friend of mine, let’s call her Suzie. She is a wonderfully sensitive person who loves the arts, nature and has a real affinity for healing. She also is an addict. Suzie courageously goes to SLA meetings (sex and love anonymous) to face her co-dependency tendencies and to help her find the inner strength to look at and heal her addictive patterns. Through her friendship, I have found myself learning to be present for her ups and downs, finding new ways to express understanding, compassion and patience. I have also had a powerful mirror to face parts of my shadow, such as tendencies to judge, become self-righteous or impatient. Recently Suzie and I were talking, when suddenly I found myself suggesting that I felt her addiction could be seen as a tool,…

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