All posts tagged Self-Esteem

Karma Yoga: Spiritual Pride and Selfless Service

SHANTI OM: Living and Acting in Peace, Part 2 I saw a fabulous post on Facebook today. It read: “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” A beautiful sentiment, to which my friend wisely added: “and they never know who you are.” She, a dedicated karma yogi, continued to write, “Nothing as dangerous as ‘spiritual’ pride!” This made me think about the many shadows along the spiritual path, especially when our spiritual lives inspire us to act in selfless service, or along the path of karma yoga. Our ego is a tricky thing. We ceaselessly – driven by our ego – consciously or unconsciously look for opportunities to feed our wanting self, until we wake up to who we really are. When we become enlightened, that is, when we are permanently established in the reality of divine love, we no longer identify with separateness and no longer maintain a separate sense of self. But until such time, for the sincere spiritual seeker, vigilance is required so that we may witness our ego’s tendency to feed, so that we may choose otherwise. Not that far removed from addicts who believe that a drink of alcohol will solve their problems, our ego habitually fools us into feeling fulfilled…

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Shanti Om: Living and Acting in Peace – Part 2: Karma Yoga: Spiritual Pride and Selfless Service

SHANTI OM: Living and Acting in Peace, Part 2 (Part 1: Is Peace Passive?) I saw a fabulous post on Facebook today. It read: “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” A beautiful sentiment, to which my friend wisely added: “and they never know who you are.” She, a dedicated karma yogi, continued to write, “Nothing as dangerous as ‘spiritual’ pride!” This made me think about the many shadows along the spiritual path, especially when our spiritual lives inspire us to act in selfless service, or along the path of karma yoga. Our ego is a tricky thing. We ceaselessly – driven by our ego – consciously or unconsciously look for opportunities to feed our wanting self, until we wake up to who we really are. When we become enlightened, that is, when we are permanently established in the reality of divine love, we no longer identify with separateness and no longer maintain a separate sense of self. But until such time, for the sincere spiritual seeker, vigilance is required so that we may witness our ego’s tendency to feed, so that we may choose otherwise. Not that far removed from addicts who believe that a drink of alcohol will solve their problems, our ego habitually…

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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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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 42: Healing Shame – Part 1: Toxic Shame

Dear Parvati, My life looks good on the surface – I’m intelligent, good looking, have a decent job, a good relationship – but I feel like a loser. I can’t seem to stop doing things I’m not proud of, like spending evenings playing World of Warcraft instead of working on my writing (I want to publish a novel), or letting the vegetables rot in the fridge while I eat chips for supper or order pizza… meanwhile I’m paying $100/month for a gym membership and not using it. I think most people who know me are really fooled and they think I have it so much more together than I really do. I’m afraid that if they found out the reality, they’d all get disgusted and drift away from me. My significant other has brought up the idea of living together, but I’m afraid I’ll lose her if she sees how I really live. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in shame for not being a better person. How do I fix this? Thank you for your question. Hiding is hard to do at any time, especially on an ongoing basis. Hiding our true self from our self and the world is extra hard, even painful. You may think you are the only one who does things…

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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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