I am enough

I just returned from another beautiful retreat in Sedona, Mago Garden.

It was special for me in so many ways.  I was there with several of my closest students. The weather was HOT and I was enjoying the searing heat soaking into my bones (something that rarely happens here in Seattle).  With the hot days days came warm windy starlit nights that evoked a sense of sacredness and a feeling of reverence in and of themselves.  And perhaps most importantly, we had the opportunity to train with a very special Master, Ilchi Human Dae Sunsa Nim, who led us all to a profound meeting with our souls.

My meeting with my soul this time was grand and unforgettable.  I came to feel myself, complete and whole and full, in and of myself.   I recognized that so often I turn my awareness away from my wholeness, looking outside at others, sending subliminal messages to myself that I am not enough.  This behavior causes holes inside of me, where energy leaks, and the soul weakens.  The message this time was loud and clear and shook inside of me like thunder.  I Am Enough.  I AM ENOUGH.  I AM E-NOUGH.  It kept repeating inside of me over and over, as if it was speaking to all of my life, every single tiny moment when I failed to believe it.  It felt like the message within me was re-setting my information bank, re-wiring my brain circuit to establish a new belief in my psyche, one that would take strong roots and become unshakeable.

Of course, with every awakening comes a test 🙂  So, the day after this deeply profound and touching experience, I met with a situation where my emotions completely took over me and I ended up having a small altercation with a person who is very dear to me.  I won’t go into the details, and the two of us cleared it up rather quickly, but the whole thing saddened me.  For hours I kept chewing on it, trying to feel into it and understand what happened.   What was  the lesson here?  And why was it so unsettling to me?

Finally, later that evening on an airplane to L.A., the realization came to me.   I take things too personally.  I do that when I am not staying present with my enough-ness, and instead looking outward, creating holes within myself.  Those holes weaken me and cause me to feel pain and emotion where it was not necessary at all.  Because the fact is, I am whole and full and there is no need to take the actions of others so personally.  When I do so, I am denying my own complete perfection.  And when I was able to come back to myself and say, in the words of Don Miguel Ruiz’s second agreement, “Don’t take anything personally,” I could feel the fullness, warmth and light of my soul filling me once more.

I took this precious awakening with me when I went to L.A. to visit Kate for a day.  I could observe how quickly and easily I instinctually take things personally, and I kept trying to step away from that thought pattern and re-establish my wholeness again and again.  There were times on that visit that I also failed to do so.  I am aware now that it is something that will take a huge amount of effort and practice on my part and I am fully ready and excited for the road ahead!  I feel the refreshing breeze of freedom touching my heart from the prison that I have lived in my whole life – the prison of taking things personally and diminishing my own value.  This beginning fills me with light and hope!

All souls are on their own journeys.  There is no need to take things so personally.  Our jobs are to find the lessons and change ourselves anew.  Through this, we grow.  It is truly a beautiful thing.  From this place, forgiveness, acceptance and love arise – for both ourselves, and others.   This is the meaning of healing myself, healing my family, and healing my world.

 

Ego Contemplations Continued

It’s been a while now that I have been in deep contemplation about my own ego.  I have talked about it, written about it and felt about it more than I ever have in the past.  It has been calling my attention and I have chosen to give it my attention.  Today, I will write a little more on this topic and my recent experience with it.

When I try to feel into the bottom of my ego, it feels like there is a strong desire to self-protect.  It feels as though my 3 main desires of control, recognition and safety are all balled together in one sticky, entangled wall of defense around my pure heart.  It is a tiresome fight.

If I go just one step deeper, it seems like all of this is born of a false sense of “self”.  That “self” is the very root of my ego. It’s as if I am living my life, on a subconscious level, to defend and protect a self that doesn’t even actually exist.  When I believe that it does, then I cannot feel the true Life that I am.

So, as 2016 ended and we were heading into the new year, I set my intention that 2017 would be a year where I let go of my “self’ on much deeper level.  I declared it with great conviction, knowing the power that goal-setting at the beginning of the year can have.  And then what happened?  The Universe gave me EXACTLY what I needed.  It presented a circumstance that scratched the sleeping beast of my smallest ego “self”, waking her up in a frenzy.  It was quite unpleasant, and at first I was very confused.  But once I realized that everything was happening perfectly to give me the opportunity to let go of myself right off the bat – the first month of the year! – I began to appreciate the process.

Then, a few days ago, one of my beloved blog readers (she knows who she is :)) sent me this perfect message.  It was written by Pema Chodron and it read:

If We Want There to be Peace

If we want there to be peace in the world, then we have to take responsibility when our own hearts and minds harden and close.  We have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid, to find the soft spot and stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility. That’s true spiritual warriorship.  That’s the true practice of peace.

 

This little message resonated so deeply with me.  “When our own hearts and minds harden and close” – that’s the ego activating!  It usually happens when we are hurt or threatened or upset in some way, and causes the iron wall to go up inside our heart.  This wall blocks others from hurting us, but it also blocks us from being able to access our deeper, purer self – the light of our Soul.

“Find[ing] the soft spot and stay[ing] with it” is recovering our connection with the pure heart.  It is the light in the darkness.  Only when you fully accept your ego and it’s behaviors and allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to face and sit with your own pain, can this “soft spot” emerge.   This takes great courage.  That size of courage arises more strongly within when you have a bigger desire – a bigger purpose.  Because I want peace in this world, because I have a responsibility to create that peace – that’s why I can bravely face my ego, and choose the soft breath of unconditional love that lies beneath.

It’s not easy – the ego always wants to be safe. It always wants to control and it always wants to be recognized.  The last thing it wants is to be fully accepted, embraced and then looked past, into the bright light of the tender Soul.

I’m sharing these contemplations right now because I believe that all of us are dealing with this ego on a day to day, moment to moment basis.  Some of you may be fully aware of it and others perhaps not so aware.  If any of these words or thoughts can help you on your own healing journey, bringing you closer to your own peace ~ then I am happy.  Take a good look at how much your own ego may be causing you great suffering in many aspects of your life.  All you need to do is look and look, feel and feel, listen and listen, choose and choose.  Again, again, again.  Stay awake and aware.

Then, as Pema Chodron said so beautifully, there is hope for a peaceful world!  Because our current world is built on the ego of human beings.  That is why it is a Fear World.  That’s what I call it.  It is a fearful, chaotic place that intends to incite and perpetuate fear in the hearts of all people.  Everywhere.  Egos pulling on the strings of egos, pressing on the buttons of egos, stepping on the toes of egos, and around we go, like puppets in the silliest of dances, reacting and responding with our egos.  I don’t know what’s more exhausting – the inner war with my own ego, or the outer war with society’s giant ego.

I don’t want to live in such a world any longer.  I don’t want to add to it’s insanity and I definitely don’t want to leave it to our future generations.  I choose a new world.  A brighter world.  And it begins inside of me.  I truly pray from the bottom of my heart that we can all choose to follow Pema Chodron’s wisdom and take responsibility for true peace.  We don’t have to go far – it begins inside our own precious hearts.

 

My Love

earth hands

When you look at the above picture, what do you feel?  When you gaze at this beautiful blue jewel, can you feel her in your heart?

What I feel is: Love.  It’s amazing how much love I feel.

Our souls are connected to the soul of Mother Earth.  So, perhaps it is my own soul’s love that I am also feeling that fills me.  I also feel inspired to be my greatest self, to love more, and to help her.  Ilchi Lee often says, “We came to the Earth because the 21st-century Earth desperately needed us.”

I got such a big compliment on Friday.  My uncle called me in the morning – we do not speak all that frequently.  Perhaps he calls me once or twice a year.  He said, “I saw on Facebook that today is Earth Day.  And, well, that just makes me think of you.  So I wanted to call you to say ‘Happy Earth Day.'”

To know that when my uncle thinks of the Earth, he thinks of me, and when he thinks of me, he thinks of the Earth, made me feel that I am doing my job well 🙂

In order to share in this great love with our Mother Earth, I feel it is critical for us to love ourselves more and more truly.  If I cannot allow love for my own self into my heart, if I am always insulting and accusing myself, then there is no way that I can really commune with the majesty of Life that breathes within every fiber of this planet.  So, in celebration of Earth Day, let’s celebrate ourselves. Let’s love ourselves just a little bit more.  Let’s look into our own eyes in the mirror and say, “I love you so much.”  Why not?  The Earth, our Mother, our Home, needs us to have such courage.

On that note, I will conclude this post with a passage from the Living Tao book that I find to be incredibly beautiful and healing.  I hope you do too.  Thank you to all of you who are reading this and sharing this Earth with me at this time.  My fellow earth citizens, I love you.

********

“No matter how hard you try, you can never fill your empty heart solely with the energy received through external recognition or success, for these are but temporary comforts. They are not eternal. You can discover within yourself a wellspring of eternal energy. That energy will start to spring forth when you acknowledge and love yourself. The joy you feel from acknowledging yourself is so great that it cannot be compared with the joy you feel from getting recognition from others. This is a matter of being recognized by your conscience and the heaven within you.

You don’t acknowledge and love yourself just by thinking about it. You must encounter the life energy within you. Slowly place your hands on your chest, one over the other. Now say this to yourself: ‘ Yes, I have myself. I have myself, who always watches over me, the one who is always on my side no matter what may come. It’s my soul and my true self. It is my eternally unchanging life.’  If you speak to yourself with sincerity, you’ll be able to feel the energy of the soul inside of you, the energy of life, reviving.

Those who know the true self within them are never lonely, no matter what may come. Their hearts are filled to overflowing with energy from the feeling of oneness with themselves, as if they possess the whole world. The tree of life, your soul, will grow strong, bloom with beautiful flowers, and bear good fruit to the extent it gets your interest, love, and recognition.”

~ Ilchi Lee

Love

In James Joyce’s book, Ulysses, there is a sentence that reads “Love loves to love love.”

I don’t actually remember much else about this book, but this sentence stood out so strongly to me.  I wrote it down in my journal and said it to myself over and over again.

Love loves to love love.

Yes, it’s so true.

Love loves to love, period.

Isn’t that the very nature of Love?  Isn’t it the nature of who we are?

For me, as I examine myself, I have spent a lot of time in my life fooling myself.  I thought I was loving, but really I was just loving others in order to get something from them.  Some attention, perhaps?  Some recognition.  Some love back.

Whenever I love like this I am always left feeling empty and unsatisfied.  True love, the love of my true nature, just loves to love.  Without anything in return.  It is unconditional by it’s very nature.

By I have spent a lot of time confusing my ego’s small desires for love.  My small wants and needs.  My insecurities.  My loneliness.  I have followed such things when I thought I was following love.  And it always led to hurt and pain.  No wonder!

Love must start with me.  When I am full and whole within myself, then I am free to truly love.

These days I have begun calling to my Soul.  My Soul who I chose to live for so long ago, are you there?  How are you?  In the grand waves of life, I so often forgot to make time for communicating with my Soul.  My Soul too needs to be picked up and dusted off so that I can reunite with all of it’s purity and magnificence again.  My Soul loves to be seen by me.  I feel that the first and most important relationship that needs tending to in my life, is my relationship with my Soul.

When I feel the great light of my Soul, it’s very easy to Love without need.  Just love for loves sake.

I found a message from my Seu-Seung Nim in his Calligraphic Messages book that speaks exactly of this. It sung to my heart.   The truth of the message resonated with me and led me to go through a time of deep inner reflection about myself and how I have been living.  How I have been loving.  I hope that as you read it, you will also take the time to do the same for yourself.  As our love grows bigger, our light for this world will shine brighter.

 

The Law of Love

The human Soul grows through love. It’s important to realize that you can create love infinitely instead of wandering in search of someone to love you.

Love grows more greatly when you give it than when you receive it. This amazing fact is the Law of Love.

If you want to live a life full of love, first give it without striving to receive it. If you keep trying to get love, your love will constantly grow smaller.

Because you’re trying to receive love, you will constantly feel sad and inadequate when the love you want doesn’t come. You will become endlessly sadder and lonelier. And you will come to mistakenly believe that you don’t have love yourself.

If you think about it quietly, you’ll realize that you’re happier when you give love than when you receive it.  To use a knife as a metaphor, the one trying to get love holds a knife by the blade, while the one trying to give love holds the knife by the handle.

Those who keep trying to get love are anxious and worried. “What if my love leaves me?” they ask. “What if love never finds me?” On the other hand, people who give love to those around them have confidence.

Everyone has the power fo love. If you want love, you must use love. If there is no one close you can give love to, then love yourself first. Once that love fills you, all you have to do is give it to others. That’s how you begin.

There is love inside us. However, we can’t experience that love unless we use it. We can’t trust it unless we experience it.

Love is like a spring that never runs dry. The more we use it, the more new love arises.

hearts pic