Wake Up To Your Life

I feel like I was placing my faith in spiritual teachings and teachers, trusting that they had knowledge or insights that I needed, all the while overlooking my own inner wisdom as to how I should actually live my life.
This far-off idea of awakening, with its promise of everlasting peace and fulfillment, was distracting me from waking up to my life as it is. 
I now understand awakening as a process of coming more into reality.

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Mind Wanting More

So I sat. And after months and then years, I found that the samskaras started to get quieter. They weren’t so urgent. And when I was able to watch them without being pulled into their content and without dropping down their rabbit hole, they had less hold on me. When they had less hold on me, it was easier to know what to do. Noticing the transience of the samskara made the simple day-to-day reality more rich and available.

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A Taste of Transcendence

The act of celebration is a type of moving meditation. It doesn’t have to look like a dance party – that’s just the way that I like to do it. There are all sorts of personal celebration activities. It can be a walk by yourself, spending time in nature, an intimate dinner with friends – whatever the activity that helps to pull you out of your mind habits into the larger world of interconnection. 

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Relax. Nothing is Under Control.

I’ve been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years. Some things have changed and some things haven’t. The key thing I’ve learned is I don’t have to change who I am to be happy. All I need to do is accept the moment. I’ve learned that I’m not in control of most things, and that trying to control everything is not only pointless, it’s the source of most of my suffering. As one of my teachers posted on the door to the meditation hall – “Relax. Nothing is under control.”

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Ceremonies for Life 

Ceremonies and rituals can be as unique as those who practice them, deriving their meanings from the intentions behind them and the presence within them. Mindfulness and presence breathe life into ceremonies, they help us attune and attend to the subtle yet powerful energies that we invoke when we open ceremonial spaces.

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Beyond the Limits of Reality

In my experience, a true paradox is a catalyst to unimaginable growth. When I say “unimaginable” I mean it in a literal sense. Standing bravely in the existential grip of a paradox, we may grow in ways we can’t imagine. 

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Powering Up 

I learned it wasn’t actually possible or desirable to fix another’s life, that it was in fact at odds with true empowerment and liberation. Both theirs and mine. ‘Cause of course they’re connected. So my perspective shifted from trying to fix everyone’s everything to trying to create the conditions for empowerment.

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Caregiving in the time of Covid 

It’s so easy to lose yourself in the care of another human being. But as I’ve learned, and keep learning, you can’t pour from an empty cup. What fills my cup? My daily practices of meditation, gratitude and movement. Weekly connection in community with like minded individuals. And every now and then an immersive deep dive into my own self care on retreat, even if just for a few days. What can I do more simply? Nourish myself with healthy food and clean water. Rest. Spend time in Nature. Call a friend. Disconnect from devices. Take a deep breath. And another. And another.

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Let’s Help Regulate Each Other 

Self-regulation requires continual effort and prioritization. I’ve often resented this. I’d have prefered to just be born and coast. But mental health doesn’t work like that any more than physical health does. Due diligence and care are required. Also awareness about what will help keep you stable and functional, and about what dysregulation looks like for you. What are your early warning signs? They’re a bit different for everyone, and they change over our lifetime. Often we end up ignoring them, and then all of a sudden our demons are piling into us like a Jackie Chan fight scene.
That’s what happened to me. Sometimes it takes a crisis to wake us up. Then we have no choice but to get help.

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On Wholeness.

Peace, love, non-violence, non-harming, satisfaction reverence, awe. These are the flavours of wholeness, the background radiation on which our lives dance.

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