Compassion?

Have we forgotten to be kind? Have we forgotten to be understanding?  Have we forgotten compassion?

Increasingly, we are faced with challenging decisions about who, when and what to let into our lives and space of concern and care. The communal approach is fraught with issues of trust and so our shields go up cutting us off from the vulnerability of feeling and seeing our own faults, especially when these are reflected back by another.

And, yes, I know I am making broad generalizations and perhaps oversimplifying a very complex way of personal being that evolves from multiple sources of experience. Maybe for some of you are questioning the place of compassion in making your way through all that life offers, some of my thoughts may urge you to explore a little deeper.

Have we forgotten to be kind?
My daughter recently related to me an experience her boyfriend had encountering a homeless and blind man in Austin. She tells of how there is a large population of blind and homeless individuals that frequent the night streets of Austin’s club scene. This young man was laying on the curb and people were simply walking over him or completely ignoring him. Her boyfriend, stopped to ask the man if he was okay and found that he was disoriented and wasn’t sure where he was. Unsteady, the young man was helped to her boyfriend’s car and taken to the nearest shelter for food and care.

This is not an unusual sight in most cities, where the homeless population has risen exponentially and mistrust of the intentions of “these people” has risen as well. And, in some cases it is right to be cautious, but there is a spirit of kindness that demands nothing more than asking if another is “okay”.

Have we forgotten to be understanding?
To be understanding infers that you can relate in some way to what is being presented to you. When it comes to understanding other people and what their experiences have been, finding the common point of being able to relate is at times difficult. I remind myself that understanding does not mean that I have to agree with what I perceive, it (simply) requires that I open my perspective to include more realities.

Although experiences are different, there are broader categories of experience that we as humans (our point of common ground) have encountered. Loss, takes many forms from that of possessions to companions to freedoms and basic rights. Fear presents in self-doubt to feelings of safety and security to your place within community and society. Acceptance challenges our perceptions of who we are through eh eyes of ourself-relationships-community and in the world. So, to return to what I stated earlier..To be understanding infers that you can relate in some way to what is being presented to you… We are able to relate in some way at some level to everyone. And, perhaps in finding this common ground, allow kindness to arise.

Have we forgotten compassion?
Kindness and understanding pave the way for the gift of compassion. There is a reciprocity in compassion that informs and infuses both the gifter and the receiver in a subtle dialogue of recognition that you and I are one in the same. Before conditioning and nature vs. nurture and even birth, we, as potential streams of humanity,shared the same potentials of developing kindness and understanding. And, although the road back to this state of being may be laden with challenges that seem insurmountable, patience, time and self-kindness and understanding lay the stepping stones of this journey.

I have come to realize that there are nuances to everything and this is especially true of compassion. It is easiest for me to feel compassion for those I love and value. It is easy for me to feel compassion for those I see as being marginalized and mistreated. It is relatively easy for me to feel compassion for the stranger who creates their own repetitive cycle of drama.

But can I be compassionate towards those I dislike, distrust and feel no positive emotion for? Can I feel compassion for those who are doling out the separatism and mistreatment? Can I feel compassion for those who manipulate and suck the joy and life from those around them? And, do they deserve my compassion, kindness or understanding?

I struggle with these questions and even more so with the answers that arise. I would like to think that as part of humanity, the answer would be a resounding “yes” to acknowledging compassion, kindness or understanding to all other beings. The truth is that also because I am human, on any given day that answer will be a reflection of my own level of security, confidence and perceptions of that day.

I also believe that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. The important point being that the self-awareness generated by questioning where compassion settles into who you are begins the process of seeing yourself as part of a greater whole. Set the intention of being mindful of where and how kindness and understanding flow organically into compassion and then….

COM(e) PASS I(t) ON

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How Do I Find My Way?


Choices
Challenges
Where
How
Why

And, all the while I’m still looking to find myself…..

 

(Too Many) Choices

You know what I mean? Just go into a Starbucks and take a look and listen. Yeah, I come from the generation that went to the coffee shop and the choices included size? regular or decaf; cream and sugar was already out for you if you wished. So what about those choices?  Let’s see; a typical order might go something like this:

….I’d like a Venti double latte,  2% milk, light foam, low temp, decaf espresso, extra shot with a double pump of sugar-free vanilla. Oh, and please put a double sleeve on it and have it ready in 2-minutes. Oh, and please add a chocolate chip cookie, lightly warmed in a handle bag. Thank You!……. Oh, and this would be a “simple” order.

We are surrounded by choice and although some might feel that this is liberating, I see it as debilitating for many that can become a seed of discontent that grows in the abundance of too much. Some of my best experiences arose organically by making very simple choices that allowed me the time for integration and appreciation for what I have selected. Feeling lack did not enter into the equation, because there was just enough to feel satisfied, and just too little to encourage my own creative endeavors in completing the whole.

As I have gotten older and my thirst for information has become a driving force behind most of my choices made, the feeling of too much has come crashing in like a hard hitting wave that disrupts the soft and pliable sand of a flexible shoreline. The choices of where to pursue the next discipline of spiritual/magickal study are unlimited in our techno age. And, even applying the skills of selectivity and discernment still leave remaining a sea of new currents to embark upon.

Reminder to self… Slow down. Just breathe. Don’t have to know everything about everything. Choose wisely and carefully and not spread yourself too thin. The choices will remain; and you in your determination will only spin your wheels in trying to take it all in…. You know that saying “A jack of all trades, (is) a Master of none”.

Do I want to be a dabbler, or do I want to choose to walk deeply and frequently on a singular path until that path has etched within it the sole prints of my returning time and again; slowly and purposefully enjoying and learning all of the nuances that comprise its creation? Two choices in answer: Yes or No. It is that simple.

Now, here is a little secret I’ve come to realize when I approach selection in this way. When I have chosen the simple choice and tread that path of exploration, keyword here is “exploration”, more opportunities for choice have actually begun to fill that path’s hidden side roads. And, the gift of Free Will flows organically and expressively as I become co-creator of these new experiences. 

This is not to say that I follow this way of simplicity in all or even a few of my actions. I still juggle multiple studies at one time. I still stretch my abundance of choice muscles when I go into a store that has what I consider to be a “limited” selection. I still like to be overwhelmed and surprised by how many ways there are fix Mac and Cheese. But, I do try to be aware of when and how I am allowing the plethora of choices to fuel or deplete me.

And, what of the challenges that beset you when you try to fit too many choices into an act of intention? More on that next time….

Acts of Contemplation: Finding Grace and Wisdom When There is Nothing to Be Grateful For?

Life sucks!
My life is so boring!
Nothing ever turns out the way I want!

Wait, just breathe and take a look around.
Have I tried to be present in the moment?
Have I tried something new?
Do I really know what I want?

Everything I try fails!
No one really cares about me!
And, I don’t care about anyone!

Maybe I should put your energy into what I am passionate about.
Do I care about myself?
Not caring about anyone, means that I do care about someone.

Every day is just as pointless as the next!
If only!
If only!
If only!
Why should I be grateful?

Everyday Iwake up is a gift !
“If only” will never come. But, “Now I can” is always an option.
If I do!
If I can!
If I see!

Why should I be grateful?

The more I offer appreciation for whatever I have, the more I will see the abundance that I actually have.
The more I see the abundance of what, the better I am able to enjoy every bit of my life.
The more I enjoy my life, gratitude will become my ally and the radiance of that change in my perspective will show me the importance I have in the lives of all I meet.

The official day for gratitude (in the US)-Thanksgiving- is over. Back to the norm of looking for what we lack versus what we have. I’m not saying that everyone falls into this category, nor that this is a daily routine, but at some point in a day/week or month it is easy to lose sight of what we have to be grateful for. I work with a law of polarities, so these slip ups are not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, these lapses in seeing the positive and having gratitude can foster a deeper awareness of be fully present in those gifts of hope and inspiration. 

It may seem counterintuitive, but having gratitude for those things that have disappointed or failed to meet our expectations, opens a new dialogue and potential for what can be learned from the experience and more importantly how we can choose to respond (or react) to what befalls us.

Awaken prepared to give thanks that you have, indeed, awakened for another day.
Move through your day, expecting that there will be harmony and discord, and be thankful that within each is a lesson to be gained.
Return to your home each evening, fully present in the experience of your day and gratitude for the space of sanctuary and rest.
Surrender into a sleep of breath that will fill you in your slumber; a heart that beats strongly in maintaining life and enter into dreamscape with thanks for the anticipation of another day at dawn’s light.

Acts of Contemplation: Feed Me!

-Lamb meatballs and penne in a wine rose tomato gravy- 

Food is one of the first experiences we have as we enter this world. The closeness that evolves from the child suckling at mother’s breast; first solid foods and explorations; favorite foods served on special occasions and a meal lovingly prepared that nourishes both body and soul. This is the magick of food and the deep memories that food awakens.

Most of the time I enjoy cooking and becoming empty nesters when our five children left home several years ago still has not dampened my enthusiasm in cooking smaller meals for my husband and myself. Adding a little variety to developing my cooking skills comes from having to prepare meals that are both vegetarian (for myself) and carnivore traditional (for my husband).

Even when I am short on time, everything I prepare is done with the intention of love. This is the magick of food and the invoking of it’s nourishing properties as a sacred component to what the offering will be and to whom it is offered.

What is it that you are preparing for yourself and your loved ones to consume? Are you infusing it with the sacred heart? Are you taking time to offer up thanks to the sources of what is on that plate and those who have processed, packed or picked the ingredients you are using?

Food recreates the setting in which it was first experienced. Was this offering in a space of comfort, contention or celebration? This is often why we crave certain “comfort” foods when sad. These are the same foods that we had at a joyful celebration. Moreover, we engage all of our senses in these experiences. Taste, texture, sight, smell and even the sounds associated with the food we are eating contribute to the overall magick of the experience.

-Sharp cheddar topped Tempeh, fresh tomatoes, zucchini and mushroom saute-

As living organisms we require food to survive, grow and remain healthy. The quality and quantity of that food determines the outcome of health or disease. Give pause to your choices. Take a moment to honor the act of eating and what you have chosen to nourish and satisfy your body. Make each meal a sacred act filled with gratitude for what has been provided.

Stand at the hearth of offering. Prepare with Love and consume with gratitude. And, when you have found your sacred nourishment, open wide and say…. 

Feed Me!

Want to read more about our sensorial gifts? Check it out here..
Engaging Your Senses

Acts of Contemplation! Act Now and Stand Still

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The world moves on around us and still we choose to remain still. People come and go in our lives and still we choose to remain still. Years pass quickly, even those that feel like forever, yet we chose to remain still. We choose to remain as observers of our lives and hope that we will largely go unnoticed. Even those who step into the light of recognition, choose a mask and that is what they project to the world. The truth hidden and buried as we choose to remain still.

And, what of all that stillness that we wrap ourselves in? Does it protect? Does it shelter? Does it give comfort? Does it bring awareness? Does it bring joy?

What if in our standing still we also chose action? What if the truth of our standing still was crafted in the choice of remaining anchored and rooted. Pressure builds, and action ignites into new perceptions that need the anchor of foundational quiet and stillness. The stillness that is the pause between the last breath of exhalation and the next of inhaled action.

Our stillness does not need to hold us inert. Our action lay in the pregnant pause of what will become. The “becoming” of a stream of informed will that has grown in the stillness of listening and observing.

The action that is born of this stillness is powerful and palpable in its effects. This is the action that stands strong in the face of challenge. The action that uplifts another so that they may find their own place of stillness. The action that speaks its truth, unashamed, yet mindful of the power of those words if ill-placed, having felt its sting. The action that finds its purpose and without wavering follows it to its natural course of ending as the newness of beginnings weaves a new path.

The world moves on around us and still we choose to remain still… knowing that the most powerful action of fully embracing the gift of humanity lay in the stillness of knowing your manifest power…so,

Act Now and Stand Still!

Acts of Contemplation: I Think I Can! But, Should I?

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We all want to be successful and foster growth in all areas of our lives. This is largely what keeps us motivated. We fill our days, and often nights, with thoughts of how to make more money, be more productive, have more, be more and do more. And, with each incremental success, the desire to exceed what we have reached takes hold and the “wanting” begins anew. You are familiar with the phrase, “the grass is always greener, on the other side”? We don’t have to look very far to see that the “other side” is our own back yard!

We have been conditioned to believe that we must keep trying. That this is the “positive” attitude to have. But, at what point do we stop and simply enjoy where and who we are?

Life is full of opportunities that allow us to stretch beyond our perceived capabilities. The real lesson in all of these lay in realizing the simple joy of satisfaction that is achieved in having tried. A deeper lesson; one that is often discarded is that of knowing when to rest in whatever has been achieved through your efforts and measuring it as neither more nor less a success.

Oftentimes we miss out on the exhilaration of feeding and nurturing what is in the hurried pursuit of moving on to the next level of what should be. Maybe, just maybe, what “is” is exactly what should be!

The next time you have your sights set on a specific “I think I Can”, take a moment to pause and look fully at where you are right now. Savor this “now” and think on all that you have gained from what already exists. Then, decide if there is more to be gained in this present “now”. And, if so, settle into that space, happy and whole right where you are.

Catching Up!

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I am behind in my posts and I wanted to let you all know why. In the past several months, I have been busy in the process of hiving and birthing a new coven – Coven of the Mystic Path.

This coven came into being at the Winter Solstice!

Read more about this auspicious energy here…

Temple of the Cosmic Spheres: All Systems, Go!

My thanks to you all for being patient during this process and please check back on January 1.2016 as we continue this adventure together crafting the magick of our humanity.

Blessings…. Robin

Acts of Contemplation: Screaming in the Silence

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The last post focused on the emotional aspect of our humanity and the way in which we allow our emotions to guide and direct our responses. If only it were that simple, but to this equation is added what is acceptable behavior in accord with societal, cultural and communal rules of order. “Speaking your mind”, which is actually the result of what the heart and emotions have formulated as conclusion, is often seen as a negative trait, rather than being acknowledged as an act of courage.

“Holding your tongue” may be more acceptable, but at what cost to claiming your personal power and being forthright in what you are feeling. We are continually moving through the delicate balance of what is appropriate, what is truth and what is honoring and being accountable for what emanates from these two points.

What happens when this balance sways in the direction of pent up emotion. When these emotions reach their boiling point and what you want to say can’t be said. What is the recourse? For me, this energy becomes that of screaming in silence.

There are people I love and care deeply for and still these people can bring me to a space of frustration and emotional turmoil. Lashing out is not always the best practice,, but I have also come to realize that holding everything in is just as non-productive and damaging. I pick and choose carefully where I allow my anger to find its mark, and most often what has provoke me are small bones to pick, when I really take the time to breath into a response rather than jumping to the first reaction.

This approach usually works, but for those times when I need to release strong and potentially erosive feelings I find a quiet place of solitude. In this space, where I can let go and allow raw emotion to spill from me, I call up what has provoked such intense feeling.  I pull it up, open my mouth and shatter the silence of this space with a full bodied scream. I do this until the purging of what upset me is complete and the  energy of my space of choosing has accepted my release and transformed it into pure and dynamic flow.

This is the magick of the silence and the power of emotional release emanating from a vessel that is human, manifest and potent in its ability to feel, to react and to respond. Not only do I feel better, but whatever would have been the object of my wrath has not taken that energy from me. This is an important observation that we do not realize when we allow our anger or negative emotions to get the best of us. We imagine that we are blasting away at whatever caused these emotions and that by doing this somehow we will feel better. Usually we do not! Often we feel depleted and drained; having offered up the energy of our power to the other. And, not always do we see the results of change that we hope this outpouring will have in changing the outcome.

Now this is not to say that I do not express myself and speak up when my emotions have been reached critical mass, but it is all in the timing as to how much the resulting outcome changes me (for the better) and allows me to stand in the fullness of my power and ability to express myself. Actually, waiting until after I have “screamed into the silence” gives me the composure and anchoring to be effective in what and how I communicate. These emotions have been tempered and refined and I am now in control, which is after all, the desired outcome!

So, the next time your emotional self reaches its bursting point, breathe into the silence, scream your frustration into powerful, raw energy acknowledging that you are magickally human…

Next Post

I think I Can- But Should I?

Acts of Contemplation-All Warm and Fuzzy Feelings

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Come snuggle in closer
My precious little one
You warm my heart
And make me smile.

I love you my dearest
My honey – My sweet
From the top of your
Furry little head to the
Bottom of tiny clawed feet.

Our emotions are powerful motivators. We shape our world into the form that will best serve our emotions. We choose, sort and categorize our experiences based on how we “feel”. And when we are in our most self-destructive patterning we allow our emotions to burrow in deeply as they open the wounds we have inflicted. We strive as humans to learn to master our emotions and all the while we are also enabling these emotions to control our responses.

In the stillness of contemplation the gift of healing and allowing ourselves to stand naked in the vulnerability of our emotions is one that is continually sought. The goal is one of achieving that state of knowing yourself as you explore through the lens of how you feel. This can be a trap of misinformation, if we do not allow ourselves also the gift of forgiveness for what we consider to be less than positive emotional response. Let’s take a timeout to generate a specific feeling response…

An experience of practice:

Think back to a time when you felt loved and valued. Even for those who have had horrendous lives, this feeling may only be an imaginary wish for what was lacking, but it is still, nonetheless an emotion that can be drawn upon. Think on how safe you felt and the warmth that spread through your being as you surrendered to this space of feeling. Now fill that space with gratitude. Gratitude from the innermost reaches of a heart that is at peace with itself and the world. Allow that gratitude to flow freely harmonizing and opening up these feelings of safety, love and contentment to greater depths. Lay back into the gentle embrace of these feelings that are palpable and flowing like a gentle stream of warming liquid. Remain in this feeling fro as long as you wish.

Warm and Fuzzy Feelings

This was an exercise in generating your own great bear hug that soothes and heals. The intention was one of self-love and finding your place of comfort crafted in your own way and on your own terms. The simple fact is that we are responsible for the state of our emotions and what direction that energy will carry us towards- happiness or hurt. That is not to say that adversity and horrific circumstances don’t test our feeling state. They do, and serve a great dynamic in the growing process of our becoming who we truly are. Cultivating that inner space of self-love moves us that much closer to self-knowledge. And making informed decision about which emotions are appropriate for each situation. This is also the place of learning to trust ourselves enough that we can courageously express our emotional self with ferocity if necessary or in the gentle state of simply being with those we love.

Next Post
Screaming in the Silence

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Acts of Contemplation: Time to Re-Think It

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The last post discussed the intricacies of Focused Awareness and the effects of the choices made in a state of being fully present and mindful…

“The ultimate goal is one of movement and action. Whether we choose to be co-creators in the paths and subtle nuances that flow through our life, we continuously move in one way or another. To have focused intention as we move through our day means to respond, rather than re-act to what the present moment has to offer us.”

And, as the paragraph above outlines, these steps of focused choice become the catalysts that move us out of the stickiness of an inert and veiled existence. Weighing into all of these actions are emotions and the how we feel about whatever the choice of focus may be. However, before our emotions can truly serve us in being decisive in action, what we THINK is the first provocateur in urging us on.

Self-Help and Thoughts

Go into any bookstore or online and there is a plethora of information indicating that our physical state of being at all levels is directly impacted by what we “think”. The Law of Attraction and positive thinking will create the correct formulary to provide whatever is needed. Disease is at time psychosomatic and hypochondria is a state of mind. Self-worth, ergo who and what we bring into our lives is primarily an outcome of what we perceive to be true about our worthiness. These statements and more permeate the aethers and even the ephemeral worlds are affected by the collective thoughts of its members.

All of the above is true- and false. We are indeed molded by our thoughts, but they are not the sole creators of our life’s condition. Our thoughts are very powerful indeed, but so is the veiling of delusional thought that we become entangled in when striving only and singularly towards only those thoughts of positive nature. The fact of the matter is that positive and negative are also the semantic products of what we think those words to mean. Intention is the true garment that is selected when addressing our thoughts and purging them of what we consider less than positive.

Think On This!

Those negative thoughts that arise when we witness and atrocity, spur us towards resolving the inequity. Those negative thoughts we have can be forewarnings of a bad relationship or someone who wishes us harm. The negative imagery we see played and replayed in the media, gives us pause to be grateful for the safety and security of our own lives or calls us to champion those who have lost their voice and will.  You see! It’s all in the perspective as to how we think about those things we have been conditioned to avoid.

Focus on This…

Our thoughts flow like a never ending waterfall, their ability to carve and smooth the craggy rocks beneath the point of impact measured only by the force of impetus from the heights from which the flow cascades. We can re-think how strongly we wish that current to be. We can use our minds as productive tools that flex their muscles as each situation demands or simply blows all of its energy in a single lifting of unsteady weight.

So, just breathe into the possibility and potential of multiple outcomes, giving thought neither to the positive nor the negative. Settle into what feels right and let those feelings circulate stimulating mindful responses. And, then simply “be”. Resting in a myriad of potentials. Wait for it! Wait for it! Wait for it! And, then re-think what those potentials are. Make it fertile with your feelings and then Choose which thought you will manifest.

 

Next Post
All Warm and Fuzzy Feelings…

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