What Do You Need To #Stop Doing In 2015?


 

tumblr_n8tu9xSdHA1sk1rjvo1_500and what do you need to do to make that stopping more than an intention?  These were the questions by Charles Gilkey on Day five of #Quest2015

These questions as always made me to start reflect deeply.  And this statement from Mark Nepo’s latest book that I am reading called “Endless Practice” added some clarity to the question above.   The statement is “How can I stand before what life has to offer without removing myself and without drowning in it? We tend to fall to one side or the other; shutting down our feelings for fear of what they will do to us or following what we feel at all cost, fearing a life with no passion.”

I can so relate to that statement as I am currently struggling with the question – How can I stand before life without removing myself or without drowning in it?  Right now if I leave myself in what life is offering me, I am drowning in being a demanding, judging, criticizing nasty person who has her own self protection paramount, who is making ‘her’ the central part of every story she is encountering. The fear of what this is doing to me is keeping me from experiencing life with passion – here I equate ‘passion’ with ‘Love.’

Experiencing life with passion does include feeling the pain as it is inevitable.  But ‘pain’ is only painful when ‘I’ am the centre of every other’s story.  The moment ‘I’ become the central part of the other’s behavior, I lose the capacity to try and understand and when I don’t understand, I will not be able to  make adjustments.  This results in the thinking of “How could she,” or “Why would she” etc. and the end result is a “poor me…” state of being which only drives one towards indifference and that’s more harmful than actually imposing and inflicting hurts.

My life currently is filled with loved ones who all are steering through varying degrees of mental health issues some labelled and others not.  I feel the  massive responsibility of helping them paddle through their oceans of pain while I am trying to keep afloat.  The dangers of me drowning in the ‘poor me’ state of being are very real and to stay afloat is exhausting.

Again borrowing Mark Nepo’s words – “how can I withstand the tension of feeling both the truth of love and the truth of life, without minimizing either?”

What can I #stop in order to do that?  What gestures are waiting inside me to be released by love or crisis?

Can I be like a massive gum tree standing tall and strong, forever embracing the sky, never turning away either from the harshness showered from above, or the hardness of the ground poking from underneath right through to the core?GumTree

Should loved ones troubles weigh  me down or should the fact that I have love in my life lighten me up?  How can I stand before what life has to offer – fully engaged without fear of drowning or being indifferent?

After much pondering, I come to the same answer as always – don’t know why I don’t recognize the answer immediately – here it is.

Giving all of me in the moment that I have, without making ‘ME’ as the centre of every unfolding story, without translating all happenings through the filters of ‘ME.’  When I stop being the centre story of all life, then I am capable of standing in the middle of life watching ‘Pleasure’ and ‘Pain’ with equal passion, strength and energy.

So what do I need to #stop doing in 2015, well actually from today – I do not need to make other’s pain, confusion, worries and anxieties etc.,  “My Story,” all about me, poor me – the victim.

What I can do however is –  I can continue to love, and that’s all I have to offer – an unconditional love from moment to moment, each moment and only in the moment, because there is nothing else outside of this moment right now.

Unconditional Love towards myself and unconditional love towards others -that’s my intention and what do I need to do to make that  more than an intention?

Remembering that I am neither a martyr nor a saint – I just live life with love attending to whatever is coming at me with total acceptance and gratitude – moment to moment, right here and right now, starting each moment fresh –  if slipped, which I will — pick up, dust off and remind myself that only this moment exists and continue to love.

That is my intention moving forward and into 2015.  What is yours? Waiting to hear…

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

 

Wishcasting Wednesday: What Do You Wish to Claim?


World Peace Flag of the Universal Peace Congress.
World Peace Flag of the Universal Peace Congress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a question posed at Jamie Ridler’s blog and I thought I will answer this here as she suggested.

I wish to claim:

World Peace starting from me starting from now – this means that no matter what happens in my life, I will only wish for the best outcome for all people involved including myself.

I wish to claim that I live my life based on the Five Human Values of Love, Peace, Truth, Right Conduct and Non-Violence.

I wish to claim and I know this for a fact that I am Non-Violent in thoughts, words and deeds.

I wish to claim that I love people unconditionally. Working on this, so claiming out loud will make it a reality.

I wish to claim – my birthright to being creative and wish that everyone recognize their creativity and not shy away from it. Your scribbles, doodles, aimlessly penned words – everything you do is creative. So, go right ahead and say it loud – I am creative. Claim it and make it happen – whatever form it takes.

I wish to claim that I see goodness and kindness in people everywhere.

What do you wish to claim?

Please comment here

Until next time – remember, what you wish will come true.

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

 

“Living in Gratitude” – A Choice or an Obligation?


Gratitude…..

 

“The Soul is like water in its polarity to Spirit. When we become like water, we attract the Divine Will and we become the conduits of the One Force. Water is a reflective mirror. Like the Moon it attracts the light of the Sun and projects images of light into the world of Matter. When our Heart is clear, the light finds us and shines through us. ♥” –
Shannon Port © 2012, The Mirror of the Soul

I picked up this quote from one of the Facebook pages that I subscribe to and it sums up pretty much what I tried to capture in the painting. I did the painting before I even read this quote.

Gratitude can be a loaded word, especially when things in one’s life are falling apart, gratitude will be a far fetched concept.  How can a person living in utter poverty, or violated by crime, war etc., how can people who flee their countries to others for shelter, feel gratitude for the situations that they are in… It sounds preposterous to even suggest that they find something to be thankful for, given their situations.

Lets put those extreme situations aside for a minute.. How many of us who never have faced those situations and are unlikely to face them given where we live –  how many of us live with gratitude?

A person who seemingly has everything can still find something to be unhappy for.  Depression is 21st Century’s biggest disease.  Can Gratitude be an antidote for depression? I am not mocking the serious biological nature of Depression.  However, we have been so conditioned to look at only what is going wrong in our lives and forget or ignore all the other things that are good in our lives and feel discontent which can trigger a type of depression.

If we deliberately live in Gratitude for everything we have, would the world be a better place? Would that help people who are suffering?

Well, it may not help directly, but I think the indirect benefits are far too many.

When I live in gratitude, I am empty with fullness.  As my head gets empty, my heart gets full swelling and overflowing with gratitude.  The result of that would be that my focus is not exclusively on me and I have room to take in others into my heart.  Overflowing Gratitude washes selfishness and self-interest away.  As light is spread before me, above me, below me and around me, I disappear into that light and merge with no identity left of  my own.

How can I ignore the grace flowing in through the sun rays and only look at the muck I stand in from time to time?  How can I forget that the sun rays can dry the muck up and the pure waters can wash it away as well?  What remains after that?

Pure Grace. I am thankful for that light and for that water which shine and purify everything including me.  When I open myself with gratitude to allow that grace to cleanse my heart and flow through, my dissatisfaction and discontent disappears,  judgments drop like autumn leaves.   I gain the capacity to see that even the worst offender has something to teach me.  I begin to touch others (not just people in my immediate circle but everyone) unconditionally and compassionately.  As my life becomes a reflective mirror, it projects images of light into the world of Matter and  my capacity to help and serve selflessly multiplies.

Living in Gratitude is not a Choice but an inherent Obligation, a Duty of ours.

So if you haven’t already, I recommend starting a practice of living in gratitude.  For the next 30 days write 5 things you are grateful for each day.  You cannot repeat the same things.  Instead you will have to find 5 new things each day.  This practice makes one acutely aware of how many things in our lives we take granted for.

Would you like to join me in starting a 30 day practice of ‘living in gratitude’? As we are approaching the end of the year, this would be a good practice to reflect and recapture everything that we are grateful for and say ‘thanks’.

What do you think?

Would love to hear your thoughts..

I am grateful that you took time to read this

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

 

“Know Your Power….”


English: Goddess Durga, fighting Mahishasura, ...
Goddess Durga, fighting Mahishasura, the buffalo-demon (Hindu Mythology) . In the clouds the Devas, celestial beings watching the event, are seen. The story is written in the Devi Mahatmya and Devi Bhagavata and is the background of the Durgapuja, the annual Hindu festival in autumn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Addressing all Women –

Do you know your power? I am guessing you do deep down but stop yourself from acknowledging it.  I do….

I am in the middle of celebrating a 9 day Festival of Goddess called “Devi Navarathri” which culminates on the 10th day and the festival itself is called “Dassara”.  It is widely celebrated throughout India.  Today is the 3rd day of the nine days.  Whilst it is a festival embedded with ritualistic offerings, prayers, chants etc., the symbolism and the deep meaning behind those chants is something not to be taken lightly.

At a time when the world is at a crisis point in all areas of manifestation, at a time when women all over the world are suppressed and/or oppressed and made to suffer silently, drawing in the symbolic meanings of such rituals and rising with the practical power that it offers is crucial.

We may not all believe in one particular religion or not believe in God at all, but we all do acknowledge the power of feminine and how much that is required today.

Devi Navarathri or Durga Navarathri is a festival celebrating the sensuous as well as ferocious qualities of the Goddess.  Legend has it that the Goddess has fought the demon called “Mahish-asura” fiercely for 9 days and obtained victory.

“Mahish” means Buffalo and “Asura” means Demon.  The qualities of a buffalo are that of sloth, laziness, brutal strength coupled with the demonic qualities of the 6 inner enemies of “Lust, Anger, Pride, Attachment, Jealousy and Greed”. These are the precise qualities that are rampantly manifest in today’s society aren’t they?

The one particular prayer offered to the Goddess during these 9 days is a chant of 1008 names of the Goddess.  This chant describes the Goddess as a sensuously beautiful woman as well as ferociously courageous and unconditionally compassionate.

Can we relate to these qualities in us women?

Yes we can.  Now, we may all not be sensuously beautiful, but we do rise ferociously when our loved ones are hurt and we are naturally kind and compassionate.  The problem is we don’t acknowledge these capacities.  21st century world forces us most of the time to focus on external appearances and material comforts which causes discontent to rise again and again.  Add to that our own self-doubts, judgments, worries, guilt, anxiety and even self-hatred in some, women shrink within and do not allow themselves even to consider their own potential.

It is time that we women rose strongly recognising our inherent qualities.  I am not a feminist and I don’t hate men.  Men are equally important in this world and there is a lot to be learned from the masculine energy.  But when one energy predominantly rules, the balance is skewed as we are witnessing today.  It is time for that balance to be corrected and only by women recognising their inherent Divine Potentialities, acknowledging them and embracing them fully can that happen.

The 9 days are divided into 3 sets.  The first 3 days prayers are dedicated to Goddess Durga in order to clean all the impurities within, so the channels for pure energy to rise are clear.  It no longer serves us to put ourselves down and play it low.

The next 3 days are to acquire wealth in all 3 areas of life and the Goddess Lakshmi helps in acquiring wealth physcially, mentally and spiritually.

The Goddess Saraswathi – Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom is invoked in the last 3 days in order to hone the knowledge and gain wisdom.

So, what changes can we make to allow the Goddess energy to manifest within ourselves?

How can we rise above our own self-doubt and self-judgment?

How can we become more courageous in standing up for who we are?  How can we stand up for other women?

How can we be compassionate and kind in our understanding and interactions with ourselves and with each other?

It is time that we women collectively stood up and say ‘YES’ to our power.  This is not about power games.  This is about us acknowledging our own Goddess qualities and living them fully.  Through that we demonstrate our power that is naturally within us hiding from sight. We need to own it and live it.

Are you ready to acknowledge that you are sensuously beautiful, unconditionally kind, loving and compassionate and ferociously courageous?

Let us tell each other that today and the next day and the next day……until it becomes a reality to all the women.

Drop a line with your stories…

Until next time,

Bowing to the Goddess within us

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari