Life: What Does it Mean to You?

Life. Love. Your world…. What does it mean to you? If you knew you had only a short period of time to live, how would you live life differently?- Would you live it differently? Would you be so concerned by what others thought of you? Would you somehow find a way to be more truthful? Would you alleviate those feelings of regret that lie deeply beneath the numbing, the busyness, the need to make more money, or have the perfect house/ boat/ or car? Would you possibly be more open to those things that scared you before, knowing your end is looming?

Seeing myself within my deathbed, as a reflection (as a meditation practice), looking over my life as it plays over in my mind, I can see all of the places which were not in truth so far. Things where I tried to ‘fit in’, or ‘belong’…. where I tried to impress others instead of being how I really wanted to be. Where I was running from myself and my own many truths I wouldn’t dare tell anyone else about in case I would not be accepted within my own family, friends and extended circles… so afraid of being the centre of gossip. Since doing this practice I have been able to see clearly my truths I once ran from- the powerful life exploding ones (that I’m in the middle of now) and the small seemingly inconsequential ones. I can open and share these things with my closest of friends. No one judged. They listened with openness. They helped me, wrapped me up in a warm blanket of support and supported me to be myself wherever I am, whatever the situation.

We all have something, no matter how minor it is, there are secrets within. Perhaps this path we call our life is to learn to accept our imperfection and little idiosyncrasies that make up our gorgeous authenticity, not to mention the energetic blueprints we all come in with as well (but that’s another blog). Oh, I have a vision of how each person who accepts themselves, ALL of themselves- is their own beacon of light, slightly different shape, or vibrancy or colour- but there it is, the acceptance of the wholeness, beautiful messiness of the human imperfect life within each of us. The bits we don’t like or wish to change, the parts of us that deny and judge others, wanting us to simply reclaim those parts that exists within us which were suppressed and we resist the rising of the surface of. If we look at things this way, perhaps the concept that we are all connected isn’t so difficult to comprehend?

Doing this deathbed practice has helped me to no longer run from the judgements I feared from others. I realised that I was the one leading this within my own head. I needed to accept all of me as it arose, whether it fitted in within societal norms or not.

Doing this deathbed practice has helped me to no longer run from the judgements I feared from others. I realised that I was the one leading this within my own head. I needed to accept all of me as it arose, whether it fitted in within societal norms or not. Whether things I chose to do with my life fitted in with my mentorship and previous training. Whether it aligned with the spiritual community’s expectations of me by even becoming a mainstream meditation teacher….There were so many things that needed to be let go, dissolved, seen and accepted by myself. It is divine timing now, that it is my turn to let go and step into what I am most aligned to do with my soul right now. And that’s letting everything go in my life that no longer resonates, that is no longer my truth. Letting go, despite others opinions. Letting go even though I can not see the road ahead clearly. Trusting and stepping. Trusting ands stepping. I don’t know about you, but I need to live aligned to what is most truthful for me. That is living and directs me which way to turn and when to step.

If you have things come to mind for you, this practice of visualising yourself close to death may help you, too. Now I see things that I ran from as trivial, as things that do not matter in the scheme of things. Add it to my life lessons so that I may share this with whomever. Who knows if this may help another?

The concept of time fascinates me…. do any of us truly know how much time we have left? That is the beauty of life- the unknown. No matter the money or job you have- death is the great equaliser and one that we run from. How do we know it isn’t a great release, beautiful and serene? We don’t. Imagine getting to the inevitable knowing with a soft, sweet smile, with the thought echoing within your mind you truly LIVED! You gave it a shot. You learnt heaps. You loved courageously. You surrendered to life and let it have its way with you. You allowed the energy within to tantalise you, to inspire you, to connect you more than you thought could have ever been possible. What an adventure…. Now it’s time to rest, brave one, rest in love and connection….

NB: this practice is intended to empower the individual rather than create anxiety. If facing the ultimate fear- death before physically dying, it can create the willingness to face things in life that pale in comparison.

All my love,
Elise.

Featured Image art by Tomasz Alen Kopera

Grieving- Ways we can bring loving awareness

 
There is beauty in heart break. There are those moments when an allowing or surrendering to what is occurs. When surrendering to feelings happen… there is such grace and poise in the acknowledgement of emotions. It’s that picturesque moment to sit in truth, allowing the emotions to come through when tears stream down your face. There’s no where to turn except into the grief- be intimate with the grief. There are things to learn about Self here, always. Allow the emotions to swell, break the bank, do whatever is natural for them to get out of the body. Don’t hold onto them. And when the release is done, ask of it, “What do I need to learn here from you?” These questions don’t make the pain or hurt go away, nor should we turn away too soon in the grieving process. But the questions exist as a way to keep turning into Self and not outward. To keep on the soul path. Your soul path. Endings will occur- losses will come and go in life. Being able to feel it all and be so present, but also have a strong witness and feel for soul alignment is central for this path when we come across heart ache, or loss of some sort. Pay attention to stories attached to the emotions. Emotions come in waves, stories can make you feel something for a long time. Emotions are a part of the emotional body and are impermanent and stories are when the brain creates hell on earth for us. We lose presence when we allow our brain to conjure up things. There is a type of sacred union that doesn’t aid our soul journey, and that’s the sacred union between our emotions and brain.  
There are ways to grieve, like feeling, and allowing the natural cycle of the grieving process, learning truths about Self in this state. Sometimes grief will flow in all of a sudden and out again. This is something we CANNOT control! Perhaps that’s why as humans we tend to block or If we can stay present, we can learn a lot. This is consciously grieving, those on a spiritual path have a way of looking at their experiences to learn from them, as well as feel them. To know thyself deeper whilst hurting, this is like fertiliser – yes it’s poop, but it enriches us and deepens our courage and wisdom…. Another way is unconsciously grieving where we can create stories, project outwards at others in anger, stay as a victim therefore giving power away, subconsciously hurting others because the person grieving hasn’t grieved themselves, and re-entering painful life patterns. Behaviours of unconsciously grieving include numbing, avoidance, addiction, isolation, self sabotage. This can lead to depression and other mental illnesses.  
  
Grieving is a huge part of life and one that our society doesn’t do very well. It’s like there’s perhaps a fear that once a person starts crying they may not stop, or they don’t want to seem weak, or don’t want to make the other people feel uncomfortable. Whatever it is, emotions are a part of being human. It’s revolutionary to feel and express them. We aren’t machines, so why should we behave like them? Good questions to ask ourselves when we are grieving are:- 
  
 
What am I grieving?  
Is there are story?  
How can I surrender to this process?  
What do i need to support myself?  
Deleted: Am I spiritually by-passing (not being present to feeling the emotions)

Featured image by Fotodiale

The Transmutation of the Shadows Within

What a gift it is to be aware of our shadows, our parts of Self we feel we need to hide or suppress….

The call is here. Seek the answer within.
Do it with vigilance.
Do it with integrity.
Do it for yourself…..
This takes so much courage to see those areas of yourself you mightn’t want to see. We all have them.

This is not for the light of heart. To be able to change a ‘fault’, or a ‘shadow’ aspect of Self that you do not like into a gift or deep wisdom is powerful. But you will metaphorically bleed…

It goes directly into the area most people wish to avoid.
It goes directly into the deep wounds.
It goes deeply into the constraints we feel upon us- whether we know where they come from or not.
It asks the Warrior part within to walk directly into the shadow- only this time with no Armour. This time with nothing but openness, curiosity and a willingness for transformation to take place- however that looks….

What is the deal? Let’s look at finally being able to accept all aspects of us. Those bits we might fear to even look at within Self. That old adage we should choose ‘love’ over fear is so on the money it’s not funny. The ultimate courage requires us to love so openly that we risk our heart being broken by people, by situations, and life events…. The breaking of the heart happens so that we return to rawness, to our essential nature. To a sweet humbleness…. To truly feel in a world of ‘numbing out’. To be able to become sensitive enough to be in union with the divine, but still walk the line of balance with being a warrior for ourselves- ultimately being vigilant in upholding our integrity, our healthy boundaries, our balanced ego, our soul connection- staying vigilant with our center at all times- knowing what feels amazingly aligned and what doesn’t.

There’s a new world being birthed. What is needed is people prepared to dive deeply and courageously into their truths; The wounding we were born with, those we collect in life- and work with them! Turn them over… What’s underneath this shadow work? Treasure. Pure treasure…. Your key to knowing yourself. Your key to being a powerful person living in authenticity. Your key for stepping out of victimization, numbing out, blame, disconnect, and playing small….. Your vivacious life awaits.
Do you have the courage?

It’s time….

Art by Pat Erickson
Written by Elise Heyward