How many articles do we read, how many workshops are there and how much money is being spent on "personal development" and yet our relationships with our families, colleagues and communities are still not being transformed. With a simple conscious awareness of what I like to call "getting back to basics" or the truth of the matter, the heart of it all, we can begin to evolve this process and build a solid foundation.
It begins with us. Some simple consciousness-raising awarenesses can save us from thwarting our own success. The following "Universal Truths," if followed, will create a template for love, freedom and evolution to enter our lives and the lives of those we meet.
1. Give the benefit of the doubt
I know from experience that when I first "feel a feeling" about a particular scenario I can conjure up a whole narrative about what the back story is. I also see my students and clients routinely step into their own habitual story and pitfall. It is comfortable to go where our mind/heart wants to go, much like a needle on an old vinyl LP falls into the skip mode because it is easier than going to the next track. Yet all this does is forge a deeper trench into the abyss of habit. Habit lands us EXACTLY where we have been before. This is not only frustrating, but presents a chasm of miscommunications for all involved. So, open the space, be willing to "know you do not know" as my teacher Dr. Douglas Brooks, Rajanaka Tantra scholar, says, and offer the gift of benefit of the doubt -- "wait and see." Amp up and raise the volume of the old adage "do unto others as you wish to be done unto you."
2. Pause, Soften, Listen and Receive.
This is a fundamental gift you give to yourself in every area of your life. This open field allows for the most reception ever. When we apply this tenet, we can feel, taste, touch, see, hear all that is unseen. Open up to the grace-filled potential that is always yours. This is a Universe that unfolds for your benefit. When you pause, soften, listen and receive the present moment, you will have aligned with a force that created the heavens, the Earth, the moon and the stars. Who could argue with that? The thing that happens to you after you open to receive is often better than what you thought you wanted.
3. Speak and Listen with LOVE
Quite self explanatory. Our words are much like "zip files" -- once unzipped they are potent with an energy that creates their reality. This vibrational force, much like the whole Internet and cell phone industry, emits an energy. So why not attach love to each word both incoming and outgoing?
4. Word, Thought and Action = TRUST
Inventory has to be done here. How many times do our actions antidote the words we have said? Or vice versa? For example, in my neck of the woods many pride themselves in living a conscious, mindful life -- eating organic foods, supporting the rain forests in South America and fighting against human sex trafficking. But in between those moments, those same people will nibble some anger for lunch and then for dessert they will have a little spite.
John Friend, founder of Anusara and my loving teacher since 1999, says "balanced action" is fundamental for a yoga pose to express itself from the highest. Being the best us -- living in "balanced action" -- is the game here. We literally need to put our money where our mouth is, or put our actions to our word through alignment. I want to keep this very basic, something so personal that it can be universal, like daily chores, responsibilities and commitments. Who takes out the garbage and when? How and when does the mail get looked at, sorted and filed? You and your spouse commit to eating healthy, create a plan of shopping, preparing, cooking, cleaning up and then your spouse is off the plan with bags of snacks in their lap before bedtime. How does that impact your relationship? Your spouse says they value trust above all, but then they back out of the plan. See how it is unbalanced?
Trust is cultivated when our words, thoughts and actions are in harmony. When you say you will do something and don't (uh oh!) that is the recipe for failure and creating more of what we say we don't want. We ask for trouble and again, repeat our habits and thwart the sweet happiness that is our birthright.
What words are you using to weave your day, your life, second by second? Are they adversarial? Are they words that create beauty, peace and harmony? Are they offered to support or to suppress? Are they loving and kind? Are they there to serve as an opening or to close? Are they meant to inspire or to control? With each word, you build your life. So the effect of your words does not only affect the person your words are meant for, but yourself as well.
I have created a bit of a game for myself. All you need is a dark green SARASA pen, my ultimate favorite for this activity. It is based on Dr. Emoto's Water Project, whereby water crystals organized themselves in a way that reflected a "word" and its vibratory message, no matter the language. Same word, different language yielded the same water crystal construct. Since our blood is made up largely of water, I believe the same effect can organize the water crystals of our cells to create wellness and happiness and love.
Along my inner left shin bone to ankle I write a message, sometimes it is "Abundant Love" or "Joy" or "Peace" or "Health" etc. At the same time, I am conscious of the words I am using, and the reality they create. When those around me may say negative things like "the economy sucks," I whisper "cancel cancel" to myself and affirm the good and act from that place -- think it and align to it.
5. Tell the Truth, Your HUMAN TRUTH
Do we really need a personal development trainer, counselor or coach to tell us to "Tell the Truth" now and again? I guess so, as we all are not emotionally honest and lie to a degree at least some time, in some space, in some way. I have learned that by NOT telling the truth, and not being as real as I could possibly be, I have lost many opportunities -- for one very major reason: I felt "fake" to myself. This created a separation between my true "Truth Telling" authentic self and the one I paraded around the world with. Non-truths are like "smoke and mirrors." Untruths compensate for the deep hurt, protection, sadness, deficiency inside of us and hide our authentic selves. Have you learned that our lies, our untruths, have shades? White lies, anyone? Even when we 'white lie" and pretend the pink elephant is NOT in the room, it interferes with expressing who we really are in the world, our authentic "brand," per se. We hide, cloak our greatest gift and live someone else's version of our dream life. When we are dishonest to ourselves or others our "YOU-nique" gift, the one no one else can offer the world, is hidden. What a sad thing that is!
Listen and hear TRUTH as truth and you will feel the untruths bubble up -- as we are hardwired to sense it. We call that intuition.
The truth is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Say the TRUTH when you feel hurt, sad, distressed, betrayed, abandoned, unrecognized, invisible -- be out with it and be clear in your own heart. When we are truthful, we become the expert in our lives. So say, "I deeply screwed up -- I lied to you when you asked me x, y or z." A coming clean refreshes all and allows the real you to emerge. Come out of the preschool game of "let's play pretend." Kindergarten is over. Adulthood is here. Milk and cookies anyone?
Amy Elias, MS, is the founder of WHiP It! Productions: Where Wisdom, Health, Integrity and Passion Merge.
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