Compassionate seeing

I was challenging myself yesterday, what do I stand for, in my work and in life?

Compassionate seeing

Care for self and other

Vision and excitement

Breathing into the one-ness of all and lighting with it …

Back to compassionate seeing, I want to explain further …

For me, compassionate seeing helps people unlock the mysteries of their lives.  This is not about “playing nice” or excuses as some tough love proponents might suggest.  It says that once we get there, to wherever that place is where there is stuckness or holding, fear or shut-down, enough compassion will melt it.

I had this demonstrated for me once and this woman continues to inspire my work – for those based in Sydney, I highly recommend Karen Daniels, should you be lucky enough to secure sessions with her for Expressive Therapies.

We can do this for ourselves, of course, this is essential.  And it is amplified when someone holds the field with and for us. Or more than one person. Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to have experienced this?  Or maybe you haven’t experienced it so much in your life.  So go ahead, close your eyes, imagine what this would feel like.  Paint a vivid picture.

By my late 30’s I had learned a lot about letting go and surrendering into each moment, about being kind and accepting, allowing of myself.  But something happened when she added her seeing to my own.  There was extra focus, more energy, more space, more opening and more movement.

She stayed with the process and I did too – long enough.  Just.  Maybe.  Shit happened.  Through the turmoil and darkness, through intense subtle level experiences and initiations, through physical pain and destitution in life, through crazy alone-ness and awe-filled gratitude for the process that was unfolding within me and through me.

Karen worked in the modality of expressive therapies – this meant utilising art, movement, sound and breathing to deepen into and express inner experience.  What happened as an outcome of all this compassionate seeing, space holding, deepening, accepting and expressing … well I will see how I can share this another day, but for now let’s say it gave me a direct experiencing of Life Force moving through me in a way so rich, so powerful, so tender and so unifying …

I like to hold that space for all the people who come to see me, the possibility of this.  Perhaps even the inevitability of this, under the right conditions.

So this compassionate seeing, it’s not an airy-fairy thing.  In my view and experience it unlocks powerful energy and the direct experiencing of your true self, your divine self, Life in all its fullness.

Practice

Below is a link to a 20 min meditation practice, to open into an experience of self-compassion and to use this energy to help heal and bring ease to any aspects of self that may be feeling a little “less than”.  Also an invitation to utilise compassion to open up and support any difficult interpersonal dynamics.

 

Living your values – what’s most important to you in life?

Hi … hoping everyone managed some R&R and maybe some time for quiet reflection over the holiday season?

The start of a new year is a great time to check in on what’s really important to you in your life, so that you can focus your time and attention on creating and enjoying more of it.  How often does the urgent end up taking priority over the important and days, weeks, months and years can go by this way.

My invitation to you is to take a little time to check in on your most important life values, across key life domains and use this as a guide throughout the year.

Defining values:

So, for each of these life domains, ask yourself “what really matters to me here?” and “what do I really appreciate or value in this life domain”?  Write a few words under each heading to capture this.

Remember that certain life domains will be more relevant than others at different times in your life.

–       family

–       friends and social

–       love partner

–       work/career

–       education and personal development

–       recreation and creativity

–       spirituality

–       community

–       physical health and wellbeing

Living values:

Next have a think about how actively you are living these values in your life at the moment.

For example, in the domain of family you might value being there for each other, having each other’s back.  Now, if you knew your sister was going through a hard time and you didn’t get around to calling, you might rate that category a 4/10 for living your values at the moment.

Under recreation, if you value time outdoors and have recently joined a 4WD club and gone on some camping trips, you might rate that an 8/10.  Where you are actively living your values, notice how that feels.  Is it energizing, calming, nourishing, inspiring?  Check in on how you are making this work.

In the areas where there is a gap between your true values and how life actually is right now, think about a goal you might like to set yourself.  What would it take to shift a “4” to a “6”?  Think about what’s needed in the medium term and also something you could start work on straight away.

If you’d like some help clarifying your values or working out a plan so that they are more active in your life, you might like to book in for a life values counseling session.

Image source: graur codrin  freegitialphotos.net

Mindfulness and pleasure

“Mindfulness” is a way of being that is mindfully aware, observing, accepting of all of our experiences, our thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. It asks us to view these experiences from the position of observer or “curious scientist” and to accept them with an attitude of loving kindness.

I don’t know about you, but there’s plenty goes on in my head and emotions that I would like to shut down or get rid – I’m sure most of you have noticed by now that it’s near impossible to make thoughts not be there (“don’t think about a pink elephant”) and shutting things down usually creates more problems. Mindfulness offers a way to be with difficult experiences, without being overwhelmed and so is often used to assist with managing stress, anxiety and depression.

I’d like to invite you to explore using Mindfulness to enhance your awareness of your moment by moment experience of pleasure. We are wired for survival to pay way more attention to threatening or negative experiences, than positive ones. So it takes conscious attention to balance things out.

Beyond that though, mindfulness of pleasure offers a pathway into the self, a way of experiencing yourself more fully, of really being present in moments. Whereas Hedonism would have us drown in sensations of pleasure, Mindfulness has us moment by moment aware of more and more subtlety.
Think the five senses. Incorporate your breath to enhance your sensory awareness.

Begin with taste – may I suggest a square, just one square of a really good dark chocolate. Feel the texture and temperature of the square as you break it off. Notice what happens in your body in anticipation of putting this in your mouth – do your senses waken? Breathe slowly and deeply and bring the square to your nose, as you take in the aroma, how does your body respond? Do you notice pleasure centres opening, do muscles relax. Slow it down, take three slow deep breaths as you take it in. Notice any part of you that wants to rush, that is resisting the pace, look on this part with kind, loving acceptance while you continue your slow exploration.

Break it in half again, hear the gentle snap. Place a piece on your tongue, tune in to all the notes, like a description on a wine bottle – can you taste salty, sweet, bitter? What is the taste like on different parts of your tongue? Notice the part that wants to devour, choose to savour. What feelings does this experience evoke in you? Allow them to be there, watch them kindly.

Now see if you can bring some of this new, slow, awakened sensibility to your daily experiences and interactions. Does this bring more awareness of your internal experiences, that of others? How does this change the quality of a moment, of a day, of an interaction?

Pleasure – a most valid and valuable pathway.