A yes to life

Aligning with your ‘yes!’ is about feeling nourished on every level – feeling deeply alive. I’m not talking about the shallow, quick-fix kinds of comfort that make us feel good only temporarily. The kind of feeling good that I’m talking about, which comes from aligning with your ‘yes!,’ is about listening for the deeper truth underneath all of that. It’s that knowledge that ‘I’m in the right place, at the right time, doing what I’m here to do.’ You feel grounded and at home in yourself. Your life becomes rooted in a deep ‘yes!’ You feel alive and grateful to be in direct contact with life. You are in touch with how exquisite it is to feel and be with the raw truth of all that is moving through you. This kind of alignment includes difficult emotions, pain, and tension. It can include illness and struggle. It is about being in direct, authentic contact with the wholeness of life. Nothing is denied. It is your truth and you are awake to it.

Deborah Zucker, The Vitality Map

Be firm like a rock

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This prayer is attributed to Saint Patrick, when he was in danger of being ambushed by the High King,  Lóegaire mac Neill.  To defend himself he takes in the energies associated with different elements of the natural world. The early Celtic Christians developed their inner life through paying attention  rather than seeking direct visions. They cultivated this skill, rooted in the body, tuning into the 5 senses, or as they said, learning to play  ‘the 5 stringed Harp’.

I bind onto myself today through the power of heaven!

The Light of the Sun
Brilliance of moon
Splendour of fire
Speed of lightning
Swiftness of the wind
Depth of sea
Stability of earth
Firmness of rock.

St Patrick’s Shield, 8th Century

How can you help but grow wise with such teachings as these –

the untrimmable light of the world, the oceans shine

the prayers that are made

out of grass

Mary Oliver, Why I Wake Early

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Standing in the face of disappointment

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Stay with the feeling in the body. Don’t advance into proliferating a story. Don’t retreat into denying the sense of hurt.

Not advancing, not retreating,

Not real, not empty.

There is an ocean of bright clouds.

There is an ocean of dark clouds.

Dogen, 1200 –  1253

photo Nicolas A. Tonelli

Facing the unfelt parts

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For many of us, when our particular place of insecurity or woundedness is touched, we easily regress into the fullness of trance. At these times there seems to be no choice as to what we feel, think, say or do. Rather, we “go on automatic,” reacting in our most habitual way to defend ourselves, to cover over the rawness of our hurtYet, the very behaviors we use to keep us from pain only fuel our suffering. Not only do our escape strategies amplify the feeling that something is wrong with us, they stop us from attending to the very parts of ourselves that most need our attention to heal.

As Carl Jung states in one of his key insights, the unfaced and unfelt parts of our psyche are the source of all neurosis and suffering. The good news is that when we can learn to feel and face the fear and shame we habitually avoid,  with compassion, wisdom, and courage, we can begin to awaken from trance; we can begin to free ourselves to respond to our circumstances in ways that bring genuine peace and happiness.

Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance

photo eric kilby

Go through your vulnerability

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The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance, our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully, or conversely, as misers and complainers, reluctant and fearful, always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter, never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door.

David Whyte, Vulnerability

photo aditya maurya