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

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

Saturday: Finding ourselves again

directions

One of the nice things about a Saturday after an intense week is that we can come back to ourselves, and find within us a centre that is always there, even when we lose sight of it:

I lost my way, I forgot to call on your name. The raw heart beat against the world, and the tears were for my lost victory. But you are here. You have always been here. The world is all forgetting, and the heart is a rage of directions, but your name unifies the heart, and the world is lifted into its place.

Blessed is the one who waits in the traveller’s heart for his turning

Leonard Cohen, Poem#50 from The Book of Mercy