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Where does our courage come from? How is it that even when we are scared, we do things afraid?
In thinking about courage, I dug deep into the birthing of my own courageous experiences. I noticed that I had many courageous moments, and at times, and just as equally, moments when I held back from being brave. What I discovered was:
Not only am I inherently courageous – I tap into my courageous self in order to connect to everything that really matters.
Courage is the doorway that opens up to other rooms in my life. I need all these rooms to step fully into my life. Others rooms that open up once I tap into courage are:
Curiosity, Connection, Compassion, and Creativity.
Courage is needed to cultivate all of these qualities. These qualities are the antidote to fear, anger, impatience, and apathy. I noticed that when I am courageous, I’m often afraid in the exact same moment.
Who are you when you are feeling courageous and who are you becoming?
Spend about five minutes opening up your wild cosmic heart to the joy of peace. If we can feel a little bit of peace, we can feel a lot of peace. Be peace and send peace. This video was created near Kalani Oceanside Retreat Center on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Breathing in: I am peace. Breathing out: I give peace.
It is dedicated to the 2015 Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat participants who were willing to unpack their hearts. With hands on your heart, smile, and bow.
When was the last time you really listened to your heart? When was the last time you nurtured your sense of wonder?
There is a deep sense that we are being called to rewild our hearts. We need to make wild again our sense of self, our sense of compassion, and our sense of curiosity. Rewilding is a lens – a way to view the world, to view one another, and to view ourselves. Rewilding is a movement and a way of being. We are called to open our eyes, open our heart and open to the untamed wilderness that lives inside.
To rewild our hearts means we need to make room for wider spaces within ourselves, our community, our environment and our world. Rewilding is about expansion and redefining our borders and boundaries. It’s a desire to connect ourselves more intimately.
If we are to rewild our hearts, it would mean we would deepen our relationship with nature and the landscape that surrounds us. Rewilding is an exploration and a journey.
Want to come on a journey of rewilding your heart?
Join me on a Rewilding the Heart Journey in 2015 and 2016 – details coming soon.
When we connect to peace and happiness, we can discover Universal Love and Universal Compassion. We need to make the decision to go there – go to what brings us peace and happiness.
Take a few moments, and just let go and take some time to focus on what generates joy in our life. Notice that when we focus on joy, peace arises naturally. As my Buddhist teacher, Kadam Morten says, “Peace is the nature of our mind. When we pay attention to peace, it expands.” My teacher will often recommend that we hang out with our peaceful mind.
Personally, when I sit in meditation, I am reminded of my peaceful nature or my Buddha-nature. I can let go of delusions – of self-grasping and ignorance. When I open my eyes, the work of remembering that peace within continues and I must make the decision to go to the peaceful places within myself. As Kadam Morten says, “I can have a heart pervaded by peace, joy, and compassion.” He challenges us to wish for enlightenment for all loving beings without exception (bodhichitta – enlightened mind).
As Kadam Morten often says, “It’s audacious to identify with your Buddha-nature.” The idea of striving for enlightenment for the benefit of all as a way of being can feel too much. So, we start with ourselves. We carry love in our hearts as a way of being. The sun doesn’t think about radiating light – it just does it. We don’t have to think about radiating light – we can just be light. We can transform situations into peace and fuel the path to enlightenment.
We can be audacious and identify with our Buddha-nature.
A few days before giving the Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat in Hawaii, I met a beautiful flute player, Kylie Miller. She had just finished her retreat and I was about to begin mine. We were in the same housing complex and when I walked into the room, I heard the most meditative and sweet flute playing. We shared our backgrounds with each other. Kylie grew up in Australia and moved to Nepal to study and teach music.
The more I listened to her play, the more the music brought me closer to my heart. I asked Kylie if she would play her flute as a meditation for me as I filmed the beauty outside the room. This recording took place outside our housing at Kalani Oceanside Retreat Center on the Big Island. Enjoy five minutes of relaxing flute playing. Thank you Kylie for permission to share your loving gift if music!
“When we are no longer able to change a situation…we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Viktor Frankl
How can we change ourselves? As Viktor Frankl writes, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Forgiveness has taught me to live in the present and leave the past behind.
When I find myself seeking peace, I have noticed that peace is seeking me.
Are there people and situations in your life you are still carrying around with anger, disappointment, and sadness? Perhaps it is time to fully let go.
Join us for a four-week telecourse: Resting in Radical Forgiveness. Starting March 23, take a deeper dive into forgiveness through eyes of kindness and compassion. For more information and/or to register, click here.
At the start of a new year, I take time to sit quietly and set intentions for the coming year. I focus on areas of my life I want to cultivate. I recognize the turning of a page as a restart with fresh eyes and perspective.
As a yearly ritual, I give thanks for the past year and the lessons it taught me. I honor what I have learned and fully release the past. 2014 was my year of magical being and honoring loving-kindness – metta. The Pali word for loving-kindness, metta, means unconditional friendliness, warmth, love or care, and the Pali word for compassion means to “feel with,”- to bear suffering with.
As I look back, I realize that 2014 was really all about magical being. I spent time being with my family and living in compassion. I spent a great deal of time with my mother-in-law, who passed away in July. I spent time being in nature. I spent time being in grief. I spent time being with my partner. I spent time being in quiet. I had to let go of teaching a retreat and some workshops. And in the end, it brought me closer to myself. It brought me closer to my heart center. It brought me closer to presence. It brought me closer to BEING.
I also learned about deep compassion and suffering with this past year. I learned about releasing attachment. I learned about turning guilt into freedom. I released toxic relationships. I transformed doubt into wholeness. My heart was my map and it always guided me to the perfect place within – even when I was uncomfortable, uncertain, and full of grief.
So, as I step fully into 2015, I am profoundly aware of my inner source of peace. I am listening for the presence in everything and in everyone. For the New Year, I have meditated on my intention. As I walk into 2015, I recognize how I am moving from gratitude for into blessings towards. My word for 2015 is BLESSING(S).
As John O’Donohue says in his poem, Blessings: May the nourishment of the earth be yours, may the clarity of light be yours, may the fluency of the ocean be yours, may the protection of the ancestors be yours. And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life.
You are invited to take time and listen for your intention, your word, and your heart.