Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It Begins and Ends With Love

All Roads Lead to Love

All roads lead to love. That is the message I have been receiving lately, in my life, in my meditations and in my work.

While researching for my tele-class I discovered an interesting book titled "Beyond Forgiveness, Reflections on Atonement" by Philip Cousineau.  In it he writes, "The act of atonement, the experience of at-one-ment, allows you to be conscious that you've never really been cut off, that you've always been one with the only power that is." What struck me while reading the stories of atonement, contributed by a variety of people, is how through a transcendental understanding of those who had injured them the writers accomplished total healing. They embraced "at-one-ment" and by doing so were able to begin a healing journey that brought each person to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of their purpose in life. Often the atonement was so profound that it shifted their entire life path. Think of Nelson Mandela inviting the very guard who gravely mistreated him to join him for tea.

Love is the foundation, the undercurrent, the mystical force that fuels forgiveness and atonement. Love is the power that enables us to transcend our own limited views.

A friend and client recently suggested that I read the book "Dying to be Me" by Anita Moorjani. In it the author echoed the idea that we are all one through the sharing of her near death experience. She states, "I became aware that we're all connected. This was not only every person and living creature, but the interwoven unification felt as though it were expanding outward to include everything in the universe, every human, animal, plant, insect, mountain, sea, inanimate object and the cosmos." In the book she recounts the experience of complete and all encompassing love.

The message of oneness and love is more often spoken of on Sunday mornings than acted on in our every day life. We tend to find ways to habitually separate ourselves from others. Our neighbors build fences; we see the world as "us and them".  There are the democrats and the republicans, the sinners and the saints, the rich or the poor. We find ways to look down our noses at the individual, the group or our community in order to feel superior. What kind of world would we live in if we could begin to understand that when we judge others we judge ourselves? When we see lack in someone it is a reflection of a fear or sadness that resides within.

How can we begin to train our eyes to see the need for love in others, rather than reacting in judgement or condemnation? One tool or method to strengthen and instill the power of love is to choose to focus on the virtues that grow love. First, through the love of Self, the careful nurturing of our soul and spirit, we may build the muscle that manifests love. Daily attention to a practice of living the virtues that open avenues toward love will strengthen the foundation. If you practice forgiveness, you build love. When you experience gratitude you expand love. By creating harmony you grow love. When you act with kindness and compassion you reflect love. Live in ways that open the door to kindness, harmony, compassion, forgiveness, creativity, and joy and you will be spreading love throughout your day.

As Dion Warwick once sang, "What the world needs now is love, sweet love." and it has never been more apparent. As you begin to reflect love in your day be kind to yourself. Do not judge or criticize your efforts. Each conscious act of love can only build on the next until you one day discover that you are expressing your inner light in a more dynamic, beautiful and loving way.

It takes courage and creativity to be on this planet. I so appreciate all of you who are partnering with me on this exciting journey.

Love and light,

My actions and my thoughts create love.

Read anything by Philip Cousineau
Read "Dying to Be Me" by Anita Moorjani

Monday, February 27, 2012

Planting Seeds of Tolerance

I flinch when I hear people use the word "hate" to describe their opinion or perspective toward another person or group. The word is bantered about so freely that we are forgetting its true power.  The emotion of hate is dangerous, especially when it is used to form bonds. Communing with others through hatred is connecting through ego, often blinded by self-righteousness.

So here we are in an election year and the haters are taking sides. As you decide which leadership most appeals to you and which philosophy of governing most aligns with your beliefs I ask that you do so with intelligence and thoughtfulness. Leave hatred behind. Hatred, sarcasm and defiling others in order to be right are tools of the weak.
Hatefulness is akin to ugliness. Think about photos of people in the throes of expressing hate. They are devoid of beauty. Hatred has the power to inflame and direct in ways that are dictated by the basest of our emotions. Think "angry mob."

Pondering hatred led me to examine what fuels it.  Possessing an unyielding conviction that one perspective is the single way to think or feel is a powerful way to ignite hatred. This type of tinder, the stance that a belief or philosophy is the only truth, is challenged in a book I am currently reading by author Robert A. Burton, M.D. He reports of studies done on "knowing" and the ability to recall the past with accuracy in "On Being Certain, Believing You Are Right Even When You Are Not". Most interesting to me are the cases in which people adamantly believe they are right even when facts point to the opposite. It is a must-read if you want to examine what shapes your own "stories"  of   the "Who, What and Why" that have formulated your opinions and beliefs, especially when they are attached to emotions such as hatred. 

If you seek to resonate with love and increase your intuition then turn inward and examine how you have developed your own personal truth. Look within and see where the seeds of love reside and nurture them. If you uncover hatred ask yourself how you can disconnect from its appeal.
As Ghandi said "Hatred ever kills, love never dies; such is the vast difference between the two. What is obtained by love is retained for all time."

Love and light,
Love moves through me. I serve my world with love.