Love.

Love.

Imagine if you could magically step out of time and look back over your own lifetime. Which memories would rise, like rainbow-skinned soap bubbles, and float into your heart’s view?

Certainly the most poignant memories we have revolve around love. Feeling love, finding love, expressing love, losing love. When we are most in touch with life, the things we love, and those we love come sharply into view. And if you have had experiences that bring life and death into clear view, you too must feel that all that really matters the most, undoubtedly, is Love.

So what then, is love?

According to Merriam-Webster, to love is to hold dear, to cherish, to feel affection for, and to take pleasure in. For each of us, love holds its own meaning. So much has been said about love! Love is all. Love unites us. Love Heals. Love is all there is. Love is a many splendored thing. Indeed, love is probably the most mysterious, all pervasive, and multi-faceted treasure of our existence. What is love to you?

Love is the whole thing. We are only the pieces. -Rumi

When I was younger, before my first child was born, I thought I knew all about love. I loved deeply, and consider myself quite loving. If you would’ve asked me then, I would’ve told you that I knew all about love. When my first daughter was born, it had been a very difficult birth. But eventually, this swaddling baby was put into my arms. As I drew her close, and turned my head to first look up on her face, my entire universe literally exploded. A greater, more expansive love than I had ever imagined possible came over me, permanently changing the experience of life as I knew it. The love I’d known before was like a tiny egg whose shell had just cracked open into the light of a million suns, shining in the unending vastness of the Universe.

man facinggolden sun with arms open wide

Another time, when both my daughters were in their twenties, I was attending an Irish music event in Santa Fe with my two bandmates. We were seated in the highest balcony, looking down over the hall, enjoying the music. A slow feeling of pressure started to build up in my chest as I watched. At first I tried to ignore it, but it persisted. My breathing became rapid, and the squeezing feeling got worse. I began to panic as my heart started pounding. A shooting pain went down my arm, and I thought, “Oh my God, is this it? Am I having a heart attack?”

Fear escalated intensely, and just as it reached its peak, time stopped. I rose above myself, and could see myself sitting there, and hear the music in the distant background. I was keenly aware. Then tears began to flow down my face. I saw the faces of my beloved daughters, and then, one by one, faces of those I’d loved in my life appeared briefly. All I could think was, “Wait! Have I accomplished what I needed to? I haven’t got it right yet! Would my life matter? Did my girls know how much I loved them?”

Still immobile, in an altered state, I heard a benevolent voice. It assured me that not only my daughters, but everyone I’d loved, would absolutely know that I loved them. Somehow an inner knowing began to bubble up, replacing my fear. I knew with certainty that I definitely had loved. In fact, I had loved wholeheartedly, with a ferocity of conviction.

In that moment, I was assured that my life had been complete, because I had truly loved.

The doctors later said my symptoms were a complication of too much thyroid medication and exhaustion, not a heart attack. But in truth, my heart had been opened to a deeper appreciation and compassion for my own self.

These are but two beautiful bubbles of memories that rise when I look back over my life to think about what’s been most important. By the grace of God-Universe, I have been shown again and again that love itself is beyond my limited definition. It continues to expand in ever greater magnificence beyond the scope of words. It is there to hold me and reassure me in the most fearful of times. Love gives complete meaning to my life. I am finally learning to turn that love inside myself, and accept it. For 40 years I heard the wisdom from my Teacher that God lives within. That God manifests as myself. “Go inside and love yourself,” she said.

On this day honoring St. Valentine, I send this question out into the Universe as an act of…. love. So, I ask you again, whatever day this is for you:

What sweet memories of love arise when you look back at your own life from the place of deep stillness and compassion? Which lessons from love will you cherish and share?

I invite you to reflect on the gifts of love as you know it. Perhaps you will feel moved to write your experiences, as I’ve shared here? Or to sing, or dance, or laugh, or play. Perhaps you will offer your work with a lighter heart when you remember how much Love, loves you.

Wherever you are, whenever this is, I wish you Love.

All Blessings & Love,

Jeannie Arunimā

P.S. If you or someone you love wishes to develop more self-compassion and more self-love, please feel free to talk to me about strategies and practices that I’ve found really helpful! Schedule a FREE Welcome Call with me any time. You are a magnificent, unique manifestation of Love! Unveil this Truth, my friend!

The Rising of a New Age (Part 2)

The Rising of a New Age (Part 2)

Individual Awakenings Lift Humanity

Part 1, A Golden Opportunity for Humanity! discusses how the ancients of many cultures of mankind foretold the coming of a new age for humanity. And just as the start of the next season lies nestled in the midst of the current one, so too the next civilization of mankind is already beginning in the midst of our current world situation. In Oriental Medicine, this is an example of the “yin within yang” and the “yang within yin,” depicted graphically in the well-known symbol of Yin and Yang. But how does this help us usher in a new civilization? Considering the current state of global affairs, the future is uncertain, at best.

Yin Yang symbol

The question many ask, in the face of a seemingly hopeless and overwhelming situation is,

“What can I possibly do to make a difference?”

This is a great question! But we cannot leave it to dangle, delivering it’s message of incapability! We must continue to reflect and ask ourselves, where inside myself is this question coming from? What is at the root of this disheartenment? Clearly, the tone of the question reveals both the recognition of something needing to be changed, and, a sense of disempowerment. The words imply that, no matter what efforts one may exert, the outcome would be nearly meaningless. Has this ever been your experience? I, for one, certainly have, and of late, every time I watch the news.

When I experience this kind of discouraging thought, I shake my head, and just want to forget the whole situation, and shove it to the back recesses of the mind. This is how people go numb to the situation. The problem with doing so, is that a lingering undercurrent of disharmony continues in the background, as the situation is not resolved. Sometimes, as in our current world pandemic, the situation can NOT be readily resolved. Sweeping cultural forces, built over many, many generations, cannot simply be changed or altered through even the most ardent lifetime of one individual’s passionate efforts. The current culture of mankind is like and enormous wave on the ocean, and one human being is like a drop of water. What can the drop, of itself do, to change the tidal direction?

On the outside, one human being, or even a dedicated small faction, presumably can do little to create sweeping change. However, on the inside, there exists an unlimited potentiality within each individual.

According to modern physics, an actual connection to the entire cosmic landscape of physical existence. We are made of star stuff. We are made from the molecules of earth, sun, star, and elements. We are one with all that exists. Doesn’t this point to a kind of deep, human collective spirit within? Connected at our roots like the aspen trees, their branches so intertwined that a seemingly one organism.

The fact that we are not taught at an early age about our connectedness, to this world and each other, is a disservice to the human experience. In our popular culture (the same one that values sex, sports, and entertainment so much higher than educating the next generation of humanity) we place so much importance to material, external well-being. The focus is on acquisition, external accomplishments, and maintaining status quo.

Surely the deep thinkers, mystics, and devout beings realize a deep inner reservoir of human capacity akin to and cosmic connection. There is also a deeper reservoir of reverence and respect for nature throughout indigenous cultures. Why has popular culture gone so shallow as to create actions that are killing our own natural habitat and resources?

If we take the idea of human connectedness as true, we now have a platform from which to answer the original question. “What can I possibly do to make a difference in this vast human collective?”

blue aura earth in purple cosmos

Inner work. The answer when there is seemingly little we can do to affect a global change, is to work on what we can affect, from inside our own being to within our own lives. In this way, we effect change, one life at time, until such time as the critical mass takes over, and the change becomes a larger reality.

Perhaps we can take comfort in the adage from Oriental Medicine: the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, and visa versa. A simplified example is that the smallest and the largest operate under the same physical laws. The particles of an atom orbit the nucleus just as the planets orbit the sun.

Meanwhile, we also take mindful action as we can. An obvious example in making a difference toward how we are governed, is to vote. If we want to reduce the use of pesticide use across the country, we buy organic, and explain why to others. These may seem small actions, insignificant to huge problems, but en masse, they can be very powerful. The tidal wave of grass roots change is historically slow, yet it is significant and lasting, and broad-reaching. Change comes from within.

Just as the tender seeds of one seasons beginning lies in the height of the previous season, humanity’s future exists in silent presence of the current, collective human mindset.

If we as individuals put forth the effort to understand our own inner workings- our minds, mindset, emotions, patterns, etc, and make our inner landscape peaceful and clear, then eventually our society will inevitably change for the better. As individual drops of rainwater collect to form a lake, so too will human awakenings collect until there is enough shared awareness to change the current tide of corruption, greed, ignorance, and violence against one another.

Each one of us has the ultimate opportunity, perhaps even the responsibility, to understand the depths of our own inner being, forming ourselves into that which we would wish for our entire species and world. Let us hold a vision of deep respect for all things, animate and inanimate, and create an unshakable, common human morality which has compassion and awareness at it’s roots. In this way, we can begin to create our world anew, sustainable, secure, and sacred.

Each individual, human awakening adds to the collective upliftment of humanity as a whole, and in this way, we do have a powerful strategy to answer the question, “What can I possibly do?”

Wake up. Become aware. Make decisions from the highest view point that includes our sustained, global humanity.. Continue to develop the greatest capacity of being human, manifesting real love, in the greatest sense of the word. From the place of real love, divine love, we cannot harm one another or our world. In this way, we access our inner understanding and true power of discernment to bring about a new, and most wonderful age, for human kind.

My Saving Grace

My Saving Grace

The greatest treasure I have found in life is learning to turn within to experience the healing balm of the Innermost Self.

Universal Consciousness. The Divinity within. Inner Peace. God’s Grace. Whatever we wish to call it, I am pointing to the wellspring of existential, divine, inherent grace which resides at the very depth of our human existence. The place of our truest being, inner substance, or essential source. The treasure I’m talking about is the experience of learning how to turn within. In a word, it’s called meditation.

Sages, mystics, and saints from across world cultures and religions have written and taught volumes about this one practice… meditation. Christian mystic, Thomas Merton, spoke of it as the Centering Prayer. Zen students sit in “emptiness,” and Islamic and Jewish practices include spiritual practices of turning within.

Modern yoga practices are based on the ancient Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a great sage from a millennium past, whose verses teach of meditation (dhyana) as, the stilling of the thought waves in the mind.

Quite prevalent across our modern society, “Mindfulness” practice is making its way into education, business, advertisements, and everyday life. Even the renowned Mayo Clinic, promotes mindfulness meditation for its healing benefits.

Perhaps it is best summed up by the Muslim, poet-saint Malwānā Rumi, who was quoted to have said, “Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.”2

Meditation is perhaps my #1 “tool” and saving grace to live a life of connectedness, health, and blessings. Even more important, is that it’s available to everyone!

In his book, Meditate, the much beloved Siddha Yoga Guru, Baba Muktananda, explained that meditation was as natural as sleep to the human being. In order to access it, we have to learn to turn our attention within. Despite the fact that most of us in western culture were never taught how to actually meditate, the truth is that every one of us can learn to go within.

The BEST TOOL I’ve ever learned for immediate relief, composure, centering, and more, is ALSO the most simple and natural entry point for meditation. All it requires is our attention.

sweet child with eyes closed in backdrop of cosmos

The most natural “tool” to turn within is our very own breath.

Near and dear, the most precious of friends, the breath is a magnificent and wonderful treasure available to each and every one of us alive today. It is our connection to existence, here and now.

Breathing in, we are accepting the gift of life in the form of oxygen, sunlight, and prana (energy).

Breathing out, we share our presence in the here-now, ready to accept the next breath anew.

With this simple action of respiration, we acknowledge our participation in the great play of life.

In my study of yoga and meditation, I learned that when the breath becomes steady and even, we begin to naturally experience a state of calmness, presence, and inner peacefulness. By learning to make the in breath and outgoing breath the same length, we naturally begin to turn within. And this is the first step in cultivating a meditation practice. Breathing.

By watching the breath, even for a moment, we begin to tune in to an inner wellspring that offers immediate renewal and calm.

Through repeated practice, our minds begin to enjoy the feeling of going within, and we are naturally drawn to repeat actions that feel good! By cultivating a loving relationship with our own breath, we begin to cultivate a practice of turning within.

All it takes is one breath.

Try this whenever you have need of solace, healing, calmness, or comfort.

Simply stop, for just a moment, and turn your attention to your own breath. Watch the miracle of life as it unfolds naturally, easefully, and of its own accord.

Breathe in deeply and exhale fully, one, two, or three times, watching the breath rise and fall with your full attention. Then allow your breath to return to it’s own, gentle pattern.

Notice how it feels, or how it affects your body and inner state. Is there a sense of relaxation, reset, or renewal, even just a tiny morsel?

Finish with a little smile for giving yourself just a moment to breathe, and consider this old Tasmanian proverb, “Little by little, a little becomes a lot!”

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A final thought. A dear friend and Speech and Language Pathologist used to teach my special needs students that we could actually make a mental “Note to Self” (imagine pointer finger touching side of forehead), to remind ourselves of something important at anytime and anywhere. So, let us make a note! Say this out loud with me:

Note to Self…….. Remember to BREATHE!

And for just that one little moment, anywhere, anytime, we can bathe ourselves in the loving, magnificent rejuvenation of our own Inner Being.

All it takes is one breath.

The breath is our own treasure for life. It can comfort and restore well-being. Allow it to carry you through all the days to come, with deep joy and equanimity. Namasté!

All blessings and love,

Jeannie Arunimā

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Note to Reader: If you or a dear one would like more information on learning meditation and mindfulness strategies, you are most welcome to contact me here.

Or, you may sign up for a free consultation to talk about your journey, and talk about further resources for practice and study. Often in the course of healing sessions, clients learn strategies for turning within, along with guided meditation for stress relief, relaxation, and transformational self-healing.

Footnotes:

All references are hyper-linked to original source. For a list of references and further resources for meditation, please email me at jeannie.goldenlifehealing.com.

end blog

Acceptance is Key for Healing

Acceptance is Key for Healing

“Accept!” I hear the word clearly in my mind, exactly as my late Japanese master, O Sensei, would have said it.

I am working with a client, pausing with inner inquiry to discover how he might further healing of a very serious, chronic disease. We’ve been working together for a few months, seeing steady improvements in both energy and pain reduction. He has whole heartedly accepted and applied all the wellness strategies I’ve recommended, such as limiting work hours, scheduling rest, using visualization, meditation, self-talk exercises, targeted whole foods, and supplemental support, etc. In truth, his level of acceptance and implementation of healing strategies appears stellar! He’s accepted the disease, the doctors, the treatments, and every self-help strategy I’ve suggested with extraordinary graciousness, patience, and perseverance.

However, as many people who have suffered chronic illness discover, it’s not enough to simply go through the outward motions, and comply with (accept) treatment protocols and strategies for healing. No. In fact, there must exist a complete inner willingness in order to allow the condition to fully transform and heal. This bears repeating.

There must exist a complete, inner willingness in order to allow the condition to fully transform and heal.

Hearing that single word in my mind, with my teacher’s distinctive, thick Japanese accent, brought about a cascade of understandings about the healing process. I could see that although my client had exerted so much self-effort in his healing, there was still a place inside which was not quite ready to open up, and fully accept his recovery. There lingered a small shadow, seeming to whisper, “Ok, I’ll go through the motions, but, is it really worth the effort to struggle up the looming mountain ahead? I’m so tired.” This is the voice of utter fatigue brought about by chronic illness. It can affect our spirits, including our very will to live life.

 

Acceptance has many layers, all of which are quite “real” to the person suffering with a chronic illness.

 

There’s the physical reality of it. We take time out of our daily routine to go see our care givers. We may have to travel there, or set up remote access. We change our diet. We may start taking medications, herbs, remedies or supplements. Perhaps we change a behavior, like working too many hours. We implement strategies for healing. All these are physical and observable. 

There’s the mental reality we experience, often diving into research about our condition, and learning all we can to empower ourselves in healing. We think about, talk about it, read about it, rationalize it, try to figure it out, and hopefully, come to terms with the condition and make a plan for healing.

Then there’s the emotional reality, which is a too often neglected level in treatment of chronic illness. I’ve found that clients who’ve had a long battle with disease, or even just been unwell for a long time, go through the classic stages of grieving: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and hopefully, acceptance. (For more on grieving, see The 5 Stages of Grieving.)

 Finally, there is the spiritual reality, which is usually the most subtle and unseen aspect of a client’s healing. It’s extremely personal, often private, and possibly “subconscious” to even the client himself. It is this aspect of our Inner Being which holds the key to successful recovery. The unspoken whisperings of the “subconscious mind,” the old patterns, ancestral-genetic code, and if you are of the mind to include “past lives,” are all embedded within what we may term the “inner spirit” or “individual soul” of each person. This vast and unseen reality has the potential to thwart, or support, all our actions toward healing on every other level, whether physical actions, mental stance, or emotional well-being. It is this level of inner work which we must not neglect in our efforts to heal the whole human being. Fortunately, it only requires turning within. (For more on Turning Within, sign up for my free course here.) For all who travel the healing journey, it is the spiritual level that is the key to inner strength and life will itself.

Healing chronic illness requires a holistic viewpoint and a complementary, team-based approach, with the most important team member being the patient’s own self.

The moment I heard the word, “Accept!” I immediately realized that my client must have a vestige of non-acceptance lingering in his spirit. After such a long, wearisome battle with disease, I could not blame him. In fact, I knew somewhat of how that felt, having dealt with some chronic issues in my own life. As I brought it up this concept, “Accept,” he nodded knowingly. Having recently done a lot of inner work to overcome that very same niggling shadow of doubt, whether it was worth it to continue to fight, he just smiled. He could see, as we often do, that there was just a little way further to go in fully accepting the goodness of the healing practices he was committed to, and saying, “YES!” to his own healing.

Pausing to accept the body’s satisfaction of the in-breath. Quieting the demands of the inner boss to accept the comfort of a deep rest. Slowing down to savor the flavors and accept the nourishment of great food. And regularily checking deep within to be certain we actually have our own inner blessings, and receptivity….. acceptance…. for healing.

When we deeply and completely accept the present moment and ourselves exactly as we are, we can experience incredible and exponential healing on all levels. Accepting life as it is, this moment, we can move on.

If you find yourself wanting a deeper level of acceptance and would like to explore it in a safe environment of healing and compassion, please contact me for free initial consultation, or to book a healing or coaching session.

 

All Blessings and Love,

Jeannie Arunimā ♡