Knowledge and Self Cultivation is the area that you would want to enhance if you are about to embark on learning or doing something new. An area which would support any self-growth or self enrichment focus. It is also the ideal area for cultivating peace.
If you have ever taken a yoga class perhaps you have come across the pose “Tadasana” or Mountain Pose.
I would describe the basics of the practise of Tadasana as the action of reaching through your feet into the earth, stabilizing the body; while simultaneously extending your head to the clouds, embodying the essence of a literal mountain.
Mountains are majestic, they are wise and mysterious.
If one were to travel up a mountain you would certainly enjoy the vantage point of looking at where you came from and be in a good position to see where you are going.
Knowledge and Self Cultivation is about Self. What we have learnt in our lives, what we wish to learn and what we have learnt inherently about ourselves through all of our experiences.
I feel the best representation of this area is Reflection. I believe that we benefit from seeing where we have been in order to give us perspective on where we are going. The good times, bad times, easy and hard times. The whole package.
Reflecting on our lives is not about judging what we didn’t do, didn’t achieve, or how crap this or that situation was. Reflection gives us the opportunity to view all those instances and observe what we were taught. They are the ingredients of who you are in the present.
Each and every experience in your life has had value in creating who you are today.
Reflection is an opportunity to look for the value in those experiences with perspective.
- Looking back versus going back.
Reflection can be celebratory.
- The “I” did, “I” tried, “I” learned, “I” survived, “I” overcame. Give yourself credit.
Seeing your past as the base and building of your mountain and going upward and onward to the clouds.
The saying that “hindsight is 20/20” expresses that it is easy to see the value or the lesson of an event after the fact. What this can also do is provide you an opportunity to see what you are holding onto from your past that may no longer serve you in the present or will serve you in the future.
The potential lies in the viewing the lingering feelings from an observer’s standpoint, rather than judgement.
Ask yourself what it would feel like if you no longer held heavy feelings about someone or something in your past?
How would it feel to move forward into your future without some of the excess emotional weight of the past?
How would that affect your the stability of your Center or your Core?
I invite you to ponder and feel this, if you so choose let one thing or something go.
Grief can arrive like the rolling in of black clouds before a storm.
Grief can make your brain feel stuffy like a full blown head cold.
Grief can make your physical body feel as if you are walking through mud.
Grief can contract your emotions so tight you feel like you are waiting for the bomb to blow.
Grief feeds on and morphs into the very monsters hiding in the closet or under the bed.
Grief sensitizes us to ourselves and others.
Grief is the great lecturer on the past;
Grief is the shoulda, coulda, woulda.
Grief is the judge and the jury;
and given permission grief can be the jailer.
Grief is the darkness.
Grief does to you anything it wants…if you allow it.
So what now…………….(Inhale Peace)
I choose Gratitude (Exhale Love)
I choose Lovingkindness.
The days leading up to the memorial date were not filled with Lovingkindness. Nope they sure were not.
I was channelling the power of anger and depression. The uninvited flashback moments of 4 years ago running through my mind. The details as crystal clear as if it were all happening in present moment. I could feel it in my body, I could smell it, I could taste it. I could hear the question, “Why?” being asked by myself and others. I was generating a vortex full of wrath and fury fueled with sadness and loss. I was feeling “without“.
Then, I would look at my daughters and the storm would pause, the turbulence would sigh with dismay at losing momentum.
The morning of the memorial day I woke up feeling lighter. Feeling partly cloudy rather than imminent storm. I asked the girls what happy story they were thinking of about their Dad. I saw their father in their faces. I invited private flashback moments of their births, of stories of our lives with him. And I began to feel gratitude. I was feeling “with“.
Not gratitude for him not being here, but gratitude for him giving us what we had with him in our lives. Reflection.
Over a comfort food breakfast we shared stories. Nurture
Looking around our ecosystem and feeling Blessed. Gratitude.
Choosing kindness over bitterness. Community.
Inhaling Peace and Exhaling Love. Love.
Went out for lunch and shared laughter and fellowship. Joy.
Reminded myself that I am supported. Spirit.
Allowed myself to let go. Flow
The mixing of Gratitude with Grief is like trying to blend oil and water.
Grief being the oil at the top not allowing the water (Gratitude or Peace) to mix in. You can shake the jar as long and hard as you want and in the end the oil will always float to the top.
We can not change the physical properties of oil and water, however what we can do is change our perspective. Perhaps the oil is the Gratitude and the water is the grief? Its possible, if we allow it.
Everyone has their own process in coping with and moving through grief. And as each year passes I’d love to say that it gets easier; however what I will say is that it gets different.
I consciously choose to be open to what is possible. Grief can rise to the top on any given day.
I’m not looking to close the door on grief for myself or my daughters, I am however always open to creatively approaching this memorial day or any other day that grief appears.
I’m grateful. I’m grateful to be here to hug my girls, to love my girls and send love to everyone who has lost.
Its safe and okay to be sad and miss our Dads,
Its safe and okay to love and miss our Dads,
All is well.