Heart Opening Moments

BLOG of a Spiritual Stripper

Your Identity and Your True Self

My normal morning routine of yoga and meditation with Baby dog by my side.

My normal morning routine of yoga and meditation with Baby dog by my side. (photo by ig – @fotografiablu)

Have you ever experienced how others perceive you will determine how they will treat you? And how you “appear” externally will determine how they will perceive you? In the end, does how you “appear” externally truly reflect who you really are?

Normally I have a spot I like to do my morning yoga in the park next to the canyon with my dog Baby. There are several workers in the area working to build a new playground. We often communicate with each other in passing with a “namaste” kind of sincere smile.

Over the years I have gotten showered with sincere kindness and greetings no matter where I am as I walked in my own state of peace and gratitude after morning yoga and meditation practice. This has become the norm.

A few days ago, my body was feeling the effects of the flu. Instead of doing yoga that day, I took the dog out for a quick walk around the block. As I walked pass the workers, feeling the same kind of love I have always felt, I naturally smiled to them in the same way I always did. To my surprise, none of them responded.

Initially I was shocked why all of a sudden the workers I have said hello to in the past months did not recognize me. Then when I got to the mirror – I did not recognize myself. I looked completely different under the spell of the flu. My face was swollen, my eyes could barely open, my hair was flying into my glasses as my glasses were falling half way down my face. I looked like a poor homeless woman with a dog! By all means, this is not meant to be judgmental in any way. It is merely an observation. The most interesting part is, while the external being looked somewhat out-of-place, yet this internal being, the ever-present peace, love and gratitude felt stronger than ever. I couldn’t help but ask myself, when do people perceive you as the real you and when do people perceive you as the mask you wear?

Going even further, I wanted to ask you, when do you perceive yourself as the real you and when do you perceive yourself as the mask you wear? And have you lived in your mask so long that you now believe you are that mask?

In the coming months, I will be conducting an experiment with a local photographer to answer these questions. My goal is for you to see how you feel physically, emotionally is only the external mask – what defines who you really are is that eternal being within. I look forward to your experience, comments, and contributions.

Namaste – I adore the divine in you.

April 29, 2015 Posted by | Self Realization | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Importance of Being Humble

"Who needs thorns when you have meek?"

"Who needs thorns when you have meek? See Beauty born...from Darkest Deep." - SanctusSilva

I’ve always thought strength was demonstrated through un-yeilding boldness. Having had a successful life in my 20s, I resorted to getting things done by my uninhibited determination. I stepped on toes. I made people cry. I was relentlessly running toward the finish line while knocking over anyone stood in my way. Of course I celebrated every win. And I didn’t care if I treated people as means to an end. I thought I was so smart and so tough that even life had to yield to me.

Oh boy, was I wrong…

Life offered me several chances to breakdown my pride and come back to earth.

Years later, I now find joy in humility. Today I choose the path of being humble.

“In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your piece of heart. As soon as you compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because you have begun to trade in unrealities and there is no joy in things that do not exist.” – Thomas Merton

The word humility refers to the quality o being humble, which stems from the Latin words humilis and humus and is also related to the Greek word chamai meaning “earthy, be on the ground.” We often confuse humbleness with being inferior. Today I invite you to examine the meaning of “modest and unpretentious.” To me, humility is a quality of true understanding of suffering. Bestselling author Caroline Myss in her book Entering the Castle explains that being humiliated by someone can activate our shadow side that foster feelings of vengeance or resentment. By maintaining an attitude of humbleness we can then transcend to the level of healthy detachment to feel the feelings of our shadow side yet still be liberated from the urge of shadow actions. Like a lotus flower, we can experience the pain of growth stemmed from a bed of mud yet still radiate love as we bloom. A lotus flower endured the pain of becoming yet it chooses to maintain its un-competing soft modesty. By gazing upon a lotus flower you might discover the grace of humility with expressions such as: understanding, endurance, resilience, compassion, patience, wisdom, forgiveness, gratitude, etc.

I knew of a man who was filled with pride. He was not balanced. One day another car took the parking space we waited for, he nearly pulled out a gun. The smallest disagreement can set him off into a nuclear explosion. He pretended to be a peaceful man while secretly lived in emotional turmoil. He had to dress up in suit and tie to maintain an image. If someone made a humorous remark at his expense he would threaten to inflict physical pain on one’s family. Nevertheless he always told me that he is a peaceful man and I had to agree or else… I also know a meek man who is filled with compassion. He is grounded in his integrity. The day he was deeply wounded he chose to walk away. He did not have to had the last word. He wore t-shirts from fifteen years ago without any sense of shame. Humility gave him the strength to help the one who injured him. He is never too prideful to say sorry. He walks through life with his chest forward and shoulders relaxed. And he always greets people with a sincere smile.

Looking at these two examples I wonder who can bring-forth peace on earth…

If you too choose to walk the path of humbleness we can embark our journey with one another. Here are a few questions we can ask ourselves to remove the blocks of being humble as suggested by Caroline.
1) How does fear of being humiliated control your life?
2) When have you been humiliated?
3) How have you humiliated others?
4) List ten positive and ten negative associations with humility.
5) Why being humble is difficult for you?

I gained much perspective by working through these questions. I also gaze upon paintings of blooming lotuses to remind myself the beautiful of soft modesty. Today I choose the path of being humble. Thank you for sharing your journey with me as I leave you with this quote from a true master Bruce Lee – the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.

March 14, 2011 Posted by | Aikido Wisdom, Choices, Death & Rebirth, Emotional Freedom, Inner Growth, World Transformation | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Gentle Enlightenment

Return to love, God, the source of creation

Eyes closed, looking within…
Moments ceased, releasing into…
Dark, safe, eternal infinite Being.

I am.

It is.

Nothingness is everything.
Emptiness contains all that is.

Is this what I’ve been searching for?
Silent, calm, gentle, ageless, peace.
In union with harmony.
Time and space dissolved
Into eternity…infinity…

Is this immortality?
The place I stumbled upon
Once upon a time
When I bathed in delusion
From a left turn into a right turn
Somehow I stumbled my way back to thy

It is ever present within
Silent, calm, gentle, ageless, peace.

This is home –
The place where everything dwells;
This is I –
The observer patiently watching;
This is emptiness –
The one that gives birth to everything.

I AM HOME.
I AM LOVE.
I AM THY.

January 12, 2010 Posted by | Self Realization | , , , , , | 1 Comment