Today, I am continuing my reflections from my daily readings of “A Course in Miracles.” The Course says: You cannot learn of your wholeness until you see it everywhere
This idea is a continuation from last week when we talked about how we can only truly heal darkness by shining light upon it. The first step in that process is being able to see our wholeness, to be able to see and accept that we encompass the entire range of human emotion within us. We are a continuum of light, dark, and shadow. Once we are able to accept this concept, then we can also see that these aspects of life are all around us. Everything that we see is simply a reflection of something that is already within ourselves.
The Course continued to touch upon this idea today in this excerpt: If you inspire joy and others react to you with joy, even though you are not experiencing joy yourself, there must be something in you that is capable of producing it.
Can you think of an interaction that has sparked joy in you? An interaction with friends or family that sparked joy, laughter, happiness, or peace? Sometimes those emotions can even catch us a little bit off guard like ,“Whoa! Where did that come from? That felt really good!” Well, the Course is talking about this idea that there must have been something within you that was vibrating at the level of joy, love, happiness that you were able to experience this emotion with another person. You are able to see this in another person, because it is also within you.
And so, this brings me to the idea of shadow work. Shadow work is something I just learned about a few years ago. It is a practice of realizing that everything we see in the world is simply a reflection of something within ourselves. It is an empowering practice because it allows us to look deeply within to heal our own wounds. For example, if we see anger or frustration arising in another person, we can ask ourselves, “Is there a place within me that is holding onto anger or frustration?”
Often, it comes up in an unrelated situation, but if we contemplate deeply, then we can find areas in our life that we are holding onto similar emotions. Once we find it, we simply shine light on it. We look at it with love and compassion, as you would looking upon a dear child. In this way, we give ourselves the gift of deep healing.
This process is hard, I know. At the same time, it is so deeply fulfilling. It really empowers us to shift away from relying on external circumstances to make us happy. Instead, we begin to realize that we are the source of our own peace, contentment, and happiness. Through this practice, we start to see that every experience is here to teach us a spiritual lesson. Every interaction is here to heal us a little bit more, to help open us up more to the love and peace that is within our own heart.
Today, I am sharing another episode from our Instagram TV channel where I offer reflections from my daily readings of “A Course in Miracles.” The Course is a text all about LOVE! It’s ideas crossover with yoga in so many ways. In these blogs and IGTV episodes, I share with you my reflections based on my experiences with yoga and life as they relate to the Course.
The idea for today’s blog is that we can only heal darkness by shining light upon it. Today’s reading of the Course described that we cannot heal darkness by forcing the healing to occur. We cannot heal darkness by judging it or even by examining it mentally! We can only heal darkness by being aware of it and then shining light on it.
So, let me backtrack here for a moment to answer this question: “What is this darkness and light?” When we speak of darkness, it is any of those qualities such as anger, jealousy, irritability, frustration, insecurity, and greed. These qualities are within each of us, whether we want to admit it or not. They are simply a part of our human journey. I truly believe that a big part of our journey here on Earth is to heal that darkness, to heal that anger, and heal that sadness.
How do we do heal the darkness? By shining light on it.
What is that light? That light is love, compassion, forgiveness, and understanding. This light is within you. Just as we all have those qualities of darkness, we also carry the light of love, the light of peace, the light of joy, the light of forgiveness, and the light of compassion. Simply through acknowledging and honoring that light within yourself, you begin to heal all of those other parts. Recognizing that the same light is also within everyone we meet allows for the world to heal. It is through this simple awareness of light and allowing ourselves to spend more time in that space of light, that the darkness heals automatically.
Closing today with one of my favorite quotes, which is: Give light and the darkness will disappear of itself
Sending you so much love, my friends!!
Tune in every Tuesday and Thursday for my daily reflections, on Instagram TV and Facebook. If you like what you are seeing here, let me know by leaving a comment and sharing with friends!
In today’s blog, I continue my reflections of my daily readings from “A Course in Miracles.” In today’s reading, the Course described that every loving thought is real and every other thought is simply a call for healing. The Course also says that to love ourselves is to heal ourselves. The Course describes that everything we see in each other is simply a reflection of our own thoughts, our own mind, and our own perception.
So, today’s reading was specifically describing how we see and react to others. What do we do when we see another person acting from a place of anger, jealousy, or greed? How do we react when we see our brothers or sisters coming from a place of darkness? Remembering of course, that we all have those dark, shadow side emotions within us. We are all made up of light and dark; this is simply part of our human nature. A huge part of our journey of healing and loving lies in learning to accept all sides of ourselves.
And so, what do we do when we see those dark sides in others? We could deny them or judge them. We could say “Why is this person acting in this way? I would never do that!” I will admit that I am certainly at fault for having those thoughts on occasion! It’s a common thought process, because it is our human nature that our ego makes comparisons and justifies its own sense of rightness. But, can we step back from all of that? Can we say, “Hey, wait a second. This person is reacting out of anger or insecurity. Have I ever felt those things within myself? I certainly have. So, can I shine some loving thoughts, loving care and attention on to those feelings?”
It is a process of recognizing that we all have those same sort of dark, shadow emotions. We may exhibit those emotions in different ways, but those underlying feelings are all the same. There are really only a finite number of really well-defined, well-studied emotions that exist in human nature. For example, there is fear, anger, greed, insecurity; there is also joy, love, gratitude, peace. So, when we see an emotion coming up in another person, we can recognize it as a natural human emotion. It is very humbling to think of it in this way, but chances are that those emotions are somewhere within ourselves as well. And so, we can see this emotion coming up in another person as a call for help and healing on their end, but it is also a call for healing within ourselves. It is coming to light, coming into our awareness so that we can recognize it and shine light on it within ourselves.
I know it is a very deep process. It is a very humbling process. And, it is a daily a practice, so be kind with yourself as you go on this journey. Let me know how this practice resonates with you. Have you had experiences of witnessing these shadow emotions in yourself or others, and how have you handled it? Moving forward, in what ways can you shine light on these experiences? Leave a comment below!
The power went out at my apartment this morning. We had a lot of thundershowers last night and I actually woke up to the sound of the electricity and AC shutting down. It just so happened to be around the same time that I usually wake up every morning, so I went ahead and got out of bed. Of course, the first thoughts that ran through my mind were, “How am I going to record my morning video for you? How am I going to make coffee and breakfast?” These thoughts came and went within just a few seconds before I decided to just light a candle. I found my way to the kitchen, poured myself some lemon water (a traditional ayurvedic morning practice that helps with digestion), and then walked to the bathroom with my candle to do the rest of my morning ayurvedic practices of oral hygiene. Carrying the candle to my altar, I then sat for my meditation…
As I was moving through my morning by candlelight, I realized that we rarely allow ourselves to just sit in the dark. How often do we allow ourselves to just experience sitting in the darkness? When I allowed my initial thoughts of “how am I going to do my regular morning routine without electricity?” to pass, then I was able to take in the experience more fully and it was really peaceful! To wake up and not have glaring bright bathroom lights and the hum of electricity, but just to experience peace with the light of a simple candle.
This experience was such a great metaphor for the concepts of light and dark that I have been reading about in A Course in Miracles these past few weeks. Just like I had the experience of physically sitting in darkness this morning, how often do we allow ourselves to sit with those dark emotions that sometimes arise in us? Those emotions of anger, fear, and sadness. Now, I am certainly not suggesting to get obsessed or consumed by these feelings, but to just let ourselves experience them.
My own experiences have taught me that when I sit with those really tough emotions, they pass by much quicker and an underlying peace remains. When I first started this practice, it was really hard! I didn’t really understand it. How could I just sit with these super strong emotions coming up inside me? But, I tried it. I sat in meditation. I sat in stillness. I let those emotions arise in me and the most amazing thing happened! Within just a few minutes of sitting with the experience, those strong negative emotions would pass. And, what was left underneath was just this strange sense of peace. And so, when strong emotions arise in us, we can shed light on that darkness by simply allowing ourselves to sit with it. Letting go of the self-judgement, letting go of the stories surrounding the emotion, and just sitting with the feeling itself.
Because, what is the alternative? What do we usually do in those situations? Generally, we either:
1. Get attached to the story that brought up those emotions. We keep telling ourselves that story over and over again. Maybe we tell our friends the story, and so then their emotions also get wrapped up into it. All of a sudden, we create this escalating whirlwind of emotions! 2. Or, we put our blinders on, stuff it down, and say “I don't have time to deal with this right now!”
The thing is that when we do either of those options, then those experiences and emotions will undoubtably arise again at a later time. If we don’t allow ourselves the time to experience and process our emotions as they arise, then the law of nature will simply present us with the opportunity again and again until we learn what we are meant to learn from it. And so, just sitting with it, and maybe even asking ourselves “What am I meant to learn from this?” is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to shed light on the darkness.
I want to offer you a meditation that can help with this practice. The meditation is a breath awareness practice that I learned from Thich Nhat Hanh. The practice is this:
1.Bring awareness to your breath 2.Keeping your awareness on your breath, say to yourself “Breathing in, I am aware that I am experiencing [emotion]; breathing out, I smile at the feeling of [emotion].” 3.You can use this practice with any emotion! Just fill in the blank…for example, “Breathing in, I am aware that I am experiencing sadness; breathing out, I smile at the feeling of sadness.” a.“Breathing in, I am aware that I am experiencing anger; breathing out, I smile at the feeling of anger.” 4.You can even use this practice to strengthen positive emotions! For example, a.“Breathing in, I am aware that I am experiencing joy; breathing out, I smile at the feeling of joy.” b.“Breathing in, I am aware that I am experiencing love; breathing out, I smile at the feeling of love.”
Please let me know how this practice works out for you! Let me know if any challenges arise, or if I can offer you further guidance on these practices. Leave a comment below, and share this post with your loved ones!
As I was sitting at my desk reading “A Course in Miracles,” I glanced up and noticed the calendar on my windowsill. “You are a witness to light and dark.” These were the words on the calendar, and this was my moment of serendipity! Why was this serendipitous? Well, because the concept of light and dark is exactly what I have been contemplating and sharing on Instagram TV these past few weeks! I had not even noticed this calendar until the morning of creating this post, yet here I was staring at the exact statement of which I have been contemplating.
I wanted to share this moment with you today because I have noticed that when we are on the path of yoga, the path of finding stillness, increasing awareness, and clearing out all the mental chatter, then we start to just notice more of these sort of serendipitous events happening all around us. We begin to experience more “coincidences,” that aren’t really coincidences; rather, we come to realize that these occurrences are actually serving a deeper purpose. These occurrences are essentially messages from the Universe. Now, I'm not talking about some abstract messages. What I am talking about is very literal - like looking up from my desk and seeing a calendar that says exactly the same message that I have been contemplating on the past few weeks! These messages can serve to validate our alignment and direction in particular areas of our life; alternatively, they can also signal to us when we need to change direction. So, when we start opening ourselves up to clarity, alignment, and clearing out the mental chatter, we start to just notice these messages around us more often. These messages are actually always there for us, it's just that now we are doing the work on ourselves to be able to see the messages.
So, I wanted to start out by sharing that with you because it just goes to show the power of these practices. Now, continuing on with this idea of light and dark, today's daily reading of “A Course in Miracles,” was again talking about how we all have that light within us. The Course describes that when we get caught up in the mind and ego, we end up playing small in our lives. What this means is that we do not live up to our fullest potential because we are allowing the mind and ego throw in their limiting beliefs. We let ourselves believe that there are certain limits and boundaries that we need to set upon ourselves and on our dreams. But, the Course says that this is not true; we do not need to play small. Rather, we must come to know our value and that we are here for a deeper purpose.
How do we know what our deeper purpose is? Now, that's the huge question, right?
Well, yoga practices have taught me that when we allow ourselves to settle into mental stillness, letting all of those other thoughts just float away, then we are able to see what is remaining. And, what is usually remaining is the deep truths of our heart. When we take time to listen to our heart, then our deeper purpose is revealed to us.
Although I may be making this sound simple, the truth is that the mind and ego start to chime in once we move out of our practices and into our daily lives. This is where the importance of consistent practice comes in. We just need to continue to regularly return to that space of stillness, the space of the heart. The yoga practices are powerful tools for allowing us to enter into that space. In fact, the first time that I was really able to tap in to that space was when I first started practicing yoga and meditation. And, you can experience this as well!
I am passionate about teaching yoga because I love guiding others into that space of peace and stillness within themselves, and then seeing what they discover about themselves as a result. It is such a beautiful and powerful practice that we have now created a new schedule of live, online yoga classes so that we can guide you to experience this yourself every day, every week. Please join us! You can find our schedule and reserve your spot here
The information on Shakti Vidya Yoga, LLC’s website, blog, programs, and classes are for general informational purposes only. This information is not and should not be taken as medical advice and does not take the place of guidance from your regular physician. Consultation with your regular physician is recommended prior to participating in Shakti Vidya Yoga, LLC’s programs and classes.