Community

If you look up the definition of community what stands out for me is this line

a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common”

It is interesting, how we have taken what is so obviously a Universal all-encompassing meaning and used it to create division and separation based on geography, location, likes and dislikes, shared ideals and beliefs, culture, nationality, level of education, gender, age, social and educational background.

If we were to truly look at this definition and feel it in its wholeness we could never do what the above examples clearly demonstrate, which is to apply reductionism to break community into factions that keep us at arms length based on our small picture outer differences rather than our true commonalities.

For me when I read the definition of community and feel it from what I have lived before, my understanding of community is:

Group of people = Humanity
Living in the same place = Earth
Particular characteristic in common = we are Love, we are all Sons of God

So for me community goes beyond the people who I come into contact with or choose to spend and share time with. Community is all-inclusive and is based on the principles of Brotherhood, Oneness and Equality knowing we are one community living in the same place, sharing the same characteristics.

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Dogs Live In The Moment – Why Can’t We

Dog Whisperer
Dog Whisperer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching an episode of Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan when something he said really struck a chord with me……

“Dogs live in the moment. They do not re-live the past or worry about the future.

Living in the moment, moment by moment works for me.

When we learn to live in the moment, we can find balance — in ourselves and with nature. “

I reflected on what Millan had said and considered my own dog (a 20 month old spoodle by the name of Angel) who greets everyone like they were her long lost best friend, even the Vet, who never sulks, gets upset or holds things against you. Who knows when to rest or be still and quiet, when its time to play, or be alert and more upbeat. She even knows when its time for a walk or a trip in the car simply by observing the actions of her human pack.

Could you imagine a dog having an issue with you because 3 weeks ago you accidently trod on their paw? And then there was that time you lost their favourite ball by tossing it into the bushes where it was never to be seen again? Do you think they worry about whether they will be getting their walk tomorrow or about having to travel in the car in a few days time or perhaps they might leave me in kennels again?

No way, because dogs are totally immersed in where they are at right here and now. Tuning into their surroundings taking in the sights, sounds and smells and picking up on the energy of the people and things around things them. They do not waste energy or time on what has been or what could be.

Imagine living in the moment, not worrying about what has past or what may be coming your way.

Imagine living life with no issues, hang ups or insecurities.

Imagine every moment as an opportunity for a new beginning, or different way of being.

Imagine seeing everyone afresh, just as they are without us projecting our preconceptions and issues on them.

Imagine every meeting is a chance to create a relationship based on being who you are right there and then based on love and truth not on past hurts or future worries.

Be like the dog, live in the moment. Let go of worrying about the past or trying to control the future.

Bring balance to your own life.

Self-Love The Greatest Love of All

Self-love appears to be tainted with negative connotations. The idea of loving yourself is loaded with preconceptions that you think you are better than another, that you are selfish, self centred and have an inflated ego. Is that really true or do we only feel that way because we lack self-love in our lives and when we see another being loving it reminds us that we are not?

How often do you hear people say: “You need to love yourself.” “If you loved yourself, you wouldn’t have let that happen.” “You can’t love another until you love yourself .” “The key to happiness and success starts with loving yourself.” Etc….? A million times I bet. You only have to watch an episode of Oprah and you will notice this theme come up over and over again.

But what is loving yourself? Is it really a selfish act, one where you think you’re better than another or is it something that is normal, caring and beneficial to who you are, your health and your state of being? Is it something that can be of benefit to you and to others?

I looked up the definition of self- love and this is what I found:
self-love
noun
1. the instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, regard for love or love of one’s self, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage.
2. conceit; vanity, excessive pride
3. narcissism

Synonyms
bighead, complacency, conceit, conceitedness, ego, egotism, pomposity, pompousness, pride, pridefulness, self-admiration, self-assumption, self-conceit, self-congratulation, self-esteem, self-glory, self-importance, self-opinion, self-satisfaction, smugness, swelled head, swellheadedness, vaingloriousness, vainglory, vainness, vanity

Antonyms
humbleness, humility, modesty

Wow! Ouch! That doesn’t seem like a positive thing at all – no wonder we have an issue with loving ourselves if thats what we have been taught to think!

The other thing I noticed is that people think self-love and self-esteem are the same thing and are interchangeable. But I beg to differ. Someone can think a lot of themselves and have high self esteem but still be very self abusive and uncaring of their body. Which certainly isn’t self-loving. Just look at people like celebrities, the very wealthy/successful for example who think they are it yet treat themselves very poorly.

Self-love is now a very popular term that gets tossed around in day to day conversation, thanks to TV shows like Oprah, yet the idea of someone saying they love themselves carries a lot of stigma. I feel we need to break down the negativity associated with being self-loving and get real with what self- love truly is.

Self-love is important to living well and being well. It influences who you choose as friends, for a partner, how you are at work, how you cope with the problems in your life, what you eat and drink and how you care for yourself and what you will or will not allow in your life.

What is self-love, then? Is it something you can buy like new clothes? Can you get it by reading a self help book or something inspirational? Or, does it come from a new relationship, new job, moving house, a new hobby? The answer to all of these questions is No! These things may make you feel good and are certainly satisfying but you can’t get self-love through others or outside things. Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good it is an action. It is the little things that you do to care for yourself on a daily basis.

Self-love actually begins with saying NO. No to the things, actions and behaviours that do not truly support you or your body. It begins with saying no to things that are not loving, gentle or caring for your body. It starts with saying no to pushing yourself too hard, taking on too much and putting everyone else’s needs before your own.

Self-love is about choosing things that work for you and your body physically, mentally and emotionally. Self-love is about making choices that allow you to develop a deeper level of self appreciation so that you can give your body the care and attention that it deserves.

By committing to being gentle with yourself, you develop a consistency in how your are from your actions, self-talk, relationships, diet and exercise that come together to form a way that you live that helps to foster your self-love. Self-love is about committing to yourself and not compromising who you are, treating yourself with respect and expecting nothing less in return.

As you become more self-loving, the easier it is as the love and care you have in and for your body starts to grow. Living self-lovingly means you naturally become more accepting and appreciative, compassionate and understanding of self and others.

Over the last decade I would freely say that I have become a more self-loving person. This means that yes I do put my self first but it does NOT mean I think I am better than you or anyone else for that matter. It simply means that I care for myself, that I care for myself deeply.

I have seen some wonderful changes in my health and wellbeing, relationships and work since introducing self-love into my life. And would say that these changes have made me more loving and caring of others.

Loving yourself is a win-win for all. It provides you with a state of wellbeing and inner contentment, a confidence and peace of mind that is not easily swayed by outside events and opinions. It enables you to make healthier choices and the best decisions in all areas of your life from your diet and exercise to intimate relationships to your finances. It allows you to be more genuinely loving towards others and to be of greater service to the world at large. Ultimately, the more you love yourself, the more everything and everyone you encounter benefits.

Simply put self-love is a prerequisite to loving others. Your relationships are only as strong as the foundation of your self-love. Let go any belief you may hold that loving yourself is selfish or egotistical and replace it with the truth that your very essence is love, that unconditional self-love is your natural way of living . You cannot experience true love without first loving yourself. And when you can say that you know this for a fact you will have discovered the truth that self-love truly is the greatest love of all.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

It’s That Time of Year

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It’s that time of year when we tend to go a little crazy, over indulge, fall out with family and loved ones, put ourselves under pressure, feel stressed and expect everything to be perfect. All in the name of having a great Christmas.

It is also a time where many people choose to reflect and plan for the future, making impossible to keep New Years Resolutions that are doomed to fail only a matter of days into January.

And yet every year it’s the same we repeat these same patterns, behaviours and choices over and over under the illusion that somehow this time it will be better, different and turn out the way we imagined.

It’s madness, why do we do it to ourself? How about if we treated Christmas just like any other day? What would that look like? Perhaps a simple family gathering sharing food, time, love and each other. Sure have some presents but give simply and from your heart. Give yourself permission to let go of perfection, expectations and the need to put yourself under pressure. How about making the focus on having fun and being together – now wouldn’t that be refreshing?!

And as for New Years Resolutions like loosing weight, getting fitter etc. Forget them …..

Just choose to live in a way that truly cares for you based on what you feel works for you and your body and don’t be afraid to experiment, learn and change the rules as you and your body change and you become more familiar with yourself.

Be gentle with your body, give it quality sleep, nutritious foods, plenty of water, keep it active, meditate, be joyful, enjoy your friends, family and people in general. Love life and love you for all that you are. Be healthy, be yourself.

You Don’t Need

You don’t need anyone to complete you, you are already whole.

You don’t need anyone to fix you, you are not broken.

You don’t need anyone to recognise you, you already know yourself.

You don’t need anyone to love you, you are love.

You don’t need anyone to accept you completely …. when you completely accept yourself.

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Start to Love Again

Sometimes we get hurt by life, we think we get hurt by people and then hold them to ransom, keeping them at arm’s length until they prove worthy of our love.

We hold our love back, fearing being vulnerable, fearing rejection and not being loved in return.

What if we just love them anyway, risk getting hurt again and see what happens?

The more open and loving I am the less I get hurt and the more understanding of people I have.

How different would your life be if you let down your guard, let people see the real you and started to love again?