How The Light Gets In

It is my intention for writing this blog, to be as honest and transparent as possible.
I know, in my own experience, there have been PLENTY of times when I was going through something challenging, or difficult, or just plain scary and, not only did I not know what to do, I often thought I was the only one who felt the way I did. More often than not, I was also afraid to ask for help.

Crazy, right?

The population of this big, blue planet that we live on is somewhere in the neighborhood of 7.5 BILLION people. How absurd is it for me to think I am the only person who ever felt: afraid, lonely, sad, stuck, bitchy, confused.....fill in your own emotion here.
One of the things that I'm starting to realize is that, when it comes down to it, we're all pretty similar.

It's so easy to look at someone else and see what makes them different-- hair color, eye color, skin color, age, gender, socio-economic status, etc.
How about trying to shift the focus to what we have in common?
We all want to feel safe, loved, cared for. We all want a safe place to live, enough food to eat, clean water to drink and clothes on our backs. We all want to learn, laugh, feel joy, share love. We want our children (furry or human) to be well cared for. We want to travel, explore, take risks (whatever that means to you). So many similarities....you can add your own to this list.

YET...

So often, despite all the similarities we have in common, we choose to focus on the differences....even if they're not that obvious. Why is that?
I don't know if there's an easy or simple answer to that one.

I think one of the most dangerous things that happens when I get caught up in the idea that I'm different than everyone else, is that I start to build walls around my heart. I tell myself that no one will understand and I start to believe the crazy story in my head. You know, you may have your own version....the one that says I'm not enough---good enough, smart enough, thin enough, lovable enough, ____ enough. It took me a long time to understand that, that story is A LIE.
But.....I have to be reminded.....ALL THE TIME.

That's where my practice helps. Taking the time to turn inward and quiet my mind helps me to bring some space between me and the chaos of my thoughts. In Buddhism, that chaotic state is known as "monkey mind"...how appropriate! :-)
When my thoughts are spinning out of control, I can simply shift my awareness to my breath. 
Inhale (pause), Exhale (pause)....repeat.
Bringing space allows the light to make its way through the cracks, when I feel suffocated by the weight of negativity, stress, grief, despair, or just a rotten mood.
That's when I can recognize the "voice" of my Higher Power, intuition, God/dess, the Divine, or whatever name resonates with you.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to share the message that I received after a particularly challenging day. One of those where I couldn't seem to dig myself out of the crabby-ass mood I was in.
I practiced some self-care, in the form of a Reiki treatment and this is what was waiting for me in the bathroom when it was over.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Yes....you are! <3
 

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