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FEATURE - May 2015 - Kansas City
By Indira Grace
Growing up, my mother had some great advice. None has stuck with me as strongly as “walk your talk.” Most of the time, her message was the no-nonsense kind, and this phrase was probably the queen of her belief system. Her message was actually one of a spiritual nature, inviting me to tap into my spiritual self and to act from that place of inner integrity. I now invite each of you to take Mom’s wisdom and live spiritually each day. A few ways to do that are to do the following:
Be aware. We humans actually spend a majority of our time thinking about ourselves. We may trick ourselves into believing that we are thinking of others, but the reality is that we are thinking about how others may be affected by us, or how we may be affected by another, or what this person thinks of us, etc. Yet, we lose our awareness of what we are really thinking when we get caught up in these thoughts. Practice being aware of your thoughts, your feelings, your actions. For example, yesterday I spent a good chunk of the day complaining about the distractions in my life rather than actually just working around them. About 3 hours into that, I became aware that I was spending precious time complaining instead of just flowing. Once I had the recognition, I was able to get so much more done.
Know your triggers. We all have triggers in this culture. We have been wounded and those wounds remain open. When someone touches that gaping wound with a word or an action, that wound begins to throb and burn and we are triggered. We act out of those triggers. I was an incredibly sensitive child and needed a lot of peace around me. I didn’t really get that peace. My mother spent money freely and quickly and my father worked 60+ hours a week to earn that money. Many of his days off were spent arguing with my mother about where the money had gone. The arguments almost always ended in her sobbing and him slamming a door. Even writing about it causes my shoulders to tense, and makes me want to go to a quiet room and close my eyes. Today, when my husband wants to talk to me about money, I cringe and want to hole up. That wound is still gaping and money talk is still a trigger for me. I am aware, and I work each time we discuss money to stay in my body, to stay present and to heal my old wounds around money discussions.
Know your truth. Take an inventory of the things you believe and say, from a core level, and see if you still believe in them. One of my grandmother’s favorite things to remind me of was, “You have to work hard to get anything done.” It was her generation’s belief. For decades I believed this too, and I worked very hard for very little in return. I analyzed this belief and realized that I no longer wanted it to be a truth for me. I now believe that things can get done with minimal work too. I also believe that when you have many hands working very little, great things can be accomplished. Spend time reflecting on what “beliefs” are no longer true for you, let them go and shift your speech and your thoughts.
Speak your truth. This doesn’t mean to verbally hurt another because they hurt you. This means to practice awareness that you are hurt, and then express that hurt in a less-than-harmful way. Speaking truth is an empowerment exercise, not a license to cause pain. One of my sisters once said, “You are such a spoiled brat. You get everything you ask for, and that is the truth.” It was a hurtful and painful thing to experience for me. But it wasn’t the truth; it was her PAIN. Her truth was more like, “I am angry that I have had a much harder life growing up than you did, and it causes me so much pain to see that you seem to have it so much easier. It doesn’t seem fair to me. And that is MY truth.” There is a huge difference in those statements, on the surface, but underneath they say the same things. There is also a huge difference in how I heard those statements. A 13-year-old girl cannot make sense of those words in a productive way like a 43-year-old woman can.
Don’t take things so seriously. There is so much of life that is proof that existence is meant to be enjoyed: sunrises and sunsets, flowers and trees blooming, silent snowfalls, baby giggles, not to mention the faces we make during sex. Life was meant to be enjoyed. We were meant to laugh and have joy and pleasure. Sure, things can be painful, but we needn’t think that all of life is serious.
Living spiritually every day is simple. It is remembering that we are spiritual in nature, human in form, and it is our nature that we are meant to express each day.
Path Walker’s Creed
by Shane Knox
I honor and respect myself fully
just as I am.
Though I may wish to change certain aspects of my life
I choose to value where I am here and now.
I vow to do my best in all situations and promise to value
my efforts as much as my results. I will balance strength of will
with gentleness of understanding in all areas of my life.
I will see the best in every situation. I will contribute to that best.
I vow to show myself to the World.
My voice will rise into harmony with the choir of Spirit.
I will hold gratitude for everything that I experience,
everything I am, everything that is.
I have decided to be happy.
I will embody compassion toward all beings.
I will also hold personal boundaries and respect those of others.
I will always remember that I am part of creation.
I am a child of the Divine.
I am light.
©2015 Shane Knox
Indira Grace is a writer, healer, spiritual counselor, Reiki Master, Oneness Blessing Giver and mentor who spends her days working in maximum security prison as a counselor. She is currently working towards her 200 hour yoga teacher training certificate. She lives with her husband and critters in Leavenworth.