There is no wine if grapes are not pressed and there is no perfume if flowers are not crushed.
If 2012 brings you any challenge, always remember that it is actually Life giving you a wonderful opportunity to extract your most true and authentic nature, so that you can BE the most fulfilling version of YOU!
We call chaos, experiences or events that we can't track, understand or make sense of. Our response to chaos is commonly that of "reaction" – a non consciously chosen action. We experience ourselves at effect of the world when we “react” to our environment. Deep held beliefs about who we are and the nature of our relationship to the All, keep us at effect of circumstances. The truth is that we have come here to experience free-will (not reactionary will) and be conscious co-creators in these very special times in the history of our world.
Could what we call "chaos" really just be the perspective of our limited selves?
Could chaos actually be the work of the Great Opulent Design that surpasses the tracking capacities of our egoic minds?
What we witness in nature is that chaotic experiences are closely followed with a cycle of reorganization, which results in a new and more adapted operating system or existence.
The life cycle of the butterfly is the archexample of this. It starts as a caterpillar, heavy and pretty much confined to the area where it hatched. It looks like a “finished product”, yet something unbelievable is about to happen. At some point after eating as much as it could, and growing fat, it hangs itself, lets go of its old self, turns into a gooey soup of imaginal cells, to become what it was born to be: the beautiful winged creature we call butterfly.
I have often wondered what the experience of the caterpillar might be as it slowly disintegrates under the action of self-created enzymes. How aware is it? Does it freak out? Does it know what it's up to? And if yes, does it still freak out?
When we look back at times of chaos in our lives with honesty, we can usually see the good that came out of them. Sometimes we experienced an inner shift that changed everything about the way we perceived our reality, and brought forth behavioral changes that resulted in the manifestation of different creations. Other times, we have just found ourselves in new circumstances that are better suited to facilitate our living our purpose.
If we’re even honester, looking back at the times right before chaos showed up, we’ll see that somewhere, we KNEW that time for change had struck, but didn’t think we had it in us to initiate the required changes. After all, why step into the unknown when we just arrived at a point in our lives where we start feeling shaky. Shouldn’t we be looking for stability instead? It’s like being at the end of the road we’re on, and standing on the edge of a cliff. And we’re like: “No way I’m jumping!” And we wait… until LIFE gives us the push, and rather than diving gracefully out of our own conscious choice with a beautiful triple summersault, we fall down with flailing arms and legs, kicking and screaming like a three-year old on a sugar high at bedtime.
What if we could truly and deeply realize that just like the caterpillar, we are NOT the end product and will never be. Nothing is. We are constantly in a process of change following the cycles of: creation, conservation and destruction. The Hindus have attributed a God to each aspect of the cycle. Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Conserver, and Shiva the Destroyer.
When Shiva comes knocking on our door, can we welcome the divine plan behind the scary appearance of destruction? Then rather than chaos, we would have the opportunity to see what it’s like to be having an imaginal experience. Imagine that!
Remember this when chaos becomes overwhelming to you:
You are butterflying yourself!
We are all constantly butterflying ourselves!!
Who wants to remain caterpillar all of our life, when our purpose is to fly?
The critical situation of our world, and its very real prospect of self-annihilation, is not unlike the chrysalisation process of the caterpillar. The old obsolete egoic structures will be shed, and we will ALL emerge on the other side as a butterflied people and planet! The question is not whether it will happen -it is happening - but whether we will transition with a triple summersault or kicking and screaming.
I celebrated my 38th birthday in March earlier this year. My wife took me out for ice cream, and dared me to play a game, which ended up in a shocking discovery and months of inquiry.
Christi asked me: “What do you love and appreciate about yourself? Every answer will earn you the right to one spoonful. No answer, no ice cream.” I laughed; partly because of her very apparent anticipation, and partly because I thought it was goofy and too easy. After all, I was a veteran of gratitude-lists and ecstatic prayers!
I am ashamed to say that I could have filled a cup with my saliva by the time I came up with my first answer!
The second answer came a while later. Why was it so hard for me to come up with qualities that I loved and appreciated about myself!?
But this wasn’t all. I eventually did start to get the hang of it, and ended up with a list of items big enough to finish my ice cream ;-). I then decided to list the qualities I love and appreciate about Christi. Before I had uttered the first word, my consciousness had filled up with loving thoughts and feelings, and my body was tingling all over. I felt elevated and inspired. And from that state of connection, words poured out with such ease and grace. How come this didn’t happen for me?!
From this experience, I learned a few important things that I believe you, who is interested in your own growth and the well-being of the planet, will probably want to hear.
Self-appreciation is a path filled with benefits that serve all.
Seven benefits of self-appreciation.
1.Our tendency is to look for appreciation outside ourselves.This can cost us a lot of energy. It is not sustainable. When we find appreciation for ourselves, we are able to be in our beauty and power, and deliver our gifts to a world in need with greatest ease. We canfocus on living our purpose.
2.We’ve all learnt growing up that self-love was connected with egotism, that it was shameful and wrong. This has supported the development of the human tendency for self-criticism. Self-appreciation is a great antidote for our inner critic, and I believe it can help people who suffer from mild depression.
3.It is easy to see other’s gifts, but it is harder to see our own gifts. Self-appreciation is an exercise of seeing ourselves. When we see ourselves we can more easily see where we fit in the world.
4.By appreciating our selves, we unconsciously give others permission to appreciate themselves too.
5.By seeing ourselves, we help others see our value, thus increasing our potential to deliver our gifts to the world and live prosperous lives.
6.The impact on our vibration and energy field is considerable. It helps us raise our vibration and attract to us experiences that are pleasant and fulfilling.
7.I become more of who I am. Rumi might see it as: as I appreciate myself, I am the lover and the beloved, and I am One.
So you think you’re ready to give yourself a round of appreciation?
Maybe you are… maybe not. Trust me when I say “It is easier said than done”!
So here are a few pointers on how to proceed.
1.Start by thinking of someone or something you love and appreciate – e.g. a pet, a family member,… (=> It is often easier to think of someone else when we set out to conjure the beneficial feelings of appreciation.)
2.Allow the feelings of love and appreciation for this person or thing bubble up in your experience and fill your space.
3.Turn these feelings toward yourself, and think of the qualities or strengths that you love about yourself.
4.Start every sentence with “I love and appreciate myself because…”
It is good if you can come up with a bunch of items, 15 at the minimum. It is even better if you are feeling the positive feelings that correspond to the quality of appreciation.
Start by practicing this every morning for the next week, and notice the impact on all your relationships and the way the world starts mirroring your value back to you! In the evening. take a moment and track the positive experiences of your day.
When you take one step toward Universe, Universe runs toward you with a thousand steps. Take this step of self-appreciation, and give Life a chance to shower you with blessings!