Agreement #4: ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

NOTE: All unbolded text is taken directly from either “The Four Agreements” or “The Four Agreements Companion Book” by Don Miguel Ruiz, and all credit extends to the author. Bolded text is my personal commentary.


There is just one more agreement, but it’s the one that allows the other three to become deeply ingrained habits. The fourth agreement is about the action of the first three: Always do your best.


When I first began to study the fourth agreement, I noticed that I kept getting hung up on the word “best”. I had a hard time getting past an old belief that doing my best meant measuring up to some standard of perfection. Somewhere along the line, I had adopted the belief that “doing my best” meant “being the best”…which, of course meant that my best was rarely good enough.

Always do your best has nothing to do with being the best. As don Miguel Ruiz explains, it is about fully honouring your life in every moment. The following quote beautifully summarizes the spirit and intention of this agreement:


That was then. This is now. You can always connect with your true nature at any time and be free of everything that went before.
— Chogyam Trungpa

The first three agreements will only work if you do your best. Don’t expect that you will always be able to be impeccable with your word. Your routine habits are too strong and firmly rooted in your mind. But you can do your best. Don’t expect that you will never take anything personally; just do your best. Don’t expect that you will never make another assumption, but you can certainly do your best.

 
There was a man who wanted to transcend his suffering so he went to a Buddhist temple to find a Master to help him. He went to the Master and asked, “Master, if I meditate four hours a day, how long will it take me to transcend?”  The Master looked at him and said, “If you meditate four hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in ten years.” Thinking he could do better, the man then said, “Oh, Master, what if I meditated eight hours a day, how long will it take me to transcend?”  The Master looked at him and said, “If you meditate eight hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in twenty years.”  “But why will it take me longer if I meditate more?” the man asked.  The Master replied, “You are not here to sacrifice your joy or your life. You are here to live, to be happy, and to love. If you can do your best in two hours of meditation, but you spend eight hours instead you will only tire, miss the point, and you won’t enjoy your life. Do your best, and perhaps you will learn that no matter how long you meditate, you can live, love, and be happy.”

There was a man who wanted to transcend his suffering so he went to a Buddhist temple to find a Master to help him. He went to the Master and asked, “Master, if I meditate four hours a day, how long will it take me to transcend?”

The Master looked at him and said, “If you meditate four hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in ten years.”
Thinking he could do better, the man then said, “Oh, Master, what if I meditated eight hours a day, how long will it take me to transcend?”

The Master looked at him and said, “If you meditate eight hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in twenty years.”

“But why will it take me longer if I meditate more?” the man asked.

The Master replied, “You are not here to sacrifice your joy or your life. You are here to live, to be happy, and to love. If you can do your best in two hours of meditation, but you spend eight hours instead you will only tire, miss the point, and you won’t enjoy your life. Do your best, and perhaps you will learn that no matter how long you meditate, you can live, love, and be happy.”

 

In India they perform a ritual called puja. In this ritual, they take idols that represent God in many different forms and bathe them, feed them, and give their love to them. They even chant mantras to these idols. The idol itself is not important. What is important is the way they perform the ritual, the way they say, “I love you, God.”

God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, “I love you, God,” is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, “Thank you, God,” is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now.

You were born with the right to be happy. You were born with the right to love, to enjoy and to share your love. You are alive, so take your life and enjoy it. Don’t resist life passing through you, because that is God passing through you. Just your existence proves the existence of God. Your existence proves the existence of life and energy.

Your own body is a manifestation of God, and if you honour your body everything will change for you. When you practice giving love to every part of your body, you plant seeds of love in your mind, and when they grow, you will love, honour, and respect your body immensely. Every action, every thought, every emotion then becomes a communion with God.

When you don’t do your best you are denying yourself the right to be you. That’s a seed that you should really nurture in your mind. You don’t need knowledge or great philosophical concepts. You don’t need the acceptance of others. You express your own divinity by being alive and by loving yourself and others.


 

Doing your best really doesn’t feel like work because you enjoy whatever you are doing. You know you’re doing your best when you are enjoying the action of doing it in a away that will not have negative repercussions for you.

Doing your best is a great habit to have. I do my best in everything I do and feel. Doing my best has become a ritual in my life because I made the choice to make it a ritual. It’s a belief like any other belief that I choose. I make everything a ritual, and I always do my best. Taking a shower is a ritual for me, and with that action I tell my body how much I love it. I do my best to give to my body and to receive what my body gives to me.
- don Miguel Ruiz

 

On the eve of sharing my first class on the fourth agreement, Always Do Your Best, I was touched by the notion of choosing to make doing your best a ritual in your life. As often happens, spirit guided me to a book. This time I was drawn to one called “A Journey To The Heart”, Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul”. I turned to May 24, the day of the class and the meditation for this day was called “Rituals Connect Us With Faith”. It was so endearing that I share it with you…(I am going to start asking St. Anthony to help me whenever I misplace something) :)

 

I stopped in at at the Franciscan monastery, a short visit to look around. I bought a keychain, returned to my car, then realized I had misplaced my keys. I went back inside and talked to the receptionist. Just then a short priest joined our conversation. He had a bald head encircled by a short fringe of hair and he wore a flowing black robe. "Let me show you what I do when I lose something," he said. "I ask St. Anthony for help."

The next moment, the priest was spinning in a circle, clapping his hands in a joyful prayer. "St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please look around. Somethings' been lost and cannot be found." He stopped, looked at me, then smiled. "Now you will find your keys," he said. He was right. Within thirty seconds, we found the keys. There were on a counter in a place we had looked twice before. For some reason, we just hadn't seen them.

But I found something more wonderful than my car key. I had witnessed a delightful man expressing pure, innocent joy in a ritual that helped him and others through the days. What are the rituals that are important to you, that awaken joy, innocence, and faith in you? Do you allow yourself to use these rituals freely? What were the rituals you enjoyed as a child, the ones that brought you comfort? Do you remember them? Engage in these rituals. Use them freely. Share them with others, as the priest did with me.

Ritual connect us to faith. They're faith in action. Rituals are reminders of our connection to God. They bring us back to God and ourselves.

- "A Journey to the Heart", by Melody Beattie. Entry for My 24: "Rituals Connect Us with Faith

 

Choose to honour the four agreements. If you break an agreement, begin again tomorrow, and again the next day. Do not be concerned about the future; keep your attention on today, and stay in the present moment. Always do your best to keep these agreements, and soon it will be easy for you.


Agreement #3: DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS

NOTE: All unbolded text is taken directly from either “The Four Agreements” or “The Four Agreements Companion Book” by Don Miguel Ruiz, and all credit extends to the author. Bolded text is my personal commentary.


I have read The Four Agreements several times in the past, but this recent deep dive into the book has absolutely rocked my world! I have been particularly astounded by the power of the second and third agreements! It’s actually quite amazing that the simple notion of not taking things personally and not making assumptions can be so profoundly transforming!

Let’s understand why they are so important and why they are so exceedingly difficult to do.


We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything.

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It is very interesting how the human mind works. We have the need to justify everything, to explain and understand everything, in order to feel safe. We have millions of questions that need answers because there are so many things that the reasoning mind cannot explain. It is not important if the answer is correct; just the answer itself makes us feel safe. This is why we make assumptions.

The problem with making assumptions is that we believe that they are the truth. We could swear they are real.

We literally dream things up in our imaginations. Because we don’t understand something, we make an assumption about the meaning, and when the truth comes out, the bubble of our dream pops and we find out it was not what we thought it was at all.


 

All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally.

Take a moment to consider the truth of this statement…

We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking - we take it personally - then we blame them by sending emotional poison with our word.

The whole world of control between humans is about making assumptions and taking things personally.

 

Making assumptions in relationships leads to a lot of fights, a lot of difficulties, a lot of misunderstandings with people we supposedly love.

Often we make the assumption that our partners know what we think and that we don’t have to say what we want. If they don’t do what we want, what we assume they should do, we feel hurt and think, “How could you do that? You should know.”

A whole lot of drama is created because we make the assumption and then we put more assumption on top of it.


If others tell us something, we make assumptions, and if they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something that we don’t understand, we make assumptions about what it means and believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.

Because we are afraid to ask for clarification, we make assumptions, and believe we are right about the assumptions; then we defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong. It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions set us up for suffering.


 

We assume that others think the way we think, feel the way we feel, judge the way we judge, abuse the way we abuse. This this the biggest assumption that humans make.

And this is why we have a fear of being ourselves around others. Because we think everyone else will judge us, victimize us, abuse us and blame us as we do ourselves.

This is the way the human mind works.

We also make assumptions about ourselves which creates a lot of inner conflict.


Have the courage to ask questions until you are clear as you can be, and even then do not assume you know all there is to know about a given situation.

Find your voice to ask for what you want. Everybody has the right to tell you no or yes, but you always have the right to ask. Likewise, everybody has the right to ask you, and you have the right to say yes or no.


Just imagine a day that you stop making assumptions with everyone in your life. Your way of communicating will change completely, and your relationships will no longer suffer from conflicts created by mistaken assumptions.


 

A dialogue with don Miguel Ruiz:

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Question: My question is about knowledge and assumptions. I was wondering if the voices I hear in my head and what you call '‘knowledge” are the same as assumptions?

don Miguel: What is an assumption?

Response: In my case, it’s thinking that I know, so it’s knowledge. Okay, you answered it.

don Miguel: We can divide everything into what we know, which is the known; what we don’t know, which is the unknown; and what we will never know, which is the unknowable. We only know what we know: our knowledge. We only know the information accumulated in our mind by agreements. We know the whole reality that we perceive, we know our dream, we know our point of view.

The unknown is another story. Do you see the woman sitting next to you? You create an image and project it on her. You only know about her what you project, and this is the known for you. But what she has in her mind is unknown. You can make the assumption that you know what she has in her mind. You can make the assumption that you know your children, or your father, or your mother, or even your dog, but you don’t know them. You only know what you believe about them; and it’s only true for you, no one else, because its a dream. The truth is that you will never know them.

You only know what your knowledge tells you. You only know the judgements that you can make about everybody, the interpretations, your personal point of view. You don’t know what other people feel, what they think, what they believe, what they are dreaming. And you make the assumption that they believe what you believe, that they feel what you feel, that they see the world the way you see the world. And it’s knowledge that controls you.

As I said before, if we control knowledge, it becomes a tool of communication. We don’t make assumptions, we ask. We ask, and other people will tell us what is in their world. Then we know what they have in their dream, they can communicate. It’s that simple. We don’t have to make assumptions, but we also know that they will tell us what they know. It doesn’t mean it’s true.

Response: Now I really see how making assumptions causes a lot of misunderstandings between people.

don Miguel: Even if we don’t make assumptions, it’s easy to see why humans hardly understand one another. People send us a distorted image of themselves, because it’s only what they want to project to us, then we perceive the distorted image they send, and we distort it even more with our own beliefs. This is just the way it is. People project the image of their dream to us, and we distort it according to what we want to believe. We have to make everything we perceive fit into what we believe is true. That’s why we are more interested in hooking the attention of other people to project our point of view than in listening to what other people want to say to us.


Our closing meditation:

Don’t make assumptions.  It sounds easy but it is very difficult.  It is difficult because we have so many habits and routines we are not even aware of. Becoming aware of these habits and understanding its importance is not enough. Information or an idea is merely the seed in your mind. What will really make the difference is action. Taking the action over and over again strengthens your will, nurtures the seed, and establishes a solid foundation for the new new habit to grow. After many repetitions these new agreements will ascend nature, and you will see how the magic of your word transforms you.  When you transform your whole dream, magic just happens in your life. What you need comes to you easily because spirit moves freely through you. This is the mastery of intent, the mastery of the spirit, the mastery of love, the mastery of gratitude, and the mastery of life. This is the goal of the Toltec. This is the path to personal freedom.

Don’t make assumptions. It sounds easy but it is very difficult.

It is difficult because we have so many habits and routines we are not even aware of. Becoming aware of these habits and understanding its importance is not enough. Information or an idea is merely the seed in your mind. What will really make the difference is action. Taking the action over and over again strengthens your will, nurtures the seed, and establishes a solid foundation for the new new habit to grow. After many repetitions these new agreements will ascend nature, and you will see how the magic of your word transforms you.

When you transform your whole dream, magic just happens in your life. What you need comes to you easily because spirit moves freely through you. This is the mastery of intent, the mastery of the spirit, the mastery of love, the mastery of gratitude, and the mastery of life. This is the goal of the Toltec. This is the path to personal freedom.


Oh wise women, I wish you infinite grace and gentleness as you bravely agree to no longer make assumptions!

xo

Patti

Agreement #2: DON'T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY

NOTE: All unbolded text is taken directly from either “The Four Agreements” or “The Four Agreements Companion Book” by don Miguel Ruiz or Pema Chodron’s book, “Practicing Peace'“, and all credit extends to the authors. Bolded text is my personal commentary.


 

The first agreement, impeccability of the word, is completely aligned with our integrity. The second and third agreements, don’t take anything personally and don’t make assumptions, give us immunity to the Book of Law and to everybody else around us. With that immunity, we can be assured that the outside dream will not choose our beliefs for us again. And the fourth agreement, always do your best, is the engine that moves us forward; it is the action.

 

To understand the second agreement we must have a strong understanding of the Book of Law and how it operates in our life and the lives of all humans. If you are not able to realize that others are blindly following the rigid agreements in their personal Book of Law, you will always take what they say and do personally. Likewise, if you are not able to recognize and challenge the agreements in your personal Book of Law, you will blindly project your beliefs unto others and create conflict and drama.

The Book of Law is immensely powerful and the only way to break its power is to be aware of its rules and begin to re-write them.

Only then can we even begin to touch the second agreement, don’t take anything personally!


Personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me.”

Nothing others say and do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in.

When we understand this, we begin to see that the hurt we feel by someone’s words or actions is the result of old wounds being touched. With this awareness, we have the opportunity to look at the wounds and uncover the beliefs we agreed to a long time ago, and to choose to direct our attention to a new belief - only then can we begin to understand how nothing anyone says or does can actually hurt us.

When we really see other people as they are without taking it personally, we can never be hurt by what they say or do. Even if others lie to you, it is okay. They are lying to you because they are afraid. They are afraid you will discover that they are not perfect.

Wherever you go you will find people lying to you, and as your awareness grows, you will notice that you also lie to yourself. Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe or not to believe what someone says to you. 

If others say one thing, but do another, you are lying to yourself if you don’t listen to their actions. But if you are truthful to yourself, you will save yourself a lot of emotional pain. Telling yourself the truth about it may hurt, but you don’t need to be attached to the pain. Healing is on the way. 

You are never responsible for the actions of others; you are only responsible for you. When you truly understand this, and refuse to take things personally, you can hardly be hurt by the careless comments or actions of others.

As you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you won’t need to place your trust in what others do and say. You will only need to trust yourself to make responsible choices.



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A conversation with don Miguel Ruiz:

Question: When I first read The Four Agreements, I was so excited about using these principles in my life. But now I look around and see the people around me living in their own hells, and its discouraging. How do I keep my enthusiasm when I am surrounded by so many people who are in an old dream?

don Miguel: If you know the Four Agreements, by now you know that you don’t have to take personally the way other people dream; you know that their dream has nothing to do with you. But if you really want to help people, you can share the Four Agreements with them. If they know your personal mythology, and if they agree with you, very soon you can share that awareness, and have agreements to support one another. But if they don’t have awareness, they never will try to change, and it’s not up to you to try to change them.


The Second Agreement also relates to the Tibetan Buddhist concept of shenpa. Shenpa is usually translated as meaning “attachment”. But, as Pema Chodron writes, it is more akin to trigger, stickiness or “getting hooked”. 

Here’s an everyday example: Someone criticizes you. She criticizes your work or your appearance or your child. In moments like that, what is it you feel? It has a familiar taste, a familiar smell. Once you begin to notice it, you feel like this experience has ben happening forever. That sticky feeling is shenpa. And it comes along with a very seductive urge to do something. Somebody says a harsh word and immediately you can feel a shift. There’s a tightening that rapidly spirals into mentally blaming this person, or wanting revenge or blaming yourself. It’s a quality of experience that’s not easy to describe but that everyone knows well. It’s called getting hooked.
— “Practicing Peace”, by Pema Chodron
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To not take anything personally is to not bite the hook. And both Miguel Ruiz and Pema Chodron advise to go easy on ourselves if and when we get hooked, take something personally and end up making a big mess.

There are times when the hook is so sharp that we can’t help but bite. When this happens, we return to the fourth agreement of always do your best. With self-reflection and awareness we will learn to catch ourselves before getting hooked the next time.

The four R’s to not biting the hook:

1. Recognizing the shenpa

2. Refraining from scratching

3. Relaxing with the underlying the urge to scratch

4. Resolving to interrupt the momentum like this for the rest of our lives

You can also begin to notice shenpa arising in other people.  You simply recognize your friend’s shenpa and you practice patience - you give the situation some space. You have the innate intelligence to realize that nothing is going to get through right now because this person has just been hooked. 
— "Practicing Peace" by Pema Chodron

AND, perhaps most importantly…

Just as you have a choice of what to believe and agree with in the dream of the planet, you also have a choice whether or not to believe the voices you hear within your own mind.

You don’t have to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally.


Our closing meditation:

If you keep this agreement, you can travel around the world with your heart completely open and no one can hurt you. You can say, “I love you,” without fear of being ridiculed or rejected. You can ask for what you need. You can say yes, or you can say no - whatever you choose - without guilt or self-judgement. You can choose to follow your heart always. You can experience inner peace and happiness no matter where you are.


Agreement #1: BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD

NOTE: All unbolded text is taken directly from either “The Four Agreements” or “The Four Agreements Companion Book” by Don Miguel Ruiz, and all credit extends to the author. Bolded text is my personal commentary.


From Colette Baron Reid’s Oracle Deck, “Postcards from Spirit”.  Last night I was seeking an inspiration from a source other than Don Miguel Ruiz on the subject of impeccability of the word. At 6:00 am this morning, I received a text message from Monday morning Wise Women Angela W… she had drawn this card and wanted to share it with me. Oh, how I love how spirit works!!

From Colette Baron Reid’s Oracle Deck, “Postcards from Spirit”.

Last night I was seeking an inspiration from a source other than Don Miguel Ruiz on the subject of impeccability of the word. At 6:00 am this morning, I received a text message from Monday morning Wise Women Angela W… she had drawn this card and wanted to share it with me. Oh, how I love how spirit works!!

Through the word you express your creative power and manifest everything.

 

We must begin to understand what the word is and what the word does. If you understand the first agreement, you begin to see all the changes that can happen in your life. Change first in the way you deal with yourself, and later in the way that you deal with other people, especially those that you love the most.

The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic. Every human is a magician, and we can either put a spell on someone with our word or we can release someone from a spell. Like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you.

 

 
Source: Merriam- Webster

Source: Merriam- Webster

 
 

Impeccable comes from the Latin pecatus, which means “sin.” The im in impeccable means “without”, so impeccable means “without sin”. Religions talk about sin and sinners, but let’s understand what it really means to to sin.

A sin is anything that you do which goes against yourself.

Everything you feel or believe or say that goes against yourself is a sin. You go against yourself when you judge or blame yourself for anything. Being without sin is exactly the opposite.

 

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Being impeccable is not going against yourself. When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.

Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself.

Being impeccable with your word makes you immune from anyone putting a spell on you as your mind is no longer fertile ground for negative ideas.


During our domestication, our parents and siblings gave their opinions about us without even thinking. We believed these opinions and we lived in fear over these opinions, like being good at swimming, or sports, or writing.

Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system. These belief systems are hard to break. The only way way to break them is to make a new agreement based on truth.

The truth is the most important part of being impeccable with your word.


Practicing Impeccability of the Word…

Practicing Impeccability of the Word:

1. BEWARE OF COMMON PHRASES AND CULTURAL EXPRESSIONS (example: I’m sick and tired, I’m getting to old for this, I’m dying to, I can’t afford to…) Know that like attracts like when it comes to the word.

2.SELF LOVE BEGINS WITH SELF RESPECT
Notice what you say to yourself about yourself every day, are these words kind, respectful and loving? Treat yourself as you would treat a queen or king, an innocent child, or your favourite pet.

3.PUT AN END TO GOSSIP*
Gossip spreads emotional poison, perpetuates fear, and keeps others down. Make a new agreement about the way you communicate with others. Notice when, where, and with whom you engage in gossip. Notice how gossip makes you feel, notice what you enjoy about gossiping. Take steps to avoid gossiping (changing the subject, saying something positive, staying silent).

4. LET GO OF THE NEED TO DEFEND YOUR OPINIONS AND ALWAYS BE RIGHT
Your opinion is nothing but your point of view. It is not necessarily true.

5. USE THE POWER OF YOUR WORD IN THE DIRECTION OF TRUTH AND LOVE
When you are impeccable with your word, you feel good; you feel happy and at peace.

6. SYMBOLIZE THE POWER OF YOUR WORD
Select a meaningful object to symbolize the power of your word, and to remind you to be impeccable with your word. Place the object where you will see it every day.


*Gossip definition (source: Wikipedia):

gossip (n.)

Old English godsibb "sponsor, godparent," from God + sibb "relative" (see sibling). Extended in Middle English to "a familiar acquaintance, a friend, neighbor" (c. 1300), especially to woman friends invited to attend a birth, later to "anyone engaging in familiar or idle talk" (1560s). Sense extended 1811 to "trifling talk, groundless rumor." Similar formations in Old Norse guðsifja, Old Saxon guþziff.

Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others; the act is also known as dishing or tattling.[1]

Gossip has been researched in terms of its origins in evolutionary psychology,[2] which has found gossip to be an important means for people to monitor cooperative reputations and so maintain widespread indirect reciprocity.[3] Indirect reciprocity is a social interaction in which one actor helps another and is then benefited by a third party. Gossip has also been identified by Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary biologist, as aiding social bonding in large groups.[4]


Consider making the following agreement with yourself. I recently wrote this agreement out in its entirely on our family chalkboard to serve as a reminder and create accountability with the ones I love the most:

THIS AGREEMENT is made on _____ (date) for the purpose of increasing my happiness and personal freedom. I am responsible for creating my personal dream of heaven on earth, and it begins with the power of my word.
I choose to be impeccable with my word. I promise to honour myself, to speak with integrity, and to choose my words carefully. I intend to use the power of my word in the direction of truth and love. I will pay attention to how I use the word. I will take action every day to keep my word impeccable. I will repeat this action until the habit is firmly established and no longer requires my attention. The symbol of my commitment to this agreement is ________.

Signed: ___________


The repeated action of using the Four Agreements will break many of the agreements that make life difficult and unpleasant. It takes a lot of time and courage because it’s easier just to take things personally, make assumptions, and react the way you react all the time. Once you start, you will see results, and it gets easier and easier. Once it becomes a habit, the transformation of your life starts happening fast. You see the changes and your self-respect increases, your enthusiasm rises, and self-acceptance returns to your life.


Oh ladies, how I wish you endless curiosity and openness as you play with life and all of its forms, interactions and nuances. As you experience the week ahead may you always remember that YOU are the DANCE (unwavering stillness and consciousness) and LIFE is the DANCER (the movement and play of thoughts, form and emotions).

xo

Patti

The Mastery of Transformation

NOTE: All unbolded text is taken directly from either “The Four Agreements” or “The Four Agreements Companion Book” by Don Miguel Ruiz, and all credit extends to the author. Bolded text is my personal commentary.

 
Think of a problem in your life that has caused you to worry or suffer. Imagine that you can view your life through the lens of a magical camera. When you zoom in, you see and feel every detail and facet of your life; anything that touches your life comes into focus with the frame of the viewfinder.  Imagine that you can also zoom out whenever you choose in order to see the larger picture of your life. In the zoom-out mode, your focus is no longer on all the details. The first thing you see is the house you live in from hundreds of feet above the ground. In the zoom-out mode, you observe ever-widening panoramic views of first the city where you live, then the country, then the continent, until suddenly you are staring at the earth from outer space.  Pause for a moment to consider your life from this perspective. Your life and all your troubles are a tiny speck on the face of the earth. All your dreams, all your desires, all your hopes and fears are there in that speck on earth. You are there in the midst of billions of people just like you who share similar emotions and dreams Stay in the zoom-out mode, and continue your journey into outer space until you can see all the planets in our solar system. Keep going farther and farther until the entire Milky Way is visible from light-years away.  Who are you? What are you? Where is your place in this vast universe? Why do humans suffer over so many small things when there is a universe of beauty and wonder to behold? When we consider the span of eternity, and the entire history of humanity, our life is over in a mere fraction of time. How will we choose to spend it? What will we invest our energy in?  Keep zooming out until you detach completely from your problem and can see that it is insignificant in the greater scheme of Life. Remind yourself that every problem carries the seeds of opportunity to learn, to love, to grow in awareness, and simply be happy to be alive.  Zoom out and keep going farther and farther into space until the cord that keeps you attached to your fears finally snaps. As soon as you detach from the fear, you detach from the problem, you detach from the outcome, and you are free. You are floating effortlessly in the stream of Life. When you have no fear, you have no resistance. And when you have no resistance, the solution to your problem is there in the Light, and it comes to you. The solution to every problem of humanity is in the light.  You are alive, you are free, and you are powerful. You are not a victim of your beliefs, your desires, your society, or your circumstance. You are an active participant in the art of dreaming.

Think of a problem in your life that has caused you to worry or suffer. Imagine that you can view your life through the lens of a magical camera. When you zoom in, you see and feel every detail and facet of your life; anything that touches your life comes into focus with the frame of the viewfinder.

Imagine that you can also zoom out whenever you choose in order to see the larger picture of your life. In the zoom-out mode, your focus is no longer on all the details. The first thing you see is the house you live in from hundreds of feet above the ground. In the zoom-out mode, you observe ever-widening panoramic views of first the city where you live, then the country, then the continent, until suddenly you are staring at the earth from outer space.

Pause for a moment to consider your life from this perspective. Your life and all your troubles are a tiny speck on the face of the earth. All your dreams, all your desires, all your hopes and fears are there in that speck on earth. You are there in the midst of billions of people just like you who share similar emotions and dreams Stay in the zoom-out mode, and continue your journey into outer space until you can see all the planets in our solar system. Keep going farther and farther until the entire Milky Way is visible from light-years away.

Who are you? What are you? Where is your place in this vast universe? Why do humans suffer over so many small things when there is a universe of beauty and wonder to behold? When we consider the span of eternity, and the entire history of humanity, our life is over in a mere fraction of time. How will we choose to spend it? What will we invest our energy in?

Keep zooming out until you detach completely from your problem and can see that it is insignificant in the greater scheme of Life. Remind yourself that every problem carries the seeds of opportunity to learn, to love, to grow in awareness, and simply be happy to be alive.

Zoom out and keep going farther and farther into space until the cord that keeps you attached to your fears finally snaps. As soon as you detach from the fear, you detach from the problem, you detach from the outcome, and you are free. You are floating effortlessly in the stream of Life. When you have no fear, you have no resistance. And when you have no resistance, the solution to your problem is there in the Light, and it comes to you. The solution to every problem of humanity is in the light.

You are alive, you are free, and you are powerful. You are not a victim of your beliefs, your desires, your society, or your circumstance. You are an active participant in the art of dreaming.

 
 
To Master Transformation is to Master the Art of Dreaming…   By using the Four Agreements in our own life, we modify our personal dream, and soon our new dream will modify the outside dream. There is no need to actively try to modify the outside dream. This happens naturally as a result of our own transformation. Deciding to focus on our own freedom isn’t selfish; it is the greatest gift we can give to humanity.

To Master Transformation is to Master the Art of Dreaming…

By using the Four Agreements in our own life, we modify our personal dream, and soon our new dream will modify the outside dream. There is no need to actively try to modify the outside dream. This happens naturally as a result of our own transformation. Deciding to focus on our own freedom isn’t selfish; it is the greatest gift we can give to humanity.

 

Just imagine living in a society where the Four Agreements were a habit for everybody, where this habit was the way they expressed life. Imagine living in a society where everybody practiced love until they mastered love. It will happen; it is just a matter of time. There is already a new dream in this world that is ready to be dreamed by humans. The sun has already changed; the light has changed. We just need humans to dream the new dream.

Mastering The Art of Dreaming:

  1. Using your will and attention for the second time (the first time our attention was hooked by other people who taught us how to dream). In the dream of the second attention, you choose to believe what you want to believe, and that includes believing in yourself.

  2. Using the Four Agreements to change your actions-reactions. Every choice you make has a consequence or result. When you change the action, you change the result, and you change the dream of your life.

  3. Using attach-detach to surrender to the angel of death. The angel of death can teach you to live in the present moment instead of the past or the future. When your attention is in the present moment, you enjoy life more intensely because you are fully alive.


THE SECOND ATTENTION

 
In the dream of the second attention, we live in the same world, but with a difference. We control our attention from the inside, escape the dream of the planet, and create a brand new dream: our personal dream of heaven on earth.

In the dream of the second attention, we live in the same world, but with a difference. We control our attention from the inside, escape the dream of the planet, and create a brand new dream: our personal dream of heaven on earth.

 

In the dream of the second attention, we find out that we are responsible for our choices. What we agree to believe is our own choice, not the choice of the images we think we are, not the choice from our ego who pretends to know everything, but a choice from our own integrity. In the new dream, we only put our faith in agreements that support Life, which add to our joy, to our happiness, to our freedom.

 

We don’t need to escape from life; we don’t need to deny our own nature. What we need is complete awareness and self-acceptance. We need to learn to make our own choices and finally control our will from the inside.

Tools for Transformation

1. INTENTION

2. ATTENTION

3. ACTION

4. REPETITION


ACTION - REACTION

 
Dream masters create a masterpiece of life; they control the dream by making choices.

Dream masters create a masterpiece of life; they control the dream by making choices.

 

Every action has a reaction, and for all of our life we repeat our actions and suffer the same reactions. Perhaps we cannot see the choices or the actions when we make them, but we are always going to see the reaction, the result of what we do.

The only way to change your life is to change the choices, to change the actions. If there is something in your life that you don’t like, first you have to be aware that it is the result of something that you do. Once you find out what action you took, the next step is to forgive the reaction and change the choice, change the action, and see what the reaction is. If you don’t like the result again, you change it again and again until you have the result you want.

 

You cannot control what is going to happen around you, but you can certainly control your own reaction. If you can learn to change your own reactions, then you can change your habits and routines, change the program, and change your life. Your reaction is the clue to having a wonderful life.

Tools for Transformation

1. AWARENESS OF THE REACTION

2. FOCUSED ATTENTION TO IDENTIFY THE ACTION THAT CAME BEFORE THE REACTION

3. NOTICE WHICH OF THE FOUR AGREEMENTS WERE BROKEN

4.APPLY THE FOUR AGREEMENTS


ATTACH - DETACH

 
Toltec mythology tells us that the angel of death is always beside us, ready to take everything away from us. Nothing is ours to keep, including our physical body. Knowing this, we surrender to the angel of death and accept the transformation of Life.

Toltec mythology tells us that the angel of death is always beside us, ready to take everything away from us. Nothing is ours to keep, including our physical body. Knowing this, we surrender to the angel of death and accept the transformation of Life.

 

What the Toltec call “ surrendering to the angel of death” can also be called “detachment.” Detachment doesn’t mean that we stop loving someone or something; it only means we accept that there is nothing we can do to stop the transformation of Life. Detachment is so powerful because when we learn to detach, we respect the forces of nature, which means we also respect the changes in our own life.

 

We can detach from agreements and beliefs that limit the expression of our creativity and our love. This frees our energy to create a new dream. And what we create is a masterpiece of art: our own life.

Tools for Transformation

1. Notice attachments to moments, people, objects and especially your beliefs.

2. If you enjoy the attachment then enjoy it as fully and intensely as you can in every moment

3. Be willing to detach and fully let go of moments, people, and objects when they pass.

4. Practice detaching from any belief and knowledge that goes against you or anyone else


Our Closing Meditation:

 

Imagine how your life would be if today was the day of your last judgement; if after today, you no longer judged yourself, and you no longer judged other people.

Imagine if the voice of knowledge in your head no longer talked to you; if that voice in your head left you alone, and you only followed your heart.

Imagine if the voice of knowledge was silent because you don’t need to think about what you know; you don’t need to learn to be what you are.

Imagine if you could express what you are with joy instead of judgement.

What does it feel like? Capture the feeling and remember the feeling.

This is the beginning of a new dream.

 

Dear wise women, if you made it this far, congratulations! I captured and summarized a lot of information here (I became so enraptured, I couldn’t seem to stop)! I hope that you are all able to gleam some gems that feel reachable for you. As you go forward, and as we go forward together, I invite you to remember Don Miguel’s words:

 

Information is merely the seed in your mind. What will really make the difference is action. If you practice the Four Agreements, you will master the Four Agreements. Eventually, after many repetitions, these agreements will become a habit, and you will see how your life is transformed.

 

With tremendous excitement for the possibilities…

xoxo
Patti

The Four Agreements: Planting The Seeds of Awareness

NOTE: All unbolded text is taken directly from either “The Four Agreements” or “The Four Agreements Companion Book” by Don Miguel Ruiz, and all credit extends to the author. Bolded text is my personal commentary.


The word is like a seed, and the human mind is so fertile, but only for those kind of seeds it is prepared for.


The Smoky Mirror is an abstract yet very powerful metaphor for awareness - the awareness that is necessary to embody and live by the four agreements. I invite you to not analyze it with thinking mind but rather gently take it in and feel it with a curious mind - whatever you experience (including nothing) is perfect. Our Qigong practice will further help us see and feel the smoky mirror.

 
The Smoky Mirror   Three thousand years ago, there was a human just like you and me who lived near a city surrounded by mountains. The human was studying to become a medicine man, to learn the knowledge of his ancestors, but he didn’t completely agree with everything he was learning. In his heart, he felt there must be something more.  One day, as he slept in a cave, he dreamed that he saw his own body sleeping. He came out of the cave on the night of a new moon. The sky was clear, and he could see millions of stars. Then something happened inside of him that transformed his life forever. He looked at his hands, he felt his body, and he heard his own voice say, “I am made of light; I am made of stars.”  He looked at the stars again, and he realized that it’s not the stars that create light, but rather light that creates the stars. “Everything is made of light,” he said, “and the space in-between isn’t empty.” And he knew that everything that exists is one living being, and that light is the messenger of life, because it is alive and contains all information.  Then he realized that although he was made of stars, he was not those stars. “I am in-between the stars,” he thought. So he called the stars the  tonal  and the light between the stars the  nagual , and he knew that what created the harmony and space between the two is Life or Intent. Without life, the  tonal  and the  nagual  could not exist. Life is the force of the absolute, the supreme, the Creator who creates everything.   This is what he discovered: Everything in existence is a manifestation of the one living being we call God. Everything is God. And he came to the conclusion that human perception is merely light perceiving light. He also saw that matter is a mirror – everything is a mirror that reflects light and creates images of that light – and the world of illusion, the  Dream , is just like smoke which doesn’t allow us to see what we really are. “The real us is pure love, pure light, “ he said.  This realization changed his life. Once he knew what he really was, he looked around at other humans and the rest of nature, and he was amazed at what he saw. He saw himself in everything – in every human, in every animal, in every tree, in the water, in the rain, in the clouds, in the earth. And he saw that Life mixed the  tonal  and the  nagual  in different ways to create billions of manifestations of Life.  In those few moments he comprehended everything. He was very excited, and his heart was filled with peace. He could hardly wait to tell his people what he had discovered. But there were no words to explain it. He tried to tell the others, but they could not understand. They could see that he had changed, that something beautiful was radiating from his eyes and his voice. They noticed that he no longer had judgement about anything or anyone. He was no longer like anyone else.  He could understand everyone very well, but no one could understand him. They believed that he was an incarnation of God, and he smiled when he heard this and he said, “It is true. I am God. But you are also God. We are the same, you and I. We are images of light. We are God.” But still the people didn’t understand him.  He had discovered that he was a mirror for the rest of the people, a mirror in which he could see himself. “Everyone is a mirror, “ he said. He saw himself in everyone, but nobody saw him as themself.  And he realized that everyone was dreaming, but without awareness, without knowing what they really are. They couldn’t see him as themselves because there was a wall of fog or smoke between the mirrors. And that wall of fog was made by the interpretation of images of light – the  Dream  of humans.  Then he knew that he would soon forget all that he had learned. He wanted to remember all the visions that he had had, so he decided to call himself the  Smoky Mirror  so that he would always know that matter is a mirror and the smoke in-between is what keeps us from knowing what we are. He said, “I am the Smokey Mirror, because I am looking at myself in all of you, but we don’t recognize each other because of the smoke in-between us. That smoke is the  Dream , the mirror is you, the dreamer.”

The Smoky Mirror

Three thousand years ago, there was a human just like you and me who lived near a city surrounded by mountains. The human was studying to become a medicine man, to learn the knowledge of his ancestors, but he didn’t completely agree with everything he was learning. In his heart, he felt there must be something more.

One day, as he slept in a cave, he dreamed that he saw his own body sleeping. He came out of the cave on the night of a new moon. The sky was clear, and he could see millions of stars. Then something happened inside of him that transformed his life forever. He looked at his hands, he felt his body, and he heard his own voice say, “I am made of light; I am made of stars.”

He looked at the stars again, and he realized that it’s not the stars that create light, but rather light that creates the stars. “Everything is made of light,” he said, “and the space in-between isn’t empty.” And he knew that everything that exists is one living being, and that light is the messenger of life, because it is alive and contains all information.

Then he realized that although he was made of stars, he was not those stars. “I am in-between the stars,” he thought. So he called the stars the tonal and the light between the stars the nagual, and he knew that what created the harmony and space between the two is Life or Intent. Without life, the tonal and the nagual could not exist. Life is the force of the absolute, the supreme, the Creator who creates everything.

This is what he discovered: Everything in existence is a manifestation of the one living being we call God. Everything is God. And he came to the conclusion that human perception is merely light perceiving light. He also saw that matter is a mirror – everything is a mirror that reflects light and creates images of that light – and the world of illusion, the Dream, is just like smoke which doesn’t allow us to see what we really are. “The real us is pure love, pure light, “ he said.

This realization changed his life. Once he knew what he really was, he looked around at other humans and the rest of nature, and he was amazed at what he saw. He saw himself in everything – in every human, in every animal, in every tree, in the water, in the rain, in the clouds, in the earth. And he saw that Life mixed the tonal and the nagual in different ways to create billions of manifestations of Life.

In those few moments he comprehended everything. He was very excited, and his heart was filled with peace. He could hardly wait to tell his people what he had discovered. But there were no words to explain it. He tried to tell the others, but they could not understand. They could see that he had changed, that something beautiful was radiating from his eyes and his voice. They noticed that he no longer had judgement about anything or anyone. He was no longer like anyone else.

He could understand everyone very well, but no one could understand him. They believed that he was an incarnation of God, and he smiled when he heard this and he said, “It is true. I am God. But you are also God. We are the same, you and I. We are images of light. We are God.” But still the people didn’t understand him.

He had discovered that he was a mirror for the rest of the people, a mirror in which he could see himself. “Everyone is a mirror, “ he said. He saw himself in everyone, but nobody saw him as themself.

And he realized that everyone was dreaming, but without awareness, without knowing what they really are. They couldn’t see him as themselves because there was a wall of fog or smoke between the mirrors. And that wall of fog was made by the interpretation of images of light – the Dream of humans.

Then he knew that he would soon forget all that he had learned. He wanted to remember all the visions that he had had, so he decided to call himself the Smoky Mirror so that he would always know that matter is a mirror and the smoke in-between is what keeps us from knowing what we are. He said, “I am the Smokey Mirror, because I am looking at myself in all of you, but we don’t recognize each other because of the smoke in-between us. That smoke is the Dream, the mirror is you, the dreamer.”

 

The Four Agreements are like a map that tells you all the different ways to reach your destination. Their simplicity is what makes them so easy to use in so many directions. But the map is just one half. You are the other half. In any relationship, there are two halves. The book, the messenger, is one half of the relationship, but you are the other half, and that is the beauty of this relationship: your half.

In our exploration together, the invitation is to fully own and embrace “your half”. Simply learning the Four Agreements and pledging to follow them is not enough (I know, as I have tried numerous times over the past 20 years). To truly adopt these four agreements and experience the transformation that is possible requires will and courage. And, as with everything, we must start with awareness.

The Toltec created THREE MASTERIES and FOUR AGREEMENTS to guide us out of suffering and return us to our true nature: happiness, freedom, and love.

THE THREE MASTERIES:

  1. THE MASTERY OF AWARENESS
    This mastery is the first step towards personal freedom, because we cannot be free if we don’t know what we are, where we are, or what kind of freedom we are looking for. In this mastery, we become aware of the fog that is in our mind. The Mastery of Awareness can also be called the Mastery of Truth.

  2. THE MASTERY OF TRANSFORMATION
    The goal of the second mastery is to put order into the chaos of all the voices in our mind, to face our fears, to transform our fears, and to find the freedom to live our own life instead of the life of the belief system. The Four Agreements are a summary of the Mastery of Transformation.

  3. THE MASTERY OF LOVE
    The result of the first two masteries is the third mastery, The Mastery of Love, or The Mastery of Intent. From the Toltec perspective, love or intent is that part of life that makes the transformation of energy possible. It is Life itself; it is unconditional love. Everything is made with love because everything comes from God or Life. When we master love, we master the dream of our live, and when all three masteries are accomplished, we reclaim our divinity and become one with God.

The first two masteries are the essential to the application of The Four Agreements and we will spend time focusing on the what they really mean and how to bring them into our lives. The third mastery, is the result of the first two masteries and the application of the four agreements. Don Miguel Ruiz has written a book devoted to this mastery, called The Mastery of Love.


THE MASTERY OF AWARENESS

To be aware of what happened with our mind and with the whole of humanity is what the Toltec call the Mastery of Awareness. Awareness means to open your eyes to see the truth, and to no longer be blind. We are born with awareness, but we accumulate knowledge and we practice not being aware, we learn to deny what we perceive. We are born without knowledge, of course, but we accumulate knowledge when we are domesticated. That knowledge is like a wall of focus that doesn’t allow us to perceive what really is; it keeps us from having awareness.

The challenge is to maintain our awareness in the midst of the fog. More than that, to shift the knowledge, lift the fog, and recover our awareness. If we can practice being aware all the time, just the awareness will change our whole reality. When we master awareness we almost master the dream.

Understanding how the structure of our dream is made, gives us an opportunity to challenge our beliefs and change our dream. But awareness is always the first step toward our freedom. Without awareness there is no way out of the structure.

Awareness is central to the practice of Qigong and it is my hope that Qigong enables you to experience awareness a deep level and to transfer this awareness into every moment of your daily life. When this happens we are able to observe our limiting beliefs, our inner judge and our inner victim - and we begin to observe our Book of Law (beliefs and knowledge), our Judge and our Victim from the viewpoint of an unattached witness… then, and only then, can we embody and live by THE FOUR AGREEMENTS.

  1. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
    Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

  2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
    Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

  3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
    Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

  4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
    Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstances, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.

The repeated action of using the Four Agreements will break many of the agreements that make life difficult and unpleasant. It takes a lot of time and courage because it’s easier just to take things personally, make assumptions, and react the way you react all the time. Once you start, you will see results, and it gets easier and easier. Once it becomes a habit, the transformation of your life starts happening fast. You see the changes and your self-respect increases, your enthusiasm rises, and self-acceptance returns to your life.


This weeks closing prayer (at the end of our Qigong practice):

“Once he knew what he really was, he looked around at the other humans and the rest of nature, and he was amazed at what he saw.”

Your integrity is who you really are, what you really are, the totality of your authentic self. Spend a few moments every day to get in touch with the memory of what you are. Allow yourself to imagine the possibility that you are made by a certain frequency of Light. Light is the messenger of God; it contains all the information, all possibilities, and all power. Imagine that you are made of Light, of Spirit. There is nothing you need to do. There is nothing you need to be except what you really are. Remember what you are, and the dream of your Life will have no limits.


 
Don Miguel Ruiz was born into a family of healers, and raised in rural Mexico by a  curandera  (healer) mother and a  nagual  (shaman) grandfather. The family anticipated that Miguel would embrace their centuries-old legacy of healing and teaching, and carry forward the esoteric Toltec knowledge. Instead, distracted by modern life, Miguel chose to attend medical school and become a surgeon.  A near death experience changed his life. Late one night in the early 1970’s, he awoke suddenly, having fallen asleep at the wheel of his car. At that instant the car careened into a wall of concrete. Miguel remembers that he was not in his physical body as he watched himself pull his two friend to safety.  Stunned by this experience, he began an intensive practice of self-inquiry. He devoted himself to the mastery of the ancient ancestral wisdom, studying earnestly with his mother, and completing an apprenticeship with a powerful shaman in the Mexican desert. His grandfather, who had since passed on, continued to teach him in his dreams.  In the tradition of the Toltec, a nagual guides and individual to personal freedom. Don Miguel Ruiz, a nagual from the Eagle Knight lineage, has dedicated his life to sharing the wisdom of the ancient Toltec.

Don Miguel Ruiz was born into a family of healers, and raised in rural Mexico by a curandera (healer) mother and a nagual (shaman) grandfather. The family anticipated that Miguel would embrace their centuries-old legacy of healing and teaching, and carry forward the esoteric Toltec knowledge. Instead, distracted by modern life, Miguel chose to attend medical school and become a surgeon.

A near death experience changed his life. Late one night in the early 1970’s, he awoke suddenly, having fallen asleep at the wheel of his car. At that instant the car careened into a wall of concrete. Miguel remembers that he was not in his physical body as he watched himself pull his two friend to safety.

Stunned by this experience, he began an intensive practice of self-inquiry. He devoted himself to the mastery of the ancient ancestral wisdom, studying earnestly with his mother, and completing an apprenticeship with a powerful shaman in the Mexican desert. His grandfather, who had since passed on, continued to teach him in his dreams.

In the tradition of the Toltec, a nagual guides and individual to personal freedom. Don Miguel Ruiz, a nagual from the Eagle Knight lineage, has dedicated his life to sharing the wisdom of the ancient Toltec.

 

 
Thousands of years ago the Toltec were known throughout southern Mexico as “women and men of knowledge”.  Toltec knowledge arises from the same essential unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric traditions found around the world. Though it is not a religion, it honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. While it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately described as a way of life, distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love.

Thousands of years ago the Toltec were known throughout southern Mexico as “women and men of knowledge”.

Toltec knowledge arises from the same essential unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric traditions found around the world. Though it is not a religion, it honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. While it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately described as a way of life, distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love.

 

With endless love and compassion we embark on this journey together!

xo
Patti

Allowing Presence to Explore its Creation (you)!

 
This honouring of the moment, just as it is, by feeling it as fully as possible, is “to walk the straight and narrow.”

This honouring of the moment, just as it is, by feeling it as fully as possible, is “to walk the straight and narrow.”

 

Dearest Wise Women,

Last week we shared a profound sense of alignment to our inner truth, which we termed “facing our true north.” This week, we dove further into this by exploring Michael Brown’s passage, “The Straight and Narrow”. In this passage, he reveals the potential pitfalls of a strict or rigid attempt to adhering to the straight and narrow . He reveals that only in “this honouring of the moment, just as it is, by feeling it as fully as possible, is to walk the straight and narrow.

THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW

MANY have contemplated the instruction that we are to “walk the straight and narrow.” But what does this mean?

When emotionally, mentally, or physically approached, this profound instruction inevitably leads to not allowing ourselves to feel certain emotions, practicing enforced mental rules, and engaging in dictatorial self-suppressing behaviours. Because of the ever-present potential of polarities here upon Earth, predetermined rules and behaviours imposed mindlessly upon the uniquely reborn circumstances of the moment simultaneously seed the opposite of what they intend.

To force any moment to inauthentically produce the fruit of pleasure is to plant a crop of pain.

Subsequently, no matter how well intended, a mental and physical approach to walking the straight and narrow becomes an unintended nest for self-destructive, self-defeating, and self-sabotaging behaviour. This is what is meant by the “road to hell - separation consciousness - is paved with good intentions.”

However, when we enter an unconditional relationship with our heart as a means of embracing the moment just as it is, we awaken into a consistently rebirthing encounter with life that is beyond the tide of polarities. We experientially embrace what is conceptually called “oneness.” This honouring of the moment, just as it is, by feeling it as fully as possible, is “to walk the straight and narrow.”

Only the texture of the present, and our unconditional honouring of it, truly unveils what it means to traverse this human experience in a holistic and hence holy manner. This is the profound revelation awaiting us within the fabric of each moment.

“ Alchemy of the Heart” by Michael Brown


THIS unconditional relationship with our heart is EXACTLY what is required to uncover what Pamela Wilson calls DIVINE QUALITIES in the closing chapter of her book, which we explored further both in dialog and through movement.

Wise Women, thank-you so much for sharing the past six weeks together. I cannot wait to continue our journey together in April!!

Deep bow,

Patti

Keep Facing Your True North

 
KEEP FACING YOUR TRUE NORTH AND BE AWARE OF THE “DRIFT”

KEEP FACING YOUR TRUE NORTH AND BE AWARE OF THE “DRIFT”

 

Well sweet ladies, this is very interesting. I went in to this blog post to copy one small part of it and ended up deleting the introduction that I had sent to you on Friday (about my wondering and worrying). I cannot for the life of me re-compose it, so I guess it was not meant to be permanent.

I do remember sharing that I had some doubts and then I watched the video that Glenda recommended and all my doubts disappeared.

Oh ladies, Glenda is right, you simply MUST click on this little box and you simply MUST watch the whole thing!!!

You see, ”THIS IS ME” is our sweet Glenda’s theme song. And yesterday, during tea time, Glenda bravely sang it for us! OMG, Glenda you knocked it out of the park and you rocked our socks with your authenticity.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to witness magic, and this was truly one of those moments. Some of us were lucky enough to witness it twice this week, once at Melanie’s Voice of Presence circle last Monday and again yesterday morning!

The natural flow of the circle that followed felt pretty magical too. The serendipity of the pre-selected readings, the deep sharing, our lion’s roar, and the uncovering of the guidance/mantra to KEEP FACING OUR TRUE NORTH… a “40 elephants strong” sensation of PURE alignment!

Our qigong practice was intuitive, free and spacious giving each of us an opportunity to explore our own energetic fields and feel our TRUTH.

As for my monkey mind that came after our gathering? All I can do is chuckle at the conditioning of the mind and its tendency to spin everything. But, alas, this is what our minds will tend to do, and all we can do is BOW!


THIS IS IT
(from “Alchemy of The Heart” by Michael Brown)

When we stop running from that which we perceive as uncomfortable and unfamiliar, and instead embrace it, we gradually reawaken an awareness of our heart. This enables us to begin feeling everything more deeply.

Instead of fleeing what is, we start settling into the moment we are always in - no matter what.

We feel the unlimited variations of the radiance of our own presence, and we consciously appreciate this. We feel the unlimited radiance of the presence of others, and we consciously appreciate this. We feel the ever- changing and unlimited currents of energy swirling through every day, and we consciously appreciate this. We feel the presence of nature in all her manifestations, and we consciously appreciate this.

Not surprisingly, the more we consciously appreciate what we allow ourselves to feel, the deeper our capacity to feel becomes. As we allow this experience of felt-perception to unfold, a remarkable discovery dawns within our awareness like a rising sun after a long dark night:

THIS LIFE, THE ONE THAT WE ARE LIVING RIGHT NOW, JUST AS IT IS IN EACH MOMENT, IS “THE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE” WE HAVE BEEN SEEKING.


We finished off our brief exploration of Pamela Wilson’s sweet book, covering the chapters of Anger, Sorrow, Inner Alchemy and Honey’s Detecting Pointers of Divine Qualities. I invite you to take the time to read through again with your own copy and allow yourself to hear the words as they are intended to be heard, like a conversation with Pamela. Pausing to listen when guided.


We ended our gathering with a brief reading of a part of this message from an oracle card I drew yesterday morning. This message comes from the deck “Sacred Rebel’s” by Alana Fairchild. 💛


Wise Women, I cherish our time together and look forward to next week. May you let your lion roar this week and may you Keep Facing Your True North!

xo
Patti

Mountain Strength and Lion Hearted Love

…..ROAR!

 
The massiveness of the mountain in this image - bearing the blanket of snow as spectacular hues from the sun reflect its body - evokes a sense of impenetrable and immovable strength and stature. A mountain’s quiet, resolute immensity leaves us in awe and inspires us to reach for greater heights. Yet, it can also pose challenges.  The firm base of the mountain evolves to the narrower crest in its attempt to reach the sky. More daring individuals become enamoured by the peak and see it as something to conquer, although it can never truly be conquered. When the mountain feels threatened in some way or simply shrugs its shoulders, the strength exhibited can wreak havoc for all beings caught on its skin.    It makes no sense to deny the strength you have at the cost of allowing yourself to be reactive and subject to external influences far beyond what is healthy for you. Imagine yourself as a mountain of strength, solidly ground in the Earth, your head held high as if you were touching the sky. Do so without straining, just as the mountain itself does not strain.   - “  Mountain Strength” from Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer, PH.D

The massiveness of the mountain in this image - bearing the blanket of snow as spectacular hues from the sun reflect its body - evokes a sense of impenetrable and immovable strength and stature. A mountain’s quiet, resolute immensity leaves us in awe and inspires us to reach for greater heights. Yet, it can also pose challenges.
The firm base of the mountain evolves to the narrower crest in its attempt to reach the sky. More daring individuals become enamoured by the peak and see it as something to conquer, although it can never truly be conquered. When the mountain feels threatened in some way or simply shrugs its shoulders, the strength exhibited can wreak havoc for all beings caught on its skin.

It makes no sense to deny the strength you have at the cost of allowing yourself to be reactive and subject to external influences far beyond what is healthy for you. Imagine yourself as a mountain of strength, solidly ground in the Earth, your head held high as if you were touching the sky. Do so without straining, just as the mountain itself does not strain.

- “
Mountain Strength” from Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer, PH.D

 

Dear Wise Women,

Wow, did we cover the whole spectrum of the human experience yesterday! Belly laughter, honest expressions of pain, shared celebrations of love and success…ALL underscored by the essence of pure authenticity!

I encourage you to continue to explore the sensation of BE-ing the unshakable mountain (and/or bamboo). The power of this simple visualization cannot be underestimated! While being this mountain strength, consciously practice bowing down to your conditioned defences and those of others - another practice that is powerful beyond measure.

I love you all to the moon and back!

xo

Patti


May you slowly savour Pamela’s words in your own copy of her book and may they help you to you ground deep into the sub-stratum, draw up the earth energy and reach for the sky as your true nature of unshakable strength!

xo
Patti

Uncontaining our Vastness!

 
“You come to know quiet out there. But we know noise, more’n quiet after a time an’ we figure that’s what’s normal. It ain’t. It’s quiet that’s normal. Animals get that. They never lost it like us. They move in it. They wear it. It’s the normal way of things for them. So after some years I come to understand that if you’re lookin' for an animal or you wanna know it, you got to be what you seek”  - Frank Starlight speaking to Emmy, a lost and abused woman (caracters in Richard Wagamese’s book “Starlight”)

“You come to know quiet out there. But we know noise, more’n quiet after a time an’ we figure that’s what’s normal. It ain’t. It’s quiet that’s normal. Animals get that. They never lost it like us. They move in it. They wear it. It’s the normal way of things for them. So after some years I come to understand that if you’re lookin' for an animal or you wanna know it, you got to be what you seek”

- Frank Starlight speaking to Emmy, a lost and abused woman (caracters in Richard Wagamese’s book “Starlight”)

 

Dear Friday Morning Wise Women,

What to say? I have no words. Our gathering yesterday was all about savouring the stillness, the quiet. Letting ourselves fall into the stillness, and uncontaining the vastness within…revealing our true nature.

And, wow, did our little Sangha go deep! The silence we shared was truly precious. The words spoken seemed to land exactly where they needed to land and the movements flowed naturally. We really worked together beautifully!

I shared Pamela Wilson’s chapters on The Mind, The Body and Emotions and I encourage you to savour them again this week from your own copy of her book.

With deepest gratitude,
Patti


Who Are you REALLY?

 
All activity is born of rest.  Rest means to Be…  Now, as you rest in the right side of the chest, let’s imagine a vibrant sparkling flame there. The flame is love, strength and clarity, it returns everything to its naturalness. Anything you don’t need…return them to the Source, through the flame. When it feels like there is nothing more to give, give a bundle with your name on it to the flame…  Notice…your attention or awareness can move throughout the body. Now notice it can move outside the body. Awareness can sense all around the body. Awareness, by nature, is open and fluid, a pure liquid intelligence and curiosity.  You ARE this alive, natural, playful intelligence!  - Paraphrased from Pamela Wilson’s book “A Golden Retriever’s Guide to JOY”

All activity is born of rest.

Rest means to Be…

Now, as you rest in the right side of the chest, let’s imagine a vibrant sparkling flame there. The flame is love, strength and clarity, it returns everything to its naturalness. Anything you don’t need…return them to the Source, through the flame. When it feels like there is nothing more to give, give a bundle with your name on it to the flame…

Notice…your attention or awareness can move throughout the body. Now notice it can move outside the body. Awareness can sense all around the body. Awareness, by nature, is open and fluid, a pure liquid intelligence and curiosity.

You ARE this alive, natural, playful intelligence!

- Paraphrased from Pamela Wilson’s book “A Golden Retriever’s Guide to JOY”

 

Dear Wise Women,

I write to you five full days after our last circle together. Though it is my desire to send you our weekly Treasure Trove within hours of our class, there was a need to let my experiences percolate this week…and I trusted this need.

Immediately after Friday’s circle, my family and I drove south to one of our most favourite destinations in the world, Whitefish, Montana. Coincidentally (but, of course, not) the theme of this week’s blog is fully captured in my experience of Whitefish. You see, Whitefish holds memories that literally cross section every stage of my life and every emotion. In these memories are many reflections of the various “versions” of myself and the “roles” I have played.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are from our family vacations to Whitefish. It was there, at about the age of 12, that I first experienced the freedom of skiing without an adult. I recall zipping in and out of the trees and carelessly flying over ski jumps with my friends and my brother - pure freedom!

In my early twenties, another version of myself took several bus trips full of college educated drunks, where there was more focus on the partying than the skiing.

Whitefish is also where Dave, my husband, and I skied our first runs together. Dave and I met in September of 1997 and as downhill skiing was a big part of both of our lives, we were anxious to hit the slopes together that coming winter. To this day, Dave likes to brag that I am the only girl he ever met that could keep up to him on skis! We went on to share many ski excursions and trips together. In 1999, Dave and I went back to Whitefish for a weekend trip. One morning he took an early run by himself and planted a bottle of champagne beside a tree. Later on he took me to this spot and asked me to marry him. When I said yes, he reached into the snow and pulled out a bottle of champagne!

As soon as our oldest was able to ski, we went down to Whitefish every Family Day weekend. We don’t ‘ski much outside of Whitefish, so our trips there are especially near and dear to our girls.

In 2014, we experienced tragedy. One of Dave’s best friends, Tom Podovinsky, fell into a tree well and suffocated. We were staying in the condo next door to Tom’s family and were first on the scene to comfort his wife and two young children. It was a weekend we will never forget.

Though Tom’s wife has yet to return to Whitefish, she takes solace in knowing that we keep going back. Tom died just off of chair 7 and Dave and I both swear that we can feel him every single time we ride up that chair.

There is another aspect to Whitefish that I wish to share with you. Whitefish has also been the home of many negative experiences stemming from Dave’s past participation in the overzealous consumption of alcohol that seems to accompany the ski culture. In 2015, just one year after Tom’s death, Dave and I nearly broke up in Whitefish…on Valentine’s Day. This trip turned out to be a pivotal point in our relationship, a time in which I courageously turned towards my truth and shed all the various personas and roles I had been playing. Everything we went through that weekend was amplified by the emotional charge of the grief we were carrying.

We emerged with a renewed commitment fuelled by deep respect and love for each other…and we continue to walk this path of ups and downs together.

Whitefish is always a reminder of what matters most to me, and this past weekend I felt it stronger than ever! This year felt especially significant, as one year ago I was recovering from my breast cancer surgery (last year Dave and Clara went to Whitefish and Ayla stayed home to help me). As I skied the fresh powder and felt the exhilaration of the wind on my face, I was able to fully experience pure JOY and GRATITUDE for the moment.

Throughout the weekend I found myself face to face with the many younger versions of myself and found that I was able to fully forgive her, and, most importantly, I was able to see PURE AWARENESS behind the various personas of my past…I was able to feel who I REALLY AM! ❤️

 
IMG_5426.JPG
 

How perfect it feels to now re-share the opening meditation from Friday’s circle….

PRAYER FOR LOVE - by Don Miguel Ruiz

 

We are going to share a beautiful dream together - a dream that you will love to have all of the time. In this dream you are in the middle of a beautiful, warm sunny day. You hear the birds, the wind, and a little river. You walk toward the river. At the edge of the river is an old man in meditation, and you see that out of his head comes a beautiful light of different colors. You try not bother him, but he notices your presence and opens his eyes. He has the kind of eyes that are full of love and a big smile. You ask him how he is able to radiate all that beautiful light. You ask him if he can teach you to do what he is doing. He replies that many, many, years ago he asked the same question of his teacher.

The old man begins to tell you his story: “My teacher opened his chest and took out his heart, and he took a beautiful flame from his heart. Then he opened my chest, opened my heart, and he put that little flame inside it. He put my heart back in my chest, and as soon as my heart was inside me, I felt intense love, because the flame he put in my heart was his own love.

“That flame grew in my heart and became a big, big fire - a fire that doesn’t burn, but purifies everything that it touches. And that fire touched each one of the cells of my body, and the cells of my body loved me back. I became one with my body, but my love grew even more. That fire touched every emotion of my mind, and all the emotions transformed into a strong and intense love. And I loved myself, completely and unconditionally.

“But the fire kept burning and I had the need to share my love. I decided to put a little piece of my love in every tree, and the trees loved me back, and I became one with the trees, but my love did not stop, it grew more. I put a piece of love in every flower, in the grass, in the earth and they loved me back, and we became one. And my love grew more and more to love every animal in the world. They responded to my love and they loved me back, and we became one. But my love kept growing and growing.

“I put a piece of my love in every crystal, in every stone in the ground, in the dirt, in the metals, and they loved me back, and I became one with the earth. And then I decided to put my love in the water, in the oceans, in the rivers, in the rain, in the snow. And they loved me back and we became one. And still my love grew more and more. I decided to give my love to the air, to the wind. I felt a strong communion with the earth, with the wind, with the oceans, with nature, and my love grew and grew.

“I turned my head to the sky, to the sun, to the stars, and put a little piece of my love in every star, in the moon, in the sun, and they loved me back. And I became one with the moon and the sun and the stars, and my love kept growing and growing. And I put a little piece of my love in every human, and I became one with the whole of humanity. Wherever I go, whomever I meet, I see myself in their eyes, because I am a part of everything, because I love.”

And then the old man opens his own chest, takes out his heart with that beautiful flame inside, and he puts that flame in your heart. And now that love is growing inside of you. Now you are one with the wind, with the water, with the stars, with all of nature, with all animals, and with all humans. You feel the heat and the light emanating from the flame in your heart. Out of your head shines a beautiful light of different colours. You are radiant with the glow of love and you pray:

Thank you, Creator of Universe, for the gift of life you have given me. Thank you for giving me everything that I have ever truly needed. Thank you for the opportunity to experience this beautiful body and this wonderful mind. Thank you for living inside me with all your love, with your pure and boundless spirit, with your warm and radiant light.

Thank you for using my words, for using my eyes, for using my heart to share your love wherever I go. I love you just the way you are, and because I am your creation. I love myself just the way I am. Help me to keep the love and the peace in my heart and to make that love a new way of life, that I may live in love the rest of my life. Amen.

 

… I hope you enjoyed listening to the first chapter of Pamela’s book on Friday and that you find a moment this week to “sip” the words from your own copy of her book. 🐕💛

I cannot wait to see you all in just two days!

xo
Patti

Authentic JOY

 
“Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes in moments - often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light. I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith.”  - Brene Brown

“Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes in moments - often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light. I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith.”

- Brene Brown

 

Dear Wise Women,

Yesterday a truly amazing group of women gathered in Michelle’s sacred space and embarked on a six week journey together. I could not be more excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. I absolutely LOVED our exploration of JOY and am really looking forward to diving into Pamela Wilson’s book “A Golden Retriever’s Guide to Joy” with you over the coming weeks!

I began our gathering by sharing with you my newly formulated mission for our circles. As many of you know, the unfoldment of my work has been purely organic and continues to evolve (doesn’t all of ours?) This past week, I took the time to focus on what exactly it is that I aim to co-create with the women who gather with me. All of YOU have helped develop this mission and to fine-tune our purpose and I could not be more grateful! I have added the following to the about page on my website and am also including here for you to easily take in once again. 💞


The mission of Practicing Grace Qigong

 

To provide a safe, warm, welcoming and nurturing environment for participants to access the healing power of a women’s circle. The primary practice of qigong is infused with teachings from a broad range of traditions. Meditation, sharing circles, and movement are used to cultivate presence, compassion, open-heartedness, vulnerability, gratitude and grace. 

 
 

Circle of Presence Purpose and Protocol:


Purpose:
The sharing circle is a sacred space where all who come, come to listen and respect the views of all others in the circle. In our circle, we pass a heart shaped stone to represent our shared desire to open our hearts. Whoever is holding the stone has the right to speak and receive the full presence of the others. The nuance of subtle energy created from using this respectful approach provides a sense of communion and interconnectedness that is not often present in common methods of communicating.

Protocol:

  • The person holding the stone has the opportunity to freely express in any way that is comfortable. She is safe to say whatever is in her heart with the knowledge that nobody will criticize it or interrupt it. 

  • The person with the stone receives full attention from everyone in the circle. Listeners make every effort to listen attentively without forming mental judgements or comparisons (to listen to what is being said without automatically relating it back to one’s own experience is one of the most divine gifts one can give to another). 

  • After all have had a chance to share, participants will have another opportunity to speak by asking to hold the stone.

  • Participants refrain from making comments or offering advice about what someone else has shared (positive relation to what someone else has spoken is welcome). 

  •  The personal nature of what is shared is confidential to the circle. 

  • Connection and communication outside of the sharing circle (during tea time before and after class) is encouraged. Please be mindful an respectful that some participants may want to internalize and not wish to further discuss what they shared in the circle.

  •  As the facilitator, Patti may relate or expand on what has been shared in her teachings in a positive and supportive way.

  •  Though sharing is without limitation, a conscious effort is made to keep sharing to a few minutes.

  •  When passing the stone, visualize it as pure and clean and pass it on.

Resources: 
https://facilitatoru.com/facilitation/how-to-use-talking-circles-for-deep-communication/
www.firstnationspedagogy.ca/circletalks

 

Wise Women, thank-you for your deep honouring of this process and for creating such a meaningful, insightful and interconnected sharing circle! 🙏

Now onto the exploration of one of my most favourite topics - JOY!


 
When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves
— The Buddha
 
 
When we lose our tolerance for vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding
— Brene Brown
 

Joy Is Not An Emotion

When we are involved in the the pursuit of happiness, we assume that joy in an emotion. We imagine that joy is a state other than what we are currently experiencing - a state in which we feel exceedingly happy all the time. This is a major perceptual error.

Joy may be expressed physically, mentally, and emotionally, but it is not an emotion. Joy is a relationship we have with our emotional body.

Joy is a relationship we have with our emotional body in which we allow ourselves to feel all emotional states moving through our field of experience because we embrace the vast array of feelings within these emotional states - especially those that are uncomfortable and unfamiliar - as the letters of the felt-alphabet that empowers us to consciously commune with the vibrational.

In other words, we may awaken one morning feeling an emotional resonance that in the past we may have described as feeling depressed. Instead of reacting negatively to this experience by canceling our activities, altering our schedule, or moaning to others in an attempt to get their attention, we choose to observe our state with awareness. We do not allow ourselves to start telling a story about what we think is happening to us. We do not behave as if something is wrong, or as if this should not be happening. Instead we allow our attention to rest compassionately upon this strangely uncomfortable energetic resonance as we move throughout our day. Consequently, when our day comes to a close, we realize we have experienced our life more deeply. We have felt something.

This is of course not easy. But as we enter heart-work, we realize that “easy” is overrated. Joy is not about feeling good or having life be easy. Joy is about feeling everything and having life be just as it is.

As long as we are still navigating our experiences towards that which is easy, we automatically navigate away from that which makes life real. This is why we enter boredom.

Joy takes us beyond boredom into The Kingdom of Life, where all is constantly created anew through the embrace of the unknown. The pursuit of happiness, on the other hand, is a constant stance of avoid-dance - a dance around the void instead of into it.

- From the book “Inner Alchemy” by Michael Brown (Michael Brown is one of the few authors that my dear teacher, Pamela Wilson, recommends


After a full qigong session where we experienced the felt sensation of JOY, we closed with this prayer from Pamela’s book…


Dear ones, may you know yourselves to be the Heart that holds everything and may that realization and experience bring you moments of pure JOY!

xo
Patti

Who Am I?

Oh what sweet gems our Wise Women circle uncovered on Friday…

After our opening meditation and readings (which are captured below), Nadine shared a message that she heard recently at a talk by Yarrow Willard (son of Terry Willard). Yarrow said that ”all the hard work is done by being conceived and born, so life as we know it is really the bonus level.”

Glenda added to this by contributing that, ”scientists have recently estimated that the odds of me being born as me (and you being born as you) are one in 400 billion!”

As we were all busy wrapping our heads (and hearts) around these jaw dropping realizations, Melanie was receiving the lyrics to a song which she graciously shared with us, and which we later sang together in our closing circle! Such a beautiful closing to our four week journey together at St. Stephen’s Church.

 
Who am I, that the lord of all the earth Would care to know my name Would care to feel my hurt? Who am I, that the bright and morning star Would choose to light the way For my ever wandering heart?  Not because of who I am But because of what you've done Not because of what I've done But because of who you are  I am a flower quickly fading Here today and gone tomorrow A wave tossed in the ocean A vapor in the wind Still you hear me when I'm calling Lord, you catch me when I'm falling And you've told me who I am I am yours  Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin Would look on me with love And watch me rise again? Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea Would call out through the rain And calm the storm in me?  Not because of who I am But because of what you've done Not because of what I've done But because of who you are   - Casting Crowns   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMPCNrWNCg8

Who am I, that the lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?

Not because of who I am
But because of what you've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who you are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I'm calling
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling
And you've told me who I am
I am yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?

Not because of who I am
But because of what you've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who you are

- Casting Crowns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMPCNrWNCg8

 

Wise Women will I ever cease to be amazed by the magic of what transpires when we gather? Nope, I don’t think I will. The theme of yesterday’s gathering was ONENESS WITH LIFE. My desire was to dive deep into the essence of the Ho’oponopono prayer which is the realization that everything that exists in this world also exists in me. The combination of the readings, the circle sharing, the movements and the singing was a beautiful way to really feel into the depths of this truth..

Who am I?

I am a MIRACLE.

YOU are too.


A Prayer by Don Miguel Ruiz..

 

Please take a moment to close your eyes, open your heart, and feel all the love that comes from your heart.

I want you to join with my words in your mind and in your heart, to feel a very strong connection of love. Together, we are going to do a very special prayer to experience a communion with our Creator.

Focus your attention on your lungs, as if only your lungs exist. Feel the pleasure when your lungs expand to fulfill the biggest need of the human body - to breathe.

Take a deep breath and feel the air as it fills your lungs. Feel how the air is nothing but love. Notice the connection between the air and the lungs, a connection of love. Expand your lungs with air until your body has the need to expel that air. And then exhale, and feel the pleasure again. Because when we fulfill any need of the human body, it gives us pleasure. To breathe gives us much pleasure. Just to breathe is enough for us to always be happy, to enjoy life. Just to be alive is enough. Feel the pleasure to be alive, the pleasure of the feeling of love…

 

The Story of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len

Ho’oponopono may be the most effective method of solving problems and conflicts ever devised by a culture. It became known mainly through Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and the record of his work in healing some psychologically ill prisoners. This achievement is considered a therapeutic miracle, and demonstrates the effectiveness of Ho’oponopono. Moreover, it is an acknowledged therapy in the USA.

In 1983 a trusted friend asked Dr. Hew Len to work in the psychiatric department of the state prison of Kaneohe of Hawaii. Thirty prisoners, all psychologically ill, were confined there, with a chronic shortage of staff. There was good reason for this shortage because both the institution and the work were commonly described as ‘the hell’. Most of the employees were either ill, unsuited for the work or gave in their notice as soon as possible after beginning employment. However, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len agreed to work there - on condition that he was allowed to use a method that he had just learnt. It was arranged that he would only read the prisoners’ reports and would not talk with them.

What did Dr. Hew Len do? In the following four years he read the prisoners’ reports several times daily and asked himself, ‘What is there in me of darkness and negativity, of power and hatefulness, that something similar should exist in my world? What is my part in it that my brother has done such a thing? When he found something of that in himself and in his heart (power, aggression, hatred, vengefulness, envy, jealousy - the whole palette of the depths of humanity), he would say:

I am sorry. Please forgive me.
I love you. Thank you.

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len worked exclusively on the cleansing of his heart and consciousness and after one and a half years he had made a Ho’oponopono and changed the mold, atmosphere and climate in the prison hospital. After 18 months, none of the prisoners wore handcuffs anymore. The staff, warden and therapists now came happily to work and the illness figures declined. It became possible to hold therapeutic conversations with the prisoners, and after four years all the inmates, except for two, were cured. The institution was finally closed.

Did Dr. Ihaleakalal Hew Len really cure anyone? Those impacted, say ‘Yes’. However, in an interview Dr. Ihaleakalal Hew Len has explained that he only worked on his own purification and the deleting of information in his own subconscious. He did not speak of cures, but emphasized that the solution to respective conflicts succeeded because he had taken 100% responsibility for the existence of prisoners in his life.
— Ho'oponopono The Hawaiian forgiveness ritual as the key to your life's fulfillment, by Ulrich E. Dupree

Oneness With Life

 
Underneath the surface appearance, everything is not only connected with everything else, but also with the Source of all Life out of which it came. Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it and let it be without imposing a word or mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.

If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace. If peace mattered to you more than anything else and if you truly knew yourself to be spirit rather than a little me, you would remain nonreactive and absolutely alert when confronted with challenging people or situations. You would immediately accept the situation and thus become one with it rather than separate yourself from it. Then out of your alertness would come a response. Who you are (consciousness), not who you think you are (a small me), would be responding. It would be powerful and effective and would make no person or situation into an enemy.

There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: ONE WITH LIFE. Being one with life is being one with the Now. You then realize that you don’t live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance.
— Eckhart Tolle, Oneness With All Life, Inspirational Selections from A New Earth
 

Dear body....

 
Dear body:  I am sorry I strayed from knowing how to be with you.   Please forgive me for all the times I mistook you for for my identity. Please forgive me for all the times I focused on your appearance and your function rather than feeling the aliveness  inside  of you.  I love you.  Thank you.  ____  The above words came through  us  during our qigong practice today 💫

Dear body:

I am sorry I strayed from knowing how to be with you.

Please forgive me for all the times I mistook you for for my identity. Please forgive me for all the times I focused on your appearance and your function rather than feeling the aliveness inside of you.

I love you.

Thank you.

____

The above words came through us during our qigong practice today 💫

 

Dear Wise Women,

When we began our gathering today, I shared the following message from a card that I drew just moments before you arrived:

The great teacher Jesus Christ said that whenever two or more are gathered in his name, there will be he, also. What this means is that when we work with others for the highest good of all concerned or for a spiritual purpose greater than our own ego needs, we receive more Divine guidance and spiritual power than would be possible through working alone. Understand the power of partnership - whenever you work with one or more synergistically, your power becomes exponentially greater than it could ever be individually.” - Dr. Christiane Northrup

THIS is what happens when we circle and, no matter how many times I experience it, I simply cannot stop marvelling at the MAGIC! So, once again, I thank-you for creating this space and this magic with me!!

 
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Today, we continued the exploration of the Ho’oponopono with a focus on how this prayer can be applied to our physical bodies. It is no surprise that the Ho’oponopono philosophy beautifully supports the traditional teachings of Qigong as well as the more current teachings of teachers such as Eckhart Tolle. Ho’oponopono is a wonderful way to liberate the body.

To begin this exploration, lets first look closer at what Eckhart Tolle calls the inner body:

 
 

Equating the physical sense-perceived body that is destined to grow old, wither and die with "I" always leads to suffering sooner or later. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn't mean the you neglect, despise, or no longer care for it. If it is strong, beautiful, or vigorous, you can enjoy and appreciate those attributes - while they last. You can also improve the body's condition through right nutrition and exercise. If you don't equate the body with who you are, when beauty fades, vigor diminishes, or the body becomes incapacitated, this will not affect your sense of worth or identity in any way. In fact, as the body begins to weaken, the formless dimension, the light of consciousness, can shine more easily through the fading form.

Ego arises when your sense of "Beingness", of "I Am," which is formless consciousness, gets mixed up with form. This is the meaning of identification. This is forgetfulness of Being, the primary error.

Although body-identification is one of the most basic forms of ego, the good news is that it is also the one that you can most easily go beyond. This is done not by trying to convince yourself that you are not your body, but by shifting your attention from the external form of your body and from thoughts about your body - beautiful, ugly, strong, weak, too fat, too thin - to the feeling of aliveness inside it. No matter what your body's appearances is on the outer level, beyond the outer from is an intensely alive energy field.

Your inner body is not solid but spacious. It is not your physical form but the life that animates the physical form. It is the intelligence that created and sustains the body, simultaneously coordinating hundreds of different functions of such extraordinary complexity that the human mind can only understand a tiny fraction of it. When you become aware of it, what is really happening is that intelligence is becoming aware of itself. It is the elusive “life” that no scientist has ever found because the consciousness that is looking for it is it.

What I call the “inner body” isn’t really the body anymore but life energy, the bridge between form and formlessness. Make it a habit to feel the inner body as often as you can. Body awareness not only anchors you in the present moment, it is a doorway out of the prison that is the ego. It also strengthens the immune system and the body’s ability to heal itself.

As much as possible in everyday life, use awareness of the inner body to create space. When waiting, when listening to someone, when pausing to look at the sky, a tree, a flower, your partner, or child, feel the aliveness within at the same time.

Your physical body, which is form, reveals itself as essentially formless when you go deeper into it. It becomes a doorway into inner space. Although inner space has no form, it is intensely alive. That “empty space” is life in its fullness, the unmanifested Source out of which all manifestation flows. The traditional word for that Source is God.

- Eckhart Tolle, Oneness with All Life - Inspirational Selections from A New Earth

 

Sinking into the sensation of our inner body and feeling its the aliveness within allows us to release the pain and negativity that has been held by our beliefs about our outer experiences in the world. One very powerful way to access this healing stillness is to practice Ho’oponopono with your body:

I am sorry

Please forgive me

I love you

Thank you

In a Hawaiian temple every physical healing is preceded by a Ho’oponopono, the reason being that the spirit must be healed before the body can be. Healing begins when we accept ourselves, forgive ourselves and love ourselves. I love you. I love myself. ‘I love you’ means ‘I love myself’. The subconscious makes no distinction between the inner and the outer.
- Ho’oponopono, The Hawaiian forgiveness ritual as the key to life’s fulfillment


Goddesses of truth, THANK-YOU for our rich conversations and our amazing Qigong practice!

With love,

Patti

I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.

Ho’oponopono: the Hawaiian Forgiveness Ritual

Photo uploaded from Squarespace image library which I selected randomly, or perhaps, not so randomly. Wise woman Nadine emailed me shortly after I sent out this treasure trove to tell me that this is a photo of Kalalau Beach, where she held her transformational retreat under the Full Moon in March 2018!   Scroll to the bottom to view pictures of Nadine in this incredible paradise. Just WOW!

Photo uploaded from Squarespace image library which I selected randomly, or perhaps, not so randomly. Wise woman Nadine emailed me shortly after I sent out this treasure trove to tell me that this is a photo of Kalalau Beach, where she held her transformational retreat under the Full Moon in March 2018!

Scroll to the bottom to view pictures of Nadine in this incredible paradise. Just WOW!


Dear Wise Women,

The energy we shared yesterday was truly electric. My mind-body is still integrating.

During our opening meditation I received an image. I saw all of us  gathering around a fire with the full moon high in the sky. We were dressed in gowns and had long flowing hair - we were women from a different era and we were performing a full moon ceremony.  Our task was to connect to the one heart of mother earth and to raise the vibration of our community.  We were women  entrusted to hold the frequency of heart energy for our families and our community. I shared some parts of this vision with you during our meditation and invited you to welcome in our ancestors and to tap into the healing power of our circle - collectively and individually. Thank-you for doing so with such courage.

During our sharing circle, we discussed our continued experiences with the energy of January and shared how the various energies have been playing out in our lives. I shared some passages from the January forecast (which I have posted before). HERE is the link again for those of you who are interested.  Later yesterday, I received the FULL MOON UPDATE which you may also be interested in. 🌕💛

I then began to share with you my experience with Ho’oponopono and why I feel that NOW is a great time to bring this powerful Hawaiian prayer into our circle. Ho’oponopono is yet another treasure to weave into the tapestry of oneness, compassion and open-heartedness. This simple meditation flows so beautifully into the practice of Qigong and has the potential to amplify its ability to release energetic blockages.

I have known about this ritual for many years now, but only recently began to integrate it into my daily life and to receive its gifts. I look forward to exploring this ancient ritual together over the coming weeks.


 

Ho’oponopono means a return to the Divine Plan…

Ho'oponopono belongs to a system of ancient Hawaiian teaching called the 'Huna'. 'Hu' means 'knowledge', and 'na' represents 'wisdom', and the guardians of this ancient teaching are called 'kahunas' - Huna experts.

The Hawaiians call their group of islands 'The Land of Aloha’, the Land of Love. 'Aloha' contains the essence of the Huna teaching of knowledge and wisdom, and it forms the basis of Ho'oponopono. 'Aloha' means, 'I see the divine in you, and I see the divine in myself'. This carries the understanding that you and I travel a common road, and that there is only one power in the Universe, namely the energy of unconditional love, 'mana aloha' in Hawaiian.

Aloha has a single commandment: never to harm, always to help. The command to harm no one begins with not harming oneself. And thus, to love your neighbour as yourself. 'Mana aloha' is the essence of God's energy, the energy that penetrates and informs everything. The wise Hindu monks call this energy 'bhakti' , meaning 'devotion', and the Tibetan monks call it 'compassion'. By this, they did not merely have in mind an emotion, but a directly experienced energy that influences the environment and creates a new reality. Ho'oponopono is this compassion in action.

Ho'oponopono is a simple way of arriving at unity, inner peace and returning to harmony. It expresses the deep need to live once again in harmony with oneself and with humanity, nature and God. Ho'o means 'to make' and pono is translated 'right' or 'correct'. And so ho'oponopono quite simply represents to 'make rightly right'. To 'make anything rightly right' means to join oneself again with one's Higher Self and the Source of All Being - to be in one's own centre, returned to harmony, and balanced once again so that one is able to realign the environment and reshape reality.

The forgiveness ritual of Ho'oponopono is love in action. You forgive yourself and others for having inflicted any sort of hurt, or for having failed to help when needed. 'Making things rightly right' is a simple four-step procedure that helps you learn to forgive yourself unconditionally, to love, and, additionally to make things better.

 
 

I am sorry

Please forgive me

I love you

Thank you

These four sentences seem like a mantra or a magical formula, but they are rather a mediation and a prayer. They operate through time and space, beyond cause and effect, and transmit themselves directly to your Inner Family, the Higher Self, the Inner Child and your waking consciousness. After a short while you achieve inner peace and change from disharmony to harmony.

You move yourself from separation to union while you say:

I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.

- Ho'oponopono: The Hawaiian forgiveness ritual as the key to your life's fulfillment, by Ulrich E. Dupree

 

The Ho’oponopono ritual can be applied to any relationship or situation in which you feel disconnected or troubled. What I most want to emphasize is the power of these four simple sentences when applied to oneself…anytime you feel regret, self judgement, blame, guilt or otherwise separated from Oneness (aka: Source, God, the Universe, Divinity, Energy, Qi, Presence)…simply pause and say to Oneness:

I am sorry. Please Forgive me. I love you. Thank you.

Lovely ladies, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being part of our divine circle!

With love,

Patti