Maintaining Your Inner Peace In The Midst Of Outer Dissonance

Maintaining Your Inner Peace In The Midst Of Outer Dissonance

Photo credit: Hans Vivek, Unsplash

In a world forever changed by recent events, we are challenged daily with the need to restore and maintain inner peace in the midst of outer dissonance. And dissonance is everywhere. Perhaps the novelty of staying home has worn off. Or perhaps the world we are re-emerging into, is not the same as the world we left behind and does not resonate well. Distractions we may have previously used to soothe ourselves during difficult experiences have lost their sheen.

We may try to meditate to reclaim our inner sense of peace, but once off the cushion the reality of circumstances brings us right back to anxiety or irritability. It is perfectly natural to seek relief from these dissonant conditions. And yet, true relief is found not in distraction, aversion or judgment of the outer dissonance; it is found by changing the way we respond to these.

Inner peace does not require us to resist dissonant circumstances or flee from them; instead, it lies in finding a way to coexist with the very things that do not resonate with us.

Deeper wisdom requires us to learn how to be with discomfort. To paraphrase Pema Chodron, one of the greatest misunderstandings of the human mind is thinking that true relief comes from making ourselves more comfortable. The truth is exactly the opposite!

When our efforts to soothe ourselves or avoid external dissonance fail, we are actually ready for a more lasting solution. This is the perfect opportunity to find inner peace in the midst of outer dissonance. We can indeed maintain a sense of tranquility within despite the chaos without, because we have complete control over what we focus on.

Instead of resisting or fleeing outer dissonance, we start changing our response by using the dissonance as an opportunity to become more aware within. We turn towards our internal sensations of discomfort and become intimate with them.

What does it feel like when our outer world appears chaotic, and there’s little relief in sight? What happens when we stop running and allow ourselves to listen to what lies beneath the surface? How do we feel when we move our attention away from the outer dissonance and center within instead? Asking ourselves questions such as these help us to become more present to the eternal nature of consciousness in this present moment.

As we inquire within, we’ll likely find all kinds of mixed emotions at first – our own disavowed, wounded, disenfranchised and wronged parts. These are the orphaned aspects of our being that drive us to look for an external scapegoat or a way to avenge ourselves by projecting our pent-up pain and anger onto others. These aspects may even twist the truth to reinforce our habitual narrative of wounding or victimization.

When we turn within and become aware of these wounded aspects within us, we finally touch on the potential for healing and peace. It is by acknowledging the darkness residing within, that we start to cultivate true honesty with all the aspects of ourselves. And it is in recognizing the discomfort, pain and anxiety within ourselves, that we cultivate compassion for ourselves and all other beings.

This process brings us to the realization that we are all connected at some level. Interconnection becomes a way of being and is no longer just theoretical. We start to understand the statement by Pogo the possum in the Walt Kelly cartoon when he said: “We’ve met the enemy, and he is us.” We recognize that there is good in the worst of us, and bad in the best of us. And we develop compassion for both ourselves and others.

This openness to our own experience makes us more capable of opening to others. We experience less need to turn away from the underbelly of life – both in ourselves and in others. Instead of judging dissonance and weakness while separating ourselves from it, we can look at it with compassion. We become more honest and at ease with our own disenfranchised aspects – getting to know their true nature – and so have greater capacity to meet others there, too. This is the path to true and lasting inner peace.

There are two primary ways we can develop this ability to find inner peace, regardless of outer circumstances: We can learn to remain connected to inner peace regardless of external dissonance; and we can use aversion practice to lessen our habitual reactivity.

By aligning with the deep, unchanging peace that underlies all experience, we become more resilient to the outer dissonance on the surface of life. Instead of labeling and resisting, we can learn to be with discomfort. We learn to refrain from the habit of labeling and judging everything outside our comfort zone, and to simply be with what is. Over time, we learn that we are limitless consciousness, subject only to what we focus on or hold in mind. That is a superpower!

Here is one way of doing it: In your meditation, try sitting 15 minutes without moving. When uncomfortable sensations arise (an itch on your leg, a pinch in your hip), rather than shifting to alleviate it, stay still. In this moment of discomfort, open up to the sensation and allow yourself to relax into it. Notice what happens as you do this. Observe the thoughts and reactions that arise in your mind, yet do not judge or react to them. Simply observe the discomfort and see it as an opportunity to discover something new – your innate capacity to be with discomfort and remain neutral. The more you expand this capacity to remain neutral in the presence of something dissonant and uncomfortable, the more you will be able to honor your inner peace regardless of circumstances.

The second exercise deals with desensitizing your conditioned aversion response. Think of one small thing you don’t like: A smell, a taste, a sound, or a texture. For some it may be the taste of onion, for others the booming music from a neighbor. Pick one. When it appears, rather than pulling away, turn towards it. Put a small slice of onion on your tongue and get curious about the flavor. Or sit right beneath the booming bass and allow its rhythm to play across your mind and body. Whatever your disliked issue is, see what happens when you stop, turn towards it, open up, and invite it in.

As you do that, you will discover different aspects of it to tease apart, turning your distaste into curiosity. With practice, your consciousness will be able to use the very dissonance as a portal to move deeper within until you are able to rest in your core of peace, regardless of outer triggers.

Finding inner peace in the presence of outer dissonance is a powerful practice to help us remain calm, regardless of the tumult in our outer world. It strengthens our inner ability to navigate life without clinging to or resisting the changing scenery and to walk straight ahead, no matter what shows up!

About the Author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

How To Find Freedom From Labels

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Photo Source: Tamara Gak, Unsplash

Labels are a social construct that simplifies living. We learn to label things as good or bad, right or wrong as soon as we learn to use language. We are also conditioned to react to the labels we’ve assigned by judging certain things we’ve labeled and desiring others. Over time, this process entrenches us in duality consciousness and prevents us from evolving to higher levels of being.

To evolve in consciousness, it is imperative for us to let go of labels: both the ”positive” labels we assign to what we cling to, and the “negative” labels that we resist. Everything in existence forms part of the union of life; and whatever part we resist, represents an aspect of life we reject. Over time, this process robs us of resiliency and joy.

When we label things, we step back from the totality of its essence to focus on a few specific aspects. That makes it easy for us to react to those aspects with attachment or resistance. In truth, we are not responding to the situation, but rather reacting to the label of our own creation!

Another pervasive problem with labels is the way we use them to hide truth from ourselves, and to avoid coming face to face with who we truly are. We all need careful discernment when it comes to self-evaluation and definition. Identity labels are tricky –it takes great skill to manage them with wisdom and grace. When we fail to do so, we fall into self-deception.

We are not our labels

The more attached we become to the labels of who we perceive ourselves to be, the more we split our awareness to avoid seeing labels and aspects of ourselves that don’t fit our perceptions. If we see ourselves as compassionate, we may ignore our lack of concern for another’s pain. If we see ourselves as spiritual, we may sidestep our more mundane or shadow characteristics, and neglect the necessary process of integration that makes us whole. This process of separation can also blind us to common threads that unite us with all others.

One of the solutions lies in asking ourselves why the labels we choose for ourselves and others mean so much to us. We can – and must – have the courage to question our labels, whether they pertain to spiritual affiliations, political parties, religious beliefs or social status. Granted, labels can be useful to identify allegiance in a complex world. But to the extent we invest them with significance at the cost of excluding other viewpoints, they can also rob us of our freedom.

Imagine what it would be like to let labels fade into the background for a while. How would it feel to drop our labels of worldly status, our labels of ancestral heritage so often wielded as swords of entitlement, and the habitual stories we repeat to label ourselves in ways that define who we are? Who would we be without these labels? Would letting go of our labels turn us into becoming a nobody? Would it empty life of meaning? Or would we discover a deeper, more abiding truth about who we really are?

Before we mastered the language of labels, we existed in the totality of life. Therefore, we are not our labels. The experience of a deeper self, untouched by the slings and arrows of everyday life, is crucial if we wish to break free from the limitations of a label-addicted society. It requires slowing down, becoming fully present, and daring to question our assumptions.

At this time on the planet, we are the ones who are creating the future we will experience. Will we choose fear over love? Are we going to label and judge others to make ourselves feel more self-righteous, or are we going to recognize that the shadow we see in our world exists in us too, so we can heal the shadow, relinquish the labels that separate, and embrace the totality of existence? Will we have the courage to walk our talk or will we sidestep the awesome responsibility that comes with being alive in these extraordinary times?

Many people have been traumatized to some extent over recent events. The loss of loved ones, loss of freedom, loss of financial security, and loss of social connection has had profound effects on everyone. At times, the collective shock has been palpable, reverberating through the Field of consciousness that connects us all. Fear, despair, frustration, disbelief, grief, anger – all have been present as we’ve faced circumstances never encountered before.

Challenges and high levels of uncertainty tend to polarize people. We may regress to a lesser level of consciousness where we seek some safety and reassurance. We may attempt to fight circumstances, or flee from them, or even freeze like a deer in the headlights. In the search for safe ground, we may tighten our circle and cast suspicion on those who have different beliefs. Labels are born from these behaviors, and so conflict arises. These labels separate and weaken us all.

Revealing unity at our core

At the same time, the very destruction of life as we knew it, brims with opportunity for evolution and rebuilding at a higher level. We’re all building foundations for the future, both on a personal and on a societal level. To do so well, we must solidify our own foundation first: Not the labels of who we think we are, but our core identity beneath that – the eternal Self which knows all things as one.

Our true core needs no labels; it simply is. As we connect with this core more, we are able to dissolve the labels of ourselves as “I am this” or “I am not that” to reveal the true I AM which rests beneath it all. Only from this place can we make prudent decisions and discern the wisest action. It invites us to recognize our labels and release our most cherished identities, even for just a moment, to become what lies beneath.

We are so much more than our labels! The more energy we invest in outdated labels of who we habitually thought ourselves to be, the more we will be able to let go of old identities and define who we are becoming now. The radiant and universal Presence in us is neither augmented nor diminished by labels that define ego identity. It far transcends the limitations of our minds, and that is one of the reasons we tend to push Presence outside our conscious awareness while we perpetuate ego labels and identities.

We can break free from this! To free ourselves from these limitations, we have to relinquish the need to be special and regularly immerse ourselves in the sacred field which connects us all. When life subsequently demands that we pick up some identity again – as it inevitably will – we can do so with less emotional attachment and less ego striving. We can learn to wear the limiting mask of identity labels lightly, willing to discard it at any time. We can rest secure in knowing that all such labels are but a pale reflection of the vastness of our spiritual essence. When our consciousness rests in this deeper truth, it infuses our lives with clarity and wisdom for the task at hand.

Honoring the need unplug

This work of finding inner freedom requires discipline, and we also need time to rest. When feeling overwhelmed, it is a reminder that we need to unplug, switch off and return to base. In this technological age where everything happens faster, information overload is rife and screen addiction is everywhere. We need to discern how much technology is enough and where to draw the line. It is perfectly okay to take a break: stare out a window, read a good old-fashioned book, enjoy time with pets and loved ones, sing, pray, dance, walk, run, do yoga, tai chi, or karate.

The challenges on the surface of our lives invite each of us to return to our inner core, to discover who we really are aside from the labels of our world. Notice which interactions bring peace, wisdom and clarity. Lean into these and they will expand the heart. Also notice the painful emotions and triggers that fuel the compulsion to trade inner peace for a self-righteous label or ego opinion. Inner peace is always a mere breath away – available by shifting our attention to the Source of truth and peace within.

How we change the world

By regularly stepping out of the fray, we can root ourselves in the boundless Self from which truth and authenticity flow. We can take a stand while honoring our inner knowing, and we can partake in outer commitments from that inner place of clarity. We can take outer action without losing our connection to our inner truth. We can see beyond surface differences to honor the unified Field that connects us all. Knowing this Field intimately is vital for maintaining our sense of peace, purpose and direction. During these times of unprecedented change and challenge, imagine what we can accomplish by discarding labels and living in the unified Field from which everything emerges. This is how we will diffuse the separation consciousness and change our world for better.

About the Author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

How to Live With Courage: Notes From My Personal Playbook

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Photo credit: Daniel Sessler, Unsplash

When we droop with fatigue, overwhelmed by the relentless pace of change, yet yearning for a better life, it is helpful to turn back to basics – hopefully a little wiser. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the heads up on a few things we may encounter along the way?

I sure could have used a few pointers along the way to smooth out the kinks! However, a huge range of life experience taught me some valuable lessons, and I am happy to share them. Here are eight insights from my personal playbook on surviving in this world of marvel and change. May it encourage, embolden and inspire you!

  1. You will pass from this life leaving an unfinished To Do list behind.

Shocking, isn’t it – and that despite your very best efforts every day! Today more than ever, there’s no reason to assume any fit between demands on your time – all the things you  like to do or feel you ought to do – and the amount of time available. Thanks to capitalism, technology and human ambition, these demands keep increasing, while your capacities remain largely fixed. It follows that the attempt to clean up your To Do list is doomed.

The upside is that you need not berate yourself for failing to do it all, since doing it all is structurally impossible. The only viable solution is to make a shift: from a stressed-out rat race trying not to neglect anything, to a life intentionally lived and consciously choosing what to neglect in favor of what matters most.

  1. When stumped by a life choice, choose enlargement over happiness.

Jungian therapist James Hollis said that major personal decisions should be made not by asking, “Will this make me happy?” but “Will this choice enlarge me or diminish me?” We’re usually terrible at predicting what will make us happy: the issue quickly gets bogged down in our narrow preferences for security and control. Yet choosing enlargement elicits a deeper, intuitive response. You tend to know when leaving or staying in a relationship or a job, even though it might bring short-term security, would mean cheating yourself of growth.

  1. The capacity to tolerate minor discomfort is a superpower.

It’s shocking to realize how readily we set aside even our greatest ambitions in life, merely to avoid any level of unpleasantness. You already know it won’t kill you to endure the mild agitation of getting back to work on an important project, initiating a difficult conversation with someone, asking somebody out, committing to a workout routine, or checking your bank balance – yet you can waste years in avoidance! This is exactly why social media platforms flourish: they provide an instant, compelling distraction from reality where we can escape to at the first hint of unease.

Instead, you can truly empower yourself by gradually increasing your capacity for discomfort, similar to doing weight training. When you expect an action to bring up feelings of irritability, anxiety or boredom, you can stick to your commitment; let the feelings arise and fade while doing the right action anyway. Once you experience the rewards of tolerating discomfort, it will reinforce this path of walking straight ahead as a more appealing way to live.

  1. The advice you don’t want to hear is usually the advice you need.

I spent years fixating on becoming hyper-productive before I finally started wondering why I was staking so much of my self-worth on my productivity levels. What I needed wasn’t another personal goal, but asking more uncomfortable questions instead.

Yes, it isn’t fun to confront whatever emotional experiences you’re avoiding – if it were fun, you wouldn’t avoid them – so any advice that could really help is likely to make you uncomfortable, too. And that is okay! If you can muster up the courage to go where you really don’t want to, you may just break through to a deeper level of personal truth.

Be especially wary of celebrities offering advice in public forums: many of them pursue fame to fill an inner void, which tends not to work – so they are likely to be more troubled than you are and by the time you buy their snake oil, they’d have already moved on to the next gig.

Here is a bit of reverse psychology that does work: ask yourself what kind of practices strike you as intolerably cheesy or self-indulgent. Is it a gratitude journal, mindfulness meditation, or seeing a therapist? If you feel resistance rising, it might well mean that the very issue your ego is resisting, is the one worth pursuing.

  1. The future will never provide the reassurance you seek from it.

As the ancient Greek and Roman Stoics understood, much of our suffering arises from attempting to control what is not in our control. And the main thing we try but fail to control is the future. We want to know, from our vantage point in the present, that things will be OK later on. Yet we never can!

It’s wrong to say we live in especially uncertain times. The future is always uncertain; we’re simply very aware of it in current times.

No amount of fretting will ever alter this truth. Accept that certainty and it will set you free.

While we live in uncertain times, it is still useful to make plans. Make your plans with the awareness that a plan is only ever a present-moment statement of intent, not a lasso thrown around the future to bring it under control. The spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti said his secret for peace was simple: “I don’t mind what happens.” That does absolve you from trying to make life better for yourself or others. It just means not living each day anxiously braced to see if things work out as you hoped.

  1. The solution to imposter syndrome is to see that you are one.

In the current era of incompetent leadership, it is not possible to ignore corrupt governments and egocentric self-indulgence amid global threats of destruction to the point of extinction. Yet the way forward lies neither in complaining nor in passively accepting that we are all doomed.

I believe the answer lies in recognizing that you – unconfident, self-conscious, insecure, and all-too-aware-of-your-flaws – you potentially have as much to contribute to your field and to the world as anyone else.

Humanity is divided into two: on the one hand, those who are improvising their way through life, patching solutions together and putting out fires as they go, but deluding themselves by arguing for their limitations; and on the other, those doing exactly the same, except that they know it. It’s infinitely better to apply yourself and accept your failures and successes both as intrinsic parts of life.

Remember, the reason you can’t hear other people’s inner monologues of self-doubt is not because they don’t have them. It’s simply because you only have access to your own mind!

  1. Selflessness is overrated.

We respectable types, and women especially, are raised to think a life well spent means helping others – and plenty of self-help gurus stand ready to affirm for a price that generosity and sacrifice are the way to happiness. There’s truth here, but it generally gets tangled up with exploitation of deep-seated issues of guilt and self-esteem.

If you think you should be doing more, that’s probably a sign that you should direct more energy toward your true passions and ambitions. As Buddhist teacher Susan Piver said, it feels radical to ask how we’d enjoy spending an hour or day of discretionary time – yet the irony is that you don’t actually benefit anyone else by suppressing your true passions anyway.  Instead of being disciplined about hating on yourself to get things done, try being disciplined about remaining close to what brings you joy. It takes a lot of courage, actually.

  1. Know when to move on.

And then, finally, there’s knowing when something that meant a great deal to you has reached its natural endpoint. All things in life come to an end, both the good and the bad. Your most empowering response is not to bewail the ending or unfairness of it all, or to hang on for dear life until your claw marks scar the very thing you loved most as life pulls it away from you. Your most creative choice in the face of endings, is to let go and to turn to what is next. The rest of life awaits, both for you and for me!

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

How to Accelerate Your Personal Growth Now

Photo credit: Tom Ohlin, Unsplash

Amid well-intended government efforts to inhibit the spread of a worldwide pandemic, many individuals now experience the chokehold and restrictive pressure of autocratic rule. This top-down authoritarian domination of many by a few, imposes subservience to only one official view.

Many individuals realize that the prevailing authoritarian viewpoint is limited, because it represents and tolerates only one view. As new information emerges, we are learning that other viewpoints may have been overlooked or that the magnitude of oppression cannot be justified by the scope of the problem. Many people in the West have never lived under a dictatorship, and so they do not have a frame of reference of how to respond.

How on earth could this situation be helpful to our inner journey of personal growth and peace?

First, we need to understand that nobody is exempt from the winds of change sweeping the planet. Everyone is experiencing some level of turmoil in their lives because they are energetically part of the collective of homo sapiens. There is no possible dismissal around the chaotic shift that is happening, because all humans are experiencing ripples of the same wave.

Next, we need to learn that true freedom comes from within and is not determined by external forms. It is this inner sense of freedom that gave Nelson Mandela the courage to bide his time and keep his faith alive for 27 years of incarceration by a totalitarian regime until the tide changed.

Despite constraints placed on us by external circumstance, most of us have our basic needs met during this time. And with our basic survival needs of food and shelter met, we are called to the next level of existence: to operate from a level of kindness and compassion toward others who may not have as much as we do during this time.

People move toward resistance and protests not because they want to fight, but because they want to do something – anything – to shift the pressure. This reactionary impulse comes from our lower animal survival instinct in the amygdala. It pulls us deeper into primal responses and triggers a similar reactionary response from others.

More than a hundred years ago, Einstein reminded us that we cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness where it was created. We need to shift to a higher place before we engage with the challenges we face, or we will get sucked down into that maelstrom of hatred and resistance.

The higher response of lovingkindness calls us to action in a more effective way. Instead of feeding the primal instinct in ourselves and others, we can practice compassion toward other sentient life forms, contribute to someone in need, and exercise lovingkindness to ourselves, fellow humans and the earth.

The change we wish to see in the world around us, must come from within us. When we choose to walk the path of kindness, we allow our Higher self to transcend our lower human nature.  We learn to be present; to make conscious choices in each moment and to practice lovingkindness instead of allowing the weeds of fear, hatred and anger to grow inside us and further pollute the collective.

Each one of us has the right to choose our responses to life. This freedom includes the choice to fuel anger, to marginalize others, to judge, fight and oppress; yet while all choices are available to us, not all choices are optimal for our evolving consciousness.

To make choices that ultimately empower us to live our best life, it is helpful to ask ourselves first: Does this choice fuel my soul evolution, or does it feed my lower nature? Does it elevate my consciousness, or does it feed my ego?

When we lean into our true soul nature of lovingkindness in the present moment, it will infuse all our actions to become positive catalysts for change around us.

Instead of reacting to the spectrum of lower human emotions playing out, we can step back from the precipice of reactivity and return to lovingkindness in the present moment. By recognizing the extreme emotions that have led to the reactions we observe in society – fear, lack, frustration, hatred, control desire – we can consciously choose a higher response.

To choose a higher response, we also need remove the pious mask of our conditioned responses to see just how we have been hurting ourselves and others.

First, we need to revisit our use of rights. No hurtful action can be justified by defending it as our right. Whenever we attach to our “rights” we are also taking a dualistic position of right vs. wrong, me vs. other on the issue. We use the concept of rights to lock our actions into a defensive position of duality, and that defeats the purpose of rising to a higher level of consciousness from where the problem can be solved. In truth, all lives matter, and when we can unite our desire for change at higher levels of consciousness, we will be able to transform our world in ways that ripple across all boundaries.

In addition, we need to see the arrogance in our desire to “educate” or correct others. So much of what we’ve labeled kindness, is simply our willful desire for justification and change on our own egoic terms. Our need to educate others on what we perceive as a more enlightened viewpoint about a topic such as mask wearing, further perpetuates the subconscious belief that we are right, we know better, and the other needs to be corrected. It is an ego trap that perpetuates the division between self and other in duality-consciousness.

Then, we need to come back to center. The further apart we are on issues, the more highly charged our emotions and reactions become – a bit like being on opposite ends of a children’s teeter totter. For true growth and evolution, we need to move closer to the center where the stillpoint allows us to observe all the emotions on the spectrum without engaging in extremes.

The only way to diffuse the minefield of survival emotions triggered by sweeping change, is to step out of our lower nature’s craving to exercise our right to protest, judge, label and hate; we need to step into a higher level of consciousness from where we can embody lovingkindness: the true kindness that allows everyone to evolve in their own way and time.

Lovingkindness lets go of inherent divisiveness and judgment. It allows us to look for nuggets of goodness and truth in everyone and everything we encounter. It opens our consciousness to embrace the truth wherever we encounter it. In so doing, the very kindness and truth we thus acknowledge, can expand in the world to bring all us together with new insight and harmony.

The era of judging a book by its cover is over. To find solutions for the challenges we are facing on the planet at this time, we need to stand together – all of us. Solutions require us to look for and focus on the nuggets of truth presented by others, not the splinters of division.

The time of amassing and protecting our individual loot, is done. Whatever is useful for our own lives and future, we need to give others the right to enjoy as well. We need to relinquish our greed for what is bigger, stronger, or better for us as individuals, and instead choose what enhances the bigger collective.

It is essential to recognize that everything in this Universe is connected at some level. Physicist Rupert Sheldrake found in his research that every form of life in the cosmos exchanges information with everything else in any three-week period.

How can we tap into this transformative wisdom? We can start by recognizing what resonates with our Higher nature in every situation. From there, we can focus on the strand of Presence that fuels our soul with kindness, and the density of division will drop away.

Lovingkindness is about aligning with a Higher perspective from a place of integrity – taking responsibility for our individual actions instead of waiting for others to change first. It allows us to do what we can with what we have, right now, despite conflicting appearances on the surface of our lives. It frees us to focus on what is possible now instead of what has happened already; to acknowledge the potential in every situation instead of fixating on what we are afraid of.

Practicing lovingkindness is not spiritual bypassing. It is not about putting on blinders to the problems around us. Instead, it empowers us to transcend the lower aspects of divisiveness to find the higher qualities of life that unite us, while extending kindness to everyone around us. This is how each of us  can effectively address the challenges of this time and transform life into a more beneficial experience for everyone.

Awakening to truth allows us to see ourselves as we truly are, not as we have been conditioned to believe. We support the awakening of souls not by judging them, but by seeing the spark of Divine potential within each one. True acceptance holds up a mirror of kindness in which each soul can recognize themselves and awaken to a higher level of consciousness.

To survive and thrive beyond this time, we can – and must – step off the teeter totter of positionality and dualism. When we identify with the observer within, we can choose transformative responses at a conscious level.

Change has long been needed on the planet. It is upon us now. The current winds of change are bringing us chaos as well as opportunity. Let’s lean into the opportunity with true kindness that uplifts, instead of tearing apart others – and ultimately, ourselves – with judgment and hatred.

This time of upheaval offers us an unprecedented opportunity for growth in consciousness, lovingkindness and transformation. It challenges us to embody the change we wish to see in the world, and then to hold that vision until its transformative power permeates every aspect of society.

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

The Purpose of Awakening: Learning To Love

The Purpose of Awakening: Learning To Love

We are gifted with life in the physical body and world to learn how to truly love. Our conscious participation in this process as awakened souls allows us to fulfil our highest purpose. And from the conflict all around, it’s clear that we’re not doing very well with mastering this lesson!

Life is very simple, really, but because most of us live from the mind and not the heart, we’ve developed the false belief that life is complicated and our ultimate purpose too complex or hard to find.

There is a better way.

It is time to remember why we came here in the first place. We did not come to earthly life to divide and conquer, but to find our way back to Oneness through love. All the great wisdom traditions tell us we are born from love, though we tend to forget that and operate on autopilot much of the time.

Learning to truly love requires us to develop gratitude and forgiveness. We cannot truly love with judgment and hatred in our hearts; and we cannot enjoy the beauty of life when we are driven by insatiable greed.

Ram Dass said, “If I’m an ego, I am judging everything as it relates to my own survival… souls love. That’s what souls do. Egos don’t, but souls do.”

From the soul perspective, a life well lived is not measured by the amount of power, money or status an individual can amass at any cost – a well-lived life is measured by how well the soul learned to embrace gratitude and forgiveness as expressions of Divine love.

We are intrinsic parts of nature and inexorably interconnected with all other people. Anything detrimental we do to the planet or to others, we ultimately inflict on ourselves. And so, the true wakeup call sounding for all of us is to see just how far we have drifted from the moorings of love so that we can course-correct.

Only when we acknowledge our part in the game of separation, judgment and fear, can we begin to heal the wounds of separation consciousness. There is no transformative benefit in reacting to the voices clamoring for separation, division and conflict, because whatever we react to, we entangle with energetically.

Instead, this is the time all awakened souls are asked to first go within and realign with Higher consciousness. From that alignment with the Source of love, unity and truth, our presence becomes transformative as we interact with fellow souls. We heal when we align with our Source – that truth, love and unity is what sets us free.

Our realignment with Source enables us to approach life from a place of Divine love rather than from survival anxiety. It also enables us to live with greater interdependence. As we increase our awareness of existing within an intelligent and benevolent universe, we experience greater intimacy and connection with all forms of life, including ourselves.

Will this guarantee a life of safety and comfort?

No – that is not why we came here. We embarked on this life for our personal soul growth, not to isolate ourselves from the lessons of this earthly school and our fellow soul companions.

It is true that life can be full of suffering. We all get physically sick and our bodies sometimes ache.

Just as in school, we may not enjoy all the lessons that come our way. There are abundant opportunities to feel let down by others or frustrated with ourselves. And the world at large—now there’s a circus! We are confronted with all sorts of painful, alarming situations—abuse, starvation, poverty, war, lack, uncertainty, corporate depravity. On any given day we might get into an accident or learn that someone we love has died.

Over eons of time, we’ve developed many coping strategies to survive, and not all of them are helpful. Coping strategies allow us to roll out of bed each morning and face the world. And while some of them are useful, we may overuse or over-identify with these survival strategies. When we do so, we become cut off from love, separated from trusting life and our Source.

Separation consciousness is rooted in the belief that the external world is separate. The ego believes that it resides “in here” and everything else is “out there.” By locking in this duality-based viewpoint, we cannot see our role in co- creating all our experiences. We become limited, fear-based and paranoid.

This duality-based view of life is an obstacle to the emergence of our Divine nature. To heal that, we need to return to love. A Course in Miracles states, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Science tells us that we reside in a unified field of energy called the universe. Every major religion, spiritual path, and wisdom tradition has some version of Oneness at its core.

From an energy perspective, we are all interconnected like billions of mirrors endlessly reflecting and stimulating one another’s growth. The world is an enormous reflection of our psyche. Our job is to attend to the source of the projections, not the mirrors. We are to heal the roots of separation, not to slap labels on others that keep us separate.

Anais Nin said, “We see things not as they are. We see things as we are.” When we stand in judgment over something, it can be very enlightening to ask ourselves what it is we do not wish to see in ourselves, for it is that inner blindness that makes us project our self-judgment out into the world instead.

Spiritual awakening frees us from the blindness of unconscious living. It allows us to transcend ego as our primary identity. Awakening empowers us to bridge the separation we formed with life beyond ourselves. This ongoing process calls us to heal and reunite the wounds of separation consciousness, both in ourselves and with others. And we do that profound work with the tools of forgiveness, gratitude and love.

Persian mystical poet Rumi wrote, “Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of their heart.” Clarity is what remains within when we replace our ego distortions with growing awareness. This shift in consciousness enables us to recognize the spiritual lessons presented in our experiences.

To the awakened soul, everything is a benevolent lesson—despite the ego’s endless stories that tell us otherwise. Stress, frustration or “negative” emotion is just an indication of something that needs attention, an invitation to expand our true awareness and heal the underlying separation.

We expand our conscious awareness through the practice of forgiveness – it asks us to surrender our attachment to the ego’s need to be right, to feel validated or empowered.

The ego wants to win, whereas the soul wants to grow.

When we let go of our attachment to the ego’s power addiction, we forgive. And when we forgive, we discover gratitude for what is. We’re able to see the beauty of what is, instead of blindly striving for what is not.

Situations the ego may construe as failure or loss may now be seen as opportunities to learn rich and necessary spiritual lessons. Even trying situations contain buried gifts. The imperfections of the world are perfect for our purpose of learning how to love in a healing way.

Instead of asking “Why this? Why me? Why now?” which implies that we do not trust the implicate order of life, we can start to ask instead, “How is this helpful on my journey? What can I learn from it? How do I need to change to return to my inherent state of peace?”

In true awakening, the presence of spiritual love within calls on us to have compassion for the struggles of others and to forgive them for their limitations. When we do that, we start to heal the wounds of separation. We don’t love the other because they are black, or white, Muslim or Jew, rich or poor – we love them because they are part of our family of humankind.

All our fellow humans deserve our love, forgiveness, respect and support because that is how we heal separation consciousness – not by sticking labels on them and then arguing about the meaning of the labels. And certainly not by destroying the fragile physical vessel of the soul.

Humans evolve when they can see and grasp a better way; a better vision of themselves and of the world. One of the greatest gifts we can offer others, is to recognize their true potential as souls and to mirror that for them so they can evolve toward that potential.

We heal anger with love, hateful acts with forgiveness, and disrespect with respect.

This is the real work of awakening. It is the work of healing the wounds inflicted by egos operating on greed and inequality.

If you are reading this, you are one of the awakened souls on the planet who are being called to be part of this monumental task. The time is now. Together, we can do this!

About the Author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

How to Create Your Brave New Paradigm

How to Create Your Brave New Paradigm

COVID-19 changed our world: yours, and mine, and everybody else’s. Life as we knew it, is no more. Moreover, there is no going back. The past is irrevocably over; we are called on to create a brave new paradigm of life.

To move forward, we need to let go of things outside ourselves that we cannot control, and take charge of our inner reality, which is completely in our hands. We also need to act in mature ways to support wise choices. Let’s look at how to get from here to there.

What is it you need most now? What do you wish to see in your world? How do you intend to participate to bring that about?

Despite months of turmoil and upheaval, the totality of life remains filled with possibilities and probabilities. Every challenging circumstance contains seeds of possibility for us to tap into and create more optimal outcomes from the inside out.

Everybody responds differently to change: some are awakening to their true soul identity, others are grieving their losses, and yet others are huddling in denial for lack of knowing what to do. Some may even look for a way to return to the past because they don’t know how to cope with a world that has irretrievably changed.

Trying to resuscitate the past is not helpful. We cannot go back to yesterday or the life we lived ten years ago. Life happens in this present moment, and it is the choices made in each present moment, that will create a sustainable future for us all.

We all feel the enormous impact of irreversible change that has swept around the globe. None of us knows exactly how our lives will be different by the end of this year. We simply know that it will be different in more ways we can imagine. There are no iron-clad guarantees and reassurances – and so everyone is learning to devise ways of coping.

During this upheaval, emotions can feel overwhelming. Daily events may trigger shock, grief, fear or anxiety. After all, we are awash in a world of uncertainty and unknowns.

It is easy to become defensive in the face of uncertainty because defensiveness is a natural human response. It is normal to look for survival tactics and protective measurements to survive.

However, defensiveness keeps us stuck in resistance and prevents us from moving forward.

To avoid getting stuck, it is important to remember who you really are: you’re not just an ego in a body suit, you are an eternal soul who embarked on this earth journey to participate in the evolution of consciousness at this very time of unprecedented change and awakening.

You are so much more than your physical being! You have more resources available to you at non-physical levels than you can imagine. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, stop instead and take inventory of your spiritual arsenal.

Humans are blessed with innate creativity and innovation. Even during this challenging period, we can create effective ways forward.

To do so, we need to let go of lower levels of consciousness from where the quagmire of problems in our world were created. We need to expand our awareness of multiple possibilities coexisting in the Field, because higher awareness and a larger scope are essential to creating optimal outcomes now. Clearly, we need more than duality-based options that belong to an outdated Cartesian world view.

This time of social distancing offered us opportunities to reflect and return to right relationship with our innate Self. We have become aware of what no longer works, what no longer nourishes us, and what we’ll no longer tolerate in life. We’ve also been able to recognize what we truly want from life, so we can choose wisely.

This global time-out helped us reconnect with our inner being and what we truly need. By reconnecting to our inner core, we can make empowered decisions for our path and the greater good.

Humanity has outgrown the place where a few can dictate and make choices for the collective. It is time for each of us to step into maturity and take full responsibility for our own decisions. From there, it will ripple outward and create optimal collective outcomes.

During this season of loss and uncertainty, don’t look back. Go beyond!

Beneath the surface defensiveness of reactivity and blame, lies the presence of Spirit. That Presence contains all possibilities and potentialities. By stepping away from the ego chatter and centering deeper within, we access that Core where all possibilities exist. We can detach from habitual ego reactions of fear and anxiety.

Instead, we can enter a centered space of peace and calm from where we are able to simply observe. We can hold this space until clarity arises. We can cultivate awareness of possibilities beyond our linear thinking to make optimal choices.

We can use this perspective to recognize the limiting conditioning that hampers us and let it go so we can step into our true potential. We can anchor into the Creator Presence within and align with all that is possible to create a brave new paradigm.

This season of change also calls for spiritual maturity. It challenges us to let go of waiting to be rescued, and to step into choosing the path forward ourselves. Spiritual maturity empowers us to step out of old roles of limitation that were assigned to us and to become co-creators of a more empowering future.

Maturity gives us faith in unseen possibilities, so we can hold the intention for what can be. It calls us to elevate our viewpoint above the limitations of what was or is, to what truly can show up in response to our choices now.

Along the way, do not allow obstacles and appearances on the surface of life to undermine your faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of what is not yet seen. Hold on to that.

We are asked to clear out old conditioning, to heal the memories of what happened before, and to let go of what’s no longer needed. By freeing ourselves from past wounds and limitations, we create more room for our path to unfold.

Do not let others tell you what is appropriate for you. Step out of that habit and embrace a more empowering approach. Evaluate, contemplate within and choose for yourself.

Do not resist the process of individual growth, for it is your evolutionary lifeline. Let go of resistance and allow possibilities to emerge from the Truth within.

Trust in the benevolent plan of a loving Creator – and trust yourself. Maturity requires us to trust in ourselves, in the unseen hands that guide and uphold us, and in the Divine plan that we may not yet see but which is unfolding even now.

When we were children, we needed continuous reassurance and simple solutions to feel safe. As mature adults, we learn to be at peace with not knowing. Maturity teaches us to embrace the ever-changing nature of life, and to take full responsibility for our individual choices along the way.

Maturity also teaches us to stay in the void of uncertainty and discomfort; to resist grabbing for some easy version of permanency or settle for some substance to numb our awareness. The security we want is within; it does not lie outside of us.

We also must avoid the pitfall of settling for the devil we know. If we wish to evolve, we dare not let the familiarity of known limitations hold us back from the limitless possibilities we do not yet see.

When we turn away from external conditions beyond our control to focus on our inner life over which we have ALL control, we will find our innate power, peace and creativity restored. That is an important step toward creating a brave new paradigm in which everyone can thrive.

About the author

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.