Wednesday, July 8, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH # 20 Keepin' It REAL A Blogpost from Anne Townend-Duffey


I'm all about embracing the dark/shadows, the deep recesses of our psyches and unconscious mind as a path of liberation.  I always felt somewhat repulsed by the happy slogan ,positive thinking,bumper sticker, smiley face, new agey tendency to keep it ' in the light '. Keep in the light like some desperate mantra to avoid one's very truth of your present experience. If just slapping a smiley face on our pain was truly effective... why are opiate addiction rates skyrocketing? Why does the level of violence and abuse in our society continue? Why do we entertain ourselves with violent media?
We've all been conditioned with lessons on social niceties. Smile when you feel lousy. Say 'I'm Fine " ,when folks ask how you are doing and you're not feeling fine. Dismiss, distract or disown as strategies to survive. Most addictions are rooted in distancing one's consciousness from pain. Fear of pain is real. These practices of denial and distraction are non-sustainable and over time very corrosive to our inner sense of truth and well being. You may indeed get some temporary relief from distracting, denying or suppressing your authentic feelings with use of food, TV, sex, drugs, alcohol etc but the underlying pain or fear never goes away. It just gets more potent the longer you avoid it.
What we will do to avoid fear is never ending and one of the slickest tickets is wallpapering our hearts with spiritual sloganisms. (not sure thats a word) I will always admire those that are willing and scared shitless to feel the depths of their souls anyway. So yes, go there. Be real, feel it all, express it all, and miraculously when our former death grip of avoidance relaxes a bit, we realize by embracing that which terrifies us , we open. We open to the light of our divinity that is even more brilliant than any positive thinking slogan could even touch. Why settle for Light lite? Be brilliant and embrace your dark edges. A lot of raw beauty lives and pulses there.
Love to you all.
Namaste & Blessings for Keepin it Real!
Anne Christine

“The ability to hold Light is directly proportional to the courage to see darkness. Choosing to see just one creates distortions and illusions. It amazes me that something so simple and common sense can be so difficult to even discuss with ‘spiritual’ people who insist on remaining ‘positive’. Actually, this avoidance is based on unacknowledged fear that their inner light might be somewhat ‘dispersed’ by seeing darkness and therefore not giving the light much credit at all. I think there’s also fear that they might somehow become ‘tainted’ or the darkness might ‘manifest’ in some form in their lives. But the opposite is true; it is the fear, especially unacknowledged, that has much more chance to manifest than darkness exposed to daylight and investigation. Just like we must be fearless about our own inner shadow, we must also be fearless about seeing this huge shadow of humanity. Or we will have the power to transform precisely nothing, within or without.”
~ Anis Springate

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SEEDS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH- It's Summertime, Slow Down & Take Your Time

A Blog Post by Anne Townend-Duffey
Director of Opening Lotus Yoga


Blessings All. As we enter the Full Capricorn moon today the celestial skies are busy aligning in patterns to invite another layer of balance and integration within us. That ever present task of balancing our inner emotional, self care and our outer responsibilities in the world.
Often this can feel like a ping pong match in which neither focus is optimal. We are either burning out getting all our 'To Dos' done or we might be neglecting our outer responsibilities with procrastination as an excuse to find time to attend to our
innermost needs. How many times do we say " I don't have time to relax".
Here's the problem. Its not an either/ or proposition. Its a joint venture and one that requires us to be guided by our inner truth that speaks to us in our quieter moments of stillness. When we can slow down, tune in and tap into our intuitive energy which is the master of prioritizing what actually needs our attention, we enter the flow state of being in synchrony with the life force. Life then becomes more of a dance than a march.
It can feel like a radical act to actually slow down when in the midsts of many external things that need our decisions or actions, but I have found over and over again, that taking that step inward to connect to your inner wisdom actually results in a sense of expanding time. Its well documented that having a daily meditation practice actually expands your capacity to be more effective and productive with what's at hand as you are not wasting energy by distracting or indecision. Clarity creates efficiency.
You tap into your inner flow and find clarity on what is the most inspired step to take next if any. Sometimes in a very paradoxical way, the most inspired step is to do nothing. Its the 'doing of non-doing', to allow a sacred resting period for all the energies competing for one's attention to settle . Our culture looks askance of the 'doing of non-doing' . It falsely celebrates overextending oneself and exhausting oneself as signs of living a positive or successful life. Being busy, wired and tired is not the same as being fulfilled and often a sign of inner disconnect. Inner Peace matters.
Slowing down is often the powerful gateway to clarity and we can't access it by pushing and demanding. We access this clarity by settling, breathing deeply, feeling and Being present to what is right in front of us without judgement.
Summertime is a perfect season to slow down. Take time. Be still and absorb the energies of your inner and outer domains.Listen to the birds sing in the early morning. Feel the summer sun on your skin or the evening breeze across your face. Bask in the sea water that rushes to meet your feet. Walk in the beauty of the trees, flowers and fields abundant with life. Play with some creative expression, journaling, painting, dance or music. Ask yourself on a regular basis, what needs my attention in this moment and then listen deeply for a sensation through your body that will guide you to exactly what is needed in any given moment.
When I feel aligned with my intuition, I always feel an expanded sense of openness in my heart center, the center of my chest. When I don't feel that, I know my mind is commanding more of my awareness and its a sign for me to slow down, tune in, breathe deeply, inhabit my body more which naturally eases the minds contractions. A tightly wound mind creates a tightly bound heart.
May you find space today and everyday to slow down, breathe deeply, feel the energies within you and around you with an open heart and invite a deeper level of beingness to express itself through you.
Namaste & Blessings for a beautiful full moon !
Anne Christine