Will we chase shadows and face the inevitable confusion of buying into the collective fear – or will we choose to circumvent the forces that seek to keep us controlled and stuck in fear?
Let's explore what is to be found in between breaths and in between thoughts. In finding peace, there is no search, for in the search one moves away from the destination. Alan Watts encapsulates this concept – “Buddha found out that there was no trap to get out of except himself. Trap and trapped are one, and when you understand that, there isn't any trap left."
Many of us are trapped by our environment and the people we surround ourselves with. We don't get to choose everyone we share space with – sometimes, we just need to accept and work with the imperfect. Yet toxic people and environments can severely erode our wellbeing.
What does it mean to be “toxic”? How do we actively discern which people are “good” for us or “bad”?
The arena of human relationships and interactions is one fraught with complexity. On one hand, all people have a soul and nobody is inherently “toxic”. Yet, on the other hand, we do need to acknowledge that there are some very negative people around, and in order to protect ourselves from them, it's healthy to be able to step away. As always, a clear set of personal boundaries is imperative to show us the path through what can seem like a labyrinth. Then with our integrity intact, we may navigate through our relationships consciously and lovingly.
A common approach at the moment is being “right” and making others “wrong”.
What I see in the world is many people following old dogmas, old religions, old philosophies and thinking that is not of this time – not of the present – and not allowing people to be themselves. Instead, they are hijacked and imprisoned by these old beliefs. A common approach at the moment is being “right” and making others “wrong”.
The violence and anarchy being expressed in the world shows where people are at but how did we get to a point of such fear? It is not necessarily what people are doing, but why that interests me. We get caught up with style over substance at times, instead of looking deeper to the root causes of conflict. What energy and focus are we placing on human suffering rather than on helping to alleviate this suffering?
How are we reflecting the whole? How are we perpetuating the same patterns and placing ourselves as part of the problem, instead of the solution?
As the Earth becomes more fragile, humans are reflecting that in their reactiveness and poor health. An increasingly toxic environment creates increasing stress and rising fear. At the moment, a rhetoric of enmity seems prevalent, yet there is also so much shadow being exposed by the light, and consciousness being raised.
Leaders like Donald Trump feed into the collective fear and send a message that everyone is your enemy until they are dominated into submission – as in “dog eat dog” and winner takes all. Lack of trust and building walls of separation to protect oneself from the “other” allows xenophobia and exasperation to predominate. Simplistic thinking of “us versus them” and a lack of unity consciousness prevails when we listen to the voice of fear.
Simplistic thinking of “us versus them” and a lack of unity consciousness prevails when we listen to the voice of fear.
Do we wish to continue to live at war with one another and the planet or are there spiritual solutions to the challenges we face?
Gary Zukav writes in Soul Stories, “When one of us hurts, that is a sorrow for everyone. When one of us is happy, that is a joy to everyone. We are living in the same promised land. It belongs to each of us, and we belong to it. That is the Universe. There is no other land.”
We reflect the whole as a microcosm of the macrocosm, yet we are also able to rise above suffering and victimhood as free will creators. What happens outside reflects what happens on the inside – and the other way round. With this view, it is of paramount importance how we see and feel about ourselves.
Expectations we have for ourselves impose judgement and limitation on who we can be and become.
What we expect of ourselves has a tendency to be mirrored in the external world by what we expect of others, affecting all relationships, from work colleagues, friendships to loved ones.
Further, when we compare ourselves with others, we immediately impose limits on being - and becoming - ourselves. As Iyanla Vanzant wrote, “Comparison is an act of violence against the self.”
Expectations can corrode our worldview and ultimately cost us authenticity and truly living in the present moment. More so, there is a routine and pattern in all things, including relationships and, within these bounds, it is fair to expect that certain standards are met. What I feel is important to focus on is the areas where we are expecting too much of ourselves and other people, thus limiting our (and their) experience. This can become destructive. The need to develop self compassion as a counter to the current trend of judgement and high expectation – in the developed world – remains a vital part of what it means to be human.
People are seeking a feeling of connection with themselves and with others, a connection to the sacred, and a feeling of being safe and grounded in their bodies at this time. This connection will not come from watching the news channels or avoiding bringing awareness and light to the shadows we so vehemently reject.
Some questions to ponder:
What are we resisting that will keep persisting so long as we continue in the same paradigms?
What are we resisting about ourselves – or others?
Sometimes, saying “no” is the most loving act one can do.
And simply learning to love the reflection we see in the mirror. Unconditionally loving ourselves is all we need.
Coco Chanel said: “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” What will you do right now to show and be who you are – a face of loving-kindness or what? Perhaps all you have been waiting for all this time is permission to be yourself.
David is a channel for Divine wisdom. His intuitive coaching, speaking and healing sessions invoke purposeful shifts into deeper connection, confidence, self love, abundance and happiness. An empath, David's healing is focused on bridging the gap between addressing core wounds and reaching limitless possibilities, to living an extraordinary life. David’s passion for synthesising Eastern and Western approaches to spiritual wellbeing, has seen him immersing himself in the biblical tradition as a monastic, studying Western Naturopathic Medicine and Buddhist / Taoist Healing under three living masters － Master Chen in China, Grand Master Mantak Chia (Time magazine’s top 100 most spiritually influential living people) in Thailand and Ajahn Brahm (one of the world’s foremost masters of meditation) in Australia.