Emotional Balance

Emotional balance has been unfolding in my life for 50 years.  One of the biggest hurdles has been letting go of the belief that my emotions define me; that I am what I am currently feeling.  I now define emotion as: e-motion = energy in motion.  When I am experiencing a specific emotion, I realize that it is energy moving through my entire being.  It is energy that has been given a name such as happiness, sorrow, anger, etc.  Remembering this helps me release judgement about the nature of that energy.  Energy is energy; it is neither good nor bad; it just is.

As practices for the body and mind (yoga, meditation, healthy eating, exercise, fresh air, loving friends, etc.) have become consistent in my life, my emotions have become more consistent as well.  For the most part, my emotions fit what I am experiencing in the moment.  When each of my parents died, I was deeply sad and grieved.  I was also profoundly grateful that I was with them in their transitions. I was proud to be their daughter. I was also grateful for everything they had given me over the years.  So many emotions flowed during those times and I felt them all. Intense and fulfilling all at once.

In releasing judgement, I view these experiences in terms of intensity.  Seldom is overwhelming happiness described as bad, yet it is every bit as intense as sorrow and can be just as exhausting.  My granddaughter’s birth was so intensely joyful that there were times I didn’t sleep very well.  There were times when I quietly cried for happy.  Intense.

On the other end of the spectrum, I choose not to take in news about things like child abuse because the depth of anger I feel on behalf of these innocents is almost frightening to me.  But is anger always “bad?”  Not in my opinion, because there are many people who have been inspired to acts of bravery because of the anger that arises within them.  Anger and frustration with things I had allowed or created in my life have given me the courage to make very difficult changes.  Intense.

Intensity is seldom comfortable, which is why these energies are judged as bad or unhealthy.  The key, is – guess what? – balance!  It makes more sense to realize that imbalance in the emotional body creates confusion and can be destructive than to set the goal of never feeling these things.  When I feel angry, can I allow myself to be in it in a way that leads me to action, forgiveness or compassion?  If so, I will quickly return to peace and tranquility.  My actions will be appropriate to the situation and to my desire and intention to live lovingly and compassionately.  It is when I avoid and stuff or hide my feelings that my behavior becomes inappropriate and possibly destructive.

Balance is the key. Here are a few reasonable goals:  Feel without being thrown against the wall by the intensity of emotions. Be willing to sit with the discomfort in order to remember that energy in motion does not define me; it is something you are experiencing in the moment.  It will diminish, shift, transform because that is the nature of energy.  Embrace the experience for what it is:  a human experience that does not change or define your True Self, a spiritual being. Be patient and remember that it takes time and maturity to come into this awareness in every aspect of your being: physical, mental, emotional.  You don’t have to change everything at once.  You don’t have to fight yourself and judge yourself.  You do not have to be perfect.  You can be in this moment, experience it, and be all that you are.  You can unfold into True Self as naturally as a healthy tree matures and produces perfect fruit.

One of my favorite responses to myself when I explode into emotional intensity and catch myself in the midst of it is:    Well, Catherine Ann, welcome to the human race!


Where Does Redemption Fit In?

I am currently participating in the 21-day meditation experience offered on http://www.chopracenter.com titled “Become What You Believe.” An online journal is provided and I find it most useful in centering my mind and heart for the day. As I journaled today, my path away from self-judgement became clearer to me. Having been a practicing Christian (both Catholic and Protestant), the idea of redemption was central to my beliefs. I was taught and I embraced the belief that I was born in sin, separated from God, and that I had to be redeemed.

As I journaled this morning that word “redeemed” seemed to stand out on the page. The word “deem” means to regard or consider something in a specific way. The times I have heard it used, it takes on an air of authority or weight that takes its meaning beyond thinking.  For example, the principal deemed it necessary to discipline the students.

So, in religion I was taught that Jesus came to redeem me from my sin. mmm….so, he came to change the way my status had been regarded or considered by others. He deemed me worthy of God’s love and even told his followers that we are all One with God just as Jesus himself is One with God. Not separate, One. So, what I needed to be redeemed from was the belief system that taught me I was separate, a sinner, and that I had to gain God’s favor. Jesus of Nazareth, called the Christ, re-deemed me.  I love that!!

What I experience day-to-day at this point in my life is this: when I am uncomfortable with an aspect of my behavior, I turn within to the Oneness that I Am. As I rest in the peace of my Soul, I am able to see that my behavior was uncomfortable because an old habit resurfaced or I am in need of healing or I am being totally human. Yep. My divinity does not always shine through my humanity because, as is so often said, I am a work in progress. I do not always fully live from the non-duality I believe. At the same time, when I look back as I did this morning, the difference in how I am results in a “Wahoo!” moment. I am riding this zipline called life and I laugh way more than I cry these days!

I love you all for you are a part of me. We are One because the Divine cannot be divided. There is only Wholeness in all of It’s facets, like a diamond shining in the Light of Love.

Peace, Aum Shanti.

Love and Light in Form

We struggle with and against that which seems to contradict what we consider to be The Light. We are often taught to overcome the flesh or sin. Literature, Film, Art is often dominated as well with images of the clash between light and darkness, good and evil. Conflict surrounds us.

And yet many of us, in seeking peace in the midst of the conflict, come to realize the fallacy of these opposing forces. We begin to reside and rest in the Oneness of All That Is. We find our Wholeness within as we discover True Self, the Soul that gives life to this form, to body, mind and emotions.

I have probably mentioned before that I am drawn to black and white photography. In speaking with an artist about this, he responded by telling me that I was responding to the definition that shadows bring to the clarity of the light. He told me that the edges of the darkness define and call attention to the light.

Can you feel the power of that?! My spiritual mentors have taught me to release the need to fight myself. They have guided me into seeing these experiences of duality in their divine opposite of nonduality. Everything is part of the All. This third dimensional world exists because of opposites, literally. The electromagnetic field of planet earth balances between the north and south poles and gives this planet form and presence in the universe. The universe itself is held in form through innumerable energy fields interacting and balancing opposing energy fields…..and that is my profoundly simply perception of what my physicist friends have explained to me.  If you want a more scientific explanation, please find a physicist of your own (feel free to laugh here)!

Nature doesn’t fight itself. It just hangs in the balance of what is. When nature manifests itself through torrents of water, wind or fire, what remains adjusts, comes back into balance and begins to reproduce itself once again. Life goes on…

When I began to see myself as a being made up of loving, light-filled opposites like right and left, front and back, seen (my body, personality, etc.) and unseen (my spirit and soul), balance and wholeness began to manifest easily in my life. Struggle melted away and True Self emerged from the “darkness” within – that which cannot be seen – into the “light” without – that which can be seen. True Self is Love and Light and it chooses to manifest in this human form for the time being. This human form, including mind and emotions, must learn how to live that out, how to be that which it is in Truth.

The challenge is to release what others taught us about our True Self, our nature, and to live from the Divine that We Are Within. To be Divinely Human! Do you not love that label?! People have tried to label me all my life and I just won’t stay the same long enough for labels to stick. I don’t delight in their frustration. I am who I am and I have found a label that fits:

I am Divinely Human! There are still no boxes that can define or hold me. I am free to float on the wave of Love and Light that has manifested me in this and many lifetimes. I Am All That I Am and so are you my Divinely Human Loves. Rest. Abide. Be.