Stand Up, Speak Out, Now is the Time

A Facebook Conversation about making a different, bringing awareness and being a catalyst:

Kama J Frankling begins the conversation: “In order to make a difference, in order to bring awareness to human behaviour, in order for anything to change, we need to be a catalyst for peoples triggers. If others are to learn more about themselves, to wake up or to see where they have been blind then we need to say things and do things with purpose. We don’t have to preach, we don’t have to yell, we just have to question. We have to ask what others don’t dare to ask, we have to be what others don’t dare to be. When we do this we activate within people an emotional space that they thought they had hidden so well. We set off a ripple effect that can come back to us in doses of high levels of self defense mechanisms. This is usually when we back down, when we step away, when we feel it is too much. Maybe this is the time when we should be stepping up and noticing that we are making an impact on the world? Think of the people who inspire you, they inspired you because they triggered you, because they woke you from a slumber. The trick is … how do we cope with the initial bombardment of defense against something that is not even an attack?”

Annie Infinite’s reply: I really believe that we have come to a time in history when the strong ones need to stand firm in our truth and calmly and kindly speak out without wavering and allow those who feel the fear to feel it without taking it on ourselves, remembering it is just a fear of the dark of the unknown and of disrupting the status quo, remembering that to get out of a deep rut we have to steer towards the edge and it be prepared for a bumpy ride to freedom LOL

It is not about spouting an endless stream of feel good messages it is about finding a way forward through the miasma of crap people have built around themselves – even the so-called spiritual ones – and creating a great perturbation with loving intent, confronting long held belief patterns with inestimable and incontrovertible logic that questions their boundaries, and catalyzes their inner questioner to ask more questions of themselves. We need to remember that their fear reaction and defense mechanisms are not about us at all, but their own inner questioner. This defensiveness means that we have tilted them and they feel off balance which is a Yippee moment for us even though the backlash might seem directed at us personally. Anything at all you feel you have to defend means you don’t really believe it yourself as the truth doesn’t need defending so don’t fall into that trap, just keep reiterating your truth kindly and compassionately.

It is important to remember that any catalyst will change things only after an initial perturbation.chemical-reaction-gif2

In chemistry an initiating factor  is called the catalyst, add the catalyst and for a while you will often see nothing but a roiling, bubbling mass, as the mixture changes from one state of being to another, later as the initial reaction settles down the chain reaction starts to show itself in a wave of smaller rolling perturbations that travel the new pattern forward in an infinite wave of beauty and awakening in a new pattern spreading outward in a chain reaction like a fractal pattern.

Speaking your truth is an essential aspect of living a life of passion, fulfillment and authenticity. However, for many of us it is much easier to talk about speaking our truth than it is to actually do it. Even though there is also an inbuilt fear of disrupting the status quo, a fear of the unknown just like the fear of the dark when we were children we cannot see far enough to feel comfortable and disrupters are those who dare to introduce a different topic or worse a radical idea – watch “The Croods” a very funny kids movie and right on this topic.

What if we had the courage to speak up like that in all areas of life—our work, our relationships, our family, with people in public? Imagine the freedom and power we would possess. This is not about getting in people’s faces and challenging them, in fact I like to keep to the maxim “say what you mean but don’t say it mean”.  An important distinction for us to remember is the difference between our opinions and our truth. We all have opinions—lots of them. Many of us think our opinions are actually facts, though they’re not! There’s nothing wrong with having and expressing opinions. However, many of them are filled with righteous judgment and an arrogant sense that we’re right and those who don’t agree with us are wrong.Our “truth” runs much deeper than any of our opinions. Truth is about how we feel and what is real for us. Truth is not about being right; it’s about expressing what we think and feel in an authentic, vulnerable and transparent way. This distinction is not just about semantics or words, it is total shift in perspective and context. When we let go of being “right” about our opinions and take responsibility for our experience, we can speak our truth from a much deeper and more authentic place. Speaking this deeper truth will not only liberate us, but has the potential to make a difference for others while bringing you joy, remembering that just because the other person doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they haven’t heard you.

How do we enhance and deepen our capacity to speak our truth with kindness, love and authenticity? There are lots of things we can do to accomplish this. Here are three to think about:

  • Stop managing other people’s feelings. I know this one well, as I can be the king of trying to manage other people’s feelings. It’s arrogant, manipulative and somewhat ridiculous to think we have the power to manage other people’s emotions. We also use it as a cop-out to not really speak our truth. We can be aware and mindful of other people and how they might feel (so we don’t end up being mean and hurtful on purpose), but when we let go of taking care of others in a condescending way, it frees us and them up to be grown-ups and have adult conversations, which sometimes can get a little sticky or tense when we’re speaking our truth. If you take offense or shut down as a way of handling the debate around your truth you have not learned the most important lesson about truth, it needs no defense.
  • Be real, not right. This is huge when it comes to speaking our truth. When we focus on winning or being right, we no longer can access the deepest places within our heart, which is where our real truth comes from. When we let go of our attachment to the outcome of a conversation, what the other person thinks and our erroneous obsession with always having to be right, we give ourselves the opportunity to get real. Being vulnerable and transparent are the key elements of speaking our truth, not dominating the conversation and the person (or people) we’re talking to, remember to validate that you have heard the others opinions even if you don’t agree with them. People have a need to be heard and acknowledged as long as they are sharing, not abusing.
  • Practice. Like anything and everything else in life, the best way for us to get better, deepen our capacity and grow is to practice. In this case, as we’re talking about speaking our truth, it’s not about role-playing per se (although if that helps give you the courage to have a difficult conversation, go for it). It is about speaking up and stepping into your life with your truth. Will you mess it up? Of course! Will you say the wrong things sometimes? Yes. Will people get upset, offended or defensive at times? Absolutely. This is not about being perfect, it is about being yourself and speaking authentically.

mind_2Have empathy and compassion with yourself as you practice—this is not easy for most of us. Even for those of us who have really worked to expand our capacity to speak our truth and have had many experiences of doing it in a powerful way, remember that each situation is always new and different. And, in certain areas of life (or with specific people), speaking up can be incredibly scary and challenging for us. Even if your legs shake, your voice quivers or your heart races (all of which usually happen when we get real and vulnerable), take a deep breath, dig down for the courage you have within you and be willing to speak your truth. When we do this, we can watch our relationships and lives literally transform.

Speaking our truth has become an essential part of the change we are all in the middle of, changing the current patterns is not easy, yet we all know we are unsatisfied with the world we have built around us full of greed, lust for power, unjust governments, famine, war…. For things to change we need to find a different approach, there is no way that fighting the status quo on it’s own terms will work, you cannot change something using the same tools that created it. Speaking our truth is not about fighting, but loving our world and it’s sentient beings enough to stand in the truth of who we are and speak from the heart with loving kindness and gratitude for all.

It is about standing up and speaking out and now is the time.

What is your truth? How can we help each other speak out? How can we empower others to do the same?

Like a great fractal of truth and awareness we can spread each others messages of empowerment and change creating an infinite pattern of such great beauty that future generations would look back on it in their history books as a time of enlightened change – who’s with me?

 

Mindfulness Magic and Now-ness

To see a world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wild flower
to hold infinity in the palm of your handawe2Blake450
and eternity in an hour…

This stanza from William Blakes eternal poem “Auguries of Innocence” for me hold the essence of the practice of Mindfulness one of the most important practices you can use for true health and well-being of body, mind and soul.

Let me explain:

To see a world in a grain of sand – implies that you have stood in stillness long enough to truly see that in everything no matter how small and seemingly unimportant is important. You have taken the time to lose yourself in the seeing and suddenly new worlds have opened up for you, you are seeing everything as if for the first time and can easily see the truth of it all. That in one tiny grain of sand there is an entire world waiting to be discovered, in that person over there are depths and yearnings and a potential for true magnificence if they could only allow themselves to be vulnerable and fearless.

and heaven in a wild flower – one step further in our quest for mindfulness to not only see but to feel the wonder in the smallest of thing and feel it in every moment. Often in our fast paced life the one thing we do not make time for is innocence, awe and wonder and it is now time to remember that curiosity, wonder and awe is the state we were born in, from which all creativity is born and are an essential part of being in state of thankful, loving kindness which in turn is scientificall proven to enhance your life and health.

to hold infinity in the palm of your hand – for me this means to see the infinite possibilities in every moment of your life. Once you understand the foundations of our quantum universe you also understand that there are no absolutes, no hard lines, no edges to fall off the whole universe is a eternal flow of energy one way and then the other in waves of potential, possibility and probability. Decisions are never fixed in stone, choosing becomes a matter of allowing your fearless heart to lead you where there is the most flow for you. Life then suddenly becomes so magical again, so miraculous where all things are possible.

and eternity in an hour have you ever lost yourself in thought? It’s time to lose yourself in no thought, LOL. Gift yourself with moments of nothing where you sit, play and focus on just being here now, in this moment with no thoughts of the past or the future after all the past is… well past and your future isn’t written yet and therefore subject to change without notice. All you really have is this here and this now, bless it, inJOY it suck it dry of every tiny particle it offers to you. Each and every moment, each hour you live and breathe is here and now and filled with juicy goodness – delight in it, without judgement and see how your whole life changes and improves.

An exercise in mindfulness:magic and mindfulness

I could teach you so many meditations on mindfulness and these are so important as a daily practice but I am going to give you a lesson in mindfulness today rather than a meditation.

Grab a child under about 3 or 4 years of age even the tiny ones have so  much to teach us about mindfulness. Have you ever held a 6 month old up to a tree branch and watched as they stroked the leaves, touched the trunk and seen the wonder in their eyes as they did?

So grab a small child, kidnap one if necessary and get down to their level on the grass or sand at the beach and watch them, then be them in that moment, see the world through their eyes, touch the leaves, the grass and the rocks or sand and truly be in that moment, feel it, smell it, truly see it without thought.

Blow bubbles and see the bubble in a sense of wonder and awe at it’s perfection, watch the delight of the child in each bubble and mimic their play and joy.

Now take this learning into your life and see more of the world around you in every moment, seek out what is magical, miraculous and special about every scene you find yourself in. See the full moon rising, see the tiny bud about to open, see the tiny flowers sprinkled amongst the grass, truly see, feel and hear your world.

Mindfulness is about waking up, connecting with ourselves, and appreciating the fullness of each moment of life. Kabat-Zinn calls it, “The art of conscious living.”  It is a profound way to enhance psychological and emotional resilience, and increase life satisfaction.

Definitions of Mindfulness

The key to mindfulness is an appreciation for the present moment and the cultivation of an intimate relationship with it through a continual attending to it with care and discernment.  It is the direct opposite of taking life for granted.  The habit of ignoring our present moments in favour of others yet to come leads directly to a pervasive lack of awareness of the web of life in which we are embedded.  This includes a lack of awareness and understanding of our own mind and how it influences our perceptions and our actions.  By investigating inwardly our own nature as beings and, particularly, the nature of our own minds through careful and systematic self-observation, we may be able to live lives of greater satisfaction, harmony and wisdom (Kabat-Zinn, 1994).

“Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis.”  (Marlatt & Kristeller)

“Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn).

“Seeing the magic in every moment, feeling the miraculous is just around the next corner waiting for you to discover it, finding the joyousness all around you and being in your now-ness as the innocent, vulnerable child of the universe open to receiving the bounty our abundant universe has gifted us with is true mindfulness.” (Annie Infinite)

The Benefits of Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness helps you:

  • to be fully present, here and nowhe-who-can-no-longer-pause-to-wonder-and-stand-rapt-in-awe
  • to experience unpleasant thoughts and feelings safely
  • to become aware of what you’re avoiding
  • to become more connected to yourself, to others and to the world around you
  • to increase self-awareness
  • to become less disturbed by and less reactive to unpleasant experiences
  • to learn the distinction between you and your thoughts
  • to have more direct contact with the world, rather than living through your thoughts
  • to learn that everything changes; that thoughts and feelings come and go like the weather
  • to have more balance, less emotional volatility
  • to experience more calm and peacefulness
  • to develop self-acceptance and self-compassion

Mindfulness and Therapy
Mindfulness training has emerged as a powerful, evidence-based tool for enhancing psychological health. It has been clinically proven in a wide range of clinical disorders, including chronic pain, anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, OCD, substance abuse, and borderline personality disorder.

Mindfulness is now being taught in University’s around the world and I believe needs to be taught in primary schools too to help develop resilience in children.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVStm_EzN0M]

Monash University

Psychology Today – Mindfulness