Your Radiant Self

It is the beginning of a New Year. A time when many of us reflect on the year past and think about changes we can make to get our lives back in balance and moving forward in the right direction. You might have begun healthy changes for the physical body such as adding exercise or  choosing a different diet for weight management. You might have also incorporated trying to declutter and are making choices to live life in more simpler terms. Have you also considered adding practices to improve your mental or spiritual body? One practice I began in 2012 was establishing a daily spiritual practice of meditation and reflective journaling from my readings of A Course in Miracles and The Science of Mind. Having a daily spiritual practice allows me to begin my day anchored in truth and provides an opportunity for me to be aware of my spiritual self so that I can start my day shining brightly from my radiant true self.

Being a Reiki Practitioner, I am aware of the Intelligent Life Force energy that surrounds us, flows through us, and connects us to everything else on this physical planet. This spiritual energy is invisible and exists in its original state of harmony, peace, love, truth, and beauty. It is complete and perfect and available to us all at all times. The problem is that many of us are not aware that inside each of us, whether we are plant, animal, or human, is our true Divine and radiant self just waiting to be rediscovered, turned on, and celebrated. Unlike, plants and animals, we have forgotten that we are connected to this spiritual enenrgy and also interconnected to everything else through it. It is like electricity, which is invisible yet present. We must flip the switch to get the electricity/energy flowing.

The story of the Golden Buddha gives an example of what is hidden inside our physical bodies.

In 1957 a group of monks needed to relocate a giant clay Buddha statue from their temple to a new location, since their monastery was being relocated to make room for a highway through Bangkok. When the crane lifted the massive idol, the weight of it was so tremendous that it began to crack. The head monk, who was concerned about damaging the scared Buddha, decided to lower the statue back to the ground and cover it with a large canvas tarp to protect it from the coming rain. Later that evening the monk went to check on the statue. He shined his flashlight under the tarp to see if the Buddha was staying dry and noticed a gleam of light shining through the crack in the clay. As he took a closer look, he wondered if there might be something underneath the clay. He ran to wake the other monks. With a chisel and a hammer in hand, the monks began to carefully chip away the thick clay from the Buddha. As they knocked off shards of clay, the little gleam grew brighter and bigger. Hours after chiseling, the monks stepped back and stared in awe at the sight before them. There, in front of the monks. stood a solid gold Buddha. Historians believe the Buddha had been covered with clay by Thai monks several hundred years earlier. After realizing their country would soon be attacked by the Burmese army, these monks covered their precious golden Buddha with an outer covering of clay in order to keep their treasure from being looted by the Burmese. Unfortunately, all of the monks were killed in the attack, but their well kept secret of the golden Buddha remained intact until its discovery in 1957.

Gabriella Berstein describes the importance of the story of the Golden Buddha by saying -Inside we are all Golden Buddhas but we grew up to believe we were made of clay. Our ego's false perceptions led us to grow into the belief system that covered our inner light. We've spent years, maybe decades, masking our truth. It is time to embrace our light and connect with the Golden Buddha within. Your job is to keep chiseling at the layers to uncover more and more each day.

I believe we can all choose the year 2016 to be the one where we begin the work of chiseling away at the layers that hide our true radiant selves. This is work you must do for yourself. But fortunately, there are many tools and practices that can aid you as you begin to rediscover your True Self. Having a Reiki treatment, taking a Level I Reiki class, which is all about beginning the path of self discovery, learning to mediate, or just being consistent about being still and focusing on your breath are all excellent choices you can make. Any of these can help you to find the awareness and power to chip away at the layers that are hiding your true, authentic, radiant self. Once you realize that you are a spiritual being and so is everyone else, your life begins to change. Slowly the judgements, doubts, anger, and worries begin to fall away like the shards of clay and you begin to step into the flow of life. Make a conscious decision to begin today. 

I will end with a quote from Wendell Berry. "It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work. And when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey". 

 

Welcome to My Blog!

My intention for writing this blog is to share my thoughts, teachings, and experiences about self discovery, personal development, and self healing that I have learned along my personal journey towards relearning to love myself and living an authentic life. I believe we are all trying to be the best versions of ourselves. As we move along life, gathering different experiences, we seem to get so overwhelmed with all the external demands that we forget that at our core we are really spiritual beings. When our life choices are exclusively centered on materialism, satisfying the ego, and meeting other people's needs and expectations, we lose connection with our higher spiritual selves and our lives become fragmented and out of balance. I have learned that becoming whole again comes from our perfect spiritual center. The truth is that at our spiritual center we are all great bright lights! We are all divine! In my opinion, making a choice to take responsibility to rediscover this spiritual center is the key to living a life that is meaningful and full of purpose. No one else can do this inner work for you. It must be done by you. As you begin to move from the outer consciousness to the inner soul you discover some undeniable truths 1) Everything and everyone is energy and we are all interconnected 2) Everything begins and ends in love 3) Our thoughts create our reality. There are so many authors providing information on the world of energy, energy healing, meditation, self healing, and personal development. I would like to share many of their ideas on this site in hopes that you may find direction and a place to begin the journey inward. I love quotes so you will find many of my favorites here as well. 

I will end by sharing one thing that you can do right now to begin your inward journey - pay attention to your breathing. Your breath is what links your mind and your body. It also is the link to regulating your emotions. Your breath not only carries oxygen and eliminates carbon dioxide but it also carries energy to every cell in your body. Learning how to breath correctly is a tool that will help you disrupt the flight or fight stress response and bring your body and mind back to its natural relaxed state. Try this simple breathing exercise, focusing on following the breath with your awareness for just five minutes and see if you notice any changes in your body and mind before and after the exercise.

Begin by sitting on a solid surface, feet resting flat on the floor, your head, neck, and trunk should be in alignment, your hands resting on your knees or in your lap. Close your eyes and immediately become aware that you are breathing. See if you can notice where your breath is settling in your body. Follow the breath as it enters your nose and travels into your chest or abdomen. Notice if your breath is fast and tight or flowing with a sense of ease and rhythm. Is the inspiration and expiration of equal lengths or is one longer than the other? Are you breathing from your nose or mouth? For the first two minutes you are just observing your own breath without judging and without making any changes, just witnessing what is happening. 

Next it is time to gently direct your breath into your lower abdomen. See if you can get it to the area below your naval. Then imagine that you have a balloon lying there and as you inhale, you gently inflate the balloon, causing your abdomen to rise up slowly. And then as you exhale you deflate the balloon which causes your abdomen to fall back softly. Continue inflating and deflating the imaginary balloon as you notice the gently rising and falling of your abdomen. Continue this pattern of breathing for a few more minutes or until you feel it is time to stop this breathing exercise. Then slowly open your eyes and sit quietly in this space observing your body for any changes. You have just given yourself a dose of self love and increased energy is now flowing throughout your body. You can practice this simple breathing exercise daily or more frequently whenever you feel the need for a boost of energy or a dose of calm.

Love and Blessings,

JoAnn

 

“Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who is there.”   -Rumi