#Realtalk- Compassion & Toxic People

Toxic people…

It has been trending on social media to get rid of toxic people in your life. Have you seen it? Read about it? What are your thoughts about it?

It doesn’t feel good to me.

It feels like its extreme and one sided and doesn’t feel like its coming from a place of love and acceptance but rather anger and rejection.

In my experience, hurting people hurt people. Once I did the healing work and the forgiveness I realized it was never about me. It was never personal and I also had a part to play in it. When we are still angry, hurt and resentful it is almost impossible to see the situation with clarity.

Sometimes we do not get along with people, we may grow away from people, we may not have the same values anymore and that is okay. We may even get in an argument with them and not want to talk to them anymore. They may have a different lifestyle than us. They may have hurt us. They may do things we don’t agree with. They may have abused us.

Still, I don’t feel like its right to label them as toxic. Toxic is such a strong word and how would you feel if someone called you toxic… it would suck. Especially if you are already struggling and suffering with your situation.

When we label someone as toxic we are feeding energy into separation, into the problem that caused the pain in the first place. That they are bad, impure, something is wrong with them and usually it is coming from a place of we are better, we know best, we are healthy. We are above and they are below.

Everyone goes through bad times, everyone does things that may not be good. But it doesn’t make them toxic people. It is an impermanent state and they can and probably will change at some point in time (when they are ready, not by someone pushing them to change). I have done things in my past I am not proud of, we all have. I may have been toxic to someone at some point in my life without evening knowing it but it doesn’t make me a toxic person.

Actions, thoughts and behaviours can be life improving or diminishing but it’s not necessary good or bad. Maybe they need to go through this to learn something. We are no one to judge what is right or wrong for someone. Everyone is travelling a journey we know nothing about and we cannot judge it. We are in the picture so it can be hard to see the whole picture.

It is important we make boundaries and take care of ourselves, and we may not wish to socialize with people one may label as ‘toxic’, but we don’t need to call them that, they may have negative thoughts, emotions, desires. They may be ignorant and in pain but they are still human and we need to treat them as human beings. The golden rule. Treat others as you wish to be treated. EVEN if you are hurt by someone.

Compassion.

Inclusion, not exclusion. Separation creates pain. Outcasting creates pain. Usually, what is needed most is LOVE. Once you emotionally distance yourself from the situation, heal yourself and forgive, you will most likely see at some point that they were pain, were probably reacting from some trauma in their life and it was nothing personal. It was never about you. We probably were colator damage, hurt in the wake of the destruction.

However, I do understand and have been in that place myself that I do not have the inner strength to be centred and am vulnerable to influences that are life diminishing for me and so I had to take my distance. I think doing that can be an act of self love. But I don’t think we need to label the other and put the blame on the other. We can be spiritually mature and own it.

Every situation is unique. Sometimes we have to leave relationships – of course. But I only ask we don’t label them as toxic people, rather it was not a beneficial relationship, the situation wasn’t healthy etc. I do not think it’s just about them, we also were a part of the situation and have ownership to par take in. We also learned something. Let’s not box them in with a label, they are free to change their state.

What are your thoughts on this?

How do we be compassionate and also have healthy boundaries?

What do you feel about being compassionate with ‘toxic’ people?


What’s with all the F***ing Happy People?

So many spiritual people emphasize gratitude, I know myself as well have endorsed it. Like a great commercial with sunsets and flying birds and little children skipping and singing and a woman says ” I am so grateful for …. it makes me feel wonderful and I can enjoy everything life has to offer, blah blah blah.” Just like the many prescription drugs available, we can have whatever  reality we want based on a concoction of chemicals. We can buy whatever we want, thinking it will give us happiness, but its as fleeting as a chocolate bar. One minute its there,  next minute we ate it. Gone, forever. Anyways, I don’t want to get too emotional or carried away with my happiness affair with chocolate, we have some important things to cover. Here we go!

5017b02967349f20897b69f47b5de287 Gratitude is a beautiful emotion but for some its very eluding. When down in the dumps, depressed or just plain enraged with life, its pretty damn hard to feel gratitude. Why is that? Well, we cant see what we don’t feel. The darker emotions tend to carry a heavy frequency, which also means its harder to move out of it, and harder to see truth through it.  Its like swimming in water, your in it, until you get out and even then your still soaking wet. It takes a while for it to dry off. Once the darker emotions pass then we can feel lighter and brighter. However, because its lighter it means it can easily be missed, its very subtle and it needs awareness to be maintained. Thats why if something bad happens its easier to get in the dumps than to maintain the happiness. Why am I telling you this? Because, by knowing that different emotions carry different frequencies we can focus on creating awareness and paying attention to the more subtle energies in life. As we do this, we cultivate peace, happiness and joy. Which are all higher frequencies. Gratitude is also an expression of a very high frequency and it is when we feel connected to life around us. It is when we actually SEE life.

I went to watch the sunrise this morning and as I was staring out to the ocean and watching the sun come up, I had an insight. I have heard the saying many times before and its funny how we can hear it, and even say it but until we have that ‘Aha’ moment its really just shallow. As I was having my own mini commercial about how great life was, I realized that ‘ everything is a gift’. It all comes from the Divine Mother, and like a mother she cares for us deeply. She gives us everything relentlessly. She loves us!! SOOO Freaking much. She is the mother that cant wait for your phone call. She is the mother that sends you money when you totally messed up. She is the mother that will give you whatever you want because she wants to see you happy. She sacrifices herself for you.

You are her life, blood and bones. You are made of her and she cherishes you. You are here because of her. This life is truly a gift and as quickly as it was given, it can be taken away. All of it. Nothing is yours. Everything was given to you. For a short time on earth, your body is yours, your house may be yours, your clothes is yours. But it can be stolen, it can be lost, it can be taken. Nothing is yours and that is the illusion. 

Our unhappiness comes from attachments to nouns; people, places and things. We think because we have paid with something it is ours. But we are never satisfied. We are empty. When we buy something for ourselves, its good. But when someone gives us something as a gift. We cherish is, we keep it for years even if we don’t like it.. like an ugly sweater. But because it was a gift we give it more meaning, it becomes significant. It became a material symbol of the heart, its significance becomes deeper than face value. 3b2444b38c5efac72da00fc1c22f7b67

We get so attached to our things, to our people, to our friends, to our family. But we forget, they are not ours. In addition to them not being ours, they are a gift and when we stop seeing them as a gift, we lose gratitude, we loose appreciation. How many times are you present with the people you love? How many times do you act with them as though this is possibly the last time you will ever see them? Not much… usually we are so caught up in our own shit that we do not even realize we are not here. We are not giving each other our greatest gift, our presence. This is how we form regret. Because, people are a gift and they will not alway be around. One day, the Great Mother will take them back and we will be left with our memories. But will they be full ? Or Empty? e71a9bad1abcdb028997f63071046598

I urge you to feel life in a different way. To really see life as a gift, because we are only borrowing. We are only having a brief experience of human existence and it is fleeting.

Tell your family you love them, kiss that person you love with all of the feeling in your bones. Take a breath as though it was your last, savour it. Walk on the earth with eyes open that this is what I am made up of, all the food I eat comes from here and to here I will return. And reflect on the age old saying “money can’t buy happiness”. Because life is the ultimate gift and it was given to you, not bought.

Cherish every moment, it is so precious, it is a gift.

 

9e9b7f2064d997dfba52ec0b8e531117

 

 

5 Ways to Have Effective Communication

Great teachers and great leaders all have something in common they know how to communicate.  The way to progress in society, relationships and personal life all happens through effective communication.Whether it be how we communicate with our souls to how we communicate with others. Verbal and non verbal communication is important for our success, to be understood and to move forward with our goals and objectives. If we can’t communicate, we can’t express.

It is for this reason I am writing this post; to share methods of communication that have helped me through conflicts and in day to day life.

1) Listen: 

To effectively communicate you have to listen, not just hear. Often we are distracted by what we will say in response that we do not even take into account what the other person is trying to express. We are reacting before we can even know the situation. Thereby, stop, listen. Be present! Give the person you are with your full attention. There is nothing more distracting than a person who is checking their phone, or is thinking about something else. Put everything aside and give the person who is speaking your undivided attention; it will save you time and it will make them feel heard.

2) Empathize: 

Feel the feelings the other person is trying to convey but do not take them on. Take their perspective and acknowledge that their feelings are real and justified. Just because you don’t agree, doesn’t mean they are wrong. It is the other persons experience and it has as much value as yours. Be open minded and see where it leads you. Take a walk in their shoes and feel how it feels to be them.

3) Be personal and Be open:

To communicate effectively it has to be authentic and it is through sharing, being open and vulnerable that is comes across that you care. Even if you are a private person, use your discretion, but be open. People need to feel you are ‘real’ and are coming from your heart not just trying to be a certain image or present a persona. Show you care and be aware.

4) Leave Out All the Circle Language:

Don’t dance around with what you are trying to say. Be courageous. Say it! If you can’t be truthful than you are living a lie. If you want to create a life you want than you gotta ask for it.  Drop the ums.. the likes… the avoiding language. Be direct and be clear. If you want to have someone understand what you are saying, be specific. Be kind and caring in your language but don’t dance around the truth. Be honest! I cannot stress this enough. Tell the other person how you feel from your heart. Lying, or disguising your feelings will not heal the root of the issue. Being unclear or dishonest will only cause more issues down the road.

5) Keep the Communication flowing:

When you don’t want to talk is when you need to the most. We all have had situations in relationships and in business life of wanting to avoid and hide from another person because of a disagreement or just not feeling understood by another person. As much as we don’t want to talk to the other person in these situations it is when we need to talk the most. If it is left too long it can lead to resentment.

The way to get through the communication blocks is to talk it out.  Don’t block yourself off and get defensive, stay conscious and aware and keep yourself open to allow communication to be effective. Be honest, be clear, listen and then explain how you feel. By opening the energy flow then one is able to dive deeper in communication and create a stronger relationship. When both parties know how the other feels than there is no mystery, it is transparent and it allows trust to be built.

Burning Man… 10 Burning Self Lessons

It amazes me the creativity of the human spirit and what can be made when there are no limitations. I witnessed this at Burning Man and the lessons I learned in the Nevada desert were deeper than I initially recognized.
I expected it to be a party, a celebration of people coming together to express their individuality and to have experiences that were fit for another planet. Of course there was that, but that was just the surface; And just like a calm ocean, there is so much below the surface.

Burning Man is not only a social experiment, it is a way to burn away all of the social constructs we have meshed into our brains. It is a way to burn away that which no longer serves us and it has the potential to burn us awake if we allow it to.

I witnessed emotions of sadness, loneliness, euphoria, love, expression,passion, depression, fear and freedom. The reason there was such an extreme was because this gathering has been created to create a place where all is possible and you can do basically anything you want, really… When there is no one telling you how to act, to dress, to feel, think and be ( only your conditioned mental patterns, if you allow them to influence you); then you get a touch of that place within you that knows what freedom is.. and wow does it feel amazing.

Here are some of the things I learned from Burning it all away…

1) Creativity
When you don’t have structure your able to flow:
– No one has cellphones and many don’t have watches so you do what you feel when you feel like it. When nothing is structured in your day and your able to pick and choose what you do, magic happens. You flow with the present moment and go wherever that takes you. Perhaps you end up at a workshop, a dance off, a party or in the deep playa. Yet you are exactly where you need to be at that moment.

2) Synchronicity…
– When you follow the flow, magic happens. When you do what you want and follow your heart the universe offers it to you. Its a common knowledge that if you ask for it at burning man it will generally show up either instantly or days later.

3) Joy…
There is so many amazing things happening at every moment, so you don’t spend time doing anything you don’t want too…
– There are hundreds of activities happening at one time and so if you don’t like something you move, do something else, join a new group of people etc. If your not feeling it, it is socially acceptable to move on and people understand that at Burning Man. Your able to tap into what it feels like TO REALLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING. Which is funny because many of us have been just accepting our circumstances for such a long time that we forgot what it feels like to actually want to be doing something versus just doing it.

4) Connection..
– There are thousands of beautiful people at burning man and you will have amazing connections with so many of them. Some you will have life changing conversations with and never see again. Some you will connect with after when returning to the default world. It is a reflection of the impermanence of relationships and how our connections come and go, yet it happens at a much faster pace in the dusty clay of the desert. As well, you realize you can connect with anyone, and anyone and everyone can be a best friend, there is no such thing as strangers!

5) Responsibility
– A principle of B-man is that you cannot leave a trace, what you come with you must leave with and I realized this teaches accountability and responsibility. So often in society we blame others, we blame the government and we never take responsibility for what is going on. Like the bystander effect we stand frozen, but when our own survival depends on ourselves we become EMPOWERED. No one owns our choices, we do and we can choose to step up or we can choose to bow down. Learned helplessness is rampant in society and I think its time we take the lesson of no trace and clean up our own mess without expecting someone else too.

6) Support
– As we are responsible for everything, we become empowered and with that stand to help others. If someone fell or if there was fight, immediately people would run over to stop it because they didn’t expect anyone else too. Additionally, people were so full of love and everyone was there to support one another whether they be friends, strangers or new lovers.

There is an illusion that we are Separate and alone on this planet. However, we are all supporting one another and everyone wants each other to succeed. Even if their egos wont admit it.

7) Individuality
– People would dress as they pleased, even if that was being naked. Some how people got more beautiful as days passed. I realized that as the days went on and people got in touch with that inner child it didn’t matter if they hadn’t showered for a weak, had 2 day old body paint on or ripped clothes.. their eyes shined with their own spirit. Something had been awakened.

8) Impermanence:
– The only permanence is change and what the artists create for months or even years to offer at burning man is burned during the gathering. When a wooden structure that is as big as a 100 ft building or even bigger burns it makes an impression. It really wakes you up to the fact that what was once strong will inevitably wither away when its time. Even Black Rock City ( 77,000 people) is constructed and then a week later is gone…
I cried when I saw the structure called ’embrace’ burn. I witnessed and released my past relationships and my attachment to love. Recognizing that all relationships come and go and what was once consumed with the passion of fire will become ash at some point in time. It was a sensitive but a crucial moment for me.
When the main structure- The man burned I witnessed myself burning. Seeing that we too are on fire and are constantly burning, using energy and consuming till our deaths. We are beautiful examples of Impermanence and yet we ignore it because we are afraid to think of our end. But when we can to accept it we can rise above it and make our lives more meaningful and worthwhile.

9) Insight..
– In the dust, intense dry heat all that you have been avoiding becomes obvious. In normal day to day life we are busy with our jobs and providing for ourselves. Stress consumes us, however, at burning man you have everything and there is nothing to worry about, it is a place of enjoyment, amusement and so all your patterns become obvious. If you find you are restless, anxious, anti social, lonely etc it is something to reflect on and think about. Additionally, relationships which were not on stable ground will be shaken and the truth will be exposed.

10) Listen..
– Your body and your intuition know more than you think. Our best teacher is ourselves. Yet, we always get in the way and say its not true. But when we listen we start riding a flow of authenticity. If your body is tired, rest… If your spirit is telling you to move on… move. Its that simple.

Burningman was chaotic, beautiful and peaceful. It was a representation of all that exists in life. It was rajas, tamas and awe inspiringly sattvic.

IMG_1283.JPG

IMG_1284.JPG