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A Tale of Two Forces

A Tale of Two Forces

Although it has been several years since I was introduced to the allegorical teaching about the individual’s ability to choose in dealing with internal conflict, this lesson has recently resurfaced in my personal and professional life over the past several weeks. While traditionally conveyed in a Native American allegory, I have found the same sentiment expressed by the Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, in the introduction to his new book Love’s Garden, A Guide to Mindful Relationships. The similarities in these metaphors are clear:

In both of these allegories the idea that each individual has opposing forces within which we all must learn to navigate is emphasized. The individual’s ability to choose where they put their attention in these narratives is clear, which creates a sense of autonomy and personal power.

Not unlike the epic story told in the Star Wars movies, we each have a light and a dark force, but it is up to the individual to be aware of those forces, and to concentrate their efforts toward their chosen aims. As the saying goes “where the mind goes, the energy flows.”

Even in cultivating an awareness of these polarities can begin to create a space in which we can cease self-judgment and begin to understand and honor the dynamics of having a Self. We all have these forces within. We all get to choose where we focus, how we expend our energies. In that space of freedom we can begin to explore our options, and choose according to our values instead of acting out of habit.

In his book, Thich Nhat Hahn expands upon this idea of dual gardens within and also uses the ‘two garden’ metaphor as it applies to relationships. He encourages each of us to not only nourish the garden of kindness and compassion within but to also see those qualities in our beloved and through the process of ‘selective gardening,’ to foster their qualities of inherent goodness, kindness and love.

Read the full introduction to Thich Nhat Hanh’s new book on Lion’s Roar

A Gentle Reminder for Sensitive Souls

A Gentle Reminder for Sensitive Souls

The healing benefits of nature + stillness are immeasurable, especially for sensitives. Taking time to reconnect with oneself is an investment in your own wellbeing.

May this simple message serve as a reminder to take the time to slow down, breathe, and come home to the beauty and truth of your experience.

~ Peace

 

Perfection and The Pursuit of Wholeness

Perfection and The Pursuit of Wholeness

I recently read the 1996 National Bestseller The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Survive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, PhD. Although I had known that this book existed for several years, I had only recently made it a priority to read, and only wish that I had done so sooner!

As a Highly Sensitive Person, or HSP, myself, I found Aron’s work to be both comforting and insightful, and I would highly recommend this accessible and informative book to people who suspect that they may be highly sensitive, love someone who is highly sensitive, or work in any healing capacity with the highly sensitive.

 

The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer

 

 

Over the past week I have been reminded, on several occasions, of the importance of acceptance on the road to healing. Situations with friends, colleagues, clients, and life circumstances have echoed with reverberations of how holding on to fixed ideas about outcomes, trying to control things over which we have no power, and harboring negative or painful thoughts bring about suffering on every level.

While The Serenity Prayer has been used widely in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous circles, I feel that it is applicable to everyone who struggles with letting go from time to time, which, in my understanding includes everyone. Coming home to the wisdom of this simple yet meaningful prayer can be profoundly transforming when we incorporate it into our lives.