Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Heart's Gift: A Never Alone Story Inspired by Ancient Wisdom


The Heart’s Gift

A Never Alone Story Inspired by Ancient Wisdom

Once upon a time in a mystical, magical place there was a lake.  It was a huge lake, still and beautiful and deep.  In it were many treasures and mysteries.  At first look, some seemed scary and mysterious and menacing.

Upon a closer look, it became apparent that there was a great root – a great stem – that emerged from the mud under the very center of that still, deep lake.  That great, long stem bloomed into the most beautiful lotus flower that anyone had ever seen.

When people saw that flower in a dream, or in their mind’s eye, or in their hearts, they began to sing or dance or hum or play.  Sometimes they would run to give someone a hug or begin to spontaneously tickle someone nearby or play hide and seek or laugh out loud.

The flower was so beautiful some people even cried when they saw it.

One day a swan heard about that beautiful lotus flower and appeared on the lake to take a look. The swan and the lotus flower were happy to see each other!  The swan’s eyes reflected the beautiful lotus flower, and the lotus flower began to smell more wonderful than it already did.  The swan wanted to share his* happiness with someone else. She looked into the lotus flower and out came another swan, serene and diving.  “I am here with you,” said the swan.  “I have always been here with you even when you couldn’t see me.”  The first swan was so happy and grateful, she cried tears of joy.  Each swan looked into the other swan’s eyes.  They were seeing through eyes of love.

They swam in the deep, still lake.  They drank nectar from the beautiful lotus flower.  And they looked at each other with eyes of love.

They were never apart again.  To this day, those two swans are in that lake together.

They enjoy the lovely treasures within the lake.  Together, the treasures aren’t scary or menacing at all.  Some things are still mysterious though. 

When you are really quiet and still and hear your heart beating and feel yourself breathing in, breathing out, you might discover the swans’ presence and love right here, in your very own heart. 

*Pronouns include masculine and feminine deliberately, to indicate inclusivity.

Story by Rhonda Mills, Inspired by the Saundaryalahari – Verse 38

(c) All rights reserved. 2010

Monday, July 5, 2021

Responding to Fear is Love & the Most Important Step

The most important step is the one beneath our feet. 

I love growth and evolutionary processes.  I named my business Transformation Playground because I like remembering that there are a multitude of ways to return home to ourselves, restore, discover, transform, create and connect.  I like remembering that transforming can be playful!

And, sometimes I get impatient and want to have a different experience, be further along in my journey, or for other people to be different.  In the moments I am not accepting and inhabiting where and how I am right here, right now, fear is present. 

Fear is a big deal, and must be met, felt, respected, and responded to.  Suppressed fear fragments perception and diminishes possibilities and presence.  Another way to say it is, suppressed fear creates absence, and when we are absent, we turn away from connecting to what is.  

Fear is an emotion which provides an important developmental, evolutionary function -- protection and connection.  In early life, when we've crawled or walked as far from our caregivers as we're ready to, fear calls us to reconnect and return to the lap of our caregiver.

As adults, when we're not aware that we're afraid, we can't respond appropriately as it's hard to respond to something we're not directly aware of.  Also, when we're not aware that we are afraid, our capacity for discernment about what's happening in and around us is reduced -- increasing our vulnerability to manipulation or danger. Depending on how our nervous systems cope with fear, we may shut down, avoid what we need to face, or become reactive and more prone to fighting and violence. 

It's important to acknowledge that fear-related trauma responses such as numbing, avoiding, freezing, and shutting down part of our nervous system are intelligent functions to put aside what we are unable to deal with in the moment.  Our nervous systems have evolved to allow us the capacity to hold unprocessed fear until we have the space and support to allow it to move through.  This is amazing!  Seen through this context, the trauma response is not a problem, it's a gift.  (I want to make clear that I'm not saying that whatever caused the trauma was a gift.  Violence, war, racism, neglect, absence, environmental abuse, genocides, abuses of power, etc. are manifestations of separation which must be attended to and restored individually, collectively and globally.)

Seen in this context, fear is not the opposite of love.  Fear is an emotion which is an expression of love:  an emotion of connection and returning home to ourselves.