From Pain to Peace

When I believe and accept Divine Love – really open my heart and let it in – I am in a new cycle. I am now in the cycle of Love instead of Pain.

In the 03/29/18 Blue Independence class I led a Blue Talk (Running from Pain) about pain and the cycle we as humans get in to seek relief from emotional and physical pain. This talk came about after I attended a seminar led by Tim Hilton. The seminar was called “The Addicted Brain” and in it Mr. Hilton explained the pattern and cycle of addiction, including how it affects the human brain physiologically. In the talk he presented an interesting formula for the cycle that addicts get in.

Pain +      (Drug of Choice)     = Relief.

Fill in the blank with your own personal Drug of Choice. If you think you don’t have one, look again: drugs, alcohol, food, television, sex, social media, working out, another person, fixing people, sleep, shopping, etc. These are just some of the ways we, as humans, try to get relief from pain. All of these are codependent behaviors – the addiction to look elsewhere…to seek relief outside of ourselves through whatever means.

This week, being willing to face and accept pain, I have been introduced to pain I didn’t know I was running from. My perceived wound of Victim is really asking to be healed and I didn’t realize just how alone in this world, spiritually, I’ve been believing I am. I see how much, and how often, I react from the space of Victim. And in reality, that belief…that “pain” isn’t even real. It’s just something my mind (ego) made up. I’ve been running, trying to find relief, for something that Isn’t Even There!!! Unworthy and Undeserving have come up too. Again, they aren’t even true! But my belief that they are is causing me to be in this seemingly endless cycle of validation seeking! “If I can just prove that I’m enough then this pain will stop!” “If I can just prove that I’m worthy then I won’t feel like this.” And the thing is – when I’m in this cycle, I’m not actually FEELING my emotions. So, I don’t really know what I’m feeling. I’m reacting solely from belief and mindchatter. In that space, I tend to be ungrounded, scattered, and in fight-or-flight mode. Anxiety is more prone to sneak in and I see people around me as enemies waiting to attack me. In that space, I don’t see God. I don’t feel God. I don’t trust. I don’t believe I am safe. I begin to shy away from prayer & meditation because to be still would mean facing Victim, Unworthy, and Undeserving – and if I had to stop to be with those shadows I would “see that God doesn’t love me or want me and I am a disappointment.” In this space, I am 100% caught up in the illusion of my ego that I am separate and alone. I don’t in anyway see my Christ light. I am living as the small self, in spiritual ignorance (avidya), having forgotten that who I AM is the higher Self that is a constant state of Grace.

All because I am caught up in the illusion that I believe I am an unworthy, undeserving victim.

Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

If I change those thoughts, I remember what’s really true when I take off the Maya (illusion) glasses. I see from spiritual eyes instead of human-ego eyes. I remember that I am safe. I trust. And I not only see God – I feel and experience God. I am more compassionate. I operate in self-love and that reaches outward into the world.

When I am willing to both transform my mind and be transformed by God through this work, I see that I could never be a disappointment to God (nor to any human being). I see that I am loved, period the end, and that NOTHING I could ever do would change that. Then, when I believe and accept Divine Love – really open my heart and let it in – I am in a new cycle. I am now in the cycle of Love instead of Pain. I no longer seek relief from the illusion of pain. I am no longer led by the wound. I am led by love. So, what if I changed the cycle? What if I looked at the pain cycle in a new light?

Pain + Love = Relief.

And I’m talking about real, Divine love. I’m not talking about romantic love, ego based “love.” fear based “love,” or what A Course in Miracles calls “special relationship” love. I’m talking about the love that brings “a peace that surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7) I’m talking about a love that comes from gnosis (knowledge) – and it is the deepest of spiritual knowing (vidya). This is true knowing that comes when I don’t just believe it – I feel it…and feel it so much that I really get that I AM it. Because, let’s be clear, seeking Divine Love outwardly is being caught up in both codependency & the pain cycle. That love cannot be found outside of you. It can ONLY be found within you because that’s the only place it has ever been.

So, to really break free from the pain cycle, to know love and know peace you must remember what you’ve forgotten you know. And to do that – you must be still. When you are still, yes, you might feel the pain. But you must feel it to heal it. But when you face it, and feel it, something changes. It’s not quite the big bad you thought it was. Your perspective changes because you are no longer looking through the eyes of fear. You true vison (citta) is not quite as clouded with illusion (Maya) and the mindchatter (vritti) slows down. As more stillness comes, the more you feel connected…the more you feel Divine Union…the more you experience God (samadhi.)

Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

This is The Yoga: “Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind.” (Sutra 1:2) And the point of that stillness – is to experience God with no separation.

When the fluctuations stop – the peace comes. Then the formula changes again:

Pain + Stillness = Peace

And the more the fluctuations stop – the more the illusion of pain dissipates. Then the formula changes again:

Stillness = Peace

And from that space – Love and True Nature are remembered. When you remember them within yourself – you see them in others.

Then there is no pain. There is only Love.

 

I see you,

Rev. M

Spiritually Refined

I’ve been lax in posting for a few months – I’ve been in both a creative process and a refinement process.  My hand has been in many pots and I’ve been slowly pulling back my energy and refining my vision for The BlueRoof Path. But the refinement process doesn’t end there. I have also been being refined spiritually.  There have been times of darkness when I believed I had no purpose, times of light when I could see the path clearly, and times of peace when I stopped to surrender and be led by Spirit.  The latter has made all the difference.  The Yoga Philosophy calls it tapas; the Bible calls it the Refiner’s Fire…they are speaking of the same things.  It is the process of spiritual refinement that we souls-in-human-form undergo on our journey.  As humans, this refinement process can be incredibly uncomfortable.  Did I put enough emphasis on incredibly there?  The big growth – it doesn’t often feel warm and fuzzy and in fact can feel like a tilt-a-whirl caught between dueling fire tornadoes.  This discomfort is a signal that something is on offer  – that you have the opportunity to clear away some of those pieces that don’t fit the puzzle that is you.  When you are attached to the little i-ness, that is – the ego-self, then you can get caught up in the heat feeling lost, scattered, overwhelmed, and alone.  But when you surrender into the bigness of you – the I, or Higher Spiritual Self, then you have an inner knowing that can sustain you.  You can then not only withstand the heat – but you can relax into it and see what it has for you.  Deborah Adele says, in The Yamas & Niyamas, that tapas is “the willingness to be both burned and blessed.”  Zechariah 13:9 says, “I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.”

This refinement, the heating up in life, carries a blessing.  If you resist – it can get quite hot and uncomfortable, much like when you resist surrendering into Warrior II and become rigid.  When you relax into the posture, just like when you relax into what life is offering you, then you can refine your experience of the posture, refine your experience in life, and allow yourself to be refined spiritually to relax into the Truth within you and see the lesson (gift) on offer.

Have you experienced your own Spiritual Refinement?  Could you tell a difference from when you surrendered and when you resisted?

I see you,

Rev. M

Yoga Nidra – The Hidden Power of Yogic Sleep

Yoga Nidra is a little known yoga practice that can have profound effects on the body, mind, and spirit. It is an excellent resource to use with affirmative prayer, affirmation, and intentions. It is said that the intention set during yoga nidra is a vow between the practitioner and the Universe (God/Spirit/Consciousness.)  The intention is known as Sankalpa – and is worded in the affirmative.  An example: It is well my soul vs. Let my soul be well. One would state in the present tense, affirmative, that the soul is already well.  When setting your intention “pray believing,” that is, set the intention with complete resolution and faith that what you are putting out into the Universe is already happening.

Practice the following yoga nidra meditation daily and watch for the divine changes to take place in your life. I encourage you to focus on one sankalpa at a time until you begin to see it start to manifest in your life. The practice of yoga nidra has a hidden power within it to truly help you create change in your life. So write down your intentions or affirmations and let yoga nidra guide you into peaceful change.

Yoga Nidra Meditation: Soundcloud

Satsang Circle with Gatlianne

Saturday Morning Satsang Circle with M. Gatlianne

8:00 – 8:45 am

Free Community Event:

(Love Offerings/Donations Accepted – but not required)

 

May Satsang Dates:

May 03

May 10

May 24

May 31

 

What is Satsang?

Seeking the Truth

Feeling the Truth

Speaking the Truth

Being the Truth

Embracing the Truth within you

 

The company we keep matters – Satsang offers a space to affirm your spiritual path and to experience and practice yoga off the mat. Satsang means sitting (or gathering) in truth. Come sit in the company of like-minded individuals to share, discuss, and experience Truth through talk, meditation, uplifting readings and quotes, mantra, song, journal work, Q&A, and more.

 

Discover the True Nature within you in a safe and welcoming environment that is open to all belief systems so that all can come together in truth and compassion to create peace and harmony within to take out into the world.

 

Led by spiritual teacher M. Gatlianne, Saturday Satsang Circle will help you connect to your higher self and see how all of life is interconnected and full of love.

 

1874 Slaughter Road
Madison AL 35758
256-399-YOGA

Eight Limbs of Yoga: Asana

I think this piece by Dr. David Simon exquisitely sums up what Asana is:

 

“Asanas are usually defined as the various yogic postures designed to bring balance
and harmony to the physical body, particularly the musculo-skeletal system. Asana
is part of the Ayurvedic treatment system for the physical body.
At a deeper level, asana refers to the complete expression of mind-body integration, a state in
which we become conscious of the flow of prana resonating in every molecule of our body and
in every thought and every experience.
The essence of asana isn’t about straining to get our body into a particular posture; it’s about
surrender, opening, expanding, and enhancing our flexibility, balance, and strength. The
practice of asanas is a way to expand our own sense of self and experience the joy of being
incarnated in this physical body. At the same time, it allows us to create an intimate dance
between our individuality and universality and celebrate the essence of this connection.”

Eight Limbs of Yoga: Svadhyaya

Niyama 4Svadhyaya Self Study/Self Reflection

 Your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself.  -Chinese Proverb 

This niyama asks us to look within and study the self. This is swimming your deep rivers- the facing of our inner truths, the battle of our inner demons, meandering the labyrinth that is us to find the heart of us – our True Self, the self that is guided by spirit. Swimming your deep rivers means facing the truth about yourself in order to weed out false beliefs and reconnect to your Highest Self.

Many believe that Svadhyaya means studying the yoga spiritual scriptures, and yes, that can be one avenue of self study. But it goes beyond that, deeper. What works for one will not be what works for another. Study many forms of insightful, self-help, self-improvement and personal growth literature. Study the great texts – all of them. Study modern self-help books; find what works for you. Take a personal growth intensive or course. (The More to Life Weekend was a major jump start for me in my path of growth.)

Read.

Learn from others.

Meditate.

Do personal growth work.

Find your courage. Swimming your deep rivers can be a daunting task. It requires you to see both the truth of your highest self and the ego self.

Svadhyaya is not the answer. Svadhyaya is the question being asked.”

Daily Affirmation/Mantra/Prayer: 

I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.

For Personal Growth: 

Choose one personal growth, self-help, self-improvement book or spiritual text to read. Commit to reading it and completing any exercises within.

Suggested Reading List:

Radical Forgiveness – Colin Tipping

The Work – Byron Katie

How to Heal Your Life – Louise Hay

Eight Limbs of Yoga: Tapas

As we’ve journeyed through the Yamas and Niyamas I’ve written blogs explaining the meaning behind each one. This week I found so much wonderful information on Tapas that I wanted to share verbatim the powerful quotes I’ve found. Enjoy! – M. Gatlianne

Niyama 3: Tapas

Austerity, Discipline, Fire – Deep Commitment to your practice on and off the mat.

“The joyful willingness to do what is necessary to reach a goal with fiery discipline.” Gaiaflowyoga.com

“Tapas refers to strength of character in resolute pursuit of yoga’s ultimate goal of the union of Self and God/Universe/Consciousness.  The word “Tapas” translate as a spiritual purification or fiery discipline that burns away impediments that keep us from achieving our highest potential of Self.” Gaiaflowyoga.com

“When the fire of a yogi’s life is burning brightly, he or she is a beacon of light radiating balance and peace to the world. The fire is also responsible for digesting both nourishment and toxicity. A healthy inner fire can metabolize all impurities.

While people often associate discipline with deprivation, it can actually be extremely nourishing. For example, people who have established a yogic lifestyle may arise early, meditate daily, exercise regularly, eat in a healthy, balanced way, and go to bed early because they directly experience the benefits of harmonizing their personal rhythms with those of nature. Tapas is embracing transformation as the pathway to higher consciousness.” Dr. David Simon – The Chopra Center

Self-awakening by activising (activating) the spiritual power within oneself.Bose

Ramping up the practice. That turns up the heat and melts down the obstructions. When things start to get a bit stale, take a look at your daily activities and see which one’s may be sapping your energy, dissipating your spiritual focus, or healing evolutionary energy — communion, integration, etc. Then just drop it — let it go — kiss it goodbye. This will make room/create space and energy for the new healing energy to come in. Usually it is some activity that we know is leading nowhere, but we have yet to place it in perspective — in the spiritual context of where we want to go from “here”. by definition this energy that would have been expended in a distraction is now accessible for “practice”. When we start to focus our practice, it’s like a magnifying lens in the sun — the alchemical process is kicked up another level.Donny

Ultimate practice of Tapas: Love yourself and your life exactly as it IS.  Change nothing, but move with more and more presence and consistency.  Be vigilant that your thoughts, actions and speech are rooted in love.” – Gaiaflowyoga.com

Affirmation/Mantra/Prayer: 

I willingly put forth the effort to create the life I want.

Journal Questions for Personal Growth: 

Write (1) goal you want to accomplish then ask yourself why you want it. I want this because…then continue to break down why you want it…because…because…because until you get down to your deepest intention for why you want to create this.

Then write your willingness to accomplish this goal – how willing are you to manifest what you want to create? And what commitments do you make to yourself in order to create it?

Eight Limbs of Yoga: Santosha

Niyama 2Santosha Contentment

 “The bliss of present moment awareness.” Dr. David Simon

 Santosha asks us to be happy and content with our life as it is, instead of looking for a perfect fairy tale life. This time of perfection isn’t what life is about.  Contentment with life as it is, you as you are, and others as they are is the embodiment of Santosha. This Niyama asks us not to put our happiness or contentment on any outside thing, while we grow and learn but also live in acceptance of the now and trusting that we have everything we need now.

Santosha is the understanding that there is no “end” we’re trying to get to. Life is now.

Santosha asks us to act out of present awareness instead of reaction or ego – observing and loving things in the moment, as they are – without any need to change them. This also pertains to ourselves and others.

Find contentment with who you are, now, and what you have, now. When we resist what is happening in this moment we our out of flow with life. When we accept life as it comes, we flow along with life and allow life to flow along with us.

Daily Affirmation/Mantra/Prayer: 

I accept life just the way it is.

 

Daily Meditation:

“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the Present Moment, I know this beautiful moment.”

Thich Niht Hahn from his book “Being Peace

 Journal Questions for Personal Growth: 

What am I grateful for now?

Start a gratitude journal – writing down at least (3) things each night before bed that you are grateful for about your day. This also pertains to those things that we may judge as bad or that we didn’t want to happen. The “bad” stuff tends to offer us the most miracles and opportunities for growth and change.