Finding our True Selves

Finding our True Selves

To say that we are to know our true selves is an understatement. It is imperative to find our true selves and to live authentically. Can you honestly say you know who you are? Can you honestly say you are living your most authentic life?

There is a disconnect between what we believe to be “authentic” or “honest”. Sometimes we can argue that we speak honestly and tell the truth to anyone even if it is hurtful. But, hey! At least we are living our truth, right?! There is a fine line between being honest with others and being honest with ourselves. We can let our egos tell us that we are living honestly by going around and blurting out anything that comes to mind as “honest”, but if we were to pause and reflect, is that really how we feel or is that our ego trying to pull us in a direction towards an unbalanced behavior pattern that hurts others for the sake of making ourselves or our ego feel better about who we are? Ego often masks itself in different threads. We try to justify our behavior because we can’t face our true selves anymore. We look in the mirror and don’t recognize who we are.

Living an authentic life is being honest with how we feel, how we connect with others, how we can be better humans and most of all how we can be better to ourselves. If we don’t take time to reflect or calm the mind or listen to our heart, how can we be calm and live our best truest version of ourselves? It’s a constant struggle and I for one, am not always living my authentic self, but I am trying. Studying ourselves is not linear. It’s circular and ongoing. This journey is never ending. We are all at different levels living our truths on this journey, but remember we are all in this journey together.

Leading with our heart is a good way to start. After all, God is love. Therefore, God lives in all of us if we allow it. If we open our hearts and open our minds, we can explore and identify what it means to try to live our truths. If we live our truth, then we become God ourselves. That is not to be confused with ego. Remember, love is God. God can mean anything to anyone. God can mean the sunrise or sunset. God can mean pure bliss. God can mean forgiveness or strength. God can mean being honest with yourself, because you love yourself enough to take time to reflect and calm your mind. I observe others and if I don’t quite understand where they are coming from or why they choose to cause harm to others, I have to remind myself that they are on a different level of finding their truth. There is love somewhere deep inside of everyone. We just have to look harder for it in some more than others. After all, we are all trying to live our best lives. Sometimes our ego just speaks louder than our hearts.

Feeling the Magic!

I think we can all agree that these are crazy times! Being stuck in our homes trying to make the best of this quarantine and stress from the Coronavirus as we watch our loved ones die around us, seeing how our frontline workers are suffering as they work tirelessly to help care for the sick and dying, scared to go out into the world as we are still learning how this virus spreads. I wonder how are we going to get through this? Then I witness magic! Magic happening everywhere and all around me! Beautiful, talented humans coming together to reach out to everyone who will listen to help us get through these tough times by performing various live free music concerts on television! Artists performing their comedy acts on stage and bringing it to the screen so we can all share some laughs for a small fee that goes towards funding PPE equipment for our frontline workers! Art museums around the world, opening up their displays to the public for free! Various everyday beautiful humans are reaching out to their Facebook community by reading poetry to anyone who wants to listen, orchestra conductors sharing their music performances, people sharing their videos of them dancing to make us laugh, people reading excerpts from their favorite books all to inspire us and to let us know this is but temporary. Life and love and laughter live on and reaching out to others, by being part of a community however large or small it is, we can create and share moments that make us forget about the virus and this is what creates magic. We are only human, but we are capable of creating something bigger than ourselves. Magic is all around us and it is because beautiful humans are there to create it and share it. I feel the love and I feel the magic in the air!

How Emotional Connection Between Pets and Humans Help Us Cope

Sharing an emotional connection with all living animals is something I am reflecting on this morning as I listened to yet another Meditate Story podcast, this one entitled, #32. Loving Our Living World, by Carl Safina. With my little Belle by my side as I start to meditate, she brushes her soft kitty whiskers on my hand and licks it to remind me that she’s here for me. She proceeds to rub her forehead into the palm of my hand. A big full body stretch and yawn is followed by tucking in her tiny white chin, her plump fluffy belly, her shiny black tail and her tiny little paws in order to get comfortable, preparing for her daily cat nap. This predictable ritual makes me laugh out loud! As I laugh, she looks up at me and then falls back down into a deep slumber. Eventually I see what appears to be a smile on her face as she starts to purr softly, cuddling close by my side. Usually, Belle’s sister, Izzy, is the one who cuddles with me during meditation, but today, Belle wanted to see what this was all about. I think it’s more like sibling rivalry, but I’ll take what I can get.

As we both get settled in, I suddenly stop and think about studies continuing to develop on the human to cat transmission of this virus and then some slight panic starts to set in. What does this mean for our beloved pets? Why are other mammals not effected by the virus? A few tigers and lions were recently diagnosed with the Coronavirus from a Bronx zoo, but why are humans so easily infected and mammals not so much? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would be a total wreck if Izzy or Belle were infected! Of course, being an animal lover, I would be devastated if millions of other mammals were infected! But the one thing that helps keep me calm during this pandemic, is being able to curl up on the couch and feel my kitties’ “pure love”. I try not to think about it and continue to listen. “Stay focused, Julie!” I tell myself. Carl continues on to tell a story of how animals show us as what he refers to is “pure love”. He describes this love from an animal that doesn’t want anything from you in return except wanting to show you affection by being close to you. Showing their human companions that they truly love us unconditionally by sprawling out on our laps, our arms, our necks and even our faces to try to get as close to us as possible as they trustingly sleep turning their guard completely off, knowing we are there for them if they need us.

This “pure love” reminds me that we all need to love and be loved-humans and animals alike. No one wants to feel alone, especially during isolation as we quarantine ourselves from each other.

Do you see “pure love” displayed by your pets? How so? If so, please share a story or photo of how your pets help you cope through this stupid pandemic. I’m sure all of us could use a heart-warming pet story to cheer us up!

If you are interested in listening to Meditative Story Podcast#32 Loving Our Living World, by Carl Safina, go to:

http://podcast.meditativestory.com/p/2

Adapting to a world of unpredictability

“Through failure, we become more successful when we learn how to become more adaptable to the challenge before us”, says Forrest Galante.

He continues on….

“With each and every phase of our lives, we cultivate a unique skill set for being adaptable and being communicative and slowing down and being respectful and taking a breath. That allows us to see everything from a bigger picture and navigate what ever comes our way. This is how we are meant to evolve as humans. This is how we adapt.”

Now I know I’m not a professional wildlife biologist and adventurist with my own show on Animal Planet like Forrest Galante, but I can’t help but ask when I’m outside, surrounded in nature, “What is here to be known and enjoyed”? I am always noticing new plants, new habitats that animals have created, new foliage and sometimes new damage such as a whole or pipe or some kind of foreign object put there by us humans that disrupted a part of nature. But as I look closer, nature continues to adapt by growing lush new greenery surrounding the whole or the pipe or what ever damage there once was. After all, birds build nests on man made objects such as utility poles and basketball hoops. Who is to say we are not as adaptable as well as the nature that surrounds us?

This motivates me to get outside when I feel down or defeated by this depressing virus and just looking around, observing how nature adapts and works around its surroundings to keep on moving, is very inspiring to me.

How are you adapting? What inspires you to adapt through this unexpected life changing virus that effects all of us? If you are not finding ways to adapt, I challenge you to find one specific thing that motivates you to adapt to this change this week. What was the result? If you would like to share your ideas, please do so. I would love to hear about them and hopefully, we can all help others around us get through adapting to a world of unpredictability.

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com