A Path of Empathy & Integrity – 7/2/16

I sit in the cool morning air, in the little nook that is my bedroom at this time. I’m back in Ashland for about a month, taking a much needed rest from our travels on the road. Reconnecting to my community here is a divine pleasure, and I celebrate the support and love I feel from this special place.

AND, I’m healing. My internal systems are askew, I’m feeling the recourse of several months of movement, unsteadiness and newness~ VATA. In Ayurveda, the ancient yogic science of life, Vata corresponds to the elements of space and air, governing the movement of things. (Check out more about the doshas.) My life has become vata imbalanced, I believe due to the whirlwind of movement and the outpouring of energy over the last several months. My thyroid is being affected as I have symptoms of fatigue, trouble concentrating, foggy memory, slow digestion and depression.

What’s most coming forward for me is how well I did at suppressing my feelings and experience. And now that I am attuning to the way I feel, there is an outpouring of emotion, the flood gates have opened. It is intense to feel months worth of emotions, and the purging is absolutely necessary. I sit and ponder how many in our culture are barely holding on to their life, or are stuffing it down, or compartmentalizing it.
integrityI’ve been thinking recently about integrity. The definition of integrity: a state of being whole or undivided. I often hear talk about being in integrity, being integrated. (Integrated: having various aspects or parts linked, united, connected). How many of us take the road of compartmentalizing our experience? Health is here, relationships are over there, work is over there, etc.. My mental, emotional and physical states influence my ability to work effectively, communicate clearly and relate authentically. I am one person, trying to live in balance, honor and respect with all the parts of myself. 

Along with integrity, Being my whole Self, I’ve been thinking about empathy. I’m frustrated by the quickness with which we judge. Our culture has glorified the critical mind, and I feel this has created separation. How can I feel for you, without losing me? How do I stand in my Truth, no matter what your response is? How do I share without seeking to convince you, or needing you to agree with me? Can we agree to disagree, and still respect each other? Connection doesn’t mean having the same view point, it means honoring the Truth of whatever the view point is.

Communicating as a sovereign, integrated Being supports sharing empathy and connection. 

I notice I have difficulty when other’s don’t “buy in” to what I have to say. I can easily be swayed and influenced. I witness others who are very uneasily swayed or influenced. How do we listen to another’s Truth, respect it, and not automatically take it on as our own Truth, or automatically disregard it because it doesn’t match up with our own? How do I stay integrated, and respect your different view?

What I need to feel balanced likely looks different than what you need. What’s important is that we are each in our individual balanced, integrated place. Then we can connect.

paths-are-many-truth-is-one

 

The power of the preface: Being vulnerable creates a safety in the space. Here are two lines I’ve learned to use when communicating ~

1.) Something that is difficult, challenging or embarrassing for me to tell you is….

2.) I have something to share and I’m concerned you may judge me or be critical. Do you feel open to with-holding any judgment until I finish my share?

I’m grateful for the journey, and learning to really Listen to my Guidance, my Truth, and to respect the Truth of others. I will never look like or be exactly like anyone else, and no one will ever be just like me. And thank goodness! Diversity is the spice of life. May we all celebrate Truth, in all the varying shades, flavors and versions it displays Itself.

IMG_0947
Stitch and I on during the few days him and James visited Ashland. 

 

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