Poetry ~ Glitter from the Bones

Welcome to the Order of the self-proclaimed elite,
who litter words like mocking birds and glitter all the streets!

Where trash and treasure are the only measures to which you must adhere.
And all your thoughts may be disposed in the Order’s boundless sphere.

Where some lock their gates in a circuitous chase to limit who gets through
and relegate their love and hate with their chosen point of view.

Others murder words and herd their verse for readers who flock like sheep.
Or rant in prose and overexpose in hopes of a consoling critique.

And here you are,

reading along,

ready to cast your stones!

Or maybe … just maybe,

you’re one of the few

who’ll rummage through

and pluck glitter from the bones.

The Mirror of Judgment as a Spiritual Practice

mirror-mirror

One of my greatest spiritual teachers is the mirror of judgment.  The teaching is simple: what I judge in others exists within me. The lesson is not easy.

Now, to be clear, this teaching is not about making factual observations or discernment. There is a distinction, although subtle. It is the intention behind our judgment or criticism of another that serves as the distinction. But the bottom line is this – you know when you’re being critical. We all recognize our inner critic. We’ve turned our inner critic on ourselves often enough to recognize it when it emerges.

candleman-framed

By way of example, let’s say you have a friend you think is a pompous ass. You’ve heard the cliché, “it takes one to know one”. That old saying holds a truth and a lesson. What you recognize in another and judge harshly, exists within you. Some of the most frustrating and difficult people in our lives serve as our best teachers.

You may find yourself resisting this teaching. I did. I confess, I was resistant to seeing myself in others.  It’s much easier to see and judge the flaws, weaknesses, and shortcomings of others.  Seeing our own reflection through the mirror of judgment requires awareness – presence. 

Our resistance to such lessons stems from our ego’s inability to recognize itself. Our ego often stands in the way of spiritual growth. You can see your ego at work in the way you react to difficulties or criticism. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, the ego falls away when you are truly present, focused in the here and now.

“To love is to recognize yourself in another” ~ Eckhart Tolle

If you’d like to try this lesson, pay attention as you go through the week. Stop and take notice when you hear yourself judging another or being critical. Take a deep breath and center yourself in the present moment. Then, hold your judgment up like a mirror and see what is reflected. Ask yourself, “What characteristic or quality exists in the other that exists in me?” This is difficult inner work but if you’re willing to step outside your ego, real spiritual growth begins.

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As you begin your week, let me leave you with the wisdom of the ancient Mayans,

“I am you and you are another me.”

~Namaste

Monday Musing ~ Who’s your Drama?

DRAMA

Got drama? If not, you have the power to create your own.

But the real question is – do you want drama or do you want peace? You may be surprised to find that often you’ll choose drama. The choice isn’t right or wrong but it is just that – a choice. I confess to enjoying my soap opera, escaping into the drama of another world. It’s not my drama, but I’m entertained watching fictionalized drama.

As for personal drama, I try to avoid it. Most of my drama is a solo affair. My drama is self-inflicted by my own thoughts,speculations, and assumptions. One of the fastest ways to get my mind in drama making mode is to create a void, a lack of information – not knowing or only having half the story causes my imagination to go into overdrive and come up with the worst case scenario.

Drama is the ego’s art form and the ego wants a stage and an audience. Our egos are notorious for taking everything personally!  If we believe we’ve been slighted, we go into defense mode. Often times the things we’re offended by weren’t even aimed at us but we lash out anyway because our ego wants the limelight of center stage.

According to Eckhart Tolle, there is nothing that strengthens the ego more than being right. Being right requires others to be wrong, further adding to the ego’s sense of superiority.

So how do you get your ego in line and minimize  your self-induced drama? In one word, mindfulness.  When we’re centered in the present moment the ego falls away.

Now, back to the question in the title of this post, “Who’s your Drama”….can you guess?

Yep, you guessed it – YOU!  We create, invite and attract drama to our lives.  If you don’t believe that, pay attention next time you find yourself embroiled in drama. Take a deep breath, pull back from the situation and see it for what it really is, your ego on the stage, beating its chest and insisting you’re right and others are wrong. When you hear yourself defending your position or find yourself offended by something someone said – that’s your ego, in a soap opera of its own making.

Remember, you always have a choice, peace or drama. Choose wisely.

~ Namaste