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  • Tracy Flynn Bowe

Create the Life You Imagine ~ December 2018


The Practice

“Life is a Mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.”

~ William Butler Yeats

Now that we have gathered up all our human parts—our physical, emotional and mental energy—we move into our higher spiritual centers where we really make fundamental shifts in the way we respond to life. We stop operating out of fear and survival mode, and start operating in lessons and learning mode. This means that we quit reacting, resisting and resenting the experiences life brings us, and instead we use every life experience as an opportunity to become more of who we truly are. We shed the parts of ourselves that are not in alignment with our highest possibilities and activate our inner wisdom to let our true self, our soul, lead us through the journey of life. This week we look at two of our higher powers that allow us to make this shift:

Lesson 4: Renew yourself in the COMPASSION center of your heart so you can follow this path with love, light, inspiration, gratitude and joy.

The fourth stage of the journey is marked in the Oz adventure by the entry into the Emerald City. The Emerald City sparkles with light, magic and beauty. It rings with bells, music and singing. It is the place where the travelers find welcome, rest and renewal. The Emerald City is the symbol of the heart center. The fundamental energy of the heart center is love. The spiritual teachers of all times teach us that we really only have two choices on our spiritual journey:Love or Fear. Elizabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler talk about love like this: “Love, that thing we have great difficulty even describing, is the only truly real and lasting experience of life. It is the opposite of fear, the essence of relationships, the core of creativity, the grace of power, an intricate part of who we are. It is the source of happiness, the energy that connects us and that lives within us.”

Our heart centers are the real opening to our spiritual selves. Until we enter the energy of our heart we really are just weary travelers along the difficult path of life. But when we enter our hearts, something opens up inside of us and we find a source of life and renewal that can prepare us for the deeper turns along the path and sustain us as we make our way across the travails. The heart is the center of compassion, gratitude, inspiration, forgiveness and joy. It is a place of connection and healing where we can gather together all of our weary and confused parts and find a place to breathe ourselves back into wholeness. It is truly the place where we re-memberwho we are.

The danger of this center is that we may not want to leave it. After what may seem to have been a long and arduous journey, we are so grateful to be received into this safe and loving space that we are not anxious to make ourselves vulnerable again by venturing on our way. In the Oz adventure we see Dorothy and her friends, along with the citizens of Oz, using the walls of the Emerald City as a place of protection and a fortress against the outside world. But the Wizard sends Dorothy along her way, needing only the protection of her soul, the ruby slippers, to continue safely along her journey.

Like Dorothy, after opening the door to our spiritual selves we are all called to continue on our way. But our entry into the heart center creates a new stillpoint to which we will return again and again. Our prayer, centering or meditation practices help us to regularly reconnect with the energy of our heart. We receive ourselves in the heart with great compassion for the trials and challenges we experience on our journey. We find the pearls of wisdom and light we uncovered along the way and we have gratitude for the gifts of all of our experiences. We breathe deeply into all of our parts, inspiring our bodies, emotions, minds and spirits. We forgive ourselves and others for the difficulties and disturbances along the way, and we experience the joy and lightness of a heart that is grand enough to hold it all in a loving embrace. As we walk from this point forward, we must remember to anchor ourselves in this energy of the heart and to regularly return here for balance, rest and renewal.

Lesson 5: Express your CREATIVITY and power from your own center, giving birth to your truth.

Creativity is at the core of the spiritual journey. The wisdom traditions teach that each of us is a unique expression of the divine and it is our calling to find and discover our truth. Sri Aurobindo taught that “the object of the divine life is to realize one’s highest self or to realize God, and to put the whole being into harmony with the truth of the highest self or the law of the divine nature, to find one’s own divine capacities great or small and fulfill them in life as a sacrifice to the highest or as a true instrument of the divine.”

As we learn from the Oz adventure, we don’t get to stay inside the protection of the Emerald City as one of the crowd. We will be asked to step forward, each in our own way, to give expression to our highest possibilities. When we are called to create from the center of our being we will be challenged like Dorothy to face our deepest fear: that we are small and meek and not up to the task. When they begin, all of the Oz characters work on a deficit model: the Lion lacks courage, the Tin Man lacks heart, the Scarecrow lacks brains and Dorothy has lost her home; the Witch needs the ruby slippers to have power, and the Wizard needs the illusions to be wise. Our small selves operate in deficits, scarcities, and not enough stories that will stop us in our tracks. Our small selves use narrow-mindedness, dogmatism and judgment to enforce the limiting beliefs that stand in our way.

The Oz adventure reminds us that we must surrender our small selves, our small ideas, our small judgments and our small stories for our lives. We must be willing to take our authentic place in our story, to live from that burgeoning truth at the center of our being, and to bring our divine gifts, talents and powers into the world. Deepak Chopra teaches that “to be really free, there is no option but to be yourself. You are the living center around which every event happens. By being yourself you open the door to what is, the never ending play of cosmic intelligence curving back to know itself again and again.” All of our Oz characters had to discover that what they thought they lacked was always inside of them. If we wish to travel the spiritual path, we will have to be prepared to slay the illusions of powerlessness and limitation that stand prepared to defeat us, and to surrender to the unfolding of our soul through every step of our journey.

Wishing you courage, blessings and light as you continue this journey to create the life you imagine.

Tracy


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