The best way we can honor such a powerful soul like Nelson Mandela is to truly live his words. Posting an image on Facebook and occasionally reading a quote, in the scheme of life, does nothing. What we can do is dig into those quotes & apply them to our own life. Then words become emotions and we can begin to live those lessons from a place of understanding.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than it’s opposite.”
Indeed it does, but in order to access our essence [love] we must unlearn how to hate & judge. But how? My favorite way to release judgement is to find gratitude. Even in the most uncomfortable darkness, if you can find gratitude, light begins to shine. Last week’s task of writing 3 gratitudes per day for 21 days is a great exercise to begin to make the shift. If 3 comes easily, go for 7. If 3 is difficult, start small [running water, food, etc.] How will this help you access love? If we notice all of the negative around us, that will be our experience of life. Finding gratitude each day, especially in the difficult situations, will highlight the positive helping to switch your overall perspective of the world. If you see positive in all situations, love will flow with ease.
Tell your partner or a friend your 3 or 7 gratitudes. Ask them to share their’s as well!
“As I walked out the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind, I would still be in prison.”
Approaching a new year is the perfect time to carry this lesson close. External change is nothing without internal change to accompany it. If we do not release what has happened in the unchangeable past we will never truly be in the present moment.
Look back through 2013 [and even further if you need to] at all of the negative moments. Sit with them. Feel all of the emotions that surface. Find your vulnerability and allow yourself to sit there. Look for gratitude in each of these moments. And slowly begin to release them. Offer compassion to yourself, offer love, offer forgiveness, and open space to move forward. If this is confusing and you need help with a dialogue, e-mail me. Releasing is the hardest part.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
We all feel fear at one point in our lives, maybe even one point in every day. This fear is often masked by a surface emotion be it jealous, anger, anxiety, or the like. The first step of conquering our fear is to become aware of where our fear lies.
Find your fears. Allow yourself to be truly vulnerable. No other person will see this vulnerability. It’s about allowing yourself to sit in that uncomfortable place. Keep asking yourself WHY. Why do I react with anger/jealous/etc? Why do I feel like this? Why am I afraid? What am I truly afraid of? Become aware of the fears you carry each day. The ones that shape your overall behavior.
For me, I carry the fear of being victimized each day. It’s background chatter, buried so deep I didn’t know I was carrying it until very, very recently. I haven’t fully released this fear yet, but I work with it everyday. I am aware, and that is the first step. I notice when I am adjusting my behavior based on this fear and I face it. Even if I am terrified, I push through it so little by little I can understand that this fear is based on a faulty foundation.
“May you choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
Becoming aware is only the first step. We must check in with our actions each day, each decision we make to truly conquer those fears.
Envision yourself 10 years from now. Release all obligations & responsibility, i.e. money, job, house, children, etc. Push all of that to the side. Focus on YOU and what you would be doing if none of those factors mattered. Paint yourself as detailed of a picture as possible.
Now return to the present. That picture you just painted is your deepest desire. No matter what role you play [mother, father, spouse, boss, etc] THAT is what you should be working toward. All of those ‘it’s too late’ & ‘I don’t have enough money/training/experience’ thoughts are the ego. Tell them to shut up.
We all have roles to play in life, but if we do not feel fulfilled as an individual all else will suffer. To be the best parent/partner/boss YOU must be happy. Not happy for the other person/people involved. Happy for yourself.
Now look forward to the coming year. How can you make changes, even if they’re small, to start moving toward your deepest desire? What can you do to make the changes toward happiness? Check in with those fears and follow Mr. Mandela’s advice. Let your actions reflect your hopes, not your fears. “There is no passion to be found in playing small- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.“
“When people are determined they can overcome anything.”
Find your fuel and let it drive you straight to your dreams.
MORE INSPIRATION FROM MANDELA
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects & enhances the freedom of others.”
“It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve, but if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
“We should never forget those on whose shoulder we stand and those who paid the supreme price for freedom.”
Thank you, sweet soul, for lighting up this realm. Thank you for working to raise the collective consciousness and for fighting to release some fear in this world. Blessed be. Safe travels into the ether.