The sanskrit word ‘kishala’ means ‘germinated seed’. The word arose spontaneously in a dream, inspiring Linda Kolker to make this month’s photograph. The heart is the germinated seed within us. When we rest there, the heart can grow and flourish, nourishing us.
Many of us grew up with a negative spin on the word, ‘selfish’. Having someone call you selfish was not a compliment.
If you wanted to be thought of as ‘good’, you had to be unselfish. Unselfishness meant that you were giving, sharing, reaching out, caring for others. Focusing outward.
In this paradigm, love is a commodity that you give and receive. A balance sheet is kept. And there is a payoff - you win approval, you feel needed, you get to avoid uncomfortable feelings by focusing on others.
But there is a hidden cost: the life source that resides within you is not addressed directly.
What I know now that I didn’t know in those early days is this: any time there is a ‘should’, a rule, the conditioned mind - not the heart - is driving my life.
I have learned that when I rest in my own heart with a kind and gentle focus, the ‘shoulds’ fall away. The questions about whether I am selfish or unselfish, good or bad, fall silent. The judgments of others recede into the stillness.
In my heart, I realize that the people who are around me show me, time and time again, that whatever is happening ‘out there’ is really all about me. When their judgments hook me, my own thoughts and self-judgments are the real trap.
Others show me what is within me. It is their gift to me. When I become aware of this, everything changes.
Protective walls are no longer necessary. The doors of my heart are wide open. Within myself, I can address every hurt, every sensation, every element of blame, every judgment, every feeling of painful separation. When I am completely honest with myself, I discover more and more about my patterns. Simply and honestly seeing them allows more and more to enter my heart and be embraced.
It is here that insights pop. Stillness arises. Clarity unfolds.
Rather than focusing ‘out there’, focusing within your own heart is the doorway to pure love. Then giving your gifts becomes as natural as breathing.
Pamela Wilson from “Ordinary Women Extraordinary Wisdom” shares the truth of relationships:
“That’s all that life is: beingness using itself to liberate itself, to adore itself, to support itself, to nourish itself, to enjoy itself and to express its vast love. It just wants to touch and taste and smell and dance.”
I marvel at the simplicity and beauty of moving with life in this way.
There is nothing to figure out.
There is nothing to fix or correct.
The heart is in the driver’s seat as it is the core of life.
And life itself is very, very wise.
The process is easier when you have someone with you. They can be your witness and hold the space for the truth. Guide you to see what you might not see. Support you with practices tailored for where you are.
It is so easy to go back into the stories that the mind creates, to doubt, to see ourselves as separate - in other words, to live in the illusion. Resting in the heart, where labels about what is selfish or not do not exist, can bring us to the truth.
Take some time to simply sit in a comforting, quiet place of solitude. Pay attention to every inhale and exhale of your breath, with a special focus on your chest area. Begin to notice what is present in this moment. Notice any feeling, any sensation, any restriction with complete honesty. Embrace whatever you discover - so gently and kindly. Stay in the heart, present to what is, even if it’s uncomfortable.
Find your way toward laying your head in this one heart where pure love resides, always. From this place, simply be with your loved ones.
I’d love to hear from you about what your experience. What is it like for you when bring everything back to you in your own heart? Where does it lead you?