If You Are Looking For Inspiration, Check Out These 6 People!

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Firstly I need to clarify, I’m not a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist and neither am I an atheist. I’m just a guy walking a path seeking answers to life. I’m a guy trying to find Truth, a Truth beyond the layers of dogma and conditioning. I’m a guy trying to break free of suffering, desires and neediness. It’s a tough journey at times and often I fail miserably at this and other times I soar like an eagle.

Along the way I turned to people for inspiration. People that represent wisdom, love and light. I’ve found many that have carried me through difficult times by their actions and words. They have guided me to live more from the heart and to love unconditionally.

There was Sri Anandamayi Ma, the beautiful divine incarnation of feminine form. She once said:
“My consciousness has never associated itself with this temporary body. Before I came on this earth ‘I was the same’. As a little girl ‘I was the same’. ………. Ever afterward, though the dance of creation changed around me, in the hall of eternity ‘I shall be the same’”

Then I came across Ramana Maharshi, a swami saint in India from the early 1900’s who said:
“Our own self-realization is the greatest service we can render the world.”

I can’t forget St John of the Cross, the Spanish mystic and Catholic Saint, who carried me through a dark time with his book Dark Night Of The Soul. In this he said:
“In the twilight of life, God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human successes, but on how well we have loved.”

There was Buddha, the prince to a kingdom, husband to Yashodra and father to a child, who walked away from it all to find enlightenment. He said:
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

And I would say this man is the number one reason I am meditating today- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This Swami played a key role in bringing Vedic Meditation to the western world. It’s because of him that I am able to sit in blissful meditation twice a day. He once said:  “There is no need to suffer in life- the ocean of bliss is in everyone.”

There were many many more, but there was one guy that I would say inspired me the most. Interestingly this guy had a huge PR machine behind him with 4 guys documenting their time with him. Now it wasn’t like they had an iPhone recording every word he said. No, they remembered things he said and did and then wrote it down decades later in a book. So you’ll have to forgive them if they used a little poetic licence.

Now this guy, we don’t really know much about him even though the book about him is the highest selling book in the world! This book left out 18 years of his life from the age of 12 till 30, and most of this book only captured 3 years of his life when he hung out chatting with 12 guys most of the day. He also had an ‘interesting relationship’ with a woman called Mary Magdalene which we don’t know much about either.

This guy loved to challenge the establishment. He became furious one day in a temple throwing the tables of the gamblers over. He became disillusioned and confronted by his shadow-side when he ventured into the desert on his own for 40 days. He also like challenged the political establishment and ruffled a few feathers there with quotes like:
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Now back in the time this would be bold statement to make yeh?

But what really inspired me was the way this man loved. He loved unconditionally. He loved the sick, the poor, the downtrodden, women and men all equally. Here he said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

I’m not into idolatry. But I do seek inspiration at times and these are some of the people along my path that have given me so much knowledge and have reminded me of who I am. How about you? Who has inspired you on your path? I’d love to hear below.

 

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How To Make Friends With Your Shadow Side

shadowHave you noticed that you have this dark thing that follows you around everywhere? It never seems to leave your side does it? Well, lately mine has become a big part of my life again. Yep, that pesky shadow was back and begging for some attention.

See this shadow of mine played a big part in my life many years ago. It caused pain in a lot of peoples lives including mine. It lured me down dark laneways, it lead me to do crazy things and was also the part of me that beat myself up about it afterwards. When your shadow side plays a big part in your life, your life becomes just that, a dark shadow. Where your attention goes, it grows.

I spent a lot of time in my life devoted to removing my shadow. I recognised that part of me that was dark and heavy and then I discovered another side to me that was light and well…light! I began to put more attention on my light and life changed dramatically. Over time I forgot that there was even a shadow there because I looked forward towards the light and yearned to be one with it. My life flowed with light and love and everything flourished. Aah, the Bliss of Being.

But lately my attention shifted again, and I looked behind me and saw that yes, the shadow was still there. I couldn’t ignore it and in fact, it completely pulled me in to its story. I felt the shame, the guilt, the pain and the vulnerability. Why are you still here? After all these years! I thought I got rid of you. Darn it! I could feel the spiral pull me down. It reminded me of a book I once read called The Shadow Effect where Deepak Chopra teamed up with Marianne Williamson and Debbie Ford to share their views on our shadow side. In this book Marianne Williamson writes:

“We’re often afraid of looking at our shadow because we want to avoid the shame or embarrassment that comes along with admitting mistakes. We feel that if we take a deep look at ourselves, we’ll be too exposed. But the thing we should actually fear is not looking at it, for our denial of the shadow is exactly what fuels it. One day I looked at something in myself that I had been avoiding because it was too painful. Yet once I did, I had an unexpected surprise. Rather than self-hatred, I was flooded with compassion for myself because I realized the pain necessary to develop that coping mechanism to begin with.”

Yes Marianne, this is exactly it! I am here because the darkness of my shadow compelled me to move in the direction of the light. The shadow was an integral part of my journey as it is yours. It’s the key to the life we live. As Debbie Ford says:

“The conflict between who we are and who we want to be is at the core of the human struggle. Duality, in fact, lies at the very center of the human experience. It is because of our unexamined life, our darker self, our shadow self where our unclaimed power lies hidden. It is here, in this least likely place, that we will find the key to unlock our strength, our happiness, and our ability to live out our dreams.”

I’ve been going deep into contemplation about my shadow and one thing that came to me was that I only have a shadow when I am blocking the light. This is in effect what a shadow is right? It only occurs when I block light. The Earth has a shadow, the moon has one, and you have one. Anything that is blocking the light will create a shadow.

But then I thought, hang on; the sun doesn’t have one does it? Why is that? Because the sun IS the light. The light doesn’t have shadows, only the things that block light do.

So if I truly wanted to remove the shadow, then I must BE THE LIGHT. I must be love. Just be that. This made me ponder is there a way to BE pure Light without a shadow or do I accept that I will always have a shadow? Does an enlightened Buddha, a Christ or a Saint have a shadow still? What do you think? I’d love to know so please leave a comment below….
And if you’d like to feel more LIGHT, you may like to try my Golden Heart Meditation. After this meditation you will enhance the feelings of light and love in your heart. You can find it in our store here:

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