How does kindness bubble up for you?
When I think of the quality of kindness, I think of holding others with genuine positive regard. The practice of genuine positive regard is something I learned when I became a health coach. It is the practice of seeing the best in others. Of being able to see the spark on the other side of the shadows.
I remember having a conversation with someone awhile ago now. I don’t remember the exact details anymore, but the idea was that someone they knew had experienced an outburst of anger and frustration that bubbled up to the surface and some unkind words were said. This anger and frustration was coming through in their behaviours and how they were interacting with the people around them.
My friend said “their true colours really shone through!”.
My rebuttal to this statement was this . . .
Those weren’t their true colours. It was their pain. It was the shadows of anger and frustration they had been burying, for whatever reason they had buried them, bubbling up to the surface to be seen.
This is what happens when we are not living in alignment with our true nature. When we are not expressing the truth of who we are on a regular basis, anger, resentment, frustration, bitterness and disappointment start to build up. The longer you go not living in alignment with your true nature, the more the pressure builds. Until eventually, all that pressure needs a release point, and BOOM! Welcome to the confusion of midlife!
For me this showed up as burnout. And a heck of a lot of confusion! I looked around at my life and, on paper, all was well. The guilt of being unhappy despite “having nothing to complain about” and the pressure of “you should be grateful for what you have” therefore you “should” be happy made it really difficult to know what needed to change. I felt trapped in a life that was everything I had worked for and yet still didn’t know how to access the joy I knew was inside of me somewhere!
I couldn’t feel my spark.
The interesting thing to know is, that is kind of the point of being here.
We are all on this journey together to finding our spark again.
Just by virtue of being born, we made an agreement to step onto the path of our conditioning. The path that leads us away from our spark, only to have to figure out how to find our way back again.
I can honestly say I do not have the answer for why it is this way. It seems pretty inefficient and painful, doesn't it? But that is the big mystery we are all living out together. And maybe it doesn’t even have to be this way! But that is a contemplation for another day.
For now, can we all take a deep breath together?
Innnnnn . . . Outtttttt . . . Ahhhh . . .
Now, imagine what your life would be like if you turned toward your shadows (the angers, frustrations, bitterness and disappointments) with kindness. What if you could recognize the shadows for what they truly are - merely symptoms of living out of alignment with your true nature? Your true spark!
Because the thing with shadows is this:
When you judge them, criticize them or try to ignore them, they just keep getting bigger, darker and denser. The pressure keeps building. They turn into that big heavy cloud that follows you around everywhere you go, blocking the light of your potential. Eventually the pressure becomes so uncomfortable that it needs to be released.
The trick is to start turning towards those shadows with kindness. To hold yourself, your pain and your struggles with genuine positive regard.
As you practice this, you will gain the power to part the clouds and see the truth of who you are. You will be able to see that the sun is always and forever shining on the other side of the clouds. How beautiful is that!
It is the wisdom that you gain from transforming the shadows into love that becomes your greatest gift to share with the world.
When you light up your spark again, you inspire others to light up theirs too!
And how beautiful would our world be if we were all shining, unapologetically, in the truth of who we really are?
Ok loves, take a deep breath. This may be new for you. If so, be patient with yourself. Here is your practice for the week:
Anytime you have symptoms of being out of alignment with your spark, take a few breaths, turn to yourself with kindness and ask - what do I truly need right now? And then notice . . .
How does kindness bubble up for you?