I Would Like a Piece of Peace, Please (Part 1)
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Would You Like a Piece of Peace?
- Do you suffer?
- Are you kept awake at night, worrying about the fate of the world?
- Is your life chaotic?
- Would you like to make a real difference in the world?
Searching for Wisdom
I stumbled across stories of White Tara this morning. She is an aspect of the Hindu and Buddhist goddess, Tara. White Tara symbolizes compassion, long life, healing, and serenity. She is peaceful and powerful, loving and strong. In our world, we often associate peaceful and loving as weak, yet Tara is the essence of compassion and love made strong.She is a teacher of peace. How can we learn from her?
(A note: I am not an expert on Hindu or Buddhist deities, so please forgive any inaccuracies. I am happy to receive comments regarding this lovely goddess).
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The Power of Persistence
What can this squirrel teach us about persistence?
I went camping last weekend, out in the mountains among pine trees, campfires, and squirrels. As I sat in full, mindful enjoyment of the environment, I noticed that the squirrels around me never stopped. They paused to chatter at me or each other, they kept their awareness of their environment, avoiding the fire and the humans. They were focused on gathering food for the winter and they never lost their objective, even when distracted for a moment by other squirrels or curious dogs.
Did you know that there are an estimated 1.12 biliion squirrels in the U.S., alone? I may not be a biologist, but I am willing to hazard a guess that it has something to do with their persistence. They never stop. They are constantly looking for, storing, or carrying food. They aren't particularly smart, or careful, or even secretive about where they store their food. They're talkative, so you know where they are. Even when they forget where they have hidden their cache, it works in their favour because they are basically planting the seeds, so they grow a food source for their future generations. Squirrels are persistent.
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Internal Understanding + External Expertise = Inner/Outer Wisdom
- How many times has the doctor told you to do something and it just didn't feel "right" to you?
- Do you have a few tricks that always work for you to make you feel better?
How many times have you asked an "expert" for advice and found that it didn't work for you? Or maybe you discovered some unconventional method for making you feel better that doesn't fit what you are told you "should" do. The thing is, you have been you all of your life. You know things about how you work that no expert can ever know. You know that the smell of mint makes you want to vomit, even though it isn't one of the typical aversions. You know that going for a ten minute walk will fix any problem you encounter in your day. You know that no amount of novacaine will keep the dental pain at bay. And the list goes on. This internal understanding is what I like to call Inner Wisdom.
On the other hand, sometimes you get stuck and you find that an expert can get you out of a rut. Maybe you have tried everything to rid yourself of an addiction, and nothing works. You need help, so you hire someone to help you. That expert is able to provide you with information about techniques, ideas, and solutions that have worked for many people. Finally, you get the support you need, and you use that information to make a positive change in your life. This is an example of Outer Wisdom.
Putting both Inner and Outer Wisdom together leads to a Wisdom that can help you through any difficulty and help you grow and reach your full potential. It's a balance that works like magic, when you get it right.
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Making a Living and Living Your Dream
- Have you recently been downsized?
- Is the current economy making it hard to find a job?
- Are you stressed out about paying bills?
Making a Living...
The current economy in North America is affecting almost everyone. We're tightening our belts, putting on a brave face, and keeping any complaints to ourselves, just so we can keep our mediocre jobs. You used to be able to go out to a nice dinner for your anniversary or for a birthday. Now, you end up at Tim Hortons. Okay, maybe it isn't quite that bad. You do see your work place getting emptier and emptier and you wonder how much longer you can hold on to your job. You might not have had a raise in years, but you certainly don't want to mention it for fear that you will be the next one on the downsizing list. Maybe you already have been downsized and you're trying to figure out where you can go for a job, any job. The thing is, most of them will not pay enough to pay your bills and they certainly will not help you feel good about yourself.
Everyone is struggling to pay bills these days. It's a great time to buy a house- if you can afford it- because people are having to downsize their homes. Nice cars are cheap, if you don't mind second-hand from someone who cannot afford to keep it any more. It looks pretty bleak for most of us.
...or Living Your Dream?
But wait! It doesn't mean all hope is lost. Within the loss of the familiar is room for the new. This is an opportunity to create that dream you've been wanting to live. No, I don't mean winning the lottery. I mean the one you had when you were young. The one in which you loved your life because your work was something that you found exciting, fun, thrilling, challenging. Loss leads to opportunity. It's an opportunity to start again, with a clean slate. You've gained wisdom during your work and you now have a clearer picture of what kind of work environment fits you, how you like to work, and with whom. You probably enjoyed some aspect of your work. Keep that in mind as you build your plan for your next career.
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