"If we just sit at home and aspiring for some self-serving nirvana state but allow the world to fall around us, is that spiritual? No, it's irresponsible."
It's all very well and good for the "Love and Light" brigade to spread love and light, after all the world needs more of it, but where's the line between spirituality and activism? Can the two co-exist or do they have to be separate entities?
By definition spirituality is often the surrender of some "greater force" than us driving our destiny and activism is a "means of achieving political or other goals."
Our world is dying; climate change, animal extinctions, plant disappearance, the death of ecosystems such as Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. The science is in, our ecosystem cannot continue this human-driven march towards its and our extinction. What greater goal could we have than the protection of our planet? But is sitting in meditation in the privacy of our privileged, Western lives going to change anything apart from ourselves?
I see great value in self-work, don't get me wrong, I've even created a line of products designed to help people see how they can be better humans but at some point we need to get off our butts and take action. Agreed, it makes us feel good about ourselves when we devote our time to yoga, meditation or other forms of spirituality - whatever that is for you - but what is the POINT of spirituality if our planet is dying?
The Zen quote: "chop wood, carry water, enlightenment, chop wood, carry water" is so pertinent here. No matter how "spiritual" you think you are, there are human needs that still need to be undertaken. We are still human beings on this planet and our bodies require a healthy ecosystem to survive.
I see the work of Abraham-Hicks often in my newsfeed with trite comments like: "Just remember that you want your influence to always be what you ask for and never be about what you are against because as long as your influence is what you're for then you have the backing of Universal forces." I deeply desire a peaceful, sustainable, loving planet and I can sit in my comfortable home for as long as I want desiring this thing but if I don't take daily actions alongside these thoughts, nothing will change.
Life isn't about the self! It's about the collective. We need to start seeing us as US and not ME.
We are part of an ecosystem and events do not exist in isolation and one of the reasons I moved away from the yoga community was this self-isolation built in ego. We do not exist in isolation on a yoga mat on the floor of a studio as we do not exist in isolation as a human being on this planet. Sean Corne's Off the Mat project is one example of taking yoga spirituality out of the yoga studio, and I'd love to hear about more if there is any you know about.
What is the point of loving compassion if it's not shared with the world? How can we both protect and nurture the Earth and the mechanisms that sustain life; air, water, food, diversity and yet keep our spirituality intact?
The answer is simple: action and service.
There comes a time when we have to take action.
If we just sit at home and aspiring for some self-serving nirvana state but allow the world to fall around us, is that spiritual? No, it's irresponsible. We have to put all of our love and compassion into the wider world. What better way than making a stand to protect our precious water from fracking. Water is life. No amount of chanting or green kale smoothies will prevent this toxic sickness from leeching into our ecosystem.
It's time for us to be the spiritual activists we were born to be.
In love and action,
©Alyssa Curtayne 2018
" I never predicted how the influence of violence in society would affect them and smother their critical thinking about violence."
When you raise your children you have hopes and dreams for them; that they will be kind, successful and happy. But what I never counted on was the influence of violence in our society on the way my three young women interact with each other and the world. There are times in our household where it feels like World War III has broken out. Vitriol surges out of them.
In 2005 I wrote a winning letter to The Weekend Australian in response to an article entitled “The Triumph of the Airhead”; at the time my biggest concern was making sure that my three little girls grew up to know they were more than their beautiful faces and bodies. I wanted them to think critically and challenge the societal norms about beauty. I think I have been successful in that, but I never predicted how the influence of violence in society would affect them and smother their critical thinking about violence.
I’m not talking about physical violence (statistics show violence is decreasing form of assault.), but the violence with which humans now speak to each other, not only on social media, but in the community. Road rage has escalated; Australia now ranks ninth for road rage worldwide. The winning song by Kendrick Lamar of the Triple J Hottest 100 in 2016 included lyric references to women as “bitches” and tomurder: “If I kill a nigga, it won’t be the alcohol, ayy” and people lap it up without any question.
Finally, the disdainful way that humans talk about each other in politics, media and entertainment, including social media has hit new lows, with the norm being the vilification of people on mediums such as Facebook and Twitter for their opinions and appearance.
American author Arthur Brooks suggests we are speaking to each other with contempt. I would go further: we have lost our regard for our fellow humans and society is teaching our children that violence through words is acceptable. We are told the old saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” is untrue. But words do hurt. Contempt hurts. Disdain hurts. And it’s time we talked about it.
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4906.0~2016~Media%20Release~ABS%20survey%20shows%20decline%20in%20rates%20of%20violence%20(Media%20Release)~3 accessed 18 Feb. 18
 https://practicalmotoring.com.au/car-news/australia-ranks-9th-global-road-rage-league/ accessed 18 Feb. 18
 https://genius.com/11593217 accessed 18 Feb. 18
 https://www.facebook.com/harvardkennedyschool/videos/10154251688431403/ accessed 18 Feb. 18
"In that time, I wrote lists of all the qualities I wanted in a partner, little did I know that what I should have done was written a list of all that I NEEDED. I had men come into my life in this time and I had convinced myself that they were exactly what I wanted, but they smelt my desperation a mile away and thankfully they knew that they weren’t what I needed; they knew they couldn’t give me what I needed."
Valentine’s Day, you either love it or hate it, or indeed have a healthy cynicism about it which I completely support. Valentine’s Day started as a remembrance to Christian martyrs and involved violence and bloodshed and women being hit by “hides of animals”, it had nothing at all to do with what we equate to romantic love. It has turned into a mass marketing juggernaut which taps into our insecurities about our relationship and indeed our social expectations to have one, when in reality maybe we don’t actually need a relationship in our life right now.
For 14 years, I was one of those people dreading the inevitable marketing nonsense that comes up around February each year which brings up feelings of rejection, dejection and hopelessness about being a single person when deep down we just know what an amazing person that we are if only someone would just give us a chance.
I spent so much time and energy lamenting my single status, thinking that something was fundamentally wrong with me, when what I should have been appreciating exactly where I was; able to create time for me, my kids, my career and my creative projects. That time of being single was a gift, not a punishment. That time was exactly what I NEEDED to heal my previous relationship, to do the inner work on myself and to parent how I wanted without the complications that come with step-parenting and blended families.
In that time, I wrote lists of all the qualities I wanted in a partner, little did I know that what I should have done was written a list of all that I NEEDED. I had men come into my life in this time and I had convinced myself that they were exactly what I wanted, but they smelt my desperation a mile away and thankfully they knew that they weren’t what I needed; they knew they couldn’t give me what I needed.
If you read back over my blogs you’ll see that I had gotten to a point where I had surrendered to single life. I accepted that I was okay with or without a partner, I had accepted the rejection to a point where I no longer took it personally. And then Kind Man arrived. You can read about it here.
Had I known, I should have asked for someone who loved and accepted me just as I am.
Because that’s ultimately what I needed.
So before you go and write down all the things in a potential partner that you want. Stop, pause and ask yourself what do you NEED at this time? Do you actually NEED a person in your life?
Do you need time on your own to grieve a previous relationship?
Do you need a person to support you with kids?
Do you need a person who is honest? Trustworthy? Kind?
Do you need someone who is good with money? Who is flexible in their sexuality?
Do you need someone who accepts your family?
Do you need a friend who is also your lover, adventure buddy and cheerleader? Or do you just need a sex with benefits sort of friend?
Do you need someone to party with? Have children with? Chill with?
Go through all areas: sexuality, family (yours and extended), career, time, love languages, financial, dreams/goals, values. It’s in narrowing down what you need that really makes it easy to find someone who fits you and more importantly accepts you.
To be honest, I didn’t have electric chemistry with Kind Man when we met, like I did with GSM (gorgeous sexy man), but his kindness and patience opened my heart in a way that immediate electrical sexual charge never could have and that chemistry has just grown so much into an exquisite slow burn because I trust him. I trust him not to hurt me. He is just what I needed.
Sometimes just what we need, gives us exactly what we want.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2018
 . https://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133693152/the-dark-origins-of-valentines-day
"The global psychic industry alone is worth billions of dollars in phone, internet and online services. Now I’m not saying don’t see a psychic if you have a burning question, I too have gone there, but perhaps asking others for help is like a band-aid on a broken leg – eventually you will need to look within for the answer. Getting a psychic reading is like a crutch – it keeps you helplessly looking outside for answers when within is where you should be grounding so your questions can be resolved."
We live in a world where Google is just a click away to find any answer to any problem that we have; relationships, money, career, health, self-help, spirituality. In this way we are always seeking outside for the answers to problems, we bypass our brains in many regards and we have no confidence in our own abilities to seek for the answers ourselves. We have become lazy in many respects and more importantly, we’ve forgotten how to use our intuition.
How many times have you seen a psychic, or posted a question on social media or asked someone for the answer and when you hear the answer, you already knew that anyway? That’s intuition. We all have it. We are all “psychic” in the sense that there are things we know; common colloquialisms like “gut feeling” and “I just knew”.
But what we’ve forgotten is to look within. We have learned a sort of helplessness that comes only from asking others to give you the answers. That’s just like doing a test in school and having someone tell you the answers, it doesn’t help you in the long run. So, it is with intuition. We need to nurture and support our own intuition.
About 10 years ago, I quit my job and started doing psychic readings with Doreen Virtue’s Angel cards. I had done the training, but already knew that I had the gift of mediumship and, well, reading body language. Then one day, I realised that people were coming looking for answers that they had known all along. They wanted confirmation. I stopped doing it not long after this realisation because I felt that I was aiding them in learned helpless and it felt false taking money from people when they themselves had all the answers within them.
What I should have done instead was to teach people how to be their own psychics! The global psychic industry alone is worth billions of dollars in phone, internet and online services. Now I’m not saying don’t see a psychic if you have a burning question, I too have gone there, but perhaps asking others for help is like a band-aid on a broken leg – eventually you will need to look within for the answer. Getting a psychic reading is like a crutch – it keeps you helplessly looking outside for answers when within is where you should be grounding so your questions can be resolved.
Looking within is much more empowering. When you go to a psychic, or ask for answers outside yourself, you give away your power, when what we need is for us all to feel completely empowered in our own abilities. We need to not give our power away. Now, I’m not saying all psychics are bad, far from it. But a good psychic will guide you to your own conclusions like a good counsellor or life coach should. And I’m also not suggesting seeing someone when you have some serious mental health issues or downloading to a friend or partner when you are mulling over things.
But I am saying that we need to back ourselves.
We need to have some inner dialogue and be brutally honest with ourselves.
We need to trust that inner nudge because we know the answers that we seek.
One of the reasons Chakra Cards are a helpful tool for re-learning to trust your own intuition. Developed in 2015, these tools are made to help you to look within for the answers. They help us to resolve issues within our own crazy monkey minds. In meditation, we are taught to quieten the monkey mind, which is an awesome skill, but those thoughts just keep coming around after you’ve finished meditation, there is no resolution. Chakra Cards bring up those thoughts and the reasons behind it for open and honest dialogue with self, or a partner. Using the cards for journaling can help to unpack some of the unresolved energies that we are hanging on to, such as anger, sadness, regret, guilt but also find the hidden joy, happiness, forgiveness and love that are bubbling just under the surface.
It’s up to you how you live your life. But since I’ve developed the Chakra Cards, I’ve not been to a psychic, I’ve not even done my own psychic readings, but I have looked to the cards for the answers and they are always right. I feel much more empowered in my ability to make decisions and know that using the self-reflection it makes me feel more inside my body and not seeking outwards.
From a religious standpoint, in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra one of the Eight Limbs of yoga is Svadhyaya, which translates to study of the sacred scriptures and of one's self. In the Bible Lamentations 3:40-42 says “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.…”. Even from a psychological point of view self-reflection is critical for self-development:
“In sum, there is much to learn from those who frequently and conscientiously engage in self-reflection. Whether it's Buddhists engaging in meditation, alcoholics at AA meetings, or philosophers of the Enlightenment studying the texts of Immanuel Kant, being aware of ourselves is an essential step in self-improvement. It is reassuring to see so many traditions spanning thousands of years that emphasize themes identified in the psychological literature as critical for self-improvement.”
For more information about taking back your power through the Chakra Card product range, please contact us on Facebook at Chakra Cards, the Chakra Card website or on the Store page on this website.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2017
Chakra Cards ©2015-2017 Alyssa Curtayne