Rules of life; the Bible has them, so does the Torah and the Koran, even the Sutras have guidelines for living, but I feel like we are coming to a time when there needs to be an amalgamation of all of those guidelines for human behaviour and compile it into three words:
I am light.
Let me start at the beginning.
Since the start of human existence more than 100,000 years ago, there have been increasingly complex ways of explaining life, who we are and why we are here. Cave paintings found in France and Indonesia, rock art found all over Australia date back 40,000 plus years and show an increasingly sophistication in expressing the world around us. Stonehenge, the Pyramids and other historical monuments demonstrate, on a large scale, belief systems, particularly around death and what comes after life and a connection to the Earth and the elements, stars and space. Anthropologists have found within most traditional societies that there were wise women and men who explained the great mysteries, often as ways to encourage behaviour or to tell stories. The oral narrative, or story-telling, exists in all societies and as previously discussed, the development of letters and symbols over thousands of years but most scholars agree that true writing systems developed in various parts of the world from about 6000BC.
Our diverse planet with its diverse languages explains that writing evolved separately, but there are some universal truths that exist in all societies, that is, things that we all have in common and which make us human; ideas about what happens after death, how to heal the body, the presence of guides or angels or messengers. The narratives, as written, were a way of explaining the world around us and providing a guidebook to life. The first books of the Old Testament were first written in Hebrew before being translated more than 3500 years ago (www.biblica.com), over time new ideas and beliefs were added to it before it branched off into today’s three major religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Ultimately, these books are narratives about the way things were from 3500 and before. Interpretations and adaptations are still being made to these books and will in all likelihood continue.
Fast forward to 2015, and the question is, do we need to keep adding to these books, or is it time to recreate a new definition of how to live our lives? Admittedly, there are some wonderful things in all of these texts and many lessons to be learned from history, but should we, in the 21st century, still be living literally from these ancient texts – are they still relevant to our changing and evolving world and species? There are no new ideas, just interpretations of ideas from the past. Even this blog is written by drawing on a range of authors, ideas and belief. We all have our own unique way of living in the world and in no way do I judge those who follow the holy books, they have their place and provide a consistent dialogue and a community to support them. But they are completely irrelevant to me and my life today and they are a way of separating us from each other rather than joining us in our commonalities and humanity.
One of my favourite teachers of the way of living in the past five years or so has been Don Miguel Ruiz (www.miguelruiz.com). If you are not familiar his summarised Four Agreements are:
1. Never take anything personally
2. Be impeccable with your word
3. Ask, don’t assume
4. Always do your best
I recommend you visit the site if you need more information, but I have lived by these Ancient Toltec teachings over the past few years and it has helped me to see my own worth. There are plenty of amazing teachers out there with ways of living and being in the world. High profile authors such as: Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Louise Hay, Don Miguel Ruiz, Bronnie Ware’s “Top Five regrets of the Dying”, Alan Watts, Deepak Chopra, Stuart Wilde, Anita Moorjani, Ram Dass, Byron Katie, the work of Esther and Jerry Hicks, Eckhart Tolle, …the list is endless and I’m sure your bookshelf has your favourites too. But what I’ve come to the conclusion, that for me, there is only one rule that is universal, and it is a truth, that we are all Light. Every other guideline/rule is unique to us and more importantly changes over time as we grow and develop as spiritual beings.
So, here are my truths at this moment:
1. I am Light (see previous blog)
2. I will live fearlessly. Inspired by Anita Moorjani’s story (www.anitamoorjani.com), I will no longer fear what may or may not be. I enacted this yesterday when I saw a woman who had the most amazing hair, so I said to her “Your hair is magnificent”, she was chuffed and I felt amazing for speaking my truth and not being afraid of…well, anything.
3. I will follow my intuition. How often do we feel that deep calling to do things, to talk to people, to trust that knowingness within us? Today, I felt my yoga teacher had something to say, so I asked her and what transpired was a most loving and rewarding interaction. It felt right. You know, that moment that something happens and you feel fully and authentically you and your heart glows. It’s what Esther and Jerry Hicks call getting into the Vortex.
4. I will honestly and deeply speak my truth. How often are we not deeply honest with ourselves about situations? Do you love your job? Your partner? Your health? Are you happy with where you are at? Did you tell that family member how their words hurt you? Are you honest with yourself and others? That’s not to say we be nasty and vindictive about how we express our honesty and I have hurt people in the past by speaking from the ego, not the heart, not realising that I could have spoken the same message, but delivered it with love. Ultimately, as Don Miguel Ruiz teaches, how others respond is their stuff, but it feels so amazing to speak from a place of love and authenticity and say, “No, I do not like where I am right now.” Imagine the peace in the world if we were all speaking our authentic truths from the heart.
So far, I’ve only taken little steps towards living my authentic life and it feels good – honestly, it feels really good. Already, I’ve noticed changes in myself, my family and the synchronicities in my life. As I grow in confidence, I will be able to be more and more fearless, intuitive and honest about the things that are both working and not working in my life. They are a reflection of where I am right now and how far I’ve come on my journey. May you too find the life truths you need to live a full and authentic life from the teachers of your choice and be completely and authentically you.
Blessings and Namaste
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2015.
www.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_writing (apologies for the use of Wiki, but we all do it!)
A week ago, I was lying in my bed trying to go to sleep and I had the most surreal sense that at that moment I could choose to die. Admittedly, I was sick with the flu, but it was more than that, it was a sense that when death comes, I’m not afraid of it. It was the sense that how very little real time we have here on the Earth plane and our lives are too fleeting to not be deeply honest with ourselves about love, jobs, dreams, money, health, relationships…everything.
I’ve also been having a sense of being detached from the events of the world, like they are a programme that I’m watching on television, an almost disbelief that people actually believe everything that they see without questioning it. I feel like Neo in The Matrix – aware that there is another dimension that exists alongside this one, yet I’m not quite sure how to make that transition into the new world. A world that I know exists, because I’ve seen glimmers of it throughout my life but I’m not quite sure how to make the transition into the space of infinite expansion except through the physical death. The problem is that I don’t think that’s the way, I think there’s another.
The only literature that I found on this was by Robert Pettit who said:
“Letting those third dimensional aspects of ourselves die and be transformed is an ongoing process that is required to Ascend…Your individual spirit and soul must let go of everything that could in any way bind it to the old, third dimension paradigms and duality illusions.”
He goes on to say that this process has become difficult because we hold onto patterns because of fear and habit that bind us to an “Earthly identity and illusory self-worth.” First and foremost, I’m a spiritual being having an earthly experience and not the other way around. I am not my name, gender, job, marital status or the suburb where I live. I have experienced moments of bliss and ecstasy in meditation, yoga or sex and I am aware that everything that we experience is an illusion. It would go further and say that our thoughts are the illusion. We are bound by our thoughts and it is through freeing our mind is how we transition to that “dimension” – which is probably an illusion of the mind too! But what is not an illusion are my feelings of being unsettled, of being ready to leap off that metaphorical “cliff” into a new reality, my feelings tell me that something is not right, that I cannot continue in this dense, heavy space where I feel lost.
Pettit goes onto say, “Let go of everything in your life that has no spiritual foundation or real, lasting value…the objective is to release anything that separates you from your belief about the God/Goddess within.” I think that my problem is, and it may be yours too, is that we have become so enmeshed in the physical striving for money, relationships, jobs, a life purpose, engaging in political banter, and the nonsense of the ego, that we have forgotten who we really are and why we are here.
In the past 100 years, the technological revolution has changed humanity. No longer do mothers give birth at home with a midwife or aunt or mother, no longer do we connect deeply with each other on a physical level, rather, we connect in this virtual world that completely lacks humanity, we are in such a hurry to buy a house, pay off our mortgages and then retire to do the things we’ve always wanted to do that we’ve forgotten the daily joys of just being alive; of having a body that breathes on its own and heals itself, of plants that grow without any effort on our part, of animals and children who just love, just because. We are so caught up in the drama of the external world that we have completely lost connection with the inner world. We’re so bogged down with the problems of the world that we’ve forgotten about the miracle that this planet is, that life is that it’s a complete privilege to be here on this planet at this time. That’s no accident, by the way. We are easier to control when we have forgotten that we are spiritual beings living a physical life.
So for me, this past week has been a mind-opener. I’ve become aware of the decisions that I make that are based on the ego, on the part of myself that gets something out of expressing an opinion, or doing a job or anything that defines me in any way that is other than a light-being made of love. I could spend the rest of my life in meditation – that sounds to me like heaven on Earth – but since I’m here, I may as well be sharing my light with others, because after all, I will be gone one tomorrow in the distant future! If you have time look up this song, I am Light, by India Arie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D8PZbLdhA0 you will not be disappointed, here is a woman who has remembered who she truly is, who we all are. My spine tingles when I hear this song because it’s true. I’d love to hear how it works for you in the comments below.
I am more than my name, my family, my job, my financial status or how much stuff I have collected. I am more than my relationship status or sexual orientation, or my hobbies or my past. I am the I am. I am a part of you and you of me, we are connected in the infinite bliss of oneness that is the I am. I have no longer forgotten. I am here. I AM LIGHT.
I remember when the kids were little and the hardest it got was sleepless nights, a bit of vomit and juggling three kids, a trolley and a supermarket. But it just was one great adventure, we laughed, we played and we created memories. I loved those days. Admittedly, I’ve done everything on my own and have no idea what it’s like to co-parent and I imagine that I would find it a challenge after doing it for 16 years but I could do with some support right now.
When they were little, it was fun. Now, it feels like drudgery and counting the days until they move past this moodiness and turn back into smiling, happy human beings. I found a way to make my 10 year old laugh the other day and it was the most beautiful sound in the world. I miss those days, when we would laugh and be silly with each other. We don’t have fun with each other anymore and as you would expect, teenagers are not keen to hang out with their family, how embarrassing Mum!
We all make mistakes as parents and we all reflect on things we could have done differently, but the biggest misjudgement that I made was not being prepared enough for the changes or realise how very fast they turn from children to teens and from teens to young women.
1. If I could offer any advice to parents of kids, I’d say, start preparing yourself when they turn 10. Yes, 10. The first physical signs of the transition appear about then, but even if your kid isn’t having these things happen, it’s guaranteed that kids their age at school are starting the transition into adulthood and therefore are beginning the moody transition.
2. The second thing I would suggest is to take Don Miguel Ruiz’ advice and never take anything they say personally. For my eldest, I took everything she said to me to heart and as if it was remotely offensive or radical, I took her literally. If I could do it again, I’d take everything with a ‘grain of salt’ and not catastrophise every little thing. Obviously, don’t ignore the signs of suicide, anxiety or depression, but definitely provided that you are happy and content in yourself, their behaviour is a reflection of them, not you.
3. Number three is to pick your battles. Decide early what’s worth an argument and what isn’t worth it. This is a really personal one and very much about personal values of issues such as drugs, respect, swearing and curfews. I can’t offer any more here, except get clear on what you expect and what’s reasonable for the age. What I view as something worth arguing about, will probably be very different from what others do.
4. Technology is a nightmare for parents, but for me, I’m part of the first generation of parents to encounter social media and smartphones and associated technology and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve made some mistakes in this area. It’s very hard to parent something that is like a new toy to me, let alone figure out what my boundaries and then what the boundaries are for my kids. So, the first priority here is to establish your own boundaries before creating rules for your teens who will call you on your hypocrisy immediately.
5. Be grateful for the little things. It’s so easy to focus on all the things that are going wrong as your child transforms before your eyes. I’ve found it better to count my blessings, for the very few positives that occur, particularly between 13 and 16. I’ve started writing sticky notes daily and leaving them where they can see them, I’m hoping that by shifting the focus to positives, it will lessen the arguments and they’ll remember how much I love them.
6. But, by far the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is that I cannot control who they will choose to be. I can send them to the best schools we can afford, keep expressing my values and expectations, but ultimately, they will be who they will be. I cannot control that. I cannot control their choice of friends, career or schooling choices and disapproving and judging them for it makes me the “bad guy”. I have to trust that I have given them the values and behaviours that make them good people and step back and be there to pick them up when and if they fall and to celebrate in their small wins and the fact that they are growing up.
Stepping back and knowing how much to let them go and make mistakes has been the biggest challenge. Watching them make errors in judgement is heart-breaking, but there comes a time when I need to step back and let them live their own lives, just finding the balance between holding on and letting go is a precariously fine line. I suppose mostly, I’m grieving for those wonderful days that we had together as a young family and perhaps I’m not ready to be the mother of two teens and a pre-teen, but they can’t wait until I’m ready, I need to be ready now.
There’s a few more years to go until our little family is out of the dark days of moodiness, outbursts of anger and words that can’t be taken back, but I hope and trust that they will come through the other end of this tricky time being the women who they were born to be – whatever that looks like. In the meantime, I just love them for who they are right now and focus on being the most balanced, happy and centred Mum I can be.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2015
This article appeared @elephantjournal on 4/7/2015