If you like me, have a desire to make a big impact on our world, then we must make big impacts on ourselves first. Compassion is the total eclipse of the heart that helps us do that. It is the respect and caring that helps us see the best in ourselves, to move forward from our strengths. When we “take our stand” to be there for ourselves, despite the critical, self-sabotaging, negative memory bias wired into our primal brains, we listen to the voice of deep respect rather than other deep forces. The Joy of Life becomes the filter we look through, even in the dark, amidst the fear and uncertainty of that which we cannot see. We trust ourselves. We appreciate the beauty of our lives as art… we share that which makes us happy. We open up to the power-house of intuition inside us, follow its lead and align with flow, the energy of creation in the quantum field.
When we “take our stand” to live our lives as art, we are the most real, the most rich, the most complete. The art that we share cannot help but uplift and evoke a feeling of connection and rightness in the world. And yet, how often we can hesitate on sharing our creations with the world… am I good enough?…did I do this the right way?..how do I market this?… what if no one signs up?….an endless litany of old limiting beliefs can become a very painful place to live.
We know this, because we’ve all done it. Each time we step into the unknown to embrace “beginner’s mind,” we employ the willingness to drop expertise (or the way it “should” be done), to learn something new. Yes, it can be frightening but as we’ve all come to realize sooner or later, it is the most valuable and rewarding place on earth… this stepping into a force that is greater than us, and yet is us, if we’d just see it that way.
The recent lunar eclipse seen in the photo above reminds me of the cycle of shadow energies that we cycle through and are evolving from. The yin-yang is simply a part of life; the polarity between love and hate, fear and hope, denial and expression of what is most important. How remarkable to stand beneath an eclipse watching something profoundly beautiful and mystical as metaphor for our own lives. This photo taken from Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, BC, Canada, on the shores of the Pacific is particularly poignant… The beautiful Lion’s Gate Bridge, a metaphor for the bridge from one world to another. That’s why moon phases are so powerful, not only are we linked to them, like the tides of the sea, they give us an opportunity to release, let go and reaffirm the essence of who we are, and the power of living that essence fully, with courage, tenacity and vision.
The one person you can affect the most is you, and when you are there for yourself, nothing is more incredible than the feeling of caring for yourself. As the Sufi Mystic Rumi said, “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion…. When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
If we really understood how often and how deeply we impact each other’s lives when we share that joy, we’d be blown away! What would happen if we shared that authenticity more consistently? These are the little things that affect great change… and by you being kind to yourself and really “being there for yourself,” this world that so desperately needs our help benefits. We are all blessed, spiralled higher and strengthened. Key concepts in Rick Hanson’s book, “Resilient” which I’ve abbreviated here, underscore the simple power of this type of self-compassion:
Bring to mind a time when you were on someone’s side.. recall what this felt like in your body.. recall some of your thoughts and feelings, perhaps caring, determination, even a fierce intensity. Then knowing what it’s like to be on someone’s side, apply this attitude to yourself. Get a sense of being an ally to yourself; someone who will look out for you, help you, protect you. Recognize that you have rights and needs that matter.
Be good to yourself because then you’re being good to others. When people increase their own well-being, they usually become more patient, cooperative, and caring in their relationships. Think about how it would benefit others if you felt less stressed, worried, or irritated and more peaceful, contented and loving.
Take practical steps to help yourself really believe that it’s good to treat yourself with respect and compassion. Write down simple statements such as “I am on my own side’ or “I’m taking a stand for myself” or “I matter too” and read them out loud or put them somewhere you’ll see each day. Imagine telling someone why you are going to take better care of your own needs. Imagine a friend, mentor or even your fairy godmother telling you to be on your own side – and let them talk you into it!
Let us give to ourselves, the greatest comfort and strength we wish for others; let us have the courage to drop the illusions that prevent us from practicing “Sacred Activism,” a phrase coined by writer and activist Andrew Harvey, which is about “finding gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion; it is about opening yourself up to the kindness within you, letting go of pain, and making a conscious choice to help heal the world.”
Call to action: in order to make a big impacts in our worlds, we must begin with the self. A total eclipse of the heart is required… the ability to go into the shadow, drop holdbacks and apply compassion to bring new understanding into the light. If you’ve read this article and it’s touched you in some way, please share – I’d love to hear from you as we continue stepping into our role of inspiring conscious changemakers, starting with us!
Cheryl Brewster is a professional intuitive, providing consults and workshops to support individuals and organizations to build up resilience in ways that are fun, empowering and sustained for long-term change and thriving in life and business.