intimate not personal
I hope you had a week of balance and blossoms. One that left you with a smile more than a furrowed brow.
I watched a Youtube video with Caroline Myss this week. She said something that stuck with me, that we had to be intimate not personal, and that we will never heal if we don’t let go of our stories. Pema Chodron has written many books on the basis that the real work begins when we drop our story lines.
Our stories are the events and relationships in our lives that form us. We can't change our history but we can let go of the many extra filters and implications we give our stories that create unnecessary suffering. It's the filters of over thinking and over sensing that lead us to fear, aversion, attachment and unease. But what does it mean to be intimate not personal? For whatever reason this really stuck with me.
The concept of intimate not personal somehow offered me a fuller and deeper breath. Why? We often see the world as personal and impersonal. To be intimate is usually associated with personal. To be intimate is to be present and inclusive. When I see through intimate eyes, my mindfulness sharpens and my caring perspective offers a lightness of well being.
We all have the desire to be happy, to feel safe and okay in the world. I started a practice a long time ago that in the evening when I rest my head, to give thanks for the opportunity of another day without a disaster. When there has been a crisis, to give thanks for the teachings. But often even in this state of thanks, it's personal and too much about me.
Lately I start a morning qigong practice with a standing meditation and set an awareness of gratitude to all that share the moments with me, the winged ones, the four legged, the two legged and the spectacular one legged nation (the trees) that I face from the rooftop in here in the majestic mountains. Then I close the eight brocades with an intention that the merit of this energy practice will benefit all sentient beings. This is intimate not personal.
Here in India as a privileged westerner, there is no space to be personal. These economic challenges are difficult around the world and crippling in countries with a lot of poverty. Those who have relied on tourism here to create independence in their lives tend to live fork to mouth. The promise of that has come to a screeching halt. When my mindset is personal, I am imbued with guilt and sympathy for the suffering I see. When I allow myself to be intimate, I am filled with love, compassion and the taste of meaning and purpose. Even knowing that there is little I can do to make a difference, seeing a oneness with others puts me in a space to do what is possible. Sometimes that may be only to offer a genuine smile and a hand on my heart, and that's still better than the isolation of being personal. Like you, I have experienced the world both personally and intimately. It's a beautiful thing that we have the choice to choose our lens.
Wishing you a day of intimate joy.. from India with love, a lotus and a smile,
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