Special Note: As a Surprise Treat to all you beautiful readers, I have for you a Free Mindful Makeover Kit Giveaway which is an amazing spiritual growth course by Janice Lynn Lundy who is an educator, interfaith spiritual director, retreat leader and celebrated author. But first, just soak in her beautiful words on Transparency: The Key to Spiritual Growth. More details on the Free Mindful Makeover Kit Giveaway below this article. Enjoy! ~ Love, Zeenat~
Transparency: The Key to Spiritual Growth
By Janice Lynn Lundy
Like many others, my spiritual journey began when my life wasn’t going as planned. I was stressed and overwhelmed, trying to be the perfect wife, mother, friend, and co-worker. I was sick and tired—literally—of working to make everyone around me happy, and I had the poor health to prove it.
In 1994, I dove headlong into a journey to reclaim my “Buddha Chick self,” as I have come to call her. A woman who is innately calm, clear, and wise; one with that peaceful Buddha-like smile on her face and one in her heart too! I was willing to do the inner work required to uncover her because I really wanted my life to change. I wanted to feel less strained and more Chickful of peace and joy.
The key to living as our Buddha Chick self, I discovered, lies in our ability to be “transparent.” This means we are passionate about our healing journey; willing to look at ourselves openly and honestly. We acknowledge our history and the stories we continue to tell about ourselves. Transparency also means, in each moment, we tell the truth about what we are thinking and feeling, especially if it is sourced in the ego, then vow to do what we can to disconnect from it. When we are transparent, there is no more hiding from our self.
But it’s tricky learning to be the observer of yourself. The ego is very wily. I often think of it as a chameleon—one minute it’s green with envy, the next, it’s purple with a phony spiritual air about it—so you’re never quite sure who you’re doing the tango with!
What works for me is to think of my observer as a Scientist Chick. You can become a scientist of yourself too. It’s not that difficult.
Imagine simply taking any emotion you’re noticing and placing it on a slide under the microscope. Look at it with curiosity, dispassionate awareness, and say:
“Isn’t this interesting? My, my, look what’s here?
Ah, jealousy. Mmmmm, interesting.
Ah, resentment, very interesting.”
And on we go. Naming what is there on the slide. Our first step in creating a new relationship with our thoughts and emotions is identification, pure and simple. Give them a name like any good scientist.
Just say what is without judgment: Fear is here. Envy is apparent. Dislike is rising.
By giving it a name, we begin to have a new relationship with this particular thought or emotion. It is no longer mysterious, dark, or scary. It just is.
Through being our own observer, we can take an honest look at the thoughts and feelings that continue to dominate us. These thoughts and feelings become our words, as well as our actions in the world.
Transparent observation ideally leads to self-reflection which leads to self-knowledge. Which according to the great yogic teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda, eventually leads to “God knowledge” or divine union.
We set the intention to do this process without self-criticism, judgment, or shame. We do so with love and compassion for ourselves, because we are making significant strides toward releasing old habits and hurts. We treat ourselves gently, kindly. We immerse ourselves in Metta (Loving-kindness) because we do want to live as our truest, most loving and peaceful self.
Without transparency, we will not move forward on our spiritual path. Without transparency, we will continue to delude ourselves, stay stuck, or wounded. We’ll continue to read self-help books for “head knowledge,” but postpone our heart’s growth. If we truly desire personal change, we must be willing to put the book down and start engaging with our innermost self.
Uncovering our Buddha Chick self is the journey of a lifetime, and one well worth taking. With faithful friends and mentors cheering us on, we can take the first steps toward living as the radiant women we are meant to be.
Janice Lynne Lundy is the woman behind “Buddha Chick™” and the creator of “The Mindful Makeover Kit.” She is an educator, interfaith spiritual director, retreat leader and celebrated author of 6 personal/spiritual growth books for women. Visit her at BuddhaChick.org and AwakenedLiving.com. Join her interspiritual online community for mindful, compassionate women: DharmaSistersCircle.org.
©2011, Janice Lynne Lundy. BuddhaChick.org
Mindful Makeover Free Giveaway Details:
“The Buddha Chick™ Mindful Makeover Kit” (value $97) FREE for One Lucky Commentor!
This kit Empowers women to live physically calm, mentally clear, openhearted lives, handling life’s challenges with ease. 12 hours of downloadable recordings, Workbook, Buddha Chick™ Affirmation Cards, and private mentoring support. Nothing short of a complete life makeover using mindfulness and self-compassion.
Sweet and Generous Jan is giving away 1 Mindful Makeover Kit FREE to a beautiful random commentor here on Positive Provocations. To learn more about this kit, please visit the Buddha Chick Mindful Makeover Kit.
To enter this FREE Giveaway: leave a comment below sharing why you would most like to experience the Mindful Makeover Kit. Winner will be picked at random, shared in the comments of this post and contacted by Jan to receive their kit.
Contest runs from Friday June 17th 2011 to June 20th 2011, and is open to all residents worldwide. The Winner will be announced on June 21st 2011Hurry and Share your thoughts below to receive this amazing FREE Mindful Makeover!
With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/Spiritual Counselor
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