February 10


Today's Quotation:

We all have within us a deep sense of what we need, and what is right and true for us.  To access this we need to pay attention to our feelings and our intuition.  We need to learn to listen deeply to ourselves and to trust what we hear.  And we need to risk acting on what we feel to be true.  Even if we make mistakes, we must do this in order to learn and grow.

Shakti Gawain

Today's Meditation:

You and I have a lot in common.  But what is "right and true" for you isn't necessarily right and true for me, even though when I hear what's right and true for you, there's something inside of me that tells me that it should be the same for me.  Does that make sense?

I know many people who feel that everyone somehow has the same wants and needs, and that when people try to fulfill their individual needs, they're somehow being anti-social or selfish.  These people generally are very insecure, and if they can convince other people to have the same needs, they somehow validate their own feelings (unfortunately, many of these people make their livings in organized religions).

Isn't it ironic that in places where individualism and uniqueness are celebrated and considered to be of primary importance, we tend to lead our lives looking for conformity and "fitting in"?  I can't tell you how many times I hear students tell me "I can't do that because society says I can't."  And not once has any of these people been able to tell me just who "society" is, and just who says they can't.

The truth is, we're much more afraid of what we think "society" will say than what other people actually will say.  We tend to repress our own wants and needs because we fear that others will see us as selfish or self-absorbed.  But when am I more effective in helping other people?  It's when my needs are being met, and I'm taking care of myself.  It's when I listen to my inner self and actually heed its message, taking time for myself or reading what I need to read or not overwhelming myself with obligations.

We're taught to listen to our parents, to our elders, to our teachers, to our bosses, to our leaders, but we're rarely taught to listen to ourselves.  It's time that we learn that lesson ourselves, for it's a very important one, whether it's taught widely or not.

Questions to ponder:

1.  When was the last time you truly listened to yourself and heeded the message?  What were the results?

2.  Do you trust yourself enough to act on the messages that come from inside?

3.  How can we practice listening to ourselves and heeding the messages?

For further thought:

To set us on a clear path, it is important to communicate well, at least with ourselves.  To know what we want, to know what we mean, and to learn to express ourselves clearly, with as little confusion as possible.  If you are confused about yourself, you can expect to be misunderstood by those around you.  You have to set your mind straight, and that is a task that no one else can undertake for you.

Rosemary Altea

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