For those of you that keep up with my Yamas & Niyamas posts, you may have noticed I didn’t post last week for my 2nd week of Brahmacharya study/practice. Not only did I sort of space on thinking about Deborah Adele’s suggestion of seeing Divinity within yourself, I wanted to spend more time with her suggestion of seeing God in all.
This is a powerful concept. She quotes Yogi Bhajan, “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.” WOW. Then she writes, “See God in all.” Hmmm…. See God in all. I really wanted to think about this for awhile, so I did. I’m still thinking about it to tell you the truth. I think at least once a day I say to myself, “see God in all.”
I started off examining the areas of my life where it’s hard for me to see God. The first one that came to mind was my toddler’s challenging behavior. In fact, her motivations and the reasons I’m being faced with her behavior I find so difficult, have been in the forefront of my mind. My husband left on June 7th for a training mission in Southern California leaving me to take care of our 3.5 year old daughter. We are military and currently stationed near Tacoma, WA; all our family is in Florida so I can’t just drop her off at her Grandma’s or Aunt’s house. Bummer! 😉 Anyway, as I said, I chose to examine my daughter’s behavior first.
I contemplated the times where she just doesn’t listen, talks back, or does things that put herself in danger. What I came up with was that what she is doing is a lesson for the both of us. This is God, or the Universe, or Spirit, or the Divine – whatever you want to call it – showing up to teach me to be more patient, more kind, more loving, and more forgiving of her and myself. And as far as the lesson for her? Who knows. I can only assume things, but I also know her behavior is typical of her age group. (Sigh.)
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
Other areas where I find it hard to see God: the degradation of our environment (and therefore ourselves), starving people, animal cruelty, and basically all the other awful things that are unfortunately a part of our world. Again, I believe these challenges to be an opportunity. We are being given an opportunity to see the error of our ways in regards to poisoning our home. What can we do about it? How can we make changes? This opportunity is being extended to every single person on the face of the planet. It is appalling how the organized world’s way of life is so utterly detrimental to the health of our planet, other species, and our entire environment. “Be the change” as Ghandi urges us; a simple sentence that took me over a year to fully understand.
I believe the same goes for cultural/social inequality, animal cruelty, etc. – these are opportunities. Will you take advantage of this amazing opportunity and rise above the cultural norm and be the change? What can you do on a daily basis to be an example of love, courage, kindness, truth, and beauty? Heavy stuff, I know, but if we wish to see real change in our world, near and far, we MUST start now. We must feel powerfully and inextricably linked to our environment and our fellow beings on this planet to really cultivate enough compassion to urge us to act. This, I believe, is the Divine, God, the Universe, showing us how much better things can be, how pure, simple, and lovely things already are if only we would drop our expectations, judgements, anger, and pettiness.
“Live simply so that others may simply live.”
― Mahatma Ghandi
See Yourself as Divine
I actually think this ties in rather nicely with seeing God in all. Not once did it cross my mind to attempt to see God within myself. Deborah writes, “…contemplate your own divinity. Are you willing to be sacred?” Then she encourages us to write down 3 practices that connect us to our passion and sacredness. Well, that last part was easy enough! 1 – Asana 2 – Meditation 3- Spiritual Study/Reading
As far as contemplating my own divinity…this was kind of a far off concept for me. I do believe that a piece of the Divine resides within everyone and everything. I know it’s a bit hard to see sometimes, and other times it’s impossible, but I do believe it’s there. The bit of the Divine is the light within. You know, “…the Light in me honors the Light in you”. This light is the Divine shining through us. And for those times it’s impossible to see the Divine in others? Their Light is being overshadowed by Ego, cruelty, fear, sadness, and many other things that can be perceived as darkness. But we cannot know there is darkness without also seeing the light.
I’m still working on seeing myself as sacred. According to Google, the definition for sacred is: connected with God (or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration. Synonyms: holy, hallowed, blessed, sanctified, consecrated. To me this is a bit easier to understand. Do I consider myself holy? Not so sure. Blessed? Definitely. Consecrated? In some ways? For me these are just things to take in and consider. What do you think? Do you consider yourself sacred? What practices do you do that connect you to your passion?
In closing, Brahmacharya is my favorite Yama by far. Non-excess becomes so much more than the confines of celibacy when you look at it as walking with God. We make room for God when we cut out the extraneous things in our lives. Taking care of yourself through finding what is just enough leaves your body and mind clean, open, and ready to receive the Divine in many shapes and forms.
Thank you for reading. Please, please don’t be scared to leave your thoughts in comments. I would truly love to read how each of you are receiving what I’ve written about. I hope all of you have a superb weekend! <3
~See God in all~
***The picture at the top is from an artist named Linda Woods and you can buy her art prints here: http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/namaste/prints