The Keys to Paradise
How do we create a better society? How do we learn to love our neighbors, like ourselves? Here is a book excerpt from "The Call for Divine Mothering" where I share my suggestions:
Many self-help gurus talk about love being the cure for everything and the basis for peace. Although this is true to me, I wish we could start talking and sharing what to do on a mundane level. How do we interact with each other in a loving way? How do we deal with the realities of life such as household chores, paying bills and getting ends meet, facing arguments with our friends and spouses, ending violence in our community and so forth? Love is a feeling, an abstract getaway, yet the foundation of life. We must find ways to do things with love and care, each choice with kindness and integrity. After staying in Hawaii in 2005 and 2010 and learning about Aloha, I have taken this into my own life and defined what I believe are the keys to paradise, which we need to start living from the sacred space within our hearts where our real home is, every day with compassion in action for all.
The more love we give, the more we receive. But is it possible to love everyone and share freely? No, it isn’t. There are always going to be days when you have too much to do or feel you don’t have enough on your own plate to see another, less be giving towards him or her. Then we are called to practice Generosity but without sacrificing our own health. First you need to become more attentive towards yourself, to focus on what lifts you up and provide you with a better balance in life on all levels; intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually. When we are in balance we automatically contribute positivity in our immediate environment. We become giving without having to give away more energy, time or money than we afford. Giving is best done from a place of sincerity without expectations for something in return and not solemnly based on a sense of obligation because that automatically puts a pressure of negativity on the gift. Give to make yourself and the other feel good about it. Keep this action in your heart and trust that God saw how you were helpful. It also means that we’re allowed to say no when someone is offering us something that we don’t really want or need, even if we asked for assistance. And if you can’t, don’t beat yourself up about it.
During my travels to Hawaii, I shared living quarters with many different people. Some of them were ignorant, obnoxious, proud, slow or messy. These were traits that I dislike and normally disapprove of. But at the same time, it became a lesson for me to learn tolerance and generosity. It’s very easy to blurt out an answer to someone’s question or pondering. It’s much harder to be quiet and allow the other to find his/her own answer. One of the most common mistakes we do, is trying to preach our way as the superior choice when it might not be at all.
One day I attended a Peace-day celebration with the non-profit organization UNA-USA and members of the UN-club at Hawaii Pacific University, whereupon I also found Unity Church. We listened to inspirational speeches and one of the things that stuck with me was the tale of the monkey and the fish shared by Kumu Ramsay.
The goldfish was exercising his normal routine but one day he jumped outside of his bowl by mistake while practicing his laps. He tried to jump back in but to no avail. He called and called for help but no-one answered to his request. Suddenly a monkey on a tree above saw the little fish and said he wanted to help it. He lifted it up… and hung it in the tree. When we give and receive help, it is important to take the actual needs of each other into account and not assume what we think would be best without asking first. And don’t forget to feel grateful towards yourself too for your own lessons.
The Keys to Paradise are:
The words and examples I choose in this book, comes out of gratitude, of acknowledgment of my own vulnerability and appreciation of receiving grace when I needed it the most. It is also validating this sense of spontaneous love coming with pure and good intentions, often nudged by Divine inspiration.
In the following chapters I will present my definitions of the various aspects that I hold to be feminine qualities to use in our relationships as we interact. I am going to give you examples of my own lived experiences to provide you with inspiration to look at your own meetings to see the lessons and blessings you receive towards your own personal growth in becoming a more whole, healthy, loving person, as well as to pass it forward without selfishness and provide the same towards someone else. To each chapter I present a couple of questions or an exercise that you can do as your own homework, or to use as a foundation for being coached in an empowering dialogue either individually or in circle-based conversation groups to define what it means to you. Hopefully this will also grow more acceptance and a more positive society.
We can speak generally of ”how to” do or be in a certain way but most often we tend to mean or interpret it differently, so in order for us to improve we have to clarify our own values in relation to how we live so they can be applied and expressed according to our conditions and culture. Which are your life’s treasures?
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