Sunday, July 10, 2011

Evolution of Victory... Now It's The Animals Turn

Our world has seen significant changes over the past 70 plus years. We've seen the end of World Wars, the victory of the Civil Right's movement, release of political prisoners, ousting of dictators, freedom to vote, enormous courage, we're watching the change in tide in same-sex marriages... Now, it's time for the animals to claim victory over oppressors and abusers.

Set to "Faith of the Heart" by Rod Stewart, I hope that my little video will make a change in your heart, your mind, and implore you to visit and watch the movie, and decide for yourself.

As humans, we are the ONLY VOICE for helpless animals suffering needlessly, for the sole pleasure of human consumption, fashion, and enjoyment.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Grace and Gratitude

Remember the strength in gratitude and appreciation. From the smallest thing in your life, to the biggest; give thanks and gratitude. The moment we start to FEEL that appreciation and gratitude is the moment we actually SEE how wealthy we truly are.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

When Good Friends Turn Bad; Or Do They...

I have been asked over the years a similar question by quite a number of people. What is interesting is that I am often asked questions to situations which I have dealt with personally on more than one occasion and have quite a "history" of  experience dealing with it behind me.

I was once again asked the same question in a comment on a previous post on here very recently, and decided to devote a post to it.

The question is about friendship and why we attract to us those friends who use us a "whipping posts" when it suits their needs, and there never follows an apology for their actions. And, why do such people exist.

I want to dissect this a little because over the years, I have had my fair share of encounters with individuals who have treated me and our friendship this way.

First off, that kind of behaviour is abusive. Plain and simple. But sometimes, there is a deeper meaning and  reason to why we are attracting such people into our lives.

Like an onion, we must uncover the layers, and in each layer there contains a hidden meaning and a potential misunderstanding. Sometimes, the onion is large with many layers; other times, it is small and getting to the bulb is easy. As the person standing on the outside looking in at the complete onion, not dissecting and uncovering each layer; it is hard to know whether its simply a big onion with thick layers, or a big onion with lots and lots of layers... or in even more simple terms, baggage.

First of all, to understand abuse one must look a little into the premise of abuse and what is the drive behind it. A man hits a woman, did she simply "piss him off" and his violent nature was to strike out and hit her? The situation that lined itself up for the end outcome of physical violence is never one that is simply a surface matter. Violence and rage has deep seeded seeds which have been planted long, long ago. Most people may not even remember when or where the seeds were planted, this takes work and working with someone who can help guide the individual who is truly willing and wanting to work at finding the seeds to eradicate them.

Abuse simply stems from a need for power and control. That is the basis of any and all abuse.

When an individual strikes out physically or verbally (even sexually, as in the case with sex abusers), they are in a place of complete and total lack of control or power of themselves or a situation. The only way they know how to regain some of it, and feed their ever starved EGO, is to take it from someone else who does not, or will not, or can not, stand up for themselves and who allows it.

For an individual who is on the receiving end, this can not only be detrimental, but etheric psychology begins to create a pattern which puts an individual into a cycle. Similar to the cycle of one who lives in an abusive relationship.

The abuser is one who generally has very low self-esteem even if they cover it up with a mask that suggests otherwise. There are subtle flaws in their mask that could easily identify them in the presence of an individual who is keenly aware of such characteristics. Certain words spoken, gestures made, looks given can often betray the individual who has potentiality for abuse.

In the situation of a friendship, as time progresses and people become more comfortable around the other, cracks begin to appear in the facade and portions of the true Self begin to show through. Sometimes, it is a layer that is not wanting to be shown, a vulnerability that needs to be kept hidden for reasons known only to the individual. If an "outsider" (and by that, I mean any person outside of the Self), catches even a momentary glimpse, or the individual feels threatened in any way, shape, or form by a word, an action, a gesture, or a look; they can easily begin to strike out.

As in all abuse situations, it begins slowly. It is a grooming process. Maybe something said in a joke or in simple passing, all calculated "tests" to see how far they can push. While the individual acting in this way may not be cognitive about it, their entire MO has become such that the psyche is always working in that direction.

Often, it is a protective mechanism. As a friend, you might be aware of their past, or some aspects of their past, so it might be a bit more easily identified as to where their attacks are originating from. But, often we do not know, we simply become the target.

As I have mentioned in past posts, how we react to situations is a way of how our psyche sees a reflection in a mirror. We react in a joyful and happy way, because what we are witnessing or experiencing is reflecting a part of ourselves that we love, we adore, we have fun with. When we react in anger or annoyance (or any negative emotion), it is important to stop and ask ourselves what it is about ourselves that we are reacting to. What mirror image are we seeing that we do not like about ourselves.

I am sure I have shared a story about the time I was studying Kabbalah with The Kabbalah Center, but for the purpose of this post, I will share it again.

At that time, we often had large seminar-type meetings open to the general public who wanted to learn more about Kabbalah as well as understanding Self more. The meetings cost money to attend, and while it was not a huge cost, it was still a cost nonetheless. Most people pre-registered to attend, and many had already pre-paid.

My husband and I were very active with the Kabbalah group here in Phoenix and we often volunteered our time in helping and doing our part to help build the group up. So this particular weekend, my husband and I were working the registration desk. Through the day, we had various people stopping by and asking simple questions, some paid at the door to learn more, others just wanted a quick overview and then went on their way. For many, the whole "Is this the same thing that Madonna does?" drew them in to learn more. It was all routine stuff for us, we'd heard it all before.

Just before registration ended and the seminar was to begin, a older lady and her son arrived. He had pre-registered for both of them and all that was needed was their registration number and their money to get in. He had no problems with all that and my husband was taking care of it. Suddenly his mother started with a barrage of questions for me, but not simply asking but asking in a manner that was argumentative and aggressive. She seemed like she was looking for a fight. She demanded to know where the money paid was going, why they had to pay, what was the point in it all, etc... etc... etc... For about ten minutes she stood there, confrontational and to some degree, I felt she was quite offensive. I answered her questions and tried to stay as level-headed as possible to her seeming attacks.

Each word out of her mouth seemed to cut me deeper.

After she and her son went into the seminar, I mentioned something to my husband. Now you have to understand, my husband is one of the most laid-back, roll-with-the-punches guy you will ever meet. He's either completely oblivious to confrontation unless its right in his face, or he just does not get affected by things like I do (and yes, I can be quite a hot-head at times, I admit). True-to-form, he answered my statement of "WOW! What was up her ass? She was really offensive and with no cause" with "I didn't notice anything. She just had questions, and she might have had an attitude with them, but I didn't think she was being offensive."

This got me thinking long and hard about what had taken place and especially at my reaction to it. On Monday, I made a call to my teacher with the Kabbalah Center, I told him of the events and said to him these exact words; "Yehuda, I have gone over and over in my mind this whole "mirror thing". I can not understand where I was seeing myself reflected in that woman and her attitude. I would never talk to another person the way she talked to me. So why am I reacting to the degree that I am?" I really was confused, had been for two days. I'd replayed it over and over in my mind and I simply could not see what it was that was reflecting back that I was reacting to.

When Yehuda answered me, it put the whole theory of the "onion" into perspective for me. Often, we look at an onion as a whole, we don't think of the individual layers that create the whole image. So, when we react to something that is a "mirror" back to us, it is not necessarily something that we are seeing reflecting on the surface, but rather it is contained in a layer somewhere in the mass of layers.

He told me that possibly I had "trust issues" because the woman's reaction and her questioning was obviously of someone who lacked trust, who was questioning because she did not have the trust in what was simply being presented.

The moment he told me this, it was like a light-bulb went off in my head, it was a complete "a-ha" moment for me. He was right. Most of my life, I had major trust issues, it was something I kept close to myself but I never opened myself up to anyone, I always held much of myself closed in and closed down. I felt that any little piece of "me" that I exposed, would easily be exploited and used against me. I'd had good cause for these thoughts and feelings from experiences in my past. And as time moved on, I often found myself in situations with individuals where I would allow myself to open up just a little, only to be taken advantage of and my issue of trust forged an even greater and thicker protection and barrier as I shut myself down more.

I finally "got it". I understood. And I knew that that woman had actually presented me with a gift. It was something that was being dredged up, but that needed to be addressed.

We "attract" individuals in to our lives who treat us in certain ways because they are truly showing us areas of our lives that we need to focus on, dredge up, contemplate, meditate on, understand, and finally let go.

Being a "whipping post" for people is not easy. Not in the least. Those who do the whipping also have issues which needs personal introspection and finding release from. But those of us who have been the whipping post, we need to understand why it keeps happening to us. What lessons are being presented time and time again that WE need to learn.

Many of us can say this about ourselves, "I am not a person who retaliates in conflict". But to what nth do we allow ourselves to stand at the post and be whipped by others who feed their need for power and control. When is enough enough and the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back finally the last straw? When can we stop giving our power and control away to others, and take a stand and understand why it is happening over and over again? This is where it starts to get interesting for us because we have to ask ourselves;

"Am I truly ready to find what is buried and let it go? Am I truly ready to be done with this? Am I ready to move forward and free myself?" 

We do not need to retaliate in conflict, what is important is that we find strength and love of our Selves that is so strong and deep within us to make a stand and say "enough is enough". Simply stop it. Sometimes, we must have conflict to finally end the cycle. Often, we must show that part of ourselves that we deem ourselves worthy enough to never allow this to happen again. It's not an easy thing, it's not comfortable to do; but often,

The things which are the least comfortable for us to do, have the greatest long-term benefits. 

Once we start standing up for our Selves, once we delve deep to understand the pattern that has been painted before us in the individuals who we have drawn to us, and the abuse that has been dished up to us; then we can begin to trace it back to the originating seed. Once the seed is found, dig it up, throw it out, and let it go. Find forgiveness, and find gratitude in all those who have (over the months and even years) brought this to the surface for you to experience, seek, find, and then release.

In love and in gratitude, release that which keeps returning in a cycular pattern, and in so doing release the energies which continue to attract them into your life. 

Once you do this, you will find that the individuals in your life who are continuing this pattern, will make their exit and you will be free of that pattern.

To attract healthy individuals into your life, I suggest taking time to really reflect on the type of friends you want to surround yourself with. Focus on their qualities. As you take time to do this, get out a piece of paper and begin noting down all the positive qualities you would ideally like those you surround yourself with, to have. The more you focus on the types of people you want to surround yourself with, the more you will also become the type of person who is cognitively and etherically healthy enough to attract such individuals into your life.

The more we focus on something, the more we create it into being.

My suggestion is to not put down such outlandish things that you are not yourself; for instance, if you are an artist-type, but you decide that it is important to surround yourself with scientists or business people, you need to ask yourself why that is important to you, and what would you honestly have in common? I suggest being more general in attributes that would appeal to you. An example of what your paper could look like would be focusing on attributes such as:

Open minded
Spiritually aware
Healthy sense of humour
 Healthy awareness of boundaries

You could even list similar likes to you on there, such as "enjoys wine and cheese tasting", "likes the theatre", etc. 

Post your "list" someplace where you can view it often; it will like a "vision board". As you evolve into the person who is ready for friends with such attributes, you'll find your Self expanding in a direction geared towards your list. For example, if you've always wanted to open yourself up more to spirituality, but had more of a religious up-bringing than spiritual, you might find yourself attending lectures or discussion groups on different spiritual paths. Within those groups, you might meet a group of friends who also "fit" as far as other aspects of your list goes. 

What most people don't realise is that life, and living, is a process of evolution. 

While we can easily see the "evolution" from infancy to childhood to adulthood and then old-age, what we can not see is the etheric and psychological evolution that takes place in all of us. Each experience we encounter is nothing more than a expansion of mind as we evolve further on life's-journey. Embrace it as it arises, understand it, apply it, and then let it go to move on to the next experience and journey.


©Leyla Hur
All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tolerance v. Acceptance

There has been something that has irked me for a while, that is the use of the terminology "tolerate".

Too often, I have heard good-hearted and kind people, use that terminology when referring to others. I remember one Sunday class at church when a very sweet lady gave a lesson in the ladies "Relief Society" meeting and said "I was brought up to tolerate all people and love them just the same."

That truly got my juices flowing because I understood where she was coming from, and I understood what she meant, what she really meant even if she did not.

"Tolerance" is nothing more than an acceptable way of "putting up with something". When we "put up" with something, we do not necessarily like it, we certainly do not embrace it; but it is there, there is really nothing we can do to change it or create something different... "better" (in our own understanding), so we'll just "put up" with it and because we are doing that, its OK.

For instance, I remember meeting a family who were very religious. They presented themselves as very nice and kind people, but in truth, were very prejudiced and the very sad thing about it was, they had no idea how prejudice they were, or what harm they were inflicting upon others in their usage of the word "tolerance".

Without regard, they would speak about people who were gay and say "we are really good Christians, and we are taught to tolerate all people and love them, and even those who are gay, we tolerate and love as Christ would."

Hold-up the covered wagons here a moment, "as Christ would"? First off, Christ accepted and loved without having to "put up with". There was a purity in His love and His ministry. Too many self-confessed "Christians" out there need to get back to basics and learn the plain facts about their Lord and Saviour and apply it to their lives.

I find there are more people outside of mainstream Christendom, or religion as a whole, who maybe go against the current of societies "norm" (depending on what society one belongs to), who have more Christ-like qualities and love, than some Christians have in their little finger.

Tolerance is NOT a word I use unless I truly AM tolerating something. Like the toothache I currently have but have been to damn lazy to go to the dentist... Yep I am definitely tolerating it. Or the fact that I live in Arizona and the summer is fast approaching and I can do nothing but tolerate it to get through it.

Tolerate is a word that should never be used in reference to an individual or group of individuals.

We are all different. We all have our paths to walk. We are all on a journey. No one knows the true nature of another's journey (or struggles along that journey), and to simply reduce and dismiss any true embracing and unconditional love with "tolerance", is ignorance to its core.

Acceptance is pure. It is all-embracing and all-inclusive. It does not judge. It simply is. The individual, the situation, simply Is.

I would rather that people are honest with themselves than fool themselves into believing that they are acting in a kind, compassionate, and loving manner when they are "tolerating" another. The one who is "tolerated" knows exactly what is going on; whether cognitive or not, their souls know and this sets them on a path.

Too many people in this world have hang-ups about being themselves and embracing themselves fully, because of others simple tolerance of them.

When I hear that word, I feel dirty. I feel abused. I feel... sad.

And for the "offender" who has used this terminology without complete comprehension, there is nothing to feel guilt over. Simply find honesty within you and make a change. Do you truly only "tolerate" a person, situation, or group, or do you truly accept and embrace them?

It can be a hard thing to deduce and then be honest and completely raw about.

For the one who is religious and trying to emulate the goodness that their religion teaches, it is hard to accept the fact that they truly believe that something, or someone, is an abomination to ones psyche and presence. And years of "tolerance" has made one immune to the stench of that "putrid nature". It is complete and total brainwashing by religious dogma which justifies and serves no one but the ones who first spewed it out. In other words, it's bullshit. No one can truly be judged in such a manner. But that is what man-made religion has condensed and stuffed individuals into such categories... "untouchables" in some societies.

To finally free oneself from the deception of lies that makes one tolerate someone or situation, is liberating. Ones true nature can only set you free.

I do not say to turn against or become nasty to those once tolerated, but rather remove Self from their presence. Be honest in saying to yourself, "I don't like it. I don't agree. I don't wish to be around...".

In our world, there are so many variances and we can't all agree or embrace or love each variance. We have to be true to ourselves.

My main issue is not simply the word and action, it is the falseness behind it. It is the lies and deception.

If one truly accepts in the purest form of the meaning, then one should look at changing their vocabulary to reflect such. Remove "tolerate" from your speech pattern, replace it with "accept".

When I envision the word accept, I feel a warm hug embracing me, loving me, allowing me to truly be me without any "buts" or conditions. I can simply BE without having to worry about anything or anyone around me. I feel no judgment. I feel no need to correct or make changes to anyone. I feel no scrutiny. I feel, free.

Our society has created itself to be where very few can truly live in complete and total acceptance, and very few can truly offer that purist form of acceptance that is Divine acceptance.

Many of us accept and embrace a certain criteria, but still "tolerate" another.

Maybe, it is time that we all look at our Selves. Be keenly aware for one entire day (or go a full-week identifying) how we act or react to certain events or individuals. Note it down if you must and make it a tangible record for you to see, behold, and touch.

As you are out and about, how do you view the vagrant on the street? Do you embrace and accept them, or do you merely tolerate them?

How about the other drivers on the road? Do you fall into the trap of road-rage? What words and emotions do you emit to the other driver?

What about those you work with?

Or the common person on the street, at the supermarket, in the mall; what thoughts are flowing through your mind, conversations with your Self?

And your loved ones? How do you truly feel about them? Do you accept them unconditionally, or could you point out changes that you feel they should make?

If you need to, write down your thoughts, your actions, your words, your feelings, your emotions, etc.

It is a great experiment in seeing how much of our day we are either "tolerating" others, or not even tolerating but rather being outright angry and intolerant, not accepting, correcting, trying to change others.

Be aware also of the feelings you have of complete and total acceptance. Note the difference in the feeling, the emotion, the way you act or speak.

For some, understanding the difference between tolerance and acceptance is difficult. Here is a hint to help you out and help you identify those times when you are being tolerant or accepting.

When you speak to a person or speak about a subject; do you feel yourself holding back in any way - as if there is a barrier between you? Are you weighing your words carefully? Are creating a persona within yourself that you know is created and not true? If you are or do, then that situation is one where you are being tolerant.

When you speak to a person or speak about a subject, are you vivacious and animated? Are you having fun? Are you truly yourself with no "filter" over your mind or mouth and you simply are in a state of being? You have no trouble expressing yourself and you feel love and joy flowing through you as you speak or act. Do you completely and totally feel for the person you are speaking to, or situation you are speaking about, without anything but joy? Without any need to correct, or change, or add in a "but"? This is the pure form of acceptance.

When we accept another or a situation, we have nothing to fear in the way we act or speak. We simply are because we are present. We embrace. We love. We don't hold back because we know that nothing we say or do is done with malice or ill-intent so even speaking directly about the situation or person, is comfortable because we are comfortable.

When we are in a state of tolerance, we can not ever truly let ourselves go in the moment. We are cautious about our words and our thoughts in fear (or concern) we might say, or do, the wrong thing. We are constantly watchful and mindful of every little thing we do, say, or think. We are on the lookout for any opportunity to add where they can make changes or corrections. We look out for areas where we can "help" in changing them, improving them (or the situation). We can not truly be satisfied and constantly have to look to improve. What it boils down to is that we can never truly be free in the situation or around the individuals.

In essence, we are holding ourselves prisoner and we have sentenced ourselves to life without parole.

It truly is not anyone's fault that one is caught up in this sort of belief pattern. It is society and upbringing and environment that forms a person. No one is to blame. There truly is no fault. To find blame or fault is to perpetuate a cycle that needs to end.

Our world truly is not tolerant, and it is not accepting. But we can change that. If each person reading this were to experiment for one day, or one week, in learning what they are accepting of and what they are tolerant of, it would be a start.

Once one knows and understands, and is honest about the differences, focus on what it is about the aspects on the "tolerance" side that offend you.

Maybe you have a cousin or a friend or a neighbour who is gay. What is it about them being gay offends you? Is it them being gay or the idea of anyone being gay? Understand your feelings. Identify your truth. Could it possibly be that there is fear and ignorance of those who are gay? How do you identify someone who is gay? Is it only about the sex or that you feel they could never possibly love to the same degree as a heterosexual person? Do you look at them as being gay or choosing to be gay? Is it a religious aspect? Have you ever spoken with someone who is openly gay and asked them what it is like for them? How was it coming out? Did they have fears? What fears did they have? Or simply ask them why they are gay? The more you can get understanding and comprehending of your own feelings and emotions, and then understand from someone first hand, you will be able to find a better understanding of the situation and comprehend your feelings even more after the fact.

What about the homeless person; is it that they are homeless? Or do you view them as being lazy? Do you think that all homeless people are drunk or drug addicts or have mental illness? Does the idea of homelessness frighten you? Does a homeless person scare you? Why? Do you feel that someone who is homeless has simply wasted their life away? What makes you feel or think this way?

And so on...

When you can identify what the core of the issues are, where YOU fit into the perceptions that you have; then you can start to turn it around.

It is very easy to judge. To hide that judgment behind simple "tolerance". Often, we judge to turn things away from ourselves and our true feelings about our selves.

Often, the very things we judge others for, are a direct reflection of something deep within ourselves that scare us. So we deflect, and we turn it outwards and find an object that we can target.

When we hide behind the idea of tolerance, and delve into a relationship or activity within the bonds of that which we are tolerating, we are hiding behind it even more. We make it "okay" to mask the truth because we are "working within" the bonds. But when we don't like something, but we do it anyway, what service is that truly doing for us?

In the end, everything turns back towards our Selves and who we are, what we are keeping buried, and why we are doing it.

A few years ago, my husband and I were approached by two very drunk, very large, very offending pee-smelling, homeless Native American (Indian) men. It was late at night and we were leaving a restaurant after dinner with friends, when these two men came upon us asking for money. I felt impressed to start talking with them, learning about them. My initial fears were soon replaced with compassion and understanding. 

I learned that the larger of the two, who was a severe diabetic, was a scared "man on the run" and was wanted on the reservation for murder. I did not ask details of the murder, but only that he was remorseful and as scared as he was, he only wished to go back home to his family, but fear prevented that. On top of that angst, was the knowledge that he was Chief of the clan since his father has passed, and his running away left a clan without a leader, completely abandoned.

Arriving in Phoenix, he had no money, no job or job skills, and he had started taking a liking to liquor and beer that dulled his memories and his pain. He began living on the streets, and soon his whole world was that of a street-sleeping, pan-handling drunk.

As the tears fell from this mans face, and the sobs racked through his body, and cries telling me that he only wanted to "go home", and the disease of alcoholism and terror holding him back, I felt nothing but love and compassion for him. I embraced him and held him close to me as he sobbed, the tears forming streaks down his dirty face and landing on my shirt. I did not care. In that moment, I was swept up in compassion and complete and total love for this man. His companion stood by watching and sobbing silently in his own grief of his life story, and the love and acceptance that was being shared. 

My husband and I went and bought them a good size meal, the younger and smaller of the two wanted a strawberry milk-shake, a rare treat surely. I told them that we would not give them any money, but we would give them a meal, something they had not had in days. The love and deep appreciation they offered in their humble "thanks" was enough. 

I did not care that my nice outfit was now stained with dirt, and that I smelled of strong smelling urine - these things can be washed, or bought new. All I cared about in that instance was letting these two men know that they are loved, regardless of their situation or their past, they were not judged but embraced and accepted. 

While I have no knowledge of what happened to them, I know that that night healed me in so many different ways. I felt an acceptance of these men that I never had before. I looked past the dirt, the smell, their foreboding sizes, the fear, and simply and completely accepted them and loved them.

As I stood in the shower that night, I cried. I cried for all the years that I had held my own judgment against others. Not knowing circumstances, or situations, or their "why"; I simply judged based on my own conception of what was right or what was wrong. But that night, as I stood in the shower, tears falling from my eyes intermingling with the fresh water from the shower head; I felt alive. I felt a love surging through my body I never had before. I released the past down the shower drain, and prepared for a new future of accepting and understanding if I ever felt I needed to "tolerate". And soon, that vulgar word, erased itself from my psyche and speech. 

In understanding the difference between tolerance and acceptance, we can truly free our Selves. Not just in the honesty of how we truly feel, but rather WHY we feel. Where did it come from. When we can find the seeds, we can identify our true Selves and our true nature. Once that is accomplished, we will see more acceptance; embracing, unconditional loving, and positive change.


©Leyla Hur
All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.

How the Pure The Love for a Child Can Connect Us

I have discovered today the complete and total unconditional love for a little girl. My niece has completely captured my heart. Is it normal to fall in love so totally in the first instant of seeing her on my Skype monitor?

Prior to today, I had only "known" her through the few photos I had been sent, and the few stories I had been told. I had not seen her in real time, moving, talking, experiencing any time "with her" as far away as I am. And I guess that put a barrier up between us, made her seem all the less "real" to me.

This afternoon, I spent almost two hours observing, talking, and falling in deeper love. Thanks to the beautiful invention of Skype, I was transferred into my mother's living room, and was able to talk to her, and have her see me, hear my voice, interact with me.

The first moment Mum moved her monitor and camera and my niece's face encroached upon my screen, tears of complete, unconditional love filled my eyes, and my heart grew several inches in my chest. The instantaneous adoration for this little girl enveloped my entire being.

WOW! I never knew such a connection before, in complete totality. There was a single moment of absolute cognition as my being whispered to me "She has some of my blood coursing through her. She is a part of me." and in that moment, I fell even further and deeper in love.

My niece is a year old. Only recently has my Mother figured Skype out, so I have not had the opportunity before this to "meet" her.

I have lived away from my family home for over eight years now, living on the opposite side of the Continent and in a different country. There have been times when I have grown homesick, but phone calls, emails, and an occasional visit has eased much of any homesickness. I have built a life that is different from my family's and as I have grown up and moved on, the truth of the matter is, we all get caught up in our own lives. We connect at times, touch base, say "I love you", but then we become consumed by our own lives once again.

In the eight and a half years since I moved away, there has only been two times when my heart ached to near breaking at not being home, being right there, experiencing and seeing first-hand. Those two times happened exactly (to the day) three months apart, in 2010.

The first was the day my niece was born. Circumstances were such were there was more than a possibility that I would not have seen her immediately anyway; but to be there with my family, my parents, my siblings, to celebrate, embrace and welcome this new life into our family.

The second was three months later when my Dad passed away suddenly. Once the initial shock and devastation lifted slightly, the only thing that consumed my mind was getting back home. Being with my Mum, sister, and brother. Sharing in the grief as a family under one roof.

Endless phone calls that lasted hours ensued during that first month. And in my mind the only thing I wanted was to be home. But as that first month turned into a second and then a third, I found that my mind began to ease on that feeling of wishing to be home.

Eventually, I will go home; probably not to stay, but for a visit. I realise that my life has moved on. I am a different person. I have grown in a direction that puts me on a different path. And that is OK.

However, moments like today, seeing my niece for the very first time, my arms now longing to hold her, my lips aching to kiss her; and it will happen. We have a life time ahead of us. Until then, we have the beauty of Skype to help us to interact. Today, she not only met me, but my dog and I saw her figure out how to grasp a crayon and draw something for the very first time.

And today, in that instant when I felt and saw the connection that she and I share, the same DNA and blood that courses through both of us; I recognized something deeper, bigger, higher. In a momentary blink, an instant that flashed before me, I became suddenly connected to all who went before me, my ancestors; and my nieces' ancestors - OUR ancestors. I saw the bigger picture for all of us. I recognized it and I embraced it.

In an momentary glimpse of the Universal Connection, I saw all of our DNA strands connecting, inter-mingling, and becoming one.

I saw the truth and absolute meaning in "Namaste" - I see you in me and me in you. Together, we are one.

What a beautiful gift my precious niece gave me today. And how in that alone, it makes me fall in love even deeper and greater; not just with her, but with every single person, we truly are all connected.


©Leyla Hur
All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Being "Deleted" and Surviving; Navigating The Chaos of Our Online World

I remember the time when people would communicate face-to-face, voice-to-voice, and even via *gasp* written letters.

While I know that many of our "younger" friends don't remember a time that did not contain spell-check, and figuring how to spell a word actually meant going to the bookshelf and grabbing an actual book of paper and flip through it. To feel the "breeze" and scent of the paper, and knowledge as you flip through the pages; to me, it was all part of the sensation of learning, the experience of learning, and fun of learning. To tangibly feel the texture of the paper, to hold such an amazing treasure in your hands and know that within contained knowledge. It is something that I still hold on to as I reach for my Oxford Pocket Dictionary that Mum bought me all those years ago in elementary school. And while some of the pages are coming loose, and the plastic reinforcement sticky film is fraying in areas, and my name written in bold across the held tight pages are fading, it is one of my greatest treasures. It has been with me for 30 years. Played an integral part in my life and my writing, and it is ever close-at-hand.

But today, with the internet and "Google", anything being found easily online, Kindle, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Spell-check, etc. I think we have lost a lot of our roots and in some instances, I think that it has taken a lot of the fun out of learning. Today, things seem so easy, its hard to think that much can be digested because it is so readily available. Why digest when one can simply Google?

I still remember asking my Mum how to spell certain words and her immediate reply "look it up". Then trying to sound out the word and the fun (and sometimes frustration) of trying to seek it out in my blue covered dictionary. And how many other words I'd learn while on the hunt for the word I was looking for. It became a fun past time and my vocabulary expanded without much effort.

It became even more fun when I discovered profanity and looking up (and finding) "Shit" and "Fuck" in my little pocket dictionary. I remember endlessly giggling, especially when I took it to school the next day and shared it with my friends. If those words were in there, the possibilities were endless to what I could find in that precious little book.

While the internet and all-access to everyone at anytime is convenient, it seems to be met with a lot of issues that I have never encountered before.

Facebook is the "new world community", and how many of us are suckered in to endless hours spent chatting, updating, commenting, surfing, playing games, etc? I have my hand held up high as I must confess that I definitely spend way too many hours on Facebook.

There used to be a time when one could come home at the end of the day, close the front door, and have privacy in the home. In talking with friends recently, I learned of things that happened within their home growing up, that I had no idea about. And there were things that happened in my home that people had no idea about. It was easy to wear the mask and hide the private stuff.

Today, I know more about some friends' bathroom and eating habits than I'd care to. Such intimate and private details being shared on updates via Facebook and Twitter (and other sites), and much sense of privacy has gone out the window.

I remember the time when people would meet face-to-face to develop friendships. Where we'd pick up the phone to chat. Where we'd drop a little card or letter in the mail to "connect". In my years on My Space and then Facebook and Twitter, I have made some very near and dear friends, some whom I still have to meet in person.

My co-host on Manifesting the Positive radio, GuruStu, is one of my closest friends. We spent a year and a half co-hosting an internationally successful radio show, and he was one of my regular contributors to Magnify You magazine (an online magazine I created). And while we have a great friendship, and we have worked together on some amazing projects, and we've spent long hours on the phone chatting; we still have never met face-to-face.

But this seems to be how our world is operating. Visions from the movie "Surrogates" flood my mind as I think that our online personas can become anything we choose to create them to be, and that we truly are living in a virtual world, simply "operating" the "I" we have created from behind a monitor screen.

A well-known friend of mine made a discovery a couple of years ago when they realised that their celebrity status was more of an online concept, and was quite shocked over it. As he raced through a busy airport trying to catch his plane, no one sought an autograph from him and he was actually (*huge gasp here*) stopped at security check points like a "regular" person. There was no VIP treatment, no fan-fare, no security protecting him from marauding fans; in the eyes of the "off-line" world, he was just another guy rushing through an airport.

This really struck him, as he realised that for all his popularity online and on Facebook, all the hundreds of thousands of "hits" to his website, and endless numbers on his mailing list; people in the real world, had no clue who he was. It was a real eye-opener for him.

It is important to see the balance of positive and negative with this new world we are living in. More people have access to us, people we have never met, and more than likely never will meet. While it this is a great medium for keeping in instant contact with loved ones and reconnecting with old friends, it can also pose a lot of problems.

Facebook is a world in unto itself. With the numbers of groups and pages, and individuals with big EGO's running small pieces of Facebook real estate, it can pose an issue.

Cyber-bullying is now a pandemic. When I was in school, bullying ended the moment you got home and closed the door; today, kids can't seem to escape from it and we hear more and more stories of children attempting, or succeeding, at suicide as a result.

Recently, I was involved in a situation where an individual I met on Facebook invited me to be one of the  administrators of their group. I accepted without much "juggling" of my schedule. While I was interacting on the group, I had fun. It was a nice place to go and relax, meet others, and simply be.

Sadly, as things evolve and groups attract larger numbers, chaos can seem to reign and it is important for administrators to be communicating constantly and keeping up with their decisions; if one wants to keep order and peace within the group itself as well as between administrator's. Often, what tends to happen is that groups get large, administrator's lack communication, or miscommunicate, and tensions begin to rise. Sometimes, one administrator, decides to change rules and regulations without communicating to the other administrators, and can lead to even more misunderstanding and chaos. As what happened in the situation I was recently in.

In life, whether life is in a person-to-person/face-to-face/tangible basis, or a cyber one; communication in any regard is key. Break downs in communication is so easy, especially online where our main source of communicating is via text, which lacks emotion.

In our new online "world", it seems individuals become further sucked in to the game of EGO. It is very easy to 'delete' a friend on Facebook. I know that I have regularly done "clean-ups", where I remove individuals whom I realise I have little to nothing in common with, or we do not interact at all, and suddenly this person becomes nothing more than a "number" on my friends list.

I value people too much to simply reduce them to being a "number". For me, relationships need to be cultivated, interactions needs to happen, and commonality found. When these things are not being met within the relationship, the friendship suddenly becomes nothing more than a number.

In life, it is good to take stock of those around you; do an inventory. Are they individuals with whom you interact with? Do they improve your life or negate it? Are they a positive influence in your life, or do they suck the life out of you? Do they rise you up, or attempt to drown you?

There is nothing wrong with doing an inventory and then removing your Self from others. It's not about them, it's not about EGO which lends to emotion, it is about finding a healthy balance.

When I see that I am not contributing to another individuals life (in a healthy manner), or they are not returning the favor of friendship in kind, I see no point continuing on a pseudo relationship with them, when truly all that is being fed is ones EGO with the numbers section of the friends list.

While I have this point of view, it seems that others take offense to it. They often feel that they need to receive a long-drawn out explanation and prior-written warning and notice that they will be deleted from your friends list.

It has become a phenomena on Facebook, and many EGOs have been bruised, and anger turning into nastiness and back-biting and gossip ensues.

The fact is simple, when an individual is removed from a friends list, that relationship ends. There may be no answers to questions of "why" or "what did I do", but possibly looking at the interaction, or lack thereof, will provide the answers sought.

It is important to not allow emotion to get caught up in the sentiment of the situation. Realise that is simply is how it is, and leave it at that. In all honesty, how well did you know the person? How often did you hang out together away from the monitor? How close were you really? Often, what many of us fail to see, allowing ourselves to get caught up in EGO, is that we did not really know the person who deleted us. Theirs was a short interlude in this journey called "Life". Embrace the time you had together, but realise that it was time to move on.

We live in a fast-paced, high-tech world. People will come and go through our lives. Each moment that an individual has been a part of our lives, is an experience and a lesson in learning. When they retreat from our lives, when we have been easily "deleted" from their friends list with no cause, it is important to not feel as if it is a personal agenda at hurting. It is not an attack. It simply means that the relationship has run its course and it is an important part of our learning curve to realise this, embrace it, and flow with it.

As our world is fast-paced and high-tech, we can only expect it to get even faster. The faster we start moving, the more things will become a blur, the more we can easily get caught up and lost in that blur. It is important for us to take time to stop and remove the blur from our lives. The more we get caught up in it all, the more we open ourselves up to continual disappointment and hurt.

It is important to take time to evaluate how we are reacting to things. Look at the situation and ask, "why am I reacting to this? Is it really important? Will it change my life forever? What is the impact that it is having on my life?"

When we react to a situation, we must understand that it is something within our Selves that we are reacting to, and not necessarily the situation. When we react to something that is non-confrontational, not personal, and not directed to hurt; it is so important to analyse and identify our reactions and then try to understand why we are reacting the way that we are. Is it real? Or, is it perceived?

With as fast as things are moving today, as fast as we know things are progressing for our future, it's important that we stop. Take time to digest. Understand that someone hitting "delete" on your "friendship" is often not personal. Understand that the relationship has run its course and learn to release with love and peace, and look forward to developing new relationships and gaining new experiences.


©Leyla Hur
All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lifting the Mask and Unearthing A Treasure

The past year has been a real roller coaster ride, with so many detours and changes along the ups and downs.

I have come full circle, and my 'circle' has expanded in the knowledge I have gained about myself.

For about a year, I have delved into a period of time of introspection. At the time my Dad passed, and for quite some time after that, I lost that introspection and just fell under a dark blanket of sorrow and deep grief. Consumed with the darkness, introspection disappeared from my existence as I coursed through the endless winding roads of sorrow and depression.

However, as the end to the darkness found a meeting with twilight, I once again found myself diving into the learning of Me, understanding and comprehending. Now I sit here, exposed bare to myself, understanding met with confusion, peace with chaos, joy with sorrow. And yes, that is exactly the roundabout that I am on right now.

We all wear masks. Once doors are closed to private and personal domains, no one knows what goes on in there. Our masks act in the same way, and so we choose to let certain people in for a glimpse of aspects of ourselves. Too often, we treat our Selves in the same manner, hiding away from the truth that is Us.

Delving in, thrusting open the curtains to let in the light and clear off the dust to the dirty window, and exposing oneself to Self, can be scary and confusing, sad and often lonely.

In my journey, I have found that I am surrounded by others who understand, who tell me that I am not alone in my journey, who love me in spite of my truth or maybe because of it. I am blessed to have those who do not judge closest to me.

Yes, I learned who I am. Coming out and revealing who I was to the chosen few closest to me, was more difficult than I could imagine. But they ease my burden, they are there for me to be open.

Sometimes, I am not as together as my mask would show. Often, behind my mask is a scared little girl who wants to hide away from the world.

Today I exclaimed in sheer panic "I don't WANT to be like this!", and I felt over come with shame and sorrow in the learning experience of my own truth. But it is a journey I am traversing, and as one very dear friend beautifully and loving me told me "things will start to make sense with each day that passes."

How many of us hide something deep down inside that we lock away so far, and under such high levels of security that we prevent ourselves security clearance? The more we try and hide from ourselves, the more out of balance our lives become. The process to rediscovering, embracing, and loving; regardless of what that deep buried truth is, is not an easy process. It means tearing up the foundations of what one assumes is a perfect and idyllic structure. But in the rebuilding process, the stress and frustration of the rebuild, or rather rediscovery, uncovers treasures that may never have been unearthed.

I am blessed. I am still walking my journey and dealing with emotions as they come. However, I am not looking forward, I am taking each step as it comes in a process. I embrace the positive and the negative as it arises, because each is an experience.

I pray the journey will be a short one, but I also know that when one journey ends, another begins. Sometimes, one merges in to another. Right now, I am just open to receiving and will embrace the time when I can impart my learning to others.


©Leyla Hur
All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Birthday Wish

Today, is my birthday. Well, it is now "officially" since its after midnight on Friday May 6th.

Since early yesterday morning, I have received birthday wishes on my Facebook wall from friends who are located all across the world.

Just after midnight, my husband came out of the shower and started singing "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" in a loud voice and with such gusto. The initial note struck me and made me jump out of my skin. He makes me laugh.

Growing up, my birthday was always a week-long (and more) celebration on the scale of a royal event, that culminated in a party, cake, and piles and piles of presents. That day was MY day. I made the choices and I made the decisions on where we went, what we did, and I knew what I wanted.

Maybe those early celebrations of my "special day" set me up for many "failures" as I grew up and birthdays passed with very little notice. Birthday parties planned often fell by the way-side when guests did not turn up and I was left sitting alone at a huge table in a restaurant.

Then, on my 29th birthday, the worst thing possible happened... I died. I don't mean that figuratively, I mean that literally.

I had been misdiagnosed by an inept doctor and then overdosed by him over a space of 12 months. In the end, I was no longer cognitive of my surroundings, I shook like a leaf while walking, and I could not sit for more than a few minutes at a time without being so exhausted I had to lay down.

The day before my birthday, I was rushed to hospital where I was diagnosed with being in Lithium toxicity, five times above the normal high level, and all my other "readings" were way off.

Arriving at the hospital, I made it into the emergency room and then collapsed.

The next day, my birthday, I suffered a major seizure, my heart stopped and while my body was revived and in a coma on life support, "I" was no longer in the physical realm, and my physical body was fighting to join me.

After that birthday, each one seemed to get worse. I began to dread my day, not really wanting to celebrate it. I began to look upon it with fear, and in that fear that I had surrounding the day, I continued to manifest negativity after negativity.

The one year I made the conscious effort to enjoy my day and truly celebrate, our 8 week old puppy had to be put down, that came only five weeks after our 16 year old dog passed away in my arms.

This year, I face this day for the very first time without my beloved father. Every year, my Dad would sing "Happy Birddday" to me in a mock Indian accent. This came about when I was little and had a very good friend who was a neighbour. We spent so much time together and I developed the "ear" for the Indian accent. My favourite was how Indians would sing "Happy Birdddday" and it delighted me. I aligned with my Indian "sister" and acquired many of the traits of her family and my other Indian friends. As far as I was concerned, I was one of them, and they were one of me.

My Dad thought it was so cute the way I would say it, and so he adopted it, singing to me in that special way each year. It was a song that he and I shared. A moment that was just "ours". It was between Dad and me.

This year, for the very first time, I won't hear my Dad singing to me in that special way. But in the silence of the night, before the dawn hits, I DO hear him. I KNOW he is celebrating with me and celebrating me as he always did.

I miss my Dad. I miss hearing his voice. However, I delight in knowing that he has never left me and is closer to me than he ever could possibly be in life. It brings me comfort and peace.

Dear friends from all over the world, some having been friends since grade one, and others have become dear to me in more recent times, have flooded my wall with birthday wishes.

I sit here in the wee-hours of my 38th birthday, and I am filled with an overwhelming sense and knowledge of the depth of blessings that is in my life. The people who are in my life who are more than acquaintances, more than "friends", they are family to me.

I see the deeper meaning behind each message, and SEE the ones who have taken the time to notice that today is my birthday and written on my wall, sharing their love with me.

What greater gift could I ever ask for than to know that I am remembered and loved by so many?

I think about the spiritual connotations and think of the meaning of the greeting "Namaste", which can be translated to mean "I see you in me and I see me in you. Together, we are one".

While I have emotions of not physically hearing my father's voice singing, of thinking of his physical presence not being here upon this realm; I am so completely and totally overflowing with love, with peace, with absolute joy, and I am present in the feeling.

These messages have been wonderful gifts to me. While they are not wrapped up in pretty wrapping paper with a bow on top, they mean so much more.

My greatest gift is something that I ask of from you, each of you who has stumbled upon this blog. A gift that will traverse days, weeks, months, years.

For my birthday, my greatest gift would be for you to do something special for someone else today.

Whether that is smiling at a stranger, opening a door for someone, giving money to someone in need, volunteering for your favourite charity, spending time with a family member or friend who needs an ear, giving someone a hug, etc. Do it with complete & total love for that individual, whether they are a stranger or not.

Recognize YOU in THEM & THEM in You. We are all connected, let's celebrate life.

Thank you ALL for participating in my birthday desire. No matter what day you stumble upon this blog post, no matter what year you do, take my wish and turn it into a reality. Not only will you be fulfilling my wish, you will be fulfilling something deeper and of significance for you and for the one(s) you share of your Self with.

~ Namaste ~

©Leyla Hur
All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

One of the Best Articles on Osama bin Laden's Death I Have Read

Dawud Wharnsby writes an inspiring article
Sometimes, a new tab with a story appears on my screen and I have no recollection on how it got there. I know that somewhere, somehow, I clicked on something and it appeared. But when, how, and who originated the link that I clicked on in some oblivious moment, I have no idea.

Most often, what appears is some silly little story or notation that either makes me raise an eyebrow and wonder "what was I thinking?", but there are some times that I read what is on this magically appeared tab and think "WOW!"

Tonight, I had that exact reaction... "WOW!"

The article in question, "Was Osama bin Laden My Neighbour?" was written by Dawud Wharnsby, a Canadian-born singer, songwriter who is living in Pakistan; to be precise, he lives in Abbottabad. Why does that name strike instant recognition to your cognition? Because it was the town that Osama bin Laden was recently found and killed.

In his article, he talks about waking up to heavy gun fire and explosions, learning about OBL's killing from friends in the USA via phone call. His journey through that day and the reactions of the people in his town, reactions of his neighbours and of the Afghan refugees that live in his town

It is a brilliantly written and incredibly inspiring article, filled with true human compassion, and complete love for fellow-human beings.

I highly suggest and recommend your reading the article and digesting some most impacting, and yet practical suggestions on what we ALL can do to make a difference in our world.

I really loved this article, and the only words I could truly articulate after reading it through, was a simple "WOW!" This is completely tear-jerking with inspiration and compassion-type experience from a first-hand experience.

Click the hyper-links above to connect directly over. Looking forward to reading your comments and responses to Dawud Wharnsby's piece.

©Leyla Hur
All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Listening to Our Intuition

Making big decisions can be hard. The thought of change, or rather the fear of change, can grip us in its ugly grasp holding us back and keeping us locked into a cycle of unending perpetuation. 

But sometimes, the feelings we get are not that of fear, but rather it is our intuition speaking to us, warning us, or telling us that it is not the right timing for change.

People have often asked me, "What is intuition?" Some wonder if it is some psychic mumbo-jumbo talk that has no bearing. 

Intuition is the Divine Connection which we all carry within us. It is locked deep within our souls, and it is our direct communication to Spirit. 

Many religions and spiritual paths teach us that when we are born, a veil is cast over our memories of previous lives or previous LIFE beyond this earthly realm. While this is true, the one thing that can not be covered, and the one thing that continues on is that part of our Divine Connection which speaks to us directly, guiding us and teaching us continually. It is the part of us that brings us comfort and solace in knowing when things are going to be OK, or warns us when we need to stop and make a detour. This is called our Intuition.

How can we detect the difference between feelings of earth-bound fear and warnings from intuition? 

When we feel conflicted and scared to move forward, it is important to listen to your "reaction" and your feelings. Investigate where the feelings are coming from. Ask yourself what it is that you are afraid of? What are the solid fears that you have in making the decision? Is it validated? Is it concrete? Is it tangible?  If you can decipher the fears that you have, and you can rationalize solutions to those fears, in other words come up with answers that are non-biased, or that cause more confusion and more fears to arise, they are more than likely simple earth-grounding fears. 

However, once you have answered your questions, you have found your solutions, but you continue to feel uneasy, even anxious, revisit the notion that the feelings you are having are intuitive and therefore a message for you to be aware of.

Sometimes, our intuitive red warning flags will simply direct us to a different path to get to the same goal. Sometimes, they are a message to halt or that the timing is not quite right for this change. 

Some time ago, my husband and I were approached with an opportunity that would be an answer to prayers we had both been seeking. The opportunity seemed solid, the individual who presented the opportunity was more than solid, they were a friend whose word we took as bond. 

At the time, I suddenly felt sick with anxiety. I tried to interpret those feelings as simple nerves of excitement, but instinctively I knew better. I did not want to listen, especially because my husband was truly overjoyed. Instead of listening to my "gut" as I knew I should, I forged and created my own thought pattern to match that of my husband and tried to align myself with the opportunity. 

I began to think in manner of manifesting the things that I wanted as outcome from the opportunity. As I began to grow physically sick from anxiety, I lied to myself and made myself believe that I was excited, to "ride the wave" of excitement. Any "bad" or "negative" or "adverse" thoughts that popped in to my head, I dismissed and recreated this idea of everything being as it should be, and the wonderful outcome that we would enjoy.

As time progressed, I began to see other "signs" about the person we considered a friend, wording used, avoidance of the subject, acting like a "spin doctor" and re-directing focus away from the subject. Finally, this person admitted that they felt that the opportunity may be a scam, but to continue holding out because there was still a chance that it might not be. 

In our desperation and deepest desire, and not wanting to believe that this person we had embraced as a friend would steer us wrong, while every sense inside of us was screaming otherwise, we proceeded along. 

Finally, we could not ignore and blatantly cast aside our doubts any longer and chose to pull away from the opportunity. The friend we thought we had, suddenly turned, and became the dark being that I had seen for some time in small glimpses here and there, but never fully showing themselves. While it was upsetting that the darkness of this individual became apparent, it was not shocking or disbelieving. It had already been told to me long ago, but I chose to ignore it.

Sometimes, we allow our human compassion and kindness to over-compensate for the truth of what is being presented. When these situations arise, we can shrivel up inside and disconnect ourselves from the world, from our environment, and from our Selves. We can turn the experience into a bitter resentment that will only fester. If we truly do not allow ourselves to learn from each experience, to come full circle to find forgiveness and release to be able to move forward, we can easily become lost.

Our intuition is a guide. It is not a metaphor nor is it mumbo jumbo. We have all felt it at some point in our lives. Most often, we choose to ignore that "gut" instinct and then when things turn adverse, we find fault outside our realm of individuality rather than accepting the responsibility, and embracing it as a lesson in learning, and lesson in growth. 

The more we embrace these opportunities in learning, rather than fearing them, the faster we can move past them and grow out of them.

When we begin to hold on to the fear, the blame, and finger-pointing, the more these opportunities for growth and learning will present themselves and we become locked in a cycle, becoming a perpetual victim.

Our intuitions guide us. Stop the chaotic activity and take time to go into complete silence and listen. 

Feel out what is being taught, what is being warned, what is being directed. Take your time. This is a life-long journey in learning. 

There will be times when we falter, that is perfectly OK as long as we understand that we can still pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move forward. 

When we remove the earth-bound need for turning attention away from ourselves and finding "blame", and the more we become introspective in our learning of situations, simply accepting them, giving gratitude for the experience of learning, being ready to forgive and/or apologise, the easier it will be for us to release, let go, and move on.

~ Namaste ~

©Leyla Hur
All Rights Reserved. Copying, altering, displaying or redistribution of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Introspection on Osama bin Laden's Death

I admit, last night I got caught up in a momentary wave of excitement and jubilation over the killing of Osama bin Laden; but upon further contemplation, I began to see another picture. While I am glad that the worlds greatest mass-murderers in recent times is now gone, do I truly feel "happy" with his killing?

Martin Luther King Jr., aptly said "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

And when I reflect on all the feelings I have on capital punishment, is his killing really something that I can honestly rejoice over? My common thought in a capital punishment case, is to not kill a killer, giving him/her the luxury of a single closed cell, complete with TV, radio, typewriter (in some cases, computer), books, three-square meals a day, roof overhead, and bed, without threat from outside sources until a death where one is simply, and humanely put to sleep. But rather, put them in main-stream population where they have to watch their backs every single day for the rest of their natural lives. Maybe my thought process is cruel and unusual, but I also think that death can often be "too easy", especially in extreme cases of barbarism on the part of the offender.

Do I understand and empathize with the celebrations and the jubilations? Did I not say myself "the devil has been sent back to hell"? Yes I do and yes I did.

Someone told me that I was a product of a sick and perverse society, and in my momentary glee-filled jubilation, I agree that I was acting in such a way.

As I meditated upon my actions, my thoughts, and my feelings today, I updated my Facebook page as such: "In retrospect, I feel peace is so much healthier than revenge. I feel love is so much greater than hate. I feel that we are all on various paths and at different stages on each of those paths; acceptance, embracing, forgiving, and loving will be that which will bring us all inner-happiness and inner-balance." And this truly is how I feel.

When we get caught up in a moment, and these moments do arise, these "human-based emotion" moments, we do sometimes take a step on what is solid ground, what is "grounded", and we forget that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We don't need to beat ourselves up for these feelings, or these emotions, but it is important to understand them and learn from them, especially if we are striving to live a balanced and Spirit-filled life.

Each experience we have is just that, an experience. There are no mistakes in life, just opportunities for learning. Last night, I had that opportunity. I embrace it and I learned from it.

Many years ago, when I was studying Kabbalah, I learned that each experience we encounter will create an action or a reaction on our part. When we react, it is nothing more than a giving us a mile-marker to know how far we have come, and what areas of our life we still must work on. 

I am grateful for the experience, and I am grateful that I know what areas of my life I still must work on as I walk this path in this journey called "Life". 


©Leyla Hur
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