Jumat, 22 Februari 2013

The Beauty of Women

Beauty can be defined as the looks a person has or portrays. Most women start to get ready to go out of the house anywhere from two to three hours before they need to leave. The disciplinary body practices start here. We shower, dry our hair, curl or straighten our hair, put makeup on, pick out a nice attractive outfit, decide on what jewelry and finally pick out the perfect pair of shoes to wear. This hour's long process is just to show the world that we can put up a front to try and fit in.

To everyone, beauty is classified as a different aspect that is associated with their identity. Whether it is the physical characteristics of a person or maybe their personality and heart, beauty can vary across the world. Globally we can learn the differences in the visions of what beauty really is. Some cultures think that women that bear child are beautiful; some cultures believe that smaller feet are more beautiful, while some cultures believe that a tall underweight woman is beautiful. The oppression women all over the world are experiencing can be pointed at the unreachable picture of one centralized beautiful being. Women strive to uphold their ideas of beauty around the world which can cause much pain and suffering just to obtain a label of being beautiful.

The United States defiantly has a crazed sense of wanting to make everyone seem like they are not good enough. The media displays a somewhat unobtainable model of the perfect human being which makes everyone stop and look in the mirror and say what can I do to look like that. In The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World, the author Joni Seager defines this perfect being as the "white, Western standard of beauty" (pg. 52). From the portrayal of this state of beauty the minds of young girls are starting to wonder and question what kind of beauty they have if they do not look like the women on TV. To see the figures associated with young girls and how they want to change their bodies to seem beautiful is really a depressing thought. In statistics from 2002 from the United States, 42% of girls in grades 1-3 wanted to be thinner, 81% of 10-year-old girls were afraid of being fat, and 80% of 13-year-olds attempted to lose weight (Seager pg. 52). To think that young girls already think they are not beautiful and need to change their appearance to be beautiful really upsets me. To know that we support the media and the way they portray beauty for women really should make us think about what we really believe.
Tall, very thin, young, and blemish free women is what appears on all the modern magazines that women of all ages pick up to read. These magazines may have some motivational stories or nice pictures to look at but really it's a slap in the face to the reader. There is usually some kind of diet thrown in the magazine and maybe some exercises that are there because we all need to lose weight right? And the makeup advertisements show these beautiful women that need the makeup to be beautiful, so we defiantly need it right? Wrong. Beauty is not just skin deep. This may be a cliché but it serves a good purpose. Women have the right to feel beautiful just the way they are, without makeup or dressed nicely. You're body weight should not matter, nor you're body shape, nor the color of your skin, nor the way your nose, ears, mouth, or eyes look. To look deep into a woman, much can be learned about her true beauty.

Inside a woman we may see compassion, or sincerity, or love, or openness. A woman's heart and soul is the ultimate gift that women give to society. But in today's society that is always overlooked. To see a true woman and her beauty, take time and talk to her. Get to know her and see how much love she has to offer or how understanding she is. If we would stop focusing all of our attention on the looks of women and the cosmetic aspect and understand that real beauty is more than that, we could really see the worth of all women. Some companies are finally starting to use real women as models for their product instead of the typical "perfect" woman. But they still are not quite getting the point. EVERY woman is beautiful no matter the color of her skin, eyes, nail polish, hair, or shoes. Every woman has a story that will bring tears to yours eyes due to the oppression they have experienced for just being another sex besides male. If we could just show that all women are beautiful in their own way the world would be a greater place to live. Next time you talk to woman, whether it be your mom, grandma, teacher, or just a stranger, remind them that they play a role in this society and their beauty shines on in this dark society.

Kamis, 21 Februari 2013

Beauty is Everywhere

As I look out into the world, I see so much to be grateful for. Surrounded by beauty, I am left in no doubt that we live in a spirit filled world that is becoming more authentic in the beauty that it is able to appreciate. For so long we have come to define beauty on a superficial level, but as we grow, so will our ability to appreciate beauty grow within us.

With this, understand that only can we recognize and appreciate what is truly beautiful when we have unified with the essence of our own beauty within ourselves. So many struggle to find the beauty in the world when they look outside. Fearful of what they will encounter, they see a world filled with anger, hostility and ugliness, and because this is what they see, this is what becomes real for them, and they continue to live as their self fulfilling prophecy would have it be.
Neglecting their own beauty, they have swallowed a nightmare pill which alters dramatically the world in which they see. Turning away from the spirit, they have chosen to embrace the ego, which sees things always in a distorted light. With power and strength to gain for itself, the ego is devoted not to searching for beauty, but to finding that which can build it up in the eyes of the world. Concerned with the physical world and pleasing those within it, it is not at all interested in the wisdom of the spirit.

Not wanting to be the protagonist in its own demise, the ego has a vested interest in keeping the true source of beauty from your eyes. Not wanting you to experience the awe that beauty inspires, it seeks to keep you in a state of boredom where you ask no questions of life. Asking no questions, you cease to interact with life, and you deprive yourself of the answers that God wants to give to you. This is what it means to be reactive to life, and to suffer in the process.
Called to be proactive, we do not grow in our experience of life, if we have closed ourselves off to what it seeks to teach us. Wanting to show us the beauty in the world and in ourselves, it is a willing teacher, but a teacher has no role to occupy without a student in attendance. This is why we must be open-minded in beauty's presence. With much to give, there is much to learn about the beauty of God which manifests itself in all things.

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What this means to me is that each of us has the capacity to find beauty in different things. What some label beautiful, others might label ugly, and vice versa. But does it really matter what verdict is passed on whether something is pleasing to the eye or not? What matters absolutely is the seed of beauty to be found in all things that God has created. With the beauty of the creator pervading each of his creations, that beauty is definitely there to see. The question then becomes what is the quality of the vision of the observer?
Many are capable of seeing the beauty in all that surrounds them, but even more are not. Selective in what they ascribe the label 'beautiful' to, these people have chosen to honour the mind above the heart, which is all to discriminating. Seeing more than the mind is capable of seeing, the heart knows that it is futile to judge, because it realizes that judgment passed on that which appears in a diminished light is falsely condemned. Seeing only a portion of the whole, much is misunderstood; and embracing only a part, much is rejected as irrelevant. See in this, the dangerous game that we play when we choose to have the ego's eyes be the filter with which we view the world.

Seeing only fragments of beauty that it has contaminated through its own judgment, much is discarded, and even less honoured, for God cannot be seen by that which despises his presence. Wanting you not to see him, the ego will lead you to label as ugly, much that is beautiful in appearance and substance.
Intense in its loathing, the ego is not always rational in its judgment, and even in its certainty, it misses much to be appreciated. See in this how the ego's arrogance often leads it to abandon that which could otherwise serve it. Cursed in its blindness, it makes not for wise counsel to the one who searches for a deeper experience of life.
Wanting to experience love, one must consult the heart, being the centre of beauty inside the self. Being not separate from God, it is the gift that God has given us to enjoy the world. Blessed with much, we can find much joy when we look upon the world with spiritual eyes. Hindered not by that which are the ego's shortcomings, we can see the love behind the barriers, and the distinctions which make the miraculous commonplace.

Blessed in spirit, we must not take for granted that which is capable of teaching us who we truly are. Endowed with wisdom, all of God's creations are capable teachers, and assuming not a separate identity from him, they are models to be emulated. With this, learn that beauty is distorted as the separation is affected. So as you travel far from him, so will your ability to experience beauty diminish in strength.

Concerned primarily with attaching labels in the moment, what eludes you is the beauty inherent in entering the moment. To enter the moment, is to join with God in your heart, and see what he sees in the physical world. With all that he created being good, you are then able to see the love that pervades everything in the light of the spirit. Appreciating everything just as it is, you understand that it is enough and that the ego does not have to be invited to enhance what is complete in itself.
Complete, the gifts of God are holy in what they hold and what they deliver. Endowed with beauty, they bring to the lost man, much that is invaluable. Longing for God, those who are lost, suffer in their desperation. Convinced of their own ugliness, the memories of their eternal beauty slip into the past. But the past is not lost forever, for every illusion stands to be corrected, and as a partner with eternity, it will not fail to reveal itself in a touch that the moment has in store, for the child who sees clearly now, not yearning for more.

One of the most memorable times that I recall beauty touching me deeply was in Florence when I went to see Michelangelo's David. I had heard from many people how wonderful this classical piece of sculpture was, but hearing a second hand account doesn't really prepare you for the effect that it has on the soul, when you see it in person. To say that I was taken aback by its beauty would be an understatement. I was left absolutely speechless! To think that one man saw this masterpiece in that block of marble and saw it as his purpose to bring it to life for all to enjoy is awe inspiring to me.

But as I was standing there, just gazing up at the masterwork, I knew not the distraction of thought that attempted to persuade my mind to intellectualize how the work was brought to life. This allowed me to centre myself and let the profound beauty that emanated from the shiny white surface, move my spirit powerfully in the moment. And as I just allowed the moment to touch me, I felt for a moment just how Michelangelo must have felt with the chisel in his hand and the spirit in his heart, for as I am not alone with my pen, he was not alone with his tools, for with every incision had God's hand revealed itself so gently and lovingly.
All in all, I spent about an hour in the company of David, listening only to the silence which was my teacher. And as I meditated on what had greeted my senses, I felt a deep sense of appreciation begin to emerge, and as my eyes began to well up with tears, my constant companion placated my fears that I would miss something, a moment, which taught me who I am, not alone in war, but beautiful and fair.

To know Michelangelo must have been to be in the company of a great lover. Here was a man who made it his life's purpose to serve the world by making manifest in physical form, the love that he carried inside. How else can you explain it? To look into the eyes of David is to know without a shadow of a doubt that he was conceived in love, and because it was this love that filled Michelangelo's heart, the conception was inevitable.

With this, understand that love never leaves beauty unexpressed, for that is not love's way. And in the same way that love will never leave beauty unexpressed, so will it never leave the witnesses to that beauty untouched, for the heart that was inspired to bring the beauty to life, is in no way separate from the heart of the witness who has seen in that beauty a clear image of themself revealed.

See in this, how all embodiments of beauty carry a reflection that is not one dimensional. If you were to observe a rose, you would be moved by the beauty of that rose, but what has moved you is not limited to the petals, stem and thorns which make up that rose. What you receive from that rose is an experience of the beauty of nature which is in no way separate from all that the rose is, because nature is the essence of its being. And as it is with the rose, so it is with you, because nature is the very essence of who you are. As God has breathed life into the rose, so has God breathed life into you, and in it you get a glimpse of not only its glory, but your glory as well, which is a stranger not to the glory of God.

Endowed with all that is beautiful, do not doubt what is yours to give, and as you awake from your slumber, so will your brothers and sisters enjoy a more peaceful rest. Not tormented by their hideous nightmares, a new joy will emerge in the form of a dream that is not isolated in how it comes to bless them. As beauty multiplies, so does its visions, in the mind that has unified itself with the heart.

Filled with this love, joy replaces sorrow and gratitude replaces judgment, for as the Lord has spoken, you need not open your mouth to speak. Speaking in glorious tongues, you are left in no doubt that what he has to say is real. Beautiful in its composition, it is undeniably powerful in its resonance. Teaching your heart, the mind finds rest, subsumed by the grace that has cradled it, and when it awakes, immense beauty awaits it, in both its relationship to the physical and the infinite which know no divide. Being what beauty has conquered, love has done its work, through the eye of the spirit that cannot be blinded to the world's worth.

Rabu, 20 Februari 2013

The Other Side Of Beauty

Everyone has heard the popular phrase, "There are two sides to every coin," but do you realise that this phrase is true of everything? Beauty is no different, just by hearing the word beauty we form an image in our minds. You know that is true because you just pictured something that you perceived as beautiful. This happened to everyone who read this so far, yet not all mental pictures were the same. You could say that my picture of beauty is the other side of beauty to yours.

What is the cause of these differing pictures of the same word? What makes me picture a mother holding her newborn baby for the first time when I picture beauty, and you see the latest fashion magazine cover model? The difference is that what we perceive as beautiful, what forms the image in our mind is found deep inside of us. The heart is the creator of every image associated with every word that we say or hear.
The next question that I would ask is this; if my heart is what shapes my view of the world, then what shapes my heart? Some would answer that your heart is shaped by the experiences that you have from day to day. Others will say that what people say to you and about you shapes your heart. Neither is true, although if you allow them to they will come in and take up residence. What you believe is what shapes your heart, not what anyone says nor anything that happens has the power to invade unless you invite it to.

One example of this can be found in the lives of two young men. These two young men were identical twins, they had the same mother, father and environment. They lived in a rundown, part of the city where drug dealers and prostitutes where found on every corner. The gangs had invaded this part of the city and were in complete control of it. As these two boys grew into manhood, they had experienced the same scenes of violence and control. Both had witnessed their mother fall into alcohol and drug addiction. If what you experience and what is said about you shapes your heart, then why is one of these two brothers in prison today, while the other is a successful surgeon in the same part of town he grew up in?
The world is a relentless onslaught of circumstances hurled at you from every direction. Not all of them are bad nor are they all good. What each is ultimately trying to accomplish is to change you and the way in which you see it. For some reason the world wants us all to believe exactly what it tells us to believe. It does not want us to decide for ourselves what beauty is. It continues day by day to try to convince us that it's picture of beauty is the only picture that there is.

Look at a sponge and consider that this sponge is your own heart. A sponge may be a different color, or shape or texture but it's purpose is only one thing. It possesses one unique quality, it absorbs whatever it is placed in. If you place this sponge in a dirty, muddy, stagnant pool of water it will soak up the stagnant, dirty, muddy water and hold onto it. Once it has reached it's capacity to retain anymore water, it spills out onto whatever it comes in contact with.
Let's now look at the other side of this illustration. If you place this sponge into a fresh, running, clean flow of water it will naturally soak up the fresh, clean water until it can soak up no more. It too, will start spilling out what it does not have room to hold onto. When pressure is applied to either one of them, whatever they are holding is forced out into its surroundings.

The only way that you can make the first one clean is to either keep dipping it into a clean source of water and apply pressure. As you do this repeatedly, the dirty water is replaced by the clean. It also works the other way around. A filter, placed at the source of the dirty water, on the other hand, will stop all the filth from running down stream.

Now picture the sponge as your heart, and the flow of water that is soaking it as your experiences, environment and all the opinions of everyone around you. If you do not place a filter at the source, then all of these things will be soaked up into your heart and when it is pressured to respond it will release what it is holding. The filter, is what you believe.

If you believe something is beautiful, then it is. What about the other side? We all are created with an image on the inside of us. We all posses our own perception of beauty. Are we allowing the experiences and words of everyone around us to alter it by taking off the filter? Or are we pouring out into our surroundings our own fresh, clean and beautiful portraits of beauty? There are two sides of beauty, consider them both.

Beauty is not something that you can achieve, it is something that every single person was born with. If you want to discover more about true beauty and how to set it free form within you then come to Safe Harbor.

Selasa, 19 Februari 2013

Sacred Love - Life is Beautiful

It meant that I no longer needed to bring a fake personality to the world. It gave me freedom to accept the diversity of other human beings too. Suddenly I felt like I was sitting on the bus rather than trying to drive it. And life got a whole lot more enjoyable.
The benefit of living with an open heart is that the vulnerability vanishes and you become stronger, more resilient.
Surprises in life are a real beauty as long as they are good ones, like winning the lotto. But if those surprises are continual disappointments and bad shocks, and people keep disappointing you and your life is a disappointment - even success, then, it might be time for you to develop a less fantasy way of seeing the world.

Reality is beautiful. It's more beautiful than fantasy. Fantasy sterilises the world and you can't hope to find one place on earth where fantasy takes permanent control of a situation. Reality always comes back because it is nature, natural.
Nature is beautiful. Natural life is more exciting, more wonderful than any fantasy, but crossing the bridge between your fantasy of how you want the world to be and how it really is, might be a struggle. The ego kicks in and seems to want to fight the shift at every step.
The beautiful part of living spirituality in reality is that you don't get massive bad surprises. You wonder and explore life, rather than try to fit the world you see into the world you want to see, you simply learn to find beauty everywhere. Like in your office or home where someone is being a complete ass. Instead of trying to fix it, which always makes it twice as bad as it was, you can enjoy it. Relaxing around someone who is being an ass is an amazing gift both to you, and the ass. They get the space to choose their next words rather than stay standing in their space pushing against your judgements.
There was a time when I would worship the beauty of life and condemn the darkness of it. Almost as if, the more I didn't like something, the more it would go away. I tried all sorts of techniques to exterminate the dark side from my life and that of my family. I turned off the TV when the news was bad. I avoided the darker music, I built wealth so I didn't have to rough it when I travelled and I'd complain bitterly if the scenery where I travelled wasn't as good as I hoped for. It was a weird sort of life, where avoidance was my only way to see the beauty of life.

I didn't like ugly things. So, certainly, at some level I didn't like the ugly side of myself or others for that matter. I wanted to clean up the world, sort of coat it in leather rather than sort out my own issues. I believed in the greening of the planet and was an anti establishment protester against anything that consumed resources and made people wealthy. It was almost like writing a movie script and hoping the world would one day see the light and conform to it. I even became an environmental activist and a culture change consultant trying to paint the world with my own style of happiness. It didn't work, it was a very frustrating and somewhat depressing existence. There was always another problem to solve or protest to make.
We are all global citizens, and we care about the planet, global issues and human rights. No one would deny that the human heart bleeds with human suffering. The question is really not about how much compassion or empathy we have with those who suffer, it is more about what we do about it.

With an open heart your energy is like an innocent child. You reach forward and do what needs to be done without being righteous or pious about it. There is no service to the world being angry or bitter about the plight of those who are suffering, that emotion just makes the problems worse. Instead, with an open heart you approach such duty with a sense of calling, a sense of giving unconditionally, rather than, to mend a wrong, and make it right.
Can you see that the whole of humanity splits itself into right and wrong. Almost like two opposing sports teams rushing out onto an arena hell bent on winning. One perpetrates violence in one form and the other side exacerbates the problem by forming an opposition to it. By opposing violence it is, in fact, creating more of it. The very opposition to something is just another form of violence.
With an open hearted approach, you discard the righteousness. All too often we feel the need to answer the question, WHY, and in doing so, we intellectualise what maybe simply pure inspiration. Why should there be a why? Maybe we don't always know why we want to feed starving children, or protect women from abuse. Do we really need a why? I don't think so.

Trust is a precious human quality and we give it to others with discernment. Justifiably we're cautious about throwing trust in any human direction because we know that people are changeable. One minute you can rely on them, the next, the story can be completely different. But the first and most important trust of all is to trust your heart.

Trusting your heart means you don't always have a logical and rational reason for everything you do. You might just go in with your heart open and do what you are called to do without the need for approval. You just do it. The key of course, is to be able to stop with the same beautiful open hearted spirit. It's sometimes easier to go in to something than get out.

Trusting my heart is one of my most precious gifts. I feel and I do. It has bought me to amazing experiences, and also bought me much criticism. Circumstances don't always make sense, even if you follow your logical mind and think things through, there's always an element of trust needed. When I ran a conference for a large accounting firm and explained to the audience that the sum total of positive reasons and the negative reasons to make a decision will always be balanced, they were shocked. "Then how could you ever make a decision?" they complained. And there was, even though I tried, no way to explain. "Trust your heart."
Life is Perfect

Chris Walker - http://www.chriswalker.com.au - For 30 wonderful years Chris Walker has helped bring the beauty and harmony of nature into people's lives. He's helped people all over the world find, live and work with more spirit, inner peace and personal harmony. Since 1976 Chris has run training programs, guided people to the highest peaks in the world, taught executives about self mastery and helped many young people in his youth programs. He's dedicated to bringing people together in harmony with nature, helping them find their true nature and the nature of life. Beyond the mundane putting the spirit back into life.

Carrying a pack, discovering new trails, exploring the human spirit, dreaming with immensity, and gaining far away horizons: escaping the destiny of the sedentary, loving above all the supreme liberty of the human spirit at one with nature. This is Chris Walker's life!

Like the trails he explores with a pack on his back high in the mountains, unravelling the mysteries of harmony and focus at work or in relationship creates something special for any individual who decides to explore the wonders of it. A uniqueness, a resilience to the instability of conventional attitudes, a real freedom that only the human heart can fully understand.