Intentions and Behaviors

Turtle Bay is one of the spots we love to visit.

Turtle Bay is one of the spots my love and I enjoy visiting.

How often do we look to see whether our behaviors are in alignment with our intentions? Although I used to say that my relationship with my partner was my number one priority, energetically and behaviorally, my priority was work and my business. More often than not, I allowed work to consume the majority of my time and energy throughout each day. I would even allow work to be the dominating topic during conversations with my partner, until one day I realized, it simply didn’t feel good nor did it make sense. If I’m claiming that my relationship with my partner is my number one priority, then why was so little of my energy going to our relationship?

I was out of alignment. My intention was to make my relationship number one but that intention did not find its way down to my behaviors, at least not until things began to feel bad. And that’s how it sometimes goes with us humans, it’s not until we suffer that we really start to become conscious of what’s going on, which is why I believe, pain is a gift. The pain led me to wake up and see the disconnect between my intention and behaviors. Once I became aware and was able to feel the consequences of my choices, I was then able to truly make my relationship a priority in my life.

The truth is intention is not enough, our actions must match. Many times, we do not realize that we’re saying one thing but doing another. Fortunately, I no longer take for granted my partner’s loving and patient attitude, and I recognize that it is my responsibility to walk my talk.

Mahalo for reading! May you experience infinite peace and blessings!

Pain as a Gift

“Pain and fear are invitations to inquiry. They can guide us to the source of our suffering if we allow them.” -Candace Thoth

2013-09-30 10.31.41Cacti on Oahu, HI

What thoughts and images come to mind when you think of the word pain? We learn at a very early age that pain is a negative thing that should be avoided at all costs. Furthermore, we are taught to immediately eliminate pain but if we cannot do that then we should avoid, deny, and repress it. Fortunately for us (although it initially seems unfortunate), there is a time in our lives where avoidance, denial, and repression stop working and the pain can no longer be ignored.

From a scientific standpoint, we know that whenever we experience physical pain, there is something we need to attend to. This is also true for emotional pain. Pain in and of itself is not an enemy, it is a friend. It is telling us where we have work to do, it is guiding us to the truth.

Perhaps if we approach pain lovingly as if it is a gift, a space for transformation can be created. The energetic blocks that we experience from resisting our pain can be freed, allowing clarity and flow. When we are open to experiencing our emotional pain, we realize that the pain itself is not nearly as powerful as we thought. Further, our emotional pain can lead us to the truth of who we are; showing us that we are more grand than any pain we experience simply by the fact that we can observe it.

Emotions serve us, they are guides. Let us no longer run from them but observe them for what they are. Through diligent observation of our emotional pain, transformation occurs. Allow yourself to be liberated from emotional bondage by observing your pain and seeing it for what it is. (link to previous post on Embracing Discomfort)

Mahalo for reading! Wishing you infinite peace!

Embracing Discomfort

“Just sitting with pain or discomfort, without trying to escape in any way, without expectation, without a goal in mind, without seeking anything – that’s the juicy place, the place of creative transformation, the place where mud turns to gold. Let discomfort reveal its deeper secrets.” -Jeff Foster

Discomfort can be transformative. I have been reminded this several times this summer, once by a dear student who gently reminded me of the importance of explaining to our class that being uncomfortable is helpful. I was pleased that she emphasized this important point because it is something we all forget too easily, particularly when we are in the middle of our distress.

As a society, I believe we are much better at attending to our physical pain than our emotional pain (although we have a difficult time “treating” both physical and emotional pain successfully). When we accidentally hurt ourselves (physically), our immediate response is to attend to the injury; we investigate the extent of the damage and describe the nature of the pain. Rarely do any of us ignore our bodies when we experience physical pain but many of us ignore our emotional pain. In fact, most times, we turn away from it, are angered/disappointed by it, and avoid it.

Just as physical pain exists in order to get our attention (and sometimes even save our lives), emotional pain serves a similar role. When we are experiencing emotional discomfort or despair, we are being called to attend. We are not being asked to ignore or push the pain away, instead we are being asked to look at it, observe it, investigate it, and work through it. Although many of us know this, we continue to avoid. When we are physically injured, pretending the pain does not exist is typically ineffective, as is the case with emotional pain.

I attribute this avoidance to being fearful and/or ashamed of our emotional pain. Emotional pain gets a really bad rep in our society and is heavily stigmatized (I highly recommend reading the book The Happiness Trap that speaks about this in great detail). Further, since it is not something that is often discussed, we are unclear about the outcome of addressing our emotional pain. What will happen to me? Will I be able to handle it if I address my emotional pain? These are common concerns many of us have related to the uncertainty of acknowledging our pain. The idea that our emotional pain will somehow engulf us until we no longer exist is a common fear. Let these fears be fears and take an honest look at the pain. We will always be afraid of what we think is in the closet until we go in there and take a thorough look.

Go into the closet and look at your emotional pain. Observe it, acknowledge it, accept it, and even embrace it. Look at it as something that is calling you back to yourself. Pain is a call to awareness, it’s there to get your attention. What is your pain telling you?

Thanks for reading. Wishing you all infinite peace!