Cultivating Harmony from the Inside Out
Good timezone everyone! I have been looking forward to this day since the end of August. This day is a day we set aside to consider, and to cultivate, more purposefully, harmony. That can mean a lot of things depending on perspective. It can mean connection with one another, an ease or peace with oneself or others, or an understanding that what we think of as turbulent and chaotic is really something which is making its way back to center. It can mean any and all of these things and more.
What I want to focus on today is cultivating harmony. Now when I say “cultivating” in my mind that word connotes the work of gardening. Gardens take work. Plowing, planting, pulling, pruning all for produce. Just like the garden of the natural, so our mind and spirits are gardens on another plane. Many times we don’t realize what’s growing in our garden until it has got our spirit and minds all tied up in knots. Many of the knots and weeds that sprout up are related to negative self talk.
I heard a saying once that “people respond to the language used around them”. What is also true is that we respond to the language used around us, by others as well as ourselves. Much of our self talk comes to us on an unconscious level as an immediate response to something external we have done or failed to do. It can be uplifting or downcasting self talk, but I have found that the most detrimental is the downcasting type
I’d like us to take stalk of what we are saying to ourselves today. Sentements like: “I’m such an idiot”, “I can never do anything right”, “I’m always…” or “I’m never….” are extreme statements which we are making on the back of one event. Extreme statements like this help us to cultivate shame within ourselves and feelings of shame cannot lead to growth.
Author Brene Brown says that there is a fundamental difference between guilt and shame. Guilt says “I have done something bad”, Shame says “I AM bad”. Guilt does not define you, but it defines the event and allows you to make amends. Shame helps shape your identity.
Unfortunately, we may have grown up in a world in which shaming was a way to change our behavior. We have internalized that in order police our own behavior. But this doesn’t produce the harmony that we are trying to cultivate today. If what is inside of you are feelings of shame because of negative self talk, you can only help but reproduce that in the world around you.
Please, today, on this Day of Harmony, have a bit more grace for yourself, cultivate harmony on the inside so that it can flow to the world around you.
Force be with you all