M-2-M Stories About Right, Wrong and Forgiveness 2013/Jan/14

Trying to make someone right or wrong is a key practice in the age old art of point missing.

It’s amazing how common it is to judge others as right or wrong while being attached to making a point about it.

Every experience is a perfect teacher, and this one is particularly interesting because it’s painful, common and easy to see in a range of behaviours. When I first started looking at this habit, I found it manifesting in most of my conversations and thoughts. I was often either feeling grandiose about knowing and being right about something or feeling resentment of the facts for not matching what my perspective said was “right”. Both of these experiences were not motivated by creating a beautiful outcome for all, and were certainly NOT comfortable in the body.

This all reflects a deep inner turmoil. If I judge something, it’s a reflection that I don’t accept that in myself. I’m effectively judging myself. Using this same mirror, If I’m attached to other peoples perceptions I’m scrambling to find acceptance because I don’t have it unconditionally from myself. This process is rather challenging but very effective at causing enough pain to drive people into the natural cures for this kind of “dis-ease”: Compassion and Forgiveness.

Compassion is a process of empathy, respect, wanting to understand, wanting to help, doing what feels right, and letting go of attachment to the outcome. If you’re new to compassion, it can be very powerful to start with yourself. Directing compassion to yourself eventually expands outwards anyway.

By empathising with ourselves we can feel the emotions directly rather than the second hand emotions that we feel when empathising with others.

In my case, I felt defensive, and these attempts to protect or judge were preemptive strikes that tried to distract from my own insecurities. Feeling and accepting my emotions as they are helped me avoid getting lost in reactionary spirals of old habit patterns that had been my natural reaction for so long that they felt automatic. I did have a choice, but it took awareness to see it.

By genuinely honouring myself and living in awareness of what was “really” happening I felt liberated from resentment. Lightness, freedom and finally being at peace with this moment was something that I didn’t even know was possible. I felt an internal acknowledgment of myself as someone worthy of respect. With the combination of wanting to see the situation clearly, allowing  emotions to be fully felt and respecting myself I naturally wanted to help. I became a priority in my life. It was such a gift to look out for myself and take proactive steps towards feeling better.

While it often comes as part of compassion, Forgiveness is worthy of it’s own discussion. Without forgiveness there is no peace.

You CAN learn from experiences and take action without holding resentment against yourself. There comes a point where it’s no longer learning from what happened and it’s just beating yourself up.

Does withholding forgiveness (especially from yourself) serve your fullest expression? Does it serve the fullest expression of the community?

If you take nothing else from this article, sit with these three insights into forgiveness:

  • Withholding forgiveness is like stabbing yourself in an attempt to hurt someone else.
  • If you know enough about a person, you can’t help but forgive them for anything.
  • Forgiveness is forgiving yourself for believing there was anything to forgive in the first place… It all just is.

Transitioning out of this habit pattern starts with your relationship with yourself and grows into a more loving and prosperous relationship with everyone.

My outlook has totally flipped thanks to Compassion and Forgiveness. I was holding on so tightly to resistance and resentment. Now I open heartedly love each moment for what it is. I see things as just perfect moments, phases and events unfolding.

From here I make choices that naturally nurture sustainable smiles.


M-2-M – St Francis the suitcase 2013/Dec/14

Today I walk back into my home town of Wodonga. This body, mind and perspective is so different to when I last visited a few years ago. Rounding a circle, journey and pilgrimage. I’m not sure what I’m coming back to or if it’s actually a key point in any cycle. I do know it will be what it is for as long as it is.

Country Victoria, Australia.

Country Victoria, Australia.

My suitcase (Francis) is finishing his phase of service. He got his name from a pre-pilgrimage dream about St Francis and I traveling together. This is his last travel before retiring to stationary storage. On his first flight I was grateful that my big heavy bag didn’t show up at the baggage claim. I was able to travel to Esalen with a more convenient one and have the airline deliver Francis to my door later that week. I was shocked to find that both his wheels had been destroyed on his first outing. Francis is extra wide to fit the Unconditional Love Drum and lots of other sacred medicine tools that joined me on this world-wide pilgrimage.

This suitcase is a miracle in itself. It’s literally a bag of rocks… well crystals, drums, rattles, singing bowls, incense and other shamanic yogi goodies. We’ve had some interesting trips through customs. Each one unique, a few where into shamanism and got free session while doing bag checks.

Francis has been dragged through airports, train stations, bus stops, ashrams, farms and youth hostels. Being a heavyweight with no working wheels, he has made a deep connection with the earth through the US, Peru, Serbia, Italy, England and Indonesia. He’s now being dragged through the final leg in Australia.

Dragging Francis has been a meditation practice in itself. Every time I take a rest after a minute of loud and sweaty case pulling, I say thank you. Thank you for allowing me to feel my heart beat. Thank you for this breath. Thank you for allowing me to feel my muscles work. Thank you for the service of all these sacred items and the blessing of this experience.

It’s been an unexpected hallmark of this pilgrimage. Since the initial incident, I was looking for a case large enough to take his place. I did find one in London and Francis was deteriorating fast, but I felt he was up for finishing the rest of this trip.

St Francis the suitcase on retirement day.

St Francis the suitcase on retirement day.

My pilgrimage wouldn’t be the same without this beautiful and challenging reminder to love the experience as it is. Francis, you taught me to slow down, prepare, work hard and let go. I learned to let go of: tight schedules, what people think, hesitating to ask for help and taking anything personally. My greatest lesson from this whole pilgrimage may have come while dragging a 35 kilogram (77 pound) bag of medicine tools; Allowing the body to do what it can and knowing it’s all perfect.

Thank you Francis for your selfless service, persistence and all the teachings you facilitated.
Thank you, I love you, Thank you!

We made it!!! One lap of the world later.

We made it!!! One lap of the world later.


M-2-M – Integrity Speed – 2013/Dec/06

I’m feeling more inspired, empowered and dedicated than ever before.
The simplicity of service is crystal clear. In the let go and flow, collaboration community shows. We share, give, support, receive, laugh, sing and share some more… Thank you!

The mantra of this week is “GIVE IT EVERYTHING!!!!!!”, the nooks and hiding places are being emptied by a flooding river of expression. Guided by the compass of the heart, everything is aligned and engaged at a comfortable ludicrous speed that I’m calling integrity speed.

Swinging for the fences, knowing it’s all I have to express and all perfect now!
Just this day, this moment this breath. Let’s dance in the beauty of all we can be.