Empowered Woman: A Seven Step Personal Transformation Course in Poetry & Prose
P.E.P. Talks is a 7-week program designed to explore the issues of feminine power and discover ways in which women can empower each other through dialogue and poetry.
- You will be empowered to take leadership of your life.
- Develop confidence in your job.
- Use your own voice.
- Find your mission.
- Define what your passions are.
- Develop concrete goals.
Through story writing, poetry and conversation, we are left empowered as women and mothers.
Description: During the course, you and I will explore how we as women can awaken to our feminine essence as a source of power and secondly the idea that self-awareness has the basic premise that there exists an authentic self which must be discovered.
Self-awareness is a term used in psychology, spirituality, and the Eastern part of the world. It is the defined as one’s capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.
An important practice that aids in self-awareness is Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of mind that is open and attentive to the present. When you are mindful you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance without judging them as good or bad. Mindfulness also means to live in the moment, being fully attentive to the experience.
In the course, you will find acceptance and learn to let go of what is holding you back from becoming happy and fulfilled. I will support you as you grow stronger each day.
The Seven Steps to Personal Transformation teach you how to listen to the small voice inside yourself, the voice of your inner life. I will coach you on how to increase the strength of that voice and align with your inner life.
Moreover, Poetry can help you get in touch with your heart. It connects with the wisdom and compassion of your inner self for better understanding and healing; a healing that is more about letting go of everything that is not you, all your expectations, beliefs and become who you truly are.
When you develop your life internally, you will be the master of your mind and all aspects of your life. The Seven Steps to Personal Transformation will help expand your awareness and self- identity; enhance the quality of your life and contribute to the realization of your dreams. Join me on the path that leads to a strong inner life through Poetry & Talk.
Three Daily Practices that are a part of the Poetry Empowerment Project
Three daily practices are part of the POETRY EMPOWERMENT PROJECT. They will help you get in touch with the deeper aspect of your life. Do them, at least, three to four times per week. First thing in the morning, you may want to take fifteen minutes of solitude. Take time to tune into The Body Intelligence. This may sound like a lot. However, you are worth the time; take it and be with yourself.
During this fifteen minutes take off your shoes, loosen your belt, clench, hold and release your muscles. You can do this in the morning or at night. While you are clenching and releasing your muscles say to yourself; what do I need to realize about my current situation. Listen to the answer. It is coming from a deeper place that knows.
The next thing for you to do is take the time to write first thing in the morning. They are called, “Morning Pages.” It is exactly three pages of writing. Just write, no editing. Again, just let this writing come from a deeper part of you that knows. Strange this may come up. Do not judge, just accept them. It may bring you clarity.
The last thing for you to do is the “Walk for Clarity”. Take a walk-in nature for about thirty minutes. As you walk, pay attention to your internal dialogue. As you become more accustomed to walking, you will begin to get in touch with your true nature. This is the time to commune with nature and the place inside yourself. Honor and love the wisdom in your life.
Course Schedule: Week I Step Step I Powerful Purposefulness:
There is Power in Purpose. Discover your purpose in life. It will direct your actions. Fleeting emotions and transient experiences will not consume you. Integrate the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of life and become a Powerful Presence in society.
The determination to know oneself,
Is like treading across the desert to find an oasis.
Over mountains, through valleys,
Only to see illusions.
Your journey is not complete.
Many streams lead to the sea;
Sometimes it is a long journey,
Oftentimes, a short one.
One molecule of water rejoins the sea.
And it becomes one with the great blue.
I am an individual,
Wanting to see a true reflection,
Not an image someone reflected onto me.
What distinguishes me from the other sex?
The male who flaunts and flexes,
To see which is the bigger.
We, women, too have a muscle.
All else wanes,
When the one thing you have hoped for suddenly appears.
Feelings, Beliefs, and Emotions
Our ideas underlie much of our behavior. They filter what we see, hear and how we behave in daily life and what we perceive. Beliefs also interpret what you see, hear, and feel. During this time, examine your beliefs to see how they affect your everyday behavior.
Go one level deeper and arrive where emotions are housed. There you will find two basic emotions: They are Love and Fear. Everything else is a variation. The fear-based emotions are loneliness, guilt, shame, anxiety, sadness, and depression. They create long-term effects and suffering. They damage the immune system, the endocrine system, and every other system in your body. On the other hand, Love-based emotions will bring you emotional and physical well-being. They are a joy, happiness, caring, trust, contentment, and satisfaction. Learn to live with your emotions and release them. You cannot control your feelings, but you can learn to be with them, transmute them, and live peacefully with them.
I can recall two incidents that shaped my belief system and vied for control of my life. One incident happened when I was about eight years old. My parents went to church and left me alone for a short time, but it seemed like an eternity. Sitting at home alone created a fear and a belief that I was unworthy of love and attention. Consequently, this experience left an imprint on my brain that I unconsciously recreated for over forty years. The underlying emotions of fear and unworthiness shaped my life and mushroomed into shame and guilt.
Fear and the belief that I was unlovable cause me to seek out attention in harmful ways. Which lead to Shame and Guilt. Shame and Guilt shrouded my life and caused my emotions to go undercover. Secretly, shame lived and expressed itself sexually. I was pregnant and unwed at seventeen and not able to attach to any man in a positive way. I did not seriously look at my sexuality until I was over fifty years old.
When I moved to Florida and away from the familiar surroundings, I broke opened my life and peered inside to see how darkness and ignorance showed up daily. Over twenty-seven years of chanting Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo provided an impetus to see my life as it was, instead of what I thought society expected of me.
The very last relationship I had with a man showed me how sex was used in my life. I could no longer deny that part of myself. I needed to get in contact with my primary feeling that had gone underground. I took a long look in the mirror and decided I did not want to continue to be that way. I have been free from a sexual relationship for over three years. During that time, I have begun to heal the wounds of my heart and create a life that honors the feminine aspect of life and live with a higher sense of being other than consumed sexually
The Creation of a Self
One can create a self in healthy or unhealthy ways. There are two aspects of the self. The self I had created and lived for over fifty years was based on fear and loneliness. Not totally aware of the two mental states that were created by the self, I lived in the darkness and shadow of a true self.
The first self-view takes the experience as I, me, or mine. I created a self on feeling unworthy and unlovable. After that, all my experiences mirrored this back to me. The second mental state is a compared view, which evaluates the sense of self as better than, worse than, or equal to others. This identification repeatedly happens whenever we hold our feelings, thoughts, and perceptions as me or mine during roles we play.
During Mindfulness Training, which I introduce in step four, you will learn how identification with the tentative and impermanent nature of the immediate experience creates suffering. Now of pain, look to the heavens and the clouds, and imagine floating on the lining with lightness and calm. You can release yourself from limiting beliefs and a lifetime of struggle. The ideas you have about yourself creates identification. The less you cling to your beliefs, the happier you will be.
During your development as a child, you began to separate yourself from your parents. You realized you were different and separate. All this is normal, and you began to create a healthy self-concept. Nevertheless, as you grew and matured, you began to see yourself in relationship to others in healthy or unhealthy ways. An over-emphasis on competition, which American civilization norms leave little room for cooperation, a skill more suited to well-socialized children.
What I would want for you is to develop a self that is independent of the human roles you will play. Learn to be wise as you enter each role fully and with awareness and compassion. Let go of that role when your part is complete.
Walk into a situation with openness and abundance and the entire world opens. You will be able to see clearly which direction to take. On the other hand, if you have a pre-conceived notion of how things should go and if they do not you cling then suffering will ensue. Let go of the image you have of the self and you will experience fear, but a greater person will emerge your true self.
When we marry, we let go of being single. When our children leave home, we let go of managing their lives. Another way we identify is by seeing ourselves as members of an ethnic group, religion, tribe, caste, and class. While searching for an understanding of self, do not ask about class, race, or birth. Instead, ask about heart and conduct. We can examine our self-image, our tribe, and our roles and acknowledge they are tentative. We can learn to honor them without becoming lost in the role.
The Experience of a Non-Self:
Our roles and self-image are tentative without solidity. Our sense of self is untrue and is only a concept. We identify with our habits, thoughts, feelings, and personality, but these are subjective and bound to change. We may be sick one year and healthy or depressed the next. Therefore, we may respond in a different way. Nevertheless, in truth, our natures are fixed.
The Universal and Personal Realm of Form:
Freedom comes when you do not cling to one state of mind. We are spiritual beings that have incarnated into human form. It is a multilevel perspective. Our existence has both a personal and universal level. There are the Two Truths. You must respect both dimensions if you are to be happy and free.
The Universal Dimension is the Big Picture.
It reminds us that all things on earth are transitory and tentative, appearing out of emptiness and then disappearing. When I am facing a difficult or challenging situation, the thought comes to mind: “this too will change.” I then cling to the universal perspective of life, and rest in consciousness, and watch the pain fade away.
We are here to grow in wisdom and compassion—to grow on the path of awakening. From the Universal Perspective, all things are born, and they will die. Death comes to our best friends and our parents, sometimes to our children.
The second Real is the Personal. It is the Sacredness of Form: the human body. You must respect the body and its limitation.
With the personal, there is a need for a sort of Spiritual Independence, to be able to discern evil from good and have the strength of character not to fall into condoning or looking the other way when a person creates a great evil.
It is by confronting the evil that we can cause such people to open their eyes. Hearing voices resounding with justice has the effect of activating the dormant good nature in the evil person’s heart. You must not be afraid to speak up or act in a way contrary to the widespread way of behaving, be it at work, home, or in your community.
Is inherent in the individual—this is a boundless and uncorrupted part of humanity. You have the power to bring forth this potential in your everyday life. Your independent nature is apart from your allegiance to a nation ideology or family values. It is the difference between dependence and self-reliance, deference and empowerment.
All people can connect to this power of spirit. It is this American driving force that created the space we now call home. To be powerful is to assume control over one’s destiny. On another level, there is also an opposing force within the human heart. This struggle of the heart consists of the struggle we wage in our hearts against our inner darkness or delusion—a battle against the negative and destructive forces within us.
It is through strengthening our convictions and beliefs that we can possess this powerful nature of boundless energy. We can break through the darkness obscuring our goodness.
There is this tension between good and evil. It is especially evident in those holding positions of authority in both government and religion. Evil unchallenged will consume everything.
When you see evil in others, you have the potential for evil within yourself as well. By speaking out against any action that hinders the social good, you strengthen your power to contain the evil within yourself.
It becomes crucial that you address evil or fiendish functions during your life. To be passive in the face of such forces would be self-defeating because those forces are not passive. The idea of Spiritual Independence is a self-empowering philosophy.
Relationship with Life
Society teaches people to hide their emotions and feelings at an early age, and to be ashamed of them, and, better yet, to be afraid of them. I grew up in the Sixties in a minister’s home. I lived with the idea that children were to be seen and never heard. Consequently, I was a silent and did not have a voice.
I never had the opportunity to voice my dreams. My parents never acknowledged them. Consequently, I never knew what they were. My father was the only voice that I heard, so I internalized his voice, and I took on his life even without thinking. I never told my parents how I felt about anything, and they never asked. I stuffed everything down into a deep, dark cavern. I was a shadow in my home and school and society. The relationship I had with life was one of feeling victimized by life and people. I held people at a distance for fear of them getting too close and hurting me.
I never spoke about what I felt. I was like a ball of churning emotions bottled up inside. On occasion, when someone did make me angry, I would explode. “No one had better say the wrong thing to me”. I was liable to go off on them. In the relationships with men, I usually let them take the lead. I would follow until I tired of them and the patterns we were living. If I tried to voice my opinion, the male would leave. I entered relationships on false premises. I secretly wanted the man to take care of me. In my mind, I thought, if I do what he asks of me, then my needs would be taken care of; they never were.
The relationship with life that is healthier is to begin to cultivate a shared partnership with life. Today I enter relationships as an equal partner. I have something to give and something to share. When I show up as an authentic person with a voice, then I am respected for who I am. I often thought that no one wanted to know who I was. Or, if I did show up, the person would be envious. I did not want to offend anyone or make anyone feel inferior. One male that I dated told me that I was too much of a woman. I did not understand what he meant, and I never asked. Another male I met told me not to work too hard. What did that mean? I always did my best and often was an overachiever. I wanted to be the best at what I did.
There is this self-waiting to be discovered,
Wanting to reveal itself to you.
There is this self,
Covered over by skin enclosed within you.
Beneath matter and time.
And the story you tell yourself.
There is this self-separate from the identity you cling to:
The wife, the mother, the doctor, the nurse,
The outer self that needs to control and feel superior.
There is this powerful presence
Inside the tree,
With the potential to reach the sky,
Encoded in its’ DNA
The plan to grow produces food and shelter humanity.
In the jungle, where ever it may be.
The tree needs sunlight and rain to grow.
If you fail to nourish the tree,
It may never bear fruit.
Not fully reaching maturity.
You are a tree!!!
With a little love, you will grow.
Because of the evolution of time,
Your parents and society may not have
could help you be free.
Everything that happened to bring you to the place,
A place where you are self-sufficient,
Able to take care of you.
What do you need to grow?
Love, faith, and truth;
Healing that helps you let go of the things,
That Stunt your growth.
That keeps you from being that mighty tree.
Those limiting beliefs,
The poison you take into your body.
The evil that festers in your belly,
The pain you hold.
That which has hardened your heart
You show to the world.
Dig to the core.
And, find the Diamond like self,
With its many facets that sparkle in the light.
You must step into the light,
Detach from the outer self.
Let the sun illuminate all darkness in your life
You will discover
Your Authentic Self.
Journal Activity: Respond to the Poem and chapter; create a poem and written or verbal response to the chapter. Post this on my Facebook page.
Meditations and or Prayer: This meditation will allow the universe to come into your life. Lay quietly, center on your breath, and see the glow surrounding your life. You visualize and see the ocean; see each wave and each water molecule. See yourself surrounded by water, feel the immense volume of the ocean. Bring this awareness into your body. Feel the universal and the personal aspect of life.
Course Schedule Week 11
Step II Align with Your Feminine Power: The Feminine Aspect of Life cannot be controlled; Discover the True Essence of the Black Woman
Cultural Womanism is an idea about how we Black Women can fashion a new language from our experience in society. We must learn to value and validate our own experiences through writing and telling stories. One never arrives but always strives to construct a life that expresses a True Self. It is a
In life, we, women, must bear a double weight. It tugs us away from understanding the collective story of women in society. We take care of the family and face discrimination in the workplace. We have not recognized our collective struggle or victory, and this has hardened and disempowered the Woman.
We women, have muscle, but it is gentle and filled with love, compassion, and courage. This has not had the temperament to thrive. We needed to survive, but let us do more that survive, let us thrive. Furthermore, we have lived through the masculine form and accomplished some amazing things. But what is truly required of women in the Twenty-First Century will take courage and compassion and feminine strength.
Recognize that real Womanist Power lies not in anger and destruction but in Self-Knowledge, Self-Reflection, Understanding, and Transformation. We females can heal our mind and body as we discover a source of power within. Become a powerful woman who is entirely confident in herself and can serve as a role model would reflect on more modest attributes of the Queen. Ideally, all women in “leadership positions” would also, largely embody the Ideal Queen.
Realize there are two aspects of life, both male, and female. We must understand them both to be successful. The feminine receives and transforms then let the masculine act in the world. The female and male aspect of life work together to generate this creative force. But first, we must acknowledge our feminine essence.
Black Woman’s Role in Life & Her Motivation for Living
Akin to West African Folklore, stories express the lifeblood of a culture and the roles men and women play in society. This is important for the essential nature of culture to survive. It teaches the values and morals of a group. This course will deliver the discourse through Poetry and Talk.
Black Women are heirs to a legacy of Black Art. It espouses Self-Determination, Self-Reliance, Self-Respect, Self-Defense and True Self-Consciousness as a means for empowerment. Black becomes an identity in the search for meaning and purpose.
This book portrays the black woman not just surviving, but also thriving on her own terms, a complete Black Woman.
Black Women, we must become visible in the world. We are the ones who must validate our own self-worth, existence and care about womanist values. The Black Woman must heal herself first and conduct self-therapy that documents our suffering and makes it accessible to others.
We Women, are the very foundation of society. When we stand, the whole of Humanity will rise. There is balance in nature. The earth needs both masculine and feminine power. Even though the male and female are not clearly defined, both are required for life to exist.
There is a greater need for Black Women to adopt a womanist perspective for the future of ourselves, our children and the world. A collective story that honors the story and life of Black Women and the world we live in. You can write your own story. You are the author, director, and lead in the starring role.
Reflective Writing: Reflect on the above content.
Sources of Female Leadership
First, Feminist Leaders, to fulfill your role properly, would do well to embody the best qualities represented by at least one of the following archetypes. Archetypes are, by their very nature, universal and indestructible. They are not irrational forms of thought, rather they are supra-rational, beyond the parameters of logical thought and if we accept the idea of a collective consciousness as an image for a deep cultural foundation common to Humanity, they are universal—hence their power to move, to affect and influence.
The archetypes are viable because they furnish us with an intuitive shortcut way to grasp the essence of a group of attributes that connect directly with the unconscious mind. These archetypes provide both spiritual and emotional pictures that immediately connect with individuals and groups. It is a better way to grasp a Womanist model of leadership instead of relying on intellectual analysis of individual attributes.
I will borrow Carl Jung’s archetypes for female leadership. He distinguished himself from noted Psychologist at the time. He recognized and acknowledged the existence and meaning of the essence of the personality —which earlier thinkers have called the spirit. Jung recognized and valued those aspects of a person’s whole being. A modern positivistic science denies the spirit and only acknowledges and perceives the material world.
Jung accepted the spiritual dimension as a way to understand the character and the complex system of beliefs, attributes, and virtues that make up a person. If we are to understand leadership as a character trait, then it too becomes agreeable that we ascribe it a more spiritual understanding.
Jung’s concept of the archetypes arises from the repeated observation he made, for instance, of the myths and fairytales of world literature. The literature contained definite motifs that cropped up everywhere. We often see the same themes in fantasies, dreams and delusion of individuals living today.
The King, Warrior, the Magician and the Lover serve as male archetypes. They serve as a model for leadership. Jung’s idea of complementary opposites provides a foundation for the understanding of the unique qualities that characterize female psyche and serve as useful models for characteristically feminine ways of presenting leadership.
Leadership is an elusive subject not easily recognized because there are complex qualities in the actions of others that elude easy categorization or analysis.
In ancient times “natural leaders”, were persons who possessed the ability to motivate and direct others. Ancient leaders assumed the role of leader at birth or rose to the province. If the person happened to be of weak leadership ability, training would compensate for the weakness in leadership ability.
Culture became more complex and social roles followed. Leadership roles have mainly become increasingly “gendered” to reflect social realities.
Paths for Girls and Young Women (The Faerie)
If the Prince develops through the path of the warrior, the princess develops through the path of the Faerie. If you are to evolve to your fullness, you must earn your Queen-ship through a path that involves trial and suffering as the way to experience and maturity. It is the path to Queen Ship.
The Faerie is a symbol of all that is fair and beautiful, all that trends material existence. She produces poetry, music, and history. The Fairies virtues are intangible and ethereal. At times, they can seem self-sacrificial. Just as if the warrior appears most fully when he gives himself over to death in an act of self-denial, the Faerie seems most thoroughly when she denies herself intercourse with men. This is the source of her power. She places herself outside of any man’s power. Thus, she has the ability to inspire and attract.
An example of Faerie to Queen is Ester in the Bible. Ester agreed to marry Xerces King of Persia, as a possible mate for the sake of her people. The people selected her to be the new Queen. Since she does not marry for love, but rather for duty, she is free of passionate attachments and partakes of the Faerie.
She embraces an unrestrained life force of Eros or pleasure in life itself. This archetype is life-affirming and creative; one known modern example is (Beyoncé). She eschews order, sacrifice, and rational knowledge. She is not easily reconciled with the orderly world of Queen. She poses a problem in the context of leadership.
There were many lovers in my life. I thought I could contain their power. My husband labeled me as insatiable. I was akin to a feeling of hunger that could never be quite satisfied. You will find the reason below. I wanted to be lost in the sexual passion and lose myself inside of this man, become one with him and absorb the power I thought he had.
The Lover is suspicious of the knowledge of the Wise One because The Wise One has transcended the Lover phase. The Lover seeks to empty herself out and merge or become the beloved. The Female Lover gains the tremendous power of transcendence, but she is subjected to “the other” and, therefore, lacks freedom of the other archetypes. This is her power and limitation.
(The Wise One)
Another path to Queen Ship leads through the archetype of the Wise One. The Wise One lives in the shadows. She is at home near the earth, even inside the earth, inside the dark, moist primordial womb; she is at home on the land.
The Wise One is no longer young. She is mature, rooted, and likely to be old. She is a Mother or likely a Grand-Mother. She has been a companion to male, she may have even loved a man, but she now transcends all that. She has reached a state of superior wisdom.
Her subtle mind seeks not to penetrate beneath the surface of things and probe the mysteries of nature; rather she looks inward into the mysteries of being alive. This earthly knowledge extends to the body more specifically the distinct realities of the female body. The male did not understand this type of woman and she was not under his control, thus during the time of the Inquisition, men in power labeled these women as witches and killed them.
It is natural for the Wise-One to seek separation from her sisters who toil in the world. Her quest for unique knowledge requires long hours of solitude for study and reflection. The Wise One becomes a Seer or an Advisor. She may rise to be Queen becoming The Wise Queen.
Historically the Queen of Sheba and her counterpoint Solomon fit in this category. The most powerful and inspiring of the archetype of the Wise One is the mystical Figure of Sophia—The Rise of Sophia as the symbol of Divine Wisdom.
I too myself have lived a life of solitude. When I was young, it was a source of suffering. A friend drew the conclusion when asked where I had been. My time spent was with a man. Now I understood the power of the Lover in her quest for power which I allude to later.
Female leaders, to fulfill the role properly, would do well to embody the best qualities represented by at least one of the mature feminine archetypes.
Sources of Feminine Power
The actual nature of feminine power in not control, repression or domination, it is flexibility and clarity in the midst of chaos. It is the ability to relax in the face of danger so that you can access the situation and take the proper course of action. Awaken to the Three Power Bases and Co-Creative with life. Have belief in yourself and the contribution you give to the world. Live a life that is meaningful with Self-Confidence.
There is often a gap between who we are and the ability to realize our full potential. By looking at the three Source of Feminine Power, you can begin to close the gap between men and women and discover your full feminine power. It will help you to realize your full potentiality. Do you yearn for something more? Are you restless and anxiety seems to take control of your mind? Do you wonder what is happening? You are awakening to the possibilities of having much more. You are not sure what is happening, but you want to know.
You can create a life that expresses your true self. It is significant that you do this. The future of your happiness, the happiness of your children and family and ultimately the world is at stake. The power you seek is inside of you. When you learn the three sources of feminine power, you well begin to see the world differently and live life from an expanded view. First, you will learn how you can access this power. Secondly, you will discover a loving relationship with yourself than with others? You will understand how to create and cultivate an alternative power source.
First, you can access the power to surpass personal patterns, then Co-Create the future as you realize who you are and lastly, attract the Collective Field of Support.
Power is about evolving beyond beliefs and your world-view. Mindfulness training will liberate you from old patterns and the inner glass ceiling. It will be taught during the Mindfulness Training in Step-4. You will learn how to look at your thoughts and watch them without attaching and labeling them as (mine). Your emotions will no longer be an issue. You will learn the nature and patterns of your behavior and become liberate yourself from them. You will break through to the other side, where you will find freedom and become your real self. You will learn to shift the belief you have about yourself and learn the power of relatedness.
You are the person you were always looking for to help with your dreams. You become a loving mentor to your younger self; See clearly a new way of showing up.
Another aspect of Power is to Co-Create with Life. Learn how to cultivate a positive relationship with the energy and intelligence of the Universe. We as women are yearning to realize our highest destiny and utilize our gift and talents in the pursuit of life where we can experience its’ fullness.
Your voice is ready to be unleashed in the world. You will be able to navigate to a future that does not exist and you do not know what it looks life with confidence. When you make a shift from your goals and step into a full partnership with life. This is how your deeper desires with being unleashed. You will gain the courage to take the risk, and even though you do not know how everything is going to turn out you will trust in life.
Feminine Essence & The Wild Woman
Feminine Essence is the power of unity, connection, and relationship. The Wild Woman is the dark side of the feminine mystique sprinkled with a positive aspect to life. She lives inside of each woman. I am not talking about ecstasy, but that thing that makes womanhood. It takes courage and passion for awakening her. There is a way that you can activate it. To feel the ecstasy of your feminine essence, you must be able to shift your attention from your endless to-do list back to your body.
When your attention is inside your body, you become present. The more comfortable you become with your body, the more ecstatic you will become, you will discover more energy and ecstatic and be joyful. You will feel a connection with your body. When you embody this essence and communicate with someone, you will feel warm and a sense of connection.
Activating your feminine essence increases the passion and ecstasy in your life especially in your love life.
Power & Feminine Essence
There are two ways to wield power—through assertion (masculine) or attraction (female). Our society operates primarily in the masculine; many of us automatically use assertion over the attraction. Connect to your feminine essence. Turn the power of attraction “on” and indeed, life will work for you. You generate a feeling of authority within yourself no matter what is going on around you; you do so without any effort. Your feminine essence is a great source of internal power.
It is effortless; it reminds us that life is a lot easier than most people live it. It offers us the invitation to soften our body, enjoy the moment, and trust the flow of life. We do not have to push to make things happen. When you activate your feminine essence, you make certain physical, energetic and emotional shifts. Let us look at both the yin and yang of life. In the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine, two opposing complementary forces make up the energy. Yin, (feminine) and Yang (masculine). Ying and Yang work together to create harmony and order in the natural world.
When the two or out of balance, resistance and ultimately disease (dis-ease) result. Both Ying and Yang are integral pieces of the puzzle that create balance, passion, and sustainability.
The feminine essence opens to receive whether that is emotional support, insightful guidance, help to get things done around the house or favors that can help her business. We women, give and give to our children and the man in our life the job and give little to the self. The feminine essence is the power of unity, connection, and relationship, which weaves all of the creation together rather than just focuses on the individual.
A woman living in her feminine essence longs to connect with what is around her. She wants a relationship and to be loved. Ying represents the dark side. A woman in her authentic feminine power knows how important it is to look at the dark part of herself she keeps hidden. A powerful feminine woman understands this and honors all those parts. She also knows that to pretend our individual or global challenges do not exist is dysfunctional.
The feminine essence is mysterious. It is feminine energy that runs through the body. It often feels watery. It is soft, fluid, flexible circular movement that we often feel in our hips and belly not the tensed up and stressed out energy that runs through many bodies today.
Ying is the earth-element. A woman in her feminine essence is in touch with the natural environment, with Mother Earth with the tides of the moon and her relationship to all animals
In the West, people have forgotten the feminine gender. We are stuck in the idea that the world revolves around us, and the belief that everything in nature is for our benefit. Consumption or amusement is finally catching up with us.
We have created physical diseases and environmental devastation in more ways that most of us are willing to admit. In times of greatest strife and challenge, we tend to look upwards to our Father in Heaven to help us and direct us. We can also look downwards to another guide that is equally powerful wise, Mother Earth.
Speak from the Power Source in the Body
When you speak from a place outside of your body, you are nervous and look for the words to say. Instead, focus on your power place, deep inside your body and feel connected and you will begin to feel at home. You will be more authentic and begin to connect with your audience. This is your place of power, creativity, strength and stamina Breathe, Speak and Listen
Ways of the Feminine
If you want to activate your feminine essence and feel centered, receptive and attractive, there are ways you can move that are radically different from those you would use if you wanted to activate your masculine energy.
Upper body movements are masculine. This includes the shoulder gestures which are hard, rigid and directive. You feel the power through your upper chest, your shoulders and down your arms.
The female activation points are the center of the pelvis the “womb space and down the legs. Activate the energy in your hip movement, soften your heart and send love. The lower body activates the feminine essence. It is more weighted and connected to the earth. The upper body is relaxed and soft. This is the power of the feminine essence.
Wisdom in the Woman’s Body
Draw your power from the primordial force of life. The belly space is fundamental to unlocking our feminine energy, ecstasy, and empowerment. It is the place we create life. It is a powerhouse. It is fundamental to unlocking our feminine energy. However, Western mindset, out of fear and misunderstanding destroyed the feminine powerhouse with the onset of hysterectomy and contraceptive pills and misinformation. It is time to take back our power.
It is the womb space where feminine energy resides. It is as if it is parked and ready to go whenever we put this energy in the drive. When you place your attention on your womb space, it will feel as if you are coming home.
In the Black community, the male wants to own this space. We give it over and so goes our power. Take it back and become peaceful, patient, strong, perceptive and centered. You will no longer fill out of control. You gain control of your own body and your power.
What happens if a woman loses her womb? The energy is still there. You must sense the area and from there your power will grow. Being feminine is how you move and express your body, not what your body looks like on the outside.
In most martial arts and yoga, the center of the body is where all the energy is stored. So is the practice of becoming more feminine. Become more aware of this storehouse of energy in relationships. Begin to feel the sensation. The old sayings I have a “gut instinct”, this is true. Notice when you meet someone or enter into a business relationship. Focus on the area three inches below your navel, what the feeling is telling you. This is another source of intelligence in the body in addition to the mind.
Learn to breathe from your womb space Take a moment in your day and practice breathing from your womb space. When the mental chatter seems to overwhelm, you focus on the womb area and notice the calm to your mind. The energy would have moved to a calmer place. Another thing you can do is listening from your womb space. Practice entering into a room, bring your awareness to your womb, listen to the words, sounds, and notice what you sense. Women have this second sense, first in the brain and secondly in the body.
The Path of the Feminine
If you are serious about embodying your feminine essence taking the journey, you have to realize the path of “The Feminine Essence” is one of vulnerability and openness. It is scary and it is painful, but it is powerful. You open your heart wide without defenses. You become free to love and be loved
The more we are open, the more love and support we can receive. Many women have been taught that to give is more important than to receive is more “spiritual”, more appropriate and more gracious than receiving. Learning to receive and allowing others to nurture us is critical in our capacity to know love. It keeps us on full
Journal Activity: Respond to the Poem and chapter; create a poem and written or verbal response to the chapter. Post this on my Facebook page.
Scheduled Course: Week III
Step III, Non-Feance is Failure in doing; especially that which is essential for Happiness & Emotional Well-Being.
“If you bring forth what is within you,” “What is within you will save you.” “If you do not bring forth what is within,” “What is within you will destroy you.” , not sure where the quote came from
Children of the Devine
Children of the Devine,
Life and Living,
Take on a new meaning.
Your being in the world,
Bring meaning to your very soul.
Suddenly the work you do is so divine,
Your service to the world,
End the meaningless pursuit of wealth and fame,
Find glory in doing your life’s work.
The reason you’re here today,
To live a life of artistry and beauty.
Not a sacrifice,
But redemption for your soul.
Silence the hungry spirits,
Bring them what they need most,
Love you’re holding on.
Let it go,
Release it to the world,
Let it flow across the land,
Give rise to new life,
Now pouring across the sand,
That fills the hour.
One last minute before you go,
Let the world know,
The beauty of your Soul.
My father always said, “obedience is better than sacrifice.” I never knew what he meant. But today I know that every one of us has e come to earth to fulfill a mission and if we fail to then our lives will experience unrest. It is like living a life aimlessly, going to work, coming home only to do it again without any significant purpose.
All my young life I lived under the protective arms of my father and father. They took care of my basic needs. I learned to depend on them. I never questioned their intention or the intentions of the adults around me. I believed in the Bible and its teaching and the Church as the living embodiment of all that is good. I never thought much about my life. I just lived and followed the direction of the adults around me.
Growing up and going away to college brought freedom from the security of my parents. I started to feel as if something was not quite right. I enrolled at the local Community College and my eyes began to inquire into the meaning of God and Life. In a Philosophy class, the college professor posed a question. He asked what would change your perspective about life. My answer was. What if there was no God?
1982 began my insatiable quest to understand my life and the world. I journeyed out into the world, to Paris and Hawaii, Virginia and Washington D.C. and back to the inner realm of my life. Life was a mystery that I wanted to unravel. My mind is an inquisitive nature that seeks to understand and know.
The biggest find was within the mind. I am a student of Psychology and just recently Buddhist Psychology, which explains the nature of the mind. I have come to believe that the Mind contains all the knowledge of all time. It is like a reservoir. We as humans have created the internet to resemble this mind. At any time, I can pose a question and have it answered. All information is at my fingertips. The internet represents the collective knowledge of the human species. It is like “The Mind”, which contain all that we as a species have accumulated. I can access it at any time.
There was this gnawing feeling inside of me. I wondered why I acted the way I did. A Psychology class opened the window to my mind and heart, and I found a lacking. A lacking for love and a lacking for genuine relationships caused me to seek out attention in unhealthy ways. Thirty years later that quest has led me to the internet and the boundless array of information that I can consume and quench my hunger.
There was a big secret, and I wanted to find out what it was. The secret lay buried in my life. It was the secret about who I was and what I was here to do. There was a secret buried deep in my life. It seeped out into my daily life disguised because I did not know what it was. I was not aware of what it was and consequently so was my identity.
I identified with the problems in my life. Was I crazy? I studied Psychology and wondered what was wrong with me. I tried to uncover the source of my suffering. I did not know what it was so I invented something. I was depressed. I had Anxiety. I had Anger Issue. There were many negative labels I gave myself because I did not know who I was. I was a Black Woman in a male, white Christian society. When I looked in the mirror, that was not the reflection I saw. They were right, so there must have been something wrong with me.
I was a Black Woman, who one Summer decided to sign up for Army R.O.T.C. to prove my worth. If I could do what the white man did, I must be as good as him. I watched one supervisor at work and figured if I dressed life him then I would be a part of the work environment. It did not work; management terminated me from this job. I was a loner and a thinker and a reader, who tried to find out what and who I was.
I was in education because it was the easiest door that opened. Each year. I tried to make it work, but it never did. Happiness was sought for in all the wrong places. Love was neither real or something for me. My peers in school did not respect me. I was a teacher but did not have any close friends. My teammates did not include me in any of the team meetings or the plans. I was a Resource Teacher one year. A male teacher I worked with told me he did not pick me as the teacher he wanted to work with, and consequently, our work relationship was strained.
I thought I would find a place to be myself in my faith practice. I only found more of the same, a hierarchy of leaders who would do and say anything to maintain their control. Many instances I failed to act and speak up. I stuffed the anger and rage deep inside of me. In relationships with men, I let them have their way thinking that would make them stay. They did not. I felt unimportant and used for sex. I did not make what I wanted important and consequently, I did not stay too long. Thus, my dignity, self-worth, and happiness took a back seat just to have a man in my life.
Living with a Wounded Mind
Humans are born healthy both mentally and physically. Around three or four is when the first wounds in the emotional body start to appear and poison the human body. If you observe children, they play, laugh, and are happy all the time. When something happens, they react and move on. They live in the moment. As children, we are innocent and not afraid to love. However, what has happened? What has happened to all of us?
The fear of not being worthy of love became a fear of rejecting others before they rejected me. The fear of not being good enough is we begin to dream of being that person and project that image to the world. We project the image that society wants us to be. This projection begins the pretending. We learn to pretend to be what we are not and practice being what others want to feel.
All humans are mentally sick. We live in a world, akin to a mental hospital. Because we live in the world, the mind is sick with fear. This fear fills the emotional body until the pain becomes unbearable. Someone says a word and it hurts and you retaliate. There is jealousy, hate, and discrimination. Soon the mind cannot cope with the mental illness so it begins to break down. The result is schizophrenia, paranoia, psychosis. This mental breakdown causes diseases when we are so frightened and the wounds are so painful that it is better to break contact with the outside world.
I felt victimized by the men in life. A situation happened when I was about seventeen. One night I was in the car with my daughter’s father. He was physically abusive. We were in the middle of a fight. I feigned I was out of it. I think I consciously left my body because I did not want to face the physical pain. I played possum. He ran inside to get my mother. I believe he was genuinely concerned for me. My mother opened the car door and called my name. I did no answer. I got out of the car and walked into the house. I do not think I came back to my body. I just lived in a shell.
I lived in constant fear of being hurt both emotionally and physical that I created a wall around my heart and would not let anyone see the real me the one who was afraid. On the outside, I appeared strong. I did let my emotions show. I joined the military to prove my strength. I make three hundred on the Physical Training (PT) part of Army Basic Camp. One could make the maximum score on the PT test.
I left my body and consequently, I never showed up in a relationship as an authentic person. Each relationship that ended my anger and rage grew strong until it was so strong that it began to break down my body.
Reflective Writing: Respond to the above information
A Nightmare of Pain
To protect or emotional selves from fear of hurt, we create a dream of lies. We lie perfectly even to ourselves. Soon we begin to believe our lies. This denial system is like a wall that prevents us from seeing the truth. We wear a social mask because we do not want others to see us as a wounded soul. When someone says you are pushing my buttons, indeed that person is touching an emotional wound. Then we begin to see the dynamics of relationships. Everyone experiences pain and becomes wounded, and everyone is pretending that everything is ok. Everything we know about the world and ourselves is a dream. If you look at the description of any religious definition of hell, then you will know. It is the same as human society.
A hell is a place of suffering, a place of fear, a place of war and violence, a place of judgment and a place of punishment that never ends.
It is a place of human against humans in a jungle of predators, humans full of judgment, hatred guilt, and full of emotional turmoil, envy, anger, hate sadness, and suffering. We have created these demons in our mind because we have learned to dream a dream of hell in our life.
We each create a dream for you. Nevertheless, the humans before us created a dream for society. It is a collective dream, and it keeps us from seeing what we are.
Look at the dream from this perspective. It then becomes humorous when you think about what humans are doing and why they are doing it. Based on something that is not real. We are born into this society, and we adopt the ways of the culture and the rules and begin to compete with other humans.
Living Life as a Fake
Humans by nature are a sensitive being because we perceive everything through the Emotional Body. The (EB) is like a radio station. You can tune it to perceive certain frequencies or to react to certain frequencies. Children natural orientation is to love. We explore and enjoy life. After domestication, we question and restrain the love we feel because we do not have any concept of who we are.
The Emotional Body has an alarm like the physical body, which is a pain. We know there is something wrong. For the Emotional Body, it is fear. I asked my son-in-law the nature of his fear. He responded “I looked into my past and saw the betrayal”, and there is a fear that it would happen again. I asked him, “How do you deal with the fear?” He had not the response he just knew it was there and looked for signs that validated his fears. He watched the behavior that leads up to his greatest fear. I asked him if he knew the signs, what he could do to help his partner. He knew just where this path leads, but instead of responding positively and with intention, he let fear control his actions. He was confrontational, hostile and angry. Also, he had reason to be, but I told him, fear is a choice. He could let the dysfunction continue to rule his life or he could make a conscious choice in the face of fear.
In the movie with Will Smith and his son, He told his son, the danger is real, but fear is a choice. It is how you react in the face of danger. Fear is a response to an unconscious mind. It is habitual and dysfunctional. It is dis-empowering,
Journal Activity: Respond to the Poem and chapter; create a poem and written or verbal response to the chapter. Post this on my Facebook page.
Course Schedule: Week IV.
Step IV Mindfulness is attention to the present moment with an openness to see what may be invisible in the experience. You become free to act from a place of calm and clarity which brings balance and freedom. It can liberate you from the habitual action.
I look back over the road traveled
That lead me here.
As a witness,
Neither judging nor condemning.
I see patterns.
And the traps that ensued me.
Afraid someone would discover
I was not a strong silent woman
Who took care of family,
I was …
A victim who carried
The ideas of a little girl.
Everyone had more power than me.
I believed in love.
Until one day
My husband walked out on me.
I left for work.
When I got home,
He and everything valuable was gone.
I had to go to him for money
Because he took all we had.
I could not depend on anyone,
So I had best take care.
My mind played this scene repeatedly.
I could not believe this happened to me.
Feeling victimized by life
Began to weigh me down.
Stress settled in my hip.
Forcing me to transform.
Sitting mindful with sorrow
Is an act of courage,
But it let me see.
How to break free from patterns?
That held me in fear.
When I released the pain in my hip,
My life began to unfold.
The past no longer had a hold on me.
Reflective Writing: Respond to the Poem
Mindfulness is Fearless Presence
Mindfulness is Fearless Presence; it consists of being sensitive to each moment, regarding it as new and unique, having an open mind and being wholly receptive and having a love affair with the unknown.
Mindfulness is Non-Reactive
One morning I lay in bed for a moment before getting up. An experience happened at school the other day. Did I ask myself? Why did I feel the need to defend myself? Looking further into the experience I admit that when the young lady attacked me, I felt threatened and needed to retaliate, as I did not want to appear weak and be the target of her hate. Another option available to me was to be mindful and tune into the experience and accept what was happening neither judging or rejecting but looking for what was not readily accessible to me. I realize I do not need to defend myself.
What could the young lady say that would hurt me? Was that where I am wounded? Did I feel like a victim? Was this person victimizing me?
I look back into my past. I have felt victimized by people Most of my life, Both by their words and physical violence. I recognize people can hurt me.
This was an attitude that I had as a child. I did not have much power then, but now I do. Another strategy is to look what may be invisible in the experience to see where the young lady words may have come from and why she said those mean things.
This young lady is a program for delinquent girls. She had mentioned earlier she hated light-skinned girls with long hair. I was aware that She dangled her hate towards me. I looked at her. She was neither light skinned nor did she have long hair. She was jealous and angry. They were her feelings, not mine. Once relieved, her comments washed over me like a wave that sprung out of the ocean to once again disappear into the great ocean of life.
There are many instances that we sense negative emotions of others. We can let the emotion spring up without reacting and watch it disappear. It is through mindful attention that you become aware what is invisible in your experience and what may be invisible in the other person experience as well.
Four Principles for Mindful-Transformation
In Western Mindfulness Retreats, there are Four Principles for Mindful Transformation. You can apply the RAIN acronym to transform your reaction to the situation. The first step is…1. Recognition 2. Acceptance after that you are to 3. Investigate, the (body and feelings, what thoughts are in your mind and the environment that you find yourself in and lastly 4. Non-Identification, view the experience from a detached perspective.
Recognition is the first principle. When you become stuck in a situation, relationship or job and you want to break free from. You must recognize the situation you are in. Step out of denial and look at it honestly. You must be willing to see things as they are not as you would like them to be. Denial undermines your freedom. The drug abuser who denies he is an addict cannot seek treatment. The diabetic who denies the sickness will not look at diet as a culprit.
When you are open to what is really going on in the experience, you encounter understanding, love, and intelligence. You are the one who has the power.
Acceptance is the second principle. Acceptance allows you to be calm and opens to the facts that are before you. Acceptance says this is what is. It does not mean that you cannot work towards solving the situation. It is a courageous action to accept things as they are and take responsibility to roll up your sleeves and embrace what is before you.
To investigation is the third principle. This means to see deeply and dwell into what is unconscious in your experience. When you investigate, you look at Four Foundations of Mindfulness. 1. Body, 2. Feeling, 3. Mind, 4. Dharma.
When you investigate something, you want to become aware where you feel it in your body. Sometimes you can locate a hardness, heat vibration or contraction. You may notice numbness or throbbing. What happens when you are mindful of the sensation? Does it increase or decrease? Next, investigate the feeling, is the primary feeling-tone pleasant, unpleasant, neutral? Next, look into your mind: What are your thoughts and images? Are there any judgments and beliefs you are holding onto? Are there outdated beliefs or habitual ways of looking at the situation? Are they one-sided?
The fourth foundation of mindfulness is Dharma. The elements and patterns that make up the experience. We investigate whether we are clinging. Is the experience actually solid? Is it impermanent? Does it have a life of its own? Is it a source of suffering and unhappiness or happiness? How much do you identify with it? This leads to the last foundation which is Non-Identification. This means to stop taking the experience like mine or me. You begin to see how identification creates dependency. Is this what you really are? You become free to let go and rest in awareness through RAIN.
Mindful of the Body Allows You to Live Fully: I Brings Healing, Wisdom & Freedom
How do you begin to practice Mindfulness? At this moment, I sit in a chair in my living room. I look at the letters as they appear in the white space. I feel my fingers reach for the keys. I know the keyboard so I can concentrate on the letter as they appear on the page. I am also aware when I make a mistake. I can correct it as I type or at the end when I begin to edit the paper.
Mindfulness is to be present at all times with the body and what it is doing. Never leave the body and look into the future. To practice mindfulness is to be in the body and feel the sensations. Become mindful of what you are doing at the present and do not get lost in the future or the past that has already happened. Bring you full attention to the present
You say it will consume all your time. I say that your time has consumed you and you are lost in it. You are not paying attention to the present, and so you are not there one hundred percent. Mindfulness frees one up to live in each moment with each breath. This is the most natural thing, as is Breathing. It is what connects us to consciousness.
The practice of mindfulness is to observe thoughts as they arise, not as a judgment, but as a witness to them. You can just say oh, there goes doubt; there goes fear; there is happiness. See these sensations appear then evaporate as a wave rises and then once again disappear into the great ocean. Such are your thoughts, they arise and then fall. Once you have mastered observing your thoughts, then you can begin to witness the mind. The concentration of mind into the mind itself uses reveals the real nature of the mind that is being examined.
Journal Activity: Respond to the Poem and chapter; create a poem and written or verbal response to the chapter. Post this on my Facebook page.
Course Schedule: Week V
Step V: Creative Visualization:
The Practice of Finding and Following Your Inner Guide on the Path to Transformation. Take the time to get in touch with the wisdom of your soul.
On the Path of Transformation, you must commit to integrating the spiritual and human aspect of life. You begin by learning to live as a whole and complete being with balance and fulfillment on earth. The commitment to your conscious journey is part of the transformation of the world. You will explore through Creative Visualization your thoughts, feelings, fears and visions you have of your life and the world.
A SAFE PLACE INSIDE MYSELF
My first visit to my internal life;
As I make a safe place inside myself.
I walk down a tree-line path,
Soft wet grass under my feet,
I enter into a garden of my own.
Quiet surrounds me.
All I hear is the beat of my heart,
It pulls me in deeper,
Until I feel at peace with myself.
My guide greets me.
She speaks to me…
I let go of the tension in my body.
I want to soar into vast sky,
but pain strikes me.
It feels as if something has taken hold of my brain.
It is fear,
Its’ sharp claws dig in deep.
I go back to the day
I sit alone on the couch in front of the TV.
I am eight years old;
silence is my only companion,
Only it does not bring any solace.
Fear and dread spread COVER me like a wet prickly blanket.
Rubbing me with its coarseness
The tiny hairs on my arm stand erect,
At once I become a mother to this small little girl.
I take her by the hand and tell her all is well,
I am here for her,
She uncoils into my arms,
and we embrace AND rock to and fro.
I tell her she is safe,
I HAVE always BEEN with her.
I ask her what she loves.
She says words and solving math problems.
I tell her
maybe she can be a
Writer or a poet and her words can heal others.
She smiles and Tells ME SHE feels loved and safe.
I walk back up the path and leave the garden,
Back to the waking life,
With a renewed sense of love and security.
Finding Your Inner Guide
Most of us were taught to look outside of self for answers. We look to the media, to television and books for answers. There is an inner knowing, an inner awareness that we have not been taught to value. During this session, I want you to begin to look inward through the doorway of the heart and access a higher level of knowing. It is a knowing of the body of sensation and feelings. It is called woman’s intuition.
Sit back quietly and close your eyes. Begin to calm you mind and breath by taking deep breaths. As you, begin to quiet the chatter in your mind. Bring you awareness to your belly. Feel a sense of grounding. Imagine A place that brings you calm. For me, I often imagine I am on the shore at the beach, and the water gently hits the coast. As the water returns and glides across the sand, I bring my attention to my mind and my body, and look far away into the distance, and see myself traveling across the water. I am at home in the water, soon my wolf guide comes to me, and he tells me he has always been here waiting for me. I run my hands across his back, and a feeling of safety and love fills my senses. He tells me to stop, listen, and believe because a guardian appears for me his loves wishes me happiness and safety.
I want you to seek out the animal that will help you to cross over to the other side. The path that leads you to Enlightenment.
Build A Strong Inner Life
Just as you exercise to build a strong physical body, read, and study to build a strong mind. You also have to have a practice that builds a strong inner life. How do you build a strong inner life? You build a strong inner life through meditation, yoga or any other practice that takes you inside yourself.
I chant Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo. The sound and the mantra aligns my mind body and soul that help to build a strong inner life. This practice leads me directly to understand myself. It put me on the path where I discovered books I needed to, people I needed and information needed to help me along my path. It was like building a fortress around my heart.
Chanting, visualization and mindfulness work in concert to align my mind, heart and body to live an authentic life. I sit in front of my altar and chant. As I chant, my mind begins to focus on the sound. The chant starts a rhythm, and before you know it, the sound lulls my mind. It is as if I am an engine moving across the surface of time. As I move along, I visualize my goals and dreams. I grow stronger as I employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra, Chant and take action.
When I face a difficult decision, I chant to resolve to face it and see myself on the other side of the difficulty. I see myself strong as I face the wind. I keep my head straight. The wind blows past me. It shakes my arms, clothing, and hair. I continue to move forward. The wind is now at my back, and it is moving me in the direction that I want to go.
I want to cross the sea to the other side of the island. The wind is at my back, and I am moving across the sea. Soon I am across the sea. I look back at how I made it across. I put my faith in my body and my mind to withstand the strong wind as it blows and to maneuver my body, so the wind is behind me pushing me forward toward my goals.
My inner resolve is reinforced each time I sit down and chant. Each day I move closer and closer to my dreams. I am writing this line, and each line becomes a paragraph. I put the paragraphs together, and they are a chapter. The chapters become a book, and the book becomes available to you. As you read my words, they interact with your eyes, your brain, and your heart; the words move through you propelling you toward your dream.
Journal Activity: Respond to the Poem and chapter; create a poem and written or verbal response to the chapter. Post this on my Facebook page.
Course Schedule: Week VI
Step VI: Evolve Beyond Fear, Doubt and Ignorance: Transform into…Love, Courage, and Wisdom
Fear, Doubt, and Ignorance
Lives in darkness.
That elusive feeling,
That something is not quite right.
I had no warning,
I did not prepare.
The three shielded out light.
Until darkness consumed me.
Fear lay quietly,
Doubt showed its dreadful face,
Seized my happiness.
Ignorance said anything,
Made me prisoner in my own skin.
They lived in my heart,
Restricted the outflow of love.
Fear the liar
Doubt an illusion
Ignorance, unaware of the truth.
The slow return to grace
Is a lifetime process.
Each day I chant,
Every day I pray,
Vision more powerful than despair
Had begun to seep through the cracks.
A Witness into the heart of Fear, Doubt and Ignorance.
They were the effects of an untrained mind
Love grew when doubt vanished
And became A powerful presence.
Fear still lingers but has no real power
Love, Courage, and Wisdom Are More Powerful than Darkness!
Pain & Suffering
There is a pain, then there is the cause of suffering and lastly, you can put an end to suffering. Your mind holds all your experiences, feelings, and dreams in a collective pool. It is like a reservoir of feelings and emotions blending, both good and bad. When you suppress a bad experience, it hides in there. It often appears as a shadow in your life. Out of the corner of your eye, you can see, but it often hides and comes out in the dark.
There is also the collective unconscious of all of the humanity. We are a part of the human family and you contribute to this. You may often wonder why there is senseless violence in the world and why you may be caught in the world wind. It is the small violent act committed each day by individual people that add to this. This builds, to include violent acts by the Government, police, and state. It is like placing a small pebble and piling one on top of the other until a mountain appears. Such is the accumulation of a collective unconscious into the world.
Three Root Causes of Suffering
It is the time we come to terms with the power of our unconscious drives. There were times when I asked myself why I acted a certain way. Why was I so angry and why does my mind judge? I peered into my unconscious mind to find the answers that often eluded me.
There are three root causes of suffering. They are grasping, aversion and delusion. They must be completely understood if they are to be transformed. This is difficult because the ego lives there and will sabotage any attempt to be free from its grasp. These three primary unconscious drives give rise to all the difficult stages of life such as, anger, pride, fear, sloth, and overindulgence. They produce falsification, doubt, restlessness, and clinging. It is a lifetime process to understand the source of your suffering and be free from its’ influence. Let us look at each one separately so you can see how they operate in your day so you can discover where you are in your transformation.
How Can You Transform the Root of Suffering?
Pain is inevitable Suffering is not. Suffering arises from grasping. Become free from grasping and your suffering will end. You Suffer because you cling or resist. This is a sign of an unwillingness to move and flow with life. Like the ebb and tide of the ocean. All life just flows. All of us will experience a measure of pain. A wise person is friendly with the this and does not suffer. Begin to distinguish between pain and suffering. You can discover that sometimes the pain you experience is a call to action. If you do not listen to it may become louder. At other times, we must simply accept our losses and tragedies and move on. In either case, pain comes and goes. Suffering grows out of our reaction to the original pain. To let go of the causes of suffering is a process. Sometimes it simply means letting go—not trying to get rid of the experience, but softening into a state of allowing what is there. This softening brings a sense of release in the body and mind.
The Hungry Ghost
In the soft confines of your body and mind, there is a ghost hunter. It hungers for something, that thing that you seek. That thing does not free your mind or quiet your soul. It only brings more suffering because it is the unknown which can never be quite satisfied. It can be an addiction to food, to sex, to whatever you are dependent upon. It feeds on your loneliness and hopelessness and grasps for something outside itself to feed an emotion that you buried deep inside. You must quietly see that grasping is not the answer. There is a hole in your heart. You may not know where it began. However, it did and it has gotten so large that it has consumed your life and instead of seeking and finding peace in your mind it sends your mind into the abyss and all you can see is darkness. You must attend to this abyss in your life and begin to nourish it with love. Love is the only thing that will feed your emotions. It is a love for yourself and all its imperfections. You are the one who can stop this Hungry Ghost from consuming your life. You can begin to visualize a new story for your life. See all that has happened to you was to bring you to this place where you can examine your life and see what you may need to just let go. Is it blame, is it guilt, is it unworthiness? If you want to be happy, you must let it go. It is a process and you become aware when the tendencies may be just to wallow in the mud. You can stay there for just a moment, but you must move on, see it as a reaction, seize your mind, and then let it go.
Reflective Writing: Reflect on the Poem and the content
Three Types of Suffering
There is an end to suffering, not an end to pain but a release from its power. When greed, hatred, and delusion are given up we no longer cause sorrow for ourselves or others.
The Grasping or Greed temperament is constructed around desire. It is experienced as always seeking and wanting more. I am a seeker by nature. I was always asking, what was wrong with me. I tried many self-help programs. To name a few: 6-Weeks to Creative Freedom. The Value of the Valley. 30-Days to Discover Your Feminine Essence. I was always seeking something, not sure, what it was. I always wanted harmony, never wanted to argue or fight, feeling it would end the relationship. I wanted pleasure and the fall of emptying myself into a man.
The sexual relationships I had were centered on pleasure. When I no longer felt the pleasure in the relationship, I wanted it to end. I no longer desired my husband after being married for a few years. He was no longer sexually attractive to me and consequently, the relationship ended. I was addicted to sex.
At its extreme grasping and desire, become an addiction. The state of addiction is hunger. No matter how much you digest, the addiction satisfaction is impossible. My ex-husband used to tell me I had an insatiable appetite. We are not our desires. Using Mindfulness training you can begin to witness the arising and passing of desire. You can tune into the sensation, the feeling and the stories you tell yourself without judgment. The energy of desire will intensify for a time and try to overcome you, but it will pass and what arises is a sense of ease, peacefulness in body and mind until the desire ceases.
The second root cause of suffering is due to the Aversive Temperament which is constructed around judgment and rejection of experience. It easily sees faults. Looking for Problems everywhere, often critical and quick to find displeasure. This quarrelsome personality finds disparage in many things. He or she gives rise to anger, haughtiness, hatred, cruelty, aggression and the struggle to control. This type darts with hard steps. Is very rigid and moves with tension and tightness, eats hurriedly without savoring the taste? If you are out driving this one is seen in traffic gripping the wheel tightly moving in and out of traffic and is easily annoyed with other drivers. When they enter a room, they instantly notice what is wrong, picking up trivial faults and discounting any real attempt you may make.
Lastly, the Deluded Temperament is constructed around confusion and uncertainty, People with this temperament experience not knowing what to do or how to relate to the world. They seek ease by ignoring what is happening, dullness or inaction. This temperament gives rise to worry, doubt, negligence, scattered thoughts, and anxiety.
No matter how odd ones’ personality, accept it. It is not who you truly are. Our personalities are not wrong. They are simply different. They are just forms of energy. When we accept this fact, we can hold them with a gentle awareness. We can learn to transform the unhealthy states of our personality when we recognize and do not identify with them; we are no longer reactive and stuck. Be liberated to live more fully in the moment with love.
The Root Causes of Anger and Fear
Aversion and Anger usually arise when we feel threatened or when we are in a painful situation. You must become aware of what has triggered your anger. Usually, it is fear. Aversion and anger is a strategy to help you feel safe, to proclaim your strength and security. In fact, you may actually feel insecure and vulnerable, but you cover this fear and vulnerability with anger and aggression.
Fortunately, you can train yourself to be mindful and meet fear and pain with the wisdom of your greater self instead of with the habits of aversion and anger. When a painful or threatening situation arises, open your eyes. Become accustomed to your pain and fear. You must acknowledge the pain; this is the first Noble truth. There is Pain in Life. But know there is a greater self that can meet this pain. Look to the sky, with an open and expansive mind.
Meet the pain and fear where you are most vulnerable with care and courage. This show of true strength brings clarity, like a sword that cuts through illusion. It is called discriminating wisdom.
When you are not locked in blame or struggle, you can see things as they are. Use Mindfulness to notice how states of anger arise in your life.
Notice how anger can come in many forms. The critic, the self-righteous victim, the reactive controller, the judge, the know-it-all. Notice the stories it tells and the beliefs it holds. Stand in awareness of the movement to strike out, and to blame. What is the hurt or fear that might be hidden? Now imagine how you might communicate about your fear and hurt rather than blame. You can speak and respond to the problem in a way that respects yourself and others.
Transforming the Three Root Causes of Suffering
The practice of “Letting Go”, does not mean losing the knowledge we have gained from the past. The information of the past stays with us. To let go is to release any emotional attachment, grudges or fears, clinging and disappointments that bind our spirit. Like emptying a cup, letting go empties the heart and frees us to fill it with the present moment.
Buddhist Psychology directs us to examine how grasping operates. The more we grasp, the more we experience suffering. If we try to possess and control the people around us, we will suffer. If we struggle to control our body and feeling, it is the same. If a nation acts from grasping and greed the world around it will suffer.
On the other hand, healthy desires that are based on wisdom and compassion create happiness. also, healthy desires give rise to, generosity, integrity and spiritual growth.
From Grasping to Abundance. Release greed, addiction, and unhealthy desires replace them with abundance, generosity adornment and the love of beauty.
Gratitude is a way to heal depression, anxiety, and neurosis. This approach is a way to heal slowly and systematically. You can review your whole life and offer gratitude for each thing that has been given to you. When desire lessens, generosity is born. Generosity practices are not a way to become good but a way to become happy.
Journal Activity: Respond to the Poem and chapter; create a poem and written or verbal response to the chapter. Post this on my Facebook page.
Course Schedule: Week VII
Step VII: Align with the Eternal and Universal Truth. Awaken to the Law of Life that simultaneously permeates the Universe and the individual self, experience wisdom, compassion and courage of the Greater Self.
Break free from the Ego.
The self you show to the world.
The self that seeks approval.
That seeks to be right,
That wants control.
Break free from the lesser-self known as Ego.
You are a child of the Universe.
Awaken to a Greater-Self
That connects to everything,
A Self with expanded borders.
That reaches through the Universe.
The vast unknown;
Life originated from the black hole.
The unity of all.
You are the light that has come from the dark.
You came in the world hungry and crying.
Your mother feeds you.
You did not know.
You had to learn.
You sought the light.
Acquired the ways of the world,
You forgot the Unity of your Soul.
You are a part of Humanity.
You are the light.
A tiny firefly that flickers in the dark.
Around I sat in the audience
At the Anthony Hamilton concert.
Ten thousand lights flickered in the dark.
Music filled the air.
For one fleeting moment,
We were one life.
Those moments make and shape us and we live for another.
It was beauty and light.
Three levels of Refuge
As you practice the process of letting go; you will be able to see others suffering. Your heart fills with compassion when you realize so much suffering is Human-Caused; you will have awakened to a tenderness beyond your own personal injuries and your suffering will diminish, but your awareness of the sorrow and pain in the world grows stronger. You have evolved beyond your own suffering and you have entered the path of living as an enlightened being. What you repeatedly visualize changes your body and consciousness. I want you to visualize freedom, wisdom, and compassion, the life state of the greater self.
As you begin to open yourself to the suffering of others, you will naturally find refuge in your Inner life. This is the realm of spirit. If you are to live wisely and free you will need to have a trusting connection to spirit. It begins by reorienting your life from body identity to spiritual identity. A spiritual identity is open and without form or expectations, as vast as the sky. This becomes an inspiration, an ever-flowing spring of freshness to draw from each time you face a challenge. When in the midst of a difficult situation, breathe and look to the vastness of the sky and let go and be free not locked into a habitual way of seeing your immediate reality.
There are Three levels of Refuge The first one is Outer, then Inner and lastly Innermost. On the Outer Level, we take refuge in “God”, or a remarkable Human Being, who points the way to inner freedom. We take comfort in the wisdom of his teachings of generosity, compassion, and wisdom that brings freedom. Also, we believe in the people in our immediate life. This outer refuge connects us to tradition and to millions of followers on that path.
Taking Refuse in the Inner Path, we shift our attention from the outer teachings to the Buddha Nature of all human beings. Believe that everyone has the potential for awakening. This innermost realm is a shift from the outer teachings to inner truth, to seeing the way things really are, not as you would have them. Entrust yourself to follow this truth and live in accord with it. This inner awareness then shifts from the self to all beings dedicated to awakening.
Lastly, we come to the Innermost Refuge. Here we rest in the eternal consciousness and freedom. We declare that our true nature was never lost to us. Even in moments of delusion, nothing is lost. We learn and move closer to an awareness of the interconnection of life. All experiences become opportunities to realize the nature of mind and the source of all things. You must trust in this original wisdom in the depths of your life. You are the most precious person in the world, who has been lost in the physical world agonizing and prayerful looking for salvation when all the while the heaven you seek is within you. It is who you are. Declare the one true nature of life.
Transform your consciousness
What you continually think on shapes your world. Out of compassion, substitute your unhealthy thoughts for healthy ones.
To live the life of an Empowered Woman is to live victoriously. The society I live in does not value the feminine qualities, such as cooperation, dialogue and love. As a black woman in America, I often felt devalued, as if, I have nothing to contribute to the world. Chanting Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo has softened the hard exterior enclosing my heart and allowed my soft, gentle nature to bloom into passion and joy. This has allowed my true self to emerge. I continue to shape and create value with my life through my constant devotion to Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo. This is what I treasure deep in my heart.
Over 25 years I have practiced this philosophy and found a way to create value with my life. I chant every day with the single-mindedness to overcome the fundamental darkness in the depths my life. Darkness, so black that it threatened to swallow me whole. I sometimes feel as if I am in the belly of the ocean. All around me gloom. Blackness so dark it enveloped me. I could not see. So I swam to the closest reef, thinking I had found land. Only I was back into the middle of the sea. Through my daily practice of chanting and meditation, I obtained an awareness that I could swim, that I am a Buddha and I will not drown because I am of the same substance of the ocean.
Such is the life of an Empowered Woman, always at home in the sea. Today, I hear the voice of powerful women urging me on; to stand up and be the sunshine in the dark. Each day I chant to find the strength and courage to fulfill my destiny and overcome the challenges I face. I chant Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo when the darkness threatens to pull me under and cover me.
My life has value. To devalue my life is to slander my Buddha nature. It is a fundamental darkness to believe I have no value. Life itself is valuable. It is through my Buddhist practice that I have found how I can be of value to the world.
It is faith in Nichiren Buddhism that keeps me heading to the shore. I am victorious over obstacles. I swim closer and closer. Aground brims with the sunshine, that overflows with abundance, that fills my heart with love and joy.
There has been a succession of courageous women holding up high the banner of justice and courage whose shoulders I stand upon to hoist me higher onto the stage of World Peace
Two-thousand seventeen rolls in from afar. A tide swells and changes the landscape. It is the voices of women that I hear ringing out to me: The voice of change; The voice of justice and courage. Furthermore, we are the mothers of the earth. It is our sacred mission to mother and love all Humanity. The reason I chant is to bring a positive change in my life which begins to spread to my family and ultimately to the world as I undergo my Human Revolution. I am determined to live true to myself and bring value to the world through my daily activities where-ever life takes me.
Become a part of The Poetry Empowerment Project: (P.E.P.) Pep Talks; Follow my Blog @womanistempowermentseries.com. I can help you through this transition as you awaken to your Greater Self
Journal Activity: Respond to the Poem and chapter; create a poem and written or verbal response to the chapter. Post this on my Facebook page.