A sense of relief comes when we enter this work and learn to welcome and be with all aspects of our human experience. We start to relax because we stop pitting parts of ourselves against one another, until eventually we come to know intuitively there is no boundary between inner and outer, subject and object.
As we awaken to our True nature, we realize an aspect of that nature is whole, lacking nothing, and never changing. Paradoxically, we realize another aspect of that nature is being the ever-changing flow of Life. Something in our True nature seems to desire more and more experience, development, and realization. We recognize this as the eternal, insatiable longing of Shiva for Shakti, even in the midst of their inextricable union — the unmanifest longing for what is possible and remaining present in all the forms of manifestation that originate from it. We recognize that Shiva and Shakti are not two, but the divine Union of Being.
We begin to notice that everything and everyone is a reflection of Being, which helps us contact universal love and compassion. As we identify less with a separate egoic sense of self and more with nonseparate Being, we find ourselves guided by a luminous intelligence that calls us into greater awareness. This intelligence works naturally and lovingly in us, bringing unconscious patterns and thought structures based on survival response and separation into the Light.
Many of these patterns and structures have been passed on to us by our family or cultural conditioning, while others might stem from childhood wounds or trauma. The intelligence invites us to be self-aware and compassionately conscious — to look and see what is there and be curious about it.
For most of us, a period of practice and development may be necessary in order to look at our patterns and structures without being influenced by survival-based strategies, most of which are rooted in collective consciousness and retained by our young, vulnerable minds. As we mature in our awakening and establish ourselves in the inherent safety of nonseparate Being, we develop the capacity to live from compassionate clarity.
Compassionate clarity has no inclination to shame. It allows us to observe our patterns just as they are, without judgment. It welcomes and accepts the patterns, yet doesn’t identify with them. It compassionately brings everything into the Light of consciousness.
We develop the capacity to meet emotions, such as anger or fear, as well as thoughts, such as doubt or control, with open awareness and invite them into curious exploration. We do not make them wrong or bad, but also do not feed them or give them more power over us.
Using compassionate clarity to attune deeply to ourselves is like being a skillful woodsman who listens intently to the sounds of the forest. Here are some sample questions for self-inquiry that can foster that attunement.
~ What is my present feeling?
~ Why do I feel this way?
~ What sensations am I experiencing in the body, and where?
~ Is this a familiar reaction or feeling that comes up often?
~ What might be underlying this reaction or feeling?
As we are guided by the Light and intention of compassionate self-awareness, transformation happens. Because the patterns and thought structures are no longer identified with, they start to loosen and unravel. As we hold those patterns and structures patiently, they feel comfortable to align with the higher conscious essence of embodied freedom.
Increased self-awareness improves the quality of relating with self and others, enhances our capacity for decisions, and deepens our overall well-being. The more present we can be to what is underlying our reactions, thoughts, and feelings, the more wholeness we experience and the more vivid, full, and enjoyable it is to be the flow of Life.