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I Vote for Kindness

If you know me, you know I’m pretty liberal in my political leanings. I see all kinds of Facebook posts that lean this way or that, reflecting the diversity of people I know and love. Often a single post will be a laundry list of what amounts to “Why Republicans are bad” or “Why Democrats are bad” or why they’re good.

Just like how in our personal relationships, saying things to our partner such as “You always XYZ” or “You never XYZ” doesn’t solve anything, I don’t see how these grievance lists are helpful; they only create more division and an “us and them” mentality.

Sometimes, I see something I agree with and would like to re-post it for the information, but then the last line badgering the “Religious Right” or another group turns me off because that is not in alignment with my spiritual belief that we are all One. Everything that exists within you exists in me to some degree or another, even the stuff I reject.

I think it would be much more productive to address a single issue at a time and present a thoughtful perspective. Even subtle references naming a group of people are divisive. People then tune out, missing the point of the argument altogether. War starts right here at home.

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For years I have asked myself the questions, “How can I be of service?” “What does the world need?” and  “What is needed in this situation?”.  To be a truly kind human being in service to the greater good, I wholeheartedly feel these queries have enormous value.  While I still examine my life in this way, I have learned that it is equally important to also inquire, “What gives a spark to my heart?”  “What makes my heart sing with glee?” and “What awakens my being?”.

By following our bliss, we are being of service.  It is in listening to the little voice inside that says “Yes!” with such joyful abandon, that we may learn what our most precious gift to the world really is.  I believe that the world needs all of our gifts, and perhaps most profoundly, it needs us to embody that which has awakened us to the igniting of our own hearts.

In grateful awakening,

Vanessa Hafiza

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Asking for help

We are not alone.  Not only is God always with us, in us, and around us, but God’s ambassadors are also nearby, vying for our greater good, and cheering us on. Belief in heavenly deities exists in the religions of Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Sikhism, the Baha’i faith, Buddhism and in Indigenous traditions. These celestial beings are ready to help us, but they won’t interfere with our free will, so we have to ask.

Personally, I sometimes feel uncomfortable asking for help in my life because I don’t want impose on anyone else.  This has been true for me even when praying!    I have to remind myself that God wants me to carry out my divine purpose in serving the greater good, and wants to help facilitate that process, which entails giving me guidance, meeting my needs, opening doors for me etc. I have had to learn that on top of praying for peace on earth, for hunger to cease, or for illnesses to be healed, there’s nothing wrong with praying for assistance for myself as well.

I now call upon all of my guardian angels, guides, ancestors, all the enlightened masters, the energies of deities and saints, the boddhisatvas, all teachers of the Light, and most of all God, right here, right now, to help me live in my fullness today.  Help me to practice good self-care, to have ample energy, to spend my time wisely, to be in remembrance of the Beloved at all times.  Give me clarity as to my purpose, and spark in me the inspiration and courage to follow my instincts.  Allow me to feel peace and love towards myself, and to radiate these towards others in thought, word, and deed.  And so it is Amen. Amin.  Amein.  Aho.  Soha.  Svaha.  Hri.

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Today marks the one-year anniversary of my dear mother’s transition from this earth. While I miss her more deeply than I can ever express, I also rejoice for her!

In many spiritual traditions, the anniversary of someone’s death is a celebration, much like a wedding, a birth, or a birthday. My mother, Karene, is reunited with the Beloved Creator! She is now raised from the denseness of the earth! Her spirit is now basking in the ecstasy of God’s unconditional love, and she is filled with the deepest peace she has ever known! She has returned home!

The journey of loss is sad, it’s true. But by allowing ourselves to empathize with the unencumbered bliss of our dearly departed, we can feel happy for them, which is a gateway to remembering the place of love, peace and beauty that is our very own nature.

Love you, Mom!

–Vanessa Hafiza

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The wind brings change

Hello lovers of the heart!

Today is a breezy day where I live.  There is a crispness in the air and the rustling of the trees is like a lullaby.  Their ever-changing melody reminds me that nothing is static.  The fact that all worldly things are temporary, can be either an overwhelming fact, disrupting our notions of security, or a great comfort in that even our worst times shall eventually pass.  When my life feels chaotic, stressful, and when the future is especially unpredictable, I take refuge in my direct experience of God as unfaltering; there is nothing that can destabilize that presence in my life.  I recognize that all changes, whether pleasant or not, will help me grow into the fullness of my being, will soften my rough edges and make me a more compassionate, resilient human being.  Relying on the Great Mystery as the steadfast Companion and Sustainer, I can view each of life’s transitions as a new song with its own beautiful melody and I can allow the rhythm of change to take its own course.

In one heart,

Vanessa Hafiza

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