12 Days, 12 Blogs
I captured today’s photo on my first day in Ubud, Bali. I had been walking along a trail when I came upon several dark green ponds sprinkled with an abundance of dark rose, dusty cotton candy, and creamy peach pink lotus flowers.
The lotus flower has long been known as a symbol of clarity and awakening — it’s pristine petals bloom from roots anchored deep in the mud.
So today let’s get clear: Where do you live in the mud of the past, taking the same actions over and over again and sinking in the quick sand of familiarity? And where do you blossom in your life, looking to the sunshine and drawing nourishment from the gifts of the mud?
We can see the mud as negative, something messy that we wish we didn’t have to deal with. But when we judge the muddy places we are denying where we came from and missing out on the lessons that the past brings us.
Our work is to open our hearts to the mud, to see it’s value and it’s lessons, and then to bring all of our patience, creativity, and spunk to transformation. When we keep judging ourselves, wishing we were someplace else, or feeling victimized by the muddy aspects of our life we are clouding our own vision. But when we bring the soft eyes of compassion and presence to ourselves the mud starts settling, and our waters become clear again.
Name five muddy issues in your life; places where you feel stuck, confused, or keep repeating an old pattern.
Don’t think, go!
Now smile. Thank yourself for your clarity. And read the list over, this time looking through the clear eyes of compassion. You didn’t just decide to have these issues for no reason; you have a history, experiences, and habits that brought you to this point. As you read the list again, be curious about how these behaviors of stuck places have served you: for example through bringing more understanding to others that have similar issues, or by giving you the illusion of safety. Don’t think too much about it, just scan over the list and bring your gratitude rather than your frustration.
Now pick one issue to start working on. One. Not three, not two. One. You can come back to the others later.
As you sit with the one muddy issue you are going to bring your attention to, ask yourself: What new blossom wants to emerge from the fertile mud of this behaviors and experiences? What is my vision of what is possible? Let yourself dream and feel yourself holding clear water instead of mud in your hands in regards to this issue.
Now commit to making a change. What is your action? Remember, baby steps. Don’t take on too much at once, let yourself go for slow and steady. Hold the image of the lotus flower in your heart, and ask God/Goddess/Creator or your highest self to help you shift from struggling in the heaviness of the mud to opening your petals to the wisdom and clarity of the sunshine.