When we expand our understandings of the meaningful ways our energies can positively affect our lives and the lives of others, we are embracing empathy.
It is a gift we have the choice to give. Empathy is determined by both the environment and genetic background. Affective empathy is more often heritable and cognitive empathy more of a learned trait. Honest empathy is a sincere ability to feel what someone else is feeling or to understand another person’s feelings and reasonings. It is honest, sincere and genuine when it comes from the heart and not used for alternative, selfish motives.
In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZMM), and his related work entitled, Lila, Robert M. Pirsig shared insightful contemplations on truth and values. I would like to add empathy, compassion and wholehearted embrace of life to that list.
When we determine what our core values are, acceptance, growth and discovery are closer to our actual lived experiences.
The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there ~ Pirsig
We can transcend the often perplexing, challenging puzzle of existence and arrive at a fundamental path of truth — a truth that is genuinely meaning-making.
It is a puzzling thing.
The truth knocks on the door
and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,”
and so it goes away. ~ Pirsig
I wonder if this is his response to the 121 publishing houses who rejected ZMM before it was finally accepted by William Morrow. After that, it sold around 50,000 copies in the first month on the market
Having respect and compassion starts from within. In fear, I tend to not open the door to my truth — the erroneous truth of others can supersede my own. And, that permeates the way I deal with the world in general. On the other hand, Pirsig stuck to what he believed in despite (or maybe because of) the mental illness he struggled with.
As I open myself to being vulnerable and accepting, through recovery the irony is a stronger self, voice and acceptance than I could have had otherwise.
Mindfully, I make the conscious intention to listen to heed my intuition and trust empathy.
the third chakra
Energies flowing from the third, solar plexus chakra relate to confidence and clarity of understandings of truths as we genuinely perceive them. A blockage in this area relates to feelings/thoughts of unworthiness.
Physically, if we slouch into that area it can extend a sense of weakness and fear. It is amazing how connected our bodies, minds and emotions are — standing tall affects my sense of self-worth and confidence — even if it is uncomfortable to start with.
When I do particular yoga postures to work the solar plexus area, effective breathing, and standing tall overall, I can feel more confident. I am learning to trust my ‘gut’ or solar plexus symptoms and reactions to mitigate any difficulties before they get bigger.
the place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there ~ Pirsig
Although the original Chautauqua would have been open-air meetings of cerebral, wellness-oriented people, in our stories, today, we share in similar ways.
listen to the heart
it speaks louder
than the mind
in the midst of chaos,
lies the creative
though the cryptic is the message,
it chimes an energy of clarity
This is very empowering, and especially so, when our thinking is wholehearted— emotionally and cognitively, individually and collectively. In different environments, at different times in our lives, emotional energy needs to be interpreted. When we are very young, without emotional literacy, we may need to develop empathy at a subconscious level in order to understand indirect, but very affecting, communication.
to embrace the mysteries
that trepidation, steadied
this most passionate of discoveries
through the heart we clear the path
unravelling, soothing that babel
within the mind and beyond
this warrior is ready
the dance is the sword
through the cacophonous dissonance
softly in the vortex, with heart, mind and soul
opening the floodgates
freeing the muddled rivers of energy
And, we weather the inevitable storms, as gentle warriors, together lowering our shields, yet empowered in strength to persevere.
1. is highly sensitive, prone to panic attacks, depression, fatigue
2. absorb other people’s emotions, exhausting heightening anxiety
3. become introverted out of need to be less overwhelmed
4. is highly intuitive
5. needs alone time to compensate for higher level of cortisol
6. can become overwhelmed in intimate relationships
7. can be target for energy vampires
8. can become replenished in nature
9. has highly tuned senses
10. tends to have huge hearts, wanting to help, but can feel rejection and absorb too much energy from around her
with the heart we intuit, we think, we trust and the light enters through even the most narrow opening and begins to calm the storm especially as we learn to adjust the sails to moderate the winds
~ namasté, Leah J. 🕊
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