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Finding Freedom in 2017

It is a new year. We have the opportunity to realign with ourselves and set intentions for what we want and who we really want to be. Some may call this setting a new year’s resolution. But, that doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to just put in a ton of effort for a short period to make something happen. I want to be able to sustain myself and my energies toward my sankalpa (heart felt intention).

For me it all starts from the heart. Anything worth doing on our human journey of evolution has to start from the heart. We have to be willing to love ourselves and know we are valuable enough for these good things in our lives. If we don’t love ourselves why would we want to make a change for the better?

This month’s mantra really resonates within my heart.

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.

krishna-hindu-godMy favorite translation is “Everywhere I go I feel your oneness inside of me.” Ahh. That feels sooo good – right in the heart. This mantra touches us deeply to feel the power we have to set ourselves free. It helps us to understand the old adage “If you think you are bound, you are bound. If you think you are liberated, you are liberated.”

So, what gets in the way of us really, truly understanding and believing that we are free? What prevents us from believing that freedom is our birth right? Karma. Karma isn’t just what goes around comes around. It creates patterns in our lives that guide us into the experiences, people, places and times that we need to learn our life lessons and become better people. Unfortunately, a lot of us would rather repress the feelings and experiences that karma brings to us so we “don’t have to deal with it.” Avoidance only works for so long. Eventually you will have to deal with the problems in your life.

Let’s take a moment to look within. What patterns do you have in your life that keep coming up for you? Look back…. Are you a people pleaser? Do you see the same relationship happening with different people? Do you eat to satisfy something deep within? Are you a perfectionist? Do you find value in yourself when you try to solve other people’s problems? What is one of your patterns?

Now ask yourself: “Does this karmic pattern serve me and my highest good?” Your answer may be a little bit of “yes” and probably a lot more “no”. That’s ok. It is your right to choose what you want to focus on. If the “no” outweighs the “yes” then you have a choice: Do you want to keep this pattern in place or would you like to start working on removing it and replacing it with something better?

Take a deep breath. You just took the first two steps to improving yourself this year! You acknowledged what was there and you made a choice to change it. Congratulations.

The next steps are simply more awareness. See your pattern every time it comes up (in all its myriad of ways), smile at it because you caught it this time (whereas before you may have missed it), and third use this mantra to help you move through your transformation.
Chant this mantra in the car, during your meditation time, while at the grocery store, while you make dinner. Anytime you can chant this mantra it will serve you. If you really want to move some energy (i.e. make a change in your karmic patterning) a little more dedication and devotion is called for. Sit and chant this mantra for a specific amount of time or repetitions each day. A mala works great for counting 108 repetitions. The videos below will help you with a more melodic version that you can chant throughout the day or for a more centered mantra mala practice. Choose one or use them both.

This is one of my most favorite mantras. I come back to it year after year. It is like an old friend I can rely on.
With the aid of this mantra we move forward into this beautiful new year with clarity and freedom.

 

mindy-arbuckle-squareIf you’d like to chant this with me in January, please join me at Maitri – Westminster (88th & Field) on Mondays at 10:30 or Maitri – Arvada (64th & Ward) on Thursdays at noon.

Mindy Arbuckle
Maitri’s Founder

 

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