We talk of being present, but true presence reflects a recognition and an honoring of how we came to this moment. Throughout the month of October we've been exploring our deepest roots of Ancestral history and Karma. The timing is right while fall brings the passing of life to the forefront of nature's canvas. Beneath the leaves that will decay with the winter, there are the layers of the life that was. Beneath our own lives in the present, there is an undercurrent of the lives that came before. Our lives, have been supported by the lives of our ancestors. Their wisdom nourishes us, their experiences are deeply set in the cells of our own being, whether we know any of our ancestral history or not.
We honor those who have come before by recognizing the wisdom, the parts that will continue to support generations into the future. We also honor our ancestors by recognizing any ancestral patterns that may no longer be serving in our present time and place. This is our ancestral Karma, and we have a choice as to whether we continue these patterns. This is where we heal, for ourselves, for our ancestors, and for future generations. So where do we begin?
1. Open to Understanding
Just the very fact that we're willing to look at something more deeply begins to change it. Let's be willing to notice what we're doing in our own lives that doesn't serve a positive purpose. Is this something you might feel is a more deeply rooted pattern? Perhaps one that has been carried out by others before you?
Observe your body and how you're holding yourself. Our ancestral stress often shows up in tucked away spaces in our bodies, like the soles of our feet, backs of the knees, or even our upper back (the back of our heart). Become familiar with where your tension is showing up. Try doing tree pose with attention to these spaces. Tree pose make us aware of our roots, our present and of how we're branching out (what we're offering to others).
Our ancestors were in another time and place. Although we might feel the repercussions of their actions we might never know their actual experiences, or the tools they had to handle those experiences. We offer ourselves love and we offer love to our ancestors. Just simple, complete love. Love without having to know their full circumstances.
Give yourself a hug, feel the depths of your breath. With your arms wrapped here you'll feel your lungs filling and emptying completely. You'll feel a stretch to your upper back. When you breathe in say to yourself "Breathing in I am open", when you breathe out say to yourself "Breathing out I offer myself love." Do this for a few moments and then bring your ancestors to mind, this is more a sensation than an image. Extend love to them. With arms in a hug say "Breathing in I am open, Breathing out I offer love." Offering ourselves love, and offering others love, whether it be those that are here in present day or those who have passed, is one in the same. There is no separateness.
3. Choosing Right Action for Yourself
Even in offering love we might recognize that what we need to choose for ourselves needs to be different than the choices of our ancestors. It's okay to recognize that, understanding that some of the choices that served them well may not apply to our time and place or we may just have different tools. In your kindness and clear sight, trust that your ancestors would support you in making decisions that serve you well. This is where you break patterns that are no longer serving. You are the ancestors to the generations that will follow. What are you offering them through your actions and the way you speak to yourself?
How you speak to yourself translates into what you're choosing for yourself and the actions you take. The words chosen are very personal, so make it your own finding a phrase that reminds you of your self-worth. We would never tell others some of the harsh things we tell ourselves. In changing the self-talk, we change the pattern. Say your phrase out loud and say it often. Perhaps, "I am a valuable being. I honor my inner light"
4. Positive self-talk becomes deep listening
Here's where the magic happens. As we become more present through mindful self-talk, we heighten our sense of intuition, we trust those "gut reactions." We might even begin to recognize the wisdom of our ancestors speaking through our own inner guidance. In this we begin to remember and feel all of the love, strength and support of our ancestors. We feel it all around us in the here and now, as something from the past that is still very much a part of the present. There is no veil between us and them. We can tune into the love-filled lives that our ancestors wish for us as we would wish for future generations.
Close your eyes and focus on the spot right between your eyebrows, the intuitive center. As you feel your breath move in and out through your nose just keep attention in the space of your head, move attention right through the center of your head to the back of your head. Keep attention here until your thoughts quiet down. Then say thank you. Say thank you to your ancestors, say thank to the wisdom that has been given to you, say thank you to those who have provided guidance. Say thank you and name the names out loud, in remembrance.
It is through our attention to the most simple practices that we find peace and remember connection. All along, those that are no longer here with us physically have remained a part of us that will continue on.
Pez and I wish you many moments of remembrance of all the ancestral wisdom and love that's available to you always.