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The day the world ended

The world had ended,
and I was the only person who knew it.
The streets were full of people walking on them
as if the earth hadn’t crumbled beneath their feet.
They appeared to breathe in and out,
but I knew that the air had been sucked out of their heart and lungs
in a monstrous inhalation by Brahma himself.
I alone was suffocating in this nightmare.

For eons, or so it seemed,
I have accepted fate.
Yet, being at the centre,
not only of my own world,
but often of the worlds others inhabit,
perhaps I had to face the fact
that I had brought this catastrophe upon myself.
Our thoughts design a force
that creates the perfect moment of receptivity.
Having established a code which never varied: I didn’t lie…
perhaps it was because I was too fragile to be caught out
and forced to admit that I was less than Olympian in action.
at the end of the day,
whilst I could blame the circumstances
that had lured me into this predicament,
I decided to lift the burden of responsibility
onto my own shoulders,
where it belongs.
Admittedly, I am staggering under the weight.

I cannot deny to myself
that something terribly important is taking place in my life,
despite what seems like a sea of catastrophies
attempting to sweep me away.

The first few months
while I have been adapting to the facts of my new life,
have been a hazy period,
one in which reality seemed to lie just beneath the surface,
never emerging fully.
Out of the corner of existence,
weaving a life through the web of circumstances
playing themselves out,
my major concern was to live the life given to me,
and for others to do the same,
and to do so without drama,
nor being dragged down by hopelessness.

I credit my reactions
to being mindful of the breath
to extricate the mind,
and find gratitude in the resolutions of logic and reason,
by burrowing into the cave of the heart.

Always the optimist, hoping for the best,
everyone cautioned me to prepare for the worst
and thus I have been unsurprised
by anything in between.

Everything changes.
Life has a conveyor-belt quality
and my only thought was to keep erect
and maintain my balance
under the not so subtle condemnation
and gaze of the nay-sayers and detractors
– everybody has them!

Our fears can be so powerful
that they stop us from moving.
To break the bonds of terror
and slowly recover its lost magic,
I do what I do.

In rare moments alone,
recognising that it’s all the play of consciousness
with deep gratitude and love,
I feel absorbed by the mysterious perfection of life.
Life is exciting for itself alone.

Deep within
is only one single magic,
a single power,
a single salvation.
It is called loving.
Beyond time, beyond death, love is.
Time and death cannot wear it away.

The hardest thing that love will ever ask of you
it to understand, accept and even love
a person, issue, set of circumstances,
or even your own darkness or shadow
that has caused you
pain, hurt or distress.

Loving an enemy
is the most redeeming, alchemical power of love.
It goes so far and so deep
that you cannot truly experience love
at its fullest,
unless you let it touch, change
and transform you in this way.
Loving what hurts
is the hardest thing you will ever have to do.
It requires you to confront your own ego,
to expand your sense of fairness, comfort and safety,
as well as to forgive yourself first.

Loving what hurts is more than just acceptance
or quiet resignation.
It asks you to rise above your smaller self
and walk into the world of spirit,
the no-(wo)man’s-land where all souls are free to exist
on their own terms,
beyond all our different versions of reality,
constructs from our cultures, family and education,
and the preconceptions of others
we have unconsciously acquired over time.

Loving what hurts
invites you to open up your heart again
to the god-dess in yourself and others,
to the divine spirit in us all,
greater than our earthly stories,
our temporary ideas of
You vs. Me, Us vs. Them, He vs. She.
It asks you to surrender ,
to let go of expectation and regrets,
to forgive who or what hurt you,
because hurt, unforgiven people
keep on hurting people to no end.

It asks you to choose being kind over being right,
and through it all,
to love your darkness first,
because you cannot love another person
in the fullness of their story,
without first respecting, knowing and loving you.
There you can embrace your perceived enemy
at the purest, most elemental level of the soul,
joined by the umbilical cord of your shared humanity,
before adopting any other shape, identity or story.
There, to even exist at all
is an act of love and gratitude in itself.
Love, in its purest form,
is unconditional by default.
From this place, empty of you and others,
you can fully know yourself and others from the core
for who you really are deep down, under these layers.
Once you root yourself in this power,
it’s impossible to look at any ugly, awful thing
in you or others,
without compassion
and a basic understanding
of the divine still present
through the darkness, hurt or pain
you are experiencing.

When you establish unconditional love
as the basis for your life,
no matter the degree of darkness in or around you,
you will look at all of life through a redeeming paradigm
full of creative possibility.
And this will change the game for you,
and everyone whose life you touch.

Your love will save you,
but only if you’re willing to let it break you open.

With all the darkness we’ve been facing lately,
personally and collectively,
the challenge is to be the light:
by aligning with the god-dess in yourself and others,
by acting out of love rather than reacting from your ego,
by loving your own suffering,
and alchemising it into new life.
and in so doing, developing a deeper understanding and compassion
for the suffering of others.
This is perhaps our hardest revolution,
yet is is one we are ready for…
Be willing to
Love what hurts, even when it hurts, especially when it hurts.
Life is exciting for itself alone.

yogaYoga Teacher Training, Ayurveda Training, Cert. IV Training and Assessment, Yoga coursespranayama classes gold coast

About Shanti Gowans

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community. Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television.

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