Thursday, August 18, 2011

Your Words Have Power: What Are Aum Qualities?

Do you speak the truth, always? How carefully do you choose your words? We take language for granted. We throw words around, playing, experimenting, casually expressing ourselves according to our mood and whim. Often we are quite unconscious of our impact on others, or how our words can bounce back to impact even on ourselves.

Words have power. They shape our life experience, they influence other people's views of us and their opinions of how things are. I read recently that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your communication. Perhaps a rather large statement, but I can certainly see some truth in it.

I have a friend who seems to be constantly on the attack / defensive. His language can be very passive-aggressive; I have watched this past year while his business has crumbled around him. He wonders why people keep double-crossing him or letting him down. I wonder if perhaps he just didn't start out with clear boundaries, accurately articulating his expectations, and then when confusion set in, found his communication style alienated the people he was working with, setting up a nasty spiral, often ending in legal action.

Is it the words themselves that have the impact or is there something else at play also?

In eastern religions, there is a sacred or mystical term, said to mimic the sound of creation and life itself. The term "aum" or "om" is a verbal phrase that when spoken or chanted it is reported as having a profound resonance, an eternal, universal quality. It is said to contain cosmic energy that makes up the very fabric of existence, and resounds forever.

Think about the sound of a bell ringing - the sound gets softer and softer but does it ever end? Or a pebble dropped into the ocean... does the ripple ever stop running through the water?

Om is supposed to be a bit like that. Powerful stuff.

But that's not all.

The universal sound of "aum", according to Indian philosophy, has three forms of expression; creation, preservation and destruction.

In Autobiography Of A Yogi (Paramahansa Yogananda, 13th edition, 2010, Self-Realisation Fellowship) it says: "Each time a man speaks a word he puts into operation one of the three qualities of aum".

Creation, preservation or destruction.

Each time you share words, what are you putting out into the world? What are you creating? Maintaining? Unpicking?

We live our lives on so many levels. If we could become more aware of what we are creating, perpetuating or destroying, and how, rather than being taken by surprise when things don't unfold as we hoped, perhaps we could start to create and manifest a life for ourselves that was closer to our best-case imaginings.

God Speaks In Whispers - Margaret Silf
The I Accept Prayer
Anger Gets A Bad Wrap Sometimes


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Anger Gets A Bad Wrap

Do you have friends who post inspirational quotes and cute sayings as their Facebook updates from time to time? I do. Often worth a read, one went up the other day that didn't ring entirely to true for me. It said:

"Life is short it. ♥ Love is rare... grab it. Anger is bad... dump it. Fear is awful... face it. Memories are sweet....cherish them."

Some nice sentiments but I think anger gets a bad wrap. It can provide the extra energy you need sometimes to propel you forward. Anger directed AT someone - including self - can be destructive but generalised anger... Not bad. Cleansing, motivating, powerful, useful when well placed.

I can't help but that think that anger is one of those gifts we have been given as part of the evolutionary process... it is designed to get us out of a bad place at the right time, to give us the motivation and power to react differently... An unknown adult disciplining your child in the playground causing you to run to the rescue, a boss who has had an unjustifiable harsh word to say just once too often and finally gets a piece of your mind (or a resignation?), an abusive spouse who crosses some imaginary line and triggers a new reaction in the abusee (to resolve to leave at the most prudent time) - to give rather random examples.

Many people though, live with anger. They do not use it but are used BY it. Anger controls them. It causes them to be people they don't want to be, say and do things they regret, creates isolation and separation from the people they love most. That kind of anger... bad news. No evolution there: pain and hurt instead.

No point suppressing it or denying it though. If anger shows up - in it's most positive, motivating form or its damaging, dangerous form - it's a wonderful clue that right there, in that moment, you have an opportunity for transformation. Taking a look at your shadow self and getting to know him or her can actually be a gateway to great joy - it puts you in the position to choose light or dark, old ways of being or the new.

If you can put anger to work, understand your triggers and do something constructive with the massive emotions that sit there, you can create a whole new life for yourself, a life where angers works FOR you as a positive, transforming force, not rules you.

Desiderata: Old Words, New Meaning
Are You Beautiful, Perfect, Broken?
God Speaks In Whispers - Margaret Silf