The Gift of Awakening

Time is apparently moving forward as we approach the darkness before we bring in yet another New Year. One could consider we’re taking a journey together here on this planet earth, and well, how are we doing? With another season upon us and an auspicious one at that – winter with all of its cultural and seasonally timed rituals – the true meaning of this season is often overshadowed by the distractions of the small mind manifesting more and more material gods to worship or want. The small mind – it certainly can get in the way – that’s its nature though, so you’ve got to expect that.

Have you ever noticed yours? Being still – you have to be still to notice, and then you begin to notice more and more. It’s quite entertaining to observe “the small mind”. I catch mine when I’m experiencing tension, worry, self-consciousness, judgment, doubt, dullness, carelessness, laziness and dissipation due to excessive craving……….those nine distractions, Patanjali (Yoga Sutras) knew all about them. Perhaps not much has changed then in a couple thousand years, or has it? We would hope so, but when you look at what we are still doing to ourselves, each other and Gaia – this earth, it’s pretty appalling and obvious that we are not getting something. But here we are again at another significant seasonal/symbolic reminder. Perhaps one could consider the real gift of Christmas as the revelation of Christ consciousness to be “awakened”, aware of our true nature. It is that capacity of Self-love that transcends the small mind, remember – the nature of the small mind is to judge, compare, argue and be discontent and the first person in the line of fire is ourselves.

In consideration of all the gifts and things that make life wonderful, there is still no better gift than the gift of inner peace. In addition to Self-love the thing that Christ, Buddha, and others exemplified was inner peace, which is the gift of Awakening. Despite all of the personal challenges and public disagreement to who they were and what they were doing these individuals carried on graciously with acceptance, and aligned with Self-love.

The small mind – it seems like it would carry on long after we were all said and done because it functions so much in isolation and in conflict with our true inner nature seemingly unaware of the havoc it may be causing. I will watch my small mind in countless circumstances and the general theme of conversation that is my ‘thinking’, is so predictable and in character with what mystics, sages, yogis and psychologists have been telling us for centuries. The mind is transient and thrives on contrast.

Well we can all see what happens globally when the small mind is given the run of things: greed, hate and judgment become positions for the ego to defend rather than warnings of inner misalignment. And in ourselves; perhaps self-judgment, impatience, self-doubt and discontent will be good indications that we need to slow down and “de-think”. Here we are coming into a season which is traditionally set up for a little of that inner reflection and self-acceptance.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all gave the gifts of inner peace and self-love this Christmas – especially initially to ourselves? As I mentioned above, inner peace is the result of awakening which is the true gift of the masters. When you are “awake” you recognize yourself as awareness, thinking then ceases to be a self-serving autonomous activity that takes possession of you and runs your life. (Eckhart Tolle) Lets get a head start now, its not hard, simply agree with yourself to allow no negative thoughts – NONE. The next step is to be fully present, no matter what the circumstance and remember the first agreement. I’m sure from here you will all awaken into awakening, as even that is a process!

All the best to all of you this coming season.


Published by Mary-Jo

I am passionate about diversity, inclusion, sustainability and community. Having raised my children in a small B.C. town as a single parent, I relied on the community, my resourcefulness and the land to sustain us. We developed a market farm,built a cafe and catering business that utilized the produce, local farmers and families to thrive. As a Waldorf school parent I became experienced in biodiversity, edible landscapes and community engagement. I gained substantial skills in leadership, facilitation, project management, communication through teaching yoga and running various business's. My role as a facilitator and trainer to individuals seeking to become a yoga teacher- whom never thought that they could stand in front of a room and speak in public, gave me insight into human nature and coaching. In addition to designing and building businesses - cafés, yoga studios and national training programs, I am a student of Social Development & Social Psychology and understand the complexity and importance of social engagement. I can handle with grace most any situation, having encountered a disability later in life. Consequent to becoming disabled and through advocacy and providing peer support I have trained and acquired extensive exposure and understanding of UN principles on disability, The Human Rights objectives, theories and principles of Universal Design and the various challenges and obstacles for those affected and the relationship to various stakeholders. After 30 years of teaching yoga, my spinal cord injury and subsequent sabbatical has allowed for the integration of my yoga and more in-depth study of the Healing Arts. I have had the fortune of working with some of the best in the field of rehabilitation, Somatic Experiencing and manual therapy including Emilie Conrad, Mark Finch, Judy Russel, Rod Stryker, Carolyn Myss, Ana Forest, & Tim Miller, Susan Harper, Mariah Moser, Herta Buller and Nature.