Welcome dear Leigh to my NEW Guest Blogger/Author Feature, it is truly my pleasure to shine light on YOU now. IAM honoured to have you amongst my Divine friends here on WordPress, to read your honest and inspiring blog posts at bluegrass notes about your journey; transcending Human struggle and suffering by the simple act of opening your own heart and being love, peace and joy to everyone around.
Leigh lives in Lexington, Kentucky where she dedicates her time with peaceful activism, embracing movement and raising the vibration of ALL consciousness on Earth. Leigh shares more about herself and her life on her personal blog Not Just Sassy on the Inside AND I came across a secret pleasure she has… playing a kids game Wizard101 (that sounds quite complicated for a kid?). Leigh blogs about it and has written a beginners guide on how to play.
Leigh’s feeling on Compassion
Compassion is a word on which I’ve put a lot of attention in the last decade-and-a-half and since the U.S. election is front and center for me. I feel true compassion is unconditional. There aren’t people who deserve compassion and people who don’t; everyone deserves it. And the place where it begins is in you.
I see compassion and love as inextricably intertwined. To have compassion I think you must have a loving heart and if your heart is loving, compassion flows. The prerequisite to both is self-love. If you don’t love yourself, truly and unconditionally, it’s impossible to offer true compassion or love to anyone or anything else.
When you don’t love yourself there are always issues of self-doubt and/or self-loathing and/or self-worth and/or self-respect, etc. lurking somewhere in our consciousness. You may still do kind things for people or succeed much of the time at being a nice person but your actions and choices and behavior can’t help but be impacted by those doubts and issues. Your motivations may not always be as altruistic as you think. Your love will most likely be conditional. You may sometimes be mean or snarky.
I encountered the idea of loving yourself as a key factor from my earliest steps of this spiritual journey back in 1985. It didn’t take long to realize I lacked self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth as well as entertaining deep wells of self-doubt and self-loathing. At the time I figured I’d say some affirmations and do a guided meditation or two and in a couple of months I could check those issues off.
The reality, of course, has been a slow-moving journey of healing, self-discovery and growth that is still in progress. The journey has been up and down and encountered many plateaus. It has included numerous healing modalities for every level of being. While it has led to being far more comfortable in my own skin than at any previous point, I wouldn’t say I’ve achieved complete self-love; I’m more of a work in progress.
I used to be shy, self-conscious, inhibited, wildly uncomfortable with strangers, and touchy and thin-skinned in social encounters. I was not a person with whom others struck up conversations and I was often snarky and defensive in my encounters. As I’ve healed I’ve grown softer and more open and out-going. People start conversations with me all the time and I enjoy light banter with people I meet.
This shift reveals to me how much my state of being impacts other people. I understand the need to love myself first in a far deeper way since I have experienced the change and its ripple effects.
Compassion for All
Since the election and ensuing unease, I’ve put a lot of attention on building lovingkindness and compassion in myself. Over the years I’ve learned it doesn’t make much difference whether you specifically work on self-love or on love as a state of being; both fill your cells with love and change your energy
I began by saying the lovingkindness chant for myself and Trump and America (see post). After a while I shifted to saying that chant for myself and then singing the Gayatri Mantra followed by Om Shanti Shanti. These chants leave me calm yet energized, with my hearting feeling huge and vibrant and nothing can shake me from my sense of peace and love for all. That’s the space where I feel compassion dwells.
Some combo of the times and the practices have been inspiring me with a passion to speak up and write about Spiritual Activism. I wrote a series of posts about it and am planning to expand them into a handbook for peaceful revolution. It feels like my purpose and my passion … AND magnificence.
I have a BA in history, an MA in sociology from Northwestern University and a JD from the University of Washington School of Law.
My spiritual journey began in 1985 when a transpersonal psychologist introduced me to meditation, metaphysics and the principle that you create your own reality with your thoughts. I went on to Nine Gates Mystery School, the Fischer-Hoffman Process, sat with a Vipassana group, studied with a Hopi elder and studied with several Huna teachers.
I began studying yoga in 1986 with Bill Hunt, now the owner/director of Oak Park Yoga Center in Oak Park, Illinois. In 1988 I earned a teaching certificate from the teacher training program at the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago. I developed classes using movements that trigger deep muscle releases and combining that with stretches and have created a manual that’s available on Kindle, called Restoring Fluidity and Freedom of Movement.
Relating Heart to Heart by Leigh Gaitskill
I published this book back in 2013, to share will others important tips, from many spiritual paths, on how to deepen relationships and feel connected.
It is available from Amazon as an E-Book.
A Book Review…
‘Loved this book for its simple, clear, loving and responsible approach to developing our communication skills for a fulfilling life and happy relationships. It was very helpful for me to explore how simple admonitions and beliefs we inherit from parents, teachers and adults in early childhood creates reactive listening and conditioned speech patterns as adults. The very first screen of buddha’s right speech: ‘Is it true?’ often stops me in the middle of everyday conversation with friends and family, when I am diligent in my practice. Not taking things personally, allowing others to be who they are, practicing golden rules are all good reminders for opening our hearts and relating heart to heart.’ Isis07
Read more about Leigh, her life, her blogging and her books...
Join Leigh’s Collective Prayer Sunday
Leigh knows the exponential power of two or more gathered together with the same intent and asks you to join her each Sunday in her prayers for peace. For more info please read her blog post or/and follow her Facebook Page Collective Prayer Sunday
Thank you so much Leigh for standing out in the world and shinning your bright light for others to open their hearts too.
Do you want to be part of my Guest Blogger Feature… Your Magnificent Self
Every other Monday throughout this year, I will host a Guest Blogger/Author Feature and put YOU, my magnificent fellow Blogger/Author in the LIGHT. Not only this, I will feature your book/link to purchase in my website library and include your writing on Compassion in a FREE E-Book at the end of this year.
For more information and how to apply, please read my post here.
Call to Action
Thanks for helping me share this New Guest Blogger Feature with your friends… (Sorry I don’t have a reblog button as I host my own website… but maybe you could write an introduction and link back to this post?)
Together we can support each other and create an abundant, joyful and harmonious life.
Barbara Franken… Creative Visionary & MasterCreator
Inspiring New Energy Consciousness
I share my own magical journey, exploring Who I AM with the help of nine Elemental Beings and expand from a world of fear, struggle and limitation into a New Energy Consciousness of love, grace and freedom. It is in this loving space that I discover my Divine and ALL LOVING self and allow myself to integrate together as one Body Consciousness… a DivineHumanBeing… and Magnificent Master Creator who expresses and creates heart and soul passion on the physical plane and beyond.
There is no time like the present moment to Sign Up and give YOURSELF a magnificent gift… I promise YOU you’ll answer your own question… How to accept myself for Who IAM?
More Info: MasterCreator Class
All the money raised from my books and classes go to my ‘Creative Art Project’ The Magnificent Consciousness that I bring to our little ones… inspiring them to explore, discover and express life and their part in it ALL.