Embodied Life™ Newsletter Archive

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Loving Awareness and Your Life-Path

December 14, 2023

Our global community, and the earth itself, need people dedicated to paths of awakening, to interconnectivity and mutual caring. The beautiful, profound words of Hafiz can inspire us:

How Did the Rose
Ever Open It's Heart
And Give to the World
All it's Beauty
It felt the encouragement of Light
Toward it's Being
We all remain
Too Frightened

We are all roses! How do we open our hearts and bring our gifts into the world? Where do we find this encouragement of light? Do we remain too frightened?

Beyond the needs of daily life, what is your "most important thing"? What brings deep meaning and underlying purpose? How would you describe your "Life Path"?

Describing my Life Path

I feel very lucky: the defining principles of my path have not changed for more than fifty years. In a way it is a "pathless path", not bound to any tradition or specific behaviors. Rather, it is based solely in the intention to manifest certain qualities or values. Stated simply, I am here to learn how to Love and to bring an awake presence- Awareness -to each moment. I often fail.

"Loving Awareness" - Love defined as open-hearted caring and Awareness defined as clarity with warmth are the overriding intentions. Even when situations ask for a strong "NO", can I bring this necessary boundary with care and kindness? And can I forgive myself when I fail? In my definitions, true Love requires awareness and true Awareness requires love - in truth they are ONE.

Lying in bed, preparing for sleep, I take a few minutes to review the day's interactions with honesty and gentle seriousness. I celebrate moments of gratitude and learn from moments of disappointment. Long ago, I saw that setting my intention so high requires: radical acceptance of my limitations, immediate forgiveness, and humor. Was I kind to the "customer service" person, after waiting one hour listening to a terribly repetitive song? How quickly did I let go of that unhelpful judgment on my wife? Did I blame anyone for anything?

Some wise people, describe life on earth as a classroom for learning how to love. This resonates for me. We are collectively learning to move beyond self-obsession into valuing all others. Ultimately there are no "others" - we ARE Interbeing!

Your Life Path

Hafiz invites us to find the encouragement of light. To me this is the light of "loving awareness". This might not resonate for you. Finding and naming your life path in ways that resonate is a potent practice. Your path might arise from a particular tradition or set of practices, or it might be a "pathless path" that emanates from qualities/values that you intend to live by. Listen deeply, perhaps take some time to write, in an unedited way, what seems most important for meaningfulness and purpose in your life. Let the words flow, even if you need to erase some things later. This kind of free-flowing writing, from your inner world, is surprisingly helpful.

If you choose to articulate your Life Path, there is a magic duo that supports your journey: Intentionality and Forgiveness


The intention to prioritize, remember, and return to your Life Path is essential. With so many life demands, it is easy for the "urgent" (the shopping, cleaning, bill paying, appointments etc.), to overwhelm the "truly important". Most of the time there are many things or people that ask for your attention. Without a clear intention to remember and vitalize your "most important" commitment, it is so easy to forget. Cultivating a daily practice of some kind - I choose meditation and deep listening - is indispensable, as an antidote to life's often overwhelming daily requirements.


Committing to your path, likely means daily failure. The habits of the past, usually based in some faulty learning and old wounds are powerful attractors. We are all addicts in certain ways - addicted to old, often self-protective patterns, addicted to an image of a "me".

I remember Zen teacher Bernie Glassman, using the language of AA, half-jokingly said - "Hello, my name is Bernie, and I am addicted to being Bernie." Without cultivating forgiveness, I suggest not committing to a path. It is too painful to see our beginningless and endless mistakes.

Bringing your Caring Heart into the World

Take your time and deeply consider if you want to name your path and commit to it. Simply intending to live by some life-giving, core values will be a gift to the world. It might be strange, even difficult, to imagine that you are a co-creator in our collective field of consciousness. We are all in this together, creating the values and qualities that manifest in the world. Beyond doubt, it is clear to me that our intentions, thoughts, feelings, and actions together form the shared atmosphere - the etheric air - in which we live.

We are all roses, giving our beauty, our gifts, to the world. This can be consciously chosen or not. My deep hope is that you choose to bring more care, warm-hearted presence and kindness into the world that we all share. The world might continue to disappoint and frustrate us, still we bring forth the light of goodness without expecting anything in return.

As Hafiz says in this poem "A love like that":
Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth
"You owe me!"
Look what happens with a love like that
It lights up the whole sky

Many Blessings....Russell

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