By February 7, 2010 42 Comments Read More →

Top 10 Lessons Learned in Spirituality

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Editor’s note: Meet Nadia Ballas-Ruta. Nadia is author of the bountiful blog, Happy Lotus, and her super skill is spirituality. She was trained by a Buddhist master and this turned out to be one of her most powerful, life changing events.  Nadia fondly recalls this as meeting her Master Yoda, the way Luke Skywalker did in Star Wars.

As a seeker of the “best of the best”, I challenged Nadia to share her best lessons learned in spirituality, top-10-style, with readers of Sources of Insight.   She responded to the challenge with a great distillation of her best lessons learned.  Without further ado, here’s Nadia’s guest post on her top 10 lessons learned in spirituality …

In Eastern thought, the lotus flower is used to symbolize the journey that we all take in life. Lotus flowers grow in the mud which represents all the experiences we have to endure. Eventually, the lotus manages to push through the mud and emerge above the water and then blossom in full bloom. This is said to represent the fact that life is a process of gaining wisdom. This also represents the journey that came to be my life.

When I was five years old, my father told me about how he and my mother were married. They were from two very different religions and that is one reason why they came to America.

He went on to tell me that all religions were one and that God loved everyone. He said every person was equal and that there was no one group of people who were superior to another.

I remember this event as if it were yesterday. I was surprised at how serious he was because everything he told me made total sense. He ended the discussion by saying that they were not going to force any particular religion on me. I was free to pick whichever religion felt right.

Little did I know that not every child is raised with such open-minded parents.

This lack of a religion became a problem once I went to school. I realized that many people identified themselves by their faith. I could not relate on any level. I just saw everyone as one and it struck me as strange when I would hear racist comments or prejudiced statements.

When I was in my early twenties, various circumstances arose which made it very clear that I needed to figure out the whole religion issue. Thus began an intense spiritual journey that changed my life on so many levels which included traveling the world, going to law school and almost becoming a Buddhist nun.

Yes, I almost became a nun. For some reason or another, I was discovered by a Buddhist monk at a very dark time in my life. He took me under his wing and taught me a lot about Eastern thought, life and the human spirit.

I was offered the rare experience of being initiated. Many people wait for years to be given such an honor but I was asked within months of meeting my teacher. I happily accepted and seriously considered being a nun.

Even though I loved my studies, I knew in my heart that the monastic path was not ideal for me. I was ready to give up all material aspects of life but I was not ready to give up on the experience of being married. So I left that path and continued on my way. However, that experience laid the foundation for me and changed how I looked at life.

Top 10 Lessons Learned in Spirituality
Here are my top ten lessons (not in any particular order) learned as a result of my wonderful journey:

  • Lesson One:     People are more alike than you may think
  • Lesson Two:     Life is what you make out of it
  • Lesson Three:   People are mirrors for one another
  • Lesson Four:     Fear is poison
  • Lesson Five:     Life is about love
  • Lesson Six:       People do things for a reason
  • Lesson Seven:  You are God
  • Lesson Eight:    People cause evil to exist & people give themselves away
  • Lesson Nine:     Be present
  • Lesson Ten:      Everything you do is an extension of you

Lesson One: People are more alike than you may think
One of the great things about traveling the world is that you begin to notice that people basically want the same things out of life, regardless of where they live. A mother in India wants the same things for her children as a mother in America and as a mother in Russia. Human beings all want to be loved, to be safe, to be healthy, to have shelter, to have food to eat and so on. Sometimes we get so focused on the exterior differences that we forget that all of us share 99.99% of the same DNA. We are more alike than we are different. When we begin to recognize that we are more alike than different, we start to notice that there is no justification for thinking that one group of people is superior to another. We are all brothers and sisters looking to find meaning in life.

Lesson Two: Life is what you make out of it
There is no set formula to what makes a successful life. For life is what you make out of it. Often people think that there are certain "shoulds" of how to live. People kill themselves to fit into a mold that they think is necessary. The beauty is that there is no mold. We each have the ability to live a life that is based on how we feel and see things. As much as we are all alike, we are also unique in our talents and skills. We cannot have a cookie cutter approach to living. There are no limitations to what a person can achieve. The minute we free ourselves from self-imposed limitations, we are free to achieve anything we want.

Lesson Three: People are mirrors for one another
Ken Wilbur states that when we see something in another person and react to it emotionally, what we see in that person is a reflection of what we know exists within ourselves. He also states that if we observe something in another without an emotional reaction, then that is just an observation. The first time I learned this, I was defensive for I felt all my criticisms of others were justified. I then began to dig deep and realized that there is a lot of truth to the idea that people are mirrors for one another. When we react to hate in another, it is a reflection of the hate that lives within us. When we judge someone for being full of it, then that is a reflection of the idea that maybe we know we are full of arrogance too. However, if you see beauty in another, it is a reflection of your beauty too. See someone as graceful and that means there is an element of grace within you. Sounds simple but this one lesson is very powerful in personal growth.

Lesson Four: Fear is poison
Fear is poison because it is so limiting. The motivation behind most human drama is rooted in fear. Racism is a manifestation of fear as is violence. People act as if there are limited resources in the world and we are all in a race to get these limited resources. We even have a phrase to describe this behavior: “it’s a dog-eat-dog world". I do not know about you but I think that is a sick mentality. The world is abundant…we just have directed our attention to what we think is lacking. There is no boogey man who is out to get you. The only person who gets in your way is you and your ego. The ego speaks the language of fear and that is what motivates it at every moment. We are afraid of not being good enough…there is no reason to feel that way. You are good enough…you just think you are not. Fear is the poison that keeps us stuck.

Lesson Five: Life is about love
Being that fear is poison, love is the antidote for life is all about love. The love I am referring to is not the erotic or romantic love that movies and songs focus upon. The love I am talking about is unconditional love. When I was a teenager, I had a “near death” experience. It was an amazing event for it proved to me that there was life after we pass from this world. The love that I felt was unlike anything I had ever felt on earth. The Universe/God/The Force operates from a perspective of love and mercy. Nothing gets in the way of love. Fear is a powerful emotion but love is even more powerful. Love is what enables people to perform miracles and wonders.

Lesson Six: People do things for a reason
When I was in law school, I realized that any given situation viewed by ten different people will generate ten different accounts of what happened. And each of those ten versions will be correct. This one realization then led to the awareness that people do things for a reason. No one intentionally does something out of stupidity. The best example of this is in the book Crime And Punishment by Dostoevsky. Instead of condemning someone for what they do, try to understand why they do what they do. Often, when we understand why someone behaves in the manner that they do, it enables us to feel compassion for them and understand them better. It allows us to be able to help them because we can understand their perception of reality. Judgment is never a good thing and only causes more pain.

Lesson Seven: You are God
For the record, I believe that there is a Higher Power at work at all times. That said, I also have come to learn that we each have a spark of the Divine inside of us. What does this mean? This means that you are the creator and destroyer of your reality. Everything you do creates a ripple effect. No action goes unnoticed. We have the power to decide how to experience life. We can either experience it with love and joy or with misery. We all have suffered and we all have had our share of pain. The key is to take those experiences and learn from them. We are here to grow and learn. We are not meant to be stuck and lament about our misery at all times. We have the power to create our reality. So choose wisely at all times.

Lesson Eight: People cause evil to exist & people give themselves away
People often say that if there was a God, then why do bad things happen? Well…the answer is simple. We allow those things to happen. Take for example the Holocaust; people knew what was happening in the camps but did nothing to stop it. God did not allow that tragedy to occur, human beings allowed it to take place. Bad things happen because people do nothing to prevent bad acts from happening. There was a story some months ago about a young woman being gang raped while people watched. Did God allow that to happen? No, the people who stood by and did nothing allowed that to happen. People want free will but free will comes with a cost…it is called responsibility. You want the world to be a more loving place, then be more loving.
The second part of this lesson is that people give themselves away. If you pay attention to someone when they talk or do anything, you can learn a lot about them from their actions. Some cues are subtle and others, obvious. If you want to truly know someone, listen to them and pay attention to everything. Their actions will speak volumes about who they are. Friends often joke that I am psychic because I can read a person very well. I am not psychic, I just pay attention to all the behavior.

Lesson Nine: Be present
The past can never be changed and the future is unknown. So all you have is the moment and to make the best out of the moment, you just have to be present. That means making the most out of every minute of the day. Be fully engaged in whatever you are doing. For how you handle this moment will determine the next moment. There is no need to waste time on things you cannot control. All you can control is the now so just be present.

Lesson Ten: Everything you do is an extension of you
As I mentioned in lesson eight, people give themselves away. Lesson ten expands on that concept because the way you spend your time is an extension of who you are. If you surround yourself with people that are not reflective of your truth, no one knows that except you. The company we keep and the actions we do reflect who we are. If you do not like the company you are in, ask yourself why. People often give their best to things that matter most to them. Many people compartmentalize their life. I used to do this too but then I realized that no matter where I go, I take myself with me. Your actions speak about who you are. You can be the most wonderful human being but if you do not act like it when in public or in the work you do, no one will know how wonderful you are except you. Don’t save your best behavior for a special occasion. Each moment is a special occasion…so be your best at all times. Oprah says that "luck is when opportunity meets preparation". No one is going to know how prepared you are if you are not being your best at every moment or surrounded with an environment that is reflective of your awesomeness.
Special thanks to J.D. for giving me a chance to be featured here. This post has been so much fun to write. It was hard to pick just ten lessons since there are so many wonderful things I have been fortunate to learn. I hope this helps and gets you started on living a life that you love.

42 Comments on "Top 10 Lessons Learned in Spirituality"

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  1. JB King says:

    Thanks J.D. and Nadia for sharing this. Some of these lessons resonate with me a lot. Each of these lessons seems to have a great truth to it, and some of these are lessons I’ve seen repeatedly in my life. Lesson #2 is in particular something that I’ve seem time and again, where if someone wants something they have to go and try to get it.

    “You are God” makes total sense to my mind. We are born with purpose and passion, yet how often do we use it or even really find it? In a way that makes me sad, but maybe part of my mission is to try to help others find what they are missing in life.

    Those are some lovely lessons that once again I’d like to say thank you for sharing and brightening up the world with your shine.

  2. Chris Edgar says:

    Hi Nadia — I think “people are mirrors” is a great way to put it — one thing I know I’ve come to realize is that, if I’m walking around thinking “everyone seems angry today,” I’m probably not acknowledging my own anger. And the positive stuff gets projected too — when I started meditating I started remarking on how everyone else seemed so calm!

  3. You’ve put together a wonderful list of Spirituality lessons. I think “People are more alike than you think” is one that takes a long time to really get rooted deeply in your non-conscious and conscious thoughts and actions. But it’s amazing when you begin to realize that people will act in certain patterns. That those patterns are hard to change. And you don’t need to take it so personal.

  4. Wow Nadia,

    This is one of the best posts I’ve ever read – filled with wisdom and love. Your life experiences certainly have formed you and you are a beautiful lotus!

    I too was angry when it was first suggested to me that others were a mirror of myself – surely I was nothing like that person I detested! Eventually I came to accept it and you’re right that this is one of the most powerful growth processes.

  5. Hilary says:

    Hi JD and Nadia .. first – I’m looking forward to reading this! I never knew Lotus flowers pushed up through mud and represented success through hardship. How wise your father was. I like the way you say ‘that experience laid your foundation and changed how you look at life differently’.

    Your ten lessons are so clearly set out – Nadia you have such a wonderful way of writing things down so we can understand more easily and think about, mull over. We are unique.

    All these lessons are so amazing and I salute you Nadia .. how extraordinarily lucky we are to have you in our midst. I’ve printed out this post and will keep it to read again and again. Last week I had a life-changing event, which tied a few things together, and this post just adds to that revelation. Interesting world .. I just consider myself so lucky to be where I am now – in the company of such awe inspiring people here and elsewhere .. thanks so much – this information means so much to me … amazing – Hilary

    PS JD – you’ve done everyone a huge favour here – and I congratulate you on asking Nadia to do a post, to set out her ideas of spiritual lessons she’s learnt – and she has hasn’t she? Great beginning to a week …

  6. Hi Nadia, I’d like to echo what Daphne said: This is one of the best posts I’ve ever read. I’ve already bookmarked it and I’m going to share it with friends. It sounds like you and I had similar experiences with family and religion while we were growing up. Like you, I had the urge to go on my own spiritual quest when I was a young adult. Maybe that’s the benefit of growing up without having your religion chosen for you — it makes you curious enough to go out and find it for yourself. And I learned that when you have to work to find your spiritual truth, it has deep meaning and a profound impact on one’s life.

    I’m looking forward to visiting your site!

    J.D., Thanks so much for asking Nadia to write this.

    This totally put a smile on my face. Thanks to you both :)

  7. Louisa says:

    Fear is poison – love that! :-) How lucky to be able to grow up with a choice of religion…I believe that many people fall into one or another because it’s habit, without ever asking the questions needed.

  8. @ J.B. King – Thank you so much for all that you wrote. I agree with you on the importance of finding passion and purpose in life. I believe that every one of us has a passion and a purpose. We just need to go within and discover it. Good for you for wanting to help others…I feel the same way too. :)

    @ Chris – Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. People are definitely mirrors for both the negative and positive stuff. The first time I discovered that truth, I was not so thrilled but with time, I came to see the beauty and truth in that reality. It is amazing how we are all teachers for one another…whether we want to be or not.

    @ David – Zen Choices: Thank you so much for the positive feedback. One of the many great things about being a human being is that we can change…we just have to want it badly enough. Some people do not want to change and some people do not think change is possible. However, despite those patters, we all strive for the same things in life. That is one of the many benefits of traveling the world…you begin to realize that we are all more alike than we are different. Human desires and behavior are pretty much the same. Customs, language and other stuff gets in the way of seeing that the core of humanity is the same.

    @Daphne – Thank you so much for all that you wrote. It brought a smile. I am so happy that you really enjoyed the post. That whole mirror concept can be a huge shock when you first discover it. It is great that you are already aware of it…that is awesome. Not many people accept that truth because it is a hard blow to the ego since the ego takes pleasure in wanting to judge and blame others.

    @Hilary – Thank you so very much for all the kind things you wrote. I am so touched. I am grateful to be able to share the things I have been so blessed to learn. It is my hope that I can help others make the most out of life. We are all far more amazing than we may realize.

    As for the lotus flower, the thousand petaled lotus is a huge symbol in Eastern thought. It is the culmination of human existence…to blossom into full wisdom. What makes the lotus so amazing is that it is planted in mud and it has to pass through the mud, clear the water and then blossom. It is representative of the journey that we all must take in life. And I am glad that you find yourself in a position for which you are grateful. That is awesome. :)

  9. @ Melissa – Thank you so much for the positive feedback. You are right about the benefits of not having religion imposed on you. It took me a while to see the blessing in it because for so long, I felt that I had no sense of identity. People usually define themselves by their religion or ethnic group and so on. I had none of that which always made me feel odd. The irony is that it was the greatest thing because it enabled me to be so open to other ways and customs.

    As you said, when you earn your insights, you have a far greater appreciation than when you just believe something because you were told to do so. I often find that people who convert to a religion that speaks to them end up being usually better followers than those who were born into it.

    I hope you enjoy my site and hope to see you there. :)

    @ Louisa – Fear is definitely poision. Nothing messes up people more than fear.

    As for what you wrote about being lucky since I was not raised with any particular religion, it took me a while to recognize it as a good thing. For so long, I felt out of place because of it but it was truly a blessing in disguise. :)

  10. Jeremy says:

    The second part of lesson 8 is key aspect of working with others. I have found that listening and paying attention to others is so very important. In life we tend to want to always talk, but sitting back and listening can often be more valuable. Once you understand someone then you will now the right questions to ask them to help them reach their full potential.

  11. Fear is poison – good one. It actually helps me overcoming few fearful decisions in life.

  12. Nadia, I am going to bookmark this post. You put into words exactly what I think and feel about spirituality and the way this universe is created, so perfectly, I am speechless. Just Brilliant. Honestly. Totally agree with all the points – people are mirrors of one another, fear is poison, people do things for a reason, life is about love. If I ever forget that I’ll come back to this post and reread it to get me realigned again. Thank you Nadia and thank you J.D.!

  13. @ Jeremy – You are absolutely right. I have often learned some amazing things simply by listening to another person. I also have found that when you truly listen, people are more inclined to open up and share their thoughts without fear. It is truly one of the most important skills in life…the ability to listen…especially if you can listen without judgment.

    @ Alik – Fear is the devil…as far as I am concerned. Nothing keeps more people stuck than fear. And doubt is another form of fear.

    @ Lana – Thank you so much for all the kind things you said. I am so touched. You made me speechless by what you wrote. ;)

  14. Patricia says:

    Thank you JD for sharing Nadia’s writing here today. A lovely gift – as nice the sun lifting the fog…

    I like that you asked Nadia to work her 10 lessons into her journey, I am sure she has more, but this gave a more concise summary and her clarity in her writing is so refreshing. (Some times Spiritual writers fall in love with the riddles!)

    I think of Oprah saying too: “People tell you who they are – listen and believe them.”

    Hard lessons to learn, but I think I was a great counselor because I listened so well and knew how to respond.

    thank you both…very good information sharing and insights.

  15. Thanks JD for introducing Nadia to us. Its very refreshing reading her post.

    Nadia,
    The 10 lessons you have shared are very insightful and do really hold true for most part. I especially liked your lesson “Fear is poison” simple straing and yet to insightful. At times fear works as motivation and others it kinda undermines your progress as person. I believe most people have experienced this, but coming from you gives it a different perspective.

    I guess your 10 lessons have given enogh food for thought, to inspire me to want more of you.

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful lessons.

    Regards,
    Prashant

  16. Sonia says:

    Dear Nadia and Mr.Meier,
    Thank you very much for sharing such a wonderful lessons! Tons of thanks!
    Nadia, you are wonderful person and I can feel just love and love from your writing. :)

    Nadia, this 10 lessons are just 10 enlightenment for me(us)!! I’m short of proper words to express my feelings here. :)

    “Don’t save your best behavior for a special occasion. Each moment is a special occasion…so be your best at all times”. — V.Very thoughtful quote!

    Thank you again!
    Have a good one to all! :)

  17. Awesome list Nadia and I definitely know exactly where you coming from on each of those! My one addition would be that We have the power to choose how we respond to events.

  18. @ Patricia – Thank you so much for all that you wrote about my writing. It was really hard to pick just ten lessons since there are so many to choose from due to my journey. And that quote from Oprah is very true.

    @ Prashant – Thank you so much for the positive feedback. I am happy to have given you food for thought. As for wanting more of my writing, feel free to visit my blog.

    As for fear, it is a very interesting emotion because it is pretty much a constant in life and because it is always around us, we never really understand the nature of it. At least, that is my experience. Only when I began to really face fear, did I realize how deadly it is and how it has contaminated so much of our lives.

    @ Sonia – Thank you so much for all that you wrote. You are so kind. I love that quote you shared. It is so true. Every moment is a special event. I always tell people that Valentine’s Day is every day. ;)

    @ Amit – Thank you for the positive feedback! JD told me that I had to pick only ten top lessons and it was so hard because I have been so blessed to learn so much. You are absolutely right, we definitely have the power to choose how we respond to events. That is a fact of life. :)

  19. Peggy says:

    Hi Nadia,

    What an awesome article. On the website I have for stepmoms, I often talk about how moms and stepmoms are more alike than not. Thinking of all the differences keeps that tricky relationship in disarray and in a state of disunity – and that only hurts the kids involved.

    Life is definitely what we make it – “if it is to be it’s up to me” – so it’s very important to surrond myself with like minded people for support and guidance :-)

    Fear is poison – and I’m working through some of my own at the moment and I know the only way to do that is to have unconditional love and move boldly in the direction I want to go.

    You are as bright as ever and I loved this article!

    Namaste,
    Peggy

  20. Hi J.D. and Nadia!

    Nadia, so much wisdom in that list. No wonder it was a challenge distilling it into 10 lessons!

    The 3 that really resonated with me were lesson 2 (life is what you make of it), lesson 3 (people are mirrors for one another) and lesson 9 (be present).

    It’s so cool that you’re sharing the lessons and wisdom that have been given to (or learnt by) you and it’s clear how passionate you are about spirituality.

    Thanks guys!

  21. @ Peggy – Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and for all that kind things you wrote. You made a great point about the relationship between moms and stepmoms.

    I would imagine that could be a tense interaction but with the realization that both sides are dealing with the same concerns and issues…it can make a potential tough situation much more calm. It is wonderful that you are doing what you can to help both moms and stepmoms. You go, girl! :)

    @ Sami – It was so hard to pick just ten. Words cannot adequately describe how tough it was.

    Cool on how you related to lessons 2, 3 and 9. Life is definitely to be enjoyed and it is up to us to create a life that we love. I know that you are doing that.

    As for my passion for spirituality, I am grateful that is shows. I also think it is a key aspect in life. I also think it is one area that has totally been misrepresented on so many levels.

    @ JD – Thank you so much for letting me have guest post here. Your readers have been so kind. It has been a wonderful experience. :)

  22. Walter says:

    “You are God.” This is the part I have been thinking a lot every since. From my own insight I believe that we are all God because within all of us flows the essence of God. Until we are released from this limiting form that is binding us to this world, we will never see this truth. :-)

  23. Kaushik says:

    I like every one of the points. It’s an awesome list. Love is it. Fear indeed is the thing we must release. We are powerful beyond all imagination. The purpose of relationships is to see ourselves more clearly.

    Excellent, thanks!

    k

  24. Evita says:

    Hi Nadia

    What a pleasure to find you here on J.D.’s site!

    I have to begin by telling you how beautiful it was to read about what your Dad said to you – wow – how lucky were you! Indeed most kids do not grow up like that. I grew up with a religion and for the first quarter of my life thought it was the only way to live and be. That is until I woke up and realized how limiting and separating it is.

    And what a great list you put together! Those points are right on! What a blessing you are and all the wisdom that you share!

  25. lena says:

    I love reading everything you write. It validates my own belief system. I often say that people reveal themselves in ways they often are not even aware of. I believe that you Nadia have the power to help people transform their lives not only through your deep spiritual knowledge but also through your obvious love of the universe and all the souls in it. I feel blessed to have come across your writings.

  26. @ Walter – The first time I realized about how we are all God, it was a life altering realization. It literally brought all the pieces into place and made me realize how wonderful life can truly be. It is great that you have realized the same thing. I am very happy for you! :)

    @ Kaushik – Thank you so much for the positive feedback. Fear is definitely something that must be released. The sooner, the better.

    @ Evita – I will tell my dad what you said. He will be happy to hear that. I never saw the blessing in having no particular religion forced on me until I was older. The lack of identity was hard but it worked out in the long run. The Universe has a sense of humor.

    @ Lena – You have made me speechless! Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. I am honored and touched. Many blessings to you! :)

  27. Hi Nadia,
    I love lists like this! Everyone of your lessons is so true. We should all carry it on a little index card in our wallets!
    Best to you! Jodi

  28. Beautiful post, Nadia! I’ve found that at various times, different lessons underscore my life. Right now, I’m living (out loud!) “I am God.” I’ve been able to feel what that means, and apply it in some miraculous ways.

    I feel the need to share this list with others — it’s just so good and comprehensive.

    Thanks, JD, for featuring Nadia and her wisdom!

  29. suzen says:

    Hi Nadia!
    What a perfect list! Girl, you should be writing a book! I’m serious! You nailed this! What a fabulous post!
    Hugs,
    suZen

  30. How could I have possibly missed this beautiful wonderful post by a beautiful wonderful person!? Maybe the day I was in bed with a migraine?

    I feel like God when I am loving, patient, kind and giving.

    You are right, fear is poison. An ego-created illusion, this point leading directly into your “Life Is What You Make Of It.” And when you’re in present moment, there can be no fear.

    Nadia and J.D. THANK YOU both! You are 2 of my very favorite teacher-friends and inspirations on the web and I am very grateful for you sharing yourselves with all the best things from your hearts.

  31. @ Jodi – Thank you so much for the positive feedback. Your idea about placing these ten lessons on an index card is an awesome idea. Maybe I will do that…hmmmm! :)

    @ Megan – Thank you so much for all the kind things you wrote. Good for you for living now with the thought that you are God! That is awesome. That mere shift in perception can do wonders. It makes us more aware of our innate powers and allows us to proceed with a greater sense of peace. You go, girl! :)

    @ SuZen – Thank you so much. It is my plan to write such a book. I have been trying to find an agent. I had one but then he decided to focus more on his career so I am back to square one. However, I may end up self-publishing it. We shall see. There are a lot of lessons to share and I would love to do so. :)

    @ Jannie – You are welcome and thank you for all the kind things you wrote. I am touched. Fear is poison and nothing is worse than being consumed with fear. And it is wonderful that you feel that God within you when you are being loving, patient, kind and giving. Keep shining! :)

  32. This is such a wise and thoughtful post, Nadia. I’ll add my voice to so many who appreciate reading this. Thank you.

    All the things you list deserve attention, but the final one stays with me. It’s easy to forget that EVERYTHING I do is an extension of who I am. There are chores and duties and routines that I easily think of as less important/rewarding/interesting than the things I want to be doing. If I’m more or less enduring a situation, what I’m doing doesn’t feel like an extension of who I am. Yet in even situations not of our choosing, we have some choice in how to act. Thanks for the reminder.

  33. @ Susan – Thank you so much for the positive feedback. I really appreciate it. And I hear you about how easy it is to forget about how everything is an extension of you. That is why being in the moment and being aware of your actions are both very important. So much of human behavior is unconscious and that is dangerous when we act without awareness. However, every second is a chance to start fresh. So it is never too late to become more aware.

  34. Joy says:

    Nadia,
    What a beautiful post. What an amazing list.
    I love that your parents were so open minded. I try to raise my children with Love and Light, and have incorporated so much into my own beliefs that they too have the “problem” of not fitting into one select group. Any select group, really. To me that is okay because I know they are open loving generous people who embrace life; they think the way we live is awfully ordinary until others point out to them how extraordinary it is. That just means we need new “others” around us:) And more forays into nature:)

  35. @ Joy – Thank you so much for the positive feedback. I totally understand how your kids feel. I never understood how unique was my upbringing until I was older. Even though I spent many years feeling lost or lacking in identity, I would not change a thing. It gave me an awesome foundation. It is wonderful that you are raising your kids with love and light. How I wish more people would do that! :)

  36. tony says:

    very cool post. i had similar thoughts to lessons 1,3,6 in the past 2 years, and am trying to use that as a basis for wanting/trying to understand people before judging and coming to a conclusion about them. as always, its much harder to apply these learnings, but its cool to notice that we are all learning the same lessons in independent ways.

  37. Happy Julie says:

    So the 10 versions of the same story really sums up my first spiritual lesson from over 2 decades ago… Everyone is right at their level of understanding. This post has summed up so much that I already knew, but done so concisely, I love it! Most importantly I found it at just the right moment (when I needed it most) ???????? for it to help remind me of all I learnt. it simply filled my heart with joy and love, instantly. Thank you for putting this post here, and being part of my journey. I hope your life is filled with love, light and laughter xo

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