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My Three Favorite Forgiveness Practices

When I am in a state of unforgiveness, my insides feel like a damned up river. I can feel balled up energy acting as an impediment to the flow. The impediment is my perception of how things ought to be and the disappointment within me that they are not that way. That disappointment then is directed toward another person in the form of blame. In other words, I have created the entire internal mess by wanting something to be other than it is or someone to be other than they are. My first favorite practice for deconstructing the damn is pulling out my mala beads and on each 108 beads speaking the following words: “I release ______________________ from bondage. I am free. _______________ is free. I choose love.” The repetition of chanting or affirming these words opens within me a space for love to creep in. Contemplate the word “willing.” Once I am damned up, I often can’t unwind my own mess. To sit with the words “willing to…”...

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Exploring the Spiritual Practice of Willingness

    Upon returning home to Phoenix from a seven week journey around the Pacific Northwest, I watched multiple episodes of Iyanla Fix my Life on OWN network. In this television series, Iyanla Vanzant works with families using truth telling and other spiritual practices for exposing patterns and healing lives. The first episode focused on the grammy singer Syleena Johnson and her relationship with her mother. My attention was drawn to and continued to ruminate upon the father, Syl Johnson. Although in the episode but for a few moments, it was clear that his old school training and perception of how a man ought to be, was a roadblock to change. I witnessed his state as stuck and unable to change as who he knew himself to be was so deeply entrenched he didn’t have the capacity or the internal space to know or do different. This is where the spiritual practice of being willing comes in. Willingness opens stuck places allowing one to see and know oneself from...

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