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My husband and I were visiting some old friends, whom we had not seen in quite a few years - in fact, long enough to be meeting their second child (now 5 years old) for the first time. Stuffed from a lazy, delicious brunch together at their home, we were putting our coats on to leave, and said second child demanded to put on a performance for us...she was going to sing her new song and accompany herself on the standing banjo. Apparently she had been way too shy to do this before and now, completely emboldened and dripping with passion, she strummed on that banjo, singing her sultry lyrics about "having strange days". Mesmerizing. "She'll grow out of her shyness," said one parent. I responded, "Maybe. Even if she doesn't, I understand. I still am that way." Laughter. "YOU!? Shy!!? You, the Amazon warrior?" Yes, me. I am at home onstage in front of large crowds, bold and outgoing. At more intimate gatherings, however, I generally prefer one-on-one, the loner in the corner, shy and quiet. It took me a long time to embrace both of these aspects of myself, because it didn't make sense for me to feel both. It just didn't compute. More to the point, I made a judgment that one was better than the other The truth is this: I AM both, the extroverted introvert. My boldness helps me to move forward with gusto. My introversion nourishes my inner landscape. Both express my deepest passions. I have come to understand that I have many of these paradoxes and contradictions. Madly organized Free Spirit, Nurturing Warrior, and Glamorous mountain dweller. I no longer try to define myself in any direction. These are the distinctions of the ego, and as a spiritual being and Spiritual Counselor, I know that I am far more vast. If I allow myself to express the paradoxes, then I get to know much more of myself. And Life, just like Humans (for we are Life) is no different. Life is full of contradictions. As much as we want life to be organized and to maintain distinctions, it does not flow that way. One of my favorites... "Life isn't fair, but Life is good." There are no absolutes in life, except, perhaps, Absolute vodka. Cheers to Holy Paradox! The sooner I can get on board with this deep spiritual understanding and find the sacred space within to hold these paradoxes, the quicker I can get on board with what is happening in my Life. It is all One after all, isn't it? And that is a huge part of my own journey to experience and share as a Spiritual Counselor. Knowing this, the million-dollar question becomes: Do you have the courage to hold your personal paradoxes? How about the paradoxes of Life? And what are they, for YOU? I am an Ordained Interfaith Minister, and have taken advanced training in inter-spiritual counseling at One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City. I am a member of Spiritual Directors International and The World Alliance for Interfaith Clergy, and I am a Reiki Master. I serve on the faculty of The New Seminary for Interfaith Ministries as Dean of the first year students. Spiritual Counseling uses the circumstances of your present situations...negative beliefs, destructive habits and patterns, or difficult health issues to find the seeds of deeper self-understanding and transformation. It is a sacred space for you explore your own life experience, your stories, to know your deepest nature. Rev. Sandra Bargman Spiritual Counseling, Meditation & Guided Imagery, Oriens Community Leader Sandra@OriensLiving.com http://www.sandrabargman.com http://www.linkedin.com/in/sandrabargman For information on Wedding Ceremonies and the other types of ceremony I create and conduct, please contact me at Oriens Healing Sanctuary 212.213.5785

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Become An Extrovert


Cheers to Holy Paradox A Spiritual Absolute The Extroverted Introvert