[Ready to find spiritual growth? Discover simple steps you can do today to find spiritual awakening as a mom.]
The path to spiritual growth and awakening can be messy at times, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. My guest on the Soul Care Mom Podcast today is Andrew Seaton. He takes us through simple yet transformative processes that will help us to awaken and grow spiritually. If you’re curious about how to help your little ones come along on this spiritual growth journey with you, he’s got a lot of tips for parents and children, too.
I know you will love this beautiful conversation. Let’s dive in.
Hi there, Soulful Mama.
Welcome to the Soul Care Mom Podcast. I’m Catherine Wilde of soulcaremom.com. I’m a mom of three amazing kids, a Soul Care Mom Coach, and a yoga and meditation teacher. I’ve helped hundreds of women. And I’m here to help you feel calm and find your unshakable confidence as a mom. If you’re ready to stop living in survival mode and you’re ready to drop the mom guilt and overwhelmed this podcast is for you.
Think of this as a lunch date with a girlfriend. Grab a cup of tea and get cozy. It’s time to get honest and vulnerable and shift the traditional mindset around motherhood.
Be sure to subscribe to be the first to know when new episodes are released. Get ready to grow and feel empowered as a mom. I’m here for you, Mama. Let’s get started.
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Hi, Andrew, thanks for taking the time to chat with me today.
Thanks, Catherine. Thanks for the invitation.
So I’m so excited to dive into your book, Spiritual Awakening Made Simple. Could we start by talking about your journey leading up to the book and what led you to write a book about spiritual growth and spiritual awakening?
Well, it could be a big question. It could be a big answer, Catherine, because since my late teens, I’ve kind of I had a feeling like there’s more to what’s going on than I know about. There’s more to me that I’m somehow able to get a handle on, and there’s more to life than what people are usually talking about and so forth. And it was just a dim sense kind of at that time. After high school, I went to college to study school teaching, which and I found that very kind of uninspiring, the formal course.
Spiritual Awakening Journey
But at that time, I did read some books outside the curriculum that really helped to feed and confirm this sense that I had, this desire that I had to explore and to realize something deeper that’s here in what we can be as human beings.
And so all of my personal life since that time was going back some forty five years and also in my professional life in and out of the education field, at various times I was looking for what is going on. You know, what is it really to be a human being and what is possible in terms of the functioning of a human being.
And I certainly didn’t see it. And I had so many frustrations in school teaching. And you might remember, Catherine, in the preface of the book, I mentioned that in the early 90s I had a dream saying you need to do more study about how the mind works.
And a couple of years after that dream, I did start doing a master’s degree in education. And I found some units, some subject areas that I could study more about the theory of education, you know, and what’s learning and what’s knowledge.
And I started delving into that. And I soon ran out of subjects that I felt were kind of relevant or helpful to me. And so I stopped that course for a few years and then later picked it up again and finished it. And then I went on to do a PhD research project based partly on the roles that I had in education at that time, which were about facilitating change.
And there was a lot of talk at the turn of the millennium in the area where I live in all Australia really and probably much of the world about we seem to be looking at the need for a different paradigm, for education, paradigm, for schooling. This was partly prompted by the introduction of the Internet, which, of course, means that anybody, including children, can now go and find out pretty much anything they want to know on the Internet.
So what’s the role of schools? You know, this debate was starting to happen, but of course, it was coming up against all of the ingrained identities and assumptions and practices of schooling. So it was kind of an interesting and often very, very frustrating exercise to be in various roles of facilitating change, but coming up against the obstacles and grappling with various other people about really what is the change that we want? Why do we want it? And, you know, really what makes sense.
So that helped me to dig much deeper into, well, what is it to be a human being and what is what role does perception and learning and knowledge have in how we function as human beings? And how does it connect with how we live our lives, how we behave and what we might think of as intelligence?
The Power of Your Thoughts
And I found that some surprising things. One is that what we kind of assume so, so universally, we assume is the value of our mind is not at all the reliable faculty that we think it is and what we like to think of as what we know about who we are as individuals and and as human beings and what we think we know about the world isn’t a copy of reality.
It’s not true. It’s just constructions that we build mental constructions associated with memories and emotions and goals and fears and all that sort of stuff. All the programming that we’ve had since we were babies. All this stuff influences the mental construction that we make around any word or idea or activity or person, etc. But we live our lives as though these things are real.
And most of us live as I know who I am. I know my likes, dislikes, my weaknesses, my strengths, my talents, etc. We define ourselves yourselves as we have a sort of a self self-image and we live out our lives. That becomes a reflection of that self image.
And it also become our lives become a reflection of the assumptions that we have made. The knowledge that we think we’ve constructed about the world out there. About what people are like. About what society is like and all that sort of stuff.
But all these things are just kind of working the models you can say. They’re just constructions that we’ve made to kind of try and make some sense of reality, but they don’t reflect really reality. And so I started to really realize that what I’ve been looking for all my life has been difficult to find because it doesn’t exist in the abstract world of our mental ideas about things. It’s more subtle. Because of that subtleness that I’ve chosen to use the word spiritual awakening.
It’s got absolutely nothing to do with beliefs. And even in fact, as you can see from just what I’ve been saying, that our beliefs, which is equals often what we think we know, that’s where the problems lie. We in what we believe without ever being able to know that it’s true. We believe so many things about ourselves and about the world, but they just thoughts. They’re just ideas. They’re not anything that can actually be shown to be reality.
But there’s this subtler reality. And Catherine your listeners could even look right now to wonder what little simple illustration or experience of how this is. If they think back to earlier in their lives, think back to when they were a child, they felt like probably they were them back then, right when they were eight years old or ten years old. And when they were in their teens, did they feel like that they were them?
Well, yeah, in their 20s, in their 30s, in their 40s. Do they feel. Yeah, I’ve always felt like I was me. Now that me that I always felt I was that’s a constant. That’s something that’s never changed. And that’s who I really am. This observing awareness that I’ve always had. I’m the observer of my experiences, of my feelings, of my emotions and my thoughts and everything that I’ve experienced in my life on the observer of the roles that I’ve had, the jobs that I’ve had.
But if we look at any belief or in general, if we look at the beliefs that we’ve had at different stages in our life, generally people can see that some of them, if not many of them, have changed over the years.
And our bodies have changed and our emotions go up and down, sometimes on an hourly basis, let alone, you know, year by year the dominant ones. You know? And our roles have changed. When I was a kid, I was a school student then I might have been a college student or I might have gone straight into a job after high school. And I might be a shop assistant. Or I might be, you know, an accountant. Or might be an airline pilot. Now I’m out of work. Airline pilot.
Well, you know, all sorts of things. But I was me before I had this particular job. And if I lose my job or I decided I’d like that job and you want a different one and I change jobs, then I’m still me.
Even though I’m no longer a doctor. Now I’m a photographer. You know? So none of these things that we think of as who we are, our beliefs, our emotions, our roles, our relationships, our jobs, none of these things are who we are. We’re the awareness that’s been there with us as us the whole time, mostly way in the background.
And when we reconnect with that sense of who we are, we find that it’s very peaceful. And it’s unflappable. It’s untroublable. And that’s what my book is about, very simply, laying out this whole thing about how we grow up learning to identify with things that are out there with concepts and with things in the world of form, our body, other people’s bodies, the physical world around us, the objects, etc. And we lose sight of the fact that we’re the awareness that’s there in the background.
Interesting that your podcast is called Soul Care Mom. So we’re the spiritual the soul aspect is in the background, mostly in this world of change and form. I’ll stop there and see if you got anything you want to throw in or any questions I want to ask.
Yes. That was so beautifully put. I want to share one of the quotes from your book, you say:
“The key is to realize that it is not thoughts as such that take away your peace. It is not thoughts that draw your attention away from the awareness itself. It is your attachment to thoughts. It is believing your thoughts to be true. In particular, suffering is caused by believing your conditioned mind’s judgment of good and bad to be true.”
And we are so enmeshed, I guess, is a good word with our thoughts that we don’t see them as separate from us, and I think that’s part of what you’re saying.
You talk about how beliefs can’t be proven, only disproven. And so the first step is kind of becoming aware that we aren’t our thoughts. Right?
Well, you know, that’s a nice question. It’s lovely. And I like it. The word you’ve chosen “enmeshed”.
We kind of become enmeshed with our thoughts and our feelings and, of course, other aspects of our experience and the people around us and the things we become we might our formless awareness, who we truly are, makes this kind of error of identifying with these things.
With thinking that they’re who we are. And exactly as you say that that we can very simply, as I show people in the book, we can learn to to kind of notice those things as being separate from who we are.
That we are the notice of those things. And this is the very practical and beneficial and by many people deeply appreciated that a benefit of this is that the things that tend often to make us feel troubled, we begin to realize that it’s actually not what we’re experiencing that is troubling us.
It’s a thought that we’re having about what we’re experiencing and believing the thought and usually those kind of thoughts that trigger troubles kind of emotions is a thought, something like “it shouldn’t be this way”.
“That shouldn’t have happened.” “That person shouldn’t speak to me like that.” You know, it’s bad that this situation is what it is that my experience has been or is now being or tomorrow it could become. It could be a bad experience. So it’s it’s all these things are imagined is not the experience that troubles us.
It’s believing this thought this is that experience is bad. And here are a couple of very simple, practical things that your listeners can do, even perhaps in the moment now.
But certainly that they can do in their day to day life. And as they read through my book and hopefully many of them will say this would be really helpful to know step by step and very experientially is a process of discovering for themselves. The reader can go through the book and find and discover notice, realize in deeply within themselves, how this is so that they are something beautiful and peaceful that’s in the background as the observer of what they’re experiencing.
So here’s a couple of things that people can do.
Simple Steps for Spiritual Growth
Any time that you’re troubled by emotion and most of us are many times through the day, if we think of emotions and troubling emotions as sometimes even just these little things of annoyance or frustration or disappointment over this little thing or that little thing. So any time an emotion pops up first, it’s good to acknowledge, oh, gee, you know, I’m a bit anxious at the moment or I’m annoyed about something.
A very common one these days “I’m really annoyed at what my computers are doing but what is not doing that, I want it to do.”
So any time an emotion comes up. Yes, notice the emotion and then shift. Make a point. You can put a Post-it note around your home or wherever you spend most of your time just to remind you, you can then shift from saying to yourself.
“I’m annoyed or frustrated or I’m feeling disappointed.” Shift from that thought to saying to yourself, “I’m the formless awareness that’s noticing a feeling of frustration.” “I’m the awareness that’s noticing a feeling of disappointment” or whatever it might be.
And this immediately puts a space between who you truly are and the emotion. And that distancing then, of course, causes the emotion to lose a lot of its intensity and begin straight away. And then to take it even further then you can ask yourself.
Having noticed that there is this emotion that’s arisen and saying to yourself, “I’m the awareness, noticing this feeling of frustration” as an example. Then you can begin to ask yourself. Now, I wonder what the thought is that’s triggering the feeling of being frustrated.
So then you might notice. “Well, I just bought this software and it should be working properly and it’s not. And that’s bad.” Just as an example. So then you can begin to notice that it’s the thought the software is not operating as you expected it would, and that that’s bad.
That’s the thought. That’s triggering the feeling of frustration or annoyance or maybe even anger. And then you can ask questions. And I show people in very simple ways in the book how you can begin to ask questions of your thought to question it. And you quickly discovered that there’s no way you could know for certain that the thought that it’s bad that my software is not working the way I expected can’t be shown to be true.
Is it possible it could lead to something good?
Well, yes, I suppose it could at all sorts of possibilities.
And this further then dissolves the emotion that was triggered by the thought that “It’s bad that the software is not working the way I expected.” Then you when you realize that there’s no way you can know that that’s ultimately true, it could even the opposite could turn out to be true. And then suddenly the feeling of frustration has dissolved. You might still continue to work on the problem. In fact, often you’ll be able to then more quickly and easily see, “oh, here’s an alternative way of approaching it.”
Or “here’s something else I could do to try and work this out.” It becomes more possible because your way of functioning is not inhibited or limited anymore by this emotional reaction and the thought, the thought that’s kind of rejecting the way things by saying. “It shouldn’t be this way. It shouldn’t be this way.”
And that kind of gets in the way of the solutions bubbling up in your consciousness, as they will. You know, as I would like to do. Then life, actually ultimately works when we don’t get in the way by putting our our our the thoughts and emotions that we identify with in the way of the flow of life through us.
Yes, that reminds me so much of Byron Katie. Are you familiar with her work?
And she encourages you to really question your thoughts as well.
Yes, she does.
You mentioned the Post-it notes, and I remember hearing her talk about how our judgments and our beliefs about things are like Post-it notes. We put all over people and things and situations, and our work is to start noticing we put those there. And then take them off.
Indeed. They’re habitual. These operating patterns are just so habitual.
So here I’m kind of using the suggestion of a Post-it note in the opposite way. Because you’re going to have some sort of strategy to counteract the habit.
Because these habits, as you come back to that word that you used earlier “enmeshed”. We’re so enmeshed in these patterns of functioning patterns of perceiving things, patterns of reacting to things that are so enmeshed in the thoughts that arise that it’s like in every waking moment is just running, running, running.
And, you know, leading is where it will. And to and to have someone point out that will these thoughts are ultimately true. You can’t know the truth. It’s not enough initially. Because if two minutes later you’re kind of overrun again by the momentum of this automated functioning that we get caught up in.
That is how most of us live most of our lives out of this programming and conditioning. So that’s really why I wrote this book and why I put the word “made simple” in the title.
Because I’ve kind of deliberately tried to structure it so that it’s concise, very reader-friendly, and very methodical. But also very practical because there needs to be a coherent way of understanding what’s going on with how who we are and how we function.
And then some very practical things that we can do to counteract the momentum of the automated functioning, of the habitual functioning. So there’s just that one thing I threw in there was put a reminder, put a Post-it note on your fridge or your computer or wherever you spend a lot of time to remind yourself of these ways of coming back into the present moment.
Being who you truly are is the peaceful observer of what’s going on. We need to have these reminders and simple. They are simple. But nevertheless practical strategies for noticing and unhooking from the habitual functioning.
Oh, yes, that was beautiful. Thank you.
That is one thing that I love about your book. You do make it simple and then the practice of awakening. And I love how you put it in an acronym that you could put on a Post-it note. Would you could you walk us through those steps?
Yes, I can.
And the very slight hesitation, as I say, and “yes, I can”. And I want your listeners to understand, is that this little acronym, which I’ll describe in a minute. I put at the end of the book, it’s so simple and it’s so powerful that it can bring you right back in the moment into being awake.
And some people think it takes a lifetime to become awake, you know, and some people take it. I think it takes multiple lifetimes.
Through reading the book and discovering for yourself what’s real. Through reading the book brings you to a point where you understand you experience that in any particular moment with these very simple tools, you can come right back into the peace-filled observing awareness of who you are.
You can come right back into being awake and you can deal more effectively with things that are going on, but not be troubled by them.
And so what I’m wanting to emphasize is that this little acronym that I put at the end of the book is to serve as a reminder for people of what they’ve discovered for themselves as I read through the book.
As I talk about it, just briefly in a moment, it won’t serve that function because your listeners haven’t read the book. And I haven’t had the discoveries and the realizations within themselves that they will be able to experience in the reading of the book.
And I say in the book. You’ll remember, Catherine, that I kind of emphasized in the introduction to the book that it’s not a book about concepts.
And I’m not wanting anyone to just kind of be persuaded by anything that I’m saying. We don’t need more people believing more things. It’s structured in such a way, the book is, so that the reader can discover for themselves things that ring a bell of recognition deep within them.
And that will have a great deal more effect and benefit for them than believing somebody’s thought about something or somebody’s idea about something. So the acronym serves as a reminder for people of what they have come to see, to be real and to to be true about them in the world as they’ve been reading through the book.
Four Steps to Spiritual Awakening
And the acronym is simply one that reminds people that there’s no way that they can know that their thoughts are true. So the first the acronym is DAWN.
Step 1: Disbelieve
They can “Disbelieve”. Remember to disbelieve their thoughts. Or dis-identify from their thoughts.
This makes it much easier then to be really present and awake in the moment. And just responding to things that being resistant to things.
Step 2: Allowing
And so the second letter of the acronym is “Allowing” your present experience to be exactly what it is. Responding to it, if that seems to be needed or desired, but not reacting to it or resisting it, simply allowing. “This is what is.”
And when you have gone through the exercise so many times in reading the book of seeing that there’s no way you can show that your thoughts are true and so you’re able to disbelieve your thoughts.
Then it becomes very easy to be peaceful in the moment, accepting what is as what is. Because it would only be a thought that saying that what is shouldn’t be that way. And we’ve already seen that. We can’t even know that a thought is true.
So it becomes very easy to allow the moment to be exactly what it is. And then I show in the book how people can, having gone through so much of that as they read the book, they begin to find an easy way they can simply become more come back more into the silent sensing of the subtle energies that they are. When they’re untroubled and enmeshed in their thoughts and their emotions.
Step 3: Withdraw
So this third aspect of the acronym is “Withdraw” the attention from the conditioned mind and come back more into feeling the subtle energy in and around your body. This peaceful energy of being present.
Step 4: Notice
And the fourth letter of the acronym N is about having done those first three things, “Notice” what’s going on. Without getting caught up in your prejudices. Your own agendas. Your own judgments about things. Your own biases. Your distorted perception.
Just notice the things around you, using all your senses, the sounds, the smells. Notice the people that are nearby doing what they’re doing or even interacting with you.
So it’s just about noticing without getting caught up in the filtering of the noticing, which usually happens by the conditioned mind. And also notice that you are the awareness that is noticing.
So, again, the slight little space between this me here. And I’m noticing what’s going on. I’m not totally enmeshed in it. I’m noticing that I’m here, the noticer of what I’m observing in my surroundings.
So this little acronym helps people to immediately. Come back into presence. Into the peace of who they are. And able to see things more truly as they are. See what’s real around them. And see through what’s not real.
People increasingly are able then, as you begin to notice what in my own thoughts about me or the world, what thoughts and what emotions do I notice and then and then discover that I can’t see that they’re real. This begins this real freeing up of your sense of being a peaceful, contented, often playful kind of being here in the world.
But increasingly also we’re able to notice what’s not real in the world around us. What’s not real in the messages that maybe various people are putting out and what they’re saying or writing or whatever.
For example, what’s not real and what’s going on in the world around us. People increasingly are able to see how it’s based on our own thoughts, identification, enmeshment with thoughts, often ideas that people can’t ever show actually to be true.
Your Spiritual Journey
Yes, that was so beautifully said. And you’re right, it’s so freeing to know the truth of who you are. And in your book you write about and how identifying with your conceptual self, this enmeshment begins early in childhood and it seems like an inevitable part of being human and having the human experience and journeying from yourself back to yourself.
I would love it if you could share some ways that as moms and parents, that we could gently and lovingly guide or point our children back to their innate knowing and their truth.
Yes, Catherine and I agree with you that the conditioning that we take on since our earliest time in the world. And even prenatally, we begin to get impressions prenatally, you know, inside the pregnant mom. We’re getting the vibes of what’s going on around us. And so we’re getting impressions of the world and when we’re born and we’re babies and young children, yeah, it is inevitable that we take on programming,
We take on conditioning, we take on. It’s inevitable that this awareness that we are, in our essence, begins to identify with aspects of the world of form.
Including ideas, including thoughts, concepts of who we are and what the world is like. So it’s not possible to have a baby come into the world completely clear of any conditioning and grow up into adulthood, never having taken on any conditioning. No, it’s in, as you say, the nature of being a human being that we come into the world and we take on a whole lot of programming.
And then we have the opportunity, sooner or later, and most of the time throughout history, most people have never noticed or taken up this opportunity, but there is the opportunity to begin to notice and dissolve the conditioning to wake up.
And it is possible then to to wake up out of the enmeshment in our thoughts and identification with the world of form. And experience, the reality of who we are and what life is.
In terms of what mums and dads can do. The very first thing that any mom can do to help the child, whatever age they may be. Is to do whatever they can to dissolve the conditioning that’s operating within them, as a mum.
Spiritually Awake Children
And I mentioned to Catherine, before we began the interview that I have another book that I’m working on about how parents can raise their children to be more spiritually awakened. To take on less of the conditioning that I would otherwise take on and to dissolve what I have already taken on.
And I felt that the book, Spiritual Awakening, made simple, really had to come first. And to be made available to the public first, because that has to be the starting point. Because there’s a saying I heard once that says “what you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say.” In other words, the vibe that we get from other people often influences us much more strongly. These subtle impressions have more of an effect on us than the outward actions and words that the person might do or say.
And this is certainly the case with mums and dads. Your children pick up more on your, as it were, your state of consciousness than they might pick up on the things that you do or don’t do or ask them to do or not ask them to do all the things that you say to them or you don’t say to them. So really, that’s the first thing. Do what you can on your own awakening.
And this even without any other, you know, practical tips or suggestions would make a huge difference in how your child grows up. And the extent to which they get stuck or don’t get stuck in the conditioning.
So I do have a lot more that I want to say eventually for moms and dads about how they can do this. But in terms of trying to think of something, I think one of the things would be to come back to what I was saying earlier.
Any time your child is caught up in some emotional reaction to the world or some judgment. Especially the troubling judgments about the world around them. Or about who they are, and they come up across many of them. If they happen to be in school they’ll come across many judgments based because the whole experience of schooling is very heavily now based around assessments of performance and assessments of judgments. And also, of course, assessments of behavior, good and bad and all the rest of it.
So any time your child is troubled about anything a sensitive, mom can help a child to notice that they are the peaceful awareness that’s noticing a feeling of that emotion arising. Help the child to see that they are not actually the emotion.
This subtle little separating of the observer from the emotion, just that little subtle thing would be a very powerful thing, even on its own. If a mom did that, most times, when a child’s emotions came into play and did nothing much else. Over the years, that would have a tremendous effect of helping the child to be awake and present rather than, as it were, tricked by life into identifying with the emotion.
Of course, the other aspect can come also helping the child to see, you know, see that you’re feeling really angry about such and such. Your friend did such and such and you’re feeling really angry with them. But then they can help them to see that, can you really know that it’s fair that what your friend did to you or that you saw happen? Do you know for sure that it’s bad. Is it possibly could have some good consequences?
And another thing that I explain in the book, which could help a child to see, is that even though you can see that your friend did such and such, did they really choose to do that? Or was that just out of the kind of experiences that they’ve had in the past. And their own habits of seeing the world in themselves and their own conditioning? Yeah, I can see that Johnny’s in such and such a family. And, you know, this is kind of how they tend to often do things.
So these these simple things are a few of the things, Catherine, that moms could do to help their kids not get so enmeshed in the conditioning that they’re subjected to. Even if they’re not in school, just being in the culture that we’re in, being in the family, having the exposure to the media and all the rest of it.
And to other moms and dads and children that they’re going to pick up on it. And these are some things. I’ll just add quickly a little PS to that, that that it would be best if moms did that in a subtle way and not with every occasion so that it didn’t become a mechanical thing in a way of responding to their child’s experience.
But just this sensitivity to what’s called for in a moment, we’ll, of course, grow in the moms and dads. As they themselves continue with their own process of awakening.
This sensitivity to what the moment requires will be there so that the parenting, if I can put it this way, increasingly as you wake up yourself, the parenting will happen or the universal intelligence. Not by the conceptual identity that you might have of yourself as parents and separate person.
Those are wonderful tips. Thank you so much for sharing those.
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I love the practices you share in your book on how to practice presence and grow spiritually and continue to awaken in one that I see my children do naturally is they fully immerse themselves in their senses. They have that beginner’s mind for pretty much everything they see, but especially I notice it when we’re in nature.
Their awe and their wonder, it inspires me to get into my beginner’s mind as well. And there’s such great teachers in that way. And you talk about this a bit in your book and you also talk about taking time for yourself without distraction and spending time in nature and prioritizing self care something that I work with my my moms and my students and clients on.
And it’s so beneficial in helping you find that balance between the world of form and identity and or conceptual identity and your Self, the capital “S” Self that you talk about.
And I’d love to know what are some ways that you enjoy practicing self care?
Self Care v Soul Care
Well, all of the things you’ve just mentioned. And this notion of self care is kind of interesting from the perspective of the notion of or the experience of awakening. Because the experience of awakening in itself is the ultimate self care. Because it’s the awakening of the big “S” Self.
It’s the awakening of of the of the awareness that I truly am is a formless observer of my experience. That’s the ultimate soul care.
And there is a lot said about self care not often the phrase that you have chosen a nice phrase about Soul Care, but we often do hear the phrase self care. And we often hear people talk about the need to love yourself, as one example.
But there’s a slight, in fact, often not slight, but can be a very significant trick or problem in those phrases. Because if I talk about I want to try to love myself.
Well, that implies there’s two of me, right? Who’s the self that I want to love more?
And who is the I that wants to love that self more? And it really is a phrase. Of course, it’s always well-intentioned, but the phrase can be a trick because it can keep us caught in the thinking mind. Because the thinking mind can think about itself.
And most of what we think about it as who we are is thoughts in the mind, thinking about other thoughts in the mind that we’ve identified with. And that can be an endless loop.
And of course, you remember Catherine, I talk a lot in the book about you can’t have one conceptual term or idea without having it associated with its opposite. So you can’t have thinking of “I’m a good person” without there being somewhere and often on the surface of your mind, the opposite possibility that you might be a “bad person”. And they can’t be a loving yourself without the possibility that they might also be thoughts that are highly critical, if not even hateful of myself.
And so that can be a real trick. So self care love your term soul care the ultimate soul care is to not get caught up in your thinking about what you might do for yourself, as in the normal self that you think of as who you are.
But what can you do to come back into the present moment and be the awareness, the soul, the awake soul that you truly are? That’s the ultimate soul care. So what I like to do for myself is, oh, the other thing I wanted to do in answering what I do for myself is to remind you and to point out to the listeners the way that I do it and do it, and the way that I’ve shown in the book that people can do it is to not think so much in terms of any particular strategy or practice as being kind of an isolated thing.
Like I’m going to make sure that at four o’clock in the afternoon, most days I’m going to do such and such a practice. I tend not to. And I really encourage that kind of interpretation of my suggestion that he has some activities and practices that you can do. It is more a case of he is the way that you can live your daily life differently rather than here are things that you can do in your life, if I can put it that way.
So it’s really a different way of responding as my day unfolds or interpreting my experience or responding to what my experience is rather than the adoption of particular practices, if I can put it that way. But the various things that you mentioned certainly are among the things that I do live a pretty simple life.
I do enjoy nature. I don’t always get out into wild nature, although I don’t often am able to get into wild nature. But I have a bit of a garden around me and I have some plants inside.
And I enjoy the sky and the clouds passing and I make a point of it. And I enjoy making a point in the wintertime on the appropriate days, getting out, just enjoying sitting in the sunshine where it’s not harsh, but it’s just beautiful to soak it in.
These kinds of things are lovely. And they do help you to just stay within the essence of you, because nature’s even though we might the mind might say that nature is infinitely complex at the same time.
Nature is infinitely simple. It’s so elemental because in its essence, it is the same consciousness and formless awareness that we are in our essence. So nature, exposure and connection with nature, is a beautiful thing.
One other thing I’ll just mention in terms of what I like to do and what mums can do with their kids and for their kids, and that I will talk a lot more about in my next book that focuses more on what parents can do for their kids.
And that’s about doing practical things. You used the word, Catherine, in your question, something about the senses. Engaging more with the senses. And if parents can encourage kids, without putting pressure on them to do it, but encourage kids and give them opportunities and often just subtle invitations, as it were, to be involved in doing practical things.
Whether it be around the home, or if people are in semi-rural kind of areas, the opportunities become even more wide and varied of making things or doing things or planting things or looking after animals.
These various doings are great for kids because it’s even more simply, what parents can do to give kids invitations and opportunities to be not so much caught up in their mind all the time. This would help them greatly, so they’re growing up into the world is very much a tangible, palpable experience of the senses and working practically with things in the world of form rather than getting too much drawn up into their heads, which schooling encourages them to do and which currently there’s also tremendous invitation now from technology to encourage them to do.
To live almost completely. And some people do. Adults and children both. Are increasingly getting caught up into living 99 percent of their lives in the abstract world of their heads. In an imaginary world in effect. So working with practical things in the world of form is a great way to go.
I love that perspective and all of those practices and tips. And thank you for sharing those. Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Simply just to say that apart from getting hold of my book, some of your listeners might like to know just a little bit more about where they can connect with more information about me and my writings and other activities. So the book is available on Amazon and most online places, both as an e-book and as a as a paperback.
Actually, the thought pops into my mind, if people are usually like to get hold of an e-book and I read somewhere that fifty-five percent of books now that are sold are e-books.
But if your listeners are kind of open to it, I’d encourage them to get the paperback, because this is a book that I would invite them to use as a manual that they would read over and over again. And the more that it’s sitting there on the coffee table or wherever, the more helpful will be for them to access it frequently and so forth. But the other thing is, I do have a website awakeningmadesimple.org.
And there people can see a bit more about the book, a bit about me. There’s also page there that describes one-on-one counseling and mentoring for spiritual awakening sessions that I offer people via online conferencing. And there’s also a newsletter that people could subscribe to if I wish to.
Oh perfect. And I highly recommend your book and I think you’re so right. I do have ebooks but I love being able to hold a book in my hand. Especially a book like this, that, you know, once you read through it, read it, you can pick it up at any page and soak in the wisdom. And it’s probably just what you needed to read. You know, it’s one of those sorts of books.
So I highly recommend your book.
Thanks, Catherine. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. And I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to talk to an audience of perhaps not exclusively, but in the main mums. I have such admiration for women and for the feminine energy in general and for mums. An incredible energy that they bring and contribution that they bring to this world. I’m so glad to be able to have a chat with you.
I thank you so much for sharing your powerful work and your story and all of your wisdom with us today.
Thanks for joining me, Mama, I’m over here smiling from ear to ear and giving you a big virtual hug. I love spending this time with you. You are amazing for showing up and carving out this space to nourish your soul. If you are loving the Soul Care Mom Podcast be sure to subscribe and leave a review.
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