the wind, but we
can adjust the sails.
~ variously attributed to Tony Robins,
Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy Dean
and Dolly Parton
Goddess Musings from Sharon
Oh, Goddess me, I have sinned! Yes, the greatest sin
for a newsletter author is to 'drop out of sight (or
hearing) for too long. Please forgive.
As many of you know, I've been battling dragons. Health
challenges. I got carried away when I start writing this, but I'm not about to
bore you with it here. So if you really want all the gory
details, feel free to get nosy and
read more here.
So what are the lessons in all this suffering? There's an important lesson to learn to become more
compassionate, more loving, especially toward one's self.
Did you feel your heart open and a surge of
compassion flow out
at the end of the video?
Most do. But . . . What do you usually feel when it's you
that fails, struggles, or falls short of meeting your own
(usually unrealistic) expectations of yourself? Do you treat
yourself with love and compassion?
Or is there an inner critic, like the one that Christine
Arylo calls the Inner Goddess of Mean in her engaging
workbook 'Madly in Love with Me' . . . she describes the
Inner Goddess of Mean as a voice very much like that of the
girl(s) who made us so miserable in high school.
Maybe it's time to pull up the 'big girl pants' and
finally silence that judgmental, hypercritical bitch that's
been living inside your head and making you miserable.
For that it's important to pay attention to self-talk,
including the very words we use when we talk to ourselves.
Let them be kind and loving. I've done the best I can; I
forgive myself; I am worthy of my love.
(Oh yeah, and be sure to work on dumping the unrealistic
expectations as well.)
There's something to be said for reframing too. It consists of changing the we see
things and trying to find alternative (kinder) ways of viewing ideas,
events, or situations. (Source:
Wikipedia) Reframing, particularly a kind called
cognitive restructuring is useful in modifying typically
negative thoughts or distortions, many of which might lead
to depression, poor decisions, and general misery.
The ancient goddesses often made good use of the
It's important to be very wise about what you say to your
self . . . lest you end up believing it!
For women it's especially important to not let the 'poor
me' messages hang around too long. Even though your most
painful experiences will inevitably be a part of shaping who
you are, don't let the words of victimhood define you.
The goddesses have a lot to teach us about that . . .
Goddesses of Suffering and Compassion
Plenty of goddesses suffered greatly. Each of them turned her
misfortune and adversity into compassion for the plights of
wrongfully accused and shamefully punished, served as an example
of personal dignity and perseverance, eventually winning the
hearts of all who knew her. Artemis turned her anger into a life
of championing the rights of women and children.
The African goddess
Yemaya joined her people in the holds of the slave ships to
comfort them as they were taken to distant, unfamiliar lands.
Demeter, after the loss of her beloved daughter Persephone,
adopted the entire human race, teaching them to plant, nurture
and harvest grain. She was the only one of
the Greek goddesses who could truly empathize with the human
experience of suffering and grief. After all, she had
experienced it fully herself.
The myths of these suffering goddesses teach us a great
deal about the many faces of compassion. One of my favorites
is a story from the myths of the Buddhist goddess of
compassion, Tara, that tells how she got
the name "Tara of the Turned Face".
An elderly woman
long hours for many nights to fashion a beautiful statue of
the goddess Tara and then built a shrine to house it in.
But as soon as she'd completed
the project, she
was appalled to realize she'd placed the statue of Tara with her
back to the Temple of Great Wisdom.
Suddenly she heard
the sculpture whisper to her, "If you are unhappy, I will look
toward the Temple." And as she watched in amazement, the door
of the shrine and the statue both turned to
face the temple.
Now, just how considerate and compassionate is
My advice to those of you who suffer (and
don't we all at times) is this: Get in the habit of
thinking about the myths as you go about your 'daily affairs',
especially when you encounter difficulties. You'll be
surprised at how often it can help you 'reframe' your
concerns, help you find new ways of seeing your problems and
get on with finding the joy in your life.
Read more about the Goddess we call the
White Tara here.
Gift for You: A Bright
Shiny Object that caught the Goddess' Eye!
A Free 7-part video streaming
Dr. Rick Hanson presents a FREE
seven-part video series?The Compassionate Brain?that
explores effective ways to change your brain and
heart and life.
Each week presents different ways to use the
power of neuroplasticity (how the mind can change the
brain to transform the mind) -- to open the heart, build
courage, find compassion, forgive oneself and
others, and to heal the world.
You can catch each program live
on Mondays 7pm EST or at your convenience in the
archives a couple of days later. The series has
already started but you can catch the first program
in the archives. 7 CEU's are
available (for a small fee) for health professionals