Today I’m super happy to share this article for you from guest post blogger, Katie from Soul Primacy. Katie has a lovely blog and has been delightful to work with. Her blog has been fascinating to explore for me, and so being able to share this article with you here on Tidbits of Care tickles me pink. But first, a little about Katie.
Author Bio: Katie Rutten is a yoga teacher and founder of Soul Primacy. A devoted meditation and breathwork practitioner, at the core of her work is the practice of what ancient yogis call Svādhyāya, or the “study of self.” Her blog, Soul Primacy, mostly orbits around topics like yoga, breathwork, meditation, and other spiritual subject matter. All in the name of Svādhyāya. She lives in Georgetown, Colorado with her husband and two cats, Goop and Chester.
“If the mind can hear itself, it can make changes. Self-judgment may be among its favorite foods, but that appetite has to be recognized before it can be modified. The moment the mind identifies itself as a predator, it has committed to becoming an ally. The mind can create chronic problems for the human, but it can offer miraculous solutions as well. It has the ability to imagine. We routinely imagine conversations that haven’t happened. We imagine alternate realities and phenomena yet to be discovered. We reimagine the past and fantasize about the future. We imagine gods and demons. We imagine horrors and wonders.”– Don Miguel Ruiz.
The Toltecs, known around the world as “men and women of knowledge,” have been teaching us for over 2,000 years how to lead a life soaked with love, intention, and authenticity. When we are living in our truth and from our truth, we become a powerhouse for others and inspire them to do the same.
One of the greatest lessons the Toltecs have shared with the world (expressed in the quote above) is that the mind has an innate ability to imagine anything. Good or bad, right or wrong, love or fear, etc. When we come to grips with this reality and work it to our advantage, we gain many strengths. One of the most potent strengths gained is the ability to regulate our emotions.
Regulated emotions, over time and with practice, always lead us back to our greatest essence and allow us to become more spiritually connected to ourselves and others. What a beautiful gift!
Don Miguel Ruiz and the Toltecs
The Toltecs are a Mesoamerican people who began their sacred work near the temple of Teotihuacan, in the Valley of Mexico, 25 miles outside of Mexico City. The name “Toltec” derives from the ancient Nahuatl language spoken in this corner of the world; in English, it translates to “artisans.” So for thousands of years, the Toltecs have simply defined themselves as “artists of the spirit.”
At the core of their work, Toltecs believe we can be the director of our life’s movie; through every action, thought, and experience, a lesson is there to be learned and a choice is there to be made. The more we learn and make intentional choices, the more our spirit learns to speak and the closer we become to our greatest self. The more we operate from the truest self, the more we aid the world in its ongoing quest for love and truth.
One of the more commonly known Toltecs is Don Miguel Ruiz, author of popular spirituality books, such as The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love. In both books, Ruiz introduces us to the two masters that the Toltecs say live within us all; the master of love and the master of fear.
The Track of Love or Track of Fear
When we are operating from the seat of our loving master, we are living in the track of love. Conversely, when our fear master is at the helm, we are steered into the track of fear. These two tracks determine our emotional and spiritual output and what energy we release into the world.
The Toltecs refer to these two emotional states as “masters.” This is because what we practice the most, we become masters at. For example, if we practice archery for enough hours, we become master archers. If we practice the piano diligently, we become master pianists. Finally, if we practice love consistently and with honest intention, we become masters at love. However, this “mastery” works in the opposite direction, too. So if we are allowing ourselves to operate from a state of fear more commonly than not, then we become masters of fear.
When you are thriving in the track of love, it’s freeing, loving, honest, and you feel as if you have plenty to give to the world. Opposingly, when you are living in the track of fear, it feels the opposite; painful, restricting, self-rejecting, and judgmental. The way we choose to interface with the world in every given moment determines which track we are in. Simply put, in order to be in the track of love, you must then practice love. Every thought, feeling, and action is a place to practice, and the choices made in reaction must come from a place of love.
This is easier said than done. If it were that easy to live in the track of love, everyone would. That said, everyone can. It all boils down to our level of awareness and intention. The more you practice who you are not, the more you become who you are not. If this becomes your default state of being, then everyone you interface with doesn’t know the real you. This unnatural, dishonest demonstration of self is what the Toltecs call the “Dream of Hell.”
The Dream of Hell is not a place we want to find ourselves in; here, there is an abundance of suffering, fear, violence, and punishment. To avoid this, we must become aware of every action and choice we make. “That is the challenge: to change your normal reactions, to change your routine, to take a risk and make different choices.”- Don Miguel Ruiz.
“The Dream Master” Transforms Their Automatic Programming
A change in our automatic programming happens one decision at a time. This means that in every situation, in every interaction, and with every emotion that comes into our field of awareness, we must decide how we’d like to respond. If someone hurts us, we can choose to love and forgive that person or we can offer them a dose of fear and rejection right back.
If we’re randomly reminded of a painful memory, we have an emotional decision to make. If we can re-identify the memory as a learning experience and be thankful for what it taught us, we’ve chosen to soothe the sting of this painful memory with love and understanding as the antidotes. Or, if we decide to emotionally attach ourselves to the painful memory and allow it to influence our internal landscape with an abundance of fear and anxiety, that’s also a choice that can be made.
This process gets easier with time. A really healthy and effective way to navigate these situations that require choices to be made is to not take anything personal. Anything said or done to us is not because of us; it actually has nothing to do with us. When we can learn not to take anything personally, and see it with objective eyes and truth, we see things more clearly. We become what Toltecs call “Dream Masters.” A dream master is one who is aware and cultivates their own personal dream; a dream of truth, love, forgiveness, and understanding.
The Mastery of Love; Conscious Emotional Regulation at Your Fingertips
When we are living in the shoes and seeing with the eyes of our dream master, challenges are no longer seen as painful obstacles, but as potential lessons. The Toltecs say that the only way to truly be happy is to live as a being of love. This puts conscious emotional control right at our spirit’s fingertips. The more we breathe life into our spirit and practice making choices from it and in the track of love, the more aware we become and the more loving we are.
“Imagine that from one day to another, you awake from the Dream and you are completely healthy. You no longer have wounds, you no longer have emotional poison. Imagine the freedom you are going to experience. Everything is going to make you happy just to be alive wherever you go. Why? Because the healthy human being is not afraid to express love. You are not afraid to be alive, and you are not afraid to love.”– Don Miguel Ruiz
See your life as your own creation and every choice as a chance to color that creation with the tones you desire. Every decision made, every emotional reaction selected, adds color to your piece of work. As your time here nears the end and you step back to take in the masterpiece that is your life, when you’ve lived a life of love, you’ll be in awe of what you see.