Cultural Diversity

fun-house-mirrors-lCulture is learned behavior adapted by your friends, family, community, country, etc. to create cohesion.  When you share similar beliefs, ways of speaking or behaving you feel a part of something.  You’re accepted and approved of!  Ahhh… doesn’t that feel great?!

But what of others who are not in your circle of acceptance?  What if you discover new ways of operating that make more sense to you?  What if what you realize that everything you thought you knew about life was based on someone else’s projections?

When in Rome?  Following accepted norms of a society is helpful in many aspects, but can be damaging for a soul that is ever expanding into authentic self-discovery.  Cultural diversity involves the rights of people.  The Romans can be Romans and you can be you, without criticism.  So if we can “all just get along” then why the tension?

At some point in your life education you got the idea that you were special, better, right, inferior, wrong, less than, etc.  Why?  The beings around you approved of you, accepted you, felt threatened by others, or felt threatened by you.  It becomes clear that this has very to do with you and more to do with their perceptions/fears/experience.  For fear of not being accepted by your tribe one tends to adapt the tribes beliefs.  Cultural diversity tension can really be boiled down to people not wanting to feel alone, feeling fear, closing hearts then grabbing munitions.

So where to start?

You came from stars

will go back to stars

and get to enjoy a couple thousand thrilling rides in between.

On your thrilling rides thus far you’ve probably been a male, female, androgynous, abuser, victim, devout, atheist, purple, green, a mosquito, etc.  In fact even in this lifetime alone you’ve been only a couple cells, couldn’t speak English and thought it socially appropriate to stick spaghetti up your nose.  You’ve been shorter, taller, fatter, skinnier, poorer and richer than you are in this moment.  If you are constantly changing, the world around you is constantly changing then who are you?!  Why identify with anything?  Why label yourself?  Why label others?  In simple terms, there’s always a deeper reason.  Choosing to delve into that deeper reason within yourself will help you discover the deeper reasons behind the actions/reactions of others.

Step 1.

If love is the strongest force in the Universe then Empathy is the strongest tool in communication.  Empathy sounds cozy and loving but sometimes it feels uncomfortable when you put down the shields and let your heart say “I’m creating a loving space of understanding and support for you” when your child is telling you they’re having a sexual identity crisis or you are being made fun of for the 15,000th time for your accent.

As an experiment in a group:  Sit across from someone for one minute and hold space for them to talk without saying a word.  Say the words “I’m creating a loving space of understanding and support for you” to them and let them speak (or not) about whatever they wish.  Hold the phrase above in your heart when you want to reply or when you may dislike what they say.  When the timer is done the other person now holds safe space for you to share whatever you like for one minute.  Change chairs and repeat a couple times.

An experiment to try at home:  Sitting in front of a mirror (box of tissues recommended) look into your eyes and repeat:  “I love you” … “I love you” … “I love you” over and over.  I love you…. to the parts of yourself that you don’t even know yet, I love you…. to the part of yourself that’s uncomfortable saying “I love you” to a mirror, I love you… no matter what, etc.

Notice what comes up for you when you hold space for others and hold space for yourself.  What emotions and feelings arise in these moments is your next focus to embrace and love.

Step 2.

Relax.  When you are triggered by someone’s actions or behaviors your reaction continues the trajectory of pain/fear.  Extreme actions/reactions are call outs for something.  Take a moment to identify what in you is responding to the stressor then come back to your heart space to continue communication.

Step 3.

“It is as unhealthy to have resistance toward violation that could be imposed on you by the world as it is to have no boundaries and to let the world constantly trespass on your reality.” -Teal Swan  Boundaries come down to respect.  It’s knowing when to not try to change people before they’re ready and honoring where they’re at as the perfect place in their evolution, yet loving yourself enough to say ‘that’s not where I’m at’ and walk away.  The imperfect projected patterns in me honor and respect the imperfect projected patterns in you… namaste. 😉

Step 4.

Be grateful!  What a crazy colorful world this is in the middle of nowhere.  And how wonderful that we are all a subconscious hall of wacky mirrors for each other.

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