No matter how wrong or lacking we may feel, how caught in separation, or how trapped by the messages, violations, and inequities of the society we live in, this basic goodness remains the essence of our Being.
Trusting the Gold: Uncovering Your Natural Goodness
Each month, we share insights, inspiration, and all the ways the
cycles of the Great Mandala uplift you and support your journey
This month's theme is Goodness.
you are connected to the goodness of all Being that dwells
within you, you are nourished from within. The goodness at your
core feeds all the rest of you. It emanates from you. Nourished
from within, you can appreciate that the cycles of creation are
already bringing you what is rightfully yours.
Showing up, embodying your goodness— through your life and
your work in the world — is the most healing thing you can offer
yourself and others. Reclaiming the goodness that exists within
you, others, and our planet — leads to healing, and awareness
of your deeper humanity.
Does your inner critic get so loud sometimes that it’s hard to
remember your goodness so that you hear your guidance? “Are
you sure you’re doing this right?” It whispers. And if I believe
it…a cascade of self doubt floods my awareness.
Your inner critic may be showing up big time right now because
individually and collectively humanity is on the verge of
something completely new. Whenever you stretch beyond what
is known, what feels safe, the fear and doubt are going to show
These fears and doubts are trying to keep you safe but their
intense grip can feel quite suffocating.
Be kind to yourself… gather your courage and face your inner
toward accepting our true nature--remembering we are
goodness. It doesn’t mean to imply, in relative terms, good over
bad. According to the traditions, each of us individually and
collectively has basic goodness at our core. How would we
change if we have that outlook? What if we find time for “just
being,” to be curious about and emphasize the quality of
goodness, for our goodness to be our best friend?
It takes commitment and courage to engage with the many
highs and lows of life, releasing the story lines that keep us
caught, and learning to trust that our own inner goodness
guides us step by step toward healing and awareness of our
individual and collective humanity.
Working with clients and doing my personal work, I'm always on
the lookout for a way to access the goodness that I believe is
inside each of us. We may experience it on a regular basis or
not. It may be hidden at first, but our goodness is always there.
Einstein is famous for saying that either you regard nothing as a
miracle or everything as a miracle. I'll take poetic license and
paraphrase his words by saying either you regard no one as
goodness or everyone as goodness. A shift to the latter could
be a way to immerse ourselves in miraculous goodness that is
our true nature.
Say this phrase out loud:
"I deeply and completely accept myself"
What happens in you when you say this phrase? What do you
notice in your body? What thoughts and feelings arise? How
true is this statement for you? 25%? 50%? 100%? Really pay
As an Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) practitioner, I find
my clients (and I) sometimes hesitate when saying these words.
It seems there's a resistance to embodying the deeper meaning
of the phrase.
It's almost as if we want to rush to what's wrong...(negativity
bias?) Why is it easier to notice where we think we fall short
while our attention seems to lose focus when we state
acceptance for ourselves? Start to embody our goodness?
So many of us grew up thinking some version of, "I'm not good
enough". It's likely that our parents and others around us felt
that way about themselves. Our ancestors may have had a
version of the same belief. In the West, this belief is all too
common. The Dalai Lama has expressed surprise at how
widespread this self doubt is in our culture. Viewed from a
wider perspective does it make sense that we are here to prove
to ourselves or anyone else that we are good and worthy?
What if we start with the notion that we are "good as gold"
I see healing as a process of developing a state of mind and
being that holds both the shadow and the light within. That
gives us a choice about where to focus our attention. There
are many ways to achieve that state of mind. I've found that EFT
is a great tool for this purpose.
I don’t think anyone “finds” joy (or goodness). Rather, we cultivate it by searching for the preciousness of small things, ordinary miracles that strengthen our hearts so we can keep them open to what is difficult.
Dr. Dawna Markova
In 1957 in Bangkok, Thailand a group of monks from a
monastery had to relocate their massive, ten and a half foot tall,
2.5 ton clay Buddha from their temple to a new location to make
way for a new highway being built through the city. They used a
crane to lift the idol, but it began to crack, and then rain began
to fall. The head monk was concerned about damage to the
sacred Buddha, and he decided to lower the statue down to the
ground and cover it with a large canvas tarp to protect it from
Later that evening, the monk went to check on the Buddha. He
shined a flashlight under the tarp, and noticed a gleam reflected
through a crack in the clay. Wondering about what he saw, he
got a chisel and hammer, and began to chip away at the clay.
The gleam turned out to be gold, and many hours later the
monk found himself face to face with an extraordinary, huge,
solid gold Buddha.
Historians believe that several hundred years before this, the
Burmese army was about to invade Thailand, then called Siam.
The monks covered their precious statue with an 8 inch layer of
clay to disguise its value. Very likely the Burmese slaughtered
all the Siamese monks, and the secret of the statue’s golden
essence remained intact until that day in 1957. Click here for
more information about the golden Buddha.
Ask yourself… “Who am I, why am I here and where am I
What this story so eloquently explains is that inside each of us,
there lives basic goodness, a golden Buddha of light. Our
purpose in life is to rediscover our goodness, to find our "gold"
in the preciousness of life.
What happens over the course of our life is that we pile layer
upon layer of clay over our true nature. The heaviest layer of
clay is our limited thinking along with our unconscious
conditioning. The other layers of clay get added on from
external influences (parents, schools and teachers, bosses and
co-workers, society, the media, the church, government and
corporations). Eventually we are so laden with clay that we
forget that our goodness is there all the time.
We are covered with a protective layer that initially kept us safe
The protection served its purpose at the time, usually when we
were young and vulnerable. But over time our goodness
becomes so covered that the protection no longer serves us.
We forget how to remember our goodness, our true nature.
In her book Trusting the Gold: Uncovering Your Natural
Goodness, Tara Brach reminds us that:
...the gold of our true nature can never be tarnished. No matter how it might get covered over or disguised by feelings of anger, deficiency, or fear, our awareness remains radiant and pure. In the moments of remembering and trusting this basic goodness of our Being, the grip of “something’s wrong” dissolves and we open to happiness, peace, and freedom.
responsibility for everything that shows up in our life, see our
contribution to it, and leave behind patterns of shaming and
blaming. The more we are able to remember our goodness, the
more we can see the interdependence of our interactions with
the world, the Unity that exists between all beings and all things.
The Co-Creative Mandala below, "Goodness" is from a
photograph of Rocky Mountain columbine (symbolizes courage,
spiritual evolution, and expanded consciousness). The colors
are related to your solar plexus, throat, third eye, and crown
chakra. Columbine also represents the blending of differences
and finding harmony. This mandala reminds us to invite our
inner critic to suspend its commentary so that we can remember
and embody our basic goodness.
Let your golden Buddha shine forth at full strength. When we
are grounded in goodness we are one step closer to
The difference between enlightened beings and us is that they have confidence in their basic goodness and we don’t.
The real power of the practice is the intention you place behind
it. Start your day by setting the intention that you are dedicating
time to self-care, to remembering Goodness and
awakening to Unity. This practice is a simple method of helping
you to honor Goodness. So with practice, it can be used to
manage stress, promote feelings of well-being and be present,
without conscious effort. With practice, you'll discover that this
inner resource is available to you for increasing periods of time.
Be gentle with yourself as you discover what nurtures and
Before you begin the practice:
Choose what you need to create sacred space: Flowers that
represent summer, candles that represent the fiery summer
energy, incense, and music can help guide your focus.
Invest time toward moving into stillness.
When you are ready, invite any subtle colleagues, allies, your
guides and helpers to join you in your sacred practice. Wait a
moment for that connection and alliance to form.
Next, invest some time for reflecting on the Goodness mandala.
Let you gaze fall softly on the mandala. Use these following
prompts for connecting your purpose to the energy of the
What message does it have for you? What expansive energy do
you want more of in your life? You may choose to reflect on
your vision statement. How will honoring Goodness support
manifesting your vision? How will you nurture the mandala of
your life? How will you practice self-care and self-compassion
by welcoming Goodness into your life? How will you bring more
light into the world?
Now, the Goodness practice.
There are two parts to the practice.
Part 1: Facing and Honoring the Inner Critic Through Art.
I ran across this practice from Yoga instructor and wellness
coach Alexandra Cohen and just loved the playfulness and
creativity this practice inspires.Just what we need to bring to the
summer energy and for remembering Goodness.
Get out paper, color pencils, crayons, paint--all the supplies you
need for drawing.
NOTE: If you're hearing the inner critic say "I can't draw",
"I'm not an artist"...or whatever version of the story you tell
yourself, listen for a moment. Then invite that part of
yourself to suspend its judgment for just a few minutes.
1. Draw your inner critic. Like really go there- make it as
outrageous as possible (remember drawing monsters as a kid-
give yourself permission to draw something wild).
Does it have scary eyes, pointy teeth, spiked hair? Does it look
like someone you know?
Take as much time as you want.
2. What do you notice in your body? What feelings arise?
What thoughts do you have while you're drawing?
3. What do you notice in your body after you finish drawing?
What thoughts and emotions do you notice?
4. As the inner critic starts to release, intentionally draw the
energies that take its place. What do you notice in your body?
What feelings arise? What thoughts do you have?
Now, it's time for:
The Goodness Practice
Part II: Seeing and Welcoming Your Goodness--Your Inner
This is a simple and profound practice.
Begin the practice with this statement:
"I can accept myself because__________"
1. Get out paper and pencil and begin writing all the things,
all the qualities, all the ways you show up in the world that you
like about yourself.
2. Keep the list going: What does your best friend say they like
about you? What do Your children? Your co-workers? Your
students? Your pets? Your partner? say they like about you?
3. Read your list out loud. Have a trusted friend read the list to
you. Journal about the impact this list has on how you see
Remember, this is not a "one and done" practice. Start out
slowly. It's possible that few people in your past shined the light
on your goodness.
As I mentioned, EFT is a wonderful tool for clearing the blocks
to love's presence, to embodying your goodness by accepting
both your goodness and shadow and laying down the grooves
of new neural pathways. With practice, you continually cultivate
lots of anchors, inner resources for remembering your
goodness. When you feel yourself embodying that feeling your
light shines more brightly, your true nature reveals itself.
Peace and joy to your seeking heart,