Mystical Compliments: Mastering the art of positive heart-wounding

red dropIMAGINE IF THE SUN second-guessed itself. Life would perish. The same is true for us. We are here to shine free of our ego’s ever-changing self-portrait, to be as generous with our presence as the Sun. This is the heart of meditation and the Leonine prescription for all forms of diminished life-force. Who are we? Simple: Wanna-be suns. Nothing wrong with tossing a few humanity-honoring words into our thermonuclear presence. We call these “compliments.”

To the Leo part of us, receiving a vulnerably expressed, uncontrived compliment is akin to sunbathing: the back of our eyelids go fractal and everything melts. Sure, we probably sensed the appreciation before the said admirer opened their mouth but their determination to tenderly (and, no doubt, clumsily) articulate their heart immediately softens our ego’s armor.

It is precisely this reverence for positive heart-wounding that allows the Leo part of us to give and receive compliments with warmth and grace. But to the average, safely understated ego, getting caught deeply enjoying a compliment is akin to admitting that we are either pathetically full-of-ourselves or that we must feel insecure and need reassurance. Yuck! Who wants to get caught enjoying that? The result? The Divinely-ordained currency of compliments is exchanged in only the most protective, off-handed ways.  We unconsciously suppress the impulse to praise and we receive it in only the most dismissive and energetically un-reciprocating way.

Imagine how septic this must feel to the archetype within us who thinks in the language of overflowing affirmation and artful accolades. Ask yourself: Could my personal distrust in compliments be creating a field around me that subtly represses others’ divine pride? Could the gracious openness required to fully receive a compliment be a powerful, unappreciated spiritual practice in which my  self-image dies into the timeless present? Could compliment-phobia be a symptom of my reluctance to inhabit the all-embracing fullness of my being? Allow me, if you will, to invite you into a more steady appreciation of this spine-straightening mystical practice by trying on the following “perceptual task” excerpted from the three month, online Styles of Awakening Training:

Artful Affirmation

Today’s goal is to reactivate the radiant soul-esteem that naturally and spontaneously overflows out onto others. Why? Voltaire said it best:

     “Appreciation is an excellent thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us, as well.”

Please pause for a moment to let that sink in…

So much for an introverted, interpersonally risk-free path of self-realization. Bottom line: we awaken to The Divine Hug by being less stingy with our verbal embraces. Today, your task is to inquire: how sincere does a compliment haave to be before I say it? Can I, in good conscience, verbally honor a likable part of someone whilst actively disliking other parts? Hope so, otherwise the world would be even more love-parched than it already is.

Today’s experiment is to flex the muscle of sincere Solar appreciation. Be on the look out for opportunities to shine and affirm. What kind of stuff might you say? Here’s the key: “reveal, then point.” Focus on revealing the feelings people inspire in you first, then — and only then — pair it with an attribute you perceive in them. Yes, your well-meaning words will also illuminate the not-so-hidden parts of you that judge and couldn’t care less. This is good news! Why? Because it means the ego’s anemic “basement dwellers” are coming up for some serious photosynthesis.

Remember: compliments are a give-away, not a seduction. Will you suddenly shut up just because you sense some giving-to-get inside? Please don’t. Purge your desire after the fact. This is the humbling, sloppy place where attachments burn free, for good.

Does your praise feel clumsy, garish and fake? Of course. You’re inviting others into your own ego-purification process. Have heart. This is edgy, spiritual warrior terrain.  Perhaps this short Leonine dharma video will inspire you to loosen up and courageously persist:

click here to watch video >

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