By Brandon Nappi
Weekend Wisdom is a weekly sharing from Copper Beech Institute’s founder, Dr. Brandon Nappi. The following are Brandon’s recent reflections, originally posted on social media each Sunday. We hope these simply lessons inspire, rejuvenate, and support you on your inward and outward journey.
Insight without love
is spiritual snobbery.
Along the spiritual journey, many of us move through a phase of spiritual snobbery in which we elevate our worldview over the worldview of others. We think, “If everyone would think like me, act like me, eat like me, vote like me, the world would be a more perfect place.” It’s amazing how the ego will use even spiritual practice and growth to feel special and important. So, notice when judgment is arising strongly within you. Shaming others into believing exactly like we do is not creating a more just and compassionate world. Shaming others for disagreeing with us is a violent act which guarantees division. Let your love be as passionate as your ideas. Let your compassion be as strong as your opinions. Hold everything lightly. Humility is the radical act of admitting that what you don’t know is infinitely greater than what you do know.
Disconnection is the plague of our time.
Each of us longs for love and connection. We long to be seen and to be known. We long to be valued and cherished. We long to be forgiven when we have failed to live up to our values. We need each other to thrive. To be human is to be in relationship with one another--to laugh together, cry together, disagree together, celebrate together. When we create a culture of pseudo-connection, we suffer. When businesses profit on our fear and disconnection, we suffer. When the media sort us into tribes and cultivates the most paranoid instincts in us, we suffer. When we demonize those who are different, we fuel a culture of disconnection. When fear is more reinforced in our community than connection, all of us will begin to do things that are not in our own best interest nor the best interest of our neighbors. We make our worst decisions in fear. So, let’s talk to our neighbors, greet strangers, call our friends, check in on each other, join a committee, get involved, be daring. We need to look each other in the eye and acknowledge that we all belong.
Give yourself permission to change.
We practice mindfulness to practice changing. Mindfulness teaches us how to be flexible and change. We resist change because we are afraid of the unknown. The mind fixates on what can go wrong. It anticipates danger and risk. It evaluates the potential to disappoint people around us. People in our lives are not always comfortable with us changing. They long for things to stay the way they’ve always been. Patterns that we ourselves have outgrown may still feel comfortable to others in our lives. Remember: Don’t evaluate the truth based on its popularity. Wisdom is frequently admired from afar, but seldom lived up close. It’s easy to post trite spiritual phrases on social media, but much more challenging to live them out in daily life. This is why we practice. We practice surrendering to what is. We practice to surrendering to what is beyond our control. We practice responding versus reacting. We practice curiosity to what is arising within us and around us. In all of this, we trust that there is a limitless reservoir of strength, compassion, and resilience within us at every moment.
Playing small is not humility.
Step up and step in.
Over-exaggerating your smallness is just as limiting as over-inflating your ego. Knowing your own infinite worth-nothing more and nothing less IS humility. The challenges of today invite our hearts and souls to rise to their inherent greatness. This is not arrogance or narcissism. The world needs passionate servant-leaders who understand their healing role in the community. We need luminaries in our world who understand the magnitude of our spiritual calling and who courageously step up and step in. This will require our hearts to be soft. We will need to be as skilled in listening as speaking. We will need to acknowledge that we do not have all the answers. We will get up when we fall down. We will need to see our own infinite worth, especially in moments of confusion, doubt, and division. We will then invite and empower other to do the same. Will you join us?