Essence is a peculiar word. You really do not hear it used often. I am tainted by my first experience with the word essence in the movie The Dark Crystal. I cannot think of the word essence without thinking of gelfling's and the vital essence that is drained from them. I was going to post a link but that scene in the movie still gives me the creeps.
My second encounter with the word via my teacher and mentor, Jennie Marlow, has been much more enlightening. The essence of any activity or thing is the feeling experience you would like to have. It is important to distinguish essence from form. A form may hold a desired essence and it may not.
In the book Personal Magic, Spotted Eagle says, "The focus on essence is one of the most transforming shifts that you can make in your thinking. When you focus on form, what you are really doing is trying to control the outcome. You close the doors on the Creator's spontaneity, and you do not leave room for Spirit to co-create with you. When you focus on the essence of what you want to create, you open up limitless possibilities by allowing Spirit to bring you that essence in forms you may never have imagined. If you want to change what you are creating in your life, then you must cleave to the truth that life is a feeling experience, and the essence of what you want should be foremost in your thoughts."
I keep a list of the essence words that are most important to me on my computer. It amazes me how this subtle reminder that I look at daily changes my perceptions and choices. Mostly, I see this in my interactions with my children. It is easy to get caught up in my own chores, thoughts, and my own ideas about what should happen next or how we should resolve a conflict. When I take a deep breath and remind myself that the essence of connection is much more important to me than any outcome, I can relax into a conversation with the girls about my needs and theirs and how to meet them all. Sometimes, I realize my "need" was not a need at all but an attachment to an idea or outcome I wanted.
Another important essence for our family is joy. My husband said recently that, "Joy is our religion." and indeed we are constantly looking at our choices from the perspective of whether or not what we are choosing is making our lives more joyful.
I have found that when you boil decisions down to essence, things become very clear. there is no longer a nagging idea that I need to force my kids to do things or make a situation what I want it to be. Spotted Eagle says it this way, "Essence clarifies for you what it is you want in your heart. "The mind speaks in urges, appetites, and attachments. The soul speaks in desires of the heart. "
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