It was late 2011, during the first year of living with my husband (at that time boyfriend), that I had the opportunity to travel to Ibiza, Spain. I had not started yoga nor had I any inkling to travel to India, both were completely unknown to me. During our brief stay I decided on a second tattoo on my left shoulder, neck area…’a peacock feather inscribed with the words freedom, tolerance, respect’. Sometimes impromptu decisions especially about tattoos can leave a person in total despair, however I felt this must have some significance as the words resounded as a mantra in my mind. Whether its words or phrases to be repeated daily, a short prayer or poem to affirm our actions I personally believe it can aid us to get to where we need to be positively and productively.
Over the years I’ve acknowledged the peacock, India’s national bird, for its different symbolic interpretations but I’ve also repeated the words, not just to myself but to others. As my yoga journey continues and I feel the need to become more grounded, an inward search for more meaning in these words has become necessary, also to avoid scepticism and so called bad spiritual karma. I hope to find my truth which is the same for each and every human on this planet, in so doing to accept my failures and those in others.
The serenity prayer is well known and used in different institutions to reaffirm our personal intentions towards the universe, the divine, God. And sure there are many more poems and quotations to help one in the present, to accept circumstances, sometimes even used to heal psychological and emotional wounds. In our search for meaning and happiness we probably avert our attention outwards more often than necessary when all we need to do is close our eyes and repeat our personal prayer, immediately feeling the calmness needed to reassess our situation.
So here’s my personal prayer using the words which will forever remain on my shoulder, not to burden but to lift me whenever I need them:
“Tolerate that which I do not understand so that I can see through new eyes. Inspire a change in my perception and respect those in their own journey. Be free to be my true self.”
Find the words in your own life. Ones that will resonate with you whenever you’re frustrated with something you cannot understand, explain or change…and maybe, just maybe it will change the way you live.
Our three cool Buddhas logo; representing Freedom, Tolerance and Respect, are a female, a transexual and a male, showing the diversity of human sexuality. They are different colours depicting our multitude of races and religions. They are sitting at a bar suggesting one of lifes many possible journeys in our individual struggles through Peace and Love. They are meditating on the White Light of Consciousness and the Buddha that each of us once was and could be again.