Personal labels have become a great source of disinterest for me. It used to be I was greatly curious about labels. I loved to try them on myself, like a new outfit, to see how they suited me.
“I’m a writer.” “I’m spiritual.” “I’m a healer.” “I’m a poet.”
Sometimes they fit for awhile. Sometimes I found them quite becoming. Other times they got kicked under the bed quickly. I was equally curious about the labels other people chose to wear. I thought this told me a great deal about them. But I realized labels are a deflection from that reality. A label, for me, has become nothing more than clay smeared over who I really am in order to appear as something else.
The clay is dissolving. I am not these things. I only am.
Sunlight on Fresh Snow, Wasatch Mt. Range, UT by Kyle Krause
I saw this posted on Facebook and I think it’s a wonderful idea so I want to share it here. As you plan and do your holiday shopping this year, why not purchase from local small businesses, artisans, craftspeople, self-publishers and the self employed? Put a little of the economy back into the hands of someone other than big business for change. These are people who are committed to their trade and put a lot of heart and soul into what they do. What a wonderful way to give a gift that benefits everyone!
Breath of Creation by Rassouli @ newdawncollections.com
This week a global Decision Day was held on October 24th. Yesterday. All that was asked was that people make a conscious decision and commit to it. The decision was what world you want to live in. This may seem idealistic, but considering we spin the web of our realities by our own thoughts and perceptions, this is probably the most important decision you could ever make. Some of us are aware enough to do this every day of our lives. Most of us are not.
I was not. But when I heard about this idea of “the decision” it struck me hard. Why had I not done it? I thought that I had but really all I did was stick my toe in the water. I was wishy washy. I put qualifiers on it. I would decide to decide, but if the decision was too hard or too uncomfortable I left myself an out. Yeah. As cowardly as it sounds now, that hasn’t worked out well. And no, I’m not surprised. All I decided was to live in a wishy washy world.
But currents in my inner world, my “kingdom,” have been sweeping me along anyway. Even when I decided to decide, wishy washy or not, I had decided. It just took a little longer to arrive. So, when confronted with the choice do I want to live in a world built on the expectations and directions of others or a different one I decided I want to live in MY world; and by “MY world” I mean a world based on my conscious and aware choices.
Some very interesting synchronicities carried me to this point. In all honesty, I had forgotten about Decision Day and wasn’t even aware of the date yesterday. Not consciously. I just motored through my routine but when I had my free time I remembered a movie, Thrive, that was recommended to me. The synopsis intrigued me:
“THRIVE is an unconventional documentary that lifts the veil on what’s REALLY going on in our world by following the money upstream — uncovering the global consolidation of power in nearly every aspect of our lives. Weaving together breakthroughs in science, consciousness and activism, THRIVE offers real solutions, empowering us with unprecedented and bold strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future.”
Sounded like my kind of thing so I made myself some dinner and settled in to enjoy. At this point I won’t say I endorse the film in its entirety. If you’ve seen it, all I can say is I’ve had years experience working in two of the industries mentioned and I experienced exactly the things mentioned. The rest I leave up to you. Regardless, watching it will leave you changed. It will make you think and most importantly it will make you question. It will probably wake you up from a long comfortable slumber. Honestly, it messed with me. It messed with me in a big way.
I spent the rest of my evening in a kind of numb fog. Then I fell very quiet. It was a strange silence but I know now I was making my decision in the depth of that silence. I don’t want to live in a world where I’m alive only to fulfil expectations of people I don’t know or will never meet. I don’t want to live in a world only half alive never knowing who am I or what I want. I don’t want to end my life with my only accomplishments being “I was a good worker drone” and “I fulfilled my obligations.”
I want to live in MY world. I want to throw off the chains and climb out of the matrix. I want to be awake and I want to make aware choices. I want to be free of the agendas of others and free enough to question everything. I want to build a world I want to wake to every day. Yes, my decision is made. I am awake.
I was in a haze of angry and hurt emotions last night and was attempting to distract myself from it by scrolling endlessly through my blog feeds. But, as you know, when someone is in that frame of mind words tend to have very little impact. They almost annoy because your emotional state is reflecting back to you.
It was tiring. I didn’t want to feel that way. I wasn’t able to meditate my way through it. I was wallowing. It was miserable. When I reached the apex of that feeling, that moment where you just can’t take it anymore, that little voice I know so well and have come to rely on finally spoke. Or, more correctly, I finally heard it. It had been speaking all along.
“Be open for guidance.”
When I can manage just this one simple task, to let go and ask for guidance in any form it wants to manifest, it appears. It’s not magic. It’s the way the existence works. Yin and yang, demand and supply, question and answer. I stopped trying to read my blog feed and just let it scroll. I knew I would recognize what I needed when I saw it and no more effort was required than that.
Then my eyes rested on this video posted by labyrintho on Tumblr. I clicked the play button, took a deep breath, and watched. What unfolded to me was exactly what I needed to hear. I have posted the video below and highly recommend its wisdom. I love Thich Naht Hanh. He has a way of stating things that penetrate to the center of my heart and I can “hear” the words.
Hold anger in a tender way… “like a mother holding a baby.”
It was such an alien concept to me. Equating my anger with the tender innocence of a baby was almost ludicrous but in that was the dawning of a new understanding. I knew in that moment that my anger, my emotions, are simply my creations. I birth them and I’m responsible for them as a new mother is for her infant. No one else is responsible for what is triggered inside of me. Only I am.
So I allowed myself this new image. I imagined holding my hot seething anger with all the tenderness I felt towards my own children when they were infants. It fussed for a few moments but then the most wonderful thing happened. It changed. It was no longer this solid, seething force. It had become the soft glow of compassionate love.
That really sat me back on my heels! Fifty years on this Earth and I have never been able to understand this. Until now. I’ve always been a very emotional and sensitive person and my emotions tend to overwhelm me. And it’s destructive. Terribly destructive. But in those few brief moments I watched something that would have had me in extremis for days transform with no more effort than a sigh into something blissful.
I’m laughing as I write this. Laughing out loud. I can’t help it. When confronted with my ignorance and foolishness I simply can’t help it. It was so simple and so beautiful and the laughter is delicious.
I would highly recommend taking the 9 minutes to watch this video. The interplay of energies between Ram Dass and Thich Naht Hanh is tangibly calming and the wisdom imparted is invaluable. I hope you enjoy it. It transformed me.
Laughter is like a sudden summer rain. It cools the ground, sweetens the air and replenishes all it touches. Life will always be life regardless if you wear a worried frown or a glowing smile. Laugh with the unbridled delight of a child and life will bloom.
“Why did you decide to get married?” Kumar asked his lifelong, and dearest friend, Amit. “You always said you wouldn’t.”
They had been sitting, mostly silent, watching the sunrise and appreciating each other’s company. It had been years since their last meeting. Tea cups now empty sat between them waiting to be filled back up with words.
Kumar leaned closer to encourage his reply.
But Amit was gathering his thoughts. It wasn’t for lack of an appropriate answer or because he was unsure. His friend deserved his best answer. He deserved his deepest truth. Kumar, knowing his friend well, patiently waited.
Amit hadn’t married his wife, Sarah, for the reasons most of his friends and family assumed. But he respected their hesitancy. They were so different to those on the outside looking in. They were products of different cultures, different continents, different worlds so it was easy for people to wonder what common ground they shared. Some ulterior motive was usually the suspicion and that one hurt him most.
Sarah bloomed in his mind then, as she always did over all these years; even those they spent half a world apart. The image remained the same and the familiar scene formed and played out as it always did when his heart responded. She came to him as a little child, running barefooted down the path. Her smile rivalling the sun blazing down on them, yellow hair floating behind her. His heart would stutter and fill him with joy. She was as tall as the sky and as tiny as a blossom and his most precious treasure.
He waited for her eternally in this secret place; a green and wild and watery place. Their place. Filled with butterflies and birds and promises and his own unending boyhood. They would meet without words. All smiles and giggles. He would offer her the flower he’d picked and she would tuck it in the collar of her dress. Together, they would push their little raft into the muddy water of the river and lay back to watch the sky. Hand in hand they would ride the current, making cloud pictures and sharing riddles. The direction they traveled was meaningless. There was only one way. Together.
This was their relationship. Even the daily doldrums of marriage couldn’t change it. This was who she was to him and he knew it was who he was to her. All of this rolled to the tip of his tongue.
“Because I love her.”
Kumar searched his friend’s eyes a moment and sat back again.
“Yes. This is the best answer,” he said.
He turned his tea cup over and set it back down with a sigh.
TIP: Don’t compare yourself and your life and to anyone else. You are beautifully, perfectly unique! Celebrate!
Apples to oranges… You’re hungry and some fresh delicious fruit sounds like the perfect fix, but which to choose? That crisp crunch and sweet juiciness of a nice red apple is so tempting. But then again, the cool citrus zing of a succulent sunny orange makes your mouth water too. Which to choose?
This may not sound like much, but when we compare things in our mind we cause discordance and discomfort. Now choosing fruit really isn’t that uncomfortable, but when we compare things we create a moment of unhappiness. Imagine what we’re doing to ourselves with more important issues.
It’s a natural human tendency to compare. Discernment is part of life. But we do have a habit of comparing things unrealistically. We compare our appearance, careers, families, intelligence, education, our homes, material possessions, finances, even our goals in life. Remember when you entered into your adolescence? We all inevitably compared ourselves. Were we cool enough? Pretty or handsome enough? Was our clothing up to the latest fashion trend? Did we have the latest and greatest bauble or gadget? If not, how to get it! Ugh! Those were uncomfortable, downright painful, years. And we carry that habit into adulthood.
The honest truth is, we are incomparable We’re unique. Were individuals. Imagine if all the flowers in a garden were exactly identical. How boring and dimensionless would that garden be? Would we want to relax there? Would there be any beauty?
Break free from the need to compare yourself to anyone else and celebrate what makes you YOU. Then you will bloom into the being you are and bliss is yours! Oh, and don’t forget to go enjoy that apple… or orange.