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Monday, February 29, 2016

SLOW DRIVING

"I'm not sure about automobiles... With all their speed forward they may be a step backward in civilization- that is, in spiritual civilization. It may be that they will not add to the beauty of the world, nor to the life of men's souls..." 
~ Booth Tarkington ~

Driving 70 miles home with a mini-spare tire and a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour is an interesting experience with the hazards flashing and clicking, everyone passing me by in a rushing stream, and the roadside moving along so much more slowly than I am accustomed to. There's a general over-arching sense of slowness about the whole thing. And yet, not so many distant moons ago, 50mph was speedy travel, and a big deal.
     Our world has become so fast and furious. But as I make my way down the road with my mini-spare and a limited ability to rush, it occurs to me palpably that for all we have gained, there is much as well that we have lost.

Slow speed opens my mind to a new perspective.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

EQUANIMITY

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." 
~ Lao Tzu ~

Enlightenment is experience and recognition. Emotions bubble up and are met with equanimity: "Ah- frustration... Ah- sadness... Ah- full belly." There is no judgment or attachment, only the pure raw living experience. Whatever arises is met, is felt, is processed, and departs, like clouds across the sky, or wind that rustles tree leaves and then is still.

I greet whatever arises, and let it be exactly what it is.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

ABANDONING LACK

"Whatever you focus on increases." 
~ Andy Andrews ~

Sometimes I become self-absorbed and lose sight of my blessings. I forget my gifts and focus on all that I lack. It's an unsatisfying position to be in- impoverished feeling and sorry to the core. For, in truth, I have so much to be grateful for, and my life, if I can only see it clearly, is abundantly rich and overwhelmingly good.

I focus on all of the things I am gifted with instead of whatever I think I don't have.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

THE THING THAT LASTS

"The arms of love gather you together." 
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery ~

If fear is at the root of my anger when I feel angry, then what am I afraid of? What's the main fear? There seems to be a little pile of them- that I won't get enough time to do whatever pleases my spirit, that I'll lose my freedom, that I'll be discounted, forgotten, or ignored in a kind of a permanent way. or that I will somehow lose myself.
      But none of these hold water really. They are petty fears. In truth, I am as flighty as my changing emotions and as flippant as the things that trigger me. The only thing solid really, that's deep within and grounds me in truth, is love: the power of love, the purpose of love, and the affirmative, satisfying manifestation of love in all of its glorious flavors. 

My love is bigger than my fear.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

BIT BY BIT

"Our whole life is solving puzzles." 
~ Erno Robik ~

Sustainable progress is little bit by little bit: a bite here, a nibble there, an occasional feast on the weekends. It happens in parts and pieces, puzzle like, until the edges are formed, and then the stabilizing structure, and finally, the intricate details.

I proceed forth bit by bit and trust the slow progress of my path.

Monday, February 22, 2016

WHEN LIFE IS MESSY

"No mud, no Lotus." 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Sometimes we have to sit in the muck, and just let life be messy for a bit, because it is. And if we try to escape it, we will only make it worse for ourselves, and sink deeper like quicksand. Eventually, we grow clean, like the lotus that rises to the surface of the pond and flowers. But in spite of what we see, and maybe even what we believe, it's important to remember and acknowledge that the lotus roots remain forever and always entrenched in the mud.

I appreciate that growth comes through difficulty.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

KNOTS AND TANGLES

"Even when tied in a thousand knots, the string is still but one." 
~Rumi ~

I require alone time to sort myself out. Too much activity and interaction with people and going from one thing to another builds up unresolved stuff in me. Knots and tangles form, and I need to regularly take the time and do the work to un-do the tangles. Like brushing long hair that has been in a stiff breeze, it takes patience and care to make things smooth and flowing yet again. And if I don't bother with it for long enough, then, eventually, I will have dreadlocks whether I want them or not.

I take the time to un-do the knots that build up in me so I can experience the pleasure of flow.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

SUITING UP

"At this season Nature makes the most of every throb of life that can withstand her severity." 
~ John Buroughs ~

I'm rather a Nordic creature by nature and I love the cold, winter air. It feels like food to me and nurtures my soul- fresh on my face, awakening, invigorating, and stinging in just the right kind of way. But it requires the right clothing. There's not much worse than paltry jackets to face a stiff February breeze, but goose down and wool and scarves around the ears are just the thing. Cozy and supportive, they make it possible to enjoy whatever Mother Nature serves up.

I welcome the weather whatever it is, and make sure I dress accordingly.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

THE DIRECTION WE CHOOSE

"Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?" 
~ Mother Goose ~

Most of the time, we don't even know that we are growing, but we are. We're growing in one direction or another because nothing living is stagnant. We're either growing wiser, or becoming more and more blocked to wisdom; growing in our ability to love and be loved, or hardening our hearts; growing healthier or becoming ever more dis-eased.
     It's worth considering where we are in our individual process, and if we want to maybe take some steps to change the direction of our path.

I pay attention to my spiritual journey and make sure I'm moving toward the light and not away from it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

FAIR WEATHER TRAVELS

"Weather is a great metaphor for life." 
~ Terri Guillemets ~

I am grateful when it doesn't rain for my long commute to and from work. I don't mind walking in the rain, but driving in it always feels a little risky and sketchy with the unpredictable wetness, the wipers, the road-spray, and the decreased visibility.
     So when it's not raining, I take note of it, pause for a moment, and say, "Thanks!"

It's so much easier to drive when the roads are dry and the sky is clear.

Monday, February 15, 2016

LIFE AS IT IS

"Nice up yo'self inna de riddim of life." 
~Third World ~

I am good at creating a sense of frantic panic in my head, and I imagine that things are far more out of control than they really are. Life proceeds in a steady and sustainable way in spite of my imposing sense of urgency. Time is whatever I allow it to be- organic, cyclical, and beautiful, or pressurized and highly intense.
     When I stop, or when life stops me, I am sometimes able to be grateful for things exactly as they are, and sometimes feel that all is getting away from me. But the drama is inside my head. That's the bottom line. In the Natural world, days proceed on track, and nights follow, on track, and the seasons carry us round and round in rhythm and process and graceful, natural flow.

I align myself with the natural rhythm of life and stop trying to speed everything up, or slow it down to suit my petty needs. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

"Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are." 
~ Arthur Golden ~

We all have our time in the barrel. Suffering is a real fact of the human condition. At this exact moment, each of us reading this post knows of someone who is in pain, near death, facing some kind of challenging physical condition, or is experiencing one of these things personally.
     The answer to this reality comes through understanding, and the willingness to share what we're going through, so that we can be supported by others who have gone before us, and lead those who are coming along behind. We can get through anything together. This is the path of tranquility and grace, and this is the path of love.

Suffering is meant to be shared so that we can help each other carry the load.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

SELF-CONSUMPTION

"It is no use casting out devils. They belong to us, we must accept them and be at peace with them." 
~ DH Lawrence ~

When I am self-consumed, compassion for others becomes a low priority. I lose my sensitivity and kindness and fill up with resentment and blame. And then, recklessly, and unconsciously, I spew my righteousness like a boiling-over pot of pasta making a mess all over the stove top.
     At some point or other, I always come around, but there is wreckage in my wake, and a deep sadness and regret in my soul.

When I feel myself feeling sorry for myself and irritable on the inside, I stop everything and regroup before I interact with others so that I can avoid hurt on all sides.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NEW DAY: FRESH START

"Prejudice is weighing the facts with your thumb on the scales." 
~ Alex Dreier ~

I don't necessarily agree that the best predictor of future outcomes is the history of past performance. If we are constantly evolving, then things change. We change.
     The world ceaselessly wants to judge us by how we used to be, and they react accordingly, often in advance, but perhaps we're really not that person anymore. We have the knowledge and wisdom of our experience to gently turn us away from distress and dysfunction and guide us toward the light.
     So let's allow each day to really be a fresh start and stop slapping all of our fears from the past upon it like mud on a windshield or a pair of glasses that no longer help us to see.

I free myself from preconceptions and let the past be past.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

TRUSTING LIFE

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else." 
~ Emily Dickenson ~

Insofar as we will allow others to help us we can be helped. But we can be as stubborn on this front as on all fronts- hard headed and resistant to what is not our own idea. And then, alone and stubborn, we suffer in fear. There is love and healing to be had and to go round, but we can refuse it if we choose to. That is our right, and our choice must be respected.
     And it's hard to be on both ends of this deal- hard on the suffering alone front, and hard on the sending love front. But we have to meet each other exactly where we are. That in itself is the loving journey. 

I respect your path, even if it hurts me to witness your choices.

Monday, February 8, 2016

THE PASSAGE IN AND OUT

"Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor." 
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

Our breath is our very life. It is our source of energy and calm. It heals us: relaxing, empowering, steadily sustaining. And yet, as with so many things in our modern culture, we give it short shrift. We breathe to our chests and back because we can't be bothered and we don't have time. We discount its power, and denigrate its crucial role.
     Let's not. Let's take full advantage. Those who do yoga have the benefit of conscious breath, as do many who meditate, but there are an equal number of us who have no clue- who choppy breathe as a matter of course. This is our wake-up call. Let's allow the breath to travel the length of our spine like a wave, to deeply infuse our sacrum with vitality and then slowly make the journey back up and out, releasing, refreshing, and restoring our souls.

I breathe deeply and consciously every breath that I take.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

GRACE

"The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too." 
~ Teresa of Avila ~

How often, I wonder, are we saved from the very brink of disaster? And don't even know it? Or know it but are not fully able to comprehend the extent of the grace that has been granted us? Far more frequently than we realize, I would venture, like every time we pick up our cell phone to look at a text in the car and swerve off the road a bit (I know we have all done it even if we pretend that we haven't).
     Plus, we are at the mercy of the inconsistencies of our body, and the volatility of emotional energy in the world. And for all that we have the power to change- our behavior, our mindset, our belief systems, our breathing, our experience of the now- we are still so small in the face of what we cannot know. And so, we need to live by conscious gratitude for all of the blessings that shower upon us, whether we fully recognize them, or not, and slow down enough to acknowledge that we are lovingly and carefully protected from more than we can possibly understand.

I pay attention to my life enough to know that I am protected by grace, and saved from disaster on a regular basis.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

TIME FOR CHANGE

"We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance." 
~ Harrison Ford ~

Change before its time is uncomfortable, and even a bit jarring, but change when we're ready for it is a breath of fresh air. It comes bearing life, and invigorates and refreshes our path.

I feel the amping up of life transitions and it excites me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

TAKE IT AS IT COMES

"What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." 
~Friedrich Nietzsche ~

Facing what scares us is good for our souls. Resilient, courageous, adaptive, and tireless, we become more durable from what we go through. We become indomitable and wise.

I process my life however it comes, and proceed steadily, one little bit at a time.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

GOING FOR IT

"To eat an egg, you must break the shell." 
~ Jamaican Proverb ~

We are too quick to shrink ourselves, to sell ourselves down the river, tell ourselves all the reasons things won't work out, why even bother, and who are we kidding?
     But maybe they will! We can set the wheels in motion and see if they find traction and grip. I'm tired of feeling ashamed for what I want to go for in my life, and tired of the naysayer energy. So starting now, and going forward, I commit to yaysayer energy instead.

Life is like a roulette wheel. We could just as easily land on black as we could on red, so why not give the wheel a spin?

Monday, February 1, 2016

THE BEAUTY OF POSSIBILITY

"Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?" 
~ Frank Scully ~

When we are waiting to find out if something is going to play out or not, it's exciting... because it could play out. There's hope in the waiting. And especially if it's a long shot, it would be so affirming and thrilling if it did!
     Once we know for sure one way or another, the feeling is entirely different. It's adjusting our mindset to absorb the disappointment or rallying our nerves to move forward. But when it's pure possibility and could go either way- ah! That is its own kind of beautiful time.

I enjoy the space of not knowing and delight in the fact that anything could happen.