Lean into Joy

What Makes Life Good?

What Makes Life Worth Living?

 I hope to spend the rest of my life exploring the answer to those questions!  

Brene Brown claims humans live to connect with others. She spent years interviewing thousands of people and exploring self worth, happiness and the importance of connection. Brene claims the happiest people

have the courage to be imperfect.

have the compassion to be kind to themselves first, and then to others.

create connections as a result of authenticity.

fully embrace vulnerability.

Click Here to watch Brene Brown’s wonderful TedTalk.

“Let yourself be seen. Love with your whole heart.
Practice gratitude. Lean into joy.
Believe you are enough.”
–Brene Brown

 ✧

Am I a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?

Good Witch
Bad Witch

What Else is Possible Here?

What if I am both a good witch and a bad witch,
depending on the day?

When did I decide that women are supposed to be sorted into good or bad? saint or sinner? When did I conclude that we are either innocent pure madonnas or conniving evil whores?

I blame my messed up need to decide whether I’m good or evil on too many Disney movies…  and I’m only half kidding!  I challenge you to name one female Disney character that is not some ridiculous caricature of pure good or pure evil.  And no, you CANNOT count the female dog in Lady and the Tramp!  I’m talking about female HUMANS in Disney movies – name one – I dare you. 🙂  Consider Snow White and her nemesis, the Evil Queen.  How about Cinderella and her Evil Step-mother?  Or there’s Ariel and the Evil Octopus Lady Ursula. We are talking some seriously twisted black and white views of women!

Or maybe I should blame it on my Christian upbringing… no, wait, those are ALL bad, evil woman images aren’t they?  Eve, Lilith, Salome, whorish Mary Magdalene. The only good female image I can come up with after years of Sunday School is Mother Mary and she is merely a vessel at the beginning of the story brought in to birth the baby Jesus. Then she exits quickly stage left.  The Bible expresses a pretty dark view of my gender.

But it’s not just women getting labelled all good or all bad.  The entire world seems to obsess about sorting everyone and every experience into good or bad, right or wrong, black or white.  We love to polarize! Watch what the politicians say about each other and you’ll see exactly what I mean.  Last week the Republicans praised Mitt Romney as our national savior and vilified Barack Obama as the evil anti-christ. This week it’s the Democrat’s turn; now Obama is wearing the white hat and Romney is pictured in black.  What if we chose to realize that BOTH candidates are just mere mortal men?  Human beings with both strengths and weaknesses?  What if we just stopped buying into this black and white bullshit?

If you hate politics, just watch a little reality TV and notice how black and white it is. The Kardashian sisters appear to spend every waking moment fighting about which of them is the good-est witch and which is the baddest!  Even the son-in-laws are sorted into good (Lamar) and evil (Scott).  It is so polarized and so divisive.  But it makes for tons of drama.  And we all just cannot seem to look away.

What if we just stopped playing the polarity game?  What if we chose to see the world as a thousand  different shades rather than just black or white?  Blow that black and white mindset up!  It only makes us crazy and upset anyway.

Ok, so what if I embrace both my good witch AND my bad witch?  Everyone who knows me will tell you I am quite capable of being both – and sometimes even in the same day. 🙂  What if I just relax and stop judging myself and my every experience as GOOD or BAD, RIGHT or WRONG?  And what if I stop judging everyone else too?

I remember a story I heard years ago about the dangers of judging our experiences as good or bad:

A farmer had only one stallion. One day, the horse jumped a fence and ran away.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Oh no!  Such bad luck! You must be so upset.”  The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”

A few days later, his stallion came back and brought twenty wild mares with him. The man and his son corraled all the horses.

All the neighbors came by saying, “Wow! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”  The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”

A few weeks later, one of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, and broke the boy’s leg in 3 places.

All the neighbors came by saying, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”  The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed many young men from the region, but the farmer’s son was spared; his broken leg prevented him from fighting.

All the neighbors came by saying, “You are so lucky! Your son didn’t have to go fight”  The man just said, “Maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell.”

 

What will happen if I live in a state of not judging myself or my experiences?

What will happen if I meet EVERY experience with the energy of “maybe good, maybe bad – too soon to tell”?

Wise Words

“We are the birds of the same nest
We may wear different skins
We may speak different tongues
We may believe in different religions
We may belong to different cultures
Yet we share the same home, EARTH
Born on the same planet
Covered by the same skies
Gazing at the same stars
Breathing the same air
We must learn to progress together
Or, miserably perish together
For a person can live individually
But, can only survive collectively. ”
OM

Excerpt from the Atharva Veda – Sacred Wisdom Texts of Bharat
Thank you to Krishna Madappa for sharing this in the ISSSEEM Newsletter.

ISSSEEM is The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine
ISSSEEM promotes understanding, exploration, research and
application of the energies of consciousness.
http://issseem.org/

The graphic is a Sanskrit OM. According to ancient Buddhist and Hindu texts,
OM is the sound vibration that started the World.