“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”
sun on frost.
simple joys abound
“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”
sun on frost.
simple joys abound
“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
What magnificent expression of the cosmos am I?
How do I choose to express the Universe within me today?
And how do you choose to express your Universe?
“Our imagination flies; we are its shadow on the earth.”
Am I actually sharing just a shadow of my true self with the world? And isn’t the part of me that I dare to share limited, pale and colorless compared to what I am capable of?! Why do I fear my true potency?
Marianne Williamson wrote about this so eloquently; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We fear being too big and bright in the world. We fear our BIG-ness, our potency.
What if I finally take the restraints off and show up in my entirety?
What if the ONLY thing that will save this beautiful planet is choosing to be my Big, Gi-normous self, no matter what? no matter what others think, no matter what others say, no matter what others do, no matter how many “rules” I break in the process?
What will it take for all of us to STOP hiding out and playing small?
What will it take for us to acknowledge and own ALL of our juicy BIG-ness?!
And… what can happen to our world when we embrace our BIG-ness?
What else is possible?
“Your divine impulse is yearning to emerge through the human you… In that shift, the more you embrace the Self, the Light, the more you surrender to your own light, the easier it is for you.”
Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness That most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Rules for Trees
1. No holding branches
2. No touching roots.
3. No losing your leaves
4. Keep your tree straight.
Dana Scharein Dague
The trees are like the hair of the world.
The city is like the heart of the world.
The wind is a flute player
playing in the night…
Both poems are from the book Salting the Ocean; 100 Poems by Young Poets. All of the poems in Salting the Ocean were written by kids in grades 1-12.
“Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment.
This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light,
every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee),
every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression,
every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath.
Every moment is the guru.
–Charlotte Joko Beck
My experience of awareness; I take Dog Goddess Brigit on a walk by the river. We walk the same path almost every morning. On many occasions, I have returned from our walk and realized that I didn’t really notice my surroundings at all that day. I have been completely lost in my thoughts, unaware of what was right in front of me. I have been wrapped up in planning my future or ruminating on my past and the river slipped by unnoticed by me.
But some days are different; some days I actually focus on the path and my steps and the sounds on the wind. I notice the feel of the leash in my hand, the smell of some bush or tree nearby. And those moments when I am actually present and aware are so potent! On my aware days, I notice many new things that I never noticed before – even though it is the exact same path Brigit and I walked yesterday. An aware walk is magical.
It is as though I am more alive in aware moments. Awareness amps up my sensations and makes everything richer and fuller. For me, even awareness about something heavy and hard like sorrow or pain beats feeling half alive. I’ve learned that numbing out and avoiding yucky emotions and sensations comes at a price – if I numb out, I will also lose the yummy sensations and emotions that make my life sing.
Meditation teacher, Jon Kabat-Zinn describes awareness as being mindful, being present with whatever is in this moment. He calls it the art of “falling awake”. Ram Das tells us to Be Here Now. Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of dwelling in the present moment. Not just living… dwelling in the moment. Seems like a very simple idea. And I find it very difficult to pull off most days!
Modern life seems to be about distraction rather than awareness; we distract ourselves by turning on TV shows we only half watch. We woof down food we don’t really even taste. We walk around dreaming of tomorrow or lamenting yesterday. We surf on the internet, popping from screen to screen without really taking any of it in. We pride ourselves on being able to do 3 things at once, even when we can’t actually remember much about doing any of them! Is that living?
I suspect that Dog Goddess Brigit is at least 100 times more aware than I am on any given day. My big, “superior” human brain gives me the ability to analyze and plan far beyond anything a dog can plan. And those same human abilities complicate the simple act of staying present and aware in this moment. My strength is also my weakness. Can I stop planning and analyzing long enough to notice what is here, right in front of me? Analysis is as useless as a dog chasing her own tail when it comes to being aware.
I wonder how much I miss when I am walking through my day half aware of what’s around me here and now? What would it take for me to double or triple how many moments of the day that I am actually present? What if I stop analyzing EVERYTHING and put my big, silly human brain to work sensing and perceiving what is here in front of me? What is the value of analyzing what happened yesterday if I miss today? How much richer can my day to day reality become if I make awareness my priority?
☾ ☼ ☽
“The temple bell stops
but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.”
Flowers whisper in the wood
all hope and possibility.
Flowers sing to me,
heart knows the melody.
Flowers smile at me
holy spirit lights each face.
Flowers bloom pure joy
asking, will I join in?
Find someone or something to open your heart to.
We can change our world just by opening our hearts.
Pause, Take A Breath & Remember
How AMAZING It Is To Be Alive Now!
“Let go or be dragged.”
I am a very willful and opinionated person. And in many ways, my tendency to know and speak my own mind has been a strength for me. No one has ever accused me of being a lemming and just going along with the crowd. 🙂
But my willful, opinionated nature is also my Achilles’ heel, a weakness that has gotten me into hot water again and again. I tend to question EVERY authority and every point of view that is different from my own! I have difficulty letting go of my way of seeing the world and making room for other opinions. And I tend to push away people who don’t hold my view of the world. So, the idea of allowing for different opinions and points of view can be a bit of a challenge for me.
Figuring out how to relax and allow may be one of my core “life issues” – an issue that I will struggle with and learn about my entire life. What do I mean by “Relax and Allow?” Being in Allowance means I don’t try to embrace or fight against people or experiences anymore. I can relax and allow events to be however they are WITHOUT feeling the need to accept or reject them. Accepting or rejecting things takes a ton of time and energy. And acceptance vs. rejection is such a polarized black and white way of approaching the world. It’s the view that everyone and everything is either right or wrong, good or bad. It’s actually just flip sides of the same coin.
Allowance takes me beyond holding rigid black and white opinions. Allowance is the third choice. And being in a state of allowance is so different from the polarized, right / wrong energy of accepting vs. rejecting. Allowance is a calm, open space of no judgment; a space where nothing need be labeled right or wrong, good or bad. Everyone and everything is just “allowed” to be however they are today. No need to agree or disagree with that person, just allow space for them to be different. No need to accept or reject that newscast predicting doom and gloom; just breathe and allow for many different ways of seeing the same events.
Being in allowance is like a revelation for me! The idea of just allowing the world outside of me to be however it is today – the idea that I do NOT have to align with it or push against things is a HUGE shift. Allowance shifts me out of agreeing or disagreeing with people and events. Being in allowance means that when a person has a different opinion than mine; I don’t have to fight to change their mind or push them away! I can just “allow” that their way of seeing the world is very different from mine.
Allowance is at the heart of the middle path that Buddha spoke of. It’s also the space of non-judgment that Christ preached about in many different sermons. And it’s the place Rumi wrote so eloquently about:
“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Here are a few mental tools to help you access and explore the open non-judgmental space of Allowance:
When your boss / mother / teen aged daughter / TV news anchor / neighbor shares their opinion with you and you feel yourself start to react and bristle, say to yourself,
“Interesting point of view that they have this point of view.”
Repeat it several times and feel yourself shift and calm down. You may even get to where you can smile about their interesting view!
Try this mental clearing:
What would it take for me to stop labeling everything in the world right vs. wrong, good vs. bad, loved vs. hated, wanted vs. not wanted? Every bit of heavy, yucky, sticky energy that brings up, unravel and destroy it now.
When you catch yourself arguing with someone and trying to change their mind, try the wonder question:
What else is possible here?
or, Interesting point of view that I have this point of view.