Monthly Archives: October 2012

Are you awake?

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How have you been feeling lately my friend? Self reflection is a wonderful tool, but be sure you don’t judge yourself.. Whether good, bad, or uncertain.. You are on a path and trust it with all of your soul.

Today I was feeling anxious and indecisive. I knew I had certain tasks that must be accomplished (laundry, studying, raking leaves) and yet I also wasn’t sure what it was I was wanting to be doing (hiking, walking, reading, napping) so I sat in between with some anxiety and discomfort, grabbed for some comfort (eating, mostly) to no avail. I checked a few things off the list of must do’s.. And still now just don’t know..

When I was speaking with an acquaintance he asked me if I ever considered any and all intense emotions to be basic goodness. My immediate thought was no, angry isn’t basically good. Neither is discomfort or pain.. But he turned my lens and asked me again.. He said, does this feeling provide an opportunity for you to wake up? And the answer to that is absolutely yes. Ultimately, isn’t anything that provides an avenue to wake up basically good?

In all emotional movement, we are asked, are you awake? Are you awake to the feeling of being uncomfortable? Are you awake to the feeling of being uncertain? Or mad? Or excited? Let these be reminders to stay awake.

So while I may feel uncertain still yet, and this full moon according to my mother is supposed to be a real doozy.. I will try my best to see it with great opportunity to feel awake, to be alert in my own life. You will too, now. You will let your soul feel with intensity and wholly.. Be alive for your life.

Here we go

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I have decided to take a leap. The leap includes a risk and a vulnerability. It requires a lot of extra behind the scenes work and patience.

But, I feel more alive already. Even just the thought of maybe making a change, excites me incredibly.

We know what we need a Long time before we actually are willing to take a look.

I have felt pulled. I have felt different. I have felt it inside me. Its’ heart has been beating on its own. It has been ready to come up, show face, see the world.

Why do we dismiss these feelings of change? We get into deep habitual patterns and it becomes very difficult to create change. We rationalize all of the reasons why it’s not a good idea.. Meanwhile, we have already checked out. Staying in it only creates more discomfort.

What we don’t do is believe. We don’t believe in ourselves. We question our reasons. Does there have to be a reason? Does everyone really need to know why? It’s a feeling. It’s an unexplainable pull in a direction and its real. It’s a life force all on its own.

I am ready. I do believe. And I can make a change for the reason inside me.

Filling up a bucket

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I stopped to get coffee this morning. I parked the car and noticed a kitty cat outside the store. I started petting the cat, without much hesitation and went in to get a cup of coffee. I let the store owner know about the cat and we got to talking.

The cat comes to the store most every morning and gets fed. Kitty cat hangs out there until he decides to go somewhere else. Speaking to the store owner, I was happily surprised he was feeding the cat on a regular basis.

He then told me to take my coffee for free, and I went on my way with sincere gratitude.

It reminded me of a quote a professor once said, ” Everyone has a bucket. It is our job to fill others buckets and others will fill ours.”

If we think of life as this, when you see a bucket getting low, would you give some from your bucket to help fill up theirs? Maybe it’s a reminder that they are loved, maybe it’s appreciation for hard work or a job well done.. maybe it’s a treat.  And have faith that others will give back.  When your bucket gets low, others will be there to help fill you up.

I thought about the cat. Kitty goes and gets “filled up” and part of the store owner receives a filling from this too. A filling, from giving. He (the store owner) passed along some love to me this morning, with a free cup of coffee.

It’s important to let others know that they are wonderful. In a world that can feel really harsh, be willing to be soft. Be willing to give back, and find the delight from other’s reaping benefits of a moment.

If we could be more conscious of eachother’s buckets , low points, and high, we could find a way to spread the wealth of love. And at the end of the day, look at your bucket and be glad. We collect moments and pay them forward with gratitude.

This practice we call life

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Bodhichitta is defined as an awakened heart.

You and I and all-have the ability to reach bodhichitta, to contain an enlightened soul.

My question today is what do you do when you are feeling.. Sad? Or uncomfortable? Miserable? Dissatisfied? Broken-hearted? We all have found ways to “deal.”

“No matter how we get trapped, our usual reaction is NOT to become curious about what’s happening.”

Isnt that so? We find EVERY reason and way to go away from the pain. We will get through this without a scratch, we tell ourselves. Instead we choose to reach for something that feels like a relief. It may be booze, physical activity, eating, gossiping, vacationing, shopping..

And we know what it is that will bring relief. We subconsciously gravitate toward this vice to find comfort, solace, a better place.

“The radical approach to bodhichitta practice is to pay attention to what we do. Without judging it, we train in kindly acknowledging whatever is going on. Eventually we might decide to stop hurting ourselves in the same old ways.” (Pema Chodron)

So, the next time you are feeling down, sad, broken, and unable.. Kindly look at that pain. Find compassion in the pain, and solace with the feeling that reminds you that you are alive.

All of these things provide an opportunity to see yourself wholly. And the truth is that this is ordinary. This does not have to be some monumental moment or extreme case.. Just find awareness in your everydays, look at those feelings in traffic, when you said something you shouldn’t have, find endless laundry a daunting task, or spilled coffee at the office. Acknowledge them kindly, don’t judge yourself or others, and find a way to stick around. You will open up. You will find a sliver of hope and you will feel alive.

The coffee stop

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It has felt like one of those days.

I felt heavy, undervalued, unheard, tired, ready for something different.. And now on my lunch break, I escape my work world for my world of wonder..

I walked into a coffee establishment and was greeted by a man with the sweetest demeanor. He is kind, and quiet. He seemed patient, and reliable. And he walked into my life to serve a coffee, but what he did instead was changed my day, so thank you.

I can look for reasons to feel glum, and I will certainly find them.
I also can find the joy in a stranger and he can help me see good.

Sometimes we don’t ask to see it differently, and until we want it to be different, it will remain the same. So if you’re feeling the way I was, a bit hopeless at moments, maybe desperate, can you open your mind and heart to the option of kindness? For someone to walk into your life that can shake it up and make your perspective change? It will come friend. You are a sweet soul, and you will be okay.

Vacation

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I started reading a book this evening. In my busy days of life, I generally have to carve time out of my schedule to allow for leisure reading. I sort of convinced myself that this could be a discipline (even though its a book I WANT to read) as opposed to a treat.

This seems common. We get busy and then we treat ourselves for dealing with it. We get busy again, and so after some time we go on vacation. We think these might be magical cures to our every day hum drum of a life. How many times (and believe me when I say I’m not pointing fingers) have you said, ” when I have time” or “when life settles down” or “when my schedule frees up”

And so we continue on -one foot after another and don’t think about what our every day actions create (which is your life). Well friends, soon enough you go on your vacation from life.. For 7 days all inclusive you really live! And congratulations to feeling unbelievably alive. It feels great, you are going to try harder when you get home to do more for yourself.. You deserve it.. Then you get home. Reality comes back. Your schedule fills up, and slowly, but most definitely you are anticipating the next time you’ll feel so alive.

“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry it’s all gone.” (The art)

So after reading this excerpt in my story I decided to finish my night routine with intention. I felt both of my feet hit the ground as I stood to enter the bathroom. I felt the water’s temperature before I gently scrubbed my face and with purpose tasted the toothpaste in my mouth. It might have taken me a few more seconds, because I had to remind myself even in those brief minutes to be aware and present for my “routine.” And did it feel like the waters in the tropics? No, it didn’t. But did it make me feel alive? It certainly did.

We have created these lives. We have filled them to the brim, maybe to run away from time with our thoughts, with ourselves, maybe not. But we have the ability to dismantle them. We are creating moments and memories right this very moment. And maybe faster doesn’t mean better. “National consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep.”

“When you want To hurry something, that means you no longer care for it and want to get on to other things.”

Do you want to hurry your life? Be careful. Be thorough. Live it. Feel it. Allow it. You will find the vacations, but they will last. Life asks you to be present, and when you are truly, rooted and present, you will feel alive. After all, what are you hurrying to?