daily intentions

Setting my intention for the day:
what needs do I wish to fulfill?
And how can every action,
every thought,
every word
bring me closer to my center,
bringing me closer to others?

What change can I bring about
in myself
so that my life doesn’t stagnate?
So that I don’t just become
what everyone wants
or expects me to become
but rather,
I come to recognize the divinity
that is my soul?

Intentions: Bringing Us One Step Closer Or Taking Us One Step Back

Good intentions don’t always yield the results we had hoped for. I found myself spouting this tidbit to a fellow comrade this morning, realizing the relevance it has had in my own life lately.

Rejection tends to leave one feeling broken, weak, and powerless. Instinctually, out of the pain and betrayal I feel, I want to hide behind my fear and anger. And I have done this. But once the dust has settled, once the storm is passed and I am back in touch with the deeper meaning of my life, I choose instead to express love, kindness, forgiveness. Because I believe those are the only things that last; certainly, they triumph over every misguided or ill intention I may have at one time harbored. And unquestionably they are what give my life meaning. I could choose to remain bitter, I could choose to disown those I feel betrayed by, to cast them out of my life like a thorn in my side. But all that does is increase the likelihood of eventually stepping on said thorn, creating more agony and turmoil for me down the road.

Ignoring someone who has hurt us isn’t facing our fears; it’s running away from them, especially when that person is trying only to show us the healing power of love and forgiveness. When we run from fear we run in circles, ending up always right where we started. Progression, growth, these things imply a linear movement forward or upward. They are also impossibilities unless we relinquish our fears and reach towards the light that is the extension of someone’s merciful hand.

Some motivations to express kindness are self-serving. Behind these acts there is a desire to get what we want, to feel better about ourselves, to feel less rejected. I’ve been rejected in love plenty. I now have what you would call a thick skin. You could set me on fire and I’d probably not bat an eye. And yet, to those who I have been hurt by and regardless of whether the same generosity is rendered to me, in the end I will always choose to extend graciousness and benevolence, not with my ego, but with my heart where the purest of intentions coexist often with the deepest well of sorrow and discontent.  And in this way, I’d like to think I am destined for growth and for true love.

Throwback Thursday #2

In the spirit of my first Throwback Thursday post where I shared some of my earliest poetry pieces, I’ve decided to continue publishing what has otherwise been written on scraps of paper, napkins, old mail and whatever else I could find at the time, desperate to see the words in my mind exist in front of me.  For years these words have been stashed away in a box for no one else to see but me.  What follows was written who-knows-when exactly; I got out of the habit of dating my work.  I’m pretty sure these musings were written within the last 10 years, but I’m hoping their relevance is timeless. Happy Thursday!

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If I am to be a dreamer, I want only to dream that the moment is real.

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Let your desires be filled with a concern for others. Anything you achieve in this world, let it reflect a deep sense of compassion.

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Only when we learn to understand one another can we begin to understand ourselves.

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Love for the sake of loving,
Give for the sake of giving,
Ask for nothing in return and ye shall reap the benefits.

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You mock the blind by choosing not to see what is right in front of you.

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What you will find in the eyes of a mime–
That which was there the whole time.

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The greatest thing one can do for humanity is to utter only truth.

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If we knew how the story is supposed to end, why would we bother going cover to cover?

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The only thing that makes a villain a villain are the heroes of the world.

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The thrill of Hide-n-Seek is the process of being discovered. Once found, game over; it’s someone else’s turn to be “it”. Now run along and play nicely.

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All we are is just a series of memories getting passed down from generation to generation.

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I am but a reflection
of a reflection
of a reflection
of pure consciousness
giving way to distortion.

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Life, I think, has more to do with the non-existence of life than of one’s ability to live and breathe.

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The boundaries you see before you are only imagined. The key, I believe, is to unimagine them.

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It’s not me that’s changing, it’s the weather.

cultivation

I think if at any point in your day you were able to look and find beauty, then it was a successful day.  I often look toward the trees for inspiration — scabs and scars upon their backs and bellies; symbols of growth, time doing its telling.  I ponder just how far their roots must stretch into the dirt, providing firm footing for me to tread upon, casting a woven blanket upon the earth.  And yet they reach — branches like arms, twigs for fingers — they beckon to the sun, mercilessly pleading to be closer.  Intertwining and connecting without even touching, each limb of the same tree which came from a single seed planted there in the ground; buried to be forgotten, yet look what came to be!

Q:What’s In a Name? A: A Chance For Freedom

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” -Chinese proverb

How frustrating it is to have good intentions only to be misunderstood in the end. But sometimes the way we act, the things we do convey meanings we didn’t aim to project.  Through our behavior we communicate an unspokenness; a hidden truth to us; something buried so deep within that it often remains impenetrable even to ourselves.  And so it becomes easy to do things that are out of line with our true nature as long as there remains this part of ourselves longing to be named.

But it’s not enough to label a behavior as ‘good’ or ‘bad’; in fact, this is inimical.  As long as we carry on simply accepting certain conduct as acceptable or not acceptable, we cannot get to the nitty gritty of what our actions say about us in order to give a voice to all that we’ve been stifling throughout the course of our lives.  This state of reticence creates drama and problems for us.  It interferes with our ability to ask ourselves whether our behavior is in line with our core values.  In fact, it can even prevent us from being able to identify what our values are.

We all know the importance of naming.  There is a name for nearly everything under the sun.  Expectant parents can have discussions that go on for hours regarding nothing more than what to call their child who is about to enter the world.  Just think what would happen to that child’s sense of self if their parents simply chose not to name them.  I imagine it would be confusing, disparaging, and lead to a host of insecurities and personal dilemmas for that person.

It is equally important to give name to the motivations behind our actions, avoiding judgement in labels like ‘positive’ or ‘negative’.  We must really delve into the dark waters of our kaleidoscopic beings and ask ourselves those tough questions, such as: What or who does my behavior remind me of?  What was I feeling when I chose to do this or that?  Did my behavior feel like a choice?  What are my biggest fears, where did those fears stem from, and how might my behavior be simulating those fears?  What has brought me the most pain and suffering?  Have I recreated that pain and suffering in someone else’s life?  Forget right or wrong.  Forget good or bad.  This is you getting real with yourself.  This is you giving a name unto yourself, one that you have chosen for yourself.  Because once you can name the root of your pain, you can set yourself and those around you free from it.

 

 

 

 

Willing Myself Off The Couch

So, moments ago something brilliant happened: I knocked over a glass of water.  At first, I did not think it was very brilliant, in fact, I cursed at what had occurred.  Because now I had to get up, grab a towel, ya da ya da, so much effort, right?  I was really enjoying just sitting there.  

But then my brain went back to the split second before this incident occurred.  And what my brain was telling my body not to do was knock over that glass of water, spilling it all over me and the couch.  But guess what?  It fuckin’ didn’t matter because my body didn’t listen, or perhaps gravity wasn’t paying attention, or maybe… I willed it to happen.

By merely entertaining the thought, perhaps I invited that situation into my life.  And if that’s the case, how often do we do this?  We create things all the time that begin as nothing more than a mere inkling, the very vaguest of ideas, which could have the power to transform the whole world, or at least our own lives.  The fact that I can write these words onto a page (because originally I wrote this out on paper!) that started out blank is just an example.  Other artists do it all the time: turning nothing into something; bringing their ideas to fruition and watching them grow as they begin to inspire others to develop their own theories and abstractions.

But then I think: don’t we all do this?  Our life is a work of art if that’s how we choose to see it.  But first, we must will it to be.  Do we choose to labor with love, commitment, passion, and drive?  Or do we choose to confront our lives like I did when I spilled that glass of water?  “Fuckin A!  I don’t want to get off the couch!

Lessons Learned on a Rainy Tuesday Morning in the Midst of Winter

I’ve given it some thought on this rainy Tuesday morning and it seems to me that the key to sustaining a nourishing relationship is being able to answer ‘yes’ to these four things: 1) Do I love this person? 2) Do I love them so much that I would be willing to be dragged through the mud in a torrential thunder storm with them?  3) Do I trust this person to be honest with themselves in addition to being honest with me? 4) Above all, do I feel respected and important? 

I really feel that if you can answer ‘yes’ to those questions about another person, and they can say the same about you, you’re probably destined for truly amazing things.  You are probably on your way to becoming your best version of yourself because it is through our trials with others, especially with those we love and trust more than anyone, that we gain the power (if we allow it) to rise above even ourselves instead of becoming wrought with fear.  And by rising above ourselves, we can know the beauty of true love.  It really is quite simple, and yet so complicated.  But then, I believe we all too often make things harder than they really are.

I think we have to recognize that times are going to be tough.  Insecurities will arise; they’re part of what make us who we are, each one telling a story about where we’ve been, what we’ve done, things we’ve seen.  And they’re also part of what make us so uniquely divine.  In those insecurities are opportunities for strength and vulnerability;  for it is by admitting our vulnerability that we actually gain strength.

Allowing another to see us… really see us… opens up the path to love and enlightenment.  It is frightening and full of uncertainty, yet still, this is the path I choose.  Which one do you choose?

 

 

writing to inspire

writing has always been my outlet.  so naturally, I tend to write more whenever I’m grappling with something that calls for a shift in awareness.  it is my way of processing, organizing, controlling the way I think about a thing.

and since my outlook these days has been pretty grim given the pain and confusion I’m trying to sort through so that I might begin to make some sense of it, some of my blogs have been concerning to friends and perhaps misconstrued by others.  I’ve exposed a lot of myself on here; offered a window into my soul.  it ain’t always pretty.  I’ll be the first to admit that.  but I think, I would rather be able to name my demons than pretend they don’t exist.

to go along with Buddha’s insight into what he described as the Eight Worldly Concerns, we need to embrace that there is both good and bad, light and dark within each of us.  and so I’ve decided that while I may need to get dark and heavy because yes, those parts do exist within me, I will write to inspire the light within us all.  but above all, I will write.

 

Disappointment: A path to enlightenment

One thing that grows out of a relationship that has fallen apart is disappointment.  This is something I have been struggling a lot with as I continue to ask myself “Why… How did it all go wrong?”  I begin to doubt my self-worth and cling to the fear that I’ll never find someone to share my life, my dreams with.  I sense that there is something I’m missing amongst all of this disappointment; something that this experience is calling my attention to, but which I have yet to discover.

It’s easy to lose yourself, to forget what is most important when you devote so much of your time comparing yourself to others and vying for someone else’s approval.  But in a moment of clarity late last night a thought occurred to me: I will never be happy trying to fit into someone else’s mold.  All of this juxtaposing has made me miserable and hollow inside.  I can only live my life with genuine intent and authenticity and in so doing I will attract that which I hope to find.

… which brings me back to the issue of disappointment.  In my research this morning on how to start living a more authentic life I happened upon some words of wisdom from Phillip Moffitt, former CEO and Editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine who has since founded the Life Balance Institute and now teaches meditation (proof that anyone is capable of changing paths).  What he explains is that hope can often be false in the sense that it is merely a refusal to accept things as they are.

When you reject the moment that is arising just because it is unpleasant, you are rejecting the only moment you have in which to be alive, the only moment in which you can feel and act. If you are lost in disappointment about the future or the past, you are not fully and authentically present in the moment.”

Got it.  Less hope = Less disappointment.  I have been telling myself that where once I was a hopeless romantic, now I’m just hopeless.  So maybe that’s a good thing?

Or maybe… just maybe… it’s part of the natural order of things.   One of Buddha’s teachings is that we experience everything in terms of these Eight Worldly Concerns: gain and loss, praise and blame, pleasure and pain, happiness and unhappiness.  Buddha referred to these duos as the “terrible twins” because we cannot experience one without the other.  To every action there is a reaction.  What goes up must come down.  And as Moffitt reiterates, “One cannot be open to praise and not receive blame. One cannot experience pleasure and not feel pain. This is the nature of the reality that we know.”  Yes, I can see this.

Abandon all hope.  Accept that life is full of disappointments.  The only way to enlightenment is through our own personal hell.  And in that hell, we will experience moments of loss and despair, panic and confusion.  “Given that this is so, you can either live in denial of the truth of your experience or obsess on your pains and disappointments. Or you can consciously accept, even embrace life not working out and trust that in doing so you will discover meaning in your life.”  I sure hope so.

See more of what Phillip Moffitt has to say at: http://dharmawisdom.org/teachings/articles/living-disappointment#sthash.mJrrUDdx.dpuf