My life is amazing and delightful and I can not even begin to count my blessings. This has been enhanced by experience. I learned that I am 100 percent responsible for my experience. And if my gratitude exceeds my expectations I am always happy. This week I realized I was especially grateful for being able to grieve.
My recent story in New York City was an elder with cane whom I asked for directions leading me onto subway and off subway to the door of my destination.
I know that any one who does what I judge as wrong is just confused so I can hold them in my heart with forgiveness and bless them even if I do not like them or want to be with them.
For me, being passionate about truly being With others does require that I grieve and give of my self and my heart while also maintaining my self care. My mantra: More me , that's not mine, keeps me centered and able to daily move toward my mission: " I co-create a community that is safe, sustainable, , joyful and growing by being honest and following my bliss. Intimacy and caring bring me joy. I am involved with giving support to a friend with increasing memory loss and becoming her " power of attorney" for health and financial decisions. Being patient and listening is time consuming and has led to a labyrinth of challenges with other personalities and bureaucracy. This slow process with others questioning my motives is not my idea of fun but the deepening of our caring and love for each other in the process has "fullness" .
Wasn’t that what I was doing all along?
But , I didn’t know that I was God.
I did not even know if it was okay to feel everything.
To feel all of their pangs and tickles, to synchronize my breath with the ones who were dying, or even to gush my tears when bathing in the glowing aura of a newborn’s entrance.
The need for justice certainly arose early yet my calls for help which were masked expressions of love came out as whining or violent uncontrolled thrashings that resulted in isolation that made any possibility of effectiveness or even expression hopeless.
The work I did in caves of course was unseen and dimly remembered.
Yet , there was a beginning, a melting into some communal pool, a chipping of the shell through which the light could enter in.
And there were bells. Church, school, news, harbingers, temple bells in the scrub trees of a Himalyan dawn, and rocks ringing in cascades, and laughter of children feeling something untainted by adult doubting, and wisdom tones ringing from the bones of the venerable ones.
In our heart of hearts we all know it. We see beauty clearly just like rainbows and sunsets. We hear the harmonies from choral angels. We taste the exquisite blending of all aspects of personality and we are sustained by the compassionate fragrances of oneness.
Yet, so many choose to keep on fighting, fearing that some other might take something that they cling to like breath itself.
It is time now that we thrive. It is time now to celebrate that “I AM ALIVE!!!!”
Wasn’t that what we could have been doing all along?
Aloha- Emptying my own boat literally keeps my boat floating rather than sinking. Today , I am sharing poetry I wrote at a writers conference for critique and on weekend I have paid for sessions with people in publishing to pitch my book on male sexuality.
My need to share my inner life, wisdom, love is strong. It is important balance for me to accept that others may not appreciate or understand all or maybe any of what I am sharing. It is healthy for me to shine my light yet not be dependent on validation.
This balance comes from the simplicity of being grateful for the cup of tea my partner just brought me, her encouragement, and walking in the garden in this mornings rain. All that is enough. And if my work is loved and of benefit to someone and maybe published it is ok to enjoy my accomplishment. Knowing that I would prefer to not be judged helps me to avoid judging others.
Well, even if I think that I can do much more than "hold space" which I would define as being present with a compassionate open mind, I must start there any way. Otherwise, the action I am taking is not rooted and not likely to be effective.
My son, has been without home , on the streets, with what I would call a mental health breakdown coupled with meth addiction. I was well aware of serenity prayer and that despite being able to see what would be a better path for him also aware that he would need to choose to change. I walked streets with him and listened and watched from as close as I could without interfering with his autonomy which was very important to him.
What helps me be there as a witness without judging is LOVE.
I found this poem stilted, amateurish. So those are thoughts. Those thoughts are only one aspect of me. My poetry critic. I have experience healing by accepting all of me even my judgments. In fact, I enjoy my judgments and can see how I formed them well enough to know that there is another level of reality where I can love not only myself but every one and everything else in a way that is beyond judgmental thoughts. Being a witness to my dreams is easy because I recognize my dreams as being a deeper form of symbolic communication that I can learn more about who I am from.
Aloha, namaste, shalom- greetings that help me begin any interaction with less judgment or arrogance and more humility/ humbleness/ compassion perhaps- I share the breath of life with you, I bow to the divine within you, I meet you in peace and promote your well being and abundance-
Love this discussion, the article by Lorenz and reflections I have read- This is about being Menches- real human beings who care about each other and the world we live in- Gate Gate Paragate Parasam Gate Bodhisvaha-
let's all go together- beyond our limited consciousness-
Right now I am communicating with a man who is not trusting me and I believe has false info about me- I am finding a balance that will not sell me short but also honor his needs- The Mayan En La Kesh, Alaken helps always- I am another you and you are another me
Hmmmm- Lawrence Freeman's article certainly has a lot of food for thought. I feel a disconnection in the article and in the reflections I have read so far from shared personal experiences. There are so many uses of pronoun WE and barely any I. So, here I feel or see how intellectualizing "religious or spiritual" experience may be a type of "degeneration". I guess I am much more interested hearing and sharing direct experiences that seem to daily "feed my longing for wholeness". Just this morning, the taxi I had called the night before did no show up for a trip to airport. And my phone stopped working. It was a beautiful 4 am on the side of a road with no way to contact any one who could help. I spoke with the plants near me and admired the planet in the sky still bright.
I did an intention setting movement and chanting ritual based in Hawaiian Huna. The cab showed up 40 mins late and got me to my plane perfectly and I had a warm friendly connection with the driver.
Two days before, I arrived by train to Penn Station in NYC and was unsure how to use subway to get to my address destination. Google was not being very helpful. I asked a man walking with a cane for advise. He said "follow me". He led me and instructed me how to get my subway card and which one to get on and got on with me and then led me off train to my destination. a little out of his way.
These experiences remind me how wonderful and deeply connected to me the universe is.
Ahhhhh! Every day I wake up I am grateful. And I can not remember any more what I felt like when every day was not the best day of my life. My gratefulness constantly exceeds my expectations and so I am happy.
To love is to be happy with. I am so blessed , I am so blessed, I am so grateful, I am so blessed.
And every little cell in my body is happy, every little cell in my body is well. It is choice.
Yesterday I left in darkness and walked down a path with dense vegetation to a point overlooking the sea. The moon and Venus were behind me and Saturn was brightly leading in the East where I was spinning towards.
Our sun appeared. I went down to the beach where I buried my naked body in sand. Each chrystal of ancient bone, shell, and volcanic earth cells were singing to me about the star that I was. I rolled into the sea greeted by fish and turtles and seals and the water of life itself. When my body washed back on to the shore there was an eye looking into mine. A naked eye. And we acknowledged each other. I was an eye and she was an I.
Aloha and mahalo Jagdish- especially for bringing in St Francis and Upanishads- I feel so much beauty in listening to trees, elements, and animals. I see how us humans could live in joy and peaceful cooperation.
Perhaps the multitudes of humans who subscribe to Hindu and Christian religions can open to all of that.
My personal story is the life I am living. The world is what I think it is and all I see, hear, smell, taste, feel on my skin and in my bones is beauty and joy. There are no limits. There is only LOVE and Peace and cooperation.
All beings are safe, well nourished, well housed and happy. I forgive myself and everything and everyone else.
And I am another you and you are another me. Colonization was a construct of the warrior cult.
Ahhhh! my life experiences have shown me that there is no absolute truth so I have no compulsion to find it. What is true is what works. I choose to create my experience.And a lot of my most wonderful experiences have come out of being lost. Every time I go into the darkness I emerge with a hand and heart full of jewels.
Bismillah Erachman Erahim, I begin in the great mysterious oneness that is filled with mercy and compassion.
Hmmmm! first i ask where did my "shame" come from. my person "story" usually begins with the pain my mother experienced and how that may have been transmitted to me. So, I came into this world in a male body wanting to relieve my mothers sadness. When I perceived failure at curing her , I began to build a persona of "shame". Who I truly am can not please my mother, my father, or my partners or really any one. I must choose to feel joy by accepting who I am and forgiving myself for any thought or action that does not align with what others believe or are needing. And that is every one's choice.
I guess that the idea of inner greatness for me is as simple as truly being relaxed. Stop trying to get somewhere and just be grateful for where and who I am now. I guess accepting myself with out having achieved some goals like publishing a book or my children and grand children and friends all being healthy and communicating with me the way i dream of may be a form of humility. I guess humility is accepting how things are, like the serenity prayer. Change what I can.
And I know that the secret of happiness is " Do not compare" so it becomes easy not to fall into that trap.
Wooooh! I woke shaking a bit ago. Read my friend Kerri Lakes essay on " home". Realized that I am on edge.
Something broken and painful is looming in my less than conscious parts. I have been "dealing " with painful loss of friends both to death and to misunderstandings( judgement). And , fear of making rash decisions about relationships. Balancing listening to some part of me, a guidance, that says BE ME< BE FREE and seems to work so well until I experience Others seeing me in what appears to be very different light and I am torn in conflict. IS my guidance that OFF , so skewed. Do I not have a clue to what is truly right.
This is painful. So I cry, hard, weep in sorrow for this confusion, this thought of being abandoned by who? By mother, father, lover, friend, myself, god? Somewhere, under this with a return to breath and rest, IS JOY. I am alive!!!!! Yala la la la la
Ahhh- For me the keys Christina's essay are that I have learned not to choose fear and always say Yes to Love and THE LOVE i experience is filled with Wonder. Carrying a raft can be a strengthening fun exercise yet unnecessary when I trust that the real source of my raft is always within me and my innate skill of connecting with other beings who are raft builders. Being a hitch hiker and also picking up hitch hikers has been a great source of building my trust that the universe always supplies not only what I need but constantly surprises, amazes and delights me with the beauty of peoples hearts.
Ahhhhhh! I am almost allergic to the concept of hierarchy, especially in nature. If I am anything, I am soil. And if I am to breathe then I am riddled with squirming worms and wriggling centipedes and racing beetles with roots diving everywhere. Dawn chorus is now proclaiming how everything is interconnected as the earth turns toward this new day and I am constantly amazed and delighted how following bliss and trust bring magic into every moment. email me if you want stories
Ahhhh- I just read this poem and seed question and others reflections. I have recently had a string of challenges to my calm. My 52 year old son dove back into mental health breakdown, meth addiction, and homelessness. His woes was catalyst for his mother to have heart arrhythmias and other stress related health issues. His 22 yr old son is expressing suicidal thoughts. He pulled his daughter into his financial morass. And other granddaughter was hospitalized with bleeding esophagus related to alcoholic liver cirrhosis in her 30's while raising our 2 beautiful great grandsons. And there is much more.
YET, I recognize how blessed we all are and that "cursing the universe" would come from my primary narcissistic wound of having a shadow believe that the great spirit within and around me that is the creative force beneath everything has abandoned me. AND in my soul, I know that that creative source of Love and Beauty is always present and that the most effective thing I can do is bless all that love and beauty and be grateful for LIFe.
Wow! Gangagi's words have opened some inner eye into me. There is so much in this piece for me to think about or not think about and allow my self to experience. I seem to remember times in my life when I was less of an I and much more or completely immersed in just being. I guess that has been when on what we would call a vacation and out in natural settings. So much inner space to explore or perhaps ignore.
I will go to beach today and bury my naked self in sand. And, who knows, perhaps I will Be vigilance.
Aloha- I constantly bring back my wandering attention. I did it several times while reading this article and unfortunately even when someone important to me is sharing deeply. I was known as a "day dreamer" for all my school years which were more than 20 years. I still managed to be very successful in my career and my relationships. I believe that the more gestalt perceptions of scanning and listening broadly can be very helpful evolutionarily and when balanced with the more focused folks in a co-creative community could save us from destroying ourselves and our world. Some people who have those perspectives in balance would make the best leaders in my opinion.
mahalo nui loa for this conversation
Ahhh! This story really connecting me with many incidents of transformation in my life. As a child, I was often upset by what I felt as injustice but mostly chose to hide. Sporadically anger arose and I would use my fists or an outburst of words. This has been a painful path for me but I have learned to allow myself to grieve and even enjoy my broken heart. This has led to deep healing in myself and with others, though sometimes taking many years. I still feel anger arise and can be mentally preoccupied with vengeful thoughts but no fists and rarely an outburst. This energy gets channeled into community organizing for international day of peace recently, annual Martin luther king day , poetry and peace dance events, and holding babies of all ages and sizes and shapes in my spiritual arms close to my heart and hairy chest.
Thank you sacred waters, thank sacred streams, thank you for your blessings, our aina healthy and green.
Thank you sacred waters, thank you sacred spring, thank you for the blessings, our bodies healthy and clean.
We shall live and give more, we shall love and share more, we shall sing give thanks and praise,
to live in a good way , a good way , a good way, a good way, a good way a good way, a good way a good way,
a good wayyyyyyyy
Find the sacred in every last drop, find the sacred when you think that it's not
find the holy all across the land , find the holy when you think that you can't!
Ahhhh! The taste of the sacred. Being in nature and feeling safe and supported by beauty, Feeling my place in the web of life. Knowing I am blessed with abundance, always enough and more. Remembering the perfect parents that I have. Gathering with my community to sing and dance. And though I know , I always enjoy studying and learning more. Knowing that I am the creator of my experience and one hundred percent responsible for what I feel. Opening to the myriad of sensations in joy of being alive and sharing my joy and my grief. I believe only what I directly experience and have faith that peace and safety are possible now for all beings.
Right now this exploration is helpful since the I that i identify with is experiencing some turmoil related to 2 friends who are relating to me, this body that has made some choices that they are not entirely pleased with lately . My outward behavior, things I said or did were contrary to what they believed they needed or fit for their ease. My little i knows I did or said the best I could with a loving , compassionate heart , yet i did not please them, these friends. i made choices that felt right in those moments. There may have been unconscious shadow beliefs during me that I had not delved into.
At this moment I am aware that any turmoil that I experiencing is certainly not real. It is a choice of emotions that this surface me is choosing. Not my soul essence which I know is safe, and well, and loved in a way that is different and more real than this body that was experiencing some turmoil,
Experiencing grief has been the door for me toward every day being the best day of my life after years of depression. It took a long time for me to discover that anger, frustration, addictions to sex and constant activity were ways to avoid grief. I always felt better once I allowed myself to have a real good crying, sobbing session and take time to be stilling on the earth, sand, water and fully breathe.
I have incorporated Reichian/ bio-energetic exercises into my work as a wholistic physical therapist. Stillness, shaking( chaotic or dynamic meditation as taught by Rajneesh), or fetal position holding as a parent unconditionally loving a child have become pathways for many of my clients to end long term "chronic" pain.
Breath work is amazingly powerful.
I have benefitted from what is called "radical forgiveness" which may appear to be a form of "cognitive bypass" with the concept of re-framing any event in my life as perfect and transforming events such as abuse, violence, suicides, genocide, homelessness, environmental catastrophe into "calls for help" toward increased LOVE rather than Evil, or sinful. What is the message? What brings me and my world into balance?
Though I think I always abhorred any energetic resembling aggression , I perpetrated many explosive violent reactions toward my brother and other neighborhood kids when i became frustrated, not knowing how to express my needs for emotional understanding. I can forgive myself and others for acts of violence with the context of understanding now that we do not live in a culture that places value on emotional learning.
When I was eligible for the draft into the Vietnam War, I looked into becoming a conscientiousobjector . I knew in my heart that there is no violence that is Right or ok, that the idea of turning the other cheek was the only path to peace. The idea of NVC that when we can discover all of our beautiful needs and communicate them as requests , not demands, that we can all live non-violently in win/win.
That is the world that I envision, yet when I or someone else acts out
usually or maybe always due to fear I know that the violent act is always an unskillful way to get Love that we truly desire and even if there is grief or anger summoned in response to the aggression, I remember that that aggression is a call for help, and I know that there is only love.
"loving with hands wide open" for me, means being fully receptive- no limiting belief minimalizing the miraculous ecstasy that pours over and into what I call ME. And MORE ME overflows into loving healing hands that ae place on thou if thou accepteth. In the acceptance by thou ae HAVE all ae ever needed while allowing thou full creative expression.
This is the personal story that ae experience constantly with "my" partner.
The How( in my humble opinion) is knowing our multidimensionality, knowing that we have way more than 53 senses to attune with, and that all experience is a choice. What shadow would cause one to choose to love any way less than consciously, conscientiously, concretely, and constructively.
I love the storytelling "I" that surrounds aer self in a mysterious wondrous healing adventure. Any and every moment that I find a feeling arising from unmet needs I return to gratitude and feel enfolded in the arms of love against a breast of a loving beating heart and know that all experience is a re-frameable choice. " Every little cell in my body is happy, every little cell in my body is well!"