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Archive for December, 2013

Freedom

break-the-chains

Lately, I have lamented that I don’t have enough freedom.  I thought to myself — if only circumstances could shift, that alone would grant me my freedom.

I began a process of conscious questioning, starting with the statement — I don’t have enough freedom.

Really, is that true?
How much freedom is enough, and where is the measuring stick?
Is freedom something I own?
Is it a commodity that money can buy?
Will I find it hanging in my closet?
Will it be you who brings me my freedom, or takes it from me?

Or is freedom found within?

Does freedom begin with me, like peace does?

Can I be the freedom I seek?

Can freedom begin at that still small space, where I cease to quarrel with life?

Quotes on personal freedom:

“For you who no longer possess it, freedom is everything, for us who do, it is merely an illusion.” Emil Cioran

“Suffering is a result of arguing with reality. When we believe our thoughts, we suffer, but when we question them, we don’t suffer. Freedom is as simple as that.” Byron Katie

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Viktor E. Frankl

“True freedom is always spiritual. It has something to do with your innermost being, which cannot be chained, handcuffed, or put into a jail.” OSHO

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original

Blessings Day 285: to be reminded to fall in love daily…

Today I fall in love with my beating heart – 100,00 beats per day, 36,500,000 beats per year!

We ascribe to the heart a multitude of phrases to try and understand it: heart strings that can be pulled, hearts that are broken, mended and healed, hearts aflutter, follow the heart, heartthrobs, heart warming, hearts of gold, heavy hearts, courageous and vulnerable hearts.

Faithfully, dutifully, asking nothing in return …

… beating throughout the wildness of our days and the quiet darkness of our nights

… so that I may know something about devotion …

… something about being supported …

… something about fragility and strength …

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Yinimages

I love, no adore, this quote, appended below, from Elizabeth Gilbert (author of eat, pray, love) in her new book “The Signature of All Things”.  It’s relevant to include it here, as it illustrates the theme of recent blog posts: allowing acceptance of the voices that come.  Maybe they wake us in the middle of the night, or perhaps it’s at the moment we rise up from that darkness of night and into the sometimes tenuous and raw vulnerability of morning.

Whenever those voices come, they teach us we would not know the courage to move forward had we first not known fear.  So much would be missing from the world without the life-giving blood of anger and the force for which it propels us into positive change.  It is the yin and the yang of life and one aspect will always be in relationship with it’s complementary aspect — fear and courage, anger and change, for example.  And like the proverbial grain of sand that transforms into an iridescent pearl, our lives are a continual evolutionary dance of sand and pearl.

“I live a creative life, and you can’t be creative without being vulnerable.  I believe that Creativity and Fear are basically conjoined twins; they share all the same major organs, and cannot be separated, one from the other, without killing them both. And you don’t want to murder Creativity just to destroy Fear!  You must accept that Creativity cannot walk even one step forward except by marching side-by-side with its attached sibling of Fear.

{…} I decide every day that I love Creativity enough to accept that Fear will always come with it. And I talk to Fear all the time, speaking to it with love and respect, saying to it: “I know that you are Fear, and that your job is to be afraid. And you do your job really well! I will never ask you to leave me alone or to be silent, because you have a right to speak your own voice, and I know that you will never leave me alone or be silent, anyhow.  But I need you to understand that I will always choose Creativity over you.”  ~ Elizabeth Gilbert “The Signature of All Things”

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heart-rose-5x71

I am appending below a portion of what I discovered on David Whyte’s Facebook wall yesterday.  I think there’s a wide variance of emotions that come up during the holidays, especially for those who have had a loved one transition.  But beyond that, heartbreak, is something we all go through, it’s a natural consequence of living life with an open, yet vulnerable heart.  Perhaps our true work isn’t to heal heartbreak, as much as it is to embrace that we have all been inescapably and forever touched by the tender, outstretched hands of life.

“Heartbreak is inescapable; yet we use the word heartbreak as if it only occurs when things have gone wrong: an unrequited love, a shattered dream, a child lost before their time. Heartbreak, we hope, is something we can avoid; something to guard against, a chasm to be carefully looked for and then walked around; the hope is to find a way to place our feet where the elemental forces of life will keep us in the manner to which we want to be accustomed and which will keep us from the losses that all other human beings have experienced without exception since the beginning of conscious time. But heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way…”

From the upcoming Third Readers’ Circle Essay,
‘HEARTBREAK’
©2013 David Whyte

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I have shared a few of my daily blessings from Facebook here.  This one from a few days ago, surprisingly seemed to resonate with several people.  It is part of an ongoing evolution of a process I started with “Letting Myself Have”.

Blessings Day 275: I wanted to memorize one of Marianne Williamson’s prayers from “Illuminata” but couldn’t, so instead I silently say “thank you, God” many times a day. I started at first to say it when things were all groovy in my world, but now I do the opposite.

A weird thing happens when I affirm my thanks to God, crappy feelings stop their talk while they listen to my little prayer of thanks.

I am afraid of doing “x” on Saturday – thank you God.

So I make up a story why I can’t do “x”; I don’t cop to the truth – thank you God.

I don’t listen to my own advice – thank you, God.

I judge myself – thank you, God.

I judge others – thank you, God.

I had a shitty night’s sleep – thank you, God.

I’m here in the flesh, I’m feeling, I have choices, I’m alive, I’m loved and by some perhaps I’m even appalling and hated, thank you God.

I’m breathing with the warm body of my being, I’m still open —

THANK YOU GOD!

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winter_OK

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every little thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire.

What disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.

All those years
forgetting
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
forgetting
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
difficulty
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous
otherness.

Silence and winter
have led me to that
otherness.

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

We speak
only with the voices of those
we can hear ourselves
and the body has a voice
only for that portion
of the body of the world
it has learned to perceive.

And
here
in the tumult
of the night
I hear the walnut
above the child’s swing
swaying
its dark limbs
in the wind
and the rain now
come to
beat against my window
and somewhere
in this cold night
of wind and stars
the first whispered
opening of
those hidden
and invisible springs
that uncoil
in the still summer air
each yet
to be imagined
rose.

~David Whyte~
River Flow: New and Selected Poems

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Live as You

Freydoon Rassouli – Visionary Artist

02-17-Enwrapped

“Dear Human:

You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of … messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up, and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.”

~Courtney A. Walsh, Author

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