You Deplete Me


You know who I’m talking about.

God forbid, sometimes we might BE that person. Let’s pray not. I hope never to return to that state of being.

The people with such powerful negative energy that you can feel your joy draining as you draw ever closer to them. The vampires of enthusiasm, the black holes of happiness, the terminators of positive re-enforcement.

The saying about the five people you hang around most? It only takes one. But there are many available to latch on to you during your downward spiral. You must be ever vigilant, especially around those growly bears you live with and love.

The key to living and/or loving growly bears is to consistently work on changing yourself only. NEVER attempt to change the growly bear. This only exhausts you, and causes resentment in the hearts of both parties concerned. Simply working to undo the damage you have done with your own attitude can be a fine example to others.

I used to think fighting fire with fire was the only way. Now I know that’s an excellent way to burn everything to the ground. Creating twice as much gloom and doom is not the answer. It erodes even the tiniest bit of peace I can find.

When I got tired of not having a haven to be happy, a refuge of peace and support, I began to look inside myself and build one. I had to start with me, and continue with me. Sometimes, I had to just walk away, then gently set a few boundaries of self-respect, and once in a while~ a little straight talk (very KIND straight talk).

Like every other practice, with repetition and re-enforcement, I am learning to deplete the negative forces in my life by removing my energy and focus from them. I focus on the good, the possibilities, the gratitude for the awesome that is right now. It is so true that what you feed is what grows.

Please don’t feed the growly bears.

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Breaking the Chains


Time is a factory

where everyone slaves away

earning enough love

to break their own chains.

~Hafiz

 

The funny/sad part of this is~the love we are working so hard to earn is our own. The respect we want is self-respect. The eyes we want so badly to smile at us, are our own. We want to be proud of us, to know that when all else fails, the love and integrity we are will carry us. We will be victorious, we will break our own chains.

The other funny/sad part of this is~we put ourselves in the chains we need freed from. We are the ones who set the limits on our achievements, dreams, and willingness to take risks. We are the ones that said, “NO! Do what you should, not what you desire.  Be responsible, punch the clock, take the crap, do the duties, dim the light, don’t be ridiculous, foolish, stupid, wrong.”  We did that to us, no one else even helped until we gave them permission, WHICH WE DID!

I can be who ever I want, and do what ever I want. So can you. I can be a writer, poet, healer, teacher of meditation, mother, wife, daughter, friend. I can be and do all of these things. I can be a chaser of dreams, a healer of hearts, a lover of beauty, a sharer of joy. I can be a guide to the heart, and an example of how to know if you have one to find! You can’t stop me, nobody can, except me.

We live so small, think so small, dream so small. When we begin to transform ourselves by asking the first questions of who am I? and what do I want? we step into a power so astounding that many step back out quickly and consider themselves lucky. I’m more like the character in Pleasantville who refused to give up the color she was starting to see in her gray tone world. I’m with you sister, I like living in color and I’m not going back.

Buying Back the Slave: Living Free


I know I will live forever, that I have always existed. I know it, just as you must know it for yourself, at certain times when the light in my heart cracks through the debris I bury it under to protect it from harm.  Those instances where everything unimportant  (which is everything) is swept aside by the white flame heat of joyous clarity that can happen only more frequently as I  reclaim pieces of my true self. Pieces of me bartered, traded and sold out for an artificial sense of belonging.  You and I sell ourselves to the unreal, and now have to earn ourselves back from an identity that has no real value anyway. I make progress, and I am invincible. I stumble, and I lie in the dust of sorrow a little less time before leaping off the edge of wonder and flying victorious for a little while longer.

I must own myself, and I will. I must not “find” myself. That is not what I want. I must BE myself, now, and in every other moment on my path to whisper to those who walk on this earth with me “stand up! you are wonderful, powerful, and real”, whispering this to each of them, each of you, and myself.

I say this: we have in our hearts, all the gold we need to buy ourselves back. We only think ourselves poor. ❤

 

Someone put
You on a slave block
And the unreal bought
You.

Now I keep coming to your owner
Saying
“This one is mine.”

You often overhear us talking
And this can make your heart leap
With excitement.

Don’t worry,
I will not let sadness
Possess you.

I will gladly borrow all the gold
I need

To get you
Back.

-Hafiz

What Does Not Kill…


Today made yesterday look like a trip to the Enchanted Kingdom. Yesterday was such a steady ongoing call to the Dark Side that by bedtime I felt like a champ for maintaining good behavior. Little did I know what was in store for me today. Today was a balls out challenge to everything my ego ever supported.  I was in a situation at work that so insulted me that in a flash of a moment, all the mean, righteous “smack down” I ever worked so hard to dissolve, rose up in a heartbeat like a great monster tsunami to gleefully obliterate the irritating fly in my ointment.

For a moment, I could actually feel the victory of leaving this person boiling in the humiliation I was so ready to drown them in. Seriously. Did you actually read the last three sentences I just wrote? Not only did I really write them, but today for several critical moments, I meant them with my whole being.

Once upon a time, I wouldn’t  have given any of this a second thought. But this is not a fairy tale, or an episode of Dexter. This is my constantly (I hope) evolving self, who at the moment of critical fail, chose not to use my well-known weapons of mass destruction. Fearing my lack of ability to speak with any kindness or wisdom at all, I put myself on momentary lock-down until my potential “begging to be a victim” escaped with his dignity intact.

I cannot express adequately the difficulty of this feat. My unfortunately legendary and much feared head-lopping abilities were appalled at being held back, and my ego begged to set things more than right. My mind kept telling me that letting this person get away with such a professional atrocity was not good for man-kind. Sometimes it is very important to smite someone most severely to teach them how not to behave. Seriously again. Can we re-read this paragraph?

I did the right and kind thing. Everyone lived happily ever after. Okay maybe not yet, but tomorrow after I calmly and kindly ensure that it is understood what will and will not be acceptable in the future, I will at least be at peace without losing the progress of my heart. But I will admit to you that IT IS KILLING ME. But that’s just the old ego talking.

What does not kill me, makes me strong. What does not kill me, makes me strong…

Pray for me. A lot. Thanks.

Back to the Dark Side


Today started out wonderfully, I woke up early enough to begin my first of 21 consistent mornings of yoga before meditation.

Those were the two wonderful things. The rest of this day has been a bit of a struggle with familiar irritations, and reactions. My ego saying “yeah, I’m right, and I will obliterate you with it!”. I wrestled with these things, but as of this moment haven’t allowed my feelings to negatively affect my behavior. I’m pretty black and blue on the inside though. Ha, ha?

Health insurance rates doubling for my people at work, a variety of ridiculous crap to address  after taking a day off Friday, a rare headache, some personal sadness with co-workers, and then the super effort required to keep myself in line when I perceive  repeated attempts of others to brow beat, manipulate and control people I love. I am doing my level best to change my perception to “repeated cries for love, attention, and self-esteem boost”.

I’m not there yet. But I am behaving as if I am so I don’t have to regret anything I put into play before I gain some truth and settle back into my heart.

Everybody has the occasional off day, but it feels like a hair shirt to me after a long stretch of balance. Tomorrow is a new day, and I can forgive myself for my insides without having to apologize for my behavior outside. This will be a red-letter event for sure.

I used to think (and sometimes still do) that it takes stepping up in the face of, the courage to confront, willingness to wield the mighty sword of justice to kick butt and take names to truly be a person of strength.

Now I know how much strength it takes to stand firm, speak the truth with dignity and grace, and be willing to be kind and forgiving to myself and others.  Unfortunately for me today, I have a lifetime of the last paragraph, and these new perceptions are brand new. So quite honestly, I have seriously pulled muscles withholding that which I must not bestow on others.

I am building my character, and it is painful pulling back from the Dark Side, but it is worth it. It will be. Tomorrow.

 

Witness Your Life


I learned a new word in this morning’s meditation. Recapitulation. I was like “what??”, but then it was defined , and my “deer in the headlights” look  went away so I could carry on with my journey. I do come to my altar every morning with an open mind, but I have moments where I think I may not get what I need when I open my heart. Isn’t that silly after all I’ve learned so far? I guess I will always have moments when I slip too easily into convenient habits of thinking that perpetuate weak living. May they be few and far between.

So I recapitulated my morning from the time I woke up to the moment I sat down to meditate. I hadn’t been up very long, so in a few minutes I was able to picture myself and everything I did without judging. Such a simple practice taught me something~I wasted most of my time dealing with the results of my behavior the night before! That’s not what I need at all! I picked up, put away, finished and trashed as was needed. No, no, no.

I understand that recapitulation is what we should do right before we sleep. A quick five minute run-through of our day so we can decide if that’s what we choose to keep doing, or to choose another way that better serves us. In my case, a two minute mental visual of an hour of my day taught me that I needed to re-evaluate my focus and put a new plan into play.

Being a Silent Witness to my behavior uncovered the sorry fact that I am handicapping myself. I am not serving myself well, or giving myself what I need to be at my highest potential for the day.

Because I’m a fledgling, a lotus just beginning to rise to the sun, I really need all the help I can give myself at any given moment. Mornings are critical to me~I cannot allow myself to sabotage them, and therefore the rest of my day.

I want my every morning to fuel my heart; to carry me through my day with grace. My mornings need to do for  me what the sunrise does to beautify  the morning sky, and revive and rejuvenate me like the breath of God breezes through the leaves on the trees.

That may sound like a tall order, but it’s not. I can make that happen. I just have to do it on purpose. It seems to me that the greatest lessons in meditation are to be aware of  NOW, calmly look around and evaluate what works and what doesn’t, and live my life on purpose. This makes sense to me, since I have always felt that I was an accident or incident waiting to happen, at the mercy of powers beyond my control. There are so many things, most things, that are out of my control, but I don’t have to be. I do have the ability to be who I am, react how I choose, and plan according to my priorities. Learning to review my day before I sleep is an excellent tool to do that, so I’m excited to see where I go from here.

This practice is where I’ll find my time for morning yoga, and more time for meditation, and the quiet drinking of my tea with my pups laying beside me as I sit on the porch watching the sun rise, and the flowers bloom, and the breezes blow.

May all who read this choose to live your moments in ways that truly matter to you!

To Speak Without Words


Today’s meditation was called “The Giver”.  I call it loving action, or speaking without words.

When I listen to others I don’t hear words~I see them, and it always saddens me when someone says “I love you”, but their behavior or attitude is screaming at me that I am not loved and treasured at all. It saddens me even more to accept that I have done this to others.

It is important to me to be vigilant and build strength in my integrity of word, yes, but more so in everything I say without speaking. Am I doing because I love, or because I feel pressured, forced, or shamed into doing? Am I giving joyously because I can, or resentfully because I should? Am I saying I love you while I brush by on my way out, or stopping for a two-armed hug and smile in case it’s the last time we have the opportunity?

I see clearly now gifts that have always been in front of me that I am only now taking the time to treasure. These gifts are called moments, chances, opportunities to give, love, share, shine.

When I am angry, I have a chance to let it sink in long enough to find what it is I’m REALLY mad about. It’s never what I think it is, and when I figure it out I can repair and heal and build something better than before in my relationships.

When I am sad, and full of self-pity, I can accept that my own choices brought me right here to make better ones, instead of blaming somebody handy for making me so miserable.

I can quit being selfish with my time by listening well, hugging, doing kindnesses, setting a good example of what growing looks like instead of groaning. I mean, what in the world are we here for if we don’t have time to love people? That would really be a pointless existence, and I want no part of that.

When I die, I want everyone who shows up to be absolutely certain that I loved them most of all.

That’s giving.

Now let me go work on that.