Tuesday, January 27, 2009

sweet-honey hues of love

the secret life of bees is one of my favourite fiction novels. it was recently made into a film, but the book is oh-so-much better. it's a lovely read about the healing and transformative powers of love; one of those that leaves you feeling snuggled-cozy with positivity and the possibility for change.

..::in this little blog i tend to write a lot about self-improvement, my funny little thoughts and wannabe-pearls-of-wisdom. usually when i write about something, it is following some huge epiphany i've just had that is the result of me finally finding my way out of a maze after making a bazillion wrong turns and hitting walls. the thing is, i'm only out of one little maze within a maze within another maze within another one, and that will probably continue to exist until the day i die, and that is life...i think. and the chances are that i will probably find myself moseying about in that same conundrum again a month later, until i remember that i know how to get out. i'm silly like that.

and as with love, i guess the reason i'm all about it is because i need it so, and lucky for me, i have so many amazing people in my life who fill me up with so much of it that i begin overflowing with it, and thus have so much to give. so...you can thank them. hmmm... maybe the way we give love away is like the way a mailperson delivers letters, except the sender and recipient are not necessarily specified (or are they?!?!)... maybe not such a good analogy, but this is the way my mind works. haha. maybe we just soak up all different energies from the universe and carry it around with us, channeling it into art, music, exchanges with others...a continuous flow of energy. unfortunately it's not always positive, but it's real nonetheless, and the process is pretty amazing if you look at it that way.

something that is rather new to me is the concept of self-love. at first it was such a far-out idea for me that i couldn't do it. eventually i learned to give myself love by imagining the way i would give someone else love...and by doing that i felt like i was channeling in to some kind of shared supply that we all have access to, if we believe in it, and felt washed over with this feeling of oneness that felt so... primitive and cosmic. but even this requires that we have positive relationships and experiences with others that lend themselves to this type of feeling, that we know what love feels like, and well... that's kind of what the secret life of bees is all about.

anyway, without any further ado, i would like to post the quote that i logged on here to share with you. it's from the book, and i hope you enjoy it.

"I hadn't been out to the hives before, so to start off she gave me a lesson in what she called 'bee yard etiquette.' She reminded me that the world was one really big bee yard, and the same rules worked fine in both places: Don't be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Still, don't be an idiot; wear long sleeves and long pants. Don't swat. Don't even think about swatting. If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates, while whistling melts a bee's temper. Act like you know what you're doing, even if you don't. Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved." -Sue Monk Kidd

Sunday, January 25, 2009

a slice of humble pie.

tonight i had the chance to come face-to-face with some [constructive] criticism, from someone other than myself... which was much-needed, i've decided. it's funny to think that people actually read this stuff, and nice to have someone around to tell me when i'm wrong.

thanks for that.

i think that one of the reasons i want to help people is because i have a great deal of tolerance for people suffering from various personal troubles: i have been an emotional basketcase for most of my life, and have probably spent more of my energy analyzing and reflecting on the work of my mind than on anything else. but along with my empathy for others comes this subconscious expectation that others should be able to recover from similar experiences using the same routes that i have. sometimes i can get a little too preach-y, and the end result is that the person just feels worse because my attempts have left them feeling as though they don't have the resources to solve their own problems. f$%k, i wish i didn't do that. i really don't mean to be condescending. i have to remind myself regularly that sometimes wisdom is knowing when not to speak.

i guess that's the risk you take when you log in one of these public blogs: that you may offend someone with the way you say things, and get in trouble... especially when the very important nonverbal element of communication is absent. it's unavoidable, really, and there's no way i can truthfully speak my mind without stirring up some kind of objection. that being said, i really appreciate being challenged and having someone give that creeping ego of mine a slap on the wrist. sometimes i don't even know that my ego is involved until it is assaulted, and man i hate admitting that i'm on an ego trip, but always feel thankful for the humility vibe that reminds me where i really stand.

so thanks, you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

this little light of mine...

All right, it's time for a rant.

I am not dumb, naïve, ignorant, or crazy. Well, maybe a little crazy-- but even so I would consider that one of my positive traits. But this is something I really need to express because I want to use this feeling productively rather than repress it and allow it to turn to anger.

Okay, so: the world is in bad shape and good old-fashioned morality has taken a backseat to greed, power, image and the ol' dollar sign. Yeah, it sucks. Big time. People have learned to devote so much importance and value to their individual lives that many no longer feel a need or obligation to take the well-being of others or the environment into consideration when making personal choices. Those who are mindful and aware of this look upon the state of our society with shame, and I am one of those people. I understand your cynicism, and I feel your disgust.

There is also a lot of garbage in our minds. (garbage=negativity, apathy, falsehoods, etc.). Not only are we accepting of the poisons in the air but we are accepting of the poisons in our brains, and the funny thing is that many of the poisons in our brains drive us to allow the (literal and metaphorical) poisons in the air to continue. I see these problems, I know that we need a change. Somehow people have come to the conclusion that the best way to respond to these social ills is to participate in the fiasco by adopting negative attitudes, while looking upon optimism and happiness as a by-product of ignorance, blindness or naïveté. I encourage you to change your perspective: to consider that someone who is able to find happiness amidst the whole worldly mess may just be smarter than the cynics, touched with wisdom and a vision of something greater than the physical world as we perceive it.

This kind of disposition is something that I strive for. I see the greed, I see the tragedy, I see the violence. But what difference does it make to assimilate ourselves with everyone else, in shock and horror, allowing these feelings to kill our spirits and taint our interactions with others, interactions with such potential for meaning, affection, and change? Change is a loaded word these days. It begins with you. If our thoughts are clouds, then accept them, let them rain a little if you will (cuz we know our eyes must do some rainin' if we're ever gonna grow (thank you bright eyes)) and let them pass... let the sunshine through. If we hold on to all the thoughts, the negative messages, the dark stormy clouds overcasting the light, we have no hope of finding happiness, seeing the sunshine. Can you dig it?

"Reality is subjective, and there is an unenlightened tendency in this culture to regard something as "important" only if it is sober, drab and severe.When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. And you get to take yourself oh so very seriously. Your truly happy people, which is to say, your people who truly LIKE themselves, they don't think about themselves very much. Your unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up because it means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence." -Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

Monday, January 19, 2009

om shanti shanti shanti

for some experiences there are no words. at one time i thought this was my own inability to articulate, but now i know it is because those experiences be the most divine, the most transcendental, the most blissful. they are beyond the symbology of language and cut across that barrier which often divides us.

in honour~i will expand on moments of emptiness and fill them with love so that they may grow. i will share my wealth with others especially if it is joy, and know that i can only burn brighter by sharing that which makes me shine.
i am thankful for today's hot pink setting sun, and for this toothy canvas of a planet upon which natural and breathtaking beauty manifests itself every day. may we see this beauty as a reflection of our own and regard ourselves and others as beautiful for what we are.
after everything i have learned thus far, i can only say with absolute certainty that my greatest purpose in this life is to love, and to spread and share what i have found with everyone and everything that i can. i may not see my beliefs and ideals reflected around me but i will give them life through my own actions. in the words of mr. robbins, "if you want to change the world, you must change yourself." or in the words of mr. gandhi "you must be the change you wish to see in the world".
may you look within and find your own peace, and know your own heart to be your compass.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

why are you here?

sometimes when i wake up in the morning, i do this thing where i sit up in bed, think about my dreams and evaluate my post-dream-state ~state of mind. then i grab my journal and try to put into words the morning-frazzle of thoughts floating around in there, in effort to come to some kind of mindful awareness of where i am and what i'm feeling.

lately i have been thinking a lot about my comfort zone and my fears, and i can't help but notice that many of my dreams are filled with wonky little manifestations of my fears being fulfilled or overcome. sometimes they are deep-seated subconscious fears, like my old recurring dream where i am the only person in a fast-moving car, but stuck in the passenger's seat and unable to reach the brakes to make the car stop. other times they are just little scenarios about something i'm currently concerned about. either way, i like how i can later sort of 'witness' my dreams like an outsider and learn something about myself from them.

last night in my dreams i went to a yoga in constant motion class, and it was much less scary than i had anticipated-- although my dream didn't last long enough to play through the entire experience. no doubt this happened because i had yoga last night and my instructor told me that i should come to yoga in constant motion on thursday (tonight) to make up a missed class. my choice is between a level 2 class which may not be very challenging, or the constant motion class which will probably push me about as far as i can go. my level 3 class is usually enough of a challenge for me, so i'm a bit nervous about the constant motion class.

so...why does any of this matter? well... i suppose it has lead me to re-evaluate why i am doing yoga in the first place. or...to make the question even more expansive: what am i doing here at all, since the yoga journey is inherently connected and paralleled with the life-journey. if it is for the ego, then all of my efforts are in vain, because as Ram Dass puts it, "as long as you have an ego, you are on a limited trip". i will not deny that my ego has a role, and i am glad that i am learning to recognize this now rather than later...since i sure have a long way to go and that ego is a real heavy piece of luggage to drag around.

it's time to step-up the ego-watching center and start thinking about intentionality: what am i doing here? what am i looking for? what do i hope to accomplish? why? shame and guilt are not feelings i wish to foster, however, so *self-compassion* is going to be key. love yourself first, and everything else will fall into place.

transcend transcend transcend~*

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

honk if you love menstruation!

here is a brandy new ani song, i really love it a lot and i hope you do too!


Something about this landscape just don't feel right
Hyper air conditioned and lit up all night
But we just got to see how comfortable comfortable can get
Like we can't even bring ourselves to sweat
Like we can't even bring ourselves to sweat
Sweat in the summer, shiver in the winter
Just enough to know that we're alive
Watch out for that tv it's full of splinters
And remember you can always go outside
Really really really really far outside

Some might call it conservation
Some might call it common sense
And maybe its because I am Libra
But I say balance, balance, balance, balance
I say balance, balance, balance, balance
Who put all this stuff in my apartment
Who put all this ice in my drink
Who put the poison in the atmosphere
Who put the poison in the way I think

Oh women, won't you be our windows?
Women who bleed and bleed and bleed
Women who swell with the tide
Women who change when the wind blows
Show us, we are not separate from everything
Show us we are connected to everything
Heres to the trials of living
Heres to feeling our share of pain
All the way from childbirth to dying
Staying connected to everything
Being connected to everything

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

note to self:






many of us have an easier time welcoming misery into our lives than welcoming joy. what if it is a choice? maybe happiness is so difficult to hold on to because it is so simple: it just requires letting go of all the criticisms, the self-absorbed tendencies to pick-and-prod at every little thing we do not like about ourselves. it's time to reject the quick-fix prescriptions of a culture which trains us first to believe that we are flawed, and second to believe that we can buy the various solutions to fix ourselves up. madness!!!
so: i have been trying to replace my old patterns with newer, healthier ones. following this course of thought, every time i feel upset about something that is "wrong" with me, i want to first accept this thought as a thought, and then shift my attention towards something for which i am grateful. today, i am grateful for my toes. all ten digits, and the balancing they provide for me every-single-day. i promise i will think of you every time i stand in natarajasana or virabhadrasana III, and i will try not to paint you in the winter months so that your nails do not fall off.
this entry is dedicated to my toes: my favourite balancing partners.
Life is an illusion. Manifest your own reality.