"Let's have a merry journey, and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves. "NOW thyself" is more important than "Know thyself." Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be green pastures. It's crazy. Heaven is nothing but a grand, monumental instance of future. Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful." ~ Mel Brooks

Sunday, January 17, 2010

When Life gives you Lemons

Make Lemonade! Well what happens when most of the lemons are moldy and yucky and they're all mixed in with the decent ones? Well, you have to take time and sort through them all and pick out the good ones and toss the yucky ones. That's what I've been doing. Sorting out!
I forgot that when you make the choice to change the course your on.....everything is fair game for upheaval. It seems as if everything comes toppling down on you and then you have to literally rebuild that what was, your life. I chose to make a change, that this will be the Best Year of my Life. In that statement alone is a reasonable amount of things that can go "wrong". In wrong I mean not going the way I had intended simply because I was on my high horse to the Best Year of my Life. I still am, I'm just taking the precribed amount of time to make sure all my ducks are in a row. You can't make change until you are ready......and if certain things aren't ready to shift, its an uphill battle, in 10 feet of snow with no boots to wear! Like the "old days"!
So......in these past 10 days of no writing I have cried, gotten angry, a little depressed, confused, lost, and bewildered. I'm still seeking my Best Year yet, although taking a different route to get there. My body, my past, my resentments, old feelings, etc.....they need to also be released. That's what is happening. I'm allowing them all to come as they may so I can let them go and give myself a clean slate. I've made the declaration the this will be the Best Year of My Life, but not without hard work to make the shift.
Thank you for being patient with me as I continue on the this journey. Today will be more pleasant to deal with than yesterday and I know that I am one step closer to feeling the best I can to continue on my path.

This will be the Best Year of my Life!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

In the dew of little things

"Let there be in your heart a song for each cup."

Yes, The Prophet. This book has so much to give. Have you read it? If not, I highly recommend it.

Today I gave endless Thanks for the bounty that created my meals. The bread, the milk, the potatoes, the coconut milk. All of it I ate with wonder and gratitude in my heart. Now, I will admit, I was half way through my meal at times before I remembered to give thanks, but I remembered nonetheless.

My first reaction this morning, was, well.......I couldn't think about eating meat. I couldn't bring myself to think about the process which takes place to create, say, breakfast sausage. Or a ham roast, or lunch meat......I just couldn't do it. So I didn't consume any meat today. And really, that's just fine with me. Maybe vegetarianism isn't too far from my view.

I ate today and thought about the process which took place. For example.....I had coconut milk ice cream today. And I quietly pondered the coconuts, the machines, the people running the machines, the people selling the ice cream. I hoped that the people working for this company were happy and taken care of. I hoped that the coconuts felt that they were appreciated for their gift. Its a strange thought process to have before a meal, but an important one. It makes the reality of food, the food industries, the farmers, the animals, that much more real when you consider the bounty and the sacrifice. We don't see everyday the goings on that takes place. Most of us just shop and eat and never bat an eye. Well.....its time to bat those eyes. Michael Pollan states that "Because most of what we're consuming today is not food, and how we are consuming it - in the car, in front of the television, and increasingly alone - is not really eating. Instead of food, we're consuming "edible food like substances" - no longer the products of nature but of food science." So, yes.....I may be becoming a little more thoughtful of what I put in my body, and rightfully so. I am pretty keen on keeping my kids in line, but myself......I'm all about convenience. Even our dinner meal tonight, there was no meat, but it was all processed, tofu, potato things. Oh and peas, but I forgot those on the stove! So.....this lesson has definitely reminded me that I need to be A LOT more conscious of what I eat and what I prepare for my family. How can I expect change to come when I'm not keeping our bodies nourished at their optimum levels?

The bottom line "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

I'm still waiting for my books, so......I guess I will continue on with another lesson from The Prophet.

"And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship. And he answered, saying: Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with Thanksgiving."

Friendship. I haven't had many friends in this last decade simply because I've been having babies and making a home. There are a handful of folks that I will indeed call my friend. One is of course, my husband, then there is a lovely lady I've known since high school, the other is her mother, the next is my teacher,then another lovely lady whom I've recently become friends with (we're still in the getting to know eachother phase), and last but not least, my sisters. These people are the ones I confide in. Cry with. Cuss with. Celebrate with. Take care of. Let them take care of me. Its an even trade all the way around. We show up for each other when ever, needed or not. A simply hello is just as welcomed and needed as an I love you. There are no borders between us and life strings as all together like pearls. Its really quite beautiful to think about.

"And let your best be for your friend. If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also."

"And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."

So.....to honor those I call my friends....well, I would strive to treat them like family. Give them my very best at all costs. Create for them that which they create for me. I could only hope to be as giving and gracious and considerate as those friends in my life. And I will. I will shower them with the love and gratitude that they so surely deserve. Without reservation. Without hesitation. And when I feel as if I don't have enough to give, well.....I will try harder. What is a life without dear ones to call your own. Whether through friends or family or pets or plants or whatever it is we have that is dear. Let us be filled with GRATITUDE for their presence and be reminded that they, too, are grateful for ours.

Have you ever just baked a batch of cookies and brought them to your neighbor? Or sat and had a cup of unrushed coffee with your partner? Have you ever been able to offer up your services to help someone in need, maybe help with yard work, or fixing a broken gutter, or helping an older member of the community get out of their home for a few hours. These are also things that cross my mind when I think of friendship. We are not only here for those in our lives but also to those around our lives. Giving of ourselves is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Its something we can do that doesn't require any expectation. It's done freely and at will. Volunteering somewhere and helping out. Our neighbors. Treat our neighbor as we wish to be treated. What you give is what you get. What comes around goes around. So.....for all that we would strive to do for our friends, family and selves.....why not those we might call strangers? Why not touch the life of someone not so familiar......it will change their life as much as it would change our own. And there's no strings attached. Just the simple gift of generosity.

My family experienced that this Christmas. We have been struggling to get up on our feet,and of course it was through the Christmas holiday. Boy.....it sure did create some stress and anxiety and tears. But.....we received SO MANY GIFTS!!!!And we didn't even ask. Our friends and family and even some folks we don't know all came together for us. Not just with toys and clothes for the children, but food for our pantry and books to read. Money to keep our larders full and HOPE IN OUR HEARTS!!!! It was such a humbling time but an oh, so beautiful time. To be on the receiving end of such heartfelt, selfless generosity is so honoring. We were truly honored and blessed. So, I very much look forward to sharing those gifts and when we are able, to giving it back to another family. Or to whom ever may need it. Life reflects alot about how we treat each other.

Go out into the world with peace. Treat no one evil for evil. Strengthen the weak hearted and comfort the afflicted. Make certain in your heart that God would use you to be a light unto the world. Have faith in that, and know that you are loved and cared for and taken care of.

Be a Light in the world. Be that beacon we all search for and need. To all that cross our path.

"Be the Change you wish to see in the World."

~ Until tomorrow dear void, or to anyone that might be listening!

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Buds of your Tomorrow

Today was about speaking. How did I do you might ask, well, I fell into the same old traps, but......at least I caught myself. I realized that it is a total defense mechanism for me to clam up and not say anything. But why? For fear of retribution for of what I might say, for fear of saying the wrong thing. For fear. Well, that says it all, doesn't it?

"The psychological condition of fear is divorced from any concrete and true immediate danger. It comes in many forms: unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread, phobia, and so on. This kind of psychological fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening now." ~ Eckhart Tolle

So in my fear, I decided to bite the bullet and talk anyway. I spoke from my heart. I spoke from that place of purpose, that place with meaning. I thought before I spoke. I honored that person I spoke with. As if this may be that last word I might say to them. I smiled when I spoke.....because you can hear a smile in someones voice, ya know! I spoke with enthusiasm. Since this is something new and different, I didn't behave like this all day, but, I did remember and I tried. And I will try again tomorrow.

And, what pray tell, did this do for me, if anything? Well, I felt good speaking. I felt like I was honoring not only the person with whom I was speaking to, but also, myself. I honored ME by being ME! Hmmmmm, most people don't do that anymore. Its amazing to me how we all have forgotten how powerful words are and what they bring with them and cast upon the Earth. A hurtful word will travel around the globe within minutes, hurting anyone in its path. A kind word will linger......dancing sweetly with the person for whom it was meant before drifting and flitting about.Dancing and swaying to the music that kindness brings. Touching the souls and hearts of people everywhere.

And then there's the attack. The powerful note that slices like a hot sword....swoosh! Out of no where. A word meant to be, I don't know what, but words that when put together create such a powerful smack in the face that you feel blind-sided. And, you are blind-sided. These are the most dangerous of words. They create hurt, frustration, disgust, FEAR!!!!

Words. Be kind with them.

So, I'm awaiting the arrival of my books. I can't wait to get started and then share with you the journey to begin a lifetime of change. In the meantime, I have randomly opened the book The Prophet (yes, I like this book) and will choose another new and different course to take. "Then an old man, a keeper of an inn, said, Speak to us of Eating and Drinking." Eating and Drinking......oh boy!

"And he said: Would that you could live on the fragrance of the Earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light. But since you must kill to eat, and rob the newly born of its mother's milk to quench your thirst, let it then be an act of worship."

I was a vegetarian for eight years. I transitioned back to an omnivores diet after my first child was born. Since then, I have always quietly honored my food. Have I done that well? Probably not. I haven't ALWAYS thanked God for my meal. I haven't ALWAYS thought of the sacrifice of life, of energy. That seems terrible to me. Why haven't I. It really should be a ritual with every meal, snack, tea, treat. Something, someone, has given of itself/his or her self to give me what I will inevitably eat or drink.

"Let there be in your heart a song"

A song of praise. A blessing on this meal. May this meal be blessed and all that gave of themselves to make this meal possible.

"Earth who gives to us this food. Sun who makes it ripe and good. Dear Earth, Dear Sun by you we live. Our loving Thanks to you we give. AMEN"

I guess my buds of tomorrow shall blossom the ever fragrant praise and wonder of the food I eat and drink. I will become more aware of how I give Thanks for my nourishment.

Will you join me on this journey towards everlasting gratitude? Gratitude for new and different. Gratitude for words to speak. Gratitude for daily nourishment and the sacrifices that come with it.

"Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!" ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Let the Voice within your Voice Speak

Yet it begins again. Another year has passed. Another one begins. Millions of people laugh for their slates are now clean. Millions of people weep because this scares the sense right out of them. I.....am both. However, as John Greenleaf Whittier has said "No longer forward nor behind I look in hope or fear; But, grateful, take the good I find, The best of now and here." So.....this is what I shall be. Grateful. Grateful for all that is now behind me and all that is sure to come.

It has been an interesting experience to feel the urge to write down my thoughts. I'm not one for sharing, typically, and I'm not used to the feeling of....maybe I DO have something to share. This process leading up to the start of my Consciousness Cleanse and the re-organization of my life has opened up a vacuum-sealed shut door that is now releasing all of my inner thoughts that have swirled around, aimlessly, for decades. Whew! I'm glad I have some time to sort it all out first before I need to have my wits about me!

Today is a new day, as every day is. There is something so romantic about January 1. So glorious. So mysterious. What shall I do different today. Or new.......

"And the scholar said, Speak of Talking. And he answered, saying:
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime. And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered. For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.
When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue. Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear. For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the tast of the wine is remembered. When the colour is forgotten and the vessel is no more."

This is an excerpt from the book The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran and is also the inspiration behind the name of this blog.

New and Different. Well, one could always speak in a new tone or with different meaning. I know I could. Many a time has someone mistaken what I've said for something that wasn't intended. Sadly, because I would never set out to hurt someone with my words.....and I know I have. Today I will seek to speak with new meaing and a different tone. One that is more thoughtful and meaningful. I will look my husband in his eye when I tell him I love him. I will greet those I know and those I don't with a smile and a warm hello. I will begin a conversation for once with someone just because I want to.....over nothing, maybe just a "What a beautiful day today. Happy New Year!" Why not! What do I have to lose except maybe that little frown line between my eyes.

Living sure is a LOT of work, but isn't it worth it? Otherwise.....well......hmmmmm

Anyway, won't you join me? Join me in speaking with thought and meaning. Join me in having a different way to communicate with those among us. It can only make our lives that much more enriched and worth living.

~ Blessings ~
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