Happy Life

All roads lead home.

Happiness is an internal quality. It’s source is internal. A brief decision, a choice, to turn the mind toward expansive thoughts.

The concept that happiness is a choice is the very first step in being happy. The second step is choosing happiness now and now and now. To keep making the choice, despite the circumstances. To no longer wait. To fully embrace every experience as a start of hope, of courage, of life.

Life is happening now. Your life is happening now. Choose happy.

Advertisements

Dangling from the moon

False-color image of the Moon taken by the Gal...

False-color image of the Moon taken by the Galileo orbiter showing geological features. NASA photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following a dream is a twisty turny path. Launching anything new, from a wine store to a new baby is a heady mix of chaos and euphoria. The roller coaster metaphor goes a long way with me, since that sickly rushing in the pit of the stomach followed by a series of compressions and decompressions pretty much define how I feel most of the time when starting a new project. The thought “This might actually work!” races through my mind and I am at once exhilarated and petrified.

Crossing into new territory requires a hopeful heart. There must be hope for dreams to enter. There are solutions in a hopeful mind that are not available otherwise. I have caught myself numerous times this week talking about what I don’t want. Words that are not in harmony with my desires clang and bang against my head. My sensitivity has been turned way up. I notice myself parroting negative affirmations and I must stop and wash out my own ears. Did I really just say that?

This growth stuff is a continual process. Every life experience brings more to unravel and learn. I have joyful appreciation for my lapses into negative talk, because I notice them. Having cleaned up a bunch of the ‘big stuff’, cleared out the big issues, in my life I am hyper aware of even minor discomfort. This is really good, because before I was unconscious to my own words. Now they shout in my ears.

The courage to be me. It is a beautiful thing, to meet someone who lives from their essence. You can see them sparkling from a mile away. I am, in truth, a sparkling divine being, and so are you. I am so happy to be swinging on a star and sliding down the moon. I would rather dance on the edge of creation and risk being called a loon than perpetually wait in the sidelines for external approval.

So here I sit. On the moon. Living from the moment at the top of the roller coaster.

Thinking outrageous thoughts

In a very profound meditation CD, Sri Siva challenges your mind to defy logic and think outrageous thoughts. That phrase has stuck with me. It is a very freeing idea, to challenge your whole self to think beyond your usual patterns. It seems to be the theme lately. “You cannot solve problems with the same thoughts that created them.” I think this is an Einstein quote, or maybe someone else who is wise.

There is a general relaxation that occurs in the mind when we get a brilliant new idea. It is a paradox that we have to stop thinking for a while, or relax our brains somehow, to allow a new thought to get its shoe in. Just ponder that, thoughts wearing shoes.

How many times do I say “not sure what to do here, I think I’ll go for a walk/sleep/play”, only to get the idea handed to me in a moment of relaxation. Many. Too many. I’m considering permanently turning my logical mind off, just so I can receive more lateral thoughts.

All those slideskipjump thoughts that are revolutionary. The thoughts that change the world, change a life. Those are thoughts that enter on cat feet and pounce on your still mind. The thoughts that revolutionize and mystify, they require a willing partner on their wild romp through mystic portals.

😀

Fermentation

After spending the last few months falling in love (again) with fermented foods, I just adore the concept of fermentation. In Sandor Katz’s book ‘Wild Fermentation‘, he talks about fermentation being an agent of change in our society. I have to say that I swoon over words like these. I am a hopeless idealist (or is it hopeful?). Yes! I am a hopeful idealist! I like spending more time thinking about how brilliant we are as humans and how we have the collective ability to sort out most of the issues that face our world.

This is where the metaphor of fermentation really gets bubbling. For so many years, we have been packaged and processed, much like our food. There has been a great cultural homogenization that has happened and bringing fermentation back into our kitchens is a powerful first step. Why? Why does food matter? Why would retrieving and experimenting with old time methods of food preparation mater? Because food is basic to life. Unless you have become a sungazer, drawing your prana from the sun, you need food to eat. Food is more than calories and macronutrients, it is energy, vibration. The vibration you consume as food affects your whole body-mind. Everyone knows the curative properties of Grandma’s cookies. Food prepared with love and consumed with gratitude is completely different than food that is plopped down by uncaring hands waiting for a shift change. There is a huge array of biochemical changes that occur when we digest food, and our emotional state is directly tied to our bodies.

So making food that makes you feel good, that is nourishing and healthy, that uses local ingredients, that bubbles with life, this is a recipe for health. But there is more. The process of fermentation is slow. It relies on a few brave pioneering microbes to get the party started. Slowly, the change bubbles through the whole dish, and the food is transformed. I think change, lasting change is like this; a few brave pioneers, with a radical view of a harmonious world, begin to share their vision with anyone who is near, they just beam and bubble with their enthusiasm and dream. The dream catches the imagination and slowly, the whole world is bubbling. A complete transformational shift, to love, to harmony, occurs as if overnight.

More appreciation

• summer festivals
• nourishing rains
• ripening strawberries
• giggling superheroes
• local vegetables
• miso soup
• freshly sharpened pencil crayons
• independence
• reading in a cosy bed

Appreciate Feet

Feet flex and move, they bend and spring. Each step brings a contraction and a release. The foot is sturdy. there is a solidity in a foot, yet it is still resilient. Feet spring back after miles and miles of pounding, they arch back up into a blessed arc. Toes are the smartest part of your body, they always know which direction you are pointing. Our feet are the connecting principle to earth energy, our foundation. The footprint, is sacred. A connection with the primordial mother; we press our demanding feet against her belly and hope that she will not oust us from her temple. Put your feet up; the first step in relaxing. Honor these feet, your own feet, for they will walk far.

Summertime

Summer solstice, the full sun wraps her warm blanket over her northern children. The turning of the great wheel of the year notches forward one click. These precious warm days filled with the hum of bees and green wide leaves stretch open wide. More hours are generously added to these sunlit days and lilac scented nights. And we need them to soak up the last giggle and the last swing and slide of our playground life.

Mindfulness

In Buddhism there is a mindfulness exercise where you contemplate a flower. I examining the parts of the flower you hold in your mind the essence of what makes up the flower. It is sort of a “the whole is more than the sum of its parts” kind of meditation. This is a beautifully simple meditation, but I have often wondered… What does the flower think when it is looking at you?

The consciousness present in the flower must be regarding you in some capacity. What wisdom would there be?

Learning Spanish

This is the best idea I have seen in a while. The website Duolingo.com offers free online Spanish lessons in exchange for translating websites from English to Spanish and back again. It is fascinating. A hugely ambitious project, to increase the dialogue between cultures and remove barriers to understanding. There are also French (in beta) and German options. I am really pleased with the interface and the lesson quality. More than that, I appreciate the wish to understand another, to communicate, to share. These things can be difficult enough just using one language, but there is an element of goodwill, of forgiveness when communicating between languages.

Scary Monsters

Ellen Ripley

Ellen Ripley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is it about the monster archetype we find so compelling? I recently re-watched a few of the Aliens movies starring Sigourney Weaver. These movies are a fascinating exploration of the concept of monster. There is the actual monster, the alien, but also a variety of people who have monstrous qualities. There are the saboteurs, the profiteers, and the deniers. These are all aspects of the monster. It is hard to piece out what is the most disturbing aspect, the visceral fright of a monster leaping out of nowhere, or the slow erosion of hope when the truth is not believed. These different faces of the monster are also encountered in daily life, which makes a movie about monsters very relatable.

I freely admit to being scared by these movies. Of course it doesn’t take much, I have an active imagination and a heightened sense of empathy. So I wonder why I watch in the first place. Part of it is the sense of relief when the monster is conquered. The huge turmoil that is stirred up by the movie ends when the movie finds it conclusion; the heroine has won. We can all relate to the sense of peace that descends when an obstacle has been overcome.

Scary movies also provide a relatively safe place to explore extremes of emotion, that most people do not normally encounter. There is a thrill involved. I think there is something about the adrenaline rush, no matter what its source, that keeps us coming back for more. This is shown with a quick scan of the top box office hits on IMDB.com. It quickly becomes clear that a big scary monster, or a monstrous situation, captivates audiences. It is also clear that a resolution of the fright is an important element in how popular a movie becomes. I think without the resolution the movie becomes more like watching the news than entertainment.

For me, I know that I carefully select how much adrenalin producing movies I watch. I love film and cinematography. I love a good story. But I also love my peace of mind. Images can stick with me for days afterwards. There are still lines from ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ that I cannot hear, even though I only watched the movie once when it first was in the theatres (gasp, that is 21 years ago). Most of the time, I deliberately choose fluffy movies that are formulaic and hopefully a little funny. Are they great stories? No, and that is just fine by me. I am quite happy sticking to to a romantic comedy. I guess that is the final piece of why I watch these movies, someone else is watching them and I would rather spend time together and be agreeable than to politely bow out and save my sanity. I can say no (I’m good at that now), but I want to be a tough girl and not be scared by the monster. Of course, I almost always am scared.

My reaction to movies probably puts me in the ‘too sensitive’ category in life. I used to spend a lot of time trying to toughen up, trying to become immune to the horrible parts of the earthly experience. Trying to emulate the toughness in characters like Ellen Ripley or Sarah Connor. If I could just get lean muscles like they had, I could maybe defeat the monsters in my life. Of course, most of my monsters were pretty tame in comparison, but no less adrenalin producing. Unlike movies, my challenges could not be defeated by a flame thrower, but by steady, persistent internal work to silence the negative self-talk that hounded my every decision.

When I gave up trying to be tough, I found the great beauty in being soft. The absolute gift of being flexible and sensitive is the basis of my work. I can see and sense things that most people miss. I could not do that if I was too tough. I was fortunate to have stumbled upon some wonderful teachers and authors who revere the benefits of the sensitive type. Cheryl Richardson is one of those teachers and gives a great discussion about sensitivity in this video:

 

So, I will probably continue to watch the occasional scary movie, but I will always embrace the gift of being scared. The sensitivity is worth it.

Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: