Tea time

 

Cakes for tea??

Cakes for tea?? (Photo credit: joanneteh_32(loving Laduree))

 

I was reminded today of how much I loved teatime as a kid. Full with tiny cups and saucers and air for tea. I still love it. Though now I use actual tea and hot water instead of imagination. Today though, I used the playtime teatime to bring my imagination to my writing. Huzzah!

 

I often wonder if we are at our most creative when we are four or five. We would be old enough to have some pithy experiences in life, but young enough to not be ‘schooled’ out of our inherent imaginative play. Perhaps creativity as an adult is only based on tapping into the imaginative youngster you used to be.

 

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.

Postaday2012? I think so!

After starting posting daily since October, it is an easy decision to continue and have a new year of posting in 2012. That being said, I spent about an hour thinking of what I could write about tonight. By ‘thinking’ I really meant ‘catching up on my Jon LaJoie videos’. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Holidays

English: Four children reading the book How th...

Image via Wikipedia

The calendar is creeping slowly toward Christmas and I find something odd happening. I am beginning to love the Holidays. Now, I have always liked the Holiday season, I’m no Grinch, but I am finding this Holiday to be a magical time.

Maybe it is having a little boy who is just starting to understand the whole Christmas thing. I get to experience, re-experience, the joy of Christmas. Every morning my little guy sits patiently on the floor waiting for me to plug in the lights on the Christmas tree. We bake cookies together and watch ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ (the real one with the cartoons). Then he runs around the house singing the Who songs. Somehow, his unconditional approach to new experiences has caught. So here I am revelling in the magic of fir trees and twinklely lights.

Happy Holidays.

Cocoa and Kisses

kids_streetten little fingers curl protectively around the small mug
we silently sip
a brief still moment shared
between blocks and trains and cars and catch
a pause to colour
then off to storytime and pretend and hide and seek
superheros have thoughtful conversations with cowboys and spacemen
on the ride to the zoo and park and store
ten little toes stomp in dinosaur tracks
across the toy-filled living room
tears chase smiles
across sweet smooth cheeks
serious tumbles after silly on a fast paced parade

we dance and wrestle and hug
as it is first bath then bed then book
a session, procession, recession
a tug and pull and push
to play all the way through to
sweet dreams

the walls fall silent and listen to themselves
the air gently settles to a soft hum
so still when the whirlwind sleeps
the restless wreckage of play
gets packed away
reloaded in the toybin with an explosive hinge

lavender shades of dawn
embrace a small voice at the edge of the bed
two bony knees and two sharp elbows
tuck wrestelessly into the cozy parabola
that once held a tiny baby
springy, silly, bounding
bouncing out of bed
and back to busyness.

The World’s Best Cat

I love Maru. I wish he didn’t live in Japan, but lived in my house instead.

๐Ÿ™‚

The power of praise

Sometimes, it is all too easy to criticize. We offer our opinion on any number of subjects with the misguided idea that we may somehow be helping the person to be better or correct their presumed deficiencies. But when the critical arrow is pointed at us, we suddenly see the injustice. In subjective fields, like writing or art, it becomes increasingly apparent that criticism is not truth, just opinion. In this world there is something for everyone.

ร  chacun son goรปt

Watch this video to see what I mean.

The people in this video are one, important thing. Brave. Think of the courage it takes to dance at all, let alone in public.

Looking for the things to praise in another can train your inner critic to take it easy on you. The less our inner critic runs the show, the more creative and free we are. So sing, dance, be!

Grade Five PS22 Chorus Sings my Favorite Song

I seem to be new here. This is the first I have heard of the PS22 Chorus. I’m loving how I have been learning things lately. I was searching for a version of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” which was my favorite song in about Grade 4 or 5, and I ‘discovered’ PS22 Chorus. ๐Ÿ™‚ They have played for President Obama. Seriously. How did I not know this?

So inspired by a teacher who inspires.

Enlighten up!

Laughter is the Sun - Victor Hugo Quote

Image by Chiot's Run via Flickr

Enlightenment. This is serious business. No room for jokes. Or is it? I had the privilege of seeing the Dalai Lama speak, twice, once in Calgary and once in Vancouver. Both times I was delighted by his sense of humor. I found it surprising how effortlessly he wove lighthearted humor in with some very serious discussions. It was the perfect example of taking your work seriously, but not taking yourself seriously.

One of my favourite books that helped me out of a deep state of depression many years ago is “Lighten Up: Survival Skills for People Under Pressure” by C.W. Metcalf and Roma Felible. One of the best things I have read was their chapter ‘Escape from the Centre of the Universe”. In it the authors drew a rectangle, representing the known universe; then drew a dot in the centre, representing the centre of the universe; and then mark an X waaaay in the corner, and marked the X with the words “You are here”.

It cracked me up. In that laughter I broke through months of self-imposed loneliness and isolation and started truly living. I was no longer content to wait until I sorted out my problems before I could be happy. I decided to be happy. It was a completely radical thought that I could just choose my thoughts. It worked.

The more I study Buddhism, Taoism and many other wisdom traditions, the more I am convinced that enlightenment can be chosen, just like happiness. The key to both is the continual choice to remain in that state in each moment. The true challenge is not getting happy or having a moment of blissful union with the Divine oneness, but staying there. It takes consistent training and practice to live from a place of altered awareness, like happiness.

When we are new to this happiness thing, it can seem forced and silly. Just the same when we are new to any other spiritual discipline, like compassion or forgiveness, it feels odd and unnatural. But all these mental and emotional states can be trained by changing our behaviours. A small subtle shift in perception can be the first step.

The best medicine

Laughter

Image via Wikipedia

Ever laugh so hard you snort? I was rewatching “My Name is Earl” on Netflix tonight and I snorted with laughter, and not just once either. What a great feeling, laughing with total abandon, without trying to make it pretty. Our society has an odd relationship with laughter. There is a right volume, right pitch, right duration and right timing. Defy any one of these rules of merriment and you face odd looks or even ridicule. So many rules just to have fun. No wonder adults don’t laugh as much as kids. Indeed to grow up is all too often linked with getting serious and stopping all the laughing.

So silly really. Laughter releases wave after wave of endorphins, the body’s own opium, and in turn boosts the immune system. That endorphin hit is probably the reason behind getting a fit of the giggles. We all have felt the tension releasing lightness following a good laugh. Our interaction with each other is smoother after we share a communal laugh. Laughter is the lubricant.

My hope is that one day everyone feels free to laugh as long and as hard as they like. Without being shushed or admonished. A few months ago I went to the Garden Variety Show in Calgary. There was a lady in the audience who had a delightful snorty kind of laugh. Her laugh was natural and sincere. She bravely made no effort to cover up her unusual laugh. On a subtle level she gave us all permission to laugh as we liked, natural and unguarded. It made the fantastic show all the more enjoyable. It was probably the best comedy I have seen live in my life. But maybe it wasn’t the jokes that made it so good, maybe it was just the permission to laugh with abandon.

When we have the courage to be ourselves, we give everyone around us permission to do the same. So practice your snorty laugh and make it a habit. ๐Ÿ˜€

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