Time flies

Old Clocks

Old Clocks (Photo credit: servus)

How do you describe time passing? Is it by the moments, the events that have happened? Or is it something more fundamental, but less tangible like the intensity of our focus? True, there are clocks, heart beats, wrinkles that can gauge the tempo of life, but the more you poke around the concept of time the more it falls apart. It gets left right out of some physics equations altogether. It is as if it is just too messy, to arbitrary to deal with in a strict mathematical description of how the world works.

 

There are indelible moments in life where seconds hold the essence of the story. In one second, I was a woman, in the next second I was a mother; there are defining events that mark life. I am fascinated by the experience of time slowing down when we are intently focused on the present moment. Somehow, our attention to this one eternal moment of presence alters reality. If life is a stream, focus on the present moment is like living in the eddy. The world is racing, unaware, forward, and you get to stay still, anchored in clarity.

 

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Making change

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Rumbles of thunder flash past my window.
Change, hmm, no transformation, is on its way to me.
Waiting for the one final deep breathe that signals the start, the launching.
To swim in a sea of air and have lightning bolts comb my hair, this is the new adventure before me.

Strength in vulnerability

If the times of great adversity inspire great strength, then are we not strongest when we are weakest? Bless those miserable days, because we always grow and transform the fastest when there is a fire under our bums!

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.

Impermanence

A key practice in Buddhism is to contemplate the impermanence of the world. The idea is to derive happiness from within, rather from something or someone external. If you rely to heavily on others for happiness, then when they are gone you suffer. As you let go of attachments to the world of form, you are supposed to get more and more happy. Enlightened.

This has always made sense to me when thinking about material objects. It is all just stuff that you can’t take with you. Letting go of people is altogether different. It makes no sense to me that I should have to let anyone I love go after they pass away. I understand needing to let go of their physical presence. While difficult, that is something I can accept in time. I used to have difficulty understanding why you would need to let go of the love. Now I know I had it all wrong. Love is eternal, loved ones are eternal, fond memories are eternal. There is no need to let go of permanent things like that.

I can hold them in my mind. They stay in my heart. I recognize their eternal presence everywhere I look. And when I focus on them being present, eternal and vibrant, I no longer suffer.

Just because I cannot see you does not mean you are not there.

Do you do the Do-over?

If you had a magic time portal doohickey that could let you rewind a moment in your past and live it again, would you? Fans of “Being Erica” have already thought about this one. There is a certain allure to being able to use the gift of hindsight to change events that turned out badly for us. Except that without those bad moments, we wouldn’t have the wisdom know what to do differently.

So for me, I would choose to stay here, in the sometimes uncomfortable present, and embrace my hard-won wisdom. Though it would be a tempting thing. 🙂

Making People Happy 101

English: Classroom in SIM University.
Image via Wikipedia

The first thing to know in this class is that you will fail it. Sorry.You have signed up for a semester of learning pleasing conversation, wearing fashionable clothes and picking that perfect gift. All of which will do diddly squat. Yes. I said diddly.

You could have taken a class in something useful, like Spanish, or mind expanding, like Physics, or even just plain fun, like Painting. Instead, you are here, in this dingy classroom, sitting in a chipped desk, under the only fluorescent bulb that is flicking. Thumbs up.

Perhaps you may learn something in this class that could help you yet. Maybe you could learn to make only one person happy. Pick someone close to you. No. closer. Yes, that’s right. You.

If I had renamed this class Making Yourself Happy 101, you might have had a chance of passing. Except, if you stuck around to get a grade then you would fail. Nice choice.

So do yourself a favor, drop this class. Pick another. Take training in something that means something special to you. Travel to wonderful places. Hey, you could even just go get a nice coffee from a local shop and sit there sipping from an actual mug; and not letting your seat go a moment before you are finished (even if you are getting the hover/glare from other patrons). Just do anything, other than this. Then, you would have made just one important person happy, YOU.

Year Ending – Year Beginning

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Image by openDemocracy via Flickr

In a few short days this year will be over and a new one begun. The cycle completed and started all at the same time. It is natural to review the events of the year and to make plans for the next one. This clearing out process is very important to our well-being. Can we celebrate the endings as much as the beginnings? Letting things go is a skill. As we shed the objects, beliefs, and behaviours that no longer serve us, we make room for new growth and opportunities in our lives.

Think about surrendering your past and letting go of your future at the same time. Both past and future are abstractions we construct in our minds. Once the moment has passed, it no longer exists. We retain a record of our experiences in order to learn and develop, but our past is not our life. Our life is lived in the present moment, only. Thinking about the future is really the same as thinking about the past, since we often project forward our expectations based on our previous experiences.

So embrace 2012 the same way we embraced 2011, one moment at a time.

These are the answers to all questions

  1. Let Go.
  2. No editing.
  3. Breathe & Feel.

 

Confident Steps – Finding the Foundation

Walden by Henry David Thoreau, influential ear...

Image via Wikipedia

In preparing to write this post, I wanted to get the proper quote and attribution for:

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

It turns out it is from Henry David Thoreau, but that is not the original quote at all. That learns me! Thanks to Wikiquote, the original quote is not as easily inked on coffee mugs and journal covers, but it has lots of meaty philosophy to bite our canines into. Here it is:

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

I clearly need to read Walden, the source of this quote, for myself and not rely on pop culture to teach me these things. 😉

This is an interesting start to a post that was to be devoted to confidence. Stepping into a full life, unhampered by compulsive approval seeking is something that I thought I had mastered well enough to provide some advice. Gotta love a few reality checks along the way! So the absolute truth is that I will never stop learning and having new experiences, meaning I will never be perfect. But I also know that sitting on the sidelines waiting to measure up to some lofty, saint-like standard is not helpful either. How often do we put our dreams on pause until we have enough time, money or approval?

Thoreau wisely offers us the advice to not destroy our high hopes, our “castles in the air”, but to bring these dreams to life by building their foundations. We must live the life of our dreams, because it is the only one we have got. Our greatest dreams and great solutions to great problems need to be brought into the world. Sitting back and waiting for someone else to do it is not going to get us anywhere. Within each of us is a unique talent and ability, the world is waiting for those gifts to be shared.

So… Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off to great places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So… Get on your way.

~ Dr. Suess

It is this simple: Live your juicy, delicious life; dream your beautiful, curly dreams; and watch your success unfold.

 

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