this is not how I would like to end one year and begin another…
I got an argument with my sister today. I am not sure what upset me so much. Perhaps a large part of it has to do with the obsession over looks our world has. And after a summer which my daughter spent in a residential treatment for an eating disorder, I may be overly sensitive. I recognize that. I do not know any women who are not concerned with their appearance, their bodies, myself included. I guess I am just sick of it from all sides. I am tired of a society that values what is on the outside more than what is on the inside. And I am fed up with the role women play in this. We flaunt ourselves and then turn around and shame ourselves.
This year, I resolve to not play the victim to this hypocrisy. We, as women, perpetuate this culture more than men do. We have taken over as the abuser…we tell ourselves we are ugly, or fat, or not good enough. We dismiss compliments and compete against other women. We spend too much money on clothes, makeup, hair, supporting the industry that fills our minds and feeds our fragile egos.
This year, I will look at myself and thank God for the healthy body given me. I will talk about myself in a positive way. I will accept compliments graciously. I will recognize my own innate beauty as well as that of other women. I will help create the world I want to see and live in.
It is solstice…at last. The days will finally be getting longer. I love Portland so much, and finally feel as if I am making some connection and feelings of community, but the lack of sun is difficult to live with. I am not sure why it is harder now. Perhaps it has built up over the years. I need the sun. As much as I try to lead a spiritually centered life, I am in a physical body and I really like the sun. I really need it. Everyday is a struggle to stay awake. My body is growing tired of the dark, but the thought of moving somewhere else is a bit daunting…where exactly would I go?
Until then, everyday is a practice of staying here.
2010. Just around the corner. I heard mention of New Year”s Resolutions a few days ago and thought to myself…”I haven’t made one of those in a long while.” They fall in line right behind “things I give ups for Lent.” No longer a Catholic, I don’t feel compelled to necessarily give up anything, but I did make a transition in my thinking about the Lenten practice years ago. I decided to give up things I really wanted to give up in my life…or conversely acquire skills I was lacking. One year I gave up talking negatively about myself. That was tough, and I still slip into more often than I would like. One year I decided to “be good with names”…taking the time actually learn a person’s name. It really did work.
This year, this new year, I am thinking along the same lines….only bigger. If you can only achieve what you dream, might as well dream big.
So what am I going create for myself this year? I am going to put into practice all that I say I believe in….really walk the talk as it were. It’s not that I don’t try to do right now, but if I am most honest with myself, I have been doing a half assed job at it. A half assed job has gotten me by…..I can only imagine what a full effort can do for me. I’m not waiting for January 1st…I am starting today.
I am not the words
that identify me
who I am
If I take away the labels..
mother, daughter, sister,
If I take away the descriptors…
If I take away
that gives me form
who am I then?
who am I
without the name
beingness has no identity
I simply am..
I simply am.
the veil of delusion..Maharshi
The Good News? Radical transformation of human consciousness is possible.
a meditation that can get help with depression.
SUDARSHAN CHAKRA KRIYA :
Sit with a straight spine. Look at the tip of the nose or eyes closed, as you prefer.Block the right nostril with the right thumb. Inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril. Hold the breath. Mentally chant Wahe Guru 16 times, pumping the navel point (below the belly button) 3 times with each repetition, once on Wa, once on Hey and once on GURU (total of 48 pumps). If this is too challenging, pump once per Wahe Guru for a total of 16 pumps. Unblock the right nostril. Use the right index or pinkie finger to block off the left nostril and exhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril. Continue this way.
This literally clears your internal garbage, purifying and giving you pranic (life force energy of the breath) power. Start gradually and even if you can work up to 31 or even 62 minutes a day it is good.
I will be doing this daily and will notice how this effects my depression. I started this two days ago, and did it only for a short period of time, but can say that I feel better already. Can I say it is this meditation? Maybe not. Can I say it wasn’t this meditation…
I was writing out Christmas cards a few days ago when I came upon the names of four people in my address book who have passed away this year. My grandparents are included in these four. I keep forgetting that they are no longer alive. Their presence was just a fact of life. While I did not see my grandparents very often, I kept in touch, calling them, sending them letters. My grandmother was in so much pain for so many of her later years. She confided in me more than once that she was ready to die. She had lived a good life, but her life now was full of physical pain that wouldn’t go away. She was ready to be out of pain. There is nothing wrong with that. She died in a nursing home.
My grandfather seemed to fall apart after that. He was taking care of himself, and refused to go in an assisted living place. I think if he had done that, he would be still be alive and leading a pretty good life. He had a friend in one of the facilities the family looked at. This friend loved it there. There were people around, there were trips and activities…someone to cook and help clean. I think my grandfather wanted someone from the family to take him into their home and care for him. But sadly, no one really could. My grandfather’s needs were greater than any one person could handle.
Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like had my father’s career not had us moving around so much. Would I have known my grandparents better, and my cousins. What would it have been like to grow up near my extended family. Just thoughts.
I miss my grandparents very much. I am a piece of them…and during this season I will hold them close in my heart.
“Intelligence and spiritual practice don’t necessarily go hand in hand.” I am paraphrasing a friend, he said this over breakfast this morning. It gave me pause. It made me realize that I had always thought otherwise, but for no good reason really. Reason and passion..not always on the same page. I know that, I have lived that.
Have I needed my spiritual practice to be “smart?” Has it ever been “smart?” Does it need to be? I don’t know. I have never really thought about it. I have thought of myself as a decently smart person. Smart enough, more street smart than book smart. My spiritual beliefs have been experiential. My practice all over the place, but often filled with hope and imagination. I don’t always tie intelligence to imagination. Maybe I should.
I am not sure what I believe. I know that my path is one of Love. I am not sure I need to know more than that, believe more than that. What else could I possibly need to know more? Really. Just love. Choose love…when given the choice, when the opportunity arises, to fill the time, to live into my purpose…love.
That seems the most intelligent choice.
maybe that’s not a totally fair statement..but I can’t help but believe it.
I do believe in God.
I believe that God is Love.
I believe this Love is free
I believe this Love loves everyone
who don’t believe
in this God
in this Love
I believe one day
we, the atheists and I,
we will have a good laugh
and a good cry
what it was