Archives for posts with tag: namaste

Life in the Information Age is pretty amazing. There are so many sources of information, so many formats, so may ways to share, to process, to filter, to understand…and so much to know. Realistically, ‘being a student of life’ is a journey that concludes only at the point at which life itself ends. There is so much knowledge available that repetition isn’t really necessary, and following hyperlinks wherever they may lead is the drug of choice for many an intellectual dilettante. The wellspring of knowledge never seems to run dry.  There are still choices to be made, verbs to apply…your results, and mine, may vary. Keeping up with it all is pretty challenging…We’re not only drowning in information, and in facts, we are provided misinformation, lies, and advertising slogans in similar quantity, forcing us to sort out bullshit from information pretty much continuously if we expect to hold on to some understanding of the world that is at least somewhat consistent with reality as a shared experience… But… We’re each having our own experience. Hell, even ‘placebo effect’ is a real thing that has real effects on actual people, in spite of ‘it doesn’t work that way’.

So…yeah… ‘reality’ and ‘truth’ and ‘facts’… how’s that working out for you?

Some of the rules are outside our power to change them.

Some of the rules are outside our power to change them.

 

What about when someone disagrees with your position, your emotions, or your experience? What then? Is ‘being right’ more important than being content? Is ‘winning’ more valuable than enjoying your experience?

What matters most?

What matters most?

What about when your experience of events, and your sense of self, find you feeling invisible, misunderstood, or a stranger to your loved ones, because you are not recognized as the being you experience yourself to be? Is correcting the erroneous assumptions and misunderstandings worthwhile in the moment? We are each having our own experience – which means that even our assumptions, expectations, and understanding of others, in the moment, is also truly our own; like so many things, our understanding of others is mostly made up, and not based entirely on our direct experience. Is contentment found in a quiet smile, and self-acceptance – or in ‘righting the wrong’?

Just be.

Just be.

 

Is it enough to be, and to understand being, from the vantage point of this self, that I am – or is there some need to assert some moment of self more explicitly to feel the powerful connection that comes with recognition, acceptance, and understanding by others? Is the connection worth enough to compromise authenticity – knowing that such a choice results in a poor quality connection, indeed?

Self-acceptance, self-esteem, self-compassion... there is value in knowing who I am.

Self-acceptance, self-esteem, self-compassion… there is value in knowing who I am.

Are there ‘right answers’…or simply my answers, or your answers?  These are only questions; I have no answers for you, only answers for me. I do think the questions have value… I keep considering them.

What else matters this much?

What else matters this much?

One last question… It’s a tough one, but the test is an open book sort; the world-wide web is vast, I’m sure you can Google it. What do you actually know about people who are most dear to you…and how much are you simply assuming?

Change is. Choose wisely.

Change is. Choose wisely.

Today is a good day to test assumptions, to ask clarifying questions, and to recognize one another in the moment. Today is a good day to embrace love, because it has more value than ‘being right’. Today is a good day to check facts, cite sources, and know myself. Today is a good day to trust that no one else knows me like I do. 🙂

I slept rather poorly and feel a little groggy, and less sharp than usual. The morning is quiet and gentle on my consciousness. The house is still. I feel generally content, calm, and if not delighted, certainly I feel decently well and whole. My coffee tastes very good, and the heat of the cup warms my hands. I feel rather stiff, and movement is more awkward than I’d like it to be – and this will likely ease with a bit more yoga, some walking, and getting the day going. My pain is ‘managed’, and simply exists in the background in a less noteworthy way than it often does. Spring is here, summer on its way, and for a few weeks I will likely get some measure of relief from the worst of my pain, before autumn returns.

In general, this morning is quite lovely, relaxed, and quiet. This leisurely stillness and these few relaxed moments in the morning, are a favorite feature of life, for me.

In contrast with the stillness and calm of the morning, itself, I notice my bed is in a total state of disarray. Odd, because I often sleep in a very still way, without overturning or disturbing the covers  much at all – often enough, that it is quite characteristic of my sleep. Nights like last night look almost as if someone else slept in my bed, or perhaps a very small tornado hit just right there, in the middle of the bed. With the restless night behind me, I don’t stop to wonder ‘why’ or to probe the remnants of my dreams for answers. It isn’t truly relevant to my waking experience of ‘now’, and pursuing idle curiosity about forgotten dreams sometimes leads into darkness. I have no time for darkness, today.

Sometimes the path I walk seems well lit.

Sometimes the path I walk seems bathed in light.

There are quiet a few opportunities along my journey to choose to continue on, rather than taking the time to become mired in something painful, awkward, or unpleasant. Like any solo hike, I’m sort of ‘on my own’ in life, making my own choices, pursuing my own goals, learning the life lessons most relevant to me in the moment, and finding my own way out of the darkness. Solo hiking is good metaphor, here, especially because even solo hiking is rarely entirely utterly solitary throughout; we pass by each other on the trail, sometimes we walk alongside a friend and our journey is less solitary for some while, we have chance encounters with strangers on their own journeys, we reach out to others for connection, contact, or help. It’s still our own journey. We are each having our own experience. Life is a long solo hike through moments, hours, days, years…I am fortunate that, in spite of the chaos and damage, I know love.

Sometimes the path seems more challenging; it's helpful to have something to hold on to.

Sometimes the path seems more challenging; it’s helpful to have something to hold on to.

Knowing love, sometimes I find myself suffering; I occasionally blame love, itself, for my choice to suffer. It’s not actually the fault of love that I am capable of suffering over, or for, or about love; it’s a very human thing, tending to indicate I am unskilled at love and loving, more than saying anything about love’s own qualities.

Since we’re human beings, we make mistakes. We cause others to suffer. We hurt our loved ones, and we feel regret. But without making mistakes, there is no way to learn. If you can learn from your mistakes, then you have already transformed garbage into flowers. Very often, our mistakes come from our unskillfulness, and not because we want to harm one another.”

from “How to Love” by Thich Nhat Hanh

I continue to practice, to be a student of love, and to take to heart such wisdom as I find in the world that speaks to me. I continue to walk on, to walk it off, to walk away from what doesn’t work well for me, to continue toward practices and choices that work well for me, and tend to strengthen my ability to love, and to love well. I’m not seeking an achievement, a goal, an award, or any recognition on this one; it is the journey that matters, and the choices I make along the way. I regularly stumble on missed ‘take care of me, first’ moments, as if not noticing a snag along a trail; I learn from each miss how important good self-care is, whether it is taking my Rx medication on time, keeping an eye on my blood sugar, getting enough rest, or simply showing myself some kindness in the face of some mistake or another. I am only able to love well when I am also very high on my list of people I love…really high on my list. Like… first. Sure, sometimes I do find it hard to put me at the top of my list; the effort to do so, and to treat myself truly well, pays off in how much more easily I am able to love others when I am well-cared for from within. Experience suggests that when I care for myself well, and treat myself with kindness and affection, I am also easier to love. So…no down side to treating myself well, then. 🙂

One moment of many; an opportunity to breathe, to observe, and to be.

One moment of many; an opportunity to breathe, to observe, and to be.

It’s a lovely day for forward momentum, and a lovely day to walk my own path. Today is a good day to enjoy my experience of myself, and to embrace and nurture the qualities of heart and mind that I value in myself.  Today is a good day to smile at strangers and wish them well; they are each walking a path of their own choosing, toward an unknown destination, and worthy of well-wishes wishes, consideration, and good-natured regard. Today is a good day to look ahead with gratitude and appreciation. Today is a good day to change the world.

I am the hiker. I am the flower along the trail.

I am the hiker. I am the flower along the trail.

There’s very little we human primates do that is truly isolated from the rest, so unique and strange as to be impossible to relate to or identify with, so much so that when we behave in a fashion that is ‘out of the ordinary’ within the context of our experience not only do our friends, loved ones, and every day associates notice, so do strangers. We are interdependent, inter-associated, and interacting with each other – even when we are alone, generally, unless we sit utterly silent, motionless, and disconnected from all technology as well…which doesn’t happen for many of us, or doesn’t happen often, certainly not by choice. (I suggest it might be healthier for our own being if we did step away more than once in a while to be truly alone, and free of distraction…)  What my point is, though, is that we see each other, even when we are not really watching, and when an individual in the herd, pack, band, tribe, or community deviates from recognized norms it is noticed.

Just sayin’. You are not invisible. People notice. They probably care – what they don’t have is a window into your experience. Opening up and being who you are, because it is who you are, can be a scary process – particularly if you’ve made your way in life by wearing a mask, telling a story, or hiding your truth.

Life and love, linked and entwined, they are what we make of them.

Life and love, linked and entwined, they are what we make of them. [TBA ‘untitled’ M.R.H. 2014]

I spent the weekend painting. In that respect my weekend was entirely and completely about me. It was quite lovely, filled with wonder, and I’m pleased with the new work. I’d leave it there, but I am a human primate, loving other human primates, and living in a family, a small band of friends, a community of people; there’s more to it than me. There’s always more to it than ‘me’. Saturday was lovely, easy, and felt natural and right pretty nearly end to end, and seemed so for all of us. Sunday less so. Other people, other choices, and there’s always room for more than one experience. I had a remarkable day painting, nonetheless, and enjoyed sharing time with my traveling partner, reading, hanging out, talking… it was lovely. My other partner was doing her own thing.

Yesterday had been planned differently; I planned to go hiking in the morning. The lovely Saturday evening, though, resulted in a request for a morning at home together, shared as a family. I happily changed my plans. Things went sideways early, and I’m pleased at how easy it has become for me to roll with changes; I like planning things, and function most comfortably when I have some loose idea of what’s to be expected. It is a powerful piece of growth, and marvelously powerful, to be so able to smile in the face of unwanted drama, change, and the randomness of life itself. There is so much less turmoil within, now.  I’m still not skilled at getting at the root of OPD and making the changes I need to, to ensure I can easily and with great contentment avoid being sucked into someone else’s drama. I can’t – and don’t want to – control someone else’s experience, choices, values or behavior; I have all the control in the world over my own. Choices.

For me The Big 5 really matter. Respect, and Consideration are huge. Openness is non-negotiable. Compassion and Reciprocity are essential to treating others, and myself, truly well. Nothing short of treating myself well, making choices that meet my needs over time, and treating others in accordance with my own Big 5 – as a minimum standard of decency for me – is acceptable at all these days. I am building my own experience on principles of mindfulness, perspective, and sufficiency, sure – but it’s my Big 5 on which I build my relationships with others, and what I require from others to build one with me.

What we build, what we destroy, are made of our own choices in life and in love.

What we build, what we destroy, are made of our own choices in life and in love.  [TBA ‘untitled’ M.R.H. 2014]

It’s a quiet chill Monday morning. My coffee is hot, and the tone of the morning is gentle. My traveling partner is up early, and I’ll enjoy the time I share with him, before heading to the office for a very different experience – one that I still base on my Big 5, because it’s a good way to treat others, and to be treated myself.

Today is a good day for choices that meet my needs over time. Today is a good day to stand on my strengths as a being, and as a woman. Today is a good day to smile and enjoy the small delights that are always there in the moment. Today is a good day to appreciate any connection I enjoy with another; our connections are what it is all about. Today is a good day to change the world.

"Namaste" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas. 2014 It's about the intention as much as the words.

“Namaste” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas. 2014 It’s about the intention as much as the words.