mAgNoLia 2

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Moving Forward

This was recently posted on the Dalai Lama’s Facebook page; “Although we are all the same in not wanting problems and wanting a peaceful life, we tend to create a lot of problems for ourselves. Encountering those problems, anger develops and overwhelms our mind, which leads to violence. A good way to counter this and to work for a more peaceful world is to develop concern for others. Then our anger, jealousy and other destructive emotions will naturally weaken and diminish.”

A gentleman by the name of Wong Wee Kiong responded, “It is ideal to have mutual concerns. But we are entering a cold period with less influences from religions, it is a very hard time ahead....

We are simply entering a time of change and we can either embrace it as an opportunity to release that, which is destructive and holds us back from being our best or we can hold on and resist change; continuing in our struggles and suffering. Life is what we make of it. To make room for the new we must grow and release the old that no longer serves our well-being.
Joy and peace are much desired qualities, but too often people look for these outside of themselves in other people and/or things and when they feel they are let down we blame others outside of ourselves. The truth is that our peace of mind and happiness dwell within us and are not dependant upon what is happening outside of ourselves. I know that this can be quiet a challenge, it means setting our egos aside. It’s all well and good to say just set your ego aside but how do we accomplish this? One way is to recognize that we are all profoundly connected, accept that the other person(s) is doing the best that they can at any given moment – even if it doesn’t seem that way to you. Other things are to look for common ground even if it means looking at your common flaws (which are just obstacles yet to be overcome). Even in being connected (spiritually and scientifically) we are still uniquely responsible for our own feelings, thoughts and actions. For instance there is a person you love who can’t love you back or not in the way you would like, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve that love, just that perhaps that person isn’t the one capable of giving you what you want and deserve. Accept that our perception, though hopefully continuing to grow and evolve, is limited and different than others, even those close to us and sometimes especially those that are closest to us. Another big way to release ego is simply to recognize it. Well, how the heck do I do that? Whenever you feel hurt by someone’s words or actions that’s ego – you are looking outside of yourself for love, validation, happiness, etc. When you are falling in love with another person those feelings are still generated within you, just like anger, but anger is different. If you really remove yourself from your anger (don’t think about it or engage it in anyway) for a minute and a half, it will pass. That passing will give you the opportunity to chose a different perspective. That person who cut you off on the road didn’t do something to ‘you’; you were probably the last thing on their mind. Perhaps they are distracted because they just lost their child/parent/spouse, or they are in the middle of a divorce, just had a baby or lost their job/home. We may not be able to understand exactly how another person feels in a given situation, but we do understand things like stress/sorrow/suffering to some degree or another and this brings us to one more BIG way to let go of ego – compassion. Even the simple act of recognizing ego diminishes it. Releasing ego is the key to the doorway of freedom. If you believe that your joy lies outside of yourself you give up your power because then another can hold that and lord it over you. We may not always like everything that is happening in our lives, especially during challenging times, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up our peace of mind in the midst of our learning, growing and moving toward better things.  Even the seemingly worst things can turn out for the best.
The Chinese have long sought to crush Tibet and the Tibetan spiritual path, yet their efforts have accomplished something amazing that would have otherwise never have happened, they have given the WORLD the Dalai Lama and his teachings.
Perspective is everything, stretch yourself and look for the bigger picture.
I have been struggling these last few weeks with my ego and grief over a relationship that will never be what I want.

I know it can be difficult to let go; sometimes people aren’t capable of giving us what we desire, it doesn’t mean we don’t love or have compassion for them, but like I said before, sometimes we have to let go of people or things that are destructive, no longer serves us and holds us back from being the best that we can be. In letting go of the ego we let go of fear make room for love and move forward to healthier relationships and lives free of guilt and blame.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Little Inspiration

We never know where inspiration is going to come from. Really it is constantly around us but it is up to us to be open to it. Well, here is a woman who is giving away a whole package of yummy art inspiring goodies from Artfest; It is also an opportunity for you to have some input in what you think makes a great workshop. For me a great workshop starts with an instructor that loves what they are doing and are happy and excited to share it with others. Passion and excitement are contagious. I also loved it when I took Bridgette Guerzon Mills encaustic book making workshop and she not only was a wonderful and much loved teacher who did her presentation before letting us jump in and providing lots of wonderful goodies for us to use but she gave us documentation on everything she went over in class with room to make notes which can prove really valuable when you get home and can't recall how to do something you did in class. You can find out more about her at: Enjoy! and Good luck!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

God dwells within you, as you.

Ego is what tells us we are separate from God and from others, it is what tells us to be afraid, that we need to form and hold onto our attachments; attachments to illusions. When we release our attachments and go within ourselves we find the truth of who we are; we set into motion a healing and discovery of the truth of us. "God dwells within you, as you." In realizing what this truly means we begin to learn that things like joy, peace, compassion lie within us and not in any thing, event or person outside of ourselves. As we grow and evolve the whole of creation is uplifted. In bearing witness to the divine within ourselves we start to see it within all life and to fully realize in turn that ALL life is connected to us.
Do you wonder if this internal connection between all living things is real? When you feel compassion for another living things, when you feel empathy you are experiencing that connection. When you have felt sad, hurt or in pain and have been comforted by another you have experienced that inward divine connection that, though sometimes we let ego block from our consciousness, is ever present. Well here is one story that might give you a little insight, enjoy; "Author and legendary conservationist Lawrence Anothony died March 7. His family tells of a solem procession on March 10 that defies human explanation."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Living Large

I wrote in my journal for this coming year that I wanted to do something to make a real difference in the lives of other people. I was thinking just this evening that I have already done that; I have played a key role in saving the lives of at least two young men that I know of and I have notably had a positive impact in the lives of many others. I am sublimely grateful to have been of service and appreciate what an honor it is to play that role for another human being so I can’t help but wonder at this sense of dissatisfaction I feel at not yet having done enough. I actually think about things like; is being an artist and writer really enough to be of service? As I mentally meander down this path of what is enough and think of the things I have done like the 6 cats I am currently the care taker of; all of whom are rescues and yes, I do feel like I am on the verge of being a crazy cat lady. Then I get to this point where I realize I didn’t “do” anything to get to the point where I was acting to save people’s lives. The time when I was a kid out riding my bike and I helped stop a fire from burning down a neighbor’s town home; started by two kids who had been playing with matches. Or when this kid mentioned in a meeting that two years prior I said something to him that changed his life and his relationship with his alcoholic Mother, I had no idea at the time I was saying something that would be so profound. When I followed a nudge to visit a friend from Vietnam who didn’t speak much English and neither did his family only to find out that he needed to immediately be taken to the hospital because he had sever appendicitis. The surgeon later told me if they had operated a moment later he would have died because it rupture as it was removed. Or the time I realized that one young man’s threats of suicide were a dispirit cry for help from someone who had been abused and simply needed to be heard. I counseled him for a number of months when I finally was able to get him to a point where he felt he could go to a professional for help. When sexual abuse comes from an authority figure in a child's life it can be extremely difficult if not impossible for a person to feel safe going to an authority figure to ask for help. 

It is in dwelling on how I had arrived at each of these experiences I realized that I had been given the privilege to serve by trusting my intuition, listening to others, paying attention and stepping fully into those moments. It also means having courage. Courage doesn't mean you aren't afraid; what it does mean is that you know what needs to be done and that you are going to do it anyway, or find someone who can, even though you may be afraid. So I guess what I am saying here is that to really live your life BIG you have to be present in the moment because you never know when life will give you the opportunity to make a difference and on those blessed times when you actually get to witness the results – to see how your actions have allowed you to be of service to another soul (not all of them are human) embrace it with gratitude. There is nothing so humbling, beautiful, divine or moving as to know you mattered; you made a difference in another’s life. And if by chance someone has made a difference in your life be generous and take the time and share with him or her and who knows, you might get the chance to return the favor.

And though I have to keep reminding myself YES, being an artist, writer and following my dreams is enough. In doing what I love I am being a source for that love and compassion in the world. Why do I say compassion? Well, in learning to be more compassionate with myself I have a greater capacity to give that love and compassion to others because; you can’t give what you don’t have.