September 26, 2014 § 2 Comments
I don’t believe the only reason we’re here on earth is so that our souls can learn a new lesson. I believe in inner growth. I just don’t believe that’s all there is to it.
If that were so, then I have to wonder why the body and mind want so much to feel good; to be happy. We don’t require happiness to learn. To say we are here, as spiritual beings trapped inside human bodies, solely to learn and advance is like ignoring the use of color when viewing a painting. If it were as simple as that, why do we have taste buds? Heaven knows, we surely don’t need taste buds. And sex, for that matter, doesn’t need to be pleasurable, so let’s just get rid of all those nerve endings that can send the body and mind into those wonderful surreal places. We can surely proliferate the species without enjoying the process.
I have learned so much, and made so many spiritual strides in my four and a half decades, one would think I’d be the spiritual equivalent to Hercules. Whether in developing my true faith, or learning how to truly love, I keep advancing and becoming the full, whole being I know I need to be. But what about the emotions and sensory receptors that have no other purpose but for pleasure. Like color, they aren’t necessary, so why are they present? Our world doesn’t need color to exist. Yet, when viewing a multi-hued sunset, the mind’s introspection softens, while the eyes absorb such beauty. For what gain other than happiness.
Maybe our souls are here to learn that we are deserving beings that are meant to feel joy. Whether through the food we eat, or the glorious feeling of intimacy shared with another, or the euphoria of uncontrollable laughter. Not to mention the divine fullness felt within when we selflessly help another. Either way, we are given a vast palette of sensory receptors, by which to discover our own happiness. Happiness is the close-seated cousin to Love. They are never truly far from the other. And when we deny ourselves this happiness, we deny ourselves love. Like dropping out of school, resignation from the pursuit of happiness, always results in a downward spiral. Our children, friends and family are just as disappointed with us when we drop out of life, as we are with them when they drop out of school. But no one feels more disappointment than we do within ourselves.
As I move forward, becoming a better person, a better friend and a better companion – I want to do so walking along the path of happiness. I’ve walked down the road of misery, and it was a lonely, lonely road. If misery and self deprivation were part of our intended purpose, then they wouldn’t feel so terrible. Instead nothing about those two things feels right, regardless of how hard we impose them upon ourselves – there’s a reason for that. Those feelings, both the good and the bad tell us a good deal of what we need to know. And I know this – I don’t want to deny myself the chance to feel good. Feeling good just plain feels good. Nothing on the human body is without purpose, and nothing within our heart is there to not be fulfilled. If something or someone captures your heart and fills your body with life – there’s a reason. And if your body craves a certain flavor – take a bite.
September 19, 2014 § 4 Comments
It’s like medicine to sit with a blank page before me. Like many, I often turn away from that which I need. I need this, and yet – life – life, and its many obligations are ever present. At times I feel as though I don’t have the energy to inhale another breath, none alone fulfill my dreams.
But tonight, I sit, and patiently absorb what the blank page offers me. I get to enjoy the cadence of writing; the beats that fall within each syllable. My frustration with life and the clusterfuck of everything that swirls around me falls away once I take my seat, and turn my gaze inward. This white page is the doorway to my soul. Always has been. Chances are – it always will. Writing is my true north.
There are moments when I am nearly convinced I will not live long enough to write all that is within me. Recently someone asked me to think about the star toward which I’m aiming my life. I’ve been sitting with that thought for a few days now. In many ways it feels like that star rests in another galaxy, far, far away. But it doesn’t. It’s here. And much of that star rests within my hands, here and now.
But there is much work to be done. There are many leaps left for me to make. And I will. There is nothing more centering, more calming, more divine than when I dampen the din of the outside world, and listen to the one inside. Whether crafting a fictional story, or devoting my time to the completion of my memoir – all of these many genres hinge upon the same routine – I sit and stare at a blank page. I panic for a brief moment. Then it flows. Sometimes these words mean little to you but almost always they mean the world to me.
The great divide between the life you live and the life you want for yourself, will always be singular to you. For some its conquering the battlefield of fears that separate us from living a life alone and living a life with our forever person. For others it’s about claiming one’s voice; speaking their mind and owning their truths – becoming the person, they were always meant to be. This divide is part of the topography of every expanding soul. It is part of the expansion. The soul urges us to push forward because one of the integral reasons it’s here is to expand in that one direction. Generally, it’s the one area that causes us the most trepidation; the one area that causes us to pull back; the area that can easily spin our world upside down.
If you have found yourself staring at that divide, take a moment. Look out into the horizon – see your star. Find your focal point. Look to your side, see my words, and know that you are not leaping alone. Also too, know that you aren’t here to arrive at that star. You are here to find your inner strength, and to take the leap. You are here to travel, not to arrive.
Say it with me: It’s okay if I rest. It’s okay if I pause. It’s okay to laugh, and it’s okay to cry. But on my final day I will not look back, and see that I never made the leap. I may fall. But I will get up again, until one day I look back – and see behind me – the great divide.
Then I’ll keep walking.
August 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
Often words from me are for when life gets hard. Typically, that’s when we need that extra voice reminding us to hold on, or let go, as the case may be. Please know, dear reader, it’s my belief that life equally brings us moments in which it hopes we have fun. When deep joy bubbles up inside us, we get to feel the magic of life moving from within. God’s breath. The hum of the Universe. So, as you embark upon your weekend, don’t overlook the importance of happiness.
Every cell in your body responds favorably when you feel joy. Your mind creates and sends out beneficial hormones when the mind and spirit are lifted. And similar to when in deep meditation, joy has a way of loosening our constraints. We become freer, more allowing. The Universe has an easier time working with us when we are in these two states. So, never underestimate the great value found when pursuing your happiness. That path, is the path to good things.
This world of ours operates using energy waves and frequencies. This is true whether we understand it or not. Pure love, pure compassion, pure joy, are high frequencies. Hate, jealousy, hoarding, are, in comparison, low frequencies. The more you tap into and remain at those higher frequencies the more open your being and in alignment with God, the Universe or whatever you like to call this vastly misunderstood and incomprehensible force that rests behind and within all things.
With this thought in mind, please stop and look at your actions when you are continually turning away from that which brings you joy. Happiness has a way of opening up the portal of hope for those who have long since given up. Shortly after allowing themselves to feel good, they suddenly envision something better for themselves. They think beyond their pain center. They find new strength and momentum that wasn’t easily found before. There is a reason for this – they changed frequencies. I once read something that I believe to be true: you can’t find the answer when focused upon the problem; they rest at different frequencies. That may seem overly simplified. But it is that simple. I can not listen to my favorite music if I keep the dial set to talk radio. I can not watch my beloved Colbert Report if my cable receiver is set to Fox News. It won’t happen. The two do not intersect. I have to change the settings to find what I want.
I plan to change the setting this weekend. I plan to embrace joy with my daughter as we amble in and out of little stores that dot the shoreline. The things I’ve been sitting with, as of late, won’t go away. But my ability to make sense of them, beyond where I have, requires a shift. I’ve given them my time, my meditative thoughts and my patience. Now this soft-spoken writer wants only to laugh. So laugh, I will. I might even don my gorillas suit, if properly prompted. While tooling down the highway with my daughter, filling the confines of my Jeep with the din of my singing, the filter that allows me to receive will open further. Joy has a cleansing ability. It often wipes away the residue that clouds our view.
If you are able to do so, and I hope you are, please seek joy. Turn up the music. Get animated. Laugh with friends or alone watching a good show. And if the fodder that makes you smile doesn’t land readily at your feet, seek it out and make it your own. Do what you have to do. Cleanse your soul. Lighten your spirit. Seek joy. You deserve to feel good. Happiness is more than a balm for the mind. Joy has the ability to recalibrate the many layers of your being, and bring you back into alignment.
August 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
As much as I dislike the cold that accompanies these lingering dark mornings, I savor the simplicity. As I sit in the quiet, I have only the glow from a white, rotund moon shining off to my right to illuminate my surroundings. As my thoughts drift, and time passes, the moon fades further away. It is during times like these that I find the most peace.
My world is a blank slate. I have no visual stimuli to distract me from what rests in my mind. Once the sun takes center stage, so does a plethora of distractions. But for now, things feel simple. I’m not one for clutter, not in my house nor in my mind.
Every morning I take time to pray. It is a sacred time for me. Time to stabilize myself, find my center and reconnect to who I am and what I know I need to be. I acknowledge the fact that the two are not always ones. But I also acknowledge that the key to forming a more perfect union within myself is by first acknowledging that which separates me. I tend to see those things more clearly during these early morning hours.
The senses become more acute when not bombarded with outside interference. When it is dark, the ears sink deeper into a better state of hearing. And with that, as I talk to God, I often hear the soft voice which I long to hear during my busiest days; days when I can hear nothing more than the chattering voice within my mind.
The me I am with you, is the me I am with God. I tend not to veil myself from either. I’m quite convinced God appreciates my honesty. I hope you do as well. As I search, and stretch the boundaries of my preconceived limitations, I have to do so first by being honest. Sometimes I like who I see within myself, sometimes I do not. But I try to see them both with clarity.
It’s easy to assume that those who walk a spiritual path do so upon a golden road, one that embraces them and provides for easy steps. I don’t believe that to be true. I feel those who are reaching the furthest, feel the most struggle. With new knowledge comes new questions. Upon discovering new truths, we stretch to peel back another layer, reaching further and further as we go. And every time we do, we break away that which we were in able to become that which we are meant to be. Often, this is painful process. Or at least, with me it is.
Only those who have outgrown their shell feel the pain of breaking free. Its a recurrent process when continuing to grow. Only those who are not reaching, not expanding and not stretching their abilities and what they know escape this particular pain. Their pain is that of stagnation, suffocating under the weight of their own being, of spinning within the same cycle. I spent many years trapped in that perpetual, breathless state of being. Knowing what I know now, if I had to choose between the two, I would and do choose the pain associated with growth, as it allows me to breathe.
So in these early morning hours, I am always like that of a butterfly about to emerge. I notice once again that my cocoon no longer fits. I push against and release the part that no longer serves me. I try never to define myself by my cocoon. Instead I am an ever evolving creation; one that may never possess one clear definition. The tree topped vista before me is now coming into view. The stars are no longer sitting in contrasting darkness. The moon has escaped behind the trees. And the sun, like all skilled performers, is taking its time before walking out onto the stage. So with that, I will say: May this day be good to me. And may this day be good to you.
August 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
No longer do I strive to be like anyone else. I do, however, strive to be the most authentic version of myself possible, the version of me that sits closest to God. This requires that I take the time to understand myself; what it is that holds me back as well as what propels me forward. Also too, I must understand those things brought before me by the Universe.
It is important for us to learn how to sit with things. Instead of deeming my first thoughts as always correct, often now, I wait. I’d like to say that my intuition is always right. And perhaps it is. But too often intuition is masked under mental fears. It takes time to learn the subtle deviations in color between the two.
Sitting with things isn’t always a pleasant undertaking. With that said, it also isn’t a time of hand wringing. Hand wringing is caused when something touches upon our pain center. Unresolved issues blur not only our perception when looking outward, they block our view when looking within.
For me, sitting with things merely means my energy shifts from that of action to stillness. My energy turns softer. I grow a bit quieter. And it is during these times especially when I’m made to flex the muscles of patience. It is in that where I can sometimes feel the strain. But that’s okay. The moments brought before us are not always those of jumping with joy. Sometimes they are moments of sitting with uncertainty until we get things figured out.
I’ve become better at this. I’m not as impetuous as I once was. This isn’t to say that every knee-jerk reaction is wrong. What it means is that I try to act less from my mind and more from my soul. And as the mind is the first layer through which our world is filtered, sometimes we have to wait for the second shift of our being to take over, granting us a purer, soulful insight. When I’m already operating from a place of my soul then this all comes easier. But in day-to-day life that isn’t always the case. My mind is busy, my actions are many and the world requires my constant attention. It’s an effort of orchestrating the many facets of my being, for my betterment and the betterment of those around me.
While sitting we can see better if we’re the catalyst for the greater expansion of another, or if they’ve been brought before us to help bring about our change. Keeping in mind there is often an interplay between the two. During these moments of stillness we can ensure that what’s before us honors our true self. As much as I love moments when everything is aligned and fueled with momentum. That isn’t the only way life unfolds. Life can unfold with a turn that causes us to stop. Maybe to draw our attention to a possibility that will impact our course. A turn that leads to the answer to a lifelong prayer or a cautionary pause when we’re about to forfeit a dream.
Life demands our action. But sometimes the first action is to sit. If what we’re seeing is our dream, awaiting our arrival, take it in. Smile. Memorize what’s before you because heaven knows it’s been long-awaited. Then take joyful steps, dear reader. Sometimes what’s before us is there to awaken us. Our world is laid out utilizing the full spectrum – a constant dichotomy. There are moments when if we wait too long we lose our chance, as well as moments when if we don’t wait, we’ll never fully grasp what’s before us. It’s our work to know which is which.
And if you don’t know what to do, look within. It is there where you’ll find your answer. Fears that push sit next to those that bind; under which rest your soul’s purpose, your joy and your dreams. It’s all there. Look with broad, allowing eyes. Look under your many layers. Get clear.
As for me, as for today, I’m sitting.
August 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
In need of the latest, hippest word used to describe a handsome man, I browsed around at UrbanDictionary.com for awhile. Having read a few entries, I can now say that my mind is the proud new owner of a few images I wish I could disown. However, I did find the term: Man Cake.
My blog posts are personal; intimate portrayals of what lives in my heart and mind. This is the first entry however, where I reached out to friends and colleagues. Quite simply, I wanted to know: what a woman wants most in a man. Their answers bolstered my belief in what rests behind the eyes and within the heart of a quality woman.
Thus far, not one physical, nor external, attribute has been mentioned. No large gender parts. No hefty bank accounts. No bulging muscles. No sports cars. No Armani suits, and no French accents. The votes are in: women want kindness and honesty.
When a woman knows herself – she then knows what she wants in a man. The more she allows her depth to rise to the surface, she is drawn to equal depth in a man. To the man with slick hair, and flexed muscles – you may indeed land a woman. I question, however, the quality of the woman you’ll land. It seems superficiality attracts superficiality. Whereas, depth and quality gravitate toward depth and quality. Like wine to an entrée – it’s all in the pairing.
Good women tend to want a man who flies below the radar. His strength solid, but not flaunted. His mind keen, but with no desire to force his intellect upon others. His compassion and attentiveness genuine. His humanity touching beyond those closest to him. Like good lighting, humility and humor always make a man more attractive in a woman’s eyes. As does honesty and integrity. Women don’t want a man who clamors for the spotlight. Instead, they’re drawn to a man who’s content letting it shine upon others.
Men probably cringe to hear it, but women like a man that’s as strong as he is tender. There’s a primal need within every good woman to have a man that can span these two extremes. Men can’t fault women for wanting that, anymore than women can fault men for wanting a woman who’ll imbue into his life nurturing gentleness, yet unleash upon him her passions in the bedroom. We all have a reason for wanting what we want. With our desires deep and spanning, we want someone to fall into line with those desires; in the doing, we find balance.
I tend to like a good Côtes du Rhône regardless of my entrée. Something about the mix, suites me. When it comes to the man in my life, the same proves true. We all have individual tastes to satisfy. When I want to nibble upon an ear, it needs to be connected to a very clever mind. When I want to be held, the arms that hold me need to be genuine and sincere. And when I want to hear someone’s laughter, it will be the voice of one that sees life with the same twisted view. Oh yes, dear reader, I know what I want. Sadly, it was a discovery that took far too long for me to make. But believe me when I say, as personal discoveries go, it’s one of the most important. So as you set out, remember, it’s all acceptable – our wants and likes. Make no apologies, and don’t settle for less. Be true to you, from there – pair it well.
August 22, 2014 § 9 Comments
I’ve never been one to write with a saccharin touch. Honesty has always been a component within my underwaters. And I’m quite certain it always will. My readers have come to know that if they are wanting fluffy words that sit on the tongue like cotton candy, they need not let their eyes settled onto my page. However, I don’t think the truth should bring a person down. Glib, cheery words during my most unsettling moments have never given me strength. Yet, the truth has empowered me time and time again. And the truth is, life consists of both the good and the bad. The trick is to not become those moments. Instead, let them flow. Ride it out. You are the ship, the moments are the waters. Sail through.
If you noticed you’re experiencing one of life’s more enjoyable offerings, don’t cling to it. Don’t drop anchor and demand that nothing ever change. Once you do you begin to rob it of its beauty. You begin to fear how it will be once it is gone. Just let the beauty flow through and around you. Soak it in. Breathe it in. Allow it to leave its imprint upon your emotional memory. Then let it be. If you don’t put a death hold on it, then you’ve matched the energy, and all like energy finds its way back to one another. And that emotional impression will be there for you when you most need a soft place to rest your mind. If a moment lifts your heart within your chest, it’s a gift. Be sure to say thank you. Thankfulness is a match to the divine. And the more you keep yourself matched to the divine the better life becomes.
If, on the other hand, you are nestled deep within one of life’s more unsettling moments, again, don’t become the moment. Allow your energy to remain soft. Try not to steel yourself as a way of protection. All you’re doing is becoming a vibrational match to that which you are trying hard to resist. Before you know it, everything turns cold and rough around you. Not because that is all life has to offer, but because life is working to match the energy you are emitting. Often some of our most valuable lessons come by way of difficult moments. They happen not because you failed, but because there was something key that could only be learned in that particular way. So, pay attention to them. The better you are at responding to those ugly moments, impacts greatly how often they will return.
Now, all of this may sound too simplified. I know. There are times when I am riding higher than a kite, just to notice the ground beneath me has fallen way. Life happens. All of it moves through our journey. If you are to practice anything I would advise that you practice not becoming the moment, simply allow the moment its due. Allow both the good and the bad to exist, all the while remain true to who you are. Believing that all is well is not the simplistic ways of optimistic folly. It is a state of being that has great implications on one’s life. When one’s vibrational plateau is that all is well, then when all situations arise, and they always do, life moves them along easier, softer. We are met with more experiences that match our belief, so predominantly speaking, wellness becomes our predominant experience. And the bad times are met with a centered mind and a more fortified heart. We know that it will pass and that we will be okay. In my opinion, this is a crucial knowing along one’s spiritual evolution.
Allow yourself a good deal of slack. If you notice you are not filled with joy but instead are possessing a fuck it sort of disposition, let it ride. Let it flow through you. We are spirits dwelling within these human forms that are often hindered by our mind. The mind has many glitches. Try not to get too worked up about it all. Allow yourself to flow through your emotions just like you are trying to allow life to flow through its many happenings. Fate brings us both the good and the bad, it’s all part of the material that helps our souls grow. So, again, look at what comes your way, then let it flow. A bad day will pass as quickly as the best day of your life. They are all fluid. But it’s who you are and how you respond to each that’s key. It’s in those moments that you are given the opportunity for your soul to expand, and also to set the course of what comes your way.