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Archive for the ‘Explanation’ Category

There’s this myth out there that Bernie Sanders hasn’t taken Institutional Racism seriously enough. The attack goes that his fight for Racial Justice is lesser-than and separate from the shared struggle for Economic Justice, ignoring the key lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King’s final fight before his asassination. We need Senator Sanders to dedicate a speech to sharing his powerful story of how Dr. King’s #OneStruggle moves him to continue that fight today.

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I’ve taken an unexpected hiatus due to “two week flu” that went almost three weeks, before turning into bronchitis. Fortunately, the bronchitis seems mild, so I’m hoping I’ll treat it better than the flu and be over it soon.

I’ve been waiting to post until I feel like I can string together coherent thoughts. Even a haiku has been tough to write, of late.

But today I happened to log on, and saw that it’s the 7th Anniversary of this blog.  Seven years, a very lucky number.

So I decided to write a post commenting on how milestones come as they will, regardless of how prepared we feel to celebrate them. I’m choosing to appreciate the seven-year milestone, then log back off to rest.

May you find a milestone or other moment of forward movement this week, and may you enjoy it!

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Over the years I’ve kept this blog, I’ve had a hard time staying consistently present. Unsurprisingly, this is because I feel the pressure to consistently share things that are meaningful. Even if it’s just a short thought or poem, I’ve felt that I need to ensure I’m sharing something of myself to add to another’s day.

Today, I can’t think of a darn thing.

I’m processing the cold germs that have been keeping my son coughing and achey today. The long day of trying to rest together has left me feeling more worn down than recuperated. I want so much for us both to feel completely better tomorrow, so we can enjoy the day. I want to feel PRESENT.

After a pause to sigh, I’m realizing that desire alone is a signal that I’m fighting being sick… again. I think I’ll take my own advice and surrender to the process, so the healing may flow freely without me getting in my own way. Rather than keep trying to hang onto that tiger’s tail, it’s time for me to just let it all go, and rest.

May this serve as Solidarity with you as allow some things to flow more freely for your life, as well.

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Since I’ve been practicing it as promised, I want to explain just a little by what I envision by “Have no more conflicts. Enjoy a positive association with everything.

For me, this phrase is a succinct reminder to maintain some measure of calm acceptance, finding a touchstone of positivity in each moment. Since the everyday frustrations seem to keep evolving over time, it helps for my strategies to evolve, too.

By having no conflicts, I mean, don’t get wound up about a situation being different than I might otherwise hope. Where there’s a disagreement or such with an individual, I’m trying to remember to address the actual issue rather than treating the person involved with it as a problem. Yes, I may perceive them as being the one who “started” the problem, but dwelling on that only interferes with finding a solution. Generally they’re caught up in their own maelstrom of frustrations, and having a little patience with that can help clear some of the storm for both of us.

And that’s where enjoying a positive association comes in. If an otherwise negative situation involves someone I like or love, I remember to focus on that while resolving (or accepting) the situation. If it’s a stranger, I remember to focus on the fact they are a human being, and I happen to like human beings.

If it doesn’t involve another person at all, there’s generally something about my situation or environment that I can focus on with a sense of appreciation, or even just humor. Anything that can help me enjoy that sense of positive resonance that we feel when we’re in the presence of something we welcome into our lives.

I hope that helps explain a little about how I’ve been practicing this, perhaps giving ideas as to how you might enhance your enjoyment of your own life. If so, please give it a shot! Just a little bit of trying out a new habit can make a world of difference in how we experience our world.

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I’ve still got that cough, and it occurs to me that I should probably summarize the cleansing breath that I mentioned in my last post, instead of just linking to a page that may not always be there.

The cleansing breath is a great way to nourish your mind and body with pure oxygen, and help your lungs clear out gunk and toxins. It’s great to do first thing in the morning, last thing at night, right before eating, before and after yoga or exercise, and frankly whenever you feel like it. Oxygen is pure life force, and we deserve to breathe in as much as we can remember to.

It’s good to do the cleansing breath standing up, but any generally relaxed position will do. First, exhale as much as you can, compressing your lungs to clear out the old air. Then, breathe in not-too-quickly, filling your lungs right up with air. Hold it for just a little while.

If your lungs are gunky or “stale”, you might cough a bit while you’re holding your breath up to the top of your lungs. That’s fine, clear it out, then try again. After holding the air just a bit, start to force the air out through pursed lips, keeping your cheeks pulled in (as opposed to puffed out, that is). Force the air out in short bursts, pulsing your diaphragm so that it compresses your lungs progressively from the bottom to the top.

If you’re like me, as the “short bursts” start to compress the air out from near the top of your lungs, that’s when you’re really likely to cough if you have anything to clear out. Light, shallow coughs can help the process of using the air to clean out your lungs. Just pay attention to your body and follow its cues. Don’t force anything unnatural, but don’t resist anything natural, either.

Hopefully this helps convey my understanding of the cleansing breath. May it serve you well!

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I just wanted to write down a few words about what I mean when I say “Love Heals”. We don’t have a shared language about what Love means. Everybody has experienced this word differently, and therefore it represents different thoughts, different feelings, different expectations. So I want to share how I’ve come to experience Love.

Love is a Shared Resonance. We may not always vibrate on the same level, and our wavelengths may not be fully entrained to one another. Still, when we hold that person, thing or idea in our heart, we feel our heart opening a space of connection. There is a portion within us that shares their happiness and pangs — not at cost to our own, but in harmony with our experiences.

Of course, this means that in order to fully experience this resonance, we have to have that connection within our hearts to ourselves. I mean, we can hardly enjoy a balanced resonance with someone if we won’t resonate balance within ourselves. We need to be able to treasure our strengths and forgive our perceived weaknesses, embracing our full resonance as human beings.

Only by becoming equal partners with our full self can we prepare to be equal partners with anybody or anything through Love. That’s tougher to do if we identify ourselves as “wounded souls”. Wounds stay within us when we haven’t made peace with them, and allowed ourselves the space to work through what significance they hold in our lives. As we treasure our whole selves in love, we prepare ourselves to really look and see what place these wounds hold within us. By making peace with the ways they have impacted or even served us in the past, we can hold acceptance in the present and open up to replacing those wounds with better ways to fill those spaces in the future. We can stop keeping dead experiences alive inside us, feeding them with our pain. We can put them to rest, replacing them with better ways to experience life.

We don’t have to like what we see inside ourselves, but we do have to love ourselves through the process. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done or experienced, not in terms of Who We Are. What matters is the strength we are building to own Who We Are, and love that essential nature we are striving to embody. It’s this patient, patient practice of learning to see and love our whole selves that helps us heal our wounds.

Our love and patience can help others heal their wounds as well, but they really have to be the ones to do it. We can help offer our resonance to support them in their journey, even if just by holding love for them within our hearts when nothing else is appropriate. We can’t do it for them though, just like nobody else can live our lives for us. That’s both the challenge and the power of being human.

I hope that helps show a little more of what I mean when I say all we truly need is Love. It’s a shorthand for, “All challenges we face can be surmounted only if we rally our Love, and courageously wield it as the active force of change in our world.” Sometimes, just practicing a patient, loving acceptance of What Is can be all that’s needed to kickstart changes toward Better Ways to Be.

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Happy Zen Year!

So, 2013. What a year, huh? It was so full of hidden gems and other rocks & hard places, it was tough to stay present in our own skin. There was too much popping up all at once, and too much falling away. How could we keep up?

I heard once that odd numbers hold more chaos and even numbers more constancy, so that made me think that perhaps I could apply that concept to years. If 2013 was chaos that kept the world off its center, perhaps 2014 may be a year of regrouping within that center.

So I’m committing to focus at least one moment each day in a way that brings my full attention to that present moment. I’m shooting for actually posting about that moment or other thoughts each day, to stay present here, as well. Part of my joy is to share what I receive with others. This 2014 is a year to dedicate to joy, being present with it and sharing that presence with others.

You who read this, regardless of when you read it, please consider making a similar commitment to dedicating a tiny slice of each day to connect to the world through your own center. No matter how you feel about yourself, you’re a part of this crazy planet, and we need you to honor that. You don’t have to do anything “special”, just pause with a breath and thank any random moment for allowing you to experience it. That alone will bring you into that precious moment, and experience the simplicity of pure presence that is zen.

It’s time to start showing up. I and the rest of the world dearly look forward to sharing it with you.

Here’s to a Happy Zen Year!

Note: This was actually posted on the 2nd, when the thoughts finished forming into words I could type. Clearly, I’m pretty fluid on the implementation of this goal. Just be who you are and let life flow through you!

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