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Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

What is the sound of one tail wagging?

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Halloween is my holiday. I use it to feel the blending of the barriers we hold in our minds the remainder of the year, absolving us of them as we enter the “end of year season”. So much comes up for harvest during this season, I like to use Halloween to celebrate the old idea of suspending the veil between There and Here, so that our harvest may enjoy the best of all worlds.

Here’s some thoughts from trying to find out how to express this practice…

Hallowing the Eve

Open your heart to the day,
with its twisting and its turning,
allow it to show you the way
it fulfills your greater yearning

Open your heart to the fey,
all that's mystical and Hidden,
to heal all your heartache away,
feel the glow in Truths Forbidden

Open your heart to the Way,
those unspoken words of wonder,
observe how realities play,
it may mend your world asunder

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My favorite time of year starts with Halloween, which I consider the first New Year of the season.  I know there’s different cultures’ celebrations of a change-over of their calendar throughout the year, but the time from the end of October through the end of December always feels like a change-over, of sorts, to me.  So I try to remember to recognize every New Year celebration I can.  I adore beginnings and renewals, and New Years holidays feel especially renewing to me.

Now we have December 21, 2012, Winter Solstice and the date widely recognized as the change-over in the Mayan Long Count calendar.  Given that this kind of new year is even rarer than a once in a lifetime celebration, today has felt extra special to me.  It also makes me think about the kinds of resolutions one should make for a calendar-turning event of this magnitude.

It seems to me that this is the sort of event that’s too great for just one day, and the resolutions should be a bit grander than the usual.  So I’m thinking that instead of celebrating just today as a Mayan Long Count New Years’ Day, perhaps I should celebrate the next twelve months as a Mayan Long Count New Years’ Year.  And at the 21st of each month, perhaps take some stock as to what I’m learning in this changing world, and how I should resolve to change even better within it.

Because make no mistake, our world is changing.  I have watched so much of what’s old and worn out in our world fall away just this past year.  And every day, I see more and more green shoots of long-awaited growth and healing coming through.  I never really put any stock in the ideas that today would bring a violent destruction to the world, but that sort of devastation isn’t needed for the old world to pass away.  All it takes is for people to find the better way they’d like to live, and work together to make that new world real.

So I guess that’s my resolution for the Mayan Long Count New Year.  I hereby resolve to seek out that better way I’d like to live.  And over the next twelve months, I’m going to figure how I can help see that New World come to life.

All my love to you and yours,

~ Nyn

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Things I’m thankful for:

  1. Massachusetts has elected their first female senator, Elizabeth Warren
  2. Thanks to Wisconsin, the United States of America has elected our first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin, who is also Wisconsin’s first female senator
  3. Maine and Maryland are the first states to affirm by popular vote the right of two people to marry whom they loved, regardless of gender
  4. Minnesota is the first state to reject by popular vote an attempt to deny that right as an amendment to the state constitution
  5. Colorado and Washington are the first states to legalize marijuana with strict regulations, taking us one step closer toward ending the failed War on Drugs and gutting the support pillars of the deadly Mexican cartels
  6. Maryland also upheld a law allowing in-state college tuition for children whose in-state high school attendance and parents’ in-state tax-paying qualifications, even if they weren’t documented immigrants

There’s so much more, to be sure, but these are my top six right now.  I have a very positive and loving view of human nature, and a faith in one another that’s reaffirmed by trends such as these.  The more we’re getting to know the stories of the diverse people around us, the more we’re coming together.

That’s all I have time for, but wanted to share.  Take care!

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I’ve been thinking about writing a whole lot more than I’ve actually found the time for.  You know how crazy things have been lately, with time seeming to speed up while the task list just keeps getting longer.  That’s why I wanted to sit down to let you know how very much you mean to me.  You’re a beautiful, strong person, and I want the very best for you, always.

I know things haven’t always been going the best for you lately, but hopefully things have been looking more up than down.  Yeah, I know there’s things you’d hoped to be doing better on, but I also know you’ve been doing your best, given where you’ve been at.  It may not always feel that way, since you know you can do so much better — I know I can, at any rate.  But the way to get to that better place isn’t to beat yourself up over what you’ve done wrong.  What it takes is remembering what you’ve done right, and work out how to do more of that.

We’re coming into the wrap-up phase of this year, and I know we can use this time to get our goals synched up a little better with our realities.  The trick will be to figure out where we’ve been spinning our wheels and letting ourselves get off track.  It’s not that we need to work harder, it’s that we need to let go of things that are taking our time and energy away from where we really need to focus.  Relax and recuperate, sure, but things that are just fidgeting or, worse, making us fret or fuss, those are what we need to learn to let go of.

Anyway, I’m rambling again.  I just want to make sure you know how very important you are, and how much you’re capable of.  I sincerely believe in you, and I’m here if you need an ear or a shoulder, or even just a cheerleader.  I don’t care if we’ve never even met, you mean a lot to me.  You’re a fellow human being and that makes you family, and I love you, dearly.

So take care, and do something nice for yourself today.  And if you get the chance to make someone smile, give it a shot, so you can share in a little more happiness in this world.  You definitely deserve it.

Much love,

Nyn

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So today marks the first official day of my week-long vacation.  I’m staying in town, so it feels “just like another Saturday”, and I’m wondering whether I’m sufficiently enjoying the day, seeing as it is “First Day of Vacation”.

So I’m taking a moment to breathe.  I’m noticing that this is the first truly sunny day we’ve had in a while.  My son is in a handful-but-joyous mood.  I’m feeling fairly rested.  I just pulled a freshly baked loaf of bread out to cool.

Gosh, this is a wonderful day.

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I’ve often heard songs and poetry written to express Love to the Divine, and wondered what it would be like to have messages of Love from the Divine to us.  Below are the thoughts that came out of this wondering, which I wish to share with You. ~ Nyn

My dearest child,

Above all else, I desire for You to know how deeply, eternally, and unconditionally I Love You.  You are infinitely precious to me, and the Love I have for You is uniquely Yours.  Nobody else has exactly the relationship to me that You do, and this makes You irreplaceably special.  To me, You are a treasure beyond price.  Whatever else You may think of what You see or experience, please always remain open to the warm feeling of Love in Your heart.

In the end, the one eternal answer is Love.  Love is what helps You feel more deeply connected to Your inner self, and through that core, the inner selves of all who are around You.  Through the connections of Love, I have meaning in Your world.  Through these connections, You heal the deep wound across creation that is Separation.

I wish to take a moment now to apologize to You for Separation.  When You came into being, I never meant for You to feel Separate from me, nor from those around You.  You were born to provide a unique experience of Existence through Your own special Lens, but more in the sense of those in the eyes of a fly that work in unison to create the whole picture.

You were meant to be an individual, yes, but as one aspect of a unified whole.  Some level of boundaries were necessary for You to individuate, but these divisions are illusory and were never intended to be mistaken for real.  Yet for reasons as varied as each one of You, my children, these illusions gained power over You.  They created in You a feeling of being cut off from me, from Your siblings, and, most tragically, from Your own Divine core.  And since this Separation prevents You from feeling Your own core self, You instead feel the Void, leaving You vulnerable to the hurtful desperation of emptiness inside.

This causes You immense pain, which causes me pain, as well.  When You were first created, I promised You Love.  I promised that I would always honor You and called for You to be one within me.  Yet when the Separation arose, I didn’t dispel its hurtful delusions.  I didn’t want to interfere with Your progression and risk destroying Your individuation in the process.  Perhaps that was wrong, or perhaps it was a necessary process for You to grow into the beautifully strong and resilient soul You are.  Regardless, I see the pain that this Separation has caused, and for that I am immensely sorry.

I promised You Love, but instead You felt loneliness and pain.  I wanted to embrace You in unity, but allowed You to feel Separate and powerless.  If You have it in Your heart to forgive me, I ask that You please allow forgiveness to send away that pain, and replace it with a resonance of my Love for You.

No matter Your answer, I want You to know that I forgive You for every harm You may ever have caused Yourself or another, because I know that such sins arise only from this feeling of Separation.  I also wish to ask You to please forgive Your siblings for any harm they cause, because they also act in response to this Void inside that they never asked for, and also do not fully understand.

Please work to prevent harm and heal what has been done wrong, but if You can, do so through a labor of Love for all involved.  Even if you can’t always voice the Love you feel in your heart, it will help clear away the Separation from around their own hearts, helping them have a new opportunity to make things right.  Their choices remain their own, but your Love will help me complete the circle that encompasses You all, sealing our family with the healing light of unity.

I ask You to practice this Lovingkindness for me, because You are the expression of my power in Your world.  I can Love each one of You wholly and completely, but You must forge your own connections among one another to strengthen the web of life in which you each are a nexus point of pure and shining light.

This is why You, personally, are so vitally important.  I need You to fulfill your greatest potential, so that all existence can become brilliantly complete.  The success of this world can be forged only when each one of You lends it your strength.  Just as one burned-out-bulb dims the whole display, it is important that You find Your light and allow it to shine.

And, my dear, precious, beloved child, I so dearly want for You to shine.  I need for You to look inward  and find that your beautiful, innermost center has always been there, patiently awaiting re-discovery.  I wish for You to realize that Your very core is a contact-point of pure and powerful Light, shining forth a brilliant Love that can never be diminished, and will never leave You.

As You allow this Love to shine within You, healing the Separation, You will glow with the Divine Connection that is Your birthright.  I promised You Love.  Please, with my gratitude, allow Love to now permeate Your daily life, that it may heal and transform Your world.

Thank you, my darling child, for being who You are.

In Loving Light,
Me

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I once read of an Eastern method of transformation that involved starting with the presumption that you are there already.  Whatever it is you seek, whoever it is you wish to be, the idea is to recognize that these are already in place for you, and therefore the first step is gratitude and receptiveness.  And then, for all the steps that follow, they are placed with the single-mindedness of purpose to continually express that gratitude and receptiveness by acting in accord with these gifts that are already a part of you.

Now, I’m three-hundred percent on board with the idea that you need to keep your mind and heart open to refining your goals, no matter what they started off as.  So you need to not get so into your original picture of what you think you’re seeking that you miss internal clues as to how it needs to adjust.  All that said though, it’s always helped me when I’ve worked toward my goal with the feeling of peace and gratitude for all that I have already received.  In some cases, it really has been a matter of relaxing into this gratitude, and seeing where I really already am there.

My best example is back when I was having a really tough time.  I had been married only a few months when I came down with hyperacusis, and had to go on unpaid leave for a few months while because I wasn’t getting the support I needed from the AOL technical support center I was working at when it developed.  (They retrained me from a phone rep to an email rep, but were pretty unhelpful for getting me a quieter work environment or even short-term disability while I stabilized.  I was young and hurting and in utter shock, so I didn’t know enough on how to even make sure I got help with the medical bills then.)  However I managed to get them to let me go back to work with some minimal efforts toward getting me a remotely quieter place to work with earplugs and earmuffs.

Anyway, all that was just to illustrate why, for me, it was tough, and it was painful, and it felt completely unfair.  I had just started my life, and was told that I’d be spending the rest of it locked in a sound-proof room — they hadn’t even developed the noise training back then.  Fortunately, my husband refused to let my life go that route, and was very supportive as I tried hard to feel out how to make things work.  But I still was having a hard time feeling positive.

So I figured, why not go ahead and act as though I was?  I decided that whenever I saw someone, I’d give them a genuine smile that said I was glad to see them.  Whenever I could, I’d notice something to appreciate that I could sincerely compliment them on.

And you know what?  People started being glad to see me, too.  They smiled at me, and treated me with a little more kindness.  This made it easier to feel more positive toward myself, too, and made my workplace a less uncomfortable place to be, despite the physical pain.  It also helped me be more successful there, as it was easier to focus on doing great work when I was feeling good.  I ended up quitting the job because it was easier for me to work somewhere else than fight for reasonable accommodations, but I left feeling as though I had made the best of things that I could at that time.

I’ve had some pretty tough fights since then because of my hyperacusis, some of which I’ve walked away from into better situations.  But as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I don’t feel greatly limited by my disability, because it’s easy for me to focus on what I can do, most of the time.

This level of success was made possible only because way back then when hyperacusis first entered my life, I was able to set my mind not on where I didn’t want to be, but where I did want.  And then, I acted in accord with this vision as though I was already there.  It hasn’t always worked, but it’s done the trick more often than not.

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Yesterday, I talked about each of us being a specially unique piece in the big puzzle of life.  And I think that’s actually a pretty perfect analogy.  Each of us has a different shape, a different size, and a different pattern, comprising an integral part of the big picture.

And yes, this means you.  You, specifically, are necessary for the success of this world we all live in.  There is something unique about your exact combination of insights and experiences that only you can explore.  There’s a special kind of understanding to be found from living in your exact spot in the world, that only you can sort out.  The simple fact that you are here puts some hefty responsibilities on you to embrace whatever you find in your core self, and learn to live in accordance with it.  You’re already having an impact on the world just by having been born into it, in ways you may never notice until you start to look.

The problem is, we’re kept so distracted that we don’t generally know how to look.  And when we do start, we’re actively discouraged by the idea that we can think there’s anything special about us unless some Very Important People tell us so.  There’s this revulsion to the idea somehow, so much so that people can get offended by those who seek their own authentic self, and start accusing those others of thinking they’re superior, or betraying their past, or whatnot.

I guess maybe it’s fear, the fear that the status quo may be pushed aside, that maybe there’s something they should be reaching for but haven’t found the right way to go about it.  I really don’t know.  But I do know that you must never be ashamed of what makes you feel peaceful, joyful, and lighter just for being a part of.  This is where your power lies, and while you don’t need to cause havoc, you do need to explore these inspirations without worrying about whether they don’t fit in with the way you’re “supposed to” think and act and feel.

Actually, if I may, I’ll tell you how you’re “supposed to” think and feel.  You are supposed to think through your goals and values, and make sure they build up a sense of harmony inside your own head.  You are supposed to act in accordance with what seems truly right, no matter the pressures to choose otherwise.  You are supposed to feel at home in your own skin, loving your own heart no matter how much you’re afraid you may have gone astray, and feeling how that heart extends this love to those around you.  Everything else is just details.

If you decide to pursue these as your goals, this will put you more in harmony with your innately special nature.  And if anybody out there tries to tell you that there’s nothing special about just trying to be yourself, challenge them to try it with you.  After you’ve both been at it for a month or three, then stuck it through the inevitable backsliding-hurdles once or twice, to go a full year of ups and downs without letting up on your quest, then ask them how easy that was.

And then see if they’ll join you in helping others try it, too.

Personally, this is exactly what I’m working on right now.  If you’d like to join me, leave a comment (and it can be private if you ask because I moderate them).  Don’t sweat it if you find this long after I post this, because unless you happen to find a “Blog Closed” post on the front page, I’m still around, and still working on my path, and would love to keep you company on yours.

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I was once crafting a story with someone, and in the voice of the character I was creating, asked why another character was so enamored of being served a dinner every night that had more food than he could hope to eat, with ingredients so rare and expensive that had he instead enjoyed the simple fare she did, a whole lot more food could be afforded and shared with a whole lot more people.

The person I was working with had a response that the character she was speaking to was ready with.  The gist was something along the lines of, “He feels that he does so much for his people, that he deserves to enjoy the finer things.  It doesn’t even occur to him that it isn’t completely fair.”

I’m thinking of this because of a koan I came across today:

Bankei was a beloved master of advanced years.  At one point, a young disciple named Dairyo was made cook for the monastery, and he felt that he should serve only fresh miso to Bankei’ to protect his health, while everyone else would eat the miso that had fermented.

It didn’t take Bankei long to notice that his bowl had a better miso than his pupils.  So rather than eat, he sent for the cook to inquire of him what the deal was.  Dairyo said that due to Bankei’s age and position, he shouldn’t eat the older, fermented miso.

Bankei replied, “Then you think I shouldn’t eat!”  He then went to his room and locked the door.  Dairyo followed and remained by the door, begging his master’s forgiveness.  Seven days went on, with Bankei unwilling to open his door and Dairyo unwilling to leave it.

Finally, one of the other pupils called out to Bankei, “You may be all right in there, old master, but this young disciple here has to eat!  He can’t sit out here starving forever!”

At that, Bankei came out, smiling as he helped Dairyo up.  He told the young man, “I insist on eating the same food as the least of my followers.  When you become teacher, I want you to remember this.”

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