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Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

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People tend to assume that for something to be Special, it must be Bigger Than, Better Than, Greater Than… or any other kind of superlative that makes it extraordinarily exceptional.

But that’s only one kind of Special. The first definition of Special at Dictionary.com says:

  1. of a distinct or particular kind or character

That is, something that has a distinct character, particular to itself. It doesn’t have to be Bigger, Better, or any other kind of superlative. There’s no competition that can declare who or what is Special. Rather, it takes mindfulness to find what is Special in all that surrounds us.

In this way, each moment is Special: it carries lessons and sensations unique in itself, which we can take advantage of only if we stop to appreciate what the moment brings

Each experience is Special: it carries challenges and pleasures in good ways and bad, and we can best learn from them only if we recognize it for the opportunity it is.

Each person is Special: we each contain our own blend of experiences and perspectives, which we can share in only if we stop to appreciate what each of us have to offer.

As I get back into my daily routines this week, I’m going to try to remain mindful of the Special nature of what I encounter and experience. I’m interested to see how it helps me better identify the opportunities before me, and make greater use of them as I start this year.

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Eric Arthur Blair had the opportunity to pursue the life of an educated Englishman, contributing his own part to the furtherance of the British Empire, rewarded by a steady, if boring career. It would probably have been an easier life than that of a hobo in East London, falling gravely ill and getting his belongings stolen by the hospital staff more than once, and getting his throat shot in the Spanish Civil War. It certainly may have been easier for him to avoid getting embroiled in political controversy through his social and cultural exposes.

Easier, I suppose, if he didn’t have such a burning need to explore the depths endured by those around him, and report on those struggles to the broader world.

George Orwell was the first author whose works made a profound impact on the way I experienced my world, and the framing propped up around it by my culture. I read Nineteen Eighty-Four first, then Animal Farm – A Fairy Story, borrowed from my grade school library. I was in an age of reading voraciously to try to better understand how life is understood differently by others, and these two books helped me understand how crucial it is to search below the surface-gloss of how we’re led to assume things are.

It’s more than 65 years to late to be able to thank him personally. Yet as I realized his birthday was coming up, I also realized that this August 17th will mark 70 years since Animal Farm was first published: its Platinum Anniversary.  He had finished the book years earlier, but the political climate wouldn’t allow it. The British elite still considered Stalin an ally, so his obvious criticism of Stalin’s regime was intolerable… until the Cold War suddenly made it popular.

Deeply inspired by Orwell, I wrote a book a few years ago that I fairly quickly quieted down, as I didn’t want to deal with the political controversy it was digging into. I was (and am) concerned about how Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is used as though it is a textbook for how society and economics best serves the most callous assumptions of human nature, but I didn’t feel my contributions would do much to help people consider a more egalitarian — a more humane view.

Yet, seeing these anniversaries on my calender, I decided a few days ago that I could do more to honor the impact this author has had on my life. So to celebrate the 112th Birthday of Eric Arthur Blair, today I’m putting my book up as an ebook for Pre-Order: Galifesto – A Love Story.  It will release on August 17, 2015.

It was written as a narrative, so I’m setting up shop to record it as an audiobook, and am also working on getting the print version to release the same day. This takes significantly less than spending time as a hobo or fighting in a civil war, so I figure I can do this much to help this world in its path to seeing one another with truer eyes.

If you haven’t read anything by Orwell, please visit your library and browse his section, see what catches your fancy. Or even just take a fresh look at the people you pass by in your day, holding an appreciation for struggles they silently bear in making it through this world we share. In this, I think you’ll be taking part in the impact he wished his work to have on the world he left behind.

Thank you.

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We can’t deeply experience hard pride or shame without believing people are more or less worthy based on our behavior, our beliefs, or even just how we were born. To allow ourselves to feel superior or inferior, we must first embrace the idea we are separated from one another by our fortunes or failures. This idea is harder to hold onto each time we feel that spark of true connection from one heart to another. Each moment of pure acceptance of the divine beauty inherent in the human soul.

It is important for us to do our best to live up to our ideals for ourselves, and maintain a self-awareness that helps us recognize and remedy where we’re slipping. It is equally important that we practice patience and lovingkindness along the way, recognizing that who we are — our innate human worth — is eternally true regardless of what we do or say. We are not our successes. We are not our failures. The types of Pride and Shame that try to mark and set us apart based on such things are hamartia, missing the mark.

We are each human beings, learning to do the best we can with what we carry inside us. The ideas, experiences and opportunities that come to us shift from moment to moment, and we can’t reach out to them if we’re holding onto our judgments of what we thought we had just a moment before.

This applies both to judgments of others, and of ourselves. Love one another, as we love ourselves. That’s the path of wisdom, and the way ahead toward our truest selves.

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I just got a letter from my nephew about being at someone’s house and admiring their Totoro clock.  The host then happily hopped up, took the Totoro pendulum off, and gave it to him, leaving my nephew with the difficult task of processing what had just happened.

I imagine it was a cool souvenir though, for the practice in receiving happy surprises.  I’ve got this feeling that lately we’re all moving through a timeframe where “Ask, and ye shall receive” is true in primal and surprising ways.

In fact, we don’t even have to ASK necessarily, we just have to receive.  I suppose, “Receive, and it shall give itself unto you” is what I’m feeling these days.  So I’m practicing feeling a gratefully receiving mindset, and see what further surprises I’ll be graced with.

I’ve been having a tough time getting back into posting now that I am not making it self-mandatory, because I’ve been having a tough time finding words again.  I was thinking of that this morning, and then came across the story from my nephew. Looks like it might be bearing fruit, so over the next few days I’ll come back and share the other happy little surprises that come!

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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 realized that Easter is this Sunday, and I’m within the seven days countdown to assessing how well I’ve done with giving up “Separation” for Lent.  Today, I paused to take within myself the experiences of my interactions with numerous people, including a co-worker, my toddler, and my puppy. Not that I can really know what it’s like to think and feel from within their skin, but I imagined what it might feel like.

It’s a fairly enlightening exercise, pretending what it may be like to be somebody else. Trying to imagine the experience of what it would be like to hold different thoughts, different feelings, and even different values-weightings on those thoughts, feelings and experiences. For example, I don’t personally relish the idea of playing with poo, but to my little puppy, it was the most fascinating thing in the world. While I shooed her away from it and cleaned it up, I replaced my disgust with the curious peek into what it may be like to have her senses, and her way of enjoying them.

I’m describing this as a very mental process, but I’ve felt it equally in my mind and my heart. I’ve been working for a long time on how to balance my empathy and desire to understand others with a need to maintain my own boundaries and identity, so this has been a project to learn new ways to strike that balance.

I don’t feel prepared to objectively rate how far I’ve come in the past few weeks. Yet come Sunday, I imagine I’ll have a good idea.

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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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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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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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