Archives for category: Humble Beauty

Because I’ve had a cold the past few days and my right brain has been a bit foggy, articulation and word flow isn’t coming easily, and this poem can stand alone… just as we all can with a little bit of self-love 🙂 🙂 🙂  {it’s also relevant to some topics I hope to expand on later — the term “making a living” and how it represents something so different and toxic than that of what it means at face value — truly LIVING… making our lives count, living in gratitude, in love, in hope, in the practice of happiness, in a quest for peace, for freedom, for enlightenment… as opposed to living for money/making money/working to sustain a certain quality of life; planets squaring my moon (and all things astrology-related); the word “YES”! More to come as soon as I’m feeling a bit more on point.}

… Be well! ❤

The Invitation
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.
By: Oriah Mountain Dreamer http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com

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She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
‘I thought you’d never say hello,’ she said
‘You look like the silent type’
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the thirteenth century
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you

Today, I am grateful for the ability to hear and embrace song, and for my body that enables me to dance. I am grateful for the perpetual universal guidance and its knowing.

I am grateful for the chance I have at a life limited only by that which I allow to bind me, grateful for chains because they can be broken, grateful for YOU, who meets my light with your own.

Sometimes you recognize yourself unable to conceptualize how life could possibly get any more beautiful… and then you make cookies with a two year old in an open, breezy kitchen in a house nestled up in the mountains while Railroad Earth plays on surround sound.

Lately, I’ve caught the travel bug. [At least I think that’s the sort of bug it is; otherwise, I need to start stockpiling tinctures and head south with the birds because I am so over this season… and let’s be honest, the fun in being sick isn’t really as prevalent when your mom lives a couple hundred miles away and sick days aren’t about getting to stay home from school to eat popsicles and watch cartoons.] The reason behind this itch to get away isn’t totally clear to me: I’m not sure if it’s because I feel discontented with my life right now (hence the hiatus in blog posting… I tend to feel less inspired to write when I am not in a place of contentment or am feeling unable to gain anything apparent or potentially useful from periods of reflection) or if I’m just fully realizing my mortality and how temporary this life is — so I feel like I can’t waste too much time in one place because I have only a finite amount of time to experience what’s out there — but either way, I feel like I need to get out of here.

Whether it be for a weekend, a few months, or a year, I feel like a fulfilling experience away from the everyday would help me to return to my home feeling refreshed and grateful for its comfort and stability. That would be great, only my home isn’t offering me much stability or comfort right now. The leaves of change are swirling around me {this phrase is totally cliche in most cases, but this time it’s actually true: 100 + mph winds whip in, uprooting trees and sweeping up pretty much everything in their path, eventually depositing their goods in disarray all over my yard during this season; it’s far from a joke} and as they catch me in their upwards spiral I’m suddenly completely aware that my feet have been swept up from underneath me and plotting out some sort of game plan in order to figure out just how to plant them back on solid ground has become futile. My job situation is somewhat inconsistent at the moment, and my roommates [who have helped me to form the foundation on which this chapter of my life has been built] are moving far away because of new opportunities and new people are moving in. And I’ve found myself focusing on the negative aspects of each of these changes instead of seeing the beautifully transformative possibilities for which each allows, were I only to open myself to them. Perhaps it’s a lack of outside fulfillment. Challenges that might be initially hard to face present themselves as more than just obstacles; instead, they become all-consuming and enclosing shadows, sweeping over and through me like a fog and sucking me into a vortex, its existence being totally unbeknownst to me until I find myself winded and entirely incapable of forward movement.

The thing is, there are plenty of wonderfully astounding and staggeringly positive aspects of my life, and inspiring, brilliant, loving beings co-create divine, light-filled existences all around me. Magic exists everywhere, especially here, and I have access to it. It’s all entirely within my reach. But I’m not cultivating an open, healthy heart space for myself that allows the intake of this flowing, all-encompassing beauty. I’m not allowing myself to be grateful for what I have available to me. I am not taking advantage of all the support and benefit that exists in my world. This is what I’ve realized. At some point in my writing experience with this blog I’ve written about leaving the comfort zone, and how those who recognize they live within their comfort zone but do little to alleviate this issue are in the worst comfort zone of all (as blissful ignorance eludes them.) Well, I’m finding myself to be quite the hypocrite in this moment. And I’m sure as shit no fan of any hypocrite. This sort of self-loathing speak won’t get me far, so instead, this is my drive:

I am desperate to figure out why I’ve allowed this to happen, and just how to stop allowing it. Because I’m certainly not okay with it.

This is why I feel like maybe I need to get away. I’m searching for something… but what it is, exactly, I’m not sure. I just know that I’m not finding it by sitting right here. I read, I practice yoga, I take vitamins and supplements and eat healthily (and am surrounded by a culture that values this in a huge way), I rarely drink (because it only obscures my clarity and leaves me with residual negative thoughts and feelings in the days that follow), I watch and I listen and I challenge myself when I can and I try to write on my findings. But it’s still not coming to me.

I read this quote recently and while it seems simple and even a little silly, it applies to what I’m feeling right now (or the inverse, I guess): “Wherever you are, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” At some point in the last couple months my light’s been slowly depleting. It returns to me sometimes (and I’m totally aware of it when it does… and it feels awesome) but shining it is more of a struggle these days. And I certainly don’t take it with me everywhere I go.

I know that I have everything I need within myself, I just need to figure out what it is that will fulfill me and make me feel like my everyday is worthwhile. I want to feel like I’m contributing something to this life and making it the best it can be for myself and for everyone I come into contact with. The people I love deserve that… because they have given me so much. I deserve that. Each of us deserve to feel that light shine within ourselves.

Part of what scares me is that I’m fully realizing how fleeting my youth is. I’ll be 26 in a couple weeks and this seems huge. It’s more terrifying than past birthdays have been… 25 will be soon be a somewhat distant memory and there’s nothing I can do to hold onto it or slow down its inevitable passing. I can take the lessons I’ve learned in the past year (which have been a multitude, I have to admit; I’ve shed myself more times in the past twelve months than I have in the past twelve years) and take them with me, and of course I will, but what now? This is contributing to my feeling that I want to travel today… because today, I’m still young. (Will 27 still be young?) What I don’t want, though, is to travel because I’m trying to escape something here. If I do that, I’ll have my eye on some obscure, unclear goal up ahead of me and miss all that is happening in my peripheral. And as I am well aware, the journey is the destination. What I want is to travel because I know I am one who can fully embrace beauty, see it in humble places, appreciate everything around me and recognize the meaning and raw wonder in all of it. I know this about myself, and knowing that I’m not flooded with that wonder right now brings me to feel a bit like a new environment will bring that out in me once again. I feel like when my body moves, my mind moves, and then what follows is the movement of my spirit… and I become re-inspired.

Because what worries me is that getting away would just be a temporary fix. Because what seems to be true in the past when I’ve left is this: I’ve had a great vacation and then I’ve come back to my home to see that not much has changed. Things change for a little bit, maybe. I’m more energized (I write mad lists when I’m in Chicago, for example, and feel motivated to adopt new, positive habits in my life), or more relaxed, or whatever… but finding a healthy, clear head space and a purpose in the place where I live is what is going to sustain me.

Maybe the search needs to be right here, within myself. Then, when I find that light again, I can go share it with the world. Maybe I’ll stay here a little longer. Continue to practice good habits, force myself into a practice of positive thinking, work to find sustained purpose in the everyday. Continue the search right here at home.

***

{I have to say, I had no intention on getting this personal when I began this blog. (Because somehow my negative, somewhat depressed thoughts that lead to these blog musings feel a lot more personal than anything else I put up here.) I suppose this is where I learn to manifest the continuance of my growth process (integral to my evolution as a writer) and just say this: Here it is. I’m human, no shame.}

I’ve found a couple simple actions I am realizing I can take to bring myself back into the present moment… here’s hoping they might help you as well:

– Return to your breath.

When it comes down to it, breath is, at its core, our life force. We can survive a few days without water and we can go maybe a week and a half or so without food… without breath, maybe a few minutes. (Unless you’re super human… in which case, you get maybe seven minutes. Since seven is lucky and all, that sounds about right. Even super humans run out of luck when they try to test the universe. Most of my friends are super human, and we all try to at times. The universe tends to win…) When I find my mind wandering into thoughts of the unknown, into worrying about the future (which, for me, often manifests in feelings of anxiety), what am I learning to do is return to my breath. Breathe in… breathe out.

Breathe in… breathe out.

I inhale for a count of seven (or eleven, depending on what my body tells me), and then a count of seven (or eleven, as the case may be) on the exhale. I remember that my breath is what sustains me. It is what allows me to exist in this present moment, and when I remember this, I am filled with thoughts of gratitude. I am thankful for this life and am reminded that this moment is what matters. It’s all I have. My heart rate slows and anxiety diminishes. Plans and musings about the future evaporate into the atmosphere and I am left with only myself and my breath… this is all there is, and I am thankful for it.

– Write a reminder to yourself and tack it in a place (or, multiple places) where you will see it and it will be most beneficial to you.

For me, my mind tends to wander a lot when I’m driving. Sometimes positive thoughts about my life and feelings of thankfulness, sometimes reflections on experiences I’ve had {sometimes these reflections are related to whatever music I might be playing… Railroad Earth tends to elicit wonderful feelings for me – I’ve found myself driving through the mountains and crying tears of joy while blasting some Railroad Earth. Go ahead and picture it, it’s awesome. Even more awesome when I’m living it. I digress…}, but sometimes I find myself worrying about the future or what’s to come, or what will happen when I get to wherever it is I’m driving.

So, I have a sticker on my visor above my head that reads, “In The Moment Of NOW” at which I will glance whenever I find myself starting get a little anxious.  This does the trick for me in an instant… I remember where I am RIGHT NOW and I return to that place (this place, I guess I should say.) I stop worrying. And I breathe in the blessings of the moment.

This sort of thing requires repetition in order to really be able to flip a switch, but I would say its benefits started for me after about a week or so after putting this sticker in my car… I started to get used to it being there and after the first couple times of glancing up at its message, it became habit. I will read the words out loud to myself at times: “In the moment of now”, I will say. And I breathe, come back to the moment, sometimes turn my happy music up just a little louder and look around me to remind myself of the beauty that surrounds me. This grounds me and I quit my worrying. I am okay.

Your message to yourself may be different than mine… it could be as simple as “Smile”. Whatever it may be, follow it. You know yourself and will learn to know what works for you. This is part of the path to loving yourself: trusting that you know what you need.

– Find a pen. Find some paper. (I keep a notepad and pen with me {but this wasn’t always the case… I’ve learned my lesson and let enough musings that I could have expanded on pass me by. I think this means I’m really doing this writing thing. Word.} in part for this reason.) <- Weird punctuation like this is fun for me… I think that means I’m exactly where I need to be.

Write down three positive things about yourself and three about someone you love. Be honest. (This brings you back to the moment of now because you are forced to consider how you really are, right now (if you’re being honest with yourself at least you are) and you’re thinking positively. This positive thinking elevates mood and our worries of the future and/or things we don’t have control over seem less intense and more inconsequential compared to what’s available to us at hand. ‘What can I do right now?’.) <- More fun and weird punctuation.

(Also, this takes you outside of yourself and gets you thinking positive thoughts about someone in your life who you love and the things about him or her that probably brought you to feel that love in the first place. You are removed from your issues within your mind and are feeling good about (and thankful for, probably) someone who’s lucky enough to have your love.

– Find your mantra.

This is similar to writing a message to yourself to glance at but instead, it’s verbal, and it’s a phrase that you’ll repeat to yourself to help you find what it is you need. I think we all, on some level, know what it is we need. At least we do when we fully decide to be honest with ourselves. And we’re either addressing it or hiding from it. This mantra helps to bring us right back down to reality because it was something we found at a moment of clarity… and helps brings us back to that place when we’ve strayed and are feeling a little lost. For me, it is this: “We all want the same things. We all want to be happy and to be loved.”

Here are a couple others that I feel would work well:

“I am love, I am LIGHT.”
“I am happy. I am happy. I am happy.” (If you don’t feel it, fake it ’till you make it… and it will. Or you’ll start to feel ridiculous repeating this over and over and hopefully start to laugh at said feelings of ridiculousness. Life is silly… so laugh!)
“I AM SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!” (If you’re screaming this at people, especially at inappropriate times, you probably are.)

Get creative with it, get happy. Get it.

[I know I will continue to add onto this list as I find develop other positive habits such as these and will update accordingly.]

Take care of yourself today, hug someone, smile at a stranger, look up at the sky, breathe deeply.

You are loved!