Friday, May 29, 2009

From Bleeding to Balance

I am a writer, and a real writer bleeds on the paper. If you are an artist of any kind, you can not create without offering up the sacrifice of your heart to the work. It is life. You've birthed this creation. You've nurtured, feared, struggled, cried, laughed, and bled as you brought it from the void into manifestation.

Some of my work has my essence naked for the reader to see, and some of it is far from the reality of myself and my life. Nonetheless, these stories and poems are all dear to me. I didn't quite realize how dear until they were met with rejection and silence.

I know. I know. I hear the published authors and other kinds of artists telling me to thicken my skin, not take it personally. I won't argue against the truth of that. But I'm speaking of this because I am seeing the deeper truths beneath my emotional reactions.

Over the past 24 hours I've been judged and judged others. I've cried. I've been angry. I've yelled. I watched on Twitter friends tweet of their dreams, tweet self-affirmations of their worth and instead of reacting from a place of love I felt anger. I felt a sense of "Why You?!"

Ah, yes -- why you and not me? As if love is limited in its supply. As if my abundance is limited by another's success.

I realized that I, like many of us, was stuck in a view of the world that originates in from a place of limitations and lack. But the truth is when love is given, it doesn't lessen the supply I have, it only increases it. Since metaphysically we are all one, how one person is treated impacts all of us. So if I am loving to someone, in the end I'm being loving to myself. If I practice compassion for others, I learn compassion for myself.

Once you move from lack/fear into abundance/love, something interesting can occur. I can be in an emotional space to have the compassion to say, "I am that." Here's the idea. We have a tendency to want to judge and punish others for things we think and desire within ourselves. Let's take an extreme example: a person who stalks someone. Now deep down in this person's psyche, he longs for love. Perhaps he even believes if someone else is experiencing it that it takes away from his chance. Perhaps he fears that he will never find someone that makes him feel the way this other person does.

Looking at his emotions, his fears, I can honestly say, "I am that." I have longed for someone and lost him, worried I might not feel that passion again. I've envied and worried as I watch people in love, wondering if I am running out of chances.

In every case, no matter the extremity of the situation, there is a humanity that we can relate to and say, "I am that." We can recognize ourselves in the frazzled parent yelling at their child, the distracted driver who cuts us off, the insecure friend who acts out to get more attention.

Being able to go Yes, I've been frustrated and angry. Yes, I've been far too busy and gotten distracted and forgotten to pay attention.Yes, I've worried about being loved and accepted.I am that. allows you to tune in again to love and recognize our oneness. You may not have reacted in the same way as someone else, but you can understand a bit of what they are going through.

In practicing moving myself more into a loving, centered state and doing this exercise of "I am that" today, I have been able to work through my sorrows. I am clear enough emotionally now to honor those places I need to heal without being lost in the pain. I am once again able to view those who frustrated me with great compassion and love. I am grateful to each one of them for being there to teach me.

So practice this and let me know what you think. Namaste and Blessed Be.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

"My mother is a poem I'll never be able to write, though everything I write is a poem to my mother." -- —Sharon Doubiago

Dear Mom,

I know I'll never be old enough for you to stop worrying about me. Your e-mails and your voice mails checking in on me, looking out for my safety, wishing me a good day during a stressful time bring a smile to my face. I thank God that even though I'm an adult that you are still willing to be at my side if I need you, that you are still my defender, still the shoulder I can cry on. The gift now is that I can be there for you too.

There will never come a day when hearing you are proud of me doesn't fill my heart. You are the example of womanhood I strive to emulate and to have you say "Good Job" makes me feel like I'm becoming the kind of person I want to be.

I can't imagine a more challenging job than raising a child and you had to deal with one that was very sick during her first years. I can't fathom how scary, stressful, and painful some of those moments must have been for you. But you carried on. Through my physical ups and downs you have held my hand. I have no doubt in my early years such love pulled me through.

The gifts you have given me through the years are too numerous to name: the band practices, plays, and games you didn't miss; the hours spent sewing costumes, baking treats for my classmates, and helping with homework.

Because of you I found my love of words and my passion for writing. I wouldn't be me without the endless sessions of you reading to me, trips to the library, and the books you've passed along. And thank you for encouraging my own work.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is: You are all of the best in my world. You are joy, forgiveness, compassion, and the motivating kick in the backside. I am grateful for the patience and love. I am grateful for the laughter. I am grateful for how you pushed me to be a better person.

To say thank you for such gifts seems so little, but I think that is a mother's blessing: You ask nothing more than to be loved, though you would give the world for your child.

I hope you know how treasured you are. You are in my heart always. I am well aware of how much I lucked out in having you for my mother. It was a blessing I'll always give thanks for.

I love you mom. Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Namaste Consciousness

"You were missed." These words welcomed me back to work on Friday after a month-long furlough. There were even a few welcome back hugs to add cheer to my day.

As the smile grew on my face with each word of appreciation, I realized how important interactions like these are for my soul. It is important for us to know that we are cared for and that our presence impacts another person's world. It reminded me how important it is for us to acknowledge those around us.

When was the last time you expressed to someone how wonderful you think they are, how grateful you are for what they do, how much you appreciate them? Take the time. People need to hear these words. It is a period of great stress and negativity. It is important to remember each one of us can make a choice to give in to the negativity or to reach for the light. We can make a choice to help others who are struggling to hold on and remind them of their worth. We can make a choice to act from love.

It can be hard to reach out. It can be a struggle to be vulnerable. So allow me to share. It has been my tendency through much of my life to be a hermit. I protected myself out of fear. Through time and age, I am learning. I am softening. The walls are slowly crumbling. When you open your heart and come from a place of love, you see the beauty of others. You are barely able to see their so-called faults through the loving filter. The very desire to judge is lost in appreciation of the the gifts and struggles of that unique person. Compassion comes easier and therefore anger lessens. Take the time to take care of yourself so that you are grounded, centered, calm, and in a loving place when interacting with others.

I challenge you to salute and bless the people around you. Everyone. This includes the people you like and the people you might not like. Just look at a person and say a simple blessing like "The love in me salutes the love in you." or "The God in me salutes the God in you." If need be, make up your own blessing. We want to acknowledge the best in people. Such praise and honoring helps those good qualities to manifest further. It will also help improve your outlook since you'll be focusing on something positive.

Adopt this Namaste consciousness and let me know what happens. Share your stories, frustrations, further suggestions. Honor those around you and don't wait to spread love. Live with an open heart and light up the world.