Invite a few friends to do this with you. What you need is a dark room and a single birthday candle or votive. Either one is fine, just as long as it is small. Stand in the darkness and feel the weight of it on your shoulders. Let your eyes adjust and listen to the silence. What do you hear? The rushing waves of your ears? The voices in your head? Let them go. When you are ready, light the candle. See how much of the room it actually lights up! Now, light your friend's candle with yours. Notice how not a single bit of brightness is lost from your candle. Take a minute to not how much the light has increased. If there are more folks keep on sharing the light always pausing to appreciate how bright it becomes. See that, even a single candle can actually banish the darkness. Be the candle today. Share your light with someone. It will make actually make a difference.
Yesterday I fell short of my illustrious goals...again.
I felt the anger and self hate begin to bubble up like an angry cauldron.
My eyes narrowed, shooting razor daggers at my own heart as she lay cowering below my breast.
My self worth began to hiss out of my body, deflating slowly as self loathing came barreling in ready to take its place.
"No," my soul cried,"Please, no."
But this is all too familiar.
As my heart began to shield herself from the inevitable pummeling,
My soul rose up.
"I forgive you!" she whimpered.
Self loathing froze mid attack.
"I FORGIVE YOU!"
My heart timidly looked up.
"I FORGIVE YOU!!!!"
Self loathing, shocked and stunned by words that fell like a shield in front of my heart, began to back up, baring teeth as if to try and rally itself. But its attacks had been blocked.
For the first time ever, it had nothing to say and simply watched.
"And.....and....I love you. I love YOU."
My heart began to beat the powerful drum beat of the loved.
Staring at the now frozen self loathing she began to rise up.
Stunned, shaken, but rising up nonetheless.
One battle won.
Many more to go.
I am a very busy woman. Eating tends to be this weird sort of priority. I enjoy eating. I want to eat, but mostly I do not have time to actually think, prepare, or cook anything.
Ok, full disclosure. I do not TAKE the time to do any of these things. When I had a family at home, I did...for them. They had to eat after all. Me, eh....I'll grab whatever. I have determined I could pretty much live on cottage cheese and canned pineapples. I don't really enjoy cooking unless it is for an event, ie. family or friends over. For myself, I grab whatever and eat on the run or in front of a screen...not so much in the car, come on, I've got standards. But this is a terrible habit I have developed over the past couple of years and it has not served me well.
I have been thinking a lot about living consciously and being aware. No, I am not talking about the New Age watered down approach to Buddhism or some other appropriated* philosophy. I am simply talking about being awake when I do anything. One of my teachers invited me to begin with eating, so I did. It's really been quite amazing. At first, since I was excited and therefore very aware of the exercise, I did quite well. Pausing before eating or drinking. Saying a blessing and thinking about the act. I was feeling pretty damn good about myself. And then life happened. I got busy. And I discovered it was all too easy to fall back into mindless consumption. The difference this time was, I did think about it. Yes, it may have been two or three bites in, but I thought about it. That was a big deal for me. I was/am building awareness.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Have or how do you practice awareness? If you would like, I invite you to try this with me:
NOTE ON THE WORD APPROPRIATION: Appropriation means to take something for one's own use, and while religions, philosophies can and, I think, should be shared (wisdom is a good thing) to say x,y,z is a true representative of such and such religion or philosophy is not okay. It has been my personal experience that there are many well meaning folks who kinda helped themselves to some pretty cool religions and philosophies and sort of ran with them claiming expertise and mastership. Again, not okay. It's fine if you learn and use something that helps you, rock on! But it is not okay to claim you are an expert in something after a weekend workshop or a couple of classes. Not to mention any names, as I would not wish to embarrass Madonna here, I think but you get the drift.
Strange that this rose bush doesn't realize it's November and shouldn't be blooming now. Apparently it doesn't care about things such a calendar propriety. There it is blooming away like it's June! Shameless plant. All the other plants have ceased to bloom. All the other plants have begun to die back and retreat into the earth. Why, even the trees have changed their garments and begun to strip themselves of their gaudy garb! Who does this rose bush think it is? Fancies itself a conifer I imagine. Ha! And yet....and yet, look it. Beautiful in spite of the overcast day that doesn't for one second diminish it's beauty. Look how she laughs at the weather! Look how proud and beautiful she is! She is her own being. Oh my, I do believe I admire this brazen scarlet beauty. She is strength. She is anarchy.