Reblog: Learning How to Live

Learning How to Live

A month ago, I wrote a blog called True-Spirit Gifts.  In it, I “outed” the part of me that seeks acknowledgment and praise. It resonated with Rhonda, writer at Believe. Dream. Love. I want to share her words as it is a true testimony of brave self-inquiry and finding how to live again by recapturing her true essence. As we do so, we can’t help but to give true-spirit gifts. Thank you, Rhonda.

 

From the blog, Believe. Dream. Love.

 

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.” –      Lyn Yutang

Why do you do what you do?

 

The past couple weeks I’ve been fighting a sinus cold. Despite my best attempts at positive thinking, healthy eating, vitamins, supplements and oil of oregano, I’m still not 100%.   There is a lesson in this for me. I’m the type of person who likes to be busy. I have lots of things I want to do, and I feel guilty if I’m not doing something. I have problems just relaxing. In other words, I haven’t yet learned how to truly live.

 

A few weeks ago I came across a post by one of my favourite bloggers, The Soul Reporter. Nikki Di Virgilio wrote this incredibly honest and enlightening post called True Spirit-Gifts, and I have been reading it almost every day since I first came across it. I printed it. I have underlined certain parts. I have written notes all over it. I put it in my purse so that it’s always with me in case I feel the need to re-read it. It spoke to me so deeply and woke me up to thoughts I didn’t even realize I was thinking…..Continue to read by clicking here.

I AM

The pain & the suffering of my mind is not me.

It swirls in and around me, but it is not me.

It is like a wind, sometimes gentle, only lurking.

Other times, it is fierce, and comes with great gusts that knock me down…Until

I realize it is not me, only wind of my mind passing through.

And than, the question becomes, Do I allow it pass through me or do I hold it, and allow it to become alive in me?

If I hold it in, I become the hallowing wind and use my fury to destroy, and disconnect.

If I allow it pass through, I am left with what is in me, a glowing rock within;

Solid, strong, constant.

Unbendable, unable to destroy or be destroyed, unable to disconnect or be disconnected by the winds of my mind.

I AM.

Originally written in 2002

Intoxicating Brilliance

Today’s Soul Report: Stop and Smell the Roses

 

 

One of the results of soul work is we will be less occupied with ourselves, which is a benefit in many ways, and one simple benefit is we will be pulled in by intoxicating beauty that is everywhere. We will immerse in a moment.

The smell of this flower....intoxicating brilliance.

On my walk this afternoon, I was completely taken in by a scent. Above me was a tree, budding with small flowers. I took off a small branch, and breathed in its scent all the way home. My daughter was studying at the dining room table, and I put the branch to her nose. She stopped. Closed her eyes. “It smells like Hawaii.” My youngest daughter was in her room, and had not been speaking to me for two days. I put the branch to her nose. She resisted, but took in a whiff. She began talking to me again. Smiling. Laughing.

We must find what makes us happy, if even for a moment. We must allow space to “stop and smell the roses,” and invite others as we do.

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter

The Greatest Love of All

Today’s Soul Report: Love & Projection

The inspiration for today’s post began with a tweet from Oprah. She was responding to a man, who I now see from his twitter page is obviously trying to get attention by being really, really mean.

Here is the conversation: @Oprah- To me Whitney was THE VOICE. We got to hear a part of God every time she sang. Heart is heavy, spirit grateful for the GIFT of her. In which man who I won’t name says: I did not know God condoned illicit drug use. #Hypocrite. In which @Oprah responded: What I know for sure: God is love. Love does not condemn. I did not know God was in the drug law business.

There was also another conversation on Facebook after Madonna’s Super Bowl performance. A few people felt the need to condemn Madonna and make comments about who she is a person and so on. I felt a need to defend Madonna, maybe to defend the part of me that feels judged, knowing that we are not just what we show- that we are so much more, and at times, so much less. I also responded because I am so over seeing others (and myself) talk shit about people, especially, as a culture, celebrities.

The excuse, as I defended Madonna, is this is what happens to them because of the attention- they get admired and ridiculed, but this doesn’t make it right.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer, on her Facebook page, made an interesting comment about Whitney’s death- she called it “Death by Perfection.” As I thought about this further, the Whitney I loved in the 80’s and 90’s was sweet, beautiful and obviously THE VOICE, as Oprah said. Perfection was projected at her. She was the perfect diva, the perfect performer, having the perfect look, and voice. She had everything. Is it possible, there was a secret she was holding- a secret that said I am not all of those things. I am not as perfect as you think I am. In fact, I recall her telling us during an interview that she has another side, a side at the time, she seemed proud of. Is it possible, part of what she did was show us, and herself, how imperfect she is.

Addiciton or no addiction- just to say it was addiction that killed her doesn’t go deep enough. People say addiction is a disease, but I think it is a symptom of a much deeper disease. Whitney sang a song, Greatest Love of All– not having love for ourselves is our disease, and for most of us, it begins right out the womb, and perhaps before. We are a world of the walking wounded and rejected. Because of this, the culture can’t help but to tell us we aren’t okay- that who we inherently are is imperfect, or just as bad, we are told how perfect we are. We are neither. We just are and should be taken as such, and as such in each moment, but we aren’t. Instead we must define, concrete and project, and celebrities get this in enormous waves.

Life is difficult for us “common” folk, so imagine what it might be like for the famous, regardless if they conscioulsy sought fame out or not or how much damn money they have. Does it make us feel better to ridicule  them becuase we have a part of us that would like to famous, and rich? Does it feel good to be in awe of them because we feel so inadequate? How do you think it makes them feel when we give them all our shit? How do we feel when we are projected upon?

I have a few points to this post, I see, probably running off on a couple tangents. It’s a hot button for me, and from this post, I want us to really consider that we are all energy. What this means is we feel everything that is being projected at us, near and far. If we were a culture seeped in a lifestyle right out of the womb to know, and love thyself- then there would not be projection. There might actually be more love.

Yes, I am of the 2% of the population, according to some test, labeled as “the idealist.” I see what is possible, and I often, almost always fall short myself, and it hurts me more and more to see us so critical and condemning toward others.  My response to the twitter conversation from above: People condemn so to not feel that Love- but it’s there.

I condemned Whitney during the Oprah interview, which was the last time I saw her. Why? Because my mom was an addict, and I was the one who was more responsible than she was. It is a common role, children of addicts, play, and I saw Bobby Kristina being put in that position by her mother. This is my stuff. Truth may be in this for Whitney and her daughter, but at the time I was still angry by the responsibility I carried in lack of my mother’s,  and projected that upon Whitney.

I don’t know Whitney at all. And maybe Whitney probably didn’t know Whitney as well as she would have liked. I mean does anyone really want to throw their life away, as what has been suggested? And is Whitney’s death or life a waste because of what we think we know about her? This was HER life. This is OUR life, and it is of no one to say to us what is a waste and what is not. What is wrong and what is not. What is right and what is not. We come here for our own reasons. Our own lessons. Our own possibilities.

Our possibility, to my idealist mind, is one of the greatest lessons, a lesson that cannot be learned just in school or by some famous person who we want to be our role model or that can even be done in one life, and that possibility is to know our self, all of our self. Not only know it all, but love it all, and from what I see, we have hardly touchded upon the friendship, compassion and deep, deep wisdom that is in the self.

To tweet a respoonse to that conversation was a step forward in my evolution toward that love. I didn’t condemn the man who said this or defend or project. Instead I saw that the love Oprah mentioned is there- in all of us, and we condemn others so we don’t have to feel our own pain. Our pain can’t kill us. We only fear it might, and we get involved in all sorts of destrucitve behaviors because of that fear.

None of us are squeky clean, and when we are, we will be out teaching in love and compassion and not condemnation, superiority and judgement. To have compassion is to understand our human condition. To express love is to know that is what we are. That love is what we all hold and often try and ignore, but it’s there.

I know this wasn’t an ooey-gooey Valentines post, but sometimes we must go beyond the oo and the goo. I will leave you with this video of Whitney singing the Greatest Love of All. What brought tears to my eyes, is seeing how happy this woman was when she sang. That is a look of pure love, that existed even in her so-called dysfunction. That, maybe even more than the voice, inspires, and learning to love ourselves is the greatest gift of all, and it’s a process.

Please spread the love and the message. I’d love it if you did. Happy Valentines Day.

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter

Good Deeds

Today’s Soul Report: Good Deeds

 

I’ve been asked to help promote the movie, Good Deeds, coming out on February 24th with Tyler Perry. Although, I’ve not seen the film, but plan to, I said yes because of the campaign they are running. Each time someone watches the trailer, only a minute long, and shares the link, Lionsgate will make a donation to Covenant House. To learn more read below- and of course, watch the trailer and share. And then today, you can say you have done a good deed.

Namaste, The Soul Reporter

Tyler Perry’s GOOD DEEDS Announces Initiative to Support Homeless Youth

Tyler Perry’s GOOD DEEDS is very happy to announce Good Deeds:Great Needs, an initiative to support Covenant House, a non-profit organization that provides for homeless youth. Through GiftCardGiver.com, Good Deeds:Great Needs will be collecting unused gift cards and donating all collected to Covenant House. In addition, Lionsgate will be making a financial donation to Covenant House for every share of the GOOD DEEDS trailer! So make sure to watch and share the video!

To learn more and share Good Deeds:Great Needs, visit www.gooddeedsgreatneeds.com GOOD DEEDS also presents fans the opportunity to win a Valentine’s Date Night! Just head over to the GOOD DEEDS Facebook page and submit your “love story” for the chance to win a $500 Visa Gift Card! Contest can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/GoodDeedsMovie?sk=app_239455529470849

TYLER PERRY’S GOOD DEEDS opens in theaters everywhere on February 24, 2012.

The film stars Tyler Perry, Thandie Newton, Brian White, Rebecca Romijn, Jamie Kennedy, Eddie Cibrian, Jordenn Thompson, and Beverly Johnson with Phylicia Rashad and Gabrielle Union.

To learn more, visit: Covenant House: http://www.covenanthouse.org/

Gift Card Giver: http://giftcardgiver.com/

SYNOPSIS: A successful, wealthy businessman, Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry) has always done what’s expected of him, whether it’s assuming the helm of his father’s company, tolerating his brother’s misbehavior at the office or planning to marry his beautiful but restless fiancée, Natalie (Gabrielle Union). But Wesley is jolted out of his predictable routine when he meets Lindsey (Thandie Newton), a down-on-her-luck single mother who works on the cleaning crew in his office building. When he offers to help her get back on her feet, the chance encounter with someone so far outside his usual circle ignites something in Wesley. This one good deed may finally spark his courage to exchange the life that’s expected of him for the life he’s always really wanted. A moving, uplifting drama about coincidence, courage, and the defining choices we make on our paths to happiness, TYLER PERRY’S GOOD DEEDS is written, produced and directed by Tyler Perry, and stars Perry, Thandie Newton, Brian White, Rebecca Romijn, Jamie Kennedy, Eddie Cibrian, Jordenn Thompson, Beverly Johnson, with Phylicia Rashad, and Gabrielle Union.

Official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GoodDeedsMovie

Official Site: http://www.GoodDeedsMovie.com

Official Twitter: http://twitter.com/GoodDeedsMovie

Little Bug

Today’s Soul Report: Help is on the way

I helped save a bug. An itsy-bitsy one. I was outside, filling up the dog dish with water, when this tiny little bug flew into the water. In an instant it jumped out, dry, as if never wet, ready to fly. But then, maybe the wind blew, and it fell back in. This time , I thought, it might not make it out, so I helped it. I put my hand in, trying to flush it out. It landed on my finger, and after a bit of wobbling, it flew away.

Why did I help this bug? It’s spirit. It kept trying to live, and keep going. It inspired me to assist. My insight from this tiny experience- someone might see my spirit, and lend a helping hand (toward my desire to be a published writer). If not, at least I know I keep going even after being thrown in a dog dish full of water, which often happens- not literally of course.

Sometimes life feels shitty and yet somehow I remain committed. My bet is we all do. Maybe this is the miracle.

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting. ~The Buddha

Keep striving, no matter where you are. Help is on the way.

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter

The Universal Story

Today’s Soul Report: Fairy Tales

 

I am putting together pieces I have accumulated over the years for the memoir I am writing. Here’s a piece on fairy tales, that I’d like to let go of, that won’t be getting into the book. However,  it is the perfect theme of my book. A woman imprisoned within her own self, with a wish for something more, who goes into the dark forest and meets monsters and obstacles, all there to untie her from herself, so that she may reunite with herSelf and be free- or at the very least, have extended moments of liberation, and whispers of who she really is.

And here is the piece:

Fairy tales tell the story of transformation. They are symbolic of our growth and when taken too literally, we miss their meaning. We must look deeper, and see how they show us our process of becoming.

For instance- Cinderella. As with all princesses (to be) they have a wish. If we just believe, and perhaps sing about it too, they might just come true. Our wish, coming from innocent faith, sets the intention to leave our current existence behind, usually one exhibiting some sort of imprisonment or enslavement.

From here the trials begin. Cinderella faces, and for a time, succumbs and is controlled by her jealous step-mother and sisters, which are aspects of herself. Her own jealousies and insecurities. Through this, however she remains innocent and faithful, and when the fairy godmother appears, she is open to her. She requested her with her wish, and attracted her with her innocence and faith. The fairy godmother, a higher aspect of herself, has come to show a way to get through to the land of her dreams.

Once shown, there is still more work to do. More trials to get through, and hopefully as she goes through them, she finds her strength, wisdom, courage, and patience. At some point, all of the energies, energies she has been facing and have surfaced on her journey, come together, and a miracle happens. A wish is granted. A dream fulfilled. And as I have heard Oprah say, now dream a bigger dream. And if we do, we will begin the process again. And even if we don’t, as we know, for now, at least for most of us, there is not the “happily ever after.” This is because we are not stagnant beings. We are not done. We are still growing, and growing brings with it everything we need to grow. The sun. The rain. Dirt. Weeds….you get the point.

We must allow ourselves to go through the trials, those middle places where we release our insecurities, and look at them with as much curiosity and understanding as we can muster. Try and empathize with their nature. We must also allow, and notice the moments where we are the wise prince or princess of our dreams, living and loving beautifully and abundantly. This story is inherent. It resides within. It is universal.

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter

Yes

Today’s Soul Report: Saying YES

 

“I imagine that yes is the only living thing.”         ~ee cummings

Every once and awhile I receive a writing prompt in my inbox from Laura Davis, and the Writer’s Journey Roadmap. Today’s prompt is: What do you need to say yes to in your life? I thought I’d share my answer with you, and maybe you’d also like to answer this question for you.

My answer:

In the past years, I have noticed many no’s. These no’s have created disappointment and discouragement in me, but I also see that these “no’s” are bringing me to yes. Yes. Once again I say yes to me. To my essence. To my power. To my light. To my wisdom. To my grace. To my life. To my love. To my heart. To my mind, body & soul. Really, I’ve been saying yes all along- to something larger beyond what I think I want or need- like that yes from an agent. Or that yes for a possible job contract. Or that yes for a friendship, or a yes for life to be easier. That yes, from the world outside that says, I’m okay. I’m wanted. I’m needed. All of these “no’s” bring me to how I fully answer today’s prompt, I say yes to me. All of me. 

To visit, Laura Davis’s site, click here, and maybe you’d like to receive writing prompts.

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter

A Whistling-Humming Story

Today’s Soul Report: Just Sharing

 

 

My dad called today. He was the happiest I’ve heard him. He said, today during his meditation, he found his whistle. For awhile, it was gone.

My Cool Dad

One of few early memories I can recall is of he and I sitting in his car. My parents had recently divorced and I think he was dropping me off at home. We must have gone out to eat because we both had toothpicks in our mouth. My dad always got a toothpick after dinner, and somehow I have a feeling I thought my dad was pretty cool, and I think, maybe I wanted to be just like him. So, of course, like him, I too had a toothpick in my mouth.

Not only was my dad cool with a toothpick, he was a great whistler. I definitely had whistle envy. I’d pucker up and all you heard from me was forced, strained air. My dad, however could not only project a crisp, clear sound, he could whistle a tune. Wow.

Teach me, daddy. Teach me. 

With the toothpick in my mouth, in the center of a small circle formed by my lips, I pulled out the toothpick and out came a sound. It was a whistle. My dad, in my young  mind, taught me how to whistle. Although I don’t think I’ve whistled since.

I was surprised he had lost his whistle and we both laughed as he shared how today, he had found it. When we whistle we can’t really be sad. It’s a happy thing to do, and I think thoughtful. Reflective, perhaps. Even if we whistle a sad tune, the sorrow we may feel, but our whistling lets us know we are NOT the sorrow we feel.

I have two theories~ I think men whistle and women hum. My mom hates humming. Her aunt, and I believe her mother hummed, as do the “old ladies” in the community where she lives. She will not admit this, but my mom, now hums too. Which brings me to theory two- whistling & humming are good for the soul. And speaking of humming, four hummingbirds drank from my feeder today. Two, I have seen, but never four.

These are just a few simple experiences, thoughts, and memories I had today, that I wanted to share.

Namaste,

The Soul Reporter

These Moles

Today’s Soul Report: Beauty & Acceptance

Maybe it’s becoming more present. Or age. Or the dancing in the kitchen this morning to Madonna, but as I looked in the mirror this afternoon- skin fresh from a shower, the moles upon my skin- the ones my 11-year old says are ugly, and I often agree, were not ugly. They are on my skin. My body- a body, that in time, will no longer be here.

We spend so much time hating parts of our bodies, and I don’t mean to suggest my subtle moment of mole worship will now shut those voices up- but I do believe this subtle moment may awaken others. Others where I appreciate this body. This magnificent and brilliant body, which carries my soul. My breath. My essence. If nothing else it offers more moments of peace, admiration, and beauty over anxiety, failure and disappointment.

Namaste

The Soul Reporter