Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Tag: musings

Ishvarapranidhana

I love this word. I love it so much, I have probably written about it before. But today calls for it too. This Monday, the start to a holiday week that then tumbles into an even greater, merrier, cheerier, stressier, happier, cookier, noggier season somehow marks the beginning and the ending for me in many ways. This is the first day after a day of completion yesterday where I tied up many large and looming projects and proposals. And today, I am up bright and early preparing for the next commitment.

I have thought a few times, as the “to dos” pile up with me putting on thing after thing on my calendar and commitment list, that I might not be setting myself up for the peace of the season. But the truth is, I am excited about all the things I am doing! I am thrilled! I want to do it all – just like I want to attend every Christmas party, every Thanksgiving potluck. I cannot help but feel I am called to do everything I have committed myself to do – even if this is a tremendous amount more than what I have done before. It must be a sign that I am growing.

I am coping with the increase of commitments in a few ways. One of them is remembering and practicing Ishvarapranidhana. This long Sanskrit word means literally to  “Surrender to the Divine”, yet often I have heard it said as “laying “it” at the feet of the Divine”. What an image.

This is what I find myself doing when tiredness creeps up, or I am nervous about the next step I have to take. I pause, I think about what it is that might be a little overwhelming and I see myself bow down, arms out stretched ahead of me, as this burden rolls from me down onto the largest, glowing feet I have ever seen. Then in the midst of the Divine all that I have surrendered – my very best work and my very worse-  evaporates and is made Perfect. My imperfections and errors are erased and I am free. It’s like standing by a fire. The unnecessary is burned away. I realize again, that it is not about me. I am the channel. Life asked for what I just gave it – my wrong perceptions, my feeble attempts, my best test – my thinking that it was me doing the work.

I hope I can remember this as time continues in the next few months. Any moments of overwhelm, exhaustion or the like can be wrapped up and given to the Divine. They don’t have to be perfect – in fact, that is NEVER the expectation. No, give it to Life in the messy form that you have made it and watch with wonder as it transforms before your eyes.

Any stress or anxiety that creep up, I ask now, to be a symbol of the fact that I am carrying the burden when that is not my job. May these emotions be triggers that it is time to surrender fully and allow, with the release of this mis-perceived weight, a flood of joy, merriment, and Christ- light to fill my body, mind, and affairs.

Amen.

 

Reality Check

Today I need a reality check… Here it is….

1. None of my “problems” are life- threatening.

2. I have the full function of my body, mind and spirit.

3. I woke up to the love of my life today.

4. I came to a job that pays me to do things I love.

5. I have work to do that contributes in meaningful ways to others.

6. I have the ability to make a new cup of tea at any moment.

7. I am finishing my dream class and closer than I realize to becoming more of who I desire to be.

8. There is clean air abounding around me.

9. I am in warm and comfortable clothes that make me feel the way I want.

10. I have a future that is brighter than I can imagine at this time.

11. I am working at a computer – a gift and tool so many don’t have access to.

12. I am never want for people or supplies to make my job easier.

13. In moments I forget these things, I have dozens of wise and wonderful people I love who can and do remind me of them.

Your greatest weapon against stress

Next time you feel stress, realize the choices you have.

The only thing that is forever in our control is how we react to things, and therefore the subsequent meanings we give things.

When things start to feel overwhelming. Stop. Breath. Recognize that you have the choice to proactively do something, instead of re-actively fret.

One of the best cures for stress is action. It doesn’t matter if you initially think the action you are taking is too small. Everyone can only eat, do, think, be so much at one time. Get the momentum going. This is not only the movement of accomplishment and completion, but the movement of proactively.

Being proactive is your greatest weapon. This will make all the difference.

Don’t dare use stress as an excuse to not do something. Never let it be your disability. Instead, make it the fire that burns away all that in unnecessary – including, perhaps most importantly, the stress itself.

May the overwhelming situation be a Divinely Ordained lesson designed for you to claim your own power and to put that into action.

Death be not proud

Life, true Life, the kind that overflows with love, that bubbles up hilarious laughter, and deepest sympathy. Life that emanates out of every pore on one’s body, and leaves its reminiscent scent of joy on others, cannot be threatened by death.

I did not know this until this past weekend. Until now, on account of my love affair with Life, I have feared death. Viewing death like a thief that could come in a snatch away all that I hold so dear that I can’t imagine breathing or living without it. Yet I was wrong.

Death is not the opposite of Life. Death is not the end of Life. While it is a separation of someone we love into the unknown, it is also their birth into greater Life. Their presence and energy, freed from their body can now be with us everywhere and at all times. Their omnipresent self is omniscient as well, their wisdom is yours to enjoy. Their humor still surrounds you.

While death of someone you love is one of the deepest griefs we may ever know, it is comforting for me, as I am still new in my relationship to Life, to know that Life lives even in death. Love knows no bounds. This includes the bounds of mortal bodies. Life does not limit itself to such needs as a body. Oh no, it surrounds us and embraces us in every form available. Death cannot take those who are in love with Life. For their Life is bigger than any mortal body and continues to ripple and affect hundreds, if not thousands, or millions, even after their body is gone.

How do you get rid of darkness?

You turn on the light. 

You don’t grab a bat and swing at it.

You don’t wish it wasn’t there.

You don’t complain about it.

You don’t worry about it.

You turn on the light. 

Wherever you might feel, see or be in darkness, turn on the light. Flip the switch of faith. Welcome in the Divine.

The darkness will cease and can never exist in that space as long as you are bringing in the Light.

What does fall taste like?

Fall tastes like the silence of the air conditioner and the breeze coming through the screens.

It tastes like candy corn and hay that gets stuck in your jeans.

Fall tastes like an invitation to come into yourself just a bit more, a preparation to hibernate that can be taken as sadness.

Fall tastes like darker mornings and earlier nights.

It tastes like a deep sign of the earth that the intense summer has let up and allowed some cooler presence.

Fall tastes like change.

It tastes like bulky cableknit sweaters and leggings that hug your body.

It tastes like larger, harder squashes, and pumpkin that infiltrates everyday foods like muffins, cookies and cakes.

It tastes like a goodbye to brilliant colors of summer found in flowers and sheer bathing suit covers

Fall tastes like a welcome to browns in their many shades.

Fall tastes like textbooks that have lost their luster and are beginning to look worn.

It tastes like comfort and reflection.

Fall tastes new and different in a mouth so use to bubbly summer drinks with ice. But it tastes good.

Approaching the To Do list with Peace

 

I find it hard sometimes to separate myself from my “to-do”list.

 

Perhaps there are some of you out there too, that go to sleep thinking of it, then wake up and quickly jot down the new things you are thinking of. There comes a time too, after weeks of the list getting longer, of the to-dos coming in hoards that I lose myself, enslaved by the daunting to do list.

 

The question is where is the line, or what is it about the “to-do” list that has the power to kill joy and/or your peace. What is it that pushes you into a land of unbalance, when it is suppose to be a tool to find balance and ease. How can I remain master and not slave to the list?

 

I think the answer lies in semantics. We are not human “doings” we are human “beings”. It is not a matter of how long or what is on your list, it is about who the person is that approaches the list. What is the mindset, the psyche, the heart of the human being. Essentially – where are you anchored?

 

I lose my power, my strength, my joy, when my identity and worth is tied up with what I “do” in a day – especially all the things I think I “should” be doing (oh that dreaded word!). My real worth is who am I being? What state of heart and mind do I approach the day with? What confidence in Life do I move from? Am I linked to my direct Power, Life, as I approach the list or any task I am presented with?

 

While there are things to be done, can it be your Soul that greets them dancing?

 

While there are emails and phone calls and planning and doing, can you objectively see them from the temple that you dwell within in your expansive and universal heart?

 

Can you create, look, approach a list with an indescribable peace emanating from your Soul, where you see it just as it is,words on paper.

 

Your true reminders don’t come from your notepads or phones. They come from within.

 

The true “doing” comes in the spaces that you leave in your schedule. The spaces in your “to-dos” and in your mind. For this is the space that the Divine has to come and manage all the details you might think are your responsibility.

 

No offense, but this is the Divine that arranges planets and tides and photosynthesis and birth.

Don’t you think it could manage the details of your day too?

Perhaps its time I turn over the reigns and greet the Divine in all the unknown it is shrouded in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hard Work

It buffs out your jagged edges.

It rubs you down until you’re shiny and in better shape.

It satisfies you unlike any other type of food, drink or substance.

It’s your contribution to the world, truly your “body of work” – it’s what will be left for others

And if you learn to never fear it, but see its power to transform circumstances, yours and others, then can be one of the greatest tools you will ever have the privilege of using.

This is the beauty and blessing of hard work.

 

Why I cried on the bus this morning…

I accept this part about my myself, and I can’t help but think that maybe if I share a bit of my craziness (as culture and society might label it) then perhaps it gives someone else permission to feel deeply the joy and blessings that they too have in their life.

The thing that I love about Life is that you never know when a moment is coming. It’s as if, in this love relationship with Life, there are surprises at every corner, floods of love and appreciation fill me in the most unexpected times. This is exactly what happened to me this morning.

I caught an earlier bus than I had ever ridden, arriving at the bus station at 6:40, so that I could make a yoga class at 7. Perhaps my soul was prepped by the iridescent pink sunrise that rose over the trees as I waited, or by the strap of my yoga mat presenting the weight of the class that was coming into my shoulder, as I felt a tangible relief in myself as I approached this day. As I took my seat on the bus, my eyes welled with tears at the thought that I was going, that today I could do yoga. I felt the presence and power of my body as a tool to bring me to peace. I felt the relief of my soul as it knew that there was now coming a time to be. The cells of my body laughed at the joy that they felt and that was altering them.

And this was all from sitting down in the bus.

Yet then, as we pulled up to the next stop, the bus driver approached me and asked me to move. I didn’t understand, but of course gladly complied. Then I saw him. An attractive young man wheeled himself into the place my seat used to be. The driver had lifted the whole row of seats and this man rolled himself into the place, allowing the driver to meticulously take some straps and attach them to his chair. Then man in the wheelchair took a gloved hand and drank from a sporty water bottle. He was clearly fit. You could tell he was a man who would have used his legs if he could.

Words, right now, are too small of containers to capture my suppliant gratitude towards Life for the gift of my legs.

The truth is, why should it be crazy that I couldn’t at that moment, and even now, stop crying out of gratitude that I have legs? Why can’t we celebrate what we have when he have it? Why can’t we pay homage to the aspects of Life and ourselves that serve us every day, not just in functional ways, but in spiritual ways too.

In the following yoga class each downward dog was a pilgrimage to this place of thankfulness. The run I dashed into from the bus to the class was a celebration of two of my best friends, my legs. The truth is, every movement and motion I take with them, is a gift of endless and greatest pleasure. It breaks my heart that not everyone can enjoy this gift, whether because they are disabled or simply distracted.

This isn’t about not taking anything for granted. This is about living a life so mindful and conscious of the life-force and ways you can use it that you can’t help but be moved in the small and dramatic moments of everyday life. It’s about being madly overwhelmed with gratitude when nothing but something inside of you has changed. It’s about loving and using every aspect of Life you have been given.

Look out for Icebergs

I realized this past week, as I was in a conversation, that when we make a new acquaintance, we really don’t know the depth of the person. How quickly we cast judgements (or at least I do) that they are this way or they are that. Or dare I say, we even in our mind think of what they can do for us (I hope is that this thought is shifted to, What can I do for them). The reality is that we know so little from just meeting a person. It truly is, just the tip of the iceberg.

The bulk, the majesty, the massive contribution of each person usually lies under the surface, hidden from our view. Yet we encounter these icebergs every day. Each person has not only a story that supports them, but a growing contribution to the world that we cannot see.

What if we approached more people and more moments conscious of the whole iceberg, with the curiosity of a scientist wanting to know more about their depth? What if we went into every situation knowing that we truly can only see the tip of the matter or the person, at best.

What if we greeted everyone with the acknowledgement of their strength and power to create mountains and change the world?

What if?