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“If peace comes from seeing the whole,
then misery stems from a loss of perspective.

We begin so aware and grateful. The sun somehow hangs there in the sky. The little bird sings. The miracle of life just happens. Then we stub our toe, and in that moment of pain, the whole world is reduced to our poor little toe. Now, for a day or two, it is difficult to walk. With every step, we are reminded of our poor little toe.

Our vigilance becomes: Which defines our day—the pinch we feel in walking on a bruised toe, or the miracle still happening?

It is the giving over to smallness that opens us to misery. In truth, we begin taking nothing for granted, grateful that we have enough to eat, that we are well enough to eat. But somehow, through the living of our days, our focus narrows like a camera that shutters down, cropping out the horizon, and one day we’re miffed at a diner because the eggs are runny or the hash isn’t seasoned just the way we like.

When we narrow our focus, the problem seems everything. We forget when we were lonely, dreaming of a partner. We forget first beholding the beauty of another. We forget the comfort of first being seen and held and heard. When our view shuts down, we’re up in the night annoyed by the way our lover pulls the covers or leaves the dishes in the sink without soaking them first.

In actuality, misery is a moment of suffering allowed to become everything. So, when feeling miserable, we must look wider than what hurts. When feeling a splinter, we must, while trying to remove it, remember there is a body that is not splinter, and a spirit that is not splinter, and a world that is not splinter.”
Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

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Don’t you just love Jeff Brown’s ability to cut through the bullshit?

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‘EVERYTHING is not a gift. There may be valued transformation that arises from many experiences, but that doesn’t mean that EVERY experience is a gift. If we lean too far in that direction, we will deny trauma and victimhood all together, something we have been mistakenly doing for centuries. No, everything is not a gift. Some experiences are horrors, and it is all we can do to heal from them. To suggest that someone MUST find the gift in them, is to add insult to injury. It is also to create a culture that welcomes all horrors, because, after all- “everything is a gift.” Let’s keep it grounded- sometimes, it’s a gift. Sometimes it’s a horror. And the only who can decide that is the person who had the experience.’ -JEFF BROWN

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“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”

-Dinah Maria Mulock Craik, A Life for a Life

Last Night As I Was Sleeping by Antonio Machado



Last night as I was sleeping,

I dreamt—marvelous error!—

that a spring was breaking

out in my heart.

I said: Along which secret aqueduct,

Oh water, are you coming to me,

water of a new life

that I have never drunk?
Last night as I was sleeping,

I dreamt—marvelous error!—

that I had a beehive

here inside my heart.

And the golden bees

were making white combs

and sweet honey

from my old failures.
Last night as I was sleeping,

I dreamt—marvelous error!—

that a fiery sun was giving

light inside my heart.

It was fiery because I felt

warmth as from a hearth,

and sun because it gave light

and brought tears to my eyes.
Last night as I slept,

I dreamt—marvelous error!—

that it was God I had

here inside my heart.

‘Your peace is not negotiable’

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‘One of the important things I learned after escaping my childhood home was that no one was entitled to steal my peace of mind. I didn’t understand this when I was young. Throughout my childhood, I would watch as my good moods were continually undermined by the bad moods of others. If they weren’t angry and blaming, they were depressed and despondent. There was no boundary anywhere, and no education on how to sustain positivity in the heart of misery. Misery begot misery begot misery. It took many years to learn that there was another way of being in this world- one where I was allowed to protect my precious peace. And it was perhaps the most important lesson I ever learned at the School of Heart Knocks. Because if you allow yourself too close to lite-dimmers and border-crossers, you will deny yourself the life that awaits you. You will live under someone else’s cloud until it becomes your own. Simply put, people are entitled to their moods, but they aren’t entitled to yours. Your peace is not negotiable.’-Jeff Brown

Shine On

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“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired.
Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision.
Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy.
Trust, even when your heart begs you not to.
Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see.
Frolick, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring.
Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more.

And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience—you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.”

Alysha Speer

Surrender- Anita Moorjani

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“I’m at my strongest when I’m able to let go, when I suspend my beliefs as well as disbeliefs, and leave myself open to all possibilities. That also seems to be when I’m able to experience the most internal clarity and synchronicities. My sense is that the very act of needing certainty is a hindrance to experiencing greater levels of awareness. In contrast, the process of letting go and releasing all attachment to any belief or outcome is cathartic and healing. The dichotomy is that for true healing to occur, I must let go of the need to be healed and just enjoy and trust in the ride that is life.”

Anita Moorjani, Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing

Love-Ann Albers

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image from theodysseyonline.com
“Let go of your worries. Open your hearts and breathe in all the love that is waiting to pour into your lives.You are not on earth to make money, although we celebrate money. You are not on earth to find the perfect partner, although we celebrate loving partnership. You are not on earth to build bridges, start centers, or heal anyone else, although these are beautiful and necessary endeavors that certainly serve as vehicles for the one and only true purpose of being on earth itself… You are here to remember and re-experience your connection with Love – the love that creates you, the love that breathes life into you. You are nothing less than an embodiment of love in a human body.
Being human is an exquisite adventure. There is such a depth of love and feeling even in your tears. There is such a strength of spirit even in your challenges. There is such a desire for loving growth that arises even in the darkest chaos. There is nothing and never was anything other than love, trying to remember itself. Only different shades of love.
You connect with this love, by connecting with any love. Love is not an emotional high. When you witness something beautiful, you remember this love. When you appreciate yourself or anyone else you connect with this love. When you are kind to yourself or another, you feel this love. Any small loving act reconnects you with the eternal source of your being. As you seek love, see love, and strive to be loving, you reconnect with your deepest and most eternal nature. In spite of all human appearances, this is who and what you really are.
Be kind to yourselves. Treat yourselves as if there is nothing less than Divine love within you. When you dress, you are clothing the Divine. When you eat, you are feeding the Divine. When you go to work you have an opportunity to allow Divine love to work through you. When you drive in traffic you can allow Divine love to surface for all you pass, or you can feel separate. In every moment you have a choice to feel the love that lives and breathes in all things, even if only in a simply act of self-acceptance.”
-Ann Albers