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“The marks life leaves on everything it touches transform perfection into wholeness. Older, wiser cultures choose to claim this wholeness in the things that they create. In Japan, Zen gardeners purposefully leave a fat dandelion in the midst of the exquisite, ritually precise patterns of the meditation garden. In Iran, even the most skilled of rug weavers includes an intentional error, the “Persian Flaw,” in the magnificence of a Tabriz or Qashqai carpet…and Native Americans wove a broken bead, the “spirit bead,” into every beaded masterpiece. Nothing that has a soul is perfect. When life weaves a spirit bead into your very fabric, you may stumble upon a wholeness greater than you had dreamed possible before.”

Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather’s Blessings : Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

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‘You may wander, doubt, worry, and stumble, Cringing at the thought of another step, With dirty hands, teary eyes, and messy hair, The humanness in you.

But you will fight, claw, growl, and battle, Reaching deep for that extra breath, With bruises, scars, scratches, and howls, The warrior in you.

Then you will spread your wings, rise, fly, Blazing a trail of magic and light, With brilliance, genius, epicness, and soulfulness, The fucking goddess in you.’

-Creig Crippen

Allowing Ourselves to Experience Our own Beauty

 

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Happy 38th Birthday to me and all of my parts, the good and the less desirable. They’re all beautiful really. I simply need a little reminder sometimes. Thank you Ram Dass for that reminder.

‘When I start thinking, “I’m Ram Dass, and I’ve worked on myself, and I’m supposed to be equanimous, loving, present, clear, compassionate, accepting,” oftentimes I get tired, I get angry and petulant, and I close down. For a long time I’d get into those states and I would feel really embarrassed, because that isn’t who Ram Dass is supposed to be. So I would appear like I was warm, charming, equanimous, compassionate, and there was deviousness and deception involved. Then I realized that’s bad business, because that cuts us off from one another… and I had to risk my truth. I had to risk being human with other people, and realize that what we offer each other is our truth, and our truth includes all of our stuff.

The first thing I had to do was accept my own truth. I had to allow myself to be a human being.

Now, what I found was that as I started to allow myself to be more human, just allowed what I am, things changed much faster in me. I mean, things fell away more quickly. It was as if I was locked into a model which was based on that negativity, that dislike of myself; and once I just allowed myself to be human, with all the foibles, things started to flow, and I could feel change occurring in myself.

Then, I started to experience my own beauty and it frightened me, because it was so dissonant and discrepant from the model that I had cultivated of myself over the years. Dissonance between the idea that I had to do good in order to be beautiful and that idea that I just am… and that what is, is in its own way beautiful.

You look at decay, and it is beautiful. Laura Huxley, who is a very dear friend, in her kitchen has these jars over the sink, and she takes old beet greens and orange peels and things, and sticks them in water on these long, beautiful pharmaceutical jars. Then they slowly start to mold and decay, and there are these beautiful decaying formation of mold. It’s really garbage… it’s garbage as art. We look at it and it’s absolutely beautiful. There’s absolute beauty in that.

I’ve begun to expand my awareness to be able to look at the universe as it is, and see what is called the horrible beauty of it. I mean, there’s horror and beauty in all of it, because there is also decay and death in all of it. I mean, we’re all decaying – I look at my hand and it’s decaying. It’s beautiful and horrible at the same time; and I just live with that. And also with it, I see and live with the beauty of it.

So we’re talking about appreciating what is. Not loving yourself, as opposed to not liking yourself, but allowing yourself. As you allow, it changes. I think that gets behind the polarities. I think that’s what’s important.’

– Ram Dass

Taken from https://www.ramdass.org/our-own-beauty/

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The Hungry Child

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‘One of the great challenges for those who have survived abusive and neglectful parents is that there is often a part of us that is still waiting for them to love us, even if there is very little chance of that happening. Locked in an archaic mindset, we continue to go back for more, looking for love in all the wrong places. Somehow we imagine that they will come around one day, realize their mistakes, see our worth, soften those armored edges. And some do, often when they are very old, made vulnerable by sickness and time. But many don’t, and we need to stop putting our emotional lives on hold waiting for something that may never happen. The bridge from stagnation to empowerment lies in our willingness to see them for who they really are, to take them off their primal pedestal and recognize their human limitations. This is not easy- the hungry child self clings to illusions- but it is oh so necessary. Until we accept the reality of who can’t love us, we cannot embrace the love of those who can.’-Jeff Brown

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“Make a commitment to love and trust yourself above all others. You will never be sorry for this, ever. Even when it seems like your choice might hurt another. Every one of the choices I made in my life in order to avoid hurting someone has ended up hurting them (and me) more in the long run. You can’t know what is best for someone else, only for you. Choose you.” ~Amaya Pryce 

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“And so I no longer hide. I finally made the decision. And soon after, it was clear to see that 90% of the stress I’d carried through out the years was because I hid myself, pretended, smiled when I didn’t want to, silenced myself when my song was emerging from my very skin. I denied myself and so my world inside was a crumbling mess. I stopped hiding and was blown away by how easy it was to live. Living became natural again. And being me was no longer a problem. They don’t teach this stuff in schools but they should. They really, really should. Real living is about unhiding. That’s when everything starts to make sense. ” S.C Lourie 

I am enough. And so are You.

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“I am so tired of how hard we are on ourselves. Not attractive enough, not smart enough, not cool enough, not purpose-full enough, not spiritual enough, not flexible enough, not creative enough, not rich enough, not happy enough, not healthy enough, not sexy enough, not wise enough. It’s like a collective shame-fest that begins when we are born and continues until we are dead. Billions of us walking around convinced we are not something enough. Methinks we are missing the point. Just being alive on this mad planet demands that we are enough. That we are here means we are enough. How about if we begin every day with an ‘I am enough’ meditation? Yes, lets begin right now, “I am enough!” I AM ENOUGH! (And so are you).” -Jeff Brown

‘We ARE simply and utterly worth fighting for.’ Jeff Brown

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“Sometimes we forget how far we have traveled while we are looking ahead to the next steps. Good to lie down and remember what it took to get this far, all those karmic hoops we had to jump through, all those overcomings. Good to stroke our face with love and to remind ourselves how much courage it took and who we would have become if we hadn’t braved the journey. Good to say ‘thank you’ to the inner spirit that walks within and beside us, whispering sweet somethings in our inner ear, reminding us that we are simply and utterly worth fighting for. We ARE simply and utterly worth fighting for.”

-Jeff Brown

Act of Self-Love

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“It’s amazing how much energy we can channel into chasing love and approval from those who cannot offer it. It’s like the self-concept gets enmeshed with the wrong people- the neglectful ones, the abusive ones, the ones who have yet to move from love. And then the mesh turns into a prison, locking us inside of our own longing, waiting for a liberator that will never come. Because some people cannot love- they just can’t. Some people cannot stop taking their misery out on others, and locking you in with their unresolved pain. The greatest act of self- love is to let them slip back into their darkness, and to walk towards your own light. It doesn’t matter who they are- parents, siblings, partners, colleagues. Let them go. Grant yourself permission to be loved. God or Providence or whatever you call it already stamped you with supreme approval. That you are here is evidence of your inherent value. No need to look for it in those humans who cannot give it. No need to wait on the impossible ones. Begin with those who recognize your value, begin in the mirror. Stay there until you see what has always been true. There’s a lighthouse in your soul, shining bright through your divine countenance.”

-Jeff Brown