Letting Go -Mark Nepo

‘After feeling driven my whole life
something very near the center has
unwound and I can no longer hurry
through airports or return all my calls.

And sometimes people I barely know
swim up like old worn fish to show me
the map of their gills, and the one long
gash of something they once swallowed,
and how it has cut each breath since.
And I am honored to warm them
like a blanket. But when alone, I
find it hard not to watch
what I swallow.

When alone, these things
I’ve wanted to know since birth
feel so unanswerable, I must
have been torn from them.

I’m sure a hawk doesn’t know it’s a
hawk. I’m sure a spirit doesn’t know
it’s being spiritual. Or a screen door
slapping, like a tired life, in the night,
if it’s opening or closing.

Though we give up the murky fears,
we still can’t know our worth, any-
more than a faceless treasure
can fathom why
it was boxed
or buried
or saved.’

-Mark Nepo

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“We are in this together. None of us truly walk in isolation, even when we cannot sense the presence of another for miles upon miles. Even in the worst of our desolation. Even during our coldest 3am breakdown. Even when we shut out the world and spin in circles until we collapse. Even then the light still gets in. Even then the heart still opens and reaches, tendrils of hope curling and bending toward slivers of light. Upward, outward, in all directions – seeking light at all cost. One way or another, we all grow toward the light.” – Jeanette LeBlanc


 “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. 

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. 

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on bothhands; you need to be able to throw some things back. 

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. 

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, orjust a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. 

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

  -Maya Angelou 

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‘Never be afraid of pain.⠀
We live in a society that has made us run for tablets or to doctors to fix our pain.⠀
Pain is a great teacher.⠀
It teaches us that when pain happens, we go and find the source of the pain.⠀
We sit with the pain and ask it what it is shouting at us for?⠀
What is the lesson we are not getting, nor acknowledging?⠀
What are we holding onto for dear life, when we should let go?⠀
What are we not digesting?⠀
What are we not expressing?⠀
Where is anger?⠀
Where is resentment?⠀
Where is fear?⠀
Where is unforgiveness?⠀
Where is holding onto grudges?⠀
Where is holding onto pain – because there is a payoff somewhere, like it earns us sympathy or we can use it as an excuse, or as “look at poor me?”⠀
Pain teaches us to take responsibility.⠀
Pain teaches us to let go of all that old baggage, that emotional clogging, that intense holding onto what no longer serves our highest soul growth and good.⠀
I went through excruciating pain in the last few years, in order to delve deeply into myself, and to release whatever I was holding onto in the form of emotional baggage, false beliefs, low self-worth issues, etc. one by one. ⠀
Yes, it take guts to delve ever deeper inside yourself for healing and answers.⠀
Yes, it take guts to delve into that pain and ask it what it is trying to tell you.⠀
But, let me tell you, once I shed all that baggage, and worked through the pain, my whole life changed, and a deep inner peace, contentment, equilibrium and immense love filled up all all of me.⠀
It is infinitely worthwhile and healing comes, healing balm is spread, and love opens up and expands, as the walls around the heart come tumbling down, and love is freed up and expands, ever expands and to be free to roam where it wills.’

-Judith Kusel

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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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‘If we examine nature, it is clear that everything is in a constant state of movement. Trees are a great example, in cycles they swing back and forth from experiences of growth to experiences of releasing, all the while alive, all the while growing. If we are refusing to grow, then we are moving against the flow of nature, the flow of change is so powerful that to move against it can only mean difficulty.

Sometimes growing hurts too, but it is the type of pain that is easier to endure because we know that it is for our greater good. Sending love to all beings. May we all create space in our lives for transformation. May we all transform as many times as our happiness and freedom require.’

-Yung Pueblo

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ON BEING SLOW AND EMPATHIC IN A FAST WORLD- Jeff Foster

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‘Sometimes I look around this world and a great and ancient sadness moves through me.

Everything is so damn fast here.

I feel like an alien, often.

A slow, mindful, present alien.

I watch people rushing from experience to experience, barely stopping to contemplate the fucking miracle of their existence. Hardly ever taking time to let the wonder in. Going for days and days without ever telling the truth or feeling their feelings.

Running from themselves. Running towards imaginary futures. So mesmerised by the ‘there’ that they forget the miracle of here. So identified with the ‘doing’ that the most precious thing is lost. Being. Life itself. Comfortable. Popular. Fabulous and successful, perhaps. On the path towards a better and exciting tomorrow. Yet so afraid to slow down. Afraid to rest deeply. Afraid to stop and invite in whatever lurks in the deep. The repressed terrors. The anxieties. Unmetabolised childhood yearnings. Unlived lives, unfulfilled potentials, unspoken truths.

Loving the light yet afraid to touch the darkness.

Abandoning the cosmic love that was pushed down in order to survive.

Forgetting the natural joy that was squashed so we could become ‘grown ups’. Neglecting the playful aliveness that had to be numbed in order to ‘fit in’. And now, content with surface pleasures. Success. Popularity. Looks. Achievements. The things that matter but don’t truly matter in the end.

Satisfied with a limited, conditional version of happiness. The kind you can post on Instagram. The kind that you can buy and sell. The kind that has an opposite.
The kind that looks good.

It’s sad to see our great potential forgotten.

Nothing ‘wrong’ with any of this unconscious activity, of course. I do not sit in judgement. I love our vulnerable humanity, and understand the mechanism of running, and we are all only doing our best, given our conditioning.

I used to run. But I had to break down. For the love I sought could never be found in the future. It was always here, buried in my own Heart, closer than breathing.

I only wish that everyone could truly find the courage to stop. Rest. Break, if they need to….’

-Jeff Foster

Being Peace

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Even though life is hard, even though it is sometimes difficult to smile, we have to try. Just as when we wish each other “Good morning,” it must be a real “Good morning.” Recently, one friend asked me, “How can I force myself to smile when I am filled with sorrow? It isn’t natural.” I told her she must be able to smile to her sorrow, because we are more than our sorrow. A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn sorrow on, we are sorrow. If we turn a smile on, we really are the smile. We can’t let just one channel dominate us. We have the seeds of everything in us, and we have to take the situation in hand to recover our own sovereignty.
– Thich Nhat Hanh, in “Being Peace”