STANDING POSE FLOW

Standing pose flow (virabhadrasana – warrior)
on the deck
bright sunlight dapples onto mat
many limbs stretching
branch
shades
this warrior

Lilie Allen
Sept. 2013

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REWARDS AND RECOGNITION

I see comments like, “you may wait a long time before you see your kindness pay off”, or the medical benefits of kindness listed – as if we must be strung along to that path, enticed – that kindness in itself is not enough.   I don’t want to throw cold water on any of that.  I accept those words as the intention behind them – to be encouraging.

AND,  Kindness is enough.  If you practice acts of kindness, you will become that.  It will be your habit.  Kindness will be your first action.  Whatever else comes (and there are truly many benefits), kindness:  doing kindness, being kindness, thinking on kindness, working at kindness – that’s a most worthwhile pursuit.  It is a reward.

Thanks for reading.  May you be a constant witness to kindness, and its aware recipient.  Lilie

WHEN IT’S TIME TO GO

Today, my husband retired.  He’s a few years short of retirement, but he has MS.  I haven’t been able to tell anyone outside of family and some very close friends because he would have lost his job.  He is in good health, has been on MS meds now for about five years, (has been diagnosed for 20) but he worked in construction and doesn’t need to be doing that any longer.  So, it’s a time of transition at our house.  Fortunately, we have each other and some good tools we’ve both learned.

It’s a time of excitement; it’s scary and there is some sadness.  We think of all others in similar situations and we send our intentions for all to have their needs met.  And, it is our intention that we may always be ready to meet the needs of others in whatever way we can.

We are very grateful for all we have:  friendship, love and support – particularly.

May you be well.   Thanks for stopping by.  Lilie

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

What about you?  Do you do what I do?

See, I’m asking you here to work on suspending judgment in order to be a mindful observer – get the facts, then make a decision.  Help the world’s people out a little, hold on and think it through.  That includes about you.  I’m asking that.  So, do I do it?

I’ve been the worst critic of myself; the worst judge.  Now, being a critic is not a negative thing.  In writing, you want a critic – someone with a keen eye who observes and comments, in order to help you improve.  If you are that kind of critic of yourself, well good.  I wasn’t.

When we keep that bitter gall pent up against ourselves, it comes out in other places, toward others.   What you teach your brain, it does.  It doesn’t distinguish, you do.  Your mind does.  You must teach your brain about that judgment thing.

We don’t want to live ‘anything goes’ lives devoid of conscience.   We want to feel that ‘ouch’ and smarting feeling when we hurt someone with our words or actions.  We want to be compassionate folk in our thoughts, words and actions.  We want to be fair in our dealings with others.  How to do it?

This is what I am practicing:  In my meditation, I take my time to get quiet inside (you don’t have to throw all thought out of your mind, you can’t), And, I watch my thoughts.  I watch my thought processes.   I reframe them in the light of truth, as I can best define that in my experience.  I observe where I have not been the person I am working toward.  Rather than harshly condemning myself for my mistakes or missteps, I ask myself some questions:  1) How have my words or actions served to lessen suffering?  2) How have my words or actions promoted the transmission of knowledge for self and/or others?  3) How have my words or actions promoted goodwill?   4) If  it has been necessary, how have my words or actions, respectfully, defended self or others?

If my thoughts, words,  or actions have skipped the mindful observer’s approach and moved into mouth-over-mind-now-insert-foot mode, here’s an opportunity to train my brain toward better habits, toward leading the life I expect from myself.   Begin the practice of humility.  I need to say, “I’m sorry.”  PERIOD.  Unvarnished – just I’m sorry.   Best said in person, if at all possible.  But, say it.  Know why you are saying it, so that you will make the changes necessary.   We can put this into practice in all ares of our lives.  Humility does not mean weakness.  I think of it as the ability to withstand anything, and doing it truthfully.  I think of it as encouraging strength.  When you practice humility to the point that it is part of you, that’s an indomitable spirit.  A person who accepts his/her imperfections is indomitable.  A person who seeks to see his/her life truthfully is indomitable.  You can handle the embarrassment of having to apologize.  If you really don’t like that, that’s incentive to change.  You don’t have to apologize so often that way.

You can’t make another sorry for what they may have thought, done or said to you.  Don’t bother.  Again, use your mindful observer.   Consider the person, circumstances, and action first.  Is this habitual on the part of this person?  Then, perhaps it isn’t, at this time, a relationship to invest in.   Is this what happens to all of us:  Some days you’re the person who is the jerk, somedays the other guy is?  If that’s it, you have some choices:  You can let it go.  Or, you can breathe, get calm, reason and speak.  Say what you feel.  You can do that respectfully.  Then, breathe, calm, think and decide.   You can change that decision, as you move on.

It isn’t about allowing people to treat you badly.  My experience has been, when I have been the ‘mindful observer’ of myself, I seem to have had a shift in the relationships I attract.  I feel more calm and happy, most of the time – even when things externally may not want to go along with that.  I find myself less and less subject to external events.  I find myself  less and less worried by the ‘what ifs’.  I believe I can handle what comes.  It’s in there.  I just need to be aware, to watch and know that I am able.  You are, too.

So, what about you?  What do you do?

Thanks so much for stopping by.   Thanks to the bloggers out there who are making such positive contributions to themselves and others.  Keep writing.   Lilie

BLOGS TO READ, AND FOLLOW!

This is my list of blogs, I may miss some.  They are not in a particular order, for any particular reason.  Please, take a look.  And, they have blogs that they like for you to read, and follow.  Kinda neat, passing it on!

dreamactpray.wordpress.com

enjoylifeforonce.wordpress.com  –  I understand this is a new one, so keep checking.

professionsforpeace.wordpress.com

mymagnificentmess.wordpress.com

stevenleocampbell.wordpress.com

janbeek.wordpress.com

alongfortheride.wordpress.com

thenourishedseed.com

alightfilledlife.wordpress.com

bendsintheroad.wordpress.com – this is new also, keep checking.

If you see yourself here, and I didn’t get your site address correct, please correct it here.  Thank you.  I know there are many more sites yet for me to discover.  If you comment here, please leave your site address, that others might check it out.

Again, thank you to those who blog.  We learn from you.  Thank you to those who have been so kind as to read and follow mine.  Best to all.  Lilie

WHAT IS WHAT IS?

“What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.”  Nietzsche said it.  Who has not thought or repeated it?  I have.  Then, when I started thinking about life as it is, I reviewed this expression and whether I wanted to retain it.  I’m doing that with a few expressions, as I find them.  It has served a good purpose.  I think I’m trying to put it away, now.

I was talking with a friend about viruses, particularly, getting the flu.  She mentioned that the virus really is designed to kill you, that recovering from it, well, we ought to see the miracle in that.  I agree, in part.   But, I think a scientist would have a different take.  It’s not out to kill you per se.  It’s out to survive.  A virus is a living thing.  It does what it does to live.  It hasn’t any concept about killing you, it isn’t personal.

We do this with a lot of things.  Set up adversarial relationships.  We are at cross purposes.  But, is that really true?  Is it useful to us?  Maybe, that expression has been.  Probably many people have pulled up out of the dust by that one.  I just want to look at why we have to think things are out to harm, or kill, us?  Is it always true?  Sometimes a person, or other organism, is just doing what it does, and we happen to be the done to in that situation.

Why do we think misfortune, challenges or trials are this ‘adversity’?  It’s the stuff of the day, and you deal with it.  That’s the way I’m trying to see things.  Trying to get inside that equanimity.   I don’t see the limb that fell from our tree and into the road as an adversity.  I see that strong wind broke a branch of a very old tree, and it fell.  Period.   The fires that are currently raging some miles from me, it’s fire.  It does what fire does.  There is destruction, loss of life and sadness from that.  These fires are the result of someone’s careless disregard of the law, and other persons and property.  There should be consequences, natural ones that fall from such an event.   Why can’t we accept our true feelings about such events, rather than demonizing them?  I feel very sad about the destruction of the land, the loss of life and harm to animals, damage of people’s homes and property.  It’s an event that leaves a scar.  I believe we deal more effectively with our lives, and have something effective to pass on, when we just deal honestly with the emotions we feel, rather than projecting some quality on to something.  It’s another layer, not a solution.

So, when you trip over the rug, or fall off the deck (my specialty), the rug and the deck are not out to kill you.  They are not a challenge or an adversity.  They are what is.  The results are what is.  You don’t have to like them; it’s ok to be sad about the consequences – it doesn’t help you to think something is out to get you.

On that note, I’m going to have a cup of coffee and sit on my deck – it looks ‘friendly’ today.  Lol.  Thanks for stopping by.  Lilie

COME OUT SWINGIN’

I had to read my De-BUNKING post again.  I meant what I wrote.  I still looked at it with a smile.  That’s one of those days where I just come out swinging.  My dad used to tell me that’s better than standing around crying like you don’t know your way home.   I think so, too.  Sometimes, we need to tell ourselves the truth, and very plainly; and, maybe others in our lives.  Or, they need to tell us.  We get our angles straightened out for a while.

I am very tired of seeing people misused by others for profit.  And, it’s hard to see people so desperate in their situation that  they are willing to believe anything, in the hope of some relief.

It is very helpful to be one’s own mindful observer.  Good family and friends are helpful, but the process of wise counsel and thoughtfulness begins in each one of us, alone.   To know good advice when we hear, or see, it, we must have it within us.  It’s already there, you just need to tap in.  Take a moment to get still, to step back from your emotions and watch, listen.   This is good practice for everyday living.  We do not always have to respond to the ‘rush’ around us.  When you begin to practice having your own pace, that’s one of the things that starts to sort itself out – whose time are you on?  When do you need to be on another’s timetable and when is it just not necessary.  What is really an emergency?  What is not?

Many years ago, I was training as an EMT.  One of the older paramedics gave me some great advice.  At the time, though, I thought it was impossible and it didn’t make sense, lol.  I was pretty young.  But, I did figure it out; he was right, and it has helped me ever since.  He told me to slow down inside my head.  To learn to observe, listen and control my own breathing.  He said, when you accomplish that, you will react more quickly, and when it is necessary.  Slow down to be faster?  Huh?   He was right.  When I learned to be calm, not only in the moments of crisis, but in my everyday life, I did notice that I thought and reacted more quickly without panic or fear.   I began to notice that it took something very real to hit the adrenaline button.  I was no longer as susceptible to other people’s emotional crises.

This is what happens to people – you and I kind of people.  We get emotional about pain, illness, other facets of our lives – we invest in that emotion without realizing our brains have left the situation that sparked the emotion, and are now just travelling on emotion.  We invest in being desperate, or feeling overwhelmed and we are susceptible to the schemes of others.  And, sometimes others mean well, they believe they have a cure.  We need to practice using those higher functions of reason.  Let emotion do its proper job.  Emotion is a messenger.  That’s its job.  To tell you, “pay attention”.  Then, it’s up to mind to tell brain, “think about this, what should happen next?”  The more you practice using your reasoning mind, the more you will rely on it when there’s less time to think, when there truly is an emergency.   The less your wallet will suffer, too!  Lol, that’s always nice.  Practical in all respects.

As Dad would say, “Well, you laid out the path to home; now, go there.”  Lol.  Have a great weekend, all.  BTW, check the blogs of the people who have responded here, there are some incredibly informative, uplifting, innovative, creative minds blogging these days.  Thank you for your comments and insights.  Thank you for stopping by.