ASSETS

In coming out of my mental slumber, or on the awakening part, of my journey (laughing), I finally found the good sense to review, beginning with assets. What/who in my life was helpful to me, who/what was I helpful to? I put into practice skills I developed through meditation, taking inventory without judgment was a start. This, more than other skills, may ‘unstick’ you, move you forward in ways you never considered.

Rather than annoyance or anger at situations and folks, I assessed. If you have people close to you: relatives, partners, close relationships who aren’t (or haven’t been) supportive, don’t go to them for support. K-n-o-w that, and move on. You don’t necessarily have to confront or leave them. We all have strengths and limits. You – look to your strengths PERIOD. Refuse to rehearse old stories. Do what is skillful, helpful, useful.

Consider, first and foremost, you are your best emotional support. Learn how, get counseling, read, ask, research. Put together a plan that depends on you. The world does not alter, nor stop, because you have chronic pain/illness and you don’t want to be one. Family and friends are living, too. Situations exist and occur in their lives, too. No matter anyone’s commitment, love and support, they aren’t responsible for you. Consider that with chronic pain and illness may come the consequence of occasional self-indulgent thinking and behavior, you can change that. Do not act it out on those you love – well, on anyone. Again, assess, consider, change.

The more you are willing to find resources within yourself to meet your own needs, the more you are your own best comfort and, surprisingly, to others. You will find yourself connecting in ways that build and strengthen, endure and contribute. I found that gratitude thing, it gets stronger, as well.

May you have eyes to see, ears to hear. . the heart to change. Peace to you, Lilie.

POETRY

For Friday, I offer some poetry.

AWARENESS

Blood

on your. . .

on many hands

Ring the bell, sister

Ring it over

mountains

waterfalls

blue sky nights

no moon shines

on too many

Ring the bell, brother

gateless gate

open wide

make the sign:  hold the lotus

she blooms in mud

dense

dark

elements of all our lives

frog

on a lily pad

shares your skin

Ethiopian, silken, dark face

an empty bowl land

get out of your

mercedes,  the congo. . .

Agni’s coming, a hot wind blows

Ring the bell, my mother

my father

hold out your hands

cooperation is riches

compassion made an ocean,

deep and wide,

every drop – none lost

every living thing has eyes

Ring the bell, Thay

We are listening

Lilie Allen

Aug 29, 2013

MASTERY

Some time ago, I went to my meditation teacher for some advice.  I believed I was having some difficulty with a person in my life and just didn’t think I knew what to do.  So, I began my tale.  He interrupted me, not rudely, just asked me, “You have practiced taekwondo, haven’t you?”  Yes, I said.   “And, you have studied and practiced yoga for many years, right?  Vinyasa yoga, even, true?”   Yes.  I have.  “What are your practices like, describe them – taekwondo first.”  I did, in detail.  He said, “The same every time?  Taekwondo and vinyasa, the same every time?”   Yes.   “Are your masters good teachers?”   Yes, very much so, both of them.  “Why are your practices repetitive?”  To master our bodies, our brains with our minds.  To improve our reflexes, focus and concentration.  To improve speed and conditioning.  “Uh huh.  Yes.  So, when you repeat your tale of woe, what does that do for you?  What does it improve for you, what do you master?  Can you recall these wrongs with more speed, and conditioning?”   Hmmm. . .

“Perhaps, when these thoughts come to you, you could mentally practice your taekwondo, or your vinyasa – meditate upon those.  You might quicken something.  You might gain insight and mastery.  When you speak of taekwondo, of yoga, your face is pure joy, and your voice changes like love for a child, do you know this?  I’ve enjoyed the time we have spent.”

Yeah, got it.   Hope it helps you, too.  It took practice, it takes practice, but WOW it works.  Train your mind.  Peace to you, and thanks for stopping by.  Lilie

ANGER


When you feel anger, don’t dismiss it or shame it. Acknowledge anger as the message it is. Emotions send messages, information that we need. Anger can tell us something needs to change; anger warns of injustice. Anger spurred such changes as important as the civil rights movement. Anger in the mind of someone skilled at its interpretation: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So, we can practice being skilled, as well. When you feel it, realize it is a feeling, and that its message is that something needs to change, or to be addressed. Now, use your skillful mind to discern: what is your skillful, contributory approach? Practice, practice.

 

A LITTLE RAMBLING

We have certainly had news at our house this week.  I’ll bet there are others who have also had their challenges.

My husband is doing well.  It is nice to be able to talk openly about his MS now.  It is good for him, as well.  The heat is very hard on him and, as a carpenter, that wasn’t going to make it anymore.  So, he’s looking forward.  My husband has always been quite an inspiration to me.  He doesn’t think negatively.  It isn’t that he thinks positively (and here I’m laughing a bit).  Skip just doesn’t think negatively.  His positivity isn’t a reorientation of his thinking, it is the way he has always looked at life.

In 30 years, we have had joys and sorrows.  Skip seems to look at all the same way – with hope.  It’s what is of the moment; and he knows that moment changes.  He’s been a person courageous and willing to change, willing to adapt.  A hard worker and appreciative of his woodworking skill, he has used that well.

I believe the most important thing I have learned (and continue learning) from Skip is forgiveness.  Again, not a reorientation of his thinking; it wouldn’t occur to him to hang onto something about someone.    A well-grounded understanding of human nature, and not much ruffles feathers.  I had to learn that, practice it.

‘Lightening up’ in our thinking, being that mindful observer – taking a step back, assessing before making the decision how, or if, to act, that’s what makes the difference.  The old adage, “sleep on it”, very good advice when possible.  Thinking, contemplating, patience.  Taking oneself out of that reactive, defensive posture, so that you may see clearly your opportunities and choices, and not be so invested in what someone else has done or said, but in the person you have decided (daily) to be.  Then, your thoughts and actions become habitually directed toward that goal.  This is what I see in my husband.  The ability to maintain his center, and from that forgiveness just follows.

Each day I’m thinking of those who thoughtfully visit, and hoping that your needs are met, that your present moments are those of  hope.  Thank you for stopping by.  Lilie

MISSING YOUR MISSION

My dad was dying.   He knew it.  He didn’t have much time.  Dad was a planner, and he usually got his way.  Now, he had a plan.  The most important thing, he said to me, was that my older brother be baptized, that he believe in God the way my dad did.  Because, he wanted to be assured he would see my brother again.  Dad wanted to involve me in this.  I watched as he started his plan.  Preaching and talking.  He was becoming discouraged, and was lying in his bed in quiet frustration.

I just sat, too, silent.  I felt  pretty sad over all he was doing.  Then, a thought hit me and the words came out, unexpectedly.  “Have you seen that guy who sits in the chair opposite you, every day?  He notices everything, everybody in the room, while crossing it, before he sits down.  He’s tall and steady; his features are chiseled sharp and strong for who he would be in this life.  This one, he’s the person everybody runs to.   The Rock.  That was before he became a Navy corpsman, and then a Navy SEAL.  One of the elite.  He put himself through college; married a woman of character and good sense; they built a family, and a life, from which you now benefit.”

“This guy, he’s listened to your words and honored you, all his life.   He sits quietly, patiently, with you every day.  He notices everything; watches over and protects you.”

“There sits a remarkable man.  I remember him as a boy.  He followed what you said; what you taught.  He gave his word and he kept it.  Tough and kind.  Don’t you remember?”

“That guy, he’s a remarkable man.  He’s your son.  Isn’t it hard to breathe, when you realize that?  Don’t you want to just lie here and think on that?  This incredible human being  is yours, part of you.  He gives you a sense of belonging, because he is here, and will never leave you.   Don’t you want to know that?  He is here, and he won’t leave.  Don’t you want to know that, and hold him tight?  If there is God, let Him be God.  Love your son, that’s what you do now, love your son.”

That was the mission needing to be done.

Consider what your mission is, and whether it connects with present reality.  Does it truly serve, or are you missing the lesson prepared for you, right in front of you.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Lilie

BACK TO YOU, WITH BLESSING

Most bloggers, who want to be successful, blog very regularly, maybe daily. I admire that. For me, sometimes I have to apportion my time. It is one of the adaptations necessary in dealing with chronic pain. I sometimes have to think where I am going to put my energy and follow that course for that time, letting other things go and being at peace with that, until I can return; believing that others will bear with me, and that I have something worthwhile to say. Thank you for your patience. I appreciate those who hang in there with me.

I am working hard in physical therapy to overcome a broken leg, and trying to strengthen a weak, and painful, left leg (this is the chronic thing – left leg damaged by shingles).

Also, working on yoga asanas for lessons to come – it seems more like choreography to me. I’ll hear some song or music, and off I go, seeing yoga postures in a series. I’m taking a refresher course in anatomy and physiology. And, I’m writing poetry, writing and writing – that’s my true love. Also, enjoying the remarkable writing of writer friends!

I struggle with fatigue from pain, that is truth. But, I do not add suffering. It is what it is. We have bones, and they can break. We have bodies susceptible to many things, we don’t have to add suffering to the mix. And, if you are breathing, there are ways to serve. Ordinary things, making lunch for your mate, or a meal for a friend or neighbor in need carry love and compassion outward and onward. Volunteering to teach what you know – you can do that, too.

Each day, I begin with meditation, this week Pema Chodron’s ‘Three Commitments’ is my inspiration. I don’t keep a gratitude journal, I’m trying to live a gratitude life. I carry with me, each day, appreciation for all that is with me, all that gives assistance to those I love, to me. I make my intention to pass that into every other life that I can, by word, or deed.

Lilacs, lilacs, lilacs in my neighbors yard have grown so large that I have them, too; their gorgeous green leaves and flowers have grown through my fence. Their fragrance wafts through my windows, filling my house with that indescribably lovely scent. Someone quite some time ago, planted something that gives beauty and lifts the heart of strangers to this day. What you do matters.

Plan the use of your energy. If you are in pain, or have illness, do what you need to do for your health. Eat well, rest and find some type of physical activity you enjoy – this is so important. Then, fill your mind, your life with all the surrounding beauty and goodness, contribute to it. The more you fill your mind with the desire for positive opportunities, the more those will come to you – whatever your situation. It is always a choice, you can suffer and stagnate – or rejoice and receive. Every giving thing, is already back to you with blessing.

At this point in my life, I’m not sure about religion, but I believe in goodness and compassion, and have evidence of it every day. May you have goodness and mercy. May you have peace in your challenges.

Thank you for hanging in there with me. Thank you for stopping by. Lilie