RUNNING FOR LIFE OR AWAY FROM LIFE
SEPTEMBER 22, 2009:
I AM GROUNDED IN ACCEPTANCE.
Today is the Autumn Equinox. It is a highly auspicious day and there is an amazing energy available to us three days before today and three days after. But today the peak is at its highest. “To open deeply we need tremendous courage and strength. A kind of WARRIOR SPIRIT. But the place for this warrior strength is in the heart.” These are the words of Jack Kornfield from a favorite book titled A Path with Heart. That warrior spirit is always there as are all the most wonderful qualities of the heart. We need our most inner strength to learn the truth about ourselves.
Taking this literally I am thinking about starting to take up running again. I haven’t run for some years every since my Father, Papa passed away suddenly at the age of 59 years old. It is something that we did as a family growing up. He was my first running “coach”. And I’ve had this fear of the sadness I’d experience by going back to running. Now over the years I’ve still bought really great running shoes, just in case I just haven’t used them. But it has come time as I grow up and become more honest with myself and ground myself in my own acceptance that I see the situation for what it is. I am running away from the strong feelings I associate with my Dad, the sense of loss and hurt not having him here on earth. I have to face this.
“We need energy, commitment and courage not to run from our life nor to cover it over with any philosophical – material or spiritual. We need a Warrior’s Heart that lets us face our lives directly. Our pains and limitations, our joys and possibilities.” (Jack Kornfield)
So as I face myself I asked a sweet friend who is making their own expansion this question: ARE YOU RUNNING AWAY FROM YOUR LIFE OR RUNNING TOWARDS WHAT YOU WANT FOR YOUR LIFE? There is a difference.
I am seeking my own Warrior courage to put those running shoes on and get out there face my grief and get on with it. I don’t want to run away from anything, I’ve tried that you guys and it doesn’t help. So I encourage you to do the same in some aspect of your life. The reason why I think this is good is that we can’t choose to close down just one part of our life and expect everything else to open. Energies are not mutually exclusive, if we are opening to love and peace we must do so in all parts of our life. Jack Kornfield goes on to encourage us,
“To live in love:
· Look at every path closely and deliberately and ask yourself does this path have heart? If it does the path is GOOD, if it doesn’t it is of no use.
· Where do we put your time, strength, creativity and love?
· Does what we are choosing reflect what we deeply value?
· What might lead me to create openness, honesty and a deeper capacity to love?
We must have the courage to face whatever is present – our pain, our desires, our grief, our loss, our secret hopes, our love, everything that moves us deeply. Each of us will find something from which we have been running – our loneliness, our unworthiness, our boredom, our shame, our unfulfilled desires. We must face these parts of ourselves as well because to live in the present demands an on-going and unwavering commitment. Just as it is a courageous act to face all the difficulties from which we have always run, it is also an act of compassion. And compassion is the “quivering of the pure heart. With greatness of heart we can OPEN to the people around us.”
I want for us all to choose wisely and decide to no longer run away from life but instead to run towards it. Accept where you are and begin again from there. I will keep you posted on my progress putting on those running shoes and stepping onto the pavement. As I wish the best for myself I wish you the same and more! Love and courage to us all, Silvia
10% KINDER SPREAD SUNSHINE AND GOODNESS
SEPTEMBER 17, 2009: I was saying to a friend that when I got to bed at night I appreciate all that I attempted during the day no matter how it turned out, I acknowledge I did my best and right before I go to sleep I promise myself that "tomorrow I will be 10% kinder."
Life moves so fast on a day to day basis that sometimes it seems like we don't have time to be kind which is really another way of saying we don't have time to connect with other human creatures, they aren't important enough. Yoga teaches us that a root cause of our suffering is isolation; disconnection from others for it is against our very nature. When we actively practice kindness it brings us closer to other individuals. Every day I also say to myself "am I serving as an example or a warning" to the people I am in contact with? I hope my life right now serves as an example, that no matter how difficult the challenges I might be facing I am still above all else kind.
One of my heroes Jack Kornfield writes, "The work of your heart, the work of taking time, to listen, to help, is also your gift to the whole world." I found that quote in a little book titled GOOD PERSON given to me by my loving friend Nancy. I keep that book next to my bed to remind myself that above all else that is really what influence I hope to inspire others by. I may not have millions of dollars but the beauty and value of being a good person seems far above an impressive bank statement. And the good news is that as JM Barrie says, "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."
We can light up the lives of all whom we think about, touch, email, talk to, and work with, love. Each of us has this responsibility to be a good person. If we sit back and wait for the world to be made better, well the funny thing is we are the world. We are the ones that by being 10% kinder can make an enormous difference.
"There is in each of us so much goodness that if we could see its glow, it would life the world." Sam Friend
I have to be honest many years ago I didn't have the guts to articulate this. I was too embarrassed and afraid what other people might think of me (it's usually a whole lot easier to sit and complain the with the majority of how terrible life is) so I had to do a lot of soul searching to grow up spiritually from babyhood to be able to say without hesitation "I want to change the world.' Yup, it may be one down dog at a time, one mindful breath at a time but at least I am trying in my own way. And the heart of the effort comes from being 10% kinder each and every day. Today can you join me in this effort? "Thank you to all the people in the world who are always 10% kinder than they need to be. That's what really makes the world go 'round." (Helen Exley)
Your goodness knows no bounds and is unlimited in its potentiality, do it your way but please accept the responsibility to care enough for yourself, this world we share to be 10% kinder each and every day! Love to you with lovingkindess (metta), Silvia
FEBRUARY 13, 2009: It is really impactful to think that we have been chosen to breath today on purpose. That not everyone got picked to breath and so in a sense we won! the lotto of all lotteries. The most fundamental cause for gratitude is life itself! I start every morning with a gratitude meditation that is pretty sijmple: you say to yourself "I am grateful for...." then fill in the blanks for a few minutes or however long you comfortably can. Two of my favorite inspirations about gratitude are below for you to enjoy! Peace out, Silvia
“Gratitude is confidence in life itself.
Gratitude gladdens the heart. As gratitude grows it gives rise to joy. Like gratitude joy gladdens the heart. We can be joyful for people we love, for moments of goodness, for sunlight and trees, and for the breath within us. And as our joy grows we finally discover a happiness without cause. We can rejoice in life itself, in simply being alive!”
Gratitude gladdens the heart.
As gratitude grows it gives rise to joy.
Like gratitude joy gladdens the heart.
We can be joyful for people we love,
for moments of goodness, for sunlight and trees,
and for the breath within us.
And as our joy grows
we finally discover a happiness without cause.
We can rejoice in life itself, in simply being alive!”
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~ Melody Beattie ~
OCTOBER 7TH, 2008: So I have been meditating on this poem. I hope you enjoy!
Reverse Living by Jack Kornfield
Life is tough.
It takes a lot of your time,
all your weekends,
and what do you get at the end of it?
Death, a great reward.
I think that the life cycle is all backwards.
You should die first, get it out of the way.
Then you live twenty years in an old age home.
You are kicked out when you are too young.
You get a gold watch, you go to work.
You work forty years until you're
young enough to enjoy your retirement.
You go to college,
you party until you're ready for high school.
You become a little kid, you play,
you have no responsibilities,
you become a little boy or girl,
you go back into the womb,
you spend your last nine months floating.
And you finish off as a gleam in someone's eye