Prayer. It’s awkward. There was a time when it was easy to pray. Today I pause. It’s not the words. I can craft a good Our Heavenly Father, as well as any preacher man does on a Sunday morning. Nope, I hesitate because I want to be honest with you. And I’m not sure of who I’m praying to. So I hesitate.
Maybe you understand my problem. I’m sincere, and I wish for people to be well. I want their families to be safe from harm and sickness to leave their bodies. Well, I’ve found a prayer that works for me, and it’s simple. First is a short version and easy to memorize. The longer one is second. I hope this helps you.
One more thing, to anyone who has been in my life, but I have offended or thinks I am angry with them, please know I do ‘pray’ for you. I hold no grudges. It’s important to keep the prayer channels clear. And by prayer, I mean something closer to a positive affirmation.
If you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or of any other religion, I am not saying you should switch to my ways. This is my way of handling an uncomfortable situation.
Here is my abbreviated version Metta Loving Kindness Prayer.
May all be happy
May all be at peace
May I be happy
May I be at peace
We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves
May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety. After that, we can practice on others (he/she)
May he/she be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May he/she be safe and free from injury.
May he/she be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety. After that, we can practice including our selves with others (we),
May we be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May we be safe and free from injury.
May we be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety. – Thich Nhat Hanh
I want to be seen and heard. Noticed. Jump up and down, throw a tantrum like a small child in the grocery store. I want others to act as if I matter. As if I am an appointment that can’t be missed. A craving. An addiction. But sometimes people aren’t capable.
It’s not always in their DNA to respond in the way I want. I’m not saying it’s alright for others to abuse me, I’m stating a fact. My expectations are misplaced, and I need to change. My truth, I’m asking someone else for validation. To respect me. Tell me I’m important. Tell me these things.
My needs are pressing
I am a priority
I don’t want to be second or to not even be chosen at all. I’ve been there. It hurts. The stabbing pain of feeling abandoned is gut-wrenching, especially when it’s from your loved ones. But I can’t be a child throwing a temper tantrum. It’s selfish. Nor do I want the bitter anger building inside of me anymore.
I am the love child of the universe.
I am loved. I’m important. Esteemed. Undeniable. I am heard. Valuable. I rate here. This is my territory. The universe hears my voice and respects me. Blessed. I am home in this world. But, I cannot wait for someone, anyone else to tell me. It’s my life and my responsibility.
6. Learn to Ask for what you want; Learn to Move On If You Don’t Get What You Want.
A woman must be encouraged to put what she wants into words, to ask for it directly rather than waiting for someone to guess what it is she wants. If a woman cannot get what she wants, she does not have to blame herself, give up, disconnect, or become enraged. She must learn that she can get what she wants another day or at another job or with another person. Women must be encouraged to move on as well as to stay the course. – The Girl God
Don’t forget to support each other. We all need to hear that we are loved and valuable. It’s life-changing. It will rock your loved one’s world. Better yet, show them. Make someone a priority.
We all have fears. Deep inside all of us is an ache to belong. It’s as old as our tribal root system. Rejection, being cast from the tribe, even that glance letting you know you don’t belong here.
If you feel lost, find an activity or place, something to anchor yourself to the present. My anchor was the sunrise and sunset. I paused daily for this. It was my sanity.
You can make your own tribe. Find people who support you who understand who you are as a person. Also, these are people you enjoy being around. This is your life. Create it.
Try not to get lost in the pain of the past. Move forward and make a new life. Yes, we need to heal. Just be careful to not get stuck in the quicksand of self-pity. Lick your wounds and be done. Your future is grander than the past.
I was walking into my complex and overheard a conversation inside my downstairs neighbor’s condo. Not strange, except she lives alone. I paused in my curiosity. Yes, I’m nosy. “You don’t appreciate anything I do for you.” I imagined her little dogs lined up on the couch being lectured. It’s like she was playing school, but she wasn’t a child. Medication needed?
One of my young guy neighbors was trying to hide his motorcycle inside since management was trying to impound it. He didn’t like parking it out front with the cars and as he stated it, “they are on my ass.” So up the stairs, he struggled and shoved until it was inside the condo. I wonder how his girlfriend felt about the chunk of metal in the living room?
We have an older gentleman, one of the few condo owners who live here, besides me, who is working to clean the grounds. He is a well-dressed fellow, dress shirt, suspenders, and slacks. I’ll see him sometimes in the morning getting into his Mustang GT. I’ve never asked where he goes. Is he still working at his age? I’m not sure even how old he is. In the evenings and weekends, he’s picking up leaves and trash.
Neighbors remind me of the story Stone soup. At first glance my neighbors are annoying and I don’t know why I stay at this place. But I’m the stone, the rock in the middle of all this pot of water. They bring the flavor. The painter, a dog trainer, a nurse, and many more good people live here. If I get to know people their lives become more than static, more than the ugly boom, boom bass that disturbs me. Neighbors are people living their life. I have to re-frame it sometimes, understand the annoyance and let it go.
I have a few abandonment issues. It seems odd when you’re my age. No, I wasn’t dropped off at a train station as a youngster. My parents weren’t crack heads either.
Think of big families. Loud. Boisterous. Then there’s that one person who tries to speak up. The quiet one. No one’s listening. It’s at that moment you understand the feeling of introverts. Do we jump up and throw potatoes to get attention? Or do we sit down because what we have to say isn’t worth the effort?
People are not listening, and you can tell. Have you noticed the general trend towards perfecting our own bubble? And when we jump into our particular listening mode, you almost hear the weirdness. The “Yes, Aha.” If you were in therapy, they’d say, “And how did that make you feel?” Ick.
Narcissism and Self-absorption are more prevalent than they once were. Maybe it’s because we are living in a more crowded environment. I don’t know. More people are choosing to become attention grabbers-potato throwers. Hey, whatever works for you! I’m currently trying to decide whether to sit back down or eat my potatoes.
I’m not a great poet or speaker, but that never stopped me from saying what I felt. Maybe at times I’d be better sitting down and letting others wax poetic. Maybe. It’s a tough call to know when to speak up and when to sit quietly, hands folded. I want that wisdom.
There were times when I’ve spoken, and the words echoed back at me. Awkward. A room full of conflicted expressions and I was reluctant to continue. I wasn’t understood. How do you breach people’s defenses? Do we have an obligation to try?
It’s awkward at best to keep speaking. Usually, we sit. Or grow red in the face, yelling at our new opponent. The enemy has been marked. There’s another strategy to try. Stop the oratory. Become ordinary. Be Joe. Be Jane. Simple people, everyday activities. Change things. It’s alright if you’re not a great spokesperson. Maybe you hated speech class or drama in school.
Do you tell your friends about your favorite TV show? That local dive you went to with your guy last weekend. Did you share those pics on Facebook? Yeah, so did I.
By Wednesday of last week, I’d started feeling the creaking stiffness set in that came from sitting at an office desk for too long. I grabbed the bottle of Ibuprofen from my drawer, poured out a couple of pills into my hand and tossed them into my mouth. I grabbed my water bottle with my other hand and poured it into my hand. What? I sighed at my silly mistake. I now had a wet lap. At least no one else had seen my mental lapse.
The fast paced world gives us less time to think, so we compensate by adding shortcuts. We acronym, do serving sizes, micro manage, compartmentalize, over-compensate, map things out, program, and function key every part of our lives until we wonder if we are alive. Is this how we end up with water in our hands instead of our mouth? There’s a video I watched that talks about the difference between machines and living things. In it the announcer explained, you can disassemble and reassemble a machine, and it will still work. If you took apart your family pet, then tried to reassemble the parts it would no longer be living. Of course, we know this, right? We can care for ourselves, but we are families and neighbors also. I think someone needs to invent a personal pause button. It would be better than a time machine.
April is the month for Camp NaNoWriMo, which in case you didn’t know, the month for catching up on writing for some of us. I’m using it as an excuse for what I’ve been thinking about for some time. I have some writing projects to complete so I’ll be quiet on this site for awhile. So even though I’ll still be working for a living, part of me will be writing in my virtual cabin at CampNaNoWriMo. #BeJealous My Secret – not a copyright infringement #NaNoWriMo
I just finished reading the book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, by Amy Cuddy. I’d watched her TED talk previously and I was impressed. Her book is every bit as inspiring. My friend had told me about a recent episode on Grey’s Anatomy that demonstrated the Wonder Woman power pose in their show even, which I’ve put at the bottom of the blog. Wow, does this stuff permeate through our society or what?
Closing the Door
When I’m feeling overwhelmed and needing to find my strength, I close my eyes and picture an emptied space in a room. I mentally push everything away from me, leaving only a void. Emptiness. I can breathe. Think. I become still. I find that space inside of me. That’s my space. No one can enter but me. This is one of my coping strategies. Amy has others.
An incredible lesson I’ve learned over the last few years is, I can’t control my downstairs neighbor or my co-worker who wears too much perfume. But I can take actions to protect myself. I do empower myself. I protect my interest. When things get chaotic, such as overtime at work or if I’m not feeling well, I know I have to take care of my health. I take a day off. I turn off my phone. I tell people no. I ask for help. I negotiate with my boss. I talk with my coworkers if something is bothering me. We’re all human and we need to work together. Remember, you have rights too. Use them. Ask for what you want without a guilty residue.
Whether you like a green juice or you want to do a victory stance wearing the colors of your home country, it doesn’t matter. You don’t even need colors. Strike a pose such as Amy suggests. Hold that pose for at least two minutes. Try it. You’ll be amazed. Remain OPEN. Calm. Relaxed. Empowered. Alive.
Check out my book, Get Your Life Back Now, if you want to know more of what I have to say on the subject of self-empowerment.
Next week I’ll to talk about Nudges and Retraining our minds. I hope you have a great week!
There are plenty of posters and travel blogs promising bliss and restoration. Smooth, polished rocks, cascading waterfalls, and green plush grass are there for you. Rest and Restore. Leave your worries behind. Well, I chuckle. Life’s just not that convenient. Worries are like clingy little babies. They want to be fed, and they want only you. To remove them takes some conscious choice. Mindfulness.
Mad Max Highway
I drive the same short stretch of highway connections every day. People like me are jamming this interchange, just leaving work and wanting to go home as quickly as possible. Tired. Cranky. Maybe short on patience. Twice this week I’ve had the same thing happen. Two different people cut me off when there was an opening for me to enter a lane. Once it was my lane and the fellow thought I wasn’t quick enough I’m guessing, he passed me. The nerve! Both episodes I reacted poorly by speeding ahead, glaring or yelling. Something inside me quickened, warning me. Bad responses. Not that I might harm someone, but what if another, a third party, was injured. Was I willing to continue this same path? As I realized I wasn’t mindful or grateful, I noticed a large tire in the middle of the highway. Would I have hit it?
Allowing Stupid to Be Stupid
Last week I mentioned in Mindless Searching clicking through one book after another. I realized after twenty minutes had passed that I was not interested in any of the books I was looking at. I was in a trance. Mindfulness doesn’t happen by accident. It’s something I have to do. Pay attention. Watch the road. Stay calm. Let the anger go. Allow the stupid to be stupid and not even the score, because life isn’t fair.
Serendipity and Irony
I’m a passionate person, which is why I’m not good at just letting things slide. Some things can be planned, but there are a lot of stuff that just happen that are so much better if they happen on their own. For instance, the lemonade that I drank in Mexico. I couldn’t have planned that and made it taste any sweeter. And the memory of that day couldn’t bring me any more joy if I’d planned it.
When a moment happens and the events come together it seems perfect, as if you’d planned it, serendipitous. Athletes call it the flow or the zone. They’ve planned for it by practicing, maybe even visualizing. Who knows, that could be what happens to us when our lives have real things that fall into place. Ironic isn’t it?