About Being Noble and My Many Questions – repost

This is a re-post from September 1, 2013, About Being Noble and My Many Questions. Some may remember it. After a tough week like this one, I needed to remind myself of this.

Who told me?

Who said I should be in the 6 a.m. meditation group? Do I know what is holy? Can I decide for the future what I should do, where I should go, with whom I should be, and still remain open to what is needed now? Am I quite sure I should answer every question? EXTRA : Care for some extra superpowers, The Fluent Self

Who told me that?

Do I know the consequences of even one word I write?

Who told me it is kind to laugh at every joke, be on time for every appointment, get less sleep and not more, keep certain thoughts to myself, always do what I have agreed? How can I know what the situation calls for when it is clearly impossible for me to see the whole situation? Do I claim no distortion in my perception? Why then torture myself about fulfilling every unexamined claim of conscience? Why not consider the alternative? That there is something within me that does know and I can hear that something more clearly in comfort than in guilt. Maybe I should ease up and let things be.

“No matter what we talk about, we are talking about ourselves”
― Hugh PratherI Touch the Earth, the Earth Touches Me

“I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful I will not fall from heaven. But a ‘mistake’ is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder I am not dealing with the facts. When I have listened to my mistakes I have grown.”
― Hugh Prather

This is from a page I wrote in 2005. I was reading from some of my journals and ran across this little piece and thought that it is just as relevant for me today as it was then. 

Get off your pedestal. You’re going to hurt yourself. 

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Skin on a Snake

I have a theory about the people in our lives. We come and go, in and out of each other’s lives. It seems that when a person moves out of your life another person or thing of similar vibration takes their place. Which reminds me of the Buddhist’s teaching, even though a flower falls and dies from a bush, a new one will take its place. All things continue.

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
― Rumi

The form things come in our lives refuse to be planned. You may want love and kindness, but the more you try to control the form it comes to you in, the less likely you are of getting it. Control distorts.

I once had a beautiful birthday present. It was a year when I was very alone. Once, at work, I was talking to a complete stranger. I didn’t mention it was my birthday or about being lonely. I had been on break from my job and stepped outside to see the stars. While standing there someone started chatting with me. It was relaxing, refreshing, and exactly what I needed that moment. A casual friend.

Expect love, expect good things, just don’t demand that they walk into your lives on two legs. Love can come into our lives on four legs or even no legs at all.

“Today matters. Yesterday ees skin on a snake, to be shed many times.” – Beyond the Highland Mist, Karen Marie Moning

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Are You Lucky?

I’ve been entranced by the illusionist, Derren Brown for several weeks now. Here’s a synopsis of one of my favorite episodes.

In “The Secret Of Luck”, Derren sent British TV’s Dawn Porter to start a rumor in a Yorkshire village of Todmorden, by pretending to be filming a documentary about luck.  At first she only asked the question, “Have you seen the lucky dog?” Also she asked throughout the community if anyone had any experiences with the  local statue of a dog and does it bring good luck to those who rub it.

It’s a great tale, but you know the truth. We make our own luck, right? But what if you are like the one man in town who believes he has no luck. The following writer tells it well.

People make their own luck, usually because they’re a personality type that takes more chances and grabs every opportunities. To illustrate this in an amusing way, Derren set about presenting dour butcher Wayne with various chances to be “lucky” (posting a winning scratchcard through his letterbox, giving him the chance to earn £20 for participating in market research on the street, laying a £50 note on the ground for him to find and pick up, and finally by driving past him with a billboard asking him to call a number to claim a prize). Hilariously, only the billboard managed to grab the blinkered Wayne’s attention… eventually! http://danowen.blogspot.com/2011/11/derren-brown-secret-of-luck.html

I’ll post the video. It’s lengthy, but worth the watch.

Other sites:

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About Being Noble and My Many Questions

0804-hrh-05-01Who told me?

Who said I should be in the 6 a.m. meditation group? Do I know what is holy? Can I decide for the future what I should do, where I should go, with whom I should be, and still remain open to what is needed now? Am I quite sure I should answer every question?

Who told me that?

Do I know the consequences of even one word I write?

Who told me it is kind to laugh at every joke, be on time for every appointment, get less sleep and not more, keep certain thoughts to myself, always do what I have agreed? How can I know what the situation calls for when it is clearly impossible for me to see the whole situation? Do I claim no distortion in my perception? Why then torture myself about fulfilling every unexamined claim of conscience? Why not consider the alternative? That there is something within me that does know and I can hear that something more clearly in comfort than in guilt. Maybe I should ease up and let things be.

“No matter what we talk about, we are talking about ourselves”
― Hugh PratherI Touch the Earth, the Earth Touches Me

“I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful I will not fall from heaven. But a ‘mistake’ is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder I am not dealing with the facts. When I have listened to my mistakes I have grown.”
― Hugh Prather

This is a page I wrote in 2005. I was reading from some of my journals and ran across this little piece and thought that it is just as relevant to me today as it was then. 

Get off your pedestal. You’re going to hurt yourself. 

Missing Identity

I was listening to a self-help guru in the 1990’s and the strangest thing (to me) happened. The man asked, “If you could do ANYTHING and you knew you could not fail at it, what would you do?”  The first thing that popped into my thoughts was to write. I wanted to write. I hadn’t thought of writing since I was in the 8th grade and my teacher circled at least half of my essay and noted it heavily in red ink. Inside, a dream that I had buried and forgotten for dead, clawed its way back to the top.

Listen to your inner voice. Is she happy? Does she want to sing? Does he like the shoes he has on? The color of his tie? How about his activities? Are they something he does to belong or does he enjoy them? If there is one thing she could change, what would it be? Now after pondering this a little while, don’t do anything yet. Let the thought sit inside of you for a time. Like a seed planted in the soil, let it germinate. This is scary. Sometimes the dissatisfaction and restlessness can build up if I ignore some aspect of my life.

Nothing has to be done or changed or removed or even happen immediately. I’m not saying that your life will even change dramatically, but I am saying make time for you. It’s time to see the beauty and strength that is in you. There is gold and jewels underneath all of your restrictions. There is talent that has been dormant for a long time because a parent or sibling told you not to show off.  I think you should let some of it show. Just a little peek for now. The process will also involve learning to trust your own judgments. You will learn how much is too much or not enough, of food, of activity, of friendships. Do you know what you value? Whether it’s people in need or friendships you value; or if it’s caution or even reckless abandon, only you can decide what is right for you.

Lost Thoughts

Earlier today I had a wonderful thought and I was going to write about it. Something about perspective. I’ve done other things since then and the incredible thought floated off to lost thought heaven. Or wherever good thoughts go when they die. Or get lost. Maybe it will reincarnate into an ever more so incredible thought. I don’t know if I will recognize it, since I don’t remember the earlier one.

I’m not the best at holding a thought anyway. They’re slippery. If I don’t write them down or remember them, what would happen to all the thoughts I think throughout the day? Would I use them anyway? Are they there in me already therefore I think of them or are they floating around like gnats that have to be captured to keep them? I guess I haven’t really thought of it so much before. Speculating here, but if the thought is mine already and I don’t write it down would I keep it?

Tenacious. I want new ideas and new truths so much that I refuse to let anything drop. I ruthlessly want it, but I know I should relax.  I can’t imagine relaxing. All that is in me wants to grab hold of ideas and wisdom. I need to learn. I need life. It is the part of my personality that is eager and likes to run ahead, but also gets caught up in an idea and lingers, exploring the various parts.Writing Like Mad. I think I just got lost in my own thoughts.

Piecrust Promise

English: Screenshot from the trailer for the f...
English: Screenshot from the trailer for the film Mary Poppins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well what did you expect to happen?

There’s something both wonderful and  scary about expectations. It’s just a dream, a wish in your mind. It floats there taunting you and teasing you making you believe it could happen. It really could. The rainbow’s end and the sunbeam through the window. Like the kitten that is chasing the flashlight beam, we crouch and then pounce. After a while of chasing after the illusive dreams we become cynical if our hopes have been out of reach for too long. We hear of people who have put their hands into the heavy pot of gold. Surely it’s real. Right? What about true love? Is it as false as the Easter Bunny?

I get aggravated when I’m watching a television show and the character – who is definitely in charge – instructs everyone to trust him. Just trust me. I’ll handle this. And it’s always in the high crisis moments and you can tell that he/she expects everyone to blindly follow his sage advice. I cry foul!

I want to know which direction we are going. Yes, it’s scary and potentially deadly, but just let me know. I might want to just jump out of the moving train. Especially if it’s heading for the cliff. Trust me. I won’t let anything happen to you. It reminds me of the chivalrous days. The knight on the white horse shows up at just the right moment,  last desperation. He saves the day. The damsel in distress prettily wipes her brow. She knew he’d be there to save her. She expected it. She trusted him with her life.

What kind of game is this? Do you walk out to the edge just to see if they will save you? What did you expect to happen? Would the town be saved and the big scary monster die a bloody death, then we’d all live happily ever after? No more bad things?

If you’ve been around me any time at all, you know that I love a  good drama.  Movies, books, around a campfire, I don’t care. I want to get lost in the drama. But life is not a movie. It’s not a game that we can play and get to reenter at our last saved spot. There’s no pause or no rewind. We would all like to rewind. And there were some moments that I would love to have just lingered in the euphoria.

I’m probably looking at this whole process wrong. It’s possible I am missing a key ingredient. If I’ve missed something, feel free to email me or leave a comment. I do want to see this all through clear eyes. Are there those you can just blindly trust? Is that a realistic expectation? What about expectations? Can we blindly walk towards the rainbow without looking for the cliff? How do you follow your dreams? Do you keep your expectations in check or  let them run wild? I don’t know if I have all the answers now. I want to hear what you say.

A little further on….

I love it when movies do a funny twist. You know what I mean? You might have watched a movie or two like that. The usual story is going along and poof! The story line took a sudden turn. The Sting is one of the older ones, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  And did you expect The Sixth Sense? But I guess we should have. The little boy kept

Cover of "The Sixth Sense (Collector's Ed...
Cover via Amazon

saying “I see dead people.” If you haven’t seen it, well now you must.

The expectations we hate the most are the ones that leave you flat lined  You’re walking along, maybe taking in your groceries, like I was doing one afternoon, then boom, you’re face down on the ground. Speechless. You just lay there for momentarily, your lip bloodied. How did that happen? And even, what just happened? It’s the unexpected phone call in the middle of the night. Your daughter was in a car crash. You need to come to the hospital right away. The look on the doctor’s face. You know the surgery didn’t go well. the call from your boss telling you there’s not enough work for you. Can you clear out your desk? These are the moments that you’d like to fast forward through. Not at all a Hallmark moment.

What do these moments have in common? Interrupted expectations. You got ready for work and expected to do project A and make a few phone calls. Life happens. Doesn’t it. There’s no way to plan or foresee any of the events. Some wonderful and some not so much.

I read in Psychology Today  that our anger and disappointment comes from your unfulfilled expectations. You can read about it here Psychology Today. I expect traffic to flow smoothly. I expect good weather. I expect for my children to go to bed without a fuss. So when I’m angry at the creeping car driving in front of me, it is because I expected it to flow at my pace. That’s an unrealistic expectation.

So do I expect anything out of myself? If I lower my expectations about life then I will always be happy, right? I think that would be a pretty pathetic way to live. Low expectations are worthless. My way, I let my dreams float up there in the ether of my mind. Yes, I’m blonde. They are like beautiful butterflies. Not all dreams are flights of fancy though. Growing up is real. Going to college is believable. You can put some feet to your dream of a good paying job, writing a book, and  traveling to Europe.

So what makes a dream or a promise just a pie crust promise? Can you take a step towards it? An action you can make? Dreams are wonderful. There are those that I really do trust. You cannot help unexpected events. And you surely can’t stop traffic on the freeway on Monday morning. What’s a girl to do? Dream.

See also: Burnside Writers Your Wonderful Powerful Imperfect Story

 

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

In a small town, not far away, lived a boy who could only paint. He could not chop wood, the ax was too heavy and it fell out of his hands. When he gardened, the plants always died. The cows ran from him and afterwards would only give spoiled milk. He could not weave or spin. The yarn would always tangle around his fingers.

So his family and the people of the town decided to leave him alone to do what he really liked to do.
The boy who could only paint loved to paint. He would often paint pictures of children playing and pictures of parents smiling while watching their children. He would paint with blues and greens, browns and pinks too. There would be kites in his paintings with blazing colors as they soared high in the bright blue sky. There were balloons and parades and fairs with dancing and fun everywhere.

In the middle of the town there was a wall that had a picture on it. A picture of destruction, war and gloom. A prophet had come through the town one day and predicted war, destruction and a sad end for the town and its people. The town’s people believed the prophet – he was a very wise man. They trusted this man who spoke great wonders and painted them on their wall. Believing the prophet’s tale, they busied themselves working hard to secure their town from unknown horrors. Walls were built, towers for storage and other strong fortresses for safety were made. The town stored food and clothing for such a dire day ahead. Not knowing when or how that sad day would come they worked harder so all their hard work wouldn’t be lost.

Now on a very normal day, as the people ran and busied themselves with their work, the young boy took his paint and brushes, looking for something to paint. His family had finally quit trying to make him useful, so he was alone. He walked into the town, looked around and spotted his next place to paint. First he took out blue, a nice soft blue. He covered that sad picture on the old wall. Green was next. His trees were green and they were strong. Brown was for the trunks and the roots that grew into the ground. He painted a sun and some birds and a boy with a wide smile.

One by one the town’s people stopped what they were doing. The man with a wagon load of corn, the lady with her milk cows, even the girl with a basket, full of eggs, stopped to see what the boy had done. As the crowd gathered around, they didn’t know what to think. Should they be angry with the boy who could only paint? He’d destroyed the prophet’s work. But no one could quite remember, what had been on the wall before. One gentleman thought it had been a building. A young girl remembered a crow. Out of all the people no one remembered the prophet’s message.

One lone man walked towards the boy, took the paintbrush from the boy’s hand and grabbed the small can of paint. With tears in his eyes, he walked towards the wall of doom and destruction, dipped the brush into the blue paint, then added his paint to the newly painted wall. One by one the people came forward and painted a spot onto the wall while the boy who could only paint now could only watch.

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms…Muriel Rukeyser. What is your story?