Archive for March, 2010

I once had a Blog.

Posted on March 31, 2010. Filed under: Health, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

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I once had a blog: I’d expound and expose,
uphold and uplift, consider; propose.
I’d give my opinion and take it away.
I’d see it as real as light of the day.
My blog cared for me; it’s where I would put
my life and my arguments, all drenched in soot.

I once had a blog on which I’d complete
those thoughts, to their places confirmed and replete
with certainties; principles; though I’d deny
my way was the best way, and others’ were why
I continued to blog, without reference or past;
I must be illumined, created, and massed.

I once had a blog where my thoughts were as sound;
my take was appropriate; feelings profound.
Today, I just wonder, as, though I convince,
my wisdom, my surety must make me wince.
I cannot know for you, nor her; even me!
Persistence; illusion; conclusion to be:

I write to release, I write as I care;
without some expression I might wander, where?
To doldrums of wishes and rooms full of dust;
and forthwith I channel my thoughts into lust
for silver-clad truth I continually seek,
which doesn’t exist, making value seem bleak.

I once had a blog that relieved me of conscience,
that fed me with substance, that helped define nonsense.
But now that it mocks me in silence and shame;
I soothe its poor ego with words not to blame,
but let it evolve as it must and it might:
I once had a blog that was free, but not quite.

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Spring Cleaning my Brain & Celebrating ReNewal

Posted on March 19, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, Musings, Philosophy |

My brain is really looking forward to its annual spring cleaning. It gets a bit stuffy over the wintertime, and then “stuff” happens. Er. Um. I mean, it doesn’t HAVE to be that way, but it does seem I enjoy taking advantage of a little “shaking up”.

I’ve posted before about the Gregorian calendar, which is the one most of the world uses for commerce, even if they have a different one for cultural or religious purposes. Did you know, though, that our year hasn’t always started at the beginning of January? That once, relatively long ago, it started in mid-March? In England, the civil year started on the 25th of March from the 12th century until 1751 (relatively recently as things go), and early Roman calendars had only ten months beginning with March:  Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. It’s interesting to note that the last four month-names have remained identical to present English usage, although they’re “out of synch”, as their names refer to the numbers 7, 8, 9, & 10, rather than to the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th months as we know them now. Apparently, January and February were added at a later time to balance out the solar year, and other month names were changed for various political reasons.

OK, so, leaving the Romans out of it for a bit, there is the ancient practice of honouring the new solar year at the time of the spring equinox. This is the day that the hours of daylight equal those of the night; from here the days get longer until the Summer Solstice (in the northern hemisphere; our friends in the southern are approaching winter, instead, but the solstice is there as well.) 

Given that, there are currently celebrations of renewal in progress in several cultures. Many of these have associations with fertility, some subtly, others blatant! Here are some I know of and acknowledge:

  • Chinese New Year. (February 14th) Earlier than the Solstice, and not quite spring; for me, this holiday marks the beginning of the spring holiday season. This year I celebrated by singing in the chorus of a Chinese New Year concert sponsored by the Chinese Cultural Center in my community.
  • Spring Equinox (Today, March 20) celebrated from ancient times as the turning of the year; the renewal of life. Spring cleaning starts now!
  • NawRuz (March 21) another equinox holiday; the Persian (Iranian) New Year. Also celebrated by people of the Baha’i faith.
  • Passover (Pesach) starts on March 29th (15th Nissan, the first month of the Jewish calendar). It’s an eight-day holiday starting with two feast days which celebrate freedom.
  • Easter (April 4) The name is as ancient as Babylon. A name for the Goddess of spring and time of renewal, Easter has come to be associated with the Christian celebration of the resurrection of the Christ spirit.

There are others, and forgive me if I’ve left out yours. Please note it in the comments if so. 🙂 As I’ve said, this is my favorite holiday time. I don’t, as many in my area do, give a lot of energy to the December holidays, although they can be beautiful. I enjoy, rather, the gradual warming of our days, and with them the fresh energy this brings.

I’m hoping my brain is not too cluttered this year. There is much that has happened since last spring, in the world and within me.

Whichever of them is important to you, I wish you good, cleansing spring holidays. Let’s stir things up and create some excitement! ☼

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Compassion, Acceptance, and Grace.

Posted on March 12, 2010. Filed under: Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

So, I was in a spiritual discussion with some lovely folks earlier today, and I fear I got a bit snippy at one point. I don’t do a lot of counseling anymore, and am kind of out of practice. I tend to think that “people ought to” just get over themselves, live in the moment, and quit whining about the past. This does sound harsh, does it not? I was reminded several times, both by myself 😉 and by another participant, that things we think of others are really about ourselves. I realized I was thinking that I “ought to” get over myself!

What do I mean by that, exactly? (I wish you’d tell me!) I’m feeling a mixture of things in my life at the moment, including feeling a bit stuck regarding some circumstances, while, at the same time, excitement abounds because of a couple of new projects involving my online life.

{Digression alert!} Sometimes I wonder if I’m a little bit too in love with being online. I have several friends who tell me that they look at a computer screen all day long, and when they finally get home, the LAST thing they want to do is turn on their home computer. I am not like that at all. I roll out of bed in the morning, turn on the beastly machine (it’s a lovely beast, really!) and alternate “real” work, volunteer work, and self-created projects all day long. I can multi-task with the best of them! I’m often still typing away at the machine well after midnight (like now!) I do make sure I turn the computer completely off for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and that I get out the door for a walk every day. I do have SOME perspective. The fact that I work largely from home (when I’m not out causing trouble at the events I work on) 😉 just adds to the confusion.

So, back to the topic at hand: I was interacting with a few people, and even though I’d had some time to meditate and calm my nerves, I wasn’t feeling too compassionate with myself. It turns out that one of the people I was talking to was dealing with issues of impatience–coincidence? I think not!

I was reminded of something I read in a self-help book long ago (I just LOVE self-help books!): “Be gentle with yourself.” We so often beat ourselves up over things that, in the scheme of things, won’t matter a jot. After the conversation I also was reminded to ask the question “What if you loved that person? How would you respond?” It’s a curious thing that the moment I ask “What if…” I begin to love them immediately! The question takes the pressure off. How often are we admonished to “love our fellow wo/man”? But, to ask, “What IF I loved them?”, tells me I don’t have to if I don’t want to! I might just choose to act compassionately towards them, anyway…

And to me as well.

In love & peace. ♥

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Women’s Day? and other happy things…

Posted on March 8, 2010. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy |

Apparently, March 8th is International Women’s Day. I didn’t realize this until my friend Apar tagged me to participate in a contest honoring the day. Apar is very dear to me, and I recommend her post, Abuse—not just physical!, very highly! It brings a dimension of thought to the issue I haven’t seen elsewhere. Read it, if the topic calls to you at all. I’m pleased that Apar thought enough of my opinion to want to recruit me to write about Women’s Day on my blog—thank you, Apar, you honor me.

My post is a bit different. I have to ask, as women are 52% of the population, why they often feel, and are treated as if, they are NOT empowered. Let me say, at the outset, that I am a card-carrying feminist, and I mean literally card-carrying, as I am a member of NOW, the National Organization of Women in the United States. What I say here may seem contradictory to that fact, but I never said I was not a complicated person! 

I think that the best thing women can do for themselves is to do whatever it takes to give up the victim role. Because of my spiritual beliefs, I tend to think we find ourselves in situations we didn’t necessarily consciously create, but once we are awake and aware of them, the BEST work we can do is to look within ourselves, and ask how we are feeling victimized, and then work on the feelings, rather than to change perceived “outer” wrongs. This flies in the face of many tenets of social activism, and, by the way, it applies equally to men. It is also my belief (I have many of them!) that men who appear to “victimize” women are themselves feeling pretty powerless, or else they would not feel the need to prey upon a segment of the population they feel is weaker or “less than” them. So I would hold men equally to the task of looking within and freeing themselves from their less-than-powerful feelings. If we all would take care of ourselves first, everything else would naturally fall into place.

It seems many groups with the intention of “empowering” women tend to disintegrate into “male-bashing” sessions. My feeling is that the genders are really not as different as society likes to portray them. Of course, women’s bodies carry pregnancies—that is the main biological difference, although there are said to be others—but many women don’t have children, while many men are single parents. So to apply a standard to all members of a particular groups when there are so many exceptions is nonsensical, in my view.

I don’t care for arbitrary decisions like this. I’m studying a great deal about racial classifications as well, and I’m learning that to assign a particular “race”, and therefore a set of standards, to a particular person based on appearance or other criteria makes as much sense as saying: “All people with brown eyes have X characteristic, therefore they must be classified as Y.” Women are known as “the largest minority group” while they are, in fact, the majority. As such, it is up to them to band together, if they wish change, and affirm what they DO want: stand strong and have expectation of great results rather than blame others–namely men—for their perceived travails. I would say this to anyone who perceives themself as a “downtrodden minority”, a position in which I have felt myself in the past.

The only rational argument (and I don’t necessarily put much credence in “rational” arguments) I’ve heard against this is something along the lines of “Well, men are physically stronger than women, so therefore_____(fill in blank). Yes and No. It may seem an obvious truth, but is again not universally so. I think if we all support each individual’s right to choose her/his path, we will draw to us those who can assist us when we require support.

I think (and here’s the politically incorrect part) that often women are their own worst enemy. I was at a meeting this evening where one of the topics discussed concerned setting up tables for a large speaker event. One of the women there proposed finding “strong men” to move the tables. This just perpetuates unfortunate stereotypes. If it takes three small women to move a table that two large men could move, then, by golly, recruit the three women if that’s who is available in the volunteer pool.

I watched a bit of the Oscar ceremony this evening, and I found it unfortunate that  the “buzz” was that FINALLY, a woman won the award for Best Director. Is it rather appalling that it took until well into the 21st century for a person possessing a slightly different assortment of body parts than other winners to win this time? Of course. We would all be better served to “act as if”. Act as if this was commonplace and expected. Act as if it was no big deal. Act as if this is a joyful thing. “That which we rail against comes back to us, as does what we invite”. (A MusEism) 🙂 Let us declare what we want, not feed what we do not.

OK, rant over, onto brighter things. It’s seems somehow appropriate to post my other “tagged” meme along with this one. I’m pleased that the splendid book blogger nylusmilk, of The Literary Pursuit, wished to know my answers to this meme:   The rules for the Bliss (Happy 101) Award are that I list out 10 things (only 10???) that make me happy, then pass it along to 10 other bloggers.

I will happily list ten things that make me happy (does happily listing count as one?) 🙂 but I have not been an active tagger much of late, so if you happen to read this, and choose to indulge in the VERY WORTHY exercise of focusing on what makes you happy; please do take this meme as your own.

In no particular order:

1. I still, after several years at it, get totally blissed out by the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world through blogging and other online communities. This is just the w00tiest!

2. Picture it: A sunny afternoon; not too hot; my easy chair by the window with the view of the mountains. A stack of three books on my side table; one a juicy novel I’ve just started and looks promising, one a well-written tome about spiritual or conscious explorations, and one a journal or recent publication about the latest scientific discoveries. A nice cup of tea, and all the time in the world.

3. Running, and achieving that perfect balance; “in the zone and feeling free”.

4. A philosophical discussion about cutting edge consciousness with an old, dear friend or a new person with a new perspective, engaged in with respect and excitement.

5. Bright colors and shiny objects. (I’m simple-minded, really!)

6. Listening to many kinds of music, but specifically when I’m after a deep contentment and connection, the instrumental music of J.S. Bach. Sublime!

7. A really, really good, restful, superlicious night of sleep!

8. Pasta. Need I say more? 🙂

9. Interacting with a very nice creature; could even be human, but I’m thinking of lovely cats, birds, bunnies, and other animals who sometimes have time for me!

10. There’s nothing like the bliss of allowing myself to realize I’m important, competent, loved, and worthy. If I don’t tell me these things; who will?

Thanks much, Pursuer of Literariness. I enjoyed taking a look at this list which came forth this day. ♥

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