Tag Archives: peace

Mojo Monday ~ Fun Deficit Disorder

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Life isnt as serious

Sometimes I can be really serious.  I am sensitive to world events.  My heart hurts when there are painful and sad things happening.  I struggle with the big issues regarding injustice, violence against women and children, as well as hurtful actions against animals, which is why I adopted a vegan diet 6 years ago.  I also happen to be in my fourth year of writing for Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine and while the first years leant themselves to me writing about inspirational uplifting topics, we as a collective group have dug deeper into more challenging topics, especially this year where the theme is Taboo.  I have now tackled the topic of Naked Vulnerability, “Death” in We Are All Going to Die. Poetry Can Help , “Ambiguity” in Shades of Fucking Gray or Delicious Ambiguity? and the most recent, sexual abuse of children, in The Bogeyman Under the Bed.  Goodness I sometimes feel like this series is putting me through the proverbial wringer.

In my off time from contemplating and writing about topics like death and abuse I can also get caught up and focused on chores, to-do lists, keeping my car clean, organizing my emails and hanging up my clothes according to color scheme.  (Oh dear, I am revealing my idiosyncrasies.)  Yes, there are aspects of my moderate OCD personality that likes everything in a certain order.  It is the last trait that can trigger my irritation about towels hung up haphazardly, the bed not made, books and homework strewn across the dining room table, too many things cluttering up the house, jackets thrown on the floor…well you get the idea.  It is something I feel I have to tame regularly if I am to avoid the true grumpy grumps and grumbles about wanting to live alone, so I don’t have to clean up after other people.  I love my children and my hubby.  It is terrifying to consider a life without them, so obviously moving out or moving them out really isn’t the answer.  What I aim to focus on instead is making peace with things I cannot change. Not always so easy, but when love trumps everything else, you do what you need to to make it work.

Even Cowgirls get the BluesSo in consideration of how serious I have been feeling, and in all honesty, the blues I have been struggling with for months now (yes even Cowgirls get the blues), it was timely to receive a newsletter that reminded me of the importance of Play.  It also seemed appropriate for the magical month of December.  I laughed, but related especially to the description of FDD ~ Fun Deficit Disorder.  Let me share with you the inspirational message from Kathy Tyler of Innerlinks that struck a chord with me.

 

 

Inspirational Message

Maximize every moment of liveness. Experience 
pleasurable involvement in all your activities and enjoy what you are doing.  Have Fun!
Play is at the heart of our creativity and animates our being in our most carefree moments. It helps us live with absurdity, paradox, and mystery. It feeds our childlike joy and wonder. It keeps our search for meaning grounded and on to earth.
There is so much going on in the world, and within us, that our stress levels have adjusted upwards to a new ‘normal’ creating a hidden epidemic of fun deficit disorder (FDD). Play is an antidote to stress. It can totally absorb your attention and cause a cascade of feelings that greatly impact your happiness quotient.
Play engages us with the imaginal realm and supports and enriches our metabolization of life. It is integral for generating insights and effortless realizations. Play literally gives us a ‘breather’ – restoring our vitality at a core level.
This month find a fun activity that totally captivates your attention to the point where time seems to slow or even stop, and the voice inside — (the one giving constant commentary on what you’re doing, have done, or will be doing) — ceases.  Laugh heartily at jokes, situations, and yourself.
Wishing you playful, joyous moments throughout December. And, transformed FDD to F:):)….
Warmly,
Kathy

Ways I am choosing to have fun this month ~

Created a new holiday music mix and will be designing the cd cover.

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Prepared the annual family holiday letter with photos and news about our 2014.

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Getting creative with our Elf on the Shelf named TwinTweety.

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Delighting in putting up lights, including a new heart and star
on the porch that make me happy.

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Decorating the candy house with the family.

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As one who loves finding and giving that oh-so-perfect gift
I’ll delight in wrapping and preparing gifts for loves ones.

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Before I head off for the fun task of
plotting the next adventure
for our Elf on the Shelf
I encourage you to consider how you

can make this a Season of Magic.

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Artwork by Kristina Swarmer ~ card by Brush Dance

I’ll also close with another
inspirational message from Innerlinks.

Intentional Butterfly Circle

You are important.
Your thoughts create.
Your actions matter.
Your presence changes everything.

Be an Intentional Butterfly,

a participant in the ripple effect of caring.

This is the beginning, now is when you start. It is time to awaken to your presence, to be inspired in your actions, and to hold the highest and best outcome for the planet, humanity, and all life on earth. You make a difference and you decide what that difference is. What you think about yourself affects how you feel and how you act. What you think about those you meet affects how they view themselves. We all create each other. I am cannot be a teacher if there are no students. I cannot be a student if there are no teachers.

It is not a question of whether what you think matters. It absolutely does. Your participation is mandatory regardless of your perception. You are here, you are a part of life, and you make a difference. You are a participant in the creation of our future. So, the only question is; what kind of difference do you want to make? It is up to you to decide to be a conscious or unconscious participant. Non-action, to do nothing, is a choice and one you are ultimately accountable for. And, sometimes, non-action is the most courageous choice. But, to do nothing because you do not want to get involved is an excuse to stay disempowered and unaccountable. So, make choices with intent. Be willing to learn, grow, and evolve in your ability to discern what to do and what not to do.

As you go about your daily activities, you touch numerous people most of which you do not even meet. The woman or man behind a cash register who serves you at the counter, your interaction adds or subtracts from their day and how she/he then interacts with the next customer or co-worker. Your interaction with them may tip their inner balance point in the direction of kindness or anger. What kind of influence do you want to be? What is the ripple your energy is creating?

Become a beacon of intention. Intend kindness, peace, grace, appreciation, and recognition of the spirit of the person who is in front of you. You do not need to ‘know’ them to extend your good will and good heart. It is not the receptivity of the other that prevents you from extending your best to each moment.

Practice goodness, become an intentional butterfly that lights upon each interaction with the blessing of the true reality that is our shared humanity. Add your presence to the love and compassion that are the healing agents that free our spirits and open our souls to the knowing of our true selves.

Each interaction is an opportunity to start a chain reaction of caring. Of giving the moment a magic touch that reverberates and carries out like a ripple on a pond. Endless in possibilities to affect an outcome many steps down line from your initial incidental action.

This is a way to contribute to the phase shift where change can happen. Like water heating to the boil, there is a moment before it reaches the temperature to start to boil, but if the heat remains at that point or drops, the water never makes the phase shift to actually boil, to become steam, to change its frequency. You can be that moment; you can choose to add to the phase shift of another. You can be the butterfly with the gentle touch that contributes to the phase shift, to the change. You may just be the difference that changes everything. Don’t miss your opportunity.

Join the circle, become an Intentional Butterfly. Make a difference. Start now, be a conscious, caring, human being. You are part of a larger picture, a much grander plan then what you may perceive. What you give to one gives to the whole and ultimately gives back to you.

Keep your acts of intention simple.

  • Open a door for someone and as look in his or her eyes, smile.
  • Let in front of you the driver who is waiting to merge.
  • Ask the cashier how they are.
  • Compliment your partner.
  • Give specific appreciation to your children.
  • Return a shopping cart to the door.
  • Recycle your cans.
  • Make a phone call to someone who lives alone.

Build on simple acts increasing in frequency. Frequency meaning both: more often and increase in vibration. Upping your intentional actions. Extending your loving presence to touch that in another.

Then, ask for more opportunities to be an intentional butterfly. Keep your heart open. Stay alert to the seemingly incidental moment that can change the outcome of someone’s day.

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Mojo Monday ~ Corita Kent

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SisterCorita

‘The Revolution introduced me to art, and in turn, art introduced me to the Revolution!’
~ Albert Einstein

Corita Kent nun

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Kent’s “Love” stamp and Kent and other teachers in her print making workshop.

Kent’s “Love” stamp and Kent and other teachers in her print making workshop.

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Learn more about Corita Kent here.

Revolutionary Love Stories

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CC Magazine Logo (1)

Come read my latest article called
Revolutionary Love Stories
in Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine

Love. Peace. Equality. Justice.

I am longing for more revolutionary love stories.  I want to hear more good stories about love, peace, equality and justice blossoming on our planet.  I am longing for revolutions that bring about changes to our world in such a way that there is love between all people.  I desire revolutions for peace that spread across all the lands.  I want revolutions of equality between all people, no matter their gender, race, culture, sexual orientation or chosen faith.  It is also time for a revolution of justice; true justice for all. To quote John Lennon, some may say I’m a dreamer, but I do know that I am not the only one.

Image found on deviantart.com by Valentina White

Do my revolutionary ideas and desires about letting love rule seem unreasonable to you?  Do you doubt that we can create a world of love, peace, and equality? What do you think stands in the way of reaching such goals?  

Come read the entire article over at Cosmic Cowgirls Magazine.

Mojo Monday ~ What We Can Learn from Anger

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This particular article first appeared in my blog back in December of 2008.  I chose to share it again as I have been struggling with increased feelings of frustration and anger in recent months.  I decided to revisit this topic in an effort to contemplate and evaluate my own feelings.  I thought it might be of value to you too.

 

 

Anger is an emotion that is often viewed as negative and in some religious circles as sinful even. Yet anger is a human emotion, just like fear, happiness and sadness. Should anger be suppressed or ignored? What do we do with this emotion?

Let us consider a few individuals who are recognized for their contributions to peace. The idea of a person being both peaceful and angry may seem contradictory and incompatible. Yet I believe it is helpful and even encouraging for anyone who struggles with being angry to recognize that even some of the most peaceful people to walk this earth have experienced anger and expressed it.

Jesus
When Jesus cleared the temple of the moneychangers and animal-sellers, He showed great emotion and anger (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-18; John 2:13-22). Jesus’ emotion was described as “zeal” for God’s house (John 2:17). Another time Jesus showed anger was in the synagogue of Capernaum. When the Pharisees refused to answer Jesus’ questions, “He . . . looked round about them with anger” (Mark 3:5). This verse goes on to give the reason for His anger: “the hardness of their hearts.”

 

Mahatma (Great Soul) Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)

“I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world. It is not that I do not get angry. I do not give vent to anger. I cultivate the quality of patience as angerlessness, and, generally speaking, I succeed.… It is a habit that everyone must cultivate and must succeed in forming by constant practice.”

 

Mother Teresa

“When I see waste here, I feel angry on the inside. I don’t approve of myself getting angry. But it’s something you can’t help after seeing Ethiopia.” — Washington 1984.

 

 
Daisaku Ikeda (January 2, 1928-)

Ikeda is President of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist association which claims 12 million members in more than 190 countries and territories, and founder of several educational, cultural and research institutions. Ikeda is a peace activist, prolific writer, poet, educator, interpreter of Nichiren Buddhism and environmentalist. He has travelled to more than 60 countries to hold discussions with many political, cultural, and educational figures, as well as to teach. In his book For the Sake of Peace Ikedawrites in the preface “I am against war! I am absolutely opposed to it!” He continues on later with “I am determined to fight against anyone who supports or advocates war. I will fight the dark, demonic forces of destruction. Another book by Ikeda called Fighting for Peace is a collection of his meditations on war and peace. In a description from his own web site the book is described as expressing, from personal experience, his deep loathing of war and his anger at those in positions of authority who would sacrifice ordinary people in pursuit of selfish ends.

In learning to better embrace and accept myself, I have needed to recognize and accept my anger and even my rage. This has been a huge part of growing and becoming more authentic and real. I grew up repressing any anger I felt. Scary feelings like anger were stuffed away and suppressed. My fears of “rocking the boat” and of not being liked felt very overpowering. There is no doubt that I had the people-pleasing disease.

The book Quantum Wellness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Wellness by Kathy Freston addresses anger and I had one of those “Aha moments” upon reading this section this summer.

Freston writes, “According to Dr. John Sarno, the emotion we are most averse to is rage, anger that has gathered steam from being kept down and locked away. A lot of people who think of themselves as good people — Sarno called them “goodists,” because they tend to be very much tied to an image of themselves as nice and good people — do not at all feel comfortable with such a “distasteful” and potentially out-of=control emotion as rage. If something happens in their life that sparks intense anger, these people tend not to deal with it, because they don’t like what it brings up in them…

…A goodist might well submerge his true feelings because he doesn’t want to rock the boat. He convinces himself that he has “let it go” when, in fact, by not allowing himself to experience his authentic emotions, they have just done unconscious. When we don’t think we can handle something in a way that feels safe and manageable -ie., if we speak up, we might lose a relationship or job or, even worse, be thought of as a bad person — our survival mechanism kicks in and buries the feeling in the recesses of our psyche. Those disowned feeling become part of our shadow.”

The book then delves into how suppressing the shadow becomes the goal. “As Dr, Sarno put it, the brain is in cahoots with the body in such a way that when the repulsive emotion starts to come up, the body will quickly conjure an intense localized pain or discomfort that is big enough to make us forget what we were beginning to feel. Basically, the brain says, “Whoa! I can’t let myself feel that rage. It threatens my identity as a good and nice person. Good and nice people do not have rage; it is unseemly and out of control.” The book points out that the mind and body will work together to save us from disturbing experiences. It also points out that since we prefer to see ourselves in a certain light “we tuck away what we think is repulsive or frightening or disagreeable. But, because or nature is to evolve and become ever more enlightened, the part of us that is dark will constantly try to come to light.”

Further on the author explains that “Once we make peace with our demons — be they rage or fear or shame, and we all have them — we become more fully integrated human beings…

…When you go about this process of allowing your emotions without judgment, you will be led into your Truth. Ask yourself if there is anger — rage even — that you need to connect with and then heal. Allow yourself to drop into deep sadness or grief even if your normal instinct is to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and “get over it.”

Ironically I also came across a wonderful section on anger in The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Creativity by Julia Cameron. I say “ironically” because here is a book about creativity. Yet really this book is about so much more.

“Anger is fuel. We feel it and we want to do something. Hit someone, break something, throw a fit, smash a fist into the wall, tell those bastards. But we are nice people, and what we do with our anger is stuff it, deny it, bury it, block it, hide it, lie about it, medicate it, muffle it, ignore it. We do everything but listen to it.

Anger is meant to be listened to. Anger is a voice, a shout, a plea, a demand. Anger is meant to be respected. Why? Because anger is a map. Anger shows us what our boundaries are. Anger shows us where we want to go. It lets us see where we’ve been and lets us know when we haven’t liked it. Anger points the way, not just the finger. In the recovery of a blocked artist, anger is a sign of health.

Anger is meant to be acted upon. It is not meant to be acted out. Anger points the direction. We are meant to use anger as fuel to take the actions we need to move where our anger points us. With a little thought, we can usually translate the message that our anger is sending us.

‘Blast him! I could make a better film than that!’ (This anger says: you want to make movie. You need to learn how.)

‘I can’t believe it! I had this idea for a play three years ago and she’s gone and written it.’ (This anger says: stop procrastinating. Ideas don’t get opening nights. Finished plays do. Start writing.)

‘That’s my strategy he’s using. This is incredible! I’ve been ripped off! I knew I should have pulled that material together and copyrighted it.’ (This anger says: it’s time to take your own ideas seriously enough to treat them well.)

When we feel anger, we are often very angry that we feel anger. Damn anger!! It tells us we can’t get away with our old life any longer. It tells us that old life is dying. It tells us we are being reborn, and birthing hurts. The hurt makes us angry.

Anger is the firestorm that signals the death of our old life. Anger is the fuel that propels us into our new one. Anger is a tool, not a master. Anger is meant to be tapped into and drawn upon. Used properly, anger is use-full.

Sloth, apathy, and despair are the enemy. Anger is not. Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend. Not a gentle friend. But a very, very loyal friend. It will always tell us when we have been betrayed. It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves. It will always tell us that it is time to act in our own best interests.”

Anger is not he action itself. It is action’s invitation.”

I also found wisdom about anger in Ed and Deb Shapiro’s article entitled “Ducks Don’t Do Anger” which appeared in the October 30, 2008 issue of the Huffington Post. They write “Trying to eradicate anger is like trying to box with our own shadow, it doesn’t work. Getting rid of it implies either expressing it and creating emotional damage, or repressing it, which just suppresses it until it erupts at a later time. Getting to know and make friends with anger is essential. To make real change we have to change the way we think and react. This is growing roses out of rotting compost, transforming fire into constructive action, using the passion but without the destruction. We need to see what is beneath the anger, what hurt, longing or fear is trying to make itself heard. There may be feelings of rejection, grief or loneliness, so if we repress anger or pretend it isn’t there then all these other feelings get repressed and ignored as well.”

What I have certainly learned from my explorations of facing my own anger and rage is how self destructive this emotion can be if it is suppressed, stuffed and pointed inwards. I am not one to lash out. I have always been one to internalize such feelings. The “goodist” in me was always so afraid of conflict and confrontation. The difficult lesson has been in learning how to constructively communicate my anger in a healthy way. If something upsets me or makes me angry I am learning to make better choices in expressing it. Usually for me it is as simple as speaking up. For example I have learned that telling my husband that I am upset that he didn’t help out in the morning is a much healthier approach, than is harboring my anger which doesn’t resolve anything. It is only by speaking up respectively and sharing my thoughts and feelings that he understands what I am thinking and how I am feeling. Only then can he respond and perhaps do something differently.

Activity ~ Make a list of things that make you angry. Include anything and everything. Here is an example:

Rude drivers

Toilet seat left up

Slow computer

Kids whining and arguing

Television on too loud

Getting to work late

Being interrupted by your spouse or children

Waiting in line

Next review the list and consider why these things make you angry. Sometimes what we think is making us angry, really isn’t the real culprit. Let’s consider rude drivers and toilet seats left up. The key here might be that you are angry that people are not considerate of others. Ask yourself if you are wanting and needing more consideration in your life from your family, your friends and perhaps most of all from yourself. The slow computer might really be more of a reflection of your frustration with not having enough time, or rather feeling like you don’t have enough time. Perhaps you need more “you” time. More time to just be and relax. How can you schedule back and make that happen? If the anger kicks in due to kids whining and arguing, the television being on too loud, and being interrupted by a spouse and children, this could also be a sign that you are in need of more silence in your life and again more private time.

Suggested Reading ~ The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

Here is a long excerpt from the beginning of Chapter 1 entitled The Challenge of Anger

“Anger is a signal, and one worth listening to. Our anger may be a message that we are being hurt, that our rights are being violated, that our needs or wants are not being adequately met, or simply that something is not right. our anger may tell us that we are not addressing an important emotional issue in our lives, or that too much of our self–our beliefs, values, desires, or ambitions–is being compromised in a relationship. Our anger may be a signal that we are doing more and giving more than we can comfortable to or give. Or our anger may warn us that others are doing too much for us, at the expense of our own competence and growth. Just as physical pain tells us to take our hand off the hot stove, the pain of anger preserves the very integrity of our self. our anger can motivate us to say “no” to the ways in which we are defined by others and “yet” to the dictates of our inner self.

Women, however, have long been discouraged from the awareness and forthright expression of anger. Sugar and spice are the ingredients from which we are made. We are the nurturers, the soothers, the peacemakers and the steadiers of rocked boats. It is our job to please, protect and placate the world. We may hold relationships in place as if our lives depended on it.

The taboos against our feeling and expressing anger are so powerful that even knowing when we are angry is not a simple matter. When a woman shows her anger, she is likely to be dismissed as irrational or worse.

Why are angry women so threatening to others? If we are guilty, depressed, or self-doubting, we stay in place. We do not take action except against our own selves and we are unlikely to be agents of personal and social change. In contrast, angry women may change and challenge the lives of us all, as witnessed by the past decade of feminism. And change is anxiety-arousing and difficult business for everyone, includingthose of us who are actively pushing for it.

Thus, we too learn to fear our own anger, not only because it brings about the disapproval of others, but also because it signals the necessity for change. We may begin to ask ourselves questions that serve to block or invalidate our own experience of anger: ‘Is my anger legitimate?’ ‘Do I have a right to be angry?’ ‘What good will it do?’ These questions can be excellent ways of silencing ourselves and shutting off our anger.

Let us question these questions. Anger is neither legitimate nor illegitimate, meaningful nor pointless. Anger simply is. To ask, ‘Is my anger legitimate?’ is similar to asking, ‘Do I have a right to be thirsty?'”