Monday, January 17, 2011

When Does Learning Turn To Failure?

You have a choice. You can either view the really horrible, difficult situations in your life as a massive opportunity to learn more than you know now and develop a humble gratitude for the lessons...

...or you can see them as another example of how the Universe uses you as a toilet taking yet another massive dump on you.

You ask if you are a loser and failure because of the situation you now find yourself. Yes, it's true you designed it. Made the choices. Insisted on having your own way. Ignored the best wisdom of those around you. Were absolutely stubborn. Does that make you a loser and a failure?

No. That makes you human.

What will make you a failure is if, now that you know that your choices are incredibly wrong, you stay with them because you're afraid of what others might think, might say.

You become a loser if you think that staying seems better than moving on into the unknown. If you continue because undoing it seems too complicated. Yes, it's very frightening...but staying in a spirit killing situation is even more frightening.

You'll be a loser if you're more concerned about what others might think or say than you're concerned about what your spirit is urgently whispering now.

You're a failure if you don't feel all you need to feel about the current situation and walk forward into your life with the firm commitment that you will learn all you need to learn and add it to your experiences toward becoming a Real Human Being.

The situation? Yes, you designed it and realize, now, it was not good design. You realize that you've designed misery. But, you've only designed failure if you insist on having your way instead of doing the right thing.

You are not a failure by design; you become a failure by choice.

Which choice will you make?

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Has Been There

Saturday, January 15, 2011

M.I.A. But Only For Awhile

I had foot surgery earlier in the week. It went well. I'm home. Non-weight bearing for three weeks. Not much pain. But enough to keep me tired.

Michael is the most patient of nurses; I try not to ask much of him and I feel like when I want to take a nap, it's a good chance for him to do what he needs/wants to do. Rory and Fiona are pretty good candy-stripers.

Neighbors have checked on me and even made dinner for us! Such a nice thing to do. I feel blessed.

So until I can hold my head up for longer periods, I may not be around very much. Just when I made it my mission to be much more on my game here in blog land. Oh well, the best laid plans sort of thing.

Just wanted to check in with you and let you know I'm thinking of you. I'll be back.... I just sounded like The Terminator...funny...

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Right Thing To Do

I am reading and came across this sentence, when a rabbi stops to give prayer: "Maimonides forced himself to include a prayer for those among the Frankish army destined to die as well, but his heart was not in it." That got me thinking...

He did it as a man and a holy man at that, because it was the right thing to do. But, if his heart wasn't in it, does it still make it good...a prayer...just? And, if a holy man can pray without his heart in it, what chance do I, a regular slob have, at making a prayer count?!

We've all been in similar situations....when we ask for Spirit's help or attention to something or on someone and done so when we don't like the person. Or, the situations is not what we think correct. It's only the right thing to do.... Is it?

Is a prayer less-than or ineffectual if our hearts aren't really in it? If, as Human Beings, our emotions or patterns of thought set us in judgment of another...or we just can't help but turn our heads away from the nastiness of a situation?

Like, when we hear someone receiving the death sentence in punishment of a heinous crime they committed, don't we say, "No less than they deserved and God forgive them!" It's a prayer when you read it, but depending on how it was uttered, it's more of a judgment against them. And was our heart really in it? Most likely not, because what we really should say is, "And God forgive them because I won't or can't!" Is it prayer as we feel shed of such an evil in the world?

So, is prayer really prayer when our heart's not in it?

Some think all life is a prayer, all breath is a prayer, simply a thought toward God is a prayer. Attempting to walk in the Light and do no active harm is prayer. Some say it's the true desire to do right that makes something prayer. And, maybe, when you ponder how complex and twisted we can be in our thinking... How strong our egos are that can get in the way at times...

...perhaps Spirit knows this and built in a safety valve for those times when our thoughts, our ego, gets in the way of our prayers?

There was a monk, who had an interesting life, who was troubled emotionally...whose writings were complex...who gives me hope. For I know he was/is, without question, a holy man and yet very flawed, so perhaps things can be the same for me?

Among his great writings, most to complicated for the average person to really sit with comfortably, he left this simple prayer:

My Lord God~
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that my desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

~Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

In his prayer, Merton says best for me what I wonder about, is doing the right thing, even when your heart's not in it, the right thing? I believe, yes. Yes it is. Yes, the right thing is the right thing. If we do the right thing most often, eventually our heart will follow.

As we make our attempts, our hearts may not always be in the action but doing the right thing for and to another is just. Is always prayer. Perhaps imperfect, but as Human Beings, we are imperfect. And, it's sometimes the best we can do. Spirit loves us for our efforts. After all, it's only the right thing to do...

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is More Than Imperfect

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In Memory

I sit here and type, thinking about the fact that I've been sharing myself very publicly for a couple of years now. In that sharing, a lot of things have been learned; about myself, for myself, about others, about views of life and living.

A great many unexpected things have come from blogging. Like the unbelievable sense of how vast the world is, yet immediate, now with the Internet and things like Facebook. There's an up and down-side to that immediacy. That immediacy and transparency is still in the process of being successfully incorporated into our lives. Some of us handle it better than others.

There is a surprise element in how 'close' you can become with other bloggers; a sense of community you never anticipated begins to grow. In fact, deep friendships, mentorships can be a great by-product of this new way of sharing ourselves.

What I didn't ever expect to experience is a deep sorrow that comes from losing someone who I have never met in real time. Never sat with and had a cup of coffee; never talked with on the telephone. Never smiled into their eyes. And yet...

...when I learned of the death of Tessa Edwards when visiting her blog, I wept as though she is someone whose hand I have held or hugged. How is that possible?

Tessa's blog is one that I found at the suggestion of another dear blogging friend of mine, Ribbon. She thought I would like Tessa's site very much; she was right. From the moment I saw the bright and fun banner, and read the words beneath it, "FROM A LIFE...A COLLECTION OF IMAGES IN PROSE, PAINT AND PHOTOGRAPHS," I knew I had found a place to learn and love.

Tessa and I became a bit closer when she had a contest to choose the title for a manuscript that she was hoping to publish. Her editor chose my suggestion. I was thrilled! Later still, when she and I had exchanged some messages, she began to call me Your Hollyness, because of my insistence on being the Queen of The Universe. A notion that Tessa wholeheartedly supported!

Her artwork is spectacular. Colorful, deeply steeped in her love of South Africa. Her ability to express herself in art and words you can't help but admire. With all of her talent, and her world traveled views, she wasn't one to take herself or life seriously. For Tessa, it's all about the experience of learning to find humor and love in each day and sharing with others.

One of her works, an armadillo floating tranquilly through the air via a hot air balloon hangs close to this desk where I do my work and chat with you. I admired it when she had it on her blog and left a comment about it; soon after, it arrived via the mail. How generous! I look at it often. While she has been so sick, I've stopped and sent Reiki whenever my eye rests on the happy piece.

Over the past couple of days, I found myself drawn to it much more frequently. And, last night decided it was time to take a few minutes and sit at Tessa's to send a New Year's greeting to my friend across the pond. That's when I read the post her family was kind enough to put up to let us all know that Tessa had died on the very considerate of them to do that.

It's also more than kind of them, when you discover that Tessa started her blog as a gift to her children. A place where she could share the things she loved best...books, art, Africa. Her notions on being a Real Human Being.

Even after so many of us who are not her family began to visit, her family was kind enough to share her with us without complaint. What started out as a singular activity has reached so very far. I hope that the comments we have left about her passing, will help them as they learn to live without her constant presence in their lives. I hope they feel pride and take consolation upon hearing how so many of us have been touched by Tessa.

Now I know, that my constant looking at the artwork for the last day or so, was Tessa stopping by to leave a kiss and a smile as she passed through. She now delightedly stretches her Being on safari in the fields of her new world. I know this. Absolutely. I know this.

As a parting gift from this incredible woman I never knew in 'real' time, Tessa has given me this--I will never fear death again. Never. For now I know, without question, that death is but a portal to our next glorious adventure. For, there is no way that such a remarkable spirit can end just because its body stopped. It's simply not possible. I know we are taught this, but I've never felt it before now. Like a deep, rich bell sounding in my soul, I now know this as truth, not simply an act of faith.

She may be gone from this world but, I can still feel her art, her laughter, her prose, her spirit, her kindness and generosity. I feel them just the same as when she was 'here' with us. So, now I know, not just hope, that the truth of us, the love we have and the dreams and goodness, goes on. It simply does.

Thank you Tessa. I will look to see you again. I know this is true. Happy Safari in your new home and life.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Tessa Edwards' friend

Monday, January 3, 2011

Stop Touching Yourself and Just Sing!

Nothing like starting the new year off with a good rant.

So, the other night we're standing around waiting for the ball to drop and wondering who all of these performers are 'singing' and dancing on the stage. One person commented, "I am so getting old...I have no idea who these people are. More so, I don't really care who these people are."

I'm fairly certain I heard some poor misguided, socially stunted adult say something similar when I was young and thought, "You poor bastard..."

Well, count me a poor bastard in 2011 then. I'm perfectly all right with it if you do. I've earned the right to be one!

As I watched, I wasn't so concerned that I was out of touch musically, as much as I was becoming offended by all the touching that is de rigueur when one is supposed to be singing!

For goodness sake! Is this a porno we're watching, or is it supposed to be a performance of a hit single that we're watching?! For so many of singers these days, they're one in the same! News Flash! Handling your girl parts does not sell the song any better! Oh wait...maybe it does. Grrrrrrrr.....

I am so far from being a prude that it's not even funny. I'm all for sexual expression, etc...but if I wanted to see this much body stimulation, I'd go to a strip club and watch people grinding or swinging on a pole!! I don't want to watch it on New Year's Rockin' Eve, or any time I'm supposed to be watching someone sing. Yuk!

I wonder, does Andrea Bocelli get the itch to grab himself when he's singing?! How about Chris Botte....maybe not a good example as I don't think he can play a trumpet and rub himself at the same time. Michael Buble' grinding his mic stand? NO! You don't see that and still their music is worth my time as a listener!

How about an image of Povaratti touching his nipples? Could you ever get that out of your brain once it was seared in by witnessing it! NO! Your head would explode! And, watching these performers today is no less a bio-hazard!!!

Maybe it's ghetto and gangsta' rap that started this trend....but now all seem to think it's the only way to perform. The Queen of Burlesque, Blaze Starr didn't ever touch herself as much! And a crotch shot like the one Beyonce is providing here, makes Sharon Stone seem like a piker!

We wonder why young people are so inappropriate at times in public, or at home for that matter, without the sense of decorum that make them fit to live in civil society. But, all one needs to do is watch how we've confused the performing arts with a strip tease, and you've got your answer.

Young girls now think the only way to look on-trend is to look slutty. That's not news, we've been fighting that one for decades. What is news is how young the itch to slut around ten or so! Why can't we allow our children to know the glories of being one of God's/Goddess creations without looking like the lead act of a strip show?!

The male singers are no better....I'm surprised they don't need a cream to sooth their mangled private parts from all that grabbing and thrusting. PLEASE! Your junk is not that enticing to females. Trust me when I tell you that we don't think they're all that marvelous looking. Really? Do you have to do that?! There are children in the room. Their are seasoned adults, aka poor bastards, in the room who just don't care to witness how enamored you are of your package.

I think all of these younger performers must have a chiropractor on staff to put their spines and hips back into correct positioning after they've done a show. It's enough to cause whip-lash. Not in them, in me as I quickly and continually turn my head to avoid the image onslaught.

We can thank this guy for the trend toward self expression a la strip club style. Two decades ago when he first thought to scratch his itch on stage, it was a bit scandalous. That one move made Elvis Presley's gyrations in the 50's pale in comparison. Iconic sensual images such as Marilyn Monroe, standing over the street grate to get her skirt swooshed up seem sophomorically longer titillating. Oh, Michael Jackson, of all the things you could have left behind as part of your legacy?

Yeah, thanks a lot, Mike. Would you all please stop touching yourselves and just sing?!!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Poor Bastard!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Silent Sermon Sunday

This year, attempt to honor the hope and expectation of the 'new' year by learning one new thing each day...
May it be a wondrous one for all of us!

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Image courtesy of the Internet
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