Category Archives: Inspiration

Finding Your Inner Light to Get Through Dark Times

by Ami Dye Gori

“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” ~Hafiz of Shiraz

One week before my twenty-ninth birthday, the love of my life broke up with me. The pain of it was agonizing, heart-stopping. I could not think. I could not eat. I could not sleep. I could not breathe.

I expressed and released pain, anger, denial, guilt, sadness, and on and on, until I exhausted myself. The bottom had dropped out of my life, and my sense of self was left shattered.

If I could be so wrong about something I had felt such certainty about, I thought, then there was nothing that I could possibly be right about. I was tragically flawed and inevitably doomed.

So I did something desperate and extreme. I dropped out of graduate school, gave away all my furniture, threw away most of my belongings, and moved across the country.

My intention was escape: to run from the darkness, as far and as fast as possible, and to somehow exchange my old, broken life for a shiny new one.

It didn’t work the way I expected it to.

Instead of the dynamic new life in a vibrant city I had envisioned, I created instead an involuntary retreat into solitude and self-reflection.  

Moving far away changed only my environment; it didn’t change my internal landscape at all. After the excitement of change of scene faded, I was left with the one thing I couldn’t leave behind: me.

Because I didn’t know anyone, I spent a lot of time alone. This was back in the days before social media, before the Internet was what it is now, and way before smartphones.

I put pen to paper and wrote, a lot, just to purge the thoughts from my head. Many days passed for me in silence, simply because there was no one to talk to.

In my search to understand why something so unbearably horrible had happened to me, I embraced with passionate zeal every tradition or tool for healing and self-knowledge I could find.

I meditated, I did yoga, I breathed; I learned about the Saturn Return, the chakras, flower essences, fasting, mantras, shamanism, dream work, the I Ching.

All of this helped, but still, I was left with the dull, leaden weight of my loneliness.

I didn’t know how, but I was determined to find a way out. I clung to that intention for dear life: not the belief that it would get better—I wasn’t quite there yet— just the possibility that it could.

After a few months of existing from moment to moment with my solitude, I began to see myself more clearly, stripped as I was of everything familiar and alienated from everyone I loved. And slowly, surprisingly, and strangely, I began to notice qualities in myself that I didn’t know I possessed.

Because I did everything by myself, I learned self-reliance. If I got lost while driving, I had to navigate my way out of it. If my car broke down (which it did), there was no friend I could call for help.

I learned to take risks. Because everything I did was fraught with uncertainty, I realized that I could go out on a limb and figure out how to deal with it.

But even more than that: I found out that eating one perfectly ripe peach on the way back from the farmers’ market was an exquisite experience when performed solo and in silence. I could enjoy watching a fantastic movie even if I had no one to talk to about it when it was over. I could walk on a beach at sunset and appreciate the beauty without aching for someone to share it with.

My internal landscape had become, to my amazement, rich, complex, andinteresting. The gradually dawning knowledge that I could not just survive alone, but feel whole and happy—even in small bursts—was a revelation to me.

Out of the ashes of a devastating personal loss, I found an unlooked-for self-respect and a renewed excitement about living my life. Gradually, a vision of myself emerged, contrasted against the darkness that had enveloped me.

Since then, of course I’ve had other experiences that have pushed me to an edge, but I’ve found my way back to center each time by drawing on the essence of who I am.

It doesn’t mean I’ve lost all my flaws or figured it all out. I am always me in those ways, too. I can still be critical of myself or get distracted by life’s endless dramas or get wrapped up in anxiety and worry. But I know that I have a map that can get me back to where I want to be instead of being stuck someplace awful.

It can take time to find the way back, but you can be sure of the way by keeping just a few things in mind.

When something unthinkable happens, the question isn’t Why? The question isWho?

Who are you? That’s the only thing you can really know. Let what is inexplicable be inexplicable. You can’t change what has happened and you can’t control other people. But you can choose to let adversity teach you something about yourself.

If you lose everything, you are still you.

Nothing that happens, no matter how bad, can erase who you are. You are always you, no matter what happens. Experiences may change you, but deep inside there is always that shining seed of self, the blueprint of who you truly are, guaranteeing the possibility of renewal.

Loss allows space for something else to take root in you. You can let it be wisdom, not bitterness.

When everything else has been taken away, you have a choice to mend the pieces that are left or to stay in the shadowlands. When you move in the direction of wholeness, the power of your intention can ignite your own personal revolution.

An open mind and an open heart can turn the key.

It is hard work to generate gratitude and serenity when you are suffering. Luckily, just wanting to be that kind of person can be enoughWith your intentions set in the right direction, peace and contentment will find you.

In persevering through my own darkness, I found a self—call it my authentic self, my immortal soul, core being, my heart center and sanctuary—who can survive whatever life throws at me.

My experience has taught me that the human capacity to endure—and to do it with grace, courage, and joy—does not really depend on anything outside of ourselves. Even when life seems impossible, the brilliant light inside yourself is enough to see your way through your own darkest nights.

 

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Holiday Peace…just for today?

 

I heard the Pope is calling for world peace today and many in the nation, including politicians are going to church today to celebrate Easter. My husband and I don’t celebrate holidays. We believe they are man-made and commercialized for the banks and corporations to get people to spend money they would otherwise not. 

Having grown up in the church and graduated from a Christian university, I wasn’t always this way — jaded toward holidays and religion. But life and learning stepped in. Buying special news clothing, toys and goodies for the children at times when I didn’t have the money put undue stress on me. Giving money to the church; buying endless gifts for family, friends and teachers; attending parties for everyone kept me broke and frazzled. For over 30 years — my child rearing years — I was usually stressed and running like a chicken without a head trying to make ends meet to keep up with the dictates of society while trying to put food on the table. Much of the stress left me when I met my husband and he convinced me to get off the nightmare-go-round of the holy days (holidays).

The wealth and criminality of many churches and corporations says they are anything but holy, peace-filled and worthy of our money and attention. Many of these churches — The Vatican as an example — have their hands bloody from instigating wars and teaching their congregations they are necessary — not to mention their pedophilia and sex scandals. When our soldiers return from these wars of convenience and fabrication battered and broken, these institutions are nowhere to be found to help them.

This is not to put a wet blanket on anyone’s celebrations and festivities. It is just a way to say how we saved ourselves. Rather than practice peace and be nice to everyone on Easter Sunday, we do our best to practice this every day (trust me…it ain’t easy). I do this by staying politically engaged (it’s a civic duty, you know!) to fight against wars, corruption and encouraging others to vote and know who to vote for. Rather than buy mindlessly from the very corporations who are ruthlessly working against our basic needs (jobs, education, health, food, air, water, environment), I grow half of my own organic food and am careful who I buy from. I avoid corporations like the plague. I use gas sparingly, driving only one day a month to shop. We plan to go off grid this year. 

This day that is a man-made holiday, we plan to spend the day in the garden, planting seeds for food to harvest late summer and fall. Food that is unpolluted and will help nourish our bodies. We will end the day with a home cooked meal — produce grown from our yard — and a glass of wine, a game of dominoes and good music. 

That’s the plan and the best use of our time as we create our own holiday with meaning for our particular lives. ♥

 

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10 Gandhi Quotes That Will Change Your Life

1) Be the change you wish to see in the world
2) What you think, you become
3) Where there is love, there is life
4) Learn as if you’ll live forever
5) Your health is your true wealth
6) Have a sense of humor
7) Your life is your message
8) Action expresses priorities
9) Our greatness is being able to remake ourselves
10) Find yourself in the service of others

 
 
From ZazenLife

The beauty of these profound truths lies in their innate simplicity. They are unambiguous as to their true meaning and speak directly to the soul, piercing the veil of seeming normalcy that permeates our lives. Truly every moment is divine and holds the potential for our self realization. These words of wisdom connect us to our true divine nature and higher selves, causing us to reflect on that which we may take for granted as simply another aspect of day to day lives.

If something is boring or mundane, that is only our perception. If you truly want a glimpse into the complexity of the universe, try to draw what you see and you will instantly realize the incredible intricacy of every-little-thing in existence. Even the most humble stone is incredibly complex when we really begin to ponder and examine its true nature. Gandhi, as do all great spiritual leaders, recognized this and was able to coherently translate into language that is accessible by all.

If you feel inspired by these words, write them down! Create reminders that you can post in places you visit everyday such as your bedroom, office, or car so that you are constantly reminded of your true spiritual nature. We must never forget that all originates from spirit first and is then manifest into physical reality. This perspective helps keep us from getting lost in the powerful illusion of the external world.

Namaste
 
 

Native American Wisdom

Bull Tongue of Apsaroke (Crow) Tribe

From Soul Awakening…

Native American wisdom is deep, profound, simple and true. It has passed the test of time. The wisdom of their elders is very pertinent to the times in which we are living. Had the rest of the world lived according to their philosophy as ‘Earth Keepers’ we would not be facing the dreadful problems as a planet that now assails us in the ways of pollution, climate change and plundering of resources.

There are countless tribes each with their own language, sacred stories, customs and ceremonies.

However, they all share the wisdom of being aware of the Cosmic connection to not only each other but the very earth and skies, trees and rocks, animals and plants.

 

They teach “walk lightly upon the Earth and live in balance and harmony.”

 

Read the words of that great holy man, Black Elk:

“The first peace, which is the most important,
is that which comes within the souls of people
when they realize their relationship, their oneness,
with the universe and all its powers,
and when they realize that at the center of the universe
dwells the Great Spirit,
and that this center is really everywhere,
it is within each of us.”
~ Black Elk – Oglala Sioux ~

 

They are profoundly spiritual people who have suffered greatly. Their words echo deep in my bones. I hear truth, beauty, and meaning in the words from their holy men and elders.

 

“Out of the Indian approach to life
there comes a great freedom –
an intense and absorbing love for nature;
a respect for life;
enriching faith in a Supreme Power;
and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity,
and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations.”
~ Luther Standing Bear, Oglala ~

 

“From Wakan-Tanka, the Great Mystery,
comes all power.
It is from Wakan-Tanka that the holy man has wisdom
and the power to heal and make holy charms.
Man knows that all healing plants
are given by Wakan-Tanka;
therefore they are holy.
So too is the buffalo holy,
because it is the gift of Wakan-Tanka.”
~ Flat-Iron (Maza Blaska) Oglala Sioux Chief ~

 

They lived and breathed their spirituality. And so do not forget.

 

It has become quite a ‘fashion’ to try to take on Native American teachings. We do this proud nation a disservice to try to emulate them in a shallow way. They know (and they always knew) their kindredship with the Earth. We have tried to box them in, silence their words and ‘educate’ them, lest they cause us to shrivel up in shame!

Those of us who recognize these things can only move forward in love. Ask forgiveness from our Native American brothers and sisters who have managed to retain ancient wisdom. Their God, Wankan Tanka is our God too. How can it be other?

We live in very turbulent days and we owe them such a debt of gratitude for their forbearance. Surely now the time has come when we can share and meet in mutual acceptance and thanksgiving that they have kept ancient ceremonies and respect for elders and ancestors alive. We can learn so much about honor from these people.

 

 

I believe their voice will now be heard by all nations.
It is the time for freedom from mental slavery
and return to our birthright as good people
reclaim our kindred ship to each other,
the kingdoms and give due respect
and walk in balance and harmony
with the entire natural world.

 

The Folded Napkin…A Truckers Story

I remember this story from years back, but am glad to see it again and again…because I forget. I hope everyone shares this story. It’s a great one. Thank you, Mr. JB!

The Militant Negro™

By Jueseppi B….reposted from MyOwnHeart.Me

 

2011_05_09-Napkin01

 

 

 

Borrowed from MYOWNHEART.ME

 

THE FOLDED NAPKIN…A TRUCKERS STORY

 

****AUTHOR UNKNOWN****

 

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn’t sure I wanted one. I wasn’t sure how my customers would react to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome.

 

I wasn’t worried about most of my trucker customers because truckersdon’t generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade. The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins

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The 100th Monkey Syndrome

 

 

[David Icke]…The Japanese monkey, Macaca fuscata, had been observed in the wild for a period of over 30 years.

In 1952, on the island of Koshima, scientists were providing monkeys with sweet potatoes dropped in the sand. The monkeys liked the taste of the raw sweet potatoes, but they found the dirt unpleasant.

An 18-month-old female named Imo found she could solve the problem by washing the potatoes in a nearby stream. She taught this trick to her mother. Her playmates also learned this new way and they taught their mothers too.
This cultural innovation was gradually picked up by various monkeys before the eyes of the scientists.

Between 1952 and 1958 all the young monkeys learned to wash the sandy sweet potatoes to make them more palatable.

Only the adults who imitated their children learned this social improvement. Other adults kept eating the dirty sweet potatoes.

Then something startling took place. In the autumn of 1958, a certain number of Koshima monkeys were washing sweet potatoes — the exact number is not known.

Let us suppose that when the sun rose one morning there were 99 monkeys on Koshima Island who had learned to wash their sweet potatoes.

Let’s further suppose that later that morning, the hundredth monkey learned to wash potatoes.

THEN IT HAPPENED!

By that evening almost everyone in the tribe was washing sweet potatoes before eating them.

The added energy of this hundredth monkey somehow created an ideological breakthrough!

But notice.

A most surprising thing observed by these scientists was that the habit of washing sweet potatoes then jumped over the sea –

Colonies of monkeys on other islands and the mainland troop of monkeys at Takasakiyama began washing their sweet potatoes.

Thus, when a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind.

Although the exact number may vary, this Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the conscious property of these people.

But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!

The 100th Monkey Syndrome

 

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BEST Andrea Bocelli Song EVER! – (HQ Sound) – The Lord’s Prayer

 

 

[YouTube]…This is the BEST Andrea Bocelli song EVER. Listen as he joins the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City, Utah for an unforgettable rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer.”

David Foster sets the stage for the music in this beautiful PBS performance. A song about Christ’s prayer to His Father in Heaven.

This beats adeste fidelis, angels we have heard on high, God Bless us everyone, caro gesu bambino, cantique de noel, and any of his other hits, anytime…but see for yourself. There’s no Sarah Brightman but the Mormon Tabernacle Choir does it even better!

This truly is his the “besame mucho Andrea Bocelli”

 

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