I’ve been thinking…

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Houston, I think we have a problem.

Imagine a human standing in front of you asking you a question.  It is not the easiest question for you to answer.  In fact, you would rather turn, run in the opposite direction and dive into a hole filled with fat,slimy earthworms than answer the question.  But this person is in front of you. Face to face.  Eye to eye.  Nose to nose.  So you dig down deep inside of you and you find the courage to answer the question to the best of your ability.  Phew. That was hard, but you did it, and it may not have been the perfect answer, but you faced the question and you did not run away. I say good for you.

Texting.  It’s a bit crazy to me how this technology has severely wounded the sensitivity and even common sensical part of human nature: we speak. we listen. we respond.

Curiously, with a cellular device in our hand we transcend humanity and become the all-powerful, fearless immortal.  We kick aside three of the four Buddhist virtues: compassion, empathetic joy, and loving-kindness. Suddenly, a person writes things that they would never say in person or they avoid completely questions that they do not want to answer.As far as practicing non-reaction?  You just  hit that send button and shoot of something that has the power to ruin someone’s day.  You don’t have to look at that person and see the damage your writing may have done. Worst even, maybe you don’t even care.

I like human voices.  I like to see smiles and hear laughter. One of the things that I deepened my understanding in through yoga is the power of touch. Humans!  We need to work on this.  We need to teach others to do this.  I believe it will increase happiness in ourselves, our homes, our communities, and maybe even someday in the world.

Remember this.  Those great memories that you have were not from reading a screen, they were made from hearing words or doing things with others, or maybe with the help and support of others.  People give hope to one another with the power of eye to eye contact, and the intonation of our voices.

Lifting each other up, cheering each other on…are not products of technology. Let’s be mindful with our writing.

I was just thinking about that.

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Thoughts.

On Children

    Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

 They come through you but not from you,     And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,     For they have their own thoughts.    You may house their bodies but not their souls,     For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,     which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,     but seek not to make them like you.     For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.  The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,     and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.  Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;   For even as He loves the arrow that flies,  so He loves also the bow that is stable.

~Kahlil Gibran

“pull” to open.

Oh yes, I thought I knew it all 14 years ago.  I thought that working with young women as an adult nurse practitioner was the perfect job for me because I was able to help and teach these women at the same time. I thought I was accepting of everyone, and I thought I was happy.  I thought I knew so much about myself.

It was not until I was 29 years old and experienced a major clinical post -partum depression, that I realized I did not know half as much as I thought I did about myself.  I needed to learn “Why am I the way I am? Why do I react to certain situations the way that I do? Am I really as accepting of others as I think I am?”  During months of intensive therapy, I searched deep inside myself for these answers, and when I found them, I realized I had struck gold.

When I more fully understood myself, I stopped getting so angry with myself, and I stopped trying to change who I was.  At 29 years old, I began to like myself.  In the words of Emmet Foxx, I let the door to my soul open “in” and I looked inside to find out exactly who I was.

I am currently reading the book  Find And Use Your Inner Power by Emmet Foxx.  He states that when people are faced with a challenging situation, the “natural direction of panic is to push outward.”  “Human nature is very prone to push blindly when frightened or frustrated.”  I thought about how true this is.

I remembered learning about the historic “Cocoanut Grove” fire  that took place in Boston on November 28, 1942.  The disaster became an important part of US history as people helplessly pushed against doors that did not open outwards.  “Unlocked doors, like the ones in the Broadway Lounge, opened inwards, rendering them useless against the crush of people trying to escape.”

I  remembered how my Kempo Karate  instructor taught us how to escape the arms of someone trying to hold us in a bear hug.  The way was not to push against arms of someone who was most likely bigger and stronger than we were.  The way was to not push at all- instead relax the entire body, and slide down and out of the arms trying to harm us. (and then run!)

I remembered  how, during that time of massive inner turmoil in my life, I was forced to look  “inward” and allow myself to accept what I found without feeling the need to change what did not need to be changed.   In this way I gained wisdom, found happiness, and learned not only to accept myself for who I am, but others as well.  I learned to laugh at myself.

Foxx describes the “door to the soul” as opening inward.  If we really want to nurture our souls, we must not push and become frustrated with the way we are.  Instead, keep the door open,  learn about what makes us the way we are,  and let thoughts and life experiences in.  This will help us to find inner peace and happiness.

Foxx uses the example of prayer as one way to “realize” the presence of God in our lives, and to guide us in our ability to open the doors to our souls.  I believe in the importance of  setting time aside from everyday duties.  Time that is exclusively yours.  This can be done in many ways, prayer being one of them that I am learning to use more and more.

Try not to push blindly against a door that won’t open in order to gain an understanding of yourself.  Try to peacefully “pull inward” to open that door and look around inside.  If you are like me, you may find some things that you need to work on to become a wiser and happier person… but then again… you may also like what you see!

quotes from Find And Use Your Inner Power by Emmet Foxx

Factual data regarding Cocoanut Grove  from Wikipedia