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IT IS. . . WHAT IT IS

I’m not a rose-colored glasses kind of person.  In fact, my experience is that I’m a little nervous about hanging out with the rose-colored glasses variety because there is a downside, which is:  It denies what is and expects others to also.  If there is a problem and you happen to speak about it, you just might find yourself referred to as ‘negative’ and/or excluded because it doesn’t fit the reality of rose-colored glasses, and this reality constantly needs adjustment in ways you may not ever be able to comprehend, as it is not actually going on in reality.  Yeah.

So, what am I?  A person trying to see life’s situations for what they are, as they are.  A clear view, in my opinion, eliminates much unnecessary drama, for you and others.  The happiest I ever felt was the moment I gave up the ‘eternal smiling optimist’ gig and opted for see it for what it is and evaluate.  I did not lose all emotional feeling or concern.  In fact, my concern became deeper, wider, rooted in reality and I felt I was able to see more possibilities for remedy when I took a breath and observed.  I gained a measure of deeper thoughtfulness, more moments of true laughter and kindness, not from other people’s words or behavior but from my own center, who I want to be based on my core values not on reactivity.  The journey continues.  Thank you, Lilie

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What’s It Really About?

On YouTube, there’s a Seane Corn (well-known and respected yoga teacher) video about the new president.  She says it for me.  I want to be part of that group that is watching in the direction of the creative thinkers and activists.  I want to be an assist in any way I can to advance the essential compassionate nature of self and others.  I want to hold a line for integrity and compassionate, ethical behavior.

Yesterday, after writing, I realized what I’m truly feeling – it’s grief.  I’m sad about what I see and hear.  I want to be there for others, stand up and protect the vulnerable because it’s right, because I saw too many who wouldn’t, couldn’t stand up.  If the rest of the world decides they can live without dignity, integrity and compassion, I can’t.  Regardless of the cost, I can’t.  I don’t think life is worth anything without it.  It’s the essential purpose of a living being:  Compassion.  I miss the mark frequently, lately, but I keep going back, keep looking for the influences that will draw me back to what is most important.  Those influences do exist.

In a high school civics class, the teacher (my favorite) went around the room and asked each of us to say what we wanted to be as adults.  My turn and I said, “A good person.”  Most laughed, two didn’t.  The teacher said, “Go ahead, say why.”  I said because I knew I was smart and would always want to learn and always would be able to make a living, but the work was to be a good person, to not hurt others.  I said that I was hurt a lot and this person also hurt others a lot, when I was grown and on my own, I didn’t want to see it anymore, I didn’t ever want to be that.  The girl behind me (my closest friend) leaned over the desk, hugged and kissed me.  I was ridiculed by others.  At that time, I didn’t seem to notice or care.  I meant what I said, corny as it sounds.  I realize that’s what the grief is about, I still do mean that.   That’s still what I want.  I want to see it in others, too.  I don’t want to see it fade away.

Mercy, love, compassion, grace, they aren’t just emotions.  They are the reason for life.  Whatever else we have created, the reason for life is to love and demonstrate it by being good to others.  I’m sorry for the ways I haven’t been and am back on my mission.

So, when we’re ready for that snarky remark to put someone who irks us in their place, they are a person, they came by their ideas somehow, they have a chance to awaken as we’re trying to.  Stand up, protect and be kind.  Have a day of kindness, delivered and received.  Thank you.  Lilie

 

 

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NOW

We were invited to thanksgiving dinner, a few years back.  Here we go, around the table:  What are you grateful for?  I’m listening.  I look down.  What will I say?  Of course, my husband, son and Ruby.  What, though, something is . . . coming up?   My turn and I say:  The Dalai Lama was asked what he is grateful for.  He said, this precious human birth.  I think so.  I think that’s what I’m grateful for, this precious human birth.  And, I felt it.  It was now or not at all, not anymore.  Now, now keep going.  Now do it.  Go the rest of the way.

I had been making changes for a few years, but I had hesitated; fear of further isolation, exclusion and criticism/gossip.  Yes, that does hurt me.  But, it couldn’t be anything else.  Forward.  It was the absolute desire of my heart.  Tea and Toast with Kindness was coming.  It is what I wanted for myself, and if I could just leave some of that — give it away, be that every day.  Now, it’s  now.  Thank you.  Lilie

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NOT LIKE ME

So, I was told that the peacemakers, solution seekers were those who don’t make waves, don’t stir things up, don’t rock the boat.  Here’s my response:

 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Gandhi

Jeanette Rankin

Eleanor Roosevelt

Rosa Parks

Anwar Sadat

Robert Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

Gloria Steinem

Bob Dylan

Pete Seeger

Howard Zinn

Stephen Judd

Ok, you get it.

My idea of the peaceful, the solution seekers are those who cannot bear, cannot stand, will not tolerate the abuse of another’s person, rights or property.  They seek peace through the promotion of awareness, change, equality and the protection of the vulnerable.  Rather than the oh so many silent, non-rocking types whose silence encourages, enforces and entrenches all forms of abuse and violence, calling it peace by shaming and manipulating others into silence, thereby ensuring suffering continues.

I’m a rocker.

 

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What’s Up with You

It is hard for me to be consistent in writing a blog.  I had to consider that I wouldn’t be doing any bells and whistles:  few photos, probably no video.  No fanfair, just simple, plain writing.  I felt I did have something to say that could put something constructive and truthful into a wider conversation, so I’ve begun.

Why the difficulty in consistency?  I’m going to try to condense, condense, condense this.  I have an underlying condition that made me vulnerable to an illness (shingles) which became an overarching illness in itself.  It’s a rare situation with shingles (although, I’ve read many histories, so I think it’s just underreported and soon the medical community will catch up, as seems the predictable outcome of many conditions).  The underlying condition and shingles aggravate each other.  I have an inability to control my own inner thermostat  – therefore, I have difficulty being exposed to heat – of any kind.  Heat will trigger neurologic symptoms and the shingles illness, which has its own complex of symptoms:  Eyesight, face pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, triggered asthma, paralyzed intestines/bowel, severe leg pain (both legs, left more than right) with difficulty and limitation in standing, sitting, walking.

I have been offered and, at various times, have taken pain killers:  morphine in the form of MS Contin, Fentanyl patches, Vicodin and so on.  I do take some pain medication (none of the aforementioned), but my go to is meditation and a serious attempt at a mindful life.  I have many assets in my treasure chest.  I use them freely.  For me, I feared the pain medication trap and the whole western medicine protocol for pain (as it exists in most parts of the country), at this time.  The protocol is:  antidepressants, anxiolytics, opioids, other painkillers, and antispasmodics.  An inadequate and dangerous protocol for just about everyone.  A deathtrap for personality and functioning, in my opinion and experience.  I looked to and explored (for 20yrs) the approach begun in 1979, MBSR (mind body stress relief), established by Jon Kabat-Zinn.   I looked to Insight Meditation Society resources and info.  I looked to yoga.  I began studying yoga over 40 yrs ago (when it wasn’t hot, cool or popular).  I achieved certification in the teaching of yoga and meditation, but I am no longer physically able to teach yoga, though I maintain a daily program for myself.

Pain, and other manifestations of the illness, now prevent me from getting out much.  I live in a beautiful place but a rigidly conservative and predominantly fundamentalist religious area.  I am not those things.  I had to reach out and work hard to find community and it’s difficult for me to travel to that community as frequently as I would like.  I am thankful to the internet, lol, you bet – because I can have conversations with those whom I share common interest; and, can listen, hear a different conversation, ideas and encouragement, as well as feel I have something to contribute, still.   Pain limits my ability to write every day, or even consistently.  So, sometimes a day or week is better than another.  It isn’t that I lack initiative or interest.

I’m hoping that blogging reaches others who have similar stories and who are working positive searches and ideas to improve and enhance their quality of inner life and that of others.  That’s already too much, too many.  Thank you for stopping by.  Let me know about your blog, please, I’d like to read you.  Make a day of tea and toast with kindness, with love.  Lilie