On Clearing Space and Creating Victory

Spirituality, Temple Building, Text Talk, Women's Health
Over on PhYINomenal, Sojo's self care focus for November is Elimination – time to release, remove, denounce, deny and let go. It's a great time to release that which no longer serves you and invite in affirming energy, new processes, and transformative experiences. If you've never checked out her site, today's a great day to do it. Get the self care calendar for November and see what simple things you can do to release the deadweight and bring new life. Over the years I've found myself in that place many times. One time in particular, I was stuck, stagnant and depleted. I needed something, anything, that could help me recharge my life and get inspired again. I finally realized that I didn't need to look outside myself for the answers. With…
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Another beautiful day

Spirituality
[caption id="attachment_3636" align="alignleft" width="210"] North Georgia cotton candy sunrise.[/caption] The skies of north Georgia are beautiful. I admit this freely now. I often stop to photograph daybreak and dawn, sunset, dusk and twilight. As a Georgia native, there were many things I enjoyed outdoors growing up, but I can't recall appreciating the sky on the fringes of day. Florida was a different story. I lived there off and on for many years, and 2009 is the first time I recall pausing at the sight of the setting sun. Driving across a bridge, I witnessed the huge orb sinking below the horizon. Once bright blue sky, now dotted with clouds and awash in orange and purple and pink, I wanted to pull over in awe. Instead I offered prayers of appreciation. I couldn't believe my good fortune to…
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Stream of Consciousness: Planting

Feminist Thought, Spirituality
A bitter heart is fertile ground for the dream of revenge. It can extend beyond heart and mind, into body, into world. Enact the vengeance, and the recipient may agree, yes, this is justice. Or she may not. Her family may agree, or they may not. Her friends may agree, or not. What if? The wronged heart, too, grows bitter then. Poison cultivates a new dream of revenge. Imagination and courage dance, a perverse action. Then. Pain inflicted on another. What if... Newly wounded burn with anger, rot with pain, and poison the ground for a dream. And so it is, the potential in actions born of bitterness. With life comes pain. But in pain, do you seek restoration or destruction? But what of a family, community, or nation? What is in the heart…
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The Four Agreements

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April, Love, Spirituality
Elizabeth Gilbert's TED Talk had been on my mind earlier this week, and The Four Agreements have now taken up residence in its stead. I've been actively working on unblocking by committing to write, so I'll take these little bells as encouragement to keep going. Don Miguel Ruiz wrote a short book, based on Toltec Wisdom. In it, he elucidates four agreements, or practices, we can implement daily to enjoy a more fulfilling life. I'm very consistent on agreements #3 and #4, and I easily redirect myself #2. But I must admit, I abandon the very first one when I'm not careful. That's the one I'm revisiting  now. It would be a good exercise to (re)read the book and do some extended writing on each of the four principles. But for…
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On living, aging and growing old.

Personal Narrative, Spirituality
It is important to remember that aging and growing old are not necessarily the same. ~Daisaku Ikeda  I cringe whenever my peers claim they're getting old. Of course years pass and we physically age, but a lot of what they are claiming is more about mindset than time. A friend argued that maybe those people are beaten down by life - they're getting weary, not getting old. Perhaps. My favorite models in life are my aunts and uncles. Three of them are active on social media and in real life. Here's a picture: [caption id="attachment_2741" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Uncle Grisby, Auntie Jessie, Cousin Big Sis, Me, Uncle Arnsel. 2011.[/caption] Auntie Jessie, who will be 85 this year, called to wish me a happy birthday Wednesday. When we spoke around 9:30 p.m.,…
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Plot Twist!

Spirituality, Temple Building
In My Dear Friends in America, Daisaku Ikeda wrote: "You are the playwright of your own victory.  You are also the play's hero.  Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage, / And all the men and women merely players" (As You like It, act II, scene vii, line 139). Buddhism teaches us that the individual writes and performs the script for his or her own life.  Neither chance nor a divine being writes the script for us.  We write it, and we are the actors who play it. Despite the fact that we can take responsibility for our lives and plot out the life we'd like to live, there's no getting around the fact that some things are simply out of our control. Even in a real stage play, props…
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A word on hope. #NaBloPoMo #Buddhism.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Spirituality, Temple Building
What is your philosophy of life? Does it involve action, momentum, value creation and good cheer? Is it passive, reactive, somber? Quality of life is more about how we decide to live, rather than what happens to us in the living of it. There's risk in choosing to live optimistically. We can't predict or control the hurricanes or floods, the disappointing diagnoses, the betrayals. Sometimes we don't see that knock out punch coming, and there we are dazed, contemplating the wisdom of standing. The decisions we make in difficult moments are grounded in our approach to life. I advocate a philosophy of hope. It's funny, because I've often said, "hope is not a strategy." But that's incomplete. What I mean is hope is not going to write your paper, deliver…
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Present moments and future pleasures. #NaBloPoMo

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative, Spirituality, Temple Building
Love in the past is a memory. Love in the future is a fantasy. To be really alive, love — or any other experience — must take place in the present. ~Jack Kornfield I don't want to get too caught up in what's next. I want to enjoy what's now. (While still excited about what's next.) I'll admit that's been hard the past few months. After a period of dormancy, my life is in the full bloom of spring. It's glorious. I have big plans and I'm working toward them day by day. Still, I find myself saying things like, I can't wait until... Now, I want to be clear: There's absolutely nothing wrong with being excited about the future, no matter whether future means five years or five minutes. But being…
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I Gave Up.

Productivity, Spirituality, Temple Building
So it happened. I gave up. I run 50 miles a month. I’ve hit the magic number a few times now, but I knew October would be difficult. October was wonderful and busy and challenging, due in no small part to time in planes, rental cars and hotels. Traveling put a cramp in my otherwise clearly delineated exercise schedule. Treadmills? Yuck. Four a.m. wake up calls to get everything in? Definitely not. I decided to just run my miles whenever I could, and I’d adjust as needed. No ink on the calendar this month. Pencil only. Just in case. Early on, I accomplished two amazing personal victories, yet I was already behind. Might have to change my goal though, I'm not seeing a path to 50 after missing two runs…
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Beyond the Bright Side | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Spirituality, Temple Building
Success is not a matter of accumulating more of this or that; it is not measured in quantity. It means changing the quality of your life. Wealth, power, fame and knowledge alone cannot make you happy, no matter how much of these you acquire. Nor can you take them with you when you die. But by improving the quality of your life you will at last approach true happiness. ~Daisaku Ikeda But how does one change the quality of life? Lots of guidance encourages us to remain steadfast in difficult times; refuse to give up during challenging circumstances. Some people mistake this kind of rhetoric to mean just look at the bright side. This understanding is inaccurate, or at the very least, incomplete. The better reading is that you should…
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