Poem #1

Recently, my brother Ian was encouraging me to write poetry.  He always reminds me that he loved the poetry I wrote when I was younger and urges me to continue doing it.  However, sometimes there’s just nothing there, you know?  It’s not that I don’t have things to write about because I am always filled with feelings, awarenesses and reflections, but sometimes those synapses are just not firing when I look at the paper.

So I told him on that day, “Ok, how about this? You text me a word or a sentence to stimulate my brain and I’ll bounce off of it by creating a poem.”

Now here I am, sharing what we came up with!

Ian sent me a quote written by a man named Hayden White, from “The Historical Text as Literary Artifact”, as follows:

“It is frequently forgotten or, when remembered, denied that no given set of events attested by the historical record comprises a story manifestly finished and complete. This is as true as the events that comprise the life of an individual as it is of an institution, a nation, or a whole people.  We do not live stories, even if we give our lives meaning by retrospectively casting them in the form of stories.”

To which I concocted the following poem, that has no name, so I just call it Poem #1:

I want to live

In the reality.

I desperately want it.

I long for it I pray for it

How silly I am!

Longing for something that I already am, longing for a place where I already am.

The story that is the reality where I live….exhausts me….

What a strange existence.

If I have to live and die like this, I’m not sure if I can forgive myself.

But to think like that, fuels my story even more….

Can I surrender my precious pitiful empty story?

Can I be brave enough to face the vast loneliness that unveils when that story is peeled away?

A great teacher once said, “if you can watch your loneliness, you can be enlightened.”

Perhaps it is true of all of history, of the entire human race – we are all just bunnies running away from the tiger of loneliness, not realizing that it’s just a paper tiger, after all.

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It felt good to write that poem! I just put the pen down, not knowing where it would lead, and a bunch of different things that were processing inside of me organized themselves and came out 🙂

Ian’s response was:  Loneliness!

Interestingly, just a week ago I was invited by Linda Yoonjin of Change TV to do a podcast with her, chatting on the topic of ‘loneliness.’  I will be posting that podcast here as soon as it comes out for the public.  So, more on the topic of loneliness to come….

Thank you Ian for knocking on the dusty door of my inner poet once again and inspiring her into action!

 

Absolute Acceptance

How would you answer the question: What is the opposite of fear?

For me, there are different answers on different days, depending on what I’m experiencing and where I’m at in my journey.

Sometimes the answer is Love.  Sometimes the answer is Courage.

Today, I feel that the opposite of fear is Absolute Acceptance.

Accept everything.  Accept what the moment brings to me.  Who said it should be any other way?  Why do we put so many expectations on life?  Life should be like this and it shouldn’t be like that.  He’s supposed to do this and she’s supposed to do that.  I’m not supposed to be like this, it’s not supposed to be this way…and so on and so on.

Have you ever taken a look at how many should’s and supposed to’s that you are projecting onto each and every moment?  The problem is that we are mostly doing it unconsciously.  But I invite you to bring it into your conscious awareness.  It may be painful, yet I still invite you to do it.  It’s when we finally see the truth of our habits that we have the opportunity to change.

Life is life.  But I put my expectations on it.  Then, when life doesn’t match my expectations, I suffer. Isn’t it so?

Let’s check our expectations carefully.  I believe that they are causing us pain.  But the good news is: Although we cannot change the current of life, we can change ourselves and our expectations of it.  We can change our perspective.  We can let go of our demands on life and just lean into it AS IT IS.

Is this easy to do?  No way!

But will it bring us more peace?  Yes, definitely.

I have heard some call this “radical acceptance”.  I want to call it “absolute acceptance.”  Absolutely accept every single thing as it is.  Look into your own heart and find the judgement, expectation and “should” that you put onto yourself, your situation, or the person involved in it.

Let’s stop demanding from life.  It’s stressing us out and disabling us from being ALIVE.

Let’s start in small doses – just a moment here or there when you can grab hold of this perspective.  Awaken the calmly observing eye within you that is watching life through you without any commentary of goods and bads, rights and wrongs.  I’m not saying to stay there always because that will lead to disappointment in yourself.  Instead, take it easy and slow… just try to begin the process of waking it up.  That eye is always open, but we couldn’t allow ourselves to see from it because we were so busy judging ourselves and our innocent lives.  And why?  With what and whose standards have we been judging with?

I believe this is an important thing to consider in our journey of awakening.

 

Self-Discovery

What are you discovering, uncovering about yourself these days?

As the earth turns, as summer rolls by, as good news and bad news come and go from the world around us…. what are you seeing about yourself?  How are you changing?  Isn’t that the duty and purpose of our existence as human beings?  To at least keep changing and growing ourselves with sincere effort to evolve into the best people that we can be?

In Ilchi Lee’s newest book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years, he’s got some great passages on the topic of self-cultivation.  He says that, “Continuously thinking good thoughts, acting on those thoughts, and moving your body and mind are all self-development…Being able to smile more often, overlooking the mistakes of others with a smile, telling someone more easily that you love them, and being true to yourself – these are also the results of self-development.”

Even as I type that here, I find myself breathing out with a sigh of great relief.  Isn’t it such good news?  It’s even the smallest things that we shift in life – just breaking out of the mold of our old habits the slightest bit- that makes us feel proud of ourselves and our brains start to produce positive messages.

I love the above quote. Simple but true.  It makes me thing of another thing that Ilchi Lee always says: Good news makes a good brain.  This is one of the key principles of how to have a healthy, optimal-functioning Brain Operating System.  Just as negative information is like toxic poison for our spirit, which then slowly seeps into our minds and bodies affecting our health, positive messages become medicine for us!

So right now, at this very moment, whatever issue of life that you may be struggling with, take a moment to pause, breathe out, and encourage yourself with a positive, hopeful thought about it.  Feel how your energy shifts as you do so, and you will find your mind and body relaxing.  You are now leaving the Fight or Flight mode and entering Rest and Digest.  The power to give ourselves good news is IN OUR HANDS.  Let’s use it to make ourselves better humans.  As we all know, the world definitely needs us all to be better and better humans 🙂