Evolution (A Brand New Day)

Evolution (A Brand New Day)

On a quest for a new solution
Ain’t exactly a revolution
More a philosophical evolution
There is no them against us
We all ride the same blue bus
So set aside all that fuss
Let’s just love one another
Share our light with our brother
Take care of the Mother
Let’s start a brand new day

If we give a little reflection
We’ll see our grand connection
Make a move in the right direction
Let’s clean this home we all share
Put an end to the wear and tear
Treat her right, she’ll treat us fair
Then plant a seed in our minds
A simple focus on being kind
Watch our troubles all unwind
Let’s start a brand new day

Inner Peace & a Little Ditty

Walking for perspective & learning from old loves

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It’s been a tough week with the back injury and no exercising. I went for a walk today – that I can do if I take my time. Like I mentioned in a previous post, walking can clear the mind and open it up for more creative thoughts. And so it did that for me today. But it can also give you some perspective on some old issues that are floating around in your head.

You know how sometimes you hold onto feelings for old loves? That one is a tough one for me. When I fall, I fall very hard, so it’s difficult for me to move on. But I read this somewhere once: You can love someone but realize they can’t be in your life. I don’t think those were the exact words, but that was the gist of it.

My walk helped me deal with that today. Not everyone is going to be in your life forever. Some teach you a lesson and move on. Both have to be invested in the relationship and willing to meet the other halfway. It’s the only way love will ever work.

But sometimes we fall for the wrong ones. The ones who can’t meet us halfway. It happens all the time, and you should never beat yourself up for it. We love who we love. It happens. We can’t control it.

It hurts when we fall for the wrong ones, but we do learn something from them – what we’re willing to accept, what we deserve, etc., etc. Maybe it’s not the easiest lesson to learn, but a worthwhile one in the long run.

In my walk, for some random reason, I thought of a long, lost love. One I never quite let go, and I still didn’t let it all go today. But I was able to see it from a different perspective, and it gave me some peace.

Even if they’re not part of your life, you can still enjoy the moments you had, learn exactly what the relationship taught you and still wish them well if those feelings never quite completely fade – and sometimes they don’t. And that’s how I came about this little ditty:

A Little Starlight

I just wanted to love you, sweetheart
to pull you up and out of the dark
I knew I couldn’t save you, baby
but maybe I could bath you
in a little starlight
on a warm night
kiss you ‘til it’s alright
for a little while

I’ll never understand your troubles, baby
but I’ll help you with your struggles
I know you’re in no mood to talk
Give me your hand, let’s take a walk
through a little starlight
on a warm night
kiss you ’til it’s alright
for a little while

I can’t hold you close any more
You left one night & closed the door
But I still want to help you baby
So close your eyes and think of me
in a little starlight
on a warm night
kissing you ’til it’s alright
for a little while

So getting over someone doesn’t mean forgetting them. They came into your life for a reason. Once you can accept that, then you can get a better perspective on the entire relationship. And you can release the pain of it and appreciate the beauty of it. Once you do that, you’ll find yourself in a much better place.

A Stroll through Paris or Dust through Sunbeams

Observing life as a means of meditation and mindfulness

dust

The urban wanderer, Baudelaire’s flaneur, observes the world without judgement. Experiencing life through the fives senses. Part of the world, yet detached.

Isn’t that what we’re trying to achieve through mindfulness and meditation? A sense of being in the present?

I read a re-posted article from The Paris Review a few month’s back about the flaneur. Interesting article, and that’s when I realized flanerie, or aimless idle behavior as Wikipedia calls it, is a form of mindfulness.

It reminded of me of one of my trips to Paris.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had just arrived and wanted to take a stroll after a long flight. Fresh air would do me good. So I began walking with no specific destination in mind.

I rambled for hours, aimlessly.

Listening to couples having conversations along the streets of open patios.

Watching the man in the park leaned against a tree feeding the birds.

A couple kissing beneath the bridge.

A mother leans over to give her child a snack. The garden’s flowers in full bloom.

I’m not thinking of me.

Nor the mother or the child.

Or the man in the park.

I’m not thinking at all.

Just watching.

Observing.

Listening.

I walked most of the city that afternoon. Lost. But present. Immensely present.

I interacted with no one, yet experienced everything.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Getting lost is the best way to see Paris, by the way. I highly recommend it.

But back to the matter at hand. Wandering mindlessly. It’s a good thing. We don’t do it enough. It quiets the mind and gives you a little exercise to boot. Work in some deep breathing. It’s all good.

Lesson 1: Wandering mindlessly … do it. It’s good for the soul.

And you don’t have to wander. You can sit. It’s very Parisian – people watching. Or bird watching. Or dust watching as I did as a child.

Dust watching, you say? Yes, it’s a very technical term, indeed.

When I was a kid, we had a room in the front of the house that we didn’t use very much. Or the rest of the family didn’t. I spent many hours there as the scribblings still etched into hidden corners of the wall will attest.

Sometimes I was a strange kid. I’ll admit.

Anyway, the sun would shine through a window at one end of the room. Our house was kind of dusty. Not from a lack of cleaning – it was just in the air.

At certain times there were these amazing beams of light that came through that window. I would lie in the floor underneath the curtains and watch the dust fall through the beams of light. Just drifting. Silently.

I know. Still a weird kid. I own it.

But I love that memory. It brings me feelings of happiness and peacefulness. And you find inner peace where you can, right? Even if its dust falling through sunbeams.

Lesson 2: Inner peace can be found anywhere. Don’t wait to go to the yoga studio.

You know what else happens when you stroll aimlessly? It clears your mind for other things. Yep, that means it can boost your creativity.

There is a book that I may reference often here. I enjoyed it because the theory behind it is so different from the life most of us live today. That book is How to Be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto.

That was one of the first times I had read about how idleness and loafing are good for creativity. Well, maybe not the first, but the one that stuck with me.

I was seeking something to tell me that, I think. I like being lazy. I needed validation that it was OK. That book did it.

But in that book it discusses how idle time allows you to get the creative juices flowing – it opens up the mind for freer thinking. And we’ve all read the stories of genius, novelists and entrepreneurs making daily walks part of their lives.

Lesson 3: Strolling for creativity – the wandering mind expands.

Study after study, article after article, the facts support this. Here are just a few for further reading:

So, I say get out. Do some wandering. Put on your walking shoes and leave the thinking hat (and the phone) by the door. It will do wonders for your mind and soul. Just saying.

Happy flanerie!

The Tao of Typos

Acknowledging change and reserving judgement

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There is a lesson in almost everything that happens in life. The secret is seeing and accepting it. Take typos, for example.

I used to be an editor. I was paid to find mistakes in copy, including my own. It was my bread and butter, and I did a decent job of it, too.

One day, my editing skills changed. I started making more typos than usual and even worse, missing them when I edited the copy. I wasn’t an editor at that point. I was working in the corporate world, but still it was kind of my job.

Now editing your own copy is always harder, but not impossible. And I was cranking out a lot more content at that time, so I wrote it off to working too quickly. Plus, it was just a few here and there.

Until it wasn’t a few anymore. I started finding typos in almost everything I did.

It freaked me out. I thought I was losing my touch. The more I worried about it, the worse it got. It became a major stressor in my life. Even on a slow day, I would miss some typos.

I had no idea what was causing it, but I actually broke down a few times over it. Then I tried to fix it. I made myself really focus on editing. I would find a quiet space so nothing would disturb me. But it didn’t help. Nothing helped.

Then one day I realized, I didn’t want to be in the job any more and I didn’t want to be doing the same type of work any more. So, I made a change.

Guess what happened? The typos started to disappear. I stopped telling myself that I couldn’t do my job any more. Stopped torturing myself over it. All I needed was a change.

Lesson No. 1: Mistakes may be guiding you to change – don’t discard or judge them too harshly.

On the other side of typos, readers can learn a lesson, too. Now, you pay good money for books or magazines, and you expect a certain level of editing. But even the best sometimes make mistakes.

If you’ve ever read reviews of new writers or the comments from people who always feel the need to correct your Facebook post, you know some people just cannot get over a typo. They see nothing but the mistake and gather nothing else from what’s said.

But sometimes the grammar isn’t what matters. It’s the message … or the story, depending on what you’re reading. If you focus on nothing more than the writer’s mistake, then you may be missing out on what’s important.

And you may be judging someone for nothing more than a fat finger. That one happens a lot on social media. Mistakes don’t make you uneducated and catching the mistake doesn’t make you smarter, especially if you miss the point of the conversation.

Lesson No. 2: Don’t get lost in the details – look for the bigger meaning.

Mistakes are mistakes. They are not the be all and end all of everything. Sure, no one wants to make them, but we do. Accept it, own it and if you can, laugh at it. And if you’re on the receiving end, be mindful that we all make mistakes from time to time. It’s a small act of kindness to not judge others’ mistakes. Remember, we’re trying to make a better world here.

Dreams of White Bikinis

Trusting your path to find inner peace

Narrow Coastal Road in Ireland

The world works in mysterious ways. But letting go, trusting your path and not expecting perfection are very big first steps toward inner peace. That’s what I’m learning in my journey so I thought it was a good place to begin this blog.

Since the election back in November, my need to make a difference has kicked into overdrive. I have taken many twists and turns to end up here, but that journey has been teaching me things I needed to know.

See, I’ve always felt the need to make a difference, but I didn’t know how. I struggled with it so much that I never started. I would plan and ponder and worry if I could stick it out — I dealt with all of that inner monologue that weighs you down. I would get frustrated and beat myself up for not figuring it out fast enough.

In fact, my soul searching became so intense that it began to destroy my inner peace. And that ain’t cool.

So I stopped.

Lesson No. 1: You can’t force it.

It didn’t hurt that I was dealing with my dad dying, as well as my pet of 12 years all within the first nine months of last year. It’s been said before, but I will say it again, 2016 sucked.

And then came the election. Finally, my time had come. I had to do something. I was being called … or at least I was calling on myself.

I had so much in my head and so much in my heart. The world was falling apart. Up was down and down was up. I needed to do something to move past everything I had been dealing with.

So I did what I do. I started writing.

First it was tweets and Facebook posts. Simple stuff I could do quickly and get my voice out there. Until the trolls found me. I don’t do trolls. So I started a blog.

I wrote a few posts, but it wasn’t me. Too corporate. I didn’t want that vibe gunking up my purpose. So, I created another blog.

Both were all politics all of the time. My concern was the state of the world and humanity as a whole. I was doing OK. Felt OK, but still not quite me. The message was right, but the voice was wrong.

So blog No. 3 came along. It’s still up, and I will keep it up for a while. That journey hasn’t ended yet. Still politics, but poetry and politics … a little more me.

I read and watched news – hour after hour, day after day. Eventually, it started to get to me. It was wearing me down.

There’s a lot of anger and bitterness out there right now. None of which helps a highly sensitive introvert stay calm and collected on the inside. And it does nothing for the betterment of the world.

But on blog No. 3, I had written a poem that began the next leg of my journey. The poem was about we all share this earth and we all have one destiny. The last line reads: We are significant in our insignificance, and our destiny begins with me.

Now, if you read my “about” page, you’ll start to see the connection. One person can have a positive impact on another person’s life and after that happens enough times, the world becomes a better place.

Lesson No. 2: Everything is connected. The universe knows what it’s doing. Sync with it. Trust it.

So I wrote a couple more poems, but then I had to take a break. I got overwhelmed with all the news and bad vibes floating around. I needed some goodness and to stop the “noise.”

I put down the phone, turned off the news, read a little more, exercised a little harder, ate a little better and meditated more. I focused on me – yeah, the one where our destiny begins.

See, it’s coming together. Wait for it.

My break from the last blog lasted a little longer than I had planned. But I got some good me time. Did a lot of journaling. Started clearing out the clutter in my head. You know, working on that inner peace stuff.

Then came the dreams of white bikinis. I know. It’s an odd twist but stick with me.

First, let me say that I’m a big believer in dreams tell us something we need to know. I don’t always know what they are telling me, but they’re telling me something.

So I had a few dreams over a course of a few weeks, and in each of them I was shopping for a swimsuit. It wasn’t the main point of the dream, actually, but it’s the part that stuck with me.

Now I should point out that I’ve only shopped for swimsuits twice in my entire life. Pale girls don’t go to the beach that often, so to dream of swimsuit shopping is a little out of the ordinary.

In all of the dreams, though, I had to make a choice of which swimsuit to buy. In the first dream there was no rush, just floating along, picking out a bikini. But, by the last dream, the pressure was on. If I didn’t make a choice I was going to miss my flight (yes, I was shopping in the airport in that dream). I was in a bit of panic because I had so many choices and so little time.

I wrote the dream in my journal when I woke up. It made no sense to me. I wasn’t getting the message and I had to get ready for work.

As is always the case, the message came to me in the middle of my shower — when I wasn’t thinking at all.

Lesson No. 3: Clearing the mind brings forth answers.

I had been journaling and meditating on different paths I could take while I was on my break working on myself. Do I keep doing the political blogs and watching a lot of news, keep focusing on the self-care and inner peace, start a novel or the 15 other things I was thinking about? I was falling back into that overthinking thing, and not getting any where.

But in the shower, I wasn’t thinking. I turned toward the water and let it run down my face. And then, it hit me. All the swimsuits in my dreams were the choices I was pondering in real life.

In the end it didn’t make a difference which swimsuit I chose, I just needed to make a choice before that last flight to Mexico hit the runway. The swimsuit wasn’t going to make or break the trip; but not making a choice was.

Lesson No. 4: Action matters, not perfection.

So, as with all the other dreams, I chose the white bikini.

Which is the white bikini in the real world? Well, you’re here. When I thought about what I was willing to put the most effort into, I determined, at least for the time being, it was me. That’s what I had been doing. That’s what I did to take a break. It felt like the right path for now. It may change. It probably will.

Yeah, it’s another fork in the road, but I’m trusting it. It’s a hard lesson to learn sometimes, going with the flow, but it’s worth it. It’s getting easier every day and my inner peace is coming back.

And I do believe we are significant in our insignificance and that the only way to change the world is one person at a time. And you can only do that by focusing on yourself.

As crazy as it sounds, finding inner peace and performing self-care can save this world. So, for now, I’ve put on my white bikini. I hope you’ll join me for a swim.

Peace, y’all.