Tag Archives: spirituality

Life Disrupted: Suffering Teaches a Jagged Lesson in Gratitude

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It can be tough sometimes to nail down the exact beginning of a thing.

The beginning of a relationship, for instance, (did it begin when you first saw him? when you first touched her? when you suddenly realized you couldn’t stop thinking about him? on a date? in a fight?) or when you first began to enjoy decidedly grown up stuff like I don’t know . . . coffee. Or the opera. Or beets.

That’s why it’s fairly surprising to me that over the past three weeks I have come to discover not only the beginning of the stuff that’s hard to pin down but the beginning of everything.

You guys: the beginning of everything.

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[Fill in the Blank] The Major Spiritual Game Changer We Don’t See

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One of the most life-giving, healing and beautiful skills daily meditation has taught me is not only to align consciously with peace energy for a set period of time but also how to stop filling in the blanks with insanity throughout the day.

You know: the blanks.

The blanks we don’t even realize exist because we bulldoze right on over them, filling them in with judgments, grizzly speculations and attack thoughts.

For the most part, we are not conscious of the blanks which is a damn shame because if we don’t see them, we can’t use them to our advantage.

Without realizing these little pockets of welcome exist, these moment to moment opportunities for healing and growth, we allow the ego to fill them in with the negative stuff we say to ourselves constantly, incessantly.

What might a blank look like if we could see it?

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Fast Love: Welcome to The End of Time

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Enchanting as it may sound to be on a quest of sorts, in one very particular (sometimes frustrating, sometimes lonely, sometimes disorienting) way, calling our spiritual journey a ‘journey’ is radically deceptive.

The thing about a journey is it implies that we are headed toward a particular destination and that getting ‘there’ takes some amount of time.

Probably a long time.

Like the excruciating amount of time it would take to – oh, say – walk barefoot across a barren desert or grow a beard down to your ankles.

Like a lifetime.

Right?

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Stripped Beautiful: A Brief Meditation on Beauty, Bodies, Fences and Time

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We are so obsessed with the building and labeling and walling off of things in this world.

This is mine.

This is theirs.

This is beautiful.

This is worthy.

This is not.

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Now As Ever: Understanding How To Receive Spiritual Guidance

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One of the biggest keys to receiving spiritual guidance is getting out of your own way in order to allow the universe’s message to come through.

Too often we are so obsessed with getting to the ‘right’ answer that we attempt to force it or try to concentrate on dragging it forward.

Even with good intentions (we do, in our blessed heart of hearts, really want peace), we let our chatty, chomping thoughts trample all over the beautiful silence with our own messy projections, judgments, cares, worries and imagined fears.

This is not guidance, of course.

This is madness.

Loving guidance will not feel strained. It is not about having to be in control.  It is not a cosmic race to get to the answer first or fastest. Love waits on welcome, not on time.

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Ripping Up Floorboards: My Lover’s Manifesto & A Delicious Announcement

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I knew it was time even before I read the words.

I knew it wordlessly in the marked stillness.

“Today is a day of silence and of trust.”

I knew it was time in the way time stopped and reality sucked the air from me . . . and I willingly gave it up.

“You have come far enough along the way to alter time sufficiently to rise above its laws, and walk into eternity a while. From this day forth, your ministry takes on a genuine devotion and a glow that travels from your fingertips to those you touch, and blesses those you look upon.”

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The Art of Mindfulness: How to Slow a Rainstorm

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How to slow a rainstorm:

watch.

Watch the way the water falls.

Watch the way the raindrops catch on leaves,

and cling,

then slide

away.

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Feeding on Live Wires: Angels in the Real World

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Do you ever talk with angels?

WAIT.

Wait, hold up – if you aren’t sure how you want to answer that just yet, let me roll this out another way:

I have the weirdest thing for wires right now. As in: power lines. (Barbed wire, too, but that’s probably another conversation.)

I keep snapping pictures of them. I know it’s springtime and the thing to do would be to photograph flowers but for me, for some reason, it’s wires. They fascinate me.

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Empty Threads: Self-Doubt and Arrogance in Art

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I’m writing but only in the sense that words are standing next to one another in a line across the screen.

They mock me with their blankness. I knock them over backwards.

I construct another little wall of letter-soldier-figures, punching them into place and they march, left to right, single file as I’ve instructed.

But they won’t speak on my command; empty words have nothing to say.

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Killing the Silence(s)

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Silence.

Is deafening.

Is golden.

Is revenge.

Is . . . ?

Not the solid wall we often imagine it to be.  The one we fear brushing up against.

It’s not the sort of stoic, finite, dead space of a concrete block we try so deftly to avoid slamming into.

Silence, instead, is a living thing.

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Hardest in Love: When It’s Hot, When It’s Fierce

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“So you ask for a hotter fire, a fiercer confrontation. Even though this is often painful rather than pleasurable, it’s all right, for you are reaching toward that freedom which lies beyond pleasure and pain. When you want to burn away the grip of your ego on your awareness you’ll endure whatever is needed to clean up your life.” – Ram Dass

A spiritual journey gets hardcore when your commitment to it rises above all else. As you come to realize that everything is a spiritual experience – every encounter, every relationship, every problem, every joy – you are inevitably confronted with the heavy stuff, the seedy stuff you need to fundamentally change about the way you view the world and your role in it.

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We Will Bleed: To Master the Beginning Is to Master It All (Beginner’s Luck Series)

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Come on, baby, brush it off, let it go.

Don’t stop now, love, you will figure this out.

You’ve got this, kiddo, keep going.

That’s some legit advice right there, no? Up against the casual panic of our wild ego minds, this stuff sounds good to hear; some solid, grounded, encouraging words for the one who refuses to quit.

Words that remind her how brave she is for showing up. Words that compliment his determination, that congratulate his trying, his moving, his putting it out there.

We see this with kids all the time: learning to walk, learning to speak, learning to ride a bike, to write, to dance, to not put peas up their nose (in their ears, etc.). Kids are precious and innocent and we allow them to get about the exploration, to get messy, to fall off.

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The Only Way In: How We Maintain Creative Presence (Beginner’s Luck Series)

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You would think an artistic success would be a good thing, right?

You would think that to be celebrated for your great work and your creative elegance would be just the very thing you need to keep you going. It would be sparkled and engaging and open you up even more widely, more broadly, more deeply to your art.

More likely, though, it will stop you dead in your tracks.

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We Take the Stage: How to Begin Before You’re Ready (Beginner’s Luck Series)

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You put yourself in front of them and you forgot your lines.

Who do you think you are? How could you do this to us?

What gives you the right to put yourself in front of us? 

This is why we worry about taking the stage. We fear we’ll be all shaky and nervous and clumsy and in the spotlight and everyone will see our ridiculousness and we’ll get hot and red and sweaty and then we’ll freeze.

So, afraid to freeze in public, we freeze instead in private. We stay stuck, we don’t move, we stiffen instead of reach.

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To Be Seen Alone: A Brief Meditation on Art, Sex, Truth and Surprise

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Art delivers the truth out of us.

That’s why we fear it.

That’s why we crave it.

Something about the way creation has to come about that demands surrender, demands not just a letting go but a not-holding-back.

Something.

In that you are never alone when you are creating art. It’s not a thing you can pull off singly.

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We Break The Silence: Beginners Play Out Loud (Beginner’s Luck Series)

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And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence
Sounds of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel

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Scarcity has become our city.

They built it up all around us while we stood quietly still and now we live in it.

And as our authentically loving voices got quieter a midst the cultural noise, many of us got tucked restlessly into a desolate mindset of Scarcity.

Some of us might have a second home, maybe a vacation home, in Abundance; we may commute back and forth, but too many of us buy a cheap apartment in Scarcity and stay put because it happens to be there and it’s easy.

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We Go Alone: The Single Greatest Power of Beginner’s Mind (Beginner’s Luck Series)

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Forget everyone you know.

Don’t abandon them, leave them, kick them to the curb (and if you do, for heaven’s sake don’t blame it on this blog post, man).

You don’t have to wish them harm or push or shove them out of your way. Just politely forget them. Just for a few minutes.

Forget about what their voices sound like or what they say, or what you imagine they might say.

Forget the Twitter chats and the Facebook postings.

Forget about what they tell you, what they don’t tell you, or what they ask of you.

Forget me.

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So Perfectly Wrong: How to Meditate Like a Hot Mess

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Wednesday.

February 4, 2015.

Me and my monkey mind 6.23 minutes into my daily 11 minute meditation session:

My back is not straight — hold up — OK, OK. Now I’m straight, OK. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Man my head is killing me what the — ssshhh . . . breathe, breathe, breathe . . . should I be using a different mantra? . . what am I looking for . . . I really need answers to come through, this connection is a train wreck I can’t . . . breathe, breathe, breathe . . . God, I’m so messed up today, I’m screwed, I’m spacing out, I’m stressing out, I feel strung out on life and this was supposed to HELP and now I feel like a DISASTER in life and a TORNADO in meditation and I’ve pretty much had it I’m not even kidding right now. Please help. PLEASE. HELLO. CAN I GET SOME HELP HERE. PLEASE.

At about 7.14 minutes I cut bait, pull the plug. Something’s gotta give.

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We Go First: The Beginner’s Invisible Advantage (Beginner’s Luck Series)

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Put your hand in here.

No really, feel this – it’s totally wild. I know you can’t see it but just put your hand in, come on.

It’s all good, seriously, you want to feel this.  It’s incredible.

It’s beyond worth it, I promise. 

Trust me.

I often feel artistically driven by something that’s hard to describe. Driven to create, to explore, to look at things upside down, spread apart and then from 80,000 feet above. It’s not even a drive maybe as much as a compulsion to keep uncovering and keep digging and keep sharing.

It comes naturally, though not predictably.

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Beginner’s Luck: 7 Ways the Beginner’s Mind Makes Better Art (A Series for Artists)

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Every time we create something and share it, we’re the new kid.

We don’t know if we’ll be accepted or liked. We don’t know if our thing will go right or wrong or if what we’re offering will work.

We’re afraid of being rejected by others and maybe most of all by ourselves.

We’re the underdog, the novice, the dark horse.  We’ve got more spirit than credentials.

But we’re also too prickly to stay put, we’re too eager to wait to be told it’s time and we’re allowed and we’re the one.

Somehow – despite not understanding all the rules and not knowing exactly the lay of the land or all the implications of what we’ve begun – we’re doing it.  We’re bringing it and making it happen.

And somewhere inside our wandering hearts we know we’re the lucky ones.  The ones who hold the secret. The ones who spin the magic and bend the light.

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