Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual. . . . Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude – the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.
I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Rainer Maria Rilke
When I was a child – and still to this day – my mother kept a panoply of plants in the house. I didn’t think much of them then; I thought plants were part of a house, like a piece of furniture. That everyone had plants in their house. I watched them flowering dearly and marvelled with my mom at the beauty of their blossoms. It was only later on when I moved out of the house and brought my room’s plants with me that I realized the sacredness of keeping house plants.
I found myself connecting with them somehow. Hearing their begging for water when they needed it, for nutrients or for a soil refreshment. It sounds peculiar, but it’s the only way I can explain it. They spoke to me.
Watering them and tending to them became a ritual, a meditation. I was so wholly present with them; I started hearing their gratefulness. Maybe it’s all in my head, maybe I’m crazy, but it doesn’t matter. Because what I hear and what I feel when I connect with the plants is Divinity itself. Nature.
I wrote this poem to explain my feelings and thoughts on it.
shaping sunlight into nourishment
I bow to your sacredness
as you remain pure in contentment
I pour you Father Sky’s tears
vital to your internal processes
subtle change in vibration; music to my ears
the distinction between us has blurred edges
as I sing my love to you internaly
you sing of gratefulness lovingly
a melody of impressions so diverse
yours is my favorite sound in the Universe.
I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer, nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
Earth laughs in flowers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
it is waking that understands sleep and not sleep that understands waking
I was taken aback when I read this in C.S. Lewis’ book, Perelandra, the other night. I re-read the sentence, again and again for a few minutes and thought about it.
Really, it is true that when we are in a state of dreaming or sleeping or even ignorance, we have no idea. When we make mistakes, we don’t know that’s what we’re actually doing before doing it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t do it.
And so it would be foolish to look back to a time when we were ignorant and made a mistake, harbouring guilt for something we were unaware of. I do that. I want so very much to be discerning and humble and enthusiastic and generous that sometimes I forget that I am human. That I am allowed to make mistakes; it’s part of my nature.
It’s also very easy to get frustrated with someone that is being ignorant or making a mistake in our perspective. Who do we think we are – judging what someone else should be doing? We have no idea what they’re thinking and feeling and what they went through before performing that action. We can think that we do know, but really we are always only guessing. It’s not our responsibility to take inventory of what ‘good’ or ‘bad’ things people are doing.
Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s rook, when your own doorstep is unclean.
And so here lies another lesson. Cut yourself (yes you, and me, and everyone) some slack. Be understanding and empathetic. This is what I am focusing on.
We can only get in touch
with our own source of intuition and wisdom
when we no longer depend upon others’ opinions
for our sense of identity or worth;
we all tend to worship something;
the question is
will we worship the god of opinion,
or the god of our heart?
A few days ago I read a chapter about intuition in Millman’s book The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose. At the time, I was going through a difficult separation with my partner. I faced a challenging decision and I was extremely confused. The chapter hit something in my core. It was so relevant to the situation I found myself in.
Millman made an interesting observation about people that have a frail sense of identity and that lack the confidence to allow themselves to blossom, unapologetically. I am like that. I may seem very confident most of the time, but I actually have a really hard time not letting myself be affected by the opinions of important people in my life, especially family members. There are periods of my life where my perception of what they expected me to do completely ruled me. And in allowing that I lost the confidence to be myself.
So anyways, I found myself in a similar situation where I could not tell if my family’s opinions should be a determining factor in the decision I had to make or not, and I was simply perplexed. I could not make any sense of my emotions or thoughts and simply wanted to escape it all in order to find myself again. I was litteraly a maelstrom.
We access intuition by allowing our heart-felt feelings to link up with and unlock higher mechanisms within our holistic, intuitive right brain. When we make this connection, the combination of feeling and intuition accesses whatever wisdom we need.
When I read this, things were simplified. I just need to connect with my heart. The heart always knows. The feeling I get in my gut about any situation is always right; I had just lost sight of it in the midst of everyone else’s opinions and feelings. I was trying to mitigate everything, but I forgot myself in the process.
Another lesson learned. Never lose sight of what my heart is saying. It’s the only one that knows where it’s going.
I found this book in my grandma’s basement a month ago. I was skeptical when I read the title – The Life You Were Born to Live: a Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose – as I already have my own philosophy of life and I know what my purpose here is. Regardless, something within compelled me to take it and read it, so I did. And I am so grateful.
Opening the book I had no idea it was going to be based on Numerology. Before reading Millman’s take on it I had some knowledge of the system but didn’t give much credit to it. Kind of like astrology. I can see what makes both systems appealing, and some things I can identify with, but I’m not a fervent follower of anything but my own realizations. Thus, the skepticism prevailed.
As I was looking through different life paths, reading things here and there about my friends and close ones, something hit me. Everyone has a different path. Different purposes. Different battles, different issues and obstacles. Different successes and achievements. It seems obvious now, but the realization was intense. I could not bring myself to read the entirety of different life paths; I could not find anything relatable in there. It talked about successes that I have never experienced, and discussed hurdles that I could not even fathom struggling with.
on the mountain path of personnal evolution, as we work to fulfill our life purpose, we engage in a creative struggle with negative or undevelopped tendencies related to our life purpose.
We all have a different purpose. Different lived experiences. Different processes to get to where we’re going. This whole time, I had been talking about my path as if I had figured out The Path. As if I knew what Life is all about and that everyone had to go through the same struggles that I went through. That everyone had to gather the same pieces of wisdom that I did. Then how could any conversation have been interesting? I learn so much from my interactions with others; I certainly wouldn’t learn as much if we were all going the same way and following the same trail.
My ignorance leeched in my behaviours, and my partner often told me that I had a condescending way of talking about the way things are. It hurt to acknowledge, but it hurt more to think of the people that might have felt insignificant because of me. As if their struggles weren’t relevant.
This is a good lesson learned, and I am so grateful for this book to have made its appearance in my life, as things do. It’s quite an interesting volume; I definitely recommend it if you’re keen on examining your most intense defilements. Somethings are difficult to acknowledge, but being frank with ourselves is necessary to evolve. As Millman says, “even though we may begin down in the swamp, we eventually rise to the heavens.” (p.13)
And surely no one could lie on the rim of the Frenchman Valley with a night chill in the air and gaze into that great swirling river of stars without finding him- or herself a fallen star in the grass, alight with satisfaction and wonderment.
A knower of Truth
travels without leaving a trace
speaks without causing harm
gives without keeping an account
The door he shuts, though having no lock,
cannot be opened
The knot he ties, though using no cord,
cannot be undone
The Sage is always on the side of virtue
so everyone around him prospers
He is always on the side of truth
so everything around him is fulfilled
The path of the Sage is called
“The Path of Illumination”
He who gives himself to his path
is like a block of wood
that gives itself to the chisel –
Cut by cut it is honed to perfection
Only a student who gives himself
can receive the master’s gift
If you think otherwise,
despite your knowledge, you have blundered
Giving and receiving are one
This is called,
“The great wonder”
“The essential mystery”
“The very heart of all that is true”
Lao Tzu, translated by Jonathan Star