Category Archives: truth

Reflecting….

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Reflecting….

I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy. Tony Robbins 

It’s hard to believe that I started this blog almost a year ago. I started writing this blog on New Year’s Eve 2011 and as it almost dawns on New Year’s Eve 2012 I was thinking back at the amazing amount of changes that have occurred in our lives over the last year. When I started this blog Michael and I had just gotten back together after a forced separation due to legal circumstances. We almost broke up several times at the beginning of 2012 and, in fact, I almost left him and he almost left me more than once. We both struggled with bouts of alcoholism, me more than him. We went through the AA program together and are stronger for it. This last year I have hit some of my darkest nights and yet at other times I have seen some of my brightest days. In the last year we have lost “friends” to betrayal and back stabbing, we have lost musician friends, but at the end of the day our relationship has grown stronger through all the trials and tribulations. We have grown closer as friends and our love has grown deeper. We have managed to regain something through our music, that something special that has always been the glue that held us together.

During the last year I gained some of the lost time with my daughter and grown closer than ever to my mother. I have become a better rhythm guitar player and taught myself to sing in Welsh. I have learned more about myself as a musician in the last year than I have in 42 years of life. We have played some really fantastic gigs over the last year, and have many more to come. I moved up in the writing world from being an internet writer to writing for a real magazine and making my worth for the articles I write. My photography editing skills are getting better and better and I am continuing to work on my dream collage. I have no idea when, if ever that will be finished. It’s an ever evolving dream journal in images. 

I have seen friendships end and new friendships sprout. I have also seen friendships that I thought were dead in the water re-sprout with new life of forgiveness and understanding. With each dying flower a new one sprouts in its place, a more beautiful one I believe, richer in color and smell. At the end of the day, and almost year, life is very good. It is as hard as it ever was, but we are happy, and I know that come what may Michael and I will continue to grow together, to love together, and to perform together. Life is very good my friends!

With that I leave you with The Supremes and the beautiful Diana Ross…

The Hardest Thing….

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The Hardest Thing….

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. Emo Philips

It appears that I am caught in some sort of karmic justice boomerang. I keep running into people from my past that I thought were long gone. I find, even after all this time, literally years, I still have trouble letting go of “stuff”. Believe me I try, but it isn’t easy. The Buddhist in me says that I must forgive and let go in order to move forward, but it is so hard when all these mix of emotions come welling up inside. You put on a good face and just try to pretend like everything is ok, when deep down inside you know it’s not. You’re standing there smiling at this person that hurt you, you are saying “Hi” and all the general small talk, and you know that you are simply putting on a false front, you are bald face lying when your smiling! I don’t know whether I hate myself more for being fake and pretending a false forgiveness that I don’t honestly feel or whether I hate myself more so for my inability to let go and go on. I am trying to grow as a Buddhist and I find that at times like this my faith and belief is really put to the test. Maybe this is karma’s way of giving them a chance to say “I am sorry”. I don’t know. I do know that two simple words go a long way toward mending the bridge of past hurts and ill will. With that I leave you with one of my all time favorite heartbreak songs…..

 

Negativism, Rage, Anger and the Internet

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Negativism, Rage, Anger and the Internet

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think we are all guilty of it. At some point or another we have gotten on our FaceBook, or our blog, I know that I have, and just spewed out all the anger or rage or disgust we are feeling at someone or thing we have felt treated us unjustly. I have done it in moments of rage, hurt and anger. Did it solve anything, absolutely not. Did it make things any better, well, I might have felt better for like 2.5 seconds. At the end of the day I came to realize that spewing that kind of anger may or may not reach my intended target. What I did realize is that the many friends and family and people I didn’t even know saw that anger and rage just as surely as if I was standing on the busiest intersection in the world butt naked. Do I want people seeing this anger and hot rage. No! Sure, I may be angry, but spewing out a diatribe of profanity and rage serves no purpose other than to alienate people you know and people you don’t even know yet. It completely turns people off. My advice to anyone feeling this kind of rage and anger at someone is to confront the person that hurt you face to face, not FaceBook to FaceBook. Take it from someone who knows, it will only come back to hurt you in some unexpected way just as surely as a boomerang comes back to the hand that threw it. Be peaceful my friends, if you’re angry don’t keep it bottled up, confront the source, don’t spew it out there for the world to see. Once it’s out there you can’t take it back, nor can you take back the indelible impression you will leave with all those people that you probably didn’t even know were seeing it. Just my Buddhist thought for the day and on that note I will leave you with No Doubt….

 

 

Falling Down

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Falling Down

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius

Ok let’s just get this out of the way right now. I fell off the wagon. Don’t ask me to explain how or why it happened, because I honestly don’t know. Am I blaming some one or some thing, hell no! I did this all alone. However, the cool thing is I have my program and all my friends rallied around me to brush off the dust and apply ointment to the skid marks. I am still loved. It’s great to be an alcoholic because I have a village of Indians that stopped to see what fell off the wagon and rallied together to see what they could do with it….Yes, I can laugh because I may have fallen but I am not down for the count. I am loved and for today I am happy and sober.

Bye Bye Bad Friendships!

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Bye Bye Bad Friendships!

Friends are like roses…you have to look out for the pricks!~ Anonymous. 

Even before I finally became sober I was slowly eliminating “bad” friends out of my life. It was a long process, sometimes they just didn’t want to let go, but in order for me to maintain my sobriety I had to let them go. The first ones to go were the ones that enabled my drinking the most with their own drinking habits, these were actually the easiest. The ones that were closest to me were the hardest to let go of because they are the ones that hurt me the worse. One “friend”, the one I thought that loved me most betrayed me in such a way that I will never be able to forgive them. This person had gotten sober and found “god” but they didn’t eliminate some of their worse traits and I inadvertently found out that this person was never really a true friend in the first place because they went after something very close to my heart and tried to take it for their own when I was going through a very rough patch in my life. This same person has been trying to get back into my life, but what they don’t realize is that once they betrayed me in that way there is no hope whatever that they will ever get back into my life ever again.

Then there is this “friend” that had helped me out through a very rough patch in my life. I thought that they were being a “friend”. It wasn’t until after I was quite a ways into my sobriety that it came to me that they weren’t really a friend at all. This person had kept enabling me in my drinking, even though I had been telling them for months that I wanted to quit, that I needed to quit, that my life depended on my quitting. I finally realized how caustic this person really was and is. I finally told them to stay away from me, not to call me, and I explained to them that every time I saw them it took me right back to that bad place I was in just a few short months ago and I needed them to stay away from me because the memories were far too painful. I told this person that if I saw them I would turn and walk the other way because just simply by their presence it reminded me of the pit of hell I was in and it was hurtful to my sobriety. 

Fortunately now I have a whole new group of friends that are loving and sober and working on the same goals that I am. They are supportive and have been with me since the first day I met them on our paths to sobriety. With friends like that who needs the trash of old enabling friendships sticking around with its stench and flies buzzing incessantly around.

 

Starting Off on the Wrong Foot

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Starting Off on the Wrong Foot

I ignore texts. I let the phone ring. It’s nothing personal, but people need to realize that sometimes I don’t want to talk.

Yesterday I was in a very strange place. I was with a group of people I absolutely love, but I just didn’t feel like being around them or anyone for that matter. I had made a loaf of zucchini bread that I had made for Jim, a friend of mine, and the only reason I went was to give it to him. Anyway…while I was standing there with J.D. talking and waiting to give the bread to Jim this young woman came up to me and without even knowing me or anything about me she says, “So, I hear your a rock star.” I didn’t even look at her, I just said “No, not really.”  and I continued my conversation with J.D. and basically ignored her. I don’t know why she irritates me or why her comment really irritated me, it just did. A couple of reasons come to mind:

  1. Whenever she talks in our meetings she is always taking everyone else’s inventory and pointing out what others are doing wrong.
  2. She has no right to take anyone’s inventory but her own . (No one should be taking anyone else’s inventory anyway.)
  3. I am only a musician and playing live in front of a crowd of people is just what I do for my livelihood. I am not a “rock star”, nor have I EVER considered myself to be one and the term just annoys the piss out of me. I can’t explain why.
  4. She doesn’t even know me and instead of introducing herself to me like a “normal” person, these are the first words out of her mouth to me. It struck me as derogatory in the manner in which she said it and, as I have said, slightly annoying.

The fact of the matter is that I can be a real bitch, especially if you don’t know me and I am very blunt, which can rub people the wrong way. However; on the other side of the coin I am genuine and a very loving person. It just takes a little to get to know me and certainly walking up to me and making a derogatory comment is not the best way to start out on the “right” foot with me. I called my friend Kym this morning to find out for sure if it was just me having a bad day or if this young woman is just an obnoxious and irritating person. She let me in on the fact that apparently this girl rubs everyone the wrong way. So, any guilt I may have felt about choosing to ignore her and her asinine comment is gone, unfortunately I doubt if this girl and I will ever be friends anytime soon because once you start out with me on the wrong foot the odds of getting on the right foot are probably nil.

 

Do What You Say You’re Going To Do!

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Do What You Say You’re Going To Do!

 If what you say is based on what people want to hear, rather than what you intend to actually do, sooner or later you’ll find yourself in the difficult position of having to break your word.

Why do people tell others that they are going to do something and then not do it? And then….then they wait until the last moment to tell them that they are backing out. This is something I will never understand. If I have a gig to do and I know that I can’t do it I let people know at least a week in advance or at the soonest possible moment, it doesn’t matter whether the gig is paying or not, the importance lies in the fact that I have people relying on me and if I chose not to be there and don’t let them know until the last possible moment it puts them in a bind to find someone to replace me. It’s not fair to the people relying on me to be there and do my part because every person is a link in the chain of whether something is going to work or not and when I let them down I am breaking the chain of whether a gig is going to be successful or not. With music there aren’t 100 other singers that can just step in and take my place, or bass players, or guitar player, etc…You get the picture. If you can’t do something then don’t say you will…It’s that damn simple, there are no feeble excuses as to why you suddenly changed your mind after making a commitment. Here’s the thing, if you do things like this chances are the people that were relying on you in the first place are going to lose all trust in you and there probably won’t be an offer for a “next” time. You just blew any potential there might have been of something good. Say what you mean and mean what you say!

Luminous Caduceus

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Luminous Caduceus

Aquarius Horoscope for week of August 2, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
In old China, people used to cool themselves by sipping hot drinks. After taking a bath, they buffed the excess water from their skin by using a wet towel. When greeting a friend, they shook their own hand instead of the friend’s. To erect a new house, they built the roof first. You’re currently in a phase of your astrological cycle when this kind of behavior makes sense. In fact, I suspect you’re most likely to have a successful week if you’re ready to reverse your usual way of doing things on a regular basis. 
How’s your fight for freedom going? Are you making progress in liberating yourself from your unconscious obsessions, bad habits, and conditioned responses?

What’s true about the word “God” may apply as well to “soul“: Much of the meaning has been sucked out of it. It’s a flabby ghost that has lost its life force. Say “soul” and you’re liable to numb your listeners’ attention. At best you may inspire them to picture a vague floating blob that feels more like an abstract concept than a real presence. That’s a shame, because the eminence that’s lazily referred to as “soul” is as crucial to you waking up tomorrow as your heart. 

“If you need to visualize the soul,” wrote Tom Robbins, “think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It’s a program, a piece of hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery. Not a mystery, mind you, the Mystery. The one that can never be solved.” 

As part of the Beauty and Truth Lab’s ongoing crusade to wrestle the English language into a more formidable servant of the ecstatic impulse, we’re pleased to present some alternate designations for “soul.” See if any of the following concoctions feel right coming out of your mouth: 1. undulating superconductor; 2. nectar plasma; 3. golden lather; 4. smoldering crucible; 5. luminous caduceus. 

If none of these work for you—or even if they do—create your own terms. 

P.S. Here’s Robbins’ conclusion: “By waxing soulful you will have granted yourself the possibility of ecstatic participation in what the ancients considered a divinely animated universe.” 

OK Rob Brezney, a very strange astrology for the week. If I read this right I am supposed to reverse my way of doing things, unthink the way I normally think. I am supposed to liberate myself from my habits, obsessions and conditioned responses. I am supposed to find a new definition for the soul, I liked #5 Luminous (brightly lit) caduceus (healing staff carried by Hermes). To me that is an epiphany of internal healing.

It Is What It Is!

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It Is What It Is!

Make the best use of what is in your power and take the rest as it happens. 

I found that the biggest part of my enjoyment and serenity yesterday cam from my sheer and open lack of expectations for what the day may bring. We played a gig last night with a drummer and bass player that we had never played with before and it went really great! It was as if we had always played together. The people who came to see us had a great time, as did I. Who could ask for more?!

Honor Yourself

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Honor Yourself

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.  ~George Bernard Shaw

After the car wreck of your life has finally come to a stop and you have begun to pick up the twisted fragments of metal, the broken shards of glass, healed the cuts and wounds, filed the insurance claim and received a new car it’s time to look at the cause of the car wreck in the first place. Were we not the drivers that caused the wreck? Were we not the ones who lost control? After the exterior mess is cleaned up there is still the internal wreck to clean up, and believe me I need a big broom and dust pan. Even after you think the mess is cleaned up, swept away and thrown in the trash, inevitably you still find shards of glass, pieces of plastic and fragments of metal you have missed. The best thing I have found is walking into a place where you find happy, sober people doing happy, sober things. They have all been in the same car wreck as you, it may not have happened for the same reasons, it may not have been exactly the same wreck and some walk away in better shape than others. The point is that we must honor our self by cleaning up every last piece of the car wreck and surround ourselves with cushions like a bumper car so that that accident doesn’t happen again, for next time we may not walk away unscathed, if at all.  Surrounding ourselves with sober, happy people is that cushion of which I speak. If you continue to surround yourselves with people who are constantly getting into car wrecks you are not going to honor yourself and your insurance rates will climb higher and higher with each new collision. Finally, the insurance company is going to get sick of you and the wrecks and drop you entirely.  It isn’t enough to simply clean up the mess, we must change and learn to honor ourselves and those around us.

Inside Out

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Inside Out

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. George Carlin

I will be the first to admit that I am a cynic. I have lived my life distrusting of other peoples motives, because aren’t all humans urged by the need for some personal gain of their own. In reality I have always questioned people’s sincerity and motives, whether they stemmed from the true spirit of giving of themselves to another purely for unselfish motives or if their input was driven by self-serving motives. My circle of friends is small, my circle of acquaintances large. I keep the ones who I know have no ulterior motives close and everyone else I keep at arms length as acquaintances or even further away than that. The more I get to know a person determines the distance of their relationship with me directly in proportion to their motives. Being cynical isn’t hard, in fact it is quite easy, in truth it is being optimistic about the human race that is hard. It is my genuine hope that I will one day learn to not be such a cynical, distrusting person, but it is a very hard thing to do when you find that a majority of the people you meet on a daily basis are only becoming acquainted with you because they “think” you have something to offer them rather than in the genuine spirit of friendship. They extend a hand to you as a “friend” with motives untrue and fettered by wants and desires.

 

 

A Common Bond

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A Common Bond

“Our Similarities bring us to a common ground; Our Differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.” Tom Robbins

You might be in the right place when….You have an addiction and everyone there does too. You are in a room chalk full of complete strangers, yet the love and support is there for you to take and to give. You have a chance to untimely change your life through the kindness of others that share a similar bond with you. You have a place to go almost every night to receive love and support, you can listen to the trials and tribulations of others so similar to your own, and  every single person here shares the exact same problem as you do. Their road map to getting to these hollowed rooms may have been different, but the perils and dangers are the same. Each road that each person traveled may have been different, but inevitably led to a choice of two paths, life or death. I only recently began going to meetings, but I know something now that I didn’t know then. In my past failures in my trials with sobriety I failed because I neglected to set up a solid support system of people like myself, struggle like myself and are needing support to make it through another 24 like myself. Thank Buddha I finally figured it out. I think I’m home.

A Higher Level of Musical Existentialism

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A Higher Level of Musical Existentialism

You know what’s with jazz? It’s basic, like the most. A lot of cats, musicians, get with it up to a point, but they never really dig it, understand….Crazy, because understand doesn’t cover it. Dig is the only way I know how to say it. There’s more of it up here, Lodi digs, I think I do. Swift had a style, technique, but he wasn’t creative. He could never dig the original sounds. That’s why he stole them….Sounds, music, riffs. Maybe a guys got a right to pick a pocket or steal a safe, I make no judgments, but swing with somebody else’s talent, and that’s what Swift did. My music, Lodi’s music, anybody who had it…. Streetcar Jones from Peter Gunn.

This is a very cool quote from an episode of Peter Gunn called Streetcar Jones. I can relate to what he’s saying. It’s true of all music. As musicians we are forever borrowing riffs from other players, expanding on them until they become something of our own style, they become our own riffs. If you learn someone else’s riffs and never learn to expand and make them something new, something uniquely your own, you never grow. Music should be a constant growing experience, you should always learn something new, something you never knew about the core of being a musician. Music should be static, not stagnant, ever expanding and increasing with time and space.  

Fear of Rejection!

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Fear of Rejection!

Aquarius Horoscope for week of May 31, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
Should you get down on your knees and beg for love and recognition? No! Should you give yourself away without seeking much in return? Don’t do that, either. Should you try to please everyone in an attempt to be popular? Definitely not. Should you dilute your truth so as not to cause a ruckus? I hope not. So then what am I suggesting you should do? Ask the following question about every possibility that comes before you: “Will this help me to master myself, deepen my commitment to what I want most, and gain more freedom?” 

Ok, Rob you can stop reading my mind any time now!  Todd posted a blog this morning that hit the nail on the head, so I am sharing it with you. He must have been reading my mind too. 

English: Words associated with Fear

Most people will readily admit that they are afraid of failure.

But what about fear of success? Is it possible that you are afraid of success and it’s limiting what you want to do in life?

Do you often wonder why you are not as successful as you know you could be – or should be?

Do you blame it on circumstances? Time? Money? Or do you ever, gulp, blame it on yourself?

No way…right?

The truth is a lot of people are afraid of a lot of things. And there is lots of good advice out there to help you overcome many types of fears. But when it comes to success, most people who are afraid of it are not even aware of it.

So, how can you tell? How do you know if you’re one of those people who are afraid of success so you are unwittingly the one responsible for holding yourself back? CNN Money has a quiz you can take which includes the following questions:

  • Do you feel guilty about your own happiness if a friend tells you s/he is depressed?
  • Do you find yourself not telling others about your good luck so they won’t feel envious?
  • Do you have trouble saying no to people?
  • When you start a project do you suddenly find a bunch of others things you suddenly have to take care of?
  • Do you believe that people who look out for themselves are selfish?
  • Do you avoid asking for help because you’re afraid of bothering someone?

Did you answer “yes” to some of those questions? If you did, it’s entirely possible you’re afraid of success. But does it really matter? Is your fear really limiting you?

People who are afraid of achieving success can experience the following:

  • A noted lack of effort in achieving goals, personal, school, or financial
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Inability to make decisions and choices
  • Lack of motivation
  • Underachievement
  • Belittling your achievements
  • Feeling guilty when you do succeed
  • Making the “wrong” choices to ensure you will not be happy and successful
  • General negativity

Clearly the answer is if you fear success then your life is less than it could be.

But what can you do? What can you do to overcome success-fear so you can get on with creating the life you want to live?” Get more here: Is Fear of Success Limiting Your Productivity?.

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Honesty

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Honesty

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” ― Virginia Woolf

Ok, I will be the first to admit that I have been in a deeply pensive, philosophical mood the last few days. I get that way. Sometimes I blurt out exactly what I am feeling and forget that, at times, my honesty can be so blaring and blatantly painful to those who are caught unawares in the heat of my expression. I will not apologize for being honest about my feelings, but I will say that I only hope you understand that I need to express what I am feeling when I am feeling it. It is not intended as a weapon to wound you. The last thing I would ever chose to do is harm another by my words and certainly never with my fists. I just need to express myself or I will disintegrate and possibly explode. That’s not to say that I feel any particular way all the time. They are just vague but strong feelings that cross over my heart like a cloud blocks out the sun, but, as in life, the cloud passes. Please don’t take it too much to heart, this too shall pass! Never, ever forget that you are my best friend, you are the heart of my hearts and the love of my life!

I am not a BIG ONJ fan, but if the shoe fits

Gravity

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Gravity

I discovered the secret of the sea in meditation upon a dewdrop. Kahlil Gibran 

I am so used to my days being either entirely insanely busy or entirely quiet. Either way, it drives me crazy, just the same. I have the hardest time sitting still and just meditating on a single drop of water. It seems like I am always waiting for the water drop to fall, fall off a tap in a kitchen, fall from the leaf of a beautiful flower, fall in the garden. Just simply fall. Sometimes, o.k. most of the time, I forget to just look at the drop of water. All my busy mind sees is a crashing rolling sea of salt water waiting to suck me under her eddy and tides. To wax and wane me at her will. My mind refuses to see the simple rounded drops of a single little drop of water presented to me as a gift. My mind refuses to see the reflections mirrored in reverse and completely upside down. It’s like the saying that, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.”  A different perspective, an entirely new perspective and my brain absolutely refuses to register this upside down “Alice” world and all it’s gifts and beauty. This surrealistic world where dreams are reality and reality dreams. This is the biggest down fall in my search for Buddhism and peace. I Can Not sit still. I thought, foolishly, that as I got older I would somehow achieve some sort of plane of simplicity, some sort of simpatico with the universe, but I find, as I get older, I am busier than ever.  I am more active than ever in such a different way. I was amazingly aware of things when I was 18 and 19, 23 and 24. My awareness has taken on a different panorama. It’s as if my mind has become skewed and twisted. I still feel 24 in body and spirit, but it takes just one look in the mirror to make me realize I am seeing that dew drop that is waiting to fall off the leaf of the flower, that one mirrored drop waiting to fall off the tap,  and it’s as if I am seeing it for the first time.  This is not a depressed blog, it’s just a simple fact. I ride my mountain bike around without a care in the world, I see the beauty around me and it registers, I don’t feel 42. There is still this part of my mind that sees all the beauty that surrounds me. I am constantly reminded how alive I really am.  I am so fortunate to be able to ride a mountain bike, walk and hike, enjoy my day, create art, make music, love and live. I realize that  that dew drop, albeit upside down and in reverse, is just a reflection of my life, only older and still waiting, waiting patiently to understand when gravity will take hold. Buddhism will find me and I only hope it finds me worthy. I hope it finds me strong enough, worthy enough, and lotus worthy. I hope karma looks at my life’s journey and allows me the honor of coming back as a bird or a fish and doesn’t choose to turn me into a toad stool, no matter how many fairy rings I created. Don’t take this as a sad blog, it’s not, by a long shot. It’s simply an observation of my life and the life around me. It’s pretty cool that I am aware who I am and where I am on the food chain.

                                                   

I Never Promised you a Rose Garden

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I Never Promised you a Rose Garden

“There is nothing that you can do to me that my own craziness doesn’t do to me smarter and faster and better.” ― Joanne GreenbergI Never Promised You a Rose Garden

I never swore I was going to be perfect or idyllic. I never swore I was going to be this perfect image of a wife, a mother or a daughter. I think sometimes you forget that I am human. I am a human first and always, therefore I am prone to make errors and mistakes. I never said that it was all going to be perfect, it mostly never is. I strive, just like most people, to be the best I can on any given day. That concept, however, is prone to come asunder to my mood swings on any given day. When I created this blog on the eve of the New Year I swore I would try to write everyday. Most of the time I do, but sometimes, yes sometimes, I just don’t give a crap because I don’t want others to see exactly how black my mood is. Today is one of those days, and guess what, most of the time I am positive about life and all its funny little speed bumps. Today those speed bumps feel like massive trenches. Sorry, never said it was going to be all roses and butterflies. It is what it is. Now, would someone please hand me my helmet….I’m going in….  

Foundations

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Foundations

Aquarius Horoscope for week of May 10, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
If you’ve been tuning in to my horoscopes during the past months, you’re aware that I have been encouraging you to refine and deepen the meaning of home. You know that I have been urging you to get really serious about identifying what kind of environment you need in order to thrive; I’ve been asking you to integrate yourself into a community that brings out the best in you; I’ve been nudging you to create a foundation that will make you strong and sturdy for a long time. Now it’s time to finish up your intensive work on these projects. You’ve got about four more weeks before a new phase of your life’s work will begin. 

 

Although I am not a believer in horoscopes per say, but I always love Rob Brezney’s sound advice on my horoscopes and that is why I publish it in my blogs each week. There have been some weeks where he has missed the mark, but most the time I find he seems to have his finger on the pulse of what may be happening in my life at that time. I have really been focusing on my environment the last few weeks, including things like planting my garden, making time for art work and music and making more time to read. I have also been working steadily on my sobriety, as many who follow my blog know. I have been embracing and trying to understand what works and doesn’t work for me. This is just a little thank you to Rob for his wonderful little snippets of advice, you have been unseen in person but a loudly heard positive influence in my ever chaotic, ever expanding world!

The Organic Core

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The Organic Core

Aquarius Horoscope for week of April 26, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
Singer-songwriter Tom Waits was strongly influenced by Bob Dylan’s down-to-earth album The Basement Tapes. “I like my music with the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in,” Waits testifies. “The noise and grit” of Dylan’s rootsy, intimate songs, he says, creates a mood of “joy and abandon.” That’s the spirit I wish for you in the coming weeks, Aquarius. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, get down to the gritty, organic core of things. Hunker down in the funky fundamentals. Hang out where the levels of pretension are low and the stories are fresh and raw. 

 

 

Once again Rob has hit the core of my personality with his horoscope this week. I prefer to live my life in a very down to earth fashion, less pretension and facades of unreality, minus the masks of untruth. I like my life to be fresh and raw. Sometimes, though, this can seem to cut a little too close to the core for my comfort. I think this is the price that all creative people face, I know I do.

Lay it on the Line!

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Lay it on the Line!

One of the best ways of keeping your temper in an argument, as most of us know only too well, is not to listen to anything the other person has to say. - Alice Miller

I love this quote, but it’s more satirical than realistic. In an argument it is important to listen to the other’s point of view so that you can fully understand where they are coming from. It’s hard to keep your head and your cool when you are arguing about something that affects you personally.  My husband and I don’t argue very often, because we are best friends, but when we do I know I have a bad habit of shutting him out and not really hearing what he is saying. Even if he is right somehow my brain just shuts him down. I think it’s a natural response to feeling like I’m being attacked. On the other hand I want him to understand where I am coming from also. Arguments can’t be one-sided. Both parties need to get their feelings out there on the table for the other party to examine closely so that a mutual agreement can be reached. That’s the hard part, reaching down into your emotional pocket and fishing out the root of the problem, however, if you don’t get to the root it will grow into an uncontrollable weed. Next thing you know it is taking over your backyard and you don’t understand why.

 

Love and Support

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Love and Support

Aquarius Horoscope for week of April 12, 2012

Verticle Oracle cardAquarius (January 20-February 19)
We all know that spiders are talented little creatures. Spiders’ silk is as strong as steel, and their precisely geometric webs are engineering marvels. But even though they have admirable qualities I admire, I don’t expect to have an intimate connection with a spider any time soon. A similar situation is at work in the human realm. I know certain people who are amazing creators and leaders but don’t have the personal integrity or relationship skills that would make them trustworthy enough to seek out as close allies. Their beauty is best appreciated from afar. Consider the possibility that the ideas I’m articulating here would be good for you to meditate on right now, Aquarius. 
All of creation loves you very much. Even now, people you know and people you don’t know are collaborating to make sure you have all you need to make your next smart move. But are you willing to start loving life back with an equal intensity? The adoration it offers you has not exactly been unrequited, but there is room for you to be more demonstrative.

SACRED ADVERTISEMENT 
Whatever you choose to focus your attention on, you will get more of it. If you often think of everything you lack and how sad you are that you don’t have it, you will tend to receive prolific evidence of how true that is. As you obsess on all the ways your life is different from what you wish it would be, you will become an expert in rousing feelings of frustration and you will attract experiences that assist you in rousing frustration.

If, on the other hand, you dwell on the good things you have already had the privilege to experience, you will expand your appreciation for their blessings, which in turn will amplify their beneficent impact on your life. You will also magnetize yourself to receive further good things, making it more likely that they will be attracted into your sphere. At the very least, you will get in the habit of enjoying yourself no matter what the outward circumstances are. 

Wow! Rob went on and on today in my horoscope! He just reminded me of how supportive my family and friends have been in my choice of sobriety. They have given me all the love and support that I could possibly ask for and it is helping me make smarter and better decisions, thank Buddha for my friends and family! I honestly don’t believe I could be this strong without them and I love them so much more for it. If you or someone you know is struggling with this same problem please remember that your support and love can make all the difference to them and whether they chose to live or throw their life away fruitlessly. 

Rising of the Crane

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Rising of the Crane

“I will write peace
on your wings
and you will fly
all over the world.”
(Sadako Sasaki)

Please take the time to click this link and read The story of the Peace Crane It’s a beautifully sad tale about a little girl, Sadako Sasaki, that I found very touching.

This is my first drawing in the longest time. I have finally gotten back into the swing of doing some art work again and the first charcoal drawing I did was of this Asian Crane. I found the illustration of “The Farmer and the Cranes” in a book I have of Aesop’s Fables. Cranes are symbols of longevity and a rise to a higher status. This is a good starting point for me to begin doing art work again. It’s symbolic of my rise from a very deep, dark place into the light of a love so rich and filled with truth. A rise from ignorance to understanding of my own nature and the nature of those closest to me. A rise from stagnancy to motion. It is a very reinforcing image for me and I will carry it with me like the Crane carries beauty and peace on its wings, rising ever higher in the skies of love and serenity.

Peacock Presence

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Peacock Presence

For some reason I keep running into peacocks. It seems that every time I turn around some image of a peacock is crossing my path. It started a few days ago when I won a peacock necklace. Then when I went shopping at The World Market I ran into a peacock ring that I just had to have. Later that same night I went shopping for a journal for my daughter and guess what? You guessed it, I found her a journal that had peacock feathers imprinted on it. These are just a few of the instances, everywhere I go I keep seeing peacocks, peacock feathers and representations of peacocks. I think Buddha is trying to tell me something, and I think it is something very positive in relation to my sobriety. I’m still trying to understand the significance and since it seems to be a recurring theme in my life I’m quite certain there is an underlying positive message. Not so very long ago I kept running into crows, not just a couple, not even just a few, but whole murders of crows, and at that time I was in a very dark place. I never take messages from nature for granted and I firmly believe that the peacock message is meant for me to gain some better understanding of the nature of my new found state in my path to nirvana. 

From “The wheel of Sharp Weapons”, written by Dharmaraksita

In jungles of poisonous plants strut the peacocks,

Through medicine gardens of beauty lie near.

The masses of peacocks do not find gardens pleasant,

But thrive on the essence of poisonous plants,

In similar fashion the brave bodhisattvas

Remain in the jungle of worlds concern.

No matter how joyful this world pleasure garden,

These brave ones are never attracted to pleasures,

But thrive in the jungle of suffering and pain.


 The Symbolism of peacocks in Buddhism

 In buddhism they symbolize wisdom.

Peacocks are said to have the ability of eating poisonous plants without being affected by them. Because of that, they are synonimous with the great bodhisattvas. A bodhisattva is able to take delusions as the path toward liberation and transform the poisonous mind of ignorance, desire and hatred [moha, raga, dvesa] into the thought of enlightenment or bodhicitta, which opens colourfully like the peacocks’ tail. 

The mind of the sentient beings in this world is like a thick forest of desire and hatred. The pleasures and material possessions are like a beautiful medicinal garden. The brave-minded bodhisattvas, because of having realised the shortcomings of samsara, are not atracted to samsaric pleasures, just as the peacocks are not attracted to medicinal plants. The bodhisattvas, having the attitude of wishing only to work for sentient beings and not desiring any happiness for themselves, can utilise the poisonous thoughts of ignorance, desire, hatred and so forth in order to accomplish the works for sentient beings.

By eating poison, the peacocks’ body becomes healthy and beautiful. He is adorned with five feathers on the head, which symbolize the five paths of the boddhisattva and the attainment of the five Buddha families. They have beautiful colours, like blue, red, green and please other beings just by being seen. Similarly, any body who sees a bodhisattva receives great happiness in his mind. The peacock’s eating habits of eating poisonous plants do not cause harm to other beings. Similarly the bodhisattvas don’t give the slightest harm to any other sentient beings. By eating poison the colours of his feathers become bright and his body healthy. Similarly, by taking all problems and suffering upon themselves, the bodhisattvas quickly purify the mental blocks and develop their mind quickly, attaining higher and higher realization. Particularly peacocks symbolize the transmutting of desire into the path of liberation. Therefore, they are the vehicle of Buddha amitabha, who represents desire and attachment transmuted into the Wisdom of Discriminating Awareness.

Facades of Untruth

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Facades of Untruth

“Let us say what we feel, and feel what we say let speech harmonize with life.”-Lucius Annaeus Seneca 

I have always believed in speaking my mind, regardless. I prefer to tell the ones I care about exactly what is on my mind and I know my bluntness can get a little trying at times. Yes, I am a blunt person. Yes, I have hurt people’s feelings. Yes, sometimes I should hold my tongue. However, at the end of the day, I have found that by telling people exactly what I think, I have found much more clarity in my relationships. I have also found that those that can’t take the truth of what I feel have a tendency to walk away and never come back. Those that have walked away were not meant to be a part of my life so it is far better that they know who I am up front and walk away if they can’t handle the truth. Too often we humans hide behind masks, facades of untruth. Where is the happiness in a relationship that is based on falsehood?