Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I love Paulo Coehlo's writings. They have been uplifting and eye-opening for me as I have been making my way through a tough patch. They give me inspiration, and hope for tomorrow, and the next day.
Here is today's quote. From the outside, it may seem as if I am suffering. But as I seek my goal, the quest makes me happy.
Here are some samples of Carlos Castaneda's writings about being a warrior. There are no violent connotations to this sort of warrior, one of the spirit.
The most difficult thing in this world is to adopt the spirit and attitude of a warrior. It is no use being sad, complaining, feeling unjustly treated, and believing someone is doing something negative. No one is doing anything, and certainly not to a warrior.
And, here is the latest Warrior of Light newsletter. He talks about what I do here many days, which is write what is in my heart. It does take a certain amount of courage to open your heart and soul up and allow others in. This way, it is not an intrusion. Writers want you inside of their souls.
Since letters, words and sentences are traced out on paper, there is no reason to feel tense. The hand that writes eventually comes to rest, and the heart of the person who dared to share his or her feelings smiles.
Thank you, Mr. Coehlo.
"Scared is such a little word," says Petit. "Terror is much more noble."
And another great quote...
When a friend answered his phone and said the makers of Sweet'N Low were calling with a proposal, Petit said, "Hang up on them. I am strong and high."
"If an artist is not a little famished, then something is wrong."
That last one is great. I want to stay hungry.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
To be in a great, loving relationship with a great, loving woman.
To write and edit, hopefully online.
To not need too much materially, but to take and give everything I can spiritually and emotionally that is good.
To be happy.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I wish one part of my life was less of a rollercoaster, or less of a mountain. But it is, and I am riding and climbing well.
I am not angry about what I lack. I am dissatisfied, yes, but the quest makes me happy. The challenge makes me happy.
I have to, because what I have and what I feel cannot be contained in me. It has to be outside of me. It is not where I want it to be (or, perhaps it is, in some way). I can't contain it. And I make no apologies for not containing it, and I make no apologies for how I feel. It is as ingrained in me as anything I have felt in my life.
I want to pour this out. I want the world, the universe, the roots, the soil, to know what I have. I want this rooted into the ground, and I want it stretching into the sky. I want this feeling, this state, to be me. And I want it to be for someone else.
This morning, I quoted Pablo Neruda. I can't say it any better than him. I want to make someone blossom like a cherry tree. I want to nourish their roots, their buds, their leaves, their beautiful flowers, their beautiful fruit.
I can't think of anything more beautiful to give to someone. I don't want to be possessive of what I have. I never want to be that way.
My soul dances on invisible streams of air. It moves gracefully, expanding itself outward.
What music does my soul dance to? The music of the heart, which sings notes of love, possibility, potential. It sings harmonies of life.
It sings of the limitless energy I have.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
So, another month is drawing to a close. Where are you? Not physically, but spiritually, emotionally?
If I may be so bold to guess, I think you look like you are in the same place as you were at the beginning of the month. I say look because it's hard to tell where you are, or where anyone is, by merely looking at the face and body. After all, the body is only the container for the soul.
I think your soul feels good. You don't feel as happy as you could feel. But you remain as confident as ever about your quest. You feel the rivers of life flowing in you all the time, and all you want to do is to let those waters flow out of you to someone. Something so simple, and so complex, all at once.
You have doubts and lonely times, I know you don't deny this. And you treat these as they should be treated, as temporary. What fuels you is hope, faith and belief. You believe in what you can do and what you can be for the heart and the soul of a woman. You have always known you can uplift someone. Your style is a little different, yes. But your intentions are always good.
I have to agree with your friend. I have difficulty imagining why any woman wouldn't want what you have, and are willing to give. Why someone won't take the shield of protection you hold out for them is beyond me.
And still. In your quiet way, you remain extraordinary. Your resiliency is remarkable. I sense it's that why because you never lose sight of what you have. And what you want to give.
Keep your eyes open.
I see myself as a protector, a confidante, not a fighter. When I take you to my side, there is no better place for you to be. I am going to look out for you, protect you from the storms of life as best as I can, and build you up.
Do I get myself in trouble for this? Oh, yes. I sacrifice a hell of a lot of me. But I always have more to give.
But as I've said before, I am not in my life solely for me. I am in my life for others. What builds you up, builds me up. If I can't give my love in some ways, this is the way for me to do it. I want to continue doing this.
At any moment, I am going to give you the best of what I have. Even if you may not want it.
And there's a trinity involved.
I can't figure out what the trucker means. If there's a load I'm carrying, it's fuel.
The really dark fog that was on the highway magically cleared.
And the sign on the highway looked very familiar, leading to something.
For kicks, I took this internet test. To see what I am like. (As if I didn't know.)
It says I am a considerate leader. Interesting. But I need to work on the shyness thing, apparently. Yeah, yeah, I know.
Ah, but here's the thing: According to this, I am very confident.
Yes I am. There's nothing like getting your butt kicked to boost your confidence.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thank you for the vessel.
Thank you for showing that selfless is best.
Thank you for showing me that it is healthy.
Thank you for making me smile.
Thank you for making my heart light.
Thank you for making this a beautiful day.
Thank you for helping me showcase my goodness.
Thank you for taking advantage of me.
Thank you for letting me take advantage of you.
Thank you for being the bellows for my fire.
Thank you for making every day a glorious lifetime.
Thank you for helping me display and give true love.
Thank you for being my sensei.
Thank you for letting me say thank you.
Thank you for letting me say namaste.
Thank you for you.
Za Rinpoche & Ashley Nebelsieck, from the book "The Back Door to Enlightenment"
I want to be the one...
“I am but a poor struggling soul yearning to be wholly good, wholly truthful and wholly non-violent in thought, word and deed, but ever failing to reach the ideal which I know to be true. It is a painful climb, but the pain of it is a positive pleasure to me. Each step upwards makes me feel stronger and fit for the next.”
Thursday, April 24, 2008
In my own experience, the period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the most difficult period in one's life. ...Through a difficult period, you can learn, you can develop inner strength, determination, and courage to face the problem. Who gives you this chance? Your enemy.
I see where he's coming from, having to deal with the Chinese authorities. However.
I agree with him up to the last sentence. There, I substitute friend for enemy.
(Just looking at the home page of the web site makes me smile.)
Remember the movie Weird Science? Remember the hot babe the two scientists made, Kelly LeBrock?
Well, I happened to be watching Extra, and they had a segment on her and how she deals with weight.
Watch this segment. Seeing her, you wouldn't think she's 48 and weighs 169 pounds.
And some chuckleheads in Hollywood call her fat.
She is a beautiful, gorgeous woman, just as she is now. Why should she starve herself to fit some nonsensical idea of image?
I've said this before, and it still holds--the mirror can't tell you everything. It can't tell you what lies in your soul.
And, why can't people take others just as they are? Strange...
Right now, I feel like I am everything, and one, all at once.
I remain in the state where I can give to someone everything, and be everything to someone.
There is nothing for me to be sad about. Why would I feel sad about wanting to give all I have to give?
I want to give it all. All that is deep inside, and let it flow outward. Let the pulses, the vibrations I feel right now, root deep into the ground and stretch to the heavens.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Those barbells I lift are for my health. I want to be healthy. And if I look better, all the better.
I thought, maybe that's my problem, that I don't care as much as about my physical appearance as I should. This isn't to say I am a slob. I dress reasonably well. I've been told I'm a good-looking guy.
But there is something I know. Physical appearance lessens over time. Bones get brittle. Posture stoops. Brisk gaits become shuffles. As my doctor said, we can flatten the downhill slope.
The muscles I cultivate every day are the spirit and the heart. I build them, bit by bit, piece by piece, moment by moment. These are the muscles I want more than anything.
I know, I can entice a woman by my physical appearance. I can't keep her if my spirit and heart aren't stronger than my biceps.
And yes, they are.
My body is going to wear down. I'm fine with that. My physical energy wanes.
My heart and my mind will not wear down, if I have anything to say about it. My psychic energy is refueled every moment.
My body is a container for what truly matters, what I can truly give--my heart and my spirit.
I think of my grandmother, her gait slowed, stooped over, walking with a cane. Her physical body is betrayed. Her mind hasn't. She still has some toughness to her, and her heart is still tender.
What she still has I want to cultivate every day. I want to build muscles that don't wane.
What I am building, is being built to last.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
If you wonder why I seem so damn obsessive, work so damn hard, try so damn hard, want this so damn much, feel what I feel so damn deeply, read it again.
I want to be as selfless as I can possibly be for someone. I don't want to be in my life for me, I want to be in my life for someone else. If this exposes me to getting my ass kicked, so be it.
I just don't give a damn. In this moment, I know what I can be. And I will be it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not angry. I feel this very deeply. And no, I'm not letting go of what I can do and what I can be.
(Ok, maybe I'm a little defiant.)
This is an important story. Yes, it's long. But it must be read. It's about Bill Cosby's fight to lift the black community. It was important for me as a black man to read this. And I'll read it again.
Cosby's childhood story somewhat mirrors mine, being raised in a broken home. He doesn't make excuses, and neither do I.
The story evokes in me everything I want to be as a man--a lover, a friend, a teacher, a confidante, a protector, a partner. This is why I struggle, fight, persist, strive for more. This is I am so damn optimistic. Because I know I am these things.
Monday, April 21, 2008
And the heavens lit the night.
Stars upon stars. The gateway to the universe.
Tonight, the Big Dipper is over my head, literally. What is it pouring out?
Everything I need and everything I want.
The hole? It means I am building a foundation. (Or I'm digging out of a hole.)
The mountain. I have to climb it.
The city on a hill? It's at the top of the mountain.
And all three are in the same place.
I have empathy for children, because I was once a child. In some ways, I still am.
I have empathy for adults because I am one.
Remember the crying man I saw on the train? I have empathy for him, because I know what it's like to be sad.
My empathy doesn't wane.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
And yes, they are still in me.
I draw an enormous amount of strength from stories of people who grind and grind and grind and finally make it where they want to be.
Like Danica Patrick.
After years of racing, coming close, but never winning a race, she won in Japan Sunday. It was a well-earned, well-deserved win.
These people are the reason I am optimistic. These people are the reason I do not succumb. They persevere and thrive, as do I.
Sight The bright sun shone its warm rays down upon me, bringing energy and nourishment to my soul.
The open expanses of sand around me recall space.
The ocean itself, lit by the morning sun, recall infinity, stretching past the horizon.
The waves crashing against the shore recall the power of the ocean, the energy that never wanes. Its motions are steadfast, ever-present. A mirror for my soul. A marker for me to emulate.
The roar of the waves is hypnotic, intoxicating. They drown out the sounds of man, but not the beating of my heart, nor the whispers of my soul. They speak to me as loudly as the ocean's waves, calling me, telling me...you are as great as what you see if front of you.
The coolness of the morning dissipates as I walk the boardwalk.
The other strollers there feel the same.
A lightness carries me along in the morning light. Invisible, yet present.
The broken shells on the sand tingle against the soles of my feet.
The warmth of the sand warmed my soul, and made me smile.
The coolness of the sand enlivens me.
The coolness of the water jolts my conscious.
The ocean, in its infinite wisdom, says, I have enough. Take from me. And nourish others.
I'm sorry, but no.
I said this a lot last week, and it applies right now.
It is not about me being weighed down by where I am.
But lifting myself to where I choose to be. Living the best I have in me. Being as good as I can be.
At any moment.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The kingdom of this world
An old hermit was once invited to visit the court of the most powerful king of those times.
- I envy such a saintly man, who is content with so little - said the ruler.
- I envy Your Majesty, who is content with even less that I - responded the hermit.
- How can you say such a thing, if this entire country belongs to me? - said the offended king.
- For precisely that reason. I have the music of the celestial spheres, I have the rivers and mountains of the whole world, I have the moon and the sun, because I have God in my soul. Your Majesty, on the other hand, has only this kingdom.
Beauty and strength are always inside you, inside me. Touch it.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I wasn't going to be a victim. I wasn't going to wallow. I wasn't going to invest in self-pity.
I did what I have been trying to do for months. Be as good as I could possibly be. To rise above darkness and let the light I have inside me shine.
It takes an enormous amount of strength to overcome adversity. I've got the strength to move mountains.
Don't get me wrong. What happened was an awful thing. I was devastated.
But I have made it, grown it, nourished into something greater.
To you, my sensei, I say thank you. I am grateful for you.
Maybe I should explain why I believe so much in myself, and why I believe in what I can do.
Or, one reason, at least.
My profession (never mind what it is), there is a certain magic to what we do. What we are able to produce is stunning. And often, it's not under easy circumstances.
That's what makes the product so great.
I believe in myself because what I want to make, produce, give, I have given before. And will continue to make, produce, give. I wish the process was so much smoother than it has been. But the bumps are worth it.
Because the end result is worth it.
I know the magic I have lying inside and outside me. I know the magic I want to give.
It's not that I have to express myself. Or I need to.
No. I want to express myself. I want the world to know what I feel, and how I feel. How my soul stirs with bliss, thankfulness, love and gratitude. How I can't contain what I feel. How I want to shower someone with all the blessings and faith and hope I have welling up in me. I want the world to know how good it feels to just be.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
My car does the same thing when I put the key in the ignition.
When I wake up in the morning, my body goes through a system check.
And so does my soul.
Everything is flashing green this morning.
Good morning. Namaste.
Om mani padme hum.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Um, dude, I really, really, don't get you. You're a cool guy and all, but I don't understand you.
Why do you feel so good?
You should be so horrifically angry at the world now. Why can't you be like the rest of us, having experienced what you have? You love what was done to you? Are you insane?
Women have called you crazy before, and I'm starting to believe them.
But who knows, maybe you're on to something. The dumbest thing I'm ever done to you is underestimate you.
Won't make that mistake again.
I thank you and I am grateful for receiving very beautiful gifts from you.
You are a special, amazing, gifted sensei.
Namaste and good morning.
Not too much to ask for, eh?
Love the quote inside...
Thank you Jesus. I believe everything is gonna be alright. Wherever God is, everything is alright.
I am living proof why you should give conventional wisdom the good swift kick in the butt it rightfully deserves.
The surface of me can't tell you what the core holds. The experience has made me stronger, open, ready. Going through everything I have in recent months has fortified my soul. Nourished it. It continues to nourish me.
Every day is new and fresh, though from reading the blog, you might not think so. I live greater, better, everyday now because of the experience.
If you've ever been devastated from love, you're not supposed to recover quickly, so the thinking goes. You're supposed to spend months in the desert, crawling, looking up at the sky forlornly and wondering why.
There is something deep in me that refuses to suffer for long. Suffering is normal, human. Wallowing in it is not. Read these pages. The words you see are not from a man wallowing. These are the words of a man telling the world who he is and what he can do for a woman.
There is something deep in me that wants to thrive. To overcome. To scale the walls. To defy the stereotypes. To defy the limits.
There is something deep in me that wants to live the symbol of yin and yang.
I hear songs about love lost, and I wonder. What did they do to overcome? Or did they even bother, choosing to wallow instead?
Sometimes I stray off into pushing a tad too hard. As I've said before, I'm sorry.
I submit to you that I haven't broken any rules. I am changing the paradigm. From one of hiding, cowering, wallowing. To one of joy, hope, giving, receiving.
I want to be everything good and great that a man can be to a woman.
It's not stubbornness or arrogance that has me where I am. I believe it what I am, what I can give and what I can receive.
I am more than a seeker. I am a finder. A discoverer.
Monday, April 14, 2008
I know it is dangerous to discuss this. All sorts of assumptions could be made about me. And they'd be wrong. But I can't make any sense of this, either. It's weird. It's something I've never experienced before in my life. I've been allowing them to just be.
What is my body trying to tell me? Or is my soul trying to say something to me?
I caught a little bit of the Masters this weekend, and saw Gary Player, the Black Knight, on the course, resplendent in white. The South African legend gave the eventual champion, Trevor Immelman, whom Player carried on his shoulder when he was a toddler, a wonderful piece of advice:
"Be strong through adversity, because adversity will come."
Thomas Boswell wrote a great column in today's Washington Post on Immelman's win, and the road he traveled on. He may not have expected to win the Masters, but he didn't expect the stomach virus at last year's tournament (he played through it) or the golf-ball sized (benign) tumor doctors cut out of him.
This section of the column I liked:
More than any sport, golf tears at the nerves and tortures the emotions, rather than bruising the body. Nobody hits you, yet the greatest players in the world, on devilishly capricious days such as this, walk off the course looking as battered as any Super Bowl loser. Even Tiger can look like he has been kicked in the guts by a Georgia mule.
Fortitude, at the deepest levels, is the virtue that is rewarded the most in pro golf. At the center of every round, and every career, is the notion that man must accept without question what golfers call "the rub of the green" -- as elegant and important a phrase as sports gives us. Bad luck, injury, sinfully malicious misfortune and long, inexplicable spells of miserable play are to be expected, endured and, eventually, overcome. In fact, a golfer's response to that rub of the green is what defines him.
I have faced adversity, but I am not battered. As I said this morning, I love what all of this has done to me. Yes, you read it right. Done to me. It sounds strange, but it really isn't. What I have gone through in the past few months has not weakened my heart or my soul. Not at all. The past few months have strengthened my heart, my soul. So I can be stronger for someone. To strengthen someone.
Life is about experiences, and this experience has expanded my heart and my soul--which was large before.
If I allow them.
We are about a certain chemistry here in this corner. The chemistry of turning seeming negatives into positives. Seeming darkness into light.
Humbly, and with gratitude, I submit to you that I love what has happened to me, and I love everything that has been done to me. Everything.
And to my sensei, humbly, and with gratitude, I say to you
Om mani padme hum.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
My ears perked up, and I looked over to my left. A man standing near me was crying. Sometimes, you can wonder if the tears are ones of joy. That illusion ended when he banged his hand against the wall. At times, he was quiet. Other times, the sobs were loud, or soft.
In a situation like this in public, it can be uncomfortable to see someone emotional like that. You avert your eyes, pretend you don't hear, dive back into your paper.
But I felt a lot of empathy for him, even though I had no idea what brought him to tears. I've been there, wherever he is. I felt no pity for him. Just a strong sense that I know what it feels like for him. It bothered me deeply to see another human suffering.
The thing I didn't do was go over and ask what I could do. Or say it would be ok. He walked away before I could.
But I did cry a little for him. I don't know why. I've never seen him before, and may never see him again. But I felt what he felt, unknown as it is.
There is so much suffering and pain in the world. Too much. Some suffer silently, others pour it out, release it. I think he will be fine.
The courage he showed in shedding his tears in public is courage to be emulated. As much as it hurt to have his heart open like that, he opened it.
I'll remember this, as a reminder to stay open, no matter how much it hurts.
Someone told me this last week. (Apparently, I'm smart. Brilliant, even.)
And there's this--people in my chosen profession (never mind what it is) sometimes have trouble finding love.
Two tidbits that seem to conspire against me.
If I allow them.
These to me right now are barriers, walls. Stereotypes. They will be overcome. My intelligence, plus my profession, does not equal an inability by me to be in a long-term, loving relationship. They do not inhibit my ability to be a loving partner.
So, I'm being stubborn, and making an official declaration.
It's all nonsense.
More nots to untie.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I could sit in a corner, in the dark, curled up in the fetal position, wondering why I'm there.
I have so much in me that I'm willing to give and much I'm willing to receive, that I am pouring it out into the world. The shades of my heart will be open, the light will pour in, and it will feed my heart so I can feed someone else.
Like I said, is my heart open to taking shots? Yes. Does that scare me? Yes. Am I paralyzed by that?
“Butterflies, cotton mouth, and a pounding heart make the finest performers smile—the smile of a person with an ace up their sleeves…They definitely would agree with Tiger Woods, who has often said, “The day I’m not nervous stepping onto the first tee—that’s the day I quit.”--Dr. John Eliot
I'm scared, yes, And my heart still beats very strong.
The cool thing is I know I'm vulnerable. And I still keep moving. I turn my vulnerabilities into strength. Baggage into fuel. Walls into air. Doubts into belief.
Over the years, I was afraid that tree would fall over in a hurricane. I know to give the tree more credit.
That pine tree has withstood hurricanes, snowstorms. Drought, rainstorms. Deep freezes and stifling heat. Lesser living things would have wilted, fallen over, from such beatings year after year after year.
Its roots are strong and deep, so when Hurricane Isabel hit my hometown five years ago, it bent and swayed under the roar of the wind, and the pounding of the rain. But when the sun came out, it stood as tall as ever. And ready to continue growing.
That tree offers shade, comfort, beauty, a guidepost, strength. The tree may not have a heart that beats like mine, but it still gives. It still grows. I don't want to be that tree.
I am that tree.
As that tree, for decades, has been giving, so have I. Why I would give anything less than that is beyond me. As it takes rain and air and grows, so do I. It knows the loop, and I know the loop.
Year after year, that tree stands there, but is never still. It sways with the winds, its pine needles and cones fall to the earth, the rain nourishes every pore. It is not still. As the earth moves, it moves with the earth.
It withstands so much, and it gives so much more. As it gives to the earth and takes from the earth, so do I give to others and take from others.
I am that tree.
Om mani padme hum.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
It's something I'll continue to do.
I'm capable of so much. Why do people always seem to want less of me?
I want to give everything I have. Yes, I am exposing myself. And I'll keep doing it. The door to me is open.
At any given moment, I am going to be everything I can be.
Actually, I do have a goal. To just be.
Of course, I have things I want to do. But it's important for me to just be.
I am as good to me as I can be. I allow myself to be human. And this lets me be good to others.
On these pages, it seems like I push. I'm persistent, yes. A tad relentless. It's only for one thing.
I know what you're asking--to be what? Stop asking.
And no, it's not a contradiction for me to want to be the best man I can be and to just be. It's all one. Everything I want to do to nurture and nourish a woman's soul deeply, and to just be--the same. There is no separation. I want to be all, and I want to just be. One.
This sounds complex, unmanageable. It's not.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
me and have given to me with someone. That's all that I truly want to
do. My mom especially has sacrificed so much for me. I want to make
those same sacrifices, give that same love to someone else.
me looking better. It was about my growth spiritually. Becoming a
better me. My journey continues. There isn't too much I want
materially from life. I want everything I can gain spiritually from
life. And I want to give everything I gain. And gain. And give. I'm
ready to do this.
I am grateful that there is much for me to accomplish in life, I am grateful that I am not in search of sympathy and pity for what I feel, but in search of wanting to celebrate everything that I am.
I am grateful for the strength I possess. I am grateful for the gifts I have, and the gifts I receive. I am grateful for the gifts I will give, and the gifts will receive.
I am grateful for being alive, and I am grateful for being.
I am grateful for knowing what I am capable of giving. I am grateful for knowing what I am capable of receiving.
I am grateful for my mind, my body, my heart, my soul.
I am grateful for the courage I have. I am grateful for the danger. I am grateful for failing. I am grateful for the dreams. I am grateful for the good power and light that I have.
I am grateful for everything.
I am grateful for the source. I am grateful for my sensei.
Monday, April 7, 2008
I know you want a partner in your life. Your persistence will take you there.
You are never going to compete with your partner. Never. What you will do is support her. Nurture her. Nourish her. As you do for her, she will do for you. You understand it's a loop.
Think about how it feels from my end.
You wake up this morning, and then you drift slowly back to sleep. Then they come. Wave after wave of pulses. You feel them as you sleep, but you don't wake up. It feels both strange, scary and good. You can't The waves mimic the ocean's waves, ebbing and flowing. They continue to flow.
And then, an hour later, you wake up fully. Wondering.
Their strength comes and goes through the day. Some stretches, all is quiet. Others, waves crashing. I can't predict when they come, or when they go, or their intensity. Physically, it doesn't matter where I am--there they are.
Even at home.
I don't know.