Tag Archives: human potential

Friends, Foes, Family, Toads

I’ve got a friend. I call her ‘Mayura’.  It is the Sanskrit name for peacock.  If she reads this post, she’ll know exactly what I mean.

Anyway, I’ve known Mayura for a long time…over twenty years.  I’ve had the honor of seeing her grow up.  She grew up in a thoroughly challenging environment.

Mayura reminds me of a lotus flower.  Did you know that for all its loveliness, the lotus flower is born in some pretty stinky conditions?  Yep. In fact, the more putrid its environment, often the lotus blossom becomes ever more pure, powerful and gorgeous.  It is a supreme, symbolic example of beauty finding a place in the midst of pretty crappy places.  This also, makes the lotus a sacred flower in ancient Asian cultures.  There is a remarkable quality to anything that can flourish and offer elegance in a chaotic, sometimes icky world.

At any rate…Mayura and I have somehow kept in touch over time.  We’ve been ‘radio silent’ for years, only to pick right back up as if time has never passed.  This, my friends, is a luxury I hope you all can experience at least once in your lives.

Mayura and I have been talking about human relationships lately.  I adore how she views things.  She has an expanded, helicopter view of interpersonal dynamics.  I dunno how she does it.  Maybe she was born with this laser-like view into the human soul.  She knows herself and she knows others…it is almost as if she holds people up into the light and she can see through them…like she is seeing through the transparency of a person…like she can see the other page behind the cover of the book that is the human.

I wish I had been (and could be presently) as savvy as Mayura.  She is 20 some-odd years my junior, but this woman has insight and wisdom coming out her ears, and beyond her years.

So what’s my point to all this?  You know I always want to give you something…some kind of take-away point.

Well, as I said…Mayura and I have been talking about the ups and downs of dealing with people.  Doesn’t matter if friend, foe or family…dealing with people can be a dicey prospect.  Actually, dealing with those closest to us can be more challenging than dealing with strangers off the street.

We shared a little about our experiences with feelings of guilt, betrayal, love, loyalty…you know…all that stuff all people should coffee-klatch about sometime in our lives.  One of the things I love about Mayura is she makes me think.  She makes me go deep and internalize some really heavy stuff that sometimes I’d rather not visit.

Nevertheless…while discussing a particular touching moment in our lives, I shared an infinitesimal bit of fluff with her.  It wasn’t my most shining moment of advice-giving.  It was not a wise, sage-filled statement I made.  In fact, I’m pretty sure my words to her were, in some ways, hauntingly hopeless.

But were they?

Somehow, we got to talking about the idea of people changing.  We all want to give people the benefit of the doubt.  We especially always want to keep loving and believing in our friends and family.  Even our foes…our ‘frienemies’ – at some point we had a connection with these people…they didn’t become our enemies for no reason.  Nope.  Often, an enemy was once a friend.

So what do we do with the people in our lives who we so desperately want to love, to trust, to believe in….yet they somehow always seem to disappoint us?

This is what I said to Mayura  in response:

“I think people can modify.  We can rise above, improve,  adjust….but at our core…I think that nugget of true ‘self’ is nestled within us like a little toad.

The only true hope we have of true transformation is if we love our inner toadie, and let it snuggle in tight within us, and love it warts and all. Contrarily, there are those of us who ignore the roosting toad….which causes that soggy thing to rot and become poisonous.

We are who we are.  Our only chance is to embrace or reject it.  And….I hope you understand what I’m saying…because if I have nothing in this life to give…my little observation about inner toadies is about all the wisdom I have.”

Lame?  Yeah, maybe.  But relevant?  Yeah, I think so.

What is your inner toad doing within you?  What is the inner toad doing within your friends, family or foes?  Is it twitching, torturing? Chilling out?  Consider it.  -Makes a big difference within ourselves and with those whom we interact.

Just thinking.

May all your interactions be filled with revelation.

Brightest,

Avia

 

Digging into Symbolic Garden Meanings



Garden Meaning- Avia with Her Garden

I’ve enjoyed tiny herb gardens sitting in my kitchen windowsill for years. There’s something about seeing those perky green sprigs that always makes me perky too. I reasoned if such a tiny garden gave me so much joy, then surely a big one outside would be bliss-city! So, I decided to step up the ante and grow a grand garden outside.

This is the second year I’ve established a vegetable garden in my yard. Has it been bliss city? Not quite. Well, I was blissfully clueless as to how much work was involved. Lol. But, I have to admit…the fruits of my labor have been well worth the sweat equity.

There have been more rewards to tending a garden than just the fresh produce. I’m talking about the symbolic harvest. Walking down the garden path has proven to be very educational, with multi-faceted layers of lessons learned along the way.

You know me…I’m always tracking down symbolic meanings, and my forays into agricultural cultivation have offered a garden of symbolism…ripe for the plucking. So let’s start tilling those symbolic garden meanings

The most profound symbolic meanings come when we can draw parallels between our external world and our internal world. Gardens open their gates willingly to these kinds of parallel experiences.

Most notable is how we can equate gardens to our psychological standing. How? Easy.

Symbolic Garden Meanings are Ready for the Picking When we Look for Them



Gardens need an ever-watchful eye to insure growth remains steady and strong. Same is true for our thoughts and feelings. Simply put, we must be the ever-vigilant gardener of our own minds. We must be active in rooting out wayward thoughts and pulling out the negative behaviors that are like weeds, choking out the fine potential fruit growing within us.

And just like earthly gardens, we’re going to have some tough conditions with which to contend, and these can threaten our emotional growth.

  • Drought: Dark nights of the soul
  • Disease: Illness caused by external influences pushing us out of balance
  • Infestations: People or circumstances ‘bugging’ us and distracting us from our growth.
  • Storms: Feeling drowned or overwhelmed by life’s problems

Thankfully, for every threat, there exists its twin:

  • Sunlight: Inspiration, creativity, illumination
  • Cool Rainfall: Provision from our spiritual source
  • Rich Soil: The sense of being anchored and comfortable with ourselves and our growth
  • A Loving Keeper: The Gardener of our souls (the god or higher power of your own understanding) who is ever-supportive in our spiritual growth

I’m not the first to associate the symbolism of garden meanings with the human mind and spirit. James Allen, made the parallel in his book, As a Man Thinketh. So did Dr. Joseph Murphy…in several of his books, most notably The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. Even the Bible makes multiple comparisons between the garden and the condition of the spirit.

A little research into the meaning of gardens reveals they are representatives of the divine and tangible blessings from God. This is a theme in many cultures around the world, and gardens are synonymous with the potential for humans to cultivate their own inner power and spiritual ripeness.

Gardens: Symbolic of Sacred Spaces



Overwhelmingly, the idea of paradise and sacred space is centered on the symbolic meaning of gardens. In fact, the word garden means “enclosure” (German/English). This emphasizes symbolic garden themes of :

  • A retreat
  • A sanctuary
  • A safe place
  • A sacred space
  • A space to grow
  • An area in which to worship
  • A space to encourage an attitude of appreciation

All gardens have the potential to be these things, even the gardens within our minds and hearts. There are soft, tender spaces within us that are rich and ready to accept our spiritual seeds. We can enter these sacred inner gardens through meditation. By traveling inward, we can encounter the inner garden, and plant seeds of joy, love, peace, abundance.

Our constant vigil to nurture these ideals (seeds) will be required for their ripening and fruition. Furthermore, our connection and surrender to a higher design is akin to the sun shining upon the gardens of the Earth. Call it your Higher Power, God, or Allah, but there is indeed a Divine Gardner who has tended to the garden of our souls, and continues to influence our spiritual path. Working in tandem with this Source makes for a lush and fruitful inner landscape…a stellar spiritual garden with infinite potential and growth.

There are, of course, more symbolic garden meanings ripe for the harvest and ready for your contemplation. These are just the immediate symbolic phenomenon I have encountered while tending to my own garden (external and internal).

I hope this symbolic parallel gives you a good visualization for personal growth. I further trust this article gets your intuition germinating with new ideas that sprout into big rewards in your life.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out my article on Symbolic Garden Meanings. It is a more structured piece, and features symbolism from cultural and mythological perspectives. I even talk about the symbolic meaning of different kinds of gardens (water gardens, rock gardens, etc).

Thanks for reading, and happy gardening!

Other Articles of Interest:

Fan Mail from The Devil

I got an email from The Devil a few weeks ago.

The email said this:

I know what you are doing.
Your anxiety will never be cured. It is a punishment.
You are going to hell soon by the way.
Enjoy your day.

~The Devil

(I kid you not, I can’t make this stuff up on my best day).

Blissfully, thankfully and blessedly the overwhelming majority of correspondence I get is of a positive nature.  That estimate might have something to do with my outlook.  For example, I rather think this is a highly positive email.  I mean, to be on The Devil’s radar must mean I’m shaking some trees in the Other-Realms.  Cool.

Also, somehow I take comfort that The Devil knows what I’m doing.  I certainly don’t know half the time.

As for anxiety, I don’t want a cure.  To explain, 90% of my anxiety comes from self-pressure devoted to doing the “right thing,” like behaving and acting in ways that honor my parents, my partner, my community, the collective consciousness, and of course, the Mother (Earth).   It’s not always easy to take the high road, and sometimes the moral path feels like punishment, but I’ll take it for a clear conscience.

And in my travels through life, I’m quite sure I’ve already got “Hell” stamped in my passport.   Been there, done that, didn’t bother with the t-shirt.

The point to all this cheekiness is the importance of perception and levity.

Perception is always a biggie.  I’d like this post to stand as a reminder of how important it is to shift around to alternative points of view.  It’s important to look at scenarios from different angles; it’s healthy too.  This is a huge factor as to why I dig symbolism so much – there are so many perspectives, sources and implications to consider.  Delightfully shifty.

As far as levity goes…I’ve been learning valuable lessons about humor lately, and this email is a welcome contribution to the curriculum.  To quote a friend of mine: “If you’ve lost your sense of humor, you’ve lost everything.”  Too right.

Post script:  I did not respond to the email.  I mean…what does one say to the Devil?  Well…I thought of a few choice words, but why waste the energy?  Ultimately, time is better spent doing good stuff.  I don’t think there’s a better way to get retribution on the big bad meanies out there.  :)

If you liked this, you might also like…The Symbolic Meaning of Problems

 

Life is Symbolic. Start Interpreting.


Symbolic Oracles are Everywhere
Symbolic Oracles are Everywhere

Nestled in soft pockets of awareness, there are messages waiting to unfold themselves to us, cosmic messages intended for our eyes only, and in James Bond ‘double-oh-seven’ style, with cryptic innuendo and a bit of humorous cheek, we are left to ponder the symbolic implications of oracles glittering on our path.

This human life is all espionage and safari, and I contend the hunt begins at the front door of our own consciousness. We all seek meaning, we all seek value, we all seek to lift the veil of the mundane that tends to cloak the brilliance awaiting us in this life.

To be sure, there is a remarkable quality of life available to each of us, and in my experience that extraordinary quality reveals itself via the endlessly versatile language of symbolism.

We all know this language, and we owe it to ourselves to interpret deeper symbolism in all its delightfully unusual dialects and cosmic contexts.

Symbolism is a language spoken from the Unified field, and its speech is variable, multi-tongued and infinite in manifestation. Interpreting signs, symbols and all manner of natural oracles is akin to tapping into limitless potential as well as establishing an experience with the Mystical.

Our lives are replete with multi-layered meanings, and that means big juju for all of us.

It means there is magic inherent in every moment of our lives. This magic dispels the ennui that sometimes clings to the human experience. Interpreting personal symbolism rekindles the conviction that we are all light-infused, special and valuable.

Regardless if we may be beset with grief, boredom or rage, we have the power to open just a few cracks of unique contemplation and view the moments of our lives as symbolic messages – these messages offer validation about our connection to something grandiose, something utterly unified in its ability to support and encourage our well-being.

Life is symbolic. Start interpreting.


Other pages of interest:

Symbols of Nature (on whats-your-sign.com)

Why I’m Jazzed about Symbolism (video)

Interpreting Symbolic Messages from Nature (on whats-your-sign.com)

The Gentle and the Small

Allow yourself to be tamed by the gentle and the small.
Allow yourself to be tamed by the gentle and the small.

I don’t talk about it often, but twice a day, every day, I devote to meditation.  It’s been that way for years, and I cannot express how revolutionary that single choice to meditate has been.

A portion of my meditations is spent in devotion to the well-being of all my peeps.  That’s a lotta peeps, considering all life is kin to me, and vice versa.

But in the conventional sense, I’m kin to a lot of folk.  Whether friends, family or internet peeps, my prayer list for my kindred is super-long.

Sometimes, while sitting in meditative council, proffering sincere whispers of well-being on behalf of those I love, my mind interjects.

It happens to the best of us.  We’re moving in blissy waves of meta states one moment, and the next, our crest breaks into a mental analysis of the experience.  A perturbing dialogue breaks in, barking stuff like: “Wow, this is trippy! What’s all this mean? What are those curly q thingies, and when was the last time you ate?”

One such interruption came knocking at my meditative doors while in prayer, and said: “Life sure is hard, ain’t it Avia?

At the time, It seemed a valid observation (despite the weird accent).

No matter how many assurances we have that life is supposed to be navigated by butterflies and wrapped with rainbows (and it truly is for some of us, some of the time), life still seems hard sometimes to many of us (present company included).

However, I’d like to think most of us can agree, life is supposed to be good. Or, at the very least, life has the potential to be good. Further, I’d bet a fair piece a lot of us can point a finger as to why our life isn’t good.

So if we know this stuff, why does life still seem so hard sometimes?  And what can we do to make it less hard?

I know what helps me….I always revert back to a piece of advice Kim Gould of Love Your Design gave me.  She said, “Avia, allow yourself to be tamed by the gentle and the small.”  Taking that advice has been tantamount to enlightenment.

Here’s why – the breakdown:

  • Allowing oneself to be tamed by the gentle and the small forces simplicity.
  • Simplicity births a sense of comfort.
  • Comfort is married to gratitude.
  • Gratitude is kin to love.
  • Love is all we need.  (the Beatles can’t be wrong :)

That’s why I love living a totemic life; a symbolic life.  There’s magic in the simple, magic in the small things.   Becoming more focused on the smallest of miracles in our midst flips the concept of ‘hard life’ on its head.

Grateful attention to witnessing your kid’s first taste of ice cream, bird song at twilight, a fuzzy friend in a loving frenzy to see you return home, a perfect cappuccino, good soap – whatever  – the little blessings that pop into the seconds of all our lives – these little gems of joy accumulate to deflate the hot air talk about life being hard.

At least, it works for me.  There are countless opportunities for me to allow myself to be tamed by the gentle and the small; doing so keeps me in a cycle of gratitude.  Perhaps it will for you too.

Happy Thanks.  Happy Giving.

Driving Blind (not really)

Finding Alternate Methods of Gauging Progress
Finding Alternate Methods of Gauging Progress

As I was driving a friend to the airport, the dash on my Jeep went dead.

It’s not uncommon for this to happen after the Woodchuck Incident of 2001 (the fuzzy booger had lunch on my electrical wiring).

My friend noticed the glitch and said: “Avia, your dash is dead! How can you possibly know when to shift (RPMs), or how fast you’re going, or even how much fuel you have? Isn’t that frustrating?”

I hadn’t really given it much thought.  Every time it happens I remember the Woodchuck wisdom, and smile.

Moreover, this ‘driving blind’ thing is kind of a practice in gauging my awareness.

When the dash goes kaput, I’m forced to monitor my surroundings more acutely.  For example, I pay attention to the speed of the other drivers around me to keep my own speed consistent and within legal bounds.

As far as shifting gears…I just listen to the engine of the Jeep, and it tells me when to move up a gear.  “Besides,” I say to my friend Dave, “who uses RPMs on the dash as a signal to shift gears?” I ask Dave.  “I do” he shyly confessed.

The fuel gauge, I’ll admit, is another kettle of fish.  I just try to keep the levels in my memory banks (which are predominantly fried like my dashboard, but that’s another story).

My point is this: We are never ever completely ‘driving blind.’  There are always additional methods to gauge our progress along life’s path.

Some of these methods might not be our first choice, but when our primary navigation systems are malfunctioning (or seemingly nonexistent), we can always manage ourselves with alternative methods.

Do you rely on a primary system that monitors your personal progress?

Has that foundation/system ever run amok?

What are some other methods you could employ that help you keep your pace, and allow you to keep your progress?

Better yet, try incorporating awareness and other alternative methods in your daily routine.

Run your day “outside the box.”  Switch gears and gauge yourself in different ways (before your fall-back system takes a dive).

Just thoughts.