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The Gentle and the Small

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
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.

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Melting Glass Walls – An Excerpt from Pronoia

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

The following is an excerpt from Rob Brezny’s book, Pronoia (a book I highly recommend, by the way).  This excerpt was written by Nia Fil, and it moved me for its sincerity and simplicity.  I asked Rob Brezny of Free Will Astrology if I could re-publish this excerpt here, and he graciously granted permission.  I hope you enjoy this enlightening slice of perception as much as I did. 

Frosted Glass - Melting Glass Walls of Separation

Frosted Glass - Melting Glass Walls of Separation

MY PRONOIAC TESTIMONY
by Nil Fia

I’ve always felt there was a glass wall between me and the world — a see-
through barrier that kept me in my place and everything else in its place,
never the twain shall meet.

But a week ago, as I was driving through the streets of my home city of
Detroit, something odd happened. I seemed to reach out an inner finger
and touch the inside of that glass wall I gaze through. And for the first
time ever, my finger sunk into the glass, just a bit.

A little while later, I did it again, and this time my finger went right
through the glass. Or rather, maybe, the glass was not there, at least
momentarily. There was no longer any boundary between what I saw and
where I was seeing it from.

In other words, the whole world was inside my head. Either that, or my
head had just dissolved.

Let me backtrack. A few months ago, I hated my job. I despaired that my
hobby would ever amount to anything. There was never enough time, and
whatever time there was, I spent it trying to get done all the things I
hated doing but had to do. And then I failed at the whole enterprise, and
not only didn’t I have time to do anything I liked, but I wasn’t getting
anywhere with the stuff I didn’t like, either.

Life was one big miserable chore that never ended. It just bled from day
to day, sucking the vitality out of everything. Even weekends. This in
spite of the fact that I’ve never considered myself a miserable person. I
always thought that being annoyed 24/7 and never having time to be
happy was part of being an adult, and I tried to handle it bravely.

But then on that day last week, I put my hand through the glass — I still
don’t know how — and suddenly the way the morning sunlight lay on the
overpass during my way to work cracked a big smile on my face, and the
whole miserable commute seemed worth it.

The next day, I spent a chunk of the ride to work looking at the trees, and
being thrilled that so much amazing greenery, so many unreproducible
shapes and colors, could fit in my head at once. What used to be “just
another tree” was now an utterly unique thing that I would never have the
gift of having in my head again.

This new knack didn’t go away. It started creeping into other daily
moments. I’m still moving in and out of it now, many days later.
It’s not that stupid things make me happy; it’s that everything makes me
happy. Taking a breath makes me happy. Hearing a human voice makes
me happy. Feeling my hand rise up against gravity and sweep through the
air on its own makes me happy. Yesterday this state — which I like to call
“bliss fugue” — came on after I whacked my knee on the table. The pain
made me happy! Happier than maybe I’ve ever been!

Here’s the weirdest thing about the happiness: It seems completely
uncaused. Not only do my flashes seem to exist in a vacuum. I would
swear the feeling seems to be a characteristic of the vacuum. The
vacuum I refer to, of course, is the sucking of myself and the world into
each other that happens whenever I penetrate that glass wall between us.

I’m truly content folding laundry. I happily concentrate on every spot on
my dishes. Not all the time, but more and more. And it seems the more
stuff gets through the glass wall — the more the world becomes
immersed in me and I in it — the less time everything takes, and the more
I enjoy the “free time,” 10 seconds of which suddenly seem like enough
to justify having been alive all these years.

This is one of those “I might be doing something right, or I might be
losing my mind” things, but I’ve done those before; so I’m cool with it.
But I will mention one side-effect: mild fear. Not during the state itself –
I’m not sure it’d be possible to feel afraid then, though I haven’t had
occasion to test that — but afterward, as I connect to the realization that
something is happening to me that might really muck around with my
ordinary old life. (Did I say above that I was miserable with my daily life?
Well, that doesn’t mean I’m not attached to it.)

Already once or twice I’ve done this thing and had people notice, and
their reaction is always alarm or distaste: “Hel-LO? Are you OK? What are
you staring at? Is something wrong?” So far, this has always snapped me
right out of it. I don’t know how I’d react to people if this state continues
to happen more frequently and for longer periods, and I get stuck dealing
with people from within it. (Would I then be talking to the voices in my
head, I wonder?)

I’ve also noticed that when the bliss fugue hits me, tears sometimes come
out of my eyes due to the weirdest things: the smell of the wind, a bird
that stops and looks at me, a shoelace lying on the sidewalk. I can’t
explain that. I’m not normally an emotional person, especially not in
public.

Well, there you go. Something for your Outlaw Catalog of Happiness: the
Joy of Nothing. ;) I’m going for a walk now, and see if I can do it again.


Note: This is an excerpt written by Nia Fil from Rob Brezny’s book, Pronoia (click the link to grab the book, which is totally grab-worthy).  And if you don’t know who Rob Brezny is, you should.   Check out his wicked-awesome-jump-jivin-vibe here: FreeWill Astrology

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