I was happy to come across this quote today, as I feel less than courageous this evening, and in fact rather defeated. Yes. Tomorrow is another day, and I will try to bring out my rainbow colors and make it beautiful.
Lately I have been learning to hold on tight and "let go" as my life continues to shift, hold on to my inner truth and my inner self, and let go of the things that are no longer serving me, out of my control, and no longer giving me peace. As the larger world continues to experience change that all of us have been grappling with. The economic situation, the change in thoughts, ideals, leadership. I think all of humanity is going through a major shift, an discovering "what's important."
I can't pretend to be "in control" of everything that happens in my life. I have to have faith that some things simply happen for bigger reasons I don't understand. I've been looking for ways to manage my anxiety, and my restlessness and although I have not quite managed to sit through yoga sessions and just "be" with all of it- I find that other things are helping me build peace and cultivate a compassion for myself. I've been loving acupuncture, and reading things that give me a new perspective.
This excerpt helped me this morning:
In meditation we discover our inherent restlessness. Sometimes we get up and leave. Sometimes we sit there but our bodies wiggle and squirm and our minds go far away. This can be so uncomfortable that we feel it's impossible to stay. Yet this feeling can teach us not just about ourselves but also about what it is to be human. All of us derive security and comfort from the imaginary world of memories and fantasies and plans. We really don't want to stay with the nakedness of our present experience. it goes against the grain to stay present. These are the times when only gentleness and a sense of humor can give us the strength to settle down.
The pith instruction is, Stay...stay...just stay. Learning to stay with ourselves in meditation is like training a dog. If we train a dog by beating it, we'll end up with an obedient but very inflexible and rather terrified dog. The dog may obey when we say, "Stay!" "Come!" "Roll over!" and "Sit up!" but he will also be neurotic and confused. By contrast, training with kindness results in someone who is flexible and confident, who doesn't become upset when situations are unpredictable and insecure.
So whenever we wander off, we gently encourage ourselves to "stay" and settle down. are we experiencing restlessness? Stay! Discursive mind? Stay! Aching knees and throbbing back? Stay!. What's for lunch? Stay! What am I doing here? Stay! I can't stand this another minute! Stay! That is how we cultivate steadfastness. [...]
When our emotions intensify, what we usually feel is fear. This fear is always lurking in our lives. In sitting meditation we practice dropping whatever story we are telling ourselves and leaning into the emotions and the fear, Thus we train in opening the fearful heart to the restlessness of our own energy. We learn to abide with the experience of our emotional distress. [...]
Coming back to the present moment takes some effort, but the effort is very light. The instruction is to "touch and go." we touch thoughts by acknowledging them as thinking and then we let them go. It's a way of relaxing our struggle, like touching a bubble with a feather. It's a nonaggressive approach to being here.
"If" a human being can "become" inside the moments that are not in his or her favor, and use those moments instead as the grist to call forth growth, or "refine" ourselves and stretch and develop muscles of grace, then he or she has really touched the essence of their humanity, and taken the opportunity for self development. I also interpret Rudyards poem "IF" as his way of eloquently saying that the world is filled with illusions that will challenge one's integrity, truth, identity, or sense of self.
The opportunity is to treat these illusions for what they are, and take the lessons and leave the rest. Use Illusions as a means toward development of your spirit and the sanctity of your self.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
It's a great place for inspiration, idea's and a look at how other people document, scribble, log, measure, paint, paste, and pontificate their life experience: Check it out at http://www.moleskinerie.com/
I confess to touching, ogling, coveting, lusting, and romancing my own journal, the journals of others, and the virgin journal which has never been opened or written inside of. They've always intrigued me, and perhaps the voyeur in me always wanted to know the inner most secrets of those I am close to.
C'mon...who has not been around someone's journal and not wanted to look inside? If you say you've never...I am calling you a LIAR flat out.
My fascination started at age seven when I convinced my mother that I must have my very own Hello Kitty Diary with a lock and key even though I could not yet even write. The thought that it was "private" and "mine" was enough, and so I began to tell my secrets, dreams, and aspirations to every journal that would have me.
Of course I have graduated from the need to have my journal padlocked to a more mature and less paranoid frame of mind, and choose instead to hide it under floorboards, suspended inside of toilot tanks, and duct taped them under dining room tables (ok- I'm joking...but the nagging thought that someone will one day read the outpouring of my soul makes me squirm admittedly)
It takes GUTS to keep a journal. You have to be willing to 1) Have thoughts 2) own those thoughts and 3) take the chance that either you will one day look back and read your own twittish or self incriminating entry, or dreadfully, that someone else will.
Although it takes some time to develop a habit of writing each day, it can be addicting once you get into it. I have loved the challenge of filling an entire journal and then filing it on my book shelve as "complete" along side the others I have filled over the years. I love the fine art of choosing my new journal and the ritual of finding a special pen to write with.
I have enjoyed the challenge of finding other ways to inspire my thinking and my writing and sometimes choose to reflect on something I read, saw, or heard, and sometimes I paste images or fold pictures or articles into the binding. I love looking back at some of my journals ( some, not so much) and flipping through the pages and pictures and drawings to see where I was mentally or physically at any point in my life. I guess it's my way of living an examined life.
I've given up being paranoid that someone will someday read them, and I have decided that if my life should be so juicy and so desirable to know about that someone would - then I should consider that a compliment and worry about changing my name and moving to an uninhabited island later.
In any case, it's never to late to start and for anyone who is looking for the perfect time...the time is always NOW. You are your own unique being, with your own unique way of seeing and interpreting and contributing to the world, so just go for it.
Here are my suggestions for getting started:
1) Go to a store that has great journals and surrender. Fall madly and shamelessly in love with one of them and make it yours and yours alone ( warning- use a modicum of discretion as Journal PDA is just as offensive)
2) Choose an equally FASCINATING and SENSUOUS pen that will make you want to use it and save yourself and the pen for alone time with your journal (HUBBA HUBBA.)
3) Don't "force" your writing at first...maybe find a quote, a photograph or song lyrics that inspire you and adhere or write them inside and maybe just write down your reason for choosing it.
4) There is NO RIGHT WAY to keep a journal. Chilax, and let go a bit. You can do anything you want inside the pages, and rant, confess, expose, express anything you darn well feel like.
5) Don't give up just because you "forgot" to write in it...like anything else you have to develop a muscle for it, and by exercising as much as possible- that muscle will start to develop.
7) Get sloppy- surrender- Your journal is not going to be entered into a contest for neatness, clarity of thought, or creativity. YOU NEED TO CULTIVATE your own unique way of expressing yourself and i don't know about you but i am SICK To death of compromising my own unique way of doing things or censoring the way I see and experience the world to save someone else DISCOMFORT. DEAL WITH IT...IT'S WHO I AM, and if you can't handle it...then you should not have snooped in my journal!
8) Get some duck tape, find a loose floor board, and maybe a little suspension rope just in case those pages are extra juicy (btw- YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY that someone would actually want to read yours!)
Please feel free to share additional ideas and suggestions on keeping a journal in the comments box. It would be great to hear them.
Designer Kenneth Cole has always captured my attention and compelled my admiration.
His taste is impeccable, his designs classic, and his marketing mind a clever thing of beauty.
His products ooze of quality craftsmanship, and timelessness.
One afternoon as I was stumbling around trying to find my new apartment on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan years ago, I looked up to see this gorgeous pair of legs showing off yet another pair of heels I could never afford with my meager starting salary. Although it was clear that he was selling shoes in this ad, he was also selling a vehicle and a voice toward change. Her ARMS reached as endlessly as her legs, and the words under this pair of shoes would forever alter the way I experience shoes and the way I strut my stuff.
Making a statement was something I could suddenly do anywhere at anytime, simply by daring to see a different point of view. Not only did he succeed in selling me his stilettos- he also sold me on the belief that change can occur anywhere, and at anytime, if you choose to see it is possible.
His style was more endearing to me because somehow by wearing it, I was also in on the smart, thoughtful and evocative world he represented.
In true form, he has published a collection of essays and conversations by people who are making a difference and making movements toward social change. For more info you visit
the AWEARNESS website, and maybe even get a copy for that special someone in time for Christmas.
In his words...
"NO GOOD DEED SHOULD GO UNPUBLISHED"
AWEARNESS is I am sure, every bit as classic, thoughtful and meaningful as everything else he touches, bravo Kenneth.