Monday Morning Musings on Strength

 

“… the strength of his devotion and fortitude, like some sturdy bull, drove him forward.”

~ Tulasidasa describing Rama’s brother, Bharata, in his Ramayana, Shri Ramacharitamanasa, edited and translated by R.C. Prasad.

 

Dear readers,

Welcome to yet another bizarro week on planet Earth! This morning I’m thinking about Strength. The quote above inspires me to cultivate Fortitude.

Fortitude.

That is a great word for our current times! Just hearing the word makes me think of iron bars, charging bulls, and this cup of strong black coffee beside me.

As I sip (and thoroughly enjoy), this cuppa, I am using mental powers, somewhere between fortitude and mojo, to ignore the morning aches of Fibromyalgia and focus on writing this post for you. I am imagining that many of you are also forging through some pains, whether they be physical, mental, or emotional, in order to do some work this day. Are you finding surprising new levels of inner strength inside yourself?

Here’s another musing on strength… A few nights ago I showed my Mom a post by Lowe’s, in which they stressed only one person per trolley in their stores, and my Mom started reading the comments below the post… Well, this one guy was very angry in expressing his complaints, and a fellow shopper replied to him sternly, saying “Buck up, buttercup” to which he softened and admitted that he was having a really hard time with lots of woes, including losing his job…

It is easy to get angry and complain… It is a lot harder to be vulnerable and admit that you’re afraid you won’t be able to feed your family. It takes a lot of inner strength to be honest like that.

My final musing for this post is about how going out walking in the hood feels like a war zone now… It feels like I’m watching out for snipers (human beings) who might be carrying protein molecules (viruses) in their pockets… or worse, in their nostrils! Just going for a simple walk to see the flowering trees and hear the singing birds takes a lot of inner strength these days. You gotta be watching all the time to make sure you don’t come within six feet of one of those human creatures!

Thanks for visiting the StarFire Temple of Happiness. I hope you enjoyed this post!

May you stay strong, with fortitude of mind!

With happy coffee vibes,
StarFire Teja

 

Bull photo by sumanley on Pixabay.

 

A Shout-Out to WordPress

Dear readers,

I am not getting paid for this post… and, well, I haven’t gotten paid for the other 323 posts I’ve published on this blog either! 🙂 (A while back I shared about my non-salesperson status in a post, “Realizing (Again) That I Am Not a Salesperson!”)

Due to my homebound status (thanks to Fibromyalgia and an Anxiety Disorder), I am not working at a job, but I still want to be of helpful service to others, in ways that are doable for me… And writing helpful blog posts continues to be not only manageable, but quite enjoyable…

Blogging would not be so enjoyable if it weren’t for WordPress. It is so incredibly user-friendly. I am somewhat savvy with computers, and I don’t have much patience for sites that are not easy to navigate. WordPress is truly outstanding in that aspect.

I really love how WordPress sends out notification emails when people like and comment on my posts. And the tagline at the bottom of their emails is pretty witty-adorable: “Thanks for flying with WordPress.com.”

For those who pay for a WordPress plan, live chat support is available from “Happiness Engineers”… How cute is that? On that page, it says, “Our Happiness Engineers can answer any questions that you have about WordPress.com, how it works, and how best to use it.”

Well, since I’m blogging as a helpful service to others and making zero income from it (thusfar), I am not paying for a plan with WordPress, but because WordPress is so well designed, I have not even once needed to ask them for support. That says a lot, doesn’t it?

Thanks for visiting this online StarFire Temple of Happiness. I hope you enjoyed my shout-out to WordPress.

May you be bright, merry, and healthy!

With much gratitude and positive vibes,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by mvp on Unsplash.

 

Teja’s Tips for Making the Best of Staying Home

 

“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

 

Dear readers,

I know how hard it is to feel like your life is shut down.

In early August, 2019, I was finally finding my groove in a new chapter of life. I was volunteering with hospice, publishing a new book (Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life), and preparing to lead healing circles again… But then a debilitating relapse into Fibromyalgia stopped me in my happy tracks. Suddenly I was homebound, canceling all of my plans and dreams.

After several months and many medical appointments, it was determined that along with Fibromyalgia, I have an Anxiety Disorder. Similar to the “which came first, the bird or the egg” question, it is unclear as to whether the anxiety caused the fibro, or the fibro caused the anxiety, but in any case, the symptoms are ongoing, ever-changing, maddening, and debilitating.

Needless to say, after being home for 8 months, I have figured out some ways to make the best of the situation. It helps that I was a homebody anyway, and my heart really goes out to those of you who are not naturally homebodies. If you are the kind of person who really thrives on extroverted worldly connections, I hope you can find some hidden internal pathways to joy that will sustain you during this time.

So, here are some tips for making the best of staying home ~

~ Acknowledge what you feel, and allow space for all the negative thoughts… Express your thoughts and feelings through writing them down or speaking them to others. Give yourself permission to be negative for some time, but don’t let yourself get stuck in negativity. Air it out, like you would shake out a rug, and then settle yourself down neatly into a calmer state. You can settle down through focusing on your breath, or tuning in to your heart (or belly or feet), or cultivating gratitude.

~ Choose to be happy… Per the Upanishads, a collection of wisdom by the ancient mystics of India, the mind is the means to happiness. Say over and over, “I am choosing to be happy.” Focus on doing things that really bring you joy, such as singing, dancing, and drinking coffee or tea.

~ Get dressed… Even if you are staying home all day, getting dressed will make you feel good. Lately I have even been putting on dangly earrings each day! And, even though I’m not going anywhere, I really enjoy the artistic feeling of putting together colorful outfits!

~ Cultivate Gratitude… Feeling grateful gives a big boost to your immune system, so take some time each day to count your blessings. Write them down, or tell others, or visit the Gratitude~Up Community Page here in this StarFire Temple of Happiness!

~ Keep perspective… Remember that you are not in prison, that you are staying home for your own safety and to protect others. And anyway, even if you were in prison, just like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, you can use the time wisely for writing or other creative endeavors, with a strong mind and a brave heart. Be relentless in seeing the Big Picture as you navigate this surreal time.

~ Create and follow a daily routine… The stability of a daily schedule will help to calm your nerves during this time of extreme change. Be sure to include some practices, such as sitting meditation, chanting (singing), visualization, and/or cultivating the Witness Consciousness. (You can read about these practices and many more in my book Reaching for Orange.)

~ Consciously work on elevating your virtues… The following qualities are really needed now: Patience, Understanding, Acceptance, Trust, Surrender, Loving-Kindness, Self-Love, and Peace.

My dear ones, I really hope this post is helpful to you. May you be of good courage and be of good cheer. May your days at home be blessed with goodness. May the Force of All Light energize and elevate you! May you be calm and happy in the midst of this bizarre sci-fi novel we are living in!

Happy Ram Navami to all who celebrate! Jai Sri Rama!

With happy high vibes,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by Andrian Valeanu on Unsplash.

 

Offering Goodness

Dear readers,

After my Dad died suddenly on January 25th, for a while there was a rush of likes and comments on my Facebook posts, and I felt so supported and loved. That flurry of positive attention really boosted me up, but then, when it went away I felt deflated… And then, when even some of my closest relatives no longer replied to my emails, I felt abandoned, misunderstood, hurt, and confused about my writing path…

Well, a few mornings ago, my Mom, who is grieving the loss of her love of 54 years, was reading an article about a young boy, Juliek, who played his violin in a Nazi camp (documented by Elie Wiesel in his memoir, Night), and my sweet, sweet Momma said, listen to this, it was written for you, to inspire you to keep writing:

“And we, ourselves, play Juliek’s violin – when we offer ourselves, our full selves, to a work which goes unseen, to an audience unable to respond, even in the face of profound darkness, because the offering itself is lasting and good.”

Later that day, while lying down enduring some unpleasant Fibromyalgia symptoms, I thought, “What if I die in the next year? Have I done all that I want to do? Would I have any regrets?” Here are the answers that arose ~

~ If I die in the next year, I only wish that I would have chanted more.

~ I am pleased with the goodness that I have offered the world through my sons Zak and Gabe, and through writing books and blog posts.

~ I pray that my sons will enjoy offering goodness to the world in their own unique ways.

If you die in the next year, have you done all that you want to do? How have you offered goodness to the world?

With much love,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash.

 

Monday Morning Musings on Money

Some people say that all anxieties and fears arise from the fear of death. Do you agree? I’m not so sure I agree.

My first musing has to do with tracing anxieties and fears to their root causes. Do you ever do that? When I follow mine, they do not seem to arise from fear of death, but rather from fear of poverty… And a step up from that fear is the fear of sickness that can lead to poverty.

When I am feeling miserable due to chronic health issues caused by Fibromyalgia, I do not feel afraid of death at all… But what I do feel is extreme anxiety about not being able to work, and fear of the physical discomforts associated with poverty.

My second musing is what it feels like to actually have money. Do you have lots of money now? Do you appreciate it and enjoy it?

Throughout my adult life, several times I have had the good fortune to experience having money. I appreciated it so much each time, and I loved being able to buy whatever I needed at any time… But what I enjoyed more than being able to buy myself things was being able to give generously to others. I loved buying someone a plane ticket or sending them a special gift package. Can you relate to this? Do you enjoy giving generously to others?

My third money musing is about why some people have lots of money and others don’t… The speculations here are endless, but a few ideas come to mind: fate, karma, destiny, magic, astrology, luck, charm, skill, mojo, family inheritance or genes, law of attraction, and so on. What do you think? Why do you think there are billionaires on this planet, while there are poor people living in shacks with dirt floors? What is really going on here?

My fourth musing is a heart-warming story I heard years ago about a wealthy man who enjoyed walking down the city streets giving out one hundred dollar bills. He loved to see the surprised and joyous expressions on people’s faces!

Remembering that story led me to have this fantasy: Perhaps some wealthy person will find my blog and feel inspired to purchase one thousand dollars worth of copies of my book on Lulu, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, and then they will go out on the streets giving them out! Spreading the Love! 🙂

My fifth and final musing for this morning is based on the title of a children’s book called “Are You My Mother?” Some years back, when my financial difficulties began, I got this idea that it would be so wonderful if we could somehow match up wealthy people with visionary mystics… I jokingly called out “Are You My Millionaire?” Then I posted this question:

Are you a millionaire looking for a mystic to sponsor?

Keeping a sense of humor is key when you are feeling any anxieties or fears!

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed this post.

May All Beings Be Free of Poverty and Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash.