Got Compassion?

Warning: this video is shocking and intense. As a highly sensitive person (HSP), I felt pretty overwhelmed while watching this: “DAIRY IS SCARY! The industry explained in 5 minutes.”

I found that video in this article: “UPDATE: Café That Ditched Dairy After Watching Youtube Video Now Goes Vegan,” which led me to read about that London (Kentish Town) Café here: “Fields Beneath.”

Cows were not created by humans, and cows do not exist to feed humans. So-called “food” products made from cows (meat, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, ghee, icecream) cause many diseases in the human body. And yet, the dairy industry continues to spread harmful, incorrect information, especially about milk… “Got milk?” the billboards read…

So I say, “Got compassion?”

I certainly have compassion for the incredible suffering of the cows, so I have not eaten any dairy products for more than 10 years.

My plea for humanity is to replace dairy products with coconut milk products (and other wonderful plant-based alternatives like almond milk). For example, replacing dairy creamer with this So Delicious Organic Coconut Milk Creamer that contains “Simply 5 Ingredients.”

Holy Coconut Shells, this is possible, people! Let’s shift from scary dairy to holy coconut this very year of 2020!

With great compassion for all beings,
StarFire Teja

 

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

 

Photo by manueltapi on Pixabay.

 

Dark Medicine Brings Brightness of Mind!

Dear readers,

Welcome to our brand new decade! I have seen some labeling it the “thriving” twenties, and others calling it the “roaring” twenties… Do you have any other name suggestions for this brilliant new time?

How did your January 1st begin?

My day began with the usual Fibromyalgia symptoms, which make it very difficult for me to get out of bed, so my mental state is not exactly bright and cheery… But after eating something, then I get to make my happy black coffee, which almost always shifts things for the better. (Please see my post “Coffee Is Good Medicine”)

Today, right before taking that first sip, I whispered, “Dear black coffee, please merry me up, happy me up, gratitude me up, and beam me up!” And it worked! Before that cuppa, my thoughts were very dark (I was crying and actually wishing to die), but after drinking the dark medicine, my mind brightened, so then rather than dwelling on all of my difficulties with Fibromyalgia, Misophonia (triggered by sounds), and extreme HSP-ness (Highly Sensitive Person), I began thinking about how I can continue to win this daily battle with darkness.

Dear reader, if you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know that I am all about daily spiritual practices that help us to Happy Up… I even published a book on the topic! (Please order your copy on Lulu now… Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life)…

So in addition to my daily dark coffee medicine, I also chant (usually along with Krishna Das CDs), send healing energies out, repeat mantras, and sit in silent meditation. I do these practices not only to help happy up my own life, but also as a service to others. I believe that the powerful energies created by spiritual practices ripple out and benefit many beings!

This morning I set only one keyword for the month of January: Loving-kindness… I intend to be more loving and kind with myself and with others, in my thoughts, words, and actions. (Soon I will share my keywords for the year!)

January is usually a highly creative and fun month for me, perhaps because I was born in January… But this year I am feeling a bit challenged because I will turn 50 years old on January 29th, and I am not where I wanted to be on my 50th birthday! Five years ago, when I imagined my next “milestone” birthday, I knew for sure that I wanted to be in Arizona on my 50th birthday… But now, due to unrelenting hardships, my dream of standing on the holy red rocks of Sedona will probably not come true… There must be a reason (or many reasons) why life is not unfolding easily for me now…

And thus, the daily battle with the darkness! I am ever grateful to the Force of All Light for the magical coffee beans that grow on this sacred Earth… and I bow humbly with deep gratitude for the daily spiritual practices that sustain me and beam me up!

Thank you for witnessing my experience on day one of 2020… Can you relate to anything I shared?

Let’s Happy Up Together in 2020! 🙂

With determination,
StarFire Teja

 

Coffee beans photo cropped by StarFire Teja.
Original photo by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay.

 

Letting Go of Trying to Be the Best

Dear readers, are you trying to be the best at something? If so, are you succeeding?

What motivates us humans to try to be the best at things?

In my life story, as a young stay-at-home mama, I wanted to be the best mom ever. Looking ahead, I had a vision for our two sons’ adolescent years, in which our house would be the hub where all their friends would want to hang out and eat all the great food I would prepare for them…

Well, that plan seriously did not work out, because my former husband and I divorced when the boys were 3 and 6, and as we began the two-house reality, I quickly discovered that my highly sensitive nervous system could not handle a lot of crazy kid energies in a small cottage. And then I changed to a plant-based diet, so our sons preferred the food at papa’s house. My goal of being the best mom crumbled as I struggled to just be a “good enough” mom.

Then, when our sons were in high school, I went to hypnotherapy school and I decided that I wanted to try to be the best hypnotherapist in the world so that my sons would be proud of how successful their mama was in her career…

Well, that plan seriously did not work out either, because the debilitating symptoms of Fibromyalgia kept me from being able to work as much as I would have needed to in order to succeed. And also I moved to a really big city and I could not handle the noise and traffic. My dream to be the best hypnotherapist fell apart, and I came home to live with my parents as a boomeranger, which isn’t exactly a status for the sons to be proud of!

Somewhere along that trajectory, I realized that my sons love me anyway, just for who I am, and so I don’t have to be the best anything for them.

But for myself… I still want to be somebody and to do something.

Can you relate to my story?

 

Photo of Mama Teja and her younger son Gabe, by the Ohio River in Newburgh, Indiana, during his visit last week! 🙂

 

September Slow Down

“You’re going to live to be a colorful old bird,” my beloved teacher David told me more than a decade ago. Those words resonated because I was born in a Chinese year of the rooster, and also because I love birds…

Thinking of myself as a colorful bird now, I can’t say that longevity feels like a blessing. While my wings are not broken, they are certainly not functioning properly. There is a huge gap between how I feel and how I would like to feel, and thus between what I can do and what I would like to do.

On March 10th I shared my future self visualization in the post “Your Future Self: A Visualization Practice.” I read that visualization out loud daily until just a few days ago when I realized that my “plans” and “goals” and “intentions” are not happening the way I imagined and desired, due to ongoing health issues.

As I shared in my post “Reaching for Orange to Calm Your Mind,” I was hoping for a diagnosis that would help me to better understand this body, so I went to see a new doctor. Well, I love my new doctor – she is really wonderful, and… she is referring me to a rheumatologist for the not-so-wonderful diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

That diagnosis was not a surprise, because I had it in the past, but then I did a hypnosis program on myself and I was basically symptom-free for almost 3.5 years… Or was I?

Dear reader, have you ever suddenly realized that the stories you have been telling yourself and others may not have been true? Perhaps you just wanted them to be true? Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling of realizing that you need to face reality more honestly? If you answered yes to these questions, then maybe you will relate to what I’m about to share…

Sometimes a crisis, health or otherwise, functions like a truth serum. I am suddenly faced with taking an honest look at areas in which I have been in denial, such as denying how much anxiety I have, and denying how much impaired concentration I experience daily.

In doing this reality check, I am also wondering if I am really 97-98% healed of the trauma I experienced (as I shared in my post “The Helper Who Helps the Helpers”), or do I just want to be at that level of healed?

And so now I am even questioning if I really was Fibromyalgia-Free for almost 3.5 years as I claimed, or did I just want to be free of it? (Thankfully I did not publish the book I wrote about how I had healed myself from it!) Certainly I still continued to experience many symptoms and sensitivities during that time.

Sometimes we project out what we want to be true, rather than what is actually true. Have you experienced that?

Yesterday I did my month’s end review of my journal and calendar, and reflected upon the keywords I had set for August: Humility, Patience, and Peace… Well! Be careful what you ask for! I am certainly humbled by feeling sick for three weeks and having all my plans fall apart. As for patience, well, it just seems irrelevant to me now! All the striving and worrying and setting goals required patience, but now that I have no idea what is ahead, I don’t really even need patience. What will be will be, at the right time. I have lost all sense of control, so there’s nothing to be patient about. As for peace, I am feeling the peace (in moments) that naturally comes with being humble… so I guess my August prayers were answered, but not in ways I would have wanted or guessed.

So, dear reader, I am facing the reality I am in, and surrendering to my fate… and to my stars… Thus, my September keywords have arisen from the fog of this fibro flare: Slow down, Calm down, Enjoy the small things, Smile, and Cultivate a Sense of Humor.

My main intention is for September to be a slow down month for the StarFire Teja Blog, and in general.

I’ll end this post with a sweet little quote from Mother Teresa: “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

Thank you for reading!

What are your keywords for September?

 

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Rooster photo by Robert Baker on Unsplash.

 

The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love

Dear readers, in this post I will share a bit about my journey as a mother and offer encouragement to parents of young children.

I gave birth to Zak in 1997 and Gabe in 2000, and I was an at-home mama for many years. I felt so grateful to be home with them, and, at the same time, it was the hardest job I ever had! Whoever wrote the campaign for the U.S. Peace Corps in 1961 must have been a parent. The slogan read, “The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love” and if you are a parent of young children, I’m sure you can identify with that, right?

Along the mothering path, there were many sweet joys as well as many stressful days. At the time, when I felt challenged to attend to the many needs of little people while trying to figure out a career path and take care of my own highly sensitive needs, I felt as though it would never end. I heard well-meaning older people say, “Enjoy every moment, they grow up so fast,” but while I was immersed in the stress of it all, it did not feel fast!

If you are a parent now of young children, I know it is hard work, and I know it can feel like time is slowing down, but that is simply your temporary perception of time, which might be a result of sleep deprivation! What I can tell you now is those older people were right. They do grow up so fast. All of a sudden, your grown children will be standing before you! So please, try to enjoy and savor every precious moment you have with your young children.

Now that my sons are young adults, I must say that I enjoy them more than ever before. In the Acknowledgements section of my new book (Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life), this is what I wrote about them:

“How can I even explain my gratitude for my two sons? These very aware young men are the bright spots in my life. They keep me going, keep me inspired, and keep me real. Thank you so much, Zak and Gabe, for the ways you really show up and spend quality time (long distance via video calls) being with me, and sharing yourselves with me. I am so proud of you both. I am honored and delighted that I get to be your mama bear. I love watching you grow into your amazing adult selves, and I bow to your wisdom, brilliance, and modern savvy-ness.”

On super crazy mothering days, when my little cubs were fighting with each other and I got a headache from the overwhelming stress, I would never have imagined how much I would miss them in the future when we would live thousands of miles apart. Now tears are welling in my eyes as I type this, because I miss my guys so much! I think this mama bear has a case of “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

I hope you enjoyed this post.

With much love,
Mama Teja

 

Photo* of mama bear and grown cubs taken by my niece Lily Rose at a family gathering in Ashland, Oregon, August 2018.

* If you are viewing this post in an email, to see the photo of my sons and me, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog!