Writing a Book Strengthens Many Virtues

Throughout the process of working on my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, I have managed to keep the work in balance with the self-care. Daily spiritual practices have sustained me, and more than once I have witnessed myself applying a concept from the book in my life. (Watch for a future post on that!)

Admittedly, I am currently in a very comfortable living situation, and each week I am only working out in the world a few afternoons as a hospice volunteer… So, I have had the gift of time for keeping the balance with work and self-care. However, my status as a boomeranger at age 49 is not necessarily something to be proud of, and at times it has seriously challenged my sense of self-esteem. It has also given me plenty of opportunities to practice self-compassion, surrender, and humility.

Writing a book also brings opportunities for strengthening many virtues. Over the past few weeks I have faced a few delays to getting my new book published. Naturally those delays are teaching me patience, as well as strengthening my surrender, humility, and self-compassion.

And, a couple of weeks ago I sent an email letter to more than 100 friends and family, explaining that I need approximately $300 more to complete the first phase of launching my new book, and only three people have replied… And only one of them said she is sorry she cannot contribute. Well, needless to say, that experience has been a golden opportunity for strengthening my surrender, humility, self-compassion, and self-love.

The process of writing and publishing a book is a lot of hard work, on many levels. It takes a lot of inner strength. And, it strengthens many virtues!

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May your mind be happy! 🙂

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Some Changes Take A Long Time

Do you write in a journal? If so, do you ever go back and review some of your old journals?

I have been keeping journals for more than for forty years! When I began writing in my first “diary” I was about eight years old. I still have all of my diaries and journals (in many boxes), with a vision to read them again when I’m in my nineties!

One time, during my late thirties, I was feeling very frustrated with myself because I felt like I wasn’t growing and changing as quickly as I thought I should be. So, I pulled out a stack of old journals, and read through them, and while it was painful to see how I had written about the same issues and problems over and over again (for decades, ad nauseam), it was also very encouraging to see all the many ways that I really had changed for the better. It was a good lesson for me in understanding that some changes take a long time. Patience is a virtue, indeed!

Sometimes, when we are caught up in our daily activities, we can’t see the progress we are actually making on the timeline of our lives. This is why it can be so helpful to regularly review and reflect. To that end, I now have a practice in which I review my journal and calendar at the end of each month and then I set keywords for the next month to help me focus my energies. You might also benefit from doing these practices.

The photo* with this blog post is of my recent journal covers. I used to buy expensive journals, but then I discovered the fun of making my own collages on the covers of plain sketchbooks. The journal I’m about to finish is the one with the frog, and I’m sure going to miss that cover! The one on the far right is the one that I just decorated today. I found both the sketchbook and the glittery green paper at the Dollar Tree!

Recently I enjoyed a blog post by my blogger friend Andrea, of The Hummingbird’s Journal, “How I Pick the Perfect Writing Journal” in which she shared that she prefers dot ruled paper in her journals. I have never used dot paper, but the idea is intriguing to me, so I might try that in a future journal.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share your thoughts on journaling down below where it says “Leave A Reply.”

 

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

 

Tree Meditation for Driving Madness

Crazy driving is not just for California anymore. Have you noticed an increase in aggressive driving where you live?

I am astounded by all of the speeding, running of red lights, and angry behaviors that I notice in other drivers. I have never understood getting so angry at a stranger who paused when the red light turned green. Perhaps she was distracted by something, or maybe her husband just died.

As I shared in my last post, “3 Ways to Transmute Anger into its Highest Vibrations,” anger can be detrimental to your health… So, if you drive often and you regularly get angry while driving, you are putting yourself at risk for many stress-related diseases. Starting now, commit to decreasing the anger that you feel when driving.

When you are driving, if you begin to feel angry, first cultivate the witness. Say to yourself, “some anger is passing through my system.” That will help you to bring some distance between yourself and the angry energy.

Next, visualize a tree. Choose a tree that is rather large and has a firm, sturdy trunk. See that tree in your mind’s eye, and think about how calm and strong that tree is… Also contemplate how patient and forgiving the tree is… Even if you cut down part of that tree, the rest of the tree will still give you shade… And no matter how badly you behave, that tree will still let you walk under it or sit against its trunk.

As you continue driving along, be strong and calm like your tree. Be patient and forgiving with the other drivers. When they make mistakes, think to yourself, “I wonder what kind of day he’s having? I wonder if he’s upset about something?” Cultivate these kind of compassionate thoughts as you drive.

There is rarely (if ever) a reason to get so angry driving that you raise your cortisol and put your health at risk. So… slow down, breathe, and do your tree meditation!

I hope this article was helpful to you or to someone you love.

May All Drivers Be Calm!
May All Drivers Be Healthy!