Monday Morning Musings on Transformation

In my recent post “Transformation Is Always Possible” I shared the following passage from Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm:

“Sorrow, fear, and depression are like a kind of garbage. But these bits of garbage are part of real life, and we must look deeply into their nature. We can practice so as to turn these bits of garbage into flowers. We should not throw anything out. All we have to do is learn the art of composting, of transforming our garbage into flowers. In the practice of Buddhism, we see that all mental formations — including compassion, love, fear, sorrow, and despair — are organic in nature. We don’t need to be afraid of any of them, because transformation is always possible. With just a smile and mindful breathing, we can start to transform them.”

Well, my first musing this morning is about my review of November in my journal and calendar… Even though in the midst of my challenges I feel as though I am failing miserably, when I read through my journal I could see how much progress I am actually making, in working more skillfully with reactions, and in transforming negative thinking into positive thinking. And, I could see my strength, perseverance, grit, and mettle.

When I finished the review, I wrote, “I am feeling the flowers growing up out of the garbage! Even though it was still hard, November had so much goodness and it was much better than the previous three months!”

Dear reader, how was the month of November for you? Do you regularly take notes in a journal or calendar? Do you take time to reflect on your intentions, and celebrate your successes along the way?

My next musing is about how Gratitude is a potent tool for transformation… I really stepped up my gratitude practices in November, and I could really feel the results in a very tangible way. With each hardship that appeared, I consciously practiced feeling grateful for all the blessings in my life, and I came to the realization that for me, all roads lead to Gratitude!

As December begins, I intend to continue practicing the art of transformation… So my last musing for today is about my keywords for this new month. I pray that my “garbage” can be transformed into the flowers of Happiness, Holiness, Peace, and Joy! ~

~ Happiness ~ One of my current affirmations is “I am choosing to be happy, even when I feel tired or sick.”

~ Holiness ~ In this winter holiday season, I intend to look even more deeply into everything, so as to see the hidden holiness and to feel the absolute sacredness of life.

~ Peace ~ Imagining a very quiet place in nature, covered with pure white snow, I intend to generate the energy of Peace in myself and to send that energy of Peace out into the Universe.

~ Joy! ~ In his book Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm, Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh draws this slight distinction between happiness and joy: “In the joy there’s still a little bit of excitement. Happiness is a more peaceful feeling, like contentment.” ~ So, in addition to choosing to be happy, I am also choosing to be joyful!

Beloved readers… May your December be Happy and Joyful!

Do you have any keywords for December?

With hope, positivity, and joy,
Sister Teja

 

Dahlia photo by S. Hermann & F. Richter on Pixabay.

 

Compassion for Cows… And for All Living Beings

Dear readers,

Please meet my new love… a cow named Star! The beautiful cows in this photo are residents at Uplands PEAK Sanctuary (People, Earth, and Animals in Kinship), which is located in Freedom, Indiana. How appropriate, that the animal residents are allowed to live in freedom in a town named Freedom! The brown and white cow sitting down in the front of the photo is named Freeda, and the brown cow standing in the back is named Star. When I first saw photos of Star, on PEAK’s Facebook Page, I fell in love instantly! 🙂

Star_Freeda_UplandsPEAKSanctuary_StarFireTeja

Photo credit to Star, Freeda, and PEAK.

I highly recommend following PEAK on Instagram. It is so heartwarming to see regular photos and videos of the lucky residents of this sanctuary! This month they have been highlighting stories about their turkey named Lily, who was fortunate enough to “accidentally” fall off of the truck on the way to the slaughterhouse, and now she has such a great life on their farm!

To read a very touching article about the nature of turkeys, please check out this post by Free from Harm, “Moving Beyond the False Stereotypes of Turkeys” which begins with the following: “To understand the complex suffering of turkeys raised for “food,” it helps to know that in nature, young turkey siblings stay close to their mother for four or five months after they are born. She is the center of their universe. Although turkeys raised commercially never see their mothers, the expectation of her is alive in their genes. In nature…” (And speaking of choosing to not eat dead turkey meat, you might also like to read my previous post, “Peacefully Sourced Holiday Meals.”)

The Free from Harm website also has a post entitled “Former Meat and Dairy Farmers Redefining Humane Farming as Vegan” in which they say “So many meat and dairy farmers are going vegan, we had to start a new website for their stories.” (Check it out here: Stories.) And, they have a great post explaining how “humanely” raised milk and dairy products are not actually humane: “What about Humanely Raised Milk and Dairy Products?

The thing is, friends, the cows are suffering tremendously, and it is my deepest prayer that more and more humans will awaken to the reality that the cows (and other animals, fish, birds, and bees) are being tortured. Once that awakening happens, I pray that the human species will, one by one, choose to eat a compassionate plant-based diet.

Thank you, PEAK, and thank you, Free from Harm, for the great work you are doing to help all the creatures be allowed to live in Freedom and Happiness!

May All Beings Be Free From Harm.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo credit to Star, Freeda, and PEAK.

 

StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Feel Peace and Harmony in Your Life

 

May you feel connected to the sources of the foods you eat.

May you feel compassion for all the creatures of the land, sea, and air.

May your weekend be blessed with tender moments of heart-softening love.

May you feel peace and harmony in your life.

 

Dear readers,

If you haven’t already, please read my recent post “Peacefully Sourced Holiday Meals” and consider sharing it with others. The animals, fish, and birds thank you!!!

With compassion for all beings,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo of turkeys by Perkons on Pixabay.

 

Monday Morning Musings from a Living Starbird

Dear readers,

Greetings from the bird’s nest in my tree-house temple, where the black coffee is hot and the morning light is golden…

My first musing is about the fun I have with words. I selected “StarFire” as my blog name because it represents some of my favorite elements, such as the stars, the sun, fire, and source energies. Since choosing that name, I have noticed that I also love other words that begin with “star” like starflower and starfish… And recently I came across the word “starbird” and fell instantly in love with it! Can you relate to being so amused by words?

According to the Urban Dictionary’s top definition, a Starbird is “A guardian of love and hope that takes the form of a bird at sunrise and a star at dusk. It shines on all who believe in the spirit of those that passed before us who are watching over us.” Some examples given:

“I feel the warmth of my Starbird watching over me.”

“It’s like my Starbird is right on my shoulders.”

“I lost my Uncle, but I gained a Starbird.”

Isn’t that so wonderful? Have you heard of a Starbird before this moment? I love that meaning, and for my own word-playing purposes, I’ve altered it so that I can be a living Starbird, one who shines love and hope on all beings. As a spiritual helper I do feel that that is part of my role.

This Starbird’s mission is to help elevate humanity to healthier and happier vibrations, and in order to do that I need to generate the energies of love and hope, and to shine the visionary light out into all directions and dimensions! So, as you are reading these words, I pray you feel elevated and inspired…

My second musing is about my review of October. As I sat reading through my journal and calendar for the past month, I felt so happy to be done with that month! October was my third month of feeling rather sick, and at this point I am not sure if I am stuck in a Fibromyaliga flare-up, or if this is my new normal… Either way, I am seriously ready to have some good days again! I wrapped up last month with this affirmation: “I am learning how to manage things better.” Can you relate?

My final musing for today is about the keywords that I have selected as my guiding lights for November. After reviewing October, I sat down in meditation, and the following four intentions arose ~

~ Acceptance ~ As I wrote in a previous post (“StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Accept Things As They Are”), I am working on “Accepting Things As They Are = ATATA!” ~ Well, it is very hard to accept chronic illness, but I know that acceptance brings peace and happiness, so I am continually reminding myself of this intention. Sometimes I say out loud, “Atata, Atata, Atata! I am accepting things as they are!”

~ Gratitude ~ Cultivating the gratitude vibration generates the energy of Love!

~ Ease ~ I am feeling a tad wearied, after 10.5 years of hardships, so now I am really calling in some easeships!

~ Magic ~ I am really needing to experience some magic in my life again…

Can you relate to these keywords? Are you accepting your life circumstances? Do you feel grateful each day? When was the last time you experienced the feeling of ease? Are you experiencing magic in your life now?

What are your keywords for November?

I hope you enjoyed this post…

May your week be blessed with bright shining light!

With much love,
Your Starbird

 

Amazing crow photo by MabelAmber on Pixabay.

 

Peacefully Sourced Holiday Meals

While the two human sides argue about whether or not eating dead animals is good for human health, the animals continue to suffer tremendously.

While the two human sides throw scientific health studies at each other, science has already proven that the animals have feelings — that animals, fish, and birds have complex emotional lives just like humans, cats, and dogs.

May the two human sides drop their health arguments and look deeply into the reality of the creatures of the land, sea, and air, in order to see that the cows, pigs, lambs, fish, chickens, and turkeys are living, breathing beings who are suffering immensely.

It is wrong to kill innocent living beings. The meat of killed animals, fish, and birds is filled with the violence of killing, and it is filled with the fear, terror, and grief felt by the animals, fish, and birds as they were killed. When consumed, those negative vibrations (in the cooked meat) enter the human body and psyche.

Consider the difference between eating a carrot and eating a piece of dead turkey meat.

When eating a carrot and contemplating the source of the carrot, the energy of peace arises because the carrot was pulled out of the soil of the sacred Earth… And the carrot does not have a central nervous system, so there is no fear, no terror, no screaming, and no blood.

The same cannot be said for contemplating the source of the dead turkey meat… The turkey has a central nervous system and feels fear and terror. The turkey has a family and a complex emotional life, just like a human or cat or dog. So the energy of peace does not arise when contemplating the source of the dead turkey meat.

As we enter the holiday season, may many human beings awaken to the reality of the suffering animals, fish, and birds, and with compassionate hearts and minds, commit to creating peacefully sourced holiday meals. There are many plant-based holiday recipes available online, and a plant-based holiday meal will generate the energy of peace in all who consume it!

Forks Over Knives is a wonderful resource for shifting to a plant-based diet. Here are a few links to some of their Thanksgiving holiday recipes~

~ “A Plant-Based Thanksgiving Menu To Be Thankful For

~ “Party-Ready, Plant-Based Thanksgiving Menu

~ “Thanksgiving 2018: The Ultimate Make-Ahead Feast

~ “2017 Recipe Special: A Forks Thanksgiving

May more and more human beings make food choices that protect and respect the lives of the animals, fish, and birds. May all creatures be allowed to live in freedom and happiness.

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

 

Photo of beautiful living wild turkeys by Skeeze on Pixabay.