A Smile is So Precious

Now when I go out on my walks in the hood, each time someone smiles at me, I feel so grateful and inwardly I thank them and send them love as the tears well up in my eyes and I think, “My Dad just died and that smile means so much to me.”

When we pass strangers on the street, we don’t know what they are going through, but we can always give them the gift of our smiles.

A smile is so precious. 🙂

 

The photo is of me smiling through the grief, as my family lit a candle to sing “Happy Birthday” to me on my 50th birthday, while we had a short time at home in between burying my Dad and going to the evening family dinner… My smile in this photo feels really precious to me, given the surreal circumstances of that birthday.

 

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.

 

StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Understand the Many Elements that Sustain Your Sacred Life

 

May you surrender to the Earth, like Autumn flowers.

May you know when to let go of things, like Autumn leaves.

May your weekend be blessed with gratitude for simple comforts like hot showers, wholesome food, and clean drinking water.

May you understand the many elements that sustain your sacred life.

 

Photo of Autumn flowers surrendering to the Earth taken by StarFire Teja, November 2019.

 

StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Embody Gentleness

 

May you feel the warmth of the divine sparks within you.

May you cultivate gratefulness for the small joys of your life.

May your weekend be blessed with kindness.

May you embody gentleness.

 

Colorful Autumn photo by MabelAmber on Pixabay.

 

Gratitude That Life Is Not Hard Now

Last night I was writing in my journal, and I spontaneously wrote a gratitude list which included good food, shelter, hot showers, good drinking water, good coffee, a nice room, good people, doing what I love, and following my passions.

Next I wrote, “I’m feeling wealthy, satisfied, and content. Despite all my body’s aches and pains, I am in a comfortable living situation, I am taken care of, I can write and serve others and go for walks in the nice neighborhood. Even though life has felt hard for a long time, it is not hard now. Through the generosity of others, God is providing.”

In April I added a Gratitude~Up community page to this website. Recently a few close friends shared that they do not feel comfortable sharing their gratitude lists publicly. I respect their need for privacy, and I understand if you feel the same way. However, if you would like to have your gratitude list witnessed by others, please feel free to add yours to the Gratitude~Up page.

Are you feeling grateful today?

I hope that your life is not feeling hard now, but if it is, then I send you healing energies and strength to help you cope until your life shifts into a more comfortable phase.

I hope this post was helpful to you in some way.

Thank you for reading the StarFire Teja Blog!

 

Orange flower photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash.