Beyond Memes

Original creative content catches my eye. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good meme… But have you noticed that the memes sometimes take over on social media?

When I’m scrolling my Facebook feed, for example, I love to see photos of flowers, animals, families, and places in nature. Bright colorful images inspire me and make me feel happy.

I used to feel more enchanted by all the memes, but lately not so much. It seems like the memes just say the same things over and over, and I would rather read what my friends are thinking themselves, rather than quotes from the “Power of Positivity” page. Can you relate to this?

I do appreciate some of the more creative memes, especially the humorous ones… One of my favorite memes ever had this quote by Bob Ross (American painter, 1942-1995, who had a TV show called The Joy of Painting): “Ever make mistakes in life? Let’s make them birds. Yeah, they’re birds now.”

When I was googling to make sure I had that quote right, I found this other really great quote by him: “We want happy paintings. Happy paintings. If you want sad things, watch the news.”

That quote really resonated with me, because I think it is so important for all of us to continually work on happy-ing up! There is so much sadness in this world, and watching the news can really drag you down. If you feel that you must watch the news, consider viewing it weekly rather than daily, and if you feel anxious or negative afterwards, do some spiritual practices or visualizations to happy up and raise your vibration.

Anyhow, back to the topic of memes… I rarely share memes on Facebook, because I prefer to see original, creative content, and so that is what I offer myself… But I do appreciate a good meme, and I just discovered that The Hummingbird’s Journal has a page on Instagram, and Andrea is creating memes that are beyond the usual memes. She is pairing quotes from her own blog posts with beautiful images, resulting in high caliber, high vibration memes! Bravo, Andrea! 🙂

What do you think about memes? Do you enjoy them? Do you get tired of them? Do you long to see more original creative content on social media?

 

Photo* of flowers on desk taken by Teja! 🙂

* If you are viewing this post in an email, click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog where you can see the flowers!

 

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The Bird who watches the bird eating the fruits

“Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes. The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, he grieves no more.” ~ The Upanishads: Breath of Eternal Life, translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester.

The ancient sages and mystics of India said the same thing that Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within.” One way to connect with the Divine inside you is to practice cultivating the Witness.

Cultivating the Witness Consciousness means attuning with the Bird who is watching the bird eating the fruits, which is to say aligning with your deepest self and observing all of your thoughts, words, feelings, and actions. Creating and nurturing this connection, between your deeper witnessing mind and your surface acting mind, can help you to feel more peaceful, loving, and kind towards yourself. The Bird who is watching the bird is like a compassionate friend who is always with you, showing you the truth of how things are with neutrality and wisdom.

Cultivating the Witness is a practice you can do anytime, anywhere by just simply stating the observable facts to yourself. For example, if you are waiting in line at the grocery store, you can witness your thoughts and feelings, and then think to yourself, “Some impatience and irritability are passing through me.” Once you witness what’s happening, then you can work with it skillfully by deciding to focus on gratitude, or to say a prayer, or to send blessings for goodness to all of the other people waiting in line. In this way, your deeper observer self can help your cranky surface self to transmute the frustration into loving kindness. So, cultivating the Witness is a great tool for working with difficult emotions.

In the tree of your life, can you see the Bird who is watching the bird eating the fruits? Do you take time to nourish a loving connection between these two birds?

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Photo of birds and blossoms by Zane Lee on Unsplash.

 

StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Be At Peace With What Is

 

May you have patience with the pace in which you are heading towards your goals.

May you appreciate each small step you take.

May your weekend be blessed with acceptance of what you cannot control.

May you be at peace with What Is.

 

Thank you to everyone who is following the StarFire Teja Blog…
Now up to 100 blog followers! 🙂

I hope you enjoy these posts… and if you haven’t already done so, please check out my new book, now available on Lulu… Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life.

“23 Possible Benefits You May Gain Through Reading Reaching for Orange”

 

Sunset photo at the Ohio River taken by Teja (I can’t stop taking photos of sunsets!!!)

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!

 

Charming Gardeners Who Make Our Souls Blossom

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
~ Marcel Proust

Some people say that no one else can “make” us happy, because true, sustained happiness comes from within. While I understand that is true at the deepest level, most of us are not living our lives at the deepest level all the time, and so we do find some of our happiness with other people.

Other people cannot make us happy all the time, so it is important to have a good balance between relationships with others and with our own selves. If you need to take a deeper dive into nourishing your connection with your happy place inside your own being, now is the time for you to order my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life.

Expressing gratitude is a wonderful way to nurture your relationships with others. Who are the charming gardeners in your life? Are you grateful for the happiness they bring you? Do you thank them for helping your soul blossom?

 

Photo is of the happy zinnias my sweet Momma brought me a few days ago! 🙂 ~ My top “charming gardeners” are my Mom and Dad, and my sons, Zak and Gabe!!