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.

 

Defining Your Purpose

“Could this be one way of saying what our purpose on earth might be: To give my whole self, attention, good cheer, and desire to do what is right and good into the stream of life for the service of others? What purpose in life helps me to get up each morning and move into my day?”
~ Sister Jane McConnell, O.S.F., in her book Daily We Seek You: Reflections and Prayers for Individuals, Caregivers, and Ministry Teams

 

Dear readers,

How do you define your purpose? Has your sense of purpose changed throughout your life?

On August 10th in my post “The Helper Who Helps the Helpers” I shared that my current roles were blogger, author, and hospice volunteer. Well, shortly after writing that I had to take a leave of absence from the hospice volunteer work due to the Fibromyalgia flare-up, which is still going on. Dealing with chronic illness and not being able to work is seriously challenging my sense of purpose! So I am asking this question: “What is my aspiration and purpose, now and next?”

For now, I am still a blogger and author, but I need some income!* As a spiritual helper, I work for God and for the Forces of Goodness, and as Sister Jane wrote in the reflection above, I desire to “give my whole self, attention, good cheer, and desire to do what is right and good into the stream of life for the service of others.”

Given my physical limitations and ongoing challenges with accepting things as they are now, it is hard for me to get up in the mornings feeling good cheer, but I am determined to master this situation and to somehow be of service to others.

Do you wake up in good cheer? What purpose helps you get up each morning?

I hope you found this post helpful…

With much love,
Teja

 

* If you are able to make a contribution to my writing work, I will be so grateful. Here’s the link: Donate.

 

Photo by Melanie Kreutz on Unsplash.

 

Silence with a Peacock

“When the peacock has presented his back, the spectator will usually begin to walk around him to get a front view; but the peacock will continue to turn so that no front view is possible. The thing to do then is to stand still and wait until it pleases him to turn. When it suits him, the peacock will face you. Then you will see in a green-bronze arch around him a galaxy of gazing, haloed suns. This is the moment when most people are silent.”
~ Flannery O’Connor, in her story “The King of the Birds.”

 

Dear readers,

How do you feel when you look at this peacock? If you were standing face-to-face with him, would you remain silent?

With awe for this wondrous bird being,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by Siddhant Kumar on Unsplash.

Something to Ponder: Pomegranates

Dear readers,

Can you even believe that something as amazing as the pomegranate grows on this Earth?

Super high in antioxidants, pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits, offering us many health benefits!

Something to Ponder: Pomegranates!

 

Photo of pomegranates by Jonas Renner on Unsplash.

 

Something to Ponder: It’s Always Something

Have you noticed that on any given day or week, several things beyond the usual pop up for you to deal with?

Many years ago, when I lived in Ashland, Oregon, I was driving across town one day, and a bumper sticker on the car in front of me read, “It’s Always Something.” I said out loud, “Well isn’t that the truth!” Lately, for me and for many people I know, it seems that it’s not just one “something,” but rather it’s always several-somethings-at-once! Are you finding that to be true also?

Something to Ponder:
It’s Always Something

 

My new book is now available on Lulu!
Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life… you can read the many possible benefits in my post “23 Possible Benefits You May Gain Through Reading Reaching for Orange”

 

Photo* of Ohio River sunset taken by Teja in August, 2019. (Red effect created automatically by her Happy Tablet.)

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