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.

 

Three Hours Left

Dear readers, the intention of this post is not to induce fear, but rather to impart feelings of awe, appreciation, positivity, connectivity, and rootedness in the priorities dwelling in the ground of your being.

Imagine that we humans discovered that in three hours time, some natural force was going to cause planet Earth to explode and entirely disintegrate.

What were your first thoughts when you read that?

When I imagine that there are only three hours left, my first thoughts go towards trying to grok what would happen to everything and everyone… Where would all of our souls go? What would happen to all the memories and experiences and energies?

All of the stories would just be done. All of the histories, cultures, art, music, inventions, and creations would be gone. It is mind-blowing to even consider the ramifications of such an explosion. All of the mountains, oceans, rivers, deserts, canyons, forests, flowers, birds, butterflies, cows, and bears would be gone. And what would happen next?

After considering all of that, my next thoughts go towards deciding how to spend the last three hours. I decided I would spend the first hour calling loved ones and saying good-byes, and the last two hours praying and chanting (singing sacred mantras). My intention would be to die consciously while feeling connected to the Divine Source. To me, that would be the ultimate Surrender to God. I am not sure what happens to us after we die, but I know that when I am singing spiritual songs, I feel connected with Something Greater, and I feel calmed by that Force from beyond this realm. So, I feel that chanting at the time of death would be a way to die peacefully.

I began chanting as a daily spiritual practice more than fifteen years ago. I usually sing along with CDs by my favorite chant artist, Krishna Das. One day in 2008, I was evaluating my priorities in life, and I suddenly found myself saying out loud, “I want to live inside the chant.” Well, at that time my sons were 8 and 11, and I was busy with many worldly responsibilities, so it was not possible to live inside the chant all the time!

Now I’m in a new nun phase, but still there are many things to do each day beyond chanting. So when I think about my priorities if there were three hours left, versus what is happening in my life now, it makes me wonder if I could somehow commit to chanting more each day… But, then I also think that if you knew you were about to die, and you wanted to die a peaceful, conscious death, then of course you would drop everything and just focus on that. Whereas, if you are still in the midst of full-on living, you can’t just drop everything and do your top passion all the time.

What do you think about all that? What would you do if there were only three hours left, and how would those priorities line up with how you live your daily life now?

I hope this post inspires you to feel awe and appreciation for this sacred planet Earth, as well as rootedness in the priorities dwelling in the ground of your being.

May you feel positively connected to everyone and everything!

 

 

image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

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!!!)

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!!