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.

 

Going Deep With Images

How do you feel when you look at this owl? What do you see in this bird being?

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When I look at this owl, I feel intensity. I see depth in the rich orange eyes of this being. Sensations of strength and solidity arise, as I feel myself going deep inside to access the place in me that can match the power I feel in those eyes.

As I wrote in a previous post, “Happy-ing Up With Images,” I love to look for the perfect photos to go with my blog post ideas. Well today I was looking for a photo for a future post, but when my eyes locked with the eyes of this owl, I knew that I had to create a post just to go with this amazing image!

Do you ever find yourself going deep with images?

 

Owl photo by Chraecker on Pixabay.

 

Domestic Violence Awareness Prayers

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States, so I offer this post as my small part in raising awareness…

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 and on their website they say the following:

“Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence, domestic abuse, or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. It can happen to anyone at any point in a relationship. Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, cause fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish, or force them to behave in ways they do not want. This October… we are bringing awareness to domestic violence through the #1Thing campaign and celebrating DVAM.”

I pray that domestic violence will end, and I offer these prayers for those who are suffering in that abusive realm ~

~ For the victims of abuse who are living scared, may they have strength, and may they leave if it is safe to do so, and then may they be comforted in their grief and healing.

~ For the abusers who are causing so much harm, may they heal their own wounds, and may they become better people on the planet.

May October be a month of healing and peace for all human beings. This being human is very challenging, but together we can all rise above the wounds and create harmony for all beings.

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

 

Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash.

 

Riding a Grief Wave Successfully

In my post on Monday (“Writing a Book Strengthens Many Virtues”), I mentioned that while writing my next book (Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life), more than once I have witnessed myself applying a concept from the book in my life.

So this post is a story of how I rode a grief wave successfully by using some of the very tools I had already written about in the new book!

One evening last month I was suddenly overcome by a huge grief wave over something that happened in my past… I have experienced a lot of grief in my life, but this particular wave was incredibly painful, so much so that I was beginning to feel overwhelmed by the intensity… While I was crying really hard, as if by some Grace from Beyond, I spontaneously began speaking out loud to myself in a very soothing voice… Here is what I said:

“Remember that emotions are just energies… these are big energies, but they are just passing through you… soften, and give them space… allow them to flow through… remember that emotions rise and fall like ocean waves… they won’t take you out… relax into the pain… just let it go through you… you are stronger than the energies that are passing through you… you don’t need to be afraid of these energies… these energies will not overwhelm you if you just soften and allow them to move through… they will shift…”

After coaching myself like that for a while, I stopped crying, and the energies did shift… and I was okay… No, I was more than okay… I was triumphant!

I successfully rode that painful grief wave because I practiced what I preach, so to speak.

Perhaps you might like to print out those words that I spoke to myself, so the next time you feel grief, you can read them aloud to yourself. If you do so, please let me know how it goes…

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

 

Photo by Mathias Reding on Unsplash.

 

Writing a Book Strengthens Many Virtues

Throughout the process of working on my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, I have managed to keep the work in balance with the self-care. Daily spiritual practices have sustained me, and more than once I have witnessed myself applying a concept from the book in my life. (Watch for a future post on that!)

Admittedly, I am currently in a very comfortable living situation, and each week I am only working out in the world a few afternoons as a hospice volunteer… So, I have had the gift of time for keeping the balance with work and self-care. However, my status as a boomeranger at age 49 is not necessarily something to be proud of, and at times it has seriously challenged my sense of self-esteem. It has also given me plenty of opportunities to practice self-compassion, surrender, and humility.

Writing a book also brings opportunities for strengthening many virtues. Over the past few weeks I have faced a few delays to getting my new book published. Naturally those delays are teaching me patience, as well as strengthening my surrender, humility, and self-compassion.

And, a couple of weeks ago I sent an email letter to more than 100 friends and family, explaining that I need approximately $300 more to complete the first phase of launching my new book, and only three people have replied… And only one of them said she is sorry she cannot contribute. Well, needless to say, that experience has been a golden opportunity for strengthening my surrender, humility, self-compassion, and self-love.

The process of writing and publishing a book is a lot of hard work, on many levels. It takes a lot of inner strength. And, it strengthens many virtues!

Thank you for reading this post. If you would like to make a donation to my work, I would appreciate that so very much.
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May your mind be happy! 🙂