Monday Morning Musings on Strength

 

“… the strength of his devotion and fortitude, like some sturdy bull, drove him forward.”

~ Tulasidasa describing Rama’s brother, Bharata, in his Ramayana, Shri Ramacharitamanasa, edited and translated by R.C. Prasad.

 

Dear readers,

Welcome to yet another bizarro week on planet Earth! This morning I’m thinking about Strength. The quote above inspires me to cultivate Fortitude.

Fortitude.

That is a great word for our current times! Just hearing the word makes me think of iron bars, charging bulls, and this cup of strong black coffee beside me.

As I sip (and thoroughly enjoy), this cuppa, I am using mental powers, somewhere between fortitude and mojo, to ignore the morning aches of Fibromyalgia and focus on writing this post for you. I am imagining that many of you are also forging through some pains, whether they be physical, mental, or emotional, in order to do some work this day. Are you finding surprising new levels of inner strength inside yourself?

Here’s another musing on strength… A few nights ago I showed my Mom a post by Lowe’s, in which they stressed only one person per trolley in their stores, and my Mom started reading the comments below the post… Well, this one guy was very angry in expressing his complaints, and a fellow shopper replied to him sternly, saying “Buck up, buttercup” to which he softened and admitted that he was having a really hard time with lots of woes, including losing his job…

It is easy to get angry and complain… It is a lot harder to be vulnerable and admit that you’re afraid you won’t be able to feed your family. It takes a lot of inner strength to be honest like that.

My final musing for this post is about how going out walking in the hood feels like a war zone now… It feels like I’m watching out for snipers (human beings) who might be carrying protein molecules (viruses) in their pockets… or worse, in their nostrils! Just going for a simple walk to see the flowering trees and hear the singing birds takes a lot of inner strength these days. You gotta be watching all the time to make sure you don’t come within six feet of one of those human creatures!

Thanks for visiting the StarFire Temple of Happiness. I hope you enjoyed this post!

May you stay strong, with fortitude of mind!

With happy coffee vibes,
StarFire Teja

 

Bull photo by sumanley on Pixabay.

 

April 2020 Keywords

Dear readers,

The month of March was so strange. Reviewing my calendar and journal was very interesting because I recognized that even in the midst of all this bizarre-ness, there is also a lot of goodness. Is that your experience also?

In considering some keywords for April, I decided to also continue with the previous three months’ keywords. I thought, “Let’s stack ‘em!”

January was Loving-kindness; February was Healing and Love; and March was Hold Onto Mantra and Take Delight in small joys.

For April I am feeling the need to call in some mojo. How about you?

Here are my April keywords ~

~ Strength ~ Stay strong, and get even stronger!

~ Courage ~ Be of good courage, optimism, and cheer! Be brave!

~ Power ~ Restoring my power after a long journey of recovery… recovering myself.

Strong, brave, powerful Teja!

And how about you? What are your keywords for April?

I hope you enjoyed this little post. Please stay calm, healthy, and safe.

With optimism and growing bravery,
StarFire Teja

 

Photo by Captureson Photography on Unsplash.

 

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?

owl-50267_1920

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.