Maintaining a Balance

The Buddha refused the kingship in order to dive deeply into the nature of suffering. He did that because he felt driven to help others become free of suffering.

It all comes down to desires, expectations, and attachments causing suffering.

It sounds so simple in theory, but it is not in our human nature to just suddenly decide to let go of desires, expectations, and attachments.

So, what is the answer to this complex riddle called the human condition?

My answer is we have to do our best to maintain a balance between awareness of suffering (in ourselves, in others, and in the world), and creation of fun… We don’t have to go searching for suffering because it is all around us, so what we have to do is continually strive to happy up, to have fun, to get creative, and to do whatever it takes to feel inspired, juicy, and alive!

Are you having any fun lately? Do you feel sparked by the life force within you? Are you keeping a sense of humor in the midst of your challenges?

In 2020 (as per usual), I am feeling most inspired and juiced up by writing and reading… To that end, I’m going to take a few days off from blogging in order to re-read the books I published last year… If you also get inspired through reading, and you haven’t ordered my books yet, they are available on Lulu and Amazon!

(By the way, I make almost seven times as much on Lulu, as compared to Amazon, but I’m super grateful for all sales anywhere!)

Dear reader, thank you for reading this post!
I hope you have a great week… 🙂

May the Force of All Light be with you!

With happy high vibes,
StarFire Teja

 

Fun Buddha image by geralt (Gerd Altmann) on Pixabay.

 

Sunset Reflection on the Ohio River

Greetings, dear you, from my happy coffee fun writing time… So, did you finish reflecting on 2019? How is day two of 2020 going for you so far?

This is just a short little post because I wanted to share this photo with you:

Sunset_Reflection_OhioRiver_StarFireTeja

Recently Pixabay accepted a few more photos into my portfolio (StarFire Teja on Pixabay), but for some reason they did not accept this photo, which was my very favorite one! I love how you can see the sun through the tree and also the sun’s reflection through the tree!

How do you feel when you look at this photo?

 

 

Facing My Blogging Reality

Dear readers,

With just two days left in 2019, how are you feeling about the goals you were reaching towards this year? I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this to you, but one of my “stretch” goals for the year was to attract 19,000 blog followers. (At least I can’t hear you laughing now!) 🙂

Well, I didn’t exactly make that goal… But, I am truly grateful for the 133 people who are following the StarFire Teja Blog today… And yesterday’s post was my 250th post this year, so I celebrated that achievement by going back through and reading all of my posts… And I have to say, I feel quite pleased with my work…

And, in looking through my binder of blog post ideas, I came across the inspiration for today’s post: an article written by Christian Mihai on The Art of Blogging back in August, entitled “Why No One Reads Your Blog (and What to Do About It).” After reading that post, I decided that I needed to face my blogging reality…

… And the reality is, I am not putting in the amount of hours of work that it would take to have a successful blog. The main reason is the same reason that I have failed at numerous career attempts over the years, and that is the debilitating symptoms of Fibromyalgia slow me down and prevent me from being able to work at the levels of time and energy that I would otherwise be capable of…

… And, a secondary reason is the same secondary reason that I have failed at so many past endeavors, and that is I do not like marketing, promotion, and sales. Please see my previous post, “Realizing (Again) That I Am Not a Salesperson!” In that article I wrote that as I face the reality of this body’s limitations, I am finding that writing is what I can do… I work for the Forces of Goodness and I have good intentions to be helpful with blog posts, even if I don’t have the mojo to promote them widely and well!

In my post “Defining Your Purpose” I shared that chronic illness and not being able to work is seriously challenging my sense of purpose, but I am determined to master this situation and to somehow be of service to others. And, I am doing all that I can, so perhaps this blog will not ever get much bigger… unless by some miracles!

So, dear readers, I am shifting the focus of the StarFire Teja Blog to being a blog of service, without the “stretch” goal of expanding its reach… I will continue writing because it is fun and because it is helpful to a few people… In 2020 I won’t be trying for any specific goals, but rather I will just be writing with the intent to be helpful.

As a spiritual helper on a mission to help elevate the human species to healthier and happier vibrations, my promise to you is that every day I do practices to happy up my life, and I will continue to share helpful tools and insights to help you to also happy up your life.

Thank you for reading the StarFire Teja Blog!

Let’s Happy Up Together in 2020! 🙂

With gratitude and loving-goodness,
StarFire Teja

 

Reaching for Orange to Happy Up… And Centering in Brown to Calm Down…

Hello dear readers!

The rain is falling and I am cozy in my tree-house temple, making the best of a migraine morning. I lit a few candles and I’m sipping hot black coffee in my happy orange mug! Despite feeling sick, I am delighted to be here writing for you.

In my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, I write: “On the Hindu Yoga Path, Orange symbolizes the Fire of Renunciation, the Orange Fire that burns all the external desires, attachments, and expectations that cause suffering. Once those external causes burn, the internal happiness is experienced.”

Daily spiritual practices help to burn away those external causes of suffering… And spiritual practices do not have to be complicated or take a lot of your precious time. I have been doing daily practices for more than fifteen years, and I have found that being relaxed and flexible with the practices is what enables me to keep doing them.

Some of the practices I do daily to happy up are from the Hindu Yoga Path, but others come from other traditions. This Summer I embarked on a study of the mindfulness teachings of Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh (see my previous post, “Peace Is Every Step”), and those teachings are helping me tremendously in working more skillfully with my mind as I deal with the debilitating symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

At Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village monastery in France, the monks and nuns wear dark brown robes, and I find that color to be very soothing. Do you also feel calmed by the color brown?

(You can see their brown robes in this video: “Namo Avalokiteshvara Chant”)

Somewhere along the studies, it came to me that I am Reaching for Orange to Happy Up… And Centering in Brown to Calm Down!

In his book Peace Is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hahn suggests a simple breathing practice: “Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.”

Here are two more simple breathing practices that you might enjoy doing, especially in stressful or tense moments ~

~ With the in-breath, think “Happy Up” and with the out-breath, think “Calm Down”.

~ Breathing in, think “Calm” and breathing out, think “Down” and as you think “Down” imagine breathing down into your legs and feet… And then imagine your energy flowing down into the ground… Imagine breathing down into the sacred Earth… And feel your entire being calming down…

I hope you found this post helpful!

With boundless love,
Teja

Photo of orange leaves on brown ground by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

 

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.