Thursday, March 26, 2009

May the long time sun shine upon you.....

May the long time sun
Shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on.

Click on the title for a Video of this song.....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Cleaning, Part II

Another way I am spring cleaning is clearing verbal clutter. That has two parts: the first is trying to clean up my language. Not that I have a gutter mouth, exactly, but I do let a four letter word pop out now and then! I mainly am thinking of the effect on my children with this one. I hope they don't get the idea that it's okay to use vulgar language. So far, they mostly haven't. This spring, I am working to come up with alternatives to the F and S words, especially when I am feeling aggravated. That's when they generally appear! So there may be a deeper issue there. Definitely there is, how about that.
Which leads me to the second part: negative self-talk! Negative self-talk is perhaps the single most insidious eroder of my positive energy. What I say to myself in any given moment has a powerful effect on my experience of the world. It is also an important predictor of my future experiences as well. So, I have to become more aware when I am using negative self-talk. Then stop it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Just an update:
I am in the midst of spring cleaning, both of my house and of my self! The house is getting de-cluttered, first of all. It is amazing how much stuff we can accumulate...we have lived here less than two years, and it already needs purging! Then there is some serious, deep cleaning to do. Enough said about that. Finally, there is a long list of home projects, some of which will be farmed out to the experts, like chimney cleaning and the like. But there are still the phone calls and arrangements to be made for those.
I am also spring cleaning my self! I'll be getting to work on shedding those winter layers; read: excess weight! Yep, it's happened again. I am a bit of a yoyo when it comes to my weight. This time, I am going to work harder at getting and staying active. Last time I really didn't incorporate an exercise regimen. This time I am.
I had my first yoga class today. It is kundalini yoga, which gives special attention to the spine and endocrine system. I have a real good feeling about this. I will also be walking more, and want to mix in some weight-bearing exercises too. I have ordered new eyeglasses, the first new pair in three years!
Finally, I am continuing the ongoing "Meredith" project - a lifelong process, to be sure. Each phase of growth is exciting. It's nice to know that we do not stop learning as we age (hopefully). I expect to be a finished product when I am ready to make my exit from this realm, and not a minute earlier.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And the winner is...

Disclaimer: these are just some thoughts I have been having on this topic. It's not meant to be my final draft.....

I have concluded that morality is relative. Morality can be absolute in some ways; the Golden Rule springs to mind. However, to take an example, one of the Ten Commandments in the Bible is "Thou shalt not kill." I suppose many of us take this on faith, that it is wrong to kill. Yet we eat dead animals that have been killed on our behalf. Yet we squish a spider or an ant or a fruit fly without a second thought. The Bible doesn't say "Thou shalt not kill, except when it's okay to kill." So, if morality were absolute, we all would live as vegans with many mosquito bites. We who do not live as vegans with many mosquito bites, who wear leather shoes and sit on wooden chairs, are not behaving immorally. We are living by the standards of our societies. Some may believe we are wrong, yet we do not believe we are wrong. I guess it comes down to whether morality is subjective or objective.
There's more to say, but I have to go to the eye doctor now!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Laughter and kindness

Is morality relative or absolute?
The reason I am asking this is that I have been wondering when, if ever, it is okay to laugh at others. I had been offered a link to a video showing clips of "crazy women drivers" crashing into things and having a hard time parking, etc. Personally, I did not find the video funny, regardless of the gender of the drivers in the clips.
Leaving aside the gender issue, the video is meant for us to laugh at others. I was left wondering why some of us find the mistakes and shortcomings of others amusing. Is it that we feel more human when we are shown examples of our foibles? Are we enjoying the feeling of superiority that we ourselves would never do these things? Or do we relate on a personal level - "Oh, I can't parallel park either - hahaha!!"
I don't want to fall into the trap of judging those who might laugh at this video - everyone comes to the table with their own experience, beliefs and values - and that colors their perception, and informs their amusement (or lack thereof!). Humor is subjective, of course. I think what struck me about the video, and the comments (overwhelmingly expressing approval), is that most people don't see anything wrong with laughing at other people. I admit, it strikes me as unkind! There, I've said it! I think there is not enough kindness in the world today. Simple, everyday kindness. And anything that perpetuates this lack of kindness must be scrutinized for its necessity. Do we need this video, and do we need to praise it?
I say no. I say what we need is more kindness. Granted, we need more laughter. But I hold that the laughter should not be at the expense of kindness.
I continue to ponder the original question, as I go about my day. I will report back later.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy for No Reason

The best part about being happy for no reason is that no one and nothing can take that away from you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lunchtime with Larry

Last night I had a long, complex dream involving numerous scenery and wardrobe changes. The one event I recall vividly is this: I was in a school cafeteria, and in the far corner was a table of administrators and teachers. The people I sat with were noticing that Larry David, the writer and actor, was sitting at that table. Someone at my table asked, "Why is Larry David having lunch?" and I replied, "Probably because he's hungry!"
When I awoke, of course I thought this was pretty funny. Then I thought about it a little more, in light of the fact that dreams are usually highly symbolic. I wondered what this little snippet could mean. I decided that what happened was that a very simple question was asked, one which had a very simple answer, no doubt. In any case, the true answer as to why Larry David was present was not readily apparent to me, in the dream anyway. Perhaps he knew one of the teachers. Perhaps it wasn't really Larry David, only a look-alike.
What really struck me was my own answer. It seemed perfectly obvious to me that the reason someone is eating is that they are hungry. The fact that they are famous, and the fact that it is completely unexpected that they would be eating lunch in a school cafeteria for no apparent reason, is completely irrelevant.
Finally, I attempted to extrapolate a lesson from this dream. After all, what are dreams for if not to provide enlightenment? This is what I came up with:
Our lives consist of a series of questions asked and answered. We are always engaged in an internal dialogue with our selves. What will happen tomorrow? Why did I do that today? Where did I leave my keys?....the questions are many and varied. We may not even be aware of how many questions we are answering every moment of our lives. The majority of the questions are quite mundane. Once in a while, a "big" question comes along. Where should I move next? Is this the right person for me? What do I want to be when I grow up?
Becoming mindful of the way in which we answer the day to day questions that occur in our self-dialogue (is that a misnomer?) can help us immeasurably when the larger questions arise. Are we honest with ourselves? Do we try to seek quick comfort, or are we willing to forestall pleasure for our own greater good? Do we treat ourselves with compassion and good humor, or do we belittle ourselves and deride our own foibles?
Our survival toolkit must include the ability to answer our questions truthfully, respectfully, and lovingly. We practice on the small, daily questions, and we strengthen our ability. When the big questions come along, then we are ready.
I guess you could say that lunchtime with Larry was productive.