Thursday, March 24, 2011

Love for Japan

How does an individual process massive loss, such as that which is happening in Japan right now?  I am so removed from that area, but I am continually brushed by the presence of the Japanese people.  I am a huge fan of the Naruto manga and animated series.  My friend's brother has been doing an internship there for years.  She spent many months farming there a few years back.  I have studied the marital arts and Kosho Shorei a little bit, whose heritage is partially Japanese.  I tattooed a young man who lost his cousin in the tsunami this past week.  Japan is far away, but constantly in my presence.  It is part of the world, and part of me.  I am terribly sad about the pain and hardship being experienced there.  It is larger than I can process for the most part.

My hope is that each individual will hold hope in their hearts for the Japanese people, give what they can, and act with compassion.  This kind of disaster can happen anywhere, and has, and will.  The world is small now, we cannot pretend that what happens in one place does not effect everywhere and everyone else.  All beings are impacted by disasters, and it is in the way we respond to them that we can transcend our grief and fear and pain, and transform it into something better for all of the world.  Crisis can be an opportunity for massive change for the better, even as we acknowledge devastating loss.

It is time to come together, to work for the best of all of humankind, not just what is best for me, right now, right here.  It is a good time to remember the way of the Haudenosaunee people, who always considered the impact of their actions on the seventh generation away from them.  If we would all do that, we would understand that we need to take better care of each other, better care of our planet, act with love in our hearts rather than money on our mind.  The world would become a much safer, happier and loving place nearly instantly, I think.  Let's do that.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring clear-out

My posting has been very sparse lately - I suppose that Spring has sprung, and I have been spending as much time as possible outside in nature instead of sitting inside at a computer.  Of course, today it is snowing again, so here I sit.  But this past week I have managed to spend every morning walking at the park and campgrounds before work for at least an hour, and yesterday took Derek along with me too.  It has been beautiful out, one day even hitting 70 degrees!

My whole mood shifts dramatically to the better in the Spring.  Without being cold I am a lot less grumpy.  Without having to contend with snow and ice, I am outside a lot more, and not stressed as much about driving.  My energy level feels through the roof, and I am tackling many unfinished projects and clearing out old clutter both literally and figuratively.

It feels good to let go of things I am not using.  I still struggle with throwing things away or giving them away if I suspect that I could use them.  But the truth is, I am not using these old things, and somebody else could be.  I really do only wear about 3/4 of what I own, and avoid the remaining 1/4 for whatever reason.  Why not donate the stuff I will never wear anyway to charity?  Why not sell it if I need the money?  The same gos for art supplies, my other vice.  I do use much of it, but there is a great deal that I do not use anymore because it is not what I work with.  I don't need giant canvases anymore because I prefer to paint on paper.  I don't draw with charcoal anymore, so why do I have newsprint?  A college student would be thrilled to get what it sitting in my closet and has been for years.  I think I will donate this stuff very soon.  I feel better when the space is clear, and more capable of being creative and using the stuff that is useful to me.

In a way, I need to pare down even the stuff on my computer.  The computer is useful, but has so much stuff on it that I can easily distract myself with things I barely enjoy just to pass time.  Why not delete it off the computer and be faced with actually turning this beast off when I am no longer using it for the purpose I set out to do at the beginning? No plants vs zombies, or peggle.  I could do my emails and then log off, as I have been this past week, and go outside to play. Or, the week before that, log off and read a book.  Both much more rewarding than zombie squishing.  :)

Anyway, this hasn't been a very thought-out post.  But I am alive, and working and well.  Back to life with me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring is Coming!

Spring brings such a boost of energy with it.  It is only barely above freezing, but already my heart skips with joy outside as the snow sparkles and melts into the stream behind our yard. Birds are singing happier songs and the wind is starting to come warmer from the south again.  Soon there will be long evenings, bonfires and hotdogs.  I can't wait!

I am happy to have Derek back from his travels.  The house feels more homey again.  Being able to open the windows and air out the place is wonderful.  Sherazade is often in a playful mood, and Timmy is starting to make appearances out from under his hiding bowl and water bowl.  I wake up with more energy than I did over the darkness of winter.  It's no wonder that this is the time of year where I start to feel myself again.  From here until autumn, I really delight in the world.  Someday I will perhaps find a love of winter, but if I don't I suppose that's just the way I am.  The cold and dark and icy does not suit me, and makes me cranky, tired and scared.  Someday I will live in an area that isn't so cold and dark and full of snow, and then I can appreciate winter's brevity.

I've a lot of drawings and tattoos to work on this week, and paintings to paint as well.  I'm looking forward to it!  Today I will get a drawing on a board, and work on another of the Bougureau interpretations.  Plus tattoo a hibiscus flower onto an ankle.  A good start to the week!

While my energy level is increasing, I lack many words about it.  Not much to say.  I want to exprience the day, and get on with it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What we Feel is What we Get

I recently read something that spoke about how it is not so much thoughts that create our reality, but feelings.  The thoughts we hold onto create feelings, and the feelings then manifest our reality.  I believe that they are onto something here - it is true that when I am happy, happy things happen, more happy things happen, and better conversations spontaneously arise.  The books speaks about how we often unconsciously hold onto feelings or stuff them down, where they still exist and create our circumstances - and then we wonder why these things are happening to us, when in fact we are calling them in with our feeling.

The gist of the article is that we need to acknowledge feelings and let them evolve into happier ones, rather than ignoring or suppressing feelings we don't like and letting them fester.  When we do that, circumstances arise that match the hidden feelings, and we bring more of it to us.

I wonder why we find it so scary to feel sad or scared or lonely or angry, depressed or miserable?  Obviously those feelings aren't pleasant, but I agree that if they are felt without giving them more meaning than simply, "I am feeling bad right now," it quickly stops hurting and feels a little better.  The surmise of the article and book even is that if we let go of the stories we tell ourselves about how we got where we are and replace them with better stories, or eventually even let go of stories altogether, we can create anything we want.  It takes time, but slow and steady attention to feeling eventually makes us the master of our lives.

I have found this to be true so far in regards to work, and I want to make it true across the board for me.  As I let go of my story of lack, incompetence, inability to trust, and poverty, things are picking  up speed and happiness with alacrity.  My chair is full most days, the phone is ringing, classes are starting to fill up.  I am relaxed and even hopeful again.  There is still a bit of resistance in me to receiving this amount of awesome abundance, but I am learning to let go.  It's nice.  I want to do that with relationships and parents and friends now, too!

Anyway, this is what is on my mind today.  I'm busy autoclaving a week's worth of tattoo tools, and it's been a long time since we've had four batches to run just to keep up.  I like it!  Bring me more awesomeness, universe!  Yay!