What to do when it’s HARD to keep going?

Welcoming in a new year is always fun. Lots of parties, lots of good cheer.BUT…when they’re all done–what next?

We all have dreams, goals, resolutions–whatever we call them. Some are reasonable, others are pie-in-the-sky nearly impossible. But why not? Shoot for the stars, that’s what I always say! Give yourself the opportunity, always, to fulfill anything your heart sings to you.

Big Bambu by Starn Twins

Big Bambu by Starn Twins

Like this awesome bamboo free-for-all sculpture erected on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York by the Starn Twins last summer. Just amazing! Fabulous! Stupendous. And where did this idea begin? As a thought. A dream. Maybe a scribble on a napkin, even.

One stick of bamboo at a time, those innovative guys created their mind-blowing sculpture that swayed in the wind yet was strong enough — held together with mountain-climbing twine — to accomodate many people as they walked on special ramps created within the piece itself. I’m so enthralled by this piece that I’ve decided to make a “mini-me” piece in my own yard, using the giant timber bamboo I grow. Wish me luck. But you know what? I won’t need luck! All I’ll need is just to DO IT…one stick at a time. And before I know it, I’ll have some sort of bamboo-ey thing I can gaze at, with extreme satisfaction.

Big Bambu (detail) by Starn Twins

Big Bambu (detail) by Starn Twins

However, sometimes things just don’t work out the way we hope, the way we planned. As the bumper sticker says, “LIFE happens”… and ain’t that the truth. So here’s how I think/act/believe about things not working out according to my plan, so I don’t end up being some kind of sad sack, or worse — drink or drug or act out, to annihilate my life’s disappointments.

I use the silly slogans I’ve learned in a fabulous spiritual fellowship to which I’ve belonged for 27 years now, that’s how. These simple phrases are the loving, blame-free, guilt-free guides that help me through life’s maze comprised of: either the highs that come of unfettered hopes and realized dreams, as well as the lows of others disappointing me, letting me down, scaring me, driving hope from my heart. These aphorisms protect me from life’s many crushes and inevitable bites-in-the-ass, that are as sure to arise as these nasty (but necessary) guys that roam the great oceans of the world.

Life's BIG OUCH!

Life's BIG OUCH!

Let go let Good (or God, if you prefer)

Keep It Simple (or Spiritual!) Sweetheart

One Day at a Time

Think Think Think

Easy Does IT — but do it!

….I can’t tell you how many times my sinking-struggling-life has been saved by the safety-ring of these words. When you start remembering them, and carry them in your back pocket, and draw upon them, repeating them to yourself a million times if need be, in times of woe or wonder ’bout what-the-heck is going on? why doesn’t anything ever work out the way I want it to? —  life, sure enough, begins to change.

These saying help us to DECIDE to approach life as a spiritual experience that we humans are capable of going through, rather than accepting life as the less-than alternative, that it’s some fiercely weird, uncontrollable merry-go-round we can’t get off of until we’re dead. When a person decides (it must be a conscious choice!) to live from a higher perspective than merely assuming there’s only the physical world to contend with — things start to hum and hop and shimmer in an entirely different way. Life becomes our virtual heaven-on-earth, instead of one’s hell-on-earth.

there's always hope

there's always hope

Breath is the gateway through which one enters the portal of becoming an illuminated spiritual being, waaaay more interesting than just accepting yourself as only an insignificant, flawed, no-choice human.

Let me demonstrate how to properly breathe for you:

Sit in a comfortable position, with your back straight. Make sure you’re in a place where there are few, if any, distractions. Turn your phone, TV, everything you can–off! Now place one hand lightly on your abdomen, just above your navel. When you breathe in push out from your stomach/intestinal area, and make sure your hand pushes out. This pushing-out isn’t your stomach but actually is the workings of your diaphragm, a bellows-like flat muscle that regulates how much, or little, your lungs work.

When you push OUT (your abs)  on an IN breath, you are filling your lungs up at maximum capacity. If you are not familiar with this type of breathing (the same as professional singers use, and is taught for easeful child-bearing by the Lamaze Method) you will probably become light-headed, because you’re not used to getting so much oxygen in your old, un-diaphragmatic, shallow type of breathing. Now, with the OUT breath, suck IN your abs, and allow the diaphragm to contract.

This may take some practice, so really concentrate on the exact formula:

Breathe IN, abs push OUT; Breath OUT, abs suck IN

What’s happening with this type of breathing? You allow your mind to become entirely focused on your breathing. And you’re also breathing at maximum capacity. These two things add up to one thing: a relaxed, healthy condition. A perfect balance of being mental, physical and spiritual. Spiritual, by the way, is really just “being mind-full,” nothing more, nothing less. Being more awake, aware, and open-minded is mindful. Suddenly, with this type of breathing, your body functions in a much more efficient manner, AND  your mind is not concerned with anything else except the breathing you are doing — in that present moment.

The mind is not capable of sustaining more than one thought at a time. Try it…it’s very difficult (although I did take a workshop back in the 80s that attempted to teach how to hold multiple-thoughts at the same time…a very very difficult challenge, which really, I couldn’t do, no matter how hard I tried).

Good luck! Practice! Breathe instead of pouring yourself that next glass of wine. Or diving into Facebook for distraction, or playing a video game. Breathe instead of getting down on yourself, blaming, being shameful, depending on others (or other things) to bring you up. Your breath is your best friend. Your breath is the key to higher realms of consciousness. And remember—without your breath—you’d be dead! Now THAT’s a pretty basic thought if I ever heard one!

Even the Universe breathes … Listen to the sound it makes as you concentrate on your own breathing. It sounds something like ….

the sound of Aum: Ohhhhhmmmmmmmm

the sound of Aum: Ohhhhhmmmmmmmm

I’m breathing with, as well as singing and dancing with you, too! Have fun with Spirit.

in the Light, lordfela

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