Tag Archives: wonder

4 Minutes and 7 Seconds of Sacredness

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((Click on these words to find it.))

A holy grail, of sorts. Beauty and meaningfulness beyond words. If you know me, you’ll understand why. If you don’t, it’ll have its own reasons for you.

Be blessed, dear friends. I think of you.

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My dad: my homeostasis. Gratitude.

…FEEL…

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…FEEL…

I never — and I mean NEVER — get stuck behind a train while driving. I can count the number of times it has happened on one hand.

I drive across a set of railroad tracks every day dropping my kids off at school. I have never seen (or heard) a train crossing them. Not once.

To my great surprise, I was brought to a stop this morning as the wooden slats came down and the flashing lights began their ceremonious display of ‘haha! you’re going to be late now’ and I parked in a sudden sense of simultaneous confusion and wonder. (‘Wow, this railroad track isn’t just some outdated decoration of our old-fashioned small-town Main Street?’)

Anyhow, I sat in keen observation of the railcars, anxiously anticipating the caboose’s arrival. What really got my blood flowing was not the train’s eventual passing, but this breathtaking image I discovered on the side of a centrally-positioned railcar; on its surface was the most exquisite display of artistic and philosophic graffiti I have ever seen. Simply, it said …FEEL…

I was moved beyond measure. So much so, that I was brought to my senses by the sudden symphony of car horns screeching the serendipitous and unanimous impatience of all the drivers behind me, proudly pissed off by my daydream-moment of speechless awe.

As I continued throughout my day, I found myself moved even more deeply by “…FEEL…” than I had been from the start. What gang member, artist, delinquent, or bored, unsupervised minor, or unemployed, unmotivated, disenchanted grown-up could have possibly had the foresight — and the INSIGHT — to scribble such profound and simple truth for the sole purpose of simply REACHING somebody… Even if that somebody turns out to be only one somebody, and that somebody is me?

I’m not quite self-absorbed enough to imagine that my tiny little existence would matter that much to anybody else, to risk heavy punishment and to waste a minimum of forty-five minutes for some random woman in Randomville, USA seeing the depth of …FEEL…’s beauty and be instantaneously transformed… But that’s exactly what happened; on my end of things, and on mystery person’s end of things as well.

It reminds me of a certain weekend when I was twenty-three. I had an 18-hr courseload in college and a full-time job that kept me going-going-going non-stop, all the time. But on one weekend, I decided to take a break from it all. I pulled out my art supplies and spent all day Saturday creating massive, colorful posters and laminating them. Each one was different. They all made absolutely no sense, and served absolutely no purpose to the uninformed eye. Randomly, they were an assortment of various suggestions, quotations, and big bold words. “LOVE IS A VERB,” “be who you are,” “TRUTH IS MAGICAL,” “you are the coolest you that this world has ever known,” “HUG A STRANGER TODAY,” etc. Many of you will no longer ride the fence, confidently asserting to yourselves as you read this that I am, undoubtedly, a complete and total whack-job. And I’m cool with that. Because the best part of that Experiment in Ridiculousness was not the part where I made tons of cool posters and thought of borderline-nutcase things to write on them. The best part of it was the many photographs I took (from a quiet distance) all day Sunday of various passers-by, pausing in the course of their journey that day to observe the nonsense before them and turn their head with an involuntary grin across their face, absorbing the thoughts I had shared with them.

I imagine the train-sketcher and I hold much in common. Except for him/her, the process was more about the possible than it was about the actual. And I must say, it’s just as mind-blowing to be the stranger experiencing what’s possible as it is being the artist experiencing what’s actual.

Magic: possible, actual, and quantified.

Open Your Eyes

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Open Your Eyes

Many people are tamed by the realities they believe they are “living in.”

Many people are dying, not living.

Many people are lost in a world they perceive to be inhospitable, lonely, and full of evil.

Many people have grown into the very thing they spent every moment of their youth fearing and resisting.

A huge percentage of the people with whom I’ve crossed paths is convinced that life is something that happens TO them…

When did everybody fall asleep? And how do we wake them up? How do you convince someone that the very peace they feel abandoned by is SITTING RIGHT WITHIN THEM?

Life is not by chance. Your life, specifically, has a purpose. If you’ve lost your sense of wonder, or you feel like nothing is meaningful enough to work hard for, or exciting enough to feel motivated for, let me ask you: what are you still doing here?

If you suffer from clinical depression, I understand that words and ideas may not cure your indifference. This post is not for you.

For everybody else, SNAP OUT OF IT!!! Look around you. Where are you? What brought you here? What keeps you here? Life is a perpetual motion, initiated by the very frequency–that is, vibrational ENERGY–of our spirit. What happened today is a direct result of what thoughts and feelings we allowed to dwell within us yesterday. If you spend your day in REACTIVE mode, waiting for things to happen, good or bad, so that you can decide if you enjoy the life you’re living, then you will never enjoy your life.

I compel you to step outside the box for a change. Get up, go outside, and walk around for awhile. Think about what matters to you. What your talents are. How you could use them to make a difference in this world. Absorb its beauty as you walk through it…

When you do that, your core energy shifts from a place of waiting to a place of manifesting. Be the change you wish to see in this world. Make something beautiful. Listen to music that moves you. Get up and dance to it. And then re-learn the sound of your spirit’s voice. Listen to it, act on it, and watch your life unfold in perfect harmony before you.

Human BE-ing

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Human BE-ing

Imagine if you will, a day much like any other, in which you wake up and feel differently than you ever have before… Has this ever happened to you, without a specific reason to pinpoint the shift in how reality appeared before you?

In the days of our youth, we wake up once a year with the expectation that we will somehow experience that very moment in time. We go to sleep on the eve of our birthday with wide-eyed anticipation for the sun’s first light bringing with it some tremendous, unknown change in how our life is going to feel to us. Over the years, of course, our excitement for this magical moment grows dim as we slowly discover what life’s all about. We lose our sense of wonder as we’re taught that magic isn’t real. The older we get, the less fantasy and awe we come to expect from our birthdays. In fact, we grow so complacent about life’s predictability that we create a world in which life is merely just that: predictable. Unchanging. And we slowly morph into the same boring grown ups we swore that we’d never become. All those years of being told, “Just wait; someday you’ll see what I mean, kid.” …They were, admittedly, right.

This will be the first year I’ve ever had to remind myself that it’s almost my birthday. And then, once I remembered that my birthday is almost here and I remember that I didn’t remember my own birthday, it suddenly dawned on me… Holy crap. I’m getting old.

My birthday is the last day of this month. (Hoorah.) I’m not feigning some sort of nonexistent contempt for my swiftly approaching birthday; I’m also not repressing some kind of hidden excitement about my birthday arriving… I’m honestly completely ambivalent. I could take it or leave it. I have no plans, really. And I kind of enjoy it that way. Until I realize, with the urgency of a derailed train five yards in front of me approaching at terminal velocity, that I am officially one of those foggy-brained grown-up people who forgot what magic feels like because life is more about deadlines and worries and responsibilities than it is about the EXCITEMENT of what comes next, well… The feeling is truly quite sad.

I’m not old at all. I consider myself to be foolishly young, with a significant road before me that I must travel (barefoot, uphill, in the snow) before I will have earned the right to wedge myself into the esteemed and respected category of “old;” however, I’ve also hiked my way (barefoot, in every direction, as far as I could go) all on my own… I distinctively remember a conversation I had a few years ago with my tree-hugging granola-eating barefoot and starry-eyed group of friends, about the notion of being a “grown up” and how we could never in a million years imagine ourselves calling each other that. Granted, we had no children then; no burdens, no worries, no obligations or responsibilities… We drank coffee with dinner and read books at midnight and took frequent and spontaneous road trips to random and undetermined destinations hundreds of miles away for a week at a time, often for the sole purpose of competing for the most elaborate and varied assortment of truck stop bumper stickers; we were carefree and footloose and driven by the wide-awake wanderlust compelling our souls to go and see and live and BE… We existed in a constellation of inter-galactic wonder and cosmic philosophising; unhampered by the weight of real-life encumberments and all that adult-type nonsense. We were alive. We understood the notion of forever, and we reveled in it daily. We were gypsies, meandering through the world with reckless abandon and purest joy. We were unstoppable in our curiosity; unshakeable in our conviction that reality is what happens when you stop living and ask why. We were never that kind.

This was only a handful of years ago. It feels like yesterday to me. And yet, it also feels like seventy-three lifetimes ago… I am a mother now, to five beautiful boys. I am a wife. I am a lot of different things to a lot of different people; not just a college kid living on dreams and an insatiable desire to see the world…

But when it occurred to me (and to my own dismay, quite frankly) that I have seriously reminded myself three times now that I’m about to have a birthday, I understood–in that tiny little moment–that I am, officially, a “grown up.”

The thing about it is, however, that I see now why I never expected to fit in to that title. Because all the grown-ups I ever knew were perpetually bummed out about this whole ‘getting old’ thing, and constantly stressing out about some mundane obligatory aspect of their daily life (which, of course, they were postponing and dreading and expected to fulfill), or complaining about how birthdays aren’t special once you’ve had a whole bunch of them… Well, I get it now. And I totally agree with my younger self. I’ll never be one of those people.

I wake up expecting to experience some kind of magic in my day… Every day. That doesn’t mean I always wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and following my every whim and fancy. It actually means that I’ll usually feel content and satisfied if nobody spills the milk on the table or nobody wakes me up screaming incoherently between bloody-murder sobbing about how their brother was mean to them three days ago when they stole the yellow transformer toy and then broke it so it was gone forever, or no one tramples all over mommy’s brand new flowers in the garden, or nobody pees on the floor or bloodies a random body part or has a total toddler temper tantrum in the middle of isle 5 at the overcrowded supermarket… You understand, don’t you? Magic doesn’t have to maintain the same premise, you know. Sometimes magic is simply looking at your alarm clock–before it goes off–getting out of bed–before anyone else–and enjoying a fresh cup of really strong coffee while the sun rises to the melody of love singing in your heart. I don’t have to go on any certain adventure or blind road trip to get my kicks these days. The places that give me the deepest thrills aren’t places at all, so much as they are ways of seeing exactly where I am.

Today, I am twenty-eight. Soon, I will be twenty-nine. I know well enough that I won’t wake up feeling any older on the 31st… But I will wake up feeling different. I will awake with that familiar–and yet NEW–magical feeling. The feeling of simply BEing. Magic.