Off to see His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama today. Feeling deep gratitude.
Today I’d like to talk about EMOTIONS. Emotions are what they are, and they should be allowed their just due. Everyone feels things as they should as a reaction to what’s going on in their life. We all love sharing feelings of warmth and love and happiness and excitement, but what about the other side? What about sadness? Sadness is not a bad thing. It’s not. It doesn’t feel very good but it’s part of the cleansing process. Grief is REAL and must be given it’s proper time and dealt with while it’s happening, because repressed emotions become shadows and shadows can come back to haunt us with even greater force later. Grief is important. It’s giving a thing/relationship/person/project, etc. it’s proper respect. The thing is, most people on the outside do not know how to deal with grief, sadness, depression. They see someone they care about in pain and want to “fix it.” Sometimes there is no fixing it. Sometimes you just have to let it runs it’s course. Or worse, the fact that someone they supposedly “care about” is having a rough time and that makes them uncomfortable and so they want that person to just “get over it,” if only to alleviate how uncomfortable that makes them feel, which in my opinion, is damn near unforgivable.
I was just telling my husband recently, that when I have been in the midst of a personal crisis, being worried about offending others or making other people worry about me just compiled the sadness, because then I was not only feeling sad, but feeling guilty about it on top of that, and that just makes it worse. I needed to feel what I was feeling. When I needed help, I sought it. When I needed to vent, I did that….and slowly but surely, it all started to get better and incredible learning was taking place in the process.
When I hear people I know and love feeling bad about feeling bad, I just think it’s a sorry reflection on how our society as a whole completely ignores what it perceives as “negative” feelings, when really it’s just the light and the dark and one cannot exist without the other. Certainly there are occasions when drastic things need to be done and/or greater forces are at work in the cases of manic depression, bi-polar disorder, etc. but for the most part, people will get through their rough patches and their moments of sadness if they are just allowed to BE what they are in the moment.
I found this great quote by Gandhi the other day, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” I would like to add when “what you feel,” is in harmony and even though this quote is about “happiness,” I think being authentic to your TRUE self, your true emotions, even the not-so-great ones, IS happiness. Being authentic is what life’s all about…authentically happy, authentically sad. Being true to the experience as a whole. “Joyful participation in the sorrows of the world,” is what Joseph Campbell calls it. The Witness or the Soul is here to have an authentic experience of life, and sadness and grief IS authentic to life. Don’t deny it it’s time too, and reap the joys of happiness even more having known sorrow. At least, those are my thoughts about it today.
You know what commercial I’d really like to see on TV? This one…
“Ask your doctor if yoga is right for you. Possible side effects are increased flexibility, peace of mind, overall sense of well-being, strength and endurance, decreased aches and pains, better sleep, improved sex life, enhanced self-esteem, anxiety and depression decrease, toned appearance, better circulation, decreased stress levels, stabilized nervous system, lower blood pressure, increased cardiovascular efficiency, normalized gastrointestinal functions, improved dexterity, increased focus and improved attention span, normalized weight, increased immunity, and better posture, just to name a few.
Pics from International Students OSU, Spring Festival – International Vibes with Corvallis Drum Circle Connection:
This is one of my favorite versions of this West African dance/song I’ve ever come across. Beautiful dancing and I love the addition of the kora. The kora is one of my favorite instruments of all time.
These two rhythms are generally played one after the other, as a dance of seduction. Traditionally, the girls would dance in a line facing a line of boys, checking each other out for the duration of the slow rhythm of Yankadi. Then at the sudden signal to Makru or Makuru, they would pair off and dance as couples to the fast and furious 4/4 rhythm.
As a child growing up in the Desert, (Utah, Nevada, California) places such as the Pacific Northwest seemed like a kind of mythical paradise where water, the ever sacred element of water, is as plentiful as the air we breathe. And yet, now that I am here in the saturated land of damp vegetation and viridian tangles, I find that I am haunted by the desert. Haunted by great, vast, expansive extremes. Sharp and jagged as a sickle. Articulate as a switchblade. An emptiness waiting only to be filled by silence.
I have always loved the aesthetic of deliberate, minimalist space. A blank canvas of infinite imagination. What better way to see the stars, than from a vantage point of ever-extending openness? A beauty so shocking in it’s harsh sovereignty, that it will surely kill you if fail to recognize it.
Observing the extraordinary conservation efforts of the Oregonians only awakens in me a deep desire to protect the places of my birth. In her book, Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert, Terry Tempest Williams writes so perfectly about my thoughts, “falling in love with a place, being in love with a place, wanting to care for a place and see it remain intact as a wild piece of this planet. Here your heart aches with such great love and wholeness that you know, finally and with surreality that you are one with all. With pink sand underfoot and ravens overhead and the joyous sensation of finding red dirt in every pore of your skin. This is wilderness. The tenacious grip of beauty.”
The ghost of Ellen Meloy whispers to me in my sleep, “I hope to make pictures like I walk in the desert—under a spell, an instinct of motion, a kind of knowing that is essentially indirect and sideways.Of all the things I wondered about on this land, I wondered the hardest about the seduction of certain geographies that feel like home–not by story or blood but merely by their forms and colors. How our perceptions are our only internal map of the world, how there are places that claim you and places that warn you away. How you can fall in love with the light.”
I think Wallace Stegner said it best, “Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.”
In my dreams, I savor the scent of sagebrush and juniper. I wake with the taste of sand sticking to the roof of my mouth.