Poem – the art of breathing

This text turned up in my Facebook stream, I love it.

Poem – the art of breathing ❤️
my brain and
heart divorced
a decade ago
over who was
to blame about
how big of a mess
I have become

eventually,
they couldn’t be
in the same room
with each other

now my head and heart
share custody of me

I stay with my brain
during the week

and my heart
gets me on weekends

they never speak to one another
– instead, they give me
the same note to pass
to each other every week

and their notes they
send to one another always
says the same thing:
“This is all your fault”

on Sundays
my heart complains
about how my
head has let me down
in the past

and on Wednesday
my head lists all
of the times my
heart has screwed
things up for me
in the future

they blame each
other for the
state of my life

there’s been a lot
of yelling – and crying
so,
lately, I’ve been
spending a lot of
time with my gut
who serves as my
unofficial therapist

most nights, I sneak out of the
window in my ribcage
and slide down my spine
and collapse on my
gut’s plush leather chair
that’s always open for me
~ and I just sit sit sit sit
until the sun comes up

last evening,
my gut asked me
if I was having a hard
time being caught
between my heart
and my head
I nodded
I said I didn’t know
if I could live with
either of them anymore

“my heart is always sad about
something that happened yesterday
while my head is always worried
about something that may happen tomorrow,”
I lamented
my gut squeezed my hand
“I just can’t live with
my mistakes of the past
or my anxiety about the future,”
I sighed

my gut smiled and said:
“in that case,
you should
go stay with your
lungs for a while,”
I was confused
– the look on my face gave it away

“if you are exhausted about
your heart’s obsession with
the fixed past and your mind’s focus
on the uncertain future
your lungs are the perfect place for you
there is no yesterday in your lungs
there is no tomorrow there either
there is only now
there is only inhale
there is only exhale
there is only this moment
there is only breath
and in that breath
you can rest while your
heart and head work
their relationship out.”

this morning,
while my brain
was busy reading
tea leaves
and while my
heart was staring
at old photographs
I packed a little
bag and walked
to the door of
my lungs
before I could even knock
she opened the door
with a smile and as
a gust of air embraced me
she said
“what took you so long?”

Giftedness

Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work.
It is who you are.
You think differently.
You experience life intensely.
You care about injustice.
You seek meaning.
You appreciate and strive for the exquisite.
You are painfully sensitive.
You are extremely complex.
You cherish integrity.
Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble.
Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are.
You are not broken.
You do not need to be fixed.
You are utterly fascinating.
Trust yourself!

Dr. Linda Kreger Silverman

Beginner’s Mind as my mantra

I have worked with key words and recently mantra words in order to easier focus on what truly matters to me. During the weekend I realized that what I’m striving for is the concept of Beginner’s Mind. My current three mantra words are open-mindedness, presence (here and now) and gratitude. These words can, at least to me, easily be included in the concept of a beginner’s mind.

Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.

The phrase is also used in the title of the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by the Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, who says the following about the correct approach to Zen practice: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

Source: Shoshin (Wikipedia)

Life is not about good answers, it is about interesting questions is a quote by Paulo Coelho that has the same mindset.

Now all I have to do is stick to the Beginner’s mind. I’m well aware of that it’s easier said than done. Still, it’s within reach and I’ll do my best.

Read more

Your teacup is full (Empty your cup)
Beginner’s Mind

Beginner’s Mind

Linda Eskin links to my post Your teacup is full (Empty your cup) from her post Beginner’s Mind – The Power of the Empty Teacup. Linda places the story in an Aikido context. I like her conclusions.

Beginner’s Mind is a sense of wonder, about skills, places, things, people, and even about ourselves. Practice it in all you do, whether learning Aikido techniques or talking to a friend, and you will find more depth and richness in your experience.

Keeping an open Beginner’s Mind is a good practice both on the mat and out in the world. Whenever you catch yourself thinking “Oh, this again,” pause and take a fresh look. Stay actively engaged with what you are doing. Ask yourself what about this situation could I be missing? What could I see in a different way? What does this teacher have to say that I have not heard from other teachers? What have I been assuming about this person that might not actually be so?

Beginner's mind
Beginner’s mind

My 3 words

In My 3 words for 2011 I list trust, connect and grow as my three guiding words.

In New goals posted in October 2013 I list Connect and Interact, Communicate and to become location independent as my three goals. These goals are still valid.

Peace, joy, simplicity

I have now picked three new words. In no specific order they are peace, joy and simplicity. These words work well as cornerstones as well as corners in a triangle. They complete each other and none is more important than the other.

My previous three words (trust, connect and grow) focused on doing, my new words (peace, joy and simplicity) means a shift to focus on being. It’s also a shift of focus from outer things to inner.

My way of being will of course affect what I do and how I do things. The difference lies in what comes first.

What about love?

Tulku Lobsang talked about the power of love. “Love is the only way to be happy. Practice love and you can be free from sufferings. Love is everything.” In other words, love is essential.

Is it all about yourself now?

Not at all, these two quotes say it well.

If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.
Dalai Lama

Loving yourself… does not mean being self-absorbed, it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart.
Margo Anand

The Rosie Project

While waiting at the station in Malmö I browsed the PocketShop store. I often do that, browse a book store without intent to buy anything. Books matter to me and give me a lot. I noticed “The Rosie Project” book and picked it up. It’s marketed as fun and entertaining. A quick look inside supported that, I bought the book as a fun read. Little did I know that the book would mean a lot more to me.

Love isn’t an exact science – but no one told Dan Tillman. A handsome thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don’s never had a second date. So he derives The Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie – the world’s most incompatible woman – throwing Don’s safe, ordered life into chaos. Just what is this unsettling, alien emotion he’s feeling?

Don, the main character, is a control freak (in my eyes). He lives a very strictly planned life, routines are king. Don has for instance a weekly dinner plan that’s repeated each and every week. He has many logical reasons for that. Don also is socially awkward, he’s lousy at picking up cues and goes through life sometimes acting more like a robot.

When I discussed the book with a friend I realized what made the book itch. Don is an exaggerated version of how I’ve been (and sometimes still am). The book mirrored some of my own experiences in life. My friend suggested that I should read the book with that in mind. This turned the book into a personal development book for me.

The book shows me, again, the power of stories. Lessons included in a story are much easier to grasp than a more fact based approach.

What I took with me from the book

It’s OK to be wired differently.

Too much thinking complicates things and life.

Life works better when we drop the excessive parts of our planning.

What brightens our lives is often the unexpected events, people we meet because we open up.

When great things happen – trust your guts and enjoy them!

The Rosie Project

The Book Depository: The Rosie Project

Vagabonding

Michelle Clarke at Michelle Clarke Coaching quoted Rolf Pott:

Vagabonding is an outlook on life…it’s about using prosperity and possibility to increase your personal options instead of your personal possessions. Vagabonding is about looking for adventure in normal life, and normal life within adventure. It’s an attitude, an uncommon way of looking at life, a value adjustment, that makes a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the word. Vagabonding is about time – our only real commodity – and how we choose to use it.

Not just a plan of action, vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit.

I got so intrigued by the texts above, especially the second one, that I ordered the book Vagabonding (Paperback) from The Book Depository.

The book has an online companion at Vagabonding.