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Love is essentially self-communicative

“Love has to spring spontaneously from within. It is in no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force. 

Love and coercion can never go together. Love can never be forced on anyone. 

It can be awakened in a person through love itself. Love is essentially self-communicative; those who do not have it catch it from those who have it. 

Those who receive love from others cannot be its recipients without giving a response which, in itself, is the nature of love. 

The Space Between Ambition and Frivolity

So, it's the new year, and it didn't take long before people were asking me if I had made any resolutions. I admit, my standard reply was a rude scoff. That's a pretty unfair reaction to the notion of making a resolution or two. Where's the harm in taking stock of your habitual patterns, seeing where they are leading you astray from your values, and then putting in some effort to correct that? None at all...until there is. We live in a culture that values, I'd say even worships, ambition over all else.

Holiday Blues

My apologies for the long hiatus in posting. The truth is I've been busy, and I am grateful for it, but I got lost in the "to-do list," which is a rather uninspired place to be. Today I was fortunate enough to receive the grace to just slow down. Eventually I just sat, and I felt what was really happening while I was unhurriedly doing things: my heart and its swirl of emotions that had gathered over the last several weeks were all catching-up to me, like a dust cloud that catches-up to a speeding car that skids to a halt.

Making sense of the senseless

I find myself again affected by yet another human tragedy that seems so senseless. There's something particularly disturbing for us when we don't know, or see, a real reason for why such atrocities occurred. It makes sense that we try to understand; when we can come up with an answer to "Why?" then maybe we can avoid such violence befalling us and our loved ones again. Maybe we can fix it. While it is my personal belief that stricter regulation on firearms would reduce gun violence in this country, I'm under no illusion that it'll fix the problem altogether.

Do You See Your True Value?

Most of us rarely, if ever, do. Yeah, I include myself in that. For example, despite some truly great experiences this past weekend, I struggled with procrastination, indecision on how to spend my time, and the resultant self-aggravation for either not getting more shit done, or being able to fully relax and appreciate life. Fortunately, I’ve learned to put these thoughts and feelings into perspective and see that my ego is running the show. But it still feels lousy.

It's All About You...and You.

Even those who tell me "I like who I am!" usually at some point come to a realization of self-loathing or shame somewhere in their being. Sometimes, the shame isn't even logical. For instance, I remember blaming myself for my car getting broken into and the stereo being stolen. I had paid the extra money for a stereo that a had a removable faceplate as a theft deterrent, but I hadn't bothered to remove it. It's not rational to blame the victim of a crime, but I still felt some shame about what had happened. Shame or self-blame is a common reaction when things go awry.

Longing to be More Authentic? Better Call Saul!

At times, I feel like I need to justify my Netflix watching habit. There is definitely some shame there. Admitting to regular watching, and occasional bingeing, of shows and movies found on the internet is counter to the image of "wise counselor," or "productive, responsible adult," that my ego would like to portray. Screw you, ego. Let me be me.

There is No Test

I don't know if all dreams are significant, but it does seem that some dreams have something important to tell us. Through the unique and universal symbols in our lives, dreams are a way for our unconscious to speak with us in our less guarded state of sleep. The meaning and depth of significant dreams can sometimes take days, weeks, even years to unfold. But other times what a dream has to say can be quite transparent, and it is of this latter kind that I'd like to share with you. 

Effective (and Humorous) Meditation Instruction

I can't recommend this video by Eckhart Tolle enough. For me, it's been a game-changer. Mr. Tolle describes the most effective approach to experiencing presence I have ever heard, and he does so with clarity and humor. If you don't have time right now to listen to it, click on the link and bookmark it. Then, make an appointment with yourself to give it a listen. You'll be glad you did.

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If you think the games you have going are what lead to what it is you're seeking in life, forget it. What is required to go on this trip...you have to have experienced despair.
- Ram Dass, Here and Now Podcast Ep. 8