Stay Open, Who Knows, Lightning Could Strike.

There is nothing quite like an old-fashioned picture show.

Sometimes we need an image, a character, a line to point out what it is we already know.

Taken from Meet Joe Black, William & Susan (played by Anthony Hopkins & Claire Forlani).

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God, this is beautiful.

“It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.”
Oriah, The Invitation
 

FOR YOU.

It amazes me every time.  And you think by now I would have learned.   When I feel bad, I do yoga, and I feel better.  Sometimes great, sometimes okay, but better.  This is no miracle or astounding revelation, but every time it comes like one, gushing in with the force of a thousand rivers.  Separating yourself from the world is never overrated.  Whatever it is that is your separation, go back to it over and over again.  You will learn something every time.  Don’t ever let yourself talk yourself out of it.

I don’t deserve it.  I don’t need it.  It won’t help.

You deserve it.  You need it.  It will help.

Do it for yourself.  Do it for you.  “For you, a thousand times over.”

(Quote taken from The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini)

WHAT I’VE LEARNED. FROM TEACHING.

TEACHING IS LEARNING.  Who knew :)  And to think, I have not been teaching long, bits here and there, so what this process brings a month, year, lifetime from now?  I can only imagine it gets better and deeper with time.  Exciting.  It’s like the saying, ‘you never know what you’re going to get’, because it literally is a grab bag every experience.  People are pretty much the most unpredictable of all the predictable ions out there.  And I assure you, this is a good thing.  People surprise us.  And who doesn’t like surprises?  I know I do.  It’s that moment when we stop trying to figure out what the surprise is going to be, that the wonder of the surprise takes over.  It is not magic, it’s actually quite a good amount of work.  Work, practice, teach.  When you make it your job to show people the light they didn’t know they had, you can’t help but see it in yourself.  Grab a friend or stranger – and tell them a story.  You’ll end up teaching them, and yourself, as you give what you thought was yours, away.

“I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, ‘Well, if I’d known better I’d have done better,’ that’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, ‘I’m sorry,’ and then you say to yourself, ‘I’m sorry.’ If we all hold on to the mistake, we can’t see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that’s rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.”
(Maya Angelou)