Saturday, December 31, 2016

Gears In The Cosmic Clock

My friend Dan Hagen and I were discussing the cycle of life earlier today. We came to the conclusion that while the cosmos and the cycle of life is enormous, it is so small at the same time. Our place in it is an important and absolutely necessary one. We are like the tiny gears inside a clock that all turn independently, but ultimately make the larger mechanism run. The cycle and its synchronicities are so immense that we can't actually see them, but if we pay attention and look close enough we can see them by seeing their results. It's similar to looking at a faint star in the sky. We know it's there but if we stare directly at it we can't see it. If we look slightly to the side however, its beauty reveals itself. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Notes From A Mother To A Son

Seven months ago my mother died after suffering with a long-term illness. As I watched her fading I wondered which would be better, to have a parent go suddenly, in essence having the band-aid ripped off abruptly and suffering with the instantaneous pain of separation? Or to have a parent go slowly, watching the slow and painful decline, powerless to do anything to stop it, but having time to emotionally and physically prepare for the end. I came to the conclusion that neither is preferable over the other. The loss of a parent or loved one is just as painful, and it leaves a tremendous, gaping hole (what I have termed the "emotional crater") either way.
What I can say is that the last year of my mother's life gave me the unique opportunity. The opportunity to spend time with her and say the things to each other not everyone gets the chance to express when a separation like this is sudden or unexpected.
Realizing what was to come, my mother had the insight to write me a series of letters with instruction for them to be opened only after her passing. It took me seven months to bring myself to read them today on what would have been her 74th birthday.
Her letters were filled with loving words, memories, and most of all life advice imparted in the unique way only my mother could have expressed. Below are some of the passages from the various letters that touched me deeply. As her illness progressed, the handwriting my mother prided herself on began to deteriorate. I have transcribed a few somewhat illegible ones. The transcriptions are in quotation marks below the image. Based on that and the fact that some letters were dated and some not, I have tried to put them in as correct a chronological order as possible. Regardless of those factors, I hope her words will touch you and help you recognize or remind you of the preciousness of life and our place in it as she always tried so hard to instill in me.

"I will have an eternal smile in my heart because of you. I hope you will be always able to feel my hugs. My life has been very happy because of you & our family."

This is one of the most touching of my mom's four letters to me, addressing my relationship with my partner. I have blurred his name in order to preserve his privacy.

"When you have a sad or lonely time, reach out to others, find ways to reach out,
be determined to control your life. You have always been so determined & you always can be."

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Secrets of Bouncing back from Defeats

Thanks once again to my dear friend Dan Hagen for this article. It contains some very insightful and useful knowledge to help us understand ourselves and learn how to turn defeat into motivation.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Embracing flaws and imperfections

Like the long-standing Japanese tradition of Kintsugi, the repair of broken objects with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, no attempt at hiding our imperfections and flaws is actually an illumination of the spirit. An embrace of existing fully in the moment and an acceptance of life's ever-changing conditions.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Secrets to Success

My partner passed this on to me as his dad passed it on to him. Success, happiness, and achievement comes not only in the business realm. It also comes from deep inside ourselves, for ourselves and the way we view and treat others. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Trust What Is

My friend Argenis Vegas has written a wonderful book based on his personal experience with mindfulness, nonattachment and being present. From the book's back cover:

"Suffering can be the greatest catalyst for transformation. It can help you discover your own essence and connect with the field of all possibilities. You have the opportunity to navigate the flow of life and be with “what is” at that moment. Rather than fight against the natural current, be present in it. Those who oppose us are not our enemies, but our teachers. Offer them no resistance. This story attempts to point to that which is beyond words, and cannot be grasped by the mind——the unified nature of existence, which lies beyond the conditioning and the dualistic perception of life. My wish is that it will encourage you to welcome differences, thus creating a more peaceful, loving world, and to inspire you to see and go beyond the circumstances in your life."

For anyone on the path of mindfulness and self-awareness, I encourage them to read this book. It is full of wonderful nuggets of insight, inspiration, and enthusiasm for learning to trust what is. Visit the link below for ordering information.


From a posting by my good friend Dan Hagen. 
You can find a link to his blog, "Odin's Ravens" in the margin on the right. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Mastery of Love

I recently finished this amazing book. While the title would lead you to believe that it is about learning to have better relationships with others (which is correct), it is about so much more. It is filled with wonderful insights on the most important relationship of all, the one with the self. 
I highly suggest it to anyone who is ready to explore themselves even deeper, and ready to look
inside a little more. By the author of The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz takes the reader on a wonderful journey of learning to let go, forgive and love.