Tag Archive | inner peace

Just breathe 💙🕉

Mozart: Canzonetta Sull’aria – YouTube song 🎵

Relaxing songs list – website

How to use 4-7-8 breathing for anxiety – website

Diaphragmatic Breathing – Short youtube video to quickly learn how to breathe most effectively

(Content/possible trigger warning ⚠️: In part of this post, I briefly & lightly mention BDSM, a kink, where people, with consent, may be t**d up, usually in a s*xual context. It’s nothing graphic that I explain but just mentioning something to do with breathing that I learned in a fiction book about BDSM, that helps with meditation. But anyone who has experienced trauma may be triggered even by non graphic things, even by seeing certain words so I may block some things out with *** It’s important to face triggers but only when ready as possible, not by suddenly seeing a post on the internet when not in the frame of mind. Also, some asexual people do not want to encounter anything that has anything to do with s*x even if they weren’t traumatized because it’s icky or repulsive to them[not prudes at all, just grossed out and/or tired of hearing about the s*x constantly when it’s not in someone’s nature to want/crave it].

I’ll put a warning before the mention of the BDSM so any trauma survivors or aces can skip it. And I will put the caution signs ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ at the end so anyone who skips can see where it ends and continue reading.)

The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as ‘relaxing breath,’ involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.

This is a very simple and powerful technique to stop anxiety in its tracks. Of course, it may not work for every single person but is effective for many, if not most. For me, it works instantly.

I haven’t been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and never struggled with general anxiety but I have suffered a six month long battle with debilitating health anxiety in 2019. And in 2015 I lost my close friend unexpectedly to a heart attack and after that have struggled with bouts of anxiety off and on and fear of others I know all of a sudden dying. Every now and again but not frequently, I have this terrible suffocating fear arise that someone I know will die soon or is dying right now or will suffer an illness. It’s something that comes and goes and even though it’s not constant or usually frequent, it is difficult to bear when it does occur. It can feel like it will never end and like I am the only one in the world suffering it. I have also struggled with crippling claustrophobia, which I have conquered on my own as I frequently must get on elevators for work. It was important for me to heal it.

So while I don’t have anxiety as badly or frequently as some people and don’t currently have a disorder, I know what it’s like to be plagued by anxiety sometimes. I believe my experience with health anxiety in 2019 would have been diagnosed as a fullblown disorder if I would have asked for help. It takes extreme strength and courage to battle anxiety. It’s a display of strength and courage to live with anxiety, NOT a sign of weakness or cowardice. People with anxiety are forced to be stronger than people without anxiety have to be, yet often feel we are weak and cowardly if we are anxious and fearful. There is no way we would be surviving it each second if we were weak minded. It takes emotional and physical strength to endure. To me, it’s worse than depression and I have suffered severe depression off and on for years. It’s difficult to imagine the strength of anxiety survivors who live with it regularly. Just six months for me was nearly unbearable.

My anxiety when it arises, more often than not, manifests as physical sensations and emotions as opposed to thoughts. Because of this, mine may be easier to calm down when it does arise than if I had deeply rooted fears and thoughts.

My heart pounds, nearly out of my chest, my breathing becomes shallow, my head spins, and bolts of fear run up and down my body, heart palpitations, and I have this terrible feeling that someone I know is dying, near death, or will soon die. Sometimes it lasts off and on for days, usually just off and on in one day. It tends to be worse at night and early mornings when it is occurring. And sometimes my health anxiety for my own self tries to return and convince me I have cancer. It’s absolutely frightening and life destroying when it’s constant like in 2019. I developed uncontrollable rituals each day, incessantly checking for lumps and marks on my body. I stayed on Google day and night reading about diseases and looking at pictures of diseases I was convinced I had. It was a fullblown obsession. How I survived those six months, I still don’t know.

When it’s out of control, it’s very difficult to meditate or just breathe so best to catch it when a symptom or episode is just beginning, or beginning to worsen, or not quite as intense. When my heart begins to pound or those bolts of fear ripple up and down my body, I do the 4-7-8 breathing technique and instantly my body calms. It’s not a cure, of course, but a good way to get instant relief and if it becomes a habit, it may just be a “cure” for some or at least make anxiety less frequent. It’s just it can be difficult finding the motivation or time to make it an ingrained habit. Or for many, their anxiety is just generally too severe to be able to sit there and breathe, mindfully.

But for me, it does work. When I’m out walking, if I am hit with fear or panic or anxious sensations, I do that breathing technique. Also, I haven’t made it a habit yet but at night/morning, I listen to a peaceful song/music and do the breathing technique even if I am not currently anxious. It’s very pleasant and can prevent anxiety. It instills in me a peaceful sensation all throughout.

One thing to be mindful of is if we meditate only infrequently or haven’t in a while, meditation may bring out more fear or anxiety or anger or sadness or grief…, because we have emotions and responses to everyday life and certain experiences already inside us and often pent up. Meditation will loosen it up and bring it all to the surface/consciousness like a plunger loosening all the contents in a sink or toilet. Lol It may make it seem like meditation or mindfulness is a bad thing or just not for us. But could just be we have to meditate more often. Everyday we experience things and our emotional reactions no matter how serious or not, build up. We get cut off in traffic, we drop things, we spill coffee on our white shirt, we see someone almost get hit by a car running across a street, we hear a loud noise that startles us, our coworker says something that ticks us off, we may remember someone dying years ago and feel current distress or sadness about it…all of our emotional reactions to these things stay inside us even if we quickly forget them. Then meditation brings it all out later and we may feel the stress, anger, fear for a while after a meditation session but it’s actually a good thing as all those emotions need a release.

Shoulder blade squeeze

As I mention when promoting breathing exercises, I suggest people who are physically able to, as long as it’s safe for them, do the shoulder blade exercise at the beginning to open up the airways and make breathing easier and deeper.

⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️ Content Warning ⚠️⚠️ ⚠️

Some years ago, I read a fiction legal thriller series of books by Stephen Penner, for fun and learned an invaluable life tip. In one of the books, the medical examiner, character, Dr. Kat Anderson, explained that putting our arms back like that opens the chest cavity and helps us breathe better. In the book a woman was accidentally killed by her man while they were engaging in BDSM, a kink where they tie each other up and stuff; it looks and sounds violent but is usually safe and is one hundred percent consensual.

The characters were hooking up and he tied her arms back with her consent and he accidentally killed her. The doctor explained how she would have died sooner if not for her arms being tied back like that. The reason she died is he choked her (with her consent) and since her arms were back, she was breathing better so lived longer. I realized I can do that before meditations to make me breathe more deeply and just randomly throughout the day and then a professional fitness trainer told me the same thing, to do that all day, everyday. It aids in our breathing.

⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️END⚠️ ⚠️ ⚠️

So put your arms straight at your sides then lift them to your waist, bend the elbows and squeeze shoulder blades for five seconds then loosen for a few seconds then do the same again however many sessions you see fit. Don’t shrug your shoulders while squeezing the shoulder blades. That isn’t necessary and may not be safe or effective.

This is only for people who can safely do this, don’t have pain or physical limitations, have arms…I understand this isn’t for everyone. I think the average person can do this though. Remember for counting seconds, 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi….I learned this is elementary school just saying one two three is less than a second so put the Mississippi after and it’s closest to one second. 😁

This song in the YouTube video above, Mozart: Canzonetta Sull’aria, is one of my favorite ones to meditate to. It’s beautiful and peaceful and scientifically shown to be one of the most relaxing songs on Earth. Weightless – ten hour version or Weightless – eight minutes version is the actual most relaxing (scientifically proven) and I love that one too. But this one is a bit too relaxing and can make us sleepy or go to sleep. I’m not always trying to go to sleep after meditation. Sometimes I’m meditating in the morning or afternoon or out walking or before work and Weightless isn’t a good idea those occasions. But it’s great right before sleep or if it doesn’t matter if we are sleepy.

When breathing, only the abdomen should move, not the chest. And breathing should always be inhaling through the nose with the stomach expanding and exhaling through the mouth with stomach deflating. It’s called diaphragmatic breathing and does matter. It’s the proper way to breathe, the most healthy, but most of us don’t breathe that way and our breathing is shallow. Diaphragmatic breathing is best for coping with pain and anxiety and just the healthiest in all of life.

Remember to breathe as slowly and deeply as possible, especially breathing out. It takes practice. And remember to gently bring your wandering mind back to breath. That takes practice too. Everyone without exception will have a wandering mind, even those experienced with meditation. It’s just the nature of the human mind. It’s not a flaw or something worthy of self criticism. It’s just important to catch it as best as we can because before we know it our allotted meditation time is over and was taken up daydreaming of our lunch later, or some task at work tomorrow, or stores we have to visit. Again, not a flaw! And not an indication that we aren’t good at mediation. It happens to everyone who tries to meditate or do breathwork. It’s just important to get into the habit of catching it as much as possible for mediation to be most effective.

Anyone who tries meditation or breathwork is successful. Just taking that step to better our own self and be better for those around us is an accomplishment.

Hugs, love, inner peace, and light to all! 💗

Xoxo Kim

Healing Anxiety Activity🖤

This is an Instagram post of mine I’m sharing here!

This is not a good picture but it’s the concept I’m sharing. Five years ago, I lost my close friend, who was my coworker, unexpectedly, to a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest, whatever the correct term is. Anyway, her heart just stopped out of nowhere and she collapsed to the floor and died. It wrecked & traumatized my whole world. I developed anxiety that I never had before. Not a fullblown condition but I would have sudden, insense anxiety/fear, out of the blue. Very difficult to endure. Not panic attacks but still a sense of panic. It was not interfering with life in general but definitely with my sleep and peace of mind. Not anxious thoughts usually, but anxious sensations. Bolts of fear surging through me and gripped in panic along with a couple anxious thoughts sometimes. Through the years those anxiety episodes have lessened but I still experience them. They are no longer about Diane’s death, exactly, but still rooted in that. Recently, I experienced a tragic pet loss and because of the circumstances, that fear has been coming back more again, in waves, and interfering with my sleep. My heart pounds when I’m laying as if I was running a marathon. And my insides are like in turmoil. It’s all day but worse at night. The way I see anxiety in my head is like small, sharp, gray/silver balls of activity wreaking havoc on my insides. Sometimes I imagine the balls of anxiety and visualize white or golden light around them, absorbing them into it until they are gone and only light remains. I decided to draw a picture of my imagination. I don’t draw or anything and not creative but decided to give it a try. I drew the balls in pencil then erased them til they became lighter, as if to lose much of their power, then colored them in yellow. I also wrote the word anxiety at the top and erased it then wrote inner peace over it. I colored around the paper in purple because purple/lavendar is soothing to look at and lavendar scent can have a calming effect. The pencil isn’t scented though. This is symbolic of healing anxiety. 💜💛 It’s a fun and soothing activity!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are! It’s Morning here in Philadelphia, Pa, USA! 💛

xoxo Kim

Fred❤-Nightmare on Elm Street-Life Lesson💚

(This is a picture I took of the screen of a Kindle while the movie was on pause. It’s not a movie clip even though it looks like it. lol)

“Why are you screaming when I haven’t even cut you yet?”

I wrote this a while ago and forgot to post it! I just remembered it while working on another post about a scary & inspiring movie.

I was watching the newer version of Nightmare on Elm Street one night recently and there is a scene where Fred is about to kill a young boy with his razor fingers. In case you dont know what that movie is(I was assuming everyone does since it’s so old and popular but then realized maybe not. Especially if you’re not into horror stuff), it’s about a bunch of teenagers who are stalked in their dreams, while they sleep, by a man named Fred who has razor fingers and a burned face. Whatever he does to them in their dreams, happens for real. If he slashes their skin in their dreams and they manage to live, they wake up with a cut on them and if he kills them in their dream, they don’t wake up at all. If they get burned in their dreams, they wake up with a burn mark on their skin.

So anyway, I was watching this movie and Fred was after a young boy and he was screaming and Fred said:

“Why are you screaming when I haven’t even cut you yet?”

I laughed when he asked it. Fred asked sarcastically and laughed a sort of mocking laugh. My automatic thought was the kid is about to be slashed to death so of course he is going to be freaked out seconds before it happens, even hours or days before if he knew it’s coming. Fred was looming over him with those razor fingers.

Then a second later I realized something. Freddy actually has a good point.

“Why are you screaming when I haven’t even cut you yet?”

Why are we anticipating something and getting worked up over something that hasn’t happened yet? Wasting current moments that are not even filled with whatever we dread just because future moments will be or may be. Don’t we all or most do this in reality in everyday life? We think about something we have to do later and don’t want to. We think about how much it sucks that tomorrow is Monday when today is still Sunday. We look at the weather forecast and curse the rain or cold when this moment is sunny and warm as can be. We’re late and on our way to work or somewhere else important and are full of dread about the reactions of others when we walk in late, it’s nearing the end of our vacation or day off and we’re thinking about how tomorrow it’s back to work and responsibilities. We have so, so much anxiety about things that have not even happened yet and are ruining, wasting, overlooking this perfect moment right here. It doesn’t even make sense when we really contemplate it.

So it kind of makes sense to be screaming when there is a psycho hanging over us with a knife even before he cuts us. And I’m saying “he” just because Freddy is a man. But a psycho killer can be a female or other gender, of course. Like what are we supposed to do, look around the room and take pleasure in the colors or decorations or look around outside and bask in the beauty of the scenery when we know at any moment, we’re about to be slashed? Actually, that doesn’t sound like a very bad idea, does it? We’re going to get slashed either way so why not make the best of it? Some people are enlightened enough to be able to do this even in the face of their own death or other destruction, but most of us are probably not. Some people do know they’re about to die soon and still take great pleasure in the beauty of life, maybe even more so than before their illness or whatever is coming to take them. So it is possible. It takes a strong, brave, wise mind, which we can build if we don’t already have it. Also, I think it’s usually people who are dying of an illness who can do this because they have a while to process it. It’s probably different when there is someone currently threatening us with violence and we may die a brutal death in a matter of seconds. A stranger did hold a gun to my chest many years ago, and threaten to kill me. It happened so fast and I was too shocked and caught off guard to be scared. After it was over, I was very angry and still not scared. But I certainly was not looking around taking pleasure in the scenery. lol

But this scene in this movie reminds me of all the other, more mundane moments in life we are screaming before we are even cut. Fred was being a sarcastic dick but still great wisdom beneath the ridicule or sarcasm!

“Don’t look for peace. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”

So profound; even just doing this once, it is quite powerful and healing. But if we keep doing this again and again, it becomes a way of life and gives way to a generally peaceful, calm, joyful life. I forget this sometimes and reminders are fantastic! I am not enlightened yet so I appreciate all the reminders I can get.

I am reminded to live in this moment, bask in the beauty of now, even if there is currently little peace. Why throw it away fretting about tomorrow or later today? We can worry about whatever it is when it gets here. The pain, the rain, the hassle, the stress,…leave it where it belongs. In the future. Then when it finally does get here, we can take a few deep breaths and still appreciate the beauty and goodness around and within us. Or have a breakdown, whatever seems right then. But let’s not allow something that hasn’t happened yet to taint this very moment.

What is good right here, right now?

Savor it.

Standing Knee Deep in a River (And Dying of Thirst) – Joe Cocker version

…And I guess we never learn
Go through life parched and empty
Standing knee deep in a river and dying of thirst
Now, the sidewalk is crowded
The city rolls by
And I rush through another day
A world full of strangers
Turn their eyes to me
And I just look the other way
And they roll by just like water
I guess we’ll never learn…

I have said before, horror movies are often packed with wisdom and inspiration or at least have a couple inspiring scenes or themes. I especially seem to notice it with ghost movies. Whether or not that is the intention, they can definitely inspire us along with thrilling us!

Thank you, Fred, for your wisdom! (even though you’re a creepy perv)

If you are a fiction horror movie/book fan, do you see the life lessons, wisdom, inspiration in them or just the thrills? Do you know of any popular horror books/movies, like this, with a line or theme that is inspiring along with all the horror? Or maybe a non-popular one? We get so wrapped up in the thrill or horror aspect, we may overlook the wisdom.

Prayer to Kuan Yin

This is a short meditation music clip I share often on social media. It is my favorite thing. It’s exhilarating and energizing in the mornings and calm and peaceful in the evenings. Perfect for any part of the day and short so we can easily incorporate it into our busy lives or schedules. And for longer meditations if we choose, we can put it on replay. It is so beautiful! And inspiring! It helped me during that six months of hell last year battling debilitating health anxiety. It was six months of Hell on Earth but also six months of love and beauty and happiness and joy. I somehow managed to still experience happiness and joy even with it. And it deepened my love for life even more. And this music/chant here helped. Om mani padme hum is a chant of love.

Much love & light wherever you are,

And big hugs if you like hugs, if not, then I’ll just send you some virtual lovin’❤😁

P.s Thank you, thank you, thank you for the likes on my lasts posts and the blog follows! I will return the favor soon! WordPress is not compatible with the phone I have and it’s hard to navigate, even using the app. It used to be so much easier years ago. And it uses cookies now, which I do not like. It takes me longer to figure it all out now. Thank you! It’s more than just someone liking/reading our posts; it means someone is giving their time and energy to us when they can be doing anything else in the world. That is a couple minutes, you will never get back and you gave them to me. I am beyond honored. ❤

xoxo Kim 💚

Peace, Love, & Harmony <3

This is my current phone background! It’s not my photo; it’s one I found on an inspirational wallpaper app. I have a few of those apps installed and they allow us to share the wallpapers with others through a share button and there’s even an option to send some of them right here to WordPress!

I think most of us are kind and loving anyway, in general but there’s always room to evolve right?! I think so!

😀

To me, the most important thing is to be kind & loving with sentient beings including ourself (yup, it’s a word! It’s used to refer to us in general as opposed to a specific group of people) but it’s also important to be patient with inanimate objects like the cash register at work. Lol Just earlier today I got pissed at it and cursed it. Not that it’s wrong to the object itself but it generates negative energy to allow ourself to get angry with something as dumb as an object not operating as it should. And if we allow it to happen too frequently it can become a habit. 

It’s not good to repress our unpleasant emotions and they are not wrong to experience or express. But we can practice lovingkindness so we have less angry occasions and more inner peace in general.

One way is when we feel angry, acknowledge it, know it’s ok, take a few breaths, mindfully, then let or attempt to let go of the negativity. We can even visualize all the tension, distress, negativity leaving the body with each exhale. It can become a very positive habit. Again, it’s not about repression of unpleasant emotions.

We can also cultivate a more peaceful attitude by giving thanks for whatever or whoever we are angry at. The cash register for example, it can be a big pain in the balls for sure but imagine what we would do without it! I don’t have to imagine! Years ago the thing broke! And my coworker and me were stuck having to use a calculator, pen & paper, and our own math skills (mine sucks!). It was hellish having a broken cash register on a hot busy day at an ice cream store!

So the cash register really does serve a great purpose. Why focus on the bad?

And if the person or thing or whatever just really seems to have nothing good to focus on, give thanks for this opportunity  to practice love & patience.Difficult situations and people are great teachers and reminders.

Also, I got pissed at this phone I’m using while trying to write this very post! Lol (I’m not in a pissy mood today, I promise!) Then I realized the irony and took my own suggestions to heart.

I took a few deep (as deep as I can, it’s hot and hard to breathe) breaths and decided to be thankful for my phone which is a blessing even with the problems it can bring.

Also, we can engage in a guided lovingkindness meditation session. There are so many on YouTube, some as short as fifteen minutes or less (like the one I will share below) and others over a half hour long. Not everyone wants to take the time for a full meditation practice and we don’t have to to practice lovingkindness.

We have so many opportunities to practice throughout each and every day. It can be as simple as wishing the best (even if just in our heads) for each person, insect, animal we look at. Even the ones we do not know or ones we dont have very positive opinions or affection for. 

We can practice love and patience in every single encounter or at least some for a start.

We don’t have to express it out loud necessarily if we dont want to and we dont even have to actually feel the lovingkindness always; it’s about intention until eventually we feel it frequently without trying.

“Fake it til you make it!”

I am naturally this way but still have space to evolve and find this practice so very beautiful and peaceful.  

LovingKindness meditation – mobile

LovingKindness meditation – desktop


Remember just like you, just like me, every living sentient being wants to avoid suffering and wants inner peace even if that being cannot express or even think it consciously.

Animals, insects, our friends and family, our annoying neighbors, our coworkers, troubled people, addicted people, homeless people, stray animals, people with mental illness, financially rich people, insects that seem repulsive or annoying …..all can experience pleasure and pain, suffering, love and loss, fear and peace…if we wont focus on the good in them then still let us remember again and again that we are all alike in the most fundamental or essential ways. 

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Much love & light, always,

Xoxo Kim 

Mala

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Recently, I got a new Mala!
Isn’t it lovely! 
I really love this one! 

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I don’t really care for the fact that it doesn’t have divider beads though! 😦

Oh well, I still love it!

The kind of red coloring is so pretty!

Malas are Buddhist prayer beads.

They are used for Mantra recitation, to generate positive energy and discipline the mind.

There are various mantras associated with different Buddhas.

It’s believed that when we touch the beads and say/think the mantra, the energy goes onto the Mala. 

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The way I practice Mala recitation is in a secular way, I don’t pray to a Buddha to actually answer me. It’s just a peaceful meditative activity that gets our mind in the habit or more in the habit of positive thinking or a positive, peaceful state.  Even if we are already positive and peaceful, it can help us to be calm even more frequently, even in very stressful, depressing, situations later, even when we are not engaging in recitation.

We don’t have to be Buddhists or religious or any specific kind of spiritual to practice Mala recitation and benefit.

The mantra can be recited once a day or all throughout the day, even walking up a street, at a restaurant, in line at a store…whenever we want, wherever we want(as long as it’s safe/appropriate to be concentrating on it, I don’t know about while driving or performing surgery, in a talk therapy session with a patient…). The point is to truly experience it though, not to absent-mindedly engage in it.

The mantra I chose for this Mala is the

Manjushri Mantra,
Om A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhih

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“This mantra is believed to enhance wisdom and improve one’s skills in debating, memory, writing, and other literary abilities. “Dhīḥ” is the seed syllable of the mantra and is chanted with greater emphasis and also repeated a number of times as a Decrescendo.”

“A leads to the insight that the essence of all things is unproduced.
RA leads to the insight that all things are pure and free of defilements.
PA leads to the insight that all dharmas have been “expounded in the ultimate sense.”
CA leads to the insight that the arising and ceasing of things cannot be apprehended because in reality there is no arising or ceasing.
NA leads to the insight that although the names for things change the nature of things behind their names cannot be gained or lost.”

Source: http://www.wildmind.org/mantras/figures/manjushri

Manjushri is a bodhisattva, depicted as a beautiful young prince of transcendent wisdom.

You can hear the mantra said over and over here (mobile) or here (desktop)... It’s so soothing.

Malas typically are strung with 108 beads and divider beads. A mantra session can be performed for all 108 beads at once or less. It’s believed by Buddhists that the energy for the mantra goes on the beads and each recitation session adds more energy. If a different mantra is used for the same Mala, the energy for the previous mantra clears and the new energy goes on. 

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I have five Malas.
I’m not yet in the habit of practicing everyday though like some who are very dedicated.
It can be overwhelming until we truly ingrain the habit.

People who have practiced for many years with the same Mala, often take great care not to have their Mala lost or damaged because there goes all that positive energy, years worth, down the drain! 

But Buddhism/Mala recitation  is all about inner  peace, and all those years of Mala recitation, hopefully, provides them with the strength to handle such misfortune. 

If you want to see about various mantras, check this out!
http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/buddhism/mantras/ 

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If you aren’t into Mala recitation and mantras, this is probably a boring post for you. 

And I love to mostly share things that can be appealing to people in general. 

Unlike what many people say about themselves and their blogs, I don’t mostly post for myself. I do post things for me but my main intention is to help uplift & inspire  others who may come across my content now or later. It will always be here (hopefully!)!
Of course everything I post is something I want to share so in that way it is for me. 

Even if I wanted to post something I thought no one else would care for, I still would post it. I already have but most of it got “likes” anyway! I’m so honored when people like my content.

But I always want to include something that may be more interesting to others.  

So if you opened this post and couldn’t care less, you’re in luck! Lol

Because I will share some fantastic quotes here as well! 

“My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?” ~
Charles M. Schulz

Lol I feel this way often, like I have no specific purpose, but not in a bad way, no need for a purpose, my purpose is just to be. It’s beautiful to feel that way. When I’m depressed sometimes I feel the opposite about it, like I have no purpose and it sucks! Lol It’s all about the attitude! 

“The universe was a vast machine yesterday, it is a hologram today. Who knows that intellectual rattle we’ll be shaking tomorrow. ” ~ R.D. Laing

“A rose is a rose is a rose.” ~ Gertrude Stein

Whaaattt??? Lol 😉

“The present moment is a powerful goddess.” ~ Goethe

“Life is a child playing around your feet, a tool you hold firmly in your grip, a bench you sit down upon in the evening, in your garden.” ~ Jean Anouilh

“The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman  of sorts. The day was green.
They said, ‘You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.’
The man replied, ‘Things as they are 
Are changed upon a blue guitar…'” ~ Wallace Stevens 

Such deep wisdom here. 

“Wind moving through grass so that the grass quivers. This moves me with an emotion I don’t even understand.” ~ Katherine Mansfield

This is one of the most beautiful experiences in the world! To witness something so mundane and so simple and be so inspired, filled with immense emotion that can’t even be described, like gratitude, love, beauty, happiness, joy, awe…I feel this often! ❤

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"No snowflake falls in an inappropriate place." ~ Zen saying 

"There is nothing useless in nature; not even uselessness itself." ~ Montaigne

"To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illuminated mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light." ~ Emerson

Oh yes, it burns and sparkles with passion, light, love….

"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought." ~ Basho

Allow their wisdom to guide us but follow our own way.

"If we achieve satori and the satori shows, like a bit of dogshit stuck on the tip of our nose, that is not so good." ~ Taisen Deshimaru

Lol Don't flaunt that shit! Be humble. Just be.
;-D

So reading this post wasn't a total waste, right?…right?! 

😉

Much love & light to you! 

Xoxo Kim 

Getting older

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“I love getting older. My understanding deepens. I can see what connects. I can weave stories of experience and apply them. I can integrate the lessons. Things simply become more & more fascinating. Beauty reveals itself in thousands of forms.” ~ Victoria Erickson 

❤ 😀

Getting older is often seen as a negative thing, so many people complain about getting older and turning cetain ages but it’s actually a blessing to live to be as old as possible. Every age and stage of life has its blessings. The older we get, the deeper our wisdom grows. If we were younger we wouldn’t know as much as we do now and if we want to be us now but just a younger age, there would be no difference except for the numerical lable.

In Buddhist class last week, we were reminded of how each situation or stage of life can be seen as good or bad and can be strongly desired then when we finally get there, we see it’s not the perfection we made it out to be. We become disillusioned and see that this thing we desired so much, it too has its unpleasant qualties. For example, many people can’t wait to move out into their own place, leaving the family house they were born into. They think about the independence they’ll have but then when they get out, they see they have so much responsibilty they never had before. Being on our own is great but it’s not “perfect.”
Many single people wish they were married but then many get married and it may be great but there will still be complications and struggles we don’t have to endure while single.
We may wish we had an amazing looking lover then we get him/her and then feel jealous like the person is desired by everyone else and it was easier to not have that ridiculously attractive person. lol This is a funny example our teacher gave. It had everyone laughing.
Many people without kids think their lives will be perfect after having kids but then the kids come along and it’s amazing for people who want them, but there are struggles they never realized.
Lots of kids want to grow up fast but then many adults wish to be younger.
We may want a more impressive job or a promotion but then that comes with struggles and distress we did not have before.

So, see each stage and age of life has beautiful blessings but also struggles. None of them are pure bliss. But we can still make whatever age and stage we are at, blissful, simple, beautiful.

It’s all about how we look at it. Many people would give anything to be where I am right now even though sometimes I wish I were somewhere else in life.

Many people complain about turning 30 or 40 years old but then there are people diagnosed with a terminal illness who want nothing more than to live to see their 30th or 40th or 80’th birthday. If you ever complain about your age because you feel “old,” just imagine if you get diagnosed with a disease and are told by doctors that you will likely be dead within a matter of months. Wouldn’t you give almost anything to go back to that problem of being “old?”
I met people who have breakdowns merely because they just turned a year older.
One day at work a few years ago, I told a girl “happy birthday” and she burst out sobbing and said “no don’t say that! There’s nothing happy about it, I’m old!!!” She was 38 years old.
Poor girl. But to someone else, turning 38 years old is the absolute greatest blessing on Earth. Like maybe someone who almost died once or was told s/he likely wouldn’t live that long. It’s all about our perspective and we CAN change our perspective.

Many years ago when I was young, 20 something years old, I read a true story in a magazine written by a young woman who was recently (back then) diagnosed with terminal cancer. She wrote something like “by the time you read this, I will probably be dead.” Her name was Stephanie. She was happy and engaged to be married to a wonderful man and she said after she received the diagnosis, it was kind of like being in another world. I don’t remember the exact words but her writing, I remember it being so profound and I imagined myself in her place and felt her emotional pain. I really felt it.

I can never know what it’s like to be terminally ill, any aspect of it, unless it happens to me, but her writing portrays so well what it’s like that I was able to deeply imagine and get a fraction of a feel.
Not all writing can do that. She was very skilled.

She said shortly after the diagnosis, she was out walking with her fiance and she was so envious of every single person she laid eyes on that day. All of those people who would likely live to see many more birthdays while she wouldn’t live to see her very next one.

She was disturbed when people would tell her that it’s really no different for a terminally ill person because anyone can die at any second. A healthy person can step off a curb into a street and be struck by a car and killed in an instant. But she said for the terminally ill, it is different because they have a death sentence or something like “chasing” them to kill them. Again, I do not remember the exact words. But this is the sentiment.

She said to be terminally ill is like having a speeding train constantly coming at us and it’s bound to eventually catch up.

Yes, we can all die in an instant, young, old, healthy, sick, innocent, guilty alike….but no it’s not the same for a terminally ill person. They very likely will die soon. Most people won’t be killed although we can be.

After reading her story in that magazine, I looked her up on the internet. I don’t remember much but I do remember her name and face and blonde hair. Unfortunately, like she wrote, by the time I discovered and read her story in the magazine, she was dead. Cancer took her beautiful life.

And I’m still here, alive & well. So it was different for her.

I feel like maybe if I was just diagnosed with an illness and told I probably won’t live to be thirty years old then I heard people complaining about getting older, I would be kind of pissed and a bit resentful. lol

Once we’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, age doesn’t matter all of a sudden. Why should it ever matter?

Once in Buddhist class, our teacher said, imagine if we just were handed the most expensive diamond in the world and are now financially rich beyond our wildest imagination.

How would you feel?

Then a few hours later, you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness and told by a doctor that you will very likely be dead within a few months.

Now is the diamond still worth anything to you personally (it will still be good for your family if you have one)? Are you still thrilled? Does all the junk you can buy still matter?

This is an example to show that things aren’t inherently good or bad but our mind places the value on it. A diamond can be very valuable to us one second then the very next second, it means nothing. Most people would probably love receiving this wealth but then what if we receive it then an hour later our child dies or our close friend or our pet or parent, we probably wouldn’t care so much anymore about the material wealth.

Health is more important (in my opinion), than being financially or materially rich. But in some ways, the most important thing is our attitude. We can’t always help being sick or financially struggling but we can always choose our reactions and as long as we have a positive attitude and inner bliss, our outside environment cannot touch us.

Let’s cherish wherever we are right now and warmly embrace it even if we are working or hoping for something else one day.

And here is a great song that shows how something amazing (having an incredibly beautiful wife/girlfriend) still can have its unpleasantness about it.;-D

“When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
You watch your friends
When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
It never ends
You know that it’s crazy
You want to trust her
Then somebody hangs up when you answer the phone
When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
You go it alone.” ~ Dr. Hook

mobile:

desktop:

“When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
You watch her eyes
When you’re in love with a beautiful woman
You look for lies
Everybody tempts her
Everybody tells her
She’s the most beautiful woman they know”

lol Great song!

😀

Much love,

xoxo Kim

Retreat

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“There is no need to run outside
For better seeing,…
…Rather abide  
At the center of your being;
For the more you leave it, the less you learn.
Search your heart and see

The way to do is to be.” ~ Lao Tzu

I love this thought provoking quote!
(I think that irony inheres in certain quotes such as this one which is thought-provoking but about not thinking, not doing, not explaining, just being.)
Sometimes all we have to do is seek within, to the stillness and quiet at our center, deep inside, to find answers, to experience serenity and calm, to experience joy, wisdom, and peace. 

It dwells in your core even when you can’t feel it. It can be discovered.

I noticed that the more I meditate, the less I care about certain (often trivial) problems and the better I handle them. Even when I go days/weeks without meditation, the first day I begin again to meditate, I experience more calmness and if I’m depressed the night that I meditate, I often wake up with a sense of happiness and hope. Meditation really has an amazingly positive effect on the brain chemistry and a beautiful psychological effect.

Meditation doesn’t even have to be a deep guided meditation or a long meditation session. It can be just five minutes of sitting in a quiet place, eyes closed, wordless and gentle music as you focus on your breath. Your mind will wander and thoughts will take over. Wandering and thinking is the nature of the human mind. And that’s ok. Just gently bring it back to your breath and the sensations in your body. That’s a very simple meditative practice. You don’t have to know anything about meditation to engage in it. It doesn’t have to be scheduled or planned. It can be during your lunch break in your office, in your bed at night before sleep, when you wake up in the morning, anywhere….not driving though, obviously! lol Or in any other situation that would render it dangerous. 

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If we take a few moments each day to just BE, it can help greatly in situations that are distressing, even if we don’t realize right away.

Often, we are so wrapped up in doing, solving, working, worrying, planning, scheduling, explaining, thinking, wondering….that we forget just being.  

I hope you will take a few minutes to connect with your inner being and forget the world for a while. I’m wishing you much love and peace and happiness! ❤

Xoxo Kim

P.s. Thank You so much to the people who wrote me comments/messages!! I will get back to you very soon!! ❤ ❤