Tag Archive | life lessons

The Light 

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

Every experience, pleasant or unpleasant, is an opportunity to evolve. Let’s try to find the beauty in each moment, the life lesson/s, the Light, the opportunity, The Love…

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

xoxo Kim

Thou shalt not steal

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Recently I heard Christian people on the radio talking about the Ten Commandments in Biblical Scripture. I’m not a Christian woman but find their conversation deeply inspiring. The men were saying the language (I forget which one but for this post it’s not very important anyway. I think it may be Hebrew?) directly translates into English as “Do not steal”  but often we hear\read “thou shalt not steal.” The men said this second phrase “thou shalt not steal” is much more powerful than “do not steal” and before they started explaining I was a bit confused. At first glance, at least to me, a command such as “Do not steal” seems more direct and assertive, even threatening, than “you should not steal.” Telling me not to do something can be an implicit threat or warning “Do not…or else..” where telling me I shouldn’t do something seems a bit more passive or laid back. It doesn’t seem like a command or demand. It’s more like just someone’s little opinion.

I’m not a big fan of telling others or myself what we should or should not do. I think “should” can be too limiting and contribute to feelings of failing or too much pressure. But soon I realized what these Christian men were talking about and it’s very powerful and can apply to us all, not just Christian and other religious people.

“Should” or “should not” is more like an internal thing while someone else’s commands, laws, rules, threats, abuse, opinion…..are external and cannot affect us if we do not let them. “Do not….because I said so” is authoritarian and someone else’s rule slapped onto us. It may or may not be a good rule but it’s external and we can rise above whereas “should” is something moral, internal. Of course someone else’s opinion of “should” is external and “should” is subjective but it’s more of an internal truth.

There are some things, in my opinion, we really should not do, like kill innocent beings, steal, spread vicious gossip, sexually assault….to name a few. That’s my truth and it’s more powerful than someone else telling me not to. It’s illegal for me to kill an innocent human but it runs deeper than the law telling me not to; I truly believe I should not kill an innocent person (or any innocent sentient being) and if I ever did I would have a bigger problem than being in legal trouble. I would have an internal struggle knowing I did something very wrong that resulted in the pain or ending of someone else. It’s not illegal to kill most insects at least where I live, and I don’t negatively judge those who do, but I do not kill them on purpose and when I do accidentally, I have a struggle within. And there are occasions people said things to me meant to have an effect I did not allow it to have. There are occasions I experienced domestic violence and was physically forced to do or not do something that wasn’t my choice but I did not let it destroy me and know it’s not a reflection of who I am and that this life is still beautiful with so many beautiful things and I kept my mind calm even though externally it was chaos. When I am abused the abuser is degrading itself, not me. Murderers, sexual predators, bullies, those engaging in vicious gossip only degrade themselves not those they hurt or try to hurt. We may be hurt, broken, devastated, traumatized, petrified, bleeding, bruised…..but we are not as destroyed as those who tried to destroy us. And we can stand up & rise again.

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(not my photo)

Abuse of any kind, vicious lies being told about us, others trying to control us, societal expectations…..these are all external and can affect us greatly if we allow it. But with work, practice, meditation, self exploration, self love, other positive things….we can rise above and others cannot touch us. Even if they do physically, it will not drag and keep us down or touch our essence. What matters is what we know, our own truth, knowing, attitude.

It’s what’s inside that is more powerful than the outside.

Much love & light to you always! Thank you to everyone who reads my content & those who comment! When I see a comment I always or almost always respond usually with a comment back or a “like” and if I seem to ignore it it’s very likely I did not see it. I appreciate every comment & everyone who reads! I have a whole lot of catching up to do! I got a new job recently and worked nineteen days in a row! But I love it! ❤😍😀

~Hugs~

xoxo Kim 

Insidious Chapter 3 {Love & Hope} <3

I watched this movie again tonight and am inspired all over again! As I wrote, I love the life lessons this movie conveys whether or not they were intended. I feel that it’s a movie about staying alive even when it hurts, even when it feels unbearable. Our home is here on Earth for now. And here on Earth is where we belong right now. Don’t give up! Also, the part where the psychic lady tells the girl who lost her mom to cancer, that she can stop looking for her mom, she is always with her, whispering in her ear when she’s confused or feels alone, is one of the best. Even if we don’t believe in ghosts, spirits, angels….those we love & lose remain with us in memory, in our hearts/minds. We don’t have to look anymore. They are here, within, always. ❤ ❤ Much love & light to you, always. ❤

A Dose of Inspiration

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“I choose to FIGHT BACK! I choose to RISE, not fall! I choose to LIVE, not die! And I know, I know that what’s within me is also WITHIN YOU.” (Mayor Pappas, “City Hall” movie quote)

Last night I saw the movie Insidious chapter 3. I love the Insidious movies! They are seriously the creepiest movies I ever saw! And I’m not a believer in ghosts but hell if they don’t creep me out!  

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I absolutely love Insidious Chapter 3. It’s creepy, it’s dark, it’s distressing and thrilling. But that’s not why I love it so.

There are a few lessons to be learned, for some people. I don’t know if the writer/s intended to convey these subtle messages or I’m just really reading into the movie and seeing messages that are accidental. 

Please don’t read here any further if you intend to watch the movie and haven’t seen…

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Forget your perfect offering

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“Ring the bells that still can ring. 
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
~ Leonard Cohen “Anthem”

Let’s not forget to ring those bells, the ones that still can ring. The bad in the world, the bitterness, the pain, the negativity, the shattered bells that no longer ring….that cannot take away the goodness that still exists, the beauty, the love, the togetherness, the light…<3

Not only does the darkness and pain not take away the goodness all around and within us, it can allow us to see an even brighter light if we allow it, a greater strength, deeper wisdom & empathy, a more profound love. ❤

Much love & light to you,

xoxo Kim 😀

A cup of coffee <3

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“You’re the blessings
Every time I try to count,
You’re the lessons
That l learn
Every time I turn around,
You’re the water when I’m burned
Every time I think I’ve found
Everything I’m looking for,
You’re the sign sayin’
Stop to take a bow”
~ Empty Hands/Nimo

In Buddhist class last night, our teacher encouraged us to think about and  meditate upon the kindness of others whether or not they intended to be kind. 

Sometimes people do things unintentionally that are very convenient to us, even if they were not trying to be helpful. For example, if someone points out a flaw not trying to help but to hurt, we can still be helped by the criticism, changing the flaw if it really is one and would be good to change. For that, we can be thankful for our “enemy” for aiding in our positive change. Instead of focusing on the anger or pain of what that person tried to do, we can focus on the gratitude. We can consciously transform an unpleasant situation into a life lesson.

If someone is very negative and rude, that person isn’t trying to be kind but we can seize the situation as an opportunity to practice compassion and strengthen our virtue of patience.

Atisha, an ancient Buddhist master, had an assistant who frequently acted in a very vicious manner against Atisha. He slandered him to others and talked negatively about him in an unnecessary way right to his face. Atisha spoke of love and compassion in front of many people, giving public speeches to help make the world better. This assistant of his was verbally abusive to him in front of everyone. Most of the people back then loved Atisha. And they began asking Atisha why he doesn’t replace his abusive assistant with a new one. There would be so many people ready to assist Atisha in a very loving way. But Atisha refused the offer. 

He called his assistant his best friend and explained how the man was helping him further develop and maintain his virtue of patience.

For this, Atisha was extremely thankful. He took this potentially infuriating situation and used it for good, to deepen his compassion and strengthen his patience.

Most of us probably have situations no matter how serious or very minor, that we can use to deepen and maintain our compassion and patience. Stuck in traffic, being cut off in traffic, people at work getting on our last nerve, friends or family testing our patience, experiencing an act of betrayal, being the target of slander, diagnosed with a serious physical illness, depression, anxiety, being gossiped about, receiving a rude comment online, being rejected, experiencing a painful breakup, “wasted” years in a terrible relationship – at least you have experience and know what you don’t ever want again! –  ….Everything can be practice. Everything and everyone can be our teacher if we allow it. 

Everyone else praised Atisha, lavished so much love onto him, he couldn’t really practice patience because it was never tested by them. This person who was difficult to deal with taught him so much love in a different way.

“How can I be patient if there’s no one to be patient with?”

Be thankful for those who push our buttons and test our patience.

“How can I give if there’s no one to give to?”

Be thankful for those who allow us to give and those experiences which provide opportunities for us to give. Give our stuff, our time, our energy, our love, our wisdom….

Our teacher talked with us about gratitude for the kindness of others and she gave an example of something as simple as a cup of coffee. How often do we think much about a cup of coffee we are drinking?  

Many of us, probably most, take for granted all the steps and processes it takes to get that cup onto our table or into our hands. It did not just appear. The kindness of others all lead up to that one cup of coffee getting into our hands. 

Someone had to gather the coffee beans, roast them, package it, put it on the shelves in the stores, create the packages to hold the coffee, someone had to make the cup, the table, someone is responsible for giving us life to have hands to hold,  a throat with the ability to swallow, a stomach to digest, and who knows what other steps had to be taken, processes we don’t even know about, just to make it so we eventually get to drink the coffee. To us, it seems so simple to open up the package and make the coffee or walk to a store and buy a cup of it. But so many people and things came together to make that happen.

And that goes for everything in this life. Everything we have even if we worked hard for it, is only possible because of the kindness o f others. Maybe we work hard to get money to buy clothes we love and feel independent for working so hard to buy expensive clothing but someone had to make those clothes, businesses have to be possible to sell them, our boss gave us our job and if we are self employed, still, we did not get here literally  alone. So many have helped along the way both intentionally and unintentionally.

We’re none of us completely independent or without something and someone to be grateful to. 

Also, our biological mom brought us into the world and either took great care of us, at least enough to keep us alive, or entrusted someone else to do that for her, for us.

So we have our mom to be thankful for, both our biological mom and our adoptive mom if we have one.  (and fathers too)

Also, we have doctors and nurses and others to thank for saving our lives if we were ever sick or seriously injured and needed medical attention. And the ones who helped us when our mom was pregnant and gave birth. 

When I was 21 years old, I got very sick and needed emergency kidney surgery. My kidney was obstructed, enlarged, and almost ruptured(a kidney stone damaged it temporarily and blocked my whole system on the one side) . There was a small chance it was going to have to be removed but the doctors were almost sure they got to it soon enough(luckily they were correct!). I was in severe pain and my whole body felt sick. I knew something was very wrong and my family took me to an emergency room. I thought if whatever was wrong wasn’t going to kill me, that the physical pain would. Back then it was the worst physical pain I ever felt. I really believed I was dying, not just because of the pain but I knew something was wrong internally. 
I had all kinds of things done to me in that hospital, Catscan, IV drips, blood drawn, surgery….

It took so much to diagnose my condition and fix it. The doctors and nurses and technicians and others all had to do so many things, clean instruments, scrub their hands, set up machines, communicate with each other, cancel scheduled surgeries to take me first since mine was an emergency (I heard the doctor on the phone canceling multiple vasectomy appointments just for me), put me under the anesthesia, so many, many other things to save my life….

It is their job but they chose those jobs because they want to help others. And of all the people I encountered those days, I did not encounter one rude person(many people cannot say the same when they have medical emergencies/situations), just one doctor who wasn’t the friendliest but he had to work long hours and encounter many patients acting in rude manners probably. It can’t always be easy being an emergency room doctor. 

For once I wasn’t depressed and all the work they did for me was/is so life affirming. It felt as if my life is valuable, something. Something worth saving. 

I still remember and cherish the kindness of all those who worked hard to save my kidney and me. The memories always warm me. 

Also, I am thankful for the doctors, nurses, technicians who helped me during the hospitalizations for suicidal depression/psychosis when I was young. Some of them were very loving and some very cold and rude. But I’m forever grateful for the experiences and they all helped me in various ways. Even today during my lovingkindness practice, remembering the coldness of some of the people I encountered during my hospital stays, helps me practice and strengthen compassion & patience. Even old experiences can help us today. 

Also construction workers who are often complained about blocking streets, using loud equipment…if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have the roads paved like we do, things wouldn’t get built or fixed.

The next occasion we go to complain or see it as an inconvenience, let’s stop instead and give thanks. It may not be helping us directly or at all but they are making the world a better place as a whole. 

It’s amazing to think this way. I have always been naturally very grateful even before I realized the concept of gratitude. Since I was a little girl I have always felt thankful for everything and very blessed. I remember frequently feeling that I had the best life. 

But after consciously practicing appreciative living techniques and especially after I began taking Buddhist classes, I am even more frequently thankful and often in a deeper way.

Our recent class is a great reminder to contemplate all that others do for us whether or not they intend to be kind. Whether they are forced to do community service as a penalty for violating a law, actually meant to be vicious, accidentally do something great for us, or truly meant to be loving and kind, we can pay them gratitude even if just a feeling in our own heads. Our energy can have a ripple effect and can influence our actions and it’s just a great way to live, in gratitude for the kindness of others. 

It’s fascinating to think of all the kindness that exists in one cup of coffee!

I encourage you the next moment you are drinking coffee or tea or whatever you drink, to think of all the ways in which others made this possible for you. We probably cannot think of literally every way! There’s so many! But we can think of some.

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(not my photo)  

Thank you to all the various kinds of doctors, nurses, technicians, police, construction workers, lawyers, janitors who clean buildings, store cashiers, restaurant workers, delivery people, secretaries, those who put out fires and save lives, mail workers, those who pick up trash and recycling, teachers, professors, veterinarians, volunteers, and all the others who make the world go round. 

Let’s pay them back with a friendly smile, a thank you or thank you note, a helping hand whenever we can,  any act of kindness, even just a feeling of gratitude or acknowledgment in our head. And let’s pay it forward putting as much of our own love as we can out into the world.  ❤

Here is a beautiful love song to the whole world:

“So I lift up my hands now
And I open my heart
And my gratitude goes out
To everything near and far”
~ Nimo

Grateful – a love song to the world – mobile

Grateful – desktop

😀

Much love & light to you!

xoxo Kim

Evolve.

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“May their negative actions ripen upon me
And may all my virtues ripen upon them.”

A great (Buddhist) reminder to see the negative, bitter, unpleasant…actions of others and situations as an opportunity to learn, grow, strengthen our own wisdom and virtues, develop deeper compassion and patience. 

And to always react positively, compassionately, lovingly, patiently…and hope that it inspires others. 

Even if we don’t always act or react in a positive way, any occasion that we do is great. 

Any situation that is unpleasant can teach and remind us. Every moment we act in love even if it’s just holding our tongues instead of lashing out, is planting seeds so in the future we will be more patient and loving.

And we never know who we are inspiring with our love!

Instead of letting unpleasant circumstances drag us down, allow them to inspire us, teach us, remind us, help us build and strengthen our virtues while inspiring others. ❤

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are! It's a beautiful, cool, Spring night here in Philadelphia – USA! 😀

Much love & light to you, always,

xoxo Kim

Our Purpose

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“Be your own purpose.”

This is a great reminder out of the Kindle book I love “365 Wisdom Pills.”

Sometimes we may feel that things outside of our own self give us purpose like other people, money, things, our job, certain skills we have….or that without certain things, we have no purpose, but we are our own purpose for living. 

People say things often like find your purpose or your life’s purpose and live it. At first this may seem all inspiring or motivational but truly think about it? It can be kind of degrading. 

I don’t believe we each have a specific purpose. Suppose we think our purpose is to get married and then that person leaves us?

Then what? We have no purpose? What if we feel our purpose is a certain hobby like running or traveling then we become paralyzed or too sick to travel or run? Then we suddenly become purposeless? Or what if our “purpose” is to help others in a certain way then we suffer some loss and can’t? What if you’re a surgeon then you suffer an injury or lose your practice or license or something? Then you have no reason to exist?!

What if we become confined to a chair, paralyzed at the neck down and can’t even turn our head? There are people like that! And some are very happy! There’s a lady who is a painter and can paint with a brush in her mouth and she’s like the happiest person! She cannot move most of her body and she’s so happy and so full of purpose. I don’t know much about her but my dad told me about her years ago. We did not know her personally. He used to carry a picture of one of her paintings in his wallet to remind himself that it’s possible to be happy and love life no matter what. Her ability to paint isn’t what gives her purpose. She is a living, sentient being who exists. That’s her purpose.

And what about people who have severe brain damage or were born with complications and can’t feed themselves? They can’t walk or hardly talk or anything, yet they have purpose. No less than I do. And they are happy too. They can smile and look around and feel. I used to walk by a school for children like this, with extra needs, when I was walking to class in college. They were in wheelchairs, some with feeding tubes and oxygen and I saw them smile and make contact with people helping them and walking by. 

It’s like cruelty to claim that someone like this has less of a reason to live than anyone else! And some people do claim that!  

I don’t feel sorry for people with disabilities or brain damage as long as they are alive. I don’t feel sorry for mothers who give birth to extra needs children. Those people don’t need and probably do not want my sympathy or sorrow. They are a blessing and I have compassion for them just like I have for anyone else. They are not necessarily suffering and are not without purpose. And even through our suffering, we have purpose. 

When I was a young girl in middle and high school, I made my whole “purpose” to be about getting good grades. I did not have perfect grades but I got honor roll every semester. I frequently felt that I had no reason to live. But I reminded myself that I did have a reason to live, I got good grades! Then one day I got my report card and got a C in math! I seriously contemplated killing myself after school that day. I was really going to then lost the nerve. Not that suicide takes true courage, it does take some kind of fearlessness or determination but that’s not true courage. True courage is choosing to live even when it’s so hard. But whatever was giving me the balls to kill myself, suddenly dissipated when I got the chance. That has happened frequently. 

Not everyone who feels like there’s no purpose wants to kill themselves but it’s an unpleasant, painful way to live!

So it’s good if we can all realize that our purpose is us. We don’t need anything else to give us a reason. It’s great to have passions, interests, goals, plans, people….but they aren’t our reason for living.

Hugs & love to you! ❤

😀

Xoxo Kim