Tag Archive | links

On Empathy

image

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” ~ Henry David Thoreau ❤

I have thin, super thin, psychological boundaries but I have learned to handle it well and I see it as a true gift and pure strength. Thin psychological boundaries means I often have difficulty emotionally separating myself and others. When someone suffers either physically or emotionally or experiences pleasure or joy, I feel almost as if it’s happening to me. It literally hurts me, even physically when someone else hurts. And elates me or fills me with sheer joy when someone else is thrilled or elated.  Even if the person isn’t someone I like much or someone I don’t know or even on TV or a fictional character in a book. 

One day a psychic program on TV was on in my house.  I don’t believe in psychic abilities or that psychics are real but it can still be interesting. 
I was sitting on the sofa while it was on and saw parts of it. 
The psychic lady said a lady’s neck was snapped by a murderer in some room in a house somewhere that the psychic lady was standing in and the psychic lady got all worked up saying she has to get out of there because she was so disturbed over what she “saw” and she said she “saw” marks on this lady’s neck and she was holding her own neck and my neck started throbbing and felt all bruised and my head and face started throbbing on the one side, the side where I usually have the cluster-like headaches, and I was holding it the rest of the day off and on! And I felt the dead lady’s neck injury and the psychic’s emotional distress all day. I know it was “empathy pain,” not really something wrong with my neck. Not an actual headache. I was still happy that day, it doesn’t usually overly interfere with my own life.  And I don’t believe what the psychic lady was saying but I believe she may have believed it. Or believed it to some extent. Or is great at acting.

 I felt so connected to that psychic lady, deeply connected. Both of us did not have a neck injury at all but both of us experienced both physical sensation and emotional distress over someone else’s painful situation. I often get “empathy headaches” when someone has a headache. I usually keep it to myself so as not to or appear to be taking the attention or sympathy off of the true sufferer. 
 
There have been occasions I was so overwhelmed over someone else’s pain or sickness I succumbed to my bed for an hour or more. I can handle emotional pain better than serious physical pain so it’s often the physical pain that overwhelms me more when someone else experiences it. Both kinds of pain can be just as bad and painful, it’s just that severe physical pain is more difficult to me. 

It’s ridiculous and a bit uncalled for to have empathy to this extreme. I can still be empathetic without going to this extreme but it’s not my choice. I don’t have it like some people are said to have to the point they’re almost “psychic” like they feel an overwhelming sense of dread then something terrible happens. Or their chest hurts then someone in the room has a heart attack. It’s just when someone is already suffering that I see of or read/hear about, I feel it too. 

Also, unlike with some people similar to me in this way, such as my sister, I don’t feel overwhelmed in crowded places or have to retreat to a place of being physically alone to “recharge” or recover. I can handle crowded places and various people all around me. In fact, I usually prefer it to being alone. I am an extrovert even though I’m very shy around people I don’t know or don’t know well. And I can be around many people and not have to come home and rest afterwards.  I feel energized and uplifted in a room full of people, even if I don’t interact with them in anyway.  Just being physically near people lifts me.

I used to see my extreme empathy as a blessing as well as a curse but now I just view it as a gift. While it can be exhausting, annoying, ridiculous, painful, feeling as One with others can’t be a “curse.”

image

I can usually sense people’s true emotions even when they are lying or pretending. I usually catch micro-expressions (the split second facial expression people reveal right before they show a different one – it’s the true feeling before they pretend to feel something else or try to cover it up. If they are angry, for example, anger will briefly flash across the face before they put on a fake smile) easily and can often sense people’s anxiety, elation, or anticipation. Sometimes when one person in a crowded room is extremely anxious I pick up on it even if I don’t know which one it is. I can often sense the overall mood in a room full of people. Whether most people are happy, thrilled, anxious, in a hurry, gloomy….not just see it on their faces but actually feel/sense the energy. 

I also understand situations really well even if I’m not involved or never have been. I can just clearly imagine things happening and why. I have a deep understanding.

I think authors of fiction books need a very developed empathetic ability. I’m not talking about being caring and compassionate but a deep, thorough understanding of how situations work even if they never been in a similar one. An incredibly deep imagination. They have to get in the heads of various kinds of people, even people who are so very unlike themselves, to bring their characters to life if they want them to be of substance, realistic, well developed, and believable. They have to imagine, deeply, how certain situations play out and conjure up the emotions of those who would be in those situations even if they themselves were never in those situations. They have to put themselves in that place. It’s absolutely amazing the skills fiction writers have! I love it! 

It seems that we often overlook their incredible empathy. We often acknowledge their incredible writing skills and even their amazing intelligence, maybe even the fantastic research they had to do for the book’s theme, but look at that empathy! They can write an entire book as if they are that character or in the character’s head! Mind blowing! I don’t see/hear people praising this enough! It’s the same for actors who have to play characters and not just act, but feel, literally (mentally)  become a whole other person! Incredible! 

Empathy. 

 It runs deeper than just caring and compassion. Someone can still be caring and compassionate but not really *feel* or understand someone else’s situation.

And someone can experience a kind of empathy but not feel concern or compassion. For example: I feel the pain of others even just watching movies that aren’t real. There are scenes in movies where a “bad” character is getting hurt like getting hit over the head or something by someone trying to protect themselves or others and I felt like my own body was being hit even when I wasn’t feeling much compassion for the character, even when I was happy when a character was getting revenge.
I have experienced empathy without compassion and compassion without empathy. They often go together but not always.

There are occasions I was empathetic and understanding enough to know something I wanted to say or write to someone would emotionally hurt or infuriate  that person and I said or wrote it to intentionally inflict pain or anger upon the person out of my own anger. I was empathetic in some way but not very compassionate in those moments. My empathy led me to know to some degree how the person would feel and I wanted the person to feel anger or sadness or pain. This isn’t usually a good thing and I think empathy is better used to help heal, not hurt. We also need compassion. 

image

Most people have a basic ability to experience empathy; it’s a natural human trait we have that develops as we are growing up. It’s related to compassion. Certain experiences can deepen some people’s empathy. Some are naturally more in touch with theirs than others. And we can learn to deepen our basic empathy into something more. Paying more attention to people and all sentient beings, tuning into our own emotions, drawing on our own various experiences, meditation, trying to better understand, imagining what it must be like to experience something, focusing on the fact that when we suffer or hurt it’s a similar feeling to what others feel when they suffer and hurt…

Empathy isn’t just feeling someone else’s pain but also experiencing another’s joy, happiness, and pleasure.

I have known people who won the lottery, like 100 or 1000 dollars, and I felt like I just won. When I hear of someone getting a new job, job promotion, getting married or engaged, having or adopting a child, getting ready for vacation, I feel it too. The thrill, the anxiety, the anticipation, the sheer joy, the love. I can’t be feeling it exactly how they are as I have my own body and mind/mental/emotional experiences. But I can strongly and deeply sense it.

There’s a definite and deep connection. 

It’s hard for me to get jealous (although I have experienced jealousy and probably will again) of people when great things happen to them when I can bask in the joy and beauty of their experiences almost as if it’s my own. When one person wins, we all win.

I think about things like this often and was recently thinking about it again when I saw the news at work. 

It was startling to see on the news that in some countries people are dying of infectious diseases in the streets.  When they are sick or injured they are left for dead. 

One man of an African country, the man who inspired me to write this post here, was shown on the news laying outside dying of an infectious disease. He was writhing in pain and sickness and laying in a puddle of his own blood, a result of the disease’s progression. 

There were people standing around watching, sure to keep their distance so as not to contract the disease themselves. And then there was the person filming the horror. 

Some moments my empathy or feeling of connectedness is deeper and some moments I don’t feel as connected to what is before me.

The moment I saw the sick, dying man in excruciating pain and sickness, I felt more connected. I felt it with my whole body. A longing to take all the sick, hurting, dying people in my arms so they can feel my touch before they go or before they heal. So they can know someone cares, even if I contract the disease myself. What I felt was both empathy and compassion, a perfect combination. Empathy can inspire greater compassion. 

Imagine laying sick and in pain while people surround you at a safe distance and watch, you’re still so alone. No one will touch you. No one is coming for you, until after you die, to remove your infected, contagious body. Imagine them all staring at you, fear in their eyes, utter helplessness. For some of them, all they can probably think is that they’re glad it isn’t them. Truly, deeply imagine. 

But I felt an instant connection to a stranger across the world, briefly flashing across a TV screen. Someone of a different language, a different country, a different nationality, different culture, skin color, ethnicity.

I have never been deathly ill or left for dead. I never been to his country but still I know that underneath we’re the same.

Strip away all the outer layers of culture and language and color of skin, distance, financial status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and other experiences and underneath at a most basic, primitive level, we are One.

Our basic humanness exists the same underneath no matter the color of our skin, our level of education, career labels, class status, our location in the world, financial situations, our various experiences…..these things are important in some contexts, they contribute to different experiences and struggles for different people and it’s not always good or wise to overlook them, it’s important to acknowledge their circumstances(skin color, country, ethnicity, status in other contexts…) so we can get a better idea of their struggles and pain that may be different than our own, but in some cases they are completely irrelevant. Like in the case of raw pleasure and pain, sickness and health, living and dying. 

I’m not advocating for general “color blindness” or anything of that sort, like saying we should all literally ignore our differences such as skin color or class status. That isn’t good either because then we overlook the unique experiences and struggles that someone in a different situation than us may have. 

If we mentally block out or ignore the color of someone’s skin, ethnicity, or other factors or characteristics that are different than ours, in the name of compassion or “all getting along” then we automatically mentally block out or ignore the struggles that come along with those factors or characteristics.
People who say things like “I only have one race, the human race” or “forget skin color, we’re all human or all bleed red and that’s all that matters…” or something like that, probably have very good, loving, intentions but promoting that and living that way is NOT helpful. 
Ignorance in this way, is NOT helpful or wise or a good thing. 
This can contribute to lack of empathy and understanding of people’s situations pertaining to their own circumstances different than ours. 
It’s ok, even necessary to acknowledge diversity but accept it. But in some cases differences are irrelevant. 

Any one of us can be in the position that sick and dying man was in, our country and our money and our education or language or ethnicity won’t definitely protect us against diseases or death. For some people, truly understanding and realizing this in their heads, can deepen their empathy and compassion for others. And it’s just as bad when it’s someone else as if it were myself or someone I know. Just because I don’t know him doesn’t mean he’s a less important person than someone I do know. Or less important than me. It doesn’t mean it’s good to just go my own way ignoring his suffering. 

Some people are more at risk than others because of their location or discrimination they encounter and some have access to better health care but none of us are immune to suffering or pain and dying of disease or injury. And none of us are immune to being targets of cruelty or the indifference of others against our suffering or pain or sickness. 

Another thing I saw recently that disturbed and actually offended me(and I’m not easily offended at all) is people getting all happy over some podcast about *real* murder victims. They were talking about how thrilling it is to watch or listen, how they can’t wait for the next ones, how it’s so exciting, how fascinating! Not once did I see any one of these people expressing sympathy/empathy or compassion or sorrow for the victims and their friends/family. These are REAL murder victims, flesh and blood, like us, like people we know, some of them children, some adults, who were brutally murdered in cold blood, some tortured, raped/sexually assaulted, destroyed and discarded like they were nothing, not characters in a book or movie or story, real people. I understand taking interest in these stories but no one here displayed sympathy in even the most subtle way, not even an underlying hint of concern for those involved in the devastation, expressed in their tone. It was all just pure pleasure for their own benefit of sitting around listening to it and having fun while drinking coffee all warm and cozy at home. It made me cringe.  

I don’t believe for a second that these happy people who “can’t wait” for the next podcasts about homicide victims, these people who are “so thrilled” over victims murdered in cold blood, tortured and thrown away like trash on the side of the road, are horrible people or sadists, or that they aren’t generally loving and compassionate and empathetic. They may not be, generally, any less caring or empathetic than I am. I don’t believe they were taking pleasure in the pain itself that the victims endured.  It’s the mystery and thrill they get to experience, secure and embraced in the comfort of their own safe homes in their pj’s with their cups of coffee.

 But they were too “detached” in my opinion, in this, here, case. It’s complete thoughtlessness. They were too wrapped up in their own lives and pleasure they put up too much of a barrier. So much so, they are thrilled over real murder victims. It hurt me to witness and I know if it were their own friends and family members or themselves abducted, murdered, targets of rape and other sexual violence, it wouldn’t be so thrilling. They wouldn’t be so eager to see what’s next. I can just imagine a devastated person close to one of those poor victims reading that people are sitting around getting off of the violent, senseless deaths of the people they knew and love. It’s dangerous to let ourselves become numb to the real tragedy, suffering, and pain of others. Even when those are people we only see through a glass screen on a tv or voices we hear through a phone, radio, or words we read through a computer monitor. Even just distant echoes of pain that come to us through some invisible radio waves in the air. Those are real people. That is real suffering. 

image

I think it’s important to always tune in to our empathy and compassion whether or not we have ever experienced something similar to what someone else has. And whether or not we know those people well or at all. We do know they are someone, someone just like us. 
Like us, they have/had a name, a story, a dream or goal, needs, and desires, love, joy, pain, sorrow, and happiness. 

Let us be happy for those who are well and happy and successful and full of joy and have compassion, concern, understanding, and empathy for those sick, injured, and in pain, dying, grieving, struggling in any way. But we don’t have to not allow ourselves to be happy because other people are struggling. It’s ok to be happy for our own blessings. Gratitude guilt is not necessary. It won’t help anyone or anything. Dragging ourselves down or not allowing ourselves joy, thankfulness, or happiness, just because others are not well will not contribute to overall goodness to the world, all it does is put more unhappiness or suffering into the world. 

And also, one day we may not be as fortunate in the ways we are now so there’s no need to feel guilty anyway just because we are well and others aren’t. As I said, none or us are immune to tragedy and pain. Next week my house can burn down, you may experience the break up of a close relationship, someone we know can die, we can be diagnosed with a terminal illness….But no matter what, there’s always something to be thankful for and happy about, even in pain, chaos, destruction, grief, depression, anxiety, homelessness… 

I think we do need some emotional boundaries but not too thick. A healthy kind of detachment is good to prevent burnout, exhaustion, being overwhelmed…. but not when it’s blocking our empathy and attempts at true understanding to some level. Not when we are so detached we forget the real suffering and pain of others. Not when we’re so detached, we feel pleasure associated with someone else’s horror or painful circumstances. 

It’s great to experience gratitude for our own happy circumstances and everything but not good, in my opinion, to get so wrapped up in it we forget about those who aren’t so fortunate now, in the ways we currently are, or tune out the depth or degree of their pain.

Empathy won’t always cure diseases or take away someone’s pain and it likely won’t help us in one country be able to immediately help someone dying in another country. But it can motivate us to reach out in some way, maybe to people physically near us who appear to be struggling or people we know online, or reach out to write to people with more power than us, like politicians or people in charge of something related to the issue at hand, or ones who have good things happening to them and we can share in their joy, letting them know how happy we are for them, how proud or thrilled for their accomplishments or fortunate situations, maybe to write a comforting message to someone in need, maybe just to share a link with info about a health condition or situation that needs awareness, to bring more awareness to it and help educate more people. And maybe someone with more resources can see what we share or post and help in ways that we cannot yet help. 

Instead of merely thinking “I’m glad it’s not me” or “that could have been me…” and just going about our own lives forgetting the pain of someone else, we can still feel gratitude for our own fortunate situations but extend our empathy and compassion and realize it’s just as bad when it happens to someone else. It’s realistic to expect people to be thankful some tragedy or unpleasant circumstance is not happening to them but everyone is someone just as important as ourselves and our own friends and family and they feel suffering and happiness the same way too.  We can shift our focus a bit – instead of just being thankful we, ourselves are ok, we can focus more on compassion for those who are struggling in any way.

~Hug the hurt
Comfort the sick

Kiss the broken
Befriend the lost
Love the lonely~ 

And when something amazing happens to someone, even if we wish it would happen to us, instead of resentment, we can bask in that person’s happiness. 

image

Deeper empathy along with compassion can help decrease all kinds of things, bullying, cyber bullying, unjust discrimination, sexual violence, other forms of cruelty(against all sentient beings), apathy, even wars and stuff if enough people around the world including those in various governments would better tune into and develop their own empathy and compassion.

Empathy & compassion are great for practical purposes but they also are just amazing traits to possess. They make us better for them. I’m no better than someone who is less compassionate or with less developed empathy but I believe it’s better to have those abilities than not. I’m not better than a sadist, a murderer, a psycho or sociopath with no empathy, but I believe those people would be better people than they are now, in another way if they develop their empathy and compassion.

Not everything is just for practical purposes or actions. Sometimes it’s intentions or just what we are, our essence that counts for something and is beautiful. 

Empathy & compassion, especially a combination of both, can inspire and motivate us to act, reach out to others in some way whether just a simple act of comforting words or volunteering time or money for a specific cause or even just inspire us to hold our tongues when we feel like lashing out or motivating us to proactively speak out against someone else’s callousness, which can have a positive effect. 

Let us remember when we see someone suffering whether it’s emotional or physical pain that is the root of it, human or not, that it’s a very similar feeling that we would feel if it were us. This can make it more real to us and motivate us to reach out in some way, even in the most simplest way, a warm smile, a gentle touch, a kind word…even if it’s not similar to what we ourselves would feel, it’s still important to be empathetic and compassionate but realizing how similar we are underneath can help deepen our empathy. 

And let us not be overly jealous of those who are experiencing joy, happiness, and success even if we are not. Let their accomplishments and happiness inspire and motivate us, not contribute to us being depressed or jealous. It’s best for all of us when we are happy for and encouraging to one another. Let’s celebrate each other and bask in each other’s happiness and success and fortunes. 

There’s enough happiness to go around. 😀

Here are some links about Metta (universal love/compassion) & Empathy.

This explains what Metta is, the benefits, and the importance of cultivating an attitude or lifestyle which has Metta at its core.

http://www.wildmind.org/metta/introduction/what-is-metta

Another explanation of Metta.

http://www.buddhanet.net/metta_in.htm

Here, the link below this, is fascinating research on the brain and empathy. Research reveals that when we are happy and things are going well, we are less likely to empathize with those not so happy or well. We are likely to perceive their pain or suffering as less than it really is. When we ourselves are not doing well, we better empathize with others. We are more likely to validate or realize the seriousness of someone else’s pain or low feelings. In fact, we’re more likely to evaluate someone else’s happiness as less than it really is when we ourselves are not happy. I suspected this before learning of this research. I saw evidence of this in certain situations including the happy people in warm, pj’s at home, drinking coffee while being thrilled over real murder mysteries and not expressing empathy, sympathy, or compassion for those involved.

There is good news. We don’t have to make ourselves suffer to empathize with others. Empathy & compassion are not fixed. 
Compassionate and empathetic people can become less compassionate and empathetic (so it’s important to regularly maintain our empathy and compassion) and those who are not very empathetic and compassionate can become more empathetic and compassionate. 
Some suggestions to maintain or develop empathy, compassion, and an attitude of kindness are meditation, routine mindfulness activities, volunteering to help others, meditating/imagining ourselves in pain and knowing others feel that too…

It’s also suggested that vigorous physical exercises can help deepen a person’s empathy. These exercises can feel physically uncomfortable and help us realize more what it’s like for others who are hurting in some way.
Let’s not go overboard and exercise so much it’s unhealthy but a reasonable dose of routine aggressive exercise can be quite healthy, both physically and emotionally. 

It’s important to do all we can to care for ourselves, be happy, be healthy, be grateful, but keep in touch with the suffering or pain of others.  

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/the-neuroscience-empathy

Desktop link to a video for a lovingkindness meditation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM&app=desktop

Mobile version of the same video:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM&app=m&persist_app=1
 
Even if you are already a very loving and kind person in general, you and the world can still benefit by practicing this meditation or ones like it. Meditation is calm and soothing and even if we are already or are naturally very compassionate and loving, we can still experience setbacks and it’s important to maintain whatever attitude or lifestyle we want to generally live. Like working out, we must keep up with it to keep it going strong. 
Even if we are naturally a certain way, we can strengthen it by making it more intentional and consciously applying it or deepening it.
It takes some practice and maintaining but is well worth it! 

image

May you be well.
May you be happy. 
May you be peaceful.
May you be loved.
 
Xoxo Kim





Gratitude Meditation <3

image

“While there is time let’s go out and feel everything” ~ Steve Winwood

I have been meditating more regularly than usual and have been doing more gratitude meditations, usually at night before sleep.

It has a serious, positive effect on me. Not just while I’m meditating but all day when I wake up. Even with less sleep I feel more energized, more alive, more awake, and aware.   And more grateful.  

During my meditations, I have been overwhelmed with powerful emotions coming over me, flooding into my consciousness.   One emotion which has been so strong is grief.   Grief over my dog who died in April this year of old age, grief over broken friendships, grief over people who died, grief over the years I “lost” to depression, grief over people I once knew and let slip away, grief over years gone away, into the light of yesterday…

I’m not exactly sure why this is. I know meditation has the tendency to bring about strong emotions which we have pent up inside, emotions we repress or deny. But I haven’t been denying my grief for the most part.  I have grieved so hard over my losses, not denying them.  But grief over a loss, especially a permanent one, is not easy for me to handle. There sometimes comes a point where my grief reaches a pinnacle so great, it’s too painful to bear so I do try to repress it, not deny it but just push it aside.  Maybe my meditation practices are bringing to the surface of my consciousness, the remnants of initial grief I kept locked away.

It’s possible to repress things or have thoughts or feelings without even realizing at a conscious level.  The experience of my grief flooding back to me during meditation is not bad, it’s good.  It allows me to experience and release.  It is painful though.

Also, I have been gaining some fascinating and deep insights about creativity, beauty, open-mindedness, and seeing various things in different ways, at different angles.   I feel even more empathetic and compassionate than ever.  More creative and enlightened, like the beginning of some awakening that’s difficult to put into words.

Everyday I acknowledge gratitude and being alive.  Sometimes I just think of things I’m thankful to have and the fact that I’m alive.  On other occasions I actually feel gratitude seeping into me at a deep level, flooding the cells of my body, tingling and sinking into the marrow of my bones, just flooding over me. 
And I feel so alive, absolutely fully alive.
Sometimes this feeling comes on out of nowhere, other moments I can tap into it intentionally.  And other occasions I feel ungrateful and not appreciative. Or numb, trudging around in a sense of stagnant drudgery. 

I don’t have to just be happy to feel so alive.   I have felt this in moments of grief and pain, anger, and heartbreak. Life is full of happiness and joy and also pain and heartache. So if we’re alive and fully receptive, we will experience it all.  And it’s beautiful to feel so utterly alive.

I want to pull in and embrace every emotion and feeling that comes to me, snatch it up and hold it close while I can, even the painful ones, as they are an indication of life.  So life-affirming.

I want to feel everything while I can.

I want to take full advantage of the gift of life, my blessing of being alive and conscious.

Since practicing these meditations more regularly I have been feeling the deep gratitude feeling more frequently each day, not just acknowledging things I have to be grateful for, but the feeling of gratitude living and breathing, dwelling in my cells, venturing through my veins and each artery, and each breath of my heart.  The gratitude and life that breathes in me.  The gratitude that floods my existence, caresses my very essence.

It’s so different than the depression & despair that generally consumed me for years.

How often do you truly feel alive? So alive that you can feel every sensation in your body and notice every thing outside of you? All the colors, feelings, textures, lights…of your external environment, the tingling in your toes and fingertips…so alive on a deeper level than what we usually feel everyday..

Even in monotonous moments and routine environments?

“I will live while I can, I will have my ever after” ~ Steve Winwood

“We go so fast, why don’t we make it last
Life is glowing inside you and me
Please take my hand, right here where I stand
Won’t you come out and dance with me
Come see with me, oh, come see” ~ Steve Winwood

One very interesting thing is I have been feeling somewhat distracted during meditation the last few nights. I usually do not have this problem too often but I have been, lately, so I have been doing, let’s say, “half-assed” jobs at meditating and still seeing incredible results. So imagine what I’m capable of when I get over my distraction and give it my all!  

I have been struggling for a few days with not feeling very grateful as much as I possibly can. I have been having annoying technology problems with my phone that won’t allow me to do things that I do every day.   Also, I just found out a man I have known for some years and talked to frequently, recently died, of a possible drug overdose and I am so sad.  He was so friendly and outgoing and kind.  He struggled off and on with alcohol and other drug addiction and attempted to get help on multiple occasions.   But we lost this battle and it’s devastating.  And my heart goes out to everyone impacted by this tragic loss.

And to everyone affected in any way by any kind of addiction. It is a devastating and heartbreaking struggle.

It’s often easy to feel and express gratitude when things are going well.   But what about when it seems that everything is going wrong, all wrong, when we have a heavy heart, a broken heart, when the world seems to be crumbling on top of us?   When we lose and lose again, sinking so low it feels we can’t go lower, then we do?  That may be when we need gratitude the most.  Maybe we won’t feel it purely but we can feel and express it to some degree if we try and practice.
It is possible to feel a slither of gratitude even in the midst of pain and anger.  And that slither can be enough to keep us going.

I wrote this.

(Much of it is inspired by 

Mobile: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo 
Comp. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo

which is created by Angela Carole Brown and is a brief meditation video for gratitude affirmations.)

I live in gratitude.

I breathe gratitude. 

I am grateful everyday that I live and breathe.

Every day that I have a creative idea, a revelation, learn something new, and am able to let go of old limiting beliefs, I am grateful.
Every day that I face my fears or overcome obstacles, I am grateful.
Every moment that I am given awareness of the simplest of beauties, the opportunity to experience profound joy, and feel genuine happiness, I am grateful.
Every day that  I stumble upon hidden treasures, I am grateful. 
Every moment that I am enlightened and discover insights, I am grateful.
Every day that my heart feels compassion, understanding, patience, and peace, I am grateful. 
Every day that I act upon love and compassion, I am grateful.
Every day that I Encounter and engage with another living being, I am grateful.
Every day that I am
Hugged, kissed, and loved, I am grateful.
Everyday that I 
Laugh or make someone laugh
Inspire and am inspired
Hear of someone’s life being saved
Change someone’s life or someone changes mine, I am grateful
Every day I love, live, and breathe, I am grateful.
Every day my heart pumps, I am grateful.
Every day I witness, hear about, receive, or engage in an act of kindness, I am grateful.
Ever day my heart is overwhelmed in anger, pain, frustration, negativity, bitterness, and grief, I am grateful 
Every moment that I act out in anger, I am grateful
Every moment that my heart is broken, I am grateful. 
Each challenge, painful situation, every loss, setback, and failure provides opportunity to learn, to evolve, to get stronger, to become more aware, more compassionate of myself and others, to develop deeper empathy and I am grateful.
Everyday that that I am
Humbled by a mistake, a thing learned, a person who teaches me…I am grateful.
Everyday I am faced with
Seemingly unbearable pain, and struggles
I am grateful
Every day for Lessons learned, I am grateful
Every day that 
I am Strengthened by pain, I am grateful
Every day for moments of 
Quiet and reflection, I am grateful
Every day for stillness and calm within, without, I am grateful.

Every single day, 
At every single moment
I am grateful.
Forever grateful.
Thank you

This is Angela Carole Brown’s page.

 http://www.angelacarolebrown.com/GLOBALYOGA.htm

Please check out her gratitude meditation youtube video. It’s so beautiful.
This is only seven minutes and forty-three seconds long. 
Mobile:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo

Non mobile:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R52DePavMo

It’s so inspirational and when practiced everyday can be life changing for the better!

She explains how gratitude even for unpleasant experiences is the way to go. A life with some pain and challenges is better than an “effortless ” life, as she says. Because we become stronger, wiser, more empathetic and compassionate, and learn many valuable lessons.

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

Much love & gratitude to you all!
And thank you for reading! 😀

Xoxo Kim

“We must live while we can and we’ll drink our cup of laughter
The finer things keep shining through
The way my soul gets lost in you
The finer things I feel in me
The golden dance life could be

I’ve been sad and have walked bitter streets alone
Come morning, there’s a good wind to blow me home
So time is a river rolling into nowhere
I will live while I can, I will have my ever after

The finer things keep shining through
The way my soul gets lost in you
The finer things I feel in me
The golden dance life could be” ~Steve Winwood

Creativity – Don’t Hold Back!!! :-D

image

I have been feeling this creative energy just surging through me like never before and have no idea why! Lol! I have never considered myself to be creative and have always felt a kind of block when attempting to think or act creatively.   I’m better at research/academic/analytical stuff. 

I have often put off doing things I either knew or assumed I wouldn’t be good at.   I would try it and quit right away.  I know that’s not a good idea and is a self imposed creative block. First of all, if it’s fun and interesting to you, it doesn’t matter if you’re good at it or not.

Also there’s a chance you will become better with practice.  Creativity doesn’t just have to be things like drawing and writing. It can be things like problem solving and thinking about things at different angles and with different perspectives.

I have noticed I am more creative now in writing poetic -like writings and with problem solving. People have sometimes told me I have a poetic way of speaking, which comes naturally to me but I’m not so sure I have ever been great at writing actual poetry or stories. But I feel more creative than ever now!   I have been trying to analyze why this is and one thing I think is, it may have to do with increased confidence in other areas. Confidence in one aspect of life can permeate to every other aspect, which is very good!

I have been meditating upon the concept of “When one door closes, another opens.”. That is a creative way of thinking.   Instead of dwelling on what is lost, we can use the experience to make way for better things.

If we allow it, it can help us look at things differently.   I used to often, and sometimes still do, dwell on previous pain and struggles, allowing them to hold me back and imprison me. But more and more I have been using them as resources to guide me and strengthen me.

So I believe this is contributing to my general creativity enhancement.  Also, I have been posting here in this blog much more frequently than ever. I have said before, I have always been so inspired to write but often felt too fatigued to put much thought into things. I consume too much sugar and it tends to make me sluggish.  Also depression can make me fatigued, sluggish, like a zombie.

But I have made some minor lifestyle changes such as stretches more frequently which help with fatigue and so I have more energy to put thought into what I write here and that helps me be more creative all around.   It’s like strengthening my “creative muscle.”. Also I have come to sometimes allow my depression itself to inspire me by looking at it in various ways other than just cursing it.  This is hard but can sometimes be accomplished. 

Sometimes now, instead of succumbing to my bed or the floor in a depression, I create a blog post with something positive to focus on!

I let it inspire new ideas, coping mechanisms, and other things in me.

Also, I have been giving in and not holding back. When I feel like writing poetically or creatively I do no matter how much I think it will suck. Lol. This gets my creative juices flowing.

One problem I recently had is somehow my phone service got switched over to Android. I have a Blackberry, never an Android. But someone switched it in the T-Mobile system and it took my phone’s Internet away. This is a permanent switch. It can often be fixed just by the phone service people switching it in their system but sometimes that won’t work. To spare you many boring and confusing details I will just say it did not work and my phone needs a Master reset which will permanently delete all my photos, songs, writings, everything.  And even that may not bring my Internet service back to this phone.

I can back it up on a computer but currently have no computer Internet so that’s out of the question.   I tried writing stuff on paper but it’s overwhelming. I have so much amazing stuff on here! Lol

But I kept calm. I was disappointed but not angry. I know someone just made a mistake and there are way worse things than losing files on a phone no matter how amazing they are.

But because of all my creative thinking /acting lately, I thought of a “solution ” and although my phone isn’t fixed and I can’t get on the net using the browser icon on my home screen, I thought of another way to get on the net.  It’s more complicated but it’s a way!  I found two ways actually.  So thankful!   

 I think I’ll keep it this way for now. There’s a chance I may need a new phone and eventually lose everything but for now I will do what I can to keep it.   And feel gratitude in the process for everything I have and am.

I decided to compose a list of tips that I find helpful for enhancing creativity since I am a creative genius now. Lol jk. I’m nothing of that sort! ;-). But I’m in the process of learning and would love to share.

To enhance your creativity maybe these will help:

1.) Don’t let lack of or perceived lack of skills or talent hold you back. This is probably the most crucial tip. You will never know how great you can be or what you can accomplish or attain if you never try. Keep trying.   Maybe your drawing, writing, painting…..whatever it is you want to do will suck but so what? And if you don’t want to, you don’t have to show it to any one. Don’t hold back!  Channel your inner child. Lose your inhibitions, your fears, your feelings of things being only for children or only for professional people.

2.) Explore. Reflect. Look deep within you. This can be done with meditation of some sort or  reflective thinking. Think about how you feel right now or how you feel or have felt about certain things. Write a poem about it. Draw a picture representing it. Make a collage.   Go to stores, flip through magazines and see what jumps out at you. Last night I was having great difficulty sleeping and felt the urge to write poetry but felt not inspired enough. So I thought deeply about how I felt at that very moment and how I feel about certain situations and people and was suddenly so inspired to write poetically/creatively.

3.) Look at song titles, blog post titles, and other titles like of books and write a poem or short story about that concept without copying the other person’s work. You can just look at them randomly without even reading or listening to the content.

4.) Try hard to understand a view opposing your own on a certain topic or try to see how someone else can feel that way even though you do not. This stretches your “mind” and gets you outside the “box.”

5.) Look to others for inspiration. Pay close attention to other creative work. See what you like, don’t like, what challenges you…and start your own creative journey. I would suggest to consciously try not to rip of their work though.  You probably want yours to be original and probably don’t want a lawsuit. Lol

6.) Take pictures and look at pictures! It’s amazing what photographs can elicit. You can make the photos themselves your creative project or write poems about them! Don’t reserve picture taking for only “special occasions.”. All occasions are special.

image

7.) Inhabit your body, be mindful of your senses and how things feel to you, the experience of experiencing. Write or draw about the experience. Write or draw using your senses for inspiration.   What’s does something feel like, sound like, look or taste or smell like? Use imagery in your writing. Try to paint a vivid picture or image in the heads of your readers or viewers or listeners. Use your imagination/fantasy as well as reality.

image

I wrote the quote in the picture and I took the pic and put the quote onto it.

Here’s an example of something I recently wrote as part of a poetic-like short story:

“She stands alone with just the stars in the palms of her hands and the moonlight streaking her long flowing hair, meadows painted across her sky blue eyes, butterflies & sparkles woven through her lashes.”
& this: 

“And I watch
Chromatic
Florets 
Bloom
Into the vibrant blue
A fluorescence
Of tranquil tunes
As pastel colored
Butterflies 
Parade
Like a
Slow song
Around the
Floral
Array
In the air”
This is part of a poem I wrote a while ago.

image

The line in the pic above is one I wrote as part of a poem and the picture is mine which I took and out the quote on it.
and here’s another of my creations:

image

8.) Put some color and design into your world. Surround yourself with bright or soothing colors, various colors and designs…

9.) Try new things to get your brain stimulated. Brush your teeth using your non dominant hand, go for a walk in a place you don’t go to much, drive to work a different route.

10.). Pay attention to kids. They are fearless when it comes to creative projects. Take their lessons to heart. This kind of hinges on Tip #1.

11.) Let other people inspire you, not intimidate you. There are people out there with more developed or stronger skills than you and with more experience. There always will be.  Don’t let this discourage you.  Just be content with where you are. You don’t have to be the best at anything. Focus on your needs and desires. Some people are more experienced so have better skills. Some are just naturally more creative or skilled. And that’s ok. Be grateful you have come across them and their work as opposed to being so envious you can’t see straight.   Jealousy is normal and it’s ok but don’t let it hold you back or make you have animosity for others.

12.) Be willing to create or do things which are or may be viewed as “bizarre ” or “weird” or “unusual” by others. “Thinking outside the box” can get that creativity flowing.

13.) Keep going even when you doubt yourself. And keep going even when your creative work doesn’t turn out how you expected or hoped!

14.) Try looking at things which are usually considered ugly, plain, unattractive, in a more positive light. You can write poems about sadness and pain or take pictures of or draw bare trees, muddy puddles, car oil puddles, snow blizzards, insects…things often seen as miserable. I believe there is beauty almost everywhere if we really look and you can take something typically considered not beautiful and put a beautiful spin on it, poetically, lyrically, artistically…

image

15.) Try meditation specifically to get creativity energy flowing.   You can go to http://www.meditationoasis.com/
And you can go to http://www.youtube.com/
And put in words like “meditation for creativity.”. I would include some links here to videos but I’m using my phone and can only get the mobile link and I never know if that works for anyone else. 

Here are two links that are supposed to go to the same video. One is for a computer and one is for mobile phones. I somehow managed to get the desktop link. If it works for others though, I have no clue.   Both links work for me when I click on them.

Computer link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=CPrk4_JFA90

Mobile link
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CPrk4_JFA90

Also here is a list of tips I found:  http://www.creativitypost.com/create/101_tips_on_how_to_become_more_creative

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night and hope you find some creative inspiration if it’s what you’re searching for.   😀

Xoxo Kim 😀

Most Influential Blogger Award – Thank You Dr. Rex!! <3

image

I am so humbled and so honored that I have been nominated for the Most Influential Blogger Award by the Lovely Dr. Rex!!

Please go visit her wonderful blog here:

http://hrexach.wordpress.com/

Ty!

I would have posted this sooner but there’s something very weird going on with my phone’s Internet! But I found a way around it!

Here is the Nominations post with the rules & nominees :

http://hrexach.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/most-influential-blogger-award/

The rules of this award are:

1. Add the award logo to your blog.

2. Answer the following questions.

3. And pass the award on to 10 other blogs and let them know.

Questions:

1) What makes you happiest?

2) Do you love the Oceans or Mountains more?

3) What has been a special moment in 2013?

4) What’s your favorite quote?

5) Do you like yourself?

6) Do you stay up till midnight on New Year?

7) Something you wish could be done ASAP?

8) What was your favorite class when still at school?

9) What musical instrument have you tried to play?

10) Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

11) Do you like to do Crafts, Drawing

And here are my answers!! 😀

1) What makes you happiest?

I Don’t have just one thing but one thing that makes me happiest is connecting with people. Reading, writing, music, walking…also makes me very happy! 😀

2) Do you love the Oceans or Mountains more?

I like both but I have more experience with the Oceans. I find Oceans to be very healing.

3) What has been a special moment in 2013?

I have various “special moments” often.   I don’t really consider any moment more special than any others but some stand out more, seeming more joyous or profound. One moment which stands out now in my memory is the moment I was able to laugh again, a deep, belly laugh, like I frequently have, after my dog died. I am someone who is very easily amused laughing loudly and often and even when I’m sad I can be amused. But in April 2013 my dog died of old age. We had her for twelve years and she was fourteen years old.   After this sad loss, I felt like I wasn’t completely myself for nearly four months. I felt no very deep emotions other than sadness and grief.   I couldn’t laugh like I usually do. But one night in my room almost four months later, I was listening to Jimmy Buffett songs and was able to laugh like that again. It restored my hope, helping me realize that things can always get better even after severe sadness, pain, and loss. Another poignant moment worth mentioning is in October, this year, when I was able to say I haven’t had a serious/semi-serious suicidal thought in one year, which is the longest I have been able to go without those in nearly fourteen years.   I felt all kinds of emotions, happy, grief, sad, almost despair, awe, pain, confusion, just a strange combination of emotions.

4) What’s your favorite quote?

There’s is a great question! There’s no way I can choose just one but here’s one I love: 

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo Buscaglia
5) Do you like yourself?

Yeah!

6) Do you stay up till midnight on New Year?

Every year.  Always have and always will!

7) Something you wish could be done ASAP?

Educate and persuade people to be more compassionate, tolerant, and accepting of each other and animals. To be able to accept and cherish diversity and not reject each other over differences and mistakes, to see each other as a person with needs, desires, dreams, and interests.

8) What was your favorite class when still at school?

In high school I loved the horticulture classes! In college, Philosophy & Psychology usually. 

9) What musical instrument have you tried to play?

Piano and guitar but it was a no go. Lol!

10) Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

There probably are some things but I can’t really think of any at the moment. But it’s better to learn late than never! 🙂

11) Do you like to do Crafts, Drawing

Or painting?   I love to do all those things even though I’m not the best at them. I especially love crafts things with cutting and gluing on paper!

http://etsuchan.wordpress.com/

http://greenhornphotos.com/

http://gyatoday.wordpress.com/

http://wordslikesilk.com/

http://awindowofwisdom.wordpress.com/

http://studentswithbirds.wordpress.com/

http://rosebushchronicles.com/

http://journeyofshe.wordpress.com/

http://5kidswdisabilities.com/

http://thebettermanprojects.com/

image

Your Beautiful Body – {awe}, {wonder}, {inspired} WOW! :-D <3

image

I am often filled with wonder and awe at the things around me and within me. I believe that every single one of us should take full advantage of being alive. And not just by realizing your big dreams or doing more of what you love or being around people who make you happy. All of that too. But one way to take the experience of being alive and conscious and make the best of it is to milk it for all you can, yup, milk that shit for all (or awe?!) it’s worth! Lol 

And I’m not the only weirdo who thinks this way! Lol. Need some convincing? Here you are:

http://thedailylove.com/don’t-just-think-about-it-–-thank-about-it/

I read that when it first came out and I could not believe how it resonates with me and how someone else feels this way!  Wow!

Look around you. Look. What do you see? Hear? Feel? Smell? Taste?  The same things you always do, right? All the ordinary. Mundane occurrences. Monotonous things.   Nothing special, right? 

Wrong! 

Everything is amazing. Beyond amazing. Everything is truly incredible. Wondrous. Miraculous. There is astounding beauty all around. Within.

Look at the trees, the branches and leaves blowing in the wind, feel the air on your skin, look at the sky, take in the scents all around you, listen to the songbirds, the crickets, the cars, taste the food you put into your mouth, citrus like the sun, sweet like honeysuckle flowers drenched in morning mist, salt like tears, tears of heartbreak & joy, pain & gratitude..bask in the wonders, the rain upon your skin..watch the sun awaken or set. Or both.

You don’t have to believe in any supernatural beings, religion, or any spiritual realms to see everything, even the “ordinary”, as a “miracle.”

Just because we have instant access to something every single day doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful or wondrous or that it can’t be awe-inspiring. I love that I can see every day. That I can hear. That I can wake up.  That I can walk.  That I can look up at the sky and feel life surge through me like electricity.

I have been able to do these things all my life and if nothing goes very wrong, I always will! But it just never gets old.

Sometimes beautiful things and a feeling of wonder and awe of life may come so easily,  naturally, automatically but other occasions it may be hard to see beauty or feel inspired and we really have to look and make a conscious decision to look for it and receive it.

I don’t know most people but it seems to me that most of us do not have many awe-inspiring experiences or feel wonder and beauty with each breath or even just once a day.

I’m not talking about the overuse/”misuse” of the word “awesome ” that many people are in the habit of saying, like when people say like “that car is awesome ” or she’s so “awesome” or that baseball team, well they’re just so…
 Awesome, meaning those things are “cool” or those are what’s up. Not something that’s trendy and “neat-o” .

Awesome like something provoking a deep feeling of awe in us. Awe – respectful fear & wonder.  Like the way Lionel Richie uses this word in his song, “Say You, Say Me”.

Yup! Some things are so wondrous, so beautiful, it’s quite scary! ;-O

We see aesthetically pleasing things or hear them frequently if our senses function but how often do we let those things inspire us to the bones, to the core? How often can we feel them tingling in every cell of the body and deep into the marrow of our bones?  How often are we overwhelmed, weak at the knees just thinking about the astounding gift of being alive?  And not just things experienced through the senses but everything.   Everything felt inside. Heartwarming.  Look at your friends. Your family. Your pets. Yourself.   And feel how incredible it is to have have those things.   Those people. Not just like having fun with, & loving them but how amazing it is, the experience of knowing them, of having them.

We take so much for granted. The beauty I feel runs so deep. The love.  The inspiration is so ingrained. I have these moments usually at least once a day, usually strongest at night or the early morning. It’s like the wonder of a child, or a philosopher.  Or someone who has just stepped out of a life of utter darkness.
As if a big, thick, heavy quilt was just snatched off of me after a life of being covered by it. And now I can see.  And I will never be used to this feeling.

What is it? This feeling that overcomes me, breathes in me when everything just astounds me and I cannot believe I am blessed with such shocking, unbelievable beauty & love & inspiration & life ?

I speak of developing & strengthening positive habits frequently and this is one habit that I believe is incredible to develop and maintain. 

When we look and appreciate and meditate upon the goodness of these wonders and joys, and look & see with “new” eyes as if we have never really seen before, when we imagine a life without these wonders, it can help us so much to feel, live, and breathe life, inspiration, beauty.

When we think, “What are the chances?”

Think of your body.   How often do you think we think of our bodies? Very frequently right? But usually when we think of our own body, it’s about or in relation to its appearance, the aesthetics of it, how it looks to us and others, or when it’s hungry.

And usually it seems, at least to me, when people think of their own body, it’s in a very negative way. It doesn’t match up to those standards of beauty we have in our heads about how it should look or be.

But for once, I would like everyone to silence the hostile and toxic criticism of the appearance of their own bodies and even the mere thought of its physical appearance and instead look upon it with wonder & awe. Not for what it looks like but for what it does.

You think your fantastic car is amazing? Your intelligent phone? Those “I” things with access to the Internet? They sure are but they don’t even come close to the beauty and wonder that is your body!

Your body is one of the most amazing wonders no matter what it looks like or how perfectly or imperfectly it functions.

Your heart. Your lungs. Your kidneys. Your stomach. Your liver. Bones. Blood. Veins. Breath.  Nerves. Your eyes. Your ears. Your tongue. Your appendix. Your intestines.   Your skin. Every gorgeous curve of your body. Your spleen. Your boobies. (big or small, it doesn’t matter! Lol) Your back. Your spine that holds you.  That lovely smile. Your uplifting laugh. Your beautiful eyelashes. Your dna, your fingerprints, your blueprint.  Your finger/toe nails. Your hair. Your nose.   Your fingers & your toes.   All of those things! Isn’t it amazing?!??!

All the things it can do! It allows you to think. Experience. Feel. Live. Be.

Put your hands on your face. Make eye contact with someone, even a stranger, and connect on a basic human level. Smile. Feel those little, beautiful bones in your neck. Look at those lines of life in your wrists. Look at someone else’s body and feel the awe surge through you.

We’re so used to having a body. So used to seeing everyone else’s bodies everywhere we go. We overlook the miraculous wonder of them. The way they exist. The way they function. They way they let us live.  My body is beautiful. Your body is beautiful. Breathtaking.

Here are some mind – blowing facts just for you today!
 
The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute; 100,000 times a day; 3,600,000 times a year; and 2.5 billion times during a lifetime.

Source:
(Parramon’s Editorial Team. 2005. Essential Atlas of Physiology. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.)

A kitchen faucet would need to be turned on all the way for at least 45 years to equal the amount of blood pumped by the heart in an average lifetime.

Source :
(Avraham, Regina. 2000. The Circulatory System. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers.)

Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back.

Source:
(Avraham, Regina. 2000. The Circulatory System. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers.)

During an average lifetime, the heart will pump nearly 1.5 million barrels of blood—enough to fill 200 train tank cars.

Source:
(Avraham, Regina. 2000. The Circulatory System. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers.)

Check this for more lovely facts!
http://facts.randomhistory.com/human-heart-facts.html

And here ‘s another one for you :

Stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve metal, even sharp objects such as razor blades. Although swallowing metal is never a good idea, it will seriously injure or kill a person before it’s dissolved by the person ‘s stomach acid. 
(Li. P. K.; Spittler C.; Taylor C. W.; Sponseller D.; Chung R.S.; Department of Surgery, Meridia Huron and Hillcrest Hospitals, Cleveland , Ohio
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy ISSN 0016-5107)

But isn’t that amazing?! ;-D

And think of when you have a cut or a broken bone. Whether or not you need medical assistance, that body of yours heals itself. Your skin closes back up. It’s almost too good to be true. But it’s not because It IS true!

Imagine walking up a street and out of nowhere being overwhelmed by the incredible beauty of living, imagine the feeling as if you will burst into tears at any moment.   Not tears of sorrow or pain. But tears of joy and gratitude.  

I want you to love your body for letting you live. And live so well. Nourish it. Cherish it.  Your body hears everything you say & think so watch what you say, you don’t want to stress it out! Or piss it off.

Here is something to ponder written by Albert Einstein :

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people; first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.

A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Only a life lived for others is worth living.”

–Albert Einstein

(I don’t necessarily agree with it in its entirety. I like this.  Very compassionate & intelligent, generous man!  But that last line, it kind of rubs me the wrong way. And not merely because he says we should live for others but the gall to assume only certain kinds of lives or worth living. I don’t think he’s saying we should live to be servants at the expense of our own sanity and welfare but some people may take it that way. I completely agree we should help others and not demand or expect tangible things or favors in return and should have compassion and empathy and that we are all connected in ways. We can help others and love all living creatures without wearing ourselves out to be their servants. We must find the correct balance and set healthy boundaries. But yeah I wouldn’t say any life is ‘not worth living’. But I guess that calls for a whole other post!)

Ohhhh, the wild joys of living…..

“Oh the wild joys of living! The leaping from rock to rock … the cool silver shock of the plunge in a pool’s living waters.” ~ Robert Browning

I hope you find that inspiration, that music in your bones, that magic in your heart, that awareness, & gratitude, those awe-provoking moments that will blow you away.   And always remember, even the ordinary is truly extraordinary when we really. 

😀

Xo Kim

P.s.

https://livingmindfully.org/

http://www.meditationoasis.com/