Posted by: Tanja | September 24, 2010

Magic all around

Observing little kids, I see time and again little masters of life. Why is it that when we grow up we forget something we used to be good at. Namely, living. Children live in the present moment. They are fully immersed in the here and now. They don’t regret the past, neither do they fear the future. They are happy. Now. Not tomorrow when I get a new job, a new partner, when I’ll go travelling. I often think why aren’t we capable of living in the here and now. That’s the only thing we have. The present moment. But, no, we keep regretting our failed relationships, we keep reminding ourselves we should’ve done things some other way. We keep postponing our happiness and finding countless conditions that all have to be fulfilled if we are to become happy. Now tell me how pathetic is that! Our future is not guaranteed. Ask a wife whose husband died of cardiac arrest, ask a family whose member died in a car accident. All we have is today, so yeah, go ahead and make the best of it. Get rid of the fear. Be childlike, laugh, crack a joke, be a tad bit irresponsible, relax, love. Yes, love. Let your love flow to your partner, your kids, your neighbours, your freinds, let it flow to the strangers. Tell and show people you love them. You never know, maybe it’s your last chance. You can’t ever know, so let go of control, which isn’t even control, it’s supression.

And be supple, be pliant. That’s something we should all learn. The minds of the kids are like water: soft and pliant and supple. Their imagination and creativity are boundless. They keep finding new original solutions to their little problems. But we are stuck. We are stiff. We keep thinking the same thoughts, solving problems the same way, even if it doesn’t work, we are full of judgements and preconceived ideas. In comparison to children we’re just plain boring and liveless and dull.

So, do something creative, use your imagination. All that we do, we can do it creatively, be it cooking, gardening, cleaning our house, shopping, writing, whatever. Do something you haven’t done for a long, long time: learn a new language, dance, paint, tell your parents how much you love them, be grateful. I feel gratitude is so important in our lives. There are countless number of things you can be grateful for:

you have a job 

you’ve got freedom of choice

the sun is shining

you open the tap and there comes clean, cool water

you have no idea how hunger feels like

your child doesn’t have brain tumor

your partner didn’t get a heart attack this morning

you’re not bound to the wheelchair

you can see (close your eyes for five minutes and try to do something: read a book, read this post, look at the sun. See?)

you can hear (you hear birds, a mountain spring, you here the words of your loved ones)

you have everything and much, much more than is necessary for a comfortable life  

The list never ends, so it makes no sense to blow up two or three things that aren’t quite alright and forget about hundreds of things that are alright.

Enjoy your Friday. Be yourself, slow down and look around, you’ll see magic! And you’ll fall in love with it.  x0x0, Tanja

I do not own the photos. No copyright infringement intended.

Posted by: Tanja | September 21, 2010

International Peace Day, Everybody

 There is no way to peace, peace is the way. – A. J. Muste

Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, something you do, something you are and something you give away. – Robert Fulghum

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. – Jimi Hendrix

When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.

Reach for peace. Search inside!

21st of September is international peace day. And the reason I love it so much (besides the message, of course) is that it is celebrated by planting trees. Yes! Isn’t that awsome? It is for me, as I get one more excuse to plant something. Usually we plant fruit trees so that they are going to bear some nice, juicy fruit in the years to come but actually one can plant whatever one feels like. The best book about peace I’ve read so far is Peace is Every Step by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Price by Martin Luther King in 1967. It’s a profoundly simple book, yet the wisdom, peace and love of all people regardless of their race, social status or religious believes, radiate from every word on every page. It’s that kind of a book that you read and re-read and as you grow with it, you discover new things you weren’t able to see before. Its main message is, that peace is not something outside of us, that it cannot be achieved with peace treaties, with powerful and destructive weapons, with oppression. Peace starts with an individual, inside of us, everything we do should be an expression of peace: on every step of our way we can practice peace and live mindfully. Peace inside of us then ripples outwards to our partners, children, co-workers, neighbours, friends…and these little circles of peace grow and if there are enough of them they’ll merge and the whole world will become one big, happy, peaceful village. This thing is possible and it starts with you and me. Good to remember it when you lose your patience and shout and scream at your partner, your child. Good to remember when you purchase Made-in-China clothes made by modern day slaves, good to remember when you get a steak on your plate or soy grown where lush rain forest used to thrive, good to remember when your feet touch the mahagony floor in your bedroom…the list goes on and on.

Sending you all much Love and Peace!!!

Posted by: Tanja | September 17, 2010

Letting go

Some years ago I suddenly became possessed by the yearning, this really, really strong yearning for freedom. I wanted to do things I felt like doing and not those, other people expected me to do. I wanted to get rid of the feeling of responsibility and to forget about other peoples’ expectations about me. I was trying to persuade myself that if people have some sort of expectations about me, it is their own fault if they do not match with reality. Which I think is a valid point. I was trying to persuade myself that their dissapointment in me has nothing to do with me directly, with how I am or how I am not but with the wrong picture of me they had built up in their minds. I still think I had some good points here but the thing was I felt awfully guilty each time I acted contrary to what I knew were other peoples’ expectations about me. And dissapointing them in one way or another felt awful. So I have realized that this journey of mine towards freedom is basically a journey of detachment, a process of learning how to let go. I should think that all of our problems, miseries, and unhappiness are caused by fixation—latching onto things and not being able to release them.

So, I was totally fixated on other peoples’ expectations about me. But then slowly, really, really slowly and with hard work I managed to let go of it, little by little. I was no longer trying to always be a perfect daughter, a perfect girlfriend, a perfect student, a perfect this or that. Well, the thing is there is no such thing as perfection. Perfection is just an idea in our minds (and the sooner we feel this, the better for us), so trying to achieve something that does not even exist is pretty…pretty how shall I call it: crazy, pathetic, exhausting…whatever. So now I am no longer afraid to dissapoint and no longer afraid to do things that might be considered “wrong”. It is all about concepts and about shifting a perspective. If I am more myself, who I really am and not who other people want me to be, people will gradually change their picture of me in their minds and their dissapointments will not come that often. It is a hard life to always strive to perfection which was what I was doing. Other peoples’ expectations inevitably keep increasing exponentially with your achievements. And sooner or later the whole thing becomes stifling and so terribly exhausting. It is liberating and refreshing to let go, to give yourself a permission to screw things up and to fail and to have the courage to dissapoint.

So, I am certain now that letting go of any fixation is effectively a process of learning to be free, because every time we let go of something, we become free of it. Whatever we fixate upon limits us because fixation makes us dependent upon something other than ourselves. Each time we let go of something, we experience another level of freedom. So, I let go of perfection and of other peoples’  high expectations about me  and it feels good and liberating and I am so much happier. And I know that if I am happy people around me will be happy as well and that is exactly what I have wanted all along: to make other people happy and to be happy myself.

Posted by: Tanja | September 9, 2010

Dissolved

I am aware more than ever that whenever this moment comes, I will not be able to take it. I will not be able to go on. 

I do not feel anything, my body not mine, just a body on the shore, unmovable. I dissolve into the pebbles beneath me, the sky above me, the greenery around me. I dissolve and am gone just like him. Nothing remains behind us, an enchanted landscape untouched, basking in a soul-caressing symphony of love. I am in the pebbles, his wet footprints on my body, quenching my thirst, I am in the trees, growing strong and sturdy out of his cool, fertile soil, stretching my branches towards the huge red globe of his heart. His heart of the sun keeps me warm in the night and its whispery music makes me sway and dance during the storms of my life. I am the lake he dives in, my waters accepting his pain and sorrow and transforming them into waves of sheer bliss and ecstasy.

Posted by: Tanja | August 27, 2010

My Love Affair

I have an ongoing love affair with summer. And it’s not just because of lovely temperatures. Summer is so much more: It’s walking barefoot along the beach, your feet kissing warm, weather-beaten pebbles. It’s getting up early in the morning to see the orange globe rising from behind the rolling hills. Summer…is sitting on a pier, splashing your legs in water. It’s eating plums and chasing the wasps away. It’s the scent of a gentle summer rain. I have always had some strange affinity for rain…and can most often not help myself but throw off my shoes and some of the clothes and just feel those little rain drops on my skin…and I open my mouth to catch  the spherical miracle coming from above…and summer is also lazing your days away in a hammock and reading a good book.

Posted by: Tanja | August 15, 2010

Some weekend music


MusicPlaylistRingtones
Create a playlist at MixPod.com

Posted by: Tanja | August 3, 2010

The Ripple Effect

Posted by: Tanja | July 31, 2010

Silence Feels Good

Many people have some ambivalence about silence; they fear it, or don’t value it. Because we only know ourselves through thinking and speaking and acting. But once the mind gets silent, the range of what’s possible is immeasurable. So first you taste the silence. Then you realize  that it’s not a vacuum or dead space. It’s not an absence of the real stuff; it’s not that the real stuff is the doing, the talking, and all that. You get comfortable in it and you learn that it’s highly charged with life. It’s a very refined and subtle kind of energy. And when you come out of it,  somehow you’re kinder, more intelligent. It’s not something that you manufacture—it’s an integral part of being alive. And it’s vast. We’ve enclosed ourselves in a relatively small space by thinking. It binds us in, and we’re not aware that we’re living in a tiny, cluttered room. With practice, it’s as if the walls of this room were torn down, and you realize there’s a sky out there.

By Larry Rosenberg, The Art of Doing Nothing

Posted by: Tanja | July 21, 2010

Cry of the Snowlion (continued)

Posted by: Tanja | July 20, 2010

Life should always be a dance, not a struggle

In the last couple of years, due to my severe illness, I have often heard people say: “You’re a fighter.” I guess it is terribly impressive nowdays to be a fighter, a warrior, to fight this and that, to fight your way through life. The thing is, life is nothing to fight against. It is to be embraced and cherished. A fighter is the very last thing I would want to be. When I hear the word “a fighter” the picture I get, is of soldiers dragging themselves across the battlefield. Covered in blood. In tattered clothes. Physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Even if they do survive, very few of them will actually be able to live, to be alive. It is a sad, sad picture. A picture where I do not see myself. A friend of mine, who obvioulsy knew I was not into fighters, warriors and soldiers, came to me one day and said: “You’re a dancer, you dance effortlessly and graciously through life. That’s why you’re gonna make it.”

I feel his words bear so much truth, so much truth actually that the line: “Your life should always be a dance, not a struggle,” has become my mantra. Whenever I feel myself struggling and striving I bring these words to my mind. Life, even life with chronic illness can be something beautiful and magical if only you know how to go with the flow. It is true that the ride gets bumpy here and there but if you just let go and relax you come out on the other side. A little bruised, a little wiser and much more in love with life that you have ever been.

Image owned by magicboyphoto from Flickr.

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