Wisdom


 Peace is This Moment Without Judgment

 

Do you think peace requires an end to war?

Or tigers eating only vegetables?

Does peace require an absence from

your boss, your spouse, yourself? …

Do you think peace will come some other place than here?

Some other time than Now?

In some other heart than yours?

 

Peace is this moment without judgment.

That is all. This moment in the Heart-space

where everything that is is welcome.

Peace is this moment without thinking

that it should be some other way,

that you should feel some other thing,

that your life should unfold according to your plans.

 

Peace is this moment without judgment,

this moment in the heart-space where

everything that is is welcome.

 

Dorothy Hunt

 

I saw this in an article on best running advice.  Like all good running advice, it’s good life advice too:

Lauren Fleshman, 2010 U.S. 5,000M Champion
On Mark Rowland, her current coach:

“‘The race always hurts, luv. Expect it to hurt. You don’t train so that it doesn’t hurt. You train so you can tolerate it.’”

 

I’ve been thinking lately about how to pull strength and inspiration from the people and animals around us.  I’ve seen some great examples recently.

Chief Al Stager of the Mount Currie First Nation spoke at my Dad’s funeral.  What a sweet sweet man.  He pulled out his sax to play “Amazing Grace” and at the top of the sax was an 8 inch wide wooden eagle emblem.  It was white and painted beautifully with a red and black pattern.  Al said, “see my eagle?  I made it myself.  It gives me strength”.  And then he played beautifully for my Dad.

I had the good fortune of hearing Dr. Condoleezza Rice speak last week.  She said that some of the days when she was Secretary of State were her hardest days.  She said that she had the pictures of 4 previous Secretaries on her wall.  One was a photo of William H. Seward.  He was the guy who managed the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.  At the time he faced incredible opposition.  He spent 7 million dollars on what people thought was a chunk of frozen wasteland and the papers called it “Seward’s Folly”.  She said she used him to remember that what we think of as impossible, later becomes commonplace.  Today no one even remembers that Russia used to own a piece of North America.

I had a long drive home the other night, four hours which would put me home at 1:00 a.m..  I really wanted to do it because i missed my kids and wanted to be there when they woke up.  But I just wasn’t sure i could pull it off.  Then I thought about my brother who drives a logging truck for a living.  He’ll get up at 3:00 a.m. and do a 12 hour shift, every day of the week to support his family.  I thought if he can do that, i can do this lousy 4 hour drive to see my family.  Thinking of my brother flipped the switch for me.  I went from, “can i do this?” to “I’m so doing this”.  Once that happened I just needed to figure out the details.  My stubbornness kicked in and with the help of caffeine, sugar and loud tunes I made it home in one piece to sleep in my own bed.

It doesn’t have to be big things but like my trip home, it was an important thing.  And thinking of my brother gave me the strength to pull it off.  It was really powerful.

So what do you need to invoke in your life?  What will help you get through the inevitable hardships that come up?  Are you keeping an eye out for powerful symbols, people and totems that you can use to remind yourself of the strength that’s available to you?  If you ask, the Universe will provide them.

 

My Dad passed away on Labour Day, a fatal heart attack.  I immediately started packing while Honey Bunny booked a flight for me for the following morning.  It was such a shock.  We all holed up in the mountains at the brother’s place, it was so nice to just be together and talk about Dad and be there for Mom.

I agreed to write the eulogy, so i started gathering up stories.  There was a question of who would give it and as i was writing i realized that no one else was going to do my personal stories any justice, they were mostly meaningful to me and my bro’s so I’d have to give it myself.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it felt so good to do something for my Dad.  I like to think it would have made him happy.  Here’s what I read:

Thank you all for being here with my family today to remember, honor and celebrate my Dad.

I’m Al’s only daughter Corilee, although i prefer to say “favorite” daughter.

It’s been such a gift spending time with my Mom and my brothers, drinking a hundred pots of coffee and talking about Dad.  Some stories make us think, and plenty of the stories make us laugh and lots make us dive for the kleenex box.

But it’s all good because for Dad, if there was emotion to be shared or tears to be shed he was ok with that.  No shame.

Dad loved people and talked to everybody.  My family and I were laughing about the *hours* we spent in the car when we were kids waiting for him to finish talking to someone.  He had to hear every story, get an answer to every question.  He was wide open and curious.

He had a great love of adventure.  He rode an Indian motor bike in high school and he’s travelled around Canada, the US and the world with Mom. But his favorite adventures were going flying with his best friend Randy.  He was also in his element in his beloved truck with the camper on the back, coffee in hand, driving through the mountains with the southern gospel tunes blaring.

My Dad always worked hard. I understand that when he was young he worked on the farm from the time he could get his feet on the tractor’s gas pedals.  Even retirement didn’t slow him down, he just changed jobs, working nightshifts for the RCMP so that he could build up his travel fund.

Dad’s idea of fashion was red stripe jeans in the winter, and in the summer orange tshirts, shorts and sandals, even to weddings.  He was proud to wear his Lions vest complete with pins to represent his local Pemberton Chapter at conferences. He was told he bore a striking resemblance to Sean Connery.

My Dad was a GM man who loved music, loved to laugh and never met a kid or grandkid he didn’t want to tickle until they begged for mercy. His love for God was simply part of who he was, it wasn’t a religion or something he needed to do.

My Dad had a quiet strength.  He could capture in a few words exactly what was going on in a situation.  But he also knew when to stay quiet.

Dad collected all the Louis L’Amor books, the old western novels.  i think they appealed to him because the characters are self-created.  Who they are isn’t about their  background, where they were from or their education.  They define their lives through their choices, their actions and their adventures and that’s just like my Dad.

He loved food – a favorite was ginger cookies with Nabob coffee while looking out at Mount Currie in the living room with Mom.  He also loved licorice tea, a good steak, preferably with lobster, fig newtons and jalapeno cheese.

My Dad never held anyone back because he never wanted to be held back.  He was never one of those overprotective fearful parents.  When we told him there was something we wanted to do, he’d say “do it” and “have a ball”.   When i was a kid and told him my hair brained idea about opening a store that sold rabbits at the end of our driveway he told me it was a great idea.  When my Mom made the big scary move to go back to school as an adult, Dad was there with her at her first class.  When i, as a brash 20 year old, asked what he’d do if Mom made more money than him he said, “i’d help her spend it!”.

My Dad had his own roofing business when we lived in Surrey and taught us by example how to be entrepreneurs.  Thanks to him we know how to manage a business or run our own and all his kids know how to shingle a roof.

He taught us that there will always be people who try to make you feel small.  Don’t let them.

It was such a shock when he passed earlier this week but you know, i think his body just couldn’t support the size of his spirit anymore.  My Dad was larger than life.

Al Fox will be sorely missed, by his wife Marianne, us 4 kids, his 11 grandchildren, his extended family, his many friends and his community.

Poem

The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body’s world,
instinct

and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
sweetness
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is –

so it enters us –
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
lights up the deep and wondrous
drownings of the body
like a star.

Mary Oliver

Great article on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on things he wished he’d known at 30.  Here are my faves:

16. Don’t be so quick to judge. It’s human nature to instantly judge others. It goes back to our ancient life-or-death need to decide whether to fight or flee. But in their haste to size others up, people are often wrong—especially a thirty-year-old sports star with hordes of folks coming at him every day. We miss out on knowing some exceptional people by doing that, as I’m sure I did. I think the biggest irony of this advice is that it’s coming from someone who’s black, stratospherically tall, and an athlete: the trifecta of being pre-judged. And I have a lifetime of hurtful comments to prove it. Yet, that didn’t stop me from doing the same thing to others. You have to weigh the glee of satisfaction you get from arrogantly rejecting people with the inevitable sadness of regret you’ll eventually feel for having been such a dick. A friend of mine told me he routinely attends all of his high school reunions so he can apologize to every person he mistreated back then. He’s now on his fortieth reunion and still apologizing.

19. Do more yoga. Yes, K, I know you do yoga already. That’s why you’ve been able to play so long without major injuries. But doing more isn’t just for the physical benefits, it’s for the mental benefits that will come in handy in the years ahead, when your house burns down, your jazz collection perishes, and you lose to the Pistons in a four-game sweep in your final season.

20. Everything doesn’t have to be fixed. Relax, K-Man. Some stuff can be fixed, some stuff can’t be. Deciding which is which is part of maturing.

I’m on Pemo Chodron’s mailing list and she sent this one out today.  I like it because I’ve noticed it’s true for myself it’s so true – how I treat myself conditions how I view others and the world:

Learning how to be kind to ourselves is important. When we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering. We’re discovering the universe. When we discover the buddha that we are, we realize that everything and everyone is Buddha. We discover that everything is awake, and everyone is awake. Everything and everyone is precious and whole and good. When we regard thoughts and emotions with humor and openness, that’s how we perceive the universe.

I saw this quote and thought it was so perfect for running, yoga or anywhere that we safely push our boundaries to discover more about ourselves and what we’re capable of.

I’m glad to be here right now, poking at my threshold. I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can. Maybe that spot is called I will.

Kristin Armstrong, Mile Markers blog, Runner’s World.com

My beloved child,

break your heart no longer.

Each time you judge yourself you break your own heart.

You stop feeding on the love which is the wellspring of your vitality.

The time has come, your time

To live to celebrate and to see the goodness that you are…

Let no one, no thing, no idea or ideal obstruct you

If one comes, even in the name of “Truth”, forgive it for its

unknowing

Do not fight

Let go

And breathe – into the goodness that you are.

Bapuji

Please Come Home

Please come home. Please come home.
Find the place where your feet know where to walk
And follow your own trail home.
Please come home. Please come home into your own body,
Your own vessel, your own earth.
Please come home into each and every cell,
And fully into the space that surrounds you.
Please come home. Please come home to trusting yourself,
And your instincts and your ways and your knowings,
And even the particular quirks of your personality.
Please come home. Please come home and once you are firmly
there,
Please stay awhile and come to a deep rest within.
Please treasure your home. Please love and embrace your
home.
Please get a deep, deep sense of what it’s like to be truly
home.
Please come home. Please come home.
And when you’re really, really ready,
And there’s a detectable urge on the outbreath, then please
come out.
Please come home and please come forward.
Please express who you are to us, and please trust us
To see you and hear you and touch you
And recognize you as best we can.
Please come home. Please come home and let us know
All the nooks and crannies that are calling to be seen.
Please come home, and let us know the More
That is there that wants to come out.
Please come home. Please come home.
For you belong here now. You belong among us.
Please inhabit your place fully so we can learn from you,
From your voice and your ways and your presence.
Please come home. Please come home.
And when you feel yourself home, please welcome us too,
For we too forget that we belong and are welcome,
And that we are called to express fully who we are.
Please come home. Please come home.
You and you and you and me.
Please come home. Please come home.
Thank you, Earth, for welcoming us.
And thank you touch of eyes and ears and skin,
Touch of love for welcoming us.
May we wake up and remember who we truly are.
Please come home.
Please come home.
Please come home.
Jane Hooper

Next Page »