Even when no one is listening…

Archive for August, 2013

{The Wisdom of Forgiveness} by HH The Dalai Lama & Victor Chan :Book Review

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This book has a bit of a story behind it. I bought a copy months ago at Half Price Books . During my busy time of Spring cleaning, packing, moving, writing my memoirs, editing, and settling into my new place this poor book sat in a moving book waiting to be loved.

In June, when Amara and I traveled to Tennessee for a weekend, I brought it along. Instantly I fell in love. Unfortunately, there was little time for reading in between driving, sleeping and  enjoying Nashville 😉 Once home again I eagerly set out to finish what I had started…but the book was gone. GONE. Vanished. Without a trace.

So I headed back to Half Price Books with Victoria and purchased a new copy. Paperback this time (my personal preference). Only to find out a week later that I had left my original book in the car we had borrowed for our Nashville Trip.  So now, Amara’s uncle has a copy of this magical book. And I’ve fallen in love with the Dalai Lama.

I mean, who couldn’t love this man?? With remarks subtly placed throughout the book from Victor Chan describing the Dalai Lama’s character, quirks and personality it’s impossible not to…

“The Dalai Lama, however, wears his soul on his face.”

 “He gave me a bear hug and then he was off”

“But he is also a very strong-willed person…”

“His facial muscles were vital and supple; they seemed to belong to someone in his twenties….When he is happy, he is one hundred percent happy. No other sentiments creep in to adulterate the sensation…the Dalai Lama was totally at ease with displaying his emotions. He was not ashamed of his feelings; he saw no reason to be self-conscious or embarrassed about them….He doesn’t get too attached to things- including his own emotions.”

Then I fell in love with his words….

“The Dalai Lama replied, ‘I analyze like this: if I develop bad feelings toward those who make me suffer, this will only destroy my own peace of mind. But if I forgive, this will only destroy my own peace of mind. But if I forgive, my mind becomes calm. Now, concerning our struggle for freedom, if we do it without anger, without hatred, but with true forgiveness, we can carry that struggle even more effectively. Struggle with calm mind, with compassion. Through analytical meditation, I now have full conviction that destructive emotions like hatred is no use. Nowadays, anger, hatred, they don’t come. But little irritation sometimes come.”

“I feel that I have no right to send them out with an extra burden of my own.” 

“Compassion is something like a sense of caring, a sense of concern for others’ difficulties and pain,” the Dalai Lama said. “Not only family and friends, but all other people. Enemies also. Now, if we really analyze our feelings, one thing becomes clear. If we think only of ourselves, forget about other people, then our minds occupy very small area. Inside that small area, even tiny problem appears very big. But the moment you develop a sense of concern for others, you realize that, just like ourselves, they also want happiness; they also want satisfaction. When you have this sense of concern, your mind automatically widens. At this point, your own problems, even big problems, will not be so significant. The result? Big increase in peace of mind. So, if you think only of yourself, only your happiness, the result is actually less happiness.  You get more anxiety, more fear.

So this is what I think of as the compassionate effect: if you really want genuine happiness, then whatever method you use to get it is worthwhile. And the best method is: when you think of others, you’ll be the first to get maximum benefit.” 

Read the book. If nothing else, read the book.

It will change your life.

It will challenge your relationship with yourself.

It will make you uncomfortable.

It will demand attention in areas of your life long left unattended.

Love,

Rachel

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Color Me Rad – Fort Wayne, IN: Race Review

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See these three smiling faces? Remember them. Kiki, Myself & Razi. Two of my best work friends. We signed up for the Color Me Rad 5K back in February. Now that the day had finally arrived we were STOKED.  At 6:00am we crawled out of my sleeping loft (after a measly hour of slumber), dressed, got coffee and headed to Fort Wayne, IN.

Color Me Rad (CMR), is a 5K run that is advertised as the “Happiest Five K” on earth. During your 3.1 mile loop color bombs of colored cornstarch are thrown at you at various points intermixed with liquid color stations where color is sprayed. CMR is not for the shy. Your personal space is violated in so many ways it actually is kinda funny.

I loved running this with Kiki and Razi. Between fits of giggles and coughing we managed to survive. CMR, really is the happiest 5k on earth. Or at least the happiest one I’ve attended. Seeing a mob of white shirts ready to be exploded on gets your blood pumping. The crazy outfits, tutus, and wigs put a smile on your face. And losing all sense of time rather freeing.

After the run, we made our way to the after party stage. Within a few moments we had shimmied our way to the front of the stage. Color packets were being thrown by the dozens. And every few minutes the DJ had everyone hold up their open packets and thrown them in the air at once with kick ass music blasting. My friends, you have not lived until you’ve danced in a color cloud. I liken it to a rainbow and a unicorn making love.

Yes, it’s THAT mind blowing.

So mind blowing, that after going 3.1 miles on an hour of sleep we still managed to dance for an hour and a half. Needless to say, I took a nap afterwards 😉

Once we emerged from the cloud of happiness Kiki, Razi and I took a LOT of pictures.

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So, how would I rate CMR??

*A FULL FIVE STARS*

Only, ladies…beware….for some odd reason this shit is impossible to remove from your boobies. All three of us had color bras outlined on our skin after showering 😉

So maybe…

4.9 stars?

=P

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Forgiveness has always been a difficult concept for me. With varying theories on definitions and applications; one can easily find their mind in knots.

Questions like: “Does forgiveness mean forgetting an offense?” “If I forgive a person does that mean I still have to talk to them?” “What if after forgiving someone I still want nothing to do with them?” “”What happens when I the person doesn’t even realize they hurt me or doesn’t think they’re wrong?” “How can I balance forgiveness with feelings of hurt, anger or disappointment?” “Can trust be rebuilt?”

I don’t have the answers.

But I will share what I have learned…

There are those who will take advantage of a forgiving heart. There are those who will never appreciate your forgiveness. There are those who will wave your hurt in front of the world demanding an apology of their own.

In these scenarios I’ve come to realize that revenge is never the answer. Choosing retaliation doesn’t make two wrongs a right. Honesty is always the best policy. Some discrepancies are better left quiet; others deserve recognition when asked. You must use your discretion but NEVER lie. If you don’t want to talk about it then tell that noisy co-worker of yours to bug off. Just remember, bottling emotions will only make the situation worse. If you are hurt but aren’t willing to admit so then you’re not being fair to the other person. Relationships are messy. They require communication. And sometimes that communication requires being brutally honest about how someone made you feel. You must be willing to explore your own heart before expecting anyone else to do the same.

Everyone you love will hurt you. What you do with that hurt is up to you. How forgiveness is lived out is unique to each situation. You’ve got to decide boundaries for yourself on what is a hill to die on and what isn’t a hill to die on. Some things can be acknowledged then moved past without a second thought. Others take time to work through. And sometimes things can’t be overlooked.
If you find yourself at such an impasse – Good Luck- you’re gonna need it. There’s a difference between stubbornness and ignorance. Someone that isn’t willing to admit fault may not be aware of the impact their actions or it could just be a misunderstanding or they could just be an asshole that doesn’t care. That’s where honesty and discretion comes into play.

What is your definition of forgiveness? How do you deal with offenses in your relationships? What do you do when someone doesn’t admit fault?

My

My heart is full

My heart is bursting

My heart is yours for the taking

My soul is pure

My soul is clear

My soul is free because of your love

My body is changing

My body is strong

My body is yours for the loving

All that I am

wants to share

all that you are

Let me love you dear

That is the greatest gift you’ve given

Simply letting me love you

That’s all I ask

The one who chooses to accept my love

is the one who will receive it.

Walk With Me….or Let Me Be

Can’t shake this feeling

that I’m waiting

for something

Itching

to know

what might be

Closing my eyes

Because

I’m afraid

to see

Pushing

others away

When all I want

is for you

to stay

I know

I’m a bit

of a mess

How could I not?

When you tell me

all the time

This is something

something

big

I’m going through

Years of abuse

to undo

Some wounds

never heal

Some scars

we can’t hide

Just love me

where I am

who I am

what I am

This is me

walk with me

or let me

be

Love Can Be Enough

I’m mending

a broken heart

forced to face

our faulty start.

Again and again

we circle round.

Again and again

we lose ground.

Baby, you can’t

make amends

for all your

empty promises

and every single

call you missed.

Say you’re sorry

a million times.

Heartfelt apologies

I can’t deny.

I’ll forgive you

once again.

If only you’d

let me in

to the places

you like to hide.

Into the battle

of your mind.

I gave you up

once before.

I’m left wanting

more and more.

With each goodbye

I dread hello.

With each high

I fear the low.

If this is love

then count me out.

If this is us

I’ll start to doubt

there’s any hope

of happiness.

There’s got to be

more than this.

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August 13th, 2013

You say it’s my fault

that were no longer friends

with the same lips that swore

what it was we could ‘work it out’.

Guess I wasn’t aware that meant

sweeping all the heartache under the rug.

Dust collecting in heaps beneath us all

never to be looked at again.

Then you wonder why things were bumpy

we’re both standing on uneven ground

hoping things just work themselves out.

They won’t

So I grabbed my mess and ran away.

Cleaning the cobwebs of my soul.

Things left stagnant for too long.

Making progress each new day

I can’t just look the other way.

Out trust is broken- left in shards

Our friendship broken- torn apart

Communication was never clear

my emotions floating past your ears.

Forgiveness can only do so much

You’ve gotta learn to love it all

the brokenness within our faults.

I love you as you are

though you ignore my broken heart.

So point the finger and pin the blame.

When I’m gone will you feel the same?

Stubbornness is stopping us

We’ve gotta rebuild trust

Otherwise that rug you’re standing on

will bend our being and break our bones.

Maybe we are better apart

Maybe it’s no one’s fault

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