“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” – Lao Tzu
Do One Thing at a Time
Don’t multi-task. You cannot possibly be total in what you are doing. Being total in what you are doing is the essence of presence…of true joy.
Every time I come home and walk through my door, my pitbull-mix dog Opal runs to greet me. She has done this every time I’ve walked in the door since I adopted her on February 16, 2013. Every. single. time. She loves me, this is true, but she also does not tire of routine or sameness. She doesn’t get jaded or bummed out because she’s been missing me all day.
I walked into a bank today and the young man who greeted me was very enthusiastic about everything: greeting me, asking me if I needed help, guiding me to my appointment, and then going on to greet others. I later learned that he just started working at the bank. Do you remember being new at your job? I do. I loved everything about my day. Nothing could get me down. Everything excited me.
Buddhists have a saying: “Happiness is a choice, not a result.”
Sometimes our most important challenge is to keep life new and choose to not be jaded by things.
I started to lose my way when I learned that our school superintendent did something (it has not been revealed to the public) and will be fired and be paid out several hundreds of thousands of dollars. We just passed a tax hike for education. I’ve been pretty down about it, thinking that certainly, the next expenditure for education will not pass because of this. I got angry thinking about all those tax dollars going to this one woman and not to the thousands of students in our district. But I can’t worry about that. I need to choose to be happy because I have students in front of me now.
I am more productive when I’m happy than when I’m frustrated/disappointed/sad/angry.
Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
Here and Now
“Be where you are; otherwise, you will miss your life.”
The Basics of Happiness
“Happiness is a living thing. You need to feed your happiness in order to have happiness last. It’s like love. If you don’t feed your love, it will die. Understanding and compassion are the foundation to happiness.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Rx for Joy
Current symptoms: listlessness, insomnia, constant hood of worry, anxiety, pessimism, road rage
Prescription: (To do at least once a day until symptoms disappear)
Go to a mall or your sister’s house or other place where toddlers are eating or playing (a children’s playground at the park or school is not advised for you might be reported for peculiar behavior – not your fault)
Observe toddler’s feet dangling from the chair; his cherubic cheeks and glistening eyes focused on what’s in front of him;
Note the fat hands hungrily – joyfully – grabbing the sandwich/spoon/bowl;
Listen, really listen, to his easy laughter and his babble.
If you could ask him, he’d tell you:
He’s not worried about tomorrow or fretting about the past;
He’s here, with you, and nothing else matters.
When toddler begins to cry or have a temper tantrum, cease the observation and seek a quiet place immediately.
By your own efforts waken yourself, watch yourself. And live joyfully.
There is great joy in reveling in the small and simple things.
Grandma is visiting us
she got a really bad perm
and her hearing has worsened since her last visit
They love her, but The Teens don’t like kimchi
Obvious and unsaid:
You, my daughters, are the land
ravaged by a series of battles from all sides,
the cry of hungry orphans
and thousands of years of cultural pride
You are the Hermit Kingdom and King Sejong’s children –
the offspring of a man who reinvented an alphabet
so the common man as well as royalty
could read –
You are women warriors
You might have to fight
for what others are given
but you will never back down
Ambition – Aspiration – Appetite
Ambition is the strong desire to achieve something.
Aspiration is the hope to achieve something and it also means to draw breath.
Appetite is the natural desire to satisfy a bodily need.
I posit this: that it’s best to work from your appetite when it comes to striving for something. You should literally feel it in your gut and your heart- and allow that to drive your actions. Your body will never steer you wrong.
If your labor is derived from aspiration – the hope with the breath – that is almost as good.
And if you blindly seek your ambition – that desire which originates and stays within your mind – there is a danger that it’s misguided.
“We get more of what we respond to.”