“I hear some of you complaining “women always say they want a nice guy.” I know lots of women — I’m even related to a few — and I can’t say I’ve ever heard any of them say that. I can’t prove it, but this sounds like one of those things stand-up comedians say about women and everyone else just repeats. I’ve also never known a woman who cries when she breaks a nail — although I’ve known a few who swear like a 15-year-old sailor in jail — and I’ve never had a woman ask me if her outfit made her look fat unless she actually wanted and subsequently appreciated my opinion. So either I’ve stumbled upon a secret trove of women who aren’t passive-aggressive sob machines, or you need to stop mistaking Dane Cook routines for peer-reviewed sociological studies.”—Lore Sjöberg, Alt Text: Taking Another Look at the Myth of the ‘Nice Guy’ (via thatkindofwoman)
What if I am broken beyond repair or born perverted?
There is only one Soul and we all share it. It the awareness that illumines the mind and body. Mind and body are transient and are not you. You are awareness. Awareness is unborn, undying, eternally peaceful. It is undivided and undifferentiated.
We are always whole, no matter how much shit is mucking around in our heads and hearts.
"The Yogi is broken beyond breaking or mending; the Yogi is bound beyond binding or rending. He is truth, equally distributed like the sky. How can there be anything pleasant or unpleasant for him?" ~ The Avadhuta Gita
The sky is not drowned by rain, blown by winds, or preferential in any way. Weather comes, weather goes. The sky is ever the same in serenity.
However, if something feels wrong inside, definitely give that feeling the attention it deserves. But know that you are whole; you need not reach wholeness, only come to know your actual Self.
I would also recommend the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron.
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.”—John Muir (via explore-everywhere)
When I teach classes about the anthropology of waste and discards, I always designate one 48-hour period in which my students and I keep all the trash we would otherwise throw out. (I kindly exclude recyclables and anything that normally gets flushed.) The effort teaches a few important lessons.
Robin Nagle: What I discovered in New York City trashIt demonstrates that trash generation is done casually, without much thought at all. My students get an intimate sense of just how deeply their habits of wasting are engrained in their minds. Because they’re unable to let go of it, even for a short time, they also become aware of how trash is otherwise mostly invisible to them.
Here are a few exercises and questions to help you change your own awareness of waste. And I mean waste as both a practice and as a category of material.
1. Choose a disposable object that you use regularly – a take-out coffee cup, a plastic shopping bag, a tissue for wiping your nose – and replace it with its durable counterpart (a reusable coffee cup, a cloth shopping bag, a handkerchief). Notice how often you forget to bring the durable version with you. Notice the kind of attention and care it requires when you do remember it. How does it change your relationship to that object? Does it inspire any reflections about the rhythms and habits of your daily life? Of the larger society around you?
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”—Thomas Merton (via thatkindofwoman)
“Her heart sank into her shoes as she realized at last how much she wanted him. No matter what his past was, no matter what he had done. Which was not to say that she would ever let him know, but only that he moved her chemically more than anyone she had ever met, that all other men seemed pale beside him.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald, A New Leaf (via larmoyante)
I don't feel like I know how to be happy or content. I remember being happy in my past for periods of time. But right now in my life, I feel lost and confused and just want to be pointed in the direction of what makes me happy because I can't seem to find what does. I don't think I suffer from depression, just restlessness and emptiness. I am a student of philosophy and have a lot of things going for me, but I still feel empty and sort of lost. How do you find what makes you happy in life?
I don’t think you are alone in this way of feeling. Many people in this day and age feel a kind of emptiness or lack of contentment/happiness. Their response to this, of course, is to seek happiness or contentment. But whatever is found is always temporary, because that happiness or contentment is due to circumstances. Circumstances always change.
If you work long painful hours during the week and spend your weekends being happy by sitting on front of the television, then you will experience a cycle of pain and pleasure.
However, there is another way. Be indifferent to pleasure and pain, to transient happiness and transient suffering. It is the constant mindfulness of the age old adage “This too shall pass.”
This emptiness you feel cannot be filled. In fact, it is deepened by the act of trying to fill it. I often liken this notion to a thirsty person drinking saltwater. You will only grow more thirsty.
To your mind, indifference sounds even more empty and numb. But this is because the mind doesn’t know the reality of the radiance that you are. In other words, the more you try to find a happiness and contentment external to you, the less aware you will be of your own innate happiness and contentment.
The difficulty lies in the fact that we measure our contentment and happiness with those feelings we have known from circumstances. Many of us forget or perhaps weren’t conscious of the innate happiness and contentment we had as children.
It is difficult to mentally conceive of it and yet when you feel it, you will immediately recognize it. All happiness and contentment you have known from circumstances are merely the limited form of happiness and contentment uncaused by circumstance. Such an uncaused happiness is none other than your natural state of grace, of Being.
Therefore your work is not to find something that makes you happy or fulfills you but rather to re-discover that fundamental reality of your existence. Then you are already at peace, happy, and fulfilled. And it is from that place of abundant radiance that you may render incredible creations and changes into this world.
Or you may just chill really really hard. It’s up to you.
The place I would recommend to begin is with daily meditation and the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
“I stopped in the middle of that building and I saw — the sky. I saw the things that I love in this world. The work and the food and time to sit and smoke. And I looked at the pen and said to myself, what the hell am I grabbing this for? Why am I trying to become what I don’t want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am.”—Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (via wishinfoolius)
“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life… fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do, and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change…”—Eckhart Tolle (via thatkindofwoman)
“In March of this year, a 10 meter long sperm whale washed up on Spain’s South Coast. This whale had swallowed 59 different plastic items totaling over 37 pounds. Most of this plastic consisted of transparent sheeting used to build greenhouses in Almeria and Grenada for the purpose of tomatoes…
Rep. Mike Michaud’s (D-Maine) opponents started a whisper campaign that the gubernatorial candidate is gay. So today, he published this op-ed that says, “Yes, I am. Why should it matter?”
He continues: “That may seem like a big announcement to some people. For me, it’s just a part of who I am, as much as being a third-generation mill worker or a lifelong Mainer. One thing I do know is that it has nothing to do with my ability to lead the state of Maine.”
I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.
What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.
Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.
Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it:
Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?
Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.
If just one child has been inspired to pick up a can of paint and make some art, well that would be statistically disappointing considering how much work I put in. Outside is where art should live, among us, and rather than street art being a fad, maybe it’s the last 1,000 years of art history are a blip, when art came inside in service of the church and institutions.
But art’s rightful place is on the cave-walls of our communities, where it can act as a ‘public service’: provoke debate, voice concerns, forge identities.
The world we live in today is run by, visually at least, traffic signs, billboards, and planning committees. Is that it? Don’t we want to live in a world made of art, not just decorated by it?
Too often people seek a sense of certainty either in their own eyes or in the eyes of others. That, to me, is not real confidence.
Real confidence means being undeceived by the voice of uncertainty, regardless of whether or not that voice may be present. If you trim your sails for any passing breeze, you’ll be pulled in numerous directions.
Seek a sense of certainty for any reason and you will be fooling yourself. Give into insecurity and you will also be fooling yourself.
No longer seeking a sense of certainty nor avoiding the feeling of insecurity is the essence of courage and confidence. But why use those words? I prefer the term sanity.
“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”—Marvin J. Ashton (via h-o-r-n-g-r-y)