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Doubt is perceived as negativity ( as in “I doubt myself”), as the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word. In neutral context, when someone says “I have a doubt”, or “I doubt it”, we think “we are not out of the woods with this one”. Either he does not trust himself, or others. This explains why doubt always sounded negative to me. As if society does not want us to doubt about anything.

 

I have doubted myself, on an ad-hoc basis. To this day,  good sense tells me to trust my gut feelings, but sometimes, doubt tells me another. This is not a healthy relationship between doubt and myself. Doubt is intrusive and wrecks havoc in my “supposed to be serene” emotional space.

 

I want doubt to become a reliable friend, pointing to the most appropriate,  greatest direction. Doubt seen as a hint, an arrow pointing to a rock that needs to be turned. Doubt always brought me to the past, to memories better forgotten, forever present in my psyche. Doubt noises polluted me with undesirable thoughts.

 

I am now creating a new path with doubt, giving it a new definition. Choosing to use doubt as a tool, I now develop my own ways of letting reality sink in, by giving it a positive spin. I am grateful for all of my emotions, including doubt, as it is through experiencing them fully that I am being informed about who I am, my needs, and how to better align with my dreams and values. Doubt as checkpoint, a moment of truth captured and dealt with. Doubt as arrow pointing to the best adjustments and choices, hence becoming who I really am. I now adopt doubt as the proverbial arrow, a companion on the greatest journey and destination.blog

Impermanence, is it what rainbows teach us? How many minutes last the life of a single rainbow?
Rainbows remind me of the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy has everything inside her to walk the golden path. What meditation made me realize, is that whatever rainbows mean to us, whether love, money, travels, comforts, even the alleviation of suffering, everything you could think of or experience is not of great importance. In the end, it is not what we do, successes and failures that matter. It is the meaning we give to life experiences and choices. The same quality and amount of love (if such a thing could ever be quantified) can be the outcome of both extreme difficult experiences and happy and opulent ones. For me, this is the ultimate reality of the Instant.
I appreciate rainbows for their colors, surprising appearances along our paths, like messages from the universe saying: “Don’t forget, you only have now. Look at me, otherwise, I’ll be gone, or you’ll be gone.” It is interesting how impermanence has such a profound effect on our days. Rainbows do not exist after all. Only our perceptions and interpretation of them exist, like everything else in this world.
Take my own identity and personae. For example, how many micro-connectors exist on a computer motherboard? Each connection is important to make the thing work, but does not exist by itself. What a great metaphor for me as an individual. This is what we have not yet understood about death. We must play out our own lives the best we can, while being part of a whole. Immortal and essential even though infinitesimal for the universe to work well. Once dead, the energy of my body will transform. All other interpretation seems a poisoned gift from my ego.
Thank you Rainbows. I bow.

In 2012, I listened  to a webcast led by Susan Piver (http://susanpiver.com/), from the Open Heart Project (http://susanpiver.com/open-heart-project/). I have a couple of people in my life I prefer to stay away from (forgiving is on the menu here). As I am on a path of opening my heart and sharing more loving-kindness, it seems to me I live in a real contradiction, a perfect dichotomy of sort. I listened to Susan’s webcast, and wanted to share a few ideas that helped me develop perspective, kindness for myself, acceptance of my weaknesses and limitations, and being open to gradually open my heart to people for whom I do not share anything in common but who are still part of my life.

My question to Susan was:

I am certain many people live confusing situations like mine and I would like to have the dharma (buddhist teachings) approach on this. My feelings towards specific people do not seem aligned with dharma teaching. Or are they?

I learned:

 

  • About the call of the warrior: to always evolve for a better world. Then, we do what we need to do. It is very personal.
  • The loving-kindness practice helps dealing with reality. For myself, and for other people.
  • The choices we make are about being authentic, aiming to pure authenticity.
  • Feeling the feelings open the heart and mind to more wisdom (dealing with guilt for example.)

 

I concluded:

 

  • Whether we forgive or not is not necessarily the point. Even if we forgive, that does not mean we want to share pizza & beer (or heal the relationship).
  • Society conditions us in certain ways (there is nothing more important than family, etc.) but using discernment in the choices we make is an acquired muscle.
  • The social expectation to demonstrate kindness towards family members has appeal to many disciplines and for us to think of ourselves as “a good person”: spirituality, psychology, emotions, social development, etc. In the end, for the simple sake or common sense of living with peace and dignity, someone with an ounce of basic emotional survival instinct (later on learning to pursue real joy), might decide to sever all ties with some family members or friends. We do not even need to be overly influenced by the social dictates. It does not need to be more complicated than this in many instances.
  • Loving-kindness toward oneself and our limitations (in the context of incapacity to forgive) is a starting point.
  • Sometimes, understanding the flaws, weaknesses or hurts of people who have hurt you is a milestone towards forgiving, sometimes not.
  • We human beings are intelligent and have heart, but let’s not forget we are animals too. The Fight or Flight response, instinct, and fundamental NO in the belly towards people we cannot see in paintings are also part of our intuitive life navigating tools to evolve as a human being.
  • Being a warrior also means learning to choose our own course of action. And there is not (most often than not) a prescribed or better way we “should” choose. The basic intention behind any action colors the level of purity (in the sense of a better world) of a choice.

 

We know:

 

  • We do not have more value as a human being than people we do not like. we have qualities and flaws that are different from them.
  • Most of us  commit to sincerely evolve on the path of loving-kindness, and to regularly questioning our intentions, choices. We should always come back rapidly to a point of peace, and work for the long-term so the internal “struggle” eventually becomes a thing of the past.
  • That being kind to oneself is not an open ticket to the path of least resistance or complacency.

 

 

Thank you for reading and openness. It is a work in progress.

I have decided to do an art journal just on the theme of Halloween and on everything spooky. This is the page I did on October 2. You can see my cover pages for this journal on Twitter @Luciecamp4. For this page, I used scrapbook paper, Neocolor II crayons, gaffer tape, die-cuts, brads, stickers, antique ephemera, Pitt pens, white gel pen and Glimmer Mist.

There is no life without pain, without scars. All families are dysfunctional, some more than others. Shit happens. Generally speaking, people do not want to die. We want to enjoy a long life. The fact is, the longer we live, the higher the probabilities of experiencing pain and collecting scars. Why? Because we need to learn, and sometimes, we do not understand the lessons until pain reaches us. Other times, people inflict it on us, people we love, and the lesson is on the side of letting go. The longer we live… pain is part of life. Pain is inevitable over the course of a lifetime. This human experience has something to teach each every time (the lesson, the silver lining).
It is true we learn fast through adversity. The opposite is also true: we do not need to experience pain to learn fast. Typically, passionate people, who experience life in living colors, will experience pain more acutely. This has been documented, with the personality types in psychology.
Every day, in prayer and meditation, I ask the Source to spare me pain and suffering throughout my lifetime learning. I ask to have the strength and discerning mind to learn without having to choose the painful road. I want, as much as possible, to walk on the path of least resistance.
The pain people inflict on us teaches us about compassion, acceptance, unconditional love, respect of boundaries. Our pain is the mirror of their own suffering, and many do not like what they see in the mirror. That is part of the experience.
Pain teaches us we are all part of the One. We come to understand that at the core, our needs for love, acceptance, peace and tenderness are all the same, in spite of our difference. Through pain, we have the choice to either soften and learn, or harden and lose ourselves in misery and stagnation.
I stay away from pain as much as possible, and say no to more scars. When inevitable, I will face pain and learn. By going through my painful experiences, I acquired depth and more capacity to love. That is priceless.

My studio and bedroom windows are on the same side of the park. Really tall, no curtains nor any adornments. No verticals either. I like the light of the day invade my rooms. Yesterday, I was thinking about all the activity going on in the park at this time of day, in the summer sunlight, at 5 p.m. I was deciding those windows would give me plenty of opportunity to identify topics for my writing on Curiosity. While I was at the computer, something happened. 30 feet from my window is a fence, separating our property from the park. Two black kids ran into the fence, followed by a white man who was about 30 years old. The two boys were no older than eight or nine years old. One of the boys was smoking, coughing, hitting the fence with one fist, sliding down the fence to sit. I could not count how many puffs he took in ten seconds. The smoke was making artistic swirls in the air with the most beautiful blue color. I could not smell, marinating in my air-conditionned environment.

The loser fellow, with his baseball cap front at the back, loose t-shirt and fat belly looked at me and we locked eyesight. It is easy to see me in the middle of my little studio, in the absence of any window treatment. A few moments later, the “pusher” hit the young smoker like his best pal and they moved towards the street, where they hung on the boardwalk. It took only a minute for the two young boys to lay one on top of the other, on their tummy, completely stone.

Within the first thirty seconds of observing the artistic and blue smoke, I was on the phone calling 911. The park was packed with families enjoying this summer afternoon. I was asked to describe each member of the group, and to leave my phone alone in case there would be a need for more information.

Five minutes later, an unidentified black car parked a few feet from the trio. A man came out and spoke to the white loser. Two minutes later a police car arrived. The policemen talked to the boys, and eventually, the two boys fell on the concrete again in their waiting and prostrated position. The first man started taking notes while talking to the loser. Then a third car, another police car, arrived on the scene. There were now several policemen and one policewoman observing the scene and talking to each other. That is when my phone rang, and I described to one of the policemen what I had observed.

The loser gave his papers, showed he had nothing under his cap…At this point, I did not know if I had misjudged the situation. Notwithstanding, it is not normal to see such a young kid exhaling beautiful & artistic blue smoke in the presence of an adult.

Kids do not need bad friends, bad influences or bad tendencies to get into drugs. Precious and innocent youngsters are pulled from their protective environment like tender flowers, whether from wild fields or groomed beds. In Victoria, British Columbia, I had the most excruciating experience while eating lunch on a bench overlooking the Harbour. A gorgeous blond little lolita arrived and sat on the bench beside mine, accompanied by a tall young asian man. She was about eleven years old, not one year more, pre-pubescent. She was taught how to smoke a joint. The man left and she was approached by a woman who evidently had known better days before her face being ravaged by crystal meth. In the timespace of five minutes, the girl was initiated to increasingly harder drugs, like coke, then other stuff I do not know, ending with an injection. It takes only five minutes to groom someone for “the business”. I did not have a phone with me. I called the police upon my return to the office to describe what I had seen.

In Ottawa yesterday, I had thirty seconds of inattention. When I turned my head back to the window, the black car with dark windows was making a U-turn. The two police cars drove slowly one beside the other, and they seemed to exchange information. The man and two kids were nowhere to be seen.

Five minutes of getting personal attention, five minutes to be important to someone. Give your kids plenty of positive attention, fun, and love. They will not need or be tempted by the attention of metastasis tender flower pullers.

This week, I was in deep writing mode for my friends. In creative mode. I needed to cuddle with my soul. Here are shared songs that helped me dig deeper into myself and my emotions of the moment. You will see my tastes are very eclectic. ]May you discover sexy & talented guitarist Joe Satriani and re-discover the unique Leonard Cohen.  I was about to forget Eva Cassidy, the genius angel voice who died too young (from cancer). These artists are the voices of my invisible friends right now. They, through their songs, promote truth, love, and the most important experiences of life. I have also added Adagio from Albinoni, which I could listen to all day and the most popular piece from St-Preux, the Concerto pour une voix, Sarah Brightman with La Luna and for dessert, Adagio from Albinoni again, sung by Il Divo, for some more high class testosterone. I saw both Leonard Cohen and Il Divo shows in Victoria, British Columbia, last year. Memorable. May you be inspired this week. I have. The joy was profound, being exposed to all that talent readily available on YouTube.

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