Archives for posts with tag: Letters of Gratitude

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.

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I started to write Letters of Gratitude to the invitation of Rob Martin and Jack Pollock, who founded the Letters of Gratitude website, http://www.thelettersofgratitude.com/, and wrote the book http://www.amazon.com/The-Letters-Gratitude-Rob-Martin/dp/1478101172/ref=tmm_pap_title_0. They suggested a full list of words on which to reflect and write, and discover for ourselves what the word meant to us, and how each of us could develop gratitude for the manifestation of this word in our lives. This is a simplification of the beautiful work Rob and Jack did.

I have committed to write a Letter of Gratitude for each word included in Rob and Jack’s list. That was about a year ago. I completely messed up the process for myself by extending the practice for over a year instead of the suggested 30 days. I still enjoyed the depth to which the “digging deeper” brought me. Then, I got stuck with the word Secrets.

Secrets and Authenticity are the two ends of a spectrum. Developing gratitude for how the concept of Secrets in my life has materialized seems an impossible task. I simply do not have secrets. Authenticity has been the strongest blessing and the most damaging curse of my life.

I suspect, without any proof and many hints, that my mother has kept key facts of her life and experience under wraps. I suffered for it (think “unexpressed traumatic frustration”). The impacts on my life have been notwithstanding very real. These hidden facts, if they exist, are her secrets, not mine. Throughout my life, I have been a seeker of authenticity, in others and in myself. I have refused to play the games people play in society and in friendships, because it goes directly against my grain.

Like Buddhists say, we should be grateful for all that life made us up to this day. In that sense, I am grateful for people in my life from which I sensed they had secrets, or did not act authentically.

I am a passionate person. I am enthusiastic. It shows in the
tone of my voice, in my playful nature, in the way I communicate my ideas. My
very personal definition of passion is “to totally inhabit the present moment,
and seizing this moment with all six senses”. I like to say that nothing is a
passion to me (as I age I realize this is not all true), but that I do everything
passionately.

My passionate nature has not always been a blessing. Passion
scares people. It is not totally “civilized” to demonstrate a passionate nature.
People often believe you have a hidden agenda. Just the tone of my voice, the
inclination of the words when I speak…it sometimes scares the hell out of
certain individuals. Unfortunately, most of the time, I realized that’s what
happened only after the fact. Passion sometimes triggers the intolerant fiber
of the world.

Living with passion gives life color, taste, sound, texture
and feeling. Bland is not really part of my daily experience. Happiness
transforms to joy, and deception almost in despair. The variance of feelings is
huge, and it is often tiring to adjust to those emotion variations with dignity
and poise.

My passion ignites my creativity. My passion is my sidekick,
my signpost. It is part of my uniqueness in this world, and I would not
exchange it for any other personality trait in the world. My passion has crows
into love, and forces me to ground in reality, not in whimsical fantasy. It
gives me what it takes to believe in people, to want the best for them, to
carry them in my heart. With detachment. If you are passionate, never forget
the tool of detachment. It is essential to remain balanced and grow as a human
being.

My passion invited love in my life, helped me define for myself
the essentials of this life, and keeping alive joy, by demonstrating to me
there was nothing wrong with hugging myself with my own arms. Thank you
passionate nature.

Oh, trust…For me, trust is a decision. A leap of faith. The
part we know for sure is always much smaller than the unknown one. Trusting is
accepting, welcoming someone. Trust is about people.  There are levels of trust. You always trust
“in a context”. I am not putting everyone and situation in the same “carte
blanche” bag.  We can trust completely,
like our better half, or we can trust employees in our team to do a good job.
Or we can trust that the person in line with us at the grocery store will keep
our rank safe in the line-up during the time we grabbed a forgotten item on the
shopping list. These are all varying degrees of trust, and consequently, of
risk we decide to take.

Trusting requires some degree of information. In the absence
of knowledge, we may decide to trust, until proven wrong. It is not a wrong or
bad decision to trust. In fact, it means we say Yes!  to life. As events unfold, things may happen
that could demonstrate our trust was misplaced, and that is fine too. Maya
Angelou said “When we know better, we do better.” Corrollarily, when we know
better, we align our trust better. There is no point in blaming ourselves for
trust that has been misplaced.  It
represents either a learning experience, or love shared to others in the
absence of more information. And that is courageous and generous.

I am grateful to be able to trust people. Trusting for me as
been a blessing to me and to the ones I have been in relation to. Trusting also
means I have respected people to the level of capacity they able to share with
me on their life path. I have as a companion to my trust discernment, realistic
expectations, and total respect for myself and the ones who share my path.

I feel sadness when I sense a person cannot totally commit
to love because of past emotional trauma. I have to “trust” that this person
will find the same access to the Source inside him that we all have, to find
his way to love and joy, by having been sustained in learning to trust.

For such a long time earlier in my life, little girl, then
teenager, hope did not exist. Hope was wishful thinking. Often in hospitals,
and with parents I was totally unable to satisfy to have them stop yelling at
me, all my energy was dedicated to emotional survival. It is only in my early
thirties I fully realized I could do anything I wanted to do with my life.

Even today, I am not totally at ease with the word. It has
magical connotation I do not feel is enough anchored in reality, like magical thinking,
a form of naivete. I prefer to say I am an enthusiastic person, proactively
cultivating, as often as I can, a positive outlook on life. I have come to
strongly believe the organized chaos of life is aiming at expanding an
intelligent and supportive net that leads us to our best individual and
collective unfoldment.

Ultimately, hope for me is a discipline, tempered by a
strong sense of reality. The moments I like to share hope are when I am
communicating with people, and reminding them how magnificent they are. We are
alive, therefore I want to use this life to the best, and do good. That is when
we touch eternity: reminding someone that love can only grow from this moment
on, if that is their wish.

I am grateful to realize that everyday is a new day, that I
can re-create myself anew with these new moments I am provided with. My hope
resides in eternity, which means it is not related to time, to enduring happy
moments eluding suffering.

Fear is the exact opposite of love. Fear is a feeling of helplessness, or more exactly, of not being in control when something terrible could happen. We cannot grow in life without feeling fear, by pushing our limits or going through new and sometimes terrifying experiences. For being aware of that, I am grateful.

Now at midlife, I realize I have always lived in/with fear. This emotion is expert at remaining hidden from our awareness, in the way we make choices, express ourselves and meet with the world. What in reality is fear may camouflage and may well be interpreted as part of our legitimate personality, character trait.

Years of conditioning in our family of origin, life experiences, wanting to make our way in the world hence pleasing or aligning with preconceived ideas of “how we should be” to “make the cut” all contribute to cultivate states of fear in our younger years.

I have lived most of my life in a state of high anxiety. My upbringing has left physical “scars” on my nervous system, that, in spite of taking full responsibility for myself and my happiness, I had to learn to manage and control if some peace was to be attained in this life. I was never at peace at home, not a moment of quiet respite, always guilty of something. I wanted to disappear in the floor, melting like cartoon characters do, or instantly transforming into flea and getting into a wood hole on the varnished floor, prisoner of my own body. With eyes wide open in the middle of fearful situations, I would crawl in the foetal position, not knowing where to go, telling myself that leaving and living in the street would not be better nor a solution, only different miseries ahead.

I have started to really enjoy life in my early forties. Lifelong learning, yoga, spirituality authenticity, truth, love from my husband, and the realization that there are so many talented and loving people in the world have contributed to my “re-birth”. Mostly, the consciousness that we are all “part of God” and that choice is our legitimate right was really helpful. I do not have anybody to answer to, except my Self.

I do not like that word. Expectation is an
essential but misunderstood concept. Essential, because it helps one define the
threshold over which or under which things & situation are acceptable or
not.  As imperfect human beings, we use
this definition either to our greatest joy or utmost misery on ourselves or others.

Early in their  life, part of educating kids is in helping
them develop self-confidence and self-respect. The expectation that others will
respect me if I respect myself is key to grow into a mature and productive
adult. In a healthy perspective in one’s life, we need our markers, in order to
make choices about what is acceptable or not.

Trouble starts when we impose either on
ourselves or others expectations that are either unrealistic, exaggerated, or
that simply put on others excessive demands or do not respect reasonable
individual boundaries.

I am grateful to have developed a strong
sense of the issues and responsibilities that belong to me, and those that do
not. I know when to take charge, when to apologize, and when to let go. I
learned early in life not to expect anything from anybody, except either a
neutral disposition, or minimal respect. Apart from that, I have almost no
expectations from anybody, except myself. Life goes on we learn, as we live. No
matter what happens, life goes on. I am in love with reality and truth,
realizing I am not fully aware of the truth. Having very basic expectations or
none at all leads me on the path of self-responsibility, and on the way of
being surprised by life and people’s gifts to me if and when they ever
manifest.

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