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Sabrinamari

July 2014

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Jul. 10th, 2014

Big shine

Great expansions

My work has become a huge source of nurturance and success for me, even while it takes up large amounts of my time and energy.

This summer's class was the most successful academic course I've ever created, and that is saying a lot. Those students who took it transformed a whole range of their academic and personal strategies and incorporated new beliefs and attitudes into their lives. I now have confidence in their ability to plot their own course forward no matter what happens at the program or university level. These folks will be amazing.

I've also been asked to partner with two major organizations and help them develop new ways to work with graduate students. I'm loving this more than I can express.

My major co-writer/research partner just got a 1.5 million dollar grant, and this has opened new doors to our work together. I wished for more graduate students to bring into the field this summer....and three new students/colleagues, all volunteer, appeared at my doorstep asking to work with us this week.

It's truly exciting around here right now, and I am happy.

Wonderful, unexpected things are also happening in my spiritual life. I'm suddenly meeting new people with lots to teach and share who treat me with great respect. I didn't expect to be valued by them in this way from the start.

I expected to earn respect from the bottom up, as I've done in other trads and organizations. But for whatever reason, I'm being welcomed with an a priori level of trust and high regard. It's a little confusing, but I appreciate it very much and will seek to live up to it.

It's an explosively fertile time in my life!

Big shine

Ah, relief

If you want your children to be happy, spend more time teaching them joy by embodying it.

~ Martha Beck


Get out into the sunlight — out where everything is — with a vibration that is so dominant that those who annoy you; those who don't agree with you; those who make your life feel uncomfortable don't come into your experience, because your vibration — through your practice — has become so clear, so pure, so clean, so in keeping with what you want, that the world that revolves around you just feels like that. That's what you planned.

---Abraham

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Jul. 9th, 2014

Big shine

Niceness is not kindness

Thinking more about what I was told at the shamanic healing ceremony, I can make a distinction between kindness and niceness.

Kindness is bringing your best self to the party.

Niceness is being palatable to a wide range of people, many of whom may be acting like assholes.

Niceness does not equal kindness.
celestial jellyfish

Disappointments

If you decide to make someone the enemy and you're pushing very hard against them, you don't affect them at all, but you disconnect yourself from the Stream. If someone cheats you, they cannot diminish your experience. They only diminish their experience. You cannot be diminished by someone cheating you unless you get all upset about being cheated and push against them and use that as your excuse to disconnect from the Stream.

---Abraham

Sometimes I am able to really grasp this and not take the actions of others personally. In general, I think that most people behave the way they do because of who they are, not because of who I am. Those who have well-used and often repeated patterns of kindness/honesty/clarity (choose one) are usually kind/honest/clear under pressure, too.

However, those who don't have much practice in the first place can't manage it when conditions aren't perfect. That means if you tend to rage and criticize, you're going to get worse under pressure, and if you tend to hide or lie, you'll do more of that when things get dicey---and so on.

Fear, in some form, is usually at the root of most of the bad decisions that we human beings make.

I get this.

I do wish I could remember this all the time, and not just occasionally. When you've felt close to someone, disappointments of this nature are harder to take. Ultimately, though, the answer is simple, if not easy: don't take it personally, recognize what you're dealing with, and decide whether you want to keep dealing with it or not.

If not, move along. If so, decide under what conditions you'll stick around and for how long.

Now I just need to hold on to this insight.

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Jul. 8th, 2014

Big shine

Love, love, love

Many thanks to my beautiful man, who cleaned the whole house yesterday and dug for an hour in the yard on the patio project. He did awesome work, for which I am grateful and happy!

And joy that Dave and Sharon stopped for dinner, spending a lovely few hours with us for sushi and yogurt.

Finally, I am reading "Love 2.0" and really enjoying its take on positive resonance and the importance of loving human connections between friends, beloveds and even strangers. It turns out that on a myriad of levels, moments of positive connection shape human quality of life at a very deep level, showing that frequent experiences of love are critical to human wellbeing.

The newest science on love and connection is pretty groovy.

Jul. 7th, 2014

Sabrinamari

Releasing the Scorpion sting

I spent the weekend with Caroline Kenner, helping her prepare for Sunday's ceremony and class.

It was a pretty unusual and fascinating experience.

What I was told when it was my turn to receive shamanic healing: "Stop being so nice.  Your excessive niceness is the result of bad gender and cultural training, and it allows people to take advantage of you.  You think your kindness allows community to flourish because you are a community-builder, but it also allows mean people and hangers-on to slip in and behave in ways contrary to your best interests.  Imagine yourself as the Pacific Ocean, and your niceness as a sea of kelp. The otters can come in and play in the forest, but the nasties and parasites can also swim in unseen.  Get rid of the kelp forest and the nasties and parasites will go away.  You can sort out the otters later…you don't have to be aggressive, but make good use of your Scorpion's sting to maintain your boundaries and demand the respect you deserve.  Practice being totally authentic and just tell the truth.  The otters are your new allies.  The rest are not."

I took this in and made it mine.

Immediately after the ceremony, someone who was not helping ordered me to get in the other room and help wrap up all the stones (I had helped to wrap, transport, carry in, unwrap and set up the grid beforehand with Caroline).  My first response was to be meek and jump to it.  Ten minutes later I went right back to that individual and stung him hard, telling him never to speak to me in that way again.

He was shocked.  He apologized immediately, and said that he had not realized how he had spoken to me.  Later he apologized again.

It's unusual to be able to practice a new behavior so quickly after adopting it.

The universe has its helpful and mysterious ways.

Jul. 4th, 2014

Choose wisely

(no subject)

This morning I woke up with the thought that another old me has died so a new me could be born.

And as the new me, this is a very good thing.

I imagine that this happens many times throughout a person's life, and it's necessary in order to take full joy in each new wave of experience that life has to offer.

This morning, it's a pleasure and a source of excited curiosity: what will happen today, and what will I do in response? Lovely.

Jul. 3rd, 2014

Mas Fuerte

Class is done. What I'm gonna do with my freedom: LOVE!

 I'd love to work out, plant gorgeous things, visit Caroline Kenner, reconnect with dear friends, make new ones...

...and read this, which showingup just reviewed and recommended to the Flaming Geniuses:

"My current Reading With a Pencil is Barbara Frederickson's Love 2.0 [http://www.positivityresonance.com], which is BRILLIANT. My recommendation is that every adult read it along with Mind Over Medicine, My Stroke of Insight, and Daring Greatly, then teach themselves, each other, and children those essential lessons about the vital nature of love and integrity.

Essentially, Frederickson's arguing that all the research (including hers at the PEP lab at Univ. of N Carolina), shows that love (of self and others) is about micro-moments of profound connection that we either cultivate to form deep lasting bonds, or let slide.  She explains the huge physiological effects of positive emotions, especially love, along with love's impact on cognitive processes, mood and resilience.  She talks about love as "positivity resonance" between people, but also within us. The mirror neurons are only the tip of the iceberg and new research [that] is showing a HUGE neurological response during those micro-moments is fascinating. It's all tying in brilliantly with the other 3 books listed above.

The first part of the book is about the research; the second provides clearly explained processes for orienting towards generating more micro-moments of love each day, along with recommended reading and resources.

And the gist is this: loving-kindness, meditation and reflection on opportunities for loving behavior change your brain, your mind, your body and your experience; love is conditional, requiting trust and safety, and real time, face-to-face connection (being there and being there); and no matter who you are and what the conditions of your life, you can generate healthy love."

Jul. 2nd, 2014

tiny seedling

(no subject)

My life is full of love.

Jul. 1st, 2014

Big shine

Happy. Contented.

Taking joy in modest things: Fitbit competitions with Cat, mulching my garden, potting plants, exercising and reading.

One more class session---a good one---and I move into the heart of my summer. Grateful for it.

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