Nothing

 

Space

As in space there is no sound and in the presence of Dark Matter there is seemingly little holding the galaxy together, in life we too sometimes experience something going on in a whole lot of nothing

This notion of nothing going on has been prompted by life as of late. I’ve been experiencing a shortage of words to write and clarity on what actions to take. This is kind of a big deal, being a  doer and talker. This in no way means that there is a shortage of things happening around me. Although, it feels like nothing is really happening. When in doubt – do nothing. 

This blog site was meant to be a medium of communication, to share thoughts and ideas with the world outside of my actual grasp. Teaching used to be a day-to-day occurrence in my life. It has been 5 years since I last taught on a regular basis. I thought this would be a means of continuing the process of sharing on another level. The ideas flow into my mind, but then drift away. quickly. So, figured I’d write about the lull or rather nothingness that is occupying my space currently . I’ll keep it on the bright side. 

The Beauty behind Nothing

There are times when we find life a bit dull and quiet. It’s where nothing seems to find it’s way into our lives and we start to wonder, what the hell is going on. Tell me if any of the following resonate with you.

Life becomes more of a private affair and sharing with other’s seems like it’s not worth the time. Work takes a toll and yields little satisfaction. It not only takes a toll,  but robs us of energy to do much else. Things seem a bit lack luster and we start to lose motivation. You get the sense that this could be the best time to stop and reflect into areas of your life that may not be so comfortable or it could simply be that life is slowing down because there is a much needed shift that you have been longing for. 

What do you – should you stop and take the time to ‘go in’- BORING, right. No, it’s not – it’s an opportunity to see what’s going on in your head. More importantly, it’s about getting in touch with the feelings behind it all. If it’s about redirecting your life then you have to take the time to dig in and sit with it. The key to redirection is to use the moments of ‘nothingness’ to gain perspective and get in touch with your feelings. This can get awkward for some folks, it feels like you’re unraveling a never-ending story, which is exactly why you should do the unraveling sooner than later. If you get too tangled up it takes a lot longer to unravel the knots. 

We are constantly doing, doing, doing.  We don’t give ourselves the opportunity to ask the vital questions, like why, how did I get here, where is this going – you get it. Asking these types of questions can be scary and sometimes we can beat the heck out of ourselves when we hear the answers, but it’s necessary. I mean, if we want our lives to be meaningful and fruitful. Of course everyone has their own version of meaningful and fruitful.

There is beauty in this stillness of life and it doesn’t last forever. Life will soon enough give us a jolt and spur us into action. Hopefully this inspired action is being led by our intuition, feelings and knowing that we are moving in the right direction. By the by, meditation and relaxation are great tools to implement at this point of our lives, if you haven’t already. If you are already a meditator then hone these skills so that when your intuition speaks loudly, there will be no mistaking what comes next.

When the Nothing is Over

What happens when it’s time for inspired action. This is an individual process. I can only speak from my experience, I notice that people and circumstances start to shift rapidly as if magic were a foot. Yeah it sounds hokey, but I assure it’s real. There was a time when I had no idea what was coming next, my life had almost come to a dead halt and I was just waiting for an answer and then ‘poof’, my mentor PRT asked me for the 3rd time to move to the Himalayan Institute. Later on in life I had been wanting to move out of state I was living in and I got fired from a job. This was my cue – I was leaving. It was an exhilarating feeling. So here I am years later once again having moved through another growth spurt and I am anxious to get moving on to the next chapter.

You may find yourself in a similar situation, chomping at the bit to get things going, but the universe is telling you, wait, digest the experiences thus far, redirect, come back to your roots, make the next decision based on what’s in your heart and your greater purpose. Listen and wait for direction on how to move forward. Not just to fill the time doing, doing, doing, but to get clear on the purpose behind the action.  Enjoy the silence, get comfortable with not being in control of what’s happening , master yourself and connect with your inner guidance. It’s nice to not always be the one driving and trust that there is a force that will lead you exactly where you need to go, at exactly the right time, live in gratitude, there is still time to figure it out and this time is really affording you the time to get closer to yourself. 

Not so much Nothing after all, eh.

Peace

VL

 

Mother Nature

Two Suns Collide – Watch Hill, RI Winter 2012 – VL

Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with. Animals are our friends, the waters that flow nurture us, the earth beneath our feet provides stability & sustenance, the skies provide shelter & beauty to behold.

Mother Nature is pissed off. Look around – natural disasters, global warming and climate pattern change. We have taken her for granted. Do we actually believe for one second that those that do harm to the planet and it’s inhabitants will go unscathed by their actions?  Mother Nature seeks her revenge without any bias.  She is fierce in her comeback. When there is a mighty storm brewing I relish in it.  Fierce storms remind me of washing away waste.

Polka Dot Beetle – Central Park, NYC Fall 2014 – VL

I walk by a tree – give thanks for the O2 in the air. Walk by animals tame or feral and pay my respects. While shopping I think twice about the purchase. Mindfulness is the key. Some may think this is some kind of hippie dippy shit – call it whatever you want. I call it being aware, grateful and responsible.

 

Vineyard Slope – Clearlake, Ca Summer 2014 – VL

If you have young students, children, grand children, nieces, nephews or god children think of what will be left behind for them…What are we modeling for them – they watch us very carefully. Who do we think we are – decimating the beauty that has been provided to us – for FREE!!!

 

IMG_1801
Upside Down Sky – Hammonasset, CT Summer 2013 – VL

The Greatest form of Respect for Mother Nature is to abide within in her parameters. She can not be controlled – to attempt to manipulate her is a fool’s errand. It’s incredible that ‘we’ drill in the middle of the ocean relentlessly for oil, or destroy already poverty stricken areas with fracking and utilize a more precious commodity to do it – Water, drill for gems because there is a total shortage cheap ass jewelry in the mall.

Muir Beach, Ca Fall 2014 – VL

I love this planet – all of it’s wonder, beauty, diversity and capacity for regeneration. Much like our own bodies. It is when we believe that we are separate from the web of life that we start to screw things up. When children are taught or rather continually reminded of the gifts that have been provided to us in the form of nature is when we start to shape a new generation of conscious individuals that will be great stewards of the planet. In other words – real humans.

Reduce, Reuse, Recognize & Recycle

Ciao

VL

 

VL Speaks Copyright © 2014-2016

Heroes – They still exist

Who’s your Hero?

First thing I think of is Andy Kaufman lip syncing the theme song for the Mighty Mouse cartoon. Dating myself here; nonetheless It still makes me smile and laugh out loud.

When we were young the first people that we looked up to were our parents if we were fortunate enough to have them around and if they had their stuff together. The veil of childhood was lifted a bit too early for me and yet I remained hopeful that heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman in some shape or form did exist. The myths of Gods and Goddesses are what eventually became are comic book heroes of today.  By the time I was in my 20’s I had met a few heroes in the shape of mentors and they were older folks – not ancient, but they definitely had some experience under their belts. These Men and women came into my life to help me along. I knew each time I met them that they had something to teach me.

What is a hero? I don’t think of it as someone who has bravado, but of someone who has courage. Courage – all heart and common sense to match. They are people that overcome obstacles or rather move around them as if they weren’t there.  They come out of the trenches of life with a brilliant twinkle in their eyes. You know they hold secrets that are gems just waiting to be shared.  There are more and more of them coming out of the wood work and it gladdens my heart. They are usually people that stay away from the ‘victim’ status. They take accountability and responsibility for where they are in life and go about changing it. Sometimes they are people that don’t have a particularly high ranking in society nor are they famous.  They’re the kind of folks that help moms carry the baby carriages up the stairs from the train platform to street level or stop traffic so that a cat can cross the street.They are just living seemingly ordinary lives.

I leave you with this quote by Joseph Campbell. I could listen to him speak on the subject for hours.

“The agony of breaking through personal limitations is the agony of spiritual growth. Art, literature, myth and cult, philosophy, and ascetic disciplines are instruments to help the individual past his limiting horizons into spheres of ever-expanding realization. As he crosses threshold after threshold, conquering dragon after dragon, the stature of the divinity that he summons to his highest wish increases, until it subsumes the cosmos. Finally, the mind breaks the bounding sphere of the cosmos to a realization transcending all experiences of form – all symbolizations, all divinities: a realization of the ineluctable void.”
Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces

Keep an eye out for them and when you meet them – Thank them.

Ciao for Now

VL

The End of a ‘Book’

“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”
Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

volumes of books

The older we get the greater the volumes of books and chapters in our lives. Every time I filled a journal I re-read it to review the saga that had transpired. Once that was done, they were burned. The memories are still intact, but the emotion of the experience lessened and the lessons themselves are what remain. The trick is to apply the lessons immediately to ensure that they stick and create better material for the volumes to come.

Relationships – long past their due date

Have you ever found yourself continuing a relationship with someone who you knew just didn’t suit any longer? These people may circle around and because of some sort of feeling of responsibility or nostalgia we let them back in. Perhaps we think that this time around things will be different. It’s wishful thinking, we only change when we really want to. We all find our way to certain experiences and people because there are things we need to learn from them. The endings don’t always have to be sad, especially if we are aware of why we got into the relationships to begin with. Some things just need to come to an end sooner than others.

To disconnect from people we care about without hurting ourselves or them is tricky.  For those of us who are kinder than most, we don’t want anyone to feel like they are being rejected or abandoned (especially if they have abandonment issues). Rejection is so uncomfortable and it can wreak havoc on a fragile ego. Perhaps this person let’s go of us, we may not wish it to be, but deep down we know in the end it’s the best solution. Holding on to a situation that has gone south, usually leaves everyone with a sour taste in their mouths and may taint the entire experience.  Most of us have experienced a bad break up with a lover or friend.  Upon reflection hopefully we see how we could have handled things better on the receiving or the giving end.

If we are honest with ourselves, perhaps we are better off alone than spending time with someone we are not connected to in a real & meaningful way? Being Real requires  strength,  honesty and self-worth.

At the End you Find yourself with a New Beginning

If we are alive, there is still an opportunity to start again. It definitely gets harder as we get older – it’s just the plain truth, but think of all the wisdom we have to apply to a new life. This new life affords us with the opportunity to create a new You. To transform on a cellular level. There is no shortage of material out there to inspire us to apply our talents to a new way of thinking and being. As we reinvent our minds and hearts we start attracting opportunities and people who are more like-minded. In other words – There is Hope. We live in age where we can connect to one another in an instant. Let’s capitalize on this by creating networks of opportunity for growth and acceptance. Knowing that just because we have let go of a person, place or thing that it’s not the end of the world. It’s a re-birth.

Have faith, stay inspired, strive for the life you want and believe that the universe will conspire to bring it to you. With every step we take in the direction of our thoughts they move toward us. More importantly be grateful for all of the Wonderful People we still have in our lives that DO GET US and for the all the experiences that have yet to come.

Healing Balm

If you have been left behind by someone – thank them for being in your life and for whatever you learned from the experience even if it was full of deceit, malice, manipulation and pain. When we deal with people like this remember that they must be in more turmoil than you. Bless it, forgive it and move forward. Holding on to the pain and confusion will only deter you from healing.

Forgiveness is a great way of ushering in the notion that ‘this too shall pass’ and you will find yourself renewed and ready to experience the beginning of a New Book.

Peace & I’m Out,

VL

 

 

 

The Human Race

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” ― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

I read that book when I was a teenager. I was astounded by her. The ability to have compassion, hope and faith in the middle of such horror is humbling. It is also a beacon of light for the rest of us. 

Regardless of where people come from and where they go, human nature reveals itself time and time again. The problems we face are the same throughout time. It’s just that now we have so much more to contend with.

If you are following local news it seems as though every time you turn around there is another racial incident involving citizens, guns, violence and the police. It’s hard to believe that racially bias and profiling still exists. Are we as humans still so far behind the curve on this topic. I am not one to side with any particular race because to me All Lives Matter! We are a nation of a incredible ethnic and cultural diversity, it’s time to embrace this with both arms. The topic of police, shootings and violence is a topic all on to itself and has deeply rooted systemic problems. Problems I am not prepared to expound upon.

I can however speak of experiencing racism and racial profiling. As a child I identified with one aspect of my heritage. I suffered at the hand of discrimination. I grew up in a predominantly Italian – culturally Jewish community. Children displayed incredible racism and this was an indication of how their parents raised them. In grammar school I had a little boy spit in my face because of the color of my skin. When I told the teacher she did nothing. Instead of becoming really bitter, I learned to adapt. My parents were very different looking from each other and my father definitely suffered from discrimination. He rallied and has made a success of himself (career wise) in spite of the harsh truth that existed in NYC in the 70’s. I realized growing up that there were not only prejudices against being a darker skinned person, but also because I was a girl. I shocked folks where I lived because I read, wrote and expressed myself articulately. I have my parents to thank for this. I was taught to read, write and think for myself at a young age. I imagine that my inquisitive and quick mind also helped me to adapt. I also suffered discrimination amongst the folks that were in ‘my camp’ because I was not like them. As I grew I wanted to know more about my heritage and found out that I had German Jewish heritage, French Catholic, North African Muslim and a few others. Funnily enough my mother’s blood type is very rare and upon research I found out that this blood type is primarily found in China, Japan, Hungary, Mongolia(Genghis Kahn) and Turkey. Finding this out made me smile to myself. I have gravitated to all of these cultures throughout my life. It cracks me up when people tell me ‘I am 100% so and so’. Really, have you done a DNA test. I bet you’d find out a lot more than you bargained for. Especially if you are so wedded to be a part of an Elite Race. Which doesn’t exist. I am happy that I was born in the US, but I would much rather be a citizen of the World than belong to one particular group. We are a global community and none  of us is free from the other’s actions.   Let’s face it folks, biological diversity creates strength amongst a species. Too much over breeding of a particular race or culture can create genetic and social problems, like feeling that you are better than someone else.

The thing is if we look at a particular group of people and think we are better than them this is going to create a heap of sorrow. I will admit stereo-types exist for a reason, but to judge everyone with this set of criteria is incredibly short-sighted and ignorant. The Golden Rules exist for a reason. Do unto to others as you want done to you. I know it’s so easy to say and yet not so easy to do. It starts from infancy or even before. The drama that we get pulled into for the simplest of reasons snowballs and then we don’t even know why we are doing what we do. STOP, LOOK & LISTEN – THINK.

I just watched a bit of an interview with Dame Oprah & Raven Symone – This gal is on to something

 

Peace,

VL

Freedom

“Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it’s time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself.” Bill Moyers

Bill Moyer’s is quite an inspiring person. Definitely a good example of someone who is free – meaning he is living his dream.  I chose the topic of Freedom because I believe that a lot us are confused about what that really means. I used to think that freedom meant I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Truth is this could cause a little bit of anarchy if not watched. Things change for the  better as we get older, hopefully. Freedom came to mean something entirely different to me as time went on. I used to find discipline and structure confining – now I crave order.   Realizing that within in the order there is a great freedom. By disciplining the mind so much more is possible.

When you think about it even physical bondage can not take away the freedom we create in our minds.  Nelson Mandela is a great example of this – the man was incarcerated for 27 years and mange to get out with his mind intact and lead the country that had turned it’s back on him.  Why – because his mind was free. He did not get bogged down with what was happening in the moment, he knew that his mental state was the most important thing. Freedom therefore is a state of mind and this is what has compelled me to find a method of becoming friends with it. The mind is a powerful tool, if left unchecked it can wreak havoc.

Things brings me to ask how do we lose our freedom? First thing that comes to mind is ‘attachment’. Attachment to what – everything our clothes, car, friends, significant others, a job, a title, money, the neighborhood we grew up in, screwed up ideas ( i know that’s subjective) etc… You name it we become attached to it. Next question that arises – I had so many of these when this was brought to my attention. If you don’t have any attachments to your loved ones or the things you do/have what significance does life have? We can still enjoy life without clenching on to it for dear life. Yes we all have goals, we need to get things done. All understood, but does it make or break the happiness that resides within. Some of us had good childhoods, some not so much. Mine was a mixed bag, but I had a great imagination and I got lost in it a lot.  This gave me a sort of freedom – no one could take what I valued most because I kept in the vaults of my mind and the chambers of my heart. I have surmised from my experience, learning from folks wiser than myself and reading is that we all need to know why we are here, put first things first and then move forward. Even if you are not sure spend some time alone and ponder. Some of us have so much crap to wade through we get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. This in an of itself creates the ‘lack of freedom’.  Simplicity is best, start with the little things – enjoy the things that are free – like for instance the air we breathe, the trees, children laughing, the company of wonderful friends – enjoying things for what they are now. Be grateful for what we have instead of worrying ourselves to death. I had been ill for a number of years and my ‘teach’ told me make sure after you do your practices you go out and take a walk. He knew how much I loved the woods. There are 400 acres where I lived and I got to know them very well during my residency. This practice helped my healing along. Clearing the mind of fear, past hurts and so forth. I’m not saying that we don’t need to process our garbage. That’s a must, but start with enjoying the simple things that life has to offer. Not as easy as it sounds you might say, but Mother Nature cures all that ails you. There is nothing like the ocean breeze with its negative ions to clear away the cobwebs. The woods – why those trees are the steeples of our planet. It’s my favorite church. Freedom is always at our beck and call. We were born to be free. I am reminded of what Joseph Campbell told his students ‘find your bliss’ . In this day and age there are literally thousands of books, discs and music that are available for our inspiration. We create our greatest dreams and our own darkest nightmares. The company we keep makes a huge difference. These days we have more opportunities than ever to create the lives we want. Freedom has a price – the price is perseverance, belief in one self, a great deal of faith and the spirit of a warrior.

Ciao for now

VL