Forget “What if?” & “What was.”– Acknowledge “What is!”

what if_what was_what is

For some reason the lesson of dropping “What if?” came in my mind this morning. I knew I had written a blog post about it in the past, but I couldn’t remember what I wrote. This morning I found it through my blog’s search engine, and re-read it. It’s from the time when I lived in an old building in New York. (I no longer live in NYC, the post was written in 2011.) I’m glad those days are over! But the lesson I learned, or maybe I should say “insight I had”, is still one that I need to work on. It was good to be reminded.

Ugh, where do I begin. Let me start off first by saying that it is 12:15am, and I am very tired. I’m afraid that if I write something right now, it will sound like a sleepy person babbling — and the blog post will be pockmarked with typos. But I’ll do my best!

Last night I was in dance class. I barely made it through the class because I got two huge blood blisters. One on each big toe the size of a silver dollar (that’s exaggerating… more like a quarter). Then, that same night, in the middle of the night, I hear a BOOM! The sound woke me out of my sleep. I thought a shelving unit fell off of a wall. I checked everywhere I could think of, but everything seemed okay. Then I heard another crashing sound, but this time it sounded smaller in size. It had to be in the bedroom near the front door, the room I had not yet checked. When I opened the door I saw that a big section of the ceiling crashed to the floor! Dust and sheetrock pieces everywhere! After that, I tried my best to go to bed (because it was almost 3am), and not think about it. I knew I had to call my landlord in the morning, and there was nothing tha could be done in the middle of the night. But my reasoning with myself didn’t work, I couldn’t sleep. Then, later that day, while on the phone with the landlord, I’m told that the supervisor of the building is coming right over to check it out. To make a long story short, the supervisor (after looking at it) said that he didn’t believe that the ceiling just fell like that. Someone made it happen, someone made it come down. He basically hinted that the whole ceiling in that room would need to be replaced, and he wasn’t sure the landlord would cover the expense. Two hours after that, I had to leave for a therapy appointment for my spine. Walking gingerly because I can feel the blisters under my toes, I notice a sign at the subway entrance. The subway train I need is not running – at all. (*sigh*) At this point I am really feeling in the dumps. But then something clicks. I have a little conversation with myself.

Big Self: Aimee, you keep thinking about the ceiling falling. When did it fall?
Lil’ self: Late last night.
Big Self: So that would be in the past, right?
Lil’ self: Yes.
Big Self: And if it happened it the past, it means it’s not happening right now, right?
Lil’ self: Right.
Big Self: And the other thing you are worried about, is having to pay for that ceiling. This would be something that could possibly happen in the future. The future doesn’t exist right now. So that means you are angry or upset about something that doesn’t exist.
Lil’ self: (*sigh*) Ya.
Big Self: So if you get your head out of the past, and out of the future, what is happening right now, in the present?
Lil’ self: I’m finally getting on a train that can take me to my appointment to see one of the best massage therapists in the world. (In my world that is!)
Big Self: So let’s look at this a little differently. Instead of focusing on “what if?” or “what was,” we are going to look at “what is.” You took one of your favorite dance classes and got to hang out with your friends last night. You got a few blisters, but now you are fine, they are healing nicely. Part of your ceiling fell in your apartment. The building you live in is 140 years old, so this kind of thing happens, old buildings break down. Good thing the supervisor came immediately over, and he is fixing it for you. And thank goodness no one was in the room when it fell, they could have been hurt. So this is very fortunate! Now you are on your way to getting a super-duper massage, and therapy for your spine. Soon you will feel amazing, and you finally found a subway that can take you there (after walking to a different train station). Lucky you!

After this little conversation with myself everything become light. The day was great. I had much to be thankful for. And all was suddenly well. It only took a bit of gratitude & awareness to change everything in seconds.

Now if I can only get some much needed sleep and catch-up on a few Zzzzzz… Tonight I am going to sleep through the night!

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Filed under self inquiry, what is

Igor Kufayev : Aesthetic Rapture

Igor Kufayev
Aesthetic Rapture CeremonyAesthetic RaptureAesthetic Rapture Tea

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Filed under aesthetics, AWARENESS, design

Draw My Life

draw my life

No, no, this is not a blog post about my life, nor will I be drawing anything. And it may appear to be another blog post about my love for Youtube — but it’s not that either. It’s a blog post about humanity. What it means to be human, and the common thread that we share.

I selected a handful of videos from Youtube. They are all part of the ‘Draw My Life‘ series (one of the many themes that Youtubers create and tag their videos with). Everyone’s stories and backgrounds are different, but they all had struggles. They also had unexpected twists and turns in their lives, that only the Universe could have planned or predicted. Often their worst experiences are what paved the way for their transformations, leading up to their best experiences. And the one thing that they all share, is their need for connection; their need to matter; their need to be seen and heard; their need to love and feel loved.

When you think of your life, what is your story? How did your suffering and challenging moments bring about a transformation and happier times? How has your life taken unexpected twists and turns? What is most important for you now? Is it making a difference in the lives of others? Is it being seen and heard? Is it feeling loved? Is it connection? Whatever it is, know that you are not alone.

Mr. Kate

Casey Neistat

Jenna Marbles

Julien Solomita

Ann Reardon

Weylie

Chescaleigh

Hyunwoo Sun

Shanna Malcolm

Gigi Gorgeous

Page Kennedy

Amenakin

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Filed under life path, lifes meaning, need for connection

James Aspey: Voiceless for Animals

James Aspey Voiceless 365

In January of 2014, James Aspey started his journey of not speaking for 365 days. It was in honor of all the abused animals (for lab testing, breeding, etc.) and slaughtered animals (killed unnecessarily for food, religious ceremonies and sport) that don’t have the ability to speak on their own behalf. With compassion & commitment, James achieved his goal of not speaking for a full year — but he wasn’t silent. He spent the entire year spreading a powerful message of awareness & non-violence for the animals that don’t have the same opportunity to do so.

James Aspey activist

If an animal could talk, what would it say? Would it yell for help when being tortured in laboratories for the testing of products for humans (examples here)? Would it ask repeatedly not to be tied up or crammed into small crates (examples here)? Would it try to convince those who snatch its newborn babies not to take them (examples here)? Would it plead for its freedom when enslaved by breeders for profit (examples here)? Would it beg for its life just before its throat is slit (examples here)? What would you say, if you suffered the plight of these animals? Would you speak out and try to save yourself or those you love?

If we can say we love animals, or love other living beings, or embrace the idea of peace on earth and equal rights — then I think we need to be honest with ourselves; is our exploitation of animals necessary or fair? Or is it cruel, and based on old traditions, food addictions and insensitive actions?

The thoughts I shared above all came to mind, as I was putting this blog post together. And they are part of a thought-wave I’ve shared on Sunday Is For Lovers over the years. You can find similar trains of thought here, and here, and here. I am so grateful for James Aspey, and the year he spent in 2014. And for all of the other animal rights activists (most of them never acknowledged or named, many of them working in secrecy or anonymously for others) that make a difference in the world. Whether they are cheered, seen or ever acknowledged, their every action has a ripple effect. This blog post is one very small example of that effect. So are the millions of people that have changed their lives after becoming more aware. (There are over 7 million vegetarians in the USA alone. Meat-less food alternatives are now a multi-billion dollar industry, because of the demand for vegan & vegetarian options. Each day the number of people that eat this way grows, and the examples of people living healthy & fulfilled lives, without the need to eat animals or animal products, becomes more evident.)

You can get to know James and his work via the videos below. James is very open with his contact information. So if you have any questions for him, you can find him via the links I share in this blog post. Also, his direct email address is listed on his website.

And don’t forget, you have a resource in me as well. If you have any questions on how to transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet, I would love to help you. I have over 25 years of experience (it includes both raw and cooked diets, so I can answer questions and share tips from both perspectives). I’m happy to help you, and it’s absolutely free of charge. You can find me via my contact page.

You can find James Aspey through the following links:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Instagram

James Aspey

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Filed under activism, animal rights

Addiction, Self-Love & Stillness: Dr. Gabor Mate

addiction gabor mate

I was talking with someone recently about how much I resonate with Dr. Gabor Mate‘s views and work. They asked why I would be studying information on addiction, when it didn’t seem as though I struggled with any. According to Dr. Mate, the definition of addiction is “any behavior, substance related or not, that a person finds some temporary pleasure or relief or craving for, but continues with it despite long-term negative consequences.” By that definition, I would call everyone an addict. So in my opinion, everyone should be interested in studying addiction. The way we live for money & pleasure, and will trash our own health, as well as the health of an entire planet; 196.9 million square miles of it; with our addictive & destructive habits, regardless of the consequences — is an example of acute addictive behavior. That being said, the real reason I can listen to someone speak for hours on addiction and the addicts’ mind, is because I’m interested in self-imposed suffering. It’s a topic I have been fascinated with for many years, and with each passing year, I continue to gravitate towards that topic. I believe almost all suffering in the world (in our individual lives, and therefore collectively) is self-imposed, or stems from self-imposed suffering — and that fascinates me. I am interested in the ‘why’. Why would we make ourselves suffer? Anyone that can shed light on that question immediately draws my attention. Therefore, Dr. Gabor Mate is definitely someone I would be keen to listen to.

Dr. Gabor Mate is an expert on addiction. He’s written several books, and speaks on the topic all over the world. If you put his name into a Youtube search, you will get a list of really good videos. Below are just a few. I could discus his views, or my views on addiction or self-imposed suffering, but it’s best for you to listen and hear his views directly from him.

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Filed under ADDICTION, bad habits, suffering

Diving Into Your Deepest Self

dive deep

[Today’s blog was originally published in December 2012. But I thought it would be nice to revisit it.]

I came across two quotes that I really liked yesterday and wanted to share. I think it might be a good time for them, because I have been receiving emails about the mass killing that happened in Connecticut, and also, emails about major changes for people personally (death, illness, needing new homes or jobs, money concerns, relationship issues, etc.). My immediate thought about it all, is that nothing (no-thing) can make us happy. When I say happy, I mean totally content, without disharmony, in total peace of mind. Our lives can experience major changes & challenges or seem to not have them at all — and still we can feel like we are in a state of chaos, wishing for things to get better or be different.

Try this list on for size: someone being alive, someone being well, losing weight, gaining muscle, finding a great home, finding a great job, meeting the ideal partner, bonding with a best friend, having lots of money, having lots of love, getting rid of someone, getting rid of some thing, being free everyday to do what you want, absolutely no violence in the world, the perfect family, being a mom or dad, growing your own food in abundance, buying the ultimate summer home, losing all bad habits, being super prolific & productive, radiating flawless health, looking absolutely gorgeous, having no debt at all, blessed with amazing talent, owning acres of land, feeling totally secure & safe, …the list goes on & on, and you can put any words you like into this long list of “I can’t wait for this to happen” or “If I had this, then everything would be much much better.” Ask yourself, would it be? Have you not said this before about other things? Other things that happened for you, changed you for a little while, then the ‘missing’ came back? Also, look at all the people that might already have what you are missing, are they happy or content?

I think we need to go deeper. I think our lives serve as our mirrors. We see a ‘missing’ or something that is eating away at us; a person or situation is causing us stress or disharmony that we can’t wait to change; we think life would be suddenly better if our idea or desire finally happened; etc.. What is beyond all of these things that must happen in order for us to be happy, content, at peace, or feel secure?

Ask the ocean if it would be happier without any waves. It might very well say, yes. But is there a way that the ocean can find peace within a deeper part of itself? A part that is unmoving, unshakable? Is there a place within itself that is relaxed & grounded? Can it not identify with that part of itself more than the surface waves that are only transitory? The ocean is deep, very deep. So are we. If we want stillness, if we want peace, we must learn to dive deep — to anchor in the deepest part of ourselves.

Below are the quotes I promised. Let them sink in, then take responsibility for them. Be fearless. Relax into your deepest self — your unlimited, unconditional, universal self.

“You are who you allow yourself to become. The self is what it allows itself to be. […] The fundamental issue is getting past fears, getting past limiting beliefs, getting beyond habits, and getting to a blossoming of oneself — an allowing.” – R. Waggoner

“Whatever your passion is, it is also your path. And you have to go deeper. It’s not enough just to save the world, you have to also look at what is creating the disharmony in the world within yourself. That is what a death-rebirth experience is. The death is basically the death of what the ego or the mind believes to be important. The rebirth is, being born again into the wider perspective of reality; what it is to be a human being, but not focused on yourself. Focused as part of nature, as part of the wholeness that is nature. […] The longest journey we have to make is from our head to our heart.” – T. Samara

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Filed under finding balance, life challenges, life changes

Kanwer Singh aka Humble the Poet

Kanwer Singh aka Humble the Poet

I love Youtube. What I love most about it is, every so often I randomly stumble across a video that feels good to watch and has a lasting impact. It’s usually a video you won’t find on mainstream TV. It might be a long & serious video, or a short & silly one, or maybe somewhere in the middle. I just like the fact that the video is raising awareness and contributing to the consciousness of others. And if the video’s message is delivered in an interesting way — hey, that’s even better.

This week I found Kanwer Singh aka Humble the Poet. He’s a Canadian fellow that is very creative. He raps, designs t-shirt graphics, has a cool sense of style, produces books, makes videos, and last but not least… writes poetry. I wanted to share a few of his videos with you.

Help Humble the Poet reach his birthday goal of 100,000 subscribers. You can find his Youtube channel via this link.

Thanks for your creativity & passion, Kanwer. We know it takes courage & dedication, and we appreciate your hard work. Keep it up!

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Filed under inspirational people