Category Archives: relationships

Transparency is Inspirational

jada pinkett will smith

Wow. I recently discovered some episodes of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk on Facebook. Part 1 & 2 of Jada and Will Smith discussing their relationship (falling apart to be reassembled, creating something new) is amazing. I love how they were so open about their challenges.

Part 1-

Part 2-

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Possibility of Relationship by Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard - Possibility of Relationship

There is so much I want to say about the video that I am posting today — but I can’t. I am flying out the door to meet my sister for a camping trip. I’m excited to see her, and I’m also exited to be in nature. Where I live is natural and quiet, but I often like to go deep. I love cool breezes and silent surroundings, and if I can get it on a deeper level, I will go for it.

Back to the video. Don’t let the soft sounding title fool you. The Possibility of Relationship doesn’t have much hook or bait. But I will tell you, if there is EVER a video to watch (rather, listen to) that can change and transform any relationship (even the one to yourself), this is the video to do it. I can’t get enough of it — and it’s over 3 hours long! Each time I view it, I get something new. I hear something I haven’t heard before. I hear it as a piece to the puzzle or an ‘ah-ha’ — I hear it intimately and profoundly.

In the near future I will write a blog post dissecting the video a bit. But for now, acquaint yourself with it. Allow it to marinate for while. The longer the video plays, the more interesting and intriguing it gets.

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Romantic Sparks vs. Life Goals

sparks

I feel a bit embarrassed telling you this, but here it goes…

[keep in mind, this blog post was written on a previous date, but recently]

This morning I was rushing to get out of the house to beat the heat. Yesterday was 104 degrees, and today was forecasted to be the same. I just washed my hair, and put it in a absurd hairdo — something completely temporary, that I would fix later in the day. I also threw on the tank top I wore yesterday, a pair of tie-dye shorts, and a pair of dirty summer shoes. This was not my best look. To top it off, I grabbed my backpack (for my groceries) and frontpack (for my dog — she sits in it, while I run errands), and headed out the front door.

After walking about 5 blocks, I locked eyes with someone driving past me. I’m not sure if he slowed down as he passed me, or if time stood still. We looked at each other, dead center into each other’s eyes. We were both moving, he was driving and I was walking, and we both proceeded onward toward our destinations. I simply shook off the experience and went about my way.

A few blocks later I turned the corner, and there was the same car that I had just seen! Parked in a driveway. I’d have to pass the car to get where I was going. He was there, standing in front of his house, speaking to someone. I tried to compose myself, and passed both of them, while politely saying hello. He and I looked at each other again, briefly, and I kept walking.

I went to the post office, went grocery shopping, and stopped by a local dance center. On the way home, I would pass that same block. I was hoping he wouldn’t be there. It would be too many times that we would pass each other in such a short time. And too many times that I would feel a bit awkward! That being said, I was hoping to see which house he lived in. I hadn’t noticed it the previous time that I passed it. My goal was to casually walk by, take note of the surroundings and house, and do it quickly — completely unseen.

To my surprise, he was still out there! He was still working and talking with the same person, in the front yard. I desperately wanted to cross the street and turn a corner. I wanted to quickly hide before he or his friend saw me. But it was too late, I was seen. I had to finish walking the block, and pass them — again. I felt like I was walking a plank of a pirate ship. It felt so ridiculous passing him a third time. I was also a bit nervous and unsure what to expect.

As I made my way pass him, I got the same look, the same one I got when he was passing me in the car. It’s like if energy was coming though his eyes, causing some sort of spark. Was it an official spark, or just intrigue? Maybe both, maybe some sort of energy exchange mixed with a large dose of intrigue? He made a comment about my dog as I passed. I turned back and smiled, and introduced my dog, and then myself. He and his friend introduced themselves in return. The friend mentioned that he had a chihuahua in the past, and she stuck her tongue out just like my dog does. I forget the name of his chihuahua, but it was a funny name. I laughed — his dog story put me at ease — but only for a few seconds. I quickly reverted to feeling extremely nervous and on-the-spot. I said goodbye to both of them and continued to walk home.

Once I got in the front door, I felt like I wanted to Google him. I wanted to know who he was. I only had his street name and first name. Trying to Google him was a horrible idea, very silly. Even though I let go of the Google idea, I felt my mind drifting into all sorts of imaginings about who he might be. Is he a sleaze ball or nice guy? Is he middle aged or retired? Is he fun & easy to be around or hard-nosed & challenging? Is he someone that likes to help people or use people? All sorts of things were running through my mind. I was already plotting future days that I would walk by his house, hoping to catch him standing outside again. I was wondering if we might one day strike up a real conversation.

I made myself some lunch. It was soon time to wash the lunch dishes, and there went my mind again. I caught it mid thought and stopped myself. A voice in my head asked, “Why are you so interested in sparks?” I paused at the question and thought, who doesn’t want sparks? The voice quickly replied, “What do you think sparks will give you? Isn’t it always peace you say you are looking for? How will these sparks lead to peace? Or will these sparks lead to the opposite of peace?” It was a good question. In the past, sparks never lead to peace. They lead to lots of ups & down and stressful times. I’m not saying that romantic sparks can’t or will never lead to peace — that just hasn’t been my experience.

The voice in my head really stopped me in my tracks and sobered me up. It was clear to me that I wasn’t looking for sparks. I didn’t want sparks in my life. What I’ve been wanting is deep rooted peace. And that can only come from me. And when it does, it will be reflected in the choices that I make. My work, my home, and all of my relationships will reflect that peace. All decisions will come from a place of peace. And if that peace creates romantic sparks for me — that’s fabulous! I’m all for it. But I’m not interested in doing it the other way around. I’m not interested in chasing sparks. To me, that’s not my idea of being at peace or living in peace. I rather focus on what it is I really want. And right now, that’s a life that I love, a life that feels peaceful and effortless.

Peaceful synonyms: tranquil, calm, restful, quiet, relaxing, undisturbed, untroubled, secluded.

Effortless synonyms: easy, undemanding, unchallenging, painless, simple, uncomplicated, straightforward, natural.

*Side note: If there is any news or part 2 to this story, I will be sure to tell you. Just rest assured, if he & I are meant to cross paths again — we will. I have no interest in seeking him out, or trying to create sparks. I’ll be focusing on my peaceful existence. It’s a project that keeps me plenty busy.

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Would You Date Yourself?

important questions - would you date yourself

It’s a good question: “Would you date yourself?” Last week I stumbled across a video (by Matthew Hussey) with that title. I was so intrigued, I decided to watch it. I thought the video was good and its content insightful. But I also think that we can broaden the question to encompass more, and raise our overall level of awareness. Below is a list of questions we can try on for size. Ask yourself each one of them. Listen to your answers and your overall feelings. See if a greater awareness is needed in any area of your life. If so, bring your full attention to it (or them, if several). I would imagine that your life would be so much fuller & richer, much more at ease, if you brought your awareness, compassion & attention to every aspect of your life possible. Just the thought of it is inspiring to me. Practice makes perfect! :) Or at least, makes for an interesting, exciting and very insightful life.

Would you follow yourself?

Would you consider yourself thoughtful?

Would you marry, and be happily married, to yourself?

Would you look to yourself as an example of courage?

Would you want yourself as a neighbor?

Would you work for yourself?

Would you look to yourself for peace & ease?

Would you look to yourself for answers?

Would you believe in yourself?

Would you choose yourself to be your guardian or parent?

Would you enjoy your company?

Would you look to yourself as an example of compassion?

Would you choose yourself as your sibling?

Would you want to put yourself in charge of important matters?

Would you consider yourself as kind?

Would you choose yourself as your best friend?

Would you trust yourself?

Would you want yourself as your creator?

Would you be inspired by yourself?

Would you consider yourself a leader?

Would you call yourself to chat about your day?

Would you want to argue with yourself?

Would you love yourself and express it to yourself?

Would you think you were making a difference in the world?

Would you look to yourself for clarity?

Would you say that you were loving and self-expressed?

Would you hire yourself?

Would you consider yourself helpful?

Would you say that you were generous?

Would you think you were living a creative life?

Would you be proud of yourself?

Would you want to make love to yourself?

Would you think you were using your talents wisely?

Would you forgive yourself?

Would you want to put yourself in charge of global issues?

Would you say that you were inspiring?

Would you write letters or emails to yourself?

Would you entrust yourself with your life’s destiny?

Add any questions you come up with to this list. You can do it simply in your mind, or you can share them in the comment section below. If you share them in the comment section, it would be helpful to others. Thank you!

And please know, all of these questions are not there to make anyone feel bad or boastful. They are there to raise awareness and inspire action. To bring more courage, love and healing to our lives. The only way to do this, is to take personal responsibility for what we see in our world. That includes the outside world, but it also includes in the inside world. The private world in each one of us; the one we think we keep all to ourselves, but forget that it’s reflected wherever we go.

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We Are Creators

aimee cavenecia

I was watching a short film last night about an artist, and the artist said “Humans are creators, that’s what we do.” While I find that completely true, I would like to add to that — we are human beings. We actually be before, and while, we create. And with no arms, no legs, no resources, no senses, would we be creating? Would we not still be a human being? In that situation, we might be imagining. But I bet without a doubt, we would be present to our essence, or true nature, which is to be. Being brings us back to our spirit — what we are behind it all. That being said, I do feel that what human beings do best, is create. And let’s not forget, we are always being as we are creating.

For 7 years I was in a cycle where I felt absolutely no desire to create, or to contribute to the vicious cycle of obsessive consumption that our society is currently drenched in and based on. I felt completely dead to it. It actually repulsed me. It still repulses me. But… I am now feeling that creativity has endless possibilities, and it is deeply rooted in our being. One’s life is their most creative work. Or in the words of Vincent Van Gogh, “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

Intention is everything. What is the intention behind a lot of what is eye singlecreated today? Is it simply to make a sale? Or is it created to contribute to someone’s life in a meaningful way? Was it truly created out of a genuine love for people?

Everyone knows the difference between a thoughtfully handmade item, or a mass produced item with no soul. The difference between the breakfast a grandmother would make for her grandchildren, and the breakfast these children would be served at McDonald’s. The latter of both examples are a form of manipulation. A form of deception. And many of us eat it up. Many of us are addicted to it, we can’t imagine life without it. (And you can include most luxury brands in there as well, they also have an agenda that isn’t the sweetest one. I’m not just referring to junk products or foods, I’m referring to anything ‘heartless.’ Anything that has a bottom line at the expensive of a compassionate beating heart.)

Back to intention & creation. So I’m feeling more creative these days. I’m also getting clear about what I want in life, and I would like to offer that to others. I started an Etsy shop called, The Rainbow Farmer. It was my way of selling my personal things, as I prepare for a big move from the city to the country. I’ve absolutely adored this process. It’s been so exciting and so fulfilling for me. And it’s still happening. Everyday I look forward to chatting with people online, or taking my turquoise ringsregular trip to the post office. It’s been fun. It’s brought some ‘life’ & creativity back to my life. Designing a little vintage shop, photographing all the items, writing about them, etc.. It pulled out a dormant creative beast. It’s given me a lot of new ideas I want to try.

My plan is to continue selling the vintage items in my shop, to sell them out completely — then, slowly transition it into personal & spiritual handmade items by me. Items that I would buy for myself, or make for myself. Items that a mother would lovingly make for her children. Beautiful handmade items with personality, personal attachment, sensitivity, depth and history. That’s the idea. I’m going to give it a go, and see how it unfolds. I’ll definitely keep you posted on the process.

And don’t get me wrong, I really like the idea of selling vintage items as well. It’s eco-friendly shopping, it’s thoughtful & considerate shopping that can save the world. When buying vintage, we are simply reusing what has already been made, using what we already have as a people. The combination of handmade quality items, along with vintage items, and whole-some (unprocessed) foods, is the way I want to live. I’m going get creative with all of it, and I am going to make it my lifestyle. After The Rainbow Farmer turns into a handmade shop, I might open up a vintage shop again. We’ll see. I have to see how everything plays out. I’m just filling you in on what is going on with me.

What is going on with you? How have you been evolving and changing? What direction do you see yourself heading in? What are you creating for yourself & others? What do you enjoy sharing?

[If you want to check out my Etsy shop, click here. If you want to support it and purchase something, use coupon code AIMEESFRIEND20 For 20% off anything in the shop. And say, ‘hi’ and introduce yourself in the customer notes on the purchase page. :) I want to connect with you! And if you want to open your own Etsy shop, and get creative in your own way, use this link http://etsy.me/19wnJJm You’ll get 40 free listings for your shop. You can open your own shop for free.]

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Do you want to be right or happy?

carousel+freedom

There is always room for blame. There is always a reason, an excuse, a point-of-view; why things are the way they are. Why people are they way they are. Why the world is the way it is. It’s easy to say “That’s not right. Someone or something is wrong.” But who’s job is it to correct it? To make it right. To set it straight?

The answer is never outside of ourselves. Life is always a mirror. When we see something we consider wrong; something a mess or amiss, there is always a reflection of something we personally need to clean-up or set straight. It could be a matter of ‘letting go’, or it could be a matter of taking personal responsibility for correcting in ourselves what we dislike most about others. It’s easy to say “I’m not like that” or “I didn’t do that.” But an individual life or personality is vast, there is always something within ourselves that we don’t want to see or acknowledge. Something we are doing or being that isn’t in alignment with our highest values. There is also deep-rooted misery within ourselves that we desperately need to discharge, release or defuse (if only for a moment), through pointing the finger or through seeing life as lopsided. It takes the responsibility off of us, & sets it somewhere else. This misery, or this thing we can’t put our finger on, is the very thing that gets triggered easily by others, or by life itself.

If you let go a little you will have a little peace; if you let go a lot you will have a lot of peace; if you let go completely you will have complete peace.
– Ajahn Chah

When I see a ‘mature’ person. It touches me deeply. I feel the truth & the wisdom in who they are being. When I say mature, I am using the word as this quote does: Maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself (quote by John Macnaughton). But when I read that quote, I don’t think that it means to put yourself or your personal needs aside & to place everyone before you — but to see that there is no separation between you & anything in the world. Turning a blind eye, tuning out, being defensive, judging harshly, or being cruel — it only means that you are ultimately treating or viewing yourself that way. In the end, everything comes back to you. Each life happens through the eyes of the one living it. Therefore, we can either fully open up to life; trust it, get intimate with it — or we can shut down, close ourselves off & wonder why life is so difficult.

carousel_lonelinessWhen there is a strong need to be right about ideas we have, or about the way life should be, or about the way people ought to behave, we set ourselves up for suffering. We actually begin to confuse ourselves, because we start to live life from the mind instead of the heart. We let fear & ego take a position of power, instead of simply allowing life to flow, & allow love to be the driving force in all that we do.

I often think of the quote: Do you prefer that you be right or happy? (quote from A Course in Miracles T-29.VII.1:9). I think of it when I see someone suffering over an idea they have about the way things should be, or when I find myself hanging on desperately to something as ephemeral as a thought. A thought that I know isn’t getting me what I ultimately want. And what can we all say we ultimately want? Everyone wants to be happy. Yet many of us are on a mind-game carousel that takes us nowhere, or better yet, to a place of pointless suffering & energy wasted. Many of us would like to get off this ride. If only we could see that we ourselves, no one else, has the power to stop it.

For me, self-inquiry helps to stop the mind-game carousel. To simply stop; to look nowhere for answers but within. To be honest with myself. To ask myself questions. To get to know myself on a deeper level. It doesn’t matter what others are doing or saying. But to witness with compassion what I am doing & saying, what I am thinking & feeling, & why. After that, my mind slows down. I become more spacious & patient, more open & tolerant — more understanding. I begin to see everyone as the same, & life itself as perfect, unfolding as it should. My breathing goes from shallow to full. My body releases its tension. My attitude lightens up. My face brightens up. My heart opens up. And my mind follows my heart, it too opens up. There is no longer a need to be right, not even a desire. To be happy is more than enough.

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Bhagavan Das: Scumbag or Saint?

bhagavan+das+2013

This weekend I watched Karmaggedon. I’m not going to say much about the film, other than it’s a documentary about Bhagavan Das of some sorts. The film spends quite bit of time deciphering whether or not Bhagavan Das is a guru or not. Is he a holy person or is he a sinner? Is he a scumbag or saint?

My first thought (in response to the movie’s overall question) is:  There is no polarity in Oneness. All simply Is.

My second thought is: Anyone in a human body is literally a scumbag. They are literally a skin bag of sh*t, blood, waste, & random thoughts, walking on two legs, slowly decaying before our eyes. But look at that body more closely & see the divinity there in the sh*t, waste & decaying flesh. See it all as divinely orchestrated & (w)holy. Understand that all of it has value at some point or in some way, sh*tty & rotten or not. And if you can’t see that, simply see it as beyond understanding or comprehension (with the mind). All of us do things that are stupid or misunderstood or unreasonable. Albeit to various degrees, but nonetheless, it happens. Bhagavan Das is one of many (when I say many, I mean innumerable) people that do things (repeatedly in various ways) that are foolish at the moment, but in hindsight, happened for some sort of reason.

My third thought is: Let’s get clear about what Guru means. Many people think it means spiritual teacher, or destroyer of darkness — someone who shows one the light & removes ignorance. But the meaning that is closer to the actual Sanskrit definition is ‘heavy.’ In the case of a teacher, it could be said to mean ‘hard to understand’, ‘heavy with knowledge’, or ‘hard to digest’. Another definition for guru in this way is, ‘to break, shatter’ — to shatter illusion. Bhagavan Das is definitely all of those definitions. Especially the latter. In the film there is no doubt he is ‘heavy with knowledge’, ‘hard to understand’ & he definitely shattered the illusion the director previously had of him (as a saint or perfect being). Which I’m sure came unexpectedly, as the director Jeff Brown was longing for someone to relieve him of his own demons or conflicting emotions, in order to find Self-realization. Instead he found a guru full of demons. But that is what life is.

Bhagavan+Das+nudeLife is the Divine as all of it: as the sh*t, the decay, the useless random thoughts, as well as the insights. It’s the stupidity & the brilliance. It’s the known & the unknown. It’s the pain & the pleasure. How could any of it be possible without the other? How could any of it be possible without Life-force? Without Energy? Without a heart beat? Without a pulse? Without a Divine spark?

I’m not here to condone anything that Bhagavan Das said or did (or still does). Or to say that the movie is good or bad. Or to say that the director is right or wrong. I’m here to say that it’s all Divine. And it all had to happen. Because it did. And the more we see life from a place of Oneness, the more oneness we will feel. The more we come from a place of Wholeness, the more wholeness we will feel. Much of that has to do with Unconditional Love. With compassion & acceptance, not just for those around us, but for ourselves first.

The desire for others to change stems from a deep desire for much needed change within ourselves. As well as the desire to understand another better, that too stems from the need to understand ourselves better. Self-reflection is always helpful in this matter. One could ask oneself: How do I cause my own confusion or suffering? How do I contribute to the confusion or suffering around me? Rather than placing blame, or looking for answers outside of ourselves, or trying to achieve some sort of perfection, or find perfection in another that could be mirrored — what if we just gently asked ourselves that question, “How do I cause my own confusion or suffering?” Many of us will say: “I don’t know” or “I know, but I can’t stop. It feels out of my control.” This is when the love, compassion & acceptance comes in. For others & for ourselves, always. Until little by little, we get the insights to gradually stop the suffering & clear the confusion.

And remember, insight happens on the inside. So look within yourself. It’s never about the other. There is no other (in Oneness).

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