The firmament growls its thundering message
of hunger, thirst, release

The sound of a bird’s fluttering wings arrive
just as it soars from sight

The wind calls catch me if you can
contain me, you can’t
I’m everywhere, nowhere

A butterfly pauses for a moment
and is gone

What is left in its wake?
Only nature knows

Trees stand stately
their leaves shutter in mocking laughter
as if nature can be captured
its wisdom and strength does not yield
to the fragile ego of human greed, fear, ignorance

A bird calls out
the wind responds
the tree branches welcome
a member of its exclusive club

Eavesdropping on nature

I wrote this while sitting in my bountiful backyard as a thunderstorm approached. I felt as though I had crashed someone’s party and the revelers didn’t mind at all.
Thanks for reading,
~ Haven

Source: New feed

They have everything, I’m so jealous.                                                                     
It becomes mind poison, eating away at our well-being, interfering with our ability to experience joy and traps us in negative thought patterns.

Why can’t I have muscles like him? Why does she have perfect skin and not me? 
We become consumed with how we look on the outside: we want more hair here and less here there, we want bigger muscles and wrinkle-free faces, we plump, pluck and polish, we inject this and eject that.

I heard she works out two hours every day, if only I had that kind of time!
We obsess about exercise and read magazines with underfed models on the cover.

She eats anything she wants and never gains an ounce!
We go on diets, count calories and compare our bodies to others.

All of these ‘she has’, ‘he has’, and ’if only I had’ cycles of comparisons can breed jealous thoughts. Poisons can seep in slowly, almost undetected and when it happens it causes damage to our bodies. Jealousy works the same way on our minds; it acts as a poison effecting our thoughts and once it seeps in it can take us down.

We experience symptoms such as unhappiness, anxiety, depression and anger. Because we think negatively, we speak negatively and when we speak negatively, we think negatively – a malicious cycle. The ‘J’ word starts popping up in our conversations. Instead of feeling excitement for someone, we feel jealous. Instead of saying to a friend,“I’m so excited you’re going to Belize”, we say,“I’m so jealous you’re going to Belize”.
‘J’ poison…toxic, dangerous, hurtful and useless.

A friend of mine shared a great example recently, so much so I doubled-over in laughter. According to Brooke, ‘the reason the grass looks greener on the other side, is because it’s fertilized with bulls..t’.
Emily Post would likely not approve of the language but without a doubt she would approve of the message.

Brooke is exactly right. The grass may seem greener on the other side because we don’t see or have any knowledge of the full picture; our mind is poisoned and fertilized with unhealthy thoughts. I don’t believe comparing ourselves to others is necessarily a bad thing as long as we do so within reason.

                It’s ok to compare ourselves to others for inspiration but not denigration.

I always wanted to play the violin (or fiddle as they say in my neck o’ the woods) and at the age of 47, I began taking lessons. Once I learned some basic skills I began to compare myself to the ease with which my instructor played. It didn’t matter to me that she began playing at the age of 4, I wanted what she had. I wanted to play like her and that thinking brought me down. I didn’t feel good about my progress, I didn’t even recognize my progress which had everything to do with me and nothing to do with her.  She continued to encourage me and laud my progress but not until I allowed her words to take hold was I finally able to rid myself of the unhealthy thinking.

I stopped wanting what she had and began to appreciate what I had,
which was the opportunity and ability to learn from an incredible person and instructor.

When we are under the influence of ‘J’ poison we see only what we want and not what we have. Poisons have antidotes and the antidote to jealousy is appreciation. When we want what we have we’ve rid the toxin from our mind-stream.

Thanks for reading,
~ Haven

Coming Soon
Traveling back in time in Granddaddy’s van
Possibility and Uncertainty: Bound by commonality, why are we afraid of one of them?

Source: New feed

Have you ever said that to someone? Or something similar? Have you ever experienced it being said to you? I have on both accounts. This past week while working with someone who was remarkably in touch with her aggressive side I actually heard myself commenting, “No worries, I’m not taking it personally”. And that was partially true, but what is closer to the truth is the fact that I wasn’t taking offense to her boorish behavior; frankly I was entertained by how she chose to communicate and found myself a bit giggly.

The thing is…we’re a bit off base with this overused and under-thought phrase of taking something personally. Of course we are going to absorb and take in circumstances, situations, comments, behaviors and our world, personally. We are people and chances are good if you are reading this you are one of them.

According to Martha Stout, the author of ‘The Sociopath Next Door’, for every 25 people, 1 is a sociopath. These are people who do not take things personally; the rest of us do. It’s part of the human condition. We take in the world around us and we interpret it, we judge and while we don’t like to admit it, we do and it’s ok; it’s how we perform, how we live, why we laugh, cry and feel. It’s why we have opinions.

I write because I take things personally. I have something to say, I have a voice, a personality.  I feel, I think, I laugh and cry, I hurt and feel exposed, vulnerable, confident and competent. I have opinions and I like being around others who do too; their opinions don’t have to coincide with mine but not having an opinion is insight into what Jerry Seinfeld would say, “There’s less”. Taking things personally is what humans do and we need to do more of it; to allow ourselves to touch that vulnerable, yet resilient, humanity that resides within us because that is what makes us stronger and more interesting, vivacious individuals.

We know not everyone allows themselves to feel or travel deeply into the depths of thoughts and feelings. It hurts sometimes; it can be uncomfortable and new. New often equates to change, which for some of us can be intimidating. But even the most hardened, emotionally unavailable people perceive their world personally (other than the sociopaths).  It’s why we feel good when a baby smiles at us – we’ve taken that personally – that smile has made us feel good and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s why we get angry – otherwise everyone would be angry at the same individuals. When someone “pushes your buttons” you’ve taken offense.

Consider this: Have you ever wondered why you respond with anger when someone else doesn’t…or cry at something that doesn’t move another person to tears…or belly laugh out loud when someone else doesn’t crack a smile? These are all personal reactions. Humans take things personally, it’s what makes us human and thankfully we do, otherwise our lives would merely consist of existing in robotic ways rather than the experience of highs and lows, tears from sadness and tears from happiness.

With deep respect to the thousands of authors, therapists and professionals who have sold us this bill of ‘don’t take things personally’ goods, I agree with the premise. The message has not escaped me. ‘The Four Agreements’ is one of my favorite books. My point is simply this: let’s alter that phrase to using the word offense instead (“don’t take offense”) because that’s more accurate. When we take offense or make someone else’s actions all about ourselves, we’ve lost sight of our ability to take responsibility for our feelings and in some situations we rationalize our fear, anger, insecurities or actions. Sometimes we lose our ability to feel empathy or compassion because we’ve blamed someone else for taking something personally when in fact, we’ve taken offense and then rationalized our reaction!

Based on Martha Stout’s research, if we know 25 people, we know 1 sociopath; a sociopath is not necessarily the evil creature depicted in the cinema. They are emotionally absent people who don’t feel like the rest of us. I’ve known more than one of these individuals and there is an ice-cube component to them that freezes them out from taking things personally; it’s often well-disguised by charm and/or martyrdom, they love self-pity and are skilled at deception.

My point is that the rest of us will take things personally because that quality is what differentiates us from animals. And it’s ok. What I’d like to see, hear, read and say…is the more accurate version…“No worries, I’m not taking offense”.

For the 24 of the 25 of you, thanks for taking it personally because if you have any sort of reaction or opinion to the words I’ve written, you’ve taken it personally. Congratulations, you’re human!

Thanks for reading,
~ Haven

Coming Soon
The “J” Word…Why even allowing it into your mind-stream is toxic
Traveling back in time in Granddaddy’s van
Possibility and Uncertainty: bound by commonality in the dictionary, so why are we afraid of one of them?

 

Source: New feed