What My World's Like

love is the answer.

Feb
25

browninpedernales

Today, I learned that a friend I made during my time in Haiti, Jeffrey Brown, passed away recently. He was pure sunshine and love. Peaceful, patient, warm, and bright. His heart was infinite. He was a retiree from Austin and all he did was find different ways to spend the remainder of his life being of service and spreading love.

In our last correspondence, he wrote the following:

“Love is the answer, no? The journey gives us so many opportunities to love each other, and as many challenges to test our understanding of that truth. I struggle often to stay focused on how patience, understanding, and peaceful, ‘gentle’ loving is always the most profound and effective way to connect and be with our brothers and sisters. When the love connection occurs, it’s the best thing in the world.”

Today, I’m saddened because we lost a really good person, an active contributor to improving the conditions of this world. However, I’m also inspired to love deeper, wider, further, freer, and bolder. Love is not a finite resource; it has no end. Should we ever find we might have emptied our well, all we need to do is dig deeper.

Thank you to my friend for leaving a legacy of love for those of us you touched. We appreciate you.

#grateful

Oct
23

your power is yours.

Oct
15

your power is yours to keep. it exists within your thoughts, feelings, and choices. it belongs to you. don’t give it away. and don’t condemn others when you choose to give your power away because they chose not to. choose again. empowerment never comes from an external source.

suffering is a decision.

perception defines the inward experience of anything. choose better.

sit with that. feel it out. take it in.

to imply that choice alone is the difference between feeling bad, good, or great, or between feeling powerless and powerful is almost tauntingly, if not deceptively, simple sounding. however, it is simple, but not necessarily easy. the trick is that a half-hearted commitment won’t suffice. there is no middle ground.

here are some things that have helped me retain my power:

  • decide to feel good by being appreciative. thank your way through whatever you’re dealing with.
  • create meaning for yourself, your circumstances and life in general.
  • keep your focus on your goals and what makes you feel good.
  • smile anyway…just because it actually makes you feel better.
  • here’s to happy living!

    love&light...leandra

    a web of sorrow. a plea to act.

    Jun
    27

    My heart, filled with sorrow, is heavy right now. Something about the Trayvon Martin case touched me from the beginning. I was in Nicaragua, sitting in a tree, looking at a volcano, when my sister told me about his murder. After we got off the phone, all I could do was cry. I didn’t know him, but he could’ve been anyone I knew or was related to. That recognition drew me to him and made me so sad and angry that he was killed and that the case was being ignored in the media.

    Fast forward a year and some months later, Zimmerman is on trial and as much as I want to watch it, something in me draws back, scared for my sensitivity.

    At the same time, Nelson Mandela is in a hospital on life support. He may not make it to see his 95th birthday, but he’s lived a very full and meaningful life. He dropped out of college to join the African Nationalist and anti-apartheid movement and eventually spent 27 years in prison for fighting for what he believed in. For being true to himself and standing with himself. Twenty-seven years.

    Race is such a muddled conversation in this world, but especially in this culture where it’s implicitly acceptable in every faction of the culture, thus omnipresent, but explicitly discouraged, thus rampantly covert. A video of celebrity chef Paula Deen revealing her racism was made public and she lost her job and several corporate associations. There is no honest conversation about race happening, how it originates, permeates, recreates and flourishes; just a very public and expensive slap on the wrist.

    George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin because he was suspicious of Martin, not because of any suspicious activities the boy was engaging in necessarily, but because the mere presence of black men, specifically, was a cause for suspicion, prompting the automatic belief that they were up to no good and that the situation was unsafe. This situation essentially repeated itself only months later in the same state of Florida with the 17 year-old Jordan Davis and 45 year-old Michael Dunn, who also refers to the Stand Your Ground law in support of his professed innocence. Where did these men get that idea from and how can/will we work to change that thought association?

    Black people are not safe in a world with white supremacist ideology and systems. Children, born with no say over their life circumstances, are not safe. There is an assault on their bodies, minds, and spirits, so even if they aren’t physically eliminated, they are psychologically and psychically damaged.

    As Mandela lays in a bed, in critical condition, I review his life and the meaning he attached to it. This man made a sacrifice and he sacrificed himself for his ethics. There are so many people who wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice 27 hours, days, or weeks to stand up for what they believe in, even when that essentially means standing up for themselves and this man sacrificed 27 years.

    What are we giving? To whom? And for what?

    We are worth the investment of our own time and our own lives for our own benefit. You are worth the investment of your own time and your own life for your own benefit.

    Let it not be in vain. Let it not be for mere comfort and its illusion. Fill your time and your life with meaning to make a positive difference. Some are never fully given that option. Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis were completely robbed of that opportunity and if we care, then we have to do something more than sit in the comfort of our homes being outraged. We need to act and take advantage of our gift of life.

    committed and ardent?

    Oct
    30

    It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to assemble and share my thoughts, but I’m prompted to do so now and must submit to that urge. Too often, we get caught up in doing whatever we’re doing, maybe even doing things we don’t really want to do, and ignore the internal push guiding us elsewhere. For far too long, that’s been the case with not just writing and my dedication to this craft I repeatedly abandon, but other equally and more important tasks like creating the life I want to live.

    Doing so requires commitment. Tireless commitment. And the passion necessary for dedication.

    I’ve wasted too much time, fearful, doubting, wavering, uncertain. And the odds are in favor of me correctly saying “so have you.”

    Let’s get clear and let’s forge new and unique paths that uplift and illuminate us and those around us.

    This year has been an amazing testimony of what’s possible and I see so clearly now that I’ve got to get out of my own way and you’ve got to get out of your own way so we can be so great, truly. Individually and collectively. It must happen.

    Stop allowing yourself to be distracted. Focus, commit, and succeed.

    What do you want?
    How willing are you to do what it takes to get it?

    “messenger”

    Aug
    16

    My work is loving the world.
    Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
    equal seekers of sweetness.
    Here the quickening yeast there the blue plums.
    Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

    Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
    Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
    keep my mind on what matters,
    which is my work,
    which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
    The phoebe, the delphinium.
    The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
    Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

    which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
    and these body-clothes,
    a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
    to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
    telling them all, over and over, how it is
    that we live forever.

    – Mary Oliver, Thirst

    #notetoself

    Aug
    15

    the most amazing canvas you have is your life &
    it should be your greatest masterpiece.
    the box is stupid & unimaginative.
    don’t live in it.

    your inner world rules your outer world.

    Aug
    08

    This was originally posted on September 4, 2010.

    Life is calling you. All the time. Do this. Do that. Don’t do anything at all. There’s always a fork in the road. Sometimes you don’t even know it’s there, but it is. Sometimes you hear it, see it, feel it…this urge…this moment that comes to visit briefly. It may whisper, it may shout, but it’s always saying something. Are you listening?

    The perpetual, invisible fork is the following question: how are you going to respond? To what? To everything.

    We allow the outer world to control our inner world because we don’t understand that the more we control our inner world, the more we control the outer world.  It often acts the other way around, but we’re so much more effective in our lives when we understand this.  The past few weeks have proven this to be true.

    Out of nowhere, my job suddenly became a place I slightly dreaded. I wasn’t even fully aware of it, but I noticed it when I realized time was my obsession. “What time is it?” and “how much longer will I be here?” Sure signs of danger. Everyone and everything was a problem and I played the victim to all the haphazard incidents and wrongdoings.

    When somebody/everybody else is always the problem, maybe the problem is really you.

    (more…)

    how to get high for free

    Aug
    02

    This was originally posted on January 28, 2011. Lately, it’s been calling out to me. I needed it and wanted to share it again.

    We’re all looking for pure bliss and resounding ecstasy. We want to drop our worries and feel alive, feel connected to the magic of this world. All too often, though, this desire results in the abuse of alcohol, drugs and other legal or illegal substances. In using or abusing these substances, the user often does more harm than good.

    But alcohol and drugs are completely unnecessary and actually quite costly to both your body and your wallet. There’s another way.

    It’s natural. It’s safe. It’s free. It’s legal and always available to you.

    (more…)