What My World's Like

between the world and me

Aug
27

by Richard Wright

And one morning while in the woods I stumbled
    suddenly upon the thing,
Stumbled upon it in a grassy clearing guarded by scaly
    oaks and elms
And the sooty details of the scene rose, thrusting
    themselves between the world and me….

There was a design of white bones slumbering forgottenly
    upon a cushion of ashes.
There was a charred stump of a sapling pointing a blunt
    finger accusingly at the sky.
There were torn tree limbs, tiny veins of burnt leaves, and
    a scorched coil of greasy hemp;
A vacant shoe, an empty tie, a ripped shirt, a lonely hat,
    and a pair of trousers stiff with black blood.
And upon the trampled grass were buttons, dead matches,
    butt-ends of cigars and cigarettes, peanut shells, a
    drained gin-flask, and a whore’s lipstick;
Scattered traces of tar, restless arrays of feathers, and the
    lingering smell of gasoline.
And through the morning air the sun poured yellow
    surprise into the eye sockets of the stony skull….

And while I stood my mind was frozen within cold pity
    for the life that was gone.
The ground gripped my feet and my heart was circled by
    icy walls of fear–
The sun died in the sky; a night wind muttered in the
    grass and fumbled the leaves in the trees; the woods
    poured forth the hungry yelping of hounds; the
    darkness screamed with thirsty voices; and the witnesses rose and lived:
The dry bones stirred, rattled, lifted, melting themselves
    into my bones.
The grey ashes formed flesh firm and black, entering into
    my flesh.

The gin-flask passed from mouth to mouth, cigars and
    cigarettes glowed, the whore smeared lipstick red
    upon her lips,
And a thousand faces swirled around me, clamoring that
    my life be burned….

And then they had me, stripped me, battering my teeth
    into my throat till I swallowed my own blood.
My voice was drowned in the roar of their voices, and my
    black wet body slipped and rolled in their hands as
    they bound me to the sapling.
And my skin clung to the bubbling hot tar, falling from
    me in limp patches.
And the down and quills of the white feathers sank into
    my raw flesh, and I moaned in my agony.
Then my blood was cooled mercifully, cooled by a
    baptism of gasoline.
And in a blaze of red I leaped to the sky as pain rose like water, boiling my limbs
Panting, begging I clutched childlike, clutched to the hot
    sides of death.
Now I am dry bones and my face a stony skull staring in
    yellow surprise at the sun….

osho wisdom: love.

Feb
23

if you love a flower, don’t pick it up.
because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love.
so if you love a flower, let it be.
love is not about possession.
love is about appreciation.

– osho

thich nhat hanh on living mindfully.

Feb
23

i first read thich nhat hanh almost a decade ago in college. to me, then and now, he’s fly. eternally wise with a bright spirit. watch.

happiness is a living thing and we need to feed our happiness in order for our happiness to last.
it’s like love. if you don’t feed your love, it will die.
and the practice of mindfulness is to practice understanding and compassion.
and that is the foundation of happiness.

“the system”

Jan
10

lessons from a jheri curl

Dec
18

written by eric fleming

shalamar

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I’ve been listening to an absurd amount of 70’s and 80’s jams and love songs as of late, one of which is Shalamar’s Make that Move. Aside from this song just being a jam of all jams, the lyrics really stood out to me. Shalamar stepped up into their respective pulpits, clad in shiny suits with flowing manes of jheri curl juice and preached hunties! “Make that Move! Right now baby! You only go around once in this lifetime!” The first verse begins with “So many times, by holding back I let the good things pass me by…” So simple, yet so profound as only a song from the 80’s can truly deliver.

The more I listened and did spins in the middle of my kitchen, I started to tear up, and it wasn’t from the onions I was cutting. Shalamar was sangin’ to me! I started thinking about how many times I passed on opportunities– for love, for deeper connectedness, for career– because I stopped myself with all the “what-if” questions. What if I say something and things go badly? What if we act on it and the friendship gets ruined? What if he doesn’t feel the way I do? What if people think I’m not qualified enough? What If I’m not good enough? You know…the “what-ifs.”

Why are they here? Perhaps the “what-ifs” emerged, out a need for self-preservation, to protect us. Maybe they’re seeking to keep us safe, within a container that feels familiar and free from threat.

Built-in soldiers actively looking out for us. Sounds great, right? What if by listening to those “what-ifs” we were actually harming ourselves? What if those parts of us, those “soldiers”, were no longer serving our best interests? Here’s where the “what-ifs” become problematic: oftentimes the voice driving them doesn’t represent what you stand for, or support the person you want to emerge into. In my case, more often than not, that voice is an old story from a very scared part of myself that still senses it needs to be protected. For example, growing up, I had fears of being vulnerable in front of people, so now those “what-ifs” work really hard to make sure I am protected and not vulnerable at all costs, despite the fact that openness and vulnerability are actually two values I hold very highly in my adult life. See the disparity? It’s rooted in an old need for protection that clearly still rears its head and has an influence on how I operate today. That “what-if” voice can keep me from asking out that guy I really like, or keep me from showing up to that networking event because it’s safer to stay in the small, familiar place rather than stepping into what I really long for.

These skeptical soldiers keep us small. They keep us from attaining what’s deep in our heart of hearts. What would happen if we put the “what-ifs” to the side? If we were able to silence them, what answers would be standing there, in your face, screaming for you to notice them? Would you go for that job? Would you say yes to that relationship? How have your “what-ifs” kept you small? What have they prevented you from receiving?

So let’s kill ’em all, right? Death to the “what-ifs”! Here’s a thing to note about them: they’re a part of us and some have been around, working to protect us, for a really long time. They’re soldiers. They’re standing at their post, on the front lines, and have been for years. They’re loyal. Because they’re a part of us, we can’t rid them completely. We can, however, shift our relationship with them. That voice emerged because a need somewhere is or was not being met. Start by getting in touch with what that need is. What does that part of you need? What is that part of you dying to say? Why is that part of you still around? Bringing awareness to the fact that a fear is old, or that a need is no longer present, or perhaps even that a need is presently not being met can change everything. Awareness becomes empowerment. It’s the first critical step in shifting that relationship and taking power back over the what-ifs”.

What would our friends from Shalamar have to say about all of this? Hmmmmm. Let me tell you! “…nothing is certain. You’ve got to go for it when you feel it! ….make that move! Right now baby!” I usually don’t trust people with jheri curls, but I think they were on to something here. We have one chance in this lifetime to make it beautiful, full, and magical so why not just go for it? What do you have to lose? More importantly, what are you losing out on by staying small in your “what-ifs?”

—-
Eric Fleming is a life coach based in New York City. Eric says of his work, ” I help clients make shifts when the cost is too high to stay put any longer.” His work focuses on challenging outdated notions of self, as well as social patterns that inform how we operate today. For more tips about ways to overcome your “what-ifs” or to find out more about how coaching can be beneficial for you, contact him at ejf.coaching (at) gmail.com.

disconnect.

Dec
09

the art of stress-free productivity

Feb
01

The heart of my efforts right now center around productivity, so I’m sharing productivity expert David Allen’s TedxTalk with you. Enjoy!

“If you do not pay
ATTENTION
to what has your
ATTENTION
you will give it more
ATTENTION
than it deserves.”

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…)

SPOTLIGHT: “Freedom Ahead”

Jun
15

My life is changing! I´m currently in the process of experiencing a completely different way of living (again), but now in Haiti. I´m studying and practicing permaculture, which I want to share with the world. Even though the title´s about 40 years old, the principles are much, much older than that. Somebody just decided to call it something and now people living it now have a common language for it.

The film above, Freedom Ahead is about permaculture and sums up a bit about where I am in my life right now. I hope it inspires you. Please share your thoughts. 🙂