Lost and found

May 29, 2009 | filed under consider this, moment of truth, thoughts | Leave a Comment 

dark-night

Sometimes you have to lose yourself to truly find yourself.

We’re always going to go through things in life that challenge us, that put us face-to-face with the idea of ourselves that we have and the real version of ourselves that we’re being. Make it all worth it by taking from it all the lessons, all the good stuff, and dropping the rest. Don’t beat yourself up. If there was ever a time to be your own friend, it’s when you feel lost. Be honest with yourself. Decide what changes you want to make and why, then hold yourself accountable.



Hunger = poor thought process

April 6, 2009 | filed under give time/money, thoughts | 1 Comment 

feedingamericalogo

After a work out, typically, a ravaging hunger awaits me. Tonight, I came in and ripped open a pack of tuna while I checked my email. I laid the packet of tuna down on my desk only to discover minutes later that all the juice in the packet spilled all over my new magazine.

The lesson: I can’t multitask when I’m hungry.

Apparently, I can’t think either. Read about another hunger snafu.

I’d just come from the gym. Opened the fridge, and pulled out a new carton of large cage-free brown eggs. Poured olive oil in the wok and turned it on. Open the carton of eggs, pulled one out, cracked it and opened the shell, allowing the contents to drop into the wok. Reached into the carton to pull out another egg, except the shell broke, spilling over into an empty compartment. I removed the pieces of the shell, put my hands over as many eggs as I could, knowing I couldn’t cover all of them, but for some reason continuing with the plan of transferring the egg in the carton into the wok. As the cracked egg fell into the wok, an egg that my hand wasn’t covering dropped right out of the carton and onto the carpet. I looked at it and finished cooking. Sprinkled a little salt and a little 21 spice seasoning on them. When they were finished, I put them on my plate, sat down and started eating. After about four bites, I thought, “I guess I should clean that up now.” My very next thought was “why didn’t I turn off the wok and clean up the egg right after it fell?” It never occurred to me. Priority number one was eating.

As I cleaned up the egg, I played back the scenario and came to an interesting conclusion:

While I agree that students at schools in low-income areas don’t necessarily have adequate resources to perform well, I’m convinced that many of them don’t perform well because they can’t think. Because they’re hungry!

That said, please support your local food bank. Many of them have the BackPack program that discreetly provides children with backpacks of food for consumption over the weekends and during vacations. It’s a wonderful program. The San Antonio Food Bank also participates in this program. Volunteers are always needed at food banks, as well as, well…food and money. Please be aware that the food bank has greater purchasing power than the average consumer. For instance, $1 is worth $13 if the San Antonio Food Bank purchases the food. Give what you can or do what you can, even if that’s simply spreading awareness.

Let’s feed the children. People can’t think when they’re hungry…at least some of us can’t.



Challenge: Find the good in where you are

April 5, 2009 | filed under challenge, thoughts | 4 Comments 

heal-heart

Right now, I live in San Antonio. Been here for about seven months and can’t say that it’s been the most exciting time of my life. I can say that it’s been a very therapeutic time for me. Not too long ago, I realized that everywhere I’ve lived has served a different purpose for me, acted as a sort of theme, if you will. I was raised in St. Louis, which served as the framework for my understanding of the world. In Chicago, I really grew into my own. Became more of that which I already was. I moved to New York and really began to understand my work ethic. If I care, I’m all in. If I don’t, I’m pretty much out. The second time I was in Chicago was the most broke and probably depressing time of my life. I realized that I needed to make some changes. When I moved to California, I began to make some of those changes. Insights about my family structure of my childhood, or the lack thereof, became clear to me. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Philadelphia and the overarching theme of that period was love. L-O-V-E. As is the case with many relationships, my beau at the time served as a mirror for me, allowing me to see myself as I was and decide which changes I wanted to make. My time in Texas has been very introspective. Not a lot of activity, but necessarily so. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to grow the way I have in this time if I were in a city that really had my attention. So, yes, I’ve been ‘stranded’ on the West side of San Antonio, but I’m better because of my relatively dull evenings and weekends indoors.

Operating with the understanding of why I’m in Texas, in terms of the larger theme of healing, has been incredibly helpful. I no longer hate being here or think I made a mistake in moving here. Very often, we condemn parts of our lives because we don’t understand their purposes.  Everything can be used.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Meaning is never inherent; it’s always created.  Find the value in the experiences you’ve had and the experiences you’re having right now.  If you haven’t done this already, it will change the way you understand your world.

Find the good.



Allow me to reintroduce myself…

March 17, 2009 | filed under consider this, thoughts | 1 Comment 

I wrote this post two years ago, still it resonates with me and my current position in life.  Just further evidence that moving in circles means there’s lots of room for growth.  The lesson: empower yourself by learning from life.


I’ve been running a lot in my life. From myself, from my past, my dreams, my fears, my dirt…just running. I’m constantly on the go. What sitting still feels like is foreign to me. When I’m here, I’m there and when I get there, I’ve already gone somewhere else.

Today marks a new beginning for me. I need new decision-making paradigms, new criteria with which to determine the best way from point A to point B…it’s not always a straight line.

At one time, I decided that Neale Donald Walsch’s definitions of love and fear were a great way…and they still are, so what happened? Did it take too much time? Impede my impulsiveness? Spontaneity is overrated if it’s reckless or spontaneous for the sake of speed or spontaneity itself. Guess why I’ve been spontaneous? ; )

Well…all that was the past. I’m seeking evolution. When speaking of other people, I’d easily toss out how they weren’t growing. “If you keep talking about the same stuff over and over again, your life is moving in circles and you’re not growing.” Is it any surprise that I, too, have been moving in circles, foolishly marveling at the new scenery even as it tired quickly because the design eventually proved to be the same? No, it isn’t. What you fear, you attract.

I watched Munich the other night. Interesting Spielberg movie, even for Spielberg. No longer a believer in coincidence, this character, Avner, was working with the Israeli army to kill this list of people. In the process, more people than anticipated died and death became the major theme in his life. He became haunted with the idea of being hunted…the idea of the tables turning created a paranoia so strong that he couldn’t sleep. When he returned to his civilian life, his mind wasn’t there. At one point in the film, as he shredded his mattress in search of a bomb, I recall saying, “That’s not a life.” No…it’s not. Later, he asks his superior for evidence that the people they were killing had really committed crimes…after the fact. He asked, “Have I committed murder?”

😕

Are you serious, Avie? Yes…he was. Cognitive dissonance is a mess. Under the guise of religion, all along he’d considered eliminating these people an act of righteousness. So did his family and so many others he encountered, adding to his ambivalence.

Yet, I’m not all that different from Avner. I haven’t killed anyone, except for maybe parts of myself subconsciously, but there’s always been this justification, these ideas that whatever I was doing wasn’t exactly what I was doing. Don’t pee on me and tell me that it’s raining. But that’s exactly what I was doing. “It’s just rain, Leandra. No worries.”

Aware of the infractions I commit against myself, just like Avner, I can’t sleep. My unwillingness to be a mere mortal and face reality eliminates the possibility of growth, thereby forsaking the point of the whole experience. I can’t continue to hide from my shadow if I want to bask in the sun.

The paradox of belief…it’s nothing and everything at the same time. How long would I have continued to deceive myself if my health and the rest of my life didn’t seem to be collapsing around me? Perhaps indefinitely…who can say?

So good thing my life is falling by the wayside. It’s the cosmos saying, “Hey, this isn’t working.”

Once I was fed up with my headaches and sought an alternative remedy, I discovered macrobiotics, the notion of food as medicine, and the wisdom of the body. The wisdom of the body.

For so long, I’d consider myself a migraine sufferer, implicating this idea of victimhood. But I wasn’t a victim. The headaches were a symptom, part of an equation.

A+B=C

Sensitivity + Ignoring Sensitivity = Pain

Is it really that simple?

Umm…yes.

So years later, here I stand, at a similar pivotal moment with the power to define my situation as it is or as I’d like to for temporary personal convenience.

The present condition of my life wasn’t handed to me by the fates; it’s the perpetual C. What you put in, you get out.

It’s time for the self-delusion to end. Or if that’s what it’s going to be, at least call a spade a spade.

My historical lack of discipline doesn’t mean that my future has to be laden with the same lack, so much as that it means if I want to be disciplined, I’d better cultivate it.

How do you cultivate discipline? Dedication to the goal. So…I set some goals.



“Thank you”

February 17, 2009 | filed under random, thoughts | Leave a Comment 

On Twitter last night, I asked what inspired people. Only one person got back to me, but what she said was so profound. Her response was “the unbroken spirits of impoverished people around the world. essentially, love.”

In that moment, I realized I needed more gratitude.

Fast forward to today. A few weeks ago, I was speaking with someone who said she wanted to lose weight, so I emailed her last week to share a few resources I thought would be helpful for the beginning of her journey. This morning, I found out that I gave her the wrong date for something happening at the university where I work and emailed her to update the information.

Shortly thereafter she responded to tell me that my email came at the perfect time and thanked me for thinking of her.

Her appreciation really touched me. I found myself thinking, “thank you for appreciating it!”

So…gratitude. Maybe I need to be more appreciative of myself. Hmm…that’s a new thought. I’ll ponder on that.



A fresh start is always a moment away

February 16, 2009 | filed under rewritable words, thoughts | Leave a Comment 

I’ve been trudging along full of regret, harping over the past. Just this moment–and I knew this before–I realized, that the past is the past. You can never “redo” anything. You can never undo anything. It is what it is. Que sera sera. All you can do…is move forward. Begin again. Start anew.

So tomorrow, I’ll wake up and it’ll be a brand new day. A brand new start. And all I can do, all I will do, is my best.

For a minute, I think I stopped growing. I stopped looking at the everyday lessons. The beauty in life has escaped me for quite some time, except in random moments, when my eyes would catch the glimmer of something great. But life isn’t about the great moments. Those are nice, but really, life is full of the ordinary. The mundane and the trite. Great moments are extraordinary, but they don’t come all that often. And even if they did, they, too, would be a part of the mundane eventually.

I think I need to start examining what I’ve learned everyday or at least what I’m learning at a specific block in time…to the best that I can identify it anyway.

I guess I’ll start with today. What was great about today? Great? Err…? Okay, what did I learn today? Well, the above. There are people who have far less and they enjoy their lives far more. What am I missing? Maybe it’s sheer gratitude. My bills are paid (relatively). I’m young (relatively). I have my health (relatively). I heard some GREAT music this weekend!

The other day, I was at the gym. The treadmills face the wall, on which hang two TVs that are always set to MtvU. Sometimes I pay attention to the videos, but most of the time, I stare ahead at a spot on the wall and just imagine myself walking towards something. Random, I know. But on comes this video and I catch the beginning where they show the name of the artist and it turns out that I know the guy. He’s a rapper…? And he’s not even good. And he’s on TV. What am I doing???

Motivation.  

Now is the time.

“If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”
– Phillip Vera Cruz



Friends…

October 12, 2008 | filed under random, read this, thoughts | 1 Comment 

…are amazing.  Tonight, I checked my voicemail (no, I don’t do it regularly) and listened to a message from my pals Harry and Ashley that truly lifted my spirit.  :)  Thanks guys!

Texas isn’t a torture chamber, but it’s not really spectacular either.  To add to the lack of interesting things for me to do is immobility.  Or…perhaps it’s immobility that provides me with fewer options.  Eh…whichever.  Doesn’t matter much considering I’m not getting a car.

Being geographically unstimulated means that I rely more on electronic means of entertainment.  The problem with that…is that I already have an addiction.  Had an addiction.  Now, I have a mega addiction and an incredibly short attention span.

This makes me think of saKiya’s “talent, skill, discipline” from Think, Think, Think, and Think Again:

“It takes talent to get a tryout, skill to make the team, and discipline to win championships.  Most are born with some type of talent… Unfortunately, most don’t take the time to develop their talents into skills and even less of them become disciplined in it.  What good is it to take the time to develop a talent into a skill and never become discipline enough to know the how/when/where/why to apply it to its fullest?”

[Silent growl]

Yep…that’s me with the talent.  Guess I should use this “boredom” to develop some skills and discipline, yeah?

If I leave Texas with both, I’d be a happy camper.  To keep me focused, I might be relying on some of my pals until I have the discipline to rely on no one but me.  ;)  Yeah???

What good is anyone in your life if they can’t help you?  Thank you, you’re welcome.  Go after the win-win.



Same shit, different place…

September 3, 2008 | filed under consider this, do your research!, inspiring, learn something, moment of truth, pay attention, thoughts, watch this | 5 Comments 

Who are we? What are we doing? What are we agreeing to? With our silence? Our obedience? Our complacency? Our willful ignorance?

We can connect the dots if we so choose to, but we choose not to. Why? Ignoring reality does not change reality. Does not make it go away. Does not push it further away from us.

So scared of losing everything, of dying, that we cannot see that we lose everything in our decision to not act with humanity, with love.

We lose everything while we sit and watch others suffer, sitting idly in our security ignoring all the signs that tell us “this isn’t real.”

This isn’t real! So much of our lives, of what we do, eat, think is fake and choosing to be okay with that means we’ve already lost it all. We lost. Because we’re not living anyway.

“We will defeat this war by making it unworkable on the ground
through thousands of collected acts of rebellion and disobedience.”

“We do not walk today to ask concessions from the powers;
they will never legislate peace or freedom.
We come to you. We turn to the living.
Their armies cannot occupy our dreams and their jails cannot hold our number.
This is our world and these streets belong to us.”



Why I’m voting absentee

September 2, 2008 | filed under thoughts | 1 Comment 



Transition is wack.

August 1, 2008 | filed under thoughts | 4 Comments 

I feel all over the place right now.  Current status: in transition.  It’s a pretty awkward place to be.  But as one of my friends reminds me, “transition never feels good.”  Indeed.

I have to get in the habit of dropping the little pearls of wisdom I’ve collected over the years to myself as easily as I do for others.  In hopes of changing my immediate feelings about all the happenings in my life, I try to remind myself that beginnings and endings are the same thing.  What doesn’t grow is dead…the only constant is change…in order to make way for new things in life, we often have to clear out what’s no longer needed.  😕

In case you need it…



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