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Monday, January 23, 2017

On Defensiveness

Your friend sneers at you as you enter the doorway into the pub. You are late. This isn’t the first time, but you can tell that he/she is outwardly expressing his/her annoyance through the expression of unconscious body language. You feel that little sharpness in your stomach and the tension tighten in your chest. You couldn’t help it. You planned ahead and didn’t foresee yourself stuck between a semi on the interstate and a slow and lazy possum crossing the street. It wasn’t your fault you tell yourself. What are you going to tell your friend now? Are you going to say “I’m Sorry?” Are you going to explain the situation outright or shoo it off like an annoying fly?

This situation above is quite interesting. We may encounter skirmishes with friends, family members and co-workers, and feel like we must always put up our intellectual fists and tell our side of the story. We wouldn’t want to misrepresent ourselves would we? We wouldn’t want to surrender to the hostility of the moment. Or would we?

We like to take things personally. Well, maybe we don’t actually “like” to take things personally, but we have become so accustomed to it in every day life. Everyone feels like they have the “right” to defend themselves. To puff up their chest and tell their side of the story. To make sure that they are right, even when they think or know that they aren’t. We can all relate to this somehow. The Right to Defend starts at our fixed identity. The false sense of self. The ego. The Reptilian Like Brain that thrives on the flight or flight mechanism. It is a reflection of our insecurities and our level of consciousness. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with defending yourself within the right arena of intellectual discourse, but constantly trying to prove who you are or what you have done can get quite exhausting and ultimately destructive in the long term.

What happens we simply listen to that “Right to Defend” mechanism that erupts in our brains? What happens when we can step back and see it for what it is? What happens when we don’t defend ourselves and simply let go of the need to “Be Right” ? We can accept what comes our way and accept the unconscious behavior of the people around us. The person that calls us out on being late. The person that catches us at just the right moment and tries to get us to admit to a trivial or dreadful mistake. What happens when we can tell the person in conflict that he or she is right? What happens to their mood, body language and overall color of being?

“Of course you have the right to defend, but is it necessary?”

The thing is, it’s not all about being right. It’s not all about trying to pump up yourself to prove that you are better, more intelligent, more triumphant, more heroic, more clever. When you stop feeding those ego identifiers, you can see how silly these human behaviors are. They are leftovers from the primal brain. The need to survive. The need to prove that you are able to defend yourself in times of dire circumstances related to the survival of yourself and the human race. It is ingrained in you to compete and to make sure that you are able to make it to the next meal, the next day and the next conquest.

Exercise I:

Whenever you encounter a tense and off putting situation where you feel that you must immediately defend yourself or use a reason or excuse to back up your behavior, tell yourself this...

“ You’re right and I fully accept your reaction and take responsibility for my actions.”

You can also say this out loud to the person that you are encountering. It may take some practice in telling yourself this at first, but when you can confidently and non-aggressively tell other, it will come out as honest and authentic. You may not even have to repeat yourself to that same person because of the immense impact of that truth bomb. You’re ability to step back and accept what is happening around you is an immense step in expanding your awareness no matter how small. Just think of it as a mindful experiment that will help you practice the art of non-aggression and acceptance.

Sometimes we give too much information in trying to defend ourselves. We get attached to the illusory story that feeds our static and fixed identity and sense of self. When we can see the story for what it is and how mystifying and deceptive it can be, we can start to see that by giving away too many un-important details about our self perceived “selves” is something not constructive or well worth doing. We can face those mammalian triggers that happen in our brain when we feel threatened and stare them in the face with a content smile and willingness to listen.

What is the true purpose of trying to defend ourselves (verbally)?
Is it to protect ourselves and our identities?
Are you defending “yourself”?
Are you defending your opinions and bias?
Are you defending your values and principles?
Are you defending your ideologies?
Are you defending the views that were passed down to you from your parents, education and general ideas on what you think the world should look like?

See the person triggering you as the mirror for your own insecurities. As the teachers that are so hooked on popping up and disturbing your sense of peace. See them as a test for you to reconnect with the present moment. See them as loving individuals with their own set of unique and trivial struggles. What good does putting up barriers in ourselves do for us? For the world? For peace of mind? Is constantly being defensive a good strategy for your well being?

We can sit with that aggression and flood of energy when it arises within us. With curiosity, amusement and an inquisitive mindset. We can accept the turbulence of unconsciousness that swirls around us in our daily lives. We can be compassionate to the instigator, the blatant liar, the emotional heretic, the hypocritical political pundit, the man who had a bad day at work, the gas station attendant who berates you on having a declined card and any person that has the ability to disturb in unexpected ways.

When we can sit with that defensiveness for as long as we can without suddenly reacting, we allow ourselves to look deeper into what is bothering us. Maybe its not at the surface of what someone has said. Maybe it is not the person chastising you for your behavior. Maybe it is your struggle for control and power. Maybe it is the unresolved nature of things within you. When immediately defend yourself, you cut yourself off from learning what it all means in the first place. You let the person or people have power of you. Are you so willing to give that power away? To let an unconscious person awaken your own unconscious reactions?

It may not be easy at first, but it takes patience and practice to understand our disturbances and triggers. It takes a great deal of looking into and fully feeling our reactions when we are put into a hot spot. We can fully feel our emotions and let them pass with grace and allow ourselves the willingness to open up to the full experience.

Let us take a journey into the unknown and discover what we are made of without trying to explain to everyone why we are the way we are.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

What have you created today?

Creation A Day

“ How was your day?”
“ It was alright. How was yours?”
“ It was good. What did you do?”

We know this snippet of benign small talk conversation from our daily lives. The modern unconscious humdrum projection of starting conversations from learned and ingrained habits thrown upon us from previous social interactions. What does all this mean?

Sometimes I would find myself having a hard time trying to answer the “ How was your day?” questions. I would blank out and try really hard to think of what I did within the last  24 hours. What did I do? Sometimes I would do “so much” and forget some of the most important things later and regret not telling the person I was talking to as if it even mattered in the grand scope of things. Most of us would access our brain units to try to think of all the drab and routine to-do list type of tasks that happened within the day.
I went to work.
Had to run to the bank.
Had a nice lunch with a friend at a soup and sandwich place.
Went to the gym.
Finished some house chores.
Made Dinner.
Watched Netflix.
Went to bed.
We are creatures of habit and routine. We get locked in the habit of doing the things we have been doing with as long as we have been doing the things we have been doing. We do things without thinking about it. We get use to waking up at a certain time and taking that shower and putting on our clothes in the same unconscious ways. We get trapped in the hamster wheel of the monkey mind. Life becomes so “mechanical”. We give little “thought” or “attention” to what we are doing in each moment. We could certainly afford to be more conscious in order to bring more meaning and purpose in our lives.

Being present and giving full attention to each minute task or “doing” in a day is certainly a valuable thing, but what are we really doing? We are taught that productivity takes the cake over presence in our society. Most of the times we are just trying to occupy our minds and not really experience the fullness or totality of each passing moment. We want to make ourselves busy and distract ourselves from our insecurities, doubts and bad thoughts. God forbid we encounter any type of boredom. God forbid we do not have some type of fidgety electronic device to take us away from the suffering.

What if we were to look at things in terms of creation?
What if we were to not only put presence of productivity, but to truly access our ability to be creative?

Instead of focusing on what we did for that day, we can switch our attention to what we created. We can access the unknown and really make us excited and passionate about the whole time span of the glorious 24 hours we are gifted. No more benign To-Do lists. No more dreading of the tasks that we so blindly endure. We can focus on creating at least one thing per day to enhance our life situation, critical thinking, awareness and creativity muscles.

( This doesn't mean abandoning the things that we must get done. It means expanding our awareness to integrity creativity in every aspect of our lives and moving with what we must with attention and appreciation. )

Each day you can open yourself up to the opportunity of creating something no matter how small. No matter how badly constructed. No matter how trivial you make think it is. Create without the intention of making something good. Make something bad. Take that leap into the unknown and do something creative.

This may mean writing a small poem. Creating a small drawing. Writing for 5 minutes. Making a new dish. Rearranging your room. Making a weird mixed drink. Anything that would stimulate your curiosity and the willingness to let go of “trying to make something good.”

You may surprise yourself. You may learn that writing poetry gives you great pleasure and enhances your life. You may learn that you love to consciously cut tomatoes for an experimental salad. It is that experimental mindset that leads to the unforeseen and undiscovered deep seated within yourself.

No longer will you be constrained to the “Do as much as I can in a day” mentality. One small creation per day will suffice. One small creation per day are the baby steps towards living a more creative driven life.

Your daily creation doesn’t necessarily have to be material. It can be something like a small melody that you make up and sing throughout your day in the car during rush hour. It can be a weird small dance move that gives you joy and makes you laugh. It can even be the small declaration of committing to a creative practice. It can also be the act of creating more space for yourself to enjoy the things that you find intriguing and lovable. You can create a kind atmosphere by holding the door for a person behind you. You can create an atmosphere of appreciation by randomly giving a gift to a family member of friend. It is all how you perceive it. At the end of the day, you can look back at your creation(s) with gratitude and non-judgment. You can look back and look forward to the fun of creating in the upcoming days.

What you appreciate, appreciates. When you able to commit to this practice, you will notice a change in your life. You will be willing to take more risks and try new things with the intention of creating new experiences and art. It is planting the seeds of creativity and watering it see what comes up. Maybe after a few weeks of making little drawings, you will have more confidence in expanding outward and seeing where you can push it. You may have begun by drawing or writing on notecards, but you get the curious idea that drawing on old smelly book covers would be an interesting thing. There are so many unseen opportunities that will lead down different paths of self discovery and the cultivation of passion and creativity.

Maybe you have created something today that you over looked or didn’t think about. Think about and appreciate it when or if you find that little gem.

Move forth with appreciation, attention, and presence for the river of life and be not afraid of creating new things. You may create a bad painting, but you made it happen with every creative fiber of your being. It may not be your best creation, but you made the leap and that leap leads to bigger and more creative things. You can put that bad painting away and come back to it with a fresher perspective. Maybe it is not as bad as you thought it was. Maybe the imagery influenced you to create things like it. The bad painting could be a catalyst for things you would have never thought of originally. Each self perceived bad creation, leads to a more informed and conscious set of fresh and unique creations.

We can change,” What did you do today?” to “ What have you created today?”

Go forth and create without the intention of doing something “good”.
Without the intention of creating a masterpiece.
With the vigor of experimentation and the air of courage.
With the intention of just creating to create!

Create your life around you.
One day at a time.
One moment at a time.
Each conscious breath.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Why Me?!?

Why Me?

Why Me? Why Me, God? Why have I been chosen for such ill and undesired fate? Why have I had misfortune and agony thrown upon me? What have I done to deserve such wrath? What have I done to deserve this misery and suffering?

Why Me? I ask myself. Why have I been chosen for this? Well, I can only be responsible for my own deeds and decisions of the past. Maybe I should ask myself why I am asking the “Why Me” question in the first place. Maybe I should take a step back see who is actually asking the question.

In context, I am asking myself this question because of some inconvenient and possible tragic set of events or momentary event that just happened? What would be the purpose? Obviously, my expectations were set at a level where I thought I was almost immune to bad events and suffering. There’s my mistake! Right?

I constructed this identity that alluded to the fact that I have been mostly good and therefore any bad deeds shall not be thwarted upon my self. I am identifying with my life story. The story that the self and the ego constructs with little blocks that seem to align with pleasure and pain. Reward centers, guilt, shame and all that mess. So the “Why Me” question feeds the false sense of self and punishes you by making you be so dependent on external conditions. The vicious cycle of blame and refusal of self acceptance and self ownership. For one, your(my) decisions are what you got here in the first place and not your external situations and conditions.

( I shall use “You” and “me” in this piece in order to relate to myself and the reader. Together we can move forward to truth on that this trivial and most human matter. )

The Why Me question seems to quickly be followed by “What was I thinking”? Well what were you thinking? Maybe you weren’t thinking at your most optimal. Maybe you were thinking at just the right amount with just the right conditions and mental state at play. Think about it. We learn most from hard lessons. From having misinformation, acting out of character, making mistakes and stumbling upon unforeseen circumstances. So whatever you were thinking in the past flub or moment has made you who you were today. You were acting in the moment or acting out of unconsciousness. You were doing your best with what you knew at that moment. Isn’t that spectacular? Isn’t that remarkably human?

So Why You?

Why be the center of attention? Here is where the deception of the mind begins. You convince yourself of who you are through different identifiers and actions of the past. You and I often refuse to acknowledge that we are in a constant state of flux. A constant state of progress. The words Me and You are all very possessive. So when you ask yourself “Why Me?” it is your self taking control. It is your self ( the product of time ) that tricks you into its little games. It is the rejection of what is and the inability and/or the unconsciousness of not accepting the past acts and transgressions of your past “self”.

You are always able to start fresh and to be in control of what comes your way. We spend so much time resisting and molding our life “situations” into our own self perceived ideals and mental constructs. What ever happened has happened. You are responsible for your own reaction. You can choose to ride the roller-coaster of disappointment or surrender to the moment and accept yourself unconditionally now and at every unexpected turn.

What you did or thought in the past is what you did or thought in the past.
You are here now, aren’t you? If you are caught in the cobwebs of the monkey mind, you still have a chance to be here now. You still have a chance to compassionately accept who you were 5 years ago, 5 minutes ago and 5 hours ago. You can relax into the bath of uncertainty and accept your wonderfully diverse being, or perpetuate a cycle of judgment, harsh criticism and suffering. We can use gratitude as a door into our most compassionate, vulnerable and authentic state of being.

Those moments of embarrassment, disappointment and discomfort are portals into human growth and awareness. Instead of kicking ourselves literally or figuratively, we can step back both literally and figuratively and check in to what really is going on? Why would I say Why Me?  How does it make me feel? Is this a habit I have got myself caught in for most of my life? Is this a way of deflecting, projecting or escaping my true potential or inner peace? It is these questions that are so important. These questions that don’t need an immediate answer. Without trying to swim towards certainty and comfort. The questions we can ask ourselves with patience and kindness. The courage and vulnerability to dig deeper within us to see what really is going on. The ability to love ourselves for the experiences that we have put ourselves through over time.

We can simply remind ourselves that we act based upon our level of consciousness and what we know at the time. We may become emotionally compromised and do something out of character. This is good. This shows that we have much to be learned about ourselves. This shows that we can improve and come out stronger from the suffering. This shows that are teachers are everywhere and are in almost everything. It is all about cracking that door open just enough to see without trying to shut it right away when something unfortunate or uncomfortable comes our way. The ability to be alive with what is and be grateful with what was and what certainly can be. It is that ability to be with uncertainty at every turn.


Why Me? Why You? Why anybody else? The Why in Why is what we need to tell. To dig deep within and resist the urge to slander. To not push back on what is and what was and let it leak into our candor. The root of blame is toxic and when we learn that it’s not constructive, We can turn our attention inward and not be so destructive. So take a moment to relax through the storm you call your life, It’s there to serve you and not create such illusory strife.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Falling in Love with Misery

Falling in love with Misery

You sit there almost motionless on the park bench. You've had a hell of a day. Hell, we all have had hell of a day type of hell of a daze once in a bright blue sarcastic moon. When and how did you get so miserable?

Life just hasn't worked out in your favor. Your thought you would be more successful by now. You thought you would be on top of the world and ahead of the game. You did everything you were told you were suppose to do. Didn't you?

You moved like a shark, circling the murky waters of life around you. You implemented strategies of positivity, motivation and self help actualization that skyrocketed you into prideful states of normalcy. You didn't think life would become so drab, dull and routine.

You achieved that so you achieve the next time. You strove for the delicious status that you were told would give you the edge over everyone else. That sense of completion paired with a side of success garnished with a subtle pairing of complacency.

So why are you so miserable?
Is misery all that bad?
Is misery a mystery coated with a potent gravy sauce?

We sometimes see misery as an external force that comes to visit like an annoying door to door steak salesman. It is that force that we feel deep in our chest and our bodies. It's that dragging and draining energy that we sometimes associate with the concepts of loneliness, pain and suffering.

How are we miserable?

We say we are miserable because we are not getting what we want or we have a particular ailment, physical or metaphorical that convinces that our life situation is so drab and unfulfilled. Misery is created in the mind and felt throughout the entire body. Misery perpetuates the false sense of self and the ideal that we will never be or have enough. We almost allow misery to permeate all the rest of our decisions we choose to make. We tell ourselves that we aren't enough or that we are failures of some cosmic level. In any case, we get ourselves accustomed to misery because we get comfortable and hypnotized by its illusory hand of power.

" If only I had this, I could achieve this and escape misery."
" If only I made better choices that would make me be happy and content with my life."

These small little quotes might sound familiar to you. You most likely could relate to these in some ways from the past or even the present. We get addicted to that vicious cycle of suffering. That vicious cycle of false identity, lustful grasping, unchecked desires and unconscious self destructive behaviors. Our misery or our sufferings are just labels for us to perpetuate the same disingenuous perception, insecurities and unconscious behaviors.

Misery is the offspring of compulsive thought.
The carousel of worry. The Engine of Doubt.

If we can look at misery head on and see it for what it is, we can open our eyes to the immense toxicity it brings to "our lives". We try so hard to strangle and wrestle "our lives" into our ideal projections that we choose not be be grateful and present with the opportunities and beautiful manifestations of the physical world in front of us. Could the way we have a relationship with misery reflect the way we do not appreciate our inner universe?

What happens when you try to subdue or escape your misery?

What is "your misery"?
Is it really your misery?

“Your” implies some sense ownership which is a primarily part of the ego. Oh yes, the elusive ego. The false sense self. The unconscious motivator. Misery makes us so miserable because we choose to identify with it. Do you see?

You can say, "I am miserable."

What does this mean? Does it help you in any way? You are basically saying that you identify with the pain so much that you are willing to become that. Willing to paint yourself as a miserable fool. Willing to attach yourself to the suffering and disconnect within the depths of your being. The depths of unconsciousness.

What happens when we detach? Surely, we can be cold to misery. We can turn the cheek and not give it attention. Does this help? Does turning our heads to misery actually help us in the long run? Why not embrace the misery with open arms?

Do any of us want to be miserable?

Part of us likes it. Part of us gets its fuel from it. It is within us, but we are so eager to label it. Label it as our enemy and oppressor. Label it is the bane of our existence and thorn in our sides. Labeling does good for analysis, but pulls us away from truly feeling out our emotions.
We want to run away from misery and towards comfort. What we do not see is the immense potential for courage. Our immense stamina to stand up to and embrace that misery. To love misery. To love every part of our miserable self pitying abject awareness. We are so eager to run or even throw our hands up and submit ourselves to the draining bats of misery. Do we even know what we are doing? Where is the courage that we can choose over comfort?

You've heard it before.
"Misery loves company."

This has so much truth to it. Misery thrives on your active or even passive participation. Misery thrives on using your mind and body as a host by accessing through the cracks of your brittle and dim sense of self awareness. If misery loves company, why don't we love it back? Why don't we be appreciative of its fleeting existence? Why don't we dig deep and  travel with misery? Holding each other through uncertain depths.
Misery is holy. It allows us to access the "why" of what we are feeling. Misery lets us access our turbulent and empty void that seems to never want to get filled. It is when we can abandon the need to move away or seek comfort away from misery, Misery is a valuable teacher that teaches us to shower ourselves with gratitude and accept things for how they are and how they used to be. Misery teaches us that we are so hopelessly capable of feeling joy and the other end of the spectrum of emotions and still come out alive!

If you feel miserable, then feel miserable. Nothing wrong with it. Why not recognize it? No reason to try to make yourself happy. Trying to make ourselves happy is counter intuitive in growing. We place the illusory concept of happiness as an antidote to the misery. They are intrinsically interlocked with each other. Like light and dark. Like pleasure and pain. The yin and yang and push and pull of the duality we experience. We can appreciate so called happiness and misery with the same amount of attention, gratitude and love. We can understand that what we are feeling in that moment, no matter how we label it, only has control when we unconsciously give it control. When we identify with it so much that we become it. Like anger, we can feel its wrath within us without acting on it or even becoming “angry”. Why become misery? Why be miserable?

Be miserable. Feel it out. Be “ok” with being miserable. Be ok with knowing that is impermanent and that you cannot be miserable forever. Know that you are responsible for your own states of moods and emotions. The external world can send you in a trance and try to influence who you think you are. Embrace those shifts of states and know that it is all about the decisions you make in all the fleeting moments and not the conditions that are around you.

“Misery came to my door and I was excited and amused to see him. It had been many moons since I have encountered misery in all its glory. All its potent voracity. I wanted to hug him so I hugged myself and then hugged him back. I told him that I accepted him and that I didn’t want him to change. I told him he was welcome anytime. I told him that I loved and him and that I loved myself. I did not care if he loved me back. Misery was so beautiful in all his misery.”


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Letting Go of "Letting Go"?

You just can't let go of letting go.

You say it's easy. Kinda like a light switch you can flick off and on.

"Just let it go man!"

Easier said than done. Right?
Easy to reduce things to a recognizable and relatable platitude.

Easy to establish an imaginary construct that acts as an escape hatch from suffering and misery.

How easy is it to simply let go?
To surrender to what is.
To surrender to the present moment.

We get so attached to the concept of "letting go" that we forget to really dig deep into what is burrowing and living within us. We treat it like a defense mechanism by using the letting go concept as a means of brushing things aside or putting off our problems for later.

It seems as if we see the obstacles more as obstacles and less as opportunities for growth. When we become so attached to non-attachment, we divorce ourselves from fully feeling the immense spectrum of our own humanity.

What if we were to let go of the concept of letting go?

This doesn't mean we would embrace irrationality, neurosis and instability, it means fully accepting that sometimes telling ourselves what we think we should do in that fleeting moment is not necessarily the best for our health and growth. It means fully accepting your passing emotions and moods and allowing your body and mind to feel and learn from its full effects. It is embracing the full totality of it all no matter how painful.

How does letting go help us?

How does letting go thrust us into the immense presence of what is?

How does letting go expend our self knowledge ?

It sounds funny and ironic doesn't it?

The idea that you should or can let go of letting go. It comes off as somewhat pretentious and absurd. In a way it is funny. It challenges you to question your thought processes. To question the "why" that pertains to your behaviors and decisions. It challenges you to take a step back and really analyze and witness the deception and awe inspiring nature of thought. Of thought processes and patterns. Of the workings of the unchecked mind.

Here's a little practice.

When an unpleasant thought, feeling or discomfort arises, just let it have its say. Let it get on its soap box and make its case for its passing existence within your head. Listen to the best of your abilities without pushing back. Without resisting. Don't tell yourself you need to "relax" or "let it go". Don't even tell yourself that it will pass. ( It will ). What happens? How does your body respond to it? How does your cheeky monkey mind respond to it? How did it affect your mood? Did your whole perception get skewed? Did your world turn on its head?

Breathe through it. Bring it back to the breath as the discomfort slowly transmutes and dissolves into nothingness.

That patience with discomfort. That willingness to just sit and not run or fight opens up a huge portal into your awareness, self knowledge and a healthy state of being.

So do we really need to let go?

Do we really need to attach ourselves to a dogmatic belief system hinged on the whole idea of the mere attachment to non-attachment?

We tend to get caught in the striving for our "ideal". The ideal of being free from our trivial sufferings. The ideal of being able to be our best and most authentic selves. Within that time of daydreaming, we tend to truly accept ourselves unconditionally at every moment. We tend to look past that where we are right now is where we need to be no matter how painful and hard we make it out to be.

Are you ready to let go?
Why are some things just so hard to let go?

"Letting go assumes that you can't move forward unless you "get rid" or subtract some type of amorphous imaginary construct from your current consciousness."

When we realize we are trying so hard to let go of things in the first place, we bring to light how much we were resisting and struggling to mold the present moment from an abstract and vague set of ideals.

The harder things that you can't seem to "let go" of, come mainly from your struggle with what is and what drama your brain chooses to create. Why are we so anxious to get rid of it? Why are we so determined to become something you think is better when you can't even let it pass on through? When you can accept that simply "trying" to let go is futile and unhelpful, you can begin to understand how your mind works and how presence is key in every self created mental struggle.

Yes, let go of the things that don't serve you, but don't push them away. They are there for a reason telling you that you have unresolved insecurities and issues that must be looked into. They are there to act as teachers for who you are now. Teachers that allow yourself to be present. To be with the madness that runs rampant in your brain. To be with the authenticity and uniqueness that makes you a beaming and breathing flesh phenomenon. A conduit for loving awareness.

You're here now, all you really need to do is show up!

Don't shut the doors on your demons.
Invite them in for tea!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Take Care

Take Care
"It was so great to see you again. I hope we can have a good time next
time we get together."

"Well thank you so much. Take care."
This seems like a formality in modern times that we tend to forget
about. We say "take care" as almost a period to a statement. Sometimes
we just use it as an unconscious regurgitated platitude. Nothing
necessarily wrong with that, but if we are attentive with what "take
care" and or "taking care" actually means, we can start to understand
the importance of it.

Sometimes we take things for granted. We take care of things that we
see as benign, complacent and arduous. Those things that we see as the obligatory adult banes of our existence. We overlook the fact that the small tasks we feel we are obligated to do in our life are a struggle and momentousness pillars of pain in between events we look forward to
in life.

Let's look at an example.

When we need to do laundry, do the dishes, clean the kitchen, or even
tidy up our spaces, we almost dread and compartmentalize these
seemingly mundane tasks spread out across our ideal week or days. This
surely would make our lives so much easier if we could get someone
else to do these chores, wouldn't it?

If we can take a step back and unhook the inflammatory hook of
obligation and tedium, we can see that these seemingly menial tasks
are a great necessity and addition to our lives.

What if we were to stop compartmentalizing these tasks and actually
looking forward to doing them?

Not rushing to "complete" them.
Not rushing to finish them so we can do what we so desire.

These small tasks and chores are ways of us showing love and taking
care of our surroundings. These small actions help us to return to the
moment, give us a sense of purpose and connect us to the immense
gratitude threaded between us.

What if we were to see these small necessities of maintenance and
upkeep as part of our magnificent life? What if we were to integrate
them? Pay attention to them. Look forward to getting better at these

What if we took "taking care" literally and to heart?

Taking care is taking time.
Taking time is making time.

The careful deliberation of doing things with ease. Trusting the
process along the way.

The way you make your bed ( if you make it ) would turn into somewhat
of a dance and an entry point to a portal of presence.

The way you go to check your mail would turn into somewhat of a
walking meditation. Paying attention to each step. Breathing.
Anticipating the fact that there may not be anything for you.

These small self perceived menial tasks are the glue that holds
together the fabric of our being and our ability to be compassionate,
present and attentive. These small chores are potential reflections of
our gratitude. Our willingness to show appreciation for the things
around us. The willingness to be content with our discontent and do
the things that need to be done no matter what mood we are in or what
attitude we are projecting.

We can take care with intention and conviction. No longer will that
phrase be a seemingly empty and unconscious gesture. No longer will
you see the small things as dreadful sparks of anxiety.

When you can relax and accept the necessary responsibilities, you can
learn to flow with the uncertainty and routine of life. You can learn
to fail at the things that aren't working out for you. You can stop
slow down and try again.

Sweep slower with intention.
Clean the pesky and crusty dishes with conviction and determination.
Put those tight jeans on with big bodily breaths and crooked smiles.
Be all in for every minute task.

With that attentiveness, you can improve. Improve your sense of being
and contentment. Improve your willingness to not struggle with what

Take care of what needs to be done with the immense gratitude that you
are able to do it with the vigor of a lion and the quiet patience of a