suspension. wonderment. and transformation.

"sometimes my feelings are so hot that I have to take to the pen and pour them out on paper to keep them from setting me afire inside."            --mark twain.

i've spent so much of my life being pissed off, irritated, wishing things were going different, wishing i was somewhere else, somewhere more fun, more adventurous, more exciting, more interesting, more stimulating, more this, more that. more something other than what it was. it is funny...that state of mind can become quite addicting, which is perplexing to me as there is so much beauty and life and passion and excitement all around me ALL THE TIME. truly. once i can just rise above my rambling thoughts, the tape that plays telling me bullcrap, once i can transcend that moment of wishing and yearning for something that is not, i notice how fortunate i am. 

life has been EXTREMELY challenging and overwhelmingly exhausting here in the Black Hills these past months. but i need to remember that i can choose how i decide to understand and come to peace with the tests and challenges that have been handed to me. i have been constantly trying to ask myself "how can i transcend this bullshit that is going on around me and what can i learn from all of this strife?" because there has to be something to learn. THERE JUST HAS TO BE.

and the beautiful thing is that there always is. always something to learn and gain from our lame ass experiences. and who said they were lame anyway? sure, they're challenging. but i have been trying to take a step out of myself and really see where and what it is that i am immersed in. like, it hit me today at the bookstore. i walked past the "Native American" section of the store and the book "Wounded Knee II" caught my eye. I picked it up. i scanned it. i remembered doing a extensive case study/paper on that tragedy in grad school, just shy of a year ago...it seemed so far away then, but so very close to my heart. and now, i can recognize names and faces of those that i have met or their offspring i have worked with, or have had dinner with their nieces and nephews, or their grandmother that i have heard stories of, or been to the places that are so sacred and so holy. and i realized: how lucky am i to be here, in the land where some of the most historic, monumentous, and tragic events have happened with some of the most heroic, brave, valiant, kind, eloquent, spiritually attuned people on the planet?? how is it that I am able to be here, meeting the people I have, experiencing the life that so many Americans don't know $hit about, never think about, never wonder...i was overwhelmed with a sense of gratefulness, pride and honour for the time that God has bestowed me the opportunity to come live in the Black Hills of South Dakota and work with the Lakota people and experience what many will never be able to. (SOOO many of the Great Heroes are from this land: Black Elk, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud...to name only a few...)

the key is to identify the blessings in our challenges, to nurture the ability to transcend the negative forces that continue to work on stifling us, to see the love and the life of every living thing, to decide to become stronger for the tragedies, the lack of luck, the heartbreak and conflict that has been handed to us. 

...maybe this is why i have chosen to live my life being in the middle of conflict. maybe this is why i am getting my masters in conflict transformation. because i - like i believe we all do - live in conflict of some way or another EVERY FREAKING DAY - whether its with someone or a conflict within yourself. and the key is to figure out how to transform it and ourselves. i like living in this place of constant question, anticipation and wonderment. 

i continue to work hourly on suspending the thoughts and habits that limit my ability to see the beauty and the excitement and the lessons and the wonderment. and when i do get that glimpse, of the beauty in the beast, i feel so light and so grounded, able to breathe deeply and laugh my heart out.

today was one of those days.

p.s. i've decided i'm making a film!!! i will be interviewing about 25 Lakota people from the Rapid City/Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations!! its gonna be DOPE!!! i'll keep you posted!!

i will conclude with some of the most appropriate quotes from the Prophet of the Baha'i Faith, Baha'u'llah, and his son, Abdu'l-Baha:
  • "Build ye for yourselves such houses as the rain and floods can never destroy, which shall protect you from the changes and chances of this life." --Baha'u'llah

  • "Be calm, be strong, be grateful, and become a lamp full of light, that the darkness of sorrows be annihilated, and the sun of everlasting joy arise from the dawning place of heart and soul, shining brightly." -- Abdu'l-Baha
  • "Lift up your hearts above the present and look with eyes of faith into the future! Today the seed is sown, the grain falls upon the earth, but behold the day will come when it shall rise a glorious tree and the branches thereof shall be laden with fruit."  --Abdu'l-Baha


Anonymous said...

wow! just wow. thanks so much for sharing! alot for me to think about!

loads of love,

namo said...

nice post bro. glad to hear that you're not dying from depression in the wheat fields blasting sad bastard music. p.s. if you ever need me to challenge you or conflict with you, let me know.

amy said...

thank you for sharing! I don't know how you do what you do, but i love that you are able to see the rewards amidst all the challenges. a big TIGHT hug to you. focus on wonderful things, and your beautiful future as it unfolds.

and a movie?!?! it will be fabulous!

limonana said...

such a touching post lady! so great to hear of the beauty in the midst of conflict...& I really enjoyed those quotes...& a movie!! so exciting! can't wait to see what you do...

gus said...

educational & entertaining, how do you manage it all dear layli? i think this is one of my favorite posts of yours. right now i'm taking a developmental psych class so all your talk about growing past challenges is pertinent to what i've been thinking about. plus i think our jobs are pretty similar despite the difference of the populations we work with. you native americans born and raised in the SD desert and me african americans born and raised in the projects of bedstuy and east of. And listen, I am always here to challenge and conflict you also if necessary for your growth ;)

mish said...

thanks for sharing. that resonated with me and the new (job/life) adventure i'm on. wish you were here to chat about this more......


samimi-extremie said...

sarah: i'm glad you liked it! how are you doing these days??

namo: lets start a fight.

amy: thanks for the TIGHT hug!! love to you!!

limonana: i am glad you liked the quotes, so much to digest in them, eh?

goosey:i really liked your comment. thanks for the thoughts!

michelle: i hope things are well, and i wish i could have seen you too! take care!