do something liberating today.

Today i am grateful for my lady friends. it is serendipitous that i came across these three women today. i was feeling kind of down, apathetic and yucky. i happened to come across a blog post, a facebook status & a wonderful conversation, all in the matter of one hour. sometimes i think that our hearts don't want to feel down, so there is always things around us, if we look, that are able to lift us up and enlighten us and our situation. Recalling that five years ago, my friend Grace chopped off all her hair, today she challenged us to "do something liberating today". this got me thinking...

“Anybody can be happy in the state of comfort, ease, health, success, pleasure and joy; but if one will be happy and contented in the time of trouble, hardship and prevailing disease, it is the proof of nobility.” ~Abdu'l-Baha

I was speaking with a friend of mine a couple weeks ago and we were talking about the relationship between unhappiness and ungratefulness. We were talking about how people (including ourselves) can get so addicted to finding something that isn't going right, that isn't going exactly the way we want it to. She said something really poignant - "every time i feel upset, or down, i take a moment and always, always think of something i am grateful for." There is such power in doing this and making it a habit. i will admit, sometimes its freakin' hard to do, especially when you have to get up early for work and the shower isn't warm enough or long enough and the forecast calls for SNOW in MAY (WTF?!??!)...BUT if we are able to do this, we are able to slowly transcend these negative patterns that keep us stagnating in our own mental filth (hah!).
It is so important to always be appreciative of the blessings we DO have, not the things we DON'T have. i think if we are able to do this, we are able to flip the switch on bad patterns of behavior. focus on being appreciative!
I have another very inspiring, amazing friend (i am so lucky to have so many amazing, inspiring people in my life!) who has a blog on her counseling site - her office located in vancouver, check her out here. if you live in vancouver, you should definitely call her up! she has amazing quotes and thoughts for improving happiness and self-esteem. here are some quotes that i snagged from her page, to share with all of you. (thank you Tabasom!):

  • “We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers -- but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change you're the one who has got to change.” ~ Katherine Hepburn

  • “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

  • “Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self-esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge.” ~ Fritz Perls

My father and i were talking about all of this as well, and he reminded me of this passage (below). And as always, my Faith brings me out of any terrible time by offering a fresh perspective to keep me on track. Abdu'l-Baha, son of Baha'u'llah, Prophet of the Baha'i Faith speaks about "the prison of self" and his days spent unjustly imprisoned:

"Freedom is not a matter of place. It is a condition...Unless one accepts dire vicissitudes he will not attain. To me prison is freedom; troubles rest me; incarceration is an open court; death is life and to be despised is honor. Therefore, I was happy all that time in prison. When one is released from the prison of self, that is indeed freedom, for self is the greater prison. When this release takes place, one can never be imprisoned. They used to put my feet in stocks so," and he put out his feet before him to illustrate and laughed as though it were a joke he enjoyed.

"I would say to the guard 'You cannot imprison me, for here I have light and air and bread and water. There will come a time when my body will be in the ground and I shall have neither light nor air nor food nor water, but even then I shall not be imprisoned.' The afflictions which come to humanity sometimes tend to center the consciousness upon the limitations. This is a veritable prison. Release comes by making of the will a door through which the confirmations of the spirit come."

more from this beautiful passage here.

On a side note, below you will see physical/photographic representations depicting my commitment to continue to kick my bad patterns and negative self talk in the a$$:

    what do you do??


flashlightfaces said...

something liberating: telling my sister about my tattoo via blog comment. HAHA!

for real: I spent time wiht a friend who always makes me laugh.

KYA said...

I love quotes, I love this post, I love you.

samimi-extremie said...

OH MY GOD YOU FREAKED ME OUT, BOOBOO!! that was pretty funny.

kya: i love you too, my dear sweet girl. and i'm really glad you liked it.

jeff anderson said...

OK, that flow-chart graphic is priceless!

Leili said...

Yup, this kind of reflection and writing is pretty much one of the awesomest things the internet was invented for.

montague said...

thank YOU.

Douglas said...

Thanks for this, sweetness, and the one of the tree-holy-place. I felt the freedom and the wind in your posts. Keep on remembering.