Friday, October 31, 2008

my ever continuing challenge

You can choose peace no matter how others are acting

When you have unhappy emotions, don't think another person caused them. If you are angry, stop blaming another person for making you angry. Instead, work directly with your feelings of anger. Learning about why you are feeling angry will do more to take you higher than trying to figure out how to get the other person to change.

Waiting for others to act in certain ways to be happy is making your happiness dependent upon something outside of yourself.[Underline added] It is turning your power over to other people and allowing them to determine how you feel. Calm emotions come from knowing that what you feel is your choice. You do not want your good feelings to depend upon another person or an outside situation. Put your energy and time into going higher and making your own life work.

-- Spiritual Growth by Sanaya Roman, pg 93

This book and her other book Personal Power Through Awareness are like my holy Bibles. This particular passage is one of the cruxes in my life, and something I work particularly hard on. It has become almost a reflex now for me to question why I feel certain emotions, and to find the root cause of them within myself.

For example, the other night I was telling my husband I wanted to do something special for him just because he's been doing so awesome at work and has just in general been really supportive of me and caring. But then he fired that back at me, saying I already do so much for him that make him feel special, and he would rather do something special for me. It boiled down to him not having any ideas at the moment on what to do for me, and he asked if there was anything I wanted or if I had any ideas. I didn't.

After some more pondering I suggested just buying me some bath supplies. He responded with "Uh huh."

That response actually made me really angry with him. I didn't say anything but I was fuming inside. It's unusual for me to get that angry over petty stuff like that so I started deconstructing why I was feeling this steaming anger over a two syllable comment.

I first determined that I was angry he did not seem excited over my suggestion, or that he even approved of it. I realized I wanted him to want to give me the gift. I didn't want him buying me anything out of some felt obligation. It further boiled to I want him to want to get me gifts. His "uh huh" comment made me feel that he did not want that at all. I haven't dug any further into why I want my husband to want to get me things. I'm guessing it has something to do with me equating it to him loving me or thinking I am worthy, and not letting my value as a soul stand on its own.

Second, his comment made me feel that my suggestion was stupid. Of course it wasn't a stupid suggestion, but I was placing my suggestion's value on whether my husband thought it was the peachiest suggestion on the block. I was not letting my idea be independent from others' opinions. I wanted approval for this small idea I had.

My husband has this uncanny ability of knowing when I am angry and when I am lying about my emotions. So when he asked if I was okay (code for "What's bothering you?") I just stated that I was feeling anger because of his response to my suggestion, but that I knew it wasn't his fault, and I was dealing with it. I used to hide these sort of emotions from him but over time learned it was better to just share them, even if I thought it might upset him.

He responded it wasn't that he thought my idea was stupid, but that he didn't think it was personal or big enough. He then had an idea at that moment and asked if I would like him to do his own surprise idea instead of the bath gifts. We hardly ever surprise each other, so I got excited over that and will be finding out this weekend what it is :)

Anywho, that's just a small example of how I have learned to examine my feelings instead of automatically blaming other people. Of course this is still challenging, especially when other people's actions cause me to think I am stupid. I am more prone to get angry at them and just wallow in my anger at them. I kid you not, I got angry at a lady handing out samples at Whole Foods... I was actually pretty pissed at her because I thought she thought she was better than me, and made me feel rather dumb. I wanted to be angry at her, to try to get a footing on my dignity and ego again. I never really looked deeper into why I got that angry. But I know it was all just Lea issues of feeling inferior and had nothing to do with the sample lady at Whole Foods.

Still, this quoted passage has been invaluable in improving my quality of life and my outlook on human dynamics.

daily inspiration from Dr. Wayne Dyer

Oct 30:

I meditate every day to nurture my soul.

Meditation gives you the opportunity to come to know your invisible self. It shatters the illusion of your separateness.

Oct 31:

True happiness resides within me.

Most people are searching for happiness outside of themselves. That’s a fundamental mistake. Happiness is something that you are, and it comes from the way that you think.

Go here for more daily inspirations

Friday, October 24, 2008

divinity found in a bathtub

Baths are underrated. They seem to be viewed as an archaic means of cleaning oneself, or reserved only for children or elderly. But I seriously think much can be gained for one's serenity by taking a simple, quiet bath. I would have laughed at this notion before I started indulging in baths again, but now I urge anyone with a bathtub to take advantage of it.

I live in a simple apartment with an average bathtub, no fancy clawfoot tubs for me. I light a single candle, add some fragrant, moisturizing bath products to the warm water, and set a book down next to the tub. When my body submerges in the warm water, my blissful spirit emerges and says, "Ah, yes, this is wonderful. Thank you for this break." I'm always moved to passively meditate, quiet my mind, and just be. More often than not I read a few chapters from a frivolous chick lit book or a spiritual book. Then once my mind has awoken from its peaceful nap and my muscles have let their guard down long enough to have a siesta of their own, I rise from the tub more lifted & energized than after 8 hours of sleep many times.

It is comparable to the time I received a real massage. I would not have believed how much a massage could release stress and let your spirit soar until I experienced it myself. That is a main reason why I want to become a massage therapist. I don't think massages or baths (anything that lifts the spirit) are frivolous, pretty spa treatments that should be reserved for only those who can afford it. My experiences with them have been freeing and beautiful. Hopefully when I get going on my massage therapist path, I can extend these experiences to the less fortunate. Everyone deserves to have a time out in a serene sanctuary where their spirit can relax and smile a bit.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

snail mail

My stepmom-in-law [further referred to as just stepmom] surprised me by sending me the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Apparently it was featured on Oprah, of which I was unaware. Either way, it was a really good, insightful yet still entertaining read. My mom was interested in it so I passed it on to her. It's a book I recommend and which will make you want to visit Italy & eat dreamy pasta if anything. I also liked her explanation of what God is to her.

This gift spurred me to want to send my stepmom a thank you card. I had several pretty thank you cards that I haven't had a reason to use. I figured why only thank her for the book when I have an opportunity to also thank her for just being the great person and friend she is? And why not just use the rest of my thank you cards and do the same thing for the other loved ones in my life? So that's what I did, with two cards left over. I only included family members but I'm trying to think of who I can use the other two for. I want to mean it to whoever I send them to, not just feel like I should use them up.

I sent them out yesterday. Hopefully it lifts their week a little more.

Still, I have loads of pretty stationary that I always never get around to using. My mom has been in a funk and I thought maybe I can send her some poems that either I like, or she may like, using this stationary. She never gets anything but bills and junk mail (like the rest of us) but she loves the written word. So I will send one and see if she likes it. If so, I have a nice reason to use my stationary.