Monday, April 19, 2010

Laughter is a pillow that provides comfort, rejuvenation, and steers us on our dreams' path. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Laughter between friends

It's fun to laugh almost anytime and anywhere, but there is something special about laughing with a good friend. In good company we open ourselves up which allows us to speak more freely and feel more comfortable being who we are. This provides a perfect environment to let go and it creates a powerfully safe space for laughter.

In general, we become best friends with people who have similar senses of humor. We find humor in the same situations, observe the world through the same lense, and appreciate similar moments that bring meaning to our lives. This all comes together with never-stale inside jokes, reminiscing on memorable experiences, and connecting simply through facial expressions and body language. With a long time friend, there is an endless supply of laughter that can be unleashed and enjoyed at any time.

This laughter reaffirms the connection to ourselves and our friends. It supports an internal feeling that tells you that you belong and are in sync with life. In these moments, our perception of the world is clear, and we understand a piece of our purpose - to effortlessly enjoy being with others and experience together. This companionship helps us define ourselves, and the bonds we create link us to a harmonious sense of belonging.

Monday, April 12, 2010

in between

in between

an image on the horizon
hot, foggy, and blurring the lines
unable to materialize or
philosophize the purpose of it wavering eyes

a feeling so close, but freezing cold
with an appetite seemingly unsatiated
does deja vu signify movement toward change
or repetition of an abbreviation

fighting to see the clarity of the sky
even though there are no clouds floating by
I keeping asking myself why
is it hinting on how to say goodbye

closing my fist around decision
doesn't mean there is a clear vision
but this surge of anger forces my hand
to open and give in to the demand

of not knowing my place and circling
mysteries may never be solved
unless accepted through a new
perspective balancing good and bad

right and wrong
creative and boring
with an altering steadiness encased in belief
this in between place, there must be relief

Yin and Yang

How can there be so much beauty along with such terrible ugliness in the world? On one side of the equation we have sunsets, hugs, ice cream,  and puppies, while on the other side there is war, genocide, hunger, and disease. Why can't we just have the good? Why do people suffer? And if there is an all powerful creator, then why did he/she create this dualistic universe? What is the point?

Perhaps we need both the good and the bad to appreciate the experiences we go through in life. For every new love or delicious meal, there is a breakup or someone going hungry. If it were not for bad, would the good even be good? But so much of the bad is not just bad, it is cruel, heart-wrenching, and often times intolerable. It just doesn't make sense why this is the way it has to be.

However, maybe this is the only way life could exist - with the yin and the yang. Perhaps, whoever created all this knew that this was the only way to grow, learn, experience, and live. That it would be impossible to truly have a fulfilling life without some struggle and hardship, without the bad to shine a light on the good. It still doesn't make sense however, why there would still have to be such terrible things such as cancer and prejudice. Couldn't we do without it? But maybe, just maybe, it's all a part of the contract - that there was no other way. Perhaps, it is our destiny to surmount evil and overcome its choke hold on society. Maybe this negative energy can be transferred into something else while still somehow keeping the universal yin and yang equilibrium.

With so many human beings and animals there are a countless number of experiences, situations, struggles, and difficulties, but maybe these allow us to enjoy the good, no matter how small the benefits. A young boy with cancer is in no doubt a difficult and tragic situation. But the closeness he feels with his family and friends, or the experiences he has having a catch with his father or watching his favorite movie with his sister, may be an even more rewarding experience because of his unfortunate situation.

Are we all meant to have different degrees of struggle? And why do some seem to have it tougher than others? Is it a part of our over-all purpose here on Earth? I don't know if there will ever be answers to all of these questions. However, in thinking about these issues, we have the opportunity to open up our minds, let go, and appreciate the good that we do have in our lives. I feel that there is always good to be found, and no matter the size, it has the potential to grow larger and larger, and swing life's momentum towards hope.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I was looking at a friend's calendar for April, and I noticed their handwriting looked familiar but still unique. We learn to write letters and words at a very young age by attempting to copy examples. However, even though a classroom of students receive the same instructions, they still interpret and write differently. Some might be more similar than others, but every writing style is unique. How come?  If we are given the same instructions, why wouldn't our styles be the same?

This is just a small example of how we are all unique, and create our own identity. I find it interesting that when we meet someone new, we usually use familiar adjectives to describe ourselves. One person might say that they're "easy going," "compassionate," and "sweet." But how can just a few words really give another person a feeling and an impression of who you are? And if someone were to use more specific adjectives such as "precocious," "gregarious," or "aloof," would that help us get a better understanding of who this person is? What is a true representation of someone's personality? Are there more suitable ways to get an idea of a person's disposition?

Of course, there is also the famous saying, "actions speak louder than words." We get to know someone better by observing their actions over time. This is how we discover more about our friends and decide on the type of people we'd like to interact with. But at the same time, just as someone could lie when describing their personality, they could also mislead through action. However, I think it's fair to say that consistency is an important factor here because if someone continually repeats a similar action, such as talking behind someone's back, then that action becomes embedded within their being.

On the other hand, what if someone is very shy and has trouble showing his/her personality through action? Is that person more defined by his/her inaction? Similarly, an individual might act in a particular way in one environment, but then change their demeanor in another. In this case, one might show different variations of their personality, depending on the situational setting. This can occur when being with family, co-workers, friends, lovers, strangers, authority figures, etc. These deviations can also be affected more specifically; for instance within different groups of friends, or when being around one side of the family. So, if there are multiple factors that can alter one's presentation of his/her personality, does that mean that action, along with verbal description, is not a completely fair indicator of one's identity?

These characteristics can morph from moment to moment. Therefore, the pure essence of a person cannot be absolutely defined through specific words or actions because they are always in fluid motion. However, through observation and some sort emotional interpretive process, we can get a sense of a person, and grasp a feeling. The beauty is that this feeling has the propensity to change because we change. We are not fixed beings and continually learn and adapt to life. At the same time, through growth and discovery we do seem to form a set of core values, morals, and opinions that guide us though our decisions and actions. I believe this core can be somewhat defined by the proportion and balance of our displayed and described characteristics. Therefore, the mix of how someone presents and describes him/herself through actions and words is in fact unique and showcases their individuality. Additionally, the combination of the feeling a person gives off, and the distribution of his/her many actions, together provide a sense of a person.

This motivates me to not only reconsider how I view myself, but also how I look at others. Instead of pigeonholing ourselves and the people around us into classifications and stereotypes, I think we could all benefit from reconsidering that every person is unique and in a category of their own. We know who were are, because that's just who we are.

Discussion Questions: What do you think defines a person? What is a true representation of someone's personality? How do you define yourself?

Sunday, April 4, 2010


How do you know if you're making a right decision? How can you tell if something is the best choice for you, and that you'll be happy with what it brings? These are a couple of questions that fascinate me, because of their subjectivity.

For instance, if I choose to go outside without suntan lotion because I don't feel like putting any on, and then subsequently become terribly sunburned, does that make it bad decision?  What makes a poor decision? I think most would say 'yes' it was the wrong choice because I hurt myself. However, on the other hand, I followed what I wanted to do. Even though the outcome resulted in a nasty sunburn, I still did what I thought was right for me, and could learn from it. I think I'd be more inclined to wear the suntan lotion the next time. But if I chose to put on suntan lotion the first time I wouldn't have learned about the consequences of being in the sun unprotected, and I would not have had the experience of being burned. I believe one makes the right choice by following their own path of what feels best for them.  If we were to live our lives deciding on actions based on the outcome of avoiding all possible pain or despair, would we still be living a full and dynamic life?

I think this also hooks in with the idea of perfection. Sometimes, I get caught feeling that I should carefully analyze every decision in order to make sure it will be the best for me. If I make all the "right" choices and try to be the most perfect I can be, won't I be happy? Not necessarily, because even though I think I'm making the best choice, that doesn't mean I'm following what I want to do in the given moment. There is a difference between thinking about what one should do versus what he/she feels like doing. The need to try and make the best possible choice can put tremendous pressure on myself, and I would think, anyone else who gets into this mode of contemplation too. When these thoughts surface, I can decide whether or not I want to stay in them, depending on the right feeling place. But with all the pressure to be perfect, this more often than not does not provide pure happiness. In my case, I usually do not like the overwhelming desire to be flawless and like to remind myself that life is only perfect because of all its imperfections.

In addition, I think that if everything was perfect, there would no longer be laughing, crying,  happiness, or sadness. We would lose our reference points to these emotions, and the scope of our feelings would diminish from the lack of emotional movement. Without emotional adversity, there would be no growth, and feelings could disappear altogether. What would we feel if everything was always the same? If the definition of perfection is to not make mistakes, then a perfect life would be unavoidably trite and lack substance. This is one reason why I think a better definition of perfection is to be imperfect, and a perfect life is to embrace the balance and range of all we experience.

Discussion Questions (feel free to comment!): How do you know if you're making a right decision? How can you tell? What does perfection mean to you?
"Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person." - Dr. David M. Burns