Category Archives: meditations

Embrace the Suck

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We have to face the pain we have been running from.  In fact, we need to learn to rest in it and let its searing power transform us. ~Charlotte Joko Beck~

SUCK-METER-PATCHYears ago one of my husband’s cycling buddies turned him on to the mantra, “Embrace the Suck”.  While never having served in the military, the power of this mantra played out in the many miles we challenged ourselves to suffer through while training for century races and marathons.  When I thought I could no longer put one foot in front of the other, I would repeat

Embrace the Suck
Embrace the Suck
Embrace the Suck

and I would find my strength amidst the immense amount of suffering my mind and body were enduring.  These are powerful words of acceptance.

Fast forward a few years and I have to admit that I have been suffering again but this time on an emotional level.  I have suffered heartbreak and challenges that have seemed larger than my finite capabilities.  There have been moments that I literally thought I would not survive the wounds.  That my chest would simply explode from the intensity of pain if my heart did not simply shatter before the explosion.  I had forgotten about embracing the suck and my mind spent too much time fighting against the truth of what was.  Fighting to avoid the suffering.  Fighting against the suffering was only causing me more suffering.

At some point, I made a conscious decision to plunge in to the suffering.  My mind eventually recognized that there was no changing the course of what was happening externally so our only choice for survival was to accept the suffering.  I made a commitment with myself to avoid distractions as a way to cope because distractions would mask for a time or possibly even make my suffering worse.  I refused to use alcohol, weed, television, relationships, anxiety drugs, painkillers, shopping as ways to numb.  I vowed to feel.  To find healthy ways of dealing.  I started meditating, took an MBSR course, journaled, deepened friendships, invested in my boys, read books about healing, vented to a therapist, and started sitting in silence discovering who I am.  Who I am in my darkest moments.  Every time I was tempted to medicate and drown (which I wasn’t perfect…sometimes I chose the unhealthy), I would ask myself, “who do I want to be?  Is this in line with my highest self?”  Most of the time, I was able to choose suffering…hoping there was something to be learned at the end of it.  In those crushing moments, I would simply name out my  experience.

Pain
Pain
Pain
Lonely
Lonely
Lonely
Afraid
Afraid
Afraid

The simple task of identifying what was happening within allowed space for acceptance.  Pain, loneliness, and fear were no longer overwhelmingly powerful.  They were a small portion of a whole experience.  This moment pain.  This moment loneliness.  This moment an abundance of fear.  This sucks…I want out.  I want to numb.  No, Amy, Embrace the Suck just for this moment.  It was a constant battle to outwit my mind.  My mind was in survival mode.  My spirit wanted more than survival.  My spirit wanted growth even in the midst of suffering.  When one chooses to Embrace the Suck, they choose growth over fear based survival.

I practiced sitting in pain for 6 months.  Some periods were extremely challenging.  At times I failed my goal of acceptance.  I was too uncomfortable or too weak to accept the challenge.  I distracted.  Other times, I came out the other side of pain feeling more whole, stronger, super proud of the person I was becoming. comfort-zone-300x206

Two months ago I attended a one day silent, meditation retreat and I was in immense psychological pain.   A pain that manifested itself both emotionally and physically.  I cannot remember another time in life when I felt so low.  So beat up.  The entire day I was plagued by the incessant processing of my mind.  A rerun of hurtful events played over and over again.  A running stream of stories about my future.  It refused to be quieted. My body reacted with chest pains and vomiting.  I could not find any enjoyment or purpose in this practice of acknowledging my truths and accepting suffering.  I even suffered through my lunch, resenting every forced bite of food that my stomach wanted to reject.  I was finished with nourishing myself.  My mind was going to win.  How’s that for truth?!?   I was a pissed off woman, filled to the brim with pain, suffering through a zen retreat.  At the end of the retreat we did a loving kindness meditation and I could not even offer loving kindness to myself.  I was too broken.  A shell of nothingness.

In spite of what felt like a complete failure of my first attempt at a retreat, I continued my mediation practice.  I was determined to see this suffering through to the end.  I wanted to see who I would be when the blanched layers of my former self were peeled away.

IMG_2415Last weekend, I was able to see that woman in full form.  I understood the importance of suffering for the very first time in my life.  I received this gift at the same retreat I had reluctantly attended two months prior.  My external circumstances are still painful and challenging but I’ve come to accept them.  To find my voice and declare my needs in spite of them.  In the past few months, I have started growing stronger, deeper, more certain of my convictions.  I am understanding what it means to be me rather than a form of me that has been painted by others.  I’ve learned to be my own mirror.  To name my experiences both positive and negative.  I’ve sat deeper and deeper in suffering and, at times, have even welcomed it to sit with me.  I’ve been able to identify my Mara, shake her hand and rather than chase her out, I’ve welcomed her as my teacher.

During my meditation retreat, each meditation offered me a fullness and spaciousness that I hadn’t had room for 2 months ago.  I began to realize that I had been budding, growing in the wisdom of all that I was being taught.  Still a sapling but beginning to grow leaves and even a bit of fruit.

I had an awakening during my silent lunch.  I found a little bench hidden within a wall of flowering bushes and I allowed myself to be fully present and open to whatever would arise.  I had no expectation beyond mindfully eating my colorful peppers and tofu (which was a sensory experience in and of itself).

The first awakening I had was noticing the overwhelming, sweet scent of a new bloom near my bench.  I inhaled with my eyes open.  I inhaled withpavonia-emperor-moth--thomas-marent my eyes closed.  Its seductive fragrance was a smile upon my being.  A gift given to me and I was receiving.  I later tried to breathe in that sweet fragrance again and no matter how hard I tried, I could not find the scent again.  I began to connect this experience to studies I’ve read about our brains.  My brain processed this scent when I first sat down and at some point it decided that the scent was no longer necessary to process.  It was no longer useful.  I then began to wonder how many things my eyes had seen when I first walked in to this garden that my mind decided were no longer useful.  How many things exist (sounds, smells, sights) that my mind identifies and deems unnecessary and then blocks them from registering?  It is then possible for two people to sit in the same space and have two very different experiences.  Both of them equally true.  Neither one right or wrong.  This opened me up to the possibility that I could be more empathetic in my relationships.  I can accept that my reality and another’s reality may be concurrently factual and different at the same time.  Wow!

87791820_XSMy second awakening arrived as I became an observer of nature.  I felt as though I was privileged to be among nature’s world not as a participant but as a quiet spectator.  I noticed a tall weed that had pushed up through the crack of a cement driveway and I thought, “That weed was not provided ideal conditions for nourishment and growth.  I bet it was an immense struggle to reach toward the sun.  I bet that weed suffered.  But maybe, just maybe, through its suffering it has a better life than the weed that was without struggle.  The weeds that grew in the grass (ideal conditions) are likely mowed over or eradicated with weed killer.  This driveway weed suffered and because of that struggle has life.”  This is, of course, the story I have applied to the weed but it began the process of bringing full circle my understanding of suffering.  IMG_2364

Next I saw a fly become entangled in a spiderweb.  There was a part of me that desperately wanted to free it but I remembered a parable told to me in my meditation course.  It’s the parable of the Emperor Moth.  In this story a man comes across a moth trying to free itself from its cocoon.  He feels sorry for the moth and its struggle so he opens the cocoon to free it.  The moth dies soon after because it required the struggle of breaking open its cocoon to strengthen its wings for flying.  In the attempt to free the moth, the man instead stole it of its opportunity to gain strength.  The removal of the moth’s suffering caused its death.  In suffering there is opportunity.

With this reminder of the need for suffering, I began to understand that the fly needs to suffer.  If the fly does not suffer, the spider will not be able to spin another web.  I began to weep.  An abundance of tears came flowing freely because I could see.  Suffering is necessary.  Without it, we are robbed of the opportunities to grow.  We are stagnant and dead.  In this moment of being an observer, my understanding of suffering had come full circle.  I recognized that I had painfully stumbled through suffering and made it to the other side.  The side of freedom.  I saw who I am.  I am a woman who has arisen from the ashes.  A woman who walked through the flames of suffering and allowed them to lick away the layers and layers of unnecessary fear.  I am the beautiful emperor moth with robust wings that fly.  I am the weed that found a way to reach for the sun.  I am the fly that needed to suffer to feed the spider.

I am life.
I am life.
I am life.

I embraced the suck.  I accepted suffering.  I held hands with my Mara.  I answered the call of darkness with a conscious and deliberate choice of light.  I am learning the form of my highest self.  Suffering has been my greatest gift.  May you, too, find the gift in your suffering.    I’l leave you with the words of Christina Rasmussen.  This quote gave me the nudge to surrender to suffering.
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These Present Moments

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IMG_2354Time is elusive.  Moments fleeting.  I know that this is true because I sit here listening to water falling from the mountains in a force so powerful it carves its own path to the stream below.  The water is proof of time.  Proof of forward movement.  I recognize this moment as a moment of awareness.  Awareness of time and of life in motion.

Glacier National Park has provided me a moment that has become moments that have become space that have become experience.  A string of single moments strung together to ignite a sensory explosion so breathtaking that its existence is hardly fathomable.  Hence the need for awareness of time.  The proof that these moments have existed.

There was the moment when I stumbled across an older woman wading in the icy waters of IMG_2166Lake McDonald.  That moment inspired by this female pathfinder became a moment turned moments turned experience.  I took a chance and joined her.  I stripped down to my skivvies, climbed to the front of my kayak, became encouraged by my boys standing on the shore chanting, “Do it! Do it! Do it!”, and leaped.  Jumped right in to the ice cold waters.  Fully immersed in the icy waters and vowing to last more than just a few seconds, I had to remain focused on each individual breath.   Each spacious moment.  I swam to the woman who had inspired this jump and I learned that she was a spry 72 years old!  Her spirit and energy filled me and we swam together for a span of nearly 20 minutes or more.  Her moments inspiring my moments.  My moments inspiring moments within each member of my family who all joined in the experience for a few seconds or a few minutes.  If we allow ourselves, we find we are all pathfinders.  We are all both inspiring and inspired.

I was fully empowered and alive, simply because of a moment turned moments turned experience.  A bunch of tiny moments strung together to become part of me and my story.  Time both present and moving.

There were many other pinch-worthy moments reminding me of life and progress and the enormity of time and space.  Moments that I grasped and followed in to experience.  When standing in awareness, fully awake, only then does one become fully immersed in this journey called life.  I’m thankful that I’m finally seeing the moments presented to me and no longer sleeping through them.  May you too, reader, become more present in your moments and find in those moments a variety of experiences.

Just for my recollection, when many other moments want to take the space that these moments occupy, I want to jog my memory with these bullet point reminders:

* The most serene campsite in which daily deer would pass through and even the occasional black bear.
* Observing Marmots in play.
* 9 Blissful Days of family unity and zero electronics.
* Watching a mosquito feed on Adam and instead of finding annoyance in its need for blood, appreciating the awesomeness of sharing life and observing a belly fill with nutrients. Appreciating all life.
* Listening to each of my boys lead their first family meditations.  The perspective of  a child is something we can all learn from.
* Hearing what words the campfire and trees spoke to my boys.  The boys are still open enough to hear nature and that encourages me to keep listening and practicing mindfulness.
* The day G cried because he had hugged a tree and felt a connection so deep he grieved leaving the tree behind.
* Hiking for 3 miles with the boys and at the end stumbling across a landscape of waterfalls and vegetation that cause you to believe you could really leave your life behind and live in the wild.  The forest somehow feels more natural than returning to city life.
* Nights under the stars with your best friend and lover snuggled in a hammock made for one. Knowing that all is right with the world as long as you are together.
*MARSHMA……..LLOW!!!!
* A bike ride up the Going to the Sun Road when the road is closed to vehicles.  Just you, your boys, countless waterfalls, a river, and the occasional deer.
* Laughing hysterically when it rains so hard on that bike ride that you are not even able to see straight ahead.  Knowing that you are alive and you are teaching your boys to laugh when crying would be easier!
* Introducing the No Trouble Bubble.  Looking at the father of your children and laughing because what is being said in the bubble is both hilarious and frightening and the bubble confirms that as parents we are succeeding.
*  Meditation in a place isolated enough to believe that you are no longer human…in fact you are water.  Transitioning, fluid, and unbreakable.

 

Time may be elusive but I am determined to be present for every moment possible.  May you be present as well.  Journey On.

 

The Cliff is Calling

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Smith Rock

Smith Rock

Nature has a way of providing me a deep stillness that allows me to know myself.  The self that is often lost in chaos.  In nature I am able to reach meditative states in which there is no question as to the next step.   Nature continues to be my healer.

I have a daily meditation practice and that practice provides me a way to remain centered, calm, and non-reactive but it has yet to allow me to hear the answers of my heart.  When my heart (self) is screaming I can sometimes hear it but not yet trust it.  Most days the heart is lost behind emotions, overthinking, processing, fear.  With daily meditation I manage to break open a little space so the heart is not so tightly caged.  Imprisoned.

And then there are meditations that are unlike all the others.  Last week I experienced one similar to the last mediation I had in nature on March 14th.  March 14th was the first time I experienced a true awakening.  A full peace and knowing.  Nothing but space.  There is no way to explain this feeling unless one has experienced it and to experience it again was truly a gift.  I immediately journaled after and wanted to share the gift given to me.

May 24, 2014:

Today I woke up after spending the night in a small, rocky crevice in a sleeping bag next to my lover under a sky fully lit by countless stars.  The past2143_1-610x407 above us.  The now grounded with us.  The future yet to come.  I stepped to the edge of the rocky precipice where we had slept and silently observed the forward movement of time.  The stars no longer visible but still there.  Outshone by our star.  Our life source….the Sun.  I sat across from magnificent rock cliffs and watched as hawks would land on ledges hundreds and hundreds of feet above the ground.  I would lose sight of them and not be able to find them until they once again took flight.  Had I not seen them land I would have no awareness that life was happening right in front of me.  At my feet sat a busy little chipmunk and two large prairie dogs.  The prairie dogs as curious about me as I was them.  A baby bunny, chased by its mother, scurried by.  In the river below me, geese lazily rode the current downstream, fish occasionally took exuberant jumps above the water to catch a small glimpse of the world above, a river otter playfully swam between rocks and deer gracefully walked across the river, the sounds of their crossing carried on the breeze to my ears.  Birds, all types of gorgeous birds, fluttered by while serenading me in song.  Dazzling me with their colorful wings.  High above the river in a towering pine sat an eagle family.  A mama.  A papa.  And two eaglets.  Each one powerful and majestic.  One parent would take flight soaring higher and higher. A few minutes later the other eagle would call out in a high pitch tone signaling the time to return.  Immediately upon return the other eagle would take flight.  Back and forth this sharing of responsibility and freedom.  The eaglets expanding and stretching their newborn wings.  Reaching them toward the warmth of the morning sun from the comfort of their nest.  Their home.

I closed my eyes and dropped in.  I dropped  in so deeply, the space becomes me.  I become the space.  I breathe in and there is nothing but room.  My heart is not screaming.  It’s whispering.  It tells me it’s been whispering all along.  I have been too full of chatter, noise, and opposition to hear it.  It says to me,

Now is the time.   Listen and know thyself.

I literally started chuckling that my heart used the words “know thyself”.  I questioned why it would speak to me in some KJV of my childhood.  A momentary distraction.

I breathe in.
I breathe out.
In.
Out.
In.
Out.

It’s time, Amy. It’s time to let go.  Time to stop fighting.  Time to take the next step forward.  Only you need to understand why you are choosing to leap.  Only you.  As scary as it is to jump from that cliff, you have heard me and know leaping is your highest self.

Ahhhhhhhhh.  I know this to be Truth.  A release of tears.  No more tension.  Only space.

If I crash and burn on this leap, I will burn knowing that I took the risk and my heart and I, we know how to heal.

Running
Running
Running to the Cliff’s Edge
Leaping
Spreading my Wings
Soaring like the Mighty Eagle Before Me
My Heart
The Wind that Carries Me
I have Listened
I am Free

Death of Ego

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I am in the process of dying.  It’s a slow, agonizing death.  One in which ego dies first but ego is fighting to remain.  It is not weak and it battles. Each moment I have to consciously slay the beast that has defined me.  It arrives challenging me to lose this moment.  It threatens me with stories of the future.  It weighs me down with a past that I cannot change.  Ego belittles me with destructive thoughts about me.  About the one I love.  It taunts me with the lies that I’ll never be good enough.  It whispers to me in its seductive voice, “you’ll never be good enough.  Be better.  Be more.”  It steals The Now.  At times, I give it freedom and I allow Ego to distract me from The Now because my present is too painful to sit in.  Fantasies of future and memories of past are more comfortable than present.  But even those distractions do not remain for long because Ego destroys any peace.  It does not like to co-exist.

What Ego does not realize is that I am in control.  I am dying and Ego is dying with me.  I have taken a mirror as my weapon.  A breath.  An inhale.
I breathe in.  I see Ego reflecting back at me.  I am aware.  Ego slithers away from awareness, retracting back in to the shadows.
I breathe out.
Death
Peace
I am me.  Present.  Pain.  Capable.  Empowered.  Aware.  Goddess.

empowered-woman-2

Labels

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I’m beginning to understand the destructive nature of labeling.  This coming from a woman who proudly proclaims her ownership and use of a label maker!

My journey with labels began about two years ago when Mark was reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.  In this book Tolle suggests that we practice the art of removing labels by taking a walk through nature and only observing without applying names to each “being” that surrounds us.  For example do not look at the tree and say “What a beautiful oak tree” or “That saguaro is magnificent”.
When Mark would read me these exercises I would literally roll my eyes and scoff at the nonsense coming out of his mouth.  Afterall, it IS an oak tree and it IS a saguaro.  How else would you define it?  And why is not defining it even useful?  Complete and absolute bullshit!

Two years later and I finally care enough to get it!  Am I a master of not defining and not labeling?  By no means. But I am mastering the understanding of the significance of dropping labels.
As Tolle beautifully and accurately stated:

“When you don’t cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life that was lost a long time ago when humanity, instead of using thought, became possessed by thought.” 
 Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

I believe Tolle had us begin with dropping the labels of nature as a practice for the much more difficult undertaking of dropping labels applied to our fellow man.  To drop labels in nature means to meander peacefully through the forest or desert and merely feel your surroundings.  Breathe them in, be aware of them, realize their significance and beauty, acknowledge them as a part of this universe just as you are simply part of this universe, hear their story, but do not confine them to labels.  To label limits your scope of their magnificence.  

This can be said of the people we are surrounded by too.  Let me just give you a few examples of what labeling does.

A few years ago it was quite popular to get emails from people wanting to spread a good laugh.  A good intending friend would forward an email from a site called people of walmart.  It’s a site geared toward laughing at people’s appearance mishaps.  The first time I received one of these emails I wanted to laugh but I couldn’t push through my pity.  I’ll admit that I generally (not often anymore) labeled people that shopped at walmart as less than.  Less worth.  Less than me.  But when I see these pictures I don’t want to laugh and honestly I can’t.  These are human beings who would be mortified to know they are being publicly humiliated.  These are human beings with stories.  In this picture I see a new mom who probably doesn’t recognize her shirt has rolled up, exposing her midsection, and who unlike many of us may not have the funds to buy post-baby shirts that fit.  That’s nothing to laugh about.  So some of us will sit at home applying labels to her, such as fat, gross, white trash or trailer trash or as the commentary on this photo suggested, skank.  Maybe if we can remove the judgements and labels we can simply empathize.  We can begin to see this woman as something more than a cruel joke.

Atheist:
What does that label stir in you?  Be honest.  I don’t want to be labeled simply as an atheist because I am so much more than that.  If you label me as an atheist you’ve painted an image of me that has very negative reactions.  Most people in this country view someone with the label of atheist as someone who is angry, fighting to remove the rights of christians, an oppressor, hellbound, an enemy, lost, delusional, hateful, bitter, disagreeable. Sound about right?  Because you’ve painted me in to this corner you can’t see the entirety of me.  You lose sight of who I truly am because you’ve lessened me to a silly little label.
I’ll flip that, I have and often continue to do the same to christians and I no longer want to.

Christian:
When I simply label you as christian I lose sight of who you are.  Instead of seeing wonderful, loving parents, contributing members of society, activists, lovers and forgivers I can only see hateful, judgemental, delusional, irritating, close-minded, oppressive, bullying homophobes and manipulators.  I’ve narrowed my scope down to one type of person and not left room to see the entire person.  I’ve limited them to my views of christianity and that leaves very little room for empathy or friendship.

Developmentally Delayed and adopted:
These are labels I have to use with two of my boys frequently and it kills me because I’ve seen the expressions on people’s faces change.  I’ve seen some of the judgements.  I’ve heard people label me as anti-american because I’ve adopted internationally (and they said this in front of my Kazakh son) as thoughlabeling him Kazakh gives him less worth than labeling him American!  And often when people see my family they ask “are they yours?”
“Yes, they are mine.”
“No, I mean are they yours.  Biologically?”
“They are as much ‘mine’ as the ones I gave birth to.”
“So they are adopted?  Do they have issues?  Were you infertile?”
Ugh!  Seriously, the adopted label has to reduce my boys to less than biological as well?  See how labels are?  Damaging.  Limiting.
I’ve seen people shy away from my oldest because he has delays and is not “normal”.  What is this “normal” label?  Are any of us normal?
I hear people drop the term retarded as though it’s a funny word.  It’s a horrible label.  It minimizes somebody to a stupid word!

Addict:
What happens when someone is labeled an addict?  We lose sight of their need.  We lose sight of their inner workings and the battles they have ahead of them.  We are often unable to see past their struggle or addiction when really they are so much more than that.  How much further would empathy and partnership take us when someone is in the midst of this struggle?  Instead we choose to slap them with a giant ADDICT label as though they are nothing more than the addiction they are enslaved to.

Sinner:

Can you find empathy for the person(s) that you slapped the sinner label on?  Or do you leave that for the Jesus?  Sinner makes someone believe they are not nor ever will be worthy of God’s love.  Sinner can even inhibit growth within relationships here on earth.  And every one has a different idea of what it means to be a sinner.  Some people are sinners if they drink, gamble, swear, have sex outside of marriage, have sex within their gender, masturbate, watch porn, gossip, judge, seek knowledge, believe in evolution, is a democrat, lies, cheats, murders, steals, watches t.v., drinks caffeine, reads Hunger Games…the list goes on and on and on.  Since we are all guilty of one or more of these “sins” why not remove the label sinner all together?   What purpose does it serve other than to make one subservient?

Stay-at-Home Mom:
Another example occurred recently as a woman stood talking to me knowing very well that I am a stay-at-home mom.  She is a new mom and has always been a career woman and is now conflicted between going back to work and staying home more.  As she is talking, these words are coming out of her mouth  and punching me directly in the gut, “I’ve ultimately decided that I can’t be a stay-at-home mom because I don’t want to become stupid.  Pregnancy alone made me say the dumbest things and I’m so much smarter than a woman who just stays home.  I think it’s important for those of us that are really wired to be on top in the business world to not lose that edge to the mind-numbing task that takes place each day you stay home and are not enriched by other educated people.”  I think my fingers were clenched together in an effort to not draw a fist and punch this woman square in the face just to shut her up.  I stood there looking at her and I wanted to pull out my label maker and affix a Certified Bitch label right across her tight, little forehead.  But as the oxygen began to refill in my lungs allowing thoughts back in to my stupid, numb, mommy brain I could feel empathy for her.  She is not likely a bitch…that would be too simple 🙂  Instead she likely doesn’t know the beauty of my job.  She doesn’t realize I once had a very brainy career too and can have that again any time I’d like.  I can’t get these years back from my boys so this is a choice I make not because, as she labeled me, I don’t have enough brains or smarts to do something more with my life but because I choose to be here for my boys during this stage in life.  And she’s right, sometimes it’s absolutely mind-numbing and sometimes I lose knowledge in my career field but I never become dumb.  Dumb is a choice.  I saw a woman who simply was ignorant of what it means to be a stay-at-home mom and I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt that she was probably unaware of how hurtful the words she spoke were.  That doesn’t make her a bitch.  She’s just a woman who has worked hard to be where she is and is probably very fearful of losing that.  But she’s also fearful of missing out on her child’s life.  That’s a conflict that I certainly understand.  Again empathy allows the removal of labels.  Empathy is a powerful, effective tool.

These labels are everywhere.  Each and every single label leaves you with an impression and an idea.  But that idea is usually a small, little ink stain in the fabric of that being.   Just think of the ones you use daily.  How are you limiting your intake of the world and people around you?

Republican, Democrat, Gay, Straight, Adulterer, Preacher, Mother, Father, Daughter, Son, Anorexic, Addict, Whore, Slut, Ugly, Pretty, Fat, Skinny, Sexy, Liar, Gold-digger, Rich, Poor, Trash, Hispanic, Mexican, Kazakh, American, Black, Asian, Indian, Illegal, Immigrant, Needy, Pro-lifer, Pro-choicer, Feminist, Atheist, Muslim, Christian, Evangelical, Progressive, Mormon, Jewish, Bitch, Nag, Hag, Bum, Ditz,Stupid, Retarded, Dumb, Smart, Controlling, Abusive, Shallow,Adopted, Trailer, Southside, Egotistical, Backstabber, Selfish, Ignorant, Foolish, Hypocrite, Judgemental, Angry, Hateful, Drama Queen, Blonde,Beefcake, Mentally Ill, Delusional, Smart…

Spend a day just watching how often you apply a label and spend the next day removing those labels.  It’s liberating to see the world as nothing more than beautiful.  Each and every one of us adding to the layers and layers of brilliance that make up this planet, this galaxy, this universe.