Sunday, July 17, 2016

Our "Inside" Voices

I am so imperfect it's not even funny. I am just like everyone else on planet Earth in that regard.

I want to be a good person.
I try to be a good person.
I suck at it...maybe not as badly as I did, but still...

I try to practice Buddhist principles and speak only what it is necessary, truthful, and kind but that's not terribly easy and it's not been my pattern thus far in life. I am better about it every day but still not where I want to be.

I'm pretty happy with my progress, so far, in not saying (and thinking) unkind or "shaming" sorts of things. In other words, I am trying to wipe out a shaming attitude from my life and inner voice. I am trying to stop thinking things like, "She should eat a damn twinkie or something. A good wind would snap her." or "What is she thinking leaving the house wearing that?" (as if I dress any more wonderfully than anyone else), or even, "Really? 6 children? She can't even wrangle one."

I try to stop this thought process by recognizing it as it begins and replacing the thoughts with things like, "I hope she is thin naturally. I hope she isn't ill." or "Good for her wearing whatever she wants. She is really owning her self image." or "I hope she has help so she can take a break. I wish she could leave her children with some she trusts so her shopping could be faster and less chaotic for her and others." Believe me, those are still NOT the thoughts that pop into my head first. I am not Pollyanna.

I still talk way too much. I still overshare. I have almost no filter. I used to feel ashamed of my filterless state until I realized I actually DO have a pretty good filter. I might think a less than gracious thing about a person. I might THINK a nasty come back for a perceived slight. I THINK hurtful things sometimes. I do not SAY THEM OUT LOUD.

Oh, I still share the positive stuff. I mean, maybe I ought to keep quiet about that too, but I just can't make myself. I really have trouble stopping it. I will tell someone that I like their ink, shirt, skirt, hair color, the way they did their eye makeup, or even their hat. I think it's important to hear stuff like that. I'll also tell someone when they have been especially helpful or kind or thoughtful. It's important to hear that too.

But that nasty hateful voice in your head that wants to say an unkind thing? Maybe that could just continue to be your "inside" voice until you can teach it better manners. I am just saying. I mean, does it really help the world at all to tell someone that it's tacky to wear pajamas to Walmart at 3 in the afternoon? Does it actually matter?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

About those bottles of stars...

Every year I try to start a project, sort of a guerilla art thing, that will make the world better in some way. I think this year I finally found one that might work. I think I can even keep it up all year. That's my intention.

It's all about those bottles of stars. If you live in the Triad area of NC, you might see them in some of the places you go. I just dropped on off at my massage therapist's office, Shalom Therapeutic Massage, and I plan to drop off another at my dentist, Pamela Johnson-Darr in a week and a half or so.

What they are:

Glass bottles recycled from a coffee drink I really like that I buy sporadically that I have decorated by etching them. I place rubber stoppers in the tops to make them more accessible. Then, I print out sheets of colored and/or patterned paper with quotes from famous and/or influential people about one of 4 things; hope, friendship, goodness, or kindness. I cut each quote out in a strip and fold it, origami style, into a puffy star that you can open to read the quote.

Why I am doing this:

Because. Because, sometimes you need a little inspiration or a pick me up or something to make you think. I do it because, if what you read in the stars makes you feel better about yourself, or other people, or look at something from a new perspective, I feel it makes the world just a little better to live in. Maybe you'll tell someone about the quote or maybe you'll debate about whether you agree with it. It hardly costs anything for me to do this and I don't want any compensation. I just want to do something kind and loving.

What I expect:

Nothing. I think, if you are curious and want a star or two, you'll take one. If you want to tell someone about it, you will. If not, I am not bothered by that. I don't even expect you to tell me about it. Just know that I love you no matter what you do.