TEXT: When asked to speak of God, Ramakrisna agreed, but asked: "God with attributes or God without attributes?" Likewise, the love one speaks of may not be the love another speaks of. Love with attributes has a thousand definitions - and as many highs and lows. Love without attributes is without definition. Free from form or context, it is worthy of our trust.
Robin Rice is an internationally published author, contemporary shaman and social change artist. Subscribe to her "getting close, through words" blog at http://www.RobinRice.com/subscribe.
TEXT: You are absolutely allowed to say "I've had about enough of that!" You might have more luck, however, if you are saying it to yourself. Your own world is the only world you can change, and even that is no easy thing. What have you had enough of? How will you begin your change? When?
TEXT: When I consider the enormity of the world I know... the raging wars happening right now, the tinkling of bells as each new baby is born in a small hospital in Pennsylvania, the horrors of rape and the ecstasy of profound loving orgasm... there is a kind of paralysis that takes over my soul. What possibly could I do - could any of us do - amidst the enormity of it all? The only answer I find, the only thing that allows me to move again, is the idea that love and progress must unite. They must stand as one and walk forward, at least in me. At least in me.
TEXT: Happiness and joy are not the same thing. Once you get beyond the surface giddy "things are going my way" happiness and become submerged in the sublime ecstasy of joy, most people quickly jump out of the experience. I know this myself, getting distracted with smaller ideas so as to not face that incomprehensible bliss that travels through the veins of all things. Who can live orgasmic waves of beauty without creating a nice little problem, or even crisis, to pull the plug? Who can stay in wave after undulating wave without grabbing for a life raft - some (any) kind of problem to make it all seem familiar again?
TEXT: To know the self, which is to say YOURSELF, is an enormous undertaking. It is not a part-time job. There is no retirement. The desire to search is age-old, but the desire is not enough. The conditions have to be right to formulate the kind of person who will search (think tragedy and loss), and the personality has to be of the variety that prefers to search more than she prefers to sleep. For this reason, I give thanks for my early hardships. It set me off on a search that permeates my every cell. The only moments I am not in this search of the self are when I am helping another in their search. Exhausting? Yes, in the way that mountain climbing is exhausting. Exhilarating, yes, in the way that mountain climbing is exhilarating. Never ending? Yes, in the same way there is a mountain top, but also, always,
another mountain to climb.
TEXT: Everyone has strong and weak points. Everyone. So whatever fantasies you have about being at the top or bottom, are just that - mere stories you have made up. You can make up new stories, and better stories, any time you want. Any. Time. You. Want. That's what your brain + creative imagination is for. That's what "free will" is really all about. That's what makes or breaks any given human being on the planet. Really...
TEXT: Everyone has problems. One of the problems most people have is they think they are the only one with problems. They compare themselves and always seem to come up short. People who appear to have more [xyz - pick your prize] are either envied or adored. That's wasted energy. Adore yourself. Be inspired, sure. But adore yourself. Having problems does not opt you out of any prize, any victory, any anything you want. Similarly, when you win everything you ever wanted, you will still have problems. So just get on with it. Adore you, have your problems, and live. Now.
TEXT: I've never liked the idea of being "accountable" to another - as if my being and doing could be reduced to a ledger that someone else is in charge of. My commitment and growth will not be put in the hands of someone who would either praise or chastise me. Let me fall if I fall. I can live with that. BUT let it be my own doing. My own responsibility. My own life.
[sooo excited, my new app is coming out for the holidays... it has lovely bells and whistles, just for you... shhh... it's a secret for now... just letting you know it is coming...]
TEXT: If you can look back and see that what you have believed - fervently and firmly - has changed over time, and if you can look forward and know that what you currently believe - fervently and firmly - will change yet again, you are growing. Not only that, you are LIVING.
TEXT: Everyone has to have a bottom line for their work. Mine consists of three words; Large Scale Transformation. Large as in inner largesse and large as in numbers. If my work does not serve that I lose interest. It's not ambition so much as mission. It's not about counting beans.
It's about courting transformation and real world change.
[Join me for a year like no other - this one is for YOU to heal and grow, so others heal and grow through you - Shamanic Apprenticeship 2015]
TEXT: There are those who seek answers and those who seek better questions. The latter value the search as much or more as the finding. They know their questions are too small in the beginning and will need to grow. They seek deeper and wider truths. They welcome more and more complex problems. These types are the reason we evolve. And yet the majority of "others" will ridicule and even vilify them - call them ungrounded...impractical...out of touch.
To me, they are the most interesting of all.
[ space is filling for our trip to discover Ancient Ireland in April of 2015 - join us?]
TEXT: The beauty of your soul is worthy of investment. Time, energy, money... and then other exchanges... attention, depth, commitment... what will you give to your own LIFE today? What soulful investment will you make?
TEXT: To expand your potential, search out and focus on 4-way wins – what Stew Friedman describes as "...actions you can take, under your control, that benefit you, your family, your community, and your work." Not only do you multiply the potential of good, you train your brain to think on multiple layers of outcome at the same time. You also begin to see the world around you more, which relieves you of the pain of indulging in your own self-centeredness for too long.
TEXT: Every single person alive is a genius. I swear that is true. And we didn't come here just to diddle with the tiny universes of our own little lives. We came here to do something, to give something and to contribute our genius. If you are not doing that, you will be unhappy. Give and be happy. That's just how it works.
TEXT: Gratitude is both a posture and a responsive feeling. As a posture, which is to say a way of facing and greeting the world without a "reason" to be grateful, it sets the stage for a more bountiful life. As a responsive feeing, it further radiates good into the world. I see it as a continuous loop. But the start of the loop is always the posture. To wait for the responsive feeling is where disappointment lies. You are attempting to withdraw from an empty account.
TEXT: There is this idea in spirituality that life is supposed to be balanced, free of thought, free of emotion... in short, free of all aspects of the smaller self. But we are HERE for the human experience and that includes the smaller self. This "high road" ideal is most often a cop out. We may naturally develop less and less reaction to the events of our lives. We may develop perspective and hopefully wisdom, too. But this is not about creating an opt out. It is about diving in. It is a "What is REAL, REALLY, here?" From that, if there is balance in the moment, great. If there is only balance in the very long run, in the far perspective, that's okay too.
TEXT: Get a creative hero. Follow everything she does. Watch for what she doesn't do. Listen for the heartbeat inside her work. Learn all you can learn and then go out and do it your way. At first, it will probably suck. Hers did too, at first. Eventually, it will become good, but not great. She was here as well. Give it ten years, ten good hard years, and go back to what inspired you so much about her. She'll impress you, hopefully, but you'll see where you outgrew her and took your own road. You'll impress yourself, hopefully. Then you'll look on down the line and realize you are someone else's hero, now. Live up to that trust.
[ I love it when you comment or reply to me. How else can we get closer, with words?]
TEXT: Think you are friendless? Have you forgotten gravity? Do you know how hard gravity works on your behalf? You go to bed at night and wake up to find virtually everything in your home is where you left it. You think this is natural, normal, obvious. But we live on a spinning planet traveling at mind-boggling speed. Gravity is your friend, I tell you. One of the most loyal in your life. There are others, too. If you are unhappy, you might take a look around and say thank you. You might find you have life-friends you never knew.
[always feel free to share graphic or text on your favorite social media]
TEXT: People talk a lot about awakening. But what does it mean? What does it feel like? How does it "work?" I find it can only be explained in the context of an experience. For example: The richness of your life is there regardless of the state of your riches. The poverty of life is there regardless of your bank account. Separate the experience from the factual condition. Do that - really do that - and see what awakens in you.
[ now taking applications for my 2015 shamanic apprenticeship, click HERE ]
A solid, stick-the-landing "No." takes practice.
Start small. Let it be about unimportant things first, then work your way up to the very vital. Let people get a little miffed. Soon enough, they will see that you are changing your "always YES and more YES" patterns. They will adjust.
Later, when it really matters, you'll understand what it takes to stand firm in your firm refusals. You will also learn that the responses you get are about the responder, not you.
You will change and others will have no choice but to get over it.