Week 32.2 - If I Had My Life to Live Over - By Nadine Stair (age 85)
Forget about enlightenment
Sit down wherever you are
And listen to the wind singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are, right now,
Not who you would like to be,
Not the saint you are striving to become,
But the being right here before you, inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You are already more and less
Than whatever you can know.
By: John Welwood
The second of the niyamas (personal observances) from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, santosha is essentially the opposite of desire, of lack, of feeling that we need things to be different before we can be happy. In Light on Yoga, BKS Iyengar writes, “the yogi feels the lack of nothing and so is naturally content.”
It takes nothing to join the crowd but everything to stand alone.
"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations."
“It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but that you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it.” ― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Often even when our life appears the messiest, we can actually find that we are a lighthouse, a beacon of hope, in someone else's storm, You may be what they need guiding them to safe harbor.
The older I get, the more I ask myself… How do I define success in my life? In the West success is usually defined by the accumulation of “things” that can be bought and sold with currency. For the enlightened, success is defined instead by the acquisition of subtle things that are felt and cannot be touched. True wealth is the accumulation of experiences which silver or gold, cannot buy, but that give our lives meaning beyond measure. The only currency of true success is pure love and joy.
We are always growing and evolving into a better version of ourselves. Socrates said, “I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.” – Socrates
In class to night ask yourself if there is a weight that are you lugging around with you on your journey. If you could, what weight would you like to unload and be free of?
In his 1840 work, The Cricket, Charles Dickens wrote, “We forge the chains we wear in life.” The ghost in the story replies, “link, by link, I wear the chain I forged in life."
Maybe you are not carrying around the past, but instead it is your fear of the future that burdens you with a backpack of impending doom. Like wearing a heavy parachute, always preparing to bail. Maybe you intentionally avoid making commitments as you seem prepared for a crash.
Put the burden of the past or future down, walk barefoot, travel light and soak in the radiance of this bountiful life.
“We suffer more in imagination than in reality. Seneca said, “He who indulges in empty fears earns himself real fears.”
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” – Paulo Coelho
"To love is just a choice. We choose love or we choose fear. We cannot serve two master."
What are you still angry at? Eckart Tolle wrote, "Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath."
Give yourself permission to examine this pain, without judgement and heal. Rumi said, "The wound is the place light enters you."
A scar is proof that healing has occurred. Honor your scars, like well-earned badges of courage.
If I Had My Life to Live Over - By Nadine Stair (age 85)
from Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul
I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax. I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would take more trips.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd
have fewer imaginary ones.
Oh, I've had my moments and if I had it to do over
again, I'd have more of them. In fact,
I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments.
One after another, instead of living so many
years ahead of each day.
If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
If I had it to do again, I would travel lighter next time.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.
“The word guru means remover of darkness. Learn to listen to your inner voice, the guru within you. Trust this light of intuition to examine our situations carefully. Stop walking with a stone in your shoe, stop accepting suffering as a normal part of life. Non-attachment is the path towards liberation from suffering, but the heart struggles to let go. Attachment is all the heart has ever known. The Buddha taught that learning to unlearn is the highest form of learning. Retrain the heart and teach it freedom; suffering need not be tolerated any more. Life should not something to be tolerated in fear and pain, life should be lived as a miraculous, adventurous journey, filled with light, love and laughter." - David Scott
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."--Maya Angelou
If you seek peace, be still. If you seek wisdom, be silent. If you seek love, be yourself.
"Perhaps the biggest mistake I made in the past was that I believed love was about finding the right person. In reality, love is about becoming the right person. Don’t look for the person you want to spend your life with. Become the person you want to spend your life with."