Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leave it all behind

I'm not an expert on the story of the buddha, or Siddhartha Gautama, but it really fascinates me.

I am a people person through and through. I hate being alone. I hate the dark. I like my phone, camera, laptop, etc. I love my family and friends. And I don't really know how I would survive without them. But sometimes I have this urge to just stop communication with anyone and everyone, leave my belongings, and go to some random place where I know no one and have nothing. I'd like to just sit and meditate for a long period of time. I get so caught up in worrying about what's going to happen, what has happened, and what is currently happening. I always put others before myself. I'm constantly on my computer and phone. I hate losing things. But WHY!!! I hate it! I wish it were easy to change. But it's not. I just get so frustrated.  I frequently get my hopes up, then something goes wrong. I plan something, and the plan never goes how I think. I just want to leave everyone and everything and go find self enlightenment and get rid of all my attachments!

Can you imagine your life without any attachments? Especially materialistic people, all your expensive shoes, purses, etc. Are those things really important? Will they have any value in the end of your life? No, probably not. Or leaving all your loved ones to just be with yourself and your mind... It's a crazy idea, but still so blissful!

But personal contact is a lovely, beautiful thing. So I can't really give it up. But I can still think about it, right? It's basically what Monks do too! My friend's brother is a Buddhist Monk and he left all he had and all he knew to go do that. So inspirational! 

Like I said, it's just an urge I sometimes get. So I'm not actually going to do it. But it's still interesting to think about...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Earth Teach Me

I used to attend a Unitarian Universalist church here, and I LOVED it. It was so humble and greatly focused on inner peace and how important nature and the world around us is! One day we read this prayer from a Native American tribe, and I simply fell in love with it.

We really don't respect this earth as much as we should. Actually, we're doing quite the opposite. It saddens me deeply because so many people assume the earth will last forever and there's nothing we can do to improve/ change it. Recycling, reducing, and reusing have been mottos and ways that have been taught to us for so many years, but do we really think about them? Do we really do them? Unfortunately, we don't. At least not all of us. I'm not saying I'm perfect by any means either. But I have become a lot more aware and conscious of products I use, reuse, reduce, and recycle.

I recycle everything I can, and WILL dig things out of a garbage can if someone else throws away a perfectly good recyclable item. I have started buying in bulk, which is not only cheaper- it uses less packaging! So that's a double win. If you can buy in bulk, DO IT. It's amazing. I buy bulk laundry soap, dish soap, shampoo, honey, spices, tea, olive oil, nuts, dried fruit, lentils, and syrup! (I think that's all... ha) I save so much money and I love not wasting so much plastic (plastic is evil, by the way. Watch the documentary Bag It to understand and attempt to comprehend how much is too much...) [Also, thanks to my wonderful novio for opening my eyes on plastic.] Like I said, I'm not perfect- but I'm at least fully aware of what I use, so I can make an effort to change my ways for the better!

All of our pollution is destroying the earth... And it sucks. Global warming, smog, overpopulation, etc... So many things abusing this beautiful place we call our home! We are but tiny blips on earth, but we can make a huge difference- good or bad. This is, of course, just a brief overview of all the issues we need to focus on, but it's definitely a new focus for many people who don't care or don't want to change their ways. I encourage you to look around and think about what YOU can do to help. Are you using energy saving lightbulbs? Are you leaving lights/ electric items on when you're not using them? Are you walking or biking when you can, instead of driving? Are you recycling that can you just used? Are you using glass dishes to avoid throwing away more unnecessary waste? Are you using a reusable bag instead of a plastic one?

The ecosystems and little earthlings that came long before our time were doing just fine and dandy without humans. So let's try and keep it as natural as possible, ok? :)

Earth Teach Me:
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
- An Ute Prayer

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rant? [About the future]

Why do we worry so much about what is gonna happen in the future?!

Maybe it's just me, but I really don't think it is... It's a comfort to have things planned out, to the T if possible, and organized and figured out. But WHY!!!! I used to think I had my future figured out.

Then I hit the real world.

I always dreamed I'd go to school for 4 years, graduate with a Special Education degree and a Spanish minor; get a job right away; get a house, find a partner, have kids... done. Well HELLO reality check! This did not happen at all... Ha.

Life got pretty complicated this semester and man, oh man, has it taken a toll on me. I am so stressed all the time. I have so much to figure out, and in such short notice too! I have to change my major now (due to financial issues), find a minor to go with it, figure out what grad programs I want to do [I've always wanted to be a counselor; found out special education made me upset/ I hate the American public education system. Must get my masters in counseling now]... Except that involves money, places to live, the GRE (I'm scared s***less to take it because I am basically stupid when it comes to doing math and that's a portion of the test. I mean, I'm really, REALLY bad at math... Probably at an elementary/ middle school level? Ughh), which program I want to do more/ if I can afford it/ if it's too far away from where I'll be living [potential plan is to move to KC, MO for grad school if I can get in], finding a car [anyone have one/ know someone that doesn't need theirs?!?!] to get around, find a job while I go to grad school....

I am so frustrated. Overwhelmed. Stressed. Basically just FREAKING OUT. I know, I know. I need to be positive, everything will work out... Blah, blah. I really understand this! I've tried staying calm and not worrying but it's just not happening. I wish I had someone to help me figure everything out because I'm really not sure I can handle this all ON TOP of my normal school work and projects for this semester!

I do appreciate my friends/ family supporting me and encouraging me, I really do.

Just at a low moment. Random crying spurts. I just want to sleep for a week and have everything work itself out on its own. That's totally possible right? ;)

Ok sorry. Thanks for listening to my rant, loves.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Something to think about :)

DISCLAIMER: I am not trying to offend anyone or start any debates. This was just on my mind and I wanted to share my personal thoughts :)

[It's slightly a rant; not really any organization...Just needed to vent]

I was raised Catholic. After taking confirmation classes, or actually while I was taking the classes, I realized how much I disagreed with everything they were teaching me. I went through the confirmation to please my parents, and once I became old enough to make my own decisions, I went out in search of the meaning of religions-- in hopes to find one that I could maybe fit into. At first it was Lutheranism, then it was atheism, then agnosticism, then Unitarian Universalism, Buddhism, and Hinduism... I have done pretty in depth research on the "most common" religions, and more recently decided I just am not a fan of organized religions in general.

I fully believe everything happens for a reason; everyone has a certain path in life. I LOVE Mother Nature and Earth and deeply believe in respecting both of these things. I believe each of us should find our own personal spiritual beliefs and paths in life, we shouldn't have someone else tell us what it is or how we should live our lives. The thing that bothers me most about organized religion is the brainwashing aspect. Unfortunately, those who are actually brainwashed never really find out or realize what has happened, and they just grow to think that those thoughts are automatically right- despite never looking into anything else or whatever. 

I guess I consider myself "lucky enough" to have gotten out of the "brainwashing" aspect of it? I went out on my own to learn and explore other, new options. I could have very well returned to Catholicism, or Christianity in general, but I simply chose not to as I just do not agree with it. But I can't imagine what life would be like if I just stuck with it to stick with it. My belief is that you should only call yourself a part of a religion if you're going to follow through with the whole package, the whole she-bang! For example, people who go to church on Christmas and Easter only and then call themselves good Christians? Absolutely not... You're supposed to go to church EVERY week, not just holidays because everyone else does it. But in the same aspect, you shouldn't just go to church to go to church. If you're going and spouting off random verses and "prayers" without any feeling at all, why are you even at church? You're supposed to go to FEEL God; you're supposed to FEEL involved- emotionally, spiritually, and physically. So many people have fallen into the routine lifestyle that "Well we have to go to church EVERY Sunday." It shouldn't be a chore. You should go because you WANT to! So if you can't even handle that, why would you call yourself something you're not?

One thing I really like about the UU church is that their message (at least the one I've been to here in Winona) is that each person can find their own personal feelings and path with God or whomever they want, and everyone else should just support their choices and their paths, even if it's different than what they believe. Organized religion usually has so many rules, guidelines, consequences... so many restrictions! I, personally, don't understand how someone can live with so many of those. Life should be simple: treat others with love and respect, find your own path on your own without someone forcing to do it, and don't judge those other lifestyles. Obviously I am not perfect, and I've had my share of hating on other religions- I am human after all! But I'm just trying to say that we should all become more aware of these things and look at it from a different perspective... And try not to get brainwashed or brainwash your kids ;)

There are so many complicated topics and subjects, as religion is a very touchy topic, (actually I'm surprised I'm even posting this as I'm sure I'll receive the wrath of my religious loved ones :P), but I had to get it out there!

My favorite life quote is this: ☮ paz. ♥ amor. = igualdad.

This means peace, love, equality. I try to look at everyone equally (again, I am NOT perfect! nor am I saying I am!) and hope that everyone can try and do the same... Or at least take a step back and rethink what you've been taught. Who knows, maybe it's not what you actually agree with? If someone stops loving you because you're a different religion or belief than them, it's time for them to get a reality check.