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Inserts Musica Relationships

A Charlie Brown Christmas Song in June

Funny how in recent weeks I’ve been singing that Charlie Brown Christmas song in my head. It’s funny because its June 5th, in NYC, and it is warm, and very probably going to get much warmer in the next two months.

As a child I had a very emotionally-split relationship with Christmas. I loved the gifts of course, and the large family get-togethers, which thank God we still continue to this day. But because my parents were not around most of the time, because I was raised by my grandparents for the better part of my young childhood, I felt a lacking; a longing. Like many Hispanic households we stayed up celebrating on Christmas Eve till the clock turned midnight, which is when we could open the gifts. Excruciating for a group of young kids just itching and wanting of those gifts 🙂 After opening all the gifts, and all the clamor and excitement, hugs kisses and laughter, yelling etc., everyone would leave our house probably after 1 or 2am. I remember being in the dark after they left, looking at a darkened tree, and feeling that void. I was happy with my gifts, but I didn’t know why I was so sad. Later I figured out that drop from the excitement to the quiet darkness was probably too much too quick for me, and so it felt like a dramatic void. But underlying I think was that I wanted to be with my parents.

Since maybe as a teenager I was not too much of a fan of the Christmas entourage. The decorations, the songs. I think I always related it to this sadness, and so I didn’t feel as joyful with everything Christmas as so many others popularly are.

Ironically, since my grandma has passed two years ago, and since I have commitment from my parents to being a healthier presence, I have enjoyed Christmas now, the whole thing. I long for it actually. The cold days where we wear snug sweaters. Cozying with family and loved ones. Seeing the joy in the kids’ faces and setting up fun things for all of us to enjoy in those special times. Now it’s the first week of June, and I am singing Charlie Brown’s Christmas song in my head, thinking of that scene where the characters are all ice skating to that harmonic melody. While I’m here on the topic, I have to plug Laurel and Hardy’s March of the Wooden Soldiers movie from like 1930’s or 1940’s. That I enjoyed in my childhood 🙂

Please enjoy here Charlie Brown’s Christmas song. By the way, the Vince Guaraldi Trio, who makes those Charlie Brown songs, are so good:

Categories
Chillin Quotes

There is No Ultimate Arrival

“There is no ultimate arrival. Only continual reflection, failure, refinement, and re-commitment.”

-John Wineland, from his book “From the Core: A New Masculine Paradigm for Leading with Love, Living Your Truth & Healing the World”

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Chillin Exponential Potential Spark the Flame - Short Vlog

Giving What You Have, to Life

This video doesn’t do justice to this set of thoughts and feelings I have. But it is a little hard to unravel, I will try a little here:

I write, speak and think a lot about meaning. Creating meaning, living meaningfully. Experiencing meaning. The reason why is because I’ve felt and experienced the opposite, which is a dangerous place to be because without meaning it is difficult to come up with a good reason to stay in this life.

I love this quote: “it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.” – Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning.

Somehow, meaning is tied up in this, in a sort of giving, sacrificing. We are all temporary. Like beautiful pups or tiny plant shoots that spring in the beginning of our lives, we are full of all kinds of potential, time, vigor. Through life, time, and all that, we expend, transmute and propagate energy. We are energy conduits, channels. But every conduit in reality that humans use, endures weathering with usage and time. There is another beautiful quote which I love to try to remember: “We have only the present moment, sparkling like a star in our hands — and melting like a snowflake.” – Marie Beynon Lyons Ray.

When I think of that quote, I think of the snowflake like a burning star in our hand. Alive it once was. Alive it began, full of potential, life, energy. And then it expends these things, giving beauty, giving heat and warmth. Very likely, giving meaning to the observer. In this expulsion and giving, sacrificing of energy, of life, of meaning itself, it creates meaning in whoever or whatever is lucky and blessed to experience these things.

It gives its breath. It gives its mind. It gives its heart, its warmth, its focus, its attention, its Presence, and burns into that palm. And in that experience is beauty, warmth, wonder, tears, love. Meaning.

Is that star asking for anything??? WELL? IS IT??? If you think so, go ahead and tell it that. Tell that star, burning itself to death, but in that process exuding brilliance, light and practicing love of life, that it is asking for something. Maybe it is. Maybe it wants connection. Maybe it wants your attention. Your presence. Your focus. Your kiss.

That is my intro to this video, which comes off slightly different than this intro, but which is trying to get at the same thing, I think.

Blessings. And Love.

Categories
Chillin Inserts

Kintsugi – Living with the Wounds, Instead of Without Them

Was told about this art form, kintsugi. When I looked it up, one of the first things it says is “As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

That hit me hard. You know we all have wounds. Whether some are from earlier or later in life, or both. Some deeper, some more surface level. I guess I had thought that healing means completely recuperating in a way where the wound is no longer visible, impactful, or perhaps even memorable. But how realistic is that? And, who are we if we get rid of these wounds?

Wounds can be beautiful too. Maybe it depends on how you incurred them, why, and what you do with them – how you carry them. They are part of us, aren’t they.

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Chillin Interconnectivity

Finding Purpose and Meaning through Hopelessness and Suffering

Here is another quote from Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” The author was a researcher who survived the Nazi concentration camps. In this book he writes about these experiences, and how it impacted his awareness of how people find meaning:

“Another time we were at work in a trench. The dawn was grey around us; grey was the sky above; grey the snow in the pale light of dawn; grey the rags in which my fellow prisoners were clad, and grey their faces. I was again conversing silently with my wife, or perhaps I was struggling to find the reason for my sufferings, my slow dying. In a last violent protest against the hopelessness of imminent death, I sensed my spirit piercing through the enveloping gloom. I felt it transcend that hopeless, meaningless world, and from somewhere I heard a victorious “Yes” in answer to my question of the existence of an ultimate purpose. At that moment a light was lit in a distant farmhouse, which stood on the horizon as if painted there, in the midst of the miserable grey of a dawning morning in Bavaria. ‘Et lux in tenebris lucet’–and the light shineth in the darkness. For hours I stood hacking at the icy ground. The guard passed by, insulting me, and once again I communed with my beloved. More and more I felt that she was present, that she was with me; I had the feeling that I was able to touch her, able to stretch out my hand and grasp hers. The feeling was very strong: she was there. Then, at that very moment, a bird flew down silently and perched just in front of me, on the heap of soil which I had dug up from the ditch, and looked steadily at me.”

This quote struck me. I find it beautiful in many ways.

Right now, regardless of what we think about the bird in this excerpt, it is obvious it was profoundly meaningful for the author, for the bird to land in front of him and look steadily at him. I gather that this meant there was connection there: connection between him and his wife (who was deceased at this time), and connection with this bird. And I think the meaningfulness stems from and has something to do with this sense of connection.

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Chillin Quotes

The Salvation of Humanity is Through Love and in Love

“The salvation of [humanity] is through love and in love.”

-Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

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Chillin Exponential Potential Interconnectivity Life Is Yours Using The Brain

No Matter What, Know that Things Can Get Better

No matter what, know that things can get better.

No matter where you are. Or what is going on. Regardless of the impacts of the past, the future can be very unpredictable.

No matter what we think is going to happen, or how we believe things will turn out, we don’t consciously know it all. We don’t know the details. And so often, wild, crazy things have entered into Life to be a part of reality.

Keep positive. Keep open. And definitely, please, stay real.

Keeping positive doesn’t mean denying the truth of the moment. Positivity that can spark change is about accepting the truth of the moment, being a “Yes” to it, with humility, love, connection, and optimism. Imagine the number of people who have done the worst things, and then turned their lives around. Imagine the many miracles people have experienced with seemingly no rhyme or reason, but which have been saving graces in their lives?

Keep positive my friends. Real to your self, your core, your Soul. And yet, positive. Loving. Accepting. Forgiving. Loving. Loving. Loving.

Blessings to you and yours. And all. One Love.

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Chillin Life Is Yours Using The Brain

Meaninglessness, and Feeling Meaning

I have been struggling off and on with feeling meaning. It comes in waves. It’s difficult to define how long this last one was, I think it was on and off for almost a year. It was more on struggle this autumn until a few weeks ago.

I think there were a combination of things that helped alleviate it. My mom helped me paint to a much brighter color in my living room and bedroom. And she shared with me a meditation which put me in a purer state of Presence when listening to it. These things helped a lot.

One of the greatest contributions to my sustaining more meaning in these recent weeks is drastically reducing the noise that my brain listens to. I live by myself, and during my free time I’m normally listening to news, sports content, talks, etc. When I cut out all those things and just sat quiet while eating, while cleaning, while brushing my teeth, etc., I was in effect spending more time with a part of my self.

While I care about what’s happening in the world, possibly the greatest meaning is found within my self. Or at least, it was a huge factor that was not getting any attention to Be, and be Present, and quiet. Quiet so that I can discern and feel the meaning that exists in the fabric of the moment.

I feel a lot better now, having cut out a significant amount of distractions from my free time. I automatically sense more meaning in the moment.

Categories
Chillin Using The Brain

Slow the Perception of Time

As I’m getting some older I notice time in general seems to go by more quickly. At the end of the year I would look back and think “Wow this year flew.”

There are some exceptions. Like the last couple of years with so many changes in my life.

I’ve been interested in this because I don’t want time to fly so quickly. Even though I am talking about the perception of time and not the speed of time itself, I still want to feel things going by more slowly. I don’t want to wake up one day and be really old and say to myself “Where did my life go?”

An aside: I do think it is possible that the actual speed of time fluctuates, even within a single day. Not sure how much control of this we have. My theory is it’s attached to some wave-like pattern / mechanism (like gravity waves?).

Back to time: I found a video which emphasizes how to slow down the perception of time:

  • being very Present (I had an intuitive hunch about this method, and had written and drew something about this previous post under the section “Stay Present”).
  • having new experiences that are attached to your ever-evolving identity.

I’ve been testing this out the deeper Presence and it seems to work. Whenever I am more Present time seems much slower. This is ‘paying’ attention to the Present moment. One way I can tell how Present I am being is when I’m in my elevator in my apartment building, if the ride went fast, I know I was distracted. If the ride feels slow, it tells me I’m being Present.

Here is the video with some thoughts on slowing your perception of time:

 

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Chillin Halloween

Happy Halloween :D

Happy Halloween Birthday
Categories
Reality

Inviting, Allowing a New Home

Since the chaos of my move has decreased a bit, I’ve been sad in my new apartment for the last few days. It hit me this morning that I wasn’t letting go of my concept of “home” which has always been in my heart my childhood home that I grew up in. Now that home belongs to another family, and my grandma who always provided that home has passed away a year ago.

I think I have to “invite” this new home to be my home in my heart. Or something. Here is a video with some thoughts on this.

Blessings.

Categories
Inserts

Moving. Again

Blessings on you all.

This is the 3rd time I’m moving this year.

The first time was moving my stuff out of my childhood (and parts of my adulthood) home. Quite painful. We had to sell it. Thankfully I had many weeks to do the moving, which meant I had time to process emotionally, and could properly say goodbye. It was difficult.

The second time was a couple of weeks ago, moving from my office to another space where I would have no privacy. This again meant loss of space and having to throw many things out.

Now I’m moving from my rental to my 1st co-op (yay!). But, I’m still throwing things out. This whole thing is difficult, throwing things out. Deciding. Letting go. And moving spaces.

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Chillin Hooraaaaaaaaay Inserts

Master’s Graduation

I graduated in May 2021 from NYU Steinhardt School of Education with a Master’s of Higher Education and Student Affairs (woot woot!!!). Because of the pandemic, we didnt actually hold a ceremony till one full year later in May 2022. Now another year later July 2023 I am posting this video from the 2022 celebration of my 2021 graduation 😆

NYU recorded this and sent this clip to me. Great job. Helps me feel super proud 🙂

Categories
Interconnectivity Quotes

Forgive to Feel your Connection

“What the ego doesn’t try is forgiveness, because that would undermine its very existence. To forgive others for insults, real or imagined, is to weaken the boundary between self and other, to dissolve the sense of separation between subject and object. And thus, with forgiveness, awareness tends to let go of the ego and its insults, and revert instead…[to view] both subject and object equally.”

Ken Wilber, Grace and Grit

Categories
Quotes

Acceptance of Suffering / Pain

Personally I like to distinguish between pain and suffering. I go by an idea I came across which says that pain is inevitable, but suffering arises from resistance to that pain. I really appreciated the following quote, and it is obvious the author is referring to the inevitable aspects of suffering or pain:

“One of the keys to a creative spirituality of suffering has something to do with its inevitability. If life always bring suffering with it, then it need never be sought but merely accepted. Every human life will have a measure of pain in it at different stages of the life process.

An acceptance of suffering gives us all the suffering we need, so to speak. The question is not whether we shall suffer or how much but what our attitude to it will be and what we shall make of it….

The sacrament of the present moment intends to make us aware of the meaningfulness of life and of the presence of God in each moment. It asks us not to look to the past and wish for something that was gone, or to the future to desire something which might never exist. It suggests, instead, that we live in the present moment, whether that moment be wonderful or frightening, and that we find in that moment something important to experience.

Each moment of life is sacramental because it reveals God to us and brings grace with it. Each moment makes us aware of who we are and enters into our life story. Some of these moments may be suffering moments, but these too teach us about the texture and quality of our lives and the nature and character of the universe we inhabit.

We know then that life brings more than enough suffering with it. We need not ever seek suffering for its own sake or inflict it on others. Suffering becomes a creative and contributing life experience when we allow life itself to determine the occasion and the intensity, the moment and the magnitude of the pain.

Every person suffers sooner or later. The poor suffer physical deprivation, but many experience stronger bonds with those they love and fewer illusions about life. The affluent suffer emotional distance from themselves and others, but receive more esteem and comfort. Those whose lives are socially unsuccessful suffer failure in the public order, but may be closer to their families and less infected with greed. The successful suffer stress, endless expectations for better performance and vicious competition, but they gain a sense of satisfaction with themselves and the acclaim of others.”

Anthony T. Padovano, A Celebration of Life

Categories
Quotes

No Perfect Body, Sex, or Energy

An excerpt about energy practice:

“If you can’t smile in the midst of your practice, you are taking it too seriously. If you can’t feel the ultimate futility of energy practice — after all, your body is going to rot and die in any case — then it is easy to become addicted to the process of perfecting your energies.

You can’t perfect your body, your sex, or your energy. They are all going to have their good days and bad days, until finally they dissolve in death. But you can perfect your trust of love. You can stabilize your practice of feeling through the events and sensations of every moment,  so that nothing distracts you from who you really are. You simply remain as you are and always have been, conscious as your eternal and spacious nature, open as love, aware as the radiant being that you are.

You can forget the truth of your unbounded being — and forget that you have forgotten — or you can remember and practice recognizing this moment’s essential openness.”

-David Deida, The Enlightened Sex Manual

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Chillin Quotes

Addict Recovery Joke

My mom told me this one =)

“I was addicted to soap once, now I’m clean.”

It put a smile on my face, I had to share it 🙂 My family, myself included, have suffered from addiction. We are a lot better now, thank God, truly, so, it’s nice to be lighthearted about this, even though we addicts always must remain humble and grateful.

Categories
Chillin Interconnectivity Life Is Yours

The Door is Within

The Door is within.

What the heck does that mean?

I feel like, whatever it is I’m looking for, asking for, wanting…, the access is inside.

It’s not like I need to search and find the door, the “thing”, somewhere out there. Maybe something specific, sure it is physically outside of your body. But as if it does not arrive in your path unless you have opened the door inside you. And that door is arrived as a vibration of your mind, your emotion, your being.

Imagine if you vibrate at certain levels, you actually see different things that exist on those levels. In this case, your own vibration is the door you are looking for to bring that which you want to you.

Now whether or not that thing is a good thing, is a different story, and one I might as well get to here : )

I say, shoot for health. Or meaning.

Categories
Chillin Interconnectivity

The Way of Water

Beautiful quote from Avatar 2. As I was hearing it in the movie, I was thinking the quote could also be used to describe air / breathing. Here is the original quote:

“The way of water has no beginning and no end. The sea is around you and in you. The sea is your home — before your birth, and after your death. Our hearts beat in the womb of the world, our breath burns in the shadow of the deep. The sea gives, and the sea takes. Water connects all things, life to death, darkness to light.”

-Avatar 2

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Oetics

What is the Answer

What is the Answer?

I don’t even know the question.

I know I’m constantly looking for something.

Whatever it is, it’s not going to be found outside.

Even if I’m looking for human interaction / connection, the answer undoubtedly lies in me, or should I say ‘truths’ in me.

In a way, that’s a good thing.

It’s always there. Even if lost, it’s still with me.

Part of it has to do with needing. Needing / feeding from someone…it’s ultimately the direction or path, is through yourself. But, not the ego / character, more so, that door is found inside.

Maybe the reflections on the outside, which is all reflection, helps point us to that door, that way. And by ‘way,’ I mean honor, focus, source.

I don’t think you, nor I, are exclusively the source, but if you are unsatisfied with the outside, consider looking inside.

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Chillin Inserts

Allowing the Flow of Sadness to Allow the Flow of Happiness

“If you never let yourself feel sad, how do you ever feel happy?”

-Punky Brewster (episode 1)

I have found this to be true: You cannot selectively numb emotions. You cant just say “I’m going to avoid feeling pain so I can always feel happy” – they come hand-in-hand. Like a flow, flowing through you.

I think the healthiest is when we can allow that flow, even the flow of pain. It is said that suffering is resistance to pain.

So the point here being: perhaps pain is inevitable, and that flow which allows pain is required to also allow happiness. When you restrict the flow, to avoid pain, you cause suffering. Allowing pain is healthy; a pure pain is a cleansing pain, and even may incorporate pure beauty. A stifled, blocked pain can lead to the blocking of other healthy emotions, including happiness.

Categories
Quotes

This Being the Moment

“You may wonder if the most wonderful moments of your life are already behind you. Or you may think the happiest moment of your life is still to come. But this is the moment we have been waiting for.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

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Quotes

Key is in the Safe

“If you want my opinion on the mystery of life and all that, I can give it to you in a nutshell: the universe is like a safe to which there is a key. But the key is locked up in the safe.”

–Peter De Vries

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Chillin Relationships

The Eyes Have It

Ever looked into someone’s eyes and seen complete understanding? A short talk on the experience of the eyes:

Categories
Quotes

Native American Prayer

“A Prayer to God,

The Spirit of All the World:

O God, Great Spirit of all the world, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all living things, hear me! I am small and weak; I need your strength and wisdom. let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the setting sun. Make my hands respect the things you have made, and make my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught your people. Let me learn the lesson you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength, not to be greater than my brothers and sisters, but to fight my greatest enemy: myself. Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes. And when life fades, as the fading sunset, may my spirit come before you without shame.”

(Unfortunately I do not have more detail about the origin of this prayer)

Categories
Quotes

Unable to Perceive the Shape of You

“Unable to perceive the shape of You,

I find You all around me.

Your Presence fills my eyes with your love.

It humbles my heart,

for You are everywhere.”

-from The Shape of Water movie

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Halloween Hooraaaaaaaaay Life Is Yours Reality

Happy Halloween Birthday =D

Categories
Quotes Using The Brain

Two Pleasure Systems in the Human Brain

we have two separate pleasure systems in our brains, one that has to do with exciting pleasure and one with satisfying pleasure. The exciting system relates to the ‘appetitive’ pleasure that we get imagining something we desire, such as sex or a good meal. Its neurochemistry is largely dopamine-related, and it raises our tension level. The second pleasure system has to do with the satisfaction, or consummatory
pleasure, that attends actually having sex or having that meal, a calming, fulfilling pleasure. Its neurochemistry is based on the release of endorphins, which are related to opiates and give a peaceful, euphoric bliss.

-Norman Doidge, from: The Brain that Changes Itself

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Chillin Exponential Potential Inserts Quotes Using The Brain

Luck is the Residue of Design

“Luck is the residue of design”

– Predestination (movie)

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Chillin Quotes

Noticing Self-Growth

“The word ‘meaning’ doesn’t have quite the same bite for me as it once did, not quite the same ability to make me unhappy and dissatisfied and restless and searching still. I believe perhaps I am being more compassionate with myself. More gentle with life, with what it is to be human. Part of the move toward wisdom that I was talking to Ken about. But sometimes when I talk to others about changes I believe are happening within I’m not quite certain if it’s true; am I bragging, am I only hoping this is true, am I affirming something I want to be true but which is not yet so? The ring of truth, the feeling that I am actually not pretending, comes more when I begin to write or talk about things that used to bother me as if they still do, but the complaint, the edge, the bitterness simply isn’t there with its old force. I’m not trying to convince anyone of my progress, I’m simply being my old cantankerous self, complaining, self-pitying, going over the same old territory, and yet the complaints are weak, my heart isn’t in them anymore, I feel a bit bored with what I’m saying. That’s when I feel confident that I am indeed moving on, leaving that particular thing behind after so many months or years I’ve lived with it.”

-Treya, Grace and Grit