Joy

Day 28 for Barbara

Joy – for our hearts!

From “Living and Dying” the book

I had the experience of living in a state of joy for two weeks around the time of my sixtieth birthday. I like to tell the story of a dream I had at that time, which is where the experience began. In the dream, I was having breakfast with my two-year-old grandson at my favorite diner in Livonia NY. He looked to me when he saw a bird fly by and asked me, “Ba Ba,” (he calls me Ba Ba,) and he really couldn’t talk in real life, “how come birds can fly?” My response was, “Because it’s their nature.” After a reflective pause in the conversation, I then asked my grandson, “What is our nature?” His immediate response was, “Our nature’s to love, Ba Ba” and then went casually back to eating his breakfast. As I let that moment of childhood innocence and powerful truth flow over and through me, an overwhelming feeling of love and joy filled my being. I could only think of one thing so I asked him, “How come so many of us don’t follow our nature?” He said, “It’s because we can think. Animals can’t think and when you can think, you can forget.”

The dream brought me tears of joy for weeks after as I truly saw only love everywhere and for everyone I came into contact with. Whether it was the checkout girl at the register, the gas attendant, my family, or friends, I could only feel joy and love for everyone, I was love in its fullest. It was during that time when I realized that we all have the choice to shape our experience into what it is that we want, and only we can make that happen for ourselves.

Weeks later I returned to the other world, the back and forth world of love and fear. Often when I felt removed from love, I would notice a sense of being lost which made me angry, unloving and in some way less than I wanted to be and feel. It was in this struggle with loss that I became aware of my own loss of connection.
When I felt lost I would spend time in my head trying to figure it all out. Why was it happening? What was wrong with me? Why, why, why? It was this back and forth activity ‘life’ that brought me to this place today.
What I learned and continue to learn is all of our struggles are merely opportunities for re-direction, re-orienting us to find our path. They are really a blessing, a gift. I soon realized that when I felt lost, it was only because I had lost my way—taken a detour off the main highway. Because it was such a frequent event in my life, I just didn’t really notice it.

The experience of those two weeks of pure love and joy brought me to a place where I now recognize more frequently that feeling of disconnection—and I don’t like it. If we can find a way to re-orient our attention with our source, getting back to that main highway, when we feel these things, we can find our way back. We can return to the place that connects us with all things in our universe, a perpetual energy zone where all things are possible. Maybe all we need is a good map!

“Blessings on your journey”

http://www.mkanthony.com

More about missing my dear friend

Day 27

More about missing my “dear friend”. (Sometimes when we break a habit or addiction we find ourselves missing it like a dear friend)  

When I finally quit smoking I had completed my relationship with using smoking as a tool for many things.  For me smoking was having something to do with my hands and taking a deep breath for creating a place or sense of relaxation.  During my 25-30 years of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, I quit many times, only to return to the habit which slowly became an addiction.  It all started in college where we were able to smoke in class.  Who of you wouldn’t want to smoke a pack of cigarettes during economics 101? lol  We would smoke on airplanes, in movie theaters, restaurants, in our homes and most all public spaces.  Smoking was considered “cool” and the social acceptance was huge.  My parents smoked, my wife smoked, our friends smoked, we were hooked.

In this case my “dear friend” became, “social acceptance, dealing with stress and a sense of relaxation” I was in love with it. I couldn’t wait to get to that familiar place every waking moment by smoking. Each day became a fight with my thoughts and desires. When I would give it up, I would miss those things. It became more frustrating to quit then to continue smoking, I stopped and started many times.  It felt like an all out war between my desire to live a healthier life and my “dear friend”  Fortunately for me, societies acceptance changed and my continued smoking created more discomfort and frustration then I could tolerate, so I finally was able to give it up.

Every moment in our lives create opportunities to develop and foster new “dear friends” new familiar places, creating new habits and new addictions. I still connect to the need to do something to stay busy, and create a place and sense of relaxation, and sometimes find myself off a healthy path. I find myself having to always be conscious of who my new “dear friend” is and why. I try hard to live clean and healthy and work towards finding spiritual awareness and wisdom.  Is that an addiction? Because, I’m to tired for  more wars.

I know this topic doesn’t begin to address the multitude of addictions but, I feel the “dear friend” reference is similar.  Here’s hoping our “dear friend” (familiar place) can be acceptance, peace, love and joy without unhealthy behaviors and thoughts.  As one of my “dear friends” shared yesterday “rather than hating your dear old friends, we somehow need to make them into our pets. They must be appreciated for propeling us forward. But that’s all, there are much better friends waiting”

While I continue to move forward on my journey with hope and love in my heart, I continue to see opportunity and pray for peace in our world. I’ll pray for you too.

“Blessings on your journey”

http://www.mkanthony.com

My dear friend

Day 26

Sometimes when we break a habit or addiction we find ourselves missing it like a dear friend

 

Over a year ago I took to loosing some weight and dropped forty five pounds.  I am still holding to my new weight goals.  Recently I took three months off from drinking any alcohol.  I made it through a couple of months, but found myself back to it before the three months were up.

Whenever we make the effort to free ourselves of an addiction or a habit we no longer need or want we often find ourselves missing the old pattern as we would a familiar friend. This sounds counterintuitive, because we think we should instinctively gravitate toward that which is good for us. And yet, it makes a lot of sense when you consider that we are creatures of habit. This is why we gravitate to people and places–and patterns of behavior–that make us feel comfortable. Therefore, many of the habits we form are not conscious and are based instead on learned behavior from role models who were not always making the healthiest decisions.

Most addictions in my opinion begin as a way of avoiding feelings that are uncomfortable, so it makes sense that stopping the addiction means, for a time, a fair amount of discomfort. The same, of course, is true of habits that we have developed over time that we are ready to release. Just knowing that this is hard, and having compassion for ourselves as we work through this process, can help us to stay the course. It’s also helpful to remember that in time we can establish new, healthier patterns, and the yearning for the old ones will hopefully disappear. Ten years ago I gave up cigarettes and to this day do not have any urge to smoke.  My eating habits are different today then in the past, but I’m finding comfort in the fact I’m eating better foods.  Although I gave up drinking for a time, I realize I still miss the social and relaxation components of it today.

The only way to get to this new place is to endure a time of difficulty, which is a challenge we can confidently handle, if we remember that it will lead to the change we seek in our lives. Our bodies, hearts, and minds always need time to adjust to a new way of doing things, but they will adapt, and even become our allies, if we remain true to our vision of a new way. I think I’ll try with the alcohol again come January! Maybe even try exercising!!

“Blessings on your journey”

http://www.mkanthony.com

Winter wonderland

Day 25

Last night was our first snowfall of the season with 4-6 inches of snow falling by morning. There is something magical and energizing to wake up to a fresh new snowfall.  I can remember the joy we had as kids as we raced out into its freshness to build forts, throw snowballs, and play.  Back then, the snow came and stayed for all of the winter.  The roads would stay packed with snow initially and sledding on the local hills took up a lot of our free time.  As we aged, we began skiing and traveling to the different mountains in our area on the weekends and school holidays.  We bonded with friends and family, as we tirelessly endured and thoroughly enjoyed the cold and wintry months. It was good.  As we entered our own parenting days, we shared our experiences as children with our own kids.  Many weekends and school holidays spent on the ski hills with new friends and family.

Today I am grateful for the new snow.  Tomorrow may be different, but I think not.  It brings a sheer beauty to nature and our environment, wrapping the grey and dead looking landscape with its fresh clean look.  It is a joy to behold.  It will never get old for me, and I look forward to tomorrow.  I hope you do too, wherever you are.

“Blessings on your journey”

http://www.mkanthony.com

Why is it so scary?

Today I’m feeling scared, and I’m not sure what’s causing it. Is it because I’m blogging and putting my shit out there in the universe for all to see?  Am I scared because I may be ridiculed, laughed at, not liked, perceived a failure?  Or, am I scared because the energy in our world is freaking scary? All the presidents men, the media and the entertainers and the politicians are scary.  People full of hate are scary! Will all of this insanity pull me down in its hole?  Is that why I’m scared?

Yup!

Am I’m scared about blogging? I guess I’m in some pretty good company then. Walt Disney (first animation company went bankrupt, was told he wasn’t creative enough), Albert Einstein (didn’t speak till four and read until seven – parents and teachers thought he was mentally handicapped), Vincent Van Gogh (he only sold one painting in his lifetime), Michael Jordan (cut from his high school basketball team) the list goes on. There is no success without failure. Decide what is important to you and take huge steps (leaps) everyday even though it doesn’t seem like it’s working. Success doesn’t happen without failures. It’s reality, and it takes practice to get good at.

Am I scared about the negative energy in the world? I know I’m not alone here.  All I can do is take it moment by moment and day by day.  I will try to limit my news time and place more time on my health and my family.  I will try and hold all others opinions as just that, opinions.  There is no power in thought and opinions, unless we give them power.  Wayne Dyer used to always say,  “Change the way you look at the world, and the world you look at changes”.  Know you are not alone! For I am with you, and it might get scary!

“Blessings on your journey”

http://www.mkanthony.com

Life’s review

During one’s final life review, the most shocking thing for baby souls is discovering how much love they were ALWAYS bathed in… that they failed to feel.

For young souls, it’s discovering how much love they were ALWAYS bathed in… that they failed to feel.

And for old souls, it’s discovering how much love they were ALWAYS bathed in… that they failed to feel.

“Blessing on your journey”

http://www.mkanthony.com

Hope

Today, was an incredible day!!

560 male individuals gathered at THE COUNTR CLUB OF ROCHESTER to celebrate 100+ years of tradition, the annual pig roast.   I was taken aback, and fulfilled by its power .  It isn’t often that I see so many men together in one place for so long.

Over the many hours I was there, I had conversations regarding the political conditions around sexual harassment  and  assault and what It means to our world, amongst  others.

It would it appear that we hope to have man’s perspective and opinion yet we want it to be one we agree with.

“Blessings on your journey

www. mkanthony.com