“Relationships never offer a guarantee. And they always require work. And therefore they don’t work for people who are not willing to work… without a guarantee.” – Leo Buscaglia

“Relationships never offer a guarantee. And they always require work.

And therefore they don’t work for people who are not willing to work.

And they don’t work for people who aren’t willing to work without a guarantee.

We’re always waiting for the right person to come along.

And we say that when they come along we will live happily ever after.

Doesn’t that make you wanna puke? I mean how old do we have to be before we realise that’s the most distractive myth? There’s no such thing as happily ever after anything.

And you’re waiting for the right person! I guarantee you’ll wait forever! There is no right person. You become the right person!” – Leo Buscaglia

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

What do we know about Loving Relationships? Invest 45 Amazing Minutes with Leo Buscaglia for an expansion of perspective… “Life is a celebration of ALL relationships, not just the limitations of a man and a woman and a marriage…” – Leo Buscaglia

“There’s so many myths about relationships… the minute I talk about loving relationships, everybody immediately flashes on MAN-WOMAN-MARRIAGE.

And we forget that that’s only ONE relationship in our lives.

Think of a myriad of others. Think of mommas, of pappas, of sisters, of brothers, of neighbours, of friends, of in-laws, of co-workers and they go on and on and on…

And life is a celebration of all those relationships, not just the limitations of a man and a woman and a marriage… If that’s all you do, you’re going to be lost.

You’ve got to go out and bring in these others, because they feed you, they nourish you, they make you healthy…” – Leo Buscaglia

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Moving Mondays: Holding a Grudge

Originally posted on Moving Art by Louie Schwartzberg:


With energy tied up in the past, we don’t have any left to take care of the present. We’re human. And sometimes we make big mistakes. What we forget is that by holding a grudge against someone who has hurt us, we only hurt ourselves more in the long run. Holding a grudge consumes our energy and diverts our attention away from the present moment. Because we’re tied up in our anger or hurt, we may miss the fact that in the present moment, we’re actually doing okay. Moments of peace and contentment elude us when our thoughts and feelings wander to past wrongs.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is the right thing to do. When we make mistakes ourselves, we hope for compassion and understanding. When someone else hurts us, it serves us well to emulate what we would hope to have shown to us. Letting go of a grudge…

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“Hope can sometimes be an elusive thing, and occasionally it must come to us with pain.” – Gerald G. May, ‘Addiction & Grace’

On the seventh day of this month, we took a long walk to our destination. On our way there, we encountered a stray, of the human kind.

From afar, I was struck by his skin, smeared in black, and the way his torn t-shirt was draped to the side like a monk’s orange robe.

The scowl on his face and the way he was striding forth commands you to get out of his way.

Even so, a part of me wanted to stop him and to speak with him. But I traced his right bared arm to his hand, clenched tightly around a bottle of liquor, now empty. “He could hit you with it,” I feared.

So I stood aside, he stalked right by, and the sudden stench of sewage overpowered the air, trailing his misery.

STRAY
I slipped my hand into the hand of the one I was walking with, and held on tight.

“Why, are you scared?
Do you fear that man?” he asked.

“…No.” I was looking for comfort. I was thinking about how tightly that man was holding on to his bottle. An empty bottle. It was his lifeline. His only way of numbing his pain. “I feel pity for him… his outer condition is a reflection of his inner condition, and it’s clear he’s in a very, very bad state…”

“Yea… I can’t help but feel the pain… and I’m feeling it very strongly now,”

Google defines Pity as “the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the sufferings and misfortunes of others.” I believe this feeling of sorrow and compassion can only arise from having once recognised ourselves, in them.

I remember only too well, a time in my life when I, too, felt lost and “homeless”. In my time of wandering, I identified with the beggars and the strays on the streets. It was a humbling time of transitioning, where I was brought to my knees by the awareness of my own ‘drunken stupor’ from my various addictions.

I was a human in need of grace.

“Grace is the invisible advocate of freedom and the absolute expression of perfect love.

…grace seeks us but will not control us. Saint Augustine once said that God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them. If our hands are full, they are full of the things to which we are addicted.

And not only our hands, but also our hearts, minds and attention are clogged with addiction. Our addictions fill up the spaces within us, spaces where grace might flow…

…we may not be able to make our hands completely empty in order to receive the gifts of grace, but we can choose whether to relax our hands a little or to keep clenching them ever more tightly.

…simply relaxing one’s hands may seem too passive. As we shall see, however, this simple choice may be the greatest kind of struggle any human being can face, and it may call forth the greatest courage and dedication…

…We may go through a great deal of humbling, if not outright humiliation, before we come to this simplicity of hope. We do not like admitting defeat, and we will struggle valiantly, even foolishly, to prove that we can master our destinies.

God, in whose image we are made, instills in us the capacity for relentless tenacity, an assertiveness that complements our yearning hunger for God. But most of us overdo it; our spirit of assertiveness quickly becomes a spirit of pride.

We will never really turn to God in loving openness as long as we are handling things well enough by ourselves. And it is precisely our most powerful addictions that cause us to defeat ourselves, that bring us to the rock bottom realization that we cannot finally master everything.

Thus, although in one sense addiction is the enemy of grace, it can also be a powerful channel for the flow of grace.

Addiction can be, and often is, the thing that brings us to our knees.

…it is possible that at some point in our journey with addiction and grace, we might even come to see addiction as a kind of gift.

…Addictions teaches us not to be too proud. Sooner or later, addiction will prove to us that we are not gods.

Then we will realize that we are our own worst enemies; we cannot beat ourselves. At that point, when we have exhausted all the available false repositories for our hope, it is possible that we will turn to God with a true sense of who we are, with an integrity that is both humble and confident, with a dignity that knows itself because it has met its limits.

Hope can sometimes be an elusive thing, and occasionally it must come to us with pain.

But it is there, irrevocably. Like freedom, hope is a child of grace, and grace cannot be stopped. I refer once more to Saint Paul, a man who, I am convinced, understood addiction: “Hope will not be denied, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts.” – Gerald G.May, ‘Addiction & Grace’.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Flow

Life is movement… in every moment.
Even in stillness, we can kiss the sky.

…Fly

…Flow

…Go

“…Breathe, breathe in the air.
Set your intentions.
Dream with care.
Tomorrow is a new day for everyone,
Brand new moon, brand new sun.
So follow, follow the sun,
the direction of the birds,
the direction of love.
Breathe, breathe in the air,
cherish this moment,
cherish this breath…

…So which way is the wind blowin’,
and what does your heart say?” – Xavier Rudd, ‘Follow The Sun’.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Moving Mondays: Ready to Learn

Originally posted on Moving Art by Louie Schwartzberg:

Every person we meet has come into our life to teach us something.

Too often when we meet someone, we’re concerned with telling them who we are or what our story is. Rather than look at what we can learn from someone, we feel like we should be the one teaching.

The truth is that every person we meet has something they can teach us. Whether someone is older, younger, richer, poorer – the differences between us truly don’t matter. When you’re standing in a long line and encounter a cranky person or when you meet someone who frustrates you, they, too, have something they can teach you. Be open to the possibility that each person you meet has crossed your path for a reason.

Reflection of the Week: Are you open to the possibility that everyone you meet has something valuable they can teach you? Do you feel you are ready to learn that lesson?

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Vulnerability

Vulnerability

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

God Bless The Broken Road

Originally posted on Alexa Rose:

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“Bless The Broken Road”
(originally by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
(Yes He did)

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that…

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Being In The NOW Releases You From The Miserable “What Ifs” And Frees You To Enter-Into-Joy (En-Joy), This Present Moment.

28 JAN, 14

“Now I know why dogs love sticking their heads out the window! This is fun!” Lilian laughed with the glee of a child, waving one hand out in the air, steering the wheels with the other, hair flying wildly in the wind.

It was a smooth cruise up the clear and winding road.

We were driving into clouds bursting into icy sprays all over our face. A delicious treat when we’re so used to heat, all year long. The thick, heavy mist all around was getting thicker and heavier by the minute. A sure promise we’ll be freezing our ass off, as soon as we make it to the top!

Luca, her Italian friend who’s down for the weekend for a visit is the reason why we’re making this special trip up. He is smiling brightly and enjoying the surprising coolness as much as we were. He’s been to Malaysia 2 years ago. It had always been warm and humid. He never knew it could get this cold, and we’re only halfway up Genting Highlands!

“I lean against the wind, pretend that I am weightless, and in this moment I am happy, happy, … I wish you were here!” – Incubus

It was in this moment that I was happy, that I fell into a state of misery. I was thinking of Mr.X and missing him so. As my mind drifted to the past, I was no longer in the car but a passenger in a dark train of thoughts. It was rushing through a tunnel of regrets, going deeper underground.

“What if I didn’t say goodbye? What if I waited for him to call? What if I tried to call again? Would it have turned out differently?” “Maybe if I did this, he would’ve responded positively.” “Maybe if I did that, he would’t be silent.” “Maybe if I kept silent, he would’ve called.” “We could still be together IF I was more patient, more understanding, more forgiving… right???”

This has happened before. In my journal dated 12.12.10, this was the morning Rinda, my Spiritual Director, asked me how I felt. It was our one-on-one session time, the only time we get to talk in the Silent Retreat.

“Up and down and up and down,” I replied.

“Mmmm. Let me introduce you to the 5 stages of grieving,” she said, referencing Elizabeth Kubler Ross. “Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.”

“The last stage, Acceptance, takes the longest to arrive at.

Until you do, you will find yourself bouncing between one and four, for some time.”

That explains a lot. I didn’t know what stage I was in but I had a question for Rinda. I have been following all the rules in the retreat and I’ve tried as much as possible to focus on God, so I wanted to know something.

“Is it okay to hope? Hope that maybe I can still work things out with him?”

Rinda smiled. “You are bargaining. God, if I promise to be good in this retreat, and remember You when I’m needy, can I keep him?

You need to let that die…

In order to be opened to what God wants you to do.

Be in the Nowness. Seek God and what He wants,” she said. “His will, not my will.”

These days, I’ve been struggling with the concept of God and believing. Yet in the midst of unbelief, it is an agnostic that assures me there’s a Higher Love. It is the girl with the tattoos that stubbornly insists God is real, in between smoking and flicking ash into the tray. It is a celebrity with no specific religion that eagerly shares that he has now chosen to believe in God, and wants to have a relationship with God. As I continue vacillating between a place of Faith to a place of Doubt, and back and forth, I find that I am still Guided through life, in my darkest moments.

As my heart was sinking and my smile fading, Mr.Now appeared instead.

“Be in the Nowness,” he suggested.

“You can’t change the past. Worrying will not change a thing, right now. It is your attachment to what you had, that is making you miserable, right now.

It is your fear, of what you might not have in the days to come, that is making you miserable, right now. The future has not yet happened. So why worry, now?

He isn’t here right now. Being miserable won’t bring him here right now. But you are here, Right Now. You can choose to enjoy this moment, Right Now.

You can be happy. You are already happy. You just need to realize that, and realize you can stay happy, if you stay in the Now.”

Just like that, my mind sprung back to the present and I was back with my friends in the car, joining in the laughter and enjoying our journey up.

That was Saturday. Today it’s Monday Blues! I am back in Bargaining Mode, miserable over the What Ifs. So I found myself writing a letter addressed to the Universe, Life, God, J… I stated my wish to see X again.

But what are my reasons? I began thinking what it is I loved about him.

I love the way he supports me. “You’re on fire babe!!! Inspiring me!

Be proud of how strong you’re being right now. It’s always hard to touch such sensitive themes with people you have chaotic backgrounds with. You’re super tough and looking at the bear straight in the eye!” he said, when I shared my struggle for the day.

I love the way he sees me. “A little work of art (he sends me the image that came to mind. An original sculpture in marble of a lady in a veil, by Raffaelo Monti)… for the absolute beauty, meticulousness, purity and peace that comes out of it.” “Your laugh… I like it… it’s pure.”

I love the way he understands. “No problems are small, all problems are important, relevant and proportionate to each person’s reality.”

There are so many things I love about him. But there are reasons why we’re not together now. I needed to be honest and remember why.

I thought about the ways he frustrates me (be it unconsciously or subconsciously). I thought about how worried and insecure I became in the process. And through that, discovered how needy I could still be.

“If only we could reconnect again, try again and understand each other,  we could help each other heal and grow, right?” I tried bargaining. 

That’s when a stream of Bigger Questions flowed through my heart.

Could it be, our connection is meant to be short and sudden, For Now? Could it be, we have served our purpose in each of our lives and done our part for each other’s healing and growth, For Now? 

Could it be, we are apart, For Now, in order for Life to flow the way it needs to flow, bringing us along the paths, persons, experiences and lessons we need to encounter before encountering each other again? 

Could it be, the frustrations were meant to build up and explode, to blow through the wall of resistance we built towards our growth?

“This is the year I get myself together,” – X

“My theme this year is Wholehearted,” – M

We both have a great vision for our life. Can I trust that we can continue in our vision for our lives, even when apart? Can I trust that our daily work on ourselves, will lead us to a new level of wholesomeness? And because like attracts like, lead us back to each other–if not as lovers, then as friends? Could I be satisfied, with having him in my life, as a friend, if nothing more could be offered? 

The answer to all of the above is Yes.

For Now, everything is as it should be.

For Now, I get to wish him happiness.

For Now, I get to wish me happiness.

For Now, I am grateful for all I had, all I have, and all I am yet to receive…

…Life is full of Surprises.

So allow yourself to be Surprised!

By the end of the letter / journal writing, I felt so much better, lighter and free. I felt Grateful. For the Awareness. And for the tools I’ve been equipped with to deal with the pain and misery whenever it sneaks in.

As always, my intention for sharing my story and journey here is in the hope that we can grow through this together–one day at a time.

Today is The Day, made and created for you, to enjoy and be glad in it.

It’s okay and healthy to grief, for a time, for the loss of a loved one–be it due to death, separation, divorce or break ups.

But right now, if you’re done being stuck in the past with the miserable “What Ifs” and you’re ready to move on and Enter-into-Joy (En-Joy), try being in the Nowness.

May living in the moment, bring you release.

“If this life is one act
Why do we lay all these traps
We put them right in our path
When we just wanna be free…

So I just let go
Of what I know I don’t know
And I know I only do this by

Living in the moment
Living my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
With peace in my heart
With peace in my soul…

I’m letting myself off the hook
For things I’ve done
I let my past go past
And now I’m having more fun
I’m letting go of the thoughts
That do not make me strong…” – Living In The Moment, Jason Mraz.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Empty

Originally posted on theloveculture:

Every so often, the negative voices within will be trippin’ us up with who said what and what they did and how we’ve been wronged and so on and so forth.

When you hear it, it’s so easy to play it on repeat for the purpose of amplifying that pain to the size of the universe.

It’s so easy to forget the 100 things that went right before that 1 thing went wrong.

If you’re as drained and as tired as I am from those voices, today, let us begin to recognise those voices as a deep cry from within, just to be loved.

So allow yourself to be loved.

Don’t hold it in.

Surrender.

Give it Up,

in prayer.

As we release it all–the hurt, the anger, the bitterness, the fears–we become like an empty vessel. In exchange, invite God’s Unfailing Love to come in, to sing you a Love song…

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