“Believe In A Love That Is Stored Up For You Like An Inheritance.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Today, if you’re tired from the pain, anger, struggle and sorrow. If you’re longing for peace and quiet, in the midst of the noise, conflicts, and anxieties that are stirring up a storm within. Return to an awareness, of Love. Return to the Resting place of Love, within you.

Return to a knowing that there’s a wealth of Love stored up for you like an inheritance. Draw from this Love that resides within you.

Enter into a moment of silence and stillness. You can do this anywhere, anytime, by cultivating an Awareness. Listen in. Can you hear Love’s invitation to you, from within? “Rest your bones with me. Take all your tired and weary sighs, and rest your bones with Me.” – Reblog from an original posting on 24.04.13, on The Love Culture

“Bones and ashes… bones and ashes… one day, I’ll be bones and ashes…

That’s the thought that crossed my mind, as I took a quiet walk through the showroom upstairs, where urns of crystal jades or biodegradable orbs are displayed like a private collection of exotic pots and prized vases.

As a writer, it’s important for me to get a feel of this place. It’s my client’s business afterall. My colleagues are downstairs having a meeting in Mandarin. For the millionth time, I wished I could comprehend the language. But for now, I am free to explore this building on my own.

As a centre of funeral and bereavement care, I think they’ve done a commendable job. The attention to details, aesthetics, and ambience, are thoughtfully combined to create a serene atmosphere for the grieving.

“Bones and ashes… bones and ashes… one day, I’ll be bones and ashes…

The chandeliers above and the orchids in the corner creates a sense of beauty and familiarity, like you’ve walked into a living room from an I.D magazine, and yet, the mahagony casket with ‘The Last Supper’ finishing or the solid bed of bronze reminds you that this is a departure lounge.

I think about regrets… and how one day it won’t matter anymore. One day, I’ll be bones and ashes… This pain… anger… struggle… sorrow… all that noise churning up a storm within… one day, it will all be quiet.

One day, all these will pale in comparison to Having Loved and Being Loved. But somedays, sometimes, it gets hard to believe that love is all.

“I feel like I have nothing… I am nothing,” said a friend once.

Her words are not hers alone. I am all too familiar with that feeling and I believe the same fear is quietly weighing on the hearts of many. Over the years, I’ve been tracing this fear and feelings of insignificance back to my false assumptions of what Love and Happiness should look and be like.

Loosing that attachment to the appearances of things, and being open to Love as it presents itself in all its ways and form have been liberating.

The truth is, right here, right now, we have Everything because of Love.

This Love,

is in us to grow, is for us to live, and is ours to gift as we choose.

The daily challenge is for us to come into remembrance of our inheritance.

“Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet.

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

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Life is an Invitation to Grow. Turn your Struggle into Strength, Pain into Gain.

Today, I am recommitted to turning my Struggle into Strength, and my Pain into Gain. I feel motivated as I regain the clarity that Life is an Invitation to Grow.

It took days and weeks and months of struggling to return to this point of awareness. For the longest time, I’ve been struggling with the question, “Why me?”

Why am I caught in a bad situation I can’t seem to walk away from, since “the situation” involves family? Why does the suffering never end, and why can’t things ever be “normal” for us? Why are we being stretched to the limit and challenged in the areas of Addiction?

It’s heartbreaking. But it’s undeniable we’ve also been pushed harder and deeper to higher and stronger levels of Growth we never would’ve gotten on our own, had there not been an urgent, painful, and pressing need to.

Meanwhile, as the wrestling with the Pain of my life continues, my friend, too, shared her struggle with the card she’s been dealt with in her life.

“Why do others have it so much easier? Why must I have it so much harder? Why do some people  get everything without even trying as hard? Why must I keep on waiting? How much longer? It’s not fair.”

I understand her pain. It’s true the world’s unfair. But though we can’t always choose what we’re given in life, we get to make the best out of what we’ve got. It is a powerful choice. And as of Sunday, it became clear again:

My battle ground is also my training ground.

I can make full use of this challenge I am up against to gain more awareness on the areas of Addiction. In time to come, this awareness will help me with my own personal Addictions, and countless more out there.

Our Awakening, awakens others. In this way, the Awakening continues.

But it begins with us stepping up to the plate. Daring to risk the fear and discomfort of “facing the dragon”, instead of running away from dealing with what may feel like the toughest, most miserable time of our lives.

What struggles are you up against this week? What challenges are finding its way to you? What pain are you forced to grapple with? Could it be Life’s Invitation for you to Grow? Whatever situation you find yourself stuck in, you still get to choose. Choose to grab hold of it until you learn something from it. Choose to grow even better from it.

Choose GROWTH. Choose Life. Chose You.

Love,
Mish

The Love Culture
www.facebook.com/theloveculture
www.theloveculture.wordpress.com

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“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

“Addiction is always a poor substitute for love.” – Dr. Gabor Maté

Addiction is always a poor substitute for love. – Dr. Gabor Maté, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, p 259

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“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

“Our most painful emotions point to our greatest possibilities, to where our authentic nature is hidden.” – Dr. Gabor Maté

“Once a student’s eyes are open, instructors appear everywhere. Everything can teach us. Our most painful emotions point to our greatest possibilities, to where our authentic nature is hidden.

People who we judge are our mirrors. People who judge us call forth our courage to respect our own truth.

Compassion for ourselves supports our compassion for others.

As we open to the truth within, we hold safe a space of healing for others. They may do the same for us.

Healing occurs in a sacred place located within us all: “When you know yourselves, then you will be known.” – Dr. Gabor Maté, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, p 421

****

“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

“Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.” – Hafiz

Could it be, Life has SHAKEN you to AWAKEN you? 

Here’s another radical idea: What if that moment your world as you knew it was crumbling down and flipping over, was a divine moment of Grace? 

If this idea isn’t sitting well with you, WAIT, check this out before you go:

“While on an expedition to Antarctica last month, photographer Alex Cornell witnessed a massive iceberg flip, revealing a strangely translucent blue underside that’s completely free of snow and debris. According to Science World, almost 90% of any given iceberg is below the surface, making iceberg flips extremely rare.

Much larger iceberg flips are even capable of causing tsunamis that can overtake nearby ships.” – thisiscolossal.com

flip-1

Stunning Iceberg Flip captured by Alex Cornell: http://www.alexcornell.com/#/antarctica/

 

flip-2

Stunning Iceberg Flip captured by Alex Cornell: http://www.alexcornell.com/#/antarctica/

 

On YouTube, in a video entitled ‘Iceberg flipping over…’ the person who posted it described the phenomenon like this: “… the huge berg lost a part of itself (look at the right side sinking) and then flipped over with a huge roar.

In the process of melting this happens all the time, but it is seldom that it is captured on video WHEN it happens…”

As I read all these and marvelled at these stunning shots, I was graced with a moment of clarity, which led to an inner hush of silence and gratitude…

…For the ‘Divine Meltdown’ that led to the Flipping Over of my world.

It was a scary and painful episode of my life where every false external securities, addictions and attachments I had clung on to and mistaken as my Identity, Worth and Purpose, melted away in a blink of an eye.

It was terrifying while it was happening.

But all along, it was Grace at work, a blessing in disguise. It marked the moment of my Awakening. For that to happen, my old world-view was turned Upside Down, Inside Out.

More than that, it was an answer to my prayer. All year long, no kidding, I’d been praying, “Upgrade me! Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically-TOTALLY!” Of course when I prayed that dangerous prayer, I had no idea I was inviting into my life, an extreme internal makeover.

What I had in mind, and what the DIVINE had in store for me, were worlds apart. I got more than what I could ever ask, hope or imagine for myself.

But again, it was NOT EASY when things went down the way it did. I had not anticipated that a total Upgrade would mean Growth, and lots of Growing Pains. And just like an iceberg in the process of melting, it looked as if I was losing a part of myself and sinking under. When the flipping over happened, I was flipping out, BIG TIME. There was a huge roar of fear. I protested and resisted the massive change that was about to happen.

And no matter what I did, there was no turning back. The flip was still happening, ready or not.

As I went under, I thought I was dying.

As it turns out, it was a rebirth.

ALL that had been hidden from the surface of my consciousness all these years, began to reveal itself, and is still revealing itself. What seemed like a ‘Rude Awakening’ is, and continues to be, a Grace-Filled Awakening.

“Almost 90% of any given iceberg is below the surface, making iceberg flips extremely rare.”

Are 90% of us still below the surface, still not Awakened? Are we choosing comfort, over the pain of growing? Security, over the risk of change? Are we resisting a massive ‘flip over’? And flipping out when it happens?

During a conversation with a friend the other day, he shared that he’ll rather have a smooth, monotonous existence where life may be boring but at least he’d never have to grow. He prefers it to the jarring pain of growth.

I know I can’t live like that. If you’re not growing, you’re ‘dying’. For me, that’s an even greater pain. I hope to keep growing till the day I die. And in this light, for every Flipping Over that has happened, is happening and will continue to happen, I say, bring it on. It’s always scary and painful and frustrating at first. But again and again and again, I am rediscovering that ‘what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’ — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It takes the flipping over to reveal what’s buried, and hidden within.

It’s not easy. And nobody likes painful experiences. But we can all give an empowering meaning to whatever we experience in life and be so much better off for it. Perhaps today is another opportunity to relook into a painful / challenging moment in your life, and be reminded of this truth:

“Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.” — Hafiz

 

****

“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

Constant Love – Does it exist?

Do you think, these words in the song ‘Come What May’, reflect the kind of love you have known, or is it a song of a Higher Love, the kind you have yet to know? Do you think, this Love that is spoken of, is reserved for the lucky few, or don’t you think, you are worthy of it too? But more than a question of worthiness (for it was never a question of worthiness), don’t you think, this is the secret cry of every single person on earth? To have a taste of what Kari Jobe describes as “So faithful, So constant, So loving, and So true?” A Love that stays… Come What May?

Open your ears. Listen anew. 
Open your mind. Perceive anew. 
Open your heart. Receive anew.

I open my journal today
and it’s 12 November 12.

“As soon as I closed the door to my room after getting home from work, I collapsed into sobs of tears. Couldn’t stop crying…

…and yet,

“Come what may,
come what may,
I will Love you,
until the end of time”
kept playing in my head.

It’s that Moulin Rouge song again… How annoying. I don’t know WHY I’m hearing it. It’s been ringing in my head in the Silent Retreat (28 October 12 – 7 November 12). Now I’m hearing it again. But as soon as I wondered WHY, it became so clear.

The pain of Abandonment (to leave completely and finally)… just when I am healing from that, now, we have to deal with a possibility of another bigger Abandonment.

But this Song is saying, “Come what may, come what may, I will love you…”

“Until my dying days,”
says the song.

“Until the end of time,”
I heard.

“Until eternity, always,”
I felt.

The tears stopped at that realization. I felt spoken to. All is quiet within now. I can go downstairs and have dinner and cheer X up. We’ll watch ‘The Constant Garderner’ (since we both haven’t seen it and she’s seen the Iron Lady).” – 12.11.12

Has a song been ringing in your head / heart lately? Is it in the total opposite direction of what you’re feeling / going through? For example, you’re in a time of deep grieving, but there’s an annoying, ‘sappy romantic song’ (like Moulin Rouge ‘Come What May’!) that’s been ringing in your head, and it’s NOT a reflection of how you feel? Perhaps then, it’s an indication of an Invitation from the Song of Songs. It’s a gift, from a Higher Love, beckoning you to Listen. Listen to the words in the song.

…does it speak to you?

No matter what we are going through, there’s a Constant Love that’s journeying with us, every step of the way. Just take the time to Pause, Listen. Soak it in. Receive. Relax… Are you Listening? It’s going to be okay.

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

This Too Shall Pass

 

“This too shall pass” (Persian: این نیز بگذرد‎, Arabic: لا شيء يدوم‎, Hebrew: גם זה יעבור‎)

an adage indicating that all material conditions, positive or negative, are temporary. – Wiki

thistooshallpass

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

“Believe In A Love That Is Stored Up For You Like An Inheritance.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Today, if you’re tired from the pain, anger, struggle and sorrow. If you’re longing for peace and quiet, in the midst of the noise, conflicts, and anxieties that are stirring up a storm within. Return to an awareness, of Love. Return to the Resting place of Love, within you.

Return to a knowing that there’s a wealth of Love stored up for you like an inheritance. Draw from this Love that resides within you.

Enter into a moment of silence and stillness. You can do this anywhere, anytime, by cultivating an Awareness. Listen in. Can you hear Love’s invitation to you, from within? “Rest your bones with me. Take all your tired and weary sighs, and rest your bones with Me.”

“Bones and ashes… bones and ashes… one day, I’ll be bones and ashes…

That’s the thought that crossed my mind, as I took a quiet walk through the showroom upstairs, where urns of crystal jades or biodegradable orbs are displayed like a private collection of exotic pots and prized vases.

As a writer, it’s important for me to get a feel of this place. It’s my client’s business afterall. My colleagues are downstairs having a meeting in Mandarin. For the millionth time, I wished I could comprehend the language. But for now, I am free to explore this building on my own.

As a centre of funeral and bereavement care, I think they’ve done a commendable job. The attention to details, aesthetics, and ambience, are thoughtfully combined to create a serene atmosphere for the grieving.

“Bones and ashes… bones and ashes… one day, I’ll be bones and ashes…

The chandeliers above and the orchids in the corner creates a sense of beauty and familiarity, like you’ve walked into a living room from an I.D magazine, and yet, the mahagony casket with ‘The Last Supper’ finishing or the solid bed of bronze reminds you that this is a departure lounge.

I think about regrets… and how one day it won’t matter anymore. One day, I’ll be bones and ashes… This pain… anger… struggle… sorrow… all that noise churning up a storm within… one day, it will all be quiet.

One day, all these will pale in comparison to Having Loved and Being Loved. But somedays, sometimes, it gets hard to believe that love is all.

“I feel like I have nothing… I am nothing,” said a friend once.

Her words are not hers alone. I am all too familiar with that feeling and I believe the same fear is quietly weighing on the hearts of many. Over the years, I’ve been tracing this fear and feelings of insignificance back to my false assumptions of what Love and Happiness should look and be like.

Loosing that attachment to the appearances of things, and being open to Love as it presents itself in all its ways and form have been liberating.

The truth is, right here, right now, we have Everything because of Love.

This Love,

is in us to grow, is for us to live, and is ours to gift as we choose.

The daily challenge is for us to come into remembrance of our inheritance.

“Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet.

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

Love Is A Gentle Sorrow

Love is a gentle sorrow…

Despite the sadness, there is no crushing guilt.

Despite the longing, there is no condemnation.

Despite the pain, there is no despair.

Despite the grief, there is no need to blame.

In quietness and in solitude, the tears flow, but willingly so, for having experienced the Joy of Love, and of being Loved.

In darkness and in waking, the heart sighs, but gratefully so, for the Gift that was given, and the days shared together.

In gentleness and in love, the spirit mourns, but freely so, for assurance from within, that your beloved in Heaven is free at last, to live a life of true Happiness, as such that can’t be imagined, while here on earth.

And so, looking up, I realised, more than anything else, I am happy thinking of how happy Pebbles must be right now…

…Love is a gentle sorrow.

So I’ve come to learn today.

I guess this song’s been stuck on repeat the past 3 days for a reason…

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

Love Never Dies… It Merely Changes Form.

It’s heartbreaking, waking up to the reality that Pebs is gone. I stayed in bed crying and wondering why…

Blaming myself for the million things that I should’ve, would’ve, could’ve done seemed the easier solution.

But I’ve been through this before and I know this won’t help…

…and it’s not the entire truth (if it can be called truth at all).

The truth is, I really, really, really loved Pebbles my Goldfish.

I took my time cleaning off her tank, filter and other things today.

The water may smell… but it’s the water Pebs swam in. A part of her is still in there… and draining it down the sink was like pouring the last remaining bit of her away.

I kept taking breaks in between… to just stare at the tank, imagining the way she comes up to play, or looks at me, or dives at the food, or goes to sleep, or stay up late. Or I just sit there and cry.

There was a moment, when the sight of yellow butterflies flying in and out of the forest caught my eye, even as tears streaming down my face was clouding my vision.

I went up to the couch by the window to get a closer look. There were so many of them out today. All of them were yellow… the colour of sunshine.

Earlier in the day, the song “you are the sunshine of my life,” was playing in my head as I was thinking of happy days with Pebs.

So I kept staring at the yellow butterflies, wondering if perhaps, they were here to send me a message?

And then, all of a sudden, I saw a single butterfly that was a striking blue…

The last time this happened, was pretty phenomenal. I was majorly depressed, and I had lost my reason to smile for a long time. I was looking up the sky as I was walking up the hill on the way home, angrily directing my thoughts Above.

“God! I feel all alone in this world now! I’m not even sure if You’re hearing this… I’m not even sure if You’re real! Or if there’s a God!”

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a bunch of white butterflies rose up from the bush beside me and surrounded me like a hurricane. I stood rooted on the ground, struck by the awesomeness of what just happened… and then noticed that one of the butterfly, was a striking blue! A smile broke across my face at the wonder of it all, which was the time the butterflies flew away and disappeared, as if their mission had been accomplished.

I knew that my question had just been answered. I am not alone in this world. He heard me. And He cares. And He is very real… I am assured.

As I continued gazing at the butterflies outside the window, a reassuring voice of comfort, came to me from within.

“Pebs didn’t die… like the butterfly, she merely changed forms. And now, she is flying free… in heaven.”

Later in the afternoon, I decided to console myself with “Brother Bear.” I had no idea what the story was about when I had bought the VCD. I was hunting for a happy movie last night, and saw this cartoon in the RM5 corner. A friend had liked it on facebook, so I assumed (something I’ve been consciously trying to do less and less these days) that it has to be meaningful…

…but true enough, from the start of the story, there were many lessons to be learnt. It begins by saying, “The world is full of magic…” 

*Cue a beautiful animation of the Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights… Loved ones and friends would know just how crazy I am over the Revontuli, as the Finnish calls them in Lapland. So I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it swirling and dancing before me–as if to cheer me up!*

It goes on to say, “Ever changing lights, that dance across the skies… they have the power to change things. Small things becomes big, winter turns to spring, one thing always changes into another…”

I tend to look at this line, a little more philosophically, of course.

We are the ‘ever changing lights’ symbolised by the Aurora Borealis in the cartoon…

…and we have the power to change things.

Small, seemingly insignificant things, can grow and become big before our very eyes, when watered with Love…

Seasons of cold, loneliness and darkness symbolised by Winter can turn into the warmth of life and colours and light, like Spring time…

“…one thing, always changes into another.”

I understood this completely… When the earlier pair of Oranda goldfish, Ponyo and Pumpkin died… we kept hunting and hunting for the exact same pair. We never found one of course–there is no other like them! We thought that we’d never love another goldfish the way we loved them…

But we were wrong.

We ended up discovering three of the most amazing Ranchus, Patches, Peaches and Pebbles, a different breed of goldfish. They were as different from the earlier pair, as night is from day, and special in their own ways.

In the end, our hearts were filled with so much love for them, because they were every bit as lovable as the earlier two.

The idea all along, is not to be attached to the one… to how Love should appear to be, and to just let it flow, and go with the flow–just let Love be.

It’s funny and beautiful too, that the song that comes up after this significant scene in the cartoon, has a verse that goes, “Every corner we turn, leads to another… a journey ends, but another begins.”

My journey with Pebbles ends here, on 29th April 2012, the day she passed on unexpectedly.

I cannot imagine right now, how the next few days will be. All I know is that I keep turning around in my seat at the computer to look for her… but she’s not there. Everytime I come upstairs expecting to see her in her tank… she’s not there. After 1 year and 7 months with us… she’s not here anymore. She’s stuck around for so long… kept me company through all my ups and down. And she was the reason why I loved waking up in the morning, and coming home. I feel absolutely lost from this loss…

And then, as if knowing how lost I feel, the next scene in “Brother Bear” unfolds where NaNa, the grandmother is talking to her grandson Kenai.

“Some of us use Courage to guide us, others Patience. And then some of us Beauty… to be a man, your actions must be guided by one thing…” 

She hands him a carved wood in the shape of a bear. “Your totem is LOVE.”

“What?!” Kenai is disappointed. He expected a Saber Tooth for Bravery…

“Yes, LOVE,” NaNa repeated herself.

“The bear of Love?” Kenai is very confused now, and very embarassed.

“LOVE… the one thing that connects all living things. LOVE is the most precious of totems. It reveals itself in unexpected ways. Let LOVE guide your actions… one day, you’ll be a man.”

Kenai shrugs her words off… and later ends up killing a bear.

As a lesson, Kenai is “transformed” into a bear, to help him understand what it’s like to walk in the shoes of another.

*Amazing how the idea of ‘transformation’ keeps flowing, from the butterfly, to the opening of the cartoon using the visual of the Aurora Borealis, and then now, in the form of a bear.*

“You’re going to get a new perspective,” Nana said wisely, aware that her grandson has transformed into a bear.

“…do you see the world in black and white, or in colours?” she asked, before disappearing and leaving the boy to go off on his own journey of self-discovery and growth, from a boy, to becoming the man that he is.

I miss Pebbles so much…

While she was here, it was white, it was light, it was perfect. Now, I just want to see the black… How can it be any other way, now that she’s not here? But here is NaNa, challenging me with a question…

“Do I see the world… in colours?”

I guess the yellow butterflies (+ one blue), appeared today for a reason… to help me see in colours. And rediscover this wisdom all over again:

Love Never Dies… It Merely Changes Form.

Pebs seen here in her quarantine tank back in Sept 2010…

“Heaven is not Heaven without you, Pebbles.”

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