These pictures were taken by my children, ages 4 and 9. Every time I let them use the camera, I am in awe of the results, by the view on which they see the world. Their pictures are always full of color and expression and in appreciation of the small but beautiful and magnificent wonders of life. Life is good, and it is all a matter of perception. One can be living in total poverty or war and find simple joys and connection with family and community. In the same moment another can be living in a bubble of outrageous wealth and have all the material desires fulfilled, but not know in essence who their family and friends are and be in complete loneliness and disconnection from the meaning of life. Again this week God presented me with the opportunity to view life from an unselfish perspective, to be in gratitude for the simple pleasures of life, to again realign with my heart and approach life with genuine interest and to expand with the unlimited opportunities to serve Him. I have had to look at my life with a gentler eye, to pull into perspective what messages I have been sending to myself, my children my family and ultimately the world, and to readjust my attitude. I realize that when someone approaches me with an idea, including myself and my own ideas, that I always can find a way for it not to work. I have been an unflinching pessimist, being sure that success was something for someone else who had life "easier". Well, that had to change and God sent some pretty powerful messages my way, in answer to my prayer to help change my "bad" attitude. He did it in such a loving way though, and what i needed to learn came through so loud and clear like a beautiful song, that it has brought me to tears of gratitude. I now realize that I can see life just as it is, without any expectations or trying to see it "my" way, how I think it should look. When I ask myself what is important to me, and am I living in alignment with my heart, then everything I see and do is based on that. If I am acting in a way that denies my true feelings than the world is a dark and dreary place, but if I constantly remind myself of what is really important to me than I can constantly adjust myself to stay true to that. I want to be sure that I don't walk around for the rest of my life shooting down dreams of my own and others like a trigger happy outlaw, but to instead nourish and encourage those dreams. I am from now on seeing life as an abundant life, not one full of limitations and roadblocks. I thank God who's one of many names is Isvara, meaning the Supreme controller, for always giving me the chance to serve Him, with my mind, body and words. I thank my family for not ditching their cranky ol' mom and my friends for their peaceful insights, support and encouragement.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
This morning, as I sat tucked up benieth my cows flank, listening to the gentle sounds of the milk hitting the pail, the morning doves cooing, the myna birds cawing and the two cows enjoying their breakfast, I realized how fortunate I am. My life is simple and uncomplicated. Sometimes I am going at helter skelter speed, I get stressed out, I start bickering at my kids and snapping at my husband. i have mornings like this one, and I have to stop and ask myself, "what is my problem!?" This life is not to be wasted in anger or frustration! This life is fragile, like a water drop on a leaf, at any moment it can fall off, as at any moment our lives can be finished. Shall i waste it in irritation at lives little trivialities, forgetting my eternal position as a loving servant of the Lord?
This year i am following Caturmasa, a 4 month period of fasting from different foodstuffs, like tomatoes, eggplant, and honey and each month I am following a fast from specific things for that month. This month is leafy greens, next month yogurt, then milk and then sesame. In these summer months all those wonderful vegetables are in abundance! The opportunity to eat them is endless! I am always shocked at how much of those things that i eat! Question is, why am I doing it at all? Each time that I stop myself from eating these things, every time I stop and say," Oh yeah! Its caturmasa!", I remember the Lord of sweetness, He who gives to me everything I need, just enough so that i may not forget who I am dependent upon. It is a sacrifice I make so that I may not forget. It gives me a chance to quietly contemplate that dependence, to fast my senses on their quest for never ending gratification and to be reverently grateful for the opportunity to lesson my desire for things of this material world.
So, in this day I will give my thanks to my divine spiritual master, who gently guides me, lovingly and correctly. He is wise and self composed he is fee from the agitation of the mind, the onset of anger, the vehemence of the tongue the urge of the belly and agitation of the genitals. In His example I will follow with the best of my abilities. i pray with His mercy i may overcome the faults that keep me from loving the Lord with all my heart.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I love my husband! He is sexy and sweet, kind and compassionate, gentle and caring! He is devoted to whatever he sets his mind to, sticking to it firmly until he is no longer needed for that service. He is the most steadfast person I have ever met, always following through! He is fun and playful, he makes me laugh, even when I am pissed off and dont want to. His charm always breaks down my walls! I appreciate him so much more than i know how to show him, hoping that one day soon I will be able to. He is my dearest best friend and always guides me back to my relationship with God, Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, never letting me forget that that is what my true desire is, the loving, reciprocating relationship with the Lord of my heart. He humbles me, because he is so much more humble than I, sometimes leaving me alone with my own big fat ego who thinks it knows so much. he never gets mad about it though. Oh, he gets mad, but never at anyone in and of itself, but more at himself for his part he played in the drama. Luckily he is quick to forgive and is kind not only with other but with himself as well. Today i am truly feeling a deep appreciation for him and had to write it down. I love him.
Curious cows, yep, thats what I got
I thought when I got a cow, I would have this uncomplicated relationship, full of loving interactions, based on a giving-giving concept. I give her scratching, food, protection from the elements, peace of mind and she gives me her milk and companionship. Didn't seem like it was that complicated. So we got a heifer, young, reliant on us for her care and companionship. We tamed her and loved her and fed her and still do. She is a wonderful cow. Then just recently someone asked us to milk their cow for them, because they would like her to be milked, but they havn't the time to do it themselves. Great! We have milked plenty of cows in the past, but never had one for our own. Great preparation for our heifer soon to be milk cow! Now I am finding that cow psychology is a very complicated thing! Pua, the cow who came to us is a lovely little thing, sweet natured, curious and so much more. When it comes to milking though, she is teaching us a new thing about cows! Of course when she first came she would have just been as happy to kick our heads in and be done with the problem, but we were very persistent and loving and forgiving. all that hard work amounted to something and she now stands like a dream, only occasionally moving a foot while we milk her. The frustrating malady that is plaguing us though, is she wont let down! This big animal, holding up her milk and what we get would embarrass her if she only knew that a goat would give more! So the days are going by and she is so slowly giving a bit more each day. YEA! We are progressing, all the love and food and attention, I think she likes it! Well, last night she decides to give 5 cups. Well now, what about that one? Stubborn, stupid, cranky cow..... all those thoughts stop just behind my teeth, but easily come through my fingers! I am hoping by skipping this mornings milking that she will be ready to let down by tonite! I understand though, if I had to leave my baby behind with gramma while I got moved somewhere else to have my boobs squeezed, I would definitely be pissed off! I am hoping to love her enough to wear her down though, where she cant help but love us a little in return! I havnt apologized to her about the seperation from her calf, maybe if I do she will soften a bit towards us. She seems to like Nilamani ,our other cow, well enough. Mani doesnt care if we milk her though, as long as she gets her sritches and scratches and good grass, she's happy.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I am on a lifelong quest to be my own doctor. My family relies on me also to teach them and learn with them the essentials in taking care of this temple! We are all learning to pay attention to the subtleties that our bodies speak in when they are healthy and how loud they can speak when our health has been overlooked! We have cast aside books on nutrition, seeing that they all say something different and so many contradictory messages! So we have turned to what we have found is a constant theme in our lives. Simplicity. It always works for us. We figure the good food that is grown on our land, like taro and cassava and the milk from our grass fed cow, the greens that grow abundantly and the fruit from our trees will supply us with all that we will need to keep our bodies healthy. I am always shocked when I go to the grocery store and see the prices of food and items called "food"! I should not be so shocked anymore and just realize the reality of it and the emergency of it! My views on the food crisis has not come from news reports or health food extremists, but from my own observations of the quality of food and how I feel after I eat anything that I thought was food but in actuality was not. Slowly but surely I see my family strengthening in their resolve to eat real food! the more we eat from our land the easier it is! In our journey of planting food, we also are planting medicinal herbs.( Not marijuana, and i wish Greenharvest would stop flying their 'copters over my land seeing if i am! They are very noisy!) Comfrey circles as many fruit trees as we can plant. Not only is it great medicine but it also keeps the weeds from taking over the trees and the leaves are fantastic mulch and fertilizer for them. When we first moved here, I took a handful of plantain seeds (plantago major) and scattered them. Now it comes up every summer! Chickweed comes wherever i put a garden and she is well welcome! I hope to learn more of the native herbs to replace the ones that I purchase. I dont like relying on anything I have to ship 3000 miles! Recently I made another batch of salve. Some is left like oil and some i added beeswax. We use this oil for just about everything, from massage to owies, for poultices, hair conditioner, you name it we probably have used it for that! It is fun to know how to make things like this, now if I can make my own oil! Then I would not need to buy olive oil, although the nutritional benefits from olive oil are unsurpassed! I am not opposed to buying the things we want or need, i just feel the desire to lessen my dependence on those things and to learn how to obtain those things in a more wholistic way.
I just spent 20 minutes pouring my heart onto the keyboard, sharing myself fully, only to find that I could not get it all published! no matter what i tried the last post would show only half of what was written! Oh well, no matter, only a chance to get to explore more of myself!
I really want to keep a journal of my life. Now that I have 3 more people that I am intimately involved with, it is exciting enough that now I really want to! My darling husband, and my 2 beautiful children, how I could never give enough thanks for my time that i get to spend with them. The truth being though, that I pray to overcome the rigid mental blocks and co-dependent patterns that keep me from fully giving the love that I know is available! I refuse to become victim of past thoughts and actions and surely my relationship skills will blossom and my heart will soften!
We have spent the greater part of the last 3 1/2 years together on our yet-to-be-named 3 acres of land. The land is an ever unfolding source of delight for us as we get to know it! The land is a kipuka, We have tried to tread lightly, especially after some earlier mistakes we made in our over eagerness to "be on our land". We had a bulldozer come in in the beginning, and had a driveway' housepad' and a small orchard dozed. We see now that the topsoil washed away in the orchard and the trees we planted there need constant support to grow. The trees that my husband so painstakingly hand cleared for in chosen spots, full of soil and in optimum light are growing with gusto! We learned a very valuable lesson in that. Patience with the natural unfolding of events! We have had a wonderful chance to gently observe life here. We now see the way the waters flow, the wind blows in the forest, and where the sun shines all year long. The time is nearing when we build ourselves an earth dwelling, and I feel all this austere preparatory living has proved to be in our best interest. I think now of all the subtle complaining I have done for not having instant sense gratification satisfied, and I know I cant take it back, but i can silence my tongue in the future and give thanks for what I do have! I am just now starting to feel my young roots anchor themselves in this experience and I am grateful to be able to have this opportunity!