The Dangers Of The Screen

When the main sounds heard are the sounds of keystrokes and televisions, rather than the sound of each other’s voices, each other’s laughter.  It’s time to unplug.

Too many screens, not enough personal interaction.  Too much worrying about what everyone else is doing, what everyone else is thinking and what everyone else is posting… not enough time spent worrying about what each other is doing and what each other is thinking.  It’s time to unplug.

Who can I prove wrong, who can I argue with. Who can I let frustrate and irritate me, needlessly  – through the screen.  It’s time to unplug.

To sit on the same couch, laptops in hand, mouths closed, voices silent.  More conversations and interactions with people on the other side of the screen than together with each other.  Like, dislike, post, share, comment.   It’s time to unplug.

Doing your own thing, stuck in your own heads, staring at your own screens… has turned into the norm.  social media, research, games, work, writing.  Solitarily social.  Growing afraid to talk, to say, to ask.  Irritations increase, understanding and patience decreases.  Frustrations arise where they didn’t used to be.  It’s time to unplug.

Why has it become hard to turn off, to unplug.  How do you go back to how it was before, when you came home and talked about your days, planned your future days, talked, laughed and enjoyed each other more…. More than the screen.   The screen that has become a danger, to your relationship, to your interpersonal interactions.  The things that used to be so important just don’t seem as important anymore.  It’s time to unplug.

Advertisements

A Writer’s Heart

writers heart

A Writer’s Heart

The written words of a writer are all as important as her spoken words, if not more so. With each stroke of the keypad, or with each placement of ink on paper, a writer shares with you a piece of her heart and soul. Sometimes that comes with a tear or two, some laughter, joy, fear or anger. A mix of many emotions, feelings and thoughts encompass each letter, word, sentence and paragraph.

When her head is filled up with so many twisted and tangled thoughts and emotions, sometimes writing them down is the only way to untangle them, to make some sense out of them, and to express them. She sees writing as a therapeutic process, a way to process all the mess in her mind and make some sense of all the emotions that have the ability to confuse and torment her.

She sees her writings as a way to share her heart and soul with the reader, whether it be intended for one single individual or an open writing for all to read. Her wish is that when you read her words you are able to sense and feel her emotions, all the mix of feelings in her heart she was experiencing while she attempted to transfer it all to paper the best as she could.

Each word she writes is an expression of her love, her compassion and her passion for the things she writes about. Everything written is a confession of the heart. Maybe more honest and true than anything else. When she writes to you or about you it is a result of all the love inside that she may not be able to express otherwise.

Sometimes the things she writes are so personal and so intimate that it is scary to share, with anyone. Sometimes her darkest corners peer into the light and fight to be written about. A part of coming out of her shell, expressing who she truly is inside, and helping the world to understand a little bit of who she is and why she does some of the things that she does is the process of opening up and sharing those things.

Writing is a process. It is an emotion within itself. It is a release and a way to share, or attempt to share the thoughts in the deepest crevices of her mind and her heart.

 

A Different Kind of Celebration – Buddha Day

A Different Kind of Celebration – Buddha Day

Each year, I republish my blog on Buddha Day, with some updates and modifications. 

 

Today, Wednesday May 14th, 2014 is a very special day for those of the Buddhist faith.  Whether you are a Buddhist, or like me and just identify and believe in the loving compassion teachings of the Buddha, today is a day to acknowledge and celebrate.  Buddha Day, also known as Vesak, Vesakha or Wesak, is a celebration that encompasses the birth of the Buddha, his enlightenment Nirvana and his passing away, all on the same day.  This day falls on the full moon of the 5th month of the lunar calendar, varying dates each year.  This year it falls on May 14th.   Many Buddhist celebrations occur during the full moon.   This day is one of the most important observances and celebrations for Buddhists across the world.  Vesak offers Buddhists an opportunity to reflect on the life and teachings of the Buddha and also highlights the potential for inner peace and happiness that lies within us all as well as a day for Buddhists to reaffirm their commitment to living a moral and compassionate lifestyle.  As Eric reminds me, it is not how he died but it is a day to reflect on how he lived and the magnitude of his teachings, and that is the reason we celebrate.


“The significance of Vesak lies with the Buddha and his universal peace message to mankind.”
~Venerable Mahinda

Most Buddhist countries declare this day a Buddhist Holiday and a day to remember the significant events in Buddha’s life.  Many Buddhists acknowledge this event by visiting the Vihara, or Buddhist Monistary.  This could also simply mean a secluded place in which to walk, reflect and meditate if there is no Monistary close to visit.  During this visit to the Vihara, Buddhists would be dressed in white and bring flowers and incense or candles to pay respect to the Buddha.  These symbolic offerings are to be a reminder that just as the beautiful flowers wither and die and the candles soon burn out, so too is life subject to decay and destruction.  Many devout Buddhists would spend the day in the Vihara, from morning to night, taking a retreat from their daily schedule, meditating, chanting and participating in Dharma Talk or teachings of the Buddha.  In many Buddhist countries selling and consuming of meat and alcohol is prohibited during the week of Vesak and the government will even closes down all liquor shops and slaughter houses.   Birds, insects and animals are released by the thousands in a symbolic act of liberation, giving freedom to those in captivity and tortured against their will.  This is considered an act of generosity, symbolic of generating good karma. The act also symbolizes the Buddha’s compassion for all things.  While many sects of Buddhism typically calls for a vegetarian diet, there are also other sects which do not require this.  During this time Buddhists who are not vegetarian refrain from eating meat. Buddhists make a special effort to refrain from killing of any kind and are encouraged to eat only vegetarian food for the day.

To celebrate this day and the life and teachings of the Great Buddha, it is not necessary to go to a temple and participate in rituals if you can’t, don’t have access or would rather not.  Many would prefer a day or even a moment of solitary reflection.  It is not about the specifics in how one celebrates this day or the rituals performed, it is the simple act of recognizing  and expressing gratitude to the Buddha for the teachings he has given.  It is really all about personal preference and what is best for you as an individual.  Maybe some would prefer a simple ceremony in front of a small shrine at home, or maybe a brief reflection on the qualities and teachings of the Buddha along with meditation.

I have always admired and appreciated the teachings of Buddhism.  When I met Eric and two of my most exciting surprises about him was that he loved wine and he was a Buddhist!  He and I begun to discuss some of our Buddhist ideals and rituals and he taught me about the different days of celebrations as well as sharing his own personal rituals and ways to celebrate and give respect to the teachings with me.  He is the one who taught me about Buddha Day and all other Buddhist holidays and from there i researched to find out more.

This will be our fifth year together  and this year, just as last year Eric will acknowledge and pay respect to this tradition and lifestyle by refraining from eating meat for the month prior, taking it a step further than just abstaining for the single day but also the day before and the day after.

We do not have the opportunity to live in a Buddhist country and have the day off so we will begin our evening by having a Buddhist feast consisting of Sushi (vegetarian Sushi for me) and miso soup, just as Eric and I  ritualistically do every year.  Then we will have our own ceremony of reading from our Buddhism books together and meditating  in front of our shrine.     I am thankful, grateful and appreciative that Eric has shared his religion, tradition and rituals with me and we have incorporated this as part of our lifestyle together.

Even if you are not Buddhist or have never studied any of Buddha’s teachings, everyone can learn a lot from the Great and Wise Buddha.  In today’s society we are killing each other, we are killing our planet in which we live.  In my opinion, there is a huge lack of compassion and consideration in everyday human life.    What can we learn from Buddha?  That non-violent living is the way to go.  That we need more peace, love and compassion to create the positive energy our society is lacking, and to help promote good Karma throughout our lives.  We need to expel hatred, greed and stupidity from our lifestyles.

“He who lives only for pleasures, and whose soul is not in harmony, who considers not the food he eats, is idle, and has not the power of virtue — such a man is moved by mara (evil one), is moved by selfish temptations, even as a weak tree is shaken by the wind.”  Buddha

Choking

Choking

Feeling, in a sense, lost today

My normal enthusiasm for Tuesdays has been taken over by hurt, disappointment and a feeling of…

A feeling I am having trouble describing.

A feeling that I wish I wasn’t having, a feeling I shouldn’t be having.

A feeling of stagnation.  A feeling of defeat.

A feeling like a brick tied to my food, dragging me down… deeper down with each disappointment, each neglectful act.

This lump in my throat, choking on my own emotions.

Fighting against my happiness.

Open your eyes!  See what you have in front of you.

If you realized what you have, and how different your life would be without it, maybe you would appreciate it more.

If you appreciated it more, maybe you would try harder to treat it with more respect and consideration, kindness and love.

Less anger, less frustration, less yelling and hatred.  Less neglect, less carelessness, less take for granted attitude.

More communication, less argumentation.

Going in circles.  Getting nowhere.  Things need to change, in order to go somewhere

Fear – Of Losing Someone You Love

When you lose someone close to you, it creates this fear and anxiety of losing someone else you love.  You realize how fast it can happen, without notice, without giving you a chance to say good bye or to tell them how much  you love them.  Fear that when they are out, they won’t make it back home.  And an irrational urge to want them home with you all the time.

Now, I am trying to deal with my own fears and anxiety of losing someone else I love.  I wouldn’t say it is an irrational fear, because I feel like I have every reason to feel that way, but maybe it is a little bit of an excessive  fear.  Something that I know I have to deal with and learn to work through.  I feel it is completely understandable to have this fear, given that fact that I just lost my little brother in a car accident a month ago.

However, sometimes you need the help of others to make it through things like this.  I make it a point to be in touch with my mom, dad and sister every day ,whether it be through phone call, text or face book.  If I don’t hear from them, I find myself checking facebook to see if they have logged on, just to make sure they are okay.

With Eric, I wish I could just keep him home with me.  I know that is not a healthy way of dealing with things but I have to be honest with myself.  When he is out I worry, more so than usual.  But I also need for him to be understanding of this fear and know and realize that I am trying to work through this and that it may take a little time.  I need for him to be compassionate and thoughtful and let me know when he will be late, so I don’t worry excessively.  And I expect for him to not come home under the influence of any kind.  When these things happen the fears I had been trying so hard to work through and tame, fiercely escape and bring back memories of a very difficult and painful time for me.  I need for my partner to be supportive and help me through this, not to increase my fears and cause step backs of the small progress I thought I have made.  Sometimes I can’t do it on my own and I need his help.

 

Happiness

 

They say that happiness is a state of mind.

Well, my state of mind is happy right now!  🙂

Lets go back to July of 2009.  Little did I know at the time that I had met the love of my life, the man  of my dreams.  A friendship between he and I had been growing and before the month’s end he would but aside all the cautions all of our friends told him and tell me how he feels about me.  Braving all consequences and the potential loss of a friendship.  But it was worth it.  As our relationship grew I was happier than I had ever been.  I had finally been able to see what real love is.  I had loved before, but never been in love.  But he, I fell totally and completely head over heals in love with.  He was everything I had ever hoped for, wanted and dreamed for… and more…. showing me what I never even knew I wanted.

Those next two years would be the best I had experienced.  Then somewhere along the line things started slowly changing.  Stressors, money and the everyday aspects of life begun to creep their way in between us.  One stressor built its way on top of another and before you knew it two years had gone by that was an emotional roller coaster ride.  Good times were amazing, but bad times were really bad.  Through all of the dark times my head told me to run but my heart would not let me.  I was holding on so tightly to the love we once shared.  The closeness that was once between us.  Longing for those times again, wishing for the past and dreading the present and future.

A change in state of mind was needed… for me and for him.  Once we BOTH realized and recognized that… we knew it was possible.  Things had to crash to the bottom and just about come to an end before we would open our eyes and see change was a necessity.  ..  For the both of us.

I changed my state of mind and how I react to many situations.  He changed his state of mind and behavior and attitudes towards me and our relationship. We started appreciating each other again, and placing more value on our relationship.  We made it a point to learn how to communicate with each other more effectively and in a more healthy manner and to talk about issues, no matter how small, immediately, rather than waiting for things to pile up and get bigger.  We are making more time for US… as hard as it is in this hectic life, with work, school, band, hobbies. friends and still making time for yourself.

And that leads me to today…I feel like our relationship is better than ever now.  I haven’t felt like that in a LONG time.  I felt like we had lost that connection and were drifting too far away from each other in totally different directions.  It takes work but it is possible to get it back. Everything was at stake… everything.  It was either find each other again or the worst possible option.   Even when things hit bottom, you can rebuild them.   You can find your common ground again and fall in love with each other all over again.  And honestly, falling in love with him all over again feels better than it did to first fall in love with him in the beginning.

For love… true love, it is worth every battle, every fight and every minute of the roller coaster ups and downs.  Because if, in the end, you are able to work out all of your differences and be even better than before… that makes it all worthwhile.

Porn

I am seeking feedback from my readers on this topic… Men and Women.  So please read and post comments, feedback, opinions and thoughts – negative or positive, all welcome!

The topic of porn has come up several times now, in passing, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the topic and get thoughts of others.  All completely hypothetical … just inquiring about other’s thoughts on the topic.

Myself, I do enjoy watching porn, when in the right mood for it.  However, it is something that I would prefer to watch with my partner and enjoy it together.  I see nothing wrong with porn and view it as normal and natural for people to have that curiosity and interest.  Yet at the same time there is some porn that can be somewhat more tasteful than others while a great majority can be very offensive and degrading to women.

I do have to say that, in my honest opinion, I do feel like it is inappropriate for a man (or woman)  in a healthy, happy, committed and satisfying relationship to spend time watching porn alone.  On the same issue, to spend time at the strip club alone, while your woman is at home waiting for you.  The main point here is … in a happy, healthy, committed and satisfying relationship.  If you have all of those things, why do some feel the need to look outside of what they have for something else or something more?

Now this is I different story if you are single, or if you are unhappy and unsatisfied in your relationship.  I see this sort of activity/behavior as a sign that you are missing or lacking something from your own current relationship and are seeking that fulfillment and satisfaction elsewhere, outside of your relationship.  Which does not make it more right, but does provide some sort of justification.. in my eyes.

I do not understand the need or urge to want to view porn alone, especially if your current partner has told you that they would be happy to do something like that together.  Do men find this off-putting, the idea of watching porn with their partners?  I do consider myself to be a very self confident person who is also pretty sexually open and not easily offended, however the idea that my partner would be watching porn alone would tend to make me feel like less of a woman and less of a partner, like I was not satisfying him the way he needs to be, to the point that he seeks for that outside of me and our relationship.

Thoughts, ideas, opinions?  Go!