Mojo Monday 11: Reinvention

 

Reinvention

There are many defintions of reinvention, all having to do with “producing something new based on something that already exists.” (Cambridge English Dictionary)

But as many human beings who inhabit the earth, are as many ways to reinvent. Which is a number way beyond millions. To make this real in physical terms, I searched terms for reinvention in an online thesaurus. There are at least 18 words for reinvention. I focus on one in this video: Revitalize.

What does reinvention mean for you?

When have you been faced or are faced with having to reinvent yourself? If there is anything you learned from that crucial moment, please either share in the comments or message me.

Reference

Lambarena – Bach to Africa

Nano Vasconcelos, Sam Atela

Pepa Nzac Gnon Ma

 

 

 

 

Mojo Monday 9: Wordless Questions

On the nature of questions, thought and a bit beyond

Unless you’re in a philosophy class, you probably don’t ponder the nature of what a question is. And even if in a philosophy class, you’re likely taught to know great thinkers and their works; apply that to thinking in current times and maybe, just maybe reflect upon how this might apply to your life. But as to the question of the origin of a real question, and in particular, how that originiates inside ones being – that is, from ones subjective experience – that isn’t taught much in school, or really anywhere.

Ad to this the fact that popular understanding of the meaning of a question is uninspiring and not reflective of life’s splendor. Here’s an example of what I mean. The English (online) Oxford Dictionary offers the following definitions:

A Question (noun)

A sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information; A doubt about the truth or validity of something; A matter requiring resolution or discussion; A matter or concern depending on or involving a specified condition or thing.

Questioning (verb)

To ask questions, especially in an official context; To feel or express doubt, raise objections.

It’s not that these definitions are wrong, it’s that they are incomplete and reflect nothing of the heart and pulse of a great question – the kind that are born raw and wordless. The kind that make us human and remind us that we are human…just by virtue of the fact that we can feel the impulse to wonder.

So you can imagine my thrill when reading about what Socrates had to say about the vibrancy and power of a question in a book titled, Why Can’t We Be Good, by Jacob Needleman. One section in particular, grabbed my attention because it talked about the possibility of questions that arise when thought (eg., the busy-mind) slows down or even stops. Needleman describes experiences in nature, among other situations, where he had early impressions of this quality of stopping inside that allowed for something different.

And so I ventured on my morning walk with the idea in mind of attending to what in nature compells me to stop, and be still inside. A simple experiment. But as the saying goes, that which is simple is often not easy.

And this is no exception.

Glorious!

Reference

Why Can’t We Be Good, by Jacob Needleman, 2007 Penguin Group.

http://www.jacobneedleman.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mojo Monday 5: Dancing with Trees

 

Tree Power

It’s a well established fact that being in nature is good for body, mind and soul. But when in nature, do we listen, or do we stay plugged in to our music, our thoughts, our need to label and define what we see. The power of nature is that it provides conditions to listen and by doing so bring inside oneself a moment of not knowing, not being in the head. What a gift that is.

Resources

There are hundreds of tree deities, here is one of many links to inspire:

https://steemit.com/deity/@new-age-myanmar/tree-deities-around-the-world

 

Live the Questions Now

some questions move us

When I was eight, the first book I read after Charlotte’s Web was Tell Me Why:Answers to Hundreds of Questions Children Ask by Arkady Leokum. Titillating questions like, “Can grasshoppers hear? How much blood is in our body? What is the speed of thought?” fascinated me, more so than did the answers.

Still, I loved knowing the answers. (Understanding things – yes. But also being right.) In fact, having THE answer became a survival mechanism in childhood. And like most survival mechanisms, devolved beyond its usefulness well into my adulthood.

Suffice it to say that I’ve come to realize that the magic IS the question. There is a bit of hope that lives inside a real question. It is said that the most powerful questions are those that can’t be answered. The poet and writer, Rainer Maria Rilke, captures this point well when he writes,

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

These are the most intriquing but also the most challenging types of questions to stay with. One such question that I’ve had for decades (or rather, it’s had me!) is how to be a complete human being? That is, what does it mean to think and act humanely, when it’s easy but also, when it’s most difficult. This question has given me much in terms of insight, patience, and courage, in exchange for resisting the urge to settle on a definite answer. You know the type, the kind you can put in a box with a bow on it. But have you, like me, discovered that some questions are more valuable, unanswered and lived instead?

Dance through Grief

love knows no bounds

I sat slumped over the steering wheel. “What am I afraid of?” I asked myself. The lump in my throat made it hard to swallow. Not being enough, I sighed. My year had already been filled with so much loss. Now, having to face my dear friend’s decline due to advanced Parkinson’s. It was more than I could bare.

“What do I want to give my friend?” I thought next. Climbing out of the car, I resolved to give her my full attention. I simply wanted to be there for her. Nothing else mattered.

Marguerite’s home nurse greeted me at the door, warning me that she was having a particularly bad day. Approaching her room, my anxiety returned. I ignored it.

She lay on her side, eyes closed, even though she was awake. She seemed uncomfortable. Her nurse shared that she was feeling less pain than earlier that day. Her arms, tucked neatly under her pillow, contrasted with her legs. They moved forward and out in random movements from beneath the bedsheets.

I sat beside her placing my hand on the metal bed rail. I stayed like that for some time attempting to tune into her energy and rhythm. Her eyes remained closed while the nurse let her know I was at her bedside. Reaching to move a strand of her chestnut gray hair from her forehead, she opened her eyes and managed a smile.

She asked me how I was and took my hand. There was a long pause before she gestured to her CD player and asked me to play something from Cuba. I put on Celia Cruz, one of her favorite artists. She asked me if I would dance for her. So I did.

I danced the dance of Oshun, (the goddess and archetype of love and the river according to the Afro-Cuban religion Santeria) who provided me with guidance to dance with joy and abundance.

I tried to fill her bedroom space with dance, being mindful to not get carried away by the music on the one hand, but not over-focused on Marguerite, on the other hand. She was part of the dance, not just the audience. I danced large and small – fast and slow – but mindful of staying connected.

Half way through the song, Marguerite asked her nurse to help her sit up. As she did, her toes touched the floor. I pulled up a chair and brought Oshun’s dance between us. Random leg movements became deliberate and under her control as she tapped out the song’s rhythm in perfect time. I joined her foot tapping with my own. The nurse joined too, and tapped the rhythm on her lap. We danced together.

Marguerite returned to bed for some much needed rest. Her eyes – full of life. We hugged goodbye and I promised not to wait so long before returning.

As I drove away, I realized that it’s not whether I believe I’m enough or not enough. It’s in trusting that in focusing on love, the world opens and with it, more courage, more patience, more love. Even in years full of loss.