Tuesday, March 08, 2011

This life...know thy self!!

There used to be a time when I'd look in the mirror and be so absorbed in thoughts that I wouldn't even see my image there. The hair got brushed - yes i did see those early gray strands, which produced more thinking of the sort "Darn, why do i have to be just like my mother?" The teeth got brushed. The face got washed...the usual stuff. I just didn't see what was in the mirror, or who was in the mirror...

All those wonderful days living in Hawaii I notice the fragrance of the Plumeria tree in front of my window. I noticed the red headed cardinal skipping about from branch to branch. I noticed the smell and the sound of the rain drumming on the roof...I noticed the waterfalls off the Pali as i drove through, right after the rain. I noticed the deep green on the leafs and the mist on the tips of the mountains. The rainbows mauka and the waves makai...that's mountain side (mauka) and ocean side (makai)...I noticed so many things. The work load just to pay the bills. The school load just to get an education. The friends, the huli-huli chicken stands and the malasadas in front of Daiei supermarket, the colorful sarongs and puffy mumus of the local, the way the clouds make a hole right over Diamond Head...so many things.

I just didn't notice me. In all that beauty i managed to find my self depressed. In all that life I managed to write morbid stories. I forgot all about them but i just found them unpacking boxes from the past. It's been 13 years since I've left Hawaii for California, and yes, friends, it is a downgrade, but things can be a lot worse. There could be real snow out there, and this would be a major bummer. One should not live where the weather can kill you!

So, reading those things, at first i wondered where i got them from and who wrote them. There's a definite advantage of selectively remembering only about 20% of my life. It's not Alzheimer's. It's bliss. Anyhow. I red a few things and it sounded strangely familiar until the full details of that particular piece of broken heart, or lost soul, creativity floated up to the surface of my mind... and OMG - this was really me!

Anyhow...all that just to say one thing - Know Thy Self.  Here's why:

1) It seriously cuts down on the drama. Well, if you like drama, this will be a bummer for you, but then, if you really like drama, you'd never really want to Know Thy Self. You'd "know" a version of your self you like to display to the world and make everything that happens totally personal for that version of you. And in order to be convincing to others, you'd have to believe that this version of you IS you. Therefore, you will defend it. Hence, the drama.

2) Getting older is not that much fun. I know because i work with older folks and listen to them talk about their younger days and about all the body parts that just stopped working. I have wrinkles too, and apparently my face is starting to sag. Seriously? I mean, really?? Whatever! This body has a shelf life and an expiration date. You can either accept it and move on with other more important things to wonder about, than your own demise, or stew in the inevitability of degeneration, cellulite and indigestion. Which one would you rather do? Because, you know, all the plastic surgery in the world will not stop your liver from producing liver spots on your face....and no matter what, your hair is going to turn white and start falling off and everyone will be able to see your skull through it....what are you gonna do about it? Know Thy Self so that you can see through the illusion of aging and the inevitability of decay.

3) Finally, and MOST importantly, Know Thy Self so that you can be of use to others and you can manifest that which you are here to GIVE. There isn't anything more sad than the face of a selfish person knowing that he or she is running out of time and scramming to make meaning out of this blink of an eye existence. "Me," "Myself" and "I" are not your best buddies! Looking back at nothing but your self and your problems and concerns over a 50, 60, 70 year period is not just boring, but down right depressing!

That's just my opinion. I've earned it because i started out like all other forms of life in Bulgaria with nothing but "Me," "Myself" and "I" to play with and with plenty of examples of how well this works out on the long run. I had one example on the other side of the spectrum - my maternal grandmother. She was so selfless and so giving that we kids knew exactly how to get what we wanted! She died making dinner for my uncle, who shortly after that kicked my grandfather out of the apartment where they were living and where she made that last supper.

I've earned this opinion the hard way through loss and through error and through drama and, dear God, I hope I've paid up all that karma from when i was a bad person on the wrong side of the street. But in my defense, I wasn't bad, i was just hanging out with bad people and giving them smart ideas on how to do their bad things...which is why at one point in my life i was thinking I'd make a great lawyer. Anyhow...

Know Thy Self because it is the only door to self fulfillment, to lasting happiness and a better world for all beings.
Know Thy Self because it is the only thing you'd ever really know. Everything else is pure speculation.
Know Thy Self because no one else will ever really know you.

The shortest way to knowing your self is...the way of yoga and meditation. Don't fool yourself otherwise. There are folks out there who have been going to therapy for 20 years, or more and still have the same "issues." That's not to say that therapy can't be effective. Yes, it can. But therapy with yoga is definitely effective, and for many people yoga and meditation is their therapy. Even for a few therapists i know...

That's all folks.... See you on the mat! Call me if you need someone to tell you how things are without beating around the bush :)))