May I Choose To Be Happy: Musings from My Journeys In An Astounding World
...A Monthly Practice Invitation
for Your Empowered, Heart-based Life...
(WATCH: Click above for the new live performance video of my song, "Lovingkindness.")
"THIS WORLD ASTOUNDS ME"
“Look all around me,
find beauty in each face.
This world astounds me.
There's wonder in each place."
A few days ago I returned from one of the best trips of my life.
At the end of May I'd known that I needed a reset. As I wrote in my past blog posts, I wasn't feeling spiritually well, and I needed to do some soul-healing.
So I went on a journey, via Amtrak, from Los Angeles to New York.
On this journey I had many adventures, each one very different than the one before...
...I was healed by the grand beauty of nature at Yosemite and the Rocky Mountain National Park...
(Yosemite National Park)
(Rocky Mountain National Park)
...I was renewed by the loving hugs and shared laughter of some of my oldest and best friends...
...I was inspired by the history and traditions of my hometown and my friends who keep those traditions alive...
...I was delighted by the discovery of and revealing of new cities, communities and friendships...
...And now I've returned to LA ready to jump wholeheartedly back into my work again. I am so grateful to return to the chosen family I have here. I am so grateful for this past month's odyssey...
This month’s practice theme is
"MAY MY LIFE BE
FILLED WITH EASE"
(Yosemite National Park)
This month's theme and song, "Lovingkindness" comes from a Buddhist meditation in which one offers well-wishes to oneself and others. Oftentimes the subject of the meditation is a series of people, including a beloved person, a neutral person, a challenging person and eventually all beings.
It oftentimes begins with the wish: "May my life be filled with ease."
This "Lovingkindness" meditation is designed to create a flow of love from the meditator's heart out into the world, and is a great tool when feeling challenged by a relationship or just generally self-defeated.
When I use this meditation, I always feel relieved from the block I was facing before I began it.
I'm realizing now that this entire trip was like one long, traveling "lovingkindness" meditation--a way of wishing for and creating for myself experiences of the qualities I want in my everyday life. And it worked.
The difference between how I feel now at home and how I felt before I left is dramatic.
I feel so much more easeful after this trip. Everything I engage in right now feels easier to accomplish.
I know it sounds cliché, but it feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, dropped somewhere near the waterfalls of Yosemite.
It's amazing how liberating it can be to be in nature, to follow flow rather than the ding of a cell phone, to nap in the sun on a rock, and to have the cold misty waters of a waterfall blast in your face.
I want to keep this ease for as long as I can.
(Grand Lake, Colorado)
"MAY MY WORDS
BE TRUE AND KIND"
I had a great time on this journey talking to strangers on the trains and in my hikes. On this trip I met a college professor who specialized in trauma, a writer who was fascinated by UFO conspiracy theories, a conservative radio host, recent college grads from Australia, a single father whose daughter had just been married, and many other fine people in moments of brief connection.
Each new person allowed me the opportunity to start with a fresh slate, to engage with kindness, authenticity and warmth and to listen for what the universe might be communicating to me through their stories and their truths.
(Picture by Paul Aguirre.)
"MAY I CHOOSE TO
I'm feeling truly happy right now, and I know that this happiness will only stay if I continue making choices that are in alignment with my authentic self.
I am so glad I made the choice to get out of town for a bit and refresh my spirit.
If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend taking a "lovingkindness" journey for yourself.
Get out of town. Do the things you love. See the people who love you unconditionally. Go places you've never been. Sit in nature and talk to strangers.
And if you don't have that opportunity, then the "Lovingkindness" meditation is a great way to take that journey within.
"May my life be filled with ease.
May my words be true and kind.
May I choose to be happy.
May I learn to free my mind.
May I be well."
That's all I got for now, thanks for reading!