Matrika Shakti – The Power of Words

I found this online and it has quite literally changed my life. 

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Matrika Shakti, by Julee Yew-Crijns

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”  ~Upanishads
Words have power. In Sanskrit, this power is ‘Matrika shakti’, the creative energy behind the letters that make up the words. It is said that each Sanskrit letter has a sound vibration that resonates in our subtle energetic body and in the cosmos. This corresponds with what science tells us, that everything vibrates, including the cells in our body. These vibrations can lead to thoughts, which may lead to feelings which may manifest through words and actions.

Words can be those we receive from others as well as those we receive from ourselves, through verbalisation or thoughts. Words are like seeds that we plant, that will influence the quality of our mental wellbeing. Our inner thoughts form a big part of Matrika Shakti. We are usually our worst judge. Throughout the day, we probably criticise ourselves without even being aware of it! And we say things to ourselves that we would never say even to our enemies! This energy (shakti) resides in our body and when can manifest as thoughts, feelings or actions. So in other words, our thoughts may create an outcome that you may not desire.

Yoga asana and meditation practice is a great mode to help us realize this and cultivate kinder, softer, non-judgemental internal (or verbal) dialogue. The more we practice watching this, the more mindful we will become of our thoughts and our words. When we begin to create more peace and love and kindness within ourselves, we also create more peace, love and kindness around us. Remember, our vibration is powerful. It does not just affect us. Words are not needed for someone to feel our anger, pain, frustration, or our love and kindness. I remember the first time I encountered a Rinpoche. I was a child. My whole being felt so incredible expansive, just from a distant encounter, that I remember that feeling even now.

Yoga asana practice can be our great teacher if we allow it to be. By this, I mean to practice mindfully. Move slowly, feel everything and expand the range of your feelings as your body opens. Hear what your body and thoughts are feeding back to you and take time to digest* your practice, so that you can practice letting go of all those things that you hold on to that no longer serves any purpose -fear, anger, limitations, habits… these are useful sometimes but we have to be aware when they are and when they are not..

And remember, it takes time. I often have to be reminded of this myself.
It is a practice, and like all practices, we will have great moments and tough moments
All equally important. Really, there is no bad practice, all is practice.

The Girl Who Loved the Moon

The moon is my favorite planet; I love it in every phase.

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There once was a girl who loved the moon. It looked so enticing to her; luminous and shining, and surely as cold as vanilla bean ice cream. Each time there was a full moon she barely slept—she propped her head up on her arms in her bedroom window, and watched the full moon rise up in the sky. She imagined that she could hear a slight humming noise as it rose higher and higher; that it knew she was watching and hummed its ancient tune just for her.

She even thought that she looked a bit like the moon with her pale silver-blonde hair, light skin and pale gray eyes. The only colors she ever wore were white, silver, pale blue and dove gray (her mother had given up on trying to get her to wear frilly pink dresses). When she ate toast for breakfast, she trimmed it to fit the moon’s phases; full, half, and quarter. She only shrugged when her friends called her “Moon Girl,” and warned her that she would become a lonely astronomer, spending her nights staring at the stars, but always first; the moon.

One night, she decided she would find a way to get closer to the moon. She asked her father to help her build a treehouse in the large oak tree beside the house. They went to the hardware store and bought planks of wood, nails, tar paper for the roof, a door and a window. In a few weeks, her treehouse was done. She brought in her sleeping bag and a pillow, a small chair, a flashlight, and a notebook and a pen—just in case the moon wanted to talk to her.

On the summer nights, she slept in her treehouse each night. On cold winter nights, she bundled up and stayed out until her parents called her inside. One day she caught a bad cold, and her mother scolded her for staying out in the cold.

“Why do you have to be up there in your treehouse in the winter?” her mother asked while tucking her in.

“To keep the moon company,” she replied. Her mother sighed and said, “darling, the moon has lots of company; billions of stars and clouds!”

“But they can’t talk to him like I can,” she said stubbornly and then sneezed. Her mother rolled her eyes and went downstairs to fetch a cup of chicken soup.

The girl hopped out of bed and stood in front of her window. The moon was only half-full, and she waved and blew it a kiss before getting back into bed. When her mother came up with soup and crackers she found she was sound asleep. She tiptoed out and closed the bedroom door.

As the girl settled deeper into sleep, she began to dream. In her dream, she and the moon were walking side by side on a sunny beach, talking to each other. She wondered in the dream how the moon was walking, and looked down. The moon had silver beams for arms and legs, and as she looked closer, she saw that the moon had a smiling, kindly face.

“Well!” said the moon. “It’s nice to be out walking with you like this. Isn’t it a pretty day?”

“Yes, it’s lovely,” said the girl. “But how are you here with me in the daylight? I only ever see you at night.”

“Since we are in your dream together, my dear friend, we can be anywhere.” The moon winked at her. “And since you got a cold from sitting in your treehouse to keep me company, I thought you’d enjoy a nice walk on the beach with my other friend, the Sun.” With that, he looked up and waved to a smiling yellow sun, who, to the girl’s surprise, smiled and waved back.

“Have you always been friends?” asked the girl.

The moon chuckled and said, “Yes, and for many years, too.”

The girl walked on, enjoying the feel of the warm sand on her feet.

“Do you ever get lonely?” she asked.

“Why, no, I don’t,” smiled the moon. “You see, besides my old friend, the sun, I have billions and trillions of stars for friends, just as your mother said.”

“Am I one of your friends?” asked the girl.

“Of course you are!” The moon winked at her, and went on. “Over the many years I have been in the sky, I have had many human friends.”

They walked on, talking of this and that.

Then the moon stopped walking, and looked down at her.

“You know, it’s time for you to wake up,” he said kindly.

“Oh no! I’m having such a good time with you!” cried the girl. The moon gently picked up her hand, and kissed the back of it.

“You don’t have to worry about me,” the moon said. “I have been here for more years than I can say. You don’t have to spend your life watching for me and worrying. Im’ fine, and so will you be.”

The girl gave the moon a watery smile, and nodded.

 

 

 

 

Time to Laugh Again

The following is an oldy but goody. Besides, we could really use some laughter now!

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Life and Success

Charles Schulz

“My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?”

J. P. Getty

“My formula for success is rise early, work late, and strike oil.”

Reba McEntire

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.”

James A. Garfield

“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.”

 

Lies and Self-Deprecation

Thomas Sowell

“It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.”

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”

Mel Brooks

“I have always been a huge admirer of my own work. I’m one of the funniest and most entertaining writers I know.”

S.E. Hinton

“I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.”

Abraham Lincoln

“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

 

Insults

“I never forget a face, but in your case, I’ll be glad to make an exception.”

W. C. Fields

“I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.”

George Bernard Shaw

“He who can does—he who cannot, teaches.”

 

Love and Attraction

Jay Leno

[Putting his arms around British personality and food journalist Nigella Lawson] “My wife is going to kill me. But you look like my wife, so that’s OK!”

Jerry Seinfeld

“Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not color, but to accept God’s final word on where your lips end.”

George Bernard Shaw

“Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.”

Ambrose Bierce

“Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.

“She’s a wonderful, wonderful person, and we’re looking to a happy and wonderful night—ah, life.”

 

Insanity

“Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.”

Oscar Levant

“Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m schizophrenic, and so am I.”

 

Aging, Happiness, and Health

Luis Bunuel

“Age is something that doesn’t matter unless you are a cheese.”

George Burns

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”

Mark Twain

“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”

 

Money

Pablo Picasso

“I’d like to live like a poor man—only with lots of money.”

 

Politics

Mark Twain

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

Sen. Bob Dole

“Our intent will not be to create gridlock. Oh, except maybe from time to time.”

 

Television

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

 

Miscellaneous

Jim Carrey

“Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.”

Henny Youngman

“If you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.”

Steve Martin

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.”

Josh Billings

“Every man has his follies—and often they are the most interesting thing he has got.”

Anthony Burgess

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”

W. H. Auden

“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.”

 

 

How to Avoid Trouble

It’s a sad commentary these days that people have had their purses and wallets stolen in supermarkets, walking down the street, boarding an airplane and so on. However, you can avoid this sort of thing by playing it smart:

  • Backpacks: usually they have zippers on them; if you have a backpack on your back (where zippers are facing out) you would never know if someone behind you unzipped your backpack and took something out of it.
  • Purses: Ladies, do NOT leave your purse on the shopping cart, even if you are merely walking over to pick up a carton of eggs. Either keep the purse in your cart and stay with the cart, or sling your purse over your shoulder if you leave your cart.
  • Back pockets: it’s amazing how some people don’t feel their wallet slowly slipping out of their back pocket. Keep your wallet in sight or put it in a front pocket or in your purse.
  • Gassing up your vehicle: put your car keys in your pocket and lock all doors. It is incredibly easy for someone to open your side door and grab your purse or wallet while you are filling your gas tank. Play it safe and lock it up; and of course put your keys in your pocket.
  • Leaving your vehicle unlocked while going into a store for “just a minute:” I don’t care if you take five seconds; your vehicle and everything in it is as risk. Lock up no matter what.
  • Walking or jogging alone: ALWAYS take your phone with you. ALWAYS have something with you to defend yourself (pepper spray to the eyes is great). ALWAYS let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back home. DO NOT wear head phones; you may think that you can hear what or who ever is around you, but if you are listening to your music you are not paying attention about who may be around you.
  • Don’t fall for someone asking you to come to their car window to ask a question: ALWAYS keep your distance. ALWAYS take a good look at who is in the car. DO NOT fall for the old “I lost my dog, can you help me find him?” Forget manners; RUN AWAY.
  • And finally: Leaving your pet or child in the car on a blazing hot day: it doesn’t take much time for the heat to harm (and possibly kill) your pet or child. Take the time to go home and put your pet back in your house. Take your child with you into the store.

I truly don’t mean to scare anyone; just be aware always if you are out alone. Let someone know that you are out jogging/walking and when you expect you’ll be back. When you get home, call that someone and let them know that you are safe at home. If you are walking/running on a street with your headphones on, grooving to the music, be aware of who and what is around you. It doesn’t take much time for someone to stop, grab you and pull you into the vehicle.

STAY AWARE!

The Lessons of Waitressing

Oh, I know; it isn’t “correct” now to call servers waitresses or waiters. Be that as it may, I learned a lot about people and business when I waitressed at a popular ice cream and breakfast, lunch and dinner at the best restaurant in town during the summer; I worked there all during the summers to save up for college.

It was a very popular place to eat, and the tourists just loved it. The owners of the restaurant made sure that we waitresses knew exactly what to do and also how to treat customers. We were always on the go, too; if there was any slack in the day, we always found something to do; cleaning out the coffee pots, folding napkins on the paper place mats, and so on.

Often we would get crabby and cranky folks who never seemed to be satisfied with anything. That became a challenge to us to stay friendly and smile no matter what. This too was a lesson in patience for me; later on in life it came in handy. I didn’t realize it at the time, but being a waitress taught me a lot about people and I found that it helped me to understand people better. In fact, it was a life lesson that I still remember.

There were some funny sides to waitressing. One day a young couple came into the restaurant, looking a bit on the grumpy side; in fact, they started bickering just as soon as they sat down. The man ordered an open-face egg salad sandwich; the woman wanted nothing, and started crying again. The man picked up his sandwich and threw it in her face! The resturant owner walked over to their table and said, “I don’t care what your problem is, but just LEAVE.” And so they did.

The restaurant was famous for many things, but the huge favorite was the lobster salad and the fruit salad. They were so popular that we always ran out of them around noon time. I had a couple who had driven up from New Jersey just to have the salads. Luckily, there were two left. I had the salads on my tray, and as I walked toward their table a little boy zoomed out of nowhere and ran into my leg. I lost my balance and both salads crashed onto the floor.

Not only did I feel terrible about this, but worse of all, those were the last of the lobster and fruit salads that day. The customers as well as the owner had seen it and no one blamed me, but boy did I feel bad about those folks who had driven up so far for those salads.

I learned a lot from waitressing, and to this day I thank any wait person who brings me food. Trust me; it’s not an easy job!

Each Person is Good

I saw this online and was deeply moved by it.

Image may contain: 2 people, text

Can you believe how healing it would be to a suffering person hearing nothing but praise, love and goodness about himself? Instead of being villified for the bad things a person has done, just imagine how it would be to hear family and friends reminding that person of all the good things they have done.

We always flog ourselves for real and imagined things we have done or not done. This makes us feel unworthy, unloved and uncared for. At many times in our lives we have done good things; these are the things we should focus on, not the bad.

As I am a life-long member of the “Stupid Me” club, this beautiful word, Ubuntu, will now serve as a reminder that me and everyone else in this world is more good than we are bad.

 

Forgive Everybody Everything

I originally wrote this in 2016; in these days especially this is a reminder that we can forgive everybody everything. It isn’t easy, but it CAN be done.

I read this quote in a book; “forgive everybody everything.” You’d be surprised at how those three words make you think. My first thought was, ‘well, how does a person do that; forgive everybody everything? What about the time that <insert the unforgivable something someone did to you, etc.>? That was terrible! I can never forgive that!’

But really—how does hanging onto hurt make anyone any better? There is no value in hoarding our hurts, outrages, and hating all those who ‘done us wrong.’ It won’t fix anything, nor will it affect in any way the person that caused it to happen.

Do we really get anywhere from sitting around and holding all our hurts inside? Doing that is like ignoring the mold in your bathtub. Before you know it, the mold has crept up the tile walls, around the faucets, and heads for the ceiling. Inevitably, that mold, left unchecked will rot everything in its path.

Stubbornly holding onto all those slights and hurts will eventually turn you into a lonely and bitter shell of who you used to be. Worst of all, you may lose your way to becoming the you that you could have been; happy, whole, loving, joyous, exuberant and glad for every moment. What a loss, what a shame.

I often wonder what God thinks of us when we do this. My own personal picture of God is this: a *Dumbledore-ish sort of old man with laugh wrinkles around His eyes, looking at each of us with love and full understanding, wanting us so badly to have a good and happy life.

I picture Him holding our hands, looking into our eyes and saying, “c’mon now, this isn’t why I sent you to Earth; I never wanted you to be miserable and resentful; I want you and everyone else to enjoy your lives, make the most of your unique talents, find love and happiness, and most of all—know how deeply loved you are. You are on Earth to love and to be loved.”

It’s impossible to hold love and forgiveness (by the way, it is full forgiveness that sets us free) in a heart filled with resentment, hurt, worry and fear. It’s the old story about the pitcher filled with mud; you cannot drink clear fresh water out of it until you clean the pitcher and refill it with fresh water.

From my own mistakes in holding onto old hurts, I’ll tell you this: don’t waste your time. Ever hear someone drone on and on and on about all the bad things in their lives? It’s bad enough that you have to listen to this sad and useless litany, but it drags you down right along with them.

I used to work with a woman who had a terrific sense of humor—once you got to know her. But until you did get to know her, she was gloomy, often bitter, and bored the pants off people with her tales of woe about this, that, or the other thing.

As we worked in the same department, we ended up often working on the same projects. Once she opened up, she was like a gorgeous flower in the desert. Her usual “**Eeyore” demeanor disappeared, and she was a funny and delightful friend. But how sad that she only showed that delightful side to one or two people!

So here’s what I’m working on each day: just let go and forgive everybody everything. This does not mean that you become a doormat. It means that you have chosen to rise above, and truly forgive. The hard part is to then forget. That’s the part I’m still working on.

Wish me luck!

*Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts School for Witches and Wizards, from the Harry Potter series.

**One of Pooh’s friends from the “Winnie the Pooh” stories by Alan Alexander “A. A.” Milne.

Pets Don’t Judge Us

If you have a pet, or as I like to say; if you are owned by a pet, then you know the constant love they give us. Our pets don’t judge us, they don’t give you snarky comments on your outfits, they don’t roll their eyes when you do something dumb; pets just love us for who we are. Of course, they rely on us for food, water, vet care, love, toys and soft places for them to sleep (usually on or in our beds). Pets love us for who we are.

The Crankee Yankee and I are currently owned by five house cats, our newest being Julian, or “Jules” as we call him. If you read my blog regularly, then you know that this year we lost our big yellow boy, Tinker (heart attack) and our sweet all-black boy, Pookie (long time heart issues; lots of meds). While we miss them dearly, we know that we gave them both the best lives possible.

Jules was an outdoor kitty, and the Crankee Yankee found the owner; a young girl living with her mother. Before we knew his history, we fed and sheltered him all through the winter and spring. We became very fond of him, and were worried about him crossing the streets and so on. It turns out that Jules has two litter mates, who also are indoor/outdoor. We see them occasionally and, as we feed, water and shelter any and all cats, they often come by for a bite and a drink.

The young girl asked us if we wanted to adopt Julian, and we did. It turns out that the only vet care he had was that he had been neutered and had had a rabies shot when he was quite young. So we took him to our vet for a checkup. Of course Jules wasn’t crazy about that, but at least we now know that he is healthy, happy and enjoys being an indoor cat now. He and our other four cats have worked out their differences, and, except for the occasional growling match, they all seem to be adjusting.

It’s funny how pets weave into our lives, and each and every one has their own personality. Our regular kitties have already gotten used to Jules; with of course the occasional minor dust-up. But they seem to sort things out by themselves. Our pets depend on us for food, water, shelter, love and good care. They know that they are loved, and they just take us as we are. No judgement there!

Wouldn’t it be something if we humans could be the same way?

 

Why Hang on to Hate?

Well, as you know from the popular song with, “haters gonna hate” in it, there is a whole lot of hatred going on these days. Believe me, I get that there is a lot that needs to be changed for the better, but hanging on to hate is like eating a bad meal that makes you sick 24/7.

Yes, there is a lot wrong in our country right now, and I don’t pretend to have an answer as to how to fix it. If you read my blog on a daily basis, you know that I don’t talk politics on it. I have my own views, but I have learned the hard way that arguing politics can often hurt family and friends.

As I’ve said before about my mother, who loved her friends deeply; if during their coffee get-together in the mornings, someone started bringing up politics, she would say loudly “no politics or I’m leaving!” As she was pretty much the queen bee in her circle, her friends would always drop the subject.

I’d like to think that sometime soon we can let go of hurt and hate. I’d like to see (and hear) more positivity and more working together instead of fighting with each other. I get it that not everything in this country is right, but there are still plenty of people who are doing good and positive things.

Of course black lives matter; all people; whether black, white, pink or purple—all lives matter. I’ll admit that I don’t know everything about everything, but I do know this: tearing down statues and flags of the confederacy is not doing anyone any good. Like it or not, they are part of our history. Reading and knowing our history is important so that we don’t make the same mistakes of the past.

I certainly don’t have an answer that would fix all of what’s happening now; I wish I did. All I know is that hanging on to hate makes us sick and scared. Who wants to live like that? No one person can change what is currently happening, but my fervent hope is that we think before we speak, that we don’t give in to fear and hate, and that we remember our history. Knowing our mistakes of the past should (and hopefully will) make us make sure that we never make those same mistakes again. Let’s hope.