Top 5 Methods for Fixing Everything

We have experienced another year of alterations that cinched the seams of us all. Making us more creative as we have looked inward, allowing us to touch the sensitive parts of ourselves that we buried under work. Making us work harder to be shown as irreplaceable and durable. Our worth tossed between the inevitable revelation that we must still take care of ourselves and others, financially, emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1) No one needs another TOP 3-5 list

Listening to the needs and wants of others helps you push product, whether the product is you or your ideas. But many folks, these days, aren’t seeking that type of click-bait. They need more than a list, a list of which you’ve devised based on self-help ideas gathered in most common places. Without strategies that help people apply these ideas and skills you suggest, your posting becomes a reminder of deficits. It is advice without advising.

woman in white long sleeve holding wooden paint brush
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Point your audience in the direction of what you intend to share with them. Names and links that allow individuals to take a deeper dive into the subject you are illuminating. In the medium of writing or research, this would be included in footnotes or endnotes. This is how you support your reliability speaking on a topic. Even this caters to the speaker’s position but it also reassures and supports the audience.

2) Commiserate

I know we want to present ourselves a particular way to the wider audience we can reach and possibly be exactly that which they want reflected back to them. Is that really you? I mean, go ahead and be a cardboard cutout and wave at the public with an ever-present grin. That’s less work than being a cog or an automaton. Which is definitely more work than being a bot. So be yourself. If that allows you to be real and raw with others, honest in a way that frees anyone from the binds of what suppresses us, then that is good work.

When ignorance arises to attack that good work, it’s not a sign to stop. It is not welcomed; to find that opposition to our best selves be given power to silence us. Question our intentions for the betterment of everyone. If that work isn’t good enough for others, it must be good enough for you. Assure yourself of what you share and why you share so when it is called into question you are ready for that conversation or confrontation; even if that confrontation is with the Self.

3) 2022

The highs and lows of the last 2 years are palpable. Partnerships broken and made whole. Lives lost to the very same mortal toils as before the before. The distance between family, friends and the ideas they ponder. Getting back to normal has not happened. Believing “normal” is what we need is a reminder that some of us would prefer a blindfold. Live as we always did, some of us willfully ignorant, others vying for a liberation found on the other side of pristine glass.

4) Do something for you

Read more books. Question. Be kind. Be honest with yourself. Rest. Let the inevitable guilt go. Enter each day as if it is a new year. Don’t commit to a daily routine that makes you feel beholden. Praying, eating, sleeping, exercising, and drinking water can happen when you need them to, especially when you may need more prayer and water than you think.

5)…

I wish you good fortune today and tomorrow. May your dreams be realized, may you realize your true dreams.

So Many Things

It’s a wonder that we get anything done. It’s a wonder that we can be filled with boredom. It’s been a whirlwind getting through the year. Then getting through a month. Then a day. Then the hours. Then I think, it’s been tough for a while now.

I am building my future. I’m building my future in a way I never thought truly possible because a “future” was something for other people. Worlds that could be created fluidly, with ease, normal hiccups, love, loss and life. Those who get to live this way, with average concerns, have no idea what it’s like to imagine, every day, that one misstep will destroy the morsels you’ve collected.

Destruction. Creation. Decay. Life. Cycles don’t stop for our birthdays and anniversaries. We are much more than the history months and this person or job is special day. We are asking for normal. Discouraged by normal. And yet we seek that which is familiar and comforting in patterns that barely keep us well.

What has changed for you in the last two years? How have you changed and adjusted? What have you embraced? What needed to be discarded…have you finished sweeping the rooms and mopping the floors? Have you felt like a storage space that needs to be filled, organized, reorganized and paid for? Can you even keep up with the payments?

The future I am creating could be so wonderful, if I believe it to be. If I know in my heart I deserve it. Populating it with people and things that create a rich existence. Removing things that negate the creating, the beauty, the joy.

Happines Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good by Tina Turner

Published in 2020, Tina Turner has given us one more memoir, of her more than eight decades on this earth. She is able to weave in the influence of her spiritual practice with her tales of growing up in Nutbush, Tennessee and becoming an international superstar.

She sang out loud and chanted in secret. This is what Anna Mae did when her then-husband wasn’t around, she chanted for her life. Unlike what was commonly believed, through the depiction in the stellar film “What’s Love Got to do with It?”, she was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism through a white woman who Ike brought to the home. His house. His rules. How interesting his karma to have delivered absolute happiness to someone he was abusing. Her relative happiness could be identified in her ability to get out of his house, out of the contracts and keep her stage-name. Her absolute happiness could be identified in her ability to forgive him and pray for his happiness and healing.

Tina Turner touches on common topics in any person’s life: difficult family relationships, societal pressures, and impasses that prevent someone from doing and being what they desire. Anna Mae cannot deny the racist structures that ruled around her, the seasons picking cotton, and becoming a mother in her teen years. There is common magic here, in her words, her stories that reveal how vulnerable people still have limitless potential and can make what they perceive as impossible, possible.

Tina discusses how the 10 Worlds function in her life (from her buddhist practice). The 10 worlds are the ten states of life: hell, hunger, animality, anger, humanity, heaven, learning, realization, bodhisattva and Buddhahood. The Buddhist terminology would label the 10 worlds as follows: the realms of hell, hungry spirits, animals, asuras, human beings, heavenly beings, voice-hearers, cause-awakened ones, bodhisattva and Buddhas. The mutual possession of the 10 worlds means that each of the 10 worlds has all of the 10 worlds inherent within it. Subsequently within the 10 worlds are the 10 factors. The 10 factors of life are 10 aspects shared by all living beings of the 10 worlds. These include appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relational, latent affect, manifest affect, and their consistency from beginning to end.

From “The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace: Selections from the works of Daisaku Ikeda” the 10 worlds are broken down into habit patterns. “just as a spring returns to its original shape after being stretched, people tend to revert to their own basic tendency. But even if one’s basic life tendency is the world of hell, it doesn’t mean that one will remain in that state 24 hours a day. That person will still move from one life state to another — for instance, sometimes manifesting the world of humanity, sometimes the world of anger, and so on… Even if they momentarily manifest the world of bodhisattva, however, they will quickly revert to their basic life tendency of the world of anger.”

This is to say that things are always going on. That roller coaster people often talk about, that’s what we’re all on, all the time. For some, the roller coaster is just creeping up to the highest height about to breach over the top. For others the roller coaster is taking the turns, which are exciting and also unnerving. This type of awareness is not for coaches and gurus and meditative practitioners. This type of awareness is for everyone to grasp, whatever their capacity. Wisdom is truly the notion of considering the same ideas with more depth, precision and relatability for all people.

Tina Turner is an example of a life of gratitude. Not one of perfection and protection from pain or public scrutiny. She faced each phase of her life as a rebirth. To be born a human is rare. To be reborn in the same lifetime into enlightenment through the wisdom of one’s suffering is the ultimate expression of Buddha-nature.