Monthly Archives: January 2014

Solace for the Broken: The Power of Cracks & Holes

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“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen

I am a big believer in the power of cracks and holes, the ‘lost-ness’ and brokenness that transforms us.

I believe that we can exist in those dark moments; cracked apart and fallen to pieces, because that is the doorway through which we begin catching glimpses of our reflected light shining through.

And it is thanks to those cracks that we can slowly wipe the dust from our eyes as we reassemble ourselves.

“Take these broken wings and learn to fly.” ~ Paul McCartney

When feeling lost, drifting in limbo, and downright confused to the very marrow of our bones, embrace it. Let us be lost and honor ourselves as the wounded broken thing that we are in that moment.

There is magic in broken things, for it is in being shattered to pieces that all the potential in the world is held — to be rebuilt into something unexpected. We have the abilities to truly surprise ourselves.

This wide open space can seem terribly scary and vast. Our cracks and holes may at first appear to us as being empty, chasms of lack within. This is not so.

Instead of focusing on this feeling of lack that ‘lost-ness’ brings us up against, we can see this as an opening before us with limitless possibilities, one in which our light from within can shine through to guide us along.

When lost, any direction can be the right way. All paths are now available to you in some form or another. And since this is the case, it is not that you are losing direction, but gaining an opportunity for new choices.

You are not losing yourself, but being gifted with a way to know yourself deeper than ever before.

“Holiness has most often been revealed to me in the exquisite pun of the first syllable, in holes- in not enough help, in brokenness, mess. High holy places, with ethereal sounds and stained glass, can massage my illusion of holiness, but in holes and ‘lost-ness’ I can pick up the light of small ordinary progress, newly made moments flecked like pepper into the slog and the disruptions.” ~ Anne Lamott

So disasssemble yourself. Close your eyes and spin yourself around a few times. Lose direction on purpose. Lose yourself completely, and you can delight in the search to find yourself again. To explore with new eyes the mysterious terrain right in front of you.

Shatter yourself in a thousand little pieces, and reassemble them. We are more beautiful for being broken.

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Published on Rebelle Society.

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When We Hit The Wall

The ebb and flow of the creative process presents us with two very different ways of looking at the times of stillness. It can feel like a dreaded curse, or an invitation to enter our soft inner cocoon and transform, even just a little.

This poem is for everyone who has ever felt stuck, lost and hopeless, and is a reminder that only in the darkness can we see the stars.

When We Hit The Wall

{A Poem} By Jenn Lui

The landscape before us changes
There is an unbearable stillness
In the air that grows stale and wretch
All colors fade and retreat

The great expanse curls and shrivel
Dries up on itself and shrinks
Hardened and cruel
Into the wall before us pressing tightly

The air grows thicker and thicker
Gasping and panicking we scream
Our bloody fingers scratching
For freedom beyond this confinement

We look up and see the engulfing dark sky above
Stars shining brighter than ever before
Amazed and bewildered we stare
And see the same stars in each other’s eyes

We remember once again the greatest truth
Of the magnificent illusion
The continuous nature of time and space
Our hurried heart beats begin to slow

Suddenly the hard and jagged walls soften
Surrounding us instead like a blanket
Warm and gentle beckoning us to rest
Our healing cocoon holding us safely

When we hit the wall
It can be hard, cold and cruel
Or softly inviting us to transformation
Until we emerged anew into the world

Bleed it out

Photo: Bleed it out by Jenn Grosso

Within this stuck-ness, if I can dig a little deeper and open myself up a little more, there’s a well inside waiting. Waiting for me to have the courage to embrace it all and bleed it out.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

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Letting Go and Letting Be

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Apranihita is the Sanskrit term for the teaching of aimlessness and means not setting an object or goal in front of you and running after it. It means to release the need to know and to have. To just be.

“We must bring a revolution in our thinking: we must stop. We must do as the flower does. The flower is aware of the fact that it contains everything within it, the whole cosmos, and it does not try to become something else. It is the same for you.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

For me, right now, this means releasing the need to know the way forward, sometimes it’s through aimlessness that all is revealed. Taking some deep breaths and surrendering.

And after this video/meditation, you really can’t help but to surrender.
Even just a little.

The Great Bell Chant (The End of Suffering)
Read by Thich Nath Hanh, chanted by brother Phap Niem.

“May the sound of this bell penetrate deep into the kosmos even in the darkest spots. Living beings are able to hear it clearly so that all suffering in them cease. Understanding comes to their heart and they transcend the path of sorrow and death. The universal dharma door is already open. The sound of the rising tide is heard clearly. The miracle happens, a beautiful child appears in the heart of a lotus flower. One single drop of this compassionate water is enough to bring back the refreshing spring to our mountains and rivers. Listening to the bell I feel the afflictions in me begin to dissolve. My mind calm. My body relax. A smile is born on my lips. Following the sound of the bell my breathe brings me back to the safe island of mindfulness. In the garden of my heart the flowers of peace bloom beautifully.” ~ Thich Nath Hanh

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Happy First Full Moon of 2014

Sage and singing bowl – smoke and sound. Conduits of prayers on this first night light of the year – #littlealtarseverywhere.

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A little moon magic haiku for you.

First Full Moon this year
Shines down on the path ahead
See it with your heart
~ Jenn Lui

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As The Wheel Turns: Embracing the Sacred

It takes one moment
just one moment
to completely dissolve.

In that one moment
we are nothing and everything
we are connected to it all.

In just one moment
we become the void
and remember our true nature.

~ Wide Open Heart {A Poem Fragment} by Jenn Lui

Those moments, where we are quiet and still within, opens us up to experience the sacred. This can be during more obvious situations such as rituals, meditation, yoga or prayer. Or while listening to music that moves us, while creating art, walking in nature or as we sit consciously sipping our tea.

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However, the beautiful thing about this is that we can experience the sacred within our everyday and during our most mundane tasks. We can enjoy this connection while we cook a meal, while washing the dishes, while we’re at work or at home taking care of the household. With a simple conscious breath we can bring awareness to the task at hand and know within ourselves that everything is sacred, everything is connected. We are all made from the same stuff as the stars up in the sky. When I pause to contemplate this, I can’t help but feel amazed and in intimate contact with the sacred all around me.

As the Wheel Turns and we continue our journey into this New Year, How can we bring more sacred moments into our lives? Here are a few of my favorite ways:

Tea Ceremonies: This doesn’t need to be complicated at all; my version of a tea ceremony is very simple. It consists of making my tea slowly and with awareness, sitting to drink my cup, consciously enjoying every sip. I’ll usually pair this with some journal writing and my gratitude practice; this time to sit and be still is a powerful opportunity to connect within.

Little Altars Everywhere: I adore little trinkets and have many little collections of objects around my home. These little altars everywhere remind me to stop, take a breath and tune into myself, to slow down and notice the little things around me. Setting up these little altars is such a great meditation in itself, and can consist of anything that speaks to your heart. It may include a statue of a cherished deity, some herbs in a bowl as an offering, crystals and stones, candles, flowers, totems and anything of special significance to you. If you dig this idea and want some inspiration, I have a Flickr set of my little altars everywhere as well as a Pinterest board of inspiring altars I’ve found on the web.

I also love carrying around with me some of my special trinkets and call these my little altars to go. In a tin or in a pouch, these little altars everywhere remind me that the sacred is everywhere, and in every moment. Throughout history, objects have had sacred significance for us, although in the end these are just things, they can represent so much more and are a visual way to connect to the sacred.

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Meditation:
Meditation is an important part of my every day, to have that quiet and still time where I can surrender, let go of the daily stresses and let myself dissolve. I know some are intimidated by meditation, however there are so many different ways to “meditate” and there is really no wrong way. You don’t have to be able to sit for hours to be able to meditate. Even 5-10 minutes on a regular basis can be a very transformative practice. Some of my favorite methods for meditation are: Reciting a Mantra (Japa Yoga), this is basically the repetition of sacred words. There are many mantras out there specific to different spiritual modalities, but you can definitely make up your own as well. A mantra that I have often enjoyed is “So Ham” which means “I Am That”. Another method is to utilize a Mudra (hand position) as a point of focus, or putting on an audio guided meditation. If you search under meditation on the internet, you’ll find a wealth of information and methods. And remember, your meditation practice is your own, feel free to adjust it to resonate with you.

Gratitude: Having a gratitude practice is another profound way of connecting within ourselves and to the sacred. There’s the saying that goes “Gratitude makes what we have enough.” and it’s so very true. Not every day is awesome, but if I stop and think about all the things and people in my life that I’m grateful for, then my bad days don’t seem so bad. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but cultivating through practice this attitude of gratitude creates a big shift in perspective and sets us up to be more thankful and to be conscious of the abundance that we have already. This practice can be written in your journal, or it can be done in your mind and simply thinking about who and what you are grateful for. And better yet, you can enjoy this practice with a hot cup of tea.

I hope that one or more of these practices have resonated with you. When we invite the sacred into our daily lives, we can’t help but come from a much more heart centered way of living.

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“May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.”
~ John O’Donohue

Also posted on Be You Media Group.

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