enlightenment

The Five Noble Truths (according to the Beatles)

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I’ve been listening to the Beatles a lot lately.  In fact, even though their music has been a back drop to my life since I was a kid, I still can’t get enough of them.

What astounds me about the Beatles is their timelessness. They were my parent’s music, yet my kids love them as much as I do.  On one level their music offers these brilliant surface messages.  On this layer they act as an accompaniment to our daily rituals, our love lives, our hopes and aspirations, but then when we listen more, we are touched by something even deeper that speaks to our core….to who we really are as humans.

Few musicians, actually few artists in history, have done this as well as these four “boys” from Liverpool.

Along with my Beatles listening, I’ve been reading a lot about Buddhism. The Buddhists have the Four Noble Truths which speak to the basic core of the human condition….as far as I can tell, Buddha had it right…but dare I say? So did the Beatles.

"And these are the Fab Four Noble Truths."

In honor of two very different, yet impressively similar wisdoms, I’ve put together  a collection of core “Noble Truths” pulled from Beatles songs–words that echo in my heart every time I hear them…

The Five Noble Truths (according to the Beatles)

All you need is love

Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream

Nothing is real…and nothing to get hung about

Love is all and love is everyone

Let it be

   Ahh…such simple words, but oh so powerful as well.

Tell me, what did I miss here?  What Beatles lyrics ring true for you?

Goo goo g’joob to You,

Becky

The Reason I Keep Falling off of Chairs

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Me standing on a chair circa 1973

My mom has a story she likes to tell.

I must have been about one and half. I was wandering about our little two bedroom house when I discovered my little rocking chair in the living room. Being new to the whole world of furniture and my toddler capabilities I decided I would climb it.

So I pulled myself up, got my chubby feet on the seat and stood. Ta-da! I could see the world from a whole new perspective. Now, keep in mind that was probably one of the first times I had climbed a chair in my life, so this was a Mt. Everest achievement.

My mom clapped and I smiled at my victory… I then proceeded to fall off, right onto the floor. I laid there and cried and cried, and then as the story goes, I picked myself up and climbed again.

But the show wasn’t over yet . After doing my little victory dance at the top once again—I fell a second time and cried, of course.

My mom says this cycle went on and on, over and over.  Climbing…victory…tears…crying…climbing…victory…tears…

I can only imagine this must have been funny—if not heartbreaking—to watch.

I tell this story because I feel as if I am that child again. Over and over and over I fall back into old patterns, heart broken, aching in confusion and doubt, yet here I am standing up again, climbing, climbing, climbing. I keep doing it no matter how hard…or how many times I fall. And let me tell you I want to give up. Many times I want to go running back into my mom’s arm and say “I quit. I can’t do this anymore.”

However what I instinctively knew as that toddler was that everytime I climbed that chair my muscles got stronger, my coordination got better, and I grew as I person. I became more of who I was supposed to be. And in spite of the bumps and bruises and the seemingly futile activity I pursued, I was going somewhere—somewhere big—not just to the top of that chair, but I was paving the way for the real mountains I would climb, for the miles I would run, and all of those other insurmountable tasks I would achieve in my 43 years thus far.

I keep “climbing” in my life now because I know in the depth of my heart that there’s purpose to this madness. Honestly I’m not even sure of my end goal, but I’m going to keep trying and eventually master the art of the fall.

I understand now that that the act of failing, suffering, and hurting are as important as the victory on the hill. These are the times we stand back and say “whoops, maybe I need to take this next climb slower” or “maybe I should try a different approach.” The power is in  process, not just the victory.

Ultimately I know my life is about more than just standing high to see the world, its about the bruises as well. . Maybe someday I’ll look back at to where I am now, and be able to say “look at all those marvelous times I fell….and climbed again.”

May your falls be graceful, your victories grand.

Peace to you.

Becky

P.S. I wrote this blog post and went into my photo files hoping to find a cute baby picture and lo and behold there’s me standing on a chair. I don’t even recall ever seeing this picture before. How weird is that?

Serenity Now!!

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I never quite got the mantra thing. Don’t get me wrong, I was right there with all the suburban housewives in my yoga pants doing the downward dog, all of us trying to squeeze the dissatisfaction from our lives with a pretzel pose. It may have worked for some of them, but after class I’d always get that taste of dissatisfaction lingering in my mouth.

In some classes we’d chant. This was the worst for me. It was like going back to my Jewish synagogue when I was a kid, trying desperately to divine something out of words someone handed me on a sheet of paper. In fact as a kid this sort of thing just made me feel more detached.

I often think of the episode in Seinfeld where George’s Dad went on a kick, trying to reduce his anger. He was told if he just said ‘serenity now’ his problems would go away. So, in true Seinfeldian fashion, George’s dad, misinterpreting the purpose of his assignment exploded in anger passionately shouting “Serenity Now!!!”

That was me in yoga class some days.

Yoga was nice.  It made me limber, I learned how to breathe, but I often found myself like George’s dad, arms to the air, on the verge of a heart attack, frustrated that I still wasn’t fixed.

So, as of late I’ve tried something new. I’ve been doing hypnosis, and oddly enough—it works. Hypnosis works under the principle that all those conversations we have with our thinking mind—the busy, crazy, fretful entity that it is—are unproductive. We tell ourselves “Stop eating all that crap” and we do it anyway because our subconscious desires are out of whack with the great, steadfast logic our conscious mind.

The head knows that eating a whole box of Little Debbie snack cakes is not a good idea, however if the subconscious mind, let’s say, is heart broken over a recent break up, it may think that eating all those oatmeal pies is a good idea.

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My teacher Sue David

In the case of the Little Debbies our subconscious and conscious minds are in disagreement and according to Sue, the subconscious wins.

In hypnosis, you talk to your subconscious mind and you go straight to the source of your problem. The theory is that because you’re communicating with the highly suggestible subconscious, in a state of peace, you embody the solution deep within you, and bypasses the noisy, neurotic  conscious mind.

I know it sounds like a gimmick to some of you (Tim Baker!), but I tell you it has affected me profoundly.

For me, hypnosis is powerful because it bypasses my anxiety ridden head games (for which I am a gold medalist!) and instead goes straight to my heart. It in essence shuts me up and says “cut the crap and just be.”

Several months ago Sue David my hypnotherapist (who does Skype calls if you’re interested!) told me that while I was under I would hear a message. She said to listen for key words that I could use to bring me to that mellow state.  Essentially she was telling me to find my mantra. This made me nervous. What if I chose the wrong one? Would it be good enough? How am I to know? (THAT’S the conscious mind talking!)

One day while I was relaxed and under self-hypnosis, I heard this: “I am Beauty, Love and Light”

Of course this wasn’t magic. It was just me—but a very relaxed, chilled me, that didn’t have the regular BS running through her head.

Here’s the cool part, with these words I felt an emanating force of love surrounding me, streaming from my pores. It was divinity, but not scary divinity like I was taught as a kid.

This was just the sheer understanding that it all makes sense. All of it.

All the stuff I worried about,  all my maddening seeking for perfection–it was all quiet. It was just me, these three words, and this beautiful, calm place I had created for myself.

And so, apparently I now have a mantra. When I go into my state of relaxation, ride the river of my subconscious mind I say those words to myself. It is in these moments that I am reminded of who I truly am…and the coolest part–when I come out of hypnosis and my kids are whining or I didn’t get enough sleep I still feel the power of the mantra.  There’s no magic, just quiet time with my heart and an understanding from my depths that I have the power to make change. I no longer need to be afraid.

I am beauty, love and light…. and so are you.

Peace,

Becky

Of God and Unicorns…

unicorn be yourselfSometimes I journal as if I’m talking to God. I don’t even believe in God, at least not in the traditional sense, but as I was writing this came out.

God, I am burnt out on this writing thing, this author thing, trying to sell my books. It’s too much. It doesn’t make me happy.

Okay tell me specifically, what, in all of this doesn’t make you happy.

The trying. I mean I love the doing, but the trying to be perfect…

What do you want to be?

I want to be a woman who writes really good books, who tells exciting stories aloud to an audience and makes people feel good inside when they hear them. I want to write great articles, short stories…keep a decent blog…and keep creating That’s SO Bizarre..and love the people I interview for all their quirkiness.

God, I want to send light into the world. I want to send my heart and humanity to people…I want to remind them who they are!!

Don’t you see it Becky!!? You already are all those things. That is you! My God, Becky, you are living and breathing your dream.

The key is to stop comparing yourself to everyone… you are not them. You are on your own path. The minute you try taking their roads you fail….that’s when you crumble. Only you can be you, to be anyone else would be a lie. You hurt, suffer when you try to be someone else. You can only be you. Beautiful, sunny, heartfelt you.

Becky, my sweet love, you are fine. This is not depression, this is longing…and this is all good. Finally there’s room to look at this part of yourself deeply. There’s a lot going on in your life. Take a deep breath and know you are okay. Let go of the paths you cling to and float atop the one you are on.

Smile. You are here. Right now. In beauty and light.

Forgive, my dear, for you already are perfect.