All Things Become The Teacher

Maybe it was the lack of sleep or the weight of thousands of miles traveled, but I nearly cried when I saw Spam Fried Rice on the menu. The overwhelming sense of nostalgia came with that one uniquely Guam dish.

Even though it had been 25 years since I was last on Guam, the place felt the same. The individuals, the business names, and the political players changed. Roads have widened and beaches narrowed. Yet the essence that is undeniably Micronesia is perhaps stronger than before.

My trip to Guam in September of 2019 was a lesson in synchronicity and serendipity. For the 10 days that I was there, I only had one activity planned: the book launch on Wednesday, September 18. I went with an open heart and mind to let the journey unfold as it would and trusted a Higher Power to guide each step of the way.

The reason for the trip? Back in 1992, while attending the University of Guam, I was part of an Anthropology field school on Ulithi Atoll. Fast forward 20-some years, the professor retired and finally had time to compile a book about Ulithi. Papers myself and fellow students wrote as a result of the field school were part of the volume, Ulithi Atoll, Micronesia: Recalling the Past, Reaffirming the Future, along with more recent research from the 21st century.

Less than a month before the formal book launch, I was contacted by one of the book’s editors to inform me about the existence of this book. That was just one of a cascading volume of “coincidences” that were part of my Guam experience.

My former professor had tried to track me down me before. When time was running out, she asked the other editor to try. If this person had tried a week or two earlier, she would not have established contact.

The only reason she was able to reach me was that, merely a week prior, I had added the URL for this blog onto my Facebook page. If I hadn’t done that, I would have completely ignored the friend request and I would have absolutely no knowledge that this book existed, and hence, I would not have journeyed to Guam. As it was, she conveyed a message through the comments section on my blog, which comes straight to my inbox.

Guam is an island of connections. It seemed that everywhere I went and everything I did wove tiny threads of synchronism linking events, people, the past, and the future into a cohesive whole. I had such an overwhelming sense that I was exactly where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there.

The day I arrived, a two-day conference ended about decolonizing Guam. This is a topic I was actively learning about to inform the novel I’m writing. Turns out, a former classmate who I had been looking to reconnect with was very involved with the issue. When we met for dinner, it was as if no time had passed and we talked and talked, much to the annoyance of people waiting to be seated at the restaurant.

Another motivation for returning to Guam was to get more information about the Suruhana, the traditional healers on Guam. This was also to inform my writing. ‘Coincidentally,’ my friend was familiar with a number of Suruhana and an avid supporter of helping the tradition survive in the 21st century.

Oh, and so many more parallels. When I had been on Guam in the 80s and 90s, I knew my friend had grown up on-island. Little did I realize that she had gone to high school in Medford, Oregon, a rather small, rural town. At that point, I had never been to Oregon. After moving away from the island I had happened to go through Medford shortly after my husband and I married in 1995. We fell in love with the area and have lived there ever since. So, my friend and I also had Medford in common.

There were too many other coincidences and parallels to mention. I’ll just say that every conversation confirmed that I had needed to be on Guam at that moment, to have that conversation, to gain that insight.

Overall, a strong sense of “it is time” pervaded my consciousness. It was time to act. Time to show up in the world. Time to let my voice be heard. Time to move beyond fear and fulfill my purpose. Heady stuff? Yes. Yet all it really means is that I must trust myself and do what is in front of me.

I can’t help but believe that my meditation practice allowed my mind to be clear and to fully discover the joy and meaning of each moment. In Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s words, “As we grow accustomed to looking at the clear surface of our minds, we can see through all the gossip about who and what we think we are, and recognize the shining essence of our true nature.” (The Joy of Living, p. 132).

I believe that you can come to know your true nature through many different religions and paths. As my husband recently heard, when the student is ready, all things become the teacher. So whether you’re in a 12-step program, a devout follower of a religion or anything in between, my wish for you is that you come to know how amazing you truly are and can follow your passion to your ultimate fulfillment.

Reprinted fromI Am Many Things

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Changes

Don’t scare of change.

Life is all about change.

You’ll change.

Everybody will change.

Everything will change.

Look around you, you’ll always find changes.

You can’t stop the medium of change.

Nobody can stop it either.

Change is the universal law.

This is the truth of life.

Source: POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION! Only you can motivate yourself… Only you can bring positive changes in your life…. Birister Sharma

To Buy this Book- POSITIVE THOUGHTS OF SELF-MOTIVATION!

Thank you for reading. Let us make a beautiful world together. God bless!

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You didn’t deserve!- #Vanilla’sBlog

You didn’t deserve…

You didn’t deserve that attention I gave;you were just attracted to a girl so brave.

You didn’t deserve the time I gave you more than anyone else;you were just passing your time making a mess.

You didn’t deserve my thoughts for you day and night;you were already planning with someone else.

You didn’t deserve the bond of friendship I was in with you;you just said dialogues of friends forever,that’s never true…..

Read Full Post Here ☟☟☟

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Losing Sight of Christmas

Losing Sight of Christmas cover

Enjoy “The Christmas Shoes” by Newsong 2000!


The muddy slush piles up against curbs and trampled footprints scatter about on the snow-covered sidewalks. Storefronts capitalize on impending Christmas shopping with festive, decorated windows. Full of alluring ideas that tax the mind where wallets won’t permit, it’s hard to swallow. But, love consumes our hearts, so we become obsessed with not wanting to forget a single person. We shop online and by foot comparing prices, then wait in long lines. Frustrations mount as, sometimes, we end up paying for overnight delivery because we ran out of time.

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Are we losing sight of Christmas? We join together bearing gifts for one another to commemorate Jesus’s birthday on the 25th day of December. But where did the idea of excessive gift-giving come from, anyway? It’s not how this holiday began because there was a time when celebrating this day was a taboo.

 

Origin of the Christmas Holiday
Jesus’s birth was categorized as a pagan holiday. It is their belief He never existed as a man, only as a spiritual entity. Then, in the 1600s, Rome became the birthplace of Christmas as we know it; so, it’s a fairly new celebration. But, as history reveals, Protestants (the Puritans) in America hated this holiday and banned it in 1644. They believed it was an insult to God to honor a day associated with ancient paganism. The Puritans also considered Christmas trees and decorations unholy rituals as well as traditional foods such as mincemeat pies and pudding.

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Pagan Christmas image courtesy of Huffington Post

 

Commercialism of Christmas
So, how did Christmas ever come to the point of being the ultimate gift-giving experience instead of the rejoicing of a holy birth? Perhaps the commercialization of Santa Claus bearing bags of gifts started the dreaded Christmas creep. New York City’s annual American International Toy Fair is held in February, and the stores purchase and scheme for the following holiday. Isn’t that a little much?

Losing Sight of Christmas Pic 3

Do you know a whopping 18% of gifts given to others are never used by the recipient? To make matters worse, we spend the next six months paying off the debt we incurred because it was ‘the thought that mattered.’ Scroogenomics author, Joel Waldfogel, summed it up well – “if the spending we engage in doesn’t produce any satisfaction, then it’s hardly a measure of well-being.” Why are we allowing the commercialism of Christmas to affect our purses and create greediness?

 

Make Your Christmas Count!
I think this Christmas we should, instead, get involved with our communities. Spend money, if you must, giving to those less fortunate. There are orphanages, Senior Citizen centers, hospitals, and homeless people who would appreciate your gift. Take your children with you and let them feel the happiness of another person smiling over an unexpected present. After all, as a Christian, God expects us to help others in need.

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Image courtesy of YouTube

Overloading our own kids and others with presents is not the reason for the season! Limit your immediate family gifts to three and make them count. The birth of Jesus should be our celebration. Attend a local church service and enjoy the sensations of the joyous season. Jesus was born to save us – let that be enough for you this year.
God bless and Merry Christmas!

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Please join us on Thursday, November 22nd for another “Everything Christmas Blog”!


Give the gift that keeps on giving! Order your book of grace, love, and understanding today!

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Making The Bed

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This is my bed. It is a black metal futon frame with a Full size mattress on it. The futon came with a typical futon mattress and for over two years I slept on the futon mattress (though I added a foam eggshell mattress topper).

Realized several years ago my mental health is going down the tubes when my kitchen gets to be a mess. The kitchen is the one room in the house I need to have clean. I can have piles of papers and clean and dirty clothes but if there are piles of dishes in the sink and the stove is not wiped off then something is wrong.

More recently I have discovered how much making my bed affects my mental state. My grandmother used to always make her bed. She made mine too, and tried to get me to make my own bed when I was old enough. My grandparent’s bed had a bed skirt and everything. It was a Queen size bed. Box Spring, mattress,  and a wooden headboard.  The Headboard matched the dresser and both were given to my grandparent’s as a gift from some of the parishioners of one of the Churches Grandfather served.

My grandmother had a hand embroidered Quilt Set. It was white with a blue cornflower motif. The bed skirt, top quilt, and several throw pillows made up the set. She would make the bed as most people do.  Fitted sheet, Top sheet, light cover (made for sleeping) and the decorative cornflower top quilt (not made for sleeping). She would finish it off with the decorative pillows.

Yeah, that isn’t me.  I learned from grandfather how to make hospital corners. My first job was a housekeeper at a Days Inn. So I made plenty of beds….not necessarily my own. For a long time even sleeping with any type of sheet on the bed was a hit or miss. I don’t do Top sheets at all. I was staying at friend’s house and her parents had a sleeper sofa. To make it more comfortable her mom had put one of the crushed velveteen blankets under the fitted sheet. Then the Top sheet and the sleeping cover. No need for a decorative quilt on a sleeper sofa. Without the use of my CPAP I run marathons in my sleep. I turn to one side and then the other. One time I did a complete 180 in my bed and woke up where my feet had been when I went to sleep the night before. Anyway, the next day when my friend’s mom went to strip and remake the bed we discovered I had not only bunched up the top sheet under the cover but I had somehow manage to strip the velveteen blanket under the fitted sheet without removing the fitted sheet.

At this point in my life my bedding consist of a fitted sheet, the blanket you see on the bed in the photo and three body pillows–with pillow casings (another non consistent item in my bed making).  I added the only two throw pillows I have left which I care about. The Hello Kitty one I found while touring an empty apartment. It was in a really high cabinet which may or may not have had a rifle in it as well. The realtor agent never told me. The second throw pillow is in the color and has the House Crest of my favorite House in Harry Potter: Slytherin. The pillow was hand embroidered by a friend of mine who loves Harry Potter as much (or even more) than I do.

While my bed is simple to make, the act of making it, and of laundering sheets, pillowcases, and cover one a month or as needed, gives me sense of peace and order; starting my day off on the right note.

My suggestion to anyone who feels out of control or anxiety ridden or in a bad place mentally is to find the “making your bed” thing to help you through, to get you back on track. It might be journaling when you first wake up, or having a cup of coffee, or walking, or it make actually be making your bed. Whatever it is, having one thing which helps all the other things in life move easier through day is invaluable.