looking for a new addiction? focus on the LIGHT

i’m totally addicted to barry’s tea a friend recently turned me on to. sigh. soon i’ll get around to asking our local publix if they can carry it.
and where would life be without the slogans that helped me put down my former self-destructive ways and helped change me into what i am today. slogans like: “keep it simple, sweetheart,” “let go let God,” “first things first,” “easy does it” “think think THINK” etc. etc. ?
did you know that lord flea is a serious yogi or yogini (female is yogini and male is yogi: remember, lordflea is anonymous)? yes, i’m a lifelong practitioner of the poses, having discovered how “to do” yoga from a book in the mid-1960s, to save my aching scoliosis-bum teenage back. if i hadn’t i’m sure i would have ended up a cripple, the pain was excruciating all throughout adolescence. eventually, with time, by regularly doing the poses, i began to understand the philosophy of yoga, based on ancient scriptures. 
from thick-mud of being stuck...into being FREE

from thick-mud of being stuck...into being FREE

the reason why we practice the poses is for a purpose other than what most people think. to sustain a yoga pose, called an “asana” in sanskrit, is to help our physical selves ease into comfort, expand our bodies, and regulate and equalize our in-and-out-breaths–why?–for the purpose of being able to meditate with ease, with no physical discomfort, as we merge with the Light within.
all we can do is try--reach for the Light

all we can do is try--and reach for the Light

and then, 25 years ago, i was blessed to “run into” the teacher i’d been searching for all my life one fine day, a meditation master. so…for over 40 years now i’ve been a yoga practitioner, and meditator. without yoga my life is pretty boring. i use the 12-step slogans i learned when i got into recovery, at the exact same time when I “ran into” my teacher. but the main slogan that helps me stay centered and happiest, helps me work out all my crapola, is a sanskrit mantra that loosely translates: God is within me and everyone and everywhere.
my addiction these days is to be in that “inner Light” of meditation as much as i possibly can. and then—even though shit happens–i’m okay about it. after all–life happens! and yeah, shit does too.
there will always be “a cuba,” a “lack,” a challenge, no money, no job, no lover, an obstacle, a disease, a war, petty worries and fears–an unrighteousness of some sort for us to make aright. these things come with being alive. obstacles are meant for us to embrace, not run from as i once did–so that we can learn FROM them how to focus on the Light within, and eventually be able to interface that Light with what’s going on outside, in life. when i learned to do that, i began to change my thinking. negative things became opportunities. my life got better, little by little, bit by bit, practicing being in the Light each day, over and over.
we came from the Light, and we will one day return to the Source, the Light.  so–the way i figure–why not try to live in the Light, embrace it, as much as i can, and allow happiness in my life, even if bad things still persist all around me. inside, at least, within my own power-connection to the Light, no one can affect me. inside, i am one with the Light. the Light is always that close to all of us.
this is my Truth because this is what i have experienced. this is not just talk.
we make out of life whatever we wish

we make out of life whatever we wish

i am keeping to my commitment of writing each day, enjoying writing this book tremendously. i have to ask, “do i want to be with … or should I go to …–or should i stay home and write?” and i always choose writing, because—the book will never get written in a timely manner if i don’t.
i am extremely blessed, and happy to be able to do what I love to do. how fortunate can a person be, to have TIME to do what one loves to do? but then, i’ve worked HARD toward that goal for decades now. all that effort is finally paying off. besides, i work a day-job like anyone else. i cram into each day everything that i’ve decided needs to get done–and i forget about all the things i don’t have time to do. “first things first” — see! slogans DO work!
where my house is we don’t see many of the florida “snowbirds” who fly down after xmas. everywhere else in the sunshine state is crowded. but here in my little st. augustine neighborhood–it’s like business as usual, with no traffic but the locals who live here. we’re close to the inland-waterway, where we put in our canoe and paddle over to town in a hour, or to Moses Creek, a nature reserve, or any of many inlets and marshes in between.
 
cuba –another world. people there not allowed to own boats, unless they’re staunch supporters of castro’s regime. in the harbors i saw very few boats, ridiculously few.  sobering, one of the words i would use to describe cuba. but mostly it was …”intense,” although “depressing” is tempting to use as a modifier. the fact that i intermingled with mostly people in the arts and people who support charities there, speaks loudly of the restraints of living in a tyrannical dictatorship where survival is utmost in people’s minds. i’ve already taken some flak from several humanitarians, who think my atttitude “damning” or “political”… but…damn it! it is deplorable! i have to speak my truth, about how it felt to be there. isn’t that what a blogger is suppposed to do? speak what WE go through, how we see it … not someone else’s view? what others would like me to say? so that is why my tone, when it comes to cuba, is indeed a bit somber.  to me i speak from a spiritaul point of view, not political. but to others, there is not that distinction, i’m afraid. not many things happened while i was in habana to make me feel there is a lot to be happy about, except–and most importantly–that the fire within the human spirit never dies. cuba’s artists are alive and well. THEY are not afraid to convey, through art, through music, films, dance, the Truth of their sadness. from my own experiences i am convinced that ART has the power to lead the way, for anyone! from darkness into the Light. cuba’s artists will lead their oppressed people out of that tunnel of darkness all of castro-communist cuba are stuck in.
there is always hope. 
trusting the Light

being lifted up by the power of art: trusting the Light

one artist friend i spoke to (in spanish, so yes, i was able to converse, and my spanish improved even in the short time there) told me that change won’t happen, even if it could, because people’s MINDS are so frozen, so paralyzed, they’re consumed with just getting enough to eat that day. fear is at the core of everything they do. it’s not like the army guys walk around with machineguns, as i’ve seen in panama, or the dominican republic, and other latin american places i’ve traveled. but if you don’t “act right” or “speak supportively of the regime” in cuba, you could just disappear … and … who knows what then? 
 
cuban kids waiting for change, in old habana

cuban kids waiting for change, in old habana

carter’s coming back from brrrrrr minneapolis tonight. he went to do business and he tellls me it was a successful trip. we are so blessed, in these hard times, to have what we have.
 
in the news are people suffering. times are trying. some people simply can’t cope. difficulties are what make people come together more, though, to help each other. i feel certain that we will all come out of this challenge as better people. we are being forced to grow, as civilized humans. perhaps the lifestyle of spending too much, not thinking enough of “the Light,” not taking the time to develop a relationship with our inner Self and whatever outer form of Truth we choose, has brought such obstacles we now face to the forefront of our awareness–that we must change.
now, for my 500 words before i have to return to cleaning house (grrrr) for we have…guess who! the “havana-gee-la” harvard cabaret star himself coming to visit! his daughter has apparently gotten herself engaged to a “flordia redneck” (well, the prospective groom’s parents are from florida) and goldie and ann, from oh-so-civilized LA, are flying out to meet the soon-to-be in-laws, who live close by in orlando. then on sunday we’re having a superbowl get-together with all our yoga friends. me, i’ll probably hide in the yoga shack with others who’d rather do asanas than cheer a linebacker, or go rollar-blading, or walk with other friends who also abhor football … but i’ll show for the last 15 minutes to see what the big deal is.
boy, if we could all be as addicted to the joy, the unlimitedness of experiencing the inner Light as people are to watching blood sports–what a change this world would experience! BIG TIME.
 
it’s raining today. glorious, life-sustaining rain. thank you sweet life! thank you dear earth for giving me life. i promise to take good care of you and me, and help others to remember that the earth and all of us, We Are One. thank you, Creation, this consciousness called life, for your gentle touch of sustenance, of nurturing. i am here to receive your gifts, with humility.
next blog, i promise: SAINT PATRICK’S DAY IN HAVANA … sure to surprise you.
enjoy your gorgeous moment, my friend, love, lordflea

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