Friday, June 26, 2009

Love like it is your last day alive

Today could very well be your last day alive. None of us know if we will even make it through until the end of the day, let alone the next hour. Yet, we often live as though we will be alive forever.

Do those in your life know how much you love them …….really?
We never know when that moment is going to arrive. One thing that we can rest assured is that it will surely arrive. It could arrive at any moment. With every passing moment it gets a second closer. Are you ready for that moment? Are you loving fully, so that if that moment came you are ready?

Did the people in the South East Asian tsunami know that they wouldn’t come home to see their children that night? Did the people in 9/11 have any idea that they wouldn’t look into the eyes of their beloved ever again?

Who would you need to forgive? Who would you need to speak with? What do you need to let go of? Who would you need to love?

Do it now. It is the only moment you have.
Be bold. LOVE.NOW

Let go of attachment

When you get attached in your giving, or loving, all you do is block the flow of the infinite universe in your life. You close yourself off from all the other infinite sources that the universe can use to bless/give to you, because you are so fixated on one person or source.

Remember that we live in an infinite and abundant universe. When you give your gifts and love without attachment, you allow the universe to flow through you, and manifest in your life in ways that your limited mind could never have imagined.

In letting go of the attachment when you give, remember this: You cannot cheat the universe. That the energy that you put out there into the universe will always come back to you. It may not come back to you from the person that you gave it to. Or even from the place that you thought it would. But rest assured that it will come back to you at least in the equivalent that you gave it. We suffer because we get attached to it coming back a certain way or from a particular person.

When you open yourself to LOVE.NOW, you allow the universe to fulfill itself through your life in the way that it needs to. Then you tap into the effortless flow of Life itself and it is as though all of nature will rise to support you.

Let go of attachment and LOVE.NOW.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Crazy for love on the “The Camino de Santiago”

Years ago I did a 900 km walk called “The Camino de Santiago”. It is a spiritual walk, that people like St. Francis of Assisi, Dante, and Chaucer undertook, as a rite of passage. Towards the end of the walk, I met a man that in one day changed impacted my life, simply because of how much he dared to love wildly. His name was Francisco.

One afternoon, I walked into a monastery, and as I was deciding whether to stay the night, I turned around and saw a picture of Jesus. As I stood and looked at this picture for a moment.

Suddenly, I heard a voice calling out to me “Are you catholic?”
I said “No”.
“Are you Buddhist? Are you Christian? Or are you Muslim?”
I said “None.”
I then turned and looked at this man with a strange beard and a cheeky grin.
He said “What the hell are you?”
I said “I’m all of them. I am inspired by Truth and Love”.
He laughed, as he cut some cheese and offered me a piece, “Here have some cheese.”
Within a couple of minutes he took a pendant off his neck and gave it to me.
“This is for you”. He said.

He then handed me a post card of the very same picture I was looking at of the Jesus. I took that as a sign that I was meant to stay. So I sat down with him and the woman next to him. As we began to talk I realized this man was truly “Crazy”. Not “Crazy” in a hostile way but just in a sense of being very free.

He would begin cracking jokes, totally outrageous jokes about anyone, nothing was off limits. This man was totally irreverent and funny. I literally found myself rolling on the floor. There was something about him that was different. He wasn’t afraid to love.

That evening I went out to the church to pray. When I came back, this time, he gave me a small book by St Francis of Assisi. This man just kept giving to me.

We sat there watching the sun set with his friend Helen. I felt like I was meant to walk with him for a day, So I said “Lets walk together for one day?”
He said “Of course”.

The next day, we set off early. It just so happened that the walk we were about to take that day was said to be the most difficult portion of the Camino, because of the intense hills.

As we walked, for the first 3 hours all he did was crack jokes. This man was so outrageously free, joking to the point one might think he was insane. Francisco was outrageous, he didn’t care. He was free. He was so free from the stereotypes in himself that as he would crack jokes about everything and everyone, it meant nothing to him. I also felt the purity of where he was coming from and I could feel my own limitations. He was not ashamed to love, laugh, cry or die.

He would joke and play with people. He would at times sing and dance in the middle of the street. He was in love with everything, much like Rumi. To him everything was an invitation to love, and he jumped into it.

I began to see that part of me that longed to be that free and love that wildly. Francisco would say the very thoughts that we tend to be all afraid to think and speak. He just spoke it all aloud. He did so with such humor and depth on one level. I would often think “Oh my god he’s gone too far this time”. Yet on another level anyone that encountered him felt a sense of relief that someone spoke the raw truth. He would love with the abandon of a child, in the way that we all long to.

I remember there was a funny moment when I said “Francisco, you are constantly cracking jokes about women and sex. Could you talk about something else? It’s getting to be a little much”.

He turned to me and said “You know I’ve been waiting for you to say that. Finally you tell me to shut up about sex. Many times we are so obsessed with sex that some times you just have to exhaust people with it so we can actually move beyond it”.
And he winked.
I started to laugh.

As much as he would joke about sex, constantly teasing women, interacting with women in a way that was outrageous, yet so loving. I observed him as one of the few men that really didn’t objectify women. He held a deep reverence and love, for the feminine in heart.

He jokingly said “Kute, many folks these days just want to have sex. But sex is just for an hour, two, maybe even three, if you are lucky. What about the other twenty two hours of the day. My question is ‘Can I stand being with her the rest of the time?’ Talking with her, being with her, having coffee with her. This is true love making.

“You see Kute, we must go beyond just seeing a woman, or another as an object. I see a human being, a soul, a spirit and I want to get to know that human being, that other spirit. It is a miracle. When you do this, expecting nothing thing in return you are free. Then love blossoms, and can expand”.

I realized I’d laughed more in one day than I had in the last year.

Francisco then began to share with me that his girlfriend was possessive. I could relate to that, because at the time I was with a woman that was very much so. He talked about how he learned to accept her as she was. But that she wanted to control his expression and didn’t really want him to love anyone else or be friendly with anyone else.

Francisco continued “When you love you just can’t contain it. When you try to contain love you actually shut yourself off not only from loving other people but loving your own woman”.

What he said was striking a cord inside of me that I’d been struggling with for years relative to my own relationship.

He continued by saying ‘Kute, the love I feel in my heart is so vast that when I contain it, I feel like I’m dying or suffocating. Recently, my wife met a man walking the Camino last year. And now as I walk with you here today he invited her, along with her son, to his country. She wasn’t totally honest about this invitation to me. But I figured it out”.

I was stunned. I said Francisco “How can you not be jealous, even a little bit?”

He smiled and said “People are free beings not possessions. I don’t own her she doesn’t own me. In the freedom there is a choice to be together or not but it’s not my right to own her or tell her what she can and cannot do. I do have a right to choose and to know the truth but I don’t have a right to impose on her freedom”.

I was silent. Deep down I was blown away by how free he was. Unattached yet loving fully. Not trying to own the moment, not trying to own his woman or anything.

Then I said “Francisco, would you not be upset if she left or did something with this man?”

He explained “Right now, it’s all speculation. I’ll only know what to do and what I feel when I know the truth, in the moment. That’s all I can ask from her and then I can choose. I cannot know, decide or feel in advance. What I do know is that love is what is real”.

We walked in silence. This was the first moment of silence that day.

As I watched Francisco walk, we walked in silence for about an hour. I began to feel how attached I was, to my life, to myself, to my body, and to my possessions.

Francisco carried a 20 kilo backpack. Whereas, mine was tiny, in my effort to be free and not attached. As we continued walking together, I began to realize that 90% of what was in his backpack were actually gifts for people like me. He actually carried very little for himself.

As we walked during the day, he would take out a scarf and give it to someone. We’d walk and he’d take out a book and give it to someone. We’d walk some more and he’d take out a ring and give it to someone. It went on like this the entire day. I realized that most of what he was carrying wasn’t for himself. I met a free man on the Camino trail today who reminded me of who I really was.

He was truly living LOVE.NOW.