Luv Letters and Stuff

This morning I got an email from my sister and it said:

 

I was passing by a table at the mall yesterday and I saw this and thought of you and smiled. 

Knowing that we don’t need any more useless junk, I opted to leave it there but took a pic of it to share with you.   

Hugs.

 

Her email made my day. 

I feel buried under “The Stuff”. 

Our home used to be an example of consumerism gone out of control where each happy meal (yes we used to eat at McDonalds) came with a non-edible plastic toy stamped Made in China.  But it didn’t stop there, years of Christmases and ‘retail therapy’ and The Stuff just piled up.  We have for the past 3 years worked hard at clearing the clutter.  Slowly! 

Not long ago, my daughter had enough.  She literally carried everything she did not love out of her room and put it in the garage where now we all have to step over it to get to the utility sink next to the washer and dryer.  The day she did that, I admired her, and wished that I could do what she so easily did.  But, over time, I have come to hate how in one morning she transferred the responsibility of her Stuff to me. 

If you looked around our home, you may (or may not) be overwhelmed by the piles of stuff, but sometimes I am.  The garage would certainly make you stop and wonder if hoarders lived here… the house is much better.  My problem is that I associate a value to things.  And, I’m not talking just money.  I see in the pile, a picture frame gifted to her by a relative or close friend, a stuffed animal that marked a special occasion or even a book that we cherished as a child and I find myself unable to just put them in the giveaway pile. They represent memories of time gone by. So they remain in my path, creating clutter and collecting dust.

In order to help myself with this problem, I have asked people not to gift me with “stuff”.   I have made a pact not to buy any clothing unless I can take something out of the closet to make room.  I have only replaced things for the kitchen and resisted the latest gadgets just because I’m committed not to drown in Stuff.

My sister’s email today gave me hope.  It showed me that someone understands me.  Had she bought me the sequined Y, I would not be able to throw it away.  We live at opposite ends of North America and I find that despite our sibling rivalry growing up, we are now best friends and wish we were neighbors.  So any gift from her would be cherished by me.  Call me sentimental.  And as much as she wanted to show me that she was thinking of me, she put my needs first and that made me feel that she “sees” me and that she knows that the gifts I most cherish are not made of Stuff.

What do you do 24/7?

My friend posted on facebook a link to a YouTube video of the primetime series “What Would You Do?”.  When you see something that you think is wrong do you step in or do you step away? … I encourage you to watch this as it is in my opinion a way to reflect in the mirror and to observe this fabulous experiment on human behavior.

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSKZX7RyCBc

I love facebook! That’s no secret.  I mostly love the friends and friends of friends that I’ve connected with.  Here are some of their comments, mostly quoting others.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing ~ Edmund Burke”.  This quote will make sense if you watch the video in its entirety.

 “Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances ~ Wayne W. Dyer”

But by far my favorite comment is this one:

“wow! it reminded me of a quote a friend just posted..’Don’t tell me what you believe. Show me what you DO 24 hours a day and I’ll tell you what you believe’ ~ Jerry Rubin”.

The prominent facebook feeds in the last few days have all touched on the topic of Cordoba House, the proposed Islamic Community Center which has caused so much controversy because of its proximity to Ground Zero.

Today, a Huffington Post article by Priscilla Warner entitled Is Fear Contagious echoed some of the thoughts and feelings I’ve had.  Priscilla Warner co-authored The Faith Club…

My sentiment is this: I am contagious… and so I am responsible to BE that which I want to spread around… I am inspired.

And that is why I have decided to blog about this right now.  Maybe this Cordoba House is a representation of the pink elephant in the room. So let’s keep talking about it.

I have an opinion about the Cordoba House.  I will not take the middle ground like some people on this.  I think Americans should demand nothing less than equality for all people.  I think in America we should all encourage the building of community centers regardless of faith.  We as humans are starved for connection and we need to build our neighborhoods in such a way as to encourage discussion where we all can “disagree without being disagreeable”.  I think maybe Obama said that but I don’t know who he was quoting.

Why not make America that field that Rumi talks about? This was my original impetus for starting this website.

This website is inspired by a quote … Out beyond the place of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field.  I’ll meet you there. The mystical poet Rumi (1207-73) 

In fact, why can’t the world be that field?

If you’re thinking “she’s an idealist… ” or worse… It’s OK.  “Your opinion of me is none of my business ~ Wayne Dyer”.  I’ve been called many names before.

If you care about or love anything (your children, this planet… whatever is important to you in your heart) then I will say this to you: Please don’t label me because I have an opinion.  Please talk with me and get to know me and gaze into what is alive in me and in the process, allow me to see what is alive in you.

I exist to hold that field in my heart and practice 24/7 to make it so.  I say practice because I’m not there.  But when I find myself in a place of judgment, I smile, and I forgive myself and learn and evolve.  But I get more determined to practice.

So, what would you do?  What do you do 24/7?  I really want to know.

Note: If anyone (friends or friends of friends) recognizes something they said and wants to be identified here as the person who said it (other than those who I’ve already credited), let me know and I will be happy to give you credit but for now, time is precious and I didn’t want to ask permission and so I’ve made the quotes anonymous.

To find out more about the concept “What is alive in me?” check out the Center for Non-Violent Communication (NVC) website or do a Google search.