12 January 2014

Love Intelligence Freedom Equanimity: L.I.F.E. (or something like it)

Towards the end of 2013, I was scrolling through my Facebook page and found a post by someone that included this image (right).  As it mentions, the first three words you find in the puzzle represent what you want in life.

LOVE, INTELLIGENCE, FREEDOM were the first to pop out at me. I took it as a sign. If  those words truly represent what I wanted in this life, how do I begin to manifest it (more)?    

While giving this some consideration, I decided to add another word and letter because the first three created the acronym LIF, so I chose E for Equanimity because it seemed like a great fit (it made me think of foundation/being grounded) and a more appropriate choice of words to complete the puzzle (sometimes this is what life is, a puzzle, and one needs to solve the puzzle in order to solve the mystery of life, your own).  I needed a sign to get me going in 2014 (while wiping away the slate of 2013--it's over, don't you know?).  This felt like a nice start.

On the way to a New Year's day dinner with my friend Elaine, she asked me and two other passengers invited to join us in this 20 plus year tradition, what our word for the year would be. I started off the conversation by talking about the puzzle and how I was was encouraged to use the words as a meditation, something to remind me daily that love, intelligence, freedom, and equanimity was a worthwhile pursuit.  LIFE would enrich my mind, body and soul.  It would feed and sustain me. Elaine's word was fearless, another chose entrepreneurial, and another's was embodiment. I liked them all, and hope the words they've chosen will bring them what they want to accomplish in 2014, in their lives.  So far, here's what I'm thinking: 

Love.  Who doesn't want, need, or give love?  And this entails self-love, the most important love of all.  I know that loving myself would generate more love in my life.  Self-love allows me to accept the things that I cannot (or don't need) to change, and to change the things that are within my power to do so.  Self-love leads to happiness because looking for it outside of myself is not healthy and far from satisfying (I've learned).  I long to embody this more than anything and strive to be more me than anyone else.  I am okay and I am enough. I approve of myself. Love conquers the need to hurt myself or others.  Love is necessary. Most necessary. You better get you some love right now, honey. Sop it up and enjoy the feel, the smell and the taste. Now, give me some.

Intelligence.  With two degrees under my belt, I don't feel the need to go back to school (at least not for another degree).  Like Gloria Anzaldua wrote in her Open Letter to Women Writers of Color, I am still trying to (unlearn) "the esoteric bullshit and psuedo-intellectualizing that school brainwashed into my writing." When I look back on my body of work created during my years as a scholar, I wonder who the fuck was that writing those essays? I now know that only a small portion was coming from me, and the rest, well, it was that "esoteric bullshit".  I'd rather teach myself what I want to learn, or learn more of, especially if that learning brings me closer to myself, or an understanding of things I don't quite comprehend.  And I'd rather write in that voice I lost somewhere along the way because I was trying to hard to intellectualize shit that I didn't care to intellectualize. This isn't to say that I didn't get something out of that experience, cause I did. And I chose majors that satisfied my intellectual curiosity, rather than moving into that experience with the belief that I would have a sure-fire career that made me lots of money. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, I just didn't care for all the over-the-top intellectualizing. I found it unnecessary an unenlightening. Though I can be more thoughtful about my choices and what I desire to live a life full of meaning and purpose. This is not to ignore the theory and practice of personal and collective experiences.  I am a living breathing herstory with a wealth of knowledge behind and in front of me. That's my kind of intelligence. On this journey that is my life, I'm a road scholar. Feel me?

Freedom.  While I understand that there are certain freedoms that I still strive for in a world where being black, female, and economically disadvantaged (in a society that pathologizes being all three), among other things, is a struggle that is as persistent as raindrops in a storm, they are still worth the fight.  That I am still here, because, you know, I wasn't meant to be, is quite the feat, and I consider it a strength. Yeah.  Still, I enjoy the freedom to love, to learn, to give and to receive.  I want freedom, and now I am taking liberties toward that end, to write what the hell is on my mind, in my heart, about my experiences without holding back, and without believing that what I have to say doesn't matter, cause it matters to me.  I want to write dangerously and unapologetically so that my words reveal " the fears, the angers, the strengths of a woman under a triple or quadruple oppression. Yet in that very act lies our survival because a woman who writes has power."~ Anzaldua. A liberation of the mind, body and spirit. Yeah, that feels like some good shit.

Roro's gonna write like the "three-eyed demon shrieking the truth" ~Nellie Wong (photo, google images)

Equanimity.  Now this is what brings it all together, not the other way around. Being at peace with all of me, with my life--how I love, intellectualize and liberate, allows all this to fall into place. Only when I quiet my mind, let go of the negativity (inside and out), will I live the life I want and embody those three words I pulled out of that puzzle and then some. So when the bad stuff comes, and, yes, don't for a moment think it won't, I am armed with that thing called equanimity.  I find this to be quite fascinating because I'm not sure what it'll all look like when I'm done, but I'm going to take my time, breathe, meditate on it as much as I need to, and feel good about the process. Right now, I'm feeling quite rejuvenated. L.I.F.E. is good, dontcha know!

We all can use a prompt--a little support and encouragement. Those words were mine when I opened my eyes to the search and allowed it to inform this post. And since then I've discovered more, because life goes on, and as it goes, so you grow...that's the thinking anyway.  I see beauty, I see health, I see experience, and I see friends...not bad values to write about or be about.  What do you see? What do you want in your life this day, this year or the days and years to follow? What's your acronym? If you don't see the words that speak to you, create your own, and then let them spark you to live that life.  Live it to the fullest. I'm gonna meditate on my L.I.F.E. for a while and see what happens. Now is the time to put the pieces together. I'm a work in progress.  We all are.

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