cropped-the-reflection-pool.png

Birthday Time, Already?

Come midnight, I shall be closing out my 40th year. I will have to say that 2015 was out-of-this-world amazing on all fronts – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. I was firing on all cylinders. In fact, I still am.

Some of you may already be familiar with my birthday practice. For those of you who aren’t, here’s the scoop. I started writing letters to my 16 year old self when I turned 20 years old. The Birthday Letter is now the only survivor of that practice. I keep an ever growing list of life lessons – one for each year of life.

I add a new lesson every December 9th and this year marks 40 lessons. I can’t wait to experience the awesomeness that I know 2016 will be.

40 Lessons for 40 Years

  1. Get to know yourself. No really, start figuring out who you are. Looking at yourself from an outsider’s point of view is always incomplete at best. Mind you, this is not a race and sometimes figuring out who you are not is as crucial as figuring out who you are.
  2. Be a lover. Embrace love. Preach love. Teach love. There is always room for love – compassion, empathy, friendship, companionship, partnership.
  3. Be present in all your interactions with others. They are sharing with you a slice of their life. Do your best to make it meaningful. Even the random parking lot encounter.
  4. Smile. If not for you, do it for others. It lifts them. It breaks the interpersonal ice. Smile with your whole face.
  5. Learn happiness. It is an acquired skill. The best teachers are the ones around you who put a smile on your face. You might even say that they light up the room or are the sun personified.
  6. Learn gratitude. I am not just talking about the perfunctory utterance of thank you. Make it go bone deep. Give gratitude its time and space. Etch that sentiment into your DNA. Trust me, these glow-in-the-dark markings will be vital on the inevitably harder days ahead.
  7. Learn patience. Even though the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, life is not a straight line. It goes without saying that success is non-linear for success is nothing more than the recognition of a milestone reached along the path of life.
  8. Learn to make mistakes. In gym, they taught you how to fall. No one will teach you how to make a “safe” mistake in life so you can minimize your loss. All these lessons will be taught by the school of hard knocks. Every mistake comes with a lesson. Sometimes a repeat lesson.
  9. Needs change. Milestones change. Recognize the reason and accept that change. Handle the change – go along with it or do something else but do not stand in its way and deny it.
  10. Know what you value and be true to the principles that you stand for. This is the real friction point. This where life’s polish comes in. This is where the line of scrimmage is. Always send a consistent message. If the message needs to change, change it so long as you remain consistent after.
  11. Explore your creative side. Lure it out. If you will it, there will be a safe zone to express it without judgement and criticism. Creativity is felt. It starts in the soul. Blindfold yourself if you have to.
  12. Explore and travel. Did I say travel? Go learn about the planet, the people, and the vast cultures that add their spice to this life. Spend time abroad while young.
  13. Become trilingual or bilingual at the very least. The doors of opportunity fling themselves wide open when you do that.
  14. Never ever apologize for who you are or what you have accomplished. Only you have made it through your particular path in life. Other people’s intimidation is not your concern. It is theirs.
  15. Recognize that we are all related. Recognize that we are all connected through this web of life. As such, collaboration strives for the benefit of many. Competition, on the other hand, leaves behind a collateral damage that is too high.
  16. Take risks and challenge yourself. Push. Reach. Stretch. Recognize the extra effort and reward yourself. Share that sense of victory with a friend no matter how insignificant that feat may be.
  17. Accept that you will never make everyone happy. Figure out what the checklist should say so you know when the day is done if it was truly a good one or not.
  18. Find your zone. We all have a zone. Learn to summon that zone so that it is not relegated to the 3 am epiphany time slot. Recognize the surge in energy. Recognize how your task that is at hand readily flows. Remove all throttles and fly.
  19. No one knows the grand scheme even if it exists. Even if you can call all the plays many moves ahead, there are too many variables out there that would sweep you off your feet if you were relying on them to remain put.
  20. Life is analog no matter how digital we are trying to make it. There will always be an exception. There is always going to be the “I can’t believe anything can be worse than this” moment that is proved otherwise.
  21. Explore all your dimensions. There is always more to anyone than meets the eye. Become label-proof. Become a unique hash tag instead.
  22. Learn a trades craft or two. The future may well be one of two things: a utopia or a dystopia. In the case of the latter, it might prove to be crucial.
  23. Never play victim. Oh well, you can if you must but very briefly. The human race comes with an amazing survivor legacy. Tap into that ancestral DNA. Psyche yourself out if you must. Never wallow for any length of time. Life will move on even if you do not.
  24. While some profess “work hard, play hard”, I would say “live fully, love deeply.” Passion is the fuel of life. Detail is its accelerant.
  25. Section off a slot for “ME time” and mark it sacrosanct. We all need to withdraw from all social interactions from time to time. I equate the loss of this time to the loss of REM sleep time. Our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves grow dim otherwise.
  26. Invest in your education but never neglect your emotional intelligence.
  27. The world is a whirling sphere of positive and negative. Some of it may be directly targeted at you. Take a step back. Control your reaction. Dissect the message. Assess whether it is an external issue or an internal one and act accordingly.
  28. As you get older and begin to find the well-worn paths of your parents not that far from yours, stop and recognize that moment. Acknowledge the association and all the related emotions.
  29. A life of service may be your calling but a life of unending self-sacrifice was never the intention. Sacrifice by definition is a gift. When it shifts into a burden, it is high time for change.
  30. Figure out what your learning mode is: visual, auditory, tactile. Tap into that over and over as you figure out the ropes of life.
  31. Not all peer pressure is bad. Know the people who surround you.
  32. Reflect. Reflect at day’s end, at week’s end, at month’s end, at quarter’s end, at year’s end.
  33. Always understand your motivations. This is the only way for you to get any insight for why you become successful at certain things and others not.
  34. Laugh. A real hearty laugh. You know, one of those belly shaking ones that lets your tears flow. Do it often. At least once a day. Preferably with an audience.
  35. Some will talk about life and its silver linings. Some will talk about life and its Hallmark moments. Life is in the end what you make of it. You can blame yourself for your success. You can congratulate yourself for failure. You’re the play-maker despite all the contrary evidence that appears in front of you.
  36. Talk is cheap. Action is real. Recognize that action may be to create influence. In that case, talk is not cheap at all.
  37. Let your light shine. Let it emanate. Share if it freely. It will always be replenished.
  38. Always. Always, pay it forward however you can whenever you can.
  39. You are not alone. You are empowered and supported each and every moment. If you feel alone, then you’re not looking in the right places. Take a deep breath, get some fresh air, and shift your perspective.
  40. Watch what you’re doing with that rope that you’re carrying in your hands. If you find yourself pushing it with no impact then try pulling it instead. If that doesn’t work out, grab another rope and give it a tug for a while. If it feels right like that rope was meant to be in your hands then just run with it. Don’t hold yourself back.
Toronto Distillery District 02 by Brian Carson

The Distillery – How About Some Words, Please?

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
~ Albert Einstein

How is life treating you all this fine December evening? If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, then the answer is probably wet and very wet at that. Tonight, I am preparing for my last day as a 40 year old. By Thursday, my birthday will arrive again. Funny how that bit works, it is always on schedule while at times it feels like the rest of my life is either caught up in traffic or flying down an HOV lane.

Earlier this year, I’d challenged myself to write a poem a day for the calendar year 2015. I’d hit the ground running and engaged in the practice through January and February. Come March, a life event at home sapped most of my will and energy and placed what was remaining over home and hearth. I said goodbye to that poem a day challenge and by April, I developed a daily journaling habit. I must admit, it was extremely therapeutic. Again, that habit persisted until I seemed to outgrow it in about 3 months. This was replaced by a meditation practice which lasted another 3 months until it shifted in nature.

What 2015 has taught me is that 3 months or 90 days is my attention span to commit to any practice and then I would need a break, albeit brief, before launching into my next endeavor. So to that end, I am following the 90 Day Novel process which breaks down the writing actions day by day. I have read the book from cover to cover a couple of times and now I have decided to commence my own attempt at it. So Day 1 of 90 begins today. I am most definitely excited about where this challenge will lead. The omens are definitely in my favor.

As far as poetry goes, I find that I respond more to writing for a specific cause or event than general open ended poetry. I will look into incorporating a weekly poetry contribution again and resume my practice of that particular craft. There are days where I definitely feel like I MUST write something and on others where I am going through a myriad of distractions to pull anything off. But we shall see. It would be interesting to see if any of my poetry would intersect with the world I am creating for my novel. Time will indeed tell.

See you soon!

cropped-the-reflection-pool.png

One Year Ago Today, I …

perception1.jpgThis time last year I was well into the throes of writing a poem a day during the month of November. If I recall, I fizzled out early during the month. At first, I latched onto the sense of failure like it was my best friend. Then distance happened. A distance from thought, from creativity, from attempting to give substance to ethereal thought forms.

This distance, a healthy distance I might add, is often confused with a writer’s block or nascent talent losing steam or lack of commitment. We all hold court over other people’s creative journeys – some claim that this directly tied to our capacity to survive as a human species. Yet, here I am today reaching out to you. My message, probably not original, is an authentic reminder that states: any act of creation or creativity is inherently transformational forever transmuting both the medium and the message.

Back to the distance now. Yes. It is healthy. It is a period of recalibration and integration of all the minuscule changed bits of self into something else. The medium emerges from within her message as her message folds into a new medium. It is rhythmic. It is cyclic. It is the creative breath that sets the evolutionary beat.

Once a medium, always a medium. This is a thought I used to hold on to during the disconnected stretches of distance I would invariably find myself in. Now, I am in no need of such a thought or a mantra. Now, I just know. I will always emerge as long as the cosmos breathes.

One year ago today, I wrote the poem you find below. One year ago today, I recall not even appreciating what I’d written. Today, I’ve come to realize that this is the life I have lived in the span of distance and I sense convergence happened upon me a while back while I was immersed into the midst of my worldly AHA’s.

some would insist
that I’m in denial
while others claim
that I’m naive

I’m their mirror after all
with a ton of bias and
that’s not no one’s fault – just
life’s lessons

I have blinded myself to hate
that which I cannot see
I cannot reflect
a sentiment I have released

gaze upon me and I will
show you your humanity
bodies cracking
not broken

just on the verge
of bursting forth
with light
within each a sun

and a Heaven and Hell
and Middle Earth
gaze upon me and I will
show you that you’re

a Hershey’s kiss
the progenitor of a cosmos
delicately powerful
frighteningly beautiful

exquisite and sublime
gaze upon me and learn
how to polish your own mirror
in service of mankind

~ Meena Rose (My Choice)

Words, Post Election
Photo Credit: e_walk

1st Monday: She

She

It did not take long
For me to wish I was
A he and not a she.

I chafed against
The norm and social sensibility;
A rebel with her own cause.

He or she would have
Made no difference;
All I wanted to do

Was touch the sky and
Make love to the moon;
I also craved my home.

In conflict and isolation,
This she found joy
In pregnant pauses;

Her breath molded faith;
Her tears hydrated dreams;
Her love birthed promise.

~ Meena Rose
cropped-the-reflection-pool.png
Status

WIP Update – Halfway There

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for joining me on your Holiday weekend. I want to give you all an update on what I’ve been working on these past few weeks. I have started writing a book of prose/poetry that has the current working title “A Flame Through The Heart Of Rose”.

This book will have 12 chapters as well as an introduction and conclusion. I am happy to report that I have written the introduction and the first 6 chapters. I am targeting the end of June to have the first draft of this book completed. Then the editing cycle will begin.

I also have 5 other books as planned WIP that I can pull from as I finish the first draft.

Till the next update!

Meena Rose

Words, Post Election
Photo Credit: e_walk

3rd Wednesday: I Surrender

Hello Everyone,

I have so many writing updates to share with you but they will have to wait till next Saturday. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you Reclaim Your Bliss (RYB). RYB is a business that I’ve recently launched where I offer coaching and healing work. In addition, I maintain another blog over there. Do visit and check it out. At RYB, I will be blogging about the topics of self-care, being and mindfulness, and walking the Path.

Without further ado, here is this month’s 3rd Wednesday poem.

I Surrender

By: Meena Rose

I learned. It was hard.
A much needed lesson
For this time and place.

Two sides of a coin.
Always. Oblique angles
& learning go
Hand in hand.

To not lose, smoothly release.
To not give up, sigh your surrender.
To not shrink, sublimely let go.

I am simply being.
Teaching as I live.
Living as I learn.

Fortune favors the listener.
Always. Paradigm shifts
& living go
Hand in hand.

Grace, a reward for trusting.
Joy, a reward for gratitude.
Bliss, a reward for intention.

The Reflection Pool based on the Pool by Alex Watson

The Ides of May, Well Almost

Hello, everyone!

It feels like forever and a day since I last posted an entry on Two Voices, One Song. The proverbial rug was pulled from under my feet back in February. It totally rocked my world – work, family and home.

Here I sit, a mere 10 weeks from that event, and so much Light has transpired from the ordeal. At the end of March, I kicked off my own business Reclaim Your Bliss. By April, I joined a community of 44 amazingly spiritual women (creators, writers, healers, teachers, coaches, photographers and the list goes on). The inspiration, love and support has been out of this world transformational.

Through this process of pulling back from routine and transforming it into ritual and through the affirmations of ease and grace, I simply had to step back from my Poetry 365 project and re-evaluate my own publication trajectory through the writing and poetry. I believe Poetry 365 is a very important personal project which I will return to when the conditions are right for that creative exercise.

Now though, I am fueled by an internal fire to write 6 specific books. At this point, I can share that I am actively assembling my first poetry book ever. There will be 3 other books which will follow closely on its heels. I am beyond elated and grateful that the muse is back. I missed her during her absence. Little did I know at the time that she was busy traveling through time and space to collect writing seeds which are a perfect fit for me. In the future, I shall welcome her absences with joy and excitement as opposed to lamentations and sadness.

Everything happens for a reason. This has been reinforced over and over again, especially in the past 10 weeks. For now, my muse and I would like to share the following editorial calendar:

  1. The Reflection Pool (every other Saturday)
  2. Writing Updates (the other Saturdays)
  3. Pause for Poetry (monthly)
    1. 1st Monday
    2. 2nd Tuesday
    3. 3rd Wednesday
    4. 4th Thursday

See you next week on 3rd Wednesday.

 

NaPoWriMo1

Poetry 365: The ABC’s of You

Prompt

Over at NaPoWriMo.net, we are asked to write an abecedarian poem – a poem with a structure derived from the alphabet.

The ABC’s of You

By: Meena Rose

Authentic, beautifully charismatic
Divine, essentially fine
Grateful heart, intuitive joy
Kindred lover
Magnificent nirvana
Outstanding pleasure
Quiet radiance
Serene transformation
Uniquely vital
Wondrous eXcitment
Yearningly zen

NaPoWriMo1

Poetry 365: The Heart Of Me

Prompt

Over at NaPoWriMo.net, we are asked to write a calligram. A calligram is a poem where the shape of the poem is as important as the words it contains.

Given that my calligraphy is not where it needs to be pull off what I saw in my mind’s eye and what came out on the paper. I opted to take a different approach.

The Heart Of Me

By: Meena Rose
Calligram: The Heart Of Me

Calligram: The Heart Of Me

NaPoWriMo1

Poetry 365: Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Prompt

Over at NaPoWriMo.net, we are asked to write a palinode. Simply stated, a palinode is a poem in which the poet retracts a statement made in an earlier poem.

For this challenge, I have decided to use the last poem I’d written for a 20 part autobiographical poetry series back in the Spring of 2013. The poem was aptly titled “Famous Last Words“.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

By: Meena Rose

So the story goes
The same life lesson will
Rock that boat
Over and over and over
Till the epiphany

Change starts within –
A decision to take control
That begins by letting go –
The parachute of forgiveness
Breaks the free fall.