Gems 5.19

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

5.19b

Photo by Antonio Doumas, Pixabay

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Gems 4.167

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

4.167

Photo by Pexels generously shared on Pixabay.  Thank you!

Oak Trees

This quote in today’s Gem is from Nipun’s interview in 2014 on Awakin.org.  If you listen to about one-fourth of the way into the call, Nipun tells a story as told to him about Hurricane Katrina and the oak trees that survived.  They were able to hold on, even the face of that massive storm, because they held onto each other by their roots.  Their roots went deep into the earth and connected there.  Because they held on tight to each other, they survived together.  I created this painting after hearing this story from Nipun personally during our group Laddership call. This is now our @under1000skies Twitter profile photo:

stronger together tree roots laddershipo

Co-Creators

I met Nipun Mehta about four years ago when I signed up to be a volunteer (or as Nipun says, a “co-creator”) on ServiceSpace.org.  I was terrified to be in a new group of people, even online.  Nipun is the same with me as he is with every person he encounters — compassionate, kind and a master listener.   For that first year, especially, Nipun mentored me through emails and answered the many questions I had about service and the gift economy.  Nipun believed in me and liked my writing.  He was patient and totally compassionate about my shyness and fears.  We met face-to-face, in a way, on a video conference call with others in our “Laddership Group.”  To have the high regard of this incredible human being, to get kind notes whenever he was able to write or in an area to respond awakened something in me.  Because it wasn’t just Nipun’s kindness that was changing me.  Everyone I encountered on ServiceSpace.org is exactly like this.  This is why I say on our Twitter page that my teachers and mentors are on ServiceSpace.  In the past ten years especially, I have met some amazing and beautiful people who are now my soulkin.  I’ve written about my fitness-team friends often, but they are among those I’m thinking about too and the beginning of my journey into the light I believe began there.  I learned so much, and when I began to see myself through the eyes of people I admired, I started taking steps away from this lifetime of self-loathing.  The more time I spent in the company of these noble friends, the more light I was able to see in myself and in the way ahead.  Nipun and many others have been the Colonel Pickerings in my life:

My Fair Lady

 

What Love Awakens

It is not unimaginable that revolutionary change makers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and our modern heroes like Nipun Mehta, or any other whom has walked a path of love and devotion for mankind, could awaken something within us.  What awakens, is the call for us to recognize our own innate goodness. The inspiration we feel by these great ones, acts as an open invitation for us to move in a spirit of love, faith and compassion.

Where Do We Find Gandhi Today?

 

under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

Gems 4.110

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Gems 4.110

“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.” -Eckhart Tolle

under1000skies

…began on November 11, 2014 on my personal blog, Niki Flow after a conversation on Twitter with author Laurence O’Brien.  It Begins with Me O’Brien shared an article by Christopher Taylor called “Social Cleansing of the Homeless.” This term “Social cleansing” was an unfamiliar one, and the article was horrifying.  When I responded his tweet, O’Brien invited me to do something about it. I’m an agoraphobic with panic disorder…

under1000skies – About Us

MIRACLE

I recently (July 30, 2018) had a quite miraculous turnaround in my own mental health. I wrote about it on my personal site in a poem called Transformation, a series of haiku verses.

If you don’t like poetry, bottom line is, I no longer have the title of “agoraphobic” or someone with “panic disorder.” I’m free!  I feel like I have been let out of prison after 18 years. In both the literal and figurative sense, I really have been.

I went to the supermarket three times in the first week AT (After Transformation — which is cool because one of my Lifetime Aspirations is to hike the entire AT).  So AT, first week – shopping was a high.  I had to use an electric cart, but — wait. What am I saying? I got to use one. 🙂 Those things are fun!  I couldn’t get enough of being out.  I was zipping all over the store, smiling at literally everyone. I must have looked a bit insane.  I puttered up to displays, delighted by the color and variety.

“Cereal, I’ve missed you!” and “Oh! I forgot how many soups there are!”

Crazy lady. =)

I did shopping alone this past weekend while my husband did a Home Depot run. Paid and everything. Go me!  I feel like a kid again, when all this was new and I was brand new to being semi-independent.  I feel like me again, like my old brain is back, except with none of the old tapes screaming at me.

I’m so incredibly grateful and filled with so much joy.  You know what’s really weird?  I woke up sobbing from a nightmare about Ben three nights ago.  This happens about once or twice a month maybe.  Since I learned how to sit with this grief and fear and let it pass through, it’s not nearly as hard.  But the amazing thing to me was, even I was filled with grief, missing my son so much, and feeling like my heart was shattering, I still felt that incredible joy and gratitude — at the same time.  I didn’t even know such a thing was possible.

I’m not afraid anymore.  The changes I have been making feel so natural, almost effortless. I feel like I have slipped into someone, at last, I was always meant to be, and that it will only get better.

I’ve been able to clean and cook and shop and go out to lunch with my son — things I’ve missed because I felt so depressed by this “mind-frak” as I called it that I couldn’t bring myself to do much of anything.  My house has light flowing in, both literally and metaphorically.  My meals are healthy and we don’t eat out so much.  I feel like an actual human being again.

Best of all, this has helped my youngest son.  We’re taking voice acting lessons together from a coach on Simbi.  My son has such a beautiful voice, spoken and singing, and voice acting has been a dream of his.  He really admires people like Tony Jay — one of the best voice actors of all time.  I love my son’s company and I’m so proud of the compassionate and kind young man he is.  He has very dear friends, and when I see them together, I see the same gentleness and kindness with them that he has always shown to me.

My husband is happier too – my hero.  I never felt good enough for him, ever.  That was my hangup. Of course I am.  He is one of the best men I have ever known and he’s never complained this entire time we’ve been through this. He’s had to do all the shopping, take me to any doctor visits, just so much.  Now he’s freer, and this makes me so incredibly happy too.  We’re partners again.

 

A New Challenge

It’s good to notice my world, to see endless reasons for joy and gratitude, and to be a part of it.  I’m so glad I didn’t wait too long.  I have new medical challenges, but thanks to my ability to get to doctors and labs, I am finally getting these addressed.

One tool that has helped me more than any in my life so far is a daily email from a beautiful soul Heather Noëll.  About a month ago, my friend Bob recommended her free eCourse TheGivingGameFoundation.com.  It comes with a daily email to a page of really brilliant tools. I committed an hour a day to study beginning a month ago, and I am certain this also helped me to come through that gate of transformation.

I am grateful for this moment now.  I am grateful that every choice I make today is creating tomorrow. I’m grateful for this beautiful corner of the world, here on under1000skies where we are connected.

I’m grateful for you dear person reading this right now. ♥.

With love and hugs and smiles and joy,

Niki Flow, Volunteer Coordinator

under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

 

Healing

TAKING A BREAK

I spent the past two weeks at my mom’s house helping her after surgery.  I began experiencing symptoms of my own that probably were exacerbated by all the extra activity.  By the end of two weeks, the pain was pretty bad and couldn’t be ignored.  I found a great new PCP, got a bunch of tests done Thursday and Friday.  I’m finally getting things addressed after literally years of being unable to get out and about.  So grateful for my recent and miraculous transformation, and so thankful to for medical science!  I’ll need some time away to heal and recover, so I won’t be posting for a while. I hope to catch up on my reading though, so you may see me visiting your blogs. If you have any good vibes to spare, please send them my way, and my mom’s and, always, our to our Benjamin.  Thanks so much. ♥.

Gems 4.95

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

4.95

______
. under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.