The Chain Bridge

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“Turn your wound into wisdom, then help people to find true freedom.” ~Debasish Mridha

To look within

Deep inside the pain

To face the fear

Holding your heart

Breathing 

Each step of the way.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” ~Sigmund Freud

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“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.” ~ Thich Nhat Hahn

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“He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.” ~Aristotle

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Blessings of Abundance

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A playful spirit

Finding true happiness

Ladybug dreams

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

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“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”

~Langston Hughes

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” ~Anaïs Nin

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”

~Henry David Thoreau

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

~Louisa May Alcott

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”

~Lao Tzu

Offering Genuine Presence

Happiness&Freedom

An open heart

In the wilderness 

Of my soul

I smile

At myself

Offering the gift

Of presence.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom that you have in your heart.”

-Thich Nhat Hahn-

*photograph by Noell S. Oszvald,

 http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/noell-oszaid-fine-art-photography

Mindful Bubbles

Like bubbles underwater thoughts rise up from the ocean of our mind. There can be so many bubbles. One thing to realize is that deeper thoughts have something to teach us. There are lessons to be learned when they rise to the surface. We can be out of touch with unconscious thoughts and desires, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t effect our lives. Conscious thoughts may reflect how we see things in everyday life, but so do those deeper thoughts, the ones that rise up from inner depths….and it can be dark down there. That is why it is so important to be mindful when they rise to the surface. There is such a need to be aware and clear of what it is that we want and desire. They will influence the outcome of our endeavors.

Where we put our focus will highly influence the energy of the thoughts that we produce. That is why meditation can be an effective tool in how we channel that focus. Recently, I stumbled across an excellent meditation that is good for visualizing positive outcomes in a given situation. Adding a few minor touches, I would like to share it here with all you valuable readers.

Close your eyes. Focus on a thought.

Let it rise to the surface of your mind’s ocean. 

See it float lightly up to the water’s surface. Then onto a smooth, glasslike surface.

Visualize that thought moving across the water; gliding serenely, yet steadfastly towards a horizon of light.

That thought is moving across an ocean of peace. Skitting to a perfect, harmonious outcome.

Towards a wide open space. A horizon of freedom.

Cultivating focus can truly be a rewarding and enriching practice that can help on the path to self-discovery. When change comes into our lives, its so easy to get caught up in reshaping outer circumstances instead of looking at Self. Sometimes change lies in the way we experience ourselves, in the way we see ourself. Deng Ming-Dao says, “It takes great courage to keep going beyond your limits. You keep doing the same thing, like musicians who make a career of performing the same tune. But no matter what your field of endeavor, you mustn’t do that. Don’t jump out of the same hole twice. You may not be as materially successful, but you will be more successful on a larger level.” Take time to reconnect with your own strength, courage, and happiness in a spirit of kindness and self-compassion. Namaste.

*photo credit belongs to Mark Tipple, http://www.marktipple.com/portfolio#0

*meditation credit http://www.whats-your-sign.com/animal-symbolism-dragonfly.html

Simple Summer Pleasures

bike riding

Riding like the wind

Past vineyards and wooded paths

Inner child giggles

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

clouds

Clouds through my heart space

Patches of blue emptiness

Summer letting go 

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

tiptoeing through the daisies

Daisies laugh out loud

In fiendish summer delight

Tickling tip toes

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*1st photo by Pörrö, https://www.flickr.com/photos/pesis

2nd photo from: http://blonde-waves-long-summer-days.tumblr.com/post/73479430372

3rd photo by Kate Anderson,

https://www.flickr.com/photos/34758720@N05/6730215645/in/photostream/

Evening Vespers

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The clouds gathered

Like a host of angels

At the dusk of day

Welcoming me home

While the crickets 

Held their nightly

Choir practice.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

The Pain of Being Pruned

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“Trust is my strength…and from trust I live.”

-Hermann Hesse

This hurts…terribly. Being pierced in the heart. Cracking open. Raw vulnerability.  Dying a slow death. Being pruned time and time again.

Pema Chödrön describes a time in her life when she had the following quote pinned to her wall, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” She shares that even before she heard of Buddhist teachings she knew this to be the spirit of true awakening.

When you’re suffering it can be so paralyzing that you wonder if you will ever have a chance for happiness. Change has a way of seeping into our lives whether we’re ready or not.

Chödrön depicts it as “Letting ourselves be nailed to the present moment.” This has been my experience…and it has left me with two possibilities either to let it harden me or to walk through the portal towards self-compassion. What happens next is a good question. That is where the strength of trust kicks in…it is the difference between being alive and living.