ALM

Words whether written with warmth or described deep in darkness may reflect our inner truths giving over to heartfelt emotion thus defining our humanness.

NEW HEAVEN NEW EARTH

 

What if we loved without condition

What if we held no bias

What if we lived with freedom

What if we refused to be pious

Would we suffer from lack

Or feelings of life amiss

Or would we be wealthy perhaps

In healthy happy bliss

The sun provides it's rays to us

Ne'er hoping to hear

Your gratitude and thanks, though

It continues through the year

The ocean provides us breath

Which we cannot live without

It never requests a penance

Freely giving removes all doubt

The forest trees share life as well

Taking in our waste

Never fearing hurtful pain

At our thankless passing haste

Are we not more than trees?

Can we not shine as sun

Does water overwhelm ability

Of our race with fear be done 

I would see an earth

Where hurt we do no more

When humans choose to love the other

As heart's sweet paramour

No more a passing judgment

On an unknown passer by

No more a fear of loss of love

From those dear whom we keep nigh

Nay instead we would see

The heart of human life

We would cease from blaming guilt

And end our worrisome strife

Oh what a world we would be

If love we choose to do

Accepting beauty in imperfection

Not toll presumed we're due

This would be a planet I

Would never want to leave

And perhaps our hearts would join

To share in this belief

All my love dear sweet world

May I add to you

Ne'er again blaming within

I remove all guilt from you

I seek life and peace and love

A hippy I nay not be

Merely a survivor who

Wants love so to be free

But give I must this love of which

I speak unto you

Share I shall this warming joy

That fills me through and through

And perhaps on this day

A change will come to be

The new heaven the new earth

Forever more we love us free

How Far Would You Go...?

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When I think of my girls here in Cambodia I know I would do just about anything for them. When I think of someone hurting them, I feel it in my own body. When I think of them suffering my first response is kayak.com to book a flight. So how far should one go for the ones they love?

As this year comes to a close I think of the immense psychological, mental and emotional suffering to which my beautiful girls who have already suffered so much were subjected at the hands of merciless individuals whose own agenda far out-weighed their humanity or capacity for empathy. 

I think of the tears I shed in the arms of loved ones as hysteria racked my body because of the overwhelming feelings of helplessness and despair I experienced. I think of these moments and I ask myself, "What is the lesson I'm/we're to learn here?"

On this last day of a very tumultuous year for my survivors (who never stop surviving by the way) I realize I've learned much. My girls are still okay, still pulling through. We are not sure what tomorrow holds, but they know Bong Srey (big sister) Anna and Bong Somaly Mam are going to find a way. Our girls will have the scholarships, which were so unashamedly ripped from them, taking with them the hopes and dreams of young women who had already once lost all hope while suffering in brothels and then been given hope by those who would inevitably turn on them to save themselves. Our young girls will continue to have rice on the table and access to the psychological care they need. They will remain in school and we will find a way to keep protecting them from those who would seek to prey on their innocence. 

As we take care of our own at this point our hearts ache to be able to return to the field so we may continue rescuing their sisters (and brothers) still in brutal suffering within the brothels at the hands of pimps and traffickers and Johns. 

www.newsomalyfund.org

www.newsomalyfund.org

But, I digress. The lesson. The lesson. This year's most valuable lesson came with much pain as the lesson was pain itself. Why do we experience pain? Why? For me the question was why do those I love deeply experience pain and why must I watch helplessly as the doors to one of our northern Cambodia centers be closed? For as much as I could do, I could not do enough on my own (a big thanks to everyone who continued support through the year).

I needed to learn the very important lesson of "allowing". Now this is a lesson that any NGO supporter or aid worker would probably question with confusion. To allow suffering would put them out of a passion or at the least out of a job after all.  So allow (see how I did that😏) me to explain. In learning to allow another person their pain, their suffering, I do not mean we do not fight the good fight on the contrary, we must strive harder to stand against evil and also be there when the suffering ends. But there are moments in life (not unlike when we are small and must learn about 'growing pains') in which we are subjected to suffering so growth has an opportunity to happen. 

It's safe to say this lesson was a long time coming for me. At the expense of my own health and many other people's continued growth I have been extremely guilty of rushing in to rescue, playing the savior role often times for those who cared not to be rescued. Yes, I've done a lot of good, but with this year's lesson taken in and truly meditated upon I am able to see with hindsight just how important it was for me to come to this insight. I'm that person who would scale your walls, pry into your world and force my rescuing abilities onto you and you had better like it. Lol. But I would fail more often than not. It was not my life to live, my lesson(s) to learn, my suffering to grow from. 

Suffering is such an interesting aspect of our world. It is everywhere we go. We see it's shades, colors and hues in every detail of our lives. We think of beautiful moments only to have our mind, remind us not long after just how that memory was marred by something negative.

So what if... Suffering isn't negative at all. What if it is, in fact, the baseline purpose of human life on earth. Not suffering for the sake of suffering. No. Suffering because it leads to growth. 

Most of us would agree that when we experience pain we learn things. So awareness comes to the forefront when pain is nearby? If this is the case, then can suffering not lead to renewal and ultimately survival? 

So this year amidst loss, despair and failings I was to learn the greatest gift I can give myself is to stand in the depths of defeat, trudge through tears in the face of loss and learn as much as one can from suffering. If every moment acceptance is invited in, then every moment can be beautiful because every moment is truly lived. The greatest gift I can give myself, then, is to truly live.

So how far would you go? Are you capable of loving someone so much that you choose to let go of your need to rescue them (a need for control)? Are you capable of loving someone enough to allow them to experience their suffering, to feel their pain? 

I know I'm not fully there yet, but I'm working on it. I've started where all successful journeys must begin. I've started with me.

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In 2015 may I challenge you to in the face of pain and anguish and suffering ask yourself this, "What am I to learn?"

Only the Ignorant Blame the Booze...

I have witnessed the phenomenon of status quo human after status quo human who seem to just mimic each other as if to parrot is to reflect intelligence. I promise it is the opposite. So, here I go against the flow.

To All the Individuals Who Aren’t So Individual:

You know who you are. The followers: the one’s who just do it because they did it or because they made me. The non-world changers: the one’s who think oh, that’s wrong, but… 

RAPE is caused by one thing and ONE THING ONLY: RAPISTS

For those aforementioned non-individual individuals, let me explain.

  • First: there are men and boys WHO WOULD NEVER RAPE, SEXUALLY ASSAULT OR TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A WOMAN NO MATTER HER STATE (these are the beautiful men and boys by which the standard of actions should be set).
  • Second: if you are so ignorant to blame alcohol then DO SO CORRECTLY, please. Boys who drink too much alcohol and can’t help but rape people need to cut back, dontcha think??? (Unless the ignoramus amongst us still thinks women are lesser humans and therefore double standards should be allowed. If you fall in this category I hope you have the balls to share words with me).
  • Third: the perpetuation of the belief that a woman can do ANYTHING to get herself raped is by perpetrators who support rape, because if you are not AGAINST IT you are FOR IT.

 

I triple-dog-dare you to disagree! Love, Me >=)

Manny "PACMAN" Pacquiao: Humility and Celebrity

Tonight Manny "PACMAN" Pacquiao has the much anticipated rematch with Timothy "DESERT STORM" Bradley. 

I was at the original fight between these boxers with a very good friend who just happened to have put money on Bradley. Halfway through the fight, Alonso was regretting his betting decision. He leaned over to me and said, "Well, you were right." Pretty much the entire evening I had been giving him a hard time for being "such a moron", because "obviously Manny was going to win". 

Ohhhh yeah... That's my Man about to shake hands with my Manny and just take a wild guess who Little Miss Photographer was? (Hint: Moi - and I know it's blurry, my hand was shaking!)

Ohhhh yeah... That's my Man about to shake hands with my Manny and just take a wild guess who Little Miss Photographer was? (Hint: Moi - and I know it's blurry, my hand was shaking!)

 

By the time the 12th round ended the majority of Bradley fans, Alonso included, were heading out of the arena. Alonso was my ride and my fighter won so I was gathering my things and leaving, too. We were halfway out of the tunnel when the call was made that 'Desert Storm' would now claim Manny's title as the new WBO Welterweight Champion of the World. 

Alonso's face went from shock to confusion to realization to oh-my-god-I-just-made-a-bunch-of-MONEY! I, however remained in shock. Later my surprise would turn to feelings of having been personally offended, as if somehow I was up there with Pacquiao; in the ring; giving all of MY heart away only to be betrayed. 

As I think of the impending fight this evening I cannot help but chuckle at myself for my own arrogance. Up until recently, Manny Pacquiao didn't even know I existed (he probably still doesn't although I was so honored as to have been present for his first 24/7 episode in preparation for tonight's match [aaaaah - totally bragging!]).

So my question is:

Why do we care so much about these fighters; people we don't even really know?

There has to be something much deeper than just the mere act of two people getting in to a ring and delivering blows at one another which must connect us to them; something we must relate to; something we, perhaps, see of them in ourselves. 

Manny was a street kid; a no body; a thief. His survival instincts growing up allowed him to continue living for 'one more day' as his life was literally a collage of moments of just getting the next meal; of making ends meet. Now he is one of the greatest fighters of all time. Now he holds more world titles than any other boxer. Now he is a congressman. Now he fights human-trafficking within his country. Now... He is a hero. 

There it is. There is our connection. From there is where our love for him stems. Because deep inside the heart of each of us resides a hero; a heroine of our own story. When faced with life's challenges can we be like Manny? Can we survive? Perhaps our love for him (anyone who loves boxing can appreciate him even if they don't claim to be his fan) is out of a need to answer those very questions. And perhaps watching him struggle and survive gives us our answers. 

This is the beauty of heroes: they represent us, they embody our hopes and dreams and goals and then they pave the way for us. They make it just a little bit easier to embark on our own journeys, because they show us that we CAN succeed. 

So why do I respond to someone like Pacquaio over someone like Bradley, or for a better example: over someone like Mayweather? Bradley is still proving himself and maybe he can grow some humility, but Mayweather is just supremely arrogant. Of course, he has the chops to back it up. Although, he will never have me as a fan. 

There is something that draws us to heroes, and there is something that makes us love those heroes. I can respect Mayweather (and I do), he's absolutely remarkable at what he does, but I don't like him. See, his talent speaks for itself, so everything he says on top of that is overkill to me. I understand that some will say "this is 'part of the game'", but is it a requirement? You can only be the best if you LACK humility? Surely, not. 

And, this is the reason I love Manny. He isn't just a hero in a survival and talent sense, he is a hero in a spiritual sense as well. He allows his efforts to speak for themselves and he is honest yet kind with words towards his opponents. 

In a way, he leads by example showing us that there is always a choice and the outcome is often quite different when we choose that of the spiritual warrior. Heroes like Manny show us how we can be strong in the face of spiritual warfare. Every time he gears up for a new fight he is tried and tested long before the big night ever arrives. Can the opponents provoke him? Can the media interviewers say the right thing to inspire him to trash talk? Will he fall victim to their ploys?

I love that what I take from Pacquiao is, at the very base line, he's a man who is purely and simply all heart. Do I believe he's perfect? Yes, I do! (Haha- tricked you). No. Manny is not perfect nor would he have me put him onto a pedestal from which he would certainly fall. Instead, I think him to be... extraordinary. He is extra beyond ordinary. It's his level of heart which draws me in, because I can sense that his intentions are pure. He does a wonderful job of fighting the ego and humility shines brightly through. 

I hope to take in the lesson Manny can provide us all and choose to be humble when faced with not simply the humbling experiences life has to offer, but the ones in which we may be exalted as well. 

Good luck tonight, Mr. Pacquiao. We'll be watching!

 

Peace in Times of Traffic...

 "Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito. Every misfortune. Every red light, every traffic jam. Every obnoxious supervisor (or employee).  Every illness. Every loss. Every moment of joy or depression. Every addiction. Every piece of garbage. Every breath. Every moment is the Guru."  

-Joko Beck

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This quote touched me in a very special way. So often are we stuck unable to "see the forest for the trees". When troubles approach, our dark hour nears it is easy to become caught up in the whirl wind of "oh woe is me". 

But, what if we were able to see even the slightest hiccup in life as potential for a lesson to a greater self? What if we could soar above and view the picture as a whole?

In a relationship we can easily be overwhelmed by a moment and feel our world crashing around us. But what is that moment in a 90 year long life? Will it really hold it's weight 5 years from now? How about 5 months?

We so easily forget the resilience of the human spirit. We so quickly fail to remember our inner strength is just waiting for us to tap into it. We, with great simplicity, often, over look the peace within which patiently awaits our beckon call. 

The moment we decide to see our journey as a way in, a path through our mental muck to our spiritual bliss is the moment beauty overwhelms, joy floods in and peaceful love pushes out all fear.  

But, what precisely does this mean, and how can it be accomplished? It is a constant battle to remain on the "internal journey" when so many external things truly seem to affect our joy. 

So...

Here's what I've learned:

'joy' is a result of tapping into the ever-flowing inner peace we sometimes never know is even within us (skewed perception will do that to you - society will do THAT to you).  This being said, NOTHING external can ever 'affect our joy' only an internal skewed perception could have us 'not see it'.

Don't get me wrong...

External things can affect our 'perceived happiness'. Happiness is the result of seeing a situation and judging it as desirable, pleasurable or the like. This means we can also perceive 'un'-happiness externally, but still our joy CANNOT be affected it can only be disguised by our point of view. 

Allow me to give an analogy...

Joy is discovered and the truthful perception of it maintained when we are living NOT in yesterday, NOT in tomorrow, ONLY in right NOW. 

So, let's say you're living in the 'Now', you're flying up the freeway, you're belting out a Bob Dylan song (or a Miley Cyrus - stranger things have happened ;-)) then, all of the sudden, out of nowhere, - and oh, it's only 2PM - BRAKE LIGHTS appear before you. A sea of brake lights remove any and all road from your view and you have somewhere very important to be. (For those of you who love traffic and don't mind sitting in it for hours on end, this analogy need not apply.) For all the rest of us, this is a potential moment which can lead to perceiving a growing sense of unhappiness. 

So how do you even know where to look for 'inner peace' or 'joy that can't be affected' when CLEARLY there isn't an ounce of joy in sight. At least, not unless you can maybe drive up the emergency lane and pass all these "SUCKERRRRS!!" (I have sooooo nevvvver ever done that. Like, not ever. Okay, shhh!! Stop judging me.)

Outside of gaining perceiving happiness by breaking the law (oops) you can take this (and any) moment to turn inward. 

Here's how I do this... (Inner, sometimes outer to myself like a crazy person, dialogue to follow)

"AnnaLynne." 

"What?" 

"Ohwow."

"'Ohwow' what?!"

"Ohwow you seem pissy."

"Uhm, yeah stupid, are you not stopped in traffic like me? We're the same person."

"Ohhhh, so all these people have the power to ruin your day?"

"What?"

"All these cars? The people in them? You've given them the power to ruin your day? Is that what you're saying?"

"I haven't given them power over anything, I just don't effing like waiting in bumper to bumper traffic. But, apparently YOU do (you're so NOT a part of me)."

"I could say the same for you but that is beside the point. No. No, I don't 'like' waiting in bumper to bumper traffic, BUT I can stop bumper to bumper traffic from ruining my day."

"I'm listening...(to myself). Weird. Continue..."

"I have three choices in any situation: (1) Change it, (2) Accept it, or (3) Walk Away from it.

I realize I can't 'change' the fact that there are a million cars in front of me. I could take the alternative side streets, but those may take just as long, and the truth is: even with traffic this is the best route - so, I can't 'walk away' from it as I have to get to where I'm going.

I'm left with 'Accept' it (this is where joy can be present during perceived 'unhappy' times). So... I choose to accept that there are a gazillion cars on the freeway at 2PM in the afternoon which I also accept makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE (unless you live in LA), but nevertheless I am here and although I may not like it, it is happening."

That's what acceptance is: it IS. I cannot change it because 'IT IS'. I don't want to walk away (perhaps, just yet) but I also don't want to be miserable so through acceptance -non-resistance - I realize I can survive the moment by acknowledging IT IS happening and that is that. 

Seems simple enough. It's difficult to apply as it goes against everything we're ever taught but what we've been taught goes against us... So I'm always one for changing the old way to create one anew. 

I suggest next time you have a moment where you feel negative energy forming -whether it manifests itself as anxiety, anger, sadness depression - start asking yourself "Am I resisting?" "Am I wishing something that 'IS' isn't happening?" Then try to apply acceptance. Just see how you feel after (and feel free to comment below if this works for you). I love reading stories of people using acceptance and maintaining their awareness of their inner peace during dire times or even while merely sitting in traffic (which can also fall under 'dire times').

With so much love and light...xxx A

 

Dear Notes... 11/19/13

I'm not sure how people go back and re-read journal entries from only days prior and not be fully aware of the presence of the ego. It's incredible how it (the ego) will vomit accusatory, angry, hostile projections all to avoid love in any capacity. It's really sad. But more sad still, is the fact that we listen to it; believe it; take it's words as truth and then, of all the horrors, we act upon it. 

I was reading "Messages from the Masters" (by Dr. Brian Weiss) yesterday and talking to (my man) Dom. The story I was reading was about a couple who, though married for sometime, was plagued with moderately often ego-based 'pride fights'. According to the book the two  would stay mad at each other for around five days, minimum before sorting their issues. So (of course) Dr. Weiss pointed out, "But you worked it out. You always work it out?"

"Yes," the couple replied.

"So why suffer for 5 days? Why not 3?"

Looking to each other, the man and wife agreed they could do 3 days.

"Or 1?"

"Yeah okay."

"Well, you're going to fix it anyway," Dr. Weiss went on, "Why not 6 hours? Why not 3? 1?"

The point is "remember you're ultimate goal". Ideally in a relationship you're ultimate goal is to reach a solution. If you're goal is 'find a solution' then you WILL find one. But, if your goal is 'be right' you will find an 'out' instead.

Often, in my experience, the way to maintain my 'rightness' was to throw in the towel and "walk with my head held high". [uhm drama queen, much?]

Anyone who thinks they "walk away with their head held high" and that that somehow means they've won, clearly, isn't admitting to what follows...

Speaking from personal experience: me, alone on my bathroom floor, crying my eyes out.

Did I mention I was ALONE?

Who sees my head held high now? Winning by throwing in the towel prematurely certainly wasn't for my benefit.

There in lies the joke: pride benefits NOT the person exuding it. It is for the benefit of the opposing individual. Yet, they are not benefited either. So basically...

Pride ... Is a f$!#ing joke. 

Pride = Separation = Aloneness = Anti-Love = Pain comes from Fear

+

Love

=

Love

Love cancels out all fear. 

 

Thank you for listening 'Notes', you're the only one who understands me. (*Ohwow... I actually wrote that.) *added 2/19/14) 

Paul Walker - Gone Forever? Or Just as We Know Him?

My heart goes out to Paul's daughter and his family. I did not know him, but when someone dies even through a few degrees of separation there is a sense of a connection and certainly a feeling of loss. 

I'm writing today because of my recent personal experience during hypnosis and because of the new sense of security I've found having read Dr. Brian Weiss' first four books, Many Lives Many Masters, Through Time into Healing, Only Love is Real and Messages from the Masters. 

Logic, science and rationale tell us when we die that that is the end. There is no more. Just one more life bleated out. Remembered today. Forgotten tomorrow. Throw a tombstone on it and call it a day. 

Interestingly enough MY logic won't allow me to believe this. My personal experience and acute self-awareness in times of great need tell me this can't be all there is. Yes, in my darkest hours, the overwhelming sense of there being... something more has saved me, has even kept me alive. 

See, logic has never held me in loving arms. Science has never offered me a shoulder to lean on. And rationale has yet to caringly wipe a grieving tear from my eye. So call it delusion. Call it human ego. Call it whatever fits into your personal belief system, but I believe in something greater. And if I spend my entire life believing in something that doesn't exist at least I lived a happy life (doing it myyyyyyyy way - Frank Sinatra).

Those who believe or "know" there is no after life, often times, live in great fear of their own end. When will it come? How will it happen? Will I know I'm about to die? I know no fear of death because I believe I am a soul, a beautiful being of light and in my spirit form I am forever eternal, immortal for all of time. This is a great solace for my earthly life and I can live fuller and freer without the weight of my impending doom. 

My beliefs have evolved from previous guilt-ridden, fear-stricken thought systems to my present state of all-encompassing love. I believe, like when light is present darkness flees, where love is present fear cannot be. 

I see my life very simply. It's a lesson. I have this life to learn one very important lesson. I have this life to first ascertain what that lesson is and then it is my duty (to myself) to do my utmost to learn that lesson while hurting as few of my fellow humans as possible along the way.  

I was raised very conservative Christian, but not to be Christ-like. I saw hypocrisy in all of the lives of those who thought it their life-mission to show me how evil I was and how I needed to be fixed. Ironically, those who sought to 'fix' me never tried the only thing that could. Love. I was not accepted for who I was, I was taught when I'm good enough than I'll be loved. Well, I've since accepted that I will never be good enough... I will never be good enough to receive the projection of acceptance and therefore condition-based love, and... THAT IS PERFECTLY FINE WITH ME. 

Now I love myself for who I am. Now I have compassion for those who cannot see themselves as deserving of love because they grew up as I, being judged and told they "aren't good enough". Now I don't believe in a judgmental angry God who is out to get me. Now I believe that God is love and love is in all of us so we must be one. We must be the same. We must be equal. I am not right and you wrong. Nor are you right and I am wrong. WE JUST ARE... And we are good enough just the way we are. 

So now I believe that we are here to learn and to love and to learn to love. Real love. True love. Which means acceptance; love with no conditions. And, then, I believe we return to spirit form and we keep learning and loving.  

I love macaroni and cheese, I love the ocean and I love believing in Something Greater than Myself. It's a preference and that is all. I hope this finds you well and in no way makes you feel attacked or unloved. The intent is merely to share light and full acceptance of all.