Tag Archives: positivity

The story of the cracked pot

By Sacinandana Swami

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on one end of the pole he carried across the back of his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream, the cracked pot arrived only half full. This went on every day for two years, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his master’s house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishment and saw itself as perfectly suited for the purpose for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived as bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“For the past two years, I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws you have to work without getting the full value of your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and out of compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the wildflowers on the side of the path. The pot felt cheered.

But at the end of the trail, the pot still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and again it apologized for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I knew about your flaw and took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them for me. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. If you were not just the way you are, he would not have such beauty to grace his house.

For the majority of my life I have heard this story every year at a martial arts camp, and it has always tugged on my heart. However, the older and sicker I get, the more it speaks to me.

Tonight, as I sat here trying to write the quintessential “Happy Thanksgiving!” post, I just couldn’t do it. I’m thankful, really truly I am, for so many things…I’m just feeling like a cracked pot right now.

It’s been a hard few weeks, I’ve been in a lot of pain and spending a lot of time in the “deep dark lyme place” of sad emotions.  I’ve had a lot of stuff going wrong with my heart, which I will write about one of these days when I have energy for that, that make me very stressed and angry.

Last weekend I had a flat tire on my car, so I set out to change it. I’d never done that before, but I knew technically how it should be done. With my sister’s help to lift things I managed it…and then was miserable for 3 whole days afterward. I just wanted to be able to do something for myself, to know that I could take care of myself in an emergency…and I did it, but I really should not have. I want to be able to do normal people things without hurting myself or feeling so sick I want to die.

I don’t want to feel like this anymore, I don’t want to be in pain anymore. I don’t want to be this sad person. I used to feel like a strong person, like I could cope with anything and still be a happy, positive person…not anymore. I’m angry that lyme and this pain have taken that away from me.


 

“When I was treating aids, none of the patients wanted to die, yet they did. Now, treating Lyme, the patients want to die because of the pain, but they usually can’t…Lyme takes you to the edge of death and leaves you there” Dr Jemsek.

Dr Jemseck gets it. That is exactly how I feel lately.


 

So tonight I will read the story of the cracked pot, and try to remind myself that I am simply a cracked pot and that somewhere there are flowers that I will be able to water with my flaws.

http://www.sacinandanaswami.com/en/s1a38/wisdom-stories/the-cracked-water-pot.html

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Beautiful

Don’t tell me I’m beautiful. I have already heard that word rubbed raw across the flesh of so many girls before me. Thrown at them like rocks that beat the skin of those we don’t understand. “You are beautiful” we yell with such contempt. “God damnit, why won’t you just believe me, you’re beautiful!” It’s not a compliment. It is a victory march of your own self sacrifice. “You’re beautiful” we say through gritted teeth. “You’re beautiful we spit out through tears, looking at a reflection we hate. “You’re beautiful” we say holding a body that has never felt the arms of another. “You’re beautiful”. Don’t tell me I’m beautiful. A word like that floats on the surface, give me something with depth. Tell me I’m intelligent. Tell me I’m courageous. Tell me that when I laugh the whole world smiles. Tell me that my voice is sweeter than strawberries. Remind me that my hands have helped flowers grow, painted the ocean, and captured the sky in my phone. Assure me that with a mind like mine, I can change the world. Don’t tell me I’m beautiful. I don’t really care if it’s true. I’ve spent years trying to convince myself that beauty goes through and through. Don’t tell me I’m beautiful. I’ve felt the word splatter against me enough for a lifetime. I am better than the “beautiful” that slips from your lips. I am the ocean, 36,000 feet deep. There are parts of me you have never seen. I am outer space, infinite in your search. I am not simply “beautiful”. I am a fucking masterpiece. — in known

Art by Alex Kanevsky

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Akhilandeshvari- no my cat did not just walk across my keyboard

So I’ve had kind of a negative attitude lately (ok, a really negative attitude)…especially this week since it’s been kind of a rough one; well today I read this post on Elephant Journal, and I decided that I am going to try to change that.

 

Akhilandeshvari:

“Ishvari” in Sanskrit means “goddess” or “female power,” and the “Akhilanda” means essentially “never not broken.” In other words, The Always Broken Goddess. Sanskrit is a tricky and amazing language, and I love that the double negative here means that she is broken right down to her name.

But this isn’t the kind of broken that indicates weakness and terror.

It’s the kind of broken that tears apart all the stuff that gets us stuck in toxic routines, repeating the same relationships and habits over and over, rather than diving into the scary process of trying something new and unfathomable.

Akhilanda derives her power from being broken: in flux, pulling herself apart, living in different, constant selves at the same time, from never becoming a whole that has limitations.

 

This goddess has another interesting attribute, which is, of course, her ride: a crocodile.

Crocodiles are interesting in two ways: Firstly, Stoneberg explains that the crocodile represents our reptilian brain, which is where we feel fear. Secondly, the predatory power of a crocodile is not located in their huge jaws, but rather that they pluck their prey from the banks of the river, take it into the water, and spin it until it is disoriented. They whirl that prey like a dervish seeking God, they use the power of spin rather than brute force to feed themselves.

By riding on this spinning, predatory, fearsome creature, Akhilanda refuses to reject her fear, nor does she let it control her. She rides on it. She gets on this animal that lives inside the river, inside the flow. She takes her fear down to the river and uses its power to navigate the waves, and spins in the never not broken water. Akhilanda shows us that this is beautiful.

 

 

I love this so much. Somehow it was exactly what I needed to read today.

Between my divorce and recent health discoveries and frustrations I feel so broken. I feel like over the past year that crocodile has dragged me into the river and spun me around over and over and over until I don’t know who I am or where I’m going anymore. I am so afraid; of where my life will go from here, if I will ever get well or rather just continue to get worse and worse until something kills me, if I will be alone forever, if I am too sick and stupid to accomplish anything with my life. Those are just the ones I can vocalize, I feel like there are so many more fears hiding under the surface that I don’t even understand enough to be able to describe them.

So today I have decided to be a goddess; I will get on my crocodile and ride my fears right to something beautiful. I will be never not broken, and it will be amazing.

Akhilanda is also sometimes described in our lineage like a spinning, multi-faceted prism. Imagine the Hope Diamond twirling in a bright, clear light. The light pouring through the beveled cuts of the diamond would create a whirling rainbow of color. The diamond is whole and complete and BECAUSE it’s fractured, it creates more diverse beauty. Its form is a spectrum of whirling color.

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With brokenness comes great potential not only for change, but for refining and smoothing and shaping.

 

So now is the time, this time of confusion and brokenness and fear and sadness, to get up on that fear, ride it down to the river, dip into the waves, and let yourself break. Become a prism.

All the places where you’ve shattered can now reflect light and colour where there was none. Now is the time to become something new, to choose a new whole.

 

Read the full article here: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/why-being-broken-in-a-pile-on-your-bedroom-floor-is-a-good-idea-julie-jc-peters/

Pictures from the article, and google, respectively.

 

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You are magical.

You are magical.

“So you don’t have the luxury of ever (ever) saying that there’s nothing magical in those bones of yours.

You don’t get to say that you’re boring or plain or weak or pathetic.

You are the universe. You are star-stuff.

And there is nothing more miraculous than that.”

A little positivity after my pity party…

 

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/10/the-world-may-be-heavy/

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June 10, 2014 · 11:23 pm

Fearless Healing: Finding Strength Within Weakness

Such an incredible post. I have attempted to say many times exactly what Shelley has managed to say, as if her words came out of my own heart.

Embrace the body's innate healing mechanisms

The world constitutes strength as possessing physical power, societal power, and financial power. In illness, we learn great insight and wisdom on this subject. We learn what most do not learn until they are elderly. Weakness has nothing to do with muscles, fame, or fortune. It has everything to do with facing unimaginable heartache after heartache, allowing ourselves to break down and be human which renders us as desperately vulnerable, and then having the courage to wake up and face yet another day.

In fact, all of the aforementioned attributes regarding the world’s take on strength possess the power to quickly turn themselves into major weaknesses. Furthermore, they possess the power to turn mankind into animals. As individuals facing struggles unbearable to most, we are endowed with the great gift of gaining perspective on such a crucial matter in life.

We change dramatically the moment the doctor mouths a diagnosis…

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Compliments

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I have recently discovered first hand the power of a simple, honest, compliment; and how most of us never realize how badly we need to hear a few. So ever since then I have been spreading them around as much as I can (whenever it is heartfelt, of course). Some people probably think I’m a wee bit strange, but I’m ok with being strange if it means I can be life-giving too.

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