** Note: there is a separate post with quotations to accompany this alphabet posting.
I always seem to be cooking up kooky alphabet schemes (yes, I know, I’m a crazy woman!) This one started coming into my mind a week or so ago. Just a bunch of thoughts, using the alphabet as a … starter? Maybe sort of like sourdough starter?? & offer it up now as a belated Christmas present-cum-New Year’s present. Just some thoughts of things to keep in our busy little minds as the long-anticipated year of 2012 whooshes in upon us.
I need to just add that, the way I diagnose “the world’s problems” is that they started a very, very long time ago (around 10,000 years), & can be broadly understood to stem from alienation & separation (separation from Nature, alienation from our most basic nature as humans, a species that evolved to be highly communal). I hope this alphabet collection might give us a few ideas of how to continue tackling these seemingly insurmountable … shall we say challenges. Antidotes to despair& apathy are always good, hmmm?
The Alphabet Scheme, then…
A – is for Appreciation, Apologies (quite utterly magical words they are, hmm?) & Abundance. Oh, & Adventure - which I definitely feel life/Life is meant to be!!
C – is for Celebration! What some big thinkers believe is actually the underlying principle of the Universe. It’s also for Community, Conversation, Circles, Compassion, & Changing the World. Oh, & also for Chocolate (preferably organic & fair trade). Hmm. & Courage… (C is one of my favourite letters; I could go on!) Oops. Consciousness; can’t leave that one out!! (Big thinkers say becoming conscious is our real job here. Works for me!!)
D – is for Dancing!! Which I recommend we all do as often as humanly possible (in our own kitchens, if nowhere else!). Along with singing & laughing & walking & hanging with friends.
E – is for Erring on the side of generosity & friendliness (& also for Explaining. As in, never mind that old saw “Never apologize, never explain." I say, Apologize. Explain.)
F – is for Friendliness & Friends. Where in the world would we be without them?? Also freedom. & flexibility. I’d say there is an equation that goes like this: Flexibility = Freedom. Freedom = Flexibility. Well, it works for me, anyway!
G – is, of course, for Gratitude, about which I write endlessly. Why? Because a friend told me once that “Gratitude is the 1st order of the Universe,” & I do believe she’s right! Also Generosity, of course. Generosity of spirit will take us very, very far.
H – is for Home, & Heart & Honour. (We need to re-discover honour, I think.)
I – is for Inspiration. We all need to be inspired – by words, by books, by ourselves on occasion, by each other. Without inspiration, we dry up inside. That’s what I think, anyway. Oh, & how about Integrity? A little more of that in the world would be cool, hmmmm?
J – is for … hmmm. Joy! “Urgent joy,” perhaps…
K – is for the KISS principle. Keep it simple, Silly. & Keep your eye on the prize!
L – is for Love, Looking for the gift, Looking for the lesson in every experience. & also Letting Go. Hmm. & also for this thing I believe strongly: that the “little things” in life are really the BIG things. “Little” things like special phone calls to people, conversation, acts of compassion & generosity, showing up. Commitment. Yes, the little things really are the big things…
M – is for Mother Earth, mothering & motherhood (i.e., nurturing in general) & also Music, & also Magic. We are surrounded by magic every day – what I call everyday magic, but we need to invoke it, I think. Since what we focus on expands, we need to cultivate it, shall we say. M is also for men, God love 'em. Great book for both them & us here; a must-read for all!!
N – is for Nature, this stunning, gorgeous, abundant Planet Earth we’ve been gifted with. From which we have become separated & which we are trashing at a truly astounding rate.
O – is for Organic! Buy organic, promote organic, think organic, BE organic! So we can all say with great accuracy, often, “Don’t panic, it’s organic!” Also for Oceans, the planet’s lifeblood, which badly need our attention. &, hmmm, also the Occupy movement! (I love this YouTube)
P – is for Possibility, Planting Seeds, People are the best! & Protesting. (It’s also for saying to oneself from time to time “Petty? Who me?? Nah. I’m too big to be small”) & Purpose: living lives of purpose & potential.
Q – is for Quiet. We all need times of quiet & contemplation & solitude (at least that’s what I think, but I guess I could be wrong, it happened once in 1962, ha ha ha ). It’s also for Quotations that can inspire us & “summon up the blood” as an older woman I once knew used to say.
R – is for Reading!! Geez, folks, break away from that insane TV box a little more often & read! You will learn things, you’ll be inspired, you’ll feel your spirit soar, even. No kidding!! Please, please, please: read! (It will help blast you out of your rigidity!) Heck, even junky reading is better than none. I think...
S – is for remembering to Stay in the Moment. When you stay in the moment more, you find your spirits soaring more frequently, & you also feel much more open to possibility. Also, Showing Up is key, key, key! (activist me says also, don’t forget Solidarity.)
T – is for remembering that Thoughts come before Feelings. So if we learn to transform our thoughts (a regular gratitude practice can do this for us, & so can meditation, I am told), we transform our emotions. They overpower us less. We feel calmer, more centred. More peaceful. More joyful. I guess I also believe pretty big-time in truth, Telling the Truth.
U – is for Understanding ourselves & others. We cannot understand others when we don’t understand ourselves. & we cannot have compassion for others when we have not yet learned to have it for ourselves. (This may sound like a small concept, but it’s pretty darn big!)
V – is for Valuing – everything! This beautiful planet we call home. Ourselves. Others. & for values such as compassion, generosity, truth, wisdom, integrity, courage, honesty.
W – is for Walking, Wisdom, Whistleblowers (this relates to my environmental work & I couldn’t resist!), & the power of Words. Also, for understanding that we all have something to teach, & something to learn.
X – is for …hmmm. X is a tough one, isn’t it?? Still working on X…
Y – is for … Y is a tough one too. Maybe it’s for Yellow, that wonderful vibrant colour that can often make us feel cheerier?? Yellow also represents our utterly miraculous sun, hmmm? That brilliant orb 93 million miles away from Planet Earth that we sometimes forget powers every single thing that happens in & on our home planet. & without which, we’d be toast, & fast! Hurray for solar power! (& Yoga, although admittedly I never seem to do it myself; such a bad example I set; sorry, everyone! )
Z – I was going to say that Zzzzzz is for sleep, as I’m a bit Z-challenged right now. But it occurs to me it also stands for the very opposite of sleep. As in, Zip. Get a little zip in your life, dear Reader. Or even a lot!!
Which I hope you might do as a result of these words, this crazy little alphabet scheme. If not this, then the quotations collection that accompanies it…
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open… [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” – Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille, from Dance to the Piper – quoted in Blessed Unrest – How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being & Why No One Saw it Coming, by Paul Hawken