Little Ways of Being™
- Created on 13 November 2012
Here's the passage I want to share with you because the poetic last paragraph was so lovely to me; the previous paragraphs are for context:
- Created on 01 October 2012
Most every morning I walk while chanting the Bhakti mantra on the beach here in St. Augustine. The past month I haven’t taken any hormones, which means walking around on fire day and night. The ocean cools, especially the early morning and early evening.
My schedule has been unpredictable as I get acquainted with my new location, a new bed, and a body without hormones. The unsettling nature of change has allowed me to spend time with Her Ocean in the middle of the night, at sunrise, and at sunset, happily avoiding the heat and crowd of the day.
Crescent Beach. It’s a descriptive name. Face the water and look to your left. About five miles away the beach juts out into the water on the horizon like a left arm embracing the ocean. Look to your right. In an equal distance down the coastline a right arm completes the hug.
As I gaze in both directions at the white-sand-arm’s embrace of the ocean I feel as though I’m standing on a crescent moon.
The sand is w-i-d-e at the center and tapers into points on the horizon as the eyes get closer to the ends of its arms. The adjective “wide” applies to the width of the sandy shore and its length in both directions.
The expanse enthralls. Mystical moments have enfolded while I’ve stood here.
But it’s not exactly the crescent beach that inspires me with awe, a sense that I stand witness to perfection, or causes me to feel embraced and safe. It is the oval I see. There are two parts to the shore, the land and the water. Here on Crescent Beach the marriage of the two creates an oval.
- Created on 14 September 2012
You’ve got to scrub them off. Every last one and every last inch of them. Florida’s love-bugs are delicate and always joined with another. They float and land easily, lovingly. All would be well in Florida if love-bugs just stayed out of the way of cars. Their unending deaths on the front of my car and rear view mirrors leave remnants of love that can best be described as a god-awful mess. Not a benign one.
Their black bodies are made of something more tenacious than tar. If you let them stay on the car your paint will be indelibly stained. From what I can tell, if they’re left on long enough of, whatever was in them and their love-making starts eating away at the paint.
So why isn’t there a product to keep them off my car? I have lived peacefully with each love-bug season for the past twenty years, but not this one. I’m driving more.
I’ve ventured out to set up a writing retreat, which means camping on a tile floor in an empty house, close to the ocean to spend glorious mornings and evenings with sand between my toes and sweeping my feet into tepid waters.
I now commute between St. Augustine and Alachua. For two days a week I'm in Alachua to care for Meena (that’s pretense I just have to be with her), stock up on water, do laundry, and pick up a piece of technology, a sweater, or whatever I need in at my campsite in St. Augustine.
I’m relocating to St. Augustine to write. It might kill me but I’m going to write. Okay, I shouldn’t make that statement publicly for many reasons.
Anyway, after making the one-and-a-half hour ride between St. Augustine and Alachua, I have to—sooner or later—remove the love-bugs from the car.
Why is there nothing we can put on cars before leaving our driveway that inhibits or prohibits love-bugs from attaching themselves to us?
- Created on 09 September 2012
For the person taking an inner journey do politics and spirituality go together? Is it politics and spirituality or politics or spirituality?
For the past year I’ve been following American politics, as well as world politics focusing on issues concerning women. So Marianna Williamson’s recent article Sister Giant: Consciousness and Politics at HuffPo, which partially takes on the questions I posed, caught my attention.
The article is a feeder for the November event “Women, Non-Violence and Birthing a New American Politics,” which aims to encourage more women to enter politics. The logic is that we’ll heal what ails us if we increase women’s participation in politics. We need more heart in governing society.
- Created on 20 August 2012
I listened to Martin Seligman, the "father of positive pysychology," speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival about improving happiness through practice.
Studies show that the single-most important barometer of personal happiness is whether a person is grateful. Check out your level of gratitude by taking the Gratitude Survey. I thought I would score high, but didn't. What an eye opener!
I also took the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. To each statement in the survey, you are to indicate if it represents you or not. Here are two of the 240 questions:
"The goodness of other people almost brings tears to my eyes."
"I get chills when I hear about acts of great generosity."
On The Aspen Institute site, I stumbled upon a talk about abuse of women by the authors of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
Kristof said, "In any decade, more women are discriminated to death than all the genocide in the 20th century. The scale is truly astonishing." He means, literally, discriminated to death.
More girls die in ten years by families selectively choosing boys over girls than all the people killed in all the wars in one hundred years!
Kristof went on to say that the central moral challenge in the 19th century was Slavery; the 20th century Totalitarianism; and the 21st century Gender Inequality around the globe. He says his statement isn't hyperbole.
Tears came to my eyes.
And they really started to flow later driving home from Meena's fourth birthday party as I approached the left-hand turn onto my road.
- Created on 31 May 2012
Welcome to the home of the Feminine Divine, helping conscious women revolutionize the way they see themselves and the world, and grow into more authentic, inspired lives.
Hello, I'm Pranada Comtois, author, teacher, spiritual activist, and blogger here at Little Ways of Being. I've spent the last forty years immersed in the study, practice, and teaching of Bhakti, the Way of the Feminine Divine.
Living from our hearts gives us the wisdom, power, and intuition to fulfill our deepest yearnings, harmonize our relationships, ground us as our pure Self, and launch our voices and gifts into the world for lasting impact. I have seen firsthand how thousands of women have been transformed by living heartfulness, or the Way of the Feminine Divine.
The global dialogues of our collective quest is so strongly rushing toward the mysteries of the heart and pure, unconditional love, that even the American business market is saturated with language like "come from your heart to develop your marketing strategy" and "become a heart-centered entrepreneur." Every day I see more examples.
We are the most educated, independent, and powerful generation of women in history. We are savvy about cultures, traditions, and spirituality around the world. We hanker to dynamically contribute to our personal and global families and change the state of our world to bring a brighter future for those who will come after us.
Then why do we still feel a driving need to cut through what holds us back from our life purpose even though we have diligently applied ourselves to develop more vibrant relationships, nourish a deep sense of purpose, and accomplish worthy goals? Why do we still seek to assuage anxiety, depression, and stress? How will we fulfill our noble, pressing desire to be an agent for world change?
Let's turn to the heart of who we are for possible answers.
The core attributes of our soul are the feminine characteristics love, compassion, service, generosity, and wisdom. Deeply owning these pure states by living them from our spiritual core, removes all the obstacles holding us back from being the hero/ine of our journey.
Most of us try to carry out our worthy feminine enterprise using a masculine mindset of strategizing, controlling, dissecting, and analyzing. While there is nothing wrong with integrating masculine energy, using it to activate the Feminine Divine will never work. We become receptacles to allow the Feminine Divine to come in; we don't try to outsmart our lives and force this state of Being. Our approach, therefore, is our first challenge to enter the Way of the Feminine Divine.
Others wistfully wane about the return of the feminine and its nourishing, healing powers. Somehow, the thinking goes, simply being a woman and accessing our femininity holds the answer to becoming genuinely heart-centered and able to unconditionally love. But we confuse mundane feminine and the Feminine Divine, and we don't have a clear concept of the archetypal Feminine Divine. Our muddled thinking, therefore, is our second challenge in awakening the Feminine Divine.
The tools, training, and support you'll find here will give you the riches and gifts of heartfulness that will help you blossom, flourish, expand, and usher the Feminine Divine into your heart. Whether you're dealing with human dilemmas, or seeking to further your spiritual experience, the Way of the Feminine Divine can enrich your life.
The Way of the Feminine Divine is not a program or a system I have made up, rather I have simply translated the essence of a profound wisdom tradition that has been practiced for millennia to achieve this state of Being. I'm uniquely qualified to offer you this rare access into the tradition that is solely dedicated to developing and expressing the Feminine Divine.
During the first half of my forty-year-Bhakti practice, I lived in ashrams in the United States and India as an ascetic submerged in daily practice and learning rigorous philosophical foundations. Afterwards, I made my home an ashram with a sacred space and built two multi-million dollar businesses to support my family. In between my personal evolution and professional successes, I was a mom and wife. I taught seminars and workshops on Bhakti, and lead international campaigns for women's spiritual rights empowering thousands of women. In other words, like you, I deal with the nitty-gritty, messy parts of living in the modern world.
Who I'm serving on a given day varies. Today I hope to serve you and make your acquaintance.
Please make yourself at home and join our growing community to bring more heartfulness to our mindfulness. You can become part of the tipping point that is set to launch us into a renaissance for women and the world. To a moment now to sign up for my newsletter.
A million hearts to you,
- Created on 31 May 2012
The folk music legend Doc Watson died yesterday. I heard about it on PBS from appreciative fans and musicians who spoke of his musical genius. Throughout the day participants waxed on about how an era has passed with his death.
Eras pass with every person's death. Do you experience it when a loved one dies? I feel as if a chapter in my life is over. Life with that person, our interactions, and the possibility of future exchanges ends, therefore the entire of landscape of my life is forever changed. I'm old enough now that I have lost friends and family who have been with me the better part of my life.
On a given day we busy around doing things and affecting people. We don’t know if our offerings will live on after we die; if our courageous attempts through life will be appreciated; if what we do today to help another person will be remembered.
Today is the last day of school for Meena. I went to the office to order uniforms for next year. By chance three people who do a ton of work behind the scenes were in the office. I thanked them for the school year and felt genuine gratitude for how these individuals contributed to Meena's life.
For some reason, suddenly, I remembered dozens of endings from the past, which sparked a greater sense of importance about the moment--this moment in progress as I was thanking these special people would end, the school year had ended. I was interacting with these people whom I can't be sure will be here tomorrow. I can't be sure I will be here tomorrow or if I will have speaking faculties to thank them. What a gift to stop long enough to appreciate their hard work and appreciate them as people.
These powerful emotions didn't cause me to begin to cry as I walked away from the office. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I thought about the endings that will come in the future.
Actually I wasn't thinking; no particular future event was drawn upon my daydream. Only the feeling of endings to come gripped me. Then I thought about the endings that would make me cry; the endings that have made me cry. Which, of course, made me cry a little more.
I decided to end the crying and proceed with the day. I marveled how that chance meeting prompted my thank you. An expression of gratitude I felt was right and truly important as I spoke it and as I walked away. But I might not have said it if the individuals didn't appear in the office as I was placing my order, which makes me think I need to bring more consciousness to my life. I need to think more about each time I exchange a word, a smile, or a look with another human being.
Every day, throughout the day we experience little and big endings. Today is the last day of May and I began writing again after a long absence. I am marking the day with a moment of silence as I pray and appreciate beginnings and endings and the depth of awareness they draw from me; the deeper awareness I'm trying to grow.
Who cares what anyone remembers after I die? I thought. I have today.
Little Meena may not remember what the adults in her life did to make her year educational, entertaining, and filled with love. But together we gave that to her. The year is hers, never to be taken away, whether she remembers it or not. We're called to give selflessly.
Whatever endings the future brings, today I can selflessly give positive support, a smile, encouragement, love--something the person I connect with may not remember, but which possibly makes a difference for them today.
Or I can go through the day unconscious. That choice, I promise you, will hurt people. And we have an uncanny ability to remember the hurtful interactions even as we forget the kindness.
I hope today I can engage in positive, conscious relationships, even if those around me don't ultimately remember. I remember.
With love for our choices,