Sunday, August 12, 2007

I am going to do one more post of links. Then. I will stop. I promise. :)

This award was passed along to me by Flutter. Of course I was flattered. Who wouldn't be?

It also made me think. It made me think about the responsibility I have here to be a woman of grace, a woman who offers something positive to the blog world in which I find myself. Given my recent decline into pettiness, that's a good thing. I know I have a responsibility to stay in Right Speech and I commit myself to that in the future.

When I started this blog nearly a year ago, I thought it would become little more than an extension of the posts I put out on a Yahoogroup on a weekly basis, reflections on my journey to sobriety, the time I spent trying to grow spiritually and ultimately my realization that my life would be spent in Thailand. My posts to that list now are more reflective of my path, my spirituality and personal journey. They are not as personal in the everyday sense.

This blog has become like a series of letters and shared thoughts to and with other wise women who share their thoughts here in comments and on their own blogs. My own imperfections have been splayed on this template, in glaring obviousness, for all to see. What I hope people reading here understand is that I am a very real, regular, growing human being with some all too human flaws. Spiritual evolution is an ongoing process. I'm hoping my openness will be an encouragement to others. You know, if I can do it, anyone can.

The Blogging Reflection Award is an opportunity to take a look at the women and men who inspire us, the women and men who inspire, challenge and feed me spiritually. Here's the description:

This award should make you reflect on five bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and have been a Godly example to you. Five Bloggers who when you reflect on them you get a sense of pride and joy... of knowing them and being blessed by them.

Well, I'm not sure about "pride". As a five-precept woman, I don't necessarily think pride is a positive thing. My goal is to get beyond that kind of attachment to ego. But "joy". Oh yeah. Joy isn't giddy happiness. Joy is growth. Joy is reconciliation of the spiritual and the physical. There are several women who encourage me for a variety of reasons. I will go so far as to say I am "blessed" by them. They lift me up. All the time.

Jen at One Plus Two: Of course. She is a woman who has managed something that very few of us ever accomplish. She has seemingly evolved beyond ego. She has committed her life to making the world better, not to simply feathering her own nest in the typical western hunt-and-gather, produce-and-consume whirlwind. She takes a stand on issues most people would prefer to sweep under the rug and ignore. In that regard, she inspires me daily and reminds me to step outside the everyday effluvia and remember why we are really here. For someone who doesn't proclaim any particular faith, she's one of the best Buddhists I know. In Thailand, I would call her Ajahn.

Julie at The Ravin' Picture Maven: Julie and I have very different cultural perspectives. She is also far brighter than me. Just the same, I am inspired by her absolute fearlessness when it comes to staring straight into the eyes of some of scariest ethical demons. She walks through the labyrinth and comes out the other side, with the results of her examination in her palms, offering it to the rest of us. She uses her superior intelligence for the betterment of us all, not just herself or her own personal aggrandizement. She recognizes it as a gift to be shared, not a battering ram to exert power-over others. She is never condescending. She always makes me think. And she forces me to keep my mind open.

Catherine at Everyday Life As Lyric Poetry: Catherine is a spiritual seeker. She has a unique perspective on issues of that nature. Her spirituality is reflected in her writing and her reading. She is also not afraid to ask difficult questions ~ and she is openly respectful of all faiths.

Hel at Truth Cycles: For those who read there, there is no explanation needed. For those who don't know her, please read her. She is someone who is willing to dig inside her own soul, pull out all the "stuff" and examine it for us. She is lyrical and visual ~ at times visionary ~ and is also always completely honest about herself.

Laurie at Flying Monkeys: Laurie teaches by example. She doesn't pontificate. She doesn't gaze her navel in public (like I do). She is a very spiritual person who lives it every day. By reading about her life, the principles that guide her and her beautiful family come through clearly. She takes the theoretical and applies it to the practical. I learn from her. A lot. Even though she'd probably tell you she didn't know that.. or doesn't understand why. She's humble that way.


The issue was raised to me about this linking.. and why I have been linking for the past two days after having been the one with the strongest stand against it. I will be posting about that during the week. My linking is not hypocrisy, although it may appear that way. It is a reflection of my coming to a middle ground, understanding that nothing is all bad or all good. It's all in how we use it ~ and the reasons why we do it.

More on that during the week.



flutter said...

You are class. ((you))

jen said...

wow. you sure are bestowing all kinds of linky kindnesses on me's an honor and i feel grateful to have your support and respect - and i also want to say HEY, I AM A JERK A LOT AND DON'T YOU KNOW IT??!!! but i'll try to refrain...

i will definitely be interested to see how you've changed your views on linking - particularly since you've been so vocal on inclusion/exclusion so i look forward to that this week too. xo

Catherine said...

Chani - thank you so much! I feel truly honored by this...and am grateful for the thoughts that you add to my reflections.

I'll post a thank you soon!

thailandchani said...

Flutter, thank you. :) I try. And fail. A lot. :)


Jen, we're all jerks sometimes. I'm not setting you on a pedestal. That wouldn't be right.. but you do deserve so much respect for the choices you make.. and the way you choose to live in the world.


Catherine, you have already thanked me.. and you're welcome. Please let me know though when you do this so that I can read the bloggers you choose. :)




meno said...

Another sometimes jerk checking in to say that i understand changing your mind on things. And isn't it great that you can change? Only a real jerk never changes. :)

slouching mom said...

Thanks for spreading the word. I will make time to check out those on this list whom I don't already know.

Julie Pippert said...

Thank you Chani, thank you for the honor, praise and compliment. And thank you for the award. :)

Congrats to you receiving it!!

I look forward to the linking post.

I've been changing a bit on it too. Mary and I are trying to work up to doing a pro and con piece...maybe you'll contribute or we can link?

Ravin' Picture Maven

heartinsanfrancisco said...

First of all, your name is the one that immediately comes to mind when I hear the word "inspirational."

I know how much you admire Jen, Julie, and Hel, and they are all wonderful inspirations, too. I look forward to reading Catherine and Laurie because if you like them, I'm sure that I will, too.

One of my favorite expressions has always been Emerson's, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

I try to live by it as it precludes an egocentric, stubborn insistence on holding one view, no matter how much evidence there is that it is no longer valid.

We are changing and evolving all the time. If we did not, there would be no point in continuing past this day.

Hel said...

Chani. A joyful YES! I am honored.

I will set time aside to write a post on my reflections over the last couple of months. And maybe I will have some good news to share on Friday.

You rock! I love the way you threw the no linking thing out the window. No regrets.

I learn so much from you. Every post.

painted maypole said...

that last paragraph is why I think you are perfect for such an award. Your willingness to reflect and then GROW is insipiring. Bravo.

mitzh said...

You truly are a great person with a good heart...