Especially during these times of heightened fear, I think it’s incredibly important to monitor your consumption. Is what you’re reading and watching fueling fear? Does it paint a full picture of what’s happening? Who or what is being supported by the narrative being presented? Who or what is being negatively impacted? These are questions that each of us must answer for ourselves.
From a spiritual perspective, many people fear death, but should this even be a real fear? Can what you truly are ever die? These bodies are but a costume for the infinite. What we truly are is infinite. This truth should dispel all fear.
Peace and blessings to you. Namasté.
Photo: Taken by me from the rooftop pool at my favorite hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong :) I still have fond memories of sitting in the hot tub every morning at sunrise to read the paper after working out at the gym there.
P.S. For more posts like this, please visit my Instagram page (you can access the latest posts online even without an account here or via my “About” page here). Namasté ;)
Sometimes it happens that we decide on a course of action and become driven to achieve a certain goal.
Outwardly, this determination is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, it can lead to the creation of beautiful things (especially artistically).
But if this drive creates internal stress, turmoil, confusion, and/or illness, this can be a sign for us to slow down.
It is an opportunity for us to realize that there is time…and that there are many ways for us to achieve our goals and live our dreams.
I believe that rest is undervalued. Our sense of urgency can create undue stress on ourselves and this is not healthy.
When I think back to when I moved to Africa and felt a sense of urgency to get all of my furniture made and delivered within weeks, I look back and see that I had time.
When I remember finishing work on “Get Free” when I had the flu, I realize again that I had time.
Give yourself the space and time to rest and reflect on whatever matter feels most urgent to you. Take a calming walk in nature and allow inspiration to fill you with dreams of different possibilities.
This life you have is infinite because YOU are infinite. There are an infinite number of options available to you. Allow inspiration to flow and then flow with it. 😊🙏 Namasté. 💙 🌊
P.S> I shared this message on my Instagram account today and I decided to share it here too with an additional message:
Things are also as urgent as you think they are.
The power of our attention means that if we direct a sense of urgency to certain thoughts and ideas, those things become heightened and prioritized over all else.
Recognize the source of this power. Know that to be you too ;)
HAIKU to be freeis available FOR FREE! All you must do to get this ebook is simply subscribe (at the bottom of any page) at ZENTAO BOOKS.
I decided to make this ebook free because in these uncertain times, I believe that art provides the greatest inspiration and opportunity to peacefully reflect on the nature of life and freedom. Since all of the books I write reflect a kind of passionate pursuit of freedom, I wanted to provide a free way to help support that journey in others.
HAIKU to be free contains over 300 haiku that I wrote this year, in the midst of creating the first season of my podcast, Live Free with Selena Sage (thanks to all who listen to the podcast!). The book spans four different writing sessions that I had in some of my favorite areas in Santo Antao, Cabo Verde — the beautiful beaches and caves of Singagoga, and the beautifully green inland of Vale de Paul.
The peace and nature of these areas inspired contemplative reflection about both nature and freedom. HAIKU to be free is a collection of haiku (written in chronological order of creation) which reflects various thoughts about these topics in beautifully direct poems.
I believe that haiku, the 5-7-5 syllable poetry that originated in Japan, is magical. While my book contains haiku to be free…I chose the title as additional encouragement for you to try writing haiku, as I believe that creating these poems also leads to freedom. While the mind is occupied with counting syllables, somehow the voice of spirit is a bit louder. Being forced to keep thoughts simple forces the poet to get to the heart of the matter. And that’s all that freedom really is about ;)
I hope that you will enjoy the book! And I thank you for your kind support, encouraging words, and beams of love—from both near and far! I truly appreciate you!
P.S> A note about the cover art for HAIKU to be free. It was really easy for me to decide to go with another beautiful Japanese woodblock print by the great Hokusai for the cover! Hokusai is both my favorite artist, and also the perfect artist to give homage to the beautiful Japanese style of haiku poetry that became really popular around the time that this classic print was published (1830-1831).
The Great Wave is Hokusai’s most famous piece of art…and it is even the art that was used as the basis to create the wave emoji on our cell phones! It is an enduring, and beautiful, classic that evokes so many emotions.
For me, the turbulence of the sea (crashing the boats in its midst) is balanced by the calm and steady Mt Fuji that is in the distance (this print was the first of the very famous 36 Views of Mt Fuji series by Hokusai). I choose to make the mountain the focal point, and center of the cover because, to me, it represents freedom. When everything is turbulent around us, our freedom lies in the steady, detached observation that Mt Fuji represents.
The original woodblock print is multi-colored, and though it is beautiful, I felt that the colors would have distracted from the title. I feel so fortunate that I was able to find and buy rights to this edit in indigo blue…my favorite! Blue, for me, is the color of freedom. And this blue edit of the classic print allowed HAIKU to be free to be a seamless edition to my other works, for which blue and water are a major part ;)
As with my other books, I have used the intro pages and back cover to focus on distinct parts of the front cover. In particular, I really loved how to leading part of the great wave looked a bit like a bird to me! I used the front pages to focus on this detail a bit more, as birds are also a symbol of freedom to me. I hope that you enjoy the art too! ;)
Times are always uncertain, but we don’t always feel it. Sometimes we think we are in control, but that is an illusion of control.
When we feel that things are uncertain, we don’t feel in control….and, in fact, this feeling is closer to reality.
During these times, we are forced to live in faith as outcomes do not seem as certain as they once did (though they weren’t certain before either).
In these times, we recognize that there is a higher power at work. This recognition is everything. This is our opportunity to surrender to this power or recognize the Source of it all. Both paths lead to light ;) Both paths make us free.
Praying for peace or looking for the light are both beautiful things to do.
I’d like to say that I’ve learned from my process of publishing other books. Technically, I am more proficient and I have an internal recipe for how I want my books to look at feel. But my process to implement those things continues to be plagued by my relentless (and exhausting) pursuit of perfection.
In some ways this is good. I can look back on my books and feel that I got it right (though I will admit to finding a minor typo on one that will undoubtedly linger until I’m back in the States to fix future printings…haha It’s something I overlooked a million times and I’m sure others have to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to fix it–I’m still a work in progress haha).
In other ways this perfectionism is exhausting. I’m currently working on my fourth book—a book of haiku poetry entitled: HAIKU to be free that I’m really excited to share! But for now, I’m finding myself in the familiar loop. I make changes, then change my mind and undo those changes. I find a minor spacing issue on one of the covers and redo the graphics. I realized that many of the haiku I wrote were 5-8-5 instead of 5-7-5 (I was listening to music in a restaurant while also trying to count on one of the days I wrote them) and thought it was a good idea to go back to change them to the 5-7-5 haiku format.
But thankfully I have great friends. One in particular told me that those changes might not reflect my earlier intention and could lose something in translation (thank you Lelita!). She was right. When I went back and read the updated poems and compared them to the originals, there were some cases where I went too far. And other cases where the change made the poem a bit more obscure. Nothing major…but not worth making the change in the first place. I’m a rebel, after all, and I was happy to make note of that in the back pages of this new book after re-adding the “mistakes” ;) haha
The changes I kept were minor contractions (e.g. changing “you are” to “you’re”)…things that didn’t change the meaning, but did simplify the flow. There were cases where I know I placed an extra “and” or “that” to add what I thought was the extra syllable I needed in my mis-counting. I’ve left those out when they haven’t added anything to the haiku.
I am about to start what I hope will be my last review (my sage sister Iris keeps telling me to walk away hahaha!), and I have to remind myself that I just started creating this book 4 days ago! Unfortunately, my perfectionism also tells me that I should be able to craft the perfect book in one day haha As a result, I’m not great at eating and sleeping on schedule while I’m doing these creations…but I’m trying to be better.
I was inspired to take time out from that process to just say that perfection plagues us all from time to time. We have to remind ourselves that what we’re stressing about doesn’t really matter as much as we think it does. (I’m writing this for myself haha)
All-in-all, I’m really excited to share book four! It will be an eBook that I’ll be giving away for free! in celebration of the completion of my first season (50 episodes!) of my podcast, “Live Free with Selena Sage” (which can be found at anchor.fm/selenasage). Thank you for your support of this project and others!
To be among the first to get HAIKU to be free, please take a moment to visit zentaobooks.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page to subscribe. When the book is ready, I will be sending an email to subscribers on that list with a code to download this ebook for free!
Below I will include a picture of the original haiku I wrote…and the main picture for this post is from the restaurant were I wrote many of the haiku earlier this month! I hope you will enjoy.
During my hike yesterday, I was captivated by this small, clear pool of water. Because the water was calm and unagitated, I could see the rocks below very clearly. In the same way, when we are calm and still, we are able to see things clearly.
Every new year, I try to take a moment to reflect on highlights from the previous year and things I’d like to carry over and expand on in the new year. I find that though every year includes some kind of sadness or loss, there is always something to be grateful for…there are always moments that we‘ve overcome something we didn’t think we would. And we know that simply because we are still here.
In this new year, I hope that you will take time to appreciate your ‘wins’ and learn from your ‘losses’. Know truly that these moments manifested to push you toward truth…toward your truest Self. I wish you a beautiful year, full of wonderful moments…and I wish you peace, calmness, and stillness. My hope is that in that quiet, joy, love, and light will all find you.
Photo source: from my 11.1 mile hike, ending in Sinagoga, Santo Antao, Cabo Verde 1/1/2020