October 2, 2020

THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE 5 CENTS

Today, I had a moment of linguistic misunderstanding at a convenience store checkout that spawned a podcast episode (listen to “Talk 45” here) and now this post haha

First I’ll say that living in a country that speaks a language other than your first/primary language is a difficult thing. Even as I’ve learned the native Cape Verdean Portuguese based-Creole, I find that my brain sometimes doesn’t switch as quickly as I might like. It’s hard to explain, but when I’m speaking Creole, if I can’t think of the word I want, my brain kind of blanks…then I search for the nearest available word I know that comes close. If none of that works, I then switch my brain back to English and re-think what I’m trying to say. I may speak the English words out loud, and then substitute another Creole word that comes to mind if they still don’t understand.

What all of that means is that it’s complicated. I’m thankful to get by successfully on most things, but sometimes I have brain blanks. Today was one of those days haha Here’s the story:

After purchasing pistachios and fruit juice, the cashier told me the total, but I only really heard the dollar part ($4.—). She spoke quietly, the store was loud, and I didn’t want to ask her to repeat herself. (Also I’d just hiked 4 miles and had 3 more to go, so I wanted to keep moving! Haha) To simplify things, I just rounded up and gave her $5 to cover any remaining change.

When she handed back my change ($0.50), she said, “Sorry I don’t have $0.05,” and I responded, “No problem, I’ll just take a mint,” which is the customary way change shortages are handled.

But she had already moved on to the other customer in line and indicated she would have to finish checking him out before she could ring me out for a mint. Then I got confused…normally a mint is handed out without anything being done with the register. So then I looked at the receipt for the first time and next to the Portuguese word for change was $4.56. I asked her how that was meant to be my change when I only gave $5 haha My brain was muddled.

By now, it may be clear to you that $4.56 was my actual total, so she had actually given me an extra $0.05! (Pennies are pretty much not even used here.)

I became a little embarrassed and smiled shyly under my mask, something she would not have been able to see. Anyway, she’d moved onto a new customer so I think I said, “Ah ok,” with a simple nod of my head. She gave me a nod back but before I could say more, I was basically pushed toward the door of the little shop by a customer trying to leave. So I left.

But as I walked away, I realized I had not said thank you, or apologized for my misunderstanding. I thought several times about turning around, but as I got back into my stride, it seemed like it would be much ado about nothing. Still, the situation kept replaying as I walked, and I thought of all of the things I could have done differently.

Even though this situation was no big deal (we’re talking about $0.05!), I thought about how I actually had $0.05 in my wallet and could have given that to her when I realized I owed more. Silly stuff.

Finally, I caught myself and realized I was working myself down a rabbit hole of my own making—even while walking next to the beautiful ocean!

I took a deep breath, focused my attention on simply looking at my thoughts…then I watched as they faded away (this always amazes me!), turned up my music in my headphones, and smiled at the ocean. Instantly clear of that madness, I resolved that I’d stop in the shop on my way home, talk with her to thank her, and then properly settle my account. I put it out of my mind and enjoyed the rest of my hike.

Though my podcast today touches on this, I think it’s worth saying that this is something that happens to us all sometimes. We can get caught in a meaningless cycle of negative thinking about something that doesn’t even matter, or something that is out of our control! This kind of thing can throw off our whole day and change our mood.

If this happens to you, I encourage you to watch your thoughts, shift your focus, and move into ‘gratitude mode’ (look around or within and notice what you have to be thankful for!) to disrupt that cycle!

I enjoyed my time at the beach I hiked to, but that is not where the story ends! Haha

True to my decision, I went back to the store before going home (planning to talk with the cashier and give her the $0.05)…but, of course, she wasn’t there! Haha There was a different cashier and I knew immediately that trying to explain all of that would be counterproductive, so I really and truly let it go. Instead, I noticed they’d gotten a shipment of fruit since my earlier visit, so I decided to buy kiwi, grapes, tangerines, and my favorites—green apples!

While picking out fruit (note: usually the employees at this store do this because the fruit is accessed behind the counter, but I’m a frequent customer so the employees kindly allow me to pick my own fruit), another customer started asking me questions about the grapes. I handed him a bag to look at and politely told him I didn’t work there haha Then, I directed him to the cashier who answered his question about price.

He decided to buy the grapes I’d handed him and, get this, the cashier asked I’m him if he had $0.05 as she did not, and couldn’t make proper change for him. I quickly said, “I do!” and reached into my wallet to fish out the nickel I knew was there haha

I happily donated this $0.05, feeling like I’d achieved some balance on the karmic scales haha The kind stranger I gave the money to got his change and tried to give me $0.10 to make up for my nickel, but I politely and repeatedly declined, not wanting to mess up the scales again haha! But there’s more to the story…

The total for my fruit came to $23.15, and I paid with $30.20, the closest I could get to the total. And guess what? I received my same nickel back (in addition to $7) as change!! Hahaha!

It seems clear that I was meant to keep that $0.05, so maybe I’ll have to frame it or something haha Indeed, this nickel somehow inspired three good deeds—3 separate acts of paying it forward by the cashier, me, and the other customer as he kindly attempted to overpay me back haha. It inspired a lot of reflection by me and the reminder that things rarely go according to plan and we must not let our minds take us away in those instances!

When we go with the flow of life, we let comes to come…and we let what goes to simply go (things comes, let them come…things go, let them go). In our resistance to what is, we can create a lot of unnecessary stress for ourselves.

I’m thankful for these reminders and the kindness of those attached to the chain of events today tied to the magical 5 cents! :)

with love,

Photo: Me on the beach just after taping the podcast today. Laughing at the madness, looking up with gratitude. :)

September 8, 2020

HAIKU

The Japanese poetry form of haiku (three line poetry with 5 syllables on the first line, 7 syllables on the second line, and 5 syllables again on the third line) has taken me over this year!

Since I randomly decided to start writing these poems this January (after my dear and beautiful sister Iris suggested I try creating different art when the energy to work on my novel edits was not coming to me — Thank you patient, kind, and lovely editor Jordan! I promise to get you those pages some day hahaha!).

That day, I bought a new notebook and went to sit on the rocks near Sinagoga beach (an area I call Pebble Beach haha). As I looked out on the ocean, I thought of the cover of my first book, “Meditative Questions,” and the quote by the famous Japanese haiku master Bashō, whose words I selected to begin and end the content of that book.

Writing haiku at Pebble Beach in Sinagoga

In that next instant, I wrote the first haiku I’d written since grade school and more haiku just started flowing after that. Haiku is magical in that way :)

20 Jan 2020 haiku written in Sinagoga

All of that haiku writing led to my first book, “HAIKU to be free.” You can get this book *for free* by simply subscribing at zentaobooks.com! I did it this way so a coupon code and directions will be emailed to you after subscribing :)

It also led to the haiku featured above (primary post photo) that were created just a few days ago when my dear friend Lelita asked me to share haiku for back-to-school notebooks she was creating for the children here in our city (Ponta do Sol, Cabo Verde).

I walked across the street from her lovely shop (called JANCAR!) and sat underneath a big tree in front of our town church, as it rained, to write some haiku. Half an hour later, I shared seven or eight haiku with her to use!

Underneath a tree in Ponta do Sol during the rain, dreaming up haiku :)

Now, just three days later, Lelita has already beautifully designed these covers for the notebooks and I LOVE IT! (Thank you, Lelita!) The beautiful design and colors couldn’t be more perfect! And I hope the words will be a source of inspiration to all who read them.

Namasté.

love,

Primary photo: Covers of notebooks designed by Carmelita Lima with haiku by me ;)

August 28, 2020

HAUS AM WEG

Sometimes I forget how energizing and inspiring it is to take a little getaway! A change of pace and scenery, even if it’s not so far away, can be such a wonderful source of creativity!

I am so thankful to my dear friends Diane and Marcus for welcoming me to their beautiful hotel property, Haus am Weg (in Portuguese: Casa no Caminho, both meaning “House on The Way”) for the week! I encourage you to visit their website hausamweg.com to contact them and make arrangements for a bungalow and/or delicious meal when you visit us here in Santo Antão, Cabo Verde! :) You’ll be glad you did…it’s paradise on earth!

The property is located in Cha D’Igreja (mountainous), very near Cruzinha—a quaint coastal town. I stayed in one of the three lovely bungalows on the property and the calming sounds of waves coaxed me to sleep each night, supported by the delicious vegan and fresh-caught fish meals gourmet chef Diana made each day! This week was such a gift!

I enjoyed beautiful walks and hikes (pictured above with the city of Cha D’Igreja behind me), lovely times with friends, and great writing sessions both in my bungalow and on the beach! Many haiku were written haha ;)

To share this beautiful time, I was inspired to make a short video of the property, surrounding sights I enjoyed, and my dear friends. You can find it on YouTube here.

I was only an hour away from home (in Ponta do Sol—but loved that their hotel has an old boat from my city!) but it felt like I was a world away! So I’m also inspired to remind you that getaways don’t have to be far. Changing your routine and scenery is a wonderful way to reset and be present, especially during this time of high anxiety, felt around the world. Focus on the good and more good will find you. ;) Namasté.

I wish you peace, joy, and adventure! :)!

love,

Photo above taken here in Santo Antão, Cabo Verde, up a mountain from the city of Cha D’Igreja during a hike with my dear friend (and photographer for this photo!) Diane :) Obrigada bela!

Photos below of the beautiful Haus am Weg property, and lovely view from my bungalow. Also included is a picture of boats docked at the nearby town of Cruzinha.

August 1, 2020

PUPPY LOVE

Today, I was blessed with the unexpected gift of love from two sweet pups during my morning walk down to the sea!

The experience reminded me of our connectedness to all…in the Oneness that is. I was so glad to alter my original plans and play for these pups for an hour. What a divine gift! I am thankful.

May we see more deeply into the nature of things and love all. Namasté.

love,


Image: Photo collage from snaps I took today from here in my city of Ponta do Sol on the island of Santo Antão in Cabo Verde :)

July 1, 2020

NO WORRIES

True faith in God means that all is happening by God’s will. In this way, there is no idea of “doership” beyond devotion. In perfect faith, there is simply no space for anything other than worship. There is no space for worry.

The practice of self-inquiry dissolves even you! From the position of the Absolute—the Infinite, the Void, the Tao—there is no-thing at all.

Even from the position of the Observer Consciousness, worry can be seen to arise from no-where and no-thing into a space made of a collection of thoughts we call the “mind.” Belief in this mind creates the person, and it is only through identification with the person that any worry can be felt.

Simply sharing my morning thoughts for your contemplation :) Namasté. 

love,

———

“If you truly believe in God and have faith, how could you ever worry?

If you truly know what you are, why would you become attached to any worry you see arising in you?” — Selena Sage

June 28, 2020

FRESH AIR

Hiking today on my beautiful island of Santo Antão was intense with the sun and exertion of going up and down mountains (for 7 hours!), but it was also a reminder of the beauty of nature. What a gift! Just thought I’d share some of the views :) Namasté.

June 24, 2020

A DAY AT THE SEA

When I think of all that I have to be thankful for, my life is joyous! :)

What are you thankful for? ;)

love,


Photos taken today at Sinagoga here in Santo Antão, Cabo Verde. Obrigada to my dear friend Lelita for these great candid shots of me and the sea :)


June 21, 2020

LETTING GO

In my second book, “unbreakable,” I have a poem called Let Go:

I’ve been thinking of this poem so much lately as I’ve been led to let go of new things. Even when it’s hard, I’ve learned to let go with love—with thanks and gratitude for experiences and lessons learned.

I know that this letting go is to empty me of all of my attachments to make space for communion with the Absolute. But when I truly let go of everything, I become space itself and know myself to be Awareness itself—the space from which all is arising from and all can be observed within. This is always me.

But why is this so hard? Why are attachments so strong? It is the strength of the personal identity and conditioned mind that keeps us clinging to this limited form. Being Awareness—what we truly are— is the ultimate peace, but perhaps the desire for experience keeps making the Attention become identified with the personal mind.

This feels like a struggle—to break free of the mind and stay as the Awareness that we are, but that too is a trick of the mind. We can never not be what we are. We must choose the high.

The waves come and go, but I know myself truly to be the ocean from which all of the waves arise from.

How I pray that I will finally move past the tendency to identify as the personal mind. I pray to be free of the limited one who becomes troubled, and stay as the Awareness I know myself to be. This is my prayer for you too.

Namasté and love,


Image from my evening walk today in my city of Ponta do Sol, Cabo Verde.

June 9, 2020

SEASON 2: LIVE FREE WITH SELENA SAGE

I am excited to announce that Season 2 of my *free* podcast, “Live Free with Selena Sage”is now streaming!

Thank you so very much for your support of the first 50-episode season! Your subscriptions, plays, 5-star ratings, reviews, and kind notes of support inspired me to continue on!

The daily podcast features positive and uplifting content that is all centered around freedom. I hope that you’ll tune in to see what it’s all about! I’d be happy to hear from you and/or receive your spiritually based questions.

You can search for the podcast by name (Live Free with Selena Sage) on your favorite platform; or you can listen+find links at anchor.fm/selenasage

Thank you! Namasté.

love,


Note on cover art: All of the images on the podcast cover art were taken during various hikes I’ve taken around my home island of Santo Antão, Cabo Verde.

May 31, 2020

WE ARE ONE

This morning, I was inspired to discuss spirituality in the context of activism on my podcast, “Live Free with Selena Sage” (all podcast platforms or listen/link at anchor.fm/selenasage).

I hope this message of Oneness and hope might be a source of inspiration, support, and love for you. I welcome you to share it with others if you feel so inspired. Love to all. Namasté. 💜🕉

love,

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