Posts Categorized: Radical Kindness

Welcoming Janus: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Doorways and gates. Passages between what was and what is yet to be. A time between times, a time full of potential for transformation. The Romans knew a bit about the power of transition when they named their very own new month January, after Janus. Janus was a powerful Roman god who held the keys to enter all gates and presided over new enterprises. He had two faces: one looking forward and one backward.

She Let Go

Last week a dear friend sent me a copy of a piece I had read long ago. It was like being zapped by a magic wand, bringing this Queen of the Universe to a new sense of alignment. I had read it before, but so much depends on timing. Maybe I thought before that I could just let go just a little. Maybe I thought it was a cool idea. Maybe I wasn’t yet ready to take that Giant Step … or Leap. But today I am. I share it with you as a light and humorous and deep reminder. But more, it’s an invitation, as simple as that. Join me?
Join me?

Welcoming the Queen of Kindness

Lately I’ve been hanging with the Queen of Kindness, one of the personas of the Queen of the Universe. She has gifted me with a sense of clarity, some R&R, a greater sense of peace.

But I happen to know that, under her surface, lies the Red Queen.
Some days I can even believe that she’s in charge of the future and it should go her way.

Off with their heads! She shrieks when the Universe doesn’t cooperate with her plans.

Bless her heart.

She’s so innocent in her attempt to hold things together. She sincerely believes that she has The Big View, that she can predict the future and avoid mistakes. She whips herself into shape, continually. And then, as if that’s not painful enough, it becomes her task to do this for almost everyone around her.

Surrender, Queen of the Universe

I often want things to go my way. Like almost always. After all, I have a bit of life experience to drawn on. I often seem to think that I can predict the future based on this experience. It turns out sometimes I can’t.

Like almost always.

It’s true that my life experience gives me a kind of edge in the wisdom department. I draw on this well daily, hourly. I like to stir that up with a little intuition and a gift for good guesses. Sometimes that’s useful…lots of the time. My inner team calls that the Life Lessons Department.  Its mission is to learn from mistakes and try again.

To lean into the growth that some modicum of maturity has brought and to trust what I have come to know from experience. Read More>>

Resistance and Freedom: Ebb and Flow

“We change like the weather, we ebb and flow like the tides, we wax and wane like the moon. We do that, and there’s no reason to resist it. If we resist it, the reality and vitality of life become misery, a hell.”

~Pema Chodron.

This past year I’ve been exploring this thing we call Resistance as it shows up in my life and the lives of friends and clients. This general sense of “stuckness” we label and attempt to eradicate is a force field that manifests and shifts its shape and sucks us in.

We can begin to believe the voices that convince us of one of two things: that we will fail at whatever we want most, or that we must fight force with force.

But often there’s a simpler path, the path of least resistance, which can take us into the flow of our best lives. Read More>>

Beyond the Persistence of Resistance

“What you resist persists.” – Carl Jung.

Projects are looming in my world. Some big. Some little. But they all loom, like a cloud over my head. Always there. I’ve come to understand that this is good news. It means I’m getting very close to a new breakthrough of my heart’s work. I can know that I’ll probably enjoy the process once I start, that it’s really quite small.

Yada Yada Yada. Sometimes all the rational thoughts in the world don’t seem to make a difference. Even knowing all these wise things sometimes doesn’t seem to dispel the persistent cloud of dread also known as resistance. Read More>>

The Gift of Boredom

Recently several long-time clients and friends have shared their sense of boredom.

“Life just seems too calm. Flat. Like there’s no problem, sure, but also no excitement. What do I do about it?”

Nothing, I think, getting very excited. Because this is what I keep learning over and over: boredom is the first sign of breakthrough.

I’ve learned about this from my dog Calvin, who spends large amounts of time appearing bored (my thought), and then, when it’s time, he plays like a maniac. When I watch him, I see a biological necessity to move from slowed down to awake, alive, and playful. Read More>>

Resistance is Not Futile

I procrastinate. Often. It’s a habit.  When I’m about to do something that requires a stretch, I immediately develop a bad case of Got to Do This! I tell myself that something else, anything else, is more important.  That I simply must react to what’s in front of me, that thing that in the moment seems to be screaming my name.

Then I tell myself that it’ll only take a minute. Just this phone call. That email. If there’s nothing else pressing,  there’s Facebook. Or the kitchen cupboards with the hope that I’ll find something with sugar tucked away behind that “safe” zone of good choices.

But, it turns out, no zone is safe when I’m in the self-distraction mode. There’s ALWAYS some little job to do, some little text to write, some habit of looking outside myself that will give me the instant gratification of Doing Something. Read More>>

Fall Winnowing: Psyche’s Task & Yours

I’ve spent the last three days in personal retreat with someone who requested time in the old growth to deepen into her soul’s path. Our focus was to listen, to write, to inquire and to listen some more. There was a deep sharing of stories that define us, as we kept ears tuned for how calling shows up in her life. It was a time to harvest what has been and allow inspiration to emerge, to allow her to to move into the next steps of her life’s work.

This is the power of harvest. The power of autumn. This season has more and more meaning for me each year. In the autumn of life, I meet the turning of the leaves, the falling away, with recognition and curiosity. We know each other, autumn and I. This is time to harvest and preserve what is beautiful and useful and to leave the rest behind.

What’s Your Trellis Look Like?

I was a lazy gardener this summer.  It took me until August to reclaim the garden beds on the side of my house, having torn down all the vines last year to paint. It was immediately obvious that the clematis and Virginia creeper were not thriving.  Without the support of a structure to hold them up, vines sprawl, unable to reach to the sky.

Sound familiar? Without the stucture of routines and rituals, I notice my direction and inner focus begins to sprawl, too.  Not to mention my waistline, but that’s just one of the signs I’ve lost touch with the structures of daily life that sustain me. Creativity and inspiration require routine.  I learned this when I taught writing.  Classroom routines set the stage the most imaginative writing.

So now that the school year is almost upon us, I look at my own trellis.  Morning quiet time to meditate, to stretch to write.  A food plan that sustains and fuels my body.  A calendar that allows me to manage the complexity of my appointments. A daily check-in on my To-Do list. Each year I examine my trellis and see how it needs to be strengthened. This outer focus is a big part of the commitment I make to my inner growth. I keep experimenting with ways to make this easier, and technologies from I-Cal to scheduling programs to blog support makes it all work better for me at this time. But I’m still very fond of the classic approach of a small calendar in my pocket with a to-do list.

The creeper is now climbing a standard trellis, and the clematis is climbing an innovative trellis consisting of a large chain suspended from the roof. But both now have all the support they need to flourish.  And my own new new trellis, the infrastructure that will sustain my spirit and allow it to bloom,  is almost in place.

What does your trellis look like?  What will sustain your growth in the coming months? Now that the sprawl of summertime is coming to an end, it’s a good time to ask the question. And to allow your own unique trellis to be constructed from your answers.