Posts Categorized: Radical Kindness

Law of Distraction

I have nothing personal against the Law of Attraction Except for the painful shadow it casts when it becomes your direction-finder and distracts you from what needs to be learned or done about your current reality.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s much to be said for hope and belief and positive intention. Leaning into life’s possibilities, as a way of walking the planet, offers joy and curiosity.

But imaginative envisioning is half of an equation, and it can be a distraction to sit in wishful thinking when a lot of life perspiration and determination. It’s really true what they told us when we were little: Almost everything that has any worth and personal value requires work, and that sense of accomplishment is its own reward.

But the darkest shadow of the Law of Attraction is the way it seems to trigger the belief that if bad things happen, I must have done something wrong

Goodbye Cruel World

Goodbye, Cruel World. These words came drifting into my mind while I was walking the beaches of the impossibly beautiful Oregon Coast last weekend. The rhythms of the ocean have a way of opening my inner ear to wisdom, so I didn’t take this lightly.   Goodbye cruel world? Since I wasn’t in a suicidal frame of mind, I didn’t go there.  I also didn’t take it to mean anything about the lives that have come and gone by way of water.

Goodbye, cruel world?  Why these words? Then I had a tiny epiphany. A momentary glimpse of how, even in the expansiveness and generosity of nature, I can lose the beauty of the world around me by listening to my inner narrator. I can so easily contract into a shrunken world inside when I’m triggered by feelings, glued stickily in place with supporting thoughts and evidence.

When I fall into that spell, I’ve said goodbye to the real world around me and hello to a cruel world of self-judgement and lies. Goodbye cruel world. Can I say goodbye to the cruel world that shows up when I believe my inner dictator and discover a kinder one?

When I haven’t shrunk the heaven I live in to fit a smaller belief system (like the one that says I’m not good enough, smart enough, enough enough), there’s never enough of anything around me to fill me up. Least of all the sugar or salty foods I usually begin to crave for comfort or relief.

But when I’m not in the thrall of my inner limiting loops, I’m there for it. All of it. The beauty and the poignancy of the real world. I have said goodbye to the cruel world inside and said hello to something else. To the heaven of wind, rainbows and human connection. And also hello to the challenges of financial ups and downs, failing health, troubled family members.

The more I’ve questioned my feelings/beliefs, the more I see the beauty even in these situations. I may not like it all the time, but I have moments when I see the perfection of the current “disaster.” Or I trust that I just can’t see it yet…and maybe I will. But if I don’t, I figure I’m probably missing something, and I give it up to the mysterious way of things.

I’d rather leave the cruel world behind and live in a kinder one, even if I don’t always see the goodness in the situation at first glance. Hello, real world!

What things have appeared in your life that seemed unkind but turned out later to be kind?

A Personal Prescription for Happiness

I love a good fight. Whether I’m “fighting traffic, fighting the Battle of the Bulge, or having a disagreement (aka “fight”) with my husband, I know that somewhere in there is my “prescription for happiness,” as Byron Katie describes what happens when you turn a painful belief around and discover what’s there that you might have been missing.

He should be more sensitive? Once I can really see how that deep belief causes suffering in my life, really close-up and personal, the little slights and unkindness it creates, I’m more than ready to let go.

Emotional Weather Front

There’s an old saying here in Oregon. “The only people to predict the weather are fools and newcomers.” Guilty on the first count. It’s March 1st, and I had planned to wake up to warm spring breezes and beds of daffodils swaying. Instead I get this blanket of pure white beauty tucked softly over the hills. Lovely. But hardly what I planned. Fooled again.

The last couple of days the weather has brought other surprises. Sleet. Heavy winds. Chilling to the bones. I didn’t like that surprise. But one thing that Oregon has taught me is not to take the weather personally.

I’m noticing the same thing about feelings. We humans have these pesky emotions that seem to come through just like weather fronts. When we don’t take them personally, each one of them leaves a particular gift or shows us something we need to see. And then it moves on.

It’s the Glue

I recently heard of a Tibetan Rinpoche who said “it’s not the thought. It’s the glue.” Body and mind shouted, YES!

I’ve spent a whole lot of time in the last seven years looking for THE thought that would bring freedom, finding thought after thought that opened the doors of truth. Painful beliefs have a way (only always) of not being true.

But, dang it, some of those doors are pretty determined to slam shut again. It’s as if there is a very viscous and sticky substance that allows them to open just enough to get a peek of possibility, but then pulls them closed. So I’ve been getting curious about that glue, poking a stick in it and then pulling it out and seeing what happens, as I sit in my own inquiry.

Subtracting Insult from Injury

Instead of adding insult to injury, I’ve been learning to subtract. Three weeks ago I broke my collarbone in the middle of the night on Day 2 of a long-anticipated tropical vacation with my husband. I slid on some slippery Mexican tile and catapulted down three steps to land on my collar bone. At three a.m. on a Sunday morning. The story of How I Spent My Vacation starts with that event, with riding a ferry from the island to a hospital and harnessing myself into a splint for the next two weeks.

“Aha’s” on Epiphany

Jan. 5th (or 6th) is my favorite holiday. For years I thought I had it all to myself. Having already failed at whatever New Year’s Resolutions I had thrown at the dartboard, I would try again to envision my next year after the decorations were put away and the rich holiday foods were consumed or thrown away.

When I was raising a family, this would hit after the kids were back in school and we were once again held by familiar routines. I discovered that arranging some time for myself and myself alone on this day was the last and best day of the holiday. It was like my own personal clean-up, my revisioning time.

Later I was giddy to learn that there was a date on the liturgical calendar called “Epiphany,” and that it coincided with my private holiday.