Posts Categorized: Radical Kindness

Tolerating Peace

I’m learning to tolerate peace. I’m shocked as I see myself writing that, which takes me right out of peace. You see, my identity is so wrapped up in being a Peacemaker that it’s a Giant Step to admit that peace very often in my inner life has often been missing.

I’ve been a Peacenik my entire adult life. My credentials are impeccable. I became an anti-war activist when I discovered the realities of the Vietnam war. I organized an anti-nuke installation using little tree-farming cones to demonstrate insane levels of nuclear warheads in the early 80’s.

My Life as a Sea Anemone

Sea anemones are among my favorite sea creatures. Fortunately Disney’s crew didn’t make them into a character in Little Mermaid. It would be a grave injustice, They don’t like the press.

They’re lovely just as they are, in their shy beauty. Colorful, vibrant. Content to stay in one place and ingest new nutrients. They stay perched and open and lovely until their space is invaded, and then a quick poke sends them into contraction and protection.

When the Outside Messes with the Inside

I was just so proud of myself a month or two ago. I was fairly convinced that I’d figured out the major puzzles of my life. Or at least one major puzzle, the tendency to put stuff in my mouth when I wasn’t hungry.
I honestly believed that attending Geneen Roth’s residential retreat and living the Women Food & God Way had brought such a bolt of enlightenment that I would never eat compulsively again.
That was before I started moving everything out of half of my house for a long-anticipated remodel. Before I began traveling and celebrating the freedom of summer. Before I started working on a book project, or at least before I experienced my favorite procrastination technique.

Returning Home to My Wise Body

I just spent more than a week at the Oregon coast, a place I usually feel instantly at home. Being on the ocean simply returns me to source. It’s a short cut for me.

So when I decided to go there to get started on a book I’ve been wanting to write, I expected a vacation. It was a vacation, all right. I vacated my body and moved right into my head. The mental work of framing my ideas and beginning such a large project had me set up housekeeping in the world of the mind, which happens to be what I was writing about. I got a good start on the book, but I’ve had a series of headaches from the mental strain. Not an accident, I think.

“If you lived in your heart you’d be home now.”

This is my newest favorite bumper sticker. It says in so few words what I often take longer to articulate.
I’m in the midst of a radical home remodel now. My home is a haven for me, under normal circumstances, and the intention of the project is to make it MORE of a haven. Or maybe a heaven. But in the meantime….it’s feeling more like a hell, with pounding and sawing while I’m living and seeing clients in the Oasis. They seem to feel it as an oasis from their lives, but I’ve been having some trouble experiencing that.

The Cafe at the End of the Search

I’ve spent a whole lot of my life in a search for truth, beauty, goodness, The Way. Much of what has motivated me has been from that deep longing that propels each of us to connect with the sacred in life.

No regrets. But lately I’ve been thinking of calling off the search. Because it feels like peace. (What better reason would there be?) When I’m craving something to eat, drink or do that will fill a hole, I’m usually believing that my current state isn’t okay.

Peace Beyond Belief

I’m about to head off for a 5-day retreat at my favorite hot springs. (Here in Oregon at this time of year, hot springs are perfect because we’re still in our long spring season). I’m preparing the materials, going to the Farmer’s Market for local flowers, flowing from here in the valley to there in the mountains.
Peaceful. As long as I remember to notice when beliefs would pull me out of the flow.

Change on Unseen Levels

I’ve become more and more aware of how change shows up in the last few years, working with dozens of clients and mentoring many of them over an extended period of time.
What one principle emerges from this work? This: Change happens on unseen levels first. I learned early on that focusing on a problem (say, weight loss or clutter clearing) as a first focus just doesn’t usually work. Yes, there may be improvement out front, but it usually doesn’t last. That’s the not-so good news.

Is It Kind To Just Let Yourself Be?

There’s wisdom in the advice to “let yourself be.” As in: to get off of your case, stop pushing/judging/blaming. There’s kindness there.
But when does it stop being kind? When “letting yourself be” means sliding into the same old groove, the patterns that are creating the results that keep you feeling stuck.
“Letting yourself be” isn’t kind if it’s a strategy for avoiding the discomfort that comes from taking action and moving out of your default self. The best way to get unstuck doesn’t always feel kind. It can feel very awkward. It can require staying with whatever’s coming up instead of going robotic in an old tried (but not so true) way.

Default Self, Default Body

I’ve been on a big binge since I returned from Geneen Roth’s residential retreat last week. I’m binging on self-observation, doing deep inquiry into the very archaic patterns I slide into so easily when I’m not paying attention. The one I created when I was almost too young to remember.
My default self has a life of its own. One of the biggest defaults I experience is believing that I made a mistake when I’m confronted with unexpected events. Yesterday I got through half a session with a client who called on the wrong day because I assumed I’d made the mistake. I recovered with time enough to (barely) make it to my strength conditioning class, which was originally on my schedule. Missing this would have been staying with my default body.