Posts Tagged: Noticing

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 and the “Here 2 There” Trail

(This is the second of a five-part navigational series on the nature of “resistance,” exploring its challenges and hidden gifts).

There’s a trail in the ancient forest near our summer cabin. It’s a tiny footpath with a story that many years ago the trail was laid by lovers who beat the path from the top of the hill to the bottom, breathlessly rushing into each other’s arms.

Unless you know where to look, you’d never even see the markers. They’re burned into a slice of cedar and hung precariously on a branchHere 2 reads the one at the top of the trail; There is on the other end. Both signs sport arrows. Coming across them in the woods I always feel like Alice in Wonderland and I fully expect the Mad Hatter to show up around the next bend, pointing in four other directions and cautioning me that which way you go “depends upon where you want to get to.” 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>>

The World is Full of Yes

This is my newest morning mantra.

I believe in morning mantras. I like to remind myself, as soon as I come to consciousness, of something which I know to be true, from my own direct experience. I have discovered again and again all the ways the world answers my longings with invitations, and each offer is a Yes to my own essential self, my own kind connection with Life.

First light of day has some sacred juju. There’s a thin veil, a softness between worlds. Every single morning when you wake up, there’s a distinct second when some part of you declares yourself “awake.” There’s a nothing in the nanosecond between asleep and awake.  And then there’s a something, as you move from the distant lands of dream into this multi-storied existence we inhabit daily.

On this side there are lists, memories, plans.

Also the mindless habits of yesterdays past. They  get rebooted, too. In a nanosecond.

A very valuable nanosecond.

Because there is a moment no longer than a blink of an eye, before the old hardwiring is launched.

In that moment the world is full of yes.

It’s as if a shy part of me is waiting to be heard and knows just when and where to show up in the early morning. I set an appointment with it, set a timer (with a kind, gentle signal), and there she is, patiently waiting.

Early mornings offer a soft launching pad for this new relationship with life. In that moment, the world summons us, if we can catch the new wave. Yes to gravity. Yes to movement. .Foot on floor. For me, sitting quietly in meditation before picking up my journal and engaging in my writing practice opens the doors to Yes. Then perhaps I capture a dream, perhaps I begin with a list of possibilities. Perhaps I begin with a perhaps. My pen shows me the way and slows down mind enough that it can be heard. The Yeses expand as the day unfolds.

The World is Full of Yes. When I begin the day this way, I live beyond gratefulness and into possibility.

How do you greet that Yes with your own? Here’s how it might look to live into the yes of possibility:

  • First, if possible, Go to bed with enough time to awaken gently.
  • Get the harsh alarm out of the picture except in urgent situations. If you must use a timer, set it on a soft setting.
  • Don’t jump up. Luxuriate in the liminal time between sleep and wake. Come back to your body gently with a blessing of awareness and slight rotations or stretches.
  • Give yourself a few minutes of quiet, meditation or prayer. Evoke a new relationship with life by affirming it.
  • Invite your mind to wander and discover all the ways your world is full of yes. ~When the time is right, follow that flow to what’s next. When you’ve allowed time to engage in an early morning practice, there’s time to explore your world in slow motion.
  • Instead of mechanically moving to email or robotic old habits, move back into stillness. with a yes to the invitations of the Universe.

Hardening of the Categories & Other Hazards of Thinking

By luck of genetics, I’m apparently prone to hardening of the arteries. The idea of this bothers me somewhat, but since I’m without diagnosis or symptom, I tend to put this out of my mind, or (more precisely) into the foggy category called  “possible futures.” Then I go back to what’s in front of me, or the next “possible futures” category, whichever is first.

There’s another condition that concerns me more right now and seems to cause more damage in the aging process: Hardening of the Categories.   Read More>>

Making Moments Into Beads

For a time in my life I was struck by a Beading Bug. Wherever I traveled I collected these tiny morsels of art, and as I strung them together I reconstituted the events and committed them to memory. I still celebrate places and people from long ago and far away by wearing the jewelry I created back then. Read More>>

Facing the Problem of Premature Transcendence

My mantra when faced with discomfort much of my life has been Beam me up, Scotty! Being born into my particular family automatically put me on the PhD track at Denial University. So I got lots of early practice at simply ignoring reality or working overtime to make lemonade of lemons. I made so much lemonade I could’ve worked my way through college on the proceeds, if Life Sweetener were a sellable product. Read More>>

Getting Naked

One of my friends is leading a Teleclass called “Getting Naked.” When she told me about it, I decided right there that she’s one of the bravest people I’ve ever met. Once I let go of the images of stripping in front of a webcam for all the world to see (which, to be clear, was NOT a part of this class), I was flooded with snapshot images from my past: Read More>>

Blessing this Face Through the Years

I once owned a mirror that unfolded into a triptych framed in lights.  They called it a make-up mirror. I put it on a small vanity table and called it my altar. First thing every morning I switched it on before leaving for work. It was the only time of day I was still. For two minutes I was not a teacher, mother, wife, daughter. Lists and complications dropped away and I became a canvas, silently ready for the blessing of line and color. Read More>>