Posts Tagged: Noticing

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.

Avoiding the Holiday Tangle: Beware the Season of the Lie

The stories we tell our kids about Santa are basically innocent; the ones we tell ourselves are far worse because they tend to erupt from the depths when we least expect it.  It’s worth the effort to look at what beliefs tend to drive holiday frenzy. Here are a few that I turned up for myself. You might have your own.

Lie #1: I have to do it alone. Not true. You are not solely responsible for Holiday Elfdom. Look for help. Make a note to yourself to gather a group of friends to share the joy and hassle of baking, creating gifts and coordinating gingerbread construction projects with kids. Look for other places you can use help. Make a few calls. Now. Before it’s too late.

Lie #2: More is better. If we’re not careful, this thought gives the Queen of the Universe free reign from the Turkey Day Feast until she finally passes out from sheer exhaustion sometime in January. Symptoms include over-eating, over-shopping, over-partying, and general overdoing. 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 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>>