Posts Categorized: Wordlessness

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.

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>>

Still. Here. Now.

It’s been a wild ride the last six months. By that I mean that it’s one I don’t want to repeat. Lots of unexpected challenges coming from the outside world that I didn’t choose. Things like being hit head-on at a high speed, followed by my daughter being hit by a drunk driver two months later. At the same time my mother was suffering and requiring surgery across the country. Those kinds of challenges. Read More>>

Restoration from the Place of Unknowing

“There’s freedom in hitting bottom. In seeing you won’t be able to save your daughter, her spouse, his parents, or your career, relief in admitting you reached the place of great unknowing. This is where restoration can begin, because when you’re still in the state of trying to fix the unfixable, everything bad is engaged: the chatter of your mind, the tension of your physiology, all the trunks and wheel-ons you carry from the past. It’s exhausting.”  ~ Ann Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers

Last year contained a series of surprises and physical injuries, which are still healing and nearly healed, assuming there aren’t any setbacks. I was hit head-on. Two months later my daughter was rear-ended by a drunk driver. My mother and brother were hospitalized far away shortly afterward and it was my job to get on a plane and take care of matters. I could go on and on about the heroic tasks required of me.

This is how Fixer and Rescuer identities got the toe-hold once again. Then a strangle-hold. What began as an innocent response to urgent and real needs turned into a (false) belief that I COULD fix whatever is broken. For everybody. Now. Or (better yet) yesterday.

Story Blindness

I just emerged from a bad case of story blindness. It’s not as painful as snow blindness, at least most of the time, Usually it’s more like driving in a whiteout.

I’m navigating along, appreciating the emerald moss or the birdcalls of spring. My life is going bloomingly. There’s a sense of equilibrium, a deep flow if happiness.

Until.  Something happens that isn’t a part of this peace. I get a call that someone I love is in trouble. My dog nips at a stranger. Somebody feels hurt by something I’ve said or done.

That’s when the Big Story shows up. The story that it shouldn’t have happened. That I should have known better. That it’s my job to rescue or make them feel better. It’s a story of my incompetence, one that’s so deeply embedded that I often don’t recognize it because it feels like a part of me. It’s a story of shame.

A story so engulfing that I can’t quite see through it. I react as if it were real, moving into habitual loops of rescuing, appeasing, or trying to soothe myself with food or television. Anything to avoid that feeling of contraction, that self-condemnation. Sometimes I’m in the whiteout for a few hours, and sometimes I’m there for days, trying to make the feelings go away with my old bag of tricks.

Here’s what I’ve noticed. Since I began seeing the tricks my mind plays on me, I’ve been able to avoid stepping into the fog much of the time by noticing how things I would call problems turn out not to be. Situations that would have sent me into blind reaction lose their charge. Or I just feel the feeling and let it pass through.

But not always. Sometimes, if I’m taken by surprise, it might take some time to sort out what’s real from what’s not. What’s harmful from what is there for my learning. But when I stay in curiosity and watch closely, the fog begins to clear. The shape of what is actually true shows up. I find what I can do to address the situation. I choose to stop blaming myself, and I reclaim my own essential innocence.

And there on the other side is the beauty that was there all along. A world of kind possibilities.

Baja: A Whale’s Eye View

I just arrived home from a pilgrimage to the birthing lagoon of the gray whale in Baja. I had heard rumors about mother whales there who introduce their calves to humans, much as we take our offspring to meet other species. This image had lived in my imagination for several years, increasing its ranking in my bucket list. But my watery imaginings didn’t begin to match the experience of being in their presence—the power of a whale’s eye view.

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.