3. Signs of spring: bird song in the early still dark of morning, the deep yellow of forsythia and daffodil and dandelions, green grass.
4. Practice: writing, meditation, yoga, and dog.
5. Ringo Blue and sweet Sam. They played and played in the backyard yesterday.
Bonus Joy: Roses from Eric, my fifth year of a Superior ranking on my annual evaluation at CSU, a boss who loves working with me and says so, my 21st year in a row of a Superior ranking as a wife, a guest post on courage and self, knowing when it’s time to stop working and rest, ease and peace around food and movement, knowing what isn’t working and being able to let it go, lunch with friends, that Eric was able to pop his dislocated fingertip back in himself before I even knew it had happened, lunch with good friends, the good chocolate, jellyfish and chickens.
1. Truth: Each day has its own energy. You can either fight it or “flow with the go.” Today’s energy seems to be “you really aren’t going to get a lot of new things done, so relax and be happy with what you’ve already accomplished.” Okay, Tuesday. Okay.
2. Truth: I seem to be having a run of good luck. I was invited to do a guest post for a blogger and a series I have loved as a reader, I was awarded a Superior ranking on my annual evaluation at CSU (fifth year in a row, the highest ranking you can get), Eric bought me flowers “just because,” and the sun is out.
3. Truth: Since I stopped dieting and overexercising, I feel so much better. I hadn’t realized until recently how much the cycle of starving and binging, pushing and punishing my body was ruining my health, my overall sense of wellbeing. That plus stress was making me miserable. I’m a bit heavier now, but I feel good.
One wish: May we tune into the energy of our body and our experience, and rather than resisting, running away, or ignoring what arises, may we open our hearts and allow what is.
1. Good stuff on Medium: Why Starting a “Blog” is a Terrible Idea, and When you work for yourself: stop doing shit you don’t like, and Starbucks Wants To Talk To You About Race, and Lighten Up.
3. Things That Make Me Happy on A Design So Vast.
4. Don’t Create Content. Move People. from Jonathan Fields.
5. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte: “Think of suffering as self-compassion school.”
6. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been kind of obsessed with any conversation around race and racism lately. Here are some thought provoking articles on the subject, if you are also interested: After an Uneasy Start, Finding Common Ground to Discuss Race Relations at Work, and 10 things black people fear that white people simply don’t, and Why Kimmy Schmidt’s Native Subplot is Great: A Native Fan’s Opinion, and Being White Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry: How the Oklahoma frat scandal exposes a racial double standard, and Portland gentrification video: ‘This is painful, but we can do something,’ and this video,
7. Good stuff about writing from Terrible Minds: The Flipside Of My Writing Tirade, and In Which I Emit A Lot Of Grr-Talk About Your Writing Career, and Writing Is A Profane, Irrational, Imperfect Act.
8. I’m also kind of obsessed with the conversation around fattism, fat shaming, Health at Every Size, and such. Here are some good articles on the topic, if you are also interested: the weight of this body, and Virgie Tovar on eradicating diet culture, the joy of moving your body, and Babecamp 2015, and Grieving the Loss of Your Body Fantasy, and What Happens If We Let Fat People Be Happy?
10. The Girl’s Girl from Brittany, Herself.
11. 40 Guilty Cats Who Deserve To Be Shamed Publicly, but probably don’t care because, well, they are cats.
12. Meg Worden, podcast goddess: Ask the Aunties Episode 1: ‘I am a 35 year old virgin’ and Raise your Hand Say Yes with Meg Worden.
13. If Vegans Said Things Meat Eaters Say.
16. Sex Tips That Don’t Suck, a poem performed.
17. Tweet, Memory, Dani Shapiro remembering Lisa Bonechek Adams.
18. Leon Bridges, such a beautiful voice. I can’t wait for his full album. The style of what I’ve heard so far reminds me of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black.
20. The Pitfalls of Pursuing Your Purpose by Adreanna Limbach.
23. The difference between commitment and technique from Seth Godin.
24. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,
Even after many years, many of us continue to practice harshly. We practice with guilt, as if we’re going to be excommunicated if we don’t do it right. We practice so we won’t be ashamed of ourselves and with fear that someone will discover what a “bad” meditator we really are. The old joke is that a Buddhist is someone who is either meditating or feeling guilty about not meditating. There’s not much joy in that.
Maybe the most important teaching is to lighten up and relax. It’s such a huge help in working with our crazy mixed-up minds to remember that what we’re doing is unlocking a softness that is in us and letting it spread. We’re letting it blur the sharp corners of self-criticism and complaint.
25. From Brave Girls Club:
Just like every amazing brave girl, your mind and heart are filled with lots and lots of ideas and dreams. Sometimes that puts us into a panic because we feel like we have to do it all right now, or that we will run out of time, or like the window of opportunity will close.
Please remember, friend, that there is a season for everything. You may find that when you ask your heart of hearts, that you can only focus on one big thing at a time if you are to do it in the beautiful, soulful way that you love to do things…and that other things may have to wait for now. You may find that you can juggle two or three special things, but that you will have to let some others things go to be able to make that happen. What you will most likely NOT find if you are very very soulfully honest with yourself and if you listen very very closely, is that you cannot do EVERYTHING you want to do at once…because sacred things will suffer…most especially YOU.
So please give yourself permission to put some things on a different timetable so that you can give the best of yourself to the things that are very most important in THIS season of your life. It does not make you weak or powerless when you let things go… On the contrary it shows your strength and commitment to all that is best for your own precious life.
26. Introducing April LOVE, 2015!, another great daily photo challenge from Susannah Conway.
27. Good stuff on Create as Folk: Contributor Welcome: Caren Baginski for Workday Wellness and Ever Feel Like a Nobody?
After drinking my coffee, watching the Daily Dharma Gathering talk from last night and writing my morning pages, Eric and I took a long walk with the dogs. As we got to the park, the sun was rising and turning some of the sky pink. When we got back home, I realized I was too late to go to yoga, but I’d taught both Friday and Saturday and have a class tomorrow morning, so felt totally okay about having a day without yoga. I showered and ate breakfast. After goofing around on the internet for a bit, I went to the Shambhala Meditation Center.
I hadn’t been to Sunday morning meditation, or to the Center for any other reason, for over a year. It wasn’t something I’d planned. It just happened. I started practicing more and more with the Open Heart Project. Dexter was diagnosed with cancer and died. My meditation instructor unexpectedly moved away. I started yoga teacher training and we got Ringo. I got distracted and busy and fell out of touch. Ever since I took refuge vows in November, I’ve wanted to make my way back. As today was the last day of Spring Break and the first weekend of Spring, it seemed like a good time.
As soon as I sat on a cushion in the main shrine room, my whole body and my mind relaxed. I have spent many, many hours in that space practicing and it’s precious to me. We shifted between sitting and walking meditation, heard a short talk and had a discussion, sat and walked some more, and ended with closing chants. There were people I didn’t recognize, but others I’ve known for more than eight years. I’m glad I went.
When I got home, Eric was still gone, so I let the dogs out in the yard to play for a bit. Then we all came back into the kitchen and I started cooking: lemon zucchini bread and seasoned potatoes for the sweet potato and black bean quesadillas we are having for dinner. While I cooked, I finished listening to health coach Isabel Foxen Duke talk about emotional eating, weight bias, the Health At Every Size movement, her own eating disorder recovery, and Nutella on the Food Psych podcast. Once I was done, Eric was home and it was time to walk the dogs again.
It was a deliciously sane day, full of practice, rest, ease, and connection. I feel nourished — fed and cherished. Just three short years ago, I didn’t think it was possible. I’m so glad I didn’t give up.
1. Practice. I struggle so much with my mind — its constant freaking out over every little thing, how it won’t let me rest, its speed and noise, its confusion, how it spends so much time obsessing over every potential risk and choice, the stories it tells that have almost nothing to do with what is really happening, how it won’t let go or relax — and practice is one of the only things that allows me some freedom, some ease, some peace.
2. Community. I was listening to an interview yesterday taped for the Feast program I’m in with Rachel Cole, and there was a discussion about the importance of community, how support from a community can help us resist some of the distraction, confusion, insanity, and dysfunction that occurs in our world. As an introvert, community is a complicated situation for me, and yet I find myself supported by so many. I’m so grateful for Feast, the Open Heart Project, the Daily Dharma Gathering, Om Ananda Yoga studio, my friends, my online tribe, my family, and my CSU people. My suffering and confusion are eased by those connections.
3. Sam and Ringo, my tiny family. I try so hard to do my best to take care of them, generate so much anxiety and suffering for myself trying to make the right decisions, so afraid I’ll make a mistake. Thankfully their experience is mostly free of any such worry, their lives full of ease and joy.
4. Eric, who is so patient with me, such a loving witness to my struggle.
5. Breakfast burritos, from La Luz with love.
Bonus joy: Skyping with Justine, teaching yoga, bird song in the early morning, getting shit done, being able to rest, sympathetic joy, talking to my mom on the phone, getting en eye exam and finding out my distance vision hadn’t gotten any worse in the past two years, cooking, listening to podcasts, new music, blue sky, a new piece of art, receiving and sending mail, good advice from Andrea, making plans to see friends I’m missing, the way Ringo rolls on his back and lets you pet his belly, the tiny little ball Sam can curl into when he’s sleeping, full minute hugs, a nurse good at drawing blood fast and painless, good test results, naps, the episode of Friends where Joey tries to learn French.
1. Today is gray and cold, kind of miserable. After a couple days of blue sky and almost too hot, it’s making me feel a little down — thus this picture of clear skies over the ocean from one of our summer trips. If I stare at it long enough I can almost hear the waves.
2. Sometimes the most difficult thing about meditation is keeping your seat. Today I spent most of the time resisting the urge to quit, wanting to get up, run off, go somewhere else, do anything other than sit there, but I didn’t. I stayed.
3. I’m spending part of my Spring Break doing all the things I’ve been avoiding. They are things that have to be done, like getting an eye exam and taking the dogs to the vet, but they aren’t what I’d call fun or relaxing.
One wish: That we can meet whatever might arise for us with an open heart.