Category Archives: Three Truths and One Wish

Three Truths and One Wish

Lory State Park, image by Eric

Lory State Park, image by Eric

1. Truth: Eric and I have been watching documentaries about hiking the Pacific Coast Trail. It’s the sort of thing he’s always been interested in: stories of long treks, challenging hikes, voyages to places less traveled — people setting off into the wilderness, into the unknown to discover something. Now I’ve got the bug too. I haven’t put my finger on exactly what it is yet, but there’s something about a journey into nature, into that particular mix of silence and chaos, that’s really a journey deeper into yourself. When I hear the hikers talk about quitting jobs, putting their things into storage, leaving behind family and friends, and being transformed by their time away, gaining a new understanding of what’s really important, it tugs at something in me. My plan this afternoon is to finally watch Wild, so that probably won’t help.

2. Truth: I meant to write this post yesterday. I came into my office just before dinner, was standing at the computer getting ready to start typing when my phone rang. I don’t talk about this much here but someone I love very much is deep in the pit of addiction, at times almost drowning and at other times fighting to get out. There’s a part of me that wants to avoid the situation altogether, to run away, to resist the connection, to let the call go to voice mail and not respond. But there’s another part of me that can’t stand to ignore the suffering. Even if I don’t know what is going to help this person finally be able to find the right help for themselves, I have to keep trying, I have to show up and keep my heart open, not give up. One of the things I did while I was really sick was binge watch episodes of Intervention, trying to get some insight into the situation. I felt like it really did help me in the conversation I had last night, so don’t let anyone tell you TV is all bad.

3. Truth: A shift is happening in me. I’m not sure how it will land exactly, but it has something to do with having better boundaries, living more intentionally, and getting the rest I need. Being sick at the beginning of my summer break, some things that happened at work as I was making my way out, a conversation I had with my therapist, watching people I love struggle and suffer, finishing up Feast and intermediate yoga teacher training have created the perfect conditions for contemplating how I’m living my life, considering if it’s working. I’m reading three books right now that are related: Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Muller, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte, and 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works by Dan Harris. And the fact that I’m reading three at a time should tell you a little bit about how much I need to really hear what they are saying.

One wish: May we find stillness and quiet and space. May our inherent wisdom and compassion arise from this place of rest. May we trust and have confidence in basic goodness, knowing that it is our fundamental natural state.

Some Truths and One Wish

peoniesbuddhasandcandy1. Truth: I am obsessed with peonies right now. Just like I do every year around this time, I attempt to drown myself in them. I can’t get enough.

2. Truth: This post usually happens on Tuesday and is only three truths. But this has been a busy week, the last week on my contract, finals week at CSU, and I’m sick so that makes everything harder, and I wasn’t going to write this post at all this week, especially not today when I’m home sick and just want to sleep, but then I remembered…

3. Truth: Five years ago today, Kelly passed away. This day doesn’t pass just like any other. I’m not sure if it ever will. This whole season, the shift from winter to spring, all the blooms and the rain, the flowers and the flooding, reminds me of her, and then that reminds me of Obi, and that reminds me of Dexter. I’m acutely aware of everything I’ve lost, and everything I have because I was so hurt, all the ways I opened up and let life in because I had no other choice — tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal.

4. Truth: I’m sick because I worked too hard, didn’t take care of myself. More than anything I need to learn how to be of service, to give, to be generous and helpful and compassionate without running myself into the ground. I need to figure out how to care for myself as well as I do others, to make sure that it happens so I can keep going.

5. Truth: My life would feel like enough if I truly let myself experience each moment, each breath. For example, I could stay with the joy, the creative energy of learning and putting together yoga classes for yoga teacher training, just that and not project myself into teaching this weekend, worrying about maybe getting sicker, all the things I need to get done in the next few days, etc. — I could be calm, peaceful, at ease, well, content right now. All I need to do is be in this moment, rather than carrying the weight of all the possible moments.

6. Truth: I don’t practice to feel some things and not others, I practice to feel all the things. I want to meet whatever is arising in this moment, be open to all of it, be vulnerable. I put so much energy into resisting, forgetting, running away when it’s so much easier to relax with what is, to be here now. I listened to a Daily Dharma Gathering talk with Koshin Paley recently and he said, “The more I become intimate with old age, sickness, and death… the surprise is I feel more alive and joyful.”

7. Truth: I want the last thing Eric and I say to each other to be “love you.” I insist on it every time we part, so that our last words don’t end up being something like “are you coming home for the dogs?” or “don’t forget your lunch.” It might not work out, but I’m still going to try.

8. Truth: I’m so tired right now I’m about to fall over. So, I think I’ll go finally take a shower and then take another nap.

One wish: Even though the first noble truth is that life is suffering, may we find ways to ease suffering, for ourselves and each other and the world.

Three Truths and One Wish

swoonlilacbloom1. Truth: This is one of my favorite times of the year, as well as one of the hardest. It’s the busiest part of my whole CSU work year, but it’s also spring — the smell of the lilacs, my irises starting to bloom, buds on my peonies, the trees getting their leaves, the bird song, the promise of a garden and summer, the rain, the rain, the rain.

blergh...

blergh…

2. Truth: I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’m very aware that S.A.D. is the kind of condition that if you don’t have it sounds like a made up thing, but trust me — it’s real. It’s some kind of trick the light and moisture and temperature plays on my brain. And when it’s as gloomy as it has been the past few days (and will be for the next few as well), I just want to stay in bed. I feel like I’m carrying the full weight of the sky and the weather in my body, like the whole thing sits right on top of my head, settles in my chest, and it’s too heavy. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I just thought I was a gloomy person. Then I moved to Colorado and realized it was actually the weather.

overit3. Truth: I’m ready for this semester to be over. I was playing around with my new work camera yesterday, and my friend who’d stopped by to have lunch took this picture of me. It makes me smile because it’s so ridiculous but also so accurate — this is exactly how I feel right now. I have two more weeks of CSU work (fingers crossed that I finish what I have to by then, but even if I don’t my office has to be packed up so they can move it back into our newly remodeled building, thus the chaos behind me in the picture) and three more Sundays of yoga teacher training, and I’m so ready to be done, to rest.

One wish: That even if we are busy, overwhelmed, sad, tired, confused, we are still able to see and appreciate the beauty amidst the mess, still able to laugh. That we do what we can to be gentle with ourselves and others. That even as we surrender to what is, we don’t give up.

 

Three Truths and One Wish

Chicken coop, The Farm, image by my brother

Chicken coop, The Farm, image by my brother

1. Truth: There are certain places, spaces that are so powerful, mean so much to me, I carry them with me everywhere I go. “Our” house in Waldport, that particular seven mile stretch of beach, 27 Powers (my friend Laurie’s magic home), my own meditation shrine, Shambhala Mountain Center, Lee Martinez Park, 122 SE Division Street (the house I grew up in), and The Farm.

2. Truth: Some of these places are exactly as I remember them, some have changed so much they are barely recognizable. This year, for the first time in about eight years, my mom’s family celebrated Easter at The Farm. It’s their family farm, where she grew up and where we did too, and even though my uncle still works the land, after my grandma passed away they rented the house out to another family. That family recently moved out and my cousin and his family are moving in, so this year they offered to host Easter dinner there. My mom said they’ve done a lot of nice updates to the house, so it doesn’t look quite the same anymore, and yet this picture my brother took of the chicken coop out back looks exactly the same as I remember.

3. Truth: I feel incredibly lucky to have these places, these people, these connections, these memories. My brother posted the picture of the chicken coop on Facebook with the caption, “It’s just a chicken coop…but so much more. Would love to read what my sister could write about this picture.” There is so much sweetness mixed with the sad in life.

One wish: May anyone who is struggling, suffering with grief or illness or loss or loneliness receive a bit of sweetness, feel a little light, know enough love to keep them from giving up.

Three Truths and One Wish

Pasque Flowers, image by Eric

Pasque Flowers, image by Eric

1. Truth: Some days, some situations, some people can be so difficult that you want to give up. Sometimes pausing or taking a deep breath helps me, or trying harder to see things from another perspective, being curious and asking lots of questions, but honestly much of the time I have to walk away, take a break, remove myself. I have to, otherwise I might react, respond, reach out and pinch somebody, do something I’ll regret later.

2. Truth: More and more I’m realizing days have their own rhythm and I can’t change that. I used to try and push past it, force my way through it, struggle against it, attempt to control it. Now I am beginning to understand that there’s no sense in fighting it. If the energy of a day is “let’s get some shit done!” I work with it. If the energy of a day is “nothing is going to work out so you might as well relax,” I work with that. It’s all workable.

3. Truth: “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground,” (Chögyam Trungpa). Life is suffering, but freedom is possible. Nothing is okay, but everything is fine. Eric saw the first Pasque Flowers blooming and someone else sighted the season’s first rattlesnake. Life is tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal. I’m going to keep my heart open, as much as I can, and keep trying, not give up.

One wish (or many): May we have faith in our basic goodness. May the confidence in basic goodness that we cultivate give us the courage to do what has to be done. May we all find someone or something in our lives that is our soft place to land. May we love and let go.

Three Truths and One Wish

"Just because," he said.

“Just because,” he said.

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.

Three Truths and One Wish

beachgrass1. 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.