Category Archives: Three Truths and One Wish

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.

Three Truths and One Wish

The view from here

The view from here

1. Truth: I woke up this morning and thought today was tomorrow. I was absolutely sure it was Wednesday. I didn’t want to go to yoga, contemplated staying in bed, sleeping in instead. I rallied, like I always do, and it wasn’t until I was standing in the kitchen making myself a half cup of coffee that I realized it was Tuesday. It wasn’t a yoga morning but rather my turn to walk the dogs. Daylight Savings Time, this time around meaning the loss of a whole hour, takes me at least a week to recover from.

2. Truth: Cultivating awareness is so important. I have been noticing lately how much damage we do by not being able to even see ourselves. We act out, our decisions clouded by confusion, complaining and blaming, being irritated and aggressive, generating so much suffering. We are so caught up in our story about what’s going on, we don’t even know what’s really happening.

3. Truth: There is joy, comfort in the smallest of things. A pop song on the radio with silly lyrics that makes you want to move, sharing food with someone, blue sky, a moment of quiet, the sweetness of a raspberry, the tartness of a lemon, the first purple crocus of the year, a dog sigh, the love note left on the counter. It’s right there, all you have to do is look, open yourself to it, allow it to touch you.

One wish: That even in the depths of our suffering, in moments of confusion and bewilderment, we can return to awareness, we can see and experience what is really going on, and we can connect with basic goodness.

Three Truths and One Wish

Ringo and Sam each have their own style of couching

Ringo and Sam each have their own style of couching

1. Truth: I am allowing myself to be too busy. Even though I said I wouldn’t be busy this semester, was going to stop doing that, here I am. I’m over scheduled, over committed, trying to do too much. There’s no space, no gaps, no room to breathe and be still.

2. Truth: Too busy is so harmful. My health suffers, my relationships become difficult, work is a challenge, and my thinking is confused. I start taking shortcuts and am no longer doing my best, for myself or anyone else. I skip the gym, don’t get enough sleep, eat crap without thinking. I feel bewildered. I am unable to prioritize and have a constant nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something. In this compromised state, I don’t stop until I get to the point of total overwhelm.

3. Truth: I need to slow down. Take care, pace myself, check myself before I wreck myself. Luckily most of the things I do aren’t that important in a global sense. If I have to give something up or it takes longer to be finished, probably no one will die as a result.

One wish: When we find that we are too busy, that we can’t keep up and are running ourselves into the ground, may we pause, find some stillness and space, notice where we are and be gentle. May we know deep in our bones that even if we did nothing at all, we’d still be enough.

Three Truths and One Wish

From our walk this morning

From our walk this morning

1. Truth: I generate my own suffering. When I think about any problem I have, distill it down to its most essential and most fundamental quality, I can clearly see that it is resistance, disappointment, a rejection of reality — this is what makes me suffer, and it is of my own making. I choose how to think about and respond to what arises, and I don’t always make the best choices.

2. Truth: I get upset about the possibility of making a mistake. I try so hard to prevent it, get obsessed with how to fix whatever is “wrong,” can’t stop looking for ways to prevent complications, spend way too much time preparing and worrying, am constantly second guessing myself, and fall into an utter panic when I think I’ve messed up or made the wrong choice and somehow caused more suffering.

3. Truth: The only antidote is self-compassion and surrender. I can trust myself to do my best. I can forgive myself when things go wrong. I can let myself off the hook. I can be with my own pain, gentle and open. I can remember that life is part preparation and part letting go. I can relax.

Another one from our walk this morning

Another one from our walk this morning

One Wish: That I know deep down in my bones that I can’t control everything. That I find ease in that awareness. May all those like me soften, be gentle with themselves, ask for help when they need it, let go of any expectation of perfection, and may we all surrender to our experience just as it is — tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal.