Category Archives: Three Truths and One Wish

Three Truths and One Wish

The food on the right is not any worse than the food on the right, and my worth or health can't be measured based on which one I choose to eat.

My health or worth can’t be measured based on what I choose to eat.

1. Truth: Once I become aware of something, I start seeing it everywhere. This phenomenon was described to me in grad school as the palladium window effect. Once you know what palladium window is, you start noticing them everywhere. This happens to me every time I get a new car. I go from never even noticing white Toyota Highlanders to suddenly seeing them everywhere. Or now that I have a Cattle Dog, I see them all over. It’s not really because there’s more, it’s just that I notice.

2. Truth: As I’ve raised my awareness about body issues, I’m suddenly seeing shaming and bullying everywhere. In the media, in advertising, in the news, in healthcare, and especially on social media. My health plan at work wants to offer me a “reward” if they can measure my height and weight, record and track it, see where I land on the BMI scale, but I know it’s only so they can start to “counsel” me about my choices, that they intend to promote a particular lifestyle as the only healthy option. My gym starts ramping up its messages about healthy eating and exercise, warning that if I’m not careful I’ll gain weight over the holidays, making it very clear I should be worried about that. On my Facebook feed, someone posts a meme of “Crispy Creme Barbie” and it breaks my heart because the woman pictured, blonde and dressed in typically Barbie clothes (short skirt, low cut top, high heels, everything bright pink) looks just like a woman who came to my yoga class that same morning. What right does anyone have to assume they understand someone’s experience or can assess someone’s health based solely on how they look?! And if the woman in my yoga class went straight from yoga to eat a donut (or more), what right does anyone else have to judge, to criticize her choice?! And how does anyone know she’s not perfectly happy and healthy — just as she is?!

3. Truth: Judgement, criticism, bullying, and shaming will never create change, it only generates more suffering. This is so clearly true, but when I speak out about the shaming I see, the pushback is often that I’m too sensitive, (or better yet that I only think that way because I’m fat). This has always been my experience with bullies — they never take responsibility for the suffering they generate. Rather, the victim is just being too sensitive, can’t take a joke, is weak, needs to toughen up, needs to drop a few pounds. Two middle schoolers in my community committed suicide this week, and at least one was the result of bullying. Someone who stands in judgement of another, who moves beyond that to direct criticism, to bullying and shaming, is practicing a particular form of aggression. If, like me, you ever find yourself thinking how much better you are than someone else, you (we) are doing it too. We are guilty. At its worst, judgment becomes violence, and even at its “best” it generates suffering — and we don’t need anymore of that.

One wish: That instead of judging, criticizing, bullying, and shaming, we extend ourselves in compassion, love, and support, that we offer our help to those who need it and keep our “help” to ourselves when it’s unwanted.

Three Truths and One Wish


1. Truth: If you look long and close at just about anything, you will see how precious it is. In fact, I’ve heard various teachers suggest that love is nothing more than attention, that to give your full and focused attention to something or someone is how you love it. The Zen priest and poet John Tarrant Roshi said, “Attention is the most basic form of love. Through it we bless and are blessed.”

2. Truth: Today is my birthday. I’m 48 years old. I’m so grateful, so blessed by my life and so lucky to get to keep on living it, and yet I’m having a hard time understanding how that happened — how did I get to be 48 years old? How did all those years fly by so fast?

3. Truth: I’m curious what my 48th year will be like. I have some plans, could make some guesses about what might happen and how it will turn out, but in the end I have no idea, no way of knowing. For now, I’m keeping myself open to whatever might arise, practicing curiosity and patience.

One wish: That every year lived is welcomed with curiosity, remembered with gratitude, and spent giving attention to what is precious.

Three Truths and One Wish

No turning back now

No turning back now

1. Truth: This bathroom remodel is both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I expected it to be a pain to not have anywhere to shower in my own house for an entire month, but I didn’t expect having people here every day smashing and banging and stomping around in their boots and slamming the front door and talking to themselves to be so stressful. Part of it is that our house is so small, there’s not really anywhere you can go to get away from it. I moved the dogs’ crates to the garage because that’s about as far away as you can get, but people have still been needing to get into the crawl space and the attic so they aren’t completely away from it. I’m working from home some of the time to be here for the dogs, to be sure they are okay, to answer questions about where to put outlets and such, and my office is right on the other side of the bathroom so it’s hard to get as much done. My CSU office seems more and more like an oasis, peaceful and calm and quiet.

2. Truth: I am hungry. There’s a health fair at CSU today where I can get a free flu shot and some bloodwork. When I signed up, I thought to myself “oh, I don’t drink coffee anymore so the fasting part won’t be a big deal and I won’t need to go in so early.” So I scheduled for 11 am. It was only later that I remembered fasting also meant no food. Here’s the kicker — because I get up at 5 am, typically by 11 am I’ve already eaten TWO meals. This is harder than I thought it would be.

3. Truth: I’m trying to be gentle with myself. As soon as I get my blood drawn, I’ll go get something to eat. Knowing that I won’t get as much done while this is going on, I can give myself a break, let myself off the hook. It’s okay that I don’t do so much right now, especially considering how much I normally do. Sure I have to go to the gym to shower every day, but while I’m there I can do some exercise knowing I don’t have to do so much because I’m going e v e r y day. I can take it easy, do what feels good, and then enjoy a hot shower. Who knows, maybe I could get used to this doing less and find a gentler pace at which to live my whole life, not just this month.

One wish: That whatever upset and disruption is occurring in our lives, we can relax with it and be gentle, giving ourselves the space and care we need.

Three Truths and One Wish

fallcolors1. “I love you, but I’m letting you go.” Not you, kind and gentle reader. Not this blog either. It’s something that Elizabeth Gilbert posted on Facebook this morning, something I was just talking about with a new friend yesterday afternoon. I need space in my life, need to ease up, but it’s complicated because the things I would need to start saying no to are things I love, things that are brilliant and wonderful, things I want to experience and do, but if I’m being honest, things I can’t fit into the finite, limited amount of time I’m alloted. I can’t do ALL THE THINGS. Elizabeth ends her post by saying, “I don’t know what the thing is (or things are) that you need to start saying no to, in order to live the life you keep saying you want. But I have a suspicion that perhaps YOU know. Is it maybe time?” *sigh*

2. I struggle with three types of laziness, sometimes all three at once. These are the kinds of laziness referred to in my Buddhist practice tradition. Adreanna Limbach gives the best description I ever heard of them. She says the three types are: having a lack of vision, speedy business, and disheartenment. We forget our intention, why we’ve said “yes” to something in the first place, lose our sense of purpose, and this can make us feel stuck, apathetic. Or, in a culture which sees productivity as a virtue, we fill up our time doing things that aren’t in line with our vision, our intention, our mission, and we treat busyness as a badge of honor. And finally, we might feel unworthy or disappointed in our efforts and lose patience, maybe even give up.

3. Luckily, there are antidotes to my behavior, this laziness. I can reconnect with my intention. I can sit with myself, sink into my own innate wisdom and consider what I might need to let go of, what I really want. I can prioritize what really matters, give it my attention and time, and say no to everything else — “I love you, but I’m letting you go.” I can show up and practice with joyful effort, become a “deeply disciplined half-ass,” having faith that the seeds I plant will come to fruition. And when I feel tired, I’ll rest. And when I feel like giving up, I won’t.

One wish: To reconnect with my intention and have clarity about the letting go, making space for what really matters.

Three Truths and One Wish


image by Eric

1. Truth: My theme in my yoga classes lately has been “balance.” Specifically what balance isn’t. We often are confused about what it means to find balance, think of it as a fixed point, a place we can get to where we’ll be happy and safe, a place where we can stay. But balance is actually about awareness. Because the conditions of our experience are constantly in flux, changing and shifting, finding balance is really about cultivating an awareness of what is arising and being able to adjust and adapt. The energy of our emotional and physical bodies changes, sometimes as quickly as from one breath to the next. Our health and environment changes, culture and our communities are living things constantly evolving, and the people around us contribute their own shifts. Nothing stays the same, there is no fixed reality. As soon as we find a still point, something comes along to upset it. So balance isn’t about a stable place, but rather about becoming a stable person amidst the chaos and change.

2. Truth: Balance can be hard to find when so many bad things are happening. My health has been a struggle recently which leads to frustration and disappointment. Last night I found out someone I know not only has breast cancer, but got pneumonia and went to the hospital, where she had a heart attack! Other friends are letting go of their sweet dog today, which breaks my heart because I also love her. Another friend has not one but two sick dogs. I could widen the circle to people I don’t know, to world events, and the list would quickly become overwhelming.

3. Truth: Even though it’s complicated and hard, balance is a worthy pursuit. It seems a little crazy, considering the point of balance is constantly shifting, and that you’ll never be able to stop your effort, but what’s the alternative? I’d rather keep trying, stumble and get back up, even if the steadiness and stability I manage doesn’t last. I know from experience that the longer I work at it, the stronger I get — it’s harder to knock me down and I get up much quicker. I’m not indestructible, I’m vulnerable, but I’m not giving up.

One wish: That whatever knocks us down isn’t so big we decide to stay down, that no matter what happens we are able to get back up, that we ask for help if it seems like too much, and that no matter what we never give up. Along with that, a little sweetness wouldn’t hurt. <3

Three Truths and One Wish

mirrorme1. Truth: I posted this picture on Instagram last night, with the caption “Sometimes I feel so tired when it’s time for bed that I hang out in the bathroom on my phone for a bit just tryin to muster enough energy to brush my teeth. Don’t judge me. (P.S. I’ve made due, but I can’t wait for this pink bathroom to be redone).” All still true today.

2. Truth: It’s raining, and that’s bumming me out. I know it might seem especially crazy considering I spent the first 30-ish years of my life in the Pacific Northwest, and it hardly ever rains like this here, but rain makes me want to go back to bed and stay there.

3. Truth: I saw my therapist for the last time today, (unless I end up needing her again, which I’m not ruling out). She said all sorts of kind, encouraging, true things about me, and all I could manage to say in response was “thank you.” It was the most true thing, the most complete thing I could say.

One wish: That even if you are almost too tired to brush your teeth or it’s raining and you are sad or you are saying goodbye to someone or something important and you don’t know exactly how to do that or what to say, you feel gratitude deep in your bones for all of it — tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal — and you don’t ever, ever give up.

Three Truths and One Wish

gutted1. Truth: I’m feeling a bit like this pumpkin. Hollowed out, gutted, used up. I left for work yesterday morning and this pumpkin only had a few bite marks. When I pulled into the driveway that same evening, a squirrel was head and shoulders deep in it. Yes, I’m nourishing others, but I’m not doing so great right now at nourishing myself.

2. Truth: Since I’ve been back at my CSU job, I haven’t taken more than a few days off. I’m trying to do both this full time work and still manage my side gigs. It doesn’t really work, but I can’t seem to give anything up. I want to do ALL THE THINGS. I also have a real problem with FOMO.

3. Truth: I’m trying to be better about this. This morning, I taught my yoga class and instead of going straight to work after, I stayed for meditation. I’m going to take a day of rest tomorrow because my eyes hurt, I’ve had a headache for three days, and I need to get some rest before I really crash.

One wish: That we give ourselves permission to rest when we need it, that we nourish ourselves, that we honor our limits as well as our longing, that we balance our effort with ease.