Monthly Archives: July 2013

Something Good


1. This description of a good writer, from Isaac Asimov, “You are my idea of a good writer because you have an unmannered style, and when I read what you write, I hear you talking.”

2. Something you may need to hear today from Kat McNally.

3. To Succeed, Forget Self-Esteem, a post about self-compassion on, of all places, Harvard Business Review (?!)

4. On being copied from Andrea Schroeder, in which she says “people aren’t buying your product or service on its own – they’re buying your product or service animated by your creative essence.”

5. 36 Things You Will Naturally Understand If You’re From Colorado on BuzzFeed. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with all of these, and don’t get the childhood references since I didn’t grow up here, but it’s pretty funny.

6. Brave Love, “A love-based case for the what’s right in the world, curated by Brit Hanson.”

7. 30 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Die.

8. Sacred Love: 12 Things at the Bottom of Everything** from Rachel Maddox. P.S. There’s still time to donate to her Traveling Soul Circus project.

9. The Five Buddha Families and 10 Reasons why Buddhism is Better than your Religion on Elephant Journal.

10. Erica Staab shares a beautiful poem, Clearing by Martha Postlewaite.

11. From Brave Girls Club,

Beautiful, true, important things almost always take a long time to come to fruition. There are often very long stretches that are tedious, thankless, difficult and hard to measure. We get tired and that makes us weak and vulnerable to things that hurt our feelings or make us want to stop trying. There are often points in the journey when we feel absolutely alone, misunderstood and even cast out. There are sometimes points in our journey when we just want to be alone…and that is hard to explain to people we love. Making progress is not easy, is it?

With all of that in mind, however…think even more seriously about how miserable it is to stay stagnant. Think of how awful it feels to know in our hearts that we are meant for something, but to continue to ignore it, run away from it….or stay stuck just looking at it in fear.

12. The Well-Fed Woman: Tara Sophia Mohr on Rachel Cole’s blog, in which Tara describes something I know all too well, in a way I hadn’t quite figured out how to say it yet:

I grew up making art of all kinds – but when I went to college I couldn’t find a way to create comfortably in the highly competitive, hierarchical environment there. My center drifted over to my more intellectual, left-brain side, and that became my comfort zone. The more I was centered there, the harder it was to create. I became very, very afraid making art – so frozen in my creativity, afraid of failure, afraid of “not being good.”

13. Also on Rachel Cole’s blog, a brilliant reframing of perfection, The New (Im)perfection.

14. rodrigo y gabriela, and a lesson in passion on Chookooloonks.

15. your daily rock : love what you do

16. ZenPen: Body-Based Writing for Healing, Transformation, and Personal Growth, a great new offering from Courtney Putnam, a six week writing ecourse. I swore I wasn’t taking any more ecourses, needed to put my energy into creating my own, but this one makes that vow so hard to keep.

This microcourse, How to Create a Microbusiness that Matters, from Courtney Carver at Be More With Less, is also making this promise a tough one to keep.

17. “Often I busy myself trying to find the key – and fail to notice the door has no lock.” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

18. The August Break with Susannah Conway is back! I’m in.

19. how joy is a toughie for me from Jessica Swift.

20. My Dog Got Kicked Out Of Daycare Today.

21. Rachel Cole linked to a song in her Midsummer’s Joy post, and I was so happy, not realizing that Mary Lambert, the gorgeous female voice on Macklemore’s “Same Love,” had her own full song, She Keeps Me Warm. I bought her EP Letters Don’t Talk and have been listening to it on repeat (it’s only five songs).

22. Note from the Universe,

Dreams come true, Jill, that’s what they do. The only variable is when. For the slow approach: Resist. Attach. Insist. Deny. Stop. Second guess. Whine. Argue. Defend. Protest. Cry. Struggle. And ask others, when you know the answer yourself. For the quick approach: Visualize. Pretend. Prepare. Dodge. Roll. Serpentine. Do not waiver over intentions, but over methods. Show up, even when nothing happens. And give thanks in advance. You knew that.

24. This wisdom from Henri Nouwen and his book Turning My Mourning into Dancing, (shared by Satya in Writing Our Way Home’s newsletter),

I am gradually learning that the call to gratitude asks us to say, “Everything is grace.” As long as we remain resentful about things we wish had not happened, about relationships that we wish had turned out differently, mistakes we wish we had not made, part of our heart remains isolated, unable to bear fruit in the new life ahead of us. It is a way we hold part of ourselves apart from God.


25. Your Permanent Record from Seth Godin, in which he says, “Perfect can’t possibly be the goal, we’re left with generous, important and human instead.” Also from Seth, People like us do stuff like this.

26. A birds-eye view of this right now {Just One Paragraph 4/30} from Christina Rosalie, in which she says, “Time is a trickster. A torrent one minute, then a slow as honey crawl the next.”

27. Amazing Plant Sculptures at the Montreal Mosaiculture Exhibition 2013 on Bored Panda.

Self-Compassion Saturday: Rachel Cole

My enoughness is infallible. unshakeable. unchanging. Even in moments when I feel not enough. I am enough, experiencing temporary disconnection from that truth. ~Rachel Cole

This is a tough one for me, kind and gentle reader. When I think about Rachel Cole, consider all the ways she’s wonderful, all the ways I’m grateful for her, I feel tender and raw, get weepy. She is so special, so precious to me. I would not be here, wouldn’t still be writing this blog, would not be doing this self-compassion project, wouldn’t be living as deeply if it weren’t for Rachel Cole. How do you thank someone for that?

You shine in your own particular way, that’s how. You feed your true hungers, you do things that you never thought you could, you feel your fear and you don’t let it stop you, you cultivate confidence and clarity, you seek out joy and ease in your life.

circleI was a very different person when I first met Rachel. I didn’t have much confidence, was so sad, stuck, starving in all kinds of ways, convinced that something was fundamentally wrong with me. Rachel and I worked together in various ways — a Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop (where I learned a lot about myself), a coaching session, her Wisdom Notes, and Ease Hunting course — and a fundamental shift happened for me. I was brave enough to go to the World Domination Summit, even though Rachel was the only person I knew. I had the confidence to ask a group of wise and compassionate women to take part in this project. I am gentler and kinder with myself.

Rachel has a quiet, gentle yet powerful way of leading you to the truth. She is inspiring and supportive, fierce and compassionate, crazy intuitive and funny. She glows with energy and love. When I initially thought about doing this project, I knew she was one of the women I had to ask, and I’m so happy to be sharing her answers with you today.

rachelwcole-shop

image by Andrea Scher

1. What does self-compassion mean, what is it? How would you describe or define it?

Self-compassion is a way of relating to one’s self with a soft heart, empathy, and acceptance. I like to think of it as being at the heart of maternal love, not the love we received from our actual imperfect mothers, but the energy of pure maternal love. It is an embrace and a place to rest.

2. How did you learn self-compassion? Did you have a teacher, a guide, a path, a resource, a book, a moment of clarity or specific experience?

I learned self-compassion because self-loathing and self-whipping were killing me. I read and studied a fair amount of buddhist and spiritual philosophy, including: Cheri Huber, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Elizabeth Lesser, Geneen Roth, Eckart Tolle, James Baraz, and the like.

peacockfeet

3. How do you practice self-compassion, what does that experience look like for you?

I practice self-compassion moment by moment. It lies in how I receive myself and what I’m experiencing. I practice awareness of self-judgement and my inner dialogue. I practice softening, allowing, embracing. The experience is energetic, emotional and somatic. It’s subtle. It’s not a button to push or switch to flip.

rachelwcole-praise

image by Andrea Scher

4. What do you still need to learn, to know, to understand? What is missing from your practice of self-compassion, what do you still struggle with?

I think the next level of self-compassion comes in practicing it in relationship with another. While we might be proficient and self-compassion when we’re alone and untriggered, when we’re in an intimate relationships new challenges arrise. I wouldn’t say it’s a struggle so much as a rich new terrain to practice on. I am working questions like: how to maintain the depth of my connection to myself (a prerequisite for self-compassion) while also being connected to another? How can I show compassion for myself and another when we are holding different view points or hurting? How can my own practice for self-compassion inform another as to how to relate to me with softness and kindness?

image by Andrea Scher

image by Andrea Scher

Rachel Cole is magic. “Coach. Retreat host. Instigator of ease. Hunger-satisfier. Well-fed woman.” If you get the chance to work with her, through a Retreatshop or consulting or coaching or even just reading her blog, you will be encouraged and enriched. To find out more about Rachel, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Niight Rain Wind.

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning.

Gratitude Friday

1. A short trip to visit family in Oregon. I only get to see them once a year, and miss them like crazy, so am glad to finally be able to go, even though I’m going to miss my boys.

2. Peach Pie Oatmeal.

3. Sleeping in, the double white noise of the sound machine and the whole house fan, Sam curled up next to me, no where I need to be, nothing I need to do.

4. Places that are old, but still vibrant, that remind me of good memories, places and times that no longer exist.

jbsphone5. Rain on a really muggy, hot day, the way a storm clears the air, waters the garden, and cools everything down.

Bonus Joy: Sweet Sam. I was depressed this week, lonely for Dexter, and Sam is really good at softening that hurt.

sweetsam

Full Buck Moon Dreamboard

Jamie isn’t hosting this month’s Full Moon Dreamboard, (she’s taking a break from blogging after losing her sweet mom), and I’m a couple of days late making mine. I almost skipped it. I’ve been feeling depressed this past week (missing my Dexter) and not wanting to do much of anything but lie on the couch, eat all kinds of wrong, sleep and watch tv and feel sorry for myself — but after doing this practice for more than a year, it just felt wrong to not do one, to not share it. I appreciate the comfort of this practice, the routine, the space and clarity it provides.

Jamie said last year about the Full Buck Moon, “There’s such gorgeous, lively energy under the Full Buck Moon! On the new moon, as we began gathering for our dreamboards, I invited you to ask yourself, ‘What are my most powerful dreams? Who am I when I am powerful?’ The Full Buck Moon is a time for stepping into that power. Now is the time to set intentions for bold action and big dreams, the time to take action and assert your presence in the world. Now is the time to take a stand and say, ‘Here I am! Here is what I’m dreaming!'”

The Full Buck Moon asks: “What are your most powerful dreams? Who are you when you are powerful?”

fullbuckmoon13

My teacher, Sakyong Mipham, said once,
“We think we are rocks, but we are gold.”
Awake, open, free.
Called to shine.

“I am constantly humbled by the ocean —
it teaches me that we can never control nature
or anything.
Rather, it is all about dancing with these dynamic waves
in ways where you are
poised between sensitivity and power.”

It’s not about being tough.
It’s about being tender, awake, open.

“Each of us feels
some aspect of the world’s suffering
acutely.
And we must pay attention.
We must act.
[Called to shine.]
This little corner of the world
[of our heart]
is ours to transform.
This little corner of the world
[of our heart]
is ours to save.”

I am the water, reflecting your light,
You are the echo of my heart’s song.

“We are all inextricably connected
to a field of awareness that is
infinite, unbounded, and eternal.
Meditation, yoga, and other practices
[writing and dog]
give us direct access
to this field of silent awareness.

By allowing our intentions
to drop into this state of silence and joy,
we put ourselves into the best position
for those intentions to manifest.”

There is a song in my heart,
a sleeping Bodhisattva,
but now it is dawn,
morning is here,
the sun is golden in the sky,
reflected off the water,
and it’s time to shine,
time to wake up.

Something Good

1. Fort Collins, Colo., might be the happiest place on Earth on LA Times. I love where I live.

2. How To Boost Creativity With A Morning Routine from Fran Sorin.

3. Everyone saw the biracial Cheerios commercial, but kids saw it differently. This is a great video. The little girl with freckles is my favorite.

4. Dave Matthews breaks down on bicycle, gets a ride to his concert from fan. Reading this made me cry, thinking about how magic happens, how this person was just being a decent human, offering to help someone who needed it, and got such a great surprise reward for it.

5. how trusting my body makes my dreams come true, a great reminder from Sas Petherick.

parkinggaragebird

6. How I decide what to charge for {everything} I create from Alexandra Franzen.

7. Elizabeth Gilbert’s posts on Facebook. It’s like she’s writing a mini blog there, and her posts are so good that I can’t stop sharing them. Here’s one on Bringing Up The Light, which sent me to the paint department to look for my color. Does Running Away Work? was another really good post.

8. Do Whatever Makes You Happy, from Christian Novelli.

9. Also from Christian Novelli, 46 Reasons To Exist. What 46 things are on your list?

10. The Space Between and Learning How To Stop The Glorification Of Busy on Scoutie Girl.

11. Chris Rock Gives The Best 60-Second Piece Of Advice To Liberals, Conservatives, And Human Beings on Upworthy.

12. Most Celebrities Promote Products They Like. Ellen DeGeneres Is Not Most Celebrities. and BOOM, ROASTED: Here’s Why You Don’t Ask A Feminist To Hawk Your Sexist Product on Upworthy.

13. Take The Human Test, a brilliant set of videos from ZeFrank, who has a habit of making brilliant videos.

14. Golden Retriever Champ: Probably the Happiest Dog In The World and Meet Norm, Pug With the Best Selfies on the Internet on Bored Panda.

15. Terms of Endearment from Rachel Cole.

16. Louis CK – Animated: If God Came Back

17. Rest in Peace, Tiger.

18. Preorder the Humans of New York book. One of my very favorite projects.

19. My son and dog’s 2 1/2 year friendship on Reddit. The last picture in the set is so sweet.

20. 21 Cozy Makeshift Reading Nooks on BuzzFeed DIY. We all need one of these, a good book and a dog or two.

21. How To Be Happy: Simple steps to lead a simple and content life. Yes, please.

parkinggaragevine22. Coolest Dad Ever on Elephant Journal, a Latino Depeche Mode cover band that consists of one dad and his two kids, one girl and one boy. Cool.

23. Dad Captures His Son’s First Year, One Second Per Day, and It’s Lovely, another cool dad.

24. My Girlfriend Weighs More Than Me. So What?

25. 21 Things to Stop Saying Unless You Hate Fat People on Live Love Grow.

26. Confessions of a life coach : slogging through the muck from Amy Kessel.

27. from running to runner from Jessica Swift.

parkinggarageface28. We Shake With Joy, a short poem by Mary Oliver.

We shake with joy, we shake with grief.
What a time they have, these two
housed as they are in the same body.

29. 14 Things You Didn’t Know About Neil Gaiman on BuzzFeed.

30. 5 Powerful Resources for Decluttering Your Home and Living More Simply and How to Release the Grip on Your Comfort Zone on Be More with Less.

31. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves. This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering—yours, mine, and that of all living beings.

32. Home Bound Blues, Raf Horemans travel blog which includes the most beautiful photography.

parkinggaragehands33. Evidence for the suggestion that racism isn’t natural, it is taught: The 40-Year-Old Photo That Gives Us A Reason To Smile and this more modern picture that shows the same from Reddit.

34. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

You may think that making the “right” decision guarantees you success. But, really, knowing that you can’t fail is what guarantees success. You can’t fail because the Love that guides you is infallible and can always course correct.

35. Latest Parenting Trend: The CTFD Method.

36. Allison Mae Photography does it again. Oh Allison. Oh Idgie.

Photo of Idgie, a.k.a. Honey Badger, by Allison Mae Photography

I couldn’t bear to have Allison take pictures of Dexter, could never bring myself to go through with it, make that call, just knew looking at images this beautiful when the boy was gone would have hurt too much, would have felt too bad to have two of my dogs captured this way when Obi was already gone and would never have the chance. But now that there’s just Sam, and there will be another boy one day soon-ish, I think a session is in order.

37. 10 Epic Treehouses Cooler Than Your Apartment on Mashable.

38. 40 Days of Dating.

39. Just One Paragraph, from Christina Rosalie. This is a great idea, but I can’t take one more thing on right now. Check her comments section for other bloggers taking part in posting just one paragraph each day for 30 days. I am loving reading Christina’s posts, like this first one for example, Making Saturday Slow on Purpose {Just one Paragraph: 1/30}.

40. Things I want to remember from Susannah Conway. Oh my, the poop moment — who knew such a thing could be so sweet.

parkinggaragemural41. How you can ask for — and receive — cosmic guidance from Danielle LaPorte.

42. Something else Elizabeth Gilbert posted on Facebook,

Several years ago, I went to see an ophthalmologist on account of some recurring trouble with eye strain and general blurriness. During the exam, the doctor asked me, “Do you spend much time reading or writing?” I replied, “Only when I’m awake…”

Me too. Me too.

43. Walking Across America: Advice for a Young Man.

44. From Rowdy Kittens’ Happy Links list, Life is Not Perfect. Fortunately.

45. If I lived alone, this might be what my place would look like: anahata katkin: papaya! on SF Girl by Bay.

parkinga46. your daily rock : no expectations

47. How To Draw Mandalas (And Why You Want To) from Andrea Schroeder.

48. Shared by Susannah on her Something for the Weekend List: So, How Was Your Day? and So We’ll Always Remember.

49. This story, of how good people can be, and how important it is for us to share the good stuff, because apparently this wasn’t reported on the news.

The ashes of Sean Misner, one of the 19 firefighters who died last week in Arizona, were being transported by his wife back to their hometown on Tuesday. She was in his truck and is pregnant with their unborn child. On every overpass for nearly 500 miles there was a tribute similar to this. Pretty damn remarkable and worthy of more media coverage than most of the other stuff that has been on tv lately. Wanted to share because our media has seemed to overlook it.

firetruck50. love this: ellie’s current favorites from Liz Lamoreux. I love the sweet way that Ellie sees the world.

51. Dog Finds A Tiny Kitten, Risks Everything To Save Her on BuzzFeed. Hopefully these two get adopted together.

52. Calvin and Hobbes Documentary Trailer Gives Us All Kinds of Feels on The Mary Sue.

53. If I were to take another online class right now, it would have to be Be Your Own Beloved, “a 28 day photo adventure designed to cultivate self-compassion through the practice of taking self-portraits” with Vivienne McMaster. The next session starts on August 1st.

54. This wisdom from Audre Lorde, “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

Day of Rest

dexlittledcouch

Last night in bed, I told Eric I want our next dog to be a cuddler. Obi and Sam didn’t/don’t like to cuddle so much as lean in, and got/get annoyed if I hold on too tight (Obi would wiggle his way out, and Sam has even growled a few times to get me to back off), but Dexter was definitely a cuddler, and I’m really missing that — snuggling up next to him, warm and soft, having him stretch and curl against me and sigh — missing him.

This video of Andrea Gibson performing A Letter to my Dog, Exploring the Human Condition, captures perfectly the “why,” why I love my dogs so much, and why it is so hard to let them go when they go, “My beating heart with fur and legs.”

At the end, the video says “Every animal adopted saves the life of two, (the animal rescued, along with the animal who can now take the other’s place in the shelter for an opportunity to be adopted),” but I have to disagree with that. Every animal adopted saves the life of three — the one adopted, the one who is given space and a chance for the same, and the human animal rescued by the one adopted.

Self-Compassion Saturday: Kerilyn Russo

I am one of the searchers.

There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter. ~James Kavanaugh

There are some people that when you meet them for the first time, you feel like you’ve always known them. You are comfortable right away, love them immediately. For me, one of those people is Kerilyn Russo. When I was at World Domination Summit (WDS) last year, sitting with Rachel Cole during a break between sessions, this woman came up to greet Rachel. They clearly already knew each other, and Rachel turned to me and said, “you two need to meet, should know each other.”

But somehow I already knew Kerilyn. As Rachel introduced us, and I looked at that big smile and those dimples, a feeling overwhelmed me, a sense of “There you are! Where have you been? I’ve been waiting, looking for you!” I felt so happy, so relieved, like I might cry. It was the strangest, best thing. We didn’t get to spend nearly enough time together that weekend, but I kept running into her, and every time I had that same feeling of “there you are!” and that sense of an immediate, easy connection.

Since then, Kerilyn and I have been able to stay in touch. We’ve Skyped in our bathrobes, talked on the phone about deep and important things, became pen pals (regular snail mail, just like we were 12 years old again). She is the best kind of friend, helping me to go deeper, asking the best kinds of questions, but also making me smile and laugh until my face hurts. I absolutely adore her. Her smile is one of the best things on earth.

kerilynflower

Kerilyn describes herself this way, as a wife, friend, sister, and sensitive soul, (add to that mother-to-be, yay!). Interior Designer by day. Creator/Certified Life Coach of Married to a Chef, student of A Course in Miracles, lover of Reggae music, amateur Greeting Card Designer, novice photographer, Highly Sensitive Person, Searcher, and swimmer of the deep. You can read more about what she’d say about herself in her first post for Roots of She, Stand out: Meet Kerilyn Russo and see the power of stepping into your true role, or on her Who Am I? page on her website, Ancora Imparo, (which means “I am still learning” in Italian). I am so excited to share her perspective on self-compassion with you today.

1. What does self-compassion mean, what is it? How would you describe or define it?

Self compassion, from where I stand TODAY… is the continual process of forgiving ourselves (and others) for what we THINK we/they did to us, them… and the world. We have forgotten who we REALLY are (UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE) and self compassion (or RADICAL self forgiveness) is a TOOL to remembering our TRUE state. When we unconditionally forgive and accept ourselves and those around us (much harder than we think, which is why it’s so hard to maintain a feeling of self compassion)… we are remembering who we REALLY are and in that, our divinity.

kerilynlake2. How did you learn self-compassion? Did you have a teacher, a guide, a path, a resource, a book, a moment of clarity or specific experience?

What an exciting question! I love this one! My view of self-compassion has evolved as I have evolved and if it’s okay with you, I am happy to share a little bit of how it has changed along the way.

As I began my spiritual (not religious) journey (hee hee, how many of us have said that?), I was eager and hungry to attempt to understand how the WORLD worked… what made it tick, underneath it all. The seen and the unseen. I soaked up books on energy, reincarnation, and spirit as a way of understanding what was happening TO ME in my life. Still at this point, it wasn’t about how I had a part to play in it… it was like I was sitting in a theater… watching the movie about how the world worked, without my awareness of how I am a full blown contributor to it. I was unconscious to how my thoughts and actions toward myself was a reflection of what I saw. I think my former organized religion conditioned beliefs about how it was out of my control still had it’s grip on me, and while I was aware there was more to this than just praying to God and going to church, I was still unknowing of how my participation had to do with what I saw in my life. HOW could I have self compassion at this point in my journey, when I still believed that the world was happening TO me, not because of me. The limiting beliefs that doing anything for myself was selfish and how dare I believe the world, still revolved around me. This was challenging because it didn’t sit right with me, but I forged on… STILL feeling like I was still missing something.

kerilynseeker

When The Secret and Abraham (Jerry & Esther Hicks) came my way. Blew the lid off of that I had nothing to do with my outcome. I heard “As you think, so shall you be.” And I was spiritually in shock for a while. WHAT? I have something to do with how my life looks? I am ultimately responsible?? As I got swept away in the loving current of this new philosophy… I was still quite unsure as to HOW to REMEMBER that it’s TOTALLY in my control. It starts with how I FEEL. How I feel includes feeling good about HOW I feel about myself and the predicaments I find myself in my life. When I remembered this, I felt wonderful and when I didn’t, I went back to that old thinking that it was outside of my control. (Those old beliefs really do have a hold on us… wouldn’t you agree?) STILL… I felt there was still something MORE to this. These beliefs filled me up, absolutely, but they didn’t answer the question about WHY the world (and still myself) were constantly in conflict, so I kept searching…

Kerilyn's sweet kitty, Pez

Kerilyn’s sweet kitty, Pez

Not too long after that, I found A Course in Miracles and all my questions have since been answered (even in my resistance of them). As I became a serious student of the Course, I began to learn that there are NO answers outside of myself. “Seek Not outside yourself” is still one of the most powerful messages of the Course for me. It is ALL about me. The OPPOSITE of what I’ve been taught at an earlier part of my journey. It is ALL about my perceptions of what I see, my projections of my OWN inner thoughts and feelings, is what I see in my experience, the role RADICAL forgiveness plays and the process of UN-learning we all must do to heal ourselves, and experience TRUE love, which the Course says is all there is.

Based on the Courses teachings, we have not been taught love, but attack. The ego (the part of us that wants us to believe we’re separate from everyone and everything else) has us brainwashed with thoughts of self hatred to keep us believing we’re separate from everyone else. SPECIAL. Attack with everyone we see (whether we’re aware of it or not) and everything we think… that includes our thoughts about ourselves.

NO WONDER we cannot sustain self compassion for long, we’ve been believing that we are not worth UNITY with anyone or anything, including ourselves. It’s this belief that keeps us in that feast or famine vicious cycle. *Secret: To keep us believing we’re separate, the ego has to give us good experiences (FEAST) to keep the pendulum of duality (GOOD AND BAD) in motion.

That is where you will find me. In the process of UN-learning those old messages, infusing them with a practice of RADICAL Forgiveness that even I cannot even fully grasp at this time, facing my resistance and regularly in forgiveness when I attack my brothers, and more importantly, myself.

Picture by Kerilyn, taken in Savannah, GA

Picture by Kerilyn, taken in Savannah, GA

3. How do you practice self-compassion, what does that experience look like for you?

Self compassion (or what I call RADICAL forgiveness) is just that… a practice. It’s a TOOL. I pick it up and use it when I need remember that have a CHOICE to make… continue to feel yucky, continue to not understand, continue to believe in my victimization OR to live from another way of being. It’s totally up to me. Maybe one day I have to pick it up a handful of times, and maybe other days I have to CONSTANTLY be picking it up, hundreds of times a day. To ask myself, “Do I want to be RIGHT, or do I want to be HAPPY?” Challenging those beliefs of separation and lack and remembering my natural state of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. At this point in our evolution, we are not able to LIVE in that state of radical forgiveness (which is okay) but for me, I know it’s at my fingertips… whenever I REALLY want to understand why I am feeling, the way I’m feeling. *Oh, and If I don’t REALLY want to understand, that’s okay too… I’ll want to forgive myself for not wanting to understand and keep on moving forward. Again, it’s a CONTINUAL practice of forgiveness.

Oh, and how do I practice self compassion? Easy. I am constantly forgiving myself. Forgiving myself when I judge another to be wrong, when I judge myself as less than… and judge the world for what I see as “bad”. Practicing self compassion is saying “I forgive myself, for I know not what I see/do.” over and over again.

Why don’t you try it now… Forgive yourself for something you THINK you or someone else did today. Forgive them or yourself in your MIND. That’s all. No need for an outwardly expression of forgiveness. Go inside and FORGIVE. *And if you find it too hard to forgive… that’s okay… forgive yourself for not being able to forgive. Let yourself or someone else off the hook today.

Kerilyn and Peter at their wedding

Kerilyn and Peter at their wedding, (read more about their love story)

4. What do you still need to learn, to know, to understand? What is missing from your practice of self-compassion, what do you still struggle with?

Oh my goodness… What do I still need to learn? That my shift in perception (from conflict to peace) is a reflection of how often I practice. Practice a little, get little results. Let this philosophy fold into my day and I am able to be happier, more at peace. It’s about CONSTANTLY practicing. Why don’t I constantly practice? Because I think I’m here in this world, this dream, ALONE. That I can “do it” myself. I need to learn that I am not and CANNOT do anything alone. (Remember the EGO has done a doosy on us, having us think we’re SEPARATE and therefore ALONE.)

I struggle with my resistance to really KNOWING this information to be true. We have been brainwashed a LONG time.. and I still have quite a bit of resistance toward unlearning. There are days when I want to seek for my specialness.. where I would rather be RIGHT than happy… where I feel where I have been wronged… and in that awareness I need to remember that I can always choose differently.. whenever I am ready to. The option is ALWAYS there for me, it’s a matter of my little willingness.

kerilynI am so grateful for Kerilyn, for her responses, (especially what she had to say about forgiveness), for her support and friendship and wisdom, her constant effort and curiosity and sense of humor, her big heart and big smile. To find out more about Kerilyn, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Rachel Cole.

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning.