Category Archives: Balance

Full Pink Moon

4-Full-Pink-Moon

Today is a full moon, the Full Pink Moon to be specific. Every month on the full moon, Jamie Ridler hosts a full moon dreamboard practice. There’s typically one theme to contemplate, a single question to consider, and I make a dreamboard that is a visual and textual collage of my heart’s answer, with a poem of sorts as a way to further interpret it. This particular full moon there are more questions than just that one, sent by the Universe for my consideration.

Always there is Rachel Cole‘s question, my mantra, the question underneath every other question.

whatareyouhungryfor

From Julia Fehrenbacher on Judy Clement Wall’s blog: “What has stood in the way of you being your most empowered, loving self, and what are you currently doing to be more of who you really are?”

From Jamie’s Wishcasting Wednesday: “Where do you wish for healing?”

From Jamie’s Full Moon Dreamboard post: “What are you dreaming under this Full Pink Moon? The name represents the pink flowers that so lavishly bloom in the spring. What an invitation to let yourself luxuriate in your dreams, embracing them passionately, sharing them magnificently and enjoying each precious bloom. Let’s share our dreams and make beautiful magic together under the Full Pink Moon!”

Full Pink Moon asks: “What dreams is it time to tend?”

fullpinkmoon13

All of these questions circle around a single answer: The way to health and wellness, the path to peace and strength, the key to freedom is radical acceptance. As Tara Brach defines it, “the willingness to experience ourselves and our lives as it is,” and “clearly recognizing what is happening inside us, and regarding what we see with an open, kind and loving heart.”

I have to fall in love with myself. I have to see myself as I am, a precious and brilliant and passionate mess. I have to honor my truth worth.

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns…We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small. ~Tara Brach

Like a mermaid, I have to dive deep, swim in the dark water. As the Hopi elders said in their prophecy,

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

As Pema Chödrön suggests, I have to make friends with myself, be honest and kind and gentle.

Be fully present.
Feel your heart.
And engage the next moment without an agenda.

Find peace.
Flexible strength,
health and wellness.
Arching, reaching, stretching, opening.
Light, water, ground, and space.
Breath, muscle, bone, and blood.
Balance.

Sometimes balance is stillness, quiet.
Other times moving brings balance.
Balance is never a fixed point,
the center of gravity is always shifting.

Journey
filled with curiosity, exploration, growth, and expansion
through practices
(meditation, breathing, asana
writing, love, dog)
that align with the highest within me.
In this way, I feel balanced and energized.

It is a process of letting go
of habits of rigidity
and things that no longer serve me.

Relax.
Let go.
Surrender to what is, as it is, as I am.
Move into balance.
Effort matching my ease.

Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark. ~Agnes de Mille

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: In order to do more, I need to do less. I have been getting this message loud and clear lately. To slow down, relax, focus on one thing at a time, to do one small thing and give it my full attention, to be completely present in each moment, to pay attention, to be exactly where I am as I am with what is, to sink deeply into life, to surrender my agenda and let go of my plans, to show up with an open heart and allow whatever arises to be.

2. Truth: I need more rest. My strategy in the past was to push through tired, to keep going until collapse or overwhelm. Then I started resting more, and feeling better. And yet, I’m realizing that I need even more rest than I thought (instead of eight hours of sleep, I feel better with nine or ten, with lots of breaks during the day, plenty of time alone, lots of quiet and stillness, fresh air and long walks). What I am also accepting is that this is not a sign of weakness or a failure, it just is.

3. Truth: I want a small, simple life. And yet, when I say that, I also mean that I want this life to be deep and wide, spacious–which I know seems like a contradiction, but makes perfect sense to me somehow.

One Truth: That we all find the balance that works for us, that we get the rest we need, and that our lives are exactly the right fit for us.

Resolve: Mid-Year Review

On this, the first day of the second half of this year of Retreat, I have been reflecting on what I’ve experienced so far, and contemplating what’s to come. My word for the year was Retreat, with the clarifying words being rest, practice, balance, and transformation. Retreat, a time to remove myself from the usual expectations and obligations, to study and practice.

My life, my experience, my path in the last six months has been 1000 shades of love, 1000 shades of weird, 1000 shades of magic. Sometimes, I feel like a starfish caught on the beach, moving as fast as I can but my progress barely perceptible to others, or like a butterfly just out of the chrysalis, slightly confused about my new state of being, sitting on a branch waiting for my wings to dry. I am utterly transformed, but exactly the same. I am as I always was, but suddenly awake, and in that way so completely different.

image by peter harrison

Through all the classes, blogging and regular features, writing and meditation retreats, workshops, books, challenges, practices, the genuine and constant effort of the past six months, I feel a little like I’ve been in graduate school, earning a Master’s of Arts in Wholehearted Living, a Master’s of Science in Applied Practice, a Master’s of Fine Arts in Loving. My teachers and guides have been Susan Piver, Andrea Scher, Susannah Conway, Brene’ Brown, Laurie Wagner, Jen Lemen, Jennifer Louden, Rachel Cole, Patti Digh, Geneen Roth, Anne Lamott, Julia Cameron, Jamie Ridler, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Pema Chodron, my dogs, and so many others, along with an amazing group of fellow students on the same path–many of whom I’ll be meeting and connecting with at the World Domination Summit later this week.

room with a view

I still struggle with perfectionism, with lack of self-care and self-love, with being gentle with myself and present with my experience, and yet so much has changed. I don’t suffer from the crushing depression I did for so long. I’m not riddled with anxiety and stress. My path is no longer muddled by confusion or lack of clarity. Surprisingly, much of the transformation has been remembering who I am rather than becoming something else, about getting clear about the purpose and superpowers born into the world with me, a repeated mantra of “This is me. I am enough and I have enough. This is who I am, wise and compassionate and powerful.”

I still struggle to rest. I know intellectually how important it is, that I can’t give what I hope to from a place of overwhelm or exhaustion, that self-care is really just another way of ensuring the quality of my offering–but I long to know this in my gut, in my blood and bones, deep in my heart, to embody it fully. To practice it in the same way I do so many other things that are essential, that I do regularly without having to apply any special effort, like making 1/2 a cup of coffee in the morning, feeding and walking my dogs, or writing morning pages, these things that happen each and every day, no question and no matter what.

dexter and sam know how to play

Since rest is still an issue for me, balance has not been achieved–I find it for brief moments, but it’s not yet sustainable. I still work too much, which means I don’t eat or sleep or exercise or play like I should. Practice, which is deeper and richer (yoga, meditation, writing, reading, dog, walking/hiking, and love) is helping me to contemplate, consider, creep my way towards a middle path, a middle way. I have confidence, curiosity, and more clarity than ever, so there’s no despair or smashing myself to bits about it, (most of the time, anyway).

I’ve experienced so many things I wished for, longed for, imagined and dreamed about–my sense of what is possible has been expanded and reinforced to such a degree that I can start to relax a bit, sink into being, into the present moment, into “this minute of eternity.”

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~Rumi

Wishcasting Wednesday

image from Jamie's post

What do you wish would spring into your life?

Balance. A natural rhythm, an organic way of being that is simple yet powerful, filled with ease and good cheer, stillness and space, focus and intention.

Confidence. A clarity and certainty that is unshakeable and unbreakable. A sense of myself and my place in the world. Trust in my calling, faith in my purpose and path. Connection with my truest self. No need to ask or search or change, but a deep knowing, for certain and for sure and for good.

Connection. A wise woman told me this week that my view of myself as separate is killing me. This requires dissolving ego, (whether I feel superior or inferior to others, that’s ego), because as long as it remains strong, I think I am alone. I want to embody connection, to remember that we are the same, to see myself as equally worthy of love, acceptance, and belonging, and to know with utter confidence that we are connected, all of us and every thing.

Surrender. I don’t mean giving up, at least not in a negative way. And I don’t mean I want things to be easy. What I mean is loosening up, not too tight, not pushing or rushing, but rather slowing down, accepting–surrender, let go, release attachments, sink in, be here now, without agenda or judgement.

Embodied Wisdom. In Buddhism, this is often referred to as “skillful means,” Upaya in Sanskrit. It’s being what I know, manifesting that truth, the method and technique with which I might reach enlightenment. This is my compassion and wisdom in action. This means that my heart and mind are in the same moment, the same plane of reality, experience, and existence.

Opportunities for Service. Not service of the ego, aggression or greed or confusion, but service that eases suffering, shifts reality from aggression to love, confusion to wisdom, anxiety and fear to acceptance, attachment to freedom, depression to good cheer, numbness to awareness, speed to mindfulness, illness and dis-ease to health and well-being, hunger to contentment, poverty to abundance.

Love. It doesn’t matter what the question is, the answer is love. The more love, the better.