Category Archives: Surrender

Full Moon Dreamboard: Full Strawberry Moon

6-Full-Strawberry-Moon

I swear, kind and gentle reader, I had no idea this month’s dreamboard was for a Strawberry Moon when I wrote my Day of Rest post earlier today. It’s a happy accident, a bit of magic, some kind of message from the Universe. At first, the color palette, the images and words I was finding were confusing to me, but when I found the beets, I totally got it.

Here’s what Jamie says, “The Full Strawberry Moon, the Full Honey Moon, the Full Rose Moon, what evocative names for this luscious, sensual moon. As we began to gather our supplies and images beneath the new moon, I invited you to consider the question, ‘What would I love to delight in this month?’ Let this moon set you free to dream with wild abandon, to bust through any barriers that have been in your way. Fill your dreamboard with whatever stirs your spirit and catches your soul – without censorship. Let yourself experience the luscious abundance of this moon and fill your dreamboard to overflowing. Let the pictures drip off the sides of the page. Run wild with your dreams under this full Strawberry moon.”

The Full Strawberry Moon asks: “What delights are you dreaming of?”

strawberrymoon13

Strawberries, obviously.
Flowers from my garden, inspiring me,
encouraging inner joy to bloom.
A touch of kindness.
Well-being off the mat.

Pure food, passion.
Great taste, joy.
Now, make friends with food again.
Eat what you want…

Moment to moment,
surrender is the choice
to open up to what is actually going on
inside us and around us.
It is the most profound form
of alignment with reality —
and it opens us to love.

An intuitive told me
I’m a sleeping Bodhisattva.
My spirit, my root chakra,
is literally a root,
a beautiful red beet
being sung a lullaby, a whispered shhhh…
and my own hands, thick with color and energy,
my heart listening to first thought,
my spirit trusting intuition,
will wake my true power,
the expanding light.

I Surrender.

treeshadowicecrackThe ponds at Lee Martinez are singing as they melt–humming, gurgling, snapping and cracking. The places where the ice is softening around the edges form patterns that look like the shadows of trees, their bare branches stretching out over the surface of the water.

Today feels like it could be spring. The sky over Fort Collins is clear and bright blue, the sun is shining and it’s warm. It seems like the population has suddenly doubled because everyone is outside.

aqua

I feel like my color this year is aqua–sea glass, soft turquoise mixed with deep blue. The color of water, the color of the sometimes sky, the color of the typewriter and the water and the arrows on my 2013 vision board, one of the colors in my eyes. Bridget Pilloud wrote about it on The Intuitive Bridge today, saying of the color:

It’s speaking your truth. It’s hearing the truth of others. It’s synthesizing intuitive information with observed information.

Aqua is especially important to speakers and writers, to singers, to teachers, because in an Aqua year, you grow in your ability to speak and listen, to synthesize information, to integrate your energy.

Aqua also gives the gift of the greatest healing and the strongest connection. And when your heart is healed, you learn that life is much simpler than you’ve thought, that you’re a better person than you ever imagined and that you knew the whole story all along.

myeye

I feel inspired by the students in Mondo Beyondo, allowing themselves to want what they want, to dream big, some of them for the first time in a long time, some of them for the first time ever.

I feel inspired, as well as supported and encouraged by the students in Cultivating Courage, who are practicing bravery, making big and small moves every day, who are pushing against their edges, daring greatly, opening their hearts and telling the truth.

I am inspired by my friends who are learning to ask for help when they need it, who are reaching out for support, asking for assistance.

I am inspired by Andrea Scher, who creates safe spaces for her students to connect, to contemplate, to dare, to take chances. I’m also inspired by her own acts of courage, her willingness to ask for help, her willingness to invest in herself.

In the midst of this contemplation, this thawing, softening, this cultivation of courage and inspiration, this practice of bravery and dreaming, I am considering the obstacles to my freedom, and what I need to do to dissolve them.

freedomthanksgivingcrow

Last week, I had to make a big deal doctor’s appointment. There was some shame, guilt, anxiety, panic involved in the multistage process, and after it was all taken care of, scheduled, I ate half a bag of chips (popped and organic, but still), two slices of toast with butter (organic bread, but still), and a whole box of Annie’s Organic mac and cheese for “lunch.” I have told you before that I am a highly functioning food addict, and there was something about this particular incident that brought me to a “I give up, I surrender, I’ve had enough” moment.

I feel afraid or stuck when I see myself falling into old and discursive habits, ways of being and thinking. While I’m better than I used to be, more aware, kinder and gentler, healthier, when I get too stressed or tired, overwhelmed, when I start to go off the rails, when I feel my body getting heavy and my thoughts racing and my heart feeling dull, it’s hard to not freak out, hard to not feel trapped, having never truly been without this “thing,” this monster that lives in my belly, this frozen spot in my mind and my heart.

And you know what, kind and gentle reader? I’ve had it. I am over it, done. I need to be free of this. I surrender, and I’m admitting I need help. Just before I started writing this post, I contacted a therapist (whose practice is a mix of Western and Buddhist theories) and requested a meeting.

crow

I surrender. I surrender to radical self-acceptance, to truth, to reality, to this:

There is no love affair, no perfect best friend, no all-mighty parent, no incredible career, no ideal body, no distant and separate God/dess that can make up for the aching want, the hole, the yearning, that exists beneath the surface and at the center of our lives. It can only be healed by cultivating a dangerously authentic, reciprocal love affair with the bare truth of who we are, and allowing ourselves to become infused with a sacred courage that teaches us how to embody and articulate the essence of a truth that we’ve had since before we were born. Holding that truth so close to ourselves that it cuts into our hearts as a real, deep love and moves through our breath as the sound of our truest voice is all that we have ever looked for in anything or anyone else. It is also the only thing the universe has ever looked for from us. ~Grace Emilie

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: It’s not going to stop until I wise up. I was beating myself up the other day for eating so many lemon poppy seed scones in a single day, (each one is glazed and as big as my face, and I was having a hard week, somehow thought eating them was going to make me feel better, but feeling instead a mix of shame and disgust–this is how it always works). I was starting to get angry, why does this keep happening? why can’t I control myself? why can’t I stop? It was in that moment that I felt something snap and then soften, felt some measure of surrender, giving up, letting go, and I knew: this will continue as long as I deny myself, hide and reject who I truly am, what I really want and feel and need and am, and then it will be over. I realized that until I surrender to what life is really asking of me, give in completely, give up all of the habits and excuses that are stopping me, it won’t ever stop–I have to surrender to what is, to who I am.

2. Truth: I need to shift from a focus on growth to one of sustainability. The way I’m approaching my experience isn’t working, can’t be maintained, is happening at the cost of my health and my sanity. I’m not sure exactly what it should look like instead, I just know I can’t keep doing it like this. I’ll burn out, fade away. I’m attempting and accumulating, but it’s not sustainable. I’m craving space, hungry for stillness and quiet, wanting to clean and declutter, to nest, to rest. It’s the season, but it’s also the path I’ve been on (more like a German autobahn than a path), driving so fast and working so hard to get where, exactly?

3. Truth: Where I want to be, what I am longing to manifest is who I already am, just me, to be that. The card in the picture is on my desk at my paid work. It’s been there for the past year, even though it’s one from a set of 53. There it sits, day after day, giving me its wisdom, silently sending me its message, waiting patiently to be noticed, and I continue to be so busy, I don’t even see it. Until the other day, when I actually saw it, looked, listened, opened my heart to it, felt it whisper this is what I want.

One Wish: For simplicity and spaciousness. “We all want a sense of spaciousness and freedom, but we find we can claim that freedom, strangely, only by living out a focused, radical, courageous simplicity,” (David Whyte). That–a focused, radical, courageous simplicity–that is what I wish for today, kind and gentle reader. For all of us.

Something Good

1. Rueben Is Just Right, a sweet rescue story.

2. This quote: Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.
~Zora Neale Hurston

3. My 3 Fave Ways to Celebrate in under 10 Minutes by Sherry Richert Belul on Cherry Blossom Soup. And also from Sherry, The NEW Black Friday: Make Love Lists Not Shopping Lists!

4. A Dog’s Lessons on Mindfulness on Positively Present.

5. Two from Justine Musk, You Were Born to Be a Badass in which she says “But the first step, as Greene points out, is inward: a turning away from the voices that urge conformity, toward the truth of who you are at core,” and How to Start Creating Your Blog Community, which really has me thinking about what great work we could do together, kind and gentle reader.

6. Some Thoughts and Musings about Making Things for the Web from the Oatmeal.

7. This Black Friday video from The Story of Stuff should explain why I’ll be staying home.

8. Least Likely to be Adopted Dog Pound Portraits, so good that they were all adopted.

9. Jive at the Age of 2, this kid has mad skills.

10. Las Palmas the movie is finally available, only $1.99 to download.

11. The Wonder of Thresholds from Jen Louden, with the extra special bonus of an audio chat with Rachel Cole.

12. The Soul-Shaking Practice of Surrender by Courtney Carver on Be More With Less. Anybody remember a something good list that didn’t have something from Courtney on it?! Yeah, me neither.

13. Get Campie, online vintage camper parade.

14. Judy Clement Wall’s new site is done!!!!!! More doodles, even more love! Reason #115 why I love her.

15. Be More by Doing Less: Removing the Distraction of Busyness and When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed: Create a To-Live List on Tiny Buddha.

16. Wicked Awesome Quotes, a new site from Cigdem Kobu. I pretty much love everything she does, because she’s completely amazing.

17. And yet, the morning comes, the most amazing post from Lisa Bonchek Adams, who recently discovered her breast cancer was back, had metastasized. She ends this post with “I’m still processing. Reeling. But while I’m doing that I’m living.” She is so amazing.

18. This quote from Tulku Thondup:

For healing, it is important to have inspiration. A hopeful and inspired feeling generates enthusiasm, trust, and openness and makes it easier for us to meditate. However, we should not obsess about the meditation experience or have rigid expectations about what should happen. Grasping after results will only become a tourniquet that tightens our mental and physical energies.

19. This quote from Tara Brach, her new book True Refuge:

In the Buddhist teachings, the conscious recognition of our heart’s deepest longing is called wise aspiration. Yours might be for spiritual realization, for loving more fully, for knowing truth, for finding peace. Whatever its flavor, the awareness of what you care about energizes and guides your practice.

20. SoulPancake: Find Peace in the Zen Den. I love the looks on these people’s faces as they step inside, and the woman who says “I’m not finished yet. I can keep going.”

21. Eleanor Roosevelt on Happiness, Conformity, and Integrity on Brain Pickings. My favorite part is this:

Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: “A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.”

But there is another basic requirement, and I can’t understand now how I forgot it at the time: that is the feeling that you are, in some way, useful. Usefulness, whatever form it may take, is the price we should pay for the air we breathe and the food we eat and the privilege of being alive. And it is its own reward, as well, for it is the beginning of happiness, just as self-pity and withdrawal from the battle are the beginning of misery.

22. Cupcakes for control—A healthy strategy for weight management, from Drop It and Eat: Drop the Diet, Manage Your Weight. This makes so much sense to me.

23. This:

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

24. Don’t Wait from Julia on Painted Path. If you have it to spare, send sweet Julia some love and comfort.

25. I’ve started telling my daughters I’m beautiful. Even those of us who aren’t moms should start doing this, start believing this, for the daughters of the world, for ourselves.

26. This quote, from Cheri Huber:

Those of us who have the awareness, the sensitivity, the great privilege–all the things necessary to awaken and end suffering in this lifetime–need to take that opportunity very, very seriously. As the Buddha pointed out, we never know when such an opportunity will arise again.

27. Stay in the Moment with the TAP Method by Dani, the author of the Positively Present blog.

First Snow

We had the first snow of the season last night. This picture of Dexter is from three years ago, from a walk we took with Obi during one of his last snows, because right now it’s still dark outside, too dark to get a new picture. I didn’t think Dexter would live long enough to see another snow, but there he was this morning with it melting into his soft fur.

Maybe I should let go of knowing, of being sure about anything, of trying to figure things out. It is wisdom–“only don’t know,” beginners mind, non-judgement. What else might I discover if I surrender to uncertainty, to change, to impermanence? What other magic moments are waiting there, previously unseen, unnoticed, unlived? What medicine, what relief or wisdom, what other secrets lie hidden in a flake of melting snow?

Gratitude Friday

This post is a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.

1. Fall. Sweet, cool, comforting, glorious, gorgeous fall. The time in Colorado when the temperatures cool, the leaves turn golden and purple and red, but the sky turns an even bluer blue. Oh how I missed you, wool socks and cashmere sweaters and long pants and down blankets and yes, even you sweet gloves and hat. And soup and hot cider! *sigh*

2. My Writing for the Web class, the community they are forming, the voices emerging, the kind and gentle conversations, the laughter, the bright ideas, the trust and steps towards courage, authenticity.

3. Relaxation of fear and worry, softening of tension, easing into uncertainty and staying with the strong emotions, the experience, surrendering to what is, as it is.

4. Dahlias. Whenever I am having a rough time, am tired or struggling, a jar full of flowers on my writing desk, or a few blooms on my meditation shrine always make me happy, always provide comfort.

5. Homemade breakfast burritos. I have been craving, cooking, and devouring these this week.

6. Dog dreams, and especially all the noises they make, the whimpers and half barks, and the way their feet twitch and “run.”

Bonus Joy: Dexter jumping into our bed today to say good morning, which is a sure sign he’s feeling better. And the cutest thing: because he’s been feeling yucky, when we go somewhere we’ve been leaving the door of his crate open, and the past few days when we’ve returned, there he is, asleep in his crate anyway. Also, when I got home from work yesterday, the weather was so nice and cool, that we hung out in the backyard playing with his favorite toy, Little D, a Cattle Dog stuffed toy that looks an awful lot like a Mini Dexter should. Dexter maybe, might, probably has a fatal cancer, but for now, the quality of his life is second only to how much I love and appreciate him.

Book Writing Saturday (and yes, I realize it’s Monday)

Confession: This Saturday, I did not spend four hours working on the book I’m writing. I am still struggling to wrap my head around the idea that Dexter is terminally ill, that we are going to lose him. Some days, some moments, it’s all I have room for, can’t think about or do anything else. I feel stuck and small and sad and scared, and my voice sticks in my throat.

On Saturday, I developed a cough. My chest was worn out from holding my heart so tight, from the tension that surrounded every breath, from the struggle of suffering. I took a long walk with my three boys, did laundry, swept the house, paid bills, made a dreamboard, had a long talk with a friend, watched some tv, played scrabble on my ipod, rested, loved on my dogs, went to bed early, but I did not work on my book.

I accept that this will happen. I can set the intention to write this book, clear space for it and have faith that it wants to be written, but sometimes life will get complicated and there will be obstacles. I forgive myself. I surrender. I realize that while there are times I won’t be actively writing this book, I am probably still living some of it, so all I can do is show up with an open-heart, bringing my tender awareness, open to both the beauty and the brutality of my experience.