Category Archives: Three Truths and One Wish

Three Truths and One Wish

From our walk this morning

From our walk this morning

1. Truth: This is not sustainable. And by “this,” I mean the way I’m doing life. I am trying to do all the things, and then some. Even if I weren’t a highly sensitive introvert with an autoimmune disorder and lingering PTSD, it would be too much for me to keep up.

2. Truth: Even though I know that, I don’t know how to stop, or even slow down. My therapist asked me what I might be able to let go of, and I couldn’t think of a single thing. Not only that, what I started thinking about instead were all the things I wanted to add, needed to do in addition to what I’m already doing.

3. Truth: I hope the solution doesn’t arise from the ashes of a full on burnout. I’d really like to figure this out before hitting some awful rock bottom. I’d like to make choices about what I want and what to do from a place where I feel like I have options, not a place of chaos, panic, or collapse.

One wish: May my choices come from pure love and wisdom, reflecting sanity and clarity rather than fear or confusion or exhaustion.

Three Truths and One Wish

A watermelon, from my garden!

A watermelon, from my garden!

1. Truth: I’m back at work at CSU. *sigh* Students are moving into the dorms today and tomorrow, but classes don’t start until Monday, so it’s still relatively quiet — unless you count the construction on the new stadium and elsewhere. I am always amazed in the first days back how tired I get working. My days are full up just taking care of the regular stuff — meditating, writing, blogging, walking and training the dogs, doing my physical therapy, going to the gym or yoga, doing laundry, paying bills, making and going to various appointments to care for my body or car, grocery shopping and cooking, cleaning and maintaining the house, tending the garden, cultivating a marriage, etc.  Add eight hours of intensiveness mental, creative, social work to that, and by the end of the day all I want to do is eat dinner and go straight to bed.

2. Truth: It doesn’t help that I take on extra things. This semester, I have a Wild Writing class, am getting certified as a meditation instructor through the Open Heart Project, am doing a Canine Parkour class with Ringo, got a trainer for both Sam and Ringo to come and do private sessions at our house and am doing lots of extra work with them in general, am subbing some yoga classes, got the crazy idea that I could do a Wild Writing, Crazy Wisdom class at my house once a month with a smaller group of women, am the officiant of a wedding next month, and want to start running and weight training again now that my foot is better.  And I need to paint our house and have a couple of smaller trees in the backyard taken out and hopefully plant a new tree before it gets too cold. *sigh*

3. Truth: Maybe rather than trying to refine my effort, I should consider surrender. There’s a calm, a confidence I generate during the summer, a certainty about what needs done and what can wait, about who I am and what matters to me and what I want, a general and overall well-being that is so clear and easy — and somehow begins to erode as the semester wears on. Instead of feeling bad about that, I’m going to get curious about it. I’m going to lower the bar. I’m going to ask for help. I’m going to eat and rest and exercise even if it means other things don’t get done.

One wish: No matter our circumstances or particular struggles, may we relax with what is, not forget ourselves, not give up, and most importantly maintain our sense of humor.

Three Truths and One Wish

From our walk this morning

From our walk this morning

1. Truth: It’s good to be home. I was sitting on my meditation cushion this morning while Eric and the dogs lounged on the couches in the other room, with John Jay & Rich on the radio in the background and the whole house fan pulling fresh cool air in from outside where a warm wind was blowing and the birds where singing, and it washed over me, “I’m so glad to be home.”

2. Truth: It’s hard to let go of some things. I’ve had the urge to purge ever since we got back from vacation, and yesterday I tackled a small built-in bookshelf in our living room where we keep DVDs, CDs, old VHS tapes, and apparently remotes to things we don’t even own anymore. I dusted and got rid of two shelves worth of things. It was hard to let go of some of them. For example, even though I know I can access just about any music I want online and only one of our cars has a CD player, it’s still hard to get rid of the CDs I’ve been collecting for so many years. As I looked through them, there were bands I’d forgotten about, that I loved, still love — K’s Choice, Everything But the Girl, Luther Vandross, LTD, Donna Summer, Go West, and so many more. Last year for Christmas, Eric burned almost all of those CDs onto one of our computers so I’d have copies of everything without needing to keep the actual hard copy, but I hadn’t been able to get rid of them yet. Yesterday, I did, along with a bunch of stuff that hadn’t made it back into our linen closet yet after having redone our bathroom.

3. Truth: Even though letting go is hard, I usually feel better once I do. I feel so much lighter, clearer, more peaceful without all that extra shit lying around gathering dust and making me feel bad. If I really don’t need it, letting it go makes room for something else, even if that something else is simply space. And if I lose a memory because I no longer have a thing to remind me, I supposed I have to be okay with that too.

One wish: May we all have a space to go home to, that feels comfortable and safe, that contains the things most precious to us, and may we let go of everything else with ease.

Three Truths and One Wish

magicdoor

1. Truth: I’m sad to leave, AND ready to go home.  I know I said the same thing last week, but it’s still true. The only difference is that I might be a little more ready to go home now than I was a week ago.

2. Truth: This summer may from now on be known as the “things aren’t always as bad as they seem” vacation. This trip was filled with a lot of yuck, some of which turned out to not be as terrible as first thought, and other stuff that seems hard now but might end up being for the best. In the moment, it can feel so claustrophobic and unworkable, but with some time and distance and a little more information, it might not be so bad after all. All I can do is keep trying, not give up.

3. Truth: I couldn’t do any of this without Eric. I couldn’t afford this vacation, I couldn’t drive for two days with two dogs to get here, and I certainly couldn’t meet any of the confusion and challenges of life without his support and good cheer. Okay, I probably could — but why?

One wish: Wherever we travel and whatever we encounter, may we meet it with good cheer and wisdom and compassion, and may we have friends and loved ones to support us along the way. And because this week seems to warrant an extra wish, I offer you this metta (loving kindness) practice from Anam Thubten:

May we be safe from inner and outer harm,
may we be free from guilt, shame, and hatred,
may we enjoy mental and physical well being,
may we live with the ease of an open heart,
may we go beyond our inner darkness,
and awaken to our radiant true nature as boundless love.

May we express loving kindness toward each other so that war, conflict and every form of strife come to an end, allowing peace and harmony to pervade the entire world.

Three Truths and One Wish

onatable1. Truth: There are some things I don’t tell you. Even though I’m pretty open, honest on this blog, there are a few things I just don’t write about here. Some are other people’s dis-ease, illness, and addiction, and some are my own. It seems like in the past year I’ve had to be quieter here than before because there’s been more of that going on behind the scenes. Take this vacation for example. Some major things have gone down that I can’t post about. I know that’s right, but part of me longs for the comfort of telling you.

2. Truth: I’m ready to go home, but I’m sad about leaving. We have one week left, and most of the time I feel simultaneously like I never want to leave AND I can’t get back to Colorado fast enough. It’s the strangest thing. I love it here so much — the beach, the ocean, the weather, all the green, the fresh berries and veggies and seafood, the long lazy days, two and a half hour walks every morning, naps, reading books, nowhere I have to be and nothing I have to do, family so close by. But I also love Colorado — the mountains, the river, the parks where we walk two hours every morning, my garden, my tiny little house with my comfortable bed and new bathroom, my friends, my favorite yoga teachers, my meditation cushion, my backyard, my physical therapist, the dogs’ vets, everything I’m used to and need right there. It’s confusing.

3. Truth: Just because something is the right choice doesn’t make it easy. I know it’s right to keep quiet about some things. I know it’s right that Eric and I live in Colorado, so far away from our families. I know that vacations have to end at some point. And just because something is true, inevitable even, doesn’t make it easy. I know that I can’t protect people I love or myself from bad things happening, that we are all going to get sick, lose our minds a little, make bad choices that have consequences, maybe even get old, and eventually die.

One wish: May we all get our version of whatever comfort and strength we need. No matter how bad it gets, may we find a way to keep going. May we find the magic and the medicine.

Three Truths and One Wish

beachshack

1. Truth: One of the ways I generate suffering for myself is by taking responsibility … for e v e r y thing. It can be incredibly painful. No matter what happens — someone I love is sick or someone else is in crisis or someone I don’t even know is suffering — my first reaction is I should do something. I feel responsible, think I should help or fix it, and when I can’t or I don’t know what to do, I suffer.

2. Truth: To not take responsibility is equally harmful. Someone I love very much is an addict, but the real issue isn’t so much her drug of choice but rather the ground of her addiction — her inability to take responsibility. It isn’t just that she doesn’t “take the blame” when she does something harmful, she also doesn’t see how she can make choices in her life, have some measure of control over what happens to her, that she can change things if she wants, make things better. She is trapped in the belief that her life happens to her.

3. Truth: There is always a middle way. We don’t have to take responsibility for everything, but it’s good to take some measure — to be accountable, involved, engaged, helpful. We can cultivate wisdom and compassion, have agency and practice the sanity of right action, and ask for forgiveness and make amends when we falter.

One wish: May we have “the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Three Truths and One Wish

beachwithgull

1. Wherever you go, there you are. Being on vacation makes this very clear. I usually enter vacation, whether we stay at home for it or travel, thinking I’ll be a different me, that it will be a magic time. Somehow I’ll be more relaxed, happier, less worried, maybe more productive, healthier, better rested, not bothered by the normal stuff of life. This isn’t the way it goes.

2. What we do impacts others. We might not like it, but it’s true. And as it is true, it seems important to keep in mind when making decisions and choices.

3. None of us are safe, no matter how hard we try to be. We can’t predict or control the way things are going to happen. We can’t know how all the various conditions and causes will work together.

One wish: May we relax into the unpredictable, impermanent nature of being. May we soften the suffering by turning our effort towards joy and love.