Category Archives: Three Truths and One Wish

Three Truths

cafeardourlight

1. Truth: Knowing what you want is just the first step. You can be so clear about what your destination is, about it being right for you, but that alone doesn’t get you there. It’s simply a good place to start, a beginning.

2. Truth: Even if you know where you intend to land, there are many tiny steps on the path to getting there. I know there’s a lot of encouragement to lean in, play big, take the leap, with the promise that you’ll magically land where you want, but I don’t think it happens just like that for most people. In fact, I’ve found that many who try to sell their story like it was that easy simply skip the middle, leave out the messy bits.

3. Truth: Patience is essential. Especially when you can see exactly where you want to go, it can be frustrating to wait, to do the small work of getting there, and yet it’s the only way to travel, the only way to get from here to there. And just know that even when it seems like you aren’t getting anywhere, more than likely something is shifting.

One wish: May we relax into the time and effort it takes, resting when we need to, taking it as slow as we need to go, working out one thing at a time, one step and then another, patient with the process and gentle with ourselves, trusting in our own knowing.

Three Truths and One Wish

image from Unsplash, by Chris Ensey

image from Unsplash, by Chris Ensey

1. Truth: Yesterday was my two year anniversary of becoming a yoga teacher. I sent an email to all the people I trained with and then posted a message my teachers would see, marking the anniversary and sending my gratitude and love. As I told them, just like yoga isn’t just about asana (the physical poses), teacher training is about so much more than learning to teach yoga.

2. Truth: I’m not sure where I’m going with my teaching, or even my practice. I gave up my regular class because we were gone over the summer and I haven’t felt inspired to try and get another on my schedule. I’m subbing some classes in the near future, but other than that I’m not teaching much. In fact, I haven’t been practicing much, at least not in a traditional way — going to a class, or getting out my mat and props and doing a full practice at home. Something is gestating, shifting around yoga for me, and I’m allowing it to happen.

3. Truth: Practice is always evolving. While I may not be doing much yoga, I’m practicing meditation and chanting like my hair is on fire. In a few weeks, I’ll start the certification process for meditation instruction through the Open Heart Project. I feel a shift around my writing too, as I enter into what feels like a season of both truth and healing. And my practice of dog has always felt like that old game, “the floor is hot lava.” And even when I get training to teach something I practice, it only reveals to me how little I know.

One wish: May our practice help us to navigate change, transform our confusion into wisdom, and liberate us from suffering.

Three (un)Truths and One Wish (a few days late)

eveninglight

1. (un)Truth: “Anxiety and depression are tied to the future and past, so if you stay in the present, you won’t be anxious or depressed. If you stay grounded in this moment, mindful and fully present, you are okay. Nothing’s wrong.” This is true… almost. What a statement like this misses is that anxiety, grief, sadness, depression, and traumas of various other kinds live in the body, and thus are experiences that can live in the present moment. Anxiety and depression can be very real and it’s unkind, unwise to dismiss their existence with the assertion that if you could just be more mindful and present, you’d be fine.

2. (un)Truth: “How you live your life is far more significant to your health and happiness than what you do. Rest, relaxation, meditation, nutrition, exercise, laughter, play, family, friends and spirituality can be woven into our lifestyles regardless of the work we do.” Someone posted this last week on Facebook, having heard it in a stress management class she’d attended. While I agree that all those “other things” are important, the work we do has an equal impact on health and happiness, and can sometimes eclipse those other things. This is one of those “truisms” that shifts blame to individual choices (“if you are stressed out, it’s your own fault because you aren’t doing enough of the other stuff to take care of yourself”), ignoring the impact of our work — the environment, the people we interact with there, the tasks we perform, and the responsibility we are given. If it’s the wrong fit or even toxic or just somehow too much, the consequences can be quite nasty. And, I have found it to be true in my own experience that some work makes it really difficult to maintain the energy or time to put towards all those other wonderful things. I feel lucky some weeks to have clean underwear and food to eat. Truisms like this tend to just make me feel like crap about myself, like I’m doing it wrong, even though intellectually I know that’s not the case, that it isn’t anywhere near that simple.

3. (un)Truth: “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.” Prince Ea, who I really like, posted this on his Facebook page the other day. Again, just like the other two untruths in this list I feel like it glosses over something essential. The most problematic part is the “no matter how you feel.” In an effort to encourage people to not give up, it suggests that they deny how they feel, push it aside, dress it up and keep going. I get that you don’t want to feed the wrong wolf, but to not allow how you feel some agency, some authority is not right either. There are valid reasons for sadness, fear, anger, and to deny them and just act as if everything is okay doesn’t seem like the best approach. “The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy,” Pema Chödrön.

One wish: May we recognize truth when we hear it, know love when we feel it, be grounded in our own wisdom and power, remain gentle with ourselves, and never give up.

 

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.