Category Archives: Three Truths and One Wish

Three Truths and One Wish

mountmargarethike

1. Truth: Yesterday I went on a six mile hike at Mount Margaret, up by Red Feather Lakes, a place that just so happens to be one of my most favorite on the planet. Those of you who have been following the saga of my injured foot and everything I’ve been doing to get back “up to speed,” to heal, know what a big deal this is — I hiked SIX miles, with Eric and my dogs.

2. Truth: I have a difficult time giving myself credit. It doesn’t seem to matter how hard I work, how much I get done, how much effort I give, I’m not satisfied, don’t feel like it’s enough. Like today, I meditated, wrote, did five loads of laundry, went out to breakfast with a few friends, and to physical therapy, and instead of seeing all I’ve accomplished, I fixate on the time I spent on the couch watching a movie with a heating pad on my leg (physical therapy helps, but it also hurts) and beat myself up for not going on the afternoon walk with the dogs. Right now, I’m giving myself a hard time for not drinking enough water today. I’m not as much of a bully with myself as I used to be, but I’m certainly not my best friend.

3. Truth: Vacation is complicated. It takes lot of effort to allow myself a true break, real time off and recreation, to let go of the responsibility, to allow myself to exist without having to earn it. Even during the rest of the year when I’m working, I struggle with allowing myself rest or joy or pleasure. And if I lean that direction, I don’t fully experience it, I hold back just a little, can’t sink into in completely without some guilt.

One wish: May we allow ourselves to be, as we are. May we be with whatever is and not abandon ourselves. May we cultivate a sense of friendship with ourselves. May we know that we don’t have to earn the right to be here, that we can want what we want, and even have what we want. May we know in our bones that we are allowed rest, joy, pleasure, and love.

 

Three Truths and One Wish

forgetmenot1. Truth: I’m on summer vacation!!! Yesterday afternoon, I finished up the last thing on my to-do list, cleaned up my desk, made arrangements to have someone water my plants while I was gone, and put my out of office message on my email. This morning, even though I could have, I couldn’t even sleep in because I was so excited to be on vacation.

2. Truth: This is a very different start to the summer than last year. I had the flu, was really sick with a cough, aches, snuffy/runny nose, fever, and awful fatigue. My foot was bothering me but I had yet to realize it was Plantar Fasciitis, (that would come later in the summer), and I had one other thing going on that I don’t even like to talk about because it’s sort of embarrassing (not to mention painful), even though I really have no reason to be embarrassed about it. And, to add insult to injury (and illness), I was off contract but kept being asked to do more work. I was so depressed. At about six weeks into summer, I had a complete meltdown, scheduled a meeting with my boss, and changes where made that meant leaving this year for break was so much easier.

3. Truth: I expect that this summer will be better. For one thing, we are going to the beach for almost two months. And I have a whole month before we leave to work in my garden, clean my house, see friends, walk my dogs, read, take naps, etc. And don’t worry — I know exactly how lucky I am.

One wish: May we all have a summer filled with ease, rest, and joy, no matter how or where we spend it. And if you are having a summer like I had last year, may you get the healing, the relief and rest you need, and be comforted in the knowledge that “this too shall pass.”

Three Truths and One Wish

artsky

1. Truth: My hunger/eating schedule doesn’t fit the norm. I like a light breakfast around 5-6 am, a bigger breakfast around 9-10 am, and lunch around 2-3 pm, which means sometimes I don’t want dinner, or “dinner” is more like a snack. For a long time I forced myself to to eat on a “normal” schedule, and ended up eating when I wasn’t hungry or not eating even though I was starving because it wasn’t “time to eat,” (I also did lots of weird things where I had to earn what I ate, or what I ate was a punishment, but that’s a whole other truth).

2. Truth: I don’t need to eat as much as I used to. After decades of disordered eating, starving and stuffing myself, and then a period of crazed eating because I was finally letting myself eat and was allowed to eat whatever I wanted and after years of deprivation I was always hungry, I finally feel like my hunger is starting to even out.

3. Truth: I can feel my body. I know that this statement is so strange to some that you might wonder what it even means. What I mean is for years I denied and ignored my body. I lived my entire life in my head. My physical body was mostly an inconvenience, an irritation. I was a hungry ghost. The other day, I was walking across campus, and I realized I could actually feel my body. I was aware of it entirely — feet, legs, torso, lungs, arms, hands, all of it. I also feel where it hurts — that’s the bad news.

One wish: May we honor our hunger no matter when it comes or in what shape. May we honor our fullness, and stop when we’ve had enough. May we honor our body, giving it what it needs, feeding it and letting it rest. “Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move,” (Osho).

Three Truths and One Wish

From our walk this morning

From our walk this morning

1. Truth: I can be very judgmental. Things that irritated me just this morning: Donald Trump, Republicans, people who claim to have healed themselves (from everything from high cholesterol to cancer) through nothing more than diet and exercise and positive thinking, people with offlead dogs, bikes that ride on the sidewalk, shops that don’t open until 11 am, two people I haven’t even seen in at least 20 years, a teacher who is always quoting things but never giving credit to the original author, Ringo, my computer, myself.

2. Truth: The single most important and beneficial thing I could do for myself is to get enough sleep. I don’t do this, most of the time, and it leads to all sorts of other things that are bad for my overall health and well-being — not wanting to exercise, eating too much candy or even forgetting to eat, not being able to think or act with clarity, having trouble relating to other people, being easily irritated, getting depressed.

3. Truth: I can’t stop thinking about that thing Tiffany Han said, in a recent post on Laura Simms’s blog, advice about whether or not you should start a business. Tiffany said, “Try to discern if you really want a business or if you’re looking for relief from your current job situation.” I can’t stop thinking about it because I’d already realized that I didn’t necessarily want another job so much as I wanted a different kind of life, and to be honest that life might not include fulltime work at all.

One wish: May we all keep our hearts soft, may our bodies be well rested, and may we be able to relax with what is.

Three Truths and One Wish

My new favorite mug (check out Emily's website, she has some really great stuff)

My new favorite mug (check out Emily’s website, she has some really great stuff)

1. Truth: I can’t figure out the formula to make it all work. I never manage to accomplish everything I want to, or even need to. If I’m able to get up early, meditate, do my writing practice, walk the dogs, shower, eat breakfast, and get to work at a reasonable time, I probably didn’t floss my teeth and skipped the gym and didn’t make a lunch and arrive at my office to begin a long day of a whole list of other things I won’t get done, to add to the running list that keeps getting longer of all the things I need to do that I just can’t seem to find the energy or time for — make a vet appointment for the dogs, follow up on that question I have about my insurance, mail those books and such that have sat unwrapped in a box on the floor by my desk for months, meet with that person about my 401k, read the book for book club, balance the checkbook, schedule some maintenance on the car, get the snow tires taken off, weed the flower beds, go to a yoga class I’m not teaching, etc. I’ve tried to apply various techniques — spend less time on social media, watch less TV, get up earlier, choose three things to prioritize and make sure those get my attention before anything else — but it never seems to work. There’s still too much that needs done and not enough energy or time.

2. Truth: Instead of feeling like I’ve accomplished anything, I feel like I’m failing. It doesn’t matter what I actually get done, what I really contribute or what value I add, I can’t escape the underlying anxiety that there are other things falling apart while my attention is elsewhere. Sure I was able to keep those four plates spinning, but the other three smashed on the ground in the meantime. And in that moment of stunned awareness, in that pause of grief over my failure to do it all, one of the remaining four plates stopped spinning and crashed to the ground. Maybe I should switch to paper plates?

3. Truth: Deep down, I know that the cake is a lie. “The Cake is a Lie” is a catchphrase popularized by the game Portal, and is often used to convey the message that a promised gift is being used to motivate without any intent of delivering. I know the promise that if you just get organized, just get your shit together, you can have a happy, healthy life in which you are well-fed, rested, satisfied, content, a life in which the laundry is all done (folded and put away), you have time to cook healthy delicious food and make it to the gym and socialize with friends and do all the various maintenance required of your life, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada — is a lie. We have set the bar way too high — and yet, I keep trying.

One wish: May we, for just one moment, even just one breath, soften, relax, lower the bar, let go, and not feel guilty about it. May we forgive ourselves for not being able to live up to an impossible set of standards. May we find space in our days, rest in our nights.

Three Truths and One Wish

From our walk this morning

From our walk this morning

1. Truth: Sugar is keeping me awake this afternoon. I don’t drink coffee, I can’t stop working just now to go take a nap, and I already tried taking a short walk to snap me out of my slump, so besides walking across the hall and asking my colleague to slap me every ten minutes, sugar is my only option left. I’m eating a donut right nowOld Fashioned Sour Creme Glazed Plain from Lamar’s Donuts, and a banana, all washed down with a big glass of water. We had a celebration this morning in the main office for “National Student Employee Appreciation Day,” so there were leftover treats and I’m taking advantage, even though I know it will only buy me another hour or two before I’m dragging again.

2. Truth: We’ve got more snow on the way. Depending on which forecast you look at, it’s either going to be a couple of inches or almost a foot. It’s going to be sloppy, crappy, dreary weather for the next three days. It’s totally normal for this time of year, but I sure was hoping to work in my garden this weekend, maybe even go hiking, and my dogs (well, Ringo) are much happier when they can go out in the backyard (Sam’s just as happy on the couch).

3. Truth: Environmental factors, internal and external, are real. As many affirmations as you throw at yourself, sometimes it’s cold and wet and muddy and sometimes you are super tired and can’t think straight and that’s just the way it is. As positive as you might try to be, there are real conditions that you have to work with, work around, work through. I can’t make myself not be tired just by wishing it (or by drinking a green smoothie), and I can’t change the weather with my good attitude. Which reminds me of one of my favorite Pema Chödrön quotes, “Affirmations are like screaming that you’re okay in order to overcome this whisper that you’re not … maybe you’re not okay. Well, no big deal. None of us is okay and all of us are fine.”

One wish: That no matter what our conditions are, we relax and remember that none of it is that big of a deal, “none of us is okay and all of us are fine.”

Three Truths and One Wish

From our walk this morning, one of my favorite spots.

From our walk this morning, one of my favorite spots.

1. Truth: You know you love someone when their happiness makes you happy. In Buddhism, there’s something known as mudita, which translates to sympathetic or empathetic joy. It is one of the four immeasurables, qualities that if cultivated are said to lead to contentment. Mudita is the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people’s well-being, and is the opposite of envy. I felt it today when my friend was telling me about a moment between her boyfriend and her father, experienced it when I felt so happy for her, for them, that I started to tear up.

2. Truth: To ease suffering is one of the quickest ways to feel better. It can be the suffering of another or my own that is eased, and it doesn’t have to be the big bad kind of suffering — no matter what it always does the trick to help. I was noticing it this morning with the dogs, all the times I helped — checking feet for stickers, removing a piece of stick that was caught under a harness, helping get a chunk of cookie that got stuck in one’s teeth, cleaning out eye buggers, filling the water bowl, opening a door, retrieving a toy from under the couch. Such tiny things, so mundane and constant, but such a huge part of my own well-being to try, comfort, assist, aid, serve.

3. Truth: Sometimes I’m the one who needs the most help. I’ve been working so hard lately, and my body has been in so much pain, that when I get home, all I want to do is crawl onto the couch and stay there watching TV or cuddling a dog or letting Eric tell me stories or staring at the wall until it gets dark and I can go to bed. So you know what? That’s exactly what I’ve been doing, because that’s exactly what I need.

One wish: May we all care and be cared for, comfort and be comforted, have a soft place to land and delight in each other’s well-being.