Tag Archives: Change

Wishcasting Wednesday (on Thursday)

Change

image from Jamie’s post

I spent all day yesterday resisting Jamie’s wishcasting prompt: What do you wish to change? Change = to make or become different. It’s a risky, slippery concept for me, can quickly take me from good intention to judgement and criticism, to focusing on everything that’s wrong, practicing rejection and denial rather than working with what is from a place of curiosity and openness, understanding and acceptance.

For example, if I say I wish to change how I care for and relate to my body, it’s not long before I’m making a list of rules, shoulds, and restrictions, which leads to self-loathing, beating myself up, regret and depression, focusing on all the ways I’ve let myself down, rejecting the body I have now, denying it love and acceptance because it’s not good enough, because I want it to be different, because I wish to change it.

Wishing for change is also risky for me because it can so easily shift my focus to the future, pull me out of the present moment into planning and strategizing, doing, doing, pushing and pulling. In this state, there is no ease, no rest, no balance, no kindness.

Of course, I wish for change in all sorts of ways, specifically in the ways that the current state of things might be causing suffering. Alexandra Franzen always says she wants to leave the world a better place than she found it, to leave the people she encounters better than she found them, so I suppose this is a good, simple way to frame this wish: I wish to change things for the better, and in so doing may I release my agenda, avoid judgement and attachment, and ease suffering, in myself and in the world.

#augustmoon2013 Day 22

Midday

lovebugsbirthdayToday, at midday, I was wrapping a present for my soon to be 15 year old niece. She told me when I saw her this summer, “I’ll be able to get my permit, drive a car — can you believe that?” How she got to be 15, how it is that she’s not still the tiny little girl who would pretend to read the newspaper while she twirled her feet or the one who would sing “I’m coming up, so you better get this party started” every time she walked up the stairs or the one who loved watching Scooby Doo and eating broccoli with cheese or scrambled eggs with ketchup and answered to Love Bug — this I can’t understand.

I told her in the card I wrote her that it was hard to believe she was already 15 because so much of the time it feels like I’m still 15. And yet, Eric and I have been married almost 20 years, Obi and Dexter lived their whole lives with us and are now gone, we’ve been in this house 12 years already, I’ve been at CSU for 13, and I’ll be 46 in a few months. Time goes so fast, life goes so fast, too fast. Taking a deep breath at midday and telling Jessamy that loving her is one of the truest things there is, it’s all I can do to slow it down.

Day of Rest

This is what the river looked like just two weeks ago. The water was low and filled with dark ash from last summer’s fires, green algae growing in the stillness, with a spot in the middle where the bottom was completely exposed, the trees at the edge reflecting off the quiet surface.

To see it this morning was a reminder that things change, ebb and flow, always arising and falling away, constantly shifting, beginning and ending.

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity. ~Gilda Radner

I woke up this morning in the still dark, two warm dog bodies smashed against mine, and I started to worry. I was thinking about all the things I needed to do today, all the things that needed done this summer, all the work and the projects and the play I keep trying to stuff into every minute of every day and how there is just never enough time.

sixpacks

Later on my walk with Dexter, feeling sad about his eventual death, wishing again that it’s easy for him, still anxious about having so little time, I realize three things, Three Truths coming to me a few days early.

1. Truth: That’s really all we ever want for anyone in the end, (including ourselves), for death to be easy.

2. Truth: Dexter carries no sadness about his own death, if he even thinks of it, has any awareness of it at all.

3. Truth: In every way that I am stuck, struggling, not free, I am my biggest obstacle.

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

As I was walking, I was noticing shadow and light, the wabi-sabiness of the world, of life. Wabi-Sabi is a concept I’m a bit obsessed with right now. Essentially it is acceptance of that which is impermanent, imperfect, and incomplete, and beyond acceptance, being able to see it clearly, to understand it as beautiful, to love it even. This is the reality of our lives if we are brave enough to open our hearts to it.

This stump is wabi-sabi. It is what remains of a tree no longer alive in the way we understand that particular animation, and yet it is surrounded by life, anchored in it, present with it. In this sense, what does death even mean? Where do we begin, where and when do we truly end? If we are made of love, come from love, live surrounded by and imbedded in love, can we ever really be separated? Aren’t we always completely and utterly free?

I’d like to think so. My wish is to believe that, to trust it, to accept it — all of it, with open eyes of full awareness and an open heart full of compassion.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
~Rumi

Everything Changes

Another Wednesday without a wishcast prompt. And yet, I’m feeling a powerful need to make wishes — big wishes, important wishes, wishes for healing and peace.

I wish good health and healing for Jamie’s mom. I wish for strength, peace, and comfort for Jamie and anyone else loving and supporting her mom right now.

I wish for Dexter not to suffer, (he was at the emergency vet three weeks ago, his nose has been bleeding more that usual — whatever “usual” even means when cancer is involved — and on Saturday, he sprained his leg — a different one, not the one he’s already in physical therapy for). I also continue to wish that he have an easy death, whenever that might come.

I wish good luck, a safe trip and a workable outcome for my friend Ann. Today she’s making another visit to a doctor in Boston who might have a new treatment option for her cancer. No matter what happens, I wish her and her partner ease, comfort, and clarity.

I wish comfort for my friend Susan, my dear friend Kelly‘s mom. This past week had to have been so rough for her, with Mother’s Day and the three year anniversary of Kelly’s passing just days apart — but I also know that the arrival of a new granddaughter is offering so much joy. I wish for comfort for all of us who love Kelly and still feel so sad, miss her so much, who will forever carry that ache.

So many are suffering. It can feel overwhelming sometimes. But just when I start to feel like it’s all too much, someone does or says or makes or shares something so beautiful, that I remember: life is tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal — keep your heart open.

Today, it was a post on Hopeful World. It included beautiful words from Jen Lemen, who has been the healing balm for my own suffering so many times I’ve stopped counting. The video in the post is one she’d shared with me back in September, at a moment when it was just what I needed, and my response to it was just what she needed, but I was sworn to secrecy. I’ve been waiting patiently for her to share it with the world, so I could share it with you, and today is the day.

Everything changes. And when we can remember that during the low times, our hearts can fill with hope. And when we can tell each other this in the good times, our hearts can fill with gratitude. No matter what, we can be gentle, we can be kind. And we can remember, that even in this, we are never, ever alone. ~Jen Lemen

Wishcasting Wednesday

What do you wish to believe in?

JamieBelieve

from jamie’s post

I wish to believe in the reality of change, impermanence, no ground or center that will hold, no safe place. I cause myself so much suffering clinging to these ideas, chasing after them.

I wish to believe in this, “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” ~Chögyam Trungpa

I wish to believe in my inherent worth, my basic goodness, my fundamental wisdom and compassion and strength. I cause myself so much suffering through self-doubt, lack of confidence.

I wish to believe in the value of rest, of doing nothing, of giving nothing, the possibility of health and wellness.

I wish to believe in the possibility freedom, complete and utter freedom. Simplicity, space, ease, surrender, clarity, openness.

I wish to believe in my intuition, about my mission and my work, to have confidence that what I dream of will manifest, it will all work out, so I can relax into the experience, being in this moment, concentrating on doing one thing at a time, giving it my full attention.

I wish to believe in my value, to stop chasing after something “out there,” external validation and things, stuff and nonsense, and know that everything I need or want, I already have.

cdj

Something Good (and a few confessions)

1. Radio Enso #73: Buddhist teacher and author Susan Piver. “In this in-depth and inspirational conversation, we’ll discuss meditation (what IS meditation?, misconceptions about it, etc.), Buddhism, dharma, The Open Heart Project, and Susan’s life journey from a young girl who was always seeking to her life as a teacher, author, and lifelong spiritual practitioner.”

2. How Change Can Save Your Life, from Positively Present. A really great discussion of change, which is inevitable. And, Mourning Sickness: 6 Steps for Coping with Loss, a beautiful contemplation on a brutal experience, in which she says,

Despite the sadness and pain, the true despair of losing a best friend, there is still beauty in life. The beauty of now doesn’t override from the pain of remembering what was, but it helps. Loss will never be painless, but we have some control over how much we suffer.

3. 10 Trust Habits to Support Your Next Scary Step, from Trust Tending with Kristin Noelle.

4. Marina Abramovic and Ulay.

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.

5. These Aren’t Your Average Snapshots: Bill Gekas’ Portraits of His Daughter as Classic Paintings.

6. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer, a super interesting TED Talk. And Chuck Wendig’s response on Terrible Minds, The Art of Asking: For Writers and Storytellers.

7. The Art of Reframing Difficult Emotions, on The Freedom Experiment.

8. Losing Your Mind and Finding Your Self, Ed and Deb Shapiro on The Huffington Post.

9. The Young Girl Who’s Best Friends with African Wildlife. A really fun set of pictures.

Born in Africa to French wildlife photographer parents, Tippi Degré had a most unusual childhood. The young girl grew up in the African desert and developed an uncommon bond with many untamed animals including a 28-year old African elephant named Abu, a leopard nicknamed J&B, lion cubs, giraffes, an Ostrich, a mongoose, crocodiles, a baby zebra, a cheetah, giant bullfrogs, and even a snake. Africa was her home for many years and Tippi became friends with the ferocious animals and tribespeople of Namibia. As a young child, the French girl said, “I don’t have friends here. Because I never see children. So the animals are my friends.”

10. Meditation And Mourning: 3 Obstacles to Successful Grieving, by Lodro Rinzler on The Huffington Post.

11. This quote, so important: “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” ~Chögyam Trungpa

12. Open Your Heart to Change the World, an older post from Susan Piver, but fundamental.

13. How I Got the Job and Lost Myself, from Liv Lane, (I confess, I sometimes feel this way about my paid work).

14. Ash Beckham at Ignite Boulder 20, a sane argument for not using the word “gay” as a pejorative, for acceptance rather than tolerance of gay people, (I confess, I love and accept gay people).

15. Book Porn: The 30 Best Places To Be If You Love Books(I confess, I am a bibliophile).

16. Flora Bowley post it notes, oh my, (I confess, I love post it notes).

17. She’s Worth It Fundraising Campaign. A more than worthy cause.

18. Pema Chödrön’s Three Bite Practice.

You can do this anytime you eat a meal. Before taking the first bite, just pause and think of those men and women of wisdom and mentally offer them your food. In this way, you connect with the virtue of devotion.

Before taking the second bite, pause and offer your food to all those who’ve been kind to you. This nurtures the virtues of gratitude and appreciation. The third bite is offered to those who are suffering: all the people and animals who are starving, or being tortured or neglected, without comfort or friends. Think, too, of all of us who suffer from aggression, craving, and indifference. This simple gesture awakens the virtue of compassion.

In this way—by relying on our teachers, our benefactors, and those in need—we gather the virtues of devotion, gratitude, and kindness.

19. When the Universe Has Been Listening All Along, a beautiful post from Christina Rosalie. Also from Christina, 35 Words, “A project with my friend Willow I are doing: 35 Words + an image every day for the year.”

20. The Burning HouseI knew about the book, but hadn’t heard of the blog until I read about it on SF Girl by Bay.

21. A quote from Goldie Hawn, “If we can just let go and trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself,” (I confess, I can’t remember who originally shared this quote).

22. This quote from Barry Magid, (shared by Carry It Forward), “Happiness or enlightenment is not something that takes place in our brains. They are functions of a whole person living a whole life.”

23. And this quote from William Henry Channing, (shared by Patti Digh as a Daily Rock on 37 Days),

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is my symphony.

24. Weight Loss and Recovery—Can they Coexist? Is Recovery Even Possible After So Long? I so appreciate Lori’s sane discussions of dis-ordered eating.

25. With Gratitude, Hope Growsa post about surrendering to the creative process, showing up and allowing what happens, written by Juliette Crane for Your Heart Makes a Difference.

26. Quote from Ram Daas,

The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves, where we can look at all that is happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization.

27. A really good question from Rumi, “Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” Why, indeed.

28. Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing, a great post by Rita on This (Sorta) Old Life which shares this quote,

we can’t do it all. but we can all do something… the path is set before us and we only need take a little step each day. soon we will look back and be amazed at how far we’ve come. and we can do it without sacrificing those things that matter most in our life and our heart: the main thing. keep the main thing the main thing. (from Grace Uncommon via Leilani at Tales of a Clyde Woman)

29. This quote from the brilliant Geneen Roth,

When I realized I didn’t have to keep “paying” for my life in pounds of suffering, there was a shift. I realized that living wasn’t about deserving, but allowing. Allowing myself to have what I already had. And each of us has so much all the time…

If, today, you made a commitment to allow yourself to have what you already have instead of constantly having to prove that you are worth it in the many ways we strive to prove ourselves, what would you see? What would you know? Can you allow yourselves to have the safety, the love, the beauty, the breath that you already have? Will you give yourself that much–now?

30. A grieving mom’s advice to the rest of us: Love purely, and take it easy, a beautiful and heartbreaking post from Emily Rapp.

31. This song has been in my head, A Thousand Tiny Pieces, from The Be Good Tanyas.

32. soundtrack to your life | rachel cole, in which Sas Petherick interviews Rachel, (the reason that song has been in my head).

33. When Your Work Life is Destroying Your Good Life, on Be More With Less.

34. This song is also in my head, Ellie Goulding – Dead In The Water (Live At iTunes Festival 2012)

35. Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling.

36. You can’t do any better (but you can feel better), from Marianne Elliott.

37. How Mindfulness Can Help You Discover What You Want to Do in Life, on Tiny Buddha.

38. Lowering Your Standardsa Daily Rock on 37 Days.

39. Minimalism, a post on Smalltopia.

40. Eight years, by Susannah Conway, a post on grief, healing, and tattoos.

41. Daily Happiness: 9 Simple Ways to Find it in Your Life, a post on the Positivity Blog, originally shared on Positively Present.

42. A quote by Lao Tzu, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

43. Approximately 3 Minutes Inside The Head of My 2 Year Old by Jason Good. Funny, and I might be a two year old.

44. Observe These Hands, My Dear. from Guinevere Gets Sober, in which she says,

I watched the dogs chase each other in the snow and heard the robins singing—a sure bellwether of spring—and the happiness welled up a little bit in me because I was right there, just doing the next thing, and it’s those moments I feel no need to change myself, Fix Myself, do anything to myself to make myself different so other people will be OK with me and my actions. Actually it wasn’t happiness, it was just contentment. The opposite of “discontent.”

“Content”—the word comes from the Latin for contain or to hold. In those moments I feel held, safe.

45. This quote from Julia Cameron, “I love to write. Which isn’t to say that it’s always easy.” Amen.

#Reverb12: Day 6

reverb12

Change

The full prompt: If you could change one thing that happened this year, what would it be? Why? (Author: Linar Studio)

I am a person who typically doesn’t have regrets. I understand the value of my experiences, good and bad. I don’t spend a lot of time wishing that things were different. I’d rather spend my energy accepting and working with what is. I am usually able to forgive myself for my missteps, be gentle, laugh about it even–eventually.

But, if I really had the power to change one thing, my Dexter wouldn’t have cancer, wouldn’t be dying. And If I couldn’t change that, I’d make sure he at least hadn’t suffered because of it, so no bloody scare, no weeks of belly issues while we adjusted the one medication we could give him, the one thing that might help him feel a little better. And if I couldn’t change that, I’d change the fact that he had to reverse sneeze so much at the beginning, because he’s the sort of dog that runs out of the room when anyone sneezes, gets worried when someone chokes or coughs or gags, and he hated being the one doing it, not being able to stop.

healthydexter.jpg

Intention

The full prompt: What were some of your mantras from 2012 and how did you come by them? Will they remain the same for next year – if not, what new ones will you set?

dreamwithfeathers My message from the Universe, by way of Andrea Scher, the idea that all I needed to do was clear some space and watch the magic unfold.

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, a sanskrit mantra which invokes Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. I heard someone say that sometimes the obstacle needing removed is yourself, and ever since, it stuck with me. I find myself chanting it silently, spontaneously, trying to get out of my own way.

This from Susan Piver, “Confidence is the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.”

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” ~Mary Anne Radmacher.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
~Rumi

lyricslidefinal

~me

“Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.” ~Osho

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman

“We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.” ~Pema Chödrön

mypurpose

All these mantas, prayers, truths will go with me into the new year. There are so many more, collected and contemplated, written on my bones, but these are the main ones.

The one that I will be leaving behind is: “I’m so tired. I’m so tired. I’m so tired. I’m so tired.” ~Me

Favorite Gift

The full prompt: What was your favourite gift given and/or received in 2012? Who was the recipient, who was the giver? What was it for (an event, holiday or just because)? Was the gift tangible or something else (i.e. support in a hard situation or laughter when it was most needed)?

My favorite gift I received was a marble from my friend. We were attending a weekend long workshop with Brene’ Brown, and Brene’ told the story of the marble jar. Her daughter’s teacher had a jar in her classroom where she’d put a marble every time the kids did a good thing, and that once the jar was full they got to have a class party. Brene’ had used the example to explain true friendship to her daughter. “Marble jar friends are the kind that keep putting marbles of trust and encouragement, reciprocity and boundaries, and all those good friend type things, into your metaphorical friendship jar,” (description from The Scent of Water: Marble Jar Friends). The next morning, when I went to pick up my friend, she gave me a marble.

My favorite gift I fave was a journal for that same marble jar friend for her birthday. I filled it with pictures, inspiring quotes, and writing prompts. I loved making it, and it made me so happy to see how much she liked it, that she understood it was a gift that was intended to communicate how special and precious she is.

bookwritingsaturday

the journal is the one with the blue cover, with the jar full of white flowers on the front

Ease

The full prompt: What can you do to add ease to 2012?

  • Meditate regularly
  • Get enough rest, sleep and relaxation
  • Eat good food
  • Move more
  • Be less busy, less speedy
  • Spend lots of time in nature, in quiet, in stillness
  • Pay close attention, be mindful
  • Be kind and gentle, to myself and others
  • Let go of judgement and criticism
  • Stop smashing myself to bits
  • Stop struggling, resisting, running away
  • Relax, breathe, let go, surrender
  • Let love and joy in
  • Keep my heart open

Learning, Discovery

The full prompt: Compare the “you” from the beginning of 2012 to the “you” that you are now. What new skills or talents have you learned or discovered this year?

I am braver, am actively practicing and cultivating courage. I ask for help. I make contact, speak up instead of being frozen by my fear or sense of unworthiness. I offer my help. I say what I think, what I feel, what is true. I have a voice, I let it be heard. I love even though I know I will be hurt, I keep my heart open even when it’s hard. I stay with what’s happening instead of numbing out, resisting, or running away.

I reach out and connect with total strangers. I haven’t lost my mind, I don’t leave my front door wide open or anything like that, but I’m not as timid as I used to be. Today when I was walking across campus, I saw a women wearing boots, and carrying a basket with yet another pair of boots. I asked her, “I really have to know: why the extra pair of boots?” That might not seem like a big deal to some people, but it was huge for me. I send emails, make comments, invite interaction, go to a conference with 1000 attendees by myself–where a year ago I would have remained silent, hidden.

I am beginning to honor my own worth, to know that I have value, that I am enough as I am. I don’t have to earn love, I don’t have to change how I am. Who I am is my power: my genuine nature, my gentleness, my generosity, my goofiness. I am weird, but that is exactly what is so awesome about me. I am a beautiful, brilliant mess.

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