Tag Archives: Metta Drum

Something Good

It’s raining. And not that small, light Colorado rain, or that Colorado thunderstorm that takes just 5-15 short minutes out of a day and tries to kill you, but real, get you wet, need an umbrella, gray sky, this might take all day, fall asleep to it and wake up to it kind of rain. We really needed it. This has been such a dry Spring. The only downside is all I want to do is stay home in my pjs, cuddling on the couch with my boys, and nap, watch a move, or read a book. Oh, let’s face it, when it’s sunny out the only difference is I want to be doing those same things in the backyard.

Fear of Writing Blog. Having suffered from about 25+ years of writer’s block, I have a soft spot for blogs like these. There’s something about being an artist, about having an open, tender heart, about being mindful and present, that makes you somehow more sensitive to fear and doubt–at least, that’s my theory, my experience. People who make art, feel it is their calling, love so big that the potential for loss and ruin can sometimes be overwhelming. I learned of this blog because one of my favorite bloggers, writers, artists, big hearts, Judy Clement Wall, wrote a post for them recently, “j’s Journey: Getting Personal.”

Prolific Living’s Green Juicing Guide. I haven’t downloaded this yet, but am going to because of the promise of “the only 10 recipes you will ever need for your green juicing journey.”

Marie Forleo’s Free Business Training Videos. Jonathan Fields blogged about this, and it peaked my interest enough that I followed the link. After watching the intro video, I signed up. The way she talks about the potential for women in online businesses was inspiring.

Animals Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before on Brain Pickings. This one is my very favorite.

from the book Menagerie by photographer Sharon Montrose

Risk Being You by Raam Dev. Wow…this is worth reading and thinking about.

27 ways to be an (even) better person & practically levitate with awesomery on Unicorns for Socialism. I might have already shared this, but was reminded of it today, and it’s certainly worth repeating. I really am madly in love with Alex Franzen and her particular flavor of awesomery.

Now What by Tara Sophia Mohr. “[W]e need goals, not because goals are themselves important but we can’t have an engaging quest without a meaningful goal. The goal provides direction, momentum, plot, in the quest.” Wise words, and this:

So pick your quests mindfully. Pick the ones that you think will give you joy, and moments of tears at the poignant beauty of it all. Pick the quests that you think will put you in deepest, most glorious contact with something larger than you. Pick the quests that make gratitude and passion come alive in you.

The pot of gold is not at the end of the rainbow. It’s here.

Amen, and thank you for the reminder, Tara.

You Don’t Have to be Everything on Metta Drum. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Daniel Collinsworth is a brilliant beast. In this post, he urges us to declare our freedom, provides a list of important points, including “You no longer have to feel embarrassed about your weirdness.” Amen. The light of weirdness in me acknowledges and honors the light of weirdness in you, Daniel, and you, kind and gentle reader. May we all be weird.

Cute Animal Break: Animals Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before on Brain Pickings, Part Two. This is my second favorite:

from the book Menagerie by photographer Sharon Montrose

Make It: Folded Notebook on Design Love Fest. Oh, nerd alert, I so want to make this book!

Quote from Ed & Deb Shapiro’s “Your Daily Chill Out”: “Like a young bird, you will have no idea how far you can fly until you spread your wings and just go for it.”

Quote from Tara Brach: ‎”During the moments of a pause, we become conscious of how the feeling that something is missing or wrong keeps us leaning into the future, on our way somewhere else. This gives us a fundamental choice in how we respond: We can continue our futile attempts at managing our experience, or we can meet our vulnerability with the wisdom of Radical Acceptance,” from her book Radical Acceptance.

Sloughing the “Spiritual” Identity and Becoming the Wholeness of Me on the Daily Breadcrumb. In this post, Sunni reminds us to give ourselves a break, that to be a fully realized spiritual being doesn’t mean becoming someone “just generally beaming sunshine out of her ass.” What a relief.

Procrastination.

Something Good

1. How I spent my weekend: “Fearless Creativity,” a writing and meditation retreat with Susan Piver at Shambhala Mountain Center.

My brain feels like this:

And my heart feels like this:

2. What We All Need, a post from Metta Drum. “You can be free. You can be big enough for your own life.”

3. Walking and Yoga, an excerpt from Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham. I can’t wait to get my copy of the book and read the whole thing. All the excerpts I’ve seen so far are very inspiring. Also from Sakyong Mipham, 5 Tips for Running with the Mind of Meditation. And finally, Meditation for Running and Walking, a guided meditation by Sakyong Mipham that you can record, download on to your mp3 player, and listen to as you walk or run. I feel calmer, more at ease just listening to him.

4. Meditation: Am I Doing it “Right”? by Susan Piver. I may have shared this already, but if you missed it the first time, it’s a really good read, and you don’t have to practice meditation to understand what Susan is talking about. We could all benefit if we would just “Stop trying so hard all the time. If you can’t, then relax with yourself as one who just really, really wants to try. It’s OK.”

5. 8 things I’ve learned about life, the universe & everything — from 80+ life coaches, from Unicorns for Socialism. This post is so great.

6. An Invocation for Beginnings from Ze Frank. I love him so much.

7. A Credo for Making it Happen from Danielle LaPorte. Inspiring.

9. Pussy Willows.

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: Being content is what will make us successful.

In this video, psychologist and teacher Shawn Achor argues that happiness inspires productivity. He says we are confused when it comes to success and happiness, because we think the formula is “if I work harder, I’ll be more successful, and when I’m more successful, I’ll be happy” and that’s not it at all. “90% of your long-term happiness is predicted not by your external world [your measurable success], but by the way your brain processes the world.” Being negative, neutral, or stressed does not bring happiness, (and thus, not as much success either). Happiness, as your perspective, is the center that generates everything else. In order to cultivate and strengthen this center, he suggests (and has found to be true through research) keeping a gratitude list, journaling about one positive experience a day, exercising, meditating, and practicing random acts of kindness–mindfulness, compassion, gratitude, connection to your body, and embodiment of the present moment.

Not only do we discover happiness resting in the present moment with this attitude, but we are more creative and productive. Shawn Achor suggests, at the end of this talk, that discovering contentment for ourselves, understanding that success is not what makes us happy, we can send out ripples of positivity and create a true revolution.

P.S. I think I may have made this video sound a bit stuffy and dry, but his delivery is really fun, so you should watch.

 

2. Truth: There is a you-shaped hole.

You are necessary, and only you can be you. I am on the Trust Tending with Kristin Noelle mailing list (Trust Note), and a few days ago, she sent one with the subject line “Trust Note: You-Shaped Hole.” Her message is so important, I’ve been passing it along every chance I get. She said:

Yes. You matter.

As humans move toward greater wholeness, your piece of that whole can’t be filled by anyone but you. Your perspective, your experiences, your voice: they bring balance to the rest of ours. They’re a mirror for some of us, showing us things about ourselves we need to see. And they’re windows for just as many more – glimpses past the boxes and walls we inevitably and inadvertently construct around our sense of what’s real and true and worth seeing.

There’s a you-shaped hole in our collective experience and I hope with all my heart you’re stepping into it with all the trust you’ve got.

3. Truth: “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are,” (Chinese Proverb).

In my yoga class on Sunday, my teacher said “when we engage, we tend to tense up, and we need to learn to practice soft, gentle engagement.” This is so true. When we push, when we are aggressive, this is not right action. We must connect with gentleness, move with ease, relax into this very moment, just as we are and just as it is.

P.S. I just saw today that Susan Piver has an article on the Huffington Post, “Meditation, Relaxation and the Self-Help Demon” where she talks about meditation as a tool for relaxing into reality. It’s a really great read.

One wish:

Trust yourself. Be yourself. Be happy and relax, and in so doing, allow success and contentment, whatever that ends up being or looking like, no matter how quickly or slowly it happens, to organically arise.

image by Kristin Noelle

Two related posts so worth the read:

  • Stop Searching and Start Being” by Daniel Collinsworth on Metta Drum, in which he says “You are not incomplete, and there is nothing you must search for. You only have the work of nurturing and developing those aspects of You that you feel driven to bring forth. They are already present within you.” He uses the cultivation of a tree from a seed as a really powerful metaphor for how we sometimes forget what it takes to grow, to remind us that “what we are searching for already exists as a seed within us.”
  • Why I haven’t wanted to write about eating” by Anna Guest-Jelley on Curvy Yoga, in which she talks about learning to trust herself. She shares that before she learned “I was still very much overriding my intuition at every turn, thinking it was clearly too stupid to guide me, considering how I looked and felt” but that now “I think intuitive eating means showing up for our unique and individual work of doing whatever it is we need to do to get back in touch with our feelings and body. We can share tips and support each other, but the exact roadmap will be different for each of us.”

So again, kind and gentle reader, trust yourself, be yourself. And remember that there is a you-shaped hole, a missing piece of a much larger puzzle, necessary to the wholeness of all the rest of it, the rest of us.

Something Good

First on my list today has to be the Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop and Rachel Cole. 13 brave Fort Collins woman sat in a circle with Rachel yesterday, identifying and connecting with their hungers, trying to understand what was getting in the way of feeding them. I can’t stop thinking that we planted a seed, started something, and how powerful we can be, what great things we’ll do, how much love we’ll generate and spread. And when I think of that circle of women, so many of my favorites, I keep thinking of this quote: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ~Muriel Rukeyser

Ladybug on the cover of my new notebook. I didn’t even realize it was there, and then, while I was sitting in the above circle of women, I looked down, and there she was. Considering who was sitting next to me at the time (Kandyce), it was pretty special.

Wednesday is Tibetan New Year: the Year of the Water Dragon. Another chance to begin again, make a fresh start, and the Dragon is a powerful symbol for the coming year: “The Warrior of Inscrutable: Dragon” and “The Mind of the Dragon and the Power of Non-Self.”

image by Will Clayton

Quote from Sakyong Mipham Rinphoche: “Aggression comes about from a feeling of inadequacy. Non-aggression comes about from a feeling of worthiness.”

Brittni Mehlhoff’s “Art to Inspire” posts on Scoutie Girl.

Neil Gaiman and his voice. I wish he would read me to sleep every night.

The Story You Are Telling Yourself” by Daniel Collinsworth on Metta Drum. “You, and you alone, generate the story that tells you who you are. So why not make it a beautiful one?”

Letter Love 101: Art Journals” Lettering Class!!!! I have been looking for some kind of calligraphy or lettering class for a long time, and this one is perfect, just what I wanted without even knowing how to describe what I wanted. And the fact that it’s self-paced and unlimited access means I don’t have to feel pressured or guilty about the timing.

Alaskan Husky Exercise Wheel. This dog looks like it is having so much fun.

29 Soundbites On Writing And Publishing” on the Creative Penn. I don’t agree with all of them, but it’s an interesting list.

Claire Brewster‘s Papercut Map Art. This is so cool.

Everblooming Amaryllis. The one in my office at work currently has eight blooms.

Joy Jam

What were the 3-5 things that gave you joy this week?

1. Love. I don’t know what it was about this week, but there was so much love. It was traveling the internet, being sent to my blog and to me, wholehearted love fests were happening in the comment sections of other blogs I love and in my email inbox, and on Facebook in various groups and profiles. It feels like the Universe saying “yes, this is right, you are right where you should be and doing just what you should, as you should.” There was so much love, “My Heart Can’t Contain It All.”

Picture by David Sky

2. Walking. My walks with the dogs this week have been extra special. Not because they’ve been anything out of the ordinary, but because they were absolutely ordinary, just as they always are, and I was paying extra close attention. I noticed.

3. Office plants. Yes, this one again. It just stuns me how perfectly my office climate is suited to indoor gardening, and how breathtaking the lush, glossy, full, aliveness of it can be. My amaryllis is working on three new blooms, the rest are healthy and green, and I brought a bird cage from home to add to the jungle, door flung wide open and birdless.

4. Running. I know, I can’t believe I’m saying it either. But, on Sunday, Eric and I ran with the dogs, and even though I couldn’t do the whole route, I did okay. I ran, and I remembered a few really good runs from a year ago, when I felt strong and powerful, like I could keep going forever. I miss that.

5. Three-hour nap. It was one of those, “I’ll just close my eyes and rest for a bit, and then I’ll go to work” naps that turned into a sleep marathon. Clearly, I really needed it.

For anyone having trouble being grateful today, finding the things that give you joy, I suggest reading the latest post on Metta Drum, “The Healing Power of Gratitude.”

Three Truths and One Wish

The theme of last week’s A Year With Myself (AYWM) was “In Love With Me: Getting Good at Self-Love and Self-Acceptance.” I had a rough time of it. I was in this place, deep and old and sticky, where I could see, was aware, but couldn’t seem to move. It felt like I was stuck in cement. I felt broken and hopeless. “All this work, all this time, and I am still here?”

As I have mentioned before, I realized last year that I was in a long term abusive relationship–with myself. I had lost Kelly and Obi to cancer, was reeling from a longstanding abusive work situation, and dealing with some difficult family situations. I was carrying around so much grief, carried it into the year that followed. I couldn’t seem to let go, to process everything that had happened. I was a ghost, broken down the middle. And, like Jackie Walker said in AYWM Chapter Four, “The boat was safe, and it floated. The fact that it was uncomfortable, and going in the wrong direction didn’t matter, until it did.” What I knew was that I had to save myself. So, not knowing exactly how, I started.

Since that realization, I have been trying to be a better friend to myself, to even love myself, to learn how to do these things. But, 30+ years of habitual patterns, ways of being is really hard to shift. Maybe the worst of it is I generate even more suffering by punishing myself, criticizing the fact that I am smashing myself to bits–I beat myself up for not getting there yet, then beat myself up for beating myself up. It is utterly ridiculous.

As I try, struggle, fuss, collapse, get back up, and let go, I practice patience, love, forgiveness, kindness. I am unlearning self-hate and relearning self-love. I am figuring out how to care for myself, really care and not just feed my neurosis, fuel my dis-ease. I am creeping, crawling my way towards the truth, one small step at a time, sometimes on broken hearted knees.

Brave Belly


1. Truth: Your relationship with yourself is the only one that will last your whole life. It is the only one you can trust will remain. Everything, everyone else will at some point leave, be lost, or let go. Our relationship with our self, that partnership with our one true soulmate, is the only constant. Everything else is external, apart in a way that makes it transient and impermanent. All the other people, places, things, (even our own body), will eventually leave us, fail us, even if they don’t want to, even if they desire and try to stay. But You, you can count on her. She will never leave you, and if you would only let her, she will always love you.

:: Something to read:It’s You” from Tiny Buddha.

2. Truth: No one can ever give you all that you can give yourself. As Daniel Collinsworth explained to me, “be the source of what you need, let it come from that central still point. When you feel that restless searching bubbling up, stay with it — let it show you where that healing and restoration is needed.  The rest is a journey that unfolds in time, not always easy, but so worth it.” Remain kind, gentle, patient, mindful, and aware. Relax and trust your own intuition, your own voice, your understanding of what you need and who you are. That self, You, can be trusted. She is faithful and committed, and if you would only let her, she will always love you.

:: Something to read:The Great Lesson of Loneliness” by Daniel Collinsworth on Metta Drum.

3. Truth: The best you have to offer, the best you can be is exactly who you already are. You have nothing better to give. Who you become for others or who you trick yourself into believing you are can only ever be a deluded, weakened, watered down version of your true nature, your essence, your power.

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 ChödrönStart Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

One wish: Easily and naturally arising self-love and self-care in our lives. “If we are doing our true work and living authentically, it will be with ease, naturalness,” (Gwyn-Michael on Scoutie Girl, “Returning to Self and Life’s Simple Pleasures“). My wish is that we unlearn all the bad habits, the ways of being that no longer serve us, and we learn to love our self, be our self wholeheartedly and completely, always.  And that we remember if you would only let her, she will always love you.

landed on both my broken hearted knees

I had a bit of a meltdown today. I came home sick yesterday afternoon, felt generally cruddy, achy and tired. I woke up this morning feeling the same, inside and out.

I am becoming aware, but still stuck in the same old patterns–I can see where I am, but I can’t seem to move. Reading “The Great Lesson of Loneliness” on Metta Drum this morning, I broke down. This was the comment I left for Daniel:

Crap…crap, crap, crap.

*sigh*

The thought swirling around in my head this past week is “This isn’t working for me anymore. It never really did.” I think this as I continue to keep on keepin’ on, as if I think I simply haven’t figured out the right way to get this to work, like if I can just get the mix right, more of this and a little less of that, move that over here and get rid of that altogether, this can still work, I can make this work–but it won’t.

And this, “There’s just no other way around it. Without self-love, you look to others for validation and approval. You externalize your power. You wait for outside signals to let you know that it’s OK to accept yourself, to love yourself, to be yourself” cuts right through, right to the heart of it, cracks it wide open and won’t let the lie stand.

So, you say “Once you begin this process in earnest, you’ll find that when approval and validation do come to you from others, it feels beautifully complementary rather than vitally necessary.” Do you promise? I need this to be workable, because I can’t do this anymore. I can’t keep doing it like this, it’s not working…and yet, it’s still so hard, because I am in that place of being able to see it, but also knowing the change comes so slowly with something so deep and old and sticky.

*sigh*

Thank you.

I was shaky and raw, I was dizzy and felt like I had heartburn. Sometimes, something can be so true that it feels like a knife, cutting right through the delusion, right through your skin and bone.

His response was:

I promise… based on one condition: You start with “No one in this world can ever give me more than I can give myself.” And then be the source of what you need, let it come from that central still point. When you feel that restless searching bubbling up, stay with it — let it show you where that healing and restoration is needed. The rest is a journey that unfolds in time, not always easy, but so worth it.

I accepted his deal, and walked around today repeating the mantra: No one in this world can ever give me more than I can give myself. And then, I read the “a little bird told me, your daily truth” for today from the Brave Girls Club, and it said:

If we can close our eyes and slow our breathing and think really really hard for just a moment, we can look back and find moments when we met exactly the right person when it seemed that all hope was lost, or found exactly the right article to tell us what we needed to know, or heard exactly the right song with exactly the right words that we were absolutely sure was written just for us.

If we are honest down to our very souls, we have to see it, we have to realize it, that no matter how dismal things may seem, no matter how alone we might feel in this moment, that all along, from the very time we were born, all along things happened that got us through. It wasn’t always easy and sometimes we were clumsy, sometimes we did it through eyes so filled with tears that we could barely see.

This is workable. I can do this, make my way through. Tonight, I sat at my writing desk and put together this found poem: