Tag Archives: Retreat

Day of Rest

cdj03I was on retreat this weekend, an at home virtual retreat with the Open Heart Project that ended this morning. Susan always schedules our time allowing space for creativity and rest, along with dharma talks, meditation, and discussion. Every retreat for me, no matter the type — writing, meditation, creativity, etc. — always brings into stark focus whatever I am currently working with. What I saw on this retreat is that I suck at rest, that I am trying too hard.

How strange that the thing I struggle with the most is ease, that the most difficult part of this retreat was rest, the time we were given to relax. My pattern, my current preference is effort, pushing and striving, when the truth is I need to practice relaxing, sinking, settling, letting go, being rather than doing. And even as I know this, I still strive to get “there.” I think I have to keep moving, that if I stop, even for a second, everything will fall apart.

It’s as if I’m swimming the river, moving as if I’m in a race or being chased by a school of hungry piranhas. I spend so much time and money and effort learning new ways to move through the water. I practice all the different competitive strokes — freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly — read books about swimming technique, buy all the latest performance gear, watch videos of the greats talking about their practice, hire a coach, join a team, take private lessons, dig a pool in my backyard, get up early to swim laps… All to learn the exact wrong way to move. From time to time when I get too exhausted to go any further, I cling to the side to rest, grasping at roots and dirt, gulping air, wondering what I am doing wrong, what trick I’m missing.

I need to learn to float, to lean back, stretch out my arms, relax my legs, sink until the water catches and holds me, my ears just under the surface where it’s quiet, my eyes looking towards the sky, my breath even.

cdj06Instead I continue to struggle, to act out my confusion, my path this particular suffering. I used to be depressed and sad, stuck, paralyzed, and would beat myself up for being lazy, worthless. Then I woke up, started to work, to try, to give, to offer — and here I am still smashing myself to bits for not being enough.

The first thing we often do when we meditate together in the Open Heart Project is to make an offering. This offering can be something literal, like a flower or an orange or incense, anything that would be pleasing to the senses, but the offering can also simply be your current state, like maybe you are confused or tired or hungry or sad, and you offer that. When we meditated together the first time this weekend, my offering was how hard I try. Just thinking about it made me start crying. When I can’t even think about or say something without crying, I know it’s a tender spot, a truth worth being curious about.

Later we practiced loving-kindness, “metta” meditation together. The simplest way to describe the practice is you offer loving-kindness first to yourself, then a loved one, then a neutral person or stranger, then an enemy, and finally all beings. When Susan instructed us to start, to begin to focus on our self, the first thing she said was, “I know how hard you try.” More tears. This is the truth for me right now, I am trying so hard, and I am so tired, and still I am being so hard on myself, and it doesn’t have to be like this.

wherelifehappens“The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” I don’t know who to attribute that phrase to, but I’ve heard it applied to each of my practices, (except maybe dog, but it’s true there too). Practice is never just about what’s happening on the mat, the cushion, the page, or the walk, it’s about everything. I am coming out of this retreat carrying a deep knowing, clear about a fundamental truth — I need to balance my effort with ease.

This came to me today during our creativity session,

Rest in your longing, as the mountains do.
Keep your heart open and wait, like the sky does for morning.
Listen to songs that put you in touch with your breathing.
Hold your love in the stillness of your soft animal body.

I don’t really know how to end this post, maybe because I’m in the particular fog that is post retreat, maybe because I am still living it — but maybe I could say that about everything I write, anything I post here. What I am learning is something I’m still working out. So, for now, I’m going to hit publish and go walk my dog. May you have a day filled with rest, kind and gentle reader.

Gratitude Friday

mcmurrypondsgold021. Fall weather, sunny and cool. The light is amazing and everything is tinged gold. Wool socks, soup, and flannel are all finally appropriate choices.

2. Communicating with Sam. I don’t know if we are closer because Dexter is gone or if I’m paying closer attention for some other reason, or both, but Sam understands and can communicate so much more than I realized. Although, when he stands in front of the TV, whining and talking to the various animals he sees, I don’t know if he’s the smartest dog we’ve ever had or the dumbest.

hikingsam3. Clarifying my new CSU project, being happy enough with it to think that maybe I’ll be at that job longer than I used to think, that I can make it fit with the bigger sense of my life and work.

4. Where we walk. I realized yesterday, as I was Instagramming pictures of the fall colors and naming the locations on our morning walk, that we go through three parks and four natural areas on our route, that we simply open the front door and go, get to visit all these beautiful places. One thing I didn’t get a picture of yesterday was the three white-tailed deer we startled in the fog, who ran from us, leaping, tails raised high, like giant bunnies.

one of four

one of four

5. Open Heart Project. This evening, we will start our second annual virtual retreat. Susan schedules time for creating and resting, along with meditation and dharma talks and discussion. I can’t wait.

Bonus Joy: Eric. Two specific things this week made me stop and think how incredibly grateful I am for him. One is I’m reading a book Brene’ Brown recommended, Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up, and it’s making me realize how good we have it, because so many of the issues the book works with are things we just don’t struggle with, or that we worked out already — not to say we are perfect by any means. The other was I noticed he’d recaulked the bathtub while I was away at my retreat. He’s always doing stuff like that, taking care of things, and not bothering to brag on himself for it, like I probably would. In just a few short weeks, we will have been married for 20 years. Partnering with him was the smartest thing I ever did.

weddingus

yep, we eloped and wore green

Something Good

1. 75 ways to live a positively present life from Positively Present.

2. Karen Walrond at TEDxHouston 2012, shared on Upworthy in their post This Is Why Your Lover Thinks You’re Gorgeous In A Holey T-Shirt And Sweatpants. I recommend her blog too, maybe start with this recent post, random thoughts: on happiness, gratitude & meaning. She’s a speaker, photographer, writer, and all around superwoman “wildly convinced you’re uncommonly beautiful.”

3. Sh*t Hipsters Say.

4. This wisdom from Aart Van Der Leeuw,

The mystery of life
is not a problem to
be solved,
but a reality
to be experienced.

5. When I Read This I Think of You and 10 Things to Do When You Get Up Before the Sun on Elephant Journal.

6. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook.

7. Wisdom from J.M. Porup, “The job of the writer isn’t to answer questions. The job of the writer is to ask the questions for which there are no answers.”

8. The Daily Life of a Grandma and Her Odd-Eyed Cat, a sweet series of photos by Miyoko Ihara on demilked.

image by Miyoko Ihara

9. The World’s Top 10 Most Unusual Bonsai Trees.

10. One of my favorite websites, Humans of New York, now has a theme song, and I have a new favorite band.

11. This wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook, and what she said about morning.

12. 11 Habits You Need to Give Up to Be Happy and 7 Effective Ways Happy People Think from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

13. Your Daily Rock from Patti Digh: your daily rock : make peace, and your daily rock : recharge your soul, and your daily rock : wholeheartedly.

14. What if the Gift is the Ending? We Can Reimagine Our Lives? from Rachael Maddox.

15. Just Because He Breathes: Learning to Truly Love Our Gay Son on Huffington Post. On her website’s about page, this mom says,

Although I am a Christian, I feel broken-hearted by the things that the church in America has become most known for. You will never find me marching in a parade against gay rights, abortion rights or immigrant rights. I do not resonate with those who are known for being AGAINST things, especially when what it amounts to is being against people’s hearts and souls.

16. How to Enjoy a Chore-less Weekend from Be More with Less.

17. Turning kindness inward, what Judy Clement Wall had to say about her Self-Compassion Saturday post.

18. How to Let Go: 5 Essential Tips on the Positivity Blog.

19. Home Retreat: The Practice of Doing Exactly What You Want from Susan Piver.

20. “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ~Gloria Steinem

21. Wisdom from Natalie Goldberg,

There is no ultimate goal in meditation. Meditation is an acceptance of the mind, however it comes to you. And the mind changes all the time, just as the ocean waves change. Sometimes the water is turbulent, sometimes calm. Thoughts rise and then disappear; you don’t grab hold of them. The heart beats, the lungs breathe, and the mind continues to produce thoughts. Even if you’ve practiced for a long time, it will still produce thoughts, but you’re no longer thrown by them. You don’t have control of your mind; it goes where it wants to go. But with practice, you can have a relationship with it.

22. Discipline, devotion & dazzling charm: what I learned from three of the most famous bloggers in the world from Alexandra Franzen.

23. Wisdom from the book Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong by Norman Fischer,

We admire people who are wealthy, famous, or skillful in some way, but it’s not hard to be like that. If you are born with some talent, a little luck, and you know the right people, you can do that. Many people do that. Much more difficult and much more wonderful is to be a bodhisattva. Not someone that many people know about and talk about but someone who has the almost magical power of spreading happiness and confidence wherever he goes. What a vision for your life, for your family, to be a light for those around you! To think of everything you do, every action, every social role, every task, as being just a cover for, an excuse for, your real aspiration, to be a bodhisattva, spreading goodness wherever you go. This requires no luck (even if everything goes wrong in your life, you can do it), no special skills, no need to meet special people and get special breaks. We can all do this. This is the aspiration we should all cultivate for training the mind.

24. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

When I was younger, “being different” cost too much. I did anything I could to fit in. These days, “being normal” costs too much. I’m not willing to fit in with the pack, if it costs me my soul, my strength, and my reason for being. I didn’t come here to duck. I came here to fly.

25. Becoming More Authentic: Accept Yourself and Stop Seeking Approval on Tiny Buddha.

26. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

For any spiritual training or mental activity, we need concentration. Learning how to concentrate makes our minds strong, clear, and calm. Concentration protects our inner wisdom, like a candle flame sheltered from the wind. If our minds are cluttered with plans, concerns, thoughts, and emotional patterns, we have no space for our true selves.

And

Learning to live in the moment is a great and powerful skill that will help us in everything we do. To ‘‘be here now,’’ relaxed and engaged in whatever we are doing, is to be alive and healthy. In Buddhism, the awareness of what is happening right now is called mindfulness.

27. Every place is under the stars, a really great quote shared on A Design So Vast.

28. Appreciating My “Regular” Job and 50 Ways You Can Be Brave Today on The Self-Compassion Project.

29. Twenty seconds away from more joy! on Cherry Blossom Soup.

30. Whitney Cummings on The Conversation

31. From Brave Girls,

Today we have a sweet little challenge for you. What if for the next 24 hours, you focus on what is right, and not waste a single minute thinking about what is wrong? What if you run towards what you want, instead of running away from what you don’t want? What if you notice the beautiful little miracles and ignore the big distractions. What if you listen to the voice inside of you and let all of the other voices go? Just for 24 hours? Will you take us up on it? We suspect that it might just end up being one of the best days of your life. Enjoy it! Every single second of it! You are so loved. xoxo

32. Wisdom from Mr. Rogers, “There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story.”

33. Mark Bittman’s Spicy Cheddar Shortbread recipe. I make a biscuit like this that my friends call “crack biscuits,” so I am totally going to try this one.

34. From Positively Present Picks: How to let go of your ego, How to buy happiness, and A Dad had some weird conversations with his two-year-old daughter. So he reenacted them with two grown men, (two new episodes!).

35. From Rowdy Kitten’s Happy Links: Xanthe Berkeley Photos and Films, which led to this, her video set on Vimeo — really beautiful work.

36. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend list: honeysuckle biscuits with sea salt peach butter + honeysuckle mint vinaigrette, gorgeous food, luscious recipe.

37. Lots of new episodes on Why We Rescue.

38. When Facebook Likes Meet Real Life, Things Get … Complicated on Upworthy.

39. This wisdom from Hafiz, “You yourself are your own obstacle – rise above yourself.”

40. This wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Whatever we’re doing could be done with one intention, which is that we want to wake up, we want to ripen our compassion, and we want to ripen our ability to let go. Everything in our lives can wake us up or put us to sleep, and basically it’s up to us to let it wake us up.

Letting Go

Susan Piver at Shambhala Mountain Center

Hold your experience with tremendous gentleness. Stay with yourself–always, always, always. Be kind, feel kindly, be loving… As you become friendly toward yourself, you see that actually you can trust your own mind and heart. From this trust and friendship arise unconditional self-confidence. ~Susan Piver

About a month ago, I went to a retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center (SMC) led by Susan Piver. This is the second retreat I’ve been lucky enough to do with Susan at SMC. It was an Open Heart Retreat, “a weekend of meditation practices, journaling, small group dialogue and an exploration of ways we can bring our raw and tender hearts home to the world of family, politics, work, and love.” For me, it was perfectly timed. That morning, I had met for the first time with a new doctor, and she told me “you are obese.” I left for the retreat confused, irritated, and sad.

The retreat provided a safe, supportive space in which to process. And yet, it was not easy. Meditation practice can be difficult because when you sit, the thing that needs your attention, that you’ve maybe been avoiding, is the thing that shows up. And as Susan said at the beginning of the retreat in reference to another activity we’d practice that weekend, “journaling is a very potent way to begin a dialogue with your own heart.” So essentially, there was no place to hide.

On the first full day, we did a practice I’ve done with Susan before. In the most simple terms, you sit across from a version of yourself, imagining who she is and how she sees you, and then you switch perspectives. You start by being your smallest, most scared self looking at your strongest, most brilliant and actualized self, finishing by taking her perspective and seeing your small self from that side. Later, we spent time journaling about, telling the the story of our small, scared self.

The next day, we spent time remembering both perspectives, and wrote a letter from our wise, strong, kind self to the person who is small and scared. It had to begin with “Dear Jill, this is what I have to say to you,” and end with “I love you.” I wrote,

Dear Jill,

This is what I have to say to you–It’s okay. Cheer up. You’re perfect. Yes, there is a tender spot, like a splinter in your foot or a paper cut in your finger. But, it is that small–that irritating and present, but still small and impermanent. It is there so you know, understand the shape and flavor of this particular suffering. It is there to speak to you of darkness, but also of compassion and wisdom. It is a path.

Look for the exit, the off ramp, the sign. It’s there. You have a GPS that is set to lead you into your own open heart, into your life, into wakefulness, into space. It is an open door. It is a blanket you can wrap around yourself. It is your mother.

Ask for help, allow people to help you. You know Eric is there to help and love you. He said this morning in that way he does, “We’ll figure it out,” and you know you believe him, that it’s the truth.

There is nothing to be afraid of or worried about, no rush, no reason to push. You can simply be with this, ride it, be curious and gentle, relax. In this are the seeds for compassion, for love, a fuller life–more time with the dogs, more time with Eric, activities that make you feel nourished, that feed what you are truly hungry for–love, connection, activity, movement, breath. This will all come together and you will take it out into the world with you.

There’s no failure, only trying or success. There’s no end point or goal, only breath and life. This is genuine, truth, love, and you are open to its wisdom and compassion.

Remember what Lisa Field-Elliot said, “it’s not about the accumulating, it is about recognizing and eliminating what does not speak the truth.” Let go of thinking any external validation, truth, wisdom or acceptance has any meaning. You can save yourself. Your body is wise and if you listen to it, to your heart, it will tell you the truth, always the truth, and you never need to apologize for it. You never need to explain or justify it. It is, as you are.

You are your own mother, your own doctor, your own guru. You will ease your own struggle and suffering, and go on with a deep knowledge, an understanding of truth that will benefit others. You will ease suffering, in yourself and in the world, through the good effort of your practice and your open heart.

I love you.

After we wrote our letter, Susan sent us aimlessly wandering. This is a particular mindfulness practice, “exploration without destination,” movement without intention or judgement, a walking meditation. As I walked, I was drawn towards my favorite trees at SMC–two pine trees, one straight and one bent, but so close together they almost look like a single tree, growing mostly by themselves in the corner of a meadow. I stood between them, looking out at the land, and the wind blew, a cool gust that filled my lungs, pushing against and past and through my body like a physical thing. In that moment, a voice inside me whispered, “you can let go.” I made a deal with the wind, with the pines, with that sacred land and vast open sky that I would.

Looking in my wallet, as I’d packed to come to SMC, I’d found a rock, picked up, collected and kept from our trip to the beach this past summer, carried with me ever since. It was a joke from Eric. I’d been finding so many heart shaped rocks on the beach, that one day he came home from a walk with the dogs and said, with a crooked grin on his face, “I found you a heart rock.” What he put in my hand was deep red and meaty, shaped like an organ, rippled like muscle, a tiny petrified heart.

After the weekend at SMC, I was ready to let it go, this closed, hard heart. I couldn’t drop it just anywhere, throw it away. It needed to go somewhere I could trust to take it, needed to give it away and have it accepted with kindness, to have it held it for me, to place it somewhere safe, to allow for a letting go. On that final morning, I walked back to “my” trees. I hugged the one that stands straight and tall, (I confess, I first looked to be sure no one was watching), this spot where I’d made a deal with the wind, where I could return my closed, hard heart to the earth, let it rest in that place.

It would release me, I would release it. I could move on, go home. I could leave the self there who hurts, who is afraid. She could stay there safe, comforted, and I would leave, cracked open, soft and tender and raw.

There was a spot in the bent tree where a branch had been cut off. It looked like an eye. I took the heart rock from my pocket, smooth and warm, and shoved it as far as I could into the center of the eye. Then I stood between the trees, in the same spot where the wind had touched me the day before, and looking out over the land, I let go.

I opened my heart.

I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.
~Mary Oliver

Day of Rest

I am at Shambhala Mountain Center on retreat right now. I am most likely missing my three boys like crazy, thinking about how much I love them, so this video seems like a good thing to share today, (originally seen in this post on Elephant Journal).

Love won’t look exactly like this for all of us (thank goodness, because that would be super boring), but may we all have a big love, be a big love for someone, be that lucky and that loved, that loving.

Gratitude Friday

1. Dexter’s continued good health, and the help we’ve had with that. After his physical therapy appointment yesterday, he was so happy, had so much energy, felt so good. He’s even been cleared to run a little again. We were in the backyard after his appointment soaking up the sun when Eric came home from work. In celebration, Dexter started tearing around the yard like a much younger version of himself–ears back, butt tucked, smile on his face. Such joy.

2. Clarity and space. A clear mind and a somewhat clear environment.

3. Spring. The sun, the birds singing, the green, the bud and the bloom. When I was in the backyard yesterday with the dogs, I thought to myself, “I am so happy right now.”

4. Open Heart Retreat. Later today, I am headed to Shambhala Mountain Center for a retreat led by the brilliant Susan Piver. I am so grateful for her, our shared practice, that I can afford to go, that Eric will be here to take care of our boys, and that Dexter is doing well enough that I won’t worry about him too much, (although, I’ve already warned Eric I’ll be calling three or four times a day to check on him).

5. Health care options. I am going to meet with my new doctor in about an hour. I am so lucky to be able to make choices, to get support in my efforts to be as healthy as possible.

Bonus Joy: You may have already guessed, but we had another week with sweet Mr. D. I took this picture this morning after we got done playing with his Little D.

bigdlittled04

Something Good

A reminder about why I write this list: When I am feeling bad, I will often ask Eric to “tell me something good.” When I need something to hang on to, to make me feel better, something to show me that it’s not all bad. When I am in that dark hole, way down at the bottom, and the mean things with teeth are down there with me–”tell me something good.”

He’s really good at it, because even when all he can think of is “I love you,” it totally works. I mean, how great is it that the person that you picked and who said “yes” nineteen years ago, and knows you better than anyone, knows all the embarrassing and ugly stuff, continues to love you? He usually is able to give me a whole list when I ask him, followed by a hug and “what can I do for you, how can I make you feel better?”

So on A Thousand Shades of Gray, Monday’s feature is: Something Good. I like the idea of gratitude generating joy, and the opportunity my gratitude has to spread joy when I share the good things, and there are so many good things, and every Monday, I give you a list.

1. Binge Monsters and Chocolate Teapots from Sas Petherick.

2. Complaints and Requests: Two Halves of a Whole on Scoutie Girl, in which Tivi Jones says “Every complaint you have is a request you haven’t made.”

3. The Daily Loving Practice from Jen Louden.

4. “Writer Robert Olen Butler explains that the plot of any story is a yearning meeting a series of obstacles,” (from Your Daily Rock on 37 Days). This makes total sense to me.

5. “Rest does not need to hold hands with guilt. We do not have to pay for rest when the rest is over,” from a little bird told me, Brave Girls Club Daily Truth.

6. Quotes from Karen Salmansohn. “Be so full of love and light that none of what is going on outside of you can hurt you,” and “Let go of what you can’t control. Channel all that energy into living fully in the now.”

7. Bullies Called Him Pork Chop. He Took That Pain With Him And Then Cooked It Into This.

8. “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow. It only robs today of its joy.” ~Leo Buscaglia

9. Journal Your Life: Writing Your Dreams Into Reality, a new ecourse from Susannah Conway. Registration opens tomorrow, and I am predicting it’s going to be an amazing class, (a pretty safe bet, since everything she does is all kinds of awesome). She writes a bit about her own journaling practice in this post.

10. Lost Generation, a poem with a twist.

11. Succulents Galore Etsy store, (link shared on Pugly Pixel, Links Loved). Also on Pugley Pilxel’s list this week, The Ink Nest Etsy store and a recipe for Baked Espresso Glazed Doughnuts and a CSS Patterns Gallery.

12. The Self-Acceptance Project from Sounds Truea FREE 12-week Video Event Series, beginning Monday, March 4, 2013. I probably already mentioned this, but it’s worth saying again, as this includes all the “big names.”

13. Swords into plowshares and hate mail into origami from Rachel Held Evans. Such a great idea.

14. From SF Girl by Bay’s Thoughts for a Friday listproof that people are weird and magic, Japanese floral artist Takaya-Hanayuishi, and beautiful photos by Lisa Warninger and Chelsea Fuss.

15. From Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: Learn How to Meditate and Finding Vivian Maier, the Official Movie Trailer.

16. Vulnerability is The Path, from the brilliant and compassionate Susan Piver (another great resource for learning to meditate is her Open Heart Project).

17. How to REALLY Find Your True Life’s Purpose… Once and For All! from Kute Blackson, in which he says,

All that’s needed is that you put one step in front of the next as you go boldly in the the direction of your heart. As you trust, then the universe will rise to your support. Your true life’s purpose is then not something you wait to find, but something that you live into. It is the invitation that life gives you to live each moment of each day as love.

18. may you feel connected + seen + adored by Jessica Swift, in which she talks about an amazing retreat she attended (that I envied from afar as I viewed the photos being posted to Instagram and Facebook that weekend by various amazing women), in which she links to a post Kelly Rae Robert’s wrote about how to set up such a retreat. I am predicting that my Courage Camp this summer (you know who you are, ladies) will be such an event.

19. This quote from Julia Cameron, “Creativity is a spiritual practice. It is always ongoing and changing, not something that can be perfected, finished, and set aside.” Amen.

20. What my life looked like before Self Love, a brave and vulnerable post from Dominee at Blessing Manifesting.

21. This quote from Mark Whitwell, (by way of the amazing Jessica Patterson),

To be yourself is very easy; you don’t have to do a thing. No effort is necessary, and you don’t have to exercise your will. But try to be something other than what you are, and you have to do many unnecessary things and struggle a lot. To be yourself requires extraordinary intelligence. You are blessed with that intelligence; nobody need give it to you, and nobody can take it away from you.

22. 30+ of the most beautiful abandoned places and modern ruins i’ve ever seen, from Francesco Mugnai.

23. Sir Nicholas Winton, BBC Programme “That’s Life,” aired in 1988. This video is so sweet, and heartbreaking, and inspiring. Would that we could all do something so good and important with our lives.

24. This quote: “The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.” ~Henri Nouwen

25. Kid President. I shared his A Pep Talk from Kid President to You video already, but here it is again if you missed it.

Here’s a new video, The True Story of Kid President.

And another, which he made for Valentine’s day with two of my favorite singers, sisters Lennon & Maisy, (who are apparently now on TV, on a show called Nashville).

This was Lennon and Maisy’s first video, one of the sweetest, most beautiful things ever.

26. You can slow down. I mean REALLY slow. from Jen Lee.

27. This quote, from Geneen Roth,

I heard this from Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain (I love that book): each morning, do what he calls a “flight check”: remember that 1. You Are Safe. You are not getting bombed, invaded, destroyed. You really are safe, in this moment, now. Number 2. You have Enough. Enough food, enough clothes, enough warmth. And the last one: 3. You are Loved. By a cat or a dog. By your child. By your friend. By your spouse. You are loved and you have love in your life. We usually are reacting unconsciously to old patterns, many of which were about safety, enoughness, and love. We act as if we don’t have them, when, if you check in to the present, we realize we do. And then, it gives us a ground upon which the rest of the day can proceed with a different kind of knowing and relaxation. Try it now. Say those things to yourself. Take them in.

28. What you think about… from Hannah Marcotti.

29. May I Be Happy: A Conversation with Cyndi Lee on Body Image on Curvy Yoga. I love what Cyndi says about how yoga is being “sold” now that it’s gone more mainstream (“as a fitness and de-stressing program”),

We know that barely touches what yoga is really about and has basically nothing to do with the traditional benefits of yoga. But they don’t know how to sell yoga in any other way. And let’s face it, the audience for getting enlightened, or being honest and genuine, or living a life that is based on being connected to everyone and everything or talking about death as a way to appreciate our precious life, this audience is always going to be smaller than the “Let’s Get Fit in 30 days” audience.

30. Because it feels strange to end on an odd number, and because it’s totally something good in my life, my friend Carrie had a baby boy yesterday! Welcome to the world, Vincent. You are a very lucky boy, have an awesome family. (P.S. And just to warn you, I will probably be calling you Vinnie. Don’t tell your mom.)