Tag Archives: Three Truths and One Wish

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: I need a lot of rest. And more specifically, I need rest to recover from effort and engagement. The past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on my body and what would make it feel good. Some of that meant movement (walking the dogs, aqua aerobics, Pilates, and yoga in particular), but some of it meant visits to the doctor, getting a massage, a session with my physical therapist, three hours on the couch with a heating pad, a really long nap, or going to the Farmer’s Market to be sure I had fresh carrots and peaches.

2. Truth: I go back to work next week. To be honest (because this is a post about truth), I’m not sure how that’s going to go. I’m stepping back into a moment in the academic year that is notoriously chaotic, as well as returning to a huge ongoing project that I will need to help complete, and I have a new intern to get settled. I’m not sure how all that will align with my need for rest, my commitment to giving my body what it wants.

3. Truth: I return with a new question. It came to me recently as I was doing my morning writing practice. Forgive me if I already mentioned it, but it came to me that my fundamental confusion rests in this question — Am I denying myself what I’m truly hungry for or am I resisting what is? I’m not sure I can explain, but it’s related to my search for deep meaning in my life, and my growing awareness of my particular energetic requirements. It’s a question about the source of my discomfort, the cause of my dis-ease. So, when I dread going back to work, or I am uncomfortable being there, is it because I really should be somewhere else or am I resisting what is and therefore generating unnecessary suffering for myself in that way? Should I be looking for an exit, or should I learn how to stay?

One wish: May my path clarify my confusion, and may my confusion dawn as wisdom. (Based on the The Four Dharmas of Gampopa).

Three Truths and One Wish

1. I am my own best advocate. Time and time again, I’ve experienced situations where it’s clear I can trust myself, and if I’m looking for clarity or permission I don’t have to depend on other people to provide it. This shows up a lot around my health. Various mysteries have ultimately been understood and then healed because of the work I did, not the professionals. When they were willing to accept the easy or most common answer, even if it was wrong, it was up to me to keep looking, seeking, researching, and asking until we found a real answer.

2. Most people are making an honest effort. All beings just want to be happy and safe, even though the ways they try to make this happen are oftentimes misguided or miss the mark entirely. Even when we get things horribly wrong or cause harm, it’s ultimately because we are confused or hurt or just don’t know any better. And yet, this doesn’t mean we don’t need to take responsibility for the damage we do.

3. Believing I have value and acting like it is the best thing I can do for my health. Unless I do, all of the other products, programs, or plans are just a temporary distraction. Unless I believe I’m worth taking care of, nurturing, nourishing, and loving, nothing else I do will lead to fundamental, lasting wellness. In fact, those other things can actually do harm if I don’t first cultivate a foundation of care and compassion.

One wish: May we be happy, safe, and well, and may our confusion be nothing more than a temporary distraction.

Three Truths and One Wish

1. I have very little motivation right now. That’s not exactly true — I’m motivated to walk the dogs, go to yoga and aqua aerobics and Pilates, read books, watch TV, take naps, and hang out with Eric, write and meditate a little, and see friends, but that’s about it.

2. I’m not getting as much done as I’d hoped. I had big PLANS for all I was going to accomplish while I was on a break from work this summer, and even though I’ve gotten a few things done, it’s nowhere near what I’d imagined.

3. I needed a break. At some point when I’m not moving as fast as I want, when things aren’t happening at the speed I want, I have to accept that maybe I actually need to slow down, take a break, get some rest — and that it’s totally okay to do so.

One wish: May we allow ourselves to slow down, trust ourselves to set the rhythm of our days, and know that our value isn’t measured only by what we accomplish.

Three Truths and One Wish

1. How I look has WAY more to do with how I feel than anything else. It’s a purposeful shift I’ve been making for the past four years. When I make choices about what to eat, I eat what I want, what my body is hungry for, not what I “should” or what I will beat myself up for later because I “shouldn’t.” When I choose how to move, it’s about joy, what feels good, not what will burn the most calories or something I can use to punish myself with for “being bad.” I am constantly checking in with myself to see what I want — a nap? some attention? a long walk with the dogs? yoga? meditation? to finish a chore that’s been nagging at me? to make some space? And you know what’s happened because of that shift in attention? I look like someone who is taking care of herself. I can look in the mirror and see myself, no matter what meets me there, with love and gratitude and even a little bit of joy in my heart.

2. I can’t please everyone. As the joke goes, “what do you think you are, pizza?” No matter how hard I try, there’s always going to be more suffering, more people who need help, more things that need fixed, someone who isn’t happy with how things are, as well as someone who’s going to judge my approach. They will say I’m not giving enough or doing it right or am putting my effort in the wrong place.

3. I am the only one who knows what enough looks like. Only I know how much water I need to drink and if I’ve had enough. Only I know how much sleep I need and if I’ve had enough. Only I know the limits of my body and the level of my pain. Only I know how I feel, what I need and what I want — what I’m hungry for.

One wish: May we trust ourselves and others to know what we need, to know what enough looks like, and allow space for each other to discover those things for ourselves.

Three Truths and One Wish

Art and poetry by Rupi Kaur

1. Truth: Life is suffering. This isn’t something I made up. It’s the first noble truth in Buddhism. We all know this to be true, if we can be honest about it. Sometimes suffering means simple discomfort, like a room that is too hot or loud, or an itch that won’t go away, but sometimes it’s full blown “I don’t know if I can survive this” kind of pain — the kind of pain Jordan Edwards‘s family and friends are feeling right now, or the kind of pain Amy is feeling about Burg.

2. Truth: Everything can change in an instant. No matter what we do to plan ahead, protect ourselves, or prepare, we can’t control or predict the way things will actually turn out. There are just too many causes and conditions for us to have much control over outcomes. We think we are doing just fine, and BAM, the worst thing happens — we leave a party early and don’t make it home, or an ache that won’t go away or a tiny lump turns out to be terminal cancer.

3. Truth: Loving and being loved is an antidote to suffering. No matter how much we love each other we can’t keep each other from suffering but weirdly that means we should just love each other that much more. I keep saying it, but it is still true: life is tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal — keep your heart open. And expect it to break, again and again. That’s the good news and the bad; as big as you love is as much as you are going to hurt. Do it anyway.

One wish: Even knowing how much we are going to hurt as a result, may we continue to be generous with our love and attention, may we keep our hearts open in the midst of suffering and chaos, and may we find comfort in our connection to each other, in the shared weirdness that is being human.

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: This isn’t the post I want to be writing. There’s another one I want to write but don’t have the time for right now, inspired by a comment from the other day. The post I want to write is about the difference between being “nice” and true compassion, clarifying what I’m doing here, and the struggle I’m having with how to work with the current state of things and in particular with those who believe I should just shut up about it.

2. Truth: I skipped a meeting today because I knew I wasn’t up for it. I was hungry and cranky and getting a headache and knew if I went, I’d say something regrettable, or say nothing and be equally miserable. Instead, I took myself to lunch, fed myself exactly what I wanted, came back to my office and got back to work.

3. Truth: I taught a yoga class this morning, was subbing for the regular teacher. The people who showed up are people I’ve practiced with for a long time. I had a plan going in, but about 10 minutes in, something else started happening, so I went with it. It ended up being a good class, but not at all what I’d expected. It makes me very grateful to be at a place where I can trust myself. I’ve got three more classes coming up on my teaching schedule, so it’s a good thing to keep in mind. And as my friend Aramati says, “teaching is one part preparation and one part letting go.”

One wish: May we remember that all beings just want to be happy and safe (even though the methods some use to achieve that aren’t wise or compassionate), and may we be able to keep our hearts open while maintaining a sense of stability and sanity.

Three Truths and One Wish (Sort of)

Today, I usually post three truths and one wish. However, I’ve been so busy, I didn’t post last week and feel this week slipping away too. So instead, I’m going to share the last three posts I’ve made to Instagram for April Love 2017, which all happen to be true, and make a wish.

1. Wooden: Some people might consider my practice, my routine wooden, stiff, boring, but for me it’s space, mercy, rest, grace, a soft place to land.

2. Noon. Simply “the view from here” at noon on Tuesday.

3. (One of my) Favorite quote(s): the last three lines of Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem “Anodyne” – – “because I know I was born to wear out at least one hundred angels.” I have the last half of the poem printed out, sitting next to my work desk at CSU, a reminder of so many things – of impermanence, to love myself (“this sac of dung & joy”), that poetry is magic and medicine, that while I may not love my job every moment, it enables me to meet and work with amazing artists and humans like Yusef Komunyakaa.

One wish: May we see what’s really happening, notice and meet reality with an open heart, experience the joy of a small thing, find a soft place to rest when we need it, know comfort, happily get up when it’s time to move again, and never ever ever give up.