Monday, December 31, 2007

Waking up's not hard to do

Waking up is one of my favorite parts of the day. I almost always awaken before the alarm clock. I lie there, trying to guess the time by how much light is coming through the curtains. I assess the current state of the body's aches and pains. I place my attention, and my intention, onto the coming day.
I breathe slowly and deeply. I almost never, ever fall back asleep once I am awake. I guess that makes me a morning person. I am in a good mood when I wake up. I feel close to my natural state of calm and peace.
Plus, I love the whole metaphorical aspect of the "waking up."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Friendly Message

I have a framed needlepoint piece above my desk. It says,
"A friend is someone who knows all about you, and loves you just the same."
A friend made it for me many years ago.
Friends are wonderful, aren't they?
I am so glad and thankful to have had some true friends.
There are some friends I have not seen in a long time, and I miss them.
I wish all my friends peace and harmony in their lives.
This is to send love out to you, my friend.
Yes, you.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Three Little Birds

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a list of everything I was worried about. Of the 11 items on the worry list, ten have either been resolved or are simply no longer active worries of mine. (The only worry left is about my children, and that one will probably always be on my list!) So, what does that say to me? Did worrying about any of those things make them go away? No. Most of them were resolved by my changing the circumstances of my life, and by the passage of time. Most of the things we worry about never happen.
"Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', (this is my message to you-ou-ou:)
Singin': don't worry 'bout a thing,
'cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin: don't worry (don't worry) 'bout a thing,
'cause every little thing gonna be all right!"

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Other Shoe

Our beliefs shape our experience of living. What we believe to be true, about the world and ourselves, colors our perceptions. We see what we believe.
For example, when something “bad” happens, we may think that more bad will happen. Specifically, if we have a negative start to our day, that means that the whole day will be bad. We may spend our day “waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
Here is the story behind that expression, by the way:
A man comes in late at night to a lodging house, rather the worse for wear. He sits on his bed, drags one shoe off and drops it on the floor. Guiltily remembering everyone around him trying to sleep, he takes the other one off much more carefully and quietly puts in on the floor. He then finishes undressing and gets into bed. Just as he is drifting off to sleep, a shout comes from the man in the room below: “Well, drop the other one then! I can’t sleep, waiting for you to drop the other shoe!”.
In a larger context, a belief in a future event or circumstance can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, considering the Law of Intention. If we expect negative or injurious things to happen, we can even draw these things to our lives. Fortunately (depending on how you look at it), most of us don’t have our mental energies organized enough to always bring this about. We scatter our thoughts among hope and worry, and that serves to keep a lot of the bad stuff away. This is not to say we ought to judge or blame ourselves for what happens, although it is a suggestion that we see it all as a learning experience.
Beliefs can be powerful tools for keeping our lives organized and predictable. But it pays to be attentive to those points at which our beliefs do not serve us, and can even be limiting us.
While we wait for the other shoe to drop, we can at least focus on what we believe the consequences of a fallen shoe might be, and prepare ourselves for the gift of experience that our beliefs are giving us.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Let's get the shoe on the road

I spent a long time in my car today, driving very slowly due to traffic. This gave me a lot of time to notice my surroundings, and to think. But the most memorable sight happened to be something I saw earlier, before the traffic jam took hold. I saw it for only an instant: a man's shoe, lying on the side of the road. It seemed almost to have been placed there deliberately, since it was neat and clean, upright and perpendicular to the roadway.
My first thought concerned the origins of the shoe - to whom did it belong, and how did it get there, and so on. I quickly realized that all of these questions, and also the shoe itself, did not matter to me at all. I mean, I really didn't care, and it didn't affect me at all.
It's funny, how most people probably haven't given that shoe more than a (literally) passing glance with its attendant brief thought. We all moved on, and by now the shoe has possibly already been run over by a careless driver. At the very least, it has been ruined by this evening's rain.
And yet. To the owner of the shoe, it could be a significant event to have lost it. It could even possibly have far-reaching consequences in his life.
This is such a metaphor for life, I thought. The thing that seems so important to me today, means practically nothing to almost anyone else. It's not that they don't care; it's just that it doesn't have the same resonance in their lives as it does in mine.
We all experience both sides of that. That's our common ground. What would happen if all of us cared about everything?
What's important to me is that I made it home safely, only two hours late. And with two shoes.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Just Wait, You'll See

Patience has definitely been a theme in my life. I like to think I have a lot of patience. This has not always been a good thing. Sometimes one can have too much patience, and it can seem to mutate into laziness or passivity. That is probably the dark side of patience for me.
Also, patience implies waiting for something that will take place in the future. But now I am seeing that patience is a very important part of living in the moment. To have patience is to truly live in this moment, without waiting for anything else to happen. Patience is a choice. I choose to be patient now.
The day of the solstice seems like a good time to practice being still, and to honor the virtue of patience.

Friday, December 21, 2007


This is what I love about winter: Watching snow fall. Playing in the snow. Shoveling snow (yes! as long as it's not too heavy). Crisp, clear sunny days. Sunsets through the bare trees.
This is what I don't like about northern winters: Day after day of dull jet-wing grey skies. Shiver-me-timbers-cold. Driving on messy roads. Ice and mud tie for fourth place on the list.

Here on the mountain, we have already been experiencing winter-like conditions for well over a month. But winter doesn't officially begin until tomorrow, the day of the Winter Solstice.
The meaning of Solstice derives from the Latin Sol (sun) and sistere (stand still). It has to do with the position of the sun in relation to the observer. It happens in an instant, but always on the shortest day/longest night of the year. From tomorrow on, the days will be getting longer.

Symbolically, winter is a time of rest and contemplation. As I welcome winter tomorrow, I will be thinking about the rhythms of the natural world, and the never-ending cycle of birth, death and renewal. I will light a candle in the darkness. I will take a moment to be still, and quiet, and thankful for all of it.

"The trumpet of a prophecy,
Oh Wind, if Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Journey: Individuation

I recently had a dream that (a friend helped me to see) was pointing out the role of the animus, masculine energy, in my life.
This insight led me to revisit Carl Jung’s concept of individuation. Individuation is, essentially, the psychological process we undergo in the latter part of our lives. As our bodies age and mature, so do our psyches. We spend a lot of time and energy on the early stages of development, but once we are adult, we seem to be largely set adrift, with not a lot of societal support or acknowledgement of our ongoing development.
Individuation, as I understand it, involves our confronting and accepting our shadow self (the “dark” side of our personality); acknowledging both the feminine and masculine aspects of our selves; becoming conscious of our spirit selves (also could be seen as becoming wise); and, finally, achieving full self-realization, or wholeness.
It is interesting to me that wholeness is the destination, for certainly wholeness is our origin is well. Life truly is a circle! We spend our lives believing that we are separate and unique, yet in the end we return to unity.
The belief in separateness, even though it causes difficulties in and of itself, can also be said to be the key to creativity. If you believe that we are here to manifest love and to create (as I do), then it can easily follow that the illusion of separation is a necessary component.
This is illuminating for me, at least, because in the last few years I have tended to pathologize the concept of the separation illusion. Now I see more clearly that, used with intent, the illusion is a tool of creativity.
More on this story as it develops…..

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


In the stillness
In the light of the candle
In the fire

In the blue wave
In the depth of the ocean
In the water

In the journey
In the meaning of sorrow
In the night

In the arrival
In the sharing of joy
In the heart

Monday, December 17, 2007

Right Now

Right now, the sky is blue and the sun is shining.
Right now, the wind is blowing fiercely, and it is very cold outside.
Right now, the snow and ice are settling in for a long stay.
Right now, I just finished a bowl of black bean chili, a pot of which I have been enjoying for about 5 days, since no one else in the house wants to eat it. I swear, each bowlful gets better, especially with a dollop of Fage Total 0% fat yogurt on it. I am not really sure how I managed to live my life up until the moment I first tasted Fage. I'd walk a mile for some Fage. It's that good.
If you can get your hands on some, you will see.
Right now, I forgive myself for digressing.
Right now, I am calm.
Right now, it is quiet (except for the wind).
Right now, I feel at peace with everything.
Right now, I am glad this post is on a more personal level than previous ones. (I have been really ambivalent about whether to have this blog be 'personal' or not.)
Right now, I am just glad to be here.
Right now, I don't have to be right, now.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What I Am is What I Am

Some days you just don’t feel like getting that deep. You just want to float along, live your life, be happy in the moment. You don’t want to think about the meaning of things. You don’t want to wonder about motivation, yours or another’s. You just want to be.
Too bad you don’t have a mind that works that way. Your mind always has to be on. It doesn’t take well to being quiescent.
Therein lies the rub. For to truly appreciate yourself, to accept yourself in every way, you must do all the thinking and you must also do all the not thinking.

This is definitely the right time to turn up the music and dance.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Inspiration, Part I

As I sat down to write a new post, my first thought was, "I need inspiration!" Now, anyone who knows me could guess that my favorite book is the dictionary (because it contains all the other books). So, naturally, I first visited my favorite book's cousin, the Online Dictionary (easier, but doesn't smell as good).
I was struck by the multiple meanings of inspiration. Specifically, I noticed that one meaning has to do with the act of inhalation, or taking air into the lungs. Again, you might also know that for the past year I have had an issue with inhalation. I often have the feeling of not being able to take a full breath. This physiological issue has not yet been resolved, although it appears not to be fatal (so far). I continue to meditate on its genesis. I do have some ideas, but having the ideas does not seem to have generated any quantum healing. I do note here that, according to my personal belief system (that's a disclaimer in case you didn't know): The healing occurs in the instant that I believe in the healing.
And so I wait. To inspire, and to be inspired. I am not really sure whether waiting itself is the answer, or if there is something else I ought to be doing. Sometimes I feel as though I have been waiting my entire life to be inspired. To that, now I have added "waiting to inspire."

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Choices are fundamental to our lives. By choosing this or that action, we not only create our lives, but also affect the lives of those around us.

Most of the choices we make in our daily lives are trivial, having importance only to ourselves. What do I eat for breakfast? Do I listen to the radio in the car or not? Shall I go to the gym today?

While any of these choices, once made (either consciously or out of long habit), have consequences, the majority of them are not problematic in an emotional sense. They are simply decisions about how to live our lives. For the most part, we accept the outcome of our choices. Either we reinforce the validity of the choice, or if we see that a mistake was made we generally endeavor not to repeat it.

Emotions can be a useful barometer of the “rightness” of our choices. We can stop and ask ourselves, “How did this choice make me feel? Is this a feeling I want to have? Is it helping me or hurting me?” When we pay attention to our feelings, we can make our choices in a more conscious way.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I think it is not so much experiences that become tiresome, but all the decisions. Every day, we must make decisions, big and small, each cascading one upon another and another. Until it seems that all we really do is make decisions.
And yet. Is this not also the point of our existence? Who or what are we but our choices? Our choices as to how and what we think, feel, believe, and perhaps most importantly, our choices as to how to act? We are here in order to decide. Call it by another name - create. We create our world and our lives by deciding, by choosing - this color, that texture, this book, that movie, this relationship, that career. And so on and so on, until (it seems) infinity.
Sometimes it all gets to be a bit much. How can we really know in any given moment which is the best choice? The answer is, most of the time, that we can’t. We can only press forward, in our own uniquely human way.
When we then “suffer the consequences” or we try to second-guess our choices, we tend to get caught up in the drama, and lose sight of the over-arching purpose of all our experiences: the very act of creation.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thought for Today

When you sit in the bath of your past regrets, you will stay wet until you step up and dry yourself off with the towel of forgiveness.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I am the painter, the paint, the brush, the canvas, and the images on the canvas. I am the masterpiece.
There is no end to the metaphors that can be created to help us understand how life works. Words are used to describe concepts and realities that are simply beyond verbal comprehension. At the level of true understanding, words are not necessary. What is a metaphor? We try to answer life’s mysteries by using words to describe that which is indescribable. All we can do is draw comparisons, and in effect this makes us define everything, ultimately, in terms of itself. These judgments we make, in order to classify and categorize everything in our world and in our experience, serve both to educate and to protect us. We can learn from the ways we categorize, and also cushion ourselves from perceiving anything that is outside the scope of our worldview.
I think my soul is with me always. It is in me, around me, over me, under me, part of me, and embracing me. I can’t even conceive of myself without a soul. It’s like air, or love, or God. It simply can’t not exist. It is. I am.
The soul is magnificent and powerful. It is part of All That Is. It cannot be shy or sensitive, in my opinion. That shyness or sensitivity is simply our egos playing tricks on us. The ego is quite clever at masquerading as our soul. Who wouldn’t want to be the soul? The soul is cool, the soul is awesome, the soul is everything. Yet we all long to be that which we already are!