Friday, February 27, 2015

Especially Snowy Circumstances

The other day, due to especially snowy circumstances, I taught one class instead of three. When I got home, I still felt totally tired. Although I had planned to run errands and go to a meeting, my body was begging me to just stay home and close the curtains. I did stay home, I did close the curtains and I got a whole bunch of stuff done. Mid-all-that-doing, I remembered my goal with my sponsor and I couldn't help but wonder how often I hide from what I'm feeling by getting stuff done. Being productive is awesome AND Eric Schiffmann says, "We have never stayed home long enough to experience the truth about ourselves."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"But if You Listen"

These past few days in my daily readers, there have been words on how it's often God talking through other people, and the messages all around us. In Al Anon, we don't respond to each person's "share;" this simple habit has had a deep effect on my listening. When I'm not trying to come up with how I'm going to respond, I am more open to listening and learning.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sharing Prayers

Last night I got a card in the mail from my teacher Jen; it was filled with little print-outs of prayers. She sent a prayer I had sent her, which she had typed out to give to her clients, and a few others too. Here's one from the batch:

"Oh most potent source of comfort and strength, which I acknowledge but cannot define, grant me the wisdom to let my tears flow without shame whenever they are appropriate, the courage to love and to express love in words and actions, and the serenity that comes when I can accept reality without trying to shape it to my expectations or my desires."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Love Smoothies

Traveling is such a solid way to keep perspective healthy. When I'm traveling, I have different thoughts and thinking patterns than I do when I'm back home in my regular routine. Typically when I travel, I do not worry about money. Which kinda doesn't make sense: there I am taking time off work and spending extra money to be somewhere else and somehow not worrying about money. I'll take it.

This last trip was different: I worried about money. Again, it didn't make sense, there was plenty of money to cover it all.

I need you guys to know that the trip was amazing, everything about it was perfect and my teacher Jen came. I couldn't have asked for more. But there I was, in my free time, worrying about money.

The place where we stayed had us so covered. It has incredible facilities, bounties of delicious food and a staff of the most sincerely kind people I've ever met. Did I mention the food? There was tons of it, a buffet at breakfast, lunch and dinner, all of it fabulous, and as much of it as we wanted. I fell in love with an "extra" item on the menu, something called a Love Smoothie. A heavenly mixture of coconut milk, banana, strawberry and cacao nibs, the Love Smoothie was on the snack menu, meaning it cost extra. The pequeño is $3.25 and the grande $4.50, tiny prices for the size and scrumptiousness of the thing. Despite feeling funny about money, I ordered this extra pretty much everyday for breakfast.

During one of our sessions on the trip, Jen told me to think about money as one way to express love. In her example, we had paid extra the day before to go on the volcano hike. The volcano hike was an experience that we gave to ourselves, an expression of love, albeit pretty tough love. Subsequently, Jen and I each got massages, we paid money for healing, another way of giving ourselves love. You guys, the name of the smoothie I fell for is Love, a slam dunk for Jen's message, straight to the heart.

Looking at money as love back in regular routine works too. I pay rent so that I can have an apartment, that apartment is love. In it, I love myself by sleeping, meditating and making food. Paying $15 to go to a yoga class is me giving myself love, $300 for an alternator is love and $4.25 for a Valentine card surely is love too.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I Miss You, Guatemala

"So Much Happiness"
 It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn't need you to hold it down.
It doesn't need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records…..
Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

--Naomi Shihab Nye

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Angels

On Tuesday, Liz and I woke up EARLY to get to the Guatemala City airport to fly to Dallas, to go through customs and immigration, to fly to Santa Fe, to drive to Taos. Five minutes before the Town of Taos limits, my car stopped working. I later learned that my alternator ceased to operate and that my car was running on reserve battery power--it felt pretty scary. The speedometer said we were going 0, even though the car was in motion, and the brakes felt jumpy.

We made it to the Ranchos Post Office parking lot, just inside the town limits. A kind gentleman there looked at the engine, heard the noise the car made when I tried to start it again and said the car was in bad shape. Mike and Smokey came to rescue me, and Liz's boyfriend, Jamison came to get her. The next day, with my car still broken down at the post office, I cried as I told my mom about what had happened. It's a straight-up miracle the car quit working when it did as opposed to 5 or 30 minutes earlier while we were on the windy canon road up from Santa.

Did I mention the post office where my car broke down is across the street from my mechanic Jaime? My mom and I talked about maybe not fixing the car, depending on how big the problem was, it might not be worth it. A few hours after telling Jaime what happened, the car was back up and running, he fixed it right there in the post office parking lot, no need to tow it. He didn't call me and give me an estimate or anything, he just fixed it. Perfect, given the option, I would have over-thought it, and it didn't cost that much.

More and more, I pray the Third Step Prayer: "God, I offer myself to thee to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of thy power, thy love and thy way of life. May I do Thy will always."

The angels are with me, and God's will, not mine, is working.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Quote Found in Villa Sumaya's Baño

"When Nothing Works... Just Simply Rest...
This has been a long search but now it has come to a point where you can relax; no need to search anymore, you can rest now. And what you have not found through search will be found through rest. There are things which can be found only if you seek; those are worldly things: money, power, prestige. And there are things which you can never find by seeking and searching; those are other worldly things: love, meditation, God. For them you have to learn a totally new technique, a new strategy, the strategy of let-go, the technique of tremendous restfulness.
So make it a point now that for at least one hour you will be simply resting, as if there is nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to achieve. Disolvling, melting into existence, just like an ice cube melting in the early sun, disappearing, evaporating, a dewdrop slipping from the lotus leaf to the lake. Make it a point everyday at least for one hour you will be so totally in rest that you will not be, that you will become almost absent. In that absence, God's presence is felt: when you are not, God is." --Osho

photo from the steps of the Iglesia de Santo Tomás, Chichicastenango