Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Last Day New Tradition

I have a new tradition. Like lots of great things, it was born from a place of darkness. On the last day of our retreat, I was feeling sad. It was January 31st, I already missed everyone so much, and there's a good chance I had a cacao hangover. After we arrived in our hostel in San Marcos, I got in bed to read, passing on Liz and Sarah's invite to go out exploring with them. I read all of the days from January from my daily reader, Journey to the Heart. Some of the readings I remembered well, others I gleaned new wisdom from, and mostly, it helped me process what a big month January had been.

I did the same thing with all the pages of February on the last day of February and I just did the same with all the readings from March.

In case you don't already know, daily readers are books with 365 offerings in them, one for each day of the year. I have several daily readers that I read from before meditating in the morning. It's good for us to fill our minds with something inspiring first thing.

Here are some of the sentences I underlined from March as I read back through. They're all from Melody Beattie:

"You do no teach and lead your soul. Your soul leads and teaches you."

"A vision is a glimpse of light that shines and shows us our path. It is a quick flash of something that hasn't happened yet. It may tell us something about today or ten years from now. Visions occur when our souls look at a map of our lives, get a sense of where we're going, and tell our hearts how to find that place."

"But the most pressing job can be done best when we're relaxed. There are few things we need to do that can be enhanced by becoming tense, fearful, and worried. The more pressing the situation, the more pressing the need to be present for ourselves, and to be present for each moment."

Good stuff, yeah.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Apology Extremes

The other day when I came home, my hide-a-key was in the lock in my door. After looking around my apartment and finding everything was intact and un-stolen, I relaxed and continued with my evening. I knew it was my friend who left the key in there, I wasn't worried and I wanted to address it with her. There's something in my house that she'd been using lately, she'd been coming over often, when I was home and when I wasn't, to use it. When I saw her again soon after, I told her I wasn't comfortable with her using that thing so much, and that the key had been left in the lock. "Oh shit," she said, left, and came back a few minutes later to give me a really nice pair of earrings.

A different friend of mine told me a story recently about saying something she regretted. After she had said it, she apologized and then noticed in herself the urge to apologize again. She forced herself to sit with the uncomfortable feeling that she wanted to cover-up by over-apologizing and eventually, it passed. I totally related to her story, and I thought my friend was way cool for her consciousnesses of her feelings and how she handled them.

Usually when we mess up, it's uncomfortable. There's great value in an apology, an acknowledgement of awareness of an offense. I believe in awareness' power to transform. I also believe in letting go of what I can't control. When I screw up, I can say I'm sorry, and I can work to change my behavior, and I can't force anyone to forgive me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Direct Us Aright

"What is it that makes it so hard sometimes to determine whither we will walk?
I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright." --Henry David Thoreau

Friday, March 20, 2015

Springtime Ritual and The Law of Allowing

I love this first-day-of-the-new-season stuff. Apparently, with the new moon in the last degree of Pisces, and the total solar eclipse, today is particularly powerful. I get most of my insights into these matters from the great mysticmamma.com

This morning I was feeling a little short on time when it came to getting in all the meditating, physical yoga and intention setting that I wanted to do before getting to my 8 am class, despite waking up extra early. I did make time for a nice long asana practice, but skimped-out a little on savasana, which is totally sacrilege of me; I strongly believe savasana's the most important part.

Having read on mysticmamma that "March 20th is a brilliant day for ritual and prayer," and a good day to start practicing "the Law of Allowing," I felt extra guilty. As I got up from my truncated corpse pose, I intended to myself that my whole day would be a ritual, and a prayer for allowing. So far it's working.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Taking Care of Me

I love my birthday--it throws me into this one-special-day practice of what I want versus what I think I should do. I'm learning more and more with each year about my energy level, what I wish to do, and not to overbook. Yesterday after doing what I wanted all day, I thought about going to yoga and I thought about going to Al-Anon; two things I love and yet, didn't really want to do. I wanted to go home, make a smoothie, putz around and get to bed early. When I'm in what I want, there's no right or wrong, there's no what-other-people-think-is-cool, it's just me, being present for and taking care of me.

Friday, March 13, 2015


One of the feelings that gets affirmed in B.E.S.T. sometimes is "perfection." I remember the first time I got "perfection" as an affirmation: I was confused. "But I thought I was recovering from perfectionism," I said to myself. This happened way back when I lived in New York and went to see Jen every week. Sensing my uncertainty I'm sure, Jen jumped in, "Perfection as in: everything is perfect exactly the way it is." "Ahhh," I thought, "that's very different from perfectionism."

Now that I giving B.E.S.T. treatments is part of what I do, I am familiar with the feelings in a different way. When someone on my table gets the word perfection, I try to think of everything that's perfect in the world pouring down into my crown chakra out through my hands and into their skull as I synchronize their pulse points. So much is perfect, a baby turtle is perfect, the joy of swinging high on a swing-set is perfect, the Rio Grande Gorge most certainly is perfect.

A recent episode of the New Yorker Fiction Podcast is perfect. Etgar Keret reads Donald Barthelme. If you listen to podcasts, download it immediately and if you don't listen to podcasts, download it immeadiately, and start listening to podcasts. Podcasts make long drives, subway, bus and airplane rides make sense. Donald Barthelme's story "Chablis," is perfect. Etgar Keret's insight into it is perfect, and his discussion with New Yorker Fiction editor, Debra Treisman is also perfect. There's a hypothetical dog in the story named Michael. I love it when dogs and cats have regular human names. Someday I hope to have a chihuahua named Barbara.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Loudest Voice

"Yet the loudest voice is not necessarily the truest. No matter how insistent a feeling may be, it is just a feeling, not a prophecy." --Courage to Change

Friday, March 6, 2015

Good Call New Friend

Talking over tea today with my new friend Jiwan Shakti, black and white thinking came up again. She told me of a miscommunication she had recently with someone, and that someone used the word "never." "When people use the words always, never or constantly, they are in reaction; they are not in neutral mind," she said. Good call new friend.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

An Extra Day

*photo courtesy of Dallas Photoworks

One of the things that I've been learning the last couple of years is to let go of black and white thinking. I even notice myself using the word "and" more and using the word "but" less. Last post, I wrote about being home alone with ourselves enough. Over the weekend we were hit with a huge snow storm here in Northern New Mexico. I was signed up to sub the Saturday and Sunday classes at Ojo Caliente. Ojo is a short 45-50 minute drive from Taos in good conditions. Knowing my journeys would be longer because of the inclement weather, I looked in to staying at Ojo for the night rather than turning around to drive back just to turn around and drive back. To my satisfaction, Ojo has an option for employees in my circumstances. A double wide trailer on the property for $10 a night provides staff, and even independent contractors like me, with a bed and towels, a warm shower, and a kitchen for cooking. I was excited; I knew getting the heck out of my apartment, my head, and my normal routine, even for one night, would be just the thing to finally snap me out of a recent funk.

The roads were hectic, the students at Ojo were happy I made the trip, and I was thrilled to stay and soak with no time limit. Spending time on the couch in the double wide Saturday evening with one of my fav daily readers, I read the February 29th entry. What a treat to have this page in the book even though we didn't have that extra day in the year this year:

"See All the Landscape

Climb to the top of a mountain. What do you see? Valleys as well as mountains. 
When you're on top of a mountain, you don't think, This is all there is. Or when you're driving through a hot, dusty valley, you don't think This is all there is. You know there is more. You know the truth. Both exist, and more besides. 
Life isn't an either/or situation. Don't work so hard forcing everything to be only good, delightful, joyous or pleasant, for when you reach the valley, you'll become miserably certain that life is only pain, sadness and tragedy. You're wasting energy when you try to convince yourself that life is only one way or the other. 
Look around. See all the landscpes--valleys, oceans, plains, and, yes, mountaintops. That's what life is: all of it. 

Enjoy the view."

--Melody Beattie