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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

 

 

fear8454306326_d943005bf9_zBlessings Day 304: I met with my fear counsel/council this morning. We decided to let myself have two specific fears before breakfast today. Meaning give it a soft space of acknowledgment, don’t push it away.

Then again before breakfast, I met further with my fear counsel/council – the wise elders who know a thing or two about fear. The counsel I received was to take action on three things. I did. Then finally I had breakfast!

It wasn’t so scary after all, it was pretty clean cut and meeting one of those fears gave me so much encouragement about next steps. Thank you fear council, I couldn’t have done this without you today.

If I ignore that fear, it’s still in the driver’s seat, it’s got me by the proverbial balls anyway. I can say yes to fear, let it have its say, and it has a lot to teach me about who I am being in the world at the deepest levels and even more, how I can lean into it, instead of running from it.

“All any feeling wants is to be welcomed with tenderness. It wants room to unfold. It wants to relax and tell it’s story.” From Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth.

 

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I am appending below a portion of what I discovered on David Whyte’s Facebook wall yesterday.  I think there’s a wide variance of emotions that come up during the holidays, especially for those who have had a loved one transition.  But beyond that, heartbreak, is something we all go through, it’s a natural consequence of living life with an open, yet vulnerable heart.  Perhaps our true work isn’t to heal heartbreak, as much as it is to embrace that we have all been inescapably and forever touched by the tender, outstretched hands of life.

“Heartbreak is inescapable; yet we use the word heartbreak as if it only occurs when things have gone wrong: an unrequited love, a shattered dream, a child lost before their time. Heartbreak, we hope, is something we can avoid; something to guard against, a chasm to be carefully looked for and then walked around; the hope is to find a way to place our feet where the elemental forces of life will keep us in the manner to which we want to be accustomed and which will keep us from the losses that all other human beings have experienced without exception since the beginning of conscious time. But heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way…”

From the upcoming Third Readers’ Circle Essay,
‘HEARTBREAK’
©2013 David Whyte

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Live as You

Freydoon Rassouli – Visionary Artist

02-17-Enwrapped

“Dear Human:

You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of … messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up, and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.”

~Courtney A. Walsh, Author

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grains4

 

This week’s inquiry … courtesy of my teacher and mentor, Jean Haner.  Months ago, she posted it on her Facebook page as part of a longer piece.  The question felt so compelling that I wrote it down, and thought to share it with you today.

“What if the only thing wrong with you, is that you think something is wrong with you?”

Partnering today’s question is the following quote from David Whyte*:

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

*stay tuned, as my next post later this week, will be the poem, in its entirety, that this was pulled from.

 

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One of my favorite NLP techniques; this post gets lots of attention even three years later.  It is such a mind eye opener and it stops the stories that fuel our suffering “dead in their tracks”!  So powerful, it bears sharing again…

I attended an NLP/Hypnosis meetup this weekend and was introduced to this fabulous new tool that I’ve been dying to pass on to you all.  It’s called — just the facts.  First, bear with me, while I take us on a little side trip to illustrate the power of this process.  You’ve heard of the path of least resistance?  Well, strap yourselves in for a bumpy BUT short ride down the path of *most* resistance, Bethie-style.

I leave the meetup, get in the car and immediately call home, since the plan is to now go home, pick up my daughter and leave for a concert.  Back story is I don’t like to be late and I don’t like to be rushed.  So I’m checking in with my husband on the status of our daughter getting ready, since we have to leave in one hour. Not only does she have to get ready but she has work to be done before we leave.  My husband says that my daughter’s not up yet.  It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  I’m gobsmacked.   I’m telling my husband we’ll never make it on time.  Not only that, I’m saying she often does this, she’s rarely on time lately.  I explain how I’ve been struggling all week with getting her out the door on time for things.  And then I’m thinking, I just know she’ll do a half ass rush job at the work she has to do.  And who sleeps ’til 3pm?   Wait, there’s more … if we don’t get there early, parking will be hard to find, I’ll be stuck in concert traffic, yada, yada, yada.

I hang up the phone.  And then I just said STOP.  For crying out loud, just STOP.  I stop and take a deep breath and remember I just left a meetup.  What did I just learn in the meetup?  I will tell you what I just learned and how I used it.

What actually happened here?  Just the facts.  What are the facts and nothing but the facts, m’am?

FACT: I called home and was told that my daughter is not up yet.

That’s all that happened.  That’s the facts, period.

All that other stuff is just blah, blah, blah.  A story I made starring me and my unwitting daughter and the script went like this — well you heard it all already.  Did any of it serve me or her?  Are they giving out any awards for the one person who can get their panties in a wad quicker than anyone else?  And if they were, would I even want that award?  Well I might, for you know what and giggles, but no, I don’t really want to be the fastest panty wad twister on earth.

Here’s what I want.  Here’s what I always want and that is to feel good and happy and clear.  So I just learned a new tool to do just that.  And I like this even better than Byron Katie’s: is it true? because it just by passes all of that.  I’m still asking a story if it’s true in the BK model.  Why get vested in the story at all, why not separate it out altogether and get down to the bare minimum.  What are the facts?  The rest is all a choice I make to have it mean this or that.

Immediately I realized how this could help a friend who doesn’t really get along with her boss.  Every time she gets an email or a phone call from this boss requesting such and such, she goes right into the story of what that means. And it’s often a story that doesn’t serve her; it’s a story that leaves her feeling less than and wanting to change jobs. So what do you do in that case?  You take the facts only.  Boss calls.  Boss wants to review my document.  Boss has made these changes to my document.

What does it mean?  It means nothing and everything, depending on what you tell yourself about it.  Strip it all down to its bare minimum, just the facts.  Before you, me, we get caught up in the whirlwind of what it all means, just stop, take a deep breath.  Ask yourself: what are the facts?  Look at the facts and decide, choose selectively, mindfully what you want to make of it, if anything at all.  Or choose just for this one moment, choose to have it mean nothing at all.  You can always come back to that subject and plaster it with all the meaning you want, but for now consider halting all the story about what *anything* means.  Feel the pure relief in that.

Thankfully I drove home sans the irritation over potentially being late or rushed because I realized it was all a resistance, filled to the brim, story.  And by the way, we got to the concert, no traffic, found good close parking and had plenty of time to spare.  We had a great conversation standing in line chatting with people we’d never met before but found so many crazy synchronistic things we shared in common, including the names and breeds of our dogs, the names of our kids, it just went on and on.

Things just flow and line up so much easier when I take the time to line up myself.  In my heart, I always want to be in my corner.  In all of our hearts, we all want to be in our own corner, our own good friends.  Just the facts and nothing but the facts, is a great and easy, user friendly tool to use and is definitely a keeper in my tool box.

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Kintsukuroi

kintsukuroi3

 

I just returned from a healing retreat and was struck by how, as unique and individual we are, so many of us share the same struggle with being hard on ourselves.

I’ve come to find for myself that the only way out of something is actually to move towards it. I posted earlier this year about it in ‘Letting Myself Have’.  The voices of self-criticism don’t need our further rejection, they need our love and acceptance.

Today I share with you kintsukuroi, the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver. The concept of our broken places having made us even more beautiful.

The cracks are the articulation of our journey through life.  The gilding reveals where the inner light, our essence, love, has come to shine through.

May each of us come to savor our own artistic, tender, loving hand at becoming ever more precious.

Japanese Bowl

I’m like one of those Japanese bowls
That were made long ago
I have some cracks in me
They have been filled with gold

That’s what they used back then
When they had a bowl to mend
It did not hide the cracks
It made them shine instead

So now every old scar shows
From every time I broke
And anyone’s eyes can see
I’m not what I used to be

But in a collector’s mind
All of these jagged lines
Make me more beautiful
And worth a much higher price

I’m like one of those Japanese bowls
I was made long ago
I have some cracks you can see
See how they shine of gold

~Peter Mayer

My beloved child, break your heart no longer.

~Bapuji (beloved father of Kripalu yoga)

 

 

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Outdoor table set for breakfastWhen being a mother is like a prayer…  

That first 1 a.m. morning I awoke to my infant son’s cries, stupid sleepy but grinning from ear to ear.  Yes, this was motherhood.  

Fast forward so many years, now to breakfast this morning.  Cold water washing greens, fingers touch the cool handle of a knife to slice the plumpness of a strawberry in half.   Now whisking the eggs … I am held suspended inside this prayer right now, and my undivided attention to it is what makes this tender space between this and that, so sacred.

There are not enough words to describe the sacredness of breakfast, first nourishment of the day and especially the ones we make for our children.

Eggs spill out into an already warmed pan.  Grasping the handle while I add the spinach and the cheese.  Aroma enters this sacred temple, too.

For another day I have been loaned life and life with my children.  I fully take in the holiness of this moment.

I prepare a place at the table for us.  I want to cradle them with this food, and tell them this love will never end. 

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autumn_leaves

Pods of summer crowd around the door;
I take them in the autumn of my hands.

Last night I heard the first cold wind outside;
the wind blew soft, and yet I shiver twice:

Once for thin walls, once for the sound of time.

~William Stafford~
The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems

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sunnyhill

My eyes already touch the sunny hill,
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has its inner light, even from a distance—

and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it, we already are;
a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave . . .
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

~Rainer Maria Rilke~
Muzot, March 1924
Translated by Robert Bly

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Shouldphoto

My new spiritual practice is in ‘letting myself have’.  Letting myself have means *accepting* whatever thought form is bobbing up on the surface, in any given moment.  That’s all they ever do, those little buggers, is bob up on the surface — the should’s and their kissing cousins, the ought to’s and the must’s.  Give that thought form some additional air time, sign on the dotted line…

                                                                                                                              ‘yes, you/they/he/she should’

and by gosh, a bob becomes the muck and mire, congratulations you’ve bought a consonant, and a bog!   Enter being at war with ourselves.  Enter being at war with life.  Enter suffering.

A very wise friend of mine once said “anything you can let yourself have, you can let yourself release”*.  I did the simple math and it’s obvious anything that you judge that should be different, any notion that a situation is not, should not be this way, is a means of staying intimately engaged with it.

The process is very simple, I’ll give you some examples below:

I should be out of bed and dressed by now.
Letting myself have … I am in bed and, I am not dressed.

I should not care what others think of me.
Letting myself have … I care what others think of me.

I should be a better Mom.
Letting myself have … my application for sainthood has been denied, Mother Teresa still reigns. :-) 

I should not be having this argument with my husband.
Letting myself have … my husband is an a**hole.
Just checking to see if you are still reading!  This was part of my actual process last night and the humor is what allowed me to let it go.

I should be doing the laundry.
Letting myself have … I am not doing the laundry.

I shouldn’t be afraid of ___________.
Letting myself have … I am afraid of ___________.

I should have my spiritual sh*t in one sock by now.
Letting myself have … I am where I am.

That’s the gist of ‘letting myself have’.  It doesn’t matter what we let ourselves have, but in the letting is the releasing.  As I loosen my grip on how it should be, muscles that were tensed relax, I breathe more freely.  And what remains is the peace that comes from the willingness to say yes to whatever arises.

*props to my wise friends Holly S. and Ahmee for their inspiration.    

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