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Archive for the ‘Vulnerability’ Category

The Great Pause

Monday, May 9th, 2022

This time has been called “The Great Resignation.” But what if we called it, “The Great Pause.” I have given a lot of thought to long pauses and the impact of slowing down and noticing what happens in the long pauses. There was a time I wrote daily and perhaps I will get back to that routine, but lately words escape me and I have had to befriend the blank page. There is so much noise, so much shouting, so many words, that it often makes me become more still and quiet. My practice has been to listen to the silence between the words and noise. What is in that space? 

Natalie Goldberg wrote, “Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just edge of beginning. Probably that’s why we decide we’re done. It’s getting to scary. We are touching down onto something real.”

I am at the edge of beginning. And rather than rush it and resign, I need to pause and listen.

How about you? Are you experiencing the great pause? Are you on the edge of a (new) beginning?

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Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

I live near water and often go to the end of my street to watch the boats sway as the sun sets. Each night brings a new experience. Some of the boats seem adrift without a destination or port to dock in. These past few months, I have felt this way too. I seem to be adrift and swaying in uncharted waters. Finding the shore at times seems too difficult. I find myself feeling like I am lost in the middle of the ocean—with no destination.

Like an unmoored boat, I am in the sea of the unknown. Searching for anchors, I turn to books, journals, and walks in nature. At times, these bring comfort and other times, I just wade in the waters of the unknown.

Sometimes when I feel unmoored, what is needed most is rest. It is the constant search for answers and solutions to the unknown that has made me feel exhausted. I have had to practice focusing and concentrating like never before. It’s the struggle of finding a place and space just to be that brings the course back into sight. As I work daily to change course, to stay grounded, and to return to the shores of my heart, I try to stop controlling and solving. I am learning how to appreciate how to sail in uncharted waters.

I still feel like an unmoored boat swaying. But for today, the sea and sky will guide me. And my anchor is my faith showing me how to set sail in the open sea of life.

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Risk Everything to Become Alive

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

I have been reading a lot of David Whyte’s poetry as I plan for an upcoming retreat in Hawaii, The Wild Cosmic Heart. I have been reading about what stirs, awakens, opens, shifts, transforms, and lifts the heart. What would it take to listen to our wild cosmic heart? As Whyte wrote, “Sometimes everything has to be inscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you.”

In his book, Crossing the Unknown Sea, there is a poem that speaks to becoming more visible, to risking everything to becoming alive.

“There is a lovely root to the word humiliation – from the latin word humus, meaning soil or ground. When we are humiliated, we are in effect returning to the ground of our being.”

“To die inside, is to rob our outside life of any sense of arrival from that interior. Our work is to make ourselves visible in the world. This is the soul’s individual journey, and the soul would much rather fail at its own life than succeed at someone else’s.”

I love the part of our work being about making ourselves visible to the world. What parts of ourselves are we hiding? What part of ourselves have we given over to others? If you want to explore these questions further and risk becoming more alive, then join us in Hawaii November 4-10, 2018 where we will explore the vast sea of our hearts.

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And We Greet Again

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

And this is the place where I stand.
And this is the world where I stand.
And this is the universe where I stand.

And I breathe.
And I breathe.
And I belong.
And I love.
And I long.
And I grieve.
And I desire.
And I remember.
And I greet again.
And again.

And this is the place where we stand.
And this is the world where we stand.
And this is the universe where we stand.

And we greet each other.

And we greet God in each other.
And we greet again.
And again.

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Finding Our Inner River

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

riveroflifeAs a writer, I am often looking for the “right” word. Sometimes, I am looking for any word. It is the blank page that can either become my most meditative or dreaded moment. I am known to type notes on my iPhone, scrawl words on the back of envelopes, or fill journals (dozens of them) with meditations and ideas. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I may not always be poetic or even grammatically correct, but the joy of writing has always superseded being a perfect writer.

When I feel stuck with writing, I read more, meditate more, and spend time in nature. I try to let go of frustration of not writing and open to what is available as my writing teacher. As my cousin in England recently wrote to me after I expressed my experience of feeling stalled in my writing:

Sometimes the river is full.

Sometimes the river runs low.

But the river is still there.

Everything has its season.

Seasons turn.

She concluded with, “Don’t give up. Keep going with your writing.”

We don’t always know who we touch with our words. So, I am going to keep writing, keep scrawling, and keep dreaming.

What keeps you going? Where do you turn when the river seems low?

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The Courage to Connect to What Matters

Monday, March 6th, 2017

spring_flowers17Where does our courage come from? How is it that even when we are scared, we do things afraid?

In thinking about courage, I dug deep into the birthing of my own courageous experiences. I noticed that I had many courageous moments, and at times, and just as equally, moments when I held back from being brave. What I discovered was:

Not only am I inherently courageous – I tap into my courageous self in order to connect to everything that really matters.

Courage is the doorway that opens up to other rooms in my life. I need all these rooms to step fully into my life. Others rooms that open up once I tap into courage are:

Curiosity, Connection, Compassion, and Creativity.

Courage is needed to cultivate all of these qualities. These qualities are the antidote to fear, anger, impatience, and apathy. I noticed that when I am courageous, I’m often afraid in the exact same moment.

Who are you when you are feeling courageous and who are you becoming?

Keep doing it afraid!

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Coming Home to Ourself

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Black & White Hawk FeatherWhat brings you back to center?

What re-grounds you?

What brings you back to your Self?

What brings you back to trusting your heart?

What brings you back to following your path?

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You Can’t Put the Toothpaste Back In

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Many of my conversations with my spiritual teacher have focused on feeling a deep sense of being aware and awake in the world. One of my teacher’s favorite quotes is, “Once you know, you can’t not know.”

toothpaste tubeMy teacher spoke about being awake in the world by comparing it to squeezing toothpaste out of its tube. She said, “Once you squeeze the toothpaste out, you can’t put it back in. Being awake is the same. When you become awake, you can’t go back to being unconsciousness.”

She acknowledged that being awake in the world might mean being more attuned to both the joys and sufferings of other people. We can choose to be fully alive or stay in a slumbered state.

“You may sit at a dinner table and be the only one aware and awake. While you may not feel seen or heard, people will be able to feel the life inside you. Continue to be your brilliant, loving, vulnerable, and joyful self. We need more people who are aware and awake.”

I knew she was right. There really is no turning back now. The toothpaste is out of the tube.

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2014: The Year of…

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The Year of Magical BeingHappy 2014! As each New Year begins, I take time to sit quietly and set intentions for the coming year. I listen to silence. I listen to nature. I listen to my heart. One clear intention is to follow the map of my heart.

As I started to meditate, I gazed at my bookcase. Joan Didion’s book, The Year of Magical Thinking, jumped out at me. I had read this book a few years after my mom passed away. (I highly recommend any Joan Didion book!) As I stared at that book, I felt like there was a message for me for 2014. I randomly opened to a page and read, “As a writer, even as a child, long before what I wrote began to be published, I developed a sense that meaning itself was resident in the rhythms of words and sentences and paragraphs…The way I write is who I am, or have become…” I returned the book and felt the rhythms of the words as it matched the rhythm of my breath.

I wrote the words: 2014 is the Year of Magical Being

This year will be about following the sacred path of the warrior and living from a place of being. It will BE a year of allowing serendipity to replace certainty. It will BE a year where I live from my heart. It will BE a year where feelings will be the map that guides me. 2014 will be a year of Magical BEING.

As a part of that beingness, I am also honing in a word for 2014: Metta.

The Pali word for lovingkindness, metta, means unconditional friendliness, warmth, love or care, and the Pali word for compassion, karuna, means to “feel with,” to bear suffering with an active sympathy. In his wisdom the Buddha realized that by purposefully awakening lovingkindness and compassion, we invite the alienated hurts and fears into consciousness, and free ourselves into a wholeness of being.  (Tara Brach, True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart)

My year of Magical Being will be tuning into loving-kindness towards myself and others. This loving-kindness will allow me to consciously stay awake in the world and turn shame, fear, and doubt into wholeness.

It’s a big journey and I know I don’t walk alone. I have many holy witnesses with me.

You are invited to take time and listen for your intention, your word, and your heart.

What does 2014 feel like for you?

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Go to Your Growing Edge

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

How does resistance show up in your life?

Steven Pressfield QuoteResistance can push you far from your dream through procrastination, sabotage, excuses, and convince you that the worst outcome will always happen. We do our best to keep resistance at bay and then we feel it — fear. But listening to fear can actually propel us to do exactly what resistance is pulling us away from. If we are scared, we might be on the right track towards success. Fear might actually be the catalyst that brings us to our growing edge.

In his book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes, “The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more we can be sure that we have to do it.” If it didn’t mean anything or push our limits, then there would be no need to be fearful and expose ourselves to expansive experiences. Resistance keeps us in place.

There comes a time, a point in your life, a remembering of your original creative genius self that is ready to push past the veil of resistance. When you are ready, here are a few ideas to support you in tackling resistance. First, listen to that deep voice inside that has had that dream since you first learned to walk and ask: do you still love that dream? Next, after all the excuses have been made why you can’t draw, write, dance, create, or start a business, take some actions anyway. There will always be reasons and excuses and the best way to move forward is simply by taking daily actions. Lastly, ask for help. Get all the support you need to move your idea forward. Seek out experts, teachers, alliances, change agents, and anyone who understands that we are more than our resistant voice. 

As Pressfield says, “Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”

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