The inner critic creeps up
and tries to interrupt
the flow of peaceful thoughts
that now stream through my mind
quite regularly after years of meditation practice,
prayer, determination, effort,
discipline, will, twelve-step meetings,
coaching, and therapy.
I turn around and look at the critic.
Oh. You again?
Yeah. It’s me. You still suck. You’re terrible.
Ah, my dear. Let me hold you.
Let me rock you.
Let me tell you how loved you are.
Let me show you how,
even after all this time,
you are still enough.
The ground is shifting constantly,
never the same,
so how can I build anything right now?
Maybe it’s time to let things fall apart,
and see what’s left
after the winds of change blow through.
I’d like to have some kind of plan,
a goal, a vision,
something that helps me feel like there’s a future
and I have some control over the outcome…
But this is a war humans have been fighting
since they knew they could fight
and where has it gotten us?
Maybe I’m better off simply breathing
and allowing myself to be right here, right now.
Breathing and being.
Yeah. That has a nice ring to it.
Opening into spacious awareness,
relaxing open into the moment
as it presents itself,
this is my practice.
I’ve been working on identifying the feeling,
and breathing into the center of it…
then breathing out a willingness to feel.
Not change, fix, analyze, interpret, judge or understand,
but just feel.
I felt called to bring this practice to my students
and have had the privilege to teach
four times already this week.
I am so grateful for this work where
I find something that helps and heals,
and then I get to share it with others.
Sitting in ceremony this weekend,
I realized how very much my mind
still wants this moment to show up differently
and how much suffering
this wanting things to be different
stirs up in my life.
If I could only love and accept this moment as it is,
how would my experience be different?
Could I soften into this beauty?
Could I accept my own wholeness, my completeness?
Could I love this journey I’m on,
and learn to accept that uncertainty
is an integral part of the adventure?
I’m walking on the razor’s edge
between acceptance and resistance,
every moment, between peace and suffering.
I see how much choice I have,
and how much responsibility
to make the choice that will help and heal
instead of hurt and hinder.
As a mother, the choice becomes even more impactful.
My kids are watching me make meaning
out of all of these life experiences.
I’m teaching them every moment
how to love or how to fear this life.
God, please show me how to love.
God, show me how to love this life,
so that by the time my kids are my age,
they’ll know which choice to make.
Back from a healing ceremony
where many tears were shed
and songs were sung
and layers upon layers
of old outworn behaviors
and patterns of thinking
were peeled up and released.
I pray that I can stay clear and open.
I recognized in the middle of ceremony
that there is nothing to escape from…
that this desire to get away
is an old survival mechanism
that no longer helps me.
I sat up tall and still
in the middle of extreme discomfort
And I heard Spirit whispering to me
Stop fighting. Just surrender.
Let grace move through you.
Let go. Release. Trust.
It was a long night.
Neural circuitry was being rewired.
Birth can be so painful.
I just wanted to be free
from the grip of my fear
and the stranglehold of my past.
I kept breathing throught this desire for freedom,
kept breathing through my fear,
my doubt, my judgment.
I came to see that no matter what arises
in my experience
it is always here to serve my awakening.
If I can just remember that one thing,
I could maybe, just maybe,
learn to trust in this moment.
May I drop the tendency to believe
that there is something wrong with this moment,
and may I embrace reality as it is right now.
Without judgment, criticism, or blame,
may I see what needs to be done
and do it, without attachment to results.
May I wake up to the love that I am,
and you are, and this world is.
May my awakening awaken others.
May I see the value in my life
and live it fearlessly,
in awareness of my true self,
for the benefit of all beings.
Ahh, settling into this moment,
and it feels wonderful, actually.
I had this realization
that my mind was stealing my joy.
I was giving my attention
to painful thoughts—
and believing them.
But then, I chose to think differently.
I chose to focus on
what is working in my life,
how fortunate I am
to have my health,
And suddenly I realized
how rich I am,
how truly sacred
this moment is.
in the absence
of those painful thoughts,
all that is left is
gratitude and joy.
Ahhhhh, thank you life.
It could be said by many
that your past year
was so much better than mine,
what with all the
wining and dining,
the rock concerts,
the dinners with friends,
even a “romantic” trip to Paris.*
Yes, if you’re only concerned
with external matters
maybe your year was better…
But if you look a little deeper,
you would find
I made out far better than you.
This past year,
I learned about my Self.
I learned where my true power lies.
(Hint: Not with you!)
I learned about my responsibility,
my resiliency, my strength.
I went all the way down,
found the bottom,
and have chosen to come back up.
I touched my deepest sorrow,
reached out and held myself
through paralyzing grief,
searched for and found
a reason to keep going.
Long after your suitcases are unpacked,
the bottles of wine are empty,
the rockstars have left the stage,
and the weight of real life
(and maybe even
the weight of your next wife?)
has killed your libido,
I’ll be here, standing strong
in the beautiful world I’ve built…
*As romantic as Paris can be, in rainy cold January. Good luck with that.
Friends, some of you may have noticed in the past couple of months that I have periodically addressed Him…the one who shall not be named…the one who married me, had two children with me and then left the marriage, saying it was all my fault. If you’re wondering at all about my writing to him, permit me to explain. Once I realized that he was trolling my posts I decided to address him directly here on this blog…and I discovered as I did so that writing to him as if he were reading my words is quite cathartic. There were many words left unspoken between us, and while I’m still processing the major transition in my life that he initiated, I figured that anything that provides catharsis is a good idea! At some point this will all be a distant memory and I will no longer feel a need to speak to him, but for now, when the desire strikes as it did tonight, I’ll give him a piece of my mind. Who knows? Perhaps he’ll read my posts and learn something? We can only hope…
I was at home,
and it struck me…
If I’m feeling bad
and there is no one around,
I’m the one making myself feel bad.
If I’m feeling good
and there is no one around
I’m the one making myself feel good.
My thoughts are determining how I feel,
and this is true,
but only 100% of the time.
If this is true
when I am alone,
then it is true
when I am with others.
I can blame others
for making me feel a certain way,
but in the end,
I choose how I feel inside myself
based on how I respond
to the external circumstances of my life.
That sure is a lot of responsibility…
No wonder so few people take it.
Early I was awake
Sleep was not an option.
So I got up, sat for an hour,
made myself breakfast,
and by 6am I was writing.
By 9:45am I was teaching yoga
to twenty-eight people,
willing to do the work.
We laughed, breathed,
By 11am I was in a grocery store,
last minute shopping.
By noon I was vacuuming
my kids’ carpets.
At 2 it was time
to drop them off with their dad.
I took a long, hot bath,
then I wrapped presents.
Then it was dinner,
after which my dad
and I played guitar.
I searched for a Christmasey feeling,
but sang Irish drinking songs instead.
Now it’s time for bed.
This was my first Christmas Eve without my kids since they were born. I think I did a lot of grief processing beforehand, because I felt much more peaceful and calm about it than I thought I was going to feel. I anticipated drowning my sorrows in some prosecco,
but I didn’t feel called to it, I didn’t want it.
Last year at this time my husband was still living with me and it was painful to witness Christmas Eve as a newly broken family.
This year is different. I don’t feel a need to escape my feelings. I don’t feel surprised or overwhelmed by them.
And that is a true gift.