There's nothing like being away and coming home to truly appreciate all that home holds. This house on this street is mine with my things and my peeps, my comforts and joys. This poem came to me this morning and for you non poetry readers... skip it I guess, or give poetry one more try... or just read it and pretend it's not poetry. I could type it out without returns and spacking to trick you! I've read, or truthfully listened to more poetry in the last few days, during the retreat time, than I have in a very long time. I discovered new authors and rediscovered others, fun and fascinating! The words and sentiment below came from being present to being HOME this morning...
What if joy overwhelms me?
What if gratitude floods and drowns me?
Is this righteous fear?
Can sweetness lay waste?
Will bliss conquer and bury me,
So far away I won't know
Where or who I am?
Is this noble terror?
Safety might smother?
Beauty could blind me?
Honesty may scorch,
Or flash and smolder forever deep down?
It is true, I can feel it.
And there's nothing for it.
Bliss is pain.
Tenderness - Torment.
Agony - Joy.
A trick of the triad.
A paradox of present-ness
And thankful, blameless fright.
Quite a departure from one of my favorite poems... Fearless =0 Thank Spirit I'm safe any which way!
Thanks to WholeHeart and the Flow bringing me to their Mindful Pause of Winter retreat outside of Burlington, VT. The retreat is over, everyone has traveled and arrived home by now except me and perhaps one other woman from Austin, TX.
I'm left with gratitude and wonder... a sense of safety and community. I was fortunate to be one of four "Focus People" for Clearness Committees on Thursday. I must admit I'm still processing and thrilled to have participated... I pulled this rune the next morning and it completely summarized, for me, the complete experience (retreat, Bishop Booth Conference Center, being a focus person, the whole enchilada.)
This Rune is concerned with communication, with the attunement of something that has two sides, two elements, and with the ultimate union that comes at the end of the journey, when what is above and what is below are united and of one mind.
Inner worth mounts here, and at such a time you are not intended to rely entirely upon your own power. Instead, ask what constitutes right action. Ask through prayer or meditation, through addressing the WITNESS SELF, THE TEACHER WITHIN. Once you are clear, you can neutralize your refusal to let right action flow through you. Not intent on movement, be content to wait, while you wait, keep on removing resistances. As the obstructions give way, all remorse arising from trying to make things happen disappears.
That can just soak in for some time... seep and wriggle into action and acceptance. I have determined without a doubt that a schedule and daily structure will do me good. I've always been very good at showing up at a job on time. So I'm considering my CrossFit experience a Job... My inner wisdom had two basic messages... DISCIPLINE/ROUTINE/STRUCTURE are GOOD words... good things... The other was simply what the Rune described perfectly, WAIT and continue to remove obstacles and resistance.
I can totally do that! I also may have made a friend... Shawn from NJ, a Methodist Pastor. She was on my Clearness Committee and we just hit it off. NICE! =)
I'm sitting right now at a Starbucks on the Church Street Marketplace. This area was designed by the same guy who did the Pearl St. Mall in Boulder, CO. I feel just a bit more at home! From the church at the "head" of the mall you can see straight down to Lake Champlain. Pretty cool! Well VERY awesome actually! On the advice of locals I went to The Farmhouse Tap & Grill for dinner last evening and Penny Cluse Cafe for Breakfast. I enjoyed both, very much. Thanks Burlington!
"Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings."Arthur Rubenstein
I can't put my finger on exactly what's going on or why, nor do I need to. It just makes it more challenging to explain. My experiments with mindfulness have been so incredibly informative and interesting not to mention freeing and rewarding. It probably makes sense that I'm listening to the Surrender Experiment (Michael Singer) and I have Surrender tattooed on my wrist. What I find odd is how different I feel from just a year ago when I look at old blog posts and journals. The analytical part of me wants to see the pattern and cause and effect. Then of course I open to the quote above in my daily NA "A Year of Miracles" quote book... Of course, it's obvious... go with the flow!
I had a new client appointment this morning in Schenectady. A nice sounding lady needs help moving and dispensing with her stuff. The weather this morning and last night is weirdly icy... looks innocent until you put your foot on the pavement or walk. Anyhow a couple of minutes ago she called to reschedule. I didn't have to do anything but wish not to go. I know you may consider that a coincidence. I only use this by way of example. It happens all the time.
I signed up for this Mindful Winter Pause retreat which starts tomorrow. When I spoke with one of the event coordinators via phone a week or so ago she mentioned how wonderful the energy is on the land. I had already decided to inquire about spending an extra day and this all led to thoughts of perhaps smoking my personal native american ceremonial pipe. Check the info online... click here.
I started the Native journey decades ago, literally, while John and I were still married a friend, Shelly, invited me to Pipe Circle and I was hooked. I continued to grow and learn and attend classes and sweat lodges. I became a pipe carrier in the Evelyn Eaton tradition as well as a Fire Tender at Sweat Lodges and participated in a 10 day Vision Quest.
I've carried the Pipe with me all this time. Taking it out now and then. I felt a bit guilty, I realize now, that I had neglected it somehow. With my new found awareness I noticed the guilt and by noticing it disappeared. I spent a good part of the day yesterday renewing and cleaning and reconnecting with all the items in my pipe bag in preparation for the upcoming retreat. It such a wonderful, life giving and opening ceremony. I discovered all sorts of smoking herbs and what they symbolize. I won't be using any form of tobacco in my kinnickinnic mixture and I've let go of the fear that smoking the pipe will somehow lead to smoking cigarettes again.
When I smoked my Pipe often in the past I had typed out the ceremony with all my own personalized prayers that I enjoyed and those pages were always somewhere safe and sound for reference. The last few times I considered smoking the Pipe I discovered that I couldn't find them. Another "coincidence" or signal to me was miraculously finding these papers buried right under my nose, in plain sight so to speak. My handmade leather Pipe bag is deep... the papers were there in the very bottom. When I decided to carefully clean all the leather bags associated with my Pipe and altar with saddle soap yesterday... there they were! It doesn't sound like much now that I type it out but I had looked for the paper and digital versions of my Pipe ceremony all over for years!
Anyway... the Pipe is out and refreshed along with my devotion and awareness of it's kinship and special place in my life. I'm going with the flow and it's a wonderful thing!
"The game of life is the game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy."
Florence Shimm - Writer 1871-1940
As I mentioned in previous posts I am starting cross fit when I get back from my retreat and I want to get prepped. I started searching for inspiring images and I found a few.
I realized that the idea of a "dare" definitely appeals to me. I like to think of myself as someone who won't back down from a dare... One of my all time favorite books was originally published in 1931 by William Dansforth... "I DARE YOU!" I just downloaded it onto Audibles to listen to on the drive Wednesday.
So leverage, ask and it will appear. The word CONSISTENT also keeps showing up. I was just dreaming about it. Key word, going forward defined:
What I have to look forward to is a physical transformation. Getting to know my body. No more worries about getting fit or eating right. I plan to eat what I want without going crazy. I must remember to be patient and proud at every step. I will be taking photos along the way. I'm looking forward to coming up with a bit of a routine I can practice not resisting! =) SMILE!
Post Script: (I originally started the post with this paragraph and decided that it didn't even warrant top billing!)
Fuck politics. I'm officially returning to the place of not giving a shit. It's WAY to much work to even begin to sort out the fact from fiction. The quantity of information and mis-information is overwhelming so any decision or opinion is fleeting at best. Add that to the judgmental negative vibes that tempt me to be defensive when I mention who I voted for. Fuck it. I'll proceed with my own personal mission and leave the rest to the rest of the planet, for now anyhow.
I read a post by Parker Palmer regarding his own personal political thought adjustments and how he's "dealing" with the new administration. I was, quite frankly, surprised by his summation of Trump
"a man who embodies many of our culture's most soulless traits: adolescent impulsiveness, an unbridled drive for wealth and power, a taste for violence, nonstop narcissism, and massive arrogance..."
I guess if that's the way that my liberal friends also perceive him it helps me understand their intolerance and disdain. Parker Palmer goes on to describe Trump's inevitable failure. Yikes! Apparently he has a crystal ball? Careful, man, thoughts create! But let me not stoop to the lows that I find scraping all around me. My God, what an eye opener!
I choose to create action and transparency without media controlled translations of everything. I'll risk it even if it's unpleasant. (I do love radical honesty.) Imagine a country to be proud of with a government that's fiscally responsible and open minded.
I'm grateful that Trump is president and that people are talking and taking action the likes of which I've never seen in my short lifetime. I agree with the quote Mr. Palmer used in his article from William Sloane Coffin:
"There are three kinds of patriots, two bad, one good. The bad ones are the uncritical lovers and the loveless critics. Good patriots carry on a lover's quarrel with their country, a reflection of God's lover's quarrel with the world."
I, personally, have moved from the loveless critic to the lover's quarrel. I think Mr. Palmer is recommending we all consider this course. Bravo! I'm not sure the first summation of Trump really lands on the lover's quarrel side of things... what do you think?
I'm having fun and being relatively fearless with my exploration of my own political awareness and responsibility. I'm looking forward to the days, weeks, months and years ahead. It's about time that the country be guided by a power hungry narcissist... the bleeding heart fiscally irresponsible liberal had it's run. Balance is good!
The author of this quote is officially unknown. I have decided at long last to pursue Cross Fit as my fitness/health path at this time. I start the program at Cross Fit Soulshine Saratoga on Monday January 30th. I've finally come to the probably obvious conclusion that I can't do it on my own at this point. I need community. I also realize that my style is go big or go home... so why not take on a program that goes for total physical transformation. I may investigate Tai Chi or Yoga later on but for now I'm looking forward to getting active and getting LOUD.
I came to this DECISION and enrolled on January 17, 2017 a great day to remember. I am so looking forward to building an invigorating workout into my routine. I'm due! I'm scheduled for a retreat in Vermont January 25-28th so when I get back it will be balls to the walls...
I'm listening to the Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. Interesting. I almost bailed about Chapter 5. I'd had enough 60's hippie holier than though yoga and meditation talk. I hung in there and I'm grateful. I'm inspired by his experience of surrendering to the flow. It is different for everyone! No judgement. I'm so thrilled about the upcoming retreat, my personal obsession with self help continues =) meditation and yoga for the yuppie. Here's the link to the organization sponsoring my retreat... +) http://www.wholeheartinc.org/
Life rocks - Live Well - Skip ON!
The lamps are different,
But the Light is the same.
So many garish lamps in the dying brain’s lamp-show,
Forget about them.
Concentrate on the essence, concentrate on the Light.
In lucid bliss, calmly smoking off its own holy fire,
The Light streams towards you from all things,
All people, all possible permutations of good, evil, thought, passion.
The lamps are different,
but the Light is the same.
One matter, one energy, one Light, one Light-mind,
Endlessly emanating all things.
One turning and burning diamond,
One, one, one.
Ground yourself, strip yourself down,
To blind loving silence.
Stay there, until you see
You are gazing at the Light
With its own ageless eyes
Seriously? You've got to be joking!? No Kidding? You are not going to believe this... or maybe you will. This kind of shit happens to me all the time but this is BLATANT... Acceptance popped up again in an email from a friend, Karen Carey
Acceptance is one of the key elements of having real clarity, and a personal vision of true success. This is what you need to know about acceptance, and why it matters. Without acceptance there is no way to move forward. You have to have a willingness to see what's right in front of you before you can take the next steps.
read more here. My latest blog asks the question...Where are you now and what's getting in your way?
Talking to another friend at the meeting today he mentioned a book he read and loved... guess, go ahead.... "The Surrender Experiment" by Michael Singer. I already have his book "Untethered Soul" and love it.
OK last straw for the morning, them I'm out... busy day... from the Big Book pages 86-87 "Here we ask our Higher Power for inspiration, and intuitive thought and decision. We relax and take it EASY. We DON'T STRUGGLE. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for awhile. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a WORKING PART of the mind...
Yea, Baby! Whoo Hoo... SKIP ON!
Quick note on Acceptance... It came up again as the quote for Jan 10 in my Nicotine Anonymous, A Year of Miracles potty book, I think I'm suppose to be accepting of something... you think?
"We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate it oppresses." C.G. Jung
Canister quote for yesterday:
"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." Antonie de Saint-Exupery
Finally... canister quote for today
Thinking we can achieve our goals without decisive action, is like thinking you can win the lottery without buying a ticket." Gary Ryan Blair
I somehow started thinking about anniversaries this morning. Chris gave me a beautiful watermelon tourmaline ring for our 10th anniversary. I was checking out the various attributes and meanings of the stone and it's quite amazing. So we are celebrating a moment in time when our paths crossed in Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel NY NY New Year's day 2007. Who knows how long we'd been working up to that meeting on an energetic level.
I celebrate 4/14/14 as my sober DAY... it was a SPECIAL day... it was a switch, it was a day of final decision. In this case I can picture quite clearly all the "working up to" that moment involved. Same thing with 7/25/15 - How many times did I quit before I finally stopped smoking for good? I can't even begin to count. Maybe the anniversary celebration is two fold... marking the day of the final shift as well as acknowledging all the suffering, blood, sweat and tears that got us to that point in time. I guess I'm thinking of how I can create a formula for that regarding exercise. I'm ready for that switch to flip dammnit. I think I've bought enough tickets!
Anyhow, I feel taking a moment to "look back" and be mindful and grateful is a powerful reinforcement of the choices. So while it happened "in an instant" it lives on everyday, day by day, day after day... that particular decisive moment LIVES on.
I just re-read the last post and noticed I had misspelled something right off the bat. I fixed it, anyhow, after day dreaming about miraculously getting Weebly to work with Google/Chrome and vice versa to fix THAT problem... I re-read the actual entire quote.
Rather than focus on the idea of acceptance and how it relates to recovery, I got an entirely different and interesting focus. "If you don't fully accept a situation precisely the way it is, you will have difficulty changing it." This time the words lead me to an examination of the facts of the situation. What are they? I'm obviously not accepting them since I haven't managed to make any lasting change regardless of my starts and stops and professed earnest passion. So, this perspective came quickly after reading a quote from another book while pooping...
"Create the kind of self you will be happy to live with all your life." Foster McClellan
I can list what I THINK I'd be Unhappy and happy with:
1 & 2 The truth is I am obesses for periods of time that run their course. Normally once I've shopped for any supplies I might need and time for serious focus is required I move on to another thing. The exceptions: oral care, showers, shopping, writing and work.
3 & 4 I am way tilted on the side of Flaky. I constantly increase my awareness of this. I'm also impulsive with promises I make to myself and others and frequently don't follow through.
5 & 6 I think I do have to keep an eye on this but I am more compassionate than judegemental by nature.
7&8 I have found I have trouble speaking out in the moment but I also don't exactly give in. I'm more sneaky in my approach rather than the quiet strength and clear power in the moment.
9 & 10 I feel OK with these... I depend on my intuition or just choose not to take a side, honestly. If I have to make a choice, I do due dilligence.
11 & 12 I feel OK with these also. I'm definitely calm and reserved by nature.
13-16 Here is some inherent conflict. I know that I prefer short term and exciting rather than long term and methodical. That seems like something intrinsic to my nature. I did make choices regarding smoking and drinking that are long term and methodical. I know I'm moving in that direction and would like to focus on the benefits of this approach rather than the boredom. I think this is where the rubber hits the road.
I've played with the idea of LEVERAGE lately. How do I get the clout or motivational power? A key word or thought or feeling or image? I created vision boards a couple months ago when I was getting ready to go to Mexico... Didn't work. When I stopped drinking and smoking there was a soft bottom and a bit of desperation. Not really motivated by either.
So getting leverage on myself... definition please:
1. the action of a lever, a rigid bar that pivots about one point and that is used to move an object at a second point by a force applied at a third.
2. the mechanical advantage or power gained by using a lever.
3. power or ability to act or to influence people, events, decisions, etc.; sway:
Synonyms: advantage, strength, weight; clout, pull.
4. the use of a small initial investment, credit, or borrowed funds to gain a very high return in relation to one's investment, to control a much larger investment, or to reduce one's own liability for any loss.
verb (used with object), leveraged, leveraging.
5. to use (a quality or advantage) to obtain a desired effect or result: She was able to leverage her travel experience and her gift for languages to get a job as a translator.
6. to provide with leverage: The board of directors plans to leverage two failing branches of the company with an influx of cash.
7. to invest or arrange (invested funds) using leverage.
8. to exert power or influence on: It was Joe who leveraged her to change her habits.
Some advantage that cuts to the quick - inside my head. Gets to the core motivation, flicks the switch, helps me refocus and rise above the indulgent laziness in the moment. a shift from the short term to the long term... from caring only about instant gratification to permanent, durable, stable, abiding, and sustainable responsible behavior. The action that honors and respects the promises made, the instinct that's whispering, the self that's shy but emerging.
I'll keep looking and keep you posted. Wicked long one today.... Life Rocks!
From the Kitchen Canister of Wisdom:
"Acceptance is not a state of passivity or inaction. I am not saying you can't change the world, right wrongs, or replace evil with good. Acceptance is, in fact, the first step to successful action. If you don't fully accept a situation precisely the way it is, you will have difficulty changing it. Moreover, if you don't fully accept the situation, you will never really know if the situation needs to be changed."
Peter McWilliams (American Author)
Dictionary Definition: noun
1. the act of taking or receiving something offered.
2. favorable reception; approval; favor.
3. the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory.
4. the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable.
Synonyms noun agreement, taking
green light obtaining
receiving taking on
I agree with Mr. McWilliams so far as the wisdom of taking the time to "accept" or understand a situation before forming an opinion or taking action... I don't think you need to approve, green light, or give permission... It is so crazy how imprecise and vague our language is. Acceptance is a huge part of recovery. It's in the spot light immediately in the Serenity Prayer... "God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
There's also levels of acceptance... intellectual vs. emotional. There's also a frequency that is important... it bears repeating. Similar to being grateful, I need to be reminded to be accepting. here's a very precise and enlightened quote from page 44 of "As Bill Sees It":
"Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people around us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives.
Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy and defeatism, they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can be built." Grapevine March 1962
Great reminder for me... that last bit about watching out for apathy and defeatism! Hellow!!
The spellcheck not working... hasn't been working since 12/20, apparently, since cannister is spelled with ONE FUCKING "N" I just went back and fixed all the occurances of cannister. Interesting side note, the first quote I posted from the canister also involved acceptance.
"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them." Dr. Denis Waitley.
Canister quote from Shakespeare this morning
"This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."
What may be revealing is the other quote that was stuck to this one that I read and shredded. After reading this I disagreed with the approach enough to remove it and toss it.
"The life that conquers is the life that moves with a steady resolution and persistence toward a predetermined goal. Those who succeed are those who have thoroughly learned the immense importance of plan in life and the tragic brevity of time." WJ Davison
I tried this method for years. It does have some merit in the area of thoroughly examining goals and persistence is always a good thing as long as there's creative awareness available. I'm also not feeling threatened or intimidated by the "brevity of time" any longer. I'm exercising my resistence to that notion. I have plenty and plenty of time. I've lived my life way to long according to someone elses' false sense of urgency. No thanks!
Plans are made for breaking, being foiled, falling through, mishaping, you name it. He who expects nothing is never disappointed. Sorry WJ Davison, your quote is not on my list. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify!
The canister quote for the day:
"Value is not intrinsic; it is not in things. It is within us; it is the way in which a man reacts to the conditions of his environment." Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973 Austrian Economist)
I'm a bit tossed around today. I have time and no energy. I have things to do but lack a bit of inspiration today. I signed up for a Mike Dooley 30 day project. Yesterday was day 1: Get Clear About Your Priorities - 5 minutes. TODAY write down at least 5 general areas of your life that you want to create change in and develop over the next year.
Everything I've been reading and listening to lately is pointing toward listening to my heart. Other than writing I'm not sure how to do that. Being alone and quiet.
What I've noticed about food... I seem to consistently overeat lately. To the point where I'm uncomfortable. That's just stupid. I'm just observing the feeling of scarcity... the feeling of "cannot waste that" Until I understand these feelings I'm not going to eat gracefully.
I read a book a long time ago... called "Diets Don't Work". The entire strategy laid out can be summarized in two sentences: Only eat when you're hungry. Stop eating when you are full. I could add to that only by saying eat only really tasty yummy stuff... If it doesn't taste really good, don't bother. That may require more thought than I want to suspend? I have to think about what something really good is and then how to make or get it. Until I figure out a bit more about my weird obsession with food and scarcity and waste that may be too distracting? I would have even more attachment to the food if I also deemed it especially tasty. That might, also, on the other hand help to accentuate the issues and make it easier to spot and identify. (I love how I think!?) So... I can and will continue monitoring my caloric intake and observing a fast and feast approach. I will also seriously be aware of the borders of hunger and satiation. Finally I will observe the inclination to create or eat more than needed. Is it habitual, obsession, addiction, a combination or none of that at all?
Less funk more experiments!
Love your neighbor
I love myself
Not just yet
I'm growing into
I'd love you
To grow with me.
Will you grow up
10 years together
I'm just remembering
I'm just exploring
I'm just learning
I'd love it if you'd
Play with me.
Will you come out
And play with me?
We can prance
Ok ski and camp
Hike and glide
Skip and jump?
I'll take 10 more
Day by Day
You learn your way
I'll learn mine
I would love it
If you'd learn with me.
"Events, circumstances, etc. have their origins in ourselves. They spring from seeds which we have sown." Henry David Thoreau
My quote from the canister this morning is wildly marvelous as a mantra for this new year, 2017. I came online to post something about the fact that there is such a job as an Audio Ecologist. No shit... get paid to listen and record what most of us would consider... ?silence? ?nature? Yep, Wow. Of course I heard about this on Krista Tippet's show... On Being. Today, Gordon Hempton and the story is "Silence and the Presence of Everything." Man I love her show. So much of what is good in living or worth exploring and learning more about she presents in the form of a person and a story. What a gift! For people like me who think too much and feel too deeply these hour long segments provide something akin to hope when living day to day and interacting with the bulk of seemingly uninspired humanity begins to wear.
Then I come to my own practice and pull out a crazy quote like the one for today. If there is such a wonderful thing as an Audio Ecologist... what might I like to be? Anything I can imagine!
I do notice when things line up. Often there is a theme when things are presented to my attention. The Courage of Renewal and Parker Palmer's work... Hidden Wholeness speaks a lot about silence. Gordon Hempton mentions that the human soul presents and can only be heard in stillness. Do you think the two men know each other? I'm also almost done reading the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Here's a quick excerpt related to quiet and soul:
"...Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place. So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won't be heard: we don't want people to suffer because they don't follow their hearts."
"Why don't people's hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?" the boy asked the alchemist.
"Because that's what makes a heart suffer most, and hearts don't like to suffer."
From then on, the boy understood his heart. He asked it, please, never to stop speaking to him. He asked that, when he wandered far from his dreams his heart press him and sound the alarm. The boy swore that, every time he heard the alarm, he would heed its message."
I'm grateful I hear my heart through writing and promise never to stop!
Happy New Year!
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!