Posts

Showing posts from March, 2013

Wisdom from Eleanor Roosevelt

Image
"Do one thing everyday that scares you." --Eleanor Roosevelt



Check.

Wisdom from The Universe

"Be led by Joy, 
It's the whole point."
--The Universe on TUT.COM

Wisdom from Harrison Owen (via Anne Lamott)

The Four Immutable Laws of the Spirit:

1) Whoever is present are the right people
2) Whenever it begins is the right time
3) Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened
4) When it's over, it's over

--Harrison Owen

Learn 'em. Love 'em. Live 'em

Wisdom from the Sidewalk (and William Wordworth)

"What soul was his, when, from the naked top Of some bold headland, he beheld the sun Rise up, and bathe the world in light!"
--William Wordsworth
Walking the boys home from school on Wednesday, I found this lying on the sidewalk. Seemed a most appropriate poem to find on the first day of spring. 
There were moments on that day - between bouts of blustery, cold, winter wind - that our world seemed to be bathed in light. How it does awake the soul!
Grateful thanks to the soul who dropped it. 

Wisdom from Song of Solomon (via Anne Lamott)

"For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." --Song of Solomon, chapter two (from Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott)

Here's a great quote for the first day of spring. I am starting to feel this way. That winter is past and the rain is gone (or at least going....) and the time of singing birds is come. It's time to come out of hiding, slough off our winter weight and dance in the new grass.

Won't you dance with me?

Wisdom from The Good Life

"Whatever the circumstances, it is better to love, create and construct than to hate, undermine and destroy." --Helen & Scott Nearing, The Good Life

This book was a Christmas present and I finished reading it back in January, but didn't make the time to "collect" the quotes from it until a few days ago. I almost didn't. Two months on I wondered if what struck me back in January was even relevant today, so quickly does time seem to move these days. But I was wrong.

The wisdom in this book (some of it from books published in the 1800's) is as relevant today as it was when Helen and Scott Nearing were homesteading on farms in Vermont and Maine in the 70's and 80's.

They have much to say about conservation, the economy, hard work and leisure time that we need to hear in 2013. It makes me want to run away to the country even though I know I wouldn't last a year.

It does have me thinking though, about how to do things differently today…

Wisdom from Kahlil Gibran

"You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a care or grief. But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound." --Kahlil Gibran, quoted in the Opening to Ecstasy newsletter

3 Good Words

"If you can't think something nice, don't think anything at all." --My take on Thumper's Law, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."

I am reading Anne Lamott again and her books always make we want to weep at the hopelessness of our situation and at the same time inspire me to be better in the face of all this hopelessness. It is a fine line she walks between utter despair and blissful transcendence and I always enjoy the ride.

One thing I am noticing this time is that she always says at least three good things about the people she loves when she describes them in her books.

Here are some examples from the book I am currently reading (Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son):

"Jax was the loveliest baby boy I'd ever seen....gorgeous as God or a crescent moon, with huge black eyes..."

"[Trudy] is down-to-earth, outgoing and constantly doing something useful."
"[Olivia] is beaut…

Widsom from Meredith Brooks

"I'm a little bit of everything all rolled into one. I'm a bitch. I'm a lover. I'm a child. I'm a mother. I'm a sinner. I'm a saint. I do not feel ashamed....So take me as I am." --"Bitch" by Meredith Brooks

Sometimes you hear a song without really hearing it. And sometimes, at just the right moment, you can hear it all.

Driving in the car this weekend, "Bitch," by Meredith Brooks came on the radio and it was like I was hearing it for the first time. I don't think I know a better song as an anthem for spiritual practice and the path we are all on.

As Pema Chodron puts it, "Meditation practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better, it's about befriending who we already are." 

It's about befriending who we already are - the Bitch. The Lover. The Child. The Mother.

Whoever you are today, make friends with yourself. Love yourself. Embrace who YOU ARE right now.

Wisdom from Wonder

"When given the choice between bring right or being kind, choose kind." --Dr Wayne Dyer, as quoted in the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

This book has inspired a national movement for kindness. To sign the pledge, click here and choose kind!

Wisdom from The West Wing

"Act as if ye have faith and faith will be given to you." --Leo McGarry, The West Wing, Season 2, Episode 1

Love is All Around - Stone Gardens

Image
"...[L]ove really is all around." --Hugh Grant, speaking as the Prime Minister in Love, Actually

At the climbing gym this weekend I found this little bit of evidence from the Universe that love really is all around. And that it exists in the imperfections, as well as the perfections.

Wisdom from Lee Harris

"In March keep slowing down; keep slowing your life down. Keep going as slow as you possibly can." --Lee Harris

More advice to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N and take it easy today. This whole month in fact. This time from Lee Harris (via my sis on Facebook).

Breathe.....

A Day of Rest

"Give yourself a rest, a break, and some space. Do only what you absolutely have to and take the rest of the time to either do nothing or to do something that nurtures the instinctive part of you. We could even say that this is an instinctively centered day and it is OK to spend it in an instinctive way." --The Power Path, advice for today, Monday, March 11, 2013

The 90-second Thing

"The only rule is to suffer the pain." --Rumi

I have been immersing myself in Pema Chodron lately. Taking the Leap is on my nightstand. The Three Commitments on my iPod. Pema's voice in my head when I sit down to meditate. (I have even been experimenting with an "eyes open" meditation technique, completely anathema to me in the past.)

One of the things I have learned - and am practicing - is what she calls "the 90-second thing."

This technique comes via Jill Bolte Taylor (whose brilliant TED talk "My Stroke of Insight" is in the top twenty of most-watched TED talks ever) a brain researcher who studied herself as she had a stroke. One of the things Dr. Jill observed was that her emotions, when not fueled by thoughts, lasted only about 90 seconds and then dissipated.

In The Three Commitments, Pema shares this discovery as a technique to use in your spiritual practice. As a way to train in being present, in resisting what she calls shenpa (atta…

Wisdom from Wandering Earl

"The truth is, there is ALWAYS hidden value in every moment of life. It just might take us some time to discover it." --Wandering Earl

In preparation for a trip to Japan this summer I am starting to surf the web for things to do, accommodation, and travel tips. As these things always do, one thing led to another and I stumbled upon this quote on the website www.wanderingearl.com.

Wandering Earl took off from his home in the USA in 1999 and hasn't had a permanent residence since. And while I am not sure I am suited to this kind of a life permanently, I do love to travel this way.

No itinerary. No plan. No reservations. Just a basic idea of where I am headed and when I might (or might not) get there.

If you like to travel this way - or think you might like to - check out his website and also check out The Digital Nomads at www.neverendingvoyage.com.

UNcommon Courtesies & UNsolicited Opinions

"No one cares what you think. No one is interested. They are going to do what they are going to do." --Anne Lamott, speaking in Seattle April 2010 

Last night I had a dream in which my sister-in-law told me she was moving in with an old friend of hers. I immediately stated that this was a very bad idea and proceeded to list all of the reasons why.

I didn't get more than halfway into my list before she got pissed off and walked away. I was stunned. I was just trying to help. But it didn't matter. She didn't care what I thought. She wasn't interested. She was going to do what she was going to do.

As soon as I woke up I knew what this dream was showing me. It was a mirror.

Yesterday afternoon someone had done something very similar to me and I had reacted unfavorably. I was pissed and ranting to my husband. "I didn't ask for HER opinion. I JUST needed a Yes or No answer. How ARROGANT can you be?" Etc., etc. [I also sent an email response that was …

Wisdom from The Polyphonic Spree

"Just follow the day and reach for the sun!"--The Polyphonic Spree from their song, "Light and Day,"
as quoted in "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio

Wisdom from R.J. Palacio

"...it's not all random. if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. and the universe doesn't. it takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can't see. like with parents who adore you blindly. and a big sister who feels guilty for being human over you. and a little gravelly-voiced kid whose friends have left him over you. and even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds." --R.J. Palacio, from her novel Wonder

Wisdom from Lee-Anne Peters

"You do not have to convert anyone to your way of thinking. It is right for you." --Lee-Anne Peters, in her weekly guidance on Youtube

Wisdom from My Son's iTouch

"be awesome. now!" --my younger son's iTouch

A few weeks ago we finally bought our kids iTouches. I was not sure that this was a good idea, but they had been asking for months (if not years) and finally for the older one's birthday, I gave in. 

Last week I was sitting on the couch doing my morning meditation when my younger son's iTouch went off. I wasn't sure what it was (his alarm sound is Chewbacca growling) so I opened my eyes and looked around briefly.

His iTouch was sitting on the end table right next to me and I could see that a reminder had come up for him. It read: be awesome. now!

My heart melted.

So often I can see my bad parenting in them so clearly. When they struggle with anger. When they give into hopelessness. When they rail against someone's unjust behavior instead of finding compassion.

But there are also moments when I know I am having an influence on them that is positive and this was one of those moments.

This is totally something I…

Wisdom from Lynnet McKenzie

"All of these people I see are also me. Expressions of myself." --Lynnet McKenzie

Wisdom from Oriah Mountain Dreamer (via my friend Christy)

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for your dream,
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy,
mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful,
to be realistic,
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disap…