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Showing posts from June, 2016

Trusting Your Equipment

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"TRUST YOUR EQUIPMENT. " --Cat Saunders, PhD
Today I want to talk more about one of the quotes I posted earlier in the week for #inspireMEMonday because it was a breakthrough for me in terms of understanding why I sometimes struggle more than I need to in difficult relationships.

As I explained in Monday's post, what this quote means to me is something along the lines of, "listen to yourself, listen to your body." In other words, if - after an interaction with another human being - you feel angry or hurt or yucky, don't just dismiss that, listen to it. That feeling is trying to tell you something.

What I realized in my latest session with my counselor (Dr Cat) is that I have not been listening, for YEARS.

When someone does something that hurts me or makes me angry I feel the feeling, but almost immediately I turn it around on myself and start berating myself: "Don't take it personally." "Let it go." "If you were a bigger person …

Inspire-ME Monday #3: Eight Gems

This is the first week I chose quotes without a theme in mind - and the quotes reflect this to some degree - but as I read over them I hear whispers of an underlying theme....relationships, interactions with others, communication. I hope these eight gems will help you move in the direction of more awareness, more understanding, and more compassion (for yourself as well as others).

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~
"May I know what it is to feel the weight on another's shoulders. May I know forgiveness in my heart. May I be given strength to extend my hand across the divide to pull another from the abyss, though that person has wounded me." --Maisie Dobbs, quoting her teacher Maurice in "Journey to Munich" by Jacqueline Winspear

"Dogen-zenji said, 'When you say something to someone, he may not accept it, but do not try to make him understand it intellectually. Do not argue with him; just listen to his objections until he himself finds something wrong with them.'”

A post in which I try to understand the First Noble Truth of Buddhism (and probably fail miserably)

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As I wrote last month before beginning the 28 Days of Abstinence challenge, I have been reading a lot about Buddhism lately. One of the concepts that has stuck with me is this idea that all life is suffering. I both love it and hate it.
I love it because it rings true to me. I read it and something in me lets go - relaxes - the way you do when truth is spoken: "Finally, someone is saying what I have always thought."

At the same time, this idea scares the crap out of me. If all life is suffering then what is the f-ing point? Not what is the point of being here - I don't think any of us knows this for sure and we each have to figure this out for ourselves - but what is the point of living? If all life is suffering, why not just let go, escape, blow this popsicle stand? (Of course Buddhists believe in reincarnation - as do I - so it really isn't a choice. One way or another, you'll be back here eventually. So it's really an "Enlightenment or BUST" kin…

Inspire-ME Monday #2: Buddha & Buddhism

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"When people asked the Buddha why his followers were so joyful and healthy when they lived so simply, he replied: 'They do not repent the past, nor do they brood over the future. They live in the present. Therefore they are radiant. By brooding over the future and repenting the past, fools dry up like green reeds cut down in the sun.'” --From Why I am a Buddhist by Stephen T. Asma, PhD

"Everywhere is here." --Prince Siddhartha in Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha by Jack Keruoac

"During deep meditation it is possible to dispel time, to see simultaneously all the past, present and future, and then everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good—death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my ascent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me." --Herman Hesse from…

Being Ordinary

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"This is the Zen approach: nothing is there to be done. There is nothing to do. One has just to be. Have a rest and be ordinary and be natural." --Osho





Turns out, I had kind of a hard time RESTING. I kept finding myself DOING. DOING some writing. DOING some Twitter. DOING some marketing for my book. Luckily I had a silent retreat planned for the upcoming weekend.

On Friday afternoon I drove to St Andrews House retreat center to participate in a 40 hour do-it-yourself silent retreat with a group of women from Seattle Unity. We had been planning the retreat for a few months and I was really looking forward to it.

I arrived a bit harried on Friday night, having hit quite a bit of traffic on the way over, just in time for dinner. I threw my things into the last available room and went right to dinner. After dinner was the ritual to begin the silence and it wasn't until this ended that I could really relax and think about what I wanted my 40 hours of silence to look like.

I h…

Inspire-ME Monday #1: RESTING

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Today I am unveiling a new feature on the blog: Inspire-ME Monday!

As you know if you have read my Blogger Bio (see right) I am a collector of quotes and photographs. For the past few weeks I have been trying to come up with a way to share more of both with YOU, my fabulous readers. Inspire-ME Monday is it!

Every Monday I will be posting a series of quotes along with a photograph I have taken. Some weeks the quotes will have a common theme; other weeks they will be a totally random selection of my current favorites.

Starting today I am also taking a one-week break from the "business" of writing and indulging in a little "pre-summer vacation" vacation. (If you are a parent with kids about to be out of school for the summer, you know what I mean ;) So the theme for this week is RESTING.

Here are some of my favorite quotes about taking a REST:

"Not by anxious use of outward means had Buddha unveiled the True Mind and ended suffering, but by resting quietly in th…

Write Your Life! - May 2016 - Bonus Week: DOING - Wisdom from Dawna Markova

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For this final post of the Write Your Life!online mini-session, I would like to share a prayer with you. I don't remember where I first read it, but it was written by a three-time cancer survivor and I think it gives great advice. Don't live in fear. Open your heart. Become who you were sent here to become. I hope it inspires you to continue the work you have started by writing your life.

"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.  I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me,  to make me less afraid, more accessible; to loosen my heart  until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.  I choose to risk my significant, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom,  and that which came to me as blossom,  goes on as fruit."  --Dawna Markova

Write Your Life! - May 2016 - Bonus Week: DOING - Wisdom from Carolyn Hax

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"Make small changes see where they take you, repeat."
--Carolyn Hax

Write Your Life! - May 2016 - Bonus Week: DOING - Wisdom from Lao-tzu

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"A journey 
             of  
             a thousand miles 
begins  
                                with one step." 

                                --Lao-tzu


Don't forget to take  your "one step"  today!

Wisdom from Jan Phillips

"Our job is to convert the darkness to light. Life is waiting for us to convert the cruelties to light. When faced with darkness, ask yourself: How can I convert this to light? Our job is to convert whatever we encounter to light as quickly as we can." --Jan Phillips

Alternate post for June 7th

"It's not a question of better or worse. The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you're supposed to go up and down when you're supposed to go down. When you're supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. When you're supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there's no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up. If everything dries up, the world is darkness." --Haruki Murakami

Taking a break from posting happy, happy posts about manifesting. There seems to be so much darkness in the world right now. Just going to let that speak for itself. Feel it. Not to let it take over or to overwhelm, but to have its voice. Maybe the darkness just needs to speak and be spoken and be heard and be shared and be felt by all of us in order to dissipate and be replaced by the light. I don't know, but I do know I can't just post happy, happy today. I just can't do it.

~  * …

Write Your Life! - May 2016 - Bonus Week: DOING - Wisdom from Mary Morrissey

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"IF I believed it were possible, what step would I take next?" --Mary Morrissey
How did it go? Were you able to take your first step, or did you get stumped or sidetracked? Either answer is ok. 
If you DID take your first NEXT EASIEST STEP in the last twenty-four hours, pat yourself on the back. Great job! Cross that one off and pick your NEXT EASIEST STEP from the list in your journal. Do that within the next twenty-four hours.  
If you DID NOT take your first NEXT EASIEST STEP, pull out your journal and answer this question: What happened? 
Be brutally honest with yourself. Why didn't you do it? Are you afraid? Are you still unsure about exactly what it is you want to do? Do you not believe that what you want is possible? 
Whatever the answer, write it down and then decide what to do next. You may want to redo your life map, or spend a few days repeating the heart-centered meditation. Maybe go back to your list of next easiest steps and choose a different one as your n…

Write Your Life! - May 2016 - Bonus Week: WHAT'S NEXT?

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"You are never given a wish without [being given] what it takes to make it come true."   --Richard Bach
This week is a bonus week - one I hadn't really planned on doing - BUT as I sat and finished the posts for last week on Thursday, I felt like things were incomplete. Like I was leaving you hanging. And I didn't want to do that. 
There IS a fifth chapter in my book and it's called, "What's Next?!?" because it's all well and good to WRITE YOUR LIFE - to draw a new map and listen to what your heart really wants - but after that you have to figure out how to LIVE this new life you have imagined. And that, my friends, takes ACTION. 
Yes, ACTION. 
Stepping out, putting one foot in front of the other and starting to move in the direction of your dream whatever it is. 
So that's what we're going to talk about this week: the DOING.

First things first, grab your journal or a piece of paper. Find a comfy spot to hang out for twenty or thirty minu…

Write Your Life! - May 2016 - Week 4: BECOMING - BONUS QUOTE - Wisdom from Shakti Gawain

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"We...attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe in most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly." --Shakti Gawain

Write Your Life! - May 2016 - Week 4: BECOMING - Wisdom from Robert Fritz

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"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is compromise." --Robert Fritz
At first glance, this quote may seem to contradict the one from yesterday, but I hope you will spend some time meditating on them as a pair and find the part of each of them that is true for you. 

Write Your Life! - May 2016 - Week 4: BECOMING - Wisdom from Rob Brezsny

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"The key to happiness...is in figuring out  exactly your place in reality,  and occupying that.  Attempting to full bigger shoes than yours,  or cram yourself into tinier ones,  is just setting yourself up for misery.  Look at who you really are,  and be realistic about how much space  you actually need.  From the outside it may look rather small  (or oversized),  but I guarantee that once you're inside it,  it'll fit perfectly." --Rob Brezsny