Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Inspiration or Obligation...

Isn't it interesting how we take on other people's anxiety as our own? I had an experience recently where a friend planned on moving in with her boyfriend. She showed me a building where her cats were going to stay, separate from her boyfriend's house. I instantly felt negative about her move, as her cats were a big part of her life and their living outside was not something I thought she wanted. When I shared my concern with her she smiled and explained that I must have been picking up on her anxiety about the move. She explained it wasn't her boyfriend that was against the cats being in the house (he actually looked forward to their addition), it was that she was anxious about inhabiting his space.


We behave in ways that we believe will make other people feel better, but in doing so we jeopardize our own well-being. Taking action from a state of inspiration rather than from a place of obligation is makes all the difference between living an authentic versus insincere life.


Give only when it feels good to do so. 

If taking action feels good - do it - and if it doesn't, wait. The inspiration to act will come at just the time, at just the right moment. When you give when it feels inspiring to do so, you will flow seamlessly with the stream of life, or closer to do so anyway. It seems inspiration hasn't quite hit me yet, so I guess I'll take my own advice and wait...    

A Walk in the Woods



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Song Speaks...

Soon-to-be tomato
I've been waking up way too early lately and I like it. It's a time and space for me only. I don't have to answer to anyone, or be anything I don't want to be. I just get to be. It's a long, deep inhale and exhale where I oxygenate my soul.
My favorite and latest emergence.

Also, I've noticed songs playing in my head. Sometimes they are quiet and barely audible, and sometimes, like yesterday morning, a song will overtake me, make me to stop what I'm doing, and ask me to find the meaning it holds, which at that time was "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips. After I wrote the lyrics on a white board, I took a step back and read them aloud. It was surprising how spot on they were with what I needed in that moment; reassurance.  
This morning's song was Salt-N-Pepa's "Let's Talk About Sex." Its rhythmic cadence transported me back in time to the backseat of my friend's mom's convertible. With the top down and wind blowing through my hair, I sang the risque lyrics at the top of my lungs, something I would have never been allowed to do in my parent's presence. This moment, unknown to me at the time, was a a pivotal one. I now see it as a step towards breaking protective cocoon of childhood and replacing it with the uncertainty of adolescence. And all that from a song.   
 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Gardening as Art...

Green, for now


There is such a delicacy to a garden when it's first planted. Cats, not only my three but the neighborhood felines as well, deposit their goods and uproot my tender seeds leaving them defenseless and lifeless.

The pea at right has made it past imminent danger and grips tightly to its metal post, and to my delight has upped its chances of survival, despite my youngest and most violent kitty lurking in the background.

At times any cat, mole, insect or crazed weather pattern overwhelms me to the point I consider fencing, netting, and/or insect repellent to keep my dear ones safe. But when I sit and look at my fear objectively I realize the problem has little to do with my garden and more to do with a desire to control the uncontrollable.

My garden also reflects an unconscious need for success, not that that's a bad thing, but when that need makes the experience stressful and the gardening  process takes on a less than enjoyable tone, I take notice.

Whether you're a parent raising a child, an artist painting a piece, or a creator envisioning a dream, any project at some point, to some degree takes on a life of its own between preparation, maintenance, and tending to. Its failure or success, despite what you may or may not do, is out of your hands. The balance between control and letting go is a fine one, but when you find it the art of living is at your fingertips.

Enjoy the view...


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

If Only For a Moment..

The greatest thing we can do at any given moment is to let go. To let go and allow the things before us to be just as they are. To allow spilled milk to merely be a liquid on a surface, nothing more. If only for a moment, rip up your mental to-do list because this moment is not for learning or for doing or for planning, it is solely for you.  Sit back and breathe a deep breath in, and observe what's in front of you. Connect to who you are, and give yourself a break, if only for a moment, from the details of your life.

There is a deep satisfaction when you say to yourself: enough is enough, I choose to flow with the stream of life, and want to feel, if only for a moment, the exhilaration and freedom of allowing that stream to take me where it will. This moment isn't about what's right or wrong; it's about my knowing I'm doing the best that I can, and if only for this moment, may I accept it for what it is so that I may truly embody peace.   

Thursday, April 3, 2014

En Route...

As it sometimes happens, I was seated next to an especially chatty man on my flight from Seattle to Salt Lake City. At the end of the flight he leans over and asks me if he had talked my ear off. I shook my head no, even though technically he had, as I secretly enjoyed the craziness of his life story. For starters, I learned he was a Mormon missionary in Chile during a hostile political coup in 1972. He saw trucks full of dead bodies and even participated in a revolt. One of his daughters was kidnapped, while another daughter had beaten Lymphoma cancer and she, along with the rest of her siblings - four sisters and one brother - ran a marathon in Ireland which raised $26,000 to aid in fighting the disease. Once the plane landed and we parted ways, he turned to me and said, "You come visit me and my wife in southern Utah now! I know ya'd like her. She talks to trees and reads books just like you." We laughed and resumed our diverging destinations.

I'm currently in the middle of a three hour layover. A young woman with long iron curled hair, a buckskinleather jacket and high heels is sitting next to me. She is fumbling through her bag, uttering words of frustration in a manner and volume that suggests an invitation to curious enough onlookers to engage her in conversation. My hunch was confirmed when my simply looking in her direction was all the opening she needed in order to share the following unsolicited information with me. She explains how she failed to bring the correct charging cord, and that one of her nails, "which I just got done yesterday," chipped. I reply, "Wow. Sounds pretty rough?" in an attempt diffuse her razzed state. Instead, she pauses, fixes me with a curious, sideways look, not dissimilar from an excitedly attentive though unsure dog, and says, "Yeah, it's because of manicurist incompetence."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cold as Ice...

Last night, while visiting with a friend, the topic of comfort came up. We discussed how efficient and comfortable our lives are and how it might not necessarily always be a good thing. Henry explained how taking a daily cold shower decreases stress and lowers a person's body temperature. He explained that Russians believe lowering one's body temperature by one degree can equate to ten more years of life.  

I remembered our conversation just as I went to step into the shower today. Instead of turning the nozzle left like I normally do, I turned it right instead. Since there was no need to wait for the water to heat up, I took a deep breath and stepped in. The initial discomfort was so great I only wet my hair for a few seconds before moving my body as far away from the shower head as possible. I used the dripping water from my hair to wet the rest of my body in order to soap up. When it was time to rinse, my desire to make the water warm was so strong, but I decided against it in an effort to follow through with giving the Russian theory a fair shake.

It's been forty-five minutes since my shower and I'm still cold and I want to put a coat on. However, utilizing a mind over matter technique, I found that despite being uncomfortable, I feel refreshed and focused. I guess there's truth to, "what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger" because even though it felt like I was dying, I'm still here to tell the tale. 

Here's to crazy Russians and cold showers!