I've begun to appreciate
how my writing and my spoken word
both offer mirrors
I've had glimpses
of this working, noticing
how intention finds a way to express itself
You may have had someone suggest that you
Trust the Process,
but suppose that trusting
is itself the process?
I can have in my mind an idea of what
I want to say or write and the more
I think about it,
the more opaque it remains
If instead I allow my attention
to drop down into my body,
I can simply be present
to the intention I hold
It is, however, a process that only works
when I trust that my intention is clear
Speaking and writing from
a place of intention reveals
the most meaningful representation
of who we are
Trusting my intention can bring forth
words that mirror what's true for me
I suspect it may reveal what's true for you as well.
It's a wonder sometimes
how questions position themselves
in my mind,
seeming to emerge
from the depths of me
Am I seeking something
truer than the breath I draw
or the smell of a flower?
More real than the purring
of a cat beneath my hand?
Perhaps the answer can be found
tucked inside the pages of a book,
years after having been put there.
Is it as true now as it seemed then?
Is it a measure of trust that
gives us the strength to stand
and take the next step forward?
The answers are so much less important
than the questions, which are themselves
nothing more than
whatever you need them to be.
Everything is of a moment.
The more appreciated moments you have,
the less you need to question,
the less you need to be seeking answers,
the more the answers will reveal themselves.
Our minds at night
continue the path
we have walked during the day.
Our sense may be that
the mind sleeps as our body does,
refreshing and renewing itself.
Alas this isn't quite the way it works.
When first settling into rest
what follows may be Reflections on this Day,
often accompanied by an accounting
and judgments about what went well and what did not.
It's a review written by the mind
sometimes focused on particulars,
other times offering a more general take away.
How we move on to letting go the thoughts
to allow sleep the room it needs
depends much on our emotional attachment
to such evaluations.
Sleep comes and sleep goes.
At times awakening occurs several hours later
maybe for some physical sensation that interferes
or perhaps the ending of a dream.
Whatever causes the shift back to conscious sensing
the return to sleep may take a pause,
stirring the Midnight Voice to alertness
and then it's off and running.
This is the voice that targets
our most vulnerable parts,
telling us you can't or you're not
or how are you going to...
Perhaps it's the emergence
of some longing unfulfilled.
Whatever direction it takes
consumes the space that sleep requires.
We may be left struggling with unfulfilled
efforts where we pretend to be asleep.
Or at some point the Midnight Voice fades
to permit sleep to take its rightful place.
The mind continues it's night journey
awake or asleep, begging not to be controlled.
It resists our efforts to direct or censor.
When we return to wakefulness and
if we are not propelled immediately
into the day
When we are allowed to linger
in a liminal space,
we may be treated to an
Early Morning Retrospective.
This is the mind's slow walk
among the shadows and embers
of our past lives.
Unfolding itself scene by scene,
moving from one episode to the next,
we may choose to stop and hang out
with one or another.
Sometimes I wonder if this Early Morning Retrospective
happens only when you've reached a certain age,
having accumulated enough material to
shift the balance between time past
and anticipated future time.
Dear reader, can it be that I have now
revealed more about my age than I intended...
A phrase captures my attention
and before I can register
the intention behind it
My mind carries it off
to places I didn't
ask to go to
"Inclining the heart" is one such phrase.
I expect that my mind will make up a story
to embellish the phrase
and yet I am convinced that this
is not the mind's business.
Inclining the heart happens
when the whole body leans into,
pivoting to lend the weight of our core
to the task or issue at hand.
The mind just needs to quiet itself
and be present to what's happening.
Most important is that the heart
need only begin with a softening toward.
A full-court press is not required.
You needn't wait until all your
ducks are in alignment.
Turn toward and allow.
You can tell when this happens
because the chatter dissolves,
along with the judgments, the stories
and the what ifs.
They don't stay away forever.
And should they intrude and distract,
which they will,
claim your heart space as your center.
Take a deeper breath,
and see what happens.
We all have stories.
Some of them are true.
Many of them are real
but not necessarily true.
Taken together they make up
who we hold ourselves to be -
in the past, in anticipating the future,
and as we breathe in and out
in this present moment.
These stories don't exist independently from us.
We are the ones who keep
breathing life into them.
We are the ones who offer them power.
Oh these stories are such a burden.
Oh this story brings such guilt and shame.
Oh how to escape my past.
Oh why can't this be like it used to be.
Not all are dark and shadowed.
Some indeed are light and uplifting,
but have you ever noticed how
shadows often obscure the sun?
This question I would pose to you -
How might we meet these stories head on?
Do we invite them in to take a seat?
Do we let them hide in the closet
and come out whenever they choose?
Naming them is a way to
shift your perspective,
create some distance and
make some space around the story.
You can acknowledge a story
but set limits on when it can intrude
and when it needs to back off.
This is more than a delicate dance.
It can be a way to interrupt the pattern
of responding that keeps a story alive.
And if you don't quite understand
what I mean by "story" -
Well then, that's another story...
Yesterday in the rain while walking
through Union Square park
a huge flock of pigeons
startled me as they all lifted up in flight
circling round and round
the statue that overlooks
the center of the park.
The birds broke into smaller formations,
swirling this way and that.
Some crossed each other's path,
weaving back and forth as if riding air currents
until slowly, gradually, they all landed on the ground
in the center of the park.
It was really quite a display
and I wondered
Was there a purpose to their flight?
Or was it just for fun?
Were they following a leader?
Or rehearsing for a show?
Should I have applauded?
Or is it that since these New York City pigeons
do not migrate, their DNA still nudges them
to touch into their migratory skills
now and then
and show off to those of us who think
we know all there is to know
about pigeons in the park.
If sweet talkin' be song
we are definitely livin' it
when we should be killin' it.
Here's how it goes...
"You know I care about you
I wouldn't do anything that
would hurt you, and besides,
you need me."
This is the song that the Fossil Fuel Industry
uses to keep us attached,
keep us dependent and
trusting of their so-called good will.
This is the song that an abuser
uses to keep his victim
from rejecting the relationship.
We are all victims of these songs,
sung to us by the corporations
who are invested in coal,
oil and gas.
How do you break away from an abuser?
First you must stop believing he will realize
the damage he does and change.
Second you must accept you are
not responsible for the lies
and destructive actions he does.
Third you must seek help from others
who are aware of and share understanding
of the situation.
Fourth you must realize you have been
and will continue to be manipulated if
you do not end the relationship as it is now.
And most importantly remember
this is a situation where he has
power over and nothing will change
until that changes.
This, sadly, describes our current relationship
with the Fossil Fuel Industry.
And if you didn't know, now you know.
We are truly living
in a time that challenges us
to find moments of calm
Sadly we find our focus is on
issues that seem to grow big
and weigh us down
Our energy gravitates
toward the divisions
wrenching us apart
Country vs country, state vs state,
community against community,
between family members
around the kitchen table
Fear and anger have
taken up the space
Give yourself over to the energy
of anger and fear and you
give away your power to a point
where you won't get it back
Beyond not getting it back
your power will be used against you
by others with more power
Remember that the ability to
cast your vote and have it counted
is a Right in this country
A Right that we must hold with care
or it will die at the hands of those who
care nothing for your rights
Why is this so hard to understand?
**No photo here - you just need to VOTE!
the terrible news of gun deaths
shatters us and once again we think
this must be the moment that
more evidence emerges of the thriving
systemic racism in our country
but we pretend it will end.
the levers of power among
corporations and politicians
prevent us meeting the climate challenge
and we pray science will save us.
we must embrace the bigger picture
of a greener more equitable world
in whatever way we can.
there are efforts to work toward
these possibilities but they mostly
escape our Twitter feed.
we must take the next step
even when we lose trust in the outcome.
It's our hope for the future,
depending of course on what we wish
for the generations to come.
Each of us must make that decision
Often these days
I find myself saying
In our culture we are not prepared
for aging and death.
Ours is a culture
that denies and denigrates
growing old in so many ways.
My lament, however, is about
seeking a way to accept
the aging process and inevitability of death.
How do we go about
living and dying at
the same time?
How do we navigate
this end of life realm
There are expectations of course.
Most of them focus on
an endless list of abilities lost.
Where is the expectation that
we gain wisdom and grace?
How do we move past
the invisibility of personhood
that surrounds us?
I've often offered to others
that they trust the process,
but this process requires a level of trust
that exceeds what may have been needed before.
Loving what is - this is the phrase that
keeps nudging my mind
Easing into what may come,
Taking one step at a time.
Slowing down and
being more deliberate
has its advantages.
(aka the tortoise)
Maybe less mourning the losses.
More gratitude for the gifts.
Expect transitions to last longer
and let go your idea of what's to come.
Spend more time appreciating the present.
Maybe, just maybe, this has the beginnings
of the map I've been seeking.
Now let's see if I can keep
from losing my way...