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Stupid Jokes and Silly Rituals

Patient: Dr., It hurts when I do this…
Dr.: Then don’t do that!

It’s an old joke, I have no idea where I heard it, and its obvious truth is the source of its humour.  Of course, in terms of bio-mechanics, it’s not the most practical or helpful answer.  If you went to your doctor because you couldn’t raise your arm and this was his or her answer, you’d find a new doctor.  But in terms of the beliefs that shape our lives, it’s a perfectly valid, difficult answer. Read more

Where attention goes, energy flows
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Magnetism, aka the Law of Attraction

What we resist, persists.  ::  Where attention goes, energy flows.

These two sentences were the topic of a dharma talk at a retreat I attended about a year ago.  If you pay close attention to your thoughts and intentions, you will see these two things play out in your life.  I know this, but, being human just like everyone else, I forget this. Read more

The space between the notes

The space between the notes

A few days ago, I saw and shared a beautifully filmed video on Facebook about massage. But its loveliness is not really what struck me – Ben’s words about massage being a way to allow a body to become present, a way to allow a person to occupy more of his body’s space – these words what resonated so deeply that I decided to share the video. Read more

Raging Potomac

Be Like Water

At the end of a silent retreat I attended last year, the phrase “be like water” came into my head.  In that original moment, it simply meant to choose the path of least resistance, in finding a seat to enjoy the retreat’s final (non-silent) lunch.  I certainly didn’t expect this short phrase to move into my head and make itself a home.

But it has.   Read more

First Bloom
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Random Rambles

It’s an interesting thing to have a blog.  I don’t consider myself a terribly private person, but I don’t just broadcast to the world, either.  I have a lot that I want to say, but not often outside of the context of relationship.  The parameters of context are what focus what I have to say into something meaningful in that moment.  Writing to an unknown audience, who’ll read this at an unknown time, leaves the focus only to me.  And so I often draw a blank.

But today feels like a good day to write a post.   Read more

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Now what?

It’s been a reflective few days.  I traveled for business, spending my days in a board room, listening to clients explain what they’ve got and what they need instead, and feeling like I was in a space where I had some expertise.  I spent my nights talking to colleagues I’ve only ever interacted with through messaging and online meetings, talking about work related issues and topics closer to the heart.  I spent my travel time and some evening time voraciously reading a book about dying, another book about presence, and beginning a book about Christianity’s central tenets, even as I work to live more deeply in my own beliefs.  I spent a free morning looking at fish in an aquarium, and contemplating the moral implications of confining fish and plants in an artificial environment, while watching children learn in a way they could not without such an environment.

Two weeks ago, when this last minute trip came up as an opportunity, I jumped at it, and then I immediately began questioning my motivation.  So much of the journey of the last eight months has felt like 2 steps forward, 1 step back Read more

Namaste

After an early morning hour on a plane between 1 loudly unhappy toddler, in the piercing way only toddlers can be loud, 2 slightly older well-behaved children and two tired mothers, I decided to splurge on an airport Irish coffee.  It’s hard to spend $15 on even a well-spiked cup of coffee, but as my wallet shrank, my appreciation for humanity regained it’s normal size.  I love airport bars. Read more

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Celebration!

This week has been a significant week, one that has invited me to examine the words “congratulations”, “celebration”, and “accomplishment.”  I have both taken and passed my board exam, and graduated from my massage therapy program.  I’ve received numerous, sincere congratulations, which has offered reflection on both celebration and accomplishment.  I feel that, for myself, neither finishing a program, nor passing a test, merit celebration or a sense of accomplishment.  And so I’ve felt a bit party-pooper-ish, when people have congratulated me this week, when my gut reaction has been mostly “meh”, a feeling completely not in keeping with the spirit in which the congratulations were offered. Read more

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Practice: This is what it’s like to meditate…

A lot of people think meditation is intimidating.  So I thought I’d share a reality check: my own experience this week.  Hint:  I did not fit in the picture above.

One of the first silent meditations I went to was in a Buddhist community in Baton Rouge.  It was 30 aching minutes, and I remember every ten minutes, the monk leading would ring a gong, or deep singing bowl or something, and say in a rhythmic, almost hypnotic way “Breathing in.  Breathing out.  This is how you meditate.” Read more

The fork in the road
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Nasty, little five-letter words: Should

Today, 10/29, is my four-year anniversary of my graduation from yoga teacher training.  (Thanks, Facebook, for the reminder, without which my dates would be fuzzy!)  It’s kind of a big deal, even today, though I don’t teach.

I’ve always believed that if I’m going to do something, I should do it well.  If I’m not going to do it well, then it’s probably not worth doing.  And I’m blessed that I am capable of doing most things well.    Sales being a notable exception. Read more