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

Worry
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Nasty, little five-letter words: Worry

It is nearly comical that worry is my next post.  I started to write it weeks ago, right after finishing the first post on nasty little five-letter words.  It just wasn’t gelling.  So I put it down for a while, and shortly thereafter proceeded to worry.   The irony was that it took me a few weeks to notice what I was doing.  And then, because I’m human just like everyone else, it took some more time to stop.

What is worry?  Why do we do it?  What does it gain us?

In reverse order:
Nothing.
Because our mind needs something to chew on. Read more

Dreams
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Nasty, little five-letter words: Guilt

Guilt.

I woke up today feeling something I haven’t felt in a very long time: Guilt.  A nasty, nearly useless little five letter word.

Maybe at one time in our less evolved society, guilt had a function of somehow strengthening social order to create better civilization, of keeping aberration to a minimum so that the fragile agreement of cooperative effort could succeed.  Maybe it still does, maybe it’s something we still need.  But I know, quite certainly, that we don’t need it at the level most of us experience it. Read more