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

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

Mirror View
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Mirror, Mirror, what words have you for me?

It’s been a hot summer, the first really hot summer since I moved to North Carolina.  I finally got out for a walk around the lake behind my house the other day.  The lake is often a refuge for me – a place to get out of my head, see, smell and hear a little nature, and let the movement of my feet bring the rhythms of my mind back into a steady, even pace.

This last walk, I passed a woman wearing a t-shirt that said, “The whole world is a mirror of your life.”  As we moved into earshot range, I couldn’t help but overhear her briefly.  She clearly wasn’t happy, as she said something to the effect of “So here I am, completely on my own, again, like always… and none of them want to get involved”.

The contrast between the statement in her mouth and the statement on her shirt followed me all the way home. Read more

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Obstacles: The gauntlet is thrown.

Ganesha is the elephant-headed Hindu deity, who is commonly known as the remover of obstacles.  He and his energy have been on my mind a lot in the last week.

More properly, Ganesha is the Lord of Obstacles; not only does he remove them, but he also creates them.  It is this aspect of Ganesha’s energy that has captured my attention. Read more

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The Precipice, Honoring Intentions, and Universal Grace

Sometime last October, in general conjunction with my new year’s intention setting, I threw a wild, loud promise to the universe that I would listen to my inner voice, my voice of instinct.  Listening is two-fold – not only is it hearing something, it is also responding to what is heard.  I can no longer remember whether this was before or after I set my intention for the year, but here is the scene:

Read more