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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

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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

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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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:

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The Pen is mightier… well, Mighty.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
* misquoted Thoreau

This (mis)quote is on the cover of the journal I have used for the last six months or so.  Whenever I come to the end of a journal, I use it as an opportunity to review the span of time it covered.  This time, as I reflected on everything I have either accomplished or set in motion during this span, I was actually surprised by how many core-shaking changes I have made in such a short time.  And I wondered, did this quote, which I have consciously or unconsciously read nearly every day for the last half of a year, make an impact? Read more