Nasty, little five-letter words: 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


Joy Bubbles

There are too many benefits to meditation to count, to list, to be comprehensive, but learning how to live in a way in which I am present in each moment is one of my favorites.  Why?  Well, there are almost as many reasons as there are benefits to meditation, but one of my favorites is “Joy Bubbles.” Read more

Mirror View

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


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


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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On the deaths of beetles and birds…

I have fungus gnats on my houseplants.  I acquired them when I decided to be creative and bring in some moss from outside for a potted arrangement. The moss is long gone, but the flies have taken residency in my other houseplants.  So as I sit in front of my monitors, for weeks now, I see them fly by, I reach out and try to catch (and kill) them.  Every time I do this, I have a tiny stab of guilt because I know that I am taking the life of a living thing.

A few weeks ago, as I was waiting to turn out of a parking lot, I saw a beetle-like insect trucking it across the road.  He wasn’t moving in a straight line, almost as if he was uncertain of his path, but he was moving fast!  And then a car drove by and, wham! smush!, his little life gone instantly.
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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

When Trees Let Go

This time of year (spring) in yoga classes all over North America, you’ll hear dharma/intention/inspiration talks about spring, and making room for new growth, and sometimes the place that death has in this process.

Today is a windy day, and as I took my walk in along the trails behind my home, the last dead leaves of fall blew through the air, along with twigs and branches.  On a few occasions, the branches were of a size and distance I was acutely aware of the (slight) possibility of one hitting me or my dog on its way down. Read more

Crystal Clear Waters

The Water is Clear

This year, I gifted myself a copy of Meditations from the Mat to give me food for thought each morning.  Each entry begins with a quote from someone, followed by a reflection on that quote.  A particular quote has stuck with me now for several days:

Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?  Can you remain unmoving till right action arises by itself?

~Lao-Tzu 1

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Gratitude Road

For Granted…

Today I paid my tuition to begin a massage therapy program later this summer.  As I wrote the check, I noted how fortunate I was that I could pay for such a program without much thought or effort.  This ability is partly due to my skills and life choices, and partly due to the life I have been given regardless of my choices.  These were my thoughts as I drove away from the building, and I felt gratitude for this ability.

My thoughts then meandered to another kind of good fortune – something I think people take for granted more often than I do my financial situation.  Not only can I pay for my schooling, I have the freedom to go to school mid-life and radically change the nature of the time I spend working.  This is not something I had the freedom to do, five years ago, and it is something I am profoundly grateful for. Read more