Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Old Friends



#1 - Someone asked Eckhart Tolle a question on YouTube to which I was really curious to hear his response. Right when he began to respond the video cut off. I switched back to the screen and instead of feeling frustration, I relaxed into the spinning icon. Then I looked out the window and saw the green leaves, the blue sky, the puffy white clouds. I didn't really need the answer. In a way I already had it. Then I reloaded the page, and the answer came.


#2 - I've known my friend Katie since we were 5. She grew up in my neighborhood, was in my class kindergarten to 4th grade, and was one of my best friends. In middle and high school we were not as close, but still friends. Since high school we've rarely seen each other. We are very different people, living in different parts of the country.  I've thought some about how that is a loss, meaning if I met her today I don't know if we would be friends and that would be a loss to me.  It seems the older I get the more my friends are "like" me and in some way that is a gift, but in other ways I miss out because differences are gifts too.

Anyway, she is in town this week visiting her parents. She asked to get together and wanted to go to our childhood pool. I said I'd be happy to if she wanted, but there is also this non-chlorinated pool that is free that we could try. "I want to go to the plant pool," she responded. So we met there today. I hadn't seen her or spoken with her in a couple years, and I haven't seen her children in 6. So it's been a while. She was her usual boisterous self, so different from me so I appreciate so much more. We briefly talked about my last year in between kids requests to, "Watch this," or "Listen to this." When she heard about my break-up in December she asked who was there for me. I told her and later she said,

"I'm so sad I wasn't there for you when all that stress was going on." I was really surprised by this because we haven't been close for years, but it was a touching gift.

"I'm sure there will be future stress," I responded.

"Ok. Let me know."

#3 - I'm super grateful to have the work flexibility to fit that in today. I originally suggested 4pm but that didn't work for her, so then I said 2pm, "I'll just work some more when I get back," and I did.

#4 - I invited her to come to my soccer game Sunday. She is actually the reason (or one of the reasons I think) I started playing soccer in 5th grade. We played together. It was a huge gift of a seed in my life that would bare fruit for years to come. Plus a woman who grew up in the house behind Katie is now also on my soccer team and a good friend of hers so it would be really fun if she could come.

#5 - "We had such a great time today. Thanks again. I always feel like we pick up exactly where we left off. Don't be a stranger now. Love ya, Katie"

I emailed my friend quick to see if it was ok to copy that email for my blog and she replied,

"Whatever you wanna do Tammy! I just love ya so much and always will."  Which made me tear up and reminded me of a quote from Mary Schmich who wrote an essay that became a spoken word piece in the late 90's by Baz Luhrmann, "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)", also known as "The Sunscreen Song"


Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle

because the older you get
the more you need the people you knew when you were young

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Rooting Back In



#1 - I am super grateful to have had the opportunity to visit friends last week and to see the ocean briefly after nearly a decade. However, I am ALSO super grateful that my life rarely involves air travel. I find myself feeling extremely ungrounded/unrooted after a day at the airport and in planes. Last week I spent lots of time walking in woods to help with that, today I brought my computer outside so I could have my feet on the soil as I type.

#2 - My sister-in-law, niece and nephew picked me up from the airport and we went to the non-chlorinated (and free) swimming pool for their first time. My 2 year old nephew did not venture in far, but was still captivated by all the goings on around him. He especially liked watching some older kids jumping in and kept blocking the ladder for them to climb back out.

#3 & 4 - I planned to make a quick grocery stop on the way home, that didn't happen, but my sister-in-law had some leftovers from a party this weekend so she sent me home with at least a couple meals. We also stopped to check on a friend's affectionate cat while he is gone. My niece had a great time petting him and carrying him around. My nephew yelled in fear whenever the cat came too near, but still enjoyed keeping an eye on him.

#5 - There was a storm while I was gone and it is interesting to see the damage, or lack of damage to plants. The rhubarb looks shot up, the raspberries look fine. Of the three tomato plants (which is my most important garden item) - one looks untouched, one looks ok but sad, the third doesn't look good, but I won't give up on it yet.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Owning Our Story

*Something I could not see (because it was beneath a blanket) came into my room and delivered the artwork pictured below.




*"One of the greatest casualties of invulnerability is this - empathy." - Brene Brown




*"Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain. It has an inverse relationship with accountability. Meaning, that people who blame a lot, seldom have the tenacity and grit to actually hold people accountable, because we expend all of our energy raging for 15 seconds and figuring out whose fault something is. Accountability, by definition, is a vulnerable process. It means me calling you and saying, 'Hey, my feelings were really hurt about this...nananana'..and talking. It's not blaming.

Blaming is simply a way that we discharge anger. Which is really hard. And blaming is very corrosive in relationships and it is one of the reasons we miss our opportunities for empathy. Because when something happens and we're hearing a story, we are not really listening." - Brene Brown









*"We can't orphan our stories. Because the only way we can change our story and have control over the ending, is to own it, you know. And so to me this is about shame resilience. One of the elements of shame resilience is asking for what you need...I ask for what I need, and that is inherently vulnerable. But I think if you love someone and you've got a struggle that you're not getting a response back to, then it is incumbent upon you to reach out and say, 'I love you, here's what I need from you, and here's what it looks like." - Brene Brown



This last one reminds me of a walk I took a couple months ago with a friend. I had just discovered some devastating news and I wasn't even going to bring it up. It was too fresh and we were just taking a quick walk during her lunch break. But pretty quickly into the walk I said, "I wasn't going to even mention this because I am barely processing it myself. It feels very vulnerable, so I really need zero judgement about this."

"Ok, no judgment, I got it," she said and then she followed through. She gave me exactly what I asked for and what I needed in a way that I've rarely felt. Was it because she was so perceptive in that moment or was it because I so specifically told her what would help? Either way I felt immensely grateful. She and I have another walk planned after I bring my niece home tonight.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fort Ridgely



#1 - My niece spent the weekend camping with me. The temperature hovered somewhere around 45 degrees (7 Celcius) and I don't think I heard her complain all weekend!

Actually her first complaint came when I told her one of the first things we were going to do when we got back was to take a bath and make sure we didn't pick up any ticks. She wanted to wait until she got to her house to take a bath.

#2 - I would not have gone camping this weekend. If it was a solo trip I would have just adjusted my schedule because of the cold rainy weather. If I was bringing kids I would have been even less likely. I was pretty sure my friend (and her friend) would call during the week and ask if we should cancel and I didn't want to, but I also didn't want to convince them it would work/we'd have fun, because I was pretty skeptical.

I am so grateful that neither did they cancel, nor did they hint at canceling. Everyone had a great time. I was only cold briefly, and we were super fortunate that there was zero rain when we set up (most important part) and just the lightest of drizzles when we took down (second most important part).








#3 - We had enough warm/dry clothes. I never even used my down jacket that I brought and everyone (thanks to some sleeping bags we borrowed) stayed warm at night. My friend even said she preferred sleeping in these temps as opposed to the hot summer nights.


#4 - Throwing "Pooh sticks" after "Winnie the Pooh" over the side of a bridge into the creek and then running to the other side to see whose stick goes the fastest/farthest.

(I didn't mention it's called "Pooh sticks" because of certain children who are slightly obsessed with poop.)






#5 - My friend's 7 year old reading The Diary of a Wimpy Kid to my 5 year old niece in the back seat of a dry car, while she ate lunch, and I packed up our wet tent.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

I Will Not Sell


"They deem me mad
 because I will not sell my days for gold;
 and I deem them mad 
because they think my days 
have a price."

Kahlil Gibran

 
It was a splendid spring day and as I contemplated why I was able to enjoy it outside, the above quote came to mine.  I have sold my days, but certainly not to the highest bid, and in exchange I have the opportunity, on days like today, to dive into the world outside.  My only agenda was to bike 3 miles over to a friend's at 9AM for a bit and then bike (or bus) the remaining 16 miles home.

But once I left his house I wasn't in a hurry to get home, I entered the mindset of being away/on vacation.  I biked an extra few blocks to look at Minnehaha Falls, no crowds today.  I laid in the park in the sun.  I took myself out to lunch.  I ordered a slice of key lime pie, but was surprised to find what what most delighted me was not the pie but the free sparkling water on tap.  It really hit the spot.

I biked more, took a brief nap in another park under the budding translucent cottonwood leaves, backlit by the sun, waving in the wind.  At this point I decided to test my time keeping skills, I'd left my friend's at 10:30am, what time was it now?  I guessed 2:52pm, I pulled out my watch and it was 3:02pm.  I biked some more, then made one last stop to pick up a few items for a picnic lunch tomorrow.  After shopping, I decided to test my time skills again.  I guessed 4:42pm, it was 4:50pm.

When I got home I ate a simple/delightful dinner of salmon cream cheese bagels with cucumbers and peppers on top, carrots, and a banana and strawberry smoothie with pineapple juice.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Mask You Live In





#1 - How do you feel when you leave the doctor?  I usually feel drained, even when I'm healthy and I can say the right things like,  "No I don't smoke.  Yes I exercise."

Today, I went back to the doctor that I had surgery with last fall.  I still have a couple concerns.  She said she wasn't happy I was back but it was good to see me.  I felt the same.  She is the definition of a true healer.  I share things in her presence and naturally expand into my vulnerability.  She is always reassuring and empathetic.  When I leave her office I feel confident, cared for and safe.

She is the definition of a true healer.

#2 - It seems one of my concerns today might have a simple solution.  The other she suggested an ultrasound for, but I explained my insurance changes in two days and I don't think their clinic will be an option for me anymore.  I guess she isn't too concerned on that concern, because she didn't press me on the ultrasound and just dealt with the other issue.

#3 - The Mask You Live In - a movie recommended by a friend, recommended by Pink and now recommended by me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc45-ptHMxo

#4 - A college age football player dressed in all his gear except his helmet, with a violin across his shoulder and a smile across his face

#5 - Watching The Mask You Live In with my head against a man's heart

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I Forgot to Post

I forgot to post yesterday. I did still write in my journal so they are a bit raw and without explanation.  I'll mostly leave them that way.

#1 - The sound of "Hello" on the phone during lunch.  It made all the difference but also points to how precarious things are.  I found some useful information on helpguide.org.  We'll see what the counselor says tomorrow.  I hope to find relief for my experience of being "idealized one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn't care enough or is cruel."

#2 - The silence on the phone when I said it seemed when he hurts me I assume it's unintentional or because he is really hurting in himself.  It seems his assumption when I hurt him is either I'm intentional, stupid or cruel.   I don't want to date someone who has such assumptions about me and he shouldn't either.  He was silent.  I was in touch with my primary emotion of anger a bit today which felt good.

#3 - Oh my God, I'm at the DFL senate district meeting.  I came to hear from the legislators and they are debating about how to hold a meeting - kill me softly - oh wow, keepin it light as I write my gratitudes in my journal.  Deep breaths, smiles, room of light.  Now Paul Thissen is talking and I can breathe.

#4 - Three friends are interested in joining me in Sept on a camping trip on the North Shore, looks like either Temperance or Judge C Magney.  Three of us have agreed on a weekend now we just need confirmation from the 4th that it will work.

#5 - Talking to my representative after the meeting to get H.F. info on a bill which will remove the $500,000 per year  storage fee which Excel has been paying per cask of nuclear waste.  The money has gone into a funding stream to develop alternative energy, such as the wind power in SW MN.  It's in HF 2209 the Omnibus Jobs and Energy Bill.  My representative said much of what is happening nationally is happening on a state level.  The gratitude might be hard to find here, but it was that I'm happy my state legislator was disturbed this was being removed and had helped establish it in the first place.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dave and Amy Freeman



I went to hear Dave and Amy Freeman, a couple who spent a year in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area from 9/24/15-9/23/16 to bring publicity to protect the space from copper sulfide mining, speak tonight.  It is heart-warming to be in the presence of everyday heroes such as those two, especially two people who clearly enjoy each other, it emanates outward.

When Amy spoke about leaving civilization she said that they didn’t leave the real world, “We entered the real world.”  and that “We need everyone to speak loudly for this quiet place.”

I’m thankful to my friend who invited me to go.  I wasn’t sure if I had the energy for it tonight, but it was an event that pulled me out of my own narrow story and into a more expansive and generative one.

Monday, April 3, 2017

It's so cold

#1 - It's not cold but I couldn't get warm when I got home at 9pm last night and I buried myself in blankets so that I woke up sweating.  It still feels cold.  I don't feel well today and I'm so glad I can easily shift my plans for tonight and just curl up in bed after dinner.

#2 - I'm also glad I had enough energy to start putting together the minestrone soup which is simmering right now - it's the perfect meal for today.

#3 - I couldn't have imagined when I came across Glennon Doyle Melton last fall how instrumental her voice would be to me.  I listened to another interview today with her talking about Love Warrior

"What matters to me is that there is this voice inside of me, it's inside of every single one of us, that is if we are honest and still enough will tell us what to do next.  And every time we say we don't know what to do - or whether we should stay or go, we are not being honest, we just don't want to do the thing that the voice is telling us to do...there is this betrayal that happens when we hear the still small voice but allow the fear voice to drown it out...the book is about self-trust."  Glennon Doyle Melton

Yes I agree that is what the book is about and it is waiting for me at the library to read again.

#4 - I see my soccer game on Sunday is not only posted for our first game of the year outdoors, it is also in a new park to me, at least I've never played soccer there.

#5 - My Bed
I'm grateful to have a bed with blankets and pillows.  
I'm grateful to have a small light beside my bed 
that can lightly illuminate the room.  
I'm grateful it's quiet here
tonight
I'm grateful to have a pink stuffed bear 
that doubles both as a great pillow prop for reading 
and also something to hold when I need it
I'm grateful to have A Year with Rilke beside my bed
which I usually both start and end my day with
or at least end my day with
if I forget
I'm grateful
to not be afraid
when I climb into this bed
of bombing
or gunfire 
or the silence between
I'm grateful for nourishment
in soup
in comfort
I'm grateful to be here
breathing 
this beautiful mess
for a moment
it's enough

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Good-Bye

#1 - My niece's instant smile and happy face when she awoke beside me, the land of the living her simple presence nudges me to return to.

#2 - "When you are 6 can you spell?"  5 Year old niece

#3 - Seeing a smile of joy on the face of a boy playing chess.  He sat across from a man, who seemed to be someone other than his father (at least they didn't look alike), at the public library.

#4 - Last night I rested my head against a heartbeat and heard "Good-bye," "Good-bye" repeated over and over again. It wasn't angry, it just was.  I tried to switch the word in my mind but it was as if the heartbeat and that exact word were equivalent, it wouldn't change.  I didn't really know what it meant, is it good-bye to this person?  Good-bye to me?  Good-bye to what we were?  Good-bye to who we are now?

I still don't know.  But I did write a long poem of sorts today, each line beginning, "You said good-bye to me when..."

It needed to come out.

#5 - Taking a quick nap after writing that poem and the space in myself when I awoke again.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Shower?

#1 –I didn’t shower Thursday even though I did a sweaty exercise class.  I thought about showering last night (I’d also done some sweaty exercise yesterday), but I planned to go to  7:15AM hot yoga class so I would be drenched in sweat practically as soon as I woke up.  I thought, “What is the point?”

When I left yoga this morning, I was glad I’d brought a t-shirt which I switched for my soaked tank top.  Then I went grocery shopping.

Then I took a shower, which I actually really needed, so I appreciated it all the more.

#2 - This made me curious about how often people shower throughout the world so I looked it up and skimmed the article below.  It had this interesting tidbit which I actually often practice, but previously would never have admitted to anyone -

"When you do shower, use soap only on your underarms and groin area, not your entire body"

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/07/daily-showering.aspx 

Also I have been meaning to replace my shower filter for a while and hoped to remember to buy a new one at the co-op next week.  This article clearly reinforced that idea.

#3 -   Doing some research for someone I love to help them find support.   We all need support. 

"It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you," I reminded this love one recently.  "We are social beings, EVERYONE needs help."  It was clearly something they needed to hear.
 
#4-5 - When I invited a couple friends to go hear Glennon Doyle Melton speak last fall, one of them declined since Glennon’s blog is called “Momastery” and this friend didn’t have children.  I understood this and had doubts myself, but Elizabeth Gilbert recommended her and it was free, so I went.

What I discovered is the same thing I discovered as I finished reading her first book today– Carry on Warrior, Thoughts on Life Unarmed – it didn’t matter if I related to the particulars.  I once heard at a theater performance, “The more deeply you go into the personal, the more you tap into the universal.”  This is why I could read a passage about talking to another parent at a playground to a college student last night and she appreciated it, even though she is at a completely different stage in life.  As Glennon states, “And I realized the secret of my writing is this:  the voice I use to write is not really my voice.  It’s Love’s voice…And that’s why you recognize the voice.  Because you have the same voice inside you (251).”

Friday, March 10, 2017

Today's Mandala


#1 - Today's Mandala was inspired by some colored pencils I came across which had some new colors to play with.

#2 - I had a moment of anxiety while working on my taxes when I thought I'd made a mistake the past few years.  I called and patiently waited on hold for over an hour (with other things to do on the computer).  Then I happily discovered that I had not made an error.

#3 - I started reading Glennon Doyle Melton's first book yesterday and I'm trying to pace myself because I don't want to finish it too rapidly!

#4 - I'm playing a game, with the man I used to date, where we pretend we don't know each other.  It was an idea I was resistant too, but now is making me laugh.  I am almost nervous to meet him tomorrow and to see if I can keep it up.

#5 -  I asked a yoga teacher who I know is also a personal trainer about my abs because they are not normal since my surgery.  She said the superficial muscles have healed but it takes more time for healing internally (that surprised me because it is difficult to feel things internally, but that is how I would describe it).  She advised me exercises to do (which I have been mostly) and not do (which I should have known sooner but thankfully aren't things I've done often).




Thursday, March 2, 2017

Beasts

#1 - I was upset earlier today when I looked up the three options for my health plan (I have to change in a couple months) and I did not see my clinic on any of them.  I specifically moved to that clinic a few years ago and want to stay there. 

Now though, a few hours later, I'm still going to inquire further and try to stay at my clinic, but I do at least know that another clinic my primary care doctor works at is an option.  So I should be able to switch there and still see her at least and

at least I will still have insurance.

#2 - I have a monthly volunteer gig that I started visiting a friend after in December. I needed to break the pattern of what I usually did after that activity as it was no longer an option.  So tonight went over to my friend's and it was so nice to talk to him.  Even though it was just a little over an hour, it was still a welcome visit and discussion.

#3 - There is a couples workshop I told him about at the end of next month that I am hoping to attend at a local meditation center.  He wrote it down as something he and his partner would maybe attend as well. "That would be so fun if you did!" I responded.

#4 - I just emailed him the info to remind him to consider it.

#5 - It would easily take more than one hand, probably more than two, to count all the relationships that have become strengthened for me because of the difficulties I've experienced the last couple of months.  It has been such a huge gift, opening to others while in pain, allowing them to care for you and support you, but also to grow with you.  I had one email from a friend today that began, "I think you're an objective source for this topic."  And another email from a friend that ended, "Resentment and anger over past events can be strong beasts in my experience. If you decide to continue on with M, I hope you find a beautiful way to slay those beasts together."

Amen

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Injection of Sweetness

The majority of the time I reach out to my friends and initiate plans more than they reach out to me.  However today -

#1 - A friend finalized a date for us to try "aerial yoga" and said she'd sign us up.

#2 - Another friend called to ask if I would go for a walk this afternoon, someone in fact that I've never done such a thing with or spent much one on one time with.

#3 - Another friend called during lunch to ask how I was doing.  I said I felt a bit scrunched for time today as I'm not the greatest with spontaneity and since I've added this walk to my afternoon I didn't feel I had the space to talk much.  She said she didn't know why she was calling me because she had a bunch of things to do as well.  I felt relieved.  "Well maybe you called then just to give an injection of sweetness into my day?" I asked.  She agreed and told me she loved me.

#4 - After responding to a friend's email this morning and telling her, "be gentle with yourself," I realized this was advice I needed myself.  This led to listening to music that offered such energy to me.  I started with the Sea and the Shore by Amy Speace and then landed on Storyhill for quite a while.  This line from World Go Round really stuck with me in a new way today.

"Won't you,
let love, 
let you down?"


#5  - And from there I ended up at a song that I know I've posted here before with Storyhill and Ellis called "Doin Fine", but like a lot of poems and songs the past few months it hit me different today.

 It traveled deeper inside.

"It's good to understand where you are standing
 and it's good to know where you've been
 and it's good to work through the tough times 
and let the lessons start to sink in

I think we're able to let go of more baggage
 than we give ourselves credit for
and the sunrise saying hello in the morning time
makes me believe that more and more..."













Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Missing a Title


#1 - The sympathetic look and hug I received from the owner where I do yoga when she said, "Happy Valentine's Day" to me.  It was an opening to a deeper connection.

#2 - My friend  asked me for the third time if I still wanted to try aerial yoga with her.  Yes :)

#3-5 - The Minnesota state park system - and here I don't even mean the parks themselves which would be a whole other level of appreciation - I mostly mean the  MN state park system website.  I've been looking at the Iowa site today and granted  I have less familiarity but I really think the MN site is much better.  It is easy to locate parks in the first place on the MN site.  Then you can click on a park and get a basic summary, photos and highlights to see if the park interests you.  And then there are clear, precise and easy to read maps of the parks themselves with trails etc.  I'm having a hard time even getting some of the links to open on the Iowa site, and if they do I find the maps themselves unimpressive.  Who knew there was/is such skill in creating maps?  I used to hear people complain about Iowa - I thought unfairly.  I don't know if it is funding or what, but I can clearly see some areas of growth.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Find Their Own Healing

I came across Lewis Howes last month via his interview with Glennon Doyle Melton.  Today I started listening to his interview with Katherine Woodward Thomas.  The topic was How to Consciously End a Relationship.  

I am loving it.  I've only listened to the first 30 minutes but here are a few of my favorites thus far.



“Like we update our computer programs and our child-rearing practices and our diets and our exercise programs, I think we have to update our aspirations around love.  And we need to shift from the question of, you know, how we are going to value the union according to how long did it last, and start to ask the question, ‘What did I learn and how have I expanded my capacity to love?’”

Katherine Woodward Thomas






“We live in a very mobile society that values growth and evolution, right? And in a way America is really kind of torn between these two ideals of the stability of family and commitment and devotion and most of us really believe in that.  90% of us are going to get married at some point in  our lifetimes, but we also are a country that was kind of founded upon the ideal of the pursuit of happiness.  We are a creative bunch.  We love change.  We love evolution.  We love personal growth and development and those two things aren’t always the best bed fellows.  So in a perfect world we all grow together, but different people have different callings and different people have different aspirations.  How much they are willing to grow and how they are going to navigate the tension between just wanting to be comfortable in life, kind of set in life, and how much they are going to be risk oriented, and keep striving to be your best self.”

Katherine Woodward Thomas




And then this part which I absolutely loved in minutes 23-25.

“One of the things that I offer people is a simple technique called affect labeling, in the psychological world, which is basically the ability to put a name on each of your feelings…there was a scientific study done where subjects were looking at a computer screen, and they were seeing, you know, faces of horror, faces of rage, faces of hatred, and they were being monitored and all of their vitals and they are kind of going off of the charts, their blood pressures rising, their heart rate is going.  And then they did another technique with this, they had the same pictures to a new group, but they put a name, ‘Hatred,’ ‘Rage,’ ‘Despair,’ and the vitals did not go up in the same way.  So what that shows is that when we have a name for the experience that we are having, we don’t get as overwhelmed.  So language serves kind of as a container.”

“So how we would use that in a break-up?” Howes

“So I have a practice where I just very simply advice people to ask yourself, “You know Katherine, honey what are you feeling right now?’

‘I’m feeling - terrified.’

‘I can see that you are feeling terrified, honey what else are you feeling?’

‘I’m feeling so humiliated.’

‘Oh I can see that, so humiliated, what else are you feeling?’…" 

 Katherine Woodward Thomas






“If the feelings are overwhelming I also give them, people, an opportunity to do the process of Tonglen…which is a beautiful practice that Pema Chodron actually made very popular of you breathe a certain feeling into your heart.  So I feel despair, I’m going to breathe despair in.   I’m not going to turn away from it.  And the outbreath I’m going to breathe out a blessing to everyone in the world who at this very moment is suffering with this very feeling, including myself.  And it starts to feel like you can start to hold the feeling more because you’ve made a bigger playing field and you see it as an impersonal experience, and then you become, you know, a force of good.  Ideally what happens is we want to harvest the seeds of growth that are inside of each of our feelings. “

Katherine Woodward Thomas






And to top it off I received a letter today which included the following, "Your writing is touching and beautiful.  I'm sure it helps you somewhat in the hard times but it is also a gift to others who find their own healing through your story."