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Showing posts from August, 2011

Gracias Grazie Merci Danke!!

This week I've had the pleasure of hanging out with two very darling, extremely grateful little children. These kids say thank you for everything to everyone. The ice maker in the freezer starts making ice: "Thanks refrigerator!" They like the strawberries from Trader Joe's: "Thank you Trader Joe's!" We see the garbage man: "Thank you for picking up the garbage, garbage man!" No joke. They do a lot of other adorable things as well, and are basically the kind of kids I hope to raise someday: curious, silly, bright, adventurous and grateful.

Being surrounded by a sea of gracious thank yous all week has been extremely uplifting and really put me in a gratitude mindset. While writing on the train this morning all I could think about were the many things I'm grateful for, and so I listed them. This put me in an indelibly good mood that carried through my walk home during which I decided to throw any remaining normalcy to the wind and say thank …

Love Recycled, Grown, Transforming.

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The myopia of love (or infatuation, whatever ails you) is so enveloping when you're in the thick of it that it perhaps never occurs to you that someday you will not care about the person who used to take up 97% of your brain power. Time and space begin to stretch between you and your former, and eventually their name will come up in conversation and you'll realize it's been months or years since you thought of them. Or their relationship status on Facebook will change and you can begin to answer the question, "What happens to all those people I used to be in love/infatuated with?"

This is not something I ever really consider. By the time I let someone go, I've exhausted myself and the connection so completely that there's no returning- it's part of my intense, all-or-nothing charm. Recently this guy I used to have a mega-crush on got married. Long ago I sent him to the Island of No Romantic Feeling and he had come to only exist for me in the periphery…

Regret.

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There is forward momentum, feet pounding the pavement in busy city stride, totally absorbed in. each. step. And then there's this moment that arrives when you've walked far enough away from something to turn around and see it entirely- every detail of every moment from start to finish. And then the "oh my what have I done?" moment. And the "head in hands in frustrated near tears at inability to take back misspoken words" moment. If you are so inclined, you might even have a "bargaining with God" moment.

After all the bellyaching, hopefully you'll take a big, deep breath and look at it again. What do you see now, dearheart? If you were me, you would see Ego staining every bit of regretful moment you cling to. You would be embarrassed by the way you behaved, and by the disgracefulness and vulnerability that you allowed other people to see. You might begin to compose letters in your head to manipulate your witnesses into forgetting the version of…

projections:how what you think about me has everything to do with you,dear.

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There's this e.e. cummings line that's been rattling around in my head for days:
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

This line is scrawled in a quote book I started keeping in high school, filled with poetry and inspiration. I fell in love with e.e. around that time because of his daring (mis)use of punctuation. I helped edit the lit mag and couldn't imagine anything sexier than a man who only capitalized when he felt like it. I've always loved a rebel.

In the rest of the poem, he is revering the frailty and small hands of (in theory) a small-handed woman and I wonder if she was really all that frail. I wonder how many women fall victim to idol- and idealization. Men paint a picture of who this woman is based on some deep rooted, possibly unconscious fantasy of what the "perfect" woman encapsulates. When the woman falls short (inevitably) or surprises with a m…

The Goddess of Never Not Broken.

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My sewing macchina, Maria, was humming along steadily last night, burning the midnight oil in my one woman sweatshop. Suddenly she began to slow and seized to a stop with a terrible groan. Uh oh. Unable to find a solution in the manual, I grabbed a screwdriver and pulled that baby apart. Poor, neglected Maria was long overdue for maintenance, and as I brushed out fuzzies and threads, I couldn't help but consider how fortuitous it is when things break. Split open all over the kitchen table, I came to understand Maria completely- every bolt and spring and screw. And don't we all deserve to be known so well?

This is true intimacy, honeys. It's propping each other up on the floor of the Phoenix Greyhound station at 3:00am, half crying, so exhausted. It's freaking out, drinking too much, spending the rest of the night with your head in the toilet and being loved anyway. When life cracks our little hearts open, we get to peer inside and see what's there- maybe some old, …

When life gives you lemons...

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Keep calm. They're just lemons. Do you have any idea how many delicious things you can make out of lemons? Lemon bars. Lemon curd. Meatless lemon "chicken." Lemon cream pie. Lemon vinaigrette. Not to mention, lemonade. You can add lemon zest to all kinds of things to give them a little kick, like oatmeal cranberry cookies or marinara sauce. You can grind the used lemon up in your garbage disposal for a fresh smell. I know how awful it can feel to receive lemons, but try to see past your initial frustration/anger/sadness and consider what they can become. Everything is a gift and an opportunity, even lemons...especially lemons!

Yesterday morning I awoke in cry-for-your-mama pain. It was early and the clinic hadn't opened yet for me to make an appointment, so I got to lay awake for a while lamenting the incredibly challenging nature of the last week. Lamenting. Crying. Exhausted. Then I feel asleep again long enough to be in less pain, and I woke up and carried on; ran…

Practice Not Perfect

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Secret share time! I'm not perfect. I'd certainly like to be- or at least have everyone think I am- but I am not and neither is anyone else. I am recalling an Osho card, Exhaustion: "(this card) is about all the ways in which we set up safe but unnatural routines for ourselves and, by doing so, keep the chaotic and spontaneous away from our doors. Life isn't a business to be managed, it's a mystery to be lived."

As much as I enjoy the world around me being neat and orderly, lately I've been witnessing how little control I actually have, and how exhausting it is to try to "keep it all together" when what I may really need is to be shaken apart. Each unsettling quake of my rigid foundation cracks me open a little wider, exposing rotting wooden beams ready to be replaced. That is to say, the hardest times help to clarify what is and is not serving me well.

This perfection game has reached its peak of usefulness in my life. I don't have anyon…

Homecoming

In the spirit of embracing a beginner's mind, I excitedly took my first Anusara yoga class recently. Even though it's in the hatha tradition and I was pretty sure it wouldn't vary too far from the many hatha-based classes I've taken over the years, I was still nervous. Every style has its quirks and I still struggle with this desire to be perfect and impressive. Upon introducing myself to the instructor, Gail, she smiled at me and said, "Welcome Home." The last time anyone said that to me, I was ringing a bell with a big ol' piece of rebar in the middle of the night in a desert in Nevada. When I was welcomed home to Black Rock City last year, it became quickly apparent that while I had never been there, I most certainly belonged. Today in Anusara, Gail welcomed me home to my body.

A popular expression asserts that home is where the heart is. If that's so, then you are at home right now whereever you may physically be. Please do something for me. Put y…

Fragmented and Totally Whole.

Myla Goldberg became one of my favorite authors during the very specifically-themed "Jewish American Women Writers" class that I took in college. We read her beautiful book Bee Season, which introduced me to the concept of "tikkun olam." (Very) basically, in the Lurianic Kabbalah vision, God filled vessels of light with which to create the world. These vessels shattered and bits of light became trapped in the material of the world. Through prayer and good deeds, this light can be released and the world can be healed and made whole.

54 days ago I began a new series of daily meditations that I'm calling "The Triple Threat": Kirtan Kriya, Sat Kriya and Sodarshan Chakra Kriya. Yogi Bhajan said that if all the other teachings were lost, these three exercises alone would suffice to carry us through into the new age. Kirtan and Sat Kriya are both potent, powerful exercises I had come to enjoy in the past. However, I had been vehemently avoiding the navel pum…

Sometimes you just have to do the work.

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Hey America! Fast food, quick fix nation! There's this project management principle that advises that you can have two of the following three things: cheap, fast and good. If it's good and fast, it's not going to be cheap. If it's cheap and fast, it's not going to be good. And, finally, if it's good and cheap, it's not going to be fast. Some things take time and patience. Holistic, non-pharm methods of healing are some of those things.

Take yoga, for example. Yoga is not always easy. Sometimes it's downright hard and certainly not as effortless as popping a pill, and yet it does work. A study released last year found that a 10 week yoga program effectively eased PTSD symptoms in veterans. This study and studies like it are finding that yoga and meditation actually changes the brain, and as a result, how we think, feel and function. There are many things that change our brains and alter our experience of life, but yoga is unique in that it can be done (i…