Room to Breathe

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The Truth of the Heart

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Updating Meditation

My out-of-work barn cat has been put on a diet.  Just about the time I sit down to meditate, she starts her persistent lobbying for another meal.  And they say meditation always has new levels of challenge.

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Supporting Your Resolutions

Making a resolution really winds up being making a series of mini-resolutions.  The problem is, we usually miss the little ones with our focus on the big end-game.  And that’s why so many of us “fail” at our new year resolutions.

By now, you’ve probably had plenty of time to find “failure”.  Crazy that it only takes a couple of weeks, isn’t it?  You tried to stick to your new movement program and the first cold, dark morning, you rolled over and gave it up.  You held out on the new way of eating and then had a binge fest in front of a screen binge.  You sought to understand alternative points of view for days and then had a verbal slash fest when that last pin dropped on your last nerve.

See, the thing is . . . these aren’t failures.  Not even temporary ones.  They’re the moments that let you know where you need more than a running start to get to the big goal.

It’s just a matter of acknowledging all the little steps along the way to any goal.  You didn’t get to your professional status just through force of will: you got an education, you made contacts, you took the jobs – even the ones you didn’t really want — that contribute to a body of experience that would support the position you now hold.  You didn’t become a “grown up” just by wishing it: you lived a bunch of years that filled in the gaps.  You didn’t just sight read that Faure Elegie at Carnegie Hall: there was a lot of learning and prep time before the concert Catch my drift?

Yes, there are those wonderful windfalls when you wind up at the end of the path straight from the beginning.  Wormholes.  Chutes and Ladders.  But if you’re struggling with your resolution, by definition, that ain’t you right now.

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So, now is when you back up and see what mini-resolutions you need to set to reach your big one.  “I resolve to arrange my day for lunchtime/evening/select-another-option movement when the morning is cold and dark and I don’t want to get out of bed.”  (Just one possibility out of manymanymany.)  “I resolve to have available the biggest tray of popcorn, celery and carrot sticks I’ve ever seen before I sit down to watch 6,000 episodes of Supernatural.”  “I resolve, twice a week, to find a train crossing where I can scream all the things I wanted to say but didn’t.”

And you set a new line-up of mini-resolutions as often as you need to, to support you in working toward the one big one.  Instead of a line of excuses and obstacles, you’ve got a set of stepping stones to reach the new you you’re aiming for.

Grandmother Earth

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Community or Commodity?

Have you ever met someone who refers to herself with the royal “we”?  Actually, he’s not so far off the truth.

All of us together are a community, yes, but each of us individually is a community.  Just try digesting your last pizza and beer without a balance of the trillions of bacteria in your gut.

And nature operates the same way: as a community.  Even a handful of dirt has an insane population density.  That soil has gabizzillions of microbes, all handling their little happy place – capturing carbon, breaking down pesticides, playing microbe accordion (sorry, just checking to see if you were still with me).

Contrast that idea of community with our usual operating mode: commodification.  Land and creatures to be assessed as valuable according to their use?  Check.  Usage of our time assessed according to what it returns to us?  Check.  Body itself treated as a commodity?  Check.

Huh, wait, what??!!  Yeah, well, when was the last time you said you’d get some sleep after you do whatever was on the list?  Or couldn’t take a water or movement break because the project you were in the middle of was too demanding? Or ignored pain or illness with excuses for keeping going?  Sorry, you’re busted: commodification of your body.

And that leads to some harsh truths in our greater world, as well as in our little personal corner.

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Scientists may not have the answers to that problem, but that’s where our work on ourselves comes in.

A great place to start is by training your mindset back from commodification to community.

You already have various levels of community in place for your holidays, I’m sure.  Family celebrations.  Get-togethers with friends.  Community service.  Lots of possibility.  Don’t forget your body system as community, honouring its varied needs.

Where’s one more place where you can shift your relationship with nature – personal and communal (ha! Snuck in community again!) – from commodity to community this holiday season?

May the joys of recognizing your place in the complex and beautiful community of Earth, and the connections it brings you, last well beyond the immediate holidays.

Ineffability

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We tend to toss around words like “God” or “Divine” or “Universe” as if we have any idea what we’re talking about.  There’s a reason some religions don’t even allow us to speak the “name” of God.

Fill It Up

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Reflection

Mythology is such a brilliant structure for finding meaning in life.

Ann Baring and Jules Cashford looked at the Medusa story and refined it to this nugget. (The Myth of the Goddess)

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Special thanks to Sulynn

Blessings

My teachers and mentors all talked about the necessity to bless everyone we meet.  That’s not so easy when there’s been intentional meanness.  And I often have to resort to blessing people for breathing and feeding the plant life.

I aspire to this amazing blessing.

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