when i bow my head to meet my destiny—
the hard fact that will not bend—
the battle hymn of my ancestors fills my ears—
my breath meets at the point of yielding and resisting—
and as a soldier i pledge myself
to that which i do not understand.
Level 1: Not Listening
“You feel like you’re betraying yourself.”* This doesn’t feel right and you know it. Not following guidance, both inner and outer. Not pausing for stillness or reflection. Refusing to hear the truth.
Level 2: On Standby
This doesn’t feel right, but it doesn’t feel wrong either. State of confusion. Constantly asking yourself, “Am I missing something?” Honest reflection and prayer yield no guidance for change. Feeling stuck, yet knowing you’re doing your best. Waiting.
Level 3: Flow
In flow. “Yes!” In contact with soul. Joy. Sense of purpose and fulfillment. Certainty. Labors of love. Synchronicity. Truth that has followed you your whole life long.
*quote credit to Carolyn Myss
there is only one answer:
do not try to outrun it—
you only waste your breath.
do not cover it up—
you only compound it.
there is only one answer:
feel it in all its senselessness,
in all its depth and fury.
once you have surrendered
to your one and only master
you are slave to nothing else.
sometimes we are lost in questions
which is to be lost in things unlived.
ghosts of the past, no longer alive
or ghosts of the future, not yet in form.
but we may make use of lifeless thoughts.
we may recognize the fear in them
and where there is fear
there is the chance to face it.
there will always be the question of giving in.
or any number of misfortunes.
but the choice to face fear anyway
is the end of lifelessness
each breath you take may be a question:
do I have the strength?
as long as you’re breathing
it is okay if other people become who I wanted to be.
it is okay if they master my half-developed talents
or realize my half-begun dreams.
it is okay if they live the life I wanted to live.
I will visit them daily
at the altar of forgiveness.
it is okay if others outshine me.
it is okay if words spoken in bitterness become true
so long as I come to love the truth.
maybe I won’t try to be who I am anymore
because I don’t know who I am.
perhaps I will not mind if others misunderstand
because I do not understand either.
maybe losing is letting go
and letting go is becoming.
- There is no right answer.
- Start with options.
- Choose flow over force….
- …but force if necessary with value-driven action.
- The first two hours are a warm up.
- Anything can be done ten minutes at a time.
- Accept the possibility of making no progress, or a mistake, or a shitty first draft.*
- One thing at a time.
- Even the greats don’t know what they’re doing half the time.
- If you’re not facing your fear, you’re not working.
- Limitations are opportunities for creative solutions.
- This isn’t about feeling good.
- It’s about getting on with your life.
- Negative thoughts can be written down, tape recorded, or otherwise set aside so that you can get back to work.
- Leave room for what you can’t imagine.
- It doesn’t have to make sense.
- You don’t have to achieve anything.
- Final grades are based 50% on effort and 50% on self-honesty.
- It’s okay to take it slow.
- Make your own rules.
* See Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
Pain to power
Doesn’t mean replacing
It doesn't mean
Getting rid of
It means being alive in it
Breathing through it
Listening to it
So you may also
Allow the light to come through
That’s what heals you
That’s what makes you powerful.
Thanks to my friend Dr. Andrea Dinardo for the phrase "pain to power."
I highly recommend you check out her blog, Thriving Under Pressure.
Are any of these true for you?
-Notifications from social media sites make you nervous
-When you get text messages, even from people you care about, you feel the urge to avoid answering them
-Even though you want to share your thoughts with others, it’s like pulling teeth to write a blog post
If none of these apply to you, it may seem strange to you that anyone would feel this way.
But maybe one or all of these do apply to you.
Maybe you’ve experienced the Catch-22 of social anxiety:
you want very much to connect with others,
yet the very act of connecting with others makes you feel nervous and avoidant!
I’ve known for a while now that I deal with social anxiety.
But only recently have I made the connection that it affects my electronic social life as well!
Now that I’ve realized I have social (media) anxiety, I can challenge it the way I do my “real life” social anxiety.
Do you experience social (media) anxiety?
If you do (or even if you don’t), I’m curious to hear what you think.
Sometimes peace hurts.
Sometimes peace means feeling all the painful things all over again.
Except with peace, your spirit doesn’t hurt.
Because your heart is open.
You have let go.
What will happen? It’s never certain.
This you have accepted.
Whatever may come, you will be there.
You have committed to steadiness within yourself no matter what happens.
No matter how much it hurts.
No matter how much you miss what you’ve lost.
No matter how many pieces your heart has broken into.
This is why we can’t predict who will find peace.
Because peace does not depend on circumstance.
It does not require complex theories or figuring out.
Peace is proceeding.
One breath at a time.
Because you exist, and for no other reason.
Remember, above all, that peace is your friend.
You need not be lonely anymore.
what would it mean
to take it in turns
to take it all
not waiting for
the perfect vacation
beach breeze, palm trees
but to pause
here and now
amidst the chaos
watch it whirl
watch it all come and go
if you can’t help but want
the pleasant things
if you can’t help but prefer
pleasure to pain
you’re not alone
but i invite you to imagine
just for a moment
what it would mean
to let go of preference
if it made no difference
whether the next moment
brought pleasure or pain
if you believed you stood to gain
and stood to lose
equally from both
can you let go of needing
to feel a certain way?
i know it’s a lot to ask
and i am no master
these are just things
i’ve decided to consider
i’ve decided to ask