off to work (note to self)

I will try not to think about the hours

or count down the minutes.

If I need a rest, I will take one, whether it’s an actual break, a deep breath, or a gesture of

self-compassion.

If I need stimulation, I will seek it in a healthy way in the moment.

If I get bored, I will remember that it is my responsibility to engage an element of

interest.

If I encounter a challenge, I will trust myself and have confidence that I can handle it,

step by step.

If I want the day to be over already, I will bring my attention deeply into acceptance of

the present moment.

If the present moment contains discomfort, I will hold it and be with it rather than

push it away.

what if

what if

pain isn’t always wrong

tired isn’t always bad

boredom isn’t wasted time

what if

life isn’t about

feeling good

but about

finding meaning

what if

you create meaning

simply by

accepting discomfort

what if

no longer expecting

to feel good

is strangely liberating

what if

you can just rest

knowing that

who you are

where you are

exactly how you are

is just right.

 

what comes alive for you

What comes to life
at your touch

What meets your eyes
and looks back?

In what do you breathe
the breath of life

In whom do you place
your faith?

Who looks at you
and sees a hero

Which winds kiss
your face?

What seals your hands
together in prayer

What forces buckle
your knees?

When and where
do you bow your head

Where do you rest
when you’re weary?

Whose ears can you trust
to listen

Whose words do you take
for truth?

Whose smiles are
the sun to you

Whose voice
a lifelong echo?

A hint: instead of answers
seek wonder.

intention

good news
for the hopeless:

to set an intention

means to plan
for hope
even if
especially if
you don’t feel it yet;

to set an intention

means to plan
for faith
not because you feel it
but because you dare;

intention
comes from the Latin
for stretch

& set
is an old word
for sit;

so

to set an intention

is to sit with yourself
no matter how hopeless
burned out
weary
even faithless
you feel.

& as you sit with yourself
& all of your pain
in time you may find
your spirit moves
stretches
reaches
through it

in a way that can only
be described as
miraculous.

so sit with yourself
dear one
& reach.

love note to an empath

your ability to feel
that is your super power.

feel so deeply
that it breaks you
yet against all odds
you withstand the pressure
& inexplicably
remain whole.

maybe it’s your job to be broken
so you can teach others
how to be broken
& still shine anyway.

Knowing

“Master,” said the student, “I come to you with a troubled mind.”

“Good,” replied the Master, a calm smile on her face.

The student continued. “I am suffering,” she said. “My mind just doesn’t seem to work. I can’t remember things properly. I can’t think things through.”

“Good,” said the Master, nodding her head.

Confused, the student nevertheless continued. “It’s not just my mental performance,” she said. “I can’t seem to think happy thoughts. Or if I do, it requires a lot of effort. Most of the time, I am terribly sad. Sometimes I think about very frightening things.”

“Good,” said the Master, her smile broadening.

The student gave her Master a wounded look. “Master,” she said, “I am opening my heart to you. These things have been troubling me for some time. I am suffering terribly. Why do you only smile and say ‘Good’?”

The Master regarded her student with clear, steady eyes. “Because,” she replied, “Relying on your mind, you have grown weak. It is my hope that with the dysfunction of your mind, you will grow strong again.”

“How can that be possible?” exclaimed the frustrated student.

The Master tapped the center of her chest. Automatically, the student followed suit.

“Here,” said the Master. “Here is the source of strength you have forgotten. Here is what you need to survive.”

“But I can’t think with that! How will I survive?”

“You don’t need to think. You don’t even need to feel. It is beyond thought and emotion. You simply have to Know.”

“And how will I…know?”

“Take a deep breath.” The student did, and her Master nodded. “Feel it. Be still. This is your Knowing. You can’t describe it. There are no words for it. But in your Knowing lies your power. And you will find that with your Knowing, you will move without needing to think at all.”

The student took a deep, still breath, and smiled.

meet me there

we must experience suffering
to release it in the magic of creation.

that’s what real art
conveys:

this tension
this opposition
between what hurts us
& what moves us.

what touches us
& makes us catch our breath;

when life slows to a halt
& the message becomes clear;

when exhilaration gives way to exhaustion
& breathless reunion gives way to solitude:
meet me there.

it begins with a deep breath
and goes something like this….