as long as you’re breathing

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.
of loss
death
or any number of misfortunes.

but the choice to face fear anyway
is the end of lifelessness
and listlessness.

each breath you take may be a question:

do I have the strength?

the answer:
as long as you’re breathing

you do.

dialogue

your pain is alive
it has a pulse
a heartbeat
and it needs to be acknowledged
as a living being.

ask what it needs
thank it for being the messenger
you don’t want but know
deep down you need.

nurture it with questions
with listening
and with silence

with not demanding answers
and with patience

and someday it will whisper
the words it has waited
all this time to say.

there is no final draft.

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.

20 rules for dreamers

  1. There is no right answer.
  2. Start with options.
  3. Choose flow over force….
  4. …but force if necessary with value-driven action.
  5. The first two hours are a warm up.
  6. Anything can be done ten minutes at a time.
  7. Accept the possibility of making no progress, or a mistake, or a shitty first draft.*
  8. One thing at a time.
  9. Even the greats don’t know what they’re doing half the time.
  10. If you’re not facing your fear, you’re not working.
  11. Limitations are opportunities for creative solutions.
  12. This isn’t about feeling good.
  13. It’s about getting on with your life.
  14. Negative thoughts can be written down, tape recorded, or otherwise set aside so that you can get back to work.
  15. Leave room for what you can’t imagine.
  16. It doesn’t have to make sense.
  17. You don’t have to achieve anything.
  18. Final grades are based 50% on effort and 50% on self-honesty.
  19. It’s okay to take it slow.
  20. Make your own rules.

* See Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

when the body speaks

maybe there’s a difference between emotions that arise from thinking

and emotions that arise from the body.

in other words, the primary source is the body, not the mind.

they never passed through the mind before reaching you.

these emotions tell the truth, for the body does not lie.

allow yourself to feel them fully.

these are the moments that bring catharsis.

healing.

the message will arise if you can be still.

be patient.

the truth is neither good nor bad.

we do not have a word for it,

and that is for the best,

for we must learn to move beyond words

to define things.

allow yourself to feel

without words.

name the emotion, but be mindful of the thoughts

that arise.

are they adding to a story?

or are they bringing you closer

to the truth?


I’d like to express my gratitude to Eckhart Tolle, whose recent YouTube video inspired this post. His teachings have been life changing for me. I encourage you to check them out.

pain to power

Pain to power
Doesn’t mean replacing 
With pleasure 
Or numbness

It doesn't mean 
Getting rid of

It means being alive in it 
Breathing through it 
Listening to it 

Allowing 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.

social (media) anxiety

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.

Yours thoughtfully,

Jenna

peace is proceeding.

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.

pleasure/pain

what would it mean
to take it in turns

to take it all
in stride

not waiting for
the perfect vacation
beach breeze, palm trees
to relax

but to pause
here and now
amidst the chaos

stand still
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
what if.

what waits within

where is the grief
inside you living?

what waits within
like song inside a bird

what seizes your heart
in spasms of fear and glory
waiting, waiting
to be heard?

tell me, tell anyone, tell someone
even if only
in the faintest of whispers

until you touch the place inside
where grief melts into music.