Available to the grace of the universe…

One of the lessons that is finally beginning to penetrate my thick noggin is that of nonresistance. Buddhism, Deepak and Eckhart have always taught this. Let go and let God, the mantra of AA and other 12 Step groups. The point being, the entire universe has occurred to bring this moment. So don’t resist it if it’s not what you want. Yes, one’s past actions and karma contribute to the moment, which could introduce self doubt and regrets. But much, much more is at play that is out of one’s control. We are but momentary waves in a vast ocean of consciousness. To resist the present moment is to say: ocean, you are mighty and all powerful and I’m a wave within you, but I’m not up for being wet right now. You get swept away, subsumed regardless of your sentiments. So why not accept the moment?

She Let Go


by John Siddique

She let go
Without a thought or a word
She let go
She let go of the fear
She let go of the judgements
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head
She let go of the committee of indecision within her
She let go of all the right reasons
Wholly and completely without hesitation or worry
She just let go
She didn’t ask anyone for advice
She didn’t read a book on how to let go
She didn’t search the scriptures
She just let go
She let go of all the memories that held her back
She let go of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward
She let go of the planning
And all of the calculations about how to do it just right
She didn’t promise to let go
She didn’t journal about it
She didn’t write the projected date in her day timer
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope
She just let go
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter
She didn’t do a five-step spiritual mind treatment
She didn’t call the prayer line
She didn’t utter one word
She just let go
No one was around when it happened
There was no applause or congratulations
No one thanked her or praised her
No one noticed a thing
Like a leaf falling from a tree
She just let go
There was no effort
There was no struggle
It wasn’t good
And it wasn’t bad
It was what it was
And it is just that
In the space of letting go
She let it all be
A small smile came over her face
A light breeze blew through her
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore

Friends as medicine

My dear cousin Kate is a lifelong intimate bestie. The sister I always longed for (I have two brothers). Medicine for me when I need restoration. A friend like no other.

Visiting her over the weekend was a salve for my soul. It had been a hard week. My husband was away and my anxiety was spiking. Making the trek all the way to MA from NJ given all the endless weekend traffic in CT was daunting. So I used a travel credit and booked a flight.

Kate and I share so much. We understand each other’s family history and personal evolution. We are interested in the same subjects: spirituality, faith, creativity, love and personal growth.

She cooked for me, she let me nap, read, and yammer on about my fears and worries. Kate’s giggle is one of my favorite sounds in the world. Interestingly, my 7 year old daughter has the same giggle. My heart sparks when either of them laughs, reminding me of the other.

Spending time together was just what I needed, and stands as a good reminder to prioritize spending time with the people you love, no matter the distance or difficulty.

Creating space

Yoga helps us create space. Meditation helps us create space. Our information overload always on world creates a need for space and a reprieve from the noise and mental clutter.

As a person with an overactive thinking mind and lots of unresolved anxiety and trauma, I occasionally become overwhelmed by it all. Today I had a full on panic response and called in sick to work so I could ride it out. Within a few hours, it passed.

I’m fortunate that I can observe myself in reaction to stress and anxiety. My prior self just suffered unwittingly. She would self medicate with excessive work, food, alcohol and media. I don’t do that as much anymore, so at times it feels overwhelming since I am less numbed. I’m also more aware of my emotions, and express them whereas in the past I just denied or avoided them.

Before one can heal, she must become conscious. I’m grateful to be conscious, even if it means more discomfort in the short term

Man, I’m tired.

Tough one

Some days we struggle. Today was one such day. I got up before 4 am. I couldn’t sleep because I didn’t have a lesson plan.

English 101 requires me to brush up on the rules of grammar and citation I have long since discarded. And even so, a lot of the knowledge requires building blocks that most of my students lack.

As a first-year adjunct I am developing all of the course material as I go. I’m teaching English Composition which is not my preference… I want to teach Communications or Marketing- areas I know much more intimately after 20 years in corporate America as an executive. But I needed a foot in the door and the college desperately needed English Professors.

So between 4 and 6 am, I cobbled together a plan for today’s classes. Then I ate, showered and was off by 7. By the time I was done with classes and office hours I was exhausted, famished and anxious.

I don’t want to continue with the exhaustive play by play but suffice it to say I did not live up to my healthy lifestyle goals today.

Fortunately tomorrow is a new day.

Good one

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/eckhart-tolle-essential-teachings/id1458654443?i=1000535493942

Eckhart Tolle has helped me a great deal over the course of my life. He understands and clearly articulates the pain and misery caused by the unconscious chattering mind, and how it keeps people stuck.

The Power of Now was published the year I graduated from college and a friend introduced me to it a few years later. It was a revelation! It helped me discover a whole new dimension after living my early adult life on autopilot.

A year or so ago I read A New Earth and got a “booster shot” of awakening. I read it while also listening to the companion podcast cohosted by Oprah. It was a fantastic experience.

Lately I have been listening to Eckhart’s podcasts and this one really resonated: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/eckhart-tolle-essential-teachings/id1458654443?i=1000535493942

“It’s all about the stories we tell ourselves” is a phrase I’ve heard over and over. And while it’s true that we must create the narrative in our minds that we want to manifest, we must also must learn how to transcend the story completely and be present to the broader situation. These are the two aspects of living- the vertical (our conscious selves) and our horizontal (our egoic selves). It also reminded me of this quote from the Mundkopanishad in Deepak Choprah’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.

From The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra Chapter 6 the Law of Detachment

I have been learning a lot lately, and for this I am grateful.

Sunday

Went to Yoga and was the only one there for the 8 am class. Nowhere to hide from the teacher, the poses or myself. A couple of times I found myself panicking over the discomfort. But I survived. It’s like life. There are times when things get really funky and uncomfortable, but they pass.

Today, I experienced a lot of gratitude for my husband and children. A few times I felt my heart might explode. The simple act of witnessing my kids’ joy is so nourishing. My youngest was enjoying her world of imagination at the American Girl Doll Store in New York City. At first I dreaded the in-your-face commercialism of it all, but I quickly shifted into witnessing and appreciating her sense of wonder. Observing my husband’s open-hearted approach to the day also gave me inspiration. He always puts our kids first, catering to their emotional needs as much as their physical.

When we got home, my 14-year-old son, who is generally stoic and reticent, showed his love by agreeing to come play tennis with me. He comes to hit the ball with me whenever I ask. Even though we don’t talk much, it’s a simple way of being together that works for both of us. It is surreal to see him turning into a man before my eyes. My sweet boy is now 6 feet tall…

eccomi

today healing looks like taking action on my long term goals. i left a toxic work situation at the end of 2018 and spent 2019, 2020 and 2021 working to find myself, reorient, listen and figure out what i wanted to do with my life. it was a foreign concept – i was used to molding myself into what i thought others wanted me to be. making choices consciously for myself … that was new.

today i put a few hours in on a book proposal that i have been working on for a few months. i received feedback from peers a few weeks ago, and spent some time today sitting with the feedback and making changes. to write a really good and effective paragraph can be so hard – i worked on it for hours and still didn’t nail it yet. i love the ease and fluidity of blogging here – no performance standards, no self-judgement.

currently i am a professor teaching english 101 at a local community college. many of the students struggle with writing. they came to college underprepared and i am working to meet them where they are and help them make progress. progress looks different for each student. i love coaching the students to make progress wherever they can, even if it is a small step like learning the difference between “its and it’s” or remembering to use spellcheck.

so i am giving myself that kindness and grace. taking steps, even small, toward my long-term goals.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now” – Goethe

Today healing looks like…

coming home after a long day of working and Momming and – instead of going for the salty snacks and glass of red wine I crave in times of exhaustion and stress – heading to my Zen Den to stretch, journal, meditate, and post here.

Of course, instead of celebrating this small victory, the alter ego of said past self – the overachiever – is beating myself up for not going to hot yoga. My past self has unreasonable expectations that lead to burnout and harsh self judgement. Which of course leads to things like escapist binges on food, alcohol and media.

But the person I am becoming experiences more balance and kindness. She can do stretches, put on China Gel and a heated neck wrap, do some extended child’s poses with hands on blocks to create space between her shoulder blades. She/I can take deep breaths, listen to calming music and get into a more peaceful state before having dinner with my family.

Change is possible if you keep showing up and choosing it. I am proud of myself for flowing with change.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single

blog post. Heretofore I shall share my journey on this blog. My goal with this space:

  1. to get myself writing regularly again
  2. to chronicle and share things i have learned on my healing journey and elsewhere
  3. to discover more of the cool kinds of things (and people!) i connect with through writing