All posts by playdoh

the equinox is coming, the equinox is coming!

It’s a day of special balance, with day and night each being 12 hours long. It is part of a cycle (like everything else) and the beginning of a ramping up of energy that will sustain the planting and harvest to come in the next six or so months. It’s a special day – a beginning of momentum, and so I like to celebrate it. This year it’s at 2:58 pm Pacific. My friends at Perelandra (I say this as if I know them. I don’t) have measured the soil with some sort of radio-something and consistently, at these sacred moments of solstices and equinoxes, the soil is imbued with specific and cyclical life vitality. Makes sense. To paraphrase the bard, there is more to heaven and earth than dreamt of in modern reality…

I’ve just begun reading Christine Caldwell’s Bodyfulness book and it’s great (you might imagine I would think so). She lists 8 principles of Bodyfulness, the first being “oscillation” – everything is in motion and healthy motion is oscillation. Highs and lows, backs and forths, rights and lefts – everything with matter oscillates between two states across some point of equilibrium. The equinoxes represent the equilibrium in the cycle of the seasons. I watched part of a movie on Netflix today (Inner World Outer World or something close to that) showing a time-lapse of sprouts coming through the soil.. they all emerge with oscillating motion, creating momentum that allows them to rise. That motion will likely change as the trunk becomes rigid, but oscillations will be happening throughout the life cycle of that sprout…

What this brought to mind for me is how obvious it is (in really every capacity from life, the universe and everything to good hair days and bad hair days) and how little we work with it. Most people I know have “goals” – pictures of success with certain criteria the reaching of which might create “satisfaction.” Why a picture? It would make sense to me if we defined our goals as continuums on which we are gaining ever more mastery and balance – the combination of exciting work and restorative rest. I think we might be happier with our goals if they were more aligned with our natural patterns. Or at least I would.

Indeed, over the last few years my goals have become less specific for attributes and more specific for experiential states. It’s led to an increase in satisfaction, a reduction in stress and finally a tool to escape the constant mental chatter. That tool is checking in with the body. My body’s simple being overrides all of my mind’s concerns, if only for a few breaths a few times per day. Checking in with that kind of stability of being offers a touchpoint that the rest of my life can’t help but integrate. As we taste freedom, we develop a taste for freedom and the means to achieve it.

and that’s today’s time.

fitting in… to what?

Have you ever heard the saying, “we spend the first two years of a child’s life urging them to walk and talk, and the next 16 telling them to sit down and shut up.” It’s eerily true in my experience. And creepy. But I was super happy to hear that phrase early in my parenting so that I could be conscious about not employing it.  I’m also delighted my kids aren’t sitting at desks 7 hours per day, and carrying around 30 pounds of books in an ergonomically devastating assault on their spines. We could use more movement, don’t get me wrong, but I do take great heart in knowing some of the current cultural norms don’t have a foothold in my kids’ development.

I have a lot to learn about movement. I’m very excited my friend Wowza is going to start teaching a class on ecstatic motion. She did a little demo today and I’m even more excited. I also realized, though, that I am differently-abled. It’s not totally new information, but received in this context it informs how I’ll engage with this new information. My friend Dawn Lawson in the UK taught me that “I can’t” isn’t an option, and how to modify those things I want to do to meet my current capacity – and how to test boundaries gently to ease into new capabilites. This is the mindset I’ll be bringing to Wowza’s class.

Through this, I’m happy to discover that I am at ease with my abilities, different though they may be. I’m not in a rush to change them, nor do I want them to stick around as they are. The fact that life is in motion tells me they are bound to change unless I am defending them, and I am slowly learning not to defend my weaknesses. But this idea of accepting the current situation as it is with equanimity is very freeing.

I spent a good deal of my life striving for things so I know the energy pattern well. And last summer I needed to re-learn how to stand and walk (which I am still practicing) which began with a striving (i want to do this right) but didn’t begin to see success until I encountered it with witnessing and curiosity. This is a wildly different energy pattern, deep and rich and expansive enough to allow for some striving energy (which i feel as more pointed and excited) without becoming only that.

I wonder how many people exist energetically almost exclusively in the striving energy. I know I did for a very long time. Assuming I could figure everything out to achieve x, y, or z; very thinking-heavy, very future-oriented, very obstacle-focused – all the things I wasn’t yet, that I would need to be in order to be ok. Well, I can finally say that I didn’t need those things to be ok.

The whole thing is a sham. Perhaps a well-intentioned sham in the name of progress, but a sham nonetheless. Putting kids in motion-free zones (seriously, some districts don’t even have recess!) and making them think all day separates them from their own nature, and consequently from *all of nature* – only in a society that so drastically demeans the body and motion and individual expression could we have the vast exploitations we have – be it of the earth, people or animals. We systematically separate our young from their natures and then wonder how we’re destroying the planet. Only disconnected people can do that, and “civilization” has been disconnecting people for generations. I wonder if we’ll ever stop. I do believe the first step is connecting with our bodies, our wholeness and each present moment.

old habits die hard

Yesterday we were lucky to see southern California desert in bloom.  It was exceptional – what we know to be brown, rocky mountains and dusty plains are very much awash in purples, yellows, orange, white… depending on where you go (and we went *everywhere*) poppies or lupine, desert daisies and tons of evening primrose… most amazing were the huge swaths of orange poppies across vast green mountains which are normally brown. We went to Anzo-Borrego state park and Joshua Tree. It was a long day. By the end of it, I had a solid headache and 2.5 hours of driving (as a passenger) to go. Tucker is an excellent driver, but I learned a few years back that I not a great passenger, so it’s best if i read or write or do something else instead of watching the road. I trust him completely, yet i’m always gasping and shit. yeah, who needs it. Given that it was dark, an app was my best distraction, and as I tried to tuck my headache into a corner of my brain so I could re-orient and just focus on the game, I thought I’d be able to make it all the way home.

Then it hit me.

Obviously, I needed to spend a little time in my body. Obviously, I needed to check in to my overall feeling state – including the headache – and try to release any resistance I was holding, physically and mentally. I got curious about the headache, which did shift with attention. In being quiet and not distracted, I overheard a funny conversation between my kids I would have missed. I didn’t keep my attention on my headache all the time, I wandered in and out, but I spent a solid couple of hours relaxing and releasing – and I never ran out of things to relax or release. That was fascinating. I had all sorts of pains come up and be noticed, and a couple got super intense (having been in a car so much of the day) but they all released over time. The headache was smaller by the time I got home, but I still went straight to bed (having been in a car so much of the day).

I was extremely amused to notice my habit of “distract!” and the feeling of “this [aspect of my body] feels awful. how can i tuck it away and focus on something else.” Feeling that was familiar. Feeling a choice, I was skeptical. Did I really want to put my attention on a headache? or any part of a body that’s been driving all day? Very skeptical, even with this intensely focused year of body awareness. I was pleasantly surprised. And extremely grateful that it is becoming such a powerful habit. Although, I may have crushed my high score on 3’s.  All in all, I think I made the better choice.

laundry…

Last night I sensed the ‘bedtime’ signal and bristled. i still had five or six things I wanted to complete before retiring. But, I’d just set this challenge for myself, so I started to get ready. Then, I realized I wanted to take an evening supplement. As I walked back to the kitchen, I figured, “I can just switch the laundry” and then got in just a brief conversation with my son and watched a few minutes of what my daughter was watching. Yeah, I blew it. It all seemed so innocent at the time, barely a distraction… I mean, I didn’t start anything “new.” It took me ages to fall asleep and I had trouble getting up. Not my best start.

But the very best thing about Bodyfulness is that it is so squarely and firmly rooted in the present moment, I don’t feel a whole lot of anger with myself – it’s simply a noticing. And because Bodyfulness keeps me in the present moment (instead of some fantasyland where I am in bed within 2 minutes of sensing this signal) I don’t need myself to achieve perfection before I’m ok. I’m ok now. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I also realize I’m just starting out with this sensitivity. I’m in the information-gathering phase, noticing how I behave and what it feels like. This, my friend, is infinitely better than my prior pattern of setting a goal, expecting to hit it out of the park right from the get-go, and feeling shame, anger and remorse with every misstep. Infinitely better.

This is consistent with what I’ve been noticing as my practice grows. I’ve become less defensive and more curious. Less defensive of my shortcomings, more curious about why I defended them all so much for so long, more curious about the present moment and how I’m feeling – and (this is key) willing to just soften. I don’t feel quite the need to explain as I often have, even to myself. Sometimes I do well with things, sometimes I fail (myself or someone else); it doesn’t feel like the referendum every. single. thing. used to feel like. Every flub made me a fool, every triumph validated my superiority. I am feeling clearer and clearer neither moniker applies.

Today, the monastery’s wifi was down and the cell signal too weak to carry the zoom call. It’s the first time i’ve missed (#46!) and while I was disappointed and trying to figure out if there was anything else I could do, a friend came in whose dear friend had died yesterday. Had I been on zoom, I couldn’t have been present to him, and bless his heart, he deserved my full attention.

This is another distinct development through this practice: the willingness to believe that what is happening may be appropriate and positive even when it conflicts with what I thought was going to happen. Even if it “reflects badly” on me. Even if it reveals my weaknesses. maybe especially then…

I believe that this might come from the essential nature of bodyfulness… to prioritize the feeling state of the body demonstrates openness to what is, right now, right here, in this moment.  I acknowledge that the body is a development of life itself, something I have no control over bringing in or taking out. This is obviously the most intimate relationship I can develop with the organic life here on this planet, at this time, in this mystical dance of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and the other elements.

I am running an experiment on trusting that dance and my place in it – not as a concept, as an experience. My physical interaction with the world. With this priority, I don’t have anything to defend. But I have oh-so-much to discover…

subtle signals

I am noticing that my body gives me some very subtle signals when it wants to go to bed. I am so magnificently skilled in ignoring them that I can understand why they might be subtle, but for the last several nights I’ve been going to bed on cue. I’ve fallen asleep immediately and wake with a readiness that typically eludes me. Last night I pushed to get just a couple of extra things done after the cue. Big mistake. Not huge, but trouble falling asleep, weird sleeping, weird waking… I’m SUPER EXCITED to make this my next laboratory.  As I listen for and heed that “bedtime” set of physical cues – I don’t even know how to describe it, but its a signal that says “time for bed” – as I listen to it, I’ll bet it becomes less subtle.

I really have had 40+ years of willfully ignoring it and valuing literally everything and anything I might fancy about staying awake longer – because grownups get to set their own bedtime, thankyouverymuch, and I am a grownup and will NOT be told what to do. What an idiot program I’ve been running (in the name of autonomy and independence – even if it’s wildly personally destructive; hence: idiot). After all these years, it’s amazing it gives me any signal at all.

I should note that at a certain time of night, if i am still up, my body begins to ache so profoundly I cannot but go to bed. If I wait until that point, my very brief bedtime routine is extremely painful and i have a lot of difficulty going to sleep, difficulty in the night, and difficulty waking/being able to get up. Sadly, I’ve let that happen quite a bit. I’m really a lot better than, say, three years ago, but why on earth would I let it get to that point at all? I am going to say this pain begins a minimum of 3 hours after that first, sweet, subtle “bedtime” signal.

This reminds me of the Dunstan Baby Method, which is truly amazing and distinguishes the 5 sounds every human baby makes in the first 3 months of life. Hungry, Tired, Upper gas, Lower gas and Uncomfortable (diaper/temperature). I did not have this knowledge with my first child, and employing it with my second was miraculous. Often we could tend to my son after just a little vocalization, whereas with my daughter she could be in full-steam crying and we were running through our imaginary checklist of what it might be. After 3 months, though, all bets are off and babies have a lot more to communicate. Because of the diversity in how people respond during those first 3 months, they haven’t been able to quantify the “step 2” sounds, because they’re not universal. But, those early sounds are. How many people do you know that have any idea how to listen to a baby?

Times Square or Picadilly Circus are so replete with sights and sounds and signals, it’s virtually impossible to take them all in. We’re being badgered by so many requests for our attention, many of us have difficulty even noticing a sign that is not neon, blinking and blaring. I have been part of that culture, often valuing the exciting over the obvious or the soothing. Maybe it was a time-of-life thing, or maybe it was simply because I didn’t understand the value of myself as a being, interacting with the world and its unfolding in the present moment; instead always valuing some imagined future that I would then try to shake heaven and earth to achieve. That just sounds exhausting. Just writing it makes me feel ready for bed…

costs and benefits

we make choices in life. Each choice has costs and benefits. we balance it out as best we can and move forward in the direction of our dreams. i have made some poor choices. i have bullheadedly made some poor choices certain that I am on the right path for me, or for our family. Life went on in it’s progression in the only way that it could given those choices.

Some days choices come into question. and we’ve got to be willing to look at it. in fact, when we’re not willing to look at it, then we *really* need to look at it.

For example, we unschool. That’s pretty extreme. Most homeschoolers provide *something* for their kids. Our kids get a whole lot of R&R. Now, part of me is very, very happy about this as I see kids sick and stressed pretty much everywhere. My kids do not have that problem. They are lonely. Yes, and I so wish we had something like the youth group that shaped Tucker’s teen years. We’ve tried several things and they’re always such epic fails that I have been convinced it is more productive to NOT do it anymore and trust that things are ok. But they’re lonely. And so are Tucker and I. Friends are fun. We don’t have many, and the ones we do are really scheduled so it’s tough to find times. This is a real cost. We feel slightly less isolated knowing this is an epidemic and connection is a huge opportunity for society to address. We address it by paying attention to it. And I feel connected through my evolutionary online relationships and courses, but our IRL sense of community is anemic.

For the most part, our home life is extremely pleasant. this is mostly because tucker is funny, or at least light-hearted and in so being diffuses my always-on-a-trigger-to-defend-myself from my less friendly, busier, louder upbringing. Two kids is a lot easier than five, and while there’s something to be said for the vivaciousness and diversity in a large family, there’s something to be said for the peace of a small one.

I feel like a very bad parent right now, and it’s possible i’m even worse than I think (and what i’m thinking is pretty cringeworthy). while i am thinking those thoughts, I feel my body tightening, contracting, almost tingling in anxiety. I can almost taste the hormonal cocktail fueling my spiral into wrongness.

Yet, if I take a breath and see where that thought shows up in my body, my body relaxes in inquiry… hmmm.. where does that show up? oh, a bunch of places. there’s a set-ness in my jaw, and a bit of a cringe in my jaw and eyes and some tingly tension between the jaws, then all this shoulder raising and maybe high-tension wires across my chest. and a cringing in my heart – disappointment realized, my worst fears come true.

And because that’s the strongest, that’s the one I’m going to tend to first. Hello, disappointment realized, my worst fears come true as expressed in a high pitched tingly feeling in my heart (that I know realize magnitizes the tension in my jaw)…. I am here. I feel you. You are here. Let us breathe. I do not resist you. I am present [the heart is already feeling almost normal, but the jaw is even more tightly wound] I am comfortable being here with you, you don’t need to change. I mean, you can relax if you can relax, but if not, I get it – stay tense for as long as you need, but know i’m not resisting you.

feels like quite a lot of thinking for a physical practice. Where does that thought show up in my body?

I’m feeling calmer now. and the possibility that I really am a reprehensibly bad parent may be true, and almost certainly is true from a certain perspective (maybe even from a broad range of perspectives). But my children also have some deep privileges I facilitate. So the opposite is also true.

These thoughts show up as denseness in my skull.

Hello, denseness in my skull. I do not resist you. you’re here, and i am happy to be noticing you even if you are uncomfortable. I know that being present to my body changes the trajectory of my thoughts and habits, especially that bad habit of ignoring my body, ignoring the bountiful signs life is giving, and focus on these pictures in my mind and of the world in order to generate a picture of how i can achieve what I think would make me happier. Heck, I’m exhausted just thinking that one.

I have to go now. I have to re-engage with a conversation and vision of the future from a kid who is living a very non-traditional life and really values so much of it but is really grieving the costs. I will probably put my foot in my mouth (again), i’ll make it more dramatic than it has to be all in the name of making sure he knows we’ll facilitate whatever he wants – even when having to decide what he wants feels like too much of a responsibility for a twelve year old, but is the most essential life skill. It’s hard to really know what we want – i mean it is very easy to have a lot of vague notions about what might be good, but to know what we want? Hell, I’m 50 I literally realized this week that i’ve been operating in this vagueness instead of getting really clear. and i have a glimpse of really clear just in this last month, although with slowing down in this last year, but so much moreso even just this week.

Anyway, I have to go live the life i’m in, doing the best I can, and trust that that’s going to be ok. and i’m so grateful to have spent a minute diffusing it by spending really less than 5 minutes repeatedly turning my attention to my feeling state, in a 40 minute or so ‘thinking about bodyfulness”/writing/chronicling the process.

 

bodyfulness

Bodyfulness is simply the practice of making the feeling state of the body the focus of our attention. Taking a breath or several with this focus. Beginning with an exhale, Body Relaxes. Then inhaling, Expand Around The Hips. Going into this area of the body helps me truly get in to the feeling state of my body. The head, it can be anywhere pretending to be in the body but i have very little success being in my body and even in my third eye chakra (which is a little sad to me, and probably quite impactful on my spiritual awakening, but we are where we are); being in my heart is better, I feel more embodied, but the heart is the relational space and for this practice I need to show up even before the relational space and just check in with this body and where it is right now. For that, I need to go to my hips. It’s also the area of the species and tribal chakras – both areas that I need to activate in love. I largely ran from them in disdain most of my life (wanting to transcend this human malarky and divorce myself from a culture i viewed as misguided). I’ve got to bring healing to this kind of mentality, and I do it through focusing my attention on the feeling states. Just a few minutes, many times per day. I learn a lot. I relax a lot more than I ever have. I’m more sensitive to my own being and others’ and nature and Life Itself. Solid use of time and attention.

Another benefit to breathing in and around the hips, or carrying this visualization and intention as I breathe, according to my  Tai Chi instructor it massages the organs that are usually getting compressed with chest breathing. This is helpful with digestion, and digestion is VERY important to Bodyfulness.

Bodyfulness is also bringing attention to the process of the cells – by tending to the breath we are becoming more intimate and aware of the process by which That Which Keeps Us From Being A Corpse (TWKUFBAC – not an acronym I’ll be using with any regularity. I’m going to keep refering to it as Life Itself) brings fresh life from all over the planet into our lungs which distributes it to Every Cell in our bodies in a joyful dance of receiving life and the excitement thereof, and then relaxing and releasing that which is no longer vibrant to the cell. That’s happening through every blood cell, muscle, organ and tissue, every breath. Receiving the new and releasing the old. Focusing on this rhythm, this dynamic with the Body Relaxing (BR-) and then the Expanding Around The Hips (-EATH) for a full BREATH cycle we can start to feel the aliveness in the cells and encourage the release. Paying attention to our digestion makes sure we’re providing the mechanism for the full release in the body.

Sometimes, some of us have a bit of trouble letting go of things. I know I’ve held on to thoughts and feelings that have not served me or anyone else. Being in this dynamic of aliveness and release regularly has untied some of the mental and emotional knots I’ve carried. I’m no longer primed for panic. My body was always ready for the next crisis. Poised and ready to jump into action. This is holding on. This is staying in the Sympathetic Nervous System which releases cortisol and other stress hormones. No bueno. Giving our bodies time of release of that “on call” nature, that “ready for the next problem (won’t catch me unprepared!)” for even just a few breaths per day, soon problems will have to prove themselves before they activate tension, and in doing so, many will resolve themselves before making any real progress.

Seriously, though, too, make sure you’re caring for your digestion. Getting this stuff out of the body is key.

free prize inside

the oft-used marketing slogan is really a plea, i think. please free the prize inside you, it asks. please? we need that part of you to show up – we need that part of ourselves to show up. the part that is connected to life at such an essential level, separation is as absurd as it is sad.

our bodies are connected to life at an essential level, to degress and in ways that we literally can not comprehend – because it’s not a thought, its an experience. when we take the microphone from the mind’s grasp and open it up to open mike night from the body, (body karaoke, step right up, sing, i’ll listen) the experience of the present moment opens like a flower. It’s not the mind’s fault it’s got a hot mike 24/7, that’s what culture’s rewarding (kindof). We get to focus our attention. We get to switch the feed from fear or judgment or comparing to where there’s tension in the body so we can take this moment to help release it.

Things come up because there’s energy that wants to be acknowledged, held, included. For the mind, they come up for any of many billion different projections of possible reasons that means that this person is on the wrong track and that person better wisen up and i sure as hell need to change and become a better person and here are a hundred different ways i need to do that. The mind is a minefield. I’m exhausted just describing it, and i’ve done one of seven billion potential scenarios of lack and shame and longing. For the body? none of that is real.

and that is why the body is my best friend (see? my mind thinks its in charge even still – and i guess it is as the part of my being that selects the focus of my attention), my most trusted advisor, my truest gauge on what  is true for me. Living your truth is a full body experience. Turning our attention inward, getting to know the lay of that land, life unfolds in a very different way than life spent with the mind as the sportscaster of the surface events. I lived that life. i actually thought our life was the quality of the narrative i was telling. that that was the point, to tell a good story. But my body was not-at-all consulted and now that it is, the body is so happy to be tended to it rewards me with dopamine and oxytocin (the naturally occuring stuff, not the drug that has a hold on our youth)  and that shifts my mind’s ability to take it’s place as servant instead of dictator/master/beggar.

That which gives us life is expressing through every cell of our body. that is an amazing fact full of wonder and function and design we have only begun to understand. Life itself evolved these bodies and functions and capabilities and capacities. We are so much more than we know, in worlds we don’t even know exist (our relationship to the microbes on the planet, for example). Life is successfully expressing through us, whether we are aware of it or not, out in public or not, hiding in shame or standing in awe. That which brought us is taking us home. We are having a mental life *in addition* to a very basic and yet infinitely complex physical dance. The physical dance is the plane transporting us from NY to London. The mental life is our perception of the flight (we may have had a great flight or a miserable one, but we are on the journey to London either way. We *are* here and we, by the nature of our being, are part of evolution – to ever more love, freedom and [relationship/order/complexity]. The more time i spend checking in with my body, the more in sync with life i feel. Life with a capital L. everything. all the molecules. the dictator is this tiny emperor trying to claim control of infinite numbers of cells expressing the patterns of their complex DNA in relationship with infinite molecules of just a few elements. it’s fascinating. its mind boggling. and maybe that’s why we should stop trying to live in it through our minds.

how do you treat your refugees?

Watching the ordeal that is the political system, I have no choice but to reflect on how the matters of the day relate to my own being. Where am I a pompous blowhard? There are plenty of places. Noticing helps me move into choice. Choice offers me an option, even if I don’t know what it is. I am a person that has spent a lot of time developing a certain level of comfort with the unknown. While I believe it serves me overall, it can be confusing as well.

Children ripped from their parents and put into actual cages. Wow. And we call ourselves civilized. But I have caged some of the most tender, unwanted parts of myself. Prisoners in my psyche I wish I didn’t have to deal with. They are meagerly fed from a system that is hardly optimized and recognizing this, I resolve to treat them better. I resolve to take the disenfranchised parts of myself and give them dignity. Oh, it’s easy to give dignity to my better attributes, the things I feel serve my wellness and the betterment of all. I’d like only those attributes to be citizens in my mind, but that aint the case. There is more. And I need to bring those parts of me into an equitable relationship with the whole. I’m a little scared. I don’t know how to integrate them. They cry and wail and have no place they belong. They just wanted a better life. Can I deliver it?

I’ve been ruminating about the idea that our bodies are of the earth and therefore the earth’s best chance at communicating with us. Our bodies are literally animated earth. That animation is a very interesting aspect, right? That which separates a body from a corpse. That special something that comes in and takes on a body to express and experience as and through. Of course it is going to get a little bit weighed down by the earthiness of our beings. Of course it is going to be burdened by all of the weightier elements. I don’t know if you’ve ever played Wii Boxing, but it looks so easy until you hold the controllers and try to gesticulate like a lunatic and still can’t get the tracking to do what you want. We are subject to our environments. I believe we can transcend them, but there is a process there. It might be lightening fast in certain instances – I don’t want to rule out miracles or grace, both of which I believe in 100% – but in most instances that transcendence is a process and it has a lot to do with fully recognizing one’s power and fully assessing the environment to best manifest that power. My daughter taught me some tricks with Wii. It wasn’t such a hurdle for her. We all can help each other.

I am determined to fully embody that which makes me breathe. In order to do that, it feels like I need to also accept my humanness. My faults and foibles, my mistakes and missteps. I can’t require ideal circumstances or responses. The dynamics that keep universes dancing in the heavens are exactly that – dynamic. Coming to grips with living in a dynamic world requires a whole new ruleset than the determinism I grew up with. Goal setting and achieving. It’s far more immediate than that for me at this point in my life. How am I managing this feeling and this circumstance? In a dynamic world, I can sense into the present experience. I can notice if I’m doing better than last time I experienced this. In a deterministic world, I have to evaluate it based on a picture. I’m out of myself and somewhere in an imagined future.

The only way I am going to get the future I want, where my internal parts are honored, where my gifts work synergistically with my areas for growth. I need to address the parts of myself I currently shun. I need to make room for them. They have value. Indeed, they may have more value than I can imagine. I’ve got to do this if I have any hope of contributing to a world that cares for all its inhabitants.

My first day of school

Legend has it that on my first day of first grade I burst into tears crying, “I forgot my psychology book!”  Oh, the things we expect of ourselves.

I’ve often expected myself to be further along than I am, condemning my current state as “not enough” and needing to get better. It’s an orientation I am trying to eschew.  This week has been a life-affirming first step.

I’ve participated in dozens of startups. Mapping is one of my skills. I’ve guided lots of folks through planning and R&D for a solid launch. All that went out the window this week. And I’m really, really happy with the results. So happy, in fact, I’m not doing any planning for next week, either. They say 80% is showing up. I’m just going to show up. As I sort out the cadence of a session, I’ll probably let a few more people know. But, finally, I feel like something is coming forth – I’m not trying to build it. That in itself is great relief.

Every day of this experiment has enriched my understanding of what I want to do, what might be possible, how best to serve. I’ve got a lot of learning to do, and I’m thrilled about that. I’m not trying to come off with all the answers. I’m sharing my practice. I didn’t even know what that might mean when I started, but it was such a lovely week this idea is starting to crystallize. I had a ridiculous guided meditation fail last night, and my sweet friend was so sweet about it. That’s part of bodyfulness. “Hey, this feels awful, I’d like to stop!” “OK!” We’re adventurers together seeing where our bodies seem to want to go.

All this to say, I think I’m onto something with this practice-sharing. I’m really excited to see where my body leads me.