Monday, March 30, 2009


I don't know what to write about. I am anxious about that and I will keep writing. I just read an article by Phillip Moffitt on working with fear. He talked about three different kinds of fear. The first is anxiety or a sense of unease and agitation that may make our bodies tense and our minds less focesed. The second is fear when we are gripped by a sense of danger or lack of safety. The third is full-blown panic when we are in flight or fight or flee. The higher reasoning brain shuts down and the reptilian brain takes over. Phillip suggests one way to work with fear is to practice noticing we are experiencing fear when we are at the anxiety level and say to ourselves, "This is fear ,"or "Here's my old friend fear." Another practice that is useful to me is to say to myself , I am having a fear of what to write about... rather than I am afraid of not knowing what to write about..... It seems to help me to kick in my observer self to recognize that I have fear rather than that I am fear.
When I am in a big group of people it is very difficult for me to distinguish what is being said. The sounds reach my ears but I can't recognize what the words are. I notice I have anxiety about being able to understand what is going on. At Laughter Yoga today I wanted to do an excercise honoring Caeser Chavez because I found out it was Caeser Chavez day today. I asked the person who was leading if I could lead an excercise. She agreed. I wasn't sure what exercise to create. When I introduced what I wanted to do the leader said, "Si se puede" and put her fist in the air. I couldn't understand what she was saying. I asked her to repeat herself and still I didn't understand. I got scared and assumed it was a word recognition issue. I told her to lead the exercise using what she said because I couldn't understand it. She said no, go ahead and lead one that I create. I could feel my anxiety rising and my self -criticism increasing. My fear and my self-judgement often escalate together. Even though I could've spiraled into my panic about not being able to hear at all ever, I went ahead and focused on leading the exercise using movement and farm noises. I know that Caeser Chavez was the head of the United Farmworkers and had fought tirelessly for their rights. Although I had some disappointment when I heard what the leader had suggested because I though it would've been a great exercise, I was glad I had been able to focus and do my exercise. When I realized it was in Spanish, I laughed. I thought she was speaking English and I just couldn't understand it. Si se puede means yes we can in Spanish. Si se puede. Yes we can work with our fear and mindfully practice bringing compassion to ouselves when we are anxious. What happens to me when I am anxious is that my breathing gets shallow, my shoulders and stomach tighten and my mind races or shuts down. If I can say to myself, "I am here for you with your fear" and soothe myself with deep full breaths it is easier to compassionately experience and release the anxiety I have before it moves into strong fear or full-blown panic. I imagine that I am holding my inner child as I would hold my daughter when she was small and had fear about something.
What do you notice in your body and mind when you have anxiety? Would you be willing to explore soothing yourself when you notice you have anxiety? How could you do that? What has worked for you in the past? Is there something new you'd like to try? Other ideas are to write about the anxiety or talk about it to a friend or to express it through movement. If I can befriend the anxious feelings I am having and number them in intensity from 0-10 that is often helpful too. The anxiety I was experiencing today was a three. I'd like to get better and better at trusting that I will be OK in the midst of whatever anxiety I am having. Practicing mindfulness in meditation and in daily life makes that more possible more often. I am aware that even when i have no idea of what to write about something always comes. The more it happens the easier it is to recognize the fear I am having release it and keep writing. I am trusting more and more in the process of this blog which is writing itself through me. Thanks for listening.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Just what is needed

My wrist has been bothering me. As I age I notice more soreness and stiffness in my body. Today the e- letter from Yoga journal daily practice is on wrists and putting less pressure on them in yoga poses. It was timely and helpful. I felt grateful. How does it work that the universe provides just what I need sometimes? Maybe it is true that the universe provides just what I need always and sometimes I recognize it and other times I don't. For instance, the heavy snowstorm that came yesterday and today looked like an unwelcomed opportunity to burden my wrist with more strain. I didn't like that. I felt it was important to shovel out of respect for my clients who showed up in the snow. I shoveled yesterday and this morning. The snow was wet and heavy. After some grumbling and fear I decided to look for how the universe gave me what I needed. First of all I found an angle of emptying the shovel of each helping of snow that was the least taxing on my right wrist. I felt resourceful. That felt good. I also had the chance to see that doing a good enough job of shoveling instead of the best possible job sufficed.That was comforting and satisfying. It is easy to feel like a victim when I can't see how the universe provides just what I need. I don't have to like it. I only have to look at what is in it for me. What is in it for me might not fit my pictures of what I thought I wanted. In fact, feeling victimized is easiest to fall into when an outcome doesn't fit my pictures. When I see myself as a victim I imagine that the universe is giving me what I don't need. Today someone I work with cancelled with very little notice and I got to see how pissy I felt. When I feel irritated or angry I often think I should find a way not to be. However, I used my anger to clarify my boundaries for myself and to ask for what I wanted about rescheduling. Harder yet was copping to being pissy with her. She heard me and said she knew I was annoyed even though I thought I did such a good job of hiding it behind being accomodating. How is this just what needed to happen? Her intuition got validated and we both got to experience repairing disharmony with healthy conflict resolution. Each time I share anger in a conscious mindful clear way it opens up more space for me to experience and release strong feelings. I learn that I have feelings, I am not my feelings. When I can let go of identifying so strongly with my angry feelings, it is easier to see that blame is part of feeling victimized. When I breathe into the sensation of the anger and let go of my story I can experience and release it. At least sometimes. Blame is a story. It's someone else's fault. When I can recognize blame I can ask myself, what is my part? what is my responsibility? what is my learning? What happened can still suck. When I let go of my story that it is someone else's fault and that I am a victim it opens up space for me to feel what I am feeling and allow it to shift or release. Then it is easier to see how what happened was what needed to happen. It doesn't mean it will fear fair or copesetic. How do tragic events and world suffering fit with this idea? I don't know. That is what I need to know and don't yet. Maybe I can trust that I will be given the knowledge that I need. I am beginning a project to gather evidence from my daily life that what is happening is just what is needed. Would you care to join me?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Today I received an article about bodycare products and the bad ingredients that can be harmful to your health. I think education is one of the keys to wellness. I had never heard of some of these ingredients and what makes them harmful. I am passing this on to you so that we can be more aware of what we are putting onto and therefore into our precious bodies. First I've listed the bad ingredients and why to avoid them. After the harmful ones is a list of 7 helpful ones.

This information is from Anne Marie Fine, M.D. a Scottsdale, Arizona based naturopathic skin care specialist.
The bad stuff:
parabens- These are preservatives used in 90% of cosmetics. Ongoing studies suggest parabens may act like estrogen in the body, and estrogen exposure has been linked to breast cancer and hormone eruptions.

disodium laureth sulfosuccinate(DLS)- it can produce harmful byproducts such as 1.4dioane and ethyl oxide, two chemicals linked to cancer.

triethanolamine(TEA)- Research has linked TEA to certain cancers. Additionally its sometimes contaminated with nitrosamines, a class of suspecfted carcinogens. TEA may also irritate skin and muchous membranes

propolene glycol- It may interfere with reproductive health. Additionally, because it helps other substances sink into skin, it becomes detrimental if the product contains irritants or toxins.

phenoxyethanol-Japan restricts use of phenoxyethanol, which research has linked to both endocrine disruption and cancers. It may also cause skin and eye irritation.

imidazolidinyl urea- A top cause of contact dermatitus, imidazolidinyl urea may also stress your immune system. Plus when used with water, it can release formaldehyde, a toxic chemical.

PEGs-polyethylene glycol or polyethylene- PEGs can be contaminated with1.4-dioxane, a known carcinogen creayted during the manufacturing process. Certain PEGs may also cause hives and eczema and have been linked to kidney toxicity.

petrolatum-(petroleum jelly) petrolatum forms a film on your skin to prevent moisture from escaping. Unfortunately, that film also traps toxins under the skin
(your largest organ) and keeps it from breathing properly. This can clog pores and interfere with skin's excretory function( sweating) and cell development.

Check out your products. I know it's hard to throw stuff away especially if it was expensive and you have a lot left. You might want to consider using up what you have and buying a new product that's healthier. Remember if we keep buying this stuff they will keep making it.

Seven good for you ingredients:
what it is and what it does
ascorbic acid- vitamin C. Keeps products from spoiling. C also stimulates the procuction of collagen, which slows as you age, and minimizes fine lines.

butyrospermum parkil-shea butter. Provides easily absorbed moisture and can also heal minor blemishes and reduce inflammation

cera alba- beeswax. Helps makes products more unifrom in texture. It also allows skin to seal in moisture naturally and has antibacterial properties.

hyaluronic acid- a sugar compound that occurs naturally in skin cells. Boosts firmness and combats aging and wrinkles, and plays a role in cell turnover, which promotes a radiant healthy skin.

panthenol- vitaminB5. Offers deep penetrating moisture to heal and fortify skin and hair. Additionally it may help repair skin tissue and fight certain types of dermatitus.

retinol- vitaminA. Boosts long-term hydration, penetrates deeper layers of the dermis to improve texture, and also aids in evening out mottled pigmentation.

tocopherol-vitaminE. May slow the aging process by fighting free radicals and protecting skin against sun damage. It can also help smooth out skin overall.

I have learned a lot from writing this. I hope you have too. I plan to read labels more carefully. I just used up my old shampoo and am in the market for a new one. A trip to the health food store is in order. How about you?

Monday, March 23, 2009


Ah a soothing birthday green. Today is my birthday. I am 59. It is scary to be this close to sixty. I think of 60 as being old even though many of the people in my life are in their sixties and don't seem old. I am hoping to use the next year to open more to the aging process so I can float into my sixties more gracefully. Today I am grateful to be alive. It is a blessing to be in a human body, especially because I enjoy relative good health. I appreciate being on the planet at the same time as all of the people with whom I share this lifetime. I feel especially appreciated today. As I age my birthday becomes less important. However when the actual day approaches the little girl inside me wants to feel special and I do too. Gary and I spent the day together. He had made me a special card. He brought it with him on Saturday and wanted to give it to me then. I like to open my cards on the day of my birthday. He waited till this morning because it was MY birthday. That felt good. It's always interesting to me how different people react to rituals. I think a lot depends on how birthdays were treated or not treated when we were kids. In my family rituals all revolved around food. My Mom would make a special dinner. I think we got to chose what we wanted at least partially. There was always some kind of a birthday cake. This year I wanted a non-sugar birthday treat. I asked Gary to make me a mushy card and read it to me. He created a poster size card with the whole alphabet along the side going down and lovely adjectives describing me for each letter. I loved being acknowledged in this way.
Twice I had to take a little breather because I went on tilt with receiving. His outporing of genuine love pushed up against my receiving block. I breathed into the discomfort and opened my heart more. After almost four years of resisting, I am letting myself receive his love fully. I am getting clearly that he is the one I have been looking for. I am very happy when I let myself love him as much as I do. It feels good to open my heart to trusting a man again. It especially feels good to do that with a trustworthy man. Wednesday I did a PSYCH-K balance for the statement " I am worthy of the best that love and life have to offer" I have balanced for this before and this time it seemed to sink in on a deeper level. What I have always wanted is to be in a committed relationship with a man I respect and love who respects and loves me. I have wanted to be with a partner where we are each committed to our own growth and to each other's growth. I wanted to be able to use use our relationship to get closer to God.I now have that and it is time to let go of my pictures of my ideal man and open fully to the beautiful human being who is my partner now. That is a big part of seeing myself as being worthy of the best that love and life have to offer. That is also the best birthday present I could give myself. Is there something you have been holding back from giving to yourself that you would consider opening up to? What would it be like to push up against the edge of your receiving block?

Thursday, March 19, 2009


My sister is visiting and tonight we went to eat in a restaurant. Her chicken was pink inside and she asked to speak to a manager because it didn't look cooked. The manager came over and sat down in our booth. He made great eye contact and attentively listened to her concerns. He validated that he understood where she was coming from. Only then did he offer an explanation. The chickens come frozen and although they look pink they are fully cooked. He said that other people have complained of the same thing and that they are looking at changing the chicken order or discontinuing the menu item. He offered to make her something else. Then he comped the first order and only charged us half for the second. I was very impressed with the way he did business. We felt heard and cared about. He was present and sincerely wanted to help.
Last week when I bought my car I had an enjoyable experience. Everyone was very low key and helpful. I appreciated doing business with people who weren't trying to hard sell me. I was free to get in touch with my desire to buy the car. My energy was behind it because I didn't have to be resisting someone else's pressure. I appreciate being treated respectfully as a consumer. These two events have made me feel more hopeful about the way things are economically right now. In these two cases it seems to me that the business people got it that customer service was one thing they could offer to set them apart from others. Being treated fairly and kindly creates satisfied customers who make referrals of friends and family. Treating customers like fellow human beings is a good business practice. I make it a practice to notice the people I am doing business with and to acknowledge and appreciate when I am a satisfied customer. Appreciation encourages respectful treatment for myself and others. The more people feel appreciated for their behavior the more likely they are to repeat what they are doing. Have you had a positive experience as a consumer lately? Would you join me in being on the lookout for positive consumer experiences? It is always a good idea to seek out opportunities to experience gratefulness. Gratefulness increases our vibratory rate and therefore our sense of well-being. I am so grateful to you, my readers, for giving me this forum to speak my truth. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Enneagram subtypes

The enneagram is a powerful tool to develop compassion for yourself and others. It is a map to explore the personality self and to reclaim essense or all that we are. There are nine personality types in the enneagram. If you don't yet know which type you resonate most with and are interested, you can go to or org. There is good information and a free test.
In the enneagram map there are three subtypes beneath each type. Subtypes are instinctual energy that lets us know where we most put our time and attention. You don't have to be sure of your type for the information about subtype to be useful. The three subtypes are:
Self-preservation- That is when most of your attention goes toward time , money and energy. Will I have enough money? There isn't enough time. How can I find the energy to do what I need to do? Self- preservationist subtype people often carry big purses or briefcases so they are always prepared with everything they might need.
Social: That is when most of your attention goes into groups. Am I accepted in groups? What do other people think of me? It may include people who hate groups and focus time and energy on avoiding social interactions in groups.
One to one: This is a focus on one to one relationships especially primary romantic relationship. What is wrong with my partner? Why don't I have a partner? Is my partner trustworthy?
Everyone has all three and they are ordered by where you most put your time and attention. Is is often easy for people to know what their first subtype is because they are so focused on it. Worry is especially focused there. Because so much energy is focused on the first subtype it is often unclear which is second or third. My first subtype is clearly one to one. That is where most of my obsessive energy goes. I think my next one is self-preservation and my last is social. I seem to be more focused on time money and energy than I am on groups.
Remember this is instinctual energy- our knee jerk reactions that bring us away from the present most often.
This is why I am writing about subtypes today. I thought it might be useful to look at what your main subtype might be. I notice when I am obsessing about my primary relationship it is a signal to me that I am off-center. One on one types can also worry about not having a primary relationship or how awful past primary relationships have been. At those times I am caught in knee-jerk reactions dictated by my reptilian brain. So, if you think you lead with self-preservation, notice when you are lost in your stories about lack, spinning out of control and bring yourself back to your breath. If social is your main subtype, notice when you are caught up in presenting your image to a group or worried about what you should have said or not said in a group.Observing these runaway thoughts uses the enneagram subtype map to let us know our inner dinosaur needs soothing so we can access higher mind. From higher mind it is possible to relax and problem solve. Whole brain posture is a good place to go when the witness lets you know that your mind is running wildly away from the present. From whole brain posture see if you can get to the feeling underneath the story- usually fear- and breathe into it. As it begins to release, say a soothing statement to yourself like,"I am here for you. Everything's going to be OK" It is you know.

Monday, March 16, 2009

loving yourself back home

I have been under a major ego attack this weekend where I was doubting myself obsessively. It started when I bought my car on Thursday and convinced myself I had done it wrong. I should've bought a hybrid and I didn't. I judged myself that if I was really dedicated to my principles I would've bought a different car. I compared myself to the other people I know who have hybrids and came up short. It didn't matter that I love the car I bought and carefully picked it. I have done so much work on myself and often I can catch these attacks and interrrupt them pretty quickly. I have an extensive tool box full of great tools that help to reduce anxiety and create a more centered sense of peace. Sometimes I forget all of that and believe my inner critic telling me I am doing it wrong. It is very humbling to know that sometimes I totally forget to practice what I teach. When I get really escalated I mistrust in my choices and spin stories about how I am messing up. If I don't interrupt the cyclying downward at that point realizing I am flaggelating myself and soothing myself with whole brain posture or a dose of reality then I project second-guessing myself onto my relationship with Gary. He looks like the bad guy. If only I could get out of the relationship everything would be fine. My heart is so shut down that I'm not in touch with my deep love for him. It is easy for me to project my feelings of self-doubt onto judging him and get very critical. It isn't pleasant for either one of us at that point. Gary can usually stay pretty non-reactive in the face of my doubts. He can hold the space of love and trust that we will work things out when I have lost it. He has learned not to take it personally. This morning he ran out of steam and got hopeless about our relationship. I appreciated his being honest and sharing it with me and it really woke me up to what I was doing. I realized I could actually push him away and what a loss that would be for me. He brings me wisdom and sweetness and helps me to navigate the material plane. I am very grateful for his presence in my life. I learn so much from him about working through my fears of intimacy. My ego hates him and feels very threatened by our intimacy. Gary's love threatens my negative belief that there is something wrong with me. It takes a great deal of resistance for me to push away Gary's love. When I am in that threatened fearful place I am numb to the experience of my love for him. What I wish for is to be able to recognize sooner and sooner that blaming him for my life not working is a signal that something is going on with me. I am off-center and I need to do whatever it takes to center myself again. From that centered place I know there is nothing wrong with me and I can reclaim my own heart, opening it up to my own love for myself. I can bring myself home to the place where I know I am love and I am loved. Then my love for Gary comes rushing back in tired of being kept out in the cold waiting. As we always have, we worked our way back from the fear to the love today. Tools that work for us are sharing our truths and deeply listening to each other,meditating, eyegazing and being close physically. What I wish for is to spend more time enjoying each other. I want to be able to relax and have fun more easily. I do acknowledge myself for returning again to the place of deep joy inside of me where I know everything will be OK. When I fully embrace that place I know everything is OK and that I am safe and held in love.
Can you relate to this? What tools have you found that help you to remember who you really are? Can you recognize an ego attack and love yourself back home? Acknowledge yourself for being able to do that.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Letting go

This insight came to me the other day and I want to share it with you. I am wondering if I can articulate it well enough. Here goes. I was walking in Cheesman Park with my friend Smokey on Wednesday. She lived in Denver very near the park for thirty years. She walked in the park often and felt very familiar with all of the surroundings. She felt a strong connection to the park and to Denver. Twelve years ago she moved to Chama, New Mexico where she and her husband Graham built an earthship home made of tires. Her children and grandchildren all live in Denver. Since moving they have come to Denver for about one week a month so Smokey can work with clients and they can see their family. Luckily I get to walk with her and hang out whenever they are here. Lately they have been traveling and hadn't been to Denver for two months. As we walked in the park she was observing that she felt very detached from the park. She said it could be any park and any place and there was no subjective attachment for her anymore. Her experience was as an objective observer who had moved on. This objectivity had developed over time and it seemed magnified on this trip.
I thought about my last three experiences with my dear old car. At first I felt so attached it hurt my stomach to think of never seeing it again. Then I saw it more as a car that I really enjoyed driving and appreciated owning for so many years. The last time I saw it I said goodbye. It was already sold. I felt sad and I I was ready to let it go. I was aware that the era of my life the car represented was still important and I was moving on. The car looked like a car to me. Although it was still familiar, I could recognize it as being any car. My attention had shifted just as Smokey's had shifted away from Denver.
So what I realized is that maybe death is like that. Maybe after we leave our bodies we look back on this lifetime with a different perspective. Maybe it starts with aching attachment and grows into moving on to whatever is next. I have always thought about the idea of missing something as being a difficult part of death. Maybe we are missing things and we know it and our egoes will have loosened their grips enough to appreciate what is happening here and know we have moved on. Emmanuel, a channeled entity, says, "Death is like taking off a tight shoe. " That has always made me smile. I can imagine it being true.
Is there something in your life you are aware of being less attached to. What has that been like for you? Can you imagine that death might be like that? Think about it and if you want to let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Tama Kieves writes a monthy newsletter that is very helpful and fun to read. She is the author of the book This Time I Dance, a very readable and inspiring book about finding work you truely love. In this month's musings she talks about opening to the unknown. The line I liked the best is, " It is change that has your back." That line really sank into my body. In this time of uncertainty it is easy to sink into fear about everything as we know it changing. We can think of change as an opportunity to shift our base our security from outside of ourselves to inside of ourselves. My spiritual core is the part of me that loves me no matter what. It is that still small voice that lets me know that everything is OK in the midst of whatever. If I take the time to be quiet, focus on my breath and pay attention I know that I am held in love. In the midst of the unknown there is a known. My spiritual core doesn't guaranty that what will happen will fit my pictures of what my preferences might be. It only lets me know that I will be OK. It offers me the chance to broaden my definition of what OK is beyond my limited ideas. As long as my definition of OK is very broad, everything is OK. When OK also includes my fear that everything is not OK and never will be, I can use my fear to support knowing that everything is OK. Right now I have no car. I am borrowing my brother's car and it has to be returned tomorrow. I know I won't be driving my old car. I don't know what will happen next. I know I need a car to drive. I can spin a story out of control that would have me believe I will be without a car forever . I can move away from the still small voice and create enormous tention in my body. I know I have the money to find a car and buy it.
I know there is a way to find something to drive in the meantime. My fear and sense of urgency tells me I must take whatever I can get and do it soon. The still small voice of my spiritual core tells me to take my time and find a car that really works for me. There is no hurry. I only need to find transportation in the meantime. That doesn't mean to procrastinate and do nothing. It means to do what needs to be done and trust that everything will be OK. Change is at my back. It supports me in trusting my still small voice. Change holds me to my agreement to use everything that comes up as an opportunity to get closer to my spiritual core. That is true support. I am grateful to change for having my back even as I am kicking and screaming in fear. The time is now to get that fear is the vehicle we are being given to use to return to ourselves. It is time to go inside be still and listen. What is changing for you right now? How could it help you to either create or renew your committment to practicing going within to the silence?

Monday, March 9, 2009


I was driving up a steep dirt road on Saturday night on the way to a Starhouse kirtan in the mountains. A kirtan is a chanting ritual, usually in call and response. This one had live music and lots of peolple dancing, as well as chanting. As I climbed up the road, with a car right behind me, my car began to decelerate rapidly and foul smelling smoke poured out of the hood. I was really scared because I had no idea what was happening. I downshifted to first and resumed climbing. Luckily my car didn't catch on fire and I made it up to the parking lot screaming and crying in my car. It helped to vent all of my fear and calmed me down a bit. Gary was there and was very helpful. That calmed me down more. I drove it around a little bit and the clutch seemed to be engaging. My fear was that I had blown out the clutch. This clutch was a miracle clutch. It may have been the original clutch and my trusty car has over 150,000 miles on it. Periodically during the kirtan, my stories about my car's imminent demise took over my mind. I brought myself back to the compelling music and healing rhythmic chants. I love to sing and dance and it was such a good opportunity to immerse myself in the energy. I kept reminding myself that my car would get handled and that Gary would help me. We left early because I couldn't wait any longer to see how my car was doing. Gary drove it around and it was no longer smoking however everything in it including me smelled like burning garbage. We decided to leave it there and call my brother who is an expert on Subarus, in the morning. Luckily we had driven up in two cars.
When we called my brother he confirmed it was the clutch going through it's close to final hurrah. I have been holding on to my car because it is a great car and I am very attached to it. When I was 41 I bought myself a new car for my birthday. Monnya was 6. My plan was to keep that car for ten years and then give it to Monnya for her sixteenth birthday, which I did. It felt great to tie it up in a big red ribbon and give it to her. This car I have now, whose name is Tourquoise, I bought to replace the car I gave Monnya. I found it in the paper and did the whole transaction myself. It was seven years old when I bought it. I have had that trustworthy car for 8 years. I knew it would be time to let go of it soon and I was holding on for as long as I could. Monnya left home to go out into the world soon after I hooked up with Tourquoise. It was the car that shared the empty nest era of my life. We had lots of great adventures. It got to the point where it could almost drive to my favorite hot springs on its own. Now it is time to let it go. It has been telling me that since I had my accident in January. Today was the court date for my ticket. That was so sad watching so many people who seemed to have so little money have to pay so much. I had this idea that if I took full responsibility for my accident and let the magistrate know noone was hurt and there was minimal damage the points would get significantly lowered. That didn't happen. The magistrate said he was glad to hear that and lowered the points by one according to the offer built in for my offense. I left feeling blessed to have the resources to easily pay for my ticket. I have really been way more focused on driving mindfully since the accident and that is a good thing. This has been an expensive lesson and I am grateful that noone was hurt. Gary and I drove down to my brother's in Boulder and he lent me his car to drive for a few days. He will sell my car and help me to find my next car. I really appreciate his expertise. Gary has really been there for me around all of this. It is somehow fitting that tourquoise was with me until I was ready to be in a committed relationship. I so appreciate the support of a good reliable mechanical friend. I will miss her. Do you have a car that has meant or means a lot to you? What is your history with the car? By the way, if you are a new reader, I write this blog on Monday Wednesday and Friday. I look forward to connecting with you on Wednesday.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Yesterday I received a coaching session from Allison Taylor,who is the facilitator of my PSYCH-K support group and a PSYCH-K instructor. She is a master at helping people move through what's in the way of being congruent with their goals. We started out focusing on my book and what's in the way of my seeing myself as a published author. That led to balances about accepting my hearing as it is. For years I have resisted accepting my hearing as it is, because I thought that meant being resigned to it never changing. Now I can see that accepting my hearing as it is is a great relief because it means opening up to what is. Being present with what is about my hearing helps me to let go of the scary story I tell myself about the future. Before when someone joked with me about my hearing I have reacted with anything from stoic silence to hurt to irate anger. Accepting my hearing as it is allowed me to lighten up about it. Today someone joked and I laughed. Lightening up about my hearing and moving my focus off of worrying about it allows me to relax and when I relax I actually hear better. What Carl Rogers said is true," Accept yourself as you are. Then you can change."
Yesterday I read this quote by Cheri Huber, "The first step we can take toward living in acceptance instead of resistance is to accept that we resist" That was true about my accepting my hearing as it is. Is there something in your life that you'd like to accept yet are resisting? Would you be willing to take the first step and accept the resistance?
After balancing other issues we ended with "I easily give and receive boundless love. " Today I experienced waves of love moving between me and other people. I am grateful to Allison for her skill in supporting me in clearing the space for my boundless love.
If you have an interest in learning more about PSYCH-K, Allison is offering a PSYCH-K Basic Workshop Saturday March 21st and Sunday March 22nd from 9:30 to 5:30. PSYCH-K has helped me to move through many obstacles to a deeper richer experience of my life. Most of the people who I have practiced PSYCH-K with have found it to be extremely useful in creating more satisfying lives. I highly recommend this workshop and Allison as an instructor. After this basic workshop you can practice PSYCH-K with yourself and with others. Allison can be reached at 303-956-2280 or

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Power of Compassion

As I was wondering what to write about this morning, an article called The Power of Compassion was forwarded to me. The article was compelling so I thought I'd share it with you.
There was a study done at Emory University in Georgia with healthy college students. One group learned and practiced a meditation technique called lojong or compassion meditation, the other had discussions about physical and mental health issues relevant to college students. The meditation group had the homework of daily meditation practice and recording the duration and frequency of their practices. The discussion group's homework was to write short opinion papers on the discussion topics. They began and ended the study with tests to measure the levels of stress by measuring levels of inflammation in the body. The researchers expected to find a difference between the two groups. There was no significant difference.
What was significant was the correlation between the frequency and duration of meditation and the body's level of inflammation measured by the stress test. Compassion not only makes us kinder, it makes us healthier.
I suggest you experiment with this practice. I did and I experienced being more peaceful and openhearted. It helped that I also knew it was helpful to my body.
Lojong or compassion meditation begins with focusing mindfully on the breath and body sensations.
Breathe deeply for a few breaths focusing on the movement of your breath in and out of your body. Then move your focus to the sensations in your body and be present with what you notice for several breaths.
Then move the focus to your own desire for happiness, breathing into your heart and being present with that experience. Next begin to shift your focus in an ever-widening circle to your desire for the happiness of your loved ones, to the desire for the happiness of other people you know, to the desire for happiness for people you have difficulty with and then to the desire for the happiness of all people everywhere. Spend a few moments breathing deeply into your desire for all beings to experience happiness.
Let yourself feel the expansion of your heart and the healing energy it brings to your body. I want to experience this practice regularly. See if you'd like to practice it again.

Monday, March 2, 2009

In memorial

To continue from the last blog, FEAR stands for false evidence appearing real. Thanks to one of you, dear readers, for providing the information. He also suggested: Frantic effort to avoid reality.
With mindfulness we can attend to ourselves in our fear. We can pay attention to the sensations in our bodies that make up the fear and breathe into that. We can interrupt the story the ego tells us about the fear. That story is the false evidence appearing real. We can move back to our direct experience in our bodies in the present moment.
This can be a fearful time. How can we recognize what we may have lost and still find the energy to be grateful for what we have? For me, it is recognizing when I am afraid and comforting myself. I imagine holding myself or the little girl inside of me and saying, " I am here for you in your fear." Embracing ourselves in our fear allows us to soften. When I can soothe myself by telling myself,"It is OK to be afraid" it calms the amigdula of the brain, the fight or flight mechanism.
Whole brain posture is a great way to self-soothe. Cross your legs at the ankles. Bring your arms out in front of you and and cross your hands one over the other. Interlace your fingers with the palms touching each other and bring your hands up into your heart or down into your lap. Feel your fear and breathe. When I allow myself to be with my fear I can release the frozen part of me and remember that everything is OK as long as I have a very broad definition of what OK is. Being with fear has an internal piece and an external piece. Once you've soothed yourself and the fear has released some, it is possible to begin to address the next step needed in the outside world. It may be a doing step or a being step. It may involve action or being patient.
I just returned from the burial ritual of someone I had worked with for a long time. It is shocking to be so close to a person and then have them be gone. It is scary to imagine this woman vitally going through life and then have that vitality so abruptly interrupted. She died suddenly while scuba diving. As the casket was lowered into the ground I cried and thought about her smile and warmth. I was comforted by knowing she was more than her body and her spirit lives on. The grief I am feeling is because she has left the physical plane. It is important to attend to regardless I what i believe spiritually. She did such deep work on herself and brought herself to the place where she was loving and accepting of herself. Many people appreciated her positive attitude toward life. I will miss knowing she is on the planet spreading her light. I am sending love and energy to her family and friends who have suffered such a loss. I dedicated Laughter Yoga to her today. She would have liked that. The last time I heard from her after several years of not seeing her, was in a phone message after seeing me in Laughter Yoga on channel nine news. She was laughing and very supportive. That was who she was.
Death informs life. Her death will inspire me to live my life more fully and take less for granted. I am grateful for her presence in my life.
How has death informed your life?Think about the loss of someone you cared about and the effect it has had on your life. See if it useful to be with yourself and let yourself feel it.