Thursday, August 25, 2011


So this time I don't even care if this is black or purple or green. This is my creative outlet and I feel such a strong need to express myself creatively that I don't care what it looks like. Sometimes it is OK to just be myself warts and all no matter what I imagine people will think of me. Imagine should be in bold and if my computer did bold it would be. So much of what I think other people are thinking is a story I made up about what other people are thinking. So much of what I think other people are thinking about me is what I am thinking about myself that I am projecting on to other people. When I can recognize this and acknowledge myself for noticing I can take back the projection and own it. I can imagine that you are thinking that anyone else would have been able to figure out how to get this blog to work like it used to. I can recognize the projection and take it back owning that thinking I am incompentent because I don't know what I don't know is my story and not yours. Then I can bring compassion to myself for my story and get underneath it to what I am feeling and show up for myself with loving awareness.
I see the little girl inside me who thinks if she only does enough she will prove that there is nothing wrong with her. If she only shows up for enough other people and is authentic enough and helps them enough she will feel she is worthwhile. If only I could make my parents be happy I would feel very special. I would also feel safe.
I love that little girl inside me so much. I love Andie for how hard she tried to prove she was lovable. I know she is lovable and always was regardless of what she did or didn't do, regardless of how fat she was, regardless of who was or wasn't happy around her. I am even lovable and worthwhile whether or not I express myself creatively and whether I write this blog or not. What I do or don't do doesn't determine my worth as a person. I love myself for who I am. I even love myself for not being loving with myself. I even love myself for thinking you need to think I am a really good writer to be OK. What if it was OK to love myself for all of who I am even the parts I find repugnant? Actually, I find the part that thinks parts of me are repugnant, repugnant. Ohhhh, I notice you master disser, passer on of repugnancy judgements and I see you.. I see you and I hold you in acceptance for who you are. I love the part of me that needs to be writing this and the part of me that is judging myself for not going to sleep because I am too exhausted to write well enough to even do this. I love that I used the word I about a gazillion times and I love the part of me that judges me for that. And I love all of you for reading this and appreciating me for who I am. I love that I wrote this and I am going to publish it and that I feel so much better than when I started writing. Thank you for listening and may you allow yourself to express yourself in whatever way lets you be in touch with your own precious aliveness. Or not.

Friday, August 12, 2011

what is is

Today I thought I would be in a workshop. I had planned to sign up for weeks. Something held me back everytime I went on-line to register. By the time I got around to registering yesterday the workshop was full. In the brochure it said "register early this workshop will fill up." I chose to think that was an advertising ploy. I was angry with myself for procrastinating and being naive about expecting the workshop to be available to me. I considered going to the workshop this morning and seeing if I could get in. I kept hearing my inner voice say, "Go to the workshop." That was confusing. Then I realized that I had set aside this whole day to attend this workshop and that was the only way I would allow myself a day with no plans. So now I have this whole delicious day to do what I want to do. What a luxury.
This blog is still not allowing me to write in color or make it bold or in italics. I asked for help from blogger and someone offered a suggestion which isn't working either. I notice the temptation to feel like a failure and use this experience to prove my core belief that there is something wrong with me. Woo hoo I noticed. What a gift to notice that I can use anything that happens to me to prove there is something wrong with me. I can be unkind and bully myself or I can notice that I want to be unkind and bully myself and celebrate my noticing. I want to say" You are sooo stupid anyone else could figure this out!" I feel the neural brain rut calling to me to complete one more circle continuing on automatic pilot doing what I've always done. Yet the witness is there now. She gently smiles and says, "Aw that must be so painful. " She gathers me up in her arms and holds me close. She tells me she loves me and that she understands that I am sad and angry and hurt and that it all makes sense to her. She lets me know that it is OK that I don't know how to do something and that doesn't mean I am stupid or there is something wrong with me. I go to pick my nails and realize I am doing it. I know this is what I do when I feel anxious. I can love myself for my anxiety. I was scared for a reason. I can bring compassion for myself when I start to pick my nails. That is the witness. She stands silently by noticing what is. She is there to observe what I am doing and support me in being all that I am. I am grateful to her. I am grateful to have her. I am grateful to be her. Whenever I can bring awareness to what I am doing that is the witness. She doesn't care if my blog is black or purple. She doesn't think that my worth as a person depends on the color of my blog. She notices what is and smiles kindly. The inner critic and the witness dance together with the witness noticing the inner critic and gently smiling. The witness doesn't need to judge the inner critic, feel threateded by it or make me wrong for it being there. She just notices and smiles kindly. She is the part of me that can love myself for hating myself. I have been able to be more compassionate with myself for hating myself. "Aw that must be so painful to believe there is something wrong with you." I can feel my own love for myself and for Andie, the little girl inside me. I am healing myself with my own love. I am so grateful. Right now Andie wants to go for a bikeride and I want to go meditate and do yoga. I am done writing for now. See if you can notice the witness gently smiling and saying yes, "I see you, what is, is."

Sunday, August 7, 2011


I am on Gary's computer and the settings are working. I still haven't figured out how to get them to work on mine. I am happy to be able to write in blue. Colored words seem so much more joyful. I just returned from a weekend vipassana retreat with Peter Williams called contacting joy. It was a very powerful retreat experience. I am so blessed to be able to go on retreat for a whole weekend. I had misgivings about spending the whole weekend at a retreat because summer seems to be moving so quickly. I am glad I pushed through my ambivalence which was at least partly fear. I appreciate that Gary and I attended this retreat together. Our spiritual connection is the strongest value for both of us. It helps to counteract the areas where our relationship is not as strong.
Saturday was about looking at what we need to let go of that is in the way of happiness. We worked a lot with judging mind. I am always amazed that sitting for a long period of time makes such a big difference in the quality of my life. I had the opportunity to sit with some very strong emotions this weekend. I learned that I could. Peter gave us several practices which are similar to my work with myself and others and that was very validating. He spoke of the importance of awareness and compassion in working with our thoughts. One practice he presented was to celebrate bringing ourselves back when our mind wanders off. He stressed the importance of sitting with whatever comes up and going beneath the story to the body sensation.
Today was about focusing on the good. He shared about John Gottman's research that for couples it takes five positive comments to counteract a negative one. He shared about counting blessings and said that he and his wife do a nightly practice of counting their blessings with each other before bed.
He had us focus on someone we care about experiencing happiness and tune into them and say," May you always be happy, May your happiness continue to increase, I'm glad you are happy." I sat with this form of well-wishing with my daughter seeing her performing on aerial fabric being in her joy. By sending these messages of sympathic joy I could feel joy about her joy. It was uplifting for me. I also felt like I was supporting her in her goal to perform more. One of the most powerful practices of the weekend were one sitting meditation and one walking meditation focusing sympathetic joy on ourselves. We focused on a time we felt really happy and peaceful and said to ourselves," May I always be happy. May my happiness continue to increase, I'm glad you are happy" The goal of this practice is to become more open-hearted toward ourselves rather than to actually always be happy. Suffering can be a very positive growth inducer. Peter asked us how many of us came to meditation practice just because things were going so well and we wanted to check it out. Only one person raised his hand. The rest of us began meditation practice because of the intensity of our suffering in order to create change and growth. When I began practicing meditation regularly I was in the height of my compulsive eating disorder and was so anxious I could barely sit still. It's hard to imagine that I actually could even practice. I knew it was a last resort and I am grateful that I listened to my screaming soul. Meditation practice is a time to come to ourselves with an intention of connecting to the wellspring of love that is underneath all of our suffering. We can use the vehicle of our suffering to be with ourselves and bring love to ourselves in the midst of the suffering. When we can bring awareness and loving kindness to ourselves in the midst of our suffering something shifts. Even loving ourselves for hating ourselves is more loving than hating ourselves for hating ourselves. IThe retreat has helped me feel more access to the part of me that wants to focus on what I am grateful for. What I appreciate about my life seems clearer and stronger. I appreciate all of you who read this blog and who support me in my process with your attention. Thank you. What are three things you appreciate about your life? Would you be willing to give yourself a round of applause simply for being you. Hear my hands clapping for all of us as you clap yours.