Sunday, February 26, 2017

the other stuff
















________________________________________________________________

I've been thinking about my last piece called love is a project. A few people left comments on the Facebook page - a good number appeared to have read it. thank you.

I didn't go into detail about the time(s) in my marriage when I thought, we're not going to make it. But I think saying it out loud gave people a chance to nod with me. Maybe that's one reason it resonated. We love the lead in, the beginning, the flush of newness. Yes? Movies show us the couple finally getting together after fumbles and missteps. Then the incredible kiss on the front porch, or top of the Empire State Building, or ___________.

 But what happens after? I want to know how. About love, work, becoming a marathon runner at fifty, moving to live in another country, creating something out of nothing - a podcast, a garden, a painting, a change, any kind of relationship -

 How did you do it? How are you still doing it?

it's the other stuff, the story behind the story.

What bumps in the road have you've encountered? 







When you share the other stuff, I relate. If you tell me you're never pissed off, or disappointed, or worried half to death, or wondering if you made the right choice - something's missing. It's not about upping our misery stories. It's about being fully human with one another. 

Here are my bumps in the road. Tell me some of yours.

Artist friend, Penny Ross, pointed me to the podcast ON BEING with Krista Tippet after reading my piece. I finally listened today to the conversation between Krista Tippet and Alain de Botton about the work of love. I found it spacious and helpful. We're human. We have flaws, fears. We expect people, especially our partners, to literally read our minds. Alain de Botton invites compassion for self and others in relationships, a good enough-ness. He shares this wonderful line: 

I'm quite tricky in these ways. How about you?

Listen alone or with a loved one, then talk about your own trickiness?

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/alain-de-botton-the-true-hard-work-of-love-and-relationships/id150892556?i=1000381015722&mt=2











xo b

~ drop me a note, I'll write back.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

love is a project



That first Valentine’s Day, I flew to Los Angeles and Michael met me at the airport with a dozen red roses. His apartment was filled with dozens of shiny heart balloons and one giant pair of lips bobbing in the living room. In the fridge was a small round cake with I Dig You Baby scrawled on white frosting.

On Saturday we strolled the sunny streets of Santa Monica. Michael wore a big straw hat. We held hands and wandered in and out of shops. Two people with a camera and microphone stopped to interview us about an upcoming John Gray video they were shooting. John Gray, the author of Women Are From Venus, Men Are From Mars. The question was posed: How do couples stay together? We smiled, arms wrapped tightly around each other, so certain.


"Talk to each other," we said, "communication is everything."
______________________________________________________

It's been 20 years since that
Valentine's Day. I'd be lying if I told you it's been all balloons and roses, an I dig you baby cakewalk of communication and love. More than I care to admit, we retreated to our corners, unable to speak our hearts and minds. We've suffered losses, setbacks, lugging our old worn out baggage behind us. We've shut down. There were weeks, months, a year when I thought, we're not going to make it. 

Everything is easy in the beginning. Starting a project, or falling in love, and love is a projectthere's an excitement and mystery and the mystery feels good. But somewhere along the way the veil falls and we're standing squarely in the middle. What the hell do I do with this? 


This is when things start to get interesting. 

I tend to have one foot out the door, or at least that's the story I tell.  If you go with me to the movies, I'll be in the aisle seat by the exit. Don't crowd me. I've come to accept this about myself. In my marriage, both feet are in, even if one squirms for the door. Now I accept the squirming foot. My husband does too. Another reason why we're friends above all else. 

How do couples stay together, they asked.

"Talk to each other," we said, "communication is everything."




















namaste.
xo b

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

clean out of time




Looking at old photos while a little gray bird at the window looks at me. And of course, I'm thinking about the Rio Tan business I drove by this morning.

(This is my mind, as you know. Little child, gray bird, Rio Tan.)

How does the Rio Tan work here in Northeast Pennsylvania? Maybe D. Trump come for his unique shade of orange, but not likely. Surely he has a personal sprayer in his ivory tower. 


Mind: Little child, gray bird, Rio Tan, D. Trump? Help me.

It pains me to think of DT for more than 3 seconds, too long. Better to redirect this mind to Mom's meditation book which I read to Michael over our coffee and tea, both of us sighing at the end. Perhaps you'll find some sustenance here too?

Take what you need, leave the rest. πŸŒ 

Faith is not, contrary to the usual ideas, something that turns out to be right or wrong, like a gambler's bet; it's an act, an intention, a project, something that makes you, in leaping into the future, go so far, far, far ahead that you shoot clean out of time and right into Eternity, which is not the end of time or a whole lot of time or unending time, but timelessness, that old Eternal Now. - Joanna Russ

Isn't it amazing how some people contrive to live in the present? They seem not to worry about the future; they seem not to regret the past. "Two days I can't do anything about," runs the saying, "yesterday and tomorrow,"

We love to fantasize about the past and the future: What if Napolean had died in infancy? Where would I travel in a time machine? But we get into trouble when we forget that "the past" and "the future" are inventions; the only reality is the present. Yes, past events contribute to our now; yes, the present will help determine the future. But we can't do anything about them; they are out of our reach. 


It seems, oddly enough, that it's the people with a strong faith who are best able to live in the present moment. Enjoyment of the present; care for the quality of life; these are a kind of reverence, a kind of faith in life itself. The present is valuable, this faith tells us: it is all we have.


Let me swim in the present, reverential and unafraid. 

Let me be sustained by the water of life.

xo b










let me be sustained















Looking at old photos while a little gray bird at the window is looking at me and thinking about the Rio Tan business I passed near my doctor's office.

(This is my mind, as you know. Little child, gray bird, Rio Tan.) 

How does a Rio Tan works here in Northeast Pennsylvania? Maybe this is where D. Trump comes for his unique shade of orange, but not likely. Surely he has a personal sprayer in his ivory tower. I can't bear to think of him for more than 3 seconds, that's way too long, so I'll redirect my mind to today's reading from Mom's meditation book. I read it to Michael over coffee and tea, both of us sighing at the end. We'd been soothed. Perhaps you'll find some sustenance too. Take what you need, leave the rest. 🌠

Faith is not, contrary to the usual ideas, something that turns out to be right or wrong, like a gambler's bet; it's an act, an intention, a project, something that makes you, in leaping into the future, go so far, far, far ahead that you shoot clean out of time and right into Eternity, which is not the end of time or a whole lot of time or unending time, but timelessness, that old Eternal Now. - Joanna Russ

Isn't it amazing how some people contrive to live in the present? They seem not to worry about the future; they seem not to regret the past. "Two days I can't do anything about," runs the saying, "yesterday and tomorrow,"

We love to fantasize about the past and the future: What if Napolean had died in infancy? Where would I travel in a time machine? But we get into trouble when we forget that "the past" and "the future" are inventions; the only reality is the present. Yes, past events contribute to our now; yes, the present will help determine the future. But we can't do anything about them; they are out of our reach. 

It seems, oddly enough, that it's the people with a strong faith who are best able to live in the present moment. Enjoyment of the present; care for the quality of life; these are a kind of reverence, a kind of faith in life itself. The present is valuable, this faith tells us: it is all we have.

Let me swim in the present, reverential and unafraid. 
Let me be sustained by the water of life.












xo b 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Your Never Lying Gut






















"If something feels really good for you, you might want to do it. If something feels really horrible, you might want to consider not doing it." - Martha Beck

My wish for all of us this new year, along with a basket full of other wishes and prayers, is to follow this simple advice. You don't need a special certification or degree, be of a certain age, race, religion, gender, be thin, round, or know how to tweet. This practice is a few minutes of your precious life to check in with your never lying gut to see how you feel when invitations, experiences, relationships, job offers, or you think you need a cat knocks on your door. Pause, ask,

How does this feel right now? 

Then, have at it - one way or the other.

Happy New Year, Lovelies!

May you blossom and bloom in your own right timing, always. πŸŒ€

with love and gratitude,
  xo b 















         

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

pursue the obstacle: part 2













The question on the last post was:

Identify the biggest obstacle in your life at present. What is it keeping you from?

I said, nothing.Which is true.

But there's also, everything. Which is also true.

Depends on when you catch me. Yesterday I was bursting with compassion, for myself and others. I was seeing how many cars I could let go in front of me, laughing at the dog, being more open-hearted about possible change(s) in my life. Today I woke gripped by a wave of fear moving from my chest to my legs and back around. That 4:30 in the morning wave 'o fear. You know it.

Some days I'm the spiritual brave me.
Some days I want to crawl into somebody's lap and not deal with anything.
Some days I'm in the middle of the two.
Some days...You get it.

I post my blog to Facebook, not because I love Facebook ( it's overwhelming.) But because it's how I get to have a conversation with you. When you read, and comment, we're in a conversation. Then, others join in. The pursue the obstacle day hit a chord for readers. Instead of just hitting the like button, a few of you said, perfect timing for this, thanks.  

πŸŒ€

M left this note in the blog comment box. I was so grateful to receive it and want to share:

Thanks, Bets! On some days the answer is a sheepish, nothing really. On others it is a torrent of anger, blame, finger pointing at self and other, bewilderment. Your words ask me to ponder and reflect, get quiet and centered, make choices, then swim back into the stream. I am so glad you care enough to work it through, strand by strand. Your joyful heart shines. Love, M


She offers the other side of nothing. The anger, blame, finger pointing, and yes, bewilderment. I get that. It's not easy to pursue the obstacle. Some days I need to pursue nothing. Some days, I'm kissing it on the lips. Holding a bad opinion of ourselves is the true obstacle. It's here we get stuck.
We sit on the riverbank, then slip back into the stream, then to the riverbank, and back again. 

As the oft-bewildered Dory of Pixar fame chants, just keep swimming. 

xo b

Today I will accept my circumstances even if I lack direction and insight. I will remember to do things that make myself and other feel good during those times. I will trust that clarity will come of its own accord. - Melody Beattie


Monday, December 5, 2016

pursue the obstacle
















One of my brothers is living with cancer. Recently, we were talking about this saying ~

 the obstacle is the way. 

He's trying to use it in his own present experience. It's one of my mumbling mantras.

What do you feel when you hear the obstacle is the way?

Do you seize up, protest? Or exhale and feel relief?

As messages tend to do, this one has come around again.
____________________________________________________________

Today's meditation is from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. (Sharing parts of it...)

December 5

Pursue the obstacle.
It will set you free.

We are invited to question that in us which insists that what is before us is an obstacle in the first place. It may not be so. It may be so. It may be something small that our history of struggle has enlarged into tragedy or bad luck. 

So if we can, we must focus on our relationship to the stream and not to the things being carried alongside us. If something appears to be blocking our way, we must try to understand what is moving it and what is moving us. If our movement in the world is still blocked, perhaps we are meant to be still. We must try not to damage ourselves unnecessarily by trying to force a movement to happen before its time. 

~ Identify the biggest obstacle in your life at present. What is it keeping you from?














My answer came swiftly before I could edit in my mind.  Nothing.
Whatever It is can't keep me from anything. Only I can do that.

Maybe any current obstacles are benevolent messengers wanting attention?

πŸŒ€namaste,
xo b