Thursday, June 28, 2012

One Nice Thing

Jesse is a funny and inspirational leader/health coach who speaks to large groups a few nights a week about how to live well and feel great.

She can whip up a crowd of fifty into fits of laughter, people who are struggling with the very real issue of weight and food and all the emotions that go with it. This leader was once a super-shy teen who wouldn't even order for herself in a restaurant. You do it, Mom. Ain't it great how we can grow and change and spread our flipping wings?!!!

At last night's Weight Watcher's meeting she encouraged her members to speak up and give themselves 

a compliment.

That means coming up with something 

you like about yourself, 

or think you're good at, 

something that feels right about you.

And saying it out loud.

One woman said, "I shampooed my rugs."

Well,'s a start.

And God bless that lady.  

But don't you think we can do better than compliment ourselves on how good we clean a carpet? Why is it so hard to say nice things, but so easy to whip ourselves silly, or sick, with the nasties?

Before you go to bed tonight say 
one nice thing to yourself.

dig a little deeper ...

Friday, June 22, 2012

As If You Had Chosen It

Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your life.

-Eckhart Tolle

My shoulders drop when I hear Eckhart on my car stereo in his spacey German accent. 


does this include the $1,500 bill for the old Volvo.
the students who seemed to be dozing in my Personal Finance Class /the strange swirly feeling in my chest wondering why in God's name am I teaching a finance class?

answer: YES. Even if it has a labor-pain-ish kinda feel?

For this week, I'd have to give myself a D + for 
accepting the present moment as if I'd chosen it. It definitely takes practice.

Okay, maybe a C.
Today I'm feeling A-ish.
Except I don't give grades. 
I've never cared for them.
You're an A.
You're a B-.
You're really f*cked. 
You earned yourself an F, young lady.

Isn't there another way?

crack open
burst open

Two times this week a woman cried in yoga class.
I don't know why this is happening, she said. I'm happy.
You're just cracking open, I said.

In the Monday night writing workshop, 
tears were flowing. People get so embarrassed by their own tears. Tears happen.

I guess there's things under my skin, she said.


accept it as if you had chosen it. 

the mess 
the tears 
the not knowing
the tired kids
the belly laughs
the car bill...


to you beautiful Being Alive peeps. 

claire hates it when I say "peeps". oh my.

SHOUT OUT TO #85 "Official" follower of This Being Alive...

Thanks for bringing yourself to the party. Invite a friend!!!

go gently,
xo b

arms wide open to you

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I've been hankering, or hungering, to come to the page and write but ever since Claire and I returned from our Green Mt. State road trip where I was feeling so damn free i felt a little lost back home

[it was probably dangerous...all that freedom]

Michael's leg was swollen up like a weird watermelon and then our neighbor, Arnold, who had been dying, died. A small group went to his funeral on Tuesday while it poured buckets and the sky just seemed to get darker and darker and when the pastor invited anyone to share I got up in my wet jeans and told the story about how Arnold would walk past our house and how we'd meet at the end of my driveway sometimes.

Our exchange would go like this:

Beautiful day, I'd say.
Every day is a beautiful day, Arnold always said.

He had a weird sorta upside down smile and very blue eyes. I told the people in the church that it seemed to me that he was all lit up from the inside out the last few weeks of his life. That he seemed cracked open. And his eyes were very blue.

The sun came out brilliantly the very next day and Michael was told that his leg needed surgery so Thursday, or was it Friday, was spent on that. He went in and was very well cared for, while I wandered around the grounds, reading about spiritual economics and talking to a friend on the phone who had just found out her Mom is a little bit full of cancer.

Dad came for the weekend. 
My brother and his wife and two boys came too. Baby brother.

I did a lot of cooking, pesto pasta, blueberry pancakes, which was funny since I don't really like to feed large groups of people/
I get easily overwhelmed which is why Michael always cooks the turkey at Thanksgiving. The whole damn meal.

I took Dad home today. 
My heart felt sad and I kept looking over at him in the passenger seat, thinking, my dear old dad, holy shit how did he get to be almost 86, while he marveled at the view of the valley, his hands opening wide almost in a prayerful way. He always say wow when we come over that one hill. He thanked me for bringing him home and for all that you do for me, he said, and for helping me extend my life, I think that's what he said.

He's happy. We'd had a laughing weekend.

It still gets me; hugging him and walking away. 

every time

This probably sounds gloomy. It's not meant to be.

It's just that I've been 

composting a whole lot.

Good stuff comes out of the 
egg shells
coffee grounds
worries and joys.

The best thing is to just let it be.

Let yourself be
and all the thoughts 
and things that come up and out, let them be...

Writing to you helps with all of this life business,

this being alive.

with gratitude,

xoxo b

Friday, June 8, 2012

Live Every Day Like A Road Trip

"One should count each day a separate life."


Claire and I are on a road trip.

We left the day school got out.

I've happily lost track. 

I believe it was Tuesday.

The beauty of a road trip is getting out of regular life; things take on a freshness, even going to Dunkin Donuts in Deerfield, MA to get Claire a toasted sesame bagel with cream cheese felt fresh?

After a lovely stop-over at my brother's house in Northampton, MA, we crossed the border into Vermont on Wednesday morning, pulled off the highway into Windsor, birthplace of Vermont.

just because.

There's not a whole lot in Windsor but we did stumble upon the Path of Life Garden/and thought, why not?

We began our journey at the tunnel of oblivion. love that.

Daunting, right? We hollered our way through.

We followed the signs... birds, clouds, shooting stars...

to the maze of hemlocks, 

reflecting a period of adventure? 

I don't last long in mazes.

Life is confusing enough, so we exited stage left through a hole in the hedge; great reminder that we are always at choice...

We carried on, climbing the Hill of Learning and continued on through the path of life garden containing

wisdom, hope, creativity, union, family, ambition, sorrow, forgiveness, joy, respite...

all kinds of journeying going on
death...we circled around that one, rebirth, and finally the gateway to eternity 

which brought us back to the car,
our bag of pistachios,
and the open highway.

Now we are here ~

Sweet mountain home of cousin Sam, Kerry, and young Quinn Jackson.

Claire and I have been hanging with Quinn, shy of two years by a few months, while Sam and Kerry finish up a teaching semester. We've been rolling around on the dogs, walking, speaking a kind of toddler talk, sounds Japanese, eating pretzel rods and pieces of banana, drinking some very good red wine, taking in the view.

I've decided to live every day like a road trip.

Even in my ordinary life in my ordinary town with lots of ordinary people living, well, extraordinary lives. 
every day is extraordinary, just being here. 

this being alive.

can I get an amen?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Nothing In Common

Seth, in his orange Home Depot apron, 
smiled at me with my basil plant.
Basil, he said.
I walked over and held it out for him to sniff.
He chanted, basil, tomato, oregano, olive oil, and if you're lucky
mozarella! we said in unison.

common humanity.

The man and woman were pulling logs out of the brush pile at the township brush-drop off and mulch pick-up. Michael and I had our truck, Big Blue, filled to the edges with brush and logs to be rid of...The woman was hauling out branches, no gloves. Her husband picking through and carrying logs to their mini-van. Then he came to our truck.

I help, he said, I used to work on farm.
Are you from Russia?Michael asked.
Albania. Then, Bronx, New Jersey, and now...Pennsylvania.
Oh, I said, Albania.

common humanity

This was our mantra today on Sunday errands...

Noticing the threads that connect us, even if at first glance we might think, I have nothing in common with those people, or him, or her, or the lady in the tangerine coat in the bean aisle too tiny to reach the top shelf so I helped her, this was years ago, and I remember wanting to give her a hug but didn't want to scare her.