Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Crossing Guard Hands

September 30. 2015

I'm keeping this simple on this last day of September. In the midst of seasons changing, my beloved mother-in-law passing, super moons and lunar eclipses, and the last sliver of this morning's dream about Joni Mitchell. She was smoking at the Kennedy Center Honors up in the balcony, puffing away. In the dream I'm thinking, wow, Joni just doesn't give a shit. puff puff.

This is a story of a walk. Two days ago I donned my sneakers and started off on two loops around the  neighborhood. I've been listening to podcasts on writing, or forgiveness and vulnerability. This one's title was There's Nothing Wrong by Cherie Huber, a Zen Buddhist woman who is funny and charming and been through her own hell. Cherie's come to understand that on a very real level, with everything going on, that really - nothing's wrong. 

She says, chuckling - "Well, I start with there's nothing wrong with YOU. Then I go a step further and this really sends people spinning. I say, there's NOTHING WRONG. Period."

We don't believe this for a minute but say it out loud, then check in with yourself. 

there's nothing wrong 

I'm walking, listening to Cherie chuckle about how she doesn't know how this all works, looking up at sky and birds, feeling grateful to be outside when a neighbor pulls out of his driveway and rolls his window down. I don't feel like talking. I'm walking and feeling happy, not nervous. I say hello and ask how he's doing. Within minutes, he's telling me about his hip, how he fell from scaffolding thirty years before. Here we go...

Then, "Do you get Consumer Health Reports?"
I'm thinking, no I do not.
I say, "No."
"Well, there's an article in the recent one, it's called What Can Go Wrong..."

I put my hands up in that gentle crossing guard way. Stop. I smile and back away from the car while saying, "Hey, not going there today, have a beautiful day. I'm walking."

I kept walking.

All my life I've been painfully aware of the suffering in the world. I've wasted beautiful moments on sunny beaches, in the arms of my loving husband, cozy and safe in my bed, weaving disaster tales. Scary stuff lives in my fat cells. I don't need help with what can go wrong.

I invite you instead 

to keep a running list of all the ways life delights you and helps you and energizes you. Describe everyday miracles you take for granted . . . the uncanny powers you possess... the small joys that occur so routinely you forget how much they mean to you . . . the steady flow of benefits bestowed on you by people you know and don't know. What works for you? What makes you feel at home in the world? 

- Rob Brezny, Freewill Astrology

Practice Crossing Guard Hands (CGH). They work, even on yourself. 

Whoa! There I go talking about scary things that haven't happened.

Smiling and stepping away is advisable. Yes, you can step away from yourself.

Keep walking, working, driving, or sitting with a loved one who is dying - and make a list in your head of all the ways life delights you, and helps you. Let all the small joys that happen in a day - the ones we barely notice but carry us, shimmer on your tongue. 

Try it.

the sky is not falling

Look up. 
It's not.

xo b

ps. to find Cheri Huber + other great talks go to


  1. I gathered my pen & pad; what a great idea for a muggy, rainy day ~ thanks~

  2. Thanks for being such a faithful reader, Gail. For stopping by and leaving a note, and yes, for getting out the pen and paper and laying down a few lines of joy for yourself.

  3. Joni puffing away and your thoughts about her in your dream make me laugh. I love dreams. CGH, smiling and stepping away - from my own ruminating - sounds like a useful physical strategy to help me redirect my energies to all that is well and good. Which is, "all that is." Will try it today. For me, hands up to stop, then hands to heart as I think/feel the "nothing's wrong/all is well." Then, I'll graduate to trying CGH with another human being. I drew a stick figure face on a Post-It note right after I read your piece. She/I am smiling and looking up (and inward). If I can figure how to upload and post her here on this site, I will. Thanks, Betsy, for the heart opening. I'm holding you and your family up to the light with the passing of your mother-in-law.

    1. Margaret,
      It's always so wonderful to hear from you and to know you're reading and we are communing across the country. I love the hands up, then hands to heart. I often lay mine there to calm the nervous energy and remind myself that really, all is well. I love that you drew another stick figure! You can always upload it on the comment space on Facebook but there must be a way to do it here too? Would love to see it and share it. We gratefully accept being held up.
      with love,

  4. As usual, I am inspired by your ideas. Thanks for the reminder that everyone and anyone should hear! Love to you xo

    1. Hello and namaste to a favorite person in the world. One who has taught me many times the value of staying calm and owning my own power.
      Thanks for reading and stopping by to leave a note. xoxo b

  5. As usual, I am inspired by your ideas. Thanks for the reminder that everyone and anyone should hear! Love to you xo

  6. Thank you. Your writing is a gift.

    1. Thank you for reading and being my greatest supporter. Sharing our stories is a healing practice - people can connect to their own life, and we get light sent back to us. Love, b xoxo