Archive for the 'Earth' Category

Healing Heartbreak From Within

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

moonresized“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it…” -Nicholas Sparks

 

This month’s theme, focused on healing heartbreak, is deeply personal and yet, also profoundly universal. In this life dominated by relationships of all kinds- personal, familial, and professional, no matter where you fall in your level of engagement and vulnerability, no one gets out unscathed. I have long ascribed to the belief taught in many spiritual traditions that we are given our relationships as life’s most gentle and kind teachers. And yet, in the aftermath of broken relationships as we feel pummeled by betrayal, abandonment and broken promises, or conversely, drowned in the guilt and shame of cruelty and selfishness, our relationships feel like anything but teachers. Here is the thing, our suffering in relationships can only become our teacher if we are willing to get beyond the storyline of our broken heart and recognize the habits of our own unkindness. We have to dive into the heart itself.

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No Value in Separation

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

indianwomenresized“All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.”
-Lao Tzu

 

Recently, it has dawned on me that I have spent many years of my life keeping myself apart from other people in ways that I didn’t even recognize. Whether it is in my unseen judgments of other people’s choices and behaviors, or the ways that I am unavailable to listen to others, or the insidious ways that I consider myself above others, I have effectively built a fortress of habits that keep me at arm’s length from the things I want most in life and isolated from what I most deeply long for- belonging in my family, in my work, and in my community. Even with recognition, habits of separation are both subtle and persistent. They creep into my thinking insidiously and separate me not only from the people around me, but often from the moment itself.

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Intentions of Need

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

shoreresized“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  -Gandhi

 

I learned something important the other day as I was on my way home from a week away making sales visits across the frozen plains of the East Coast. It had been a challenging trip of flying and driving, driving and flying, staying in hotels and eating alone. I was sad and lonely. I was questioning the very premise of what I do. I was so in need of a friend. And while I am now committed and mostly capable of befriending myself, I realized how vulnerable it makes me to be without community. A brief meeting with a pilot, waiting for a plane reminded me about Charles Eisenstein’s video on Sacred Economics when I got it…  Community can only be born out of feeling our need for each other. This is the root of many of our deepest problems – that we have largely un-learned this most basic truth about our survival- that we do in fact need each other.

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Three Gifts

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

9e4c193b2b8769996c7a57c780ff3f7f“And the greatest gift of all… is love” -Unknown

 

How we think is not only the foundation of who we become each day, but creates the meaning we take away from our life.  Here are three thoughts, which if taken to heart, will gift the quality of your holiday time, offering you the internal space to be truly present, the warmth that comes from being witnessed and the power of your fullest attention.

Suddenly, all of my ancestors are behind me.  “Be still,” they say. “Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands…”   -Unknown

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Relinquishing Prejudice For Greater Intimacy

Friday, October 24th, 2014

maphands”It is never too late to give up our prejudices.” ~Henry David Thoreau

 

We all have them; these silent judgments, which invisibly harden into prejudice and separate us from whoever it is that we deem the “other,” whether based on race, religion or sexual identity. It is the invisible and unacknowledged judgments that maintain the strongest holds on us,  limiting our ability to wonder and to be curious about what we can’t see. What we often miss is that as our openness dwindles, so does our capacity to become intimate. The truth is that there is a part of ourselves that we close off when we reject vast swaths of people around us. Generally our most severe and ardent judgments reflect back on something in us that we can’t quite accept.

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Getting the Hurt We Believe We Deserve

Friday, October 10th, 2014

silhouette3resized“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”  -Buddha

 

I have come to believe that so many relationships are so hurtful because we believe that is the love we deserve. For years after my parents’ divorce, I watched my mother have a 30- year affair with a man who would never really show up for her in the ways she needed. She would end it over and over again after holidays or her birthday when she was alone, and then after they would get back together, she would go on about how this is enough for her. This was all the love that she believed she deserved. My friendships during my adolescent years mostly, were like hers- and left me feeling wanting, not pretty enough, not good enough. Like many of us, I learned how to have relationships that belittled and hurt me. My earliest romantic relationships went from bad to worse, yet even through my tearful protestations that I deserved someone who would love me, I continuously attracted boys who didn’t see me or care about me. Basically I got the hurt that I believed I was worthy of.

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Intimate Violence

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

domvi1resized“In violence we forget who we are.” -Mary McCarthy

 

Seeing a pro-football player knock out his girlfriend on an elevator video captures our collective attention. The league is held responsible for not taking the violence seriously, giving the offender a two game suspension, and then, after the public outcry, they expel him indefinitely. Intimate crimes persist, in part, because we don’t want to see them, and it isn’t just among our celebrities and sports heroes that we look beyond domestic violence. The numbers are mind-boggling. In a lifetime, one of four women are seriously physically abused by their intimate partners, which means that you probably know someone who has been or is being abused. Unbelievable but true- 15% of all violent crimes committed between 2003 and 2012 were by intimate partners. Although men are also sometimes victims, they are the perpetrators in 90% of the cases according to a 2002 report.

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Engaging Our Breakthroughs

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

nightsky2“…Having breakthroughs isn’t the point.  Living them is.  Seeing in a new way is only the beginning.” -Martha Beck

 

I find myself sobbing in a bathroom stall in the Chicago airport on my way to a meeting across the country, thinking “has it really come to this?” Grief catches up to us in unexpected places and times. The airport bathroom scene was triggered by sitting near a young family with four kids on the plane I had just unboarded, recognizing the finality of my active mom days that has shaped my world for over 25 years.  It occurred to me, as I walked the endless corridors between gates, that we spend the first half of life building, acquiring and creating what we are then required to let go of in the second half. On some moving walkway an emotional breakthroughs comes through me, unannounced like the change of the sudden thunderstorm over head, and I realize that this grief of mine is a privilege that I earned. This breakthrough in thinking lifted me and gratitude replaced my despair.

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Let Love In

Friday, August 8th, 2014

gratefulgirl5“I know what I have given you.  I do not know what you have received.” -Antonio Porchia

 

Perhaps the most salient recognition that we can make about our relationships is that we have no real control over what someone else receives from us, and moreover, often we are not even aware of how our love is transmitted to someone else. This explains the strange yet common phenomenon of long-term relationship’s endings and the surprising conversations, which demonstrate this very fact. Two people who inhabit a single relationship are often in two very different relationships.

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Flexing Your Love Muscles

Friday, July 25th, 2014

coupledoor4 “Love is natural, but loving well doesn’t come naturally.”  -Rachel W., Love Agent

 

Celebrating the joys and successes of people we love is a more powerful glue of connection than providing support or consolation for life’s challenges and disappointments. Equally powerful are the small ways that we intentionally communicate to our partners how they hold a special place in our life and hearts. Ironically, this is where many relationships fall short. It was a Love Agent’s feedback that made me think about this simple, yet often overlooked aspect of loving someone else.

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