When we talk about being present, it sounds easier than it is. It is not that it is difficult, it is that we start off in the present and then begin our time travels as we tell our story. For example, the first question I ask when we begin our love and inspiration gatherings is how are you doing today and/or what are you dealing with today? So often, what happens is someone may begin with what they are dealing with today. However, then we travel into the past to hear the explanation of how the person got into this situation or what they have learned from the past. Sometimes we travel to the future and talk about what the person would like to see happen next or what they would like the outcome to be. I laugh as I write this because I know that there have been times in our gatherings that I have done my own share of time traveling and not being present. I would like to say that I was not as present as I could be, but one is either present or not. Read More
Growing up, I remember my Bubby (Yiddish for grandmother), reminding me that there was a lesson hidden in everything I felt. Her advice was to accept the feeling and seek out the gift. This was true regardless of whether it was sadness, happiness, or something in between. She taught me to understand and see what I was feeling within the broader context of life. This was a lesson she taught me a few ways. One day, when I was sad she gave me a pinch of salt to eat. I remember needing to rinse my mouth out with water, for what seemed like forever. I had tried to spit it out; however, she would not let me. Later, she took the same amount of salt, sprinkled it on a burger, and had me eat it. As part of the burger, it tasted amazing and seemed to make the burger taste better. This lesson reminded me that everything is part of something bigger then what it appears to be.
I call this “game” my Bubby taught me, accept and seek. Read More
Have you have ever had an experience where someone says something mean to you or something negative happens to you and then something in you gets stressed and emotionally you get worked up? The Tibetans call this feeling shenpa. While it is literally translated as the word “attachment,” that does not capture essence of this feeling of the effect that it has on us.
Shenpa is this area deep inside us that gets triggered and irritated by the words and actions of others. When someone says or does something that touches your shenpa, it hooks you, draws you in, and starts this emotional spiral. Before we know it, we can find ourselves blaming ourselves, blaming them, getting angry with them or putting ourselves down. Read More
One of my readers emailed me last week to let me know how last weeks blog (No More Poison!) had caused him to think about things differently. He jokingly (I think) asked me what I was going to challenge him to give up this week. As I was thinking about this and listening to some people around me this week, I realized that one of the other things we need to get rid of in our lives are our whips. If I asked most people if they enjoyed being whipped, most people would say no. If I asked them if they would voluntarily whip themselves, most people would still say no. Yet why is it that we are good at whipping ourselves. Read More
The first agreement in Miguel don Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, is to be impeccable with your words. It took me a few reads of his book, to notice this, but he uses both the word “word” and “Word.” For me, there is a real difference between being impeccable with my Word and being impeccable with my words.
My words are what I say. They are the things that come out of mouth when I am speaking to others or myself. They can be also be words that I write, or probably more accurately these days, type. They come together to form sentences, paragraphs, and pages. They are what I use to express my opinion, to comment on a situation, to express what is going on in my mind, and to communicate to my students what it is that I want them to accomplish in a course. Sometimes, I use my words to come together in writing of poetry. I make up words such as sistahpastahhomegurl, which worked well in a poem I wrote for a friend and colleague of mine a few years ago. Read More