Do You Need a New Definition of Success? (If not forever, then for a while?)

Call us flitters, hummingbirds, butterflies, recovering failures, neurotics, highly sensitive, multiply talented under-achievers, people with low self esteem, poor self confidence, people who are not measuring up, people who feel they should be doing something else – Call us what you will, that long, straight, steep path to success is not ours.

Not only is our path circuitous, spirally and meandering, but our successes are different, too. Read more

Is This Love?

The working title of this post, up until right before publication, was Hit and Run. I received a communication through this website via the handy contact form on the Saturday after I published my last post. It was from the high school friend mentioned in that post. You know, the one who I said had slept with one of our teachers. It turns out she lied. And for exactly the same reason people in my community have accused the high schooler here: to prevent herself from failing out of high school. My ex-friend said in her letter to me that of the three people she told, one spoke up, and “due to the wronged individual’s incredibly level-headed response and extra time taken to steer me closer to a road of ongoing self-accountability, it was an authentically pivotal life-changing experience.”

Wow. As my ex-friend rightly points out, her story actually illustrates a completely other point about the fall-out from abuse (in her case, she claims it happened prior to high school), and one that I was not intending to delve into in that post. (Not to mention illustrating the differences between how such situations were handled in the 1970s and how they are handled now.) Interestingly, though, her revelation has served to pull me further down into the dim corridors of memory of myself at that age, and has helped me understand some things about myself that are now painfully clear: Read more

The Thud of Self-Deception and the Ring of Truth

Can you hear the difference?

I can. Now. But it’s taken years, and it’s been primarily through writing. People won’t always tell you when you’re just standing around blabbing. They know you well enough to know that their feedback is going to fall on deaf ears. Why else would you be going to such trouble to convince yourself of something that is false? Read more

One Resolution and One Intention

I’ve made only one New Year’s Resolution, and I’m doing smashingly at it: I’m leaving my cell phone in another room while I write. That’s it. I like to pick resolutions that are no-fail doable and instantly gratifying. Lazy, or do I know how to hack a resolution? Let’s put it this way: I believe in setting myself up for success.

I think most of us know when we’re ready to make a change, and when we are, we go ahead and set it in motion. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It just means we don’t have to talk about it. Instead, we look around and ask ourselves what we need to put into place to make it work. That’s a process. Not that I don’t love and adore magical transformations that come in an instant of expanded awareness – But in most cases that magical moment has to be followed up with action in order for the change to take root in our lives and create the new reality we desire. By focusing on the magic to the exclusion of the process, we cheat ourselves of the satisfaction that empowering changes bring. Hence, I opted for a small, doable change born of a moment of expanded awareness (i.e., I am very distractible and will use the phone to avoid writing through stuck places in my project.) Read more

Easy Doesn't Lead To Happy

That’s my lesson of the past couple of weeks. So many times I’ve been faced with wanting to stay in my gauzey, cocoon-ish comfort zone but have made the choice to go ahead and face something I dread or be with someone who challenges me, because I recognize that I am in a comfortable but unsatisfying rut. After all, I’ve told myself, this is the stuff I write about. So do it.

And each time it’s worked out fine. In fact, as soon as I realize I have a choice, I’m okay. The only way to break out of the prison of my conditioning is to question myself awake. Then and only then can I see the prison for what it is: a place I’ve put myself because on some level it’s comfortable. Even dissatisfaction and unfulfilled dreams are comfortable, because they are so familiar. I know them inside and out. And familiar is easy. The thing is, easy doesn’t lead to happy. Read more

21 Day Challenge: Quick Check-in. Where has it taken you?

A quick check-in here on the 21 day challenge to abstain from complaining, criticizing and gossipping:

Wow. The first thing that happened over here is I encountered what can only be described as a shitstorm of resistance and some doozie circumstances that really tested my resolve. (Nothing like attempting a communication overhaul during a Mercury retrograde!) It is so satisfying, in a short term kind of way, to complain! Read more

What If You Ignored Yourself and Did It Anyway?

“The Force that through the green fuse drives the flower…”

It hasn’t been as warm as we would like, but as soon as the light changed at the vernal equinox, everything began to shift. It’s how our earth is made to work. A tiny shift in the angle of the sun creates a season change. So, what’s kept it cold? Basically, the atmosphere, that ecosystem of air, moisture and movement that creates our weather. In non-Western cultural and spiritual traditions, each of the elements (as in building blocks) that makes up our physical world corresponds with certain universal qualities or states of consciousness. Air corresponds with thought and what used to be called ether, or life force. Often referred to as chi or ki, the life force is that unseen energy that is vitality itself. Water corresponds to emotions and the unconscious.

It occurred to me today that this is exactly how our thoughts and feelings influence our internal weather. We are given the light. With our thoughts and mental orientation we either allow it to warm us or we keep ourselves out in the cold, suffering from past hurts and false ideas about who we are and how love is doled out. When we are in that state, the chi, or life force, cannot flow. Read more

You Have Brilliant Ideas and Instincts

There’s that word again: Brilliant. Maybe brilliant isn’t what you thought it was. Maybe it’s quieter and subtler than you thought.

Maybe you are so busy playing traffic cop to your thoughts that you have forgotten how to be curious and playful with your amazing mind. Maybe your wonderful mind is presenting you with the answers you need, and you aren’t paying attention. Read more