It must be true that God’s tender mercies cannot be held in or held back, but instead they overflow every border, every boundary we set to contain them. — Kate Huey, Weekly Seeds, United Church of Christ
What about the judgment? Do we need to judge ourselves at all? Do we need to say, “This is good, but not this”? What if we just said, “I love all of it, without judgment”? Isn’t this how we’re supposed to love our children or spouses or parents — totally, unconditionally, without judgment? Can’t we love our bodies the same way — totally, unconditionally, without judgment? — from Leo Babauta’s Little Book of Contentment
It’s not enough to consider your mind a blank slate. You have to consciously erase it. — Paul Graham, in Lies We Tell Kids (highly recommended)
Rice, bitch. She likes to eat rice. #stereotypes #storytime #badmom
#trees #sunlight #happymess @matthewakery
(Source: langleav.com, via littlebitoflovely)
Short Story: "Family Blood" by Sarah Gatling -
From the blog 1:1000. Check it.
My friend Sarah came over with little Liam on Tuesday.
I know. Awesome, right? It’s been a huge relief to see how well Molly does with babies and kids. For the most part, she knows to be gentle and she really likes the sounds they make. I’m eager to see how she gets along with Eleanor.
One of the best parts of listening to Liam laugh was the fact that all of us were laughing because it just felt good. Sarah and I were so tickled by Liam’s silliness and the sound of it became infectious. Why is that? Laughter is contagious like a yawn. it sounds awesome and ridiculous. How did it even start, I wonder?
Yesterday, Molly and I went to the park and walked a mile together. That’s probably the most I’ve walked in a while and she was exhausted from playing fetch and the humid heat. What I learned from walking that mile and doing some yoga after is how hard it is to convince yourself to do something challenging, but how much easier it is when you’re actually doing it. By pushing myself to do yoga and meditate everyday, it’s a lot easier to say yes to little challenges. After a while, you kind of end up feeling like there’s nothing you can’t do.
This morning, I met with a really nice lady who works at the church we’ve been attending. Her name is Evelyn and I swear she’s one of my soul mates. It was so nice to talk to somebody who is like-minded, values the bible without being suffocated by our conservative Southern Baptist upbringing, loves to learn about other religious traditions, and is just…really nice. It was nice to have someone ask me questions about me, to listen to my thoughts and experiences, and really value me as an individual.
So, some things for you to implement:
What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space -
We’re addicted to distraction, and it’s holding us back. To find genius in the 21st century, we must build a discipline of unplugging and deep thinking.
Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it. — Epictetus (via laruga)
(Source: unconditionedconsciousness, via laruga)
Making upcycled magazine envelopes for @sarahpankus #diy #crafts
My dog is Molly and I think she is the most beautiful dog in the world. She has wonderful coloring, the hybrid body of a deer and a greyhound, and lovely eyes.
She also makes me murderously angry.
Molly is very smart. If she knows that we’re going to the park to play fetch, then she pulls on her leash. Being pregnant and a little slow going these days, sometimes I’m not in the mood to be yanked about. Today, I acted out on my anger, jerking her around, yelling at her, and spanking her when she didn’t listen. Obviously, she hates it when I get like this and her behavior only gets worse. The cycle continues.
At one point, I think I want to choke her and finally and just close my eyes and think, “How did I get this angry? How did I let it get this bad?” We walked back home after throwing the ball for a while, which neither of us really enjoyed because I was being a butthole. I felt terrible. I felt like an awful person and maybe I should call the shelter and tell them, “Umm, I’m abusive. You need to take this dog back.”
I read a blog called Zen Habits by Leo Babauta and he makes a suggestion in regards to anger:
Widen the envelope of your perspective, from what you think is important to what the other person sees as important.
When I took Molly to the park, it wasn’t because I was looking forward to playing fetch, watching her run, and enjoying the glory of her existence. I took her to the park with a bad attitude, feeling obligated to exercise her because she was being rambunctious at home. I took her to the park to get the activity out of the way before my husband got home. There was no joy. No delight. Just…a feeling of work.
Then, I considered what was probably important to Molly at the time:
Because I was in a pissy mood, I punished her for very sweet and innocent desires. She pulled on the leash because she was so excited to go somewhere with me. She wasn’t listening very well because she couldn’t contain her delight. When I started to take out my anger on her, she stopped obeying all together. She didn’t really want to play fetch anymore. She was looking for an excuse to play with someone else.
After a few rounds of sun salutations tonight, I sat in front of Molly and did alternate-nostril breathing followed by meditation. It was a really intimate encounter, to close my eyes and surrender to my breath right in front of her. When I opened my eyes, I told her I am sorry and that I love her. I ran my fingers over her paws and kissed her face.
Do not let your anger rob another of happiness. It’s cruel.
For years, I’ve known about the practice of observing one’s thoughts and feelings as opposed to judging them. I never put it into practice until today.
Depression is something that I’ve struggled with off and on for most of my life. Surprisingly, it didn’t get as bad as I thought it would once I got pregnant, but today was a particularly moody day for me and I was feeling very sad. I was looking out the window feeling so overwrought by my grief, this ache, the unbearable state of just being so forlorn for no identifiable reason. Then I thought, “Okay. Just observe. Step away for a second watch your feelings. Watch your thoughts.” Suddenly, it was much easier to see the root to my pain:
These thoughts were under the surface of my sadness and I was thinking them for various reasons. I’ve been really overwhelmed by the occasional feeling of having no control over my body during my pregnancy. I’m scared of the effect my struggles might have on my unborn daughter. And I felt physically weak today. It’s so crazy how our mood can be completely taken hostage by thoughts of which we’re not aware.
I’ve been learning about oxytocin, a hormone that’s known mostly for the connection it creates between a mother and her baby during breastfeeding. Over the last several years, researchers are learning that oxytocin is stimulated by many things. Of course, yoga happens to be one of them. It just happens to be the primary activity in my life that really brings me to a place of calm. Doing it everyday during this month of May has had a huge impact on my quality of life. I also learned that survivors of abuse and trauma during childhood (i.e. me) potentially have a harder time producing oxytocin, so engaging in activities to help stimulate it is a good thing and I’m hoping it reaps great benefits for my daughter and me.
I felt very weak tonight on my mat, but felt so strong in every pose. I really tried to give each movement purpose and intention, vitality and direction. There’s a big difference between being in a pose and actively doing a pose. Engagement is key.
During meditation, the image of rubies growing out of the centers of my palms. When I placed my hands together, the rubies merging and becoming an emerald.