Like A Girl

500 Days of Meditation … Am I There Yet?

500 uninterrupted days of meditation in a row. Am I there yet? I don’t know. No. Turns out there is nowhere to go, except be. A message that meditation delivers and redelivers over a long haul. A note that is particularly poignant in this current moment, when we want nothing more than to get back to normal and not be in this moment. Meditation asks us to notice. To notice how and what we label—this is a crisis, that’s normal, I don’t like this, I like that. Since meditation is nothing but a practice of noticing; here’s what I’ve noticed: When will I remember? I’m now almost able to remember to sit without a prompt. I still try to leave…

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COVID MoodCoaster

Not that my moods didn’t swing from time to time before, but now they are subject to the shelter-in-place amplification factor. On any given day the non-stop voice in my head drags me along on her wild ass rollercoaster ride, hands flung up in the air, hair a streaming tangle in the wind … You’re so ridiculously lucky to be able to play out here in the snow on these beautiful mountains. Look at that view. Breathe that air. Oh *&%@, who could possibly keep their balance on this ungroomed mess. You’re the biggest loser on skis. Don’t ever ski again. You are so Zen after that new breath meditation. You’re cruising right down the middle of The Middle Way.…

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Love in the Time of COVID19

We are living a societal crisis. Our survival instincts threaten our better nature. Hoarding, profiteering, getting a gun—these might help you individually in the short term, but at the cost of our collective wellbeing. Just as violence does not solve violence, nor will our survival instincts help society survive. We live in community, because we aspire to something far greater than survival. More than ever, we have to lead with love in all our decisions and actions. Love is an individual and collective imperative, if we are to get through this moment with grace, compassion and a flourishing society. A key tool is the practice of embodied mindfulness—tuning into all five channels of intelligence available to us, instead of the…

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If You Consume It, Use It!

This whole business of consuming, then putting off using what we’ve consumed is weighing on me. We get hot for some new thing, that we need-want, and then we don’t even use it right away. The first weekend of February, I was in Springfield, Missouri with an afternoon to myself. A sunny day. A new downtown to explore. I considered whether I wanted to roam around looking in shops. Then I realized, oh, it’s February 1st and I’m taking no-shopping pauses in the even months. My realization was followed closely by relief. I wasn’t going to visit the shops, because I wasn’t going to shop. Instead, I did what I really wanted to do. All afternoon, I read my novel…

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14 Things I Noticed During 365+ Straight Days of Meditation

Yesterday marked my 365th consecutive day of meditation. Yes, I aimed for that goal. Yes, that’s a paradox. Throughout the year, I’ve shared my noticings along the way. As I close out this chapter of my streak, here are some last noticings. Their lastness does not bestow on them any added importance compared to all the other noticings of the year. They are, as the dishes before and after enlightenment, more moments accumulated over the course of a year of consecutive days of meditation: The past year has not been bliss, despite my daily sit. I have gone through low periods. I’m in one now. Roaming the desert of not knowing what my next creative project is. Plus, a pinched…

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10 Tips to Say Goodbye to a Bad Body Image

Use it, don’t think about it. Our bodies are gifts.  Partake of all the marvelous things we can do with our bodies—run, jump, skip, dance, leap, walk, swim, cartwheel, sing…you name it.  How much more fun it is to use our bodies, than it is to think about our bodies.  How much more energizing it is to engage with our bodies, instead of draining away our life force with petty obsessing over the slope of our stomach, the size of our breasts, the shape of our arms, and…you get the picture. Know the why of why you use it. Unfortunately, just getting out there and using our bodies is not the magic bullet.  Why?—because too often we are “using it”…

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Try-Not-Try: The Wheel of Becoming, Belonging and Being

Remember that moment when you were trying to learn how to ride a bike, the moment when your parent let go and you had to trust that the wheels would roll and the center would hold and you’d stay upright. You probably didn’t even realize that you needed the center to hold. You probably weren’t aware of gathering your energy into your core; of the fine balance between your effort and the need to let the bicycle do what it wanted to do. You trusted. Yourself. You trusted, even though you’d probably fallen a number of times before the whole trick of simultaneous balance and forward motion worked out.  Even if you’ve never ridden a bicycle, you know what I’m…

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Mina Wants to Be Noticed

These last six months, running and I have been on a rollercoaster ride together—queasy stomachs and screams of joy. In March, I agreed to do a half-marathon with a friend on her April birthday and immediately started dreading it. I swore off road races about a decade ago. The running events I participate in once or twice a year are off-road. Runs on forest trails or in the mountains. To compound my dread (or perhaps because of), I trained poorly and my race result was disappointing; actually, extremely so. I wish I’d read these wise insights right after, it would have helped me process: So You Had a Crappy Race … Now What? I don’t want you to notice that crappy…

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Why Reading A Book on Self-Worth Plunged My Self-Worth Into The Garbage Can … And How I Got Back Out

Last week I read Tea and Cake With Demons, by Adreanna Limbach, a clear round up and explanation of the fundamental principles of Buddhist thought on suffering and the relief of suffering. The author’s voice is sensible and compassionate. Yet, as I read about how worthy I was, just by virtue of being me, I felt less and less so. So that, the day after I learned that I was on the cover of a Florida magazine, Healthy Living, for my own recently published book, I sank into a massive sinkhole of self-hate. Snippet of internal dialogue between my I-Am-Worthy mind and my Who-Are-You-Kidding? mind as I swam desperately toward the sinkhole shores to pull myself out: IAW: I’m a…

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If You Stack A Cord of Wood, Do You Still Need to Workout?

Functional fitness (aka functional movement) is a thing now. That’s exercises that train our muscles for regular life activities, like squatting to pick up something we’ve dropped, or reaching for something on a high shelf (or even climbing onto the kitchen counter to reach something, as I did a few days ago). But, do our regular life activities support our workouts? Can movement with a function substitute for a workout? I asked myself this question a couple of weeks ago, when a cord of wood was dumped in our driveway at 8 a.m. Just looking at it was pretty daunting. Even though I knew from previous years the stacking wouldn’t take more than an hour (for two of us), all those…

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