Fableogs

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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How To Make Running in Paris Fun and Challenging

I’m just back from two months in Paris. Running in Paris is a challenge. The Bois de Boulogne has lots of dirt trails and is decently big, but to stay close enough to run there regularly too far from everything else I want to do. There are many other parks, but they are all small or smaller and involve a lot of loops to build a run of anything longer than 3k. We rode the Velibs (social bike system) up to the Buttes Chaumont (a fave park) one Sunday and ran 4 loops; along with a big crowd of runners and other weekenders. The Buttes is the only good place to find hills. Sure, you could run around the streets…

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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’s Still Streaking—300 Days of Meditation and Counting …

After a meditation workshop on December 2 last year, I set an intention to meditate for ten days straight. Ten became thirty became 150, which brings me to 300. Every day since 100 has been my longest meditation streak ever. I’ve described it before as the wild ride on which nothing much happens. That’s still true. Have I made progress? Am I cured? Progress from where to where? Cured of what? If the answers are supposed to be: Progress from too much stress, anxiety and disappointment-in-self to divine understanding and unassailable self-worth, not to mention cured of all doubt; nope. But (!), I’m not stopping. Because despite the fact that the heavens have not opened and granted me a supernova…

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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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Watching My Mind for 225 Days Straight (or The Daily Personal Soap Opera)

Watch your mind. Without training it might run away and/leave your heart for the immense human feast set by the/thieves of time. (from Joy Harjo’spoem, For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet, in her collection Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings) I’ve been watching my mind for the last 225+ days straight. Despite the immense human feast, I have agreed to be present on the cushion at least once a day. The thieves of time are held at bay, even if only for ten minutes. This is the longest meditation streak of my life by a long shot. My last and only other streak was 100 days after my father died in 2015. The experience…

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How to Be Present: Using Wordless Sound to Connect Body and Mind

Sometimes I read poetry aloud to my partner. I love the poetry. I love the pleasure it gives him. And, I admit, I love the opportunity for the mini-performance. Our habit is for mornings, before we get out of bed. Propped up on my pillows, it’s one of the only times I wear my reading glasses (which I hate for the way they make me feel old, except for this moment of poetry, when I slip the bonds of age). I mostly read electronic books now (oh the privilege of adjustable font sizes, which help us feel young again). But, for our poetry custom, the books have to be old-fashioned-hold-in-the-hand-and-turn-the-page. I don’t know why I need this tactile experience, though…

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