achievement · courage · progress

Dare Up.

11.9.18One of the points Deepak Chopra made during today’s new meditation experience, “Energize Your Life: Secrets to a Youthful Spirit,” was about opening ourselves to receive the nourishment and energy that we need.  Opening myself to receive is a concept I’ve been on about for a little while, and the idea of “starving at the banquet of life” as its antithesis has similarly been on my mind.

While I have made strides to allow myself to admit what it is I want or desire, I know that I must open still more in order to truly hold the kind of health and abundance I want to have and hold in my life.

Opening myself to what I truly need and want requires a few uncomfortable things from me: 1) acknowledging what I want (which presumes that I have gotten quiet and honest enough to be clear about my desires), and 2) telling other people what I want.

Both of these steps require a vulnerability that feels exposing.  But it also leads me to the lyrics, “Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’m gonna let it shine.”  And you know what seems to happen when people “let it shine,” when they share vulnerably and openly who and what they are?  They inspire other people to want to do the same.

Brene Brown wrote about this idea in her book, Daring Greatly, quoting President Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the arena” speech.  He dramatized that the people who would criticize us for “daring greatly” are generally the ones who aren’t trying to dare greatly themselves.

So if you’re making strides to improve the quality of your life, in any arena — mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, sexually, financially, healthfully, energetically — keep daring, because there are those of us who are still in the bleacher seats, looking to you for courage, inspiration, strength, and invitation.

Dare on, Readers. Dare on.

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connection · courage · loneliness

Meeting Ewoks

10.15.18.jpgThere’s always that portion in the hero’s journey when they’re out in the wilderness — alone.  In these moments, we notice the fierce determination of our hero begins to wilt.  They become prey to creeping doubts: “Is this the right path? Should I turn back? Did I make the wrong choice?

“This is so lonely.”

It’s generally accepted plotting that at this moment a friend or guide, boon or spirit materializes to boost our hero’s flagging spirits and help her to double-down on her belief in her path toward fulfillment.

One of the fears I carry most closely is that by taking steps into the new unknown, I will be alone.  A strikingly converse idea I also hold as truth is that by not being alone (by attaching myself to other people), I will never be able to attain fulfillment.

What I give myself here is a classic Catch-22:  if I move into the wilderness of “actualization” — or whatever hippie term you want to call “growing up”! — I will be alone on the journey.  Conversely, if I align myself with a partner, I will be driven off my own course by their needs, and thereby never live the fulfillment I desire.

So now what, then??

Well: Ewoks, in a word.

What I’m looking for in this world is companions who are also dragon-riders (to mix  fictional worlds).  Judgment expert that I am, I’m desperately afraid that if I align myself with a person who I deem or fear is not a dragon rider, I can’t soar myself.  That I can only have one or the other, connection or attainment.  I cannot have both.

The great part about uncovering this is that I can see that it is just a THOUGHT.  My fears and judgments love to parade around as full-fledged reality, a grotesquerie of fright and illusion.

But what a silly thought to have, no?  That I cannot be fulfilled, for any reason whatever!, is total and utter bunk.  Conjuring up a reason that strikes at the heart of my most innate fear—being alone—I am and have been tricked into thinking that it is true, because the resonance and deep-seat of that fear is so primal.

But.  Just because I believe something does not mean it is true.

Further, just because I fear something doesn’t mean it has any substance at all.

There is such vile lusciousness in the voice of the demon that says I can have only one, love or power.  (“Choose wisely.”)  Born of my greatest fears, it knows where to strike, to needle, to whisper in the dark hours.

Luckily, I have come far enough on my hero’s journey to know that thoughts can be overcome and released.  I don’t yet know how to untangle this nest, but maybe soon, I’ll run into some Ewoks who’ll ease my troubled mind, offer comfort, and fortify my courage by their companionship.

They’ll remind me that my journey — of releasing that which does not serve me, embracing the love of those whom I do, and owning the power that I am developing — is wholly, critically, and delightfully worthy.

 

 

beginnings · courage · TEACHING

A Teacher’s Prayer.

Lord, Universe, Please help me to remain sane and grounded, present and open, confident and competent this year.  Dear G-d, please help me to not take any person’s actions personally & allow those to injure or deflate me, and please help me to hold my empathy doors, well, as windows so that I can remain present.

Help my words be kind, honest, and necessary.  Help me to “eat the frog first” & not procrastinate, put off tasks that must be done; no rug sweeping.  But calm, diligent work so I may feel worthy and available to myself & others.

Help me to “step up and step back” with honesty and humility about what is necessary, and help me to connect more with my colleagues in & out of the school.

Please help me to take my breaks outside, away from the 4 walls, to remind me of the bigger world outside my classroom, and to listen when my body or mind says, “Get up!” from my computer or planning work.

Help me to ground at the beginning & end of my day, to slough off the student energy that isn’t mine, so I can be a whole person in the world when I leave.  And please help me to balance what I want to do & what I can do & remember not everything is imperative right now.

Help me to hear & integrate my supervisors’ feedback, and to follow up on parent requests.  Help me to hold that half-assing-it kid with love and to be guided in guiding them toward healthy effort.

Remind me to breathe.

Remind me to eat.  To pee.  To walk.  To pause.

Dear G-d, help me to remember I don’t have to be or to do it perfectly.

Amen and thank you. ❤ Molly

 

courage · growth · loss

Open Door Policy.

Autumn colours through the doorwayFor years, I’ve been speaking to close friends about “moving to the next room.”  My trepidation about leaving behind those that won’t come with me, my stagnating and returning to the smaller room, my dickering around in the doorway hoping and cajoling those I want to come with me.  My fear that by moving into a new place I would be abandoning others, that I would be alone.

Strangely, I’m beginning to feel a bit of release from the strangle of those fears.  I acknowledge there are people I’d like to DRAG, bloody and screaming, with me—I want them to come through so badly.  Through the door, “into the next room,” which I have discovered opens into a blooming garden.  I want them to see, to see it’s not so scary.  But these are precisely the words that I myself need to hear, and believe.  That it’s not so scary out there.

And that I’m not going to feel lonely.

Because, I don’t.  I feel enlivened, actually.  Curious and slightly unsure of what will happen (strike that! — entirely unsure what will happen!), but it isn’t enough right now to turn me back to the small place.

I’ve been reflecting, too, on my recent break-up.  How when I think I’ve hit the floor of my grief, a trap door opens to slam me one floor lower.  When I consider returning to it, I slam down again onto the hard reality beneath: that I tried so f*cking hard to make it right, to make it fit.  And each time these hopes, these ruminations arise in me, I am hurled again like clay onto a wheel, slammed, remolded, returned.  “No, Molly,” it echoes.  “No.”

Ouch.

I’ve also noticed that in the last week alone, my door for new potential partners is apparently wide the f* open, because it’s letting in all kinds of wow-totally-and-completely-not-right people.  So, clearly the door is open for someone new but I could use some massive refinement of my “Law of Attraction”!

I know that the ultimate doorway here is the one into the next room, out into that garden, where I will be leaving behind the relationship that hurts so much to make right and the people who are incompatible in so very many ways.

Because what I’m coming to understand is that I must close the door behind me.  And this is something I’ve been avoiding for as many years as I’ve talked about said door.  I’ve left the door wide open so that I could come back in to the small place and see if my loved ones want to come with me.  I’ve left it open so that I could grovel and beg and tear the arm off in my pulling of them to come with me.

I’ve not wanted to leave them.  And, importantly, I’ve been afraid that without them I’ll be alone in the new place, or at least (as is on my mind!) like a new middle-schooler arriving to class and wondering who, who among you will be my friend?  Who among you will be my peer?  Or be my friend-guide just that step ahead of me, pulling me along into the new world?

As I stand on the threshold of this new place all nervous and twisty-handed, just beyond the reach of my smaller self, the bigger part of me knows I must first imperatively reach behind and pull closed the door of underbeing.

The unseen makers of the laughter that I hear and the bathing, liquid scent of magnolias in the new world before me will have to be enough of a sticking place to which I affix my courage until I find another hand to hold.

Damnit.  Deep breath.  Here goes. …

 

abundance · action · courage

Never Have I Ever…

2.8.18 stocks

Yesterday, I bought stock.

This is what a first time should feel like!  With all the nerves and excitement and planning and pondering and reading of others’ experiences… and then, finally, the just doing it.  Omigod.  I should have smoked a cigarette afterward.

At the start of November, I looked into what kinds of low-fee brokerage houses were out there.  Even writing the words feels like marbles in my mouth.  Brokerage house.  What do I know from investments?  The lady with less than $3 in her bank account every 2 years?  The woman crawling back from chemo and its resultant absence of paycheck?  The person who ran in to a room of folks, desperate, angry, and frustrated at the slicing paycheck-to-paycheck existence I’d been living?

Well, I suppose what I do know is that I’ve stayed in that room of people, for nearly 7 years now (the length of time for all your cells to turn over) — and maybe all the braincells that had been attached to deprivation and loneliness and despair have come to the death throes of their lifespan, and I’ve begun to take action using the new cells with the new programming and the new ideology I’ve learned.

What I do know is that none of this has been as simple as a click on the laptop … and yet, in the end, it was as simple as a click on the laptop.  The final action step (or start of many): click “Buy.”

Why so many months since the opening of the account to the purchase of my 1st stock?  Oh, procrastination, avoidance, inconvenience of the way it was set up, stymied by a technical error that prevented me from moving money into it.  You know, hurdles.

But when, yesterday, I opened The New York Times and merely read the word Tesla, something within me shifted to high gear.  Google the price of a share; pull up the brokerage account; try to remember what on earth I’d chosen for my password anyway; and lo! The account could link today!  Link it; transfer it; choose it; buy it.  Done.

It’s not much; it’s one share that may tank at any point in the future.  But, for today, it feels like the most goddamned abundant thing I’ve ever done.

 

 

 

courage · love · strength · vulnerability

Going Soft.

9 2 17 marshmallow

I was in a book study a few years back with a Man, capital M.  He was tall, burly, a hefty, baseball-cap, sports t-shirt wearing Guy.

As we went around the room sharing why we were there and what we hoped to get out of it, this Man said he was afraid this process would turn him into a marshmallow.  That at the end of this, he’d be weak and soft, that opening to his humanity would expose him irrevocably.  We nodded in shared understanding.  Opening oneself is never easy, as our ego-minds — flashing warning signs — remind us repeatedly.

By the end of the year-long group, this Man was indeed softer.  He laughed more easily, he shared more deeply, he allowed his vulnerabilities to be witnessed.  He had turned into a marshmallow.

He had also turned into an entirely stronger version of himself.  His vulnerability and humanity made him approachable, communal, and this community strengthened him further.  His supposed “weakness” was now a great strength, showing confidence, authenticity, and self-possession.

I, myself, am being called to soften, particularly in my romantic life — perhaps one of the most intimate places we are called to grow.

In his kitchen, in his arms the other morning, I said to my boyfriend, “You’re going to melt me.”

Like the Man of the book group, I am scared that my melting will expose me.  Will lay me vulnerable…  To what?!, I have to ask myself.  Oh, Love, you are so misinterpreted by me:

Love lays you open to breakage.  

Love, my fear touts, is a sedentary bull in a china shop: You’ll be picking up broken pieces sooner or later.

But, I am not a china shop and my inner world is not a precious porcelain museum.  It is a dynamic, industrious candy factory. (…Sure, why not!)  And allowing people, a person, a beloved person into that factory, well, I can only see that he will appreciate my colors and flavors, and help me see that I can do the same of myself.  And of him.

For many years, Love has been dressed (and addressed) as a risk.  But really, it’s just a curious visitor hoping for something sweet.