Trouble making decisions? Read this.

A Facebook friend posted this quote this morning, and it hit me hard how much sense it makes. I have had issues making decisions in the past — I imagine everyone has.

Here’s something to keep in mind when you are going back and forth:

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another. The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.”

Deepak Chopra

The price of busy-ness. If you need a massage, call me. I’m good.

I just encountered this great article, an opinion piece from the New York Times, about busy-ness and thought I’d share my thoughts.

Not only am I a recovering serious person, I’m also a recovering busy person. For several years, I worked full-time and went to graduate school while raising a child as a single mother. In hindsight, that was insane.

This downtime after my last contract job in the technology world ended about six weeks ago has been lovely. I’m recovering from adrenal exhaustion, and then, just when I was starting a running practice that I felt joyful about and ready for, I pulled a calf muscle and have had to lay low for longer while it heals. (It’s healing very nicely, with self-care and other healing hands working on it. Thanks, Brigitte and Pauline!)

The universe is telling me to slow down, and I’m listening. I’ve been letting a lot of stuff slide, trusting that the important things will rise to the top of the list and the rest will get done when and if they get to the top. One day at a time. I’m loving my daily Tarot readings, the cards that influence my awareness and development and trust in the universe. My favorite deck is the Osho Zen deck.

During this period I’ve also attended several trainings in Somatic Experiencing, which is based on the truly great trauma recovery research and writing of Peter Levine. (I’m currently reading In An Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness.) I fell in love with it. The main premise is that trauma deregulates the nervous system (into freeze or fight or flight), and that the body can heal itself, with loving attention and guidance.

I’ve been practicing body awareness as well as writing about grounding, centering, and having boundaries. You can expect more posts along those lines.

I also seem to be developing an organic vision for my bodywork and changework practice that involves more teaching and writing. And—I am available now! Call me if you need a massage. I am really good, my rate is reasonable ($1 per minute), and I give discounts for regular customers and referrals.

Who knew that all this time, throughout the history of the human species with all of its atrocities and traumas, that the secret to trauma recovery was right there all along, being ignored by the mind, which in order to “be civilized” began to believe itself superior to the body?

How cut off are we from our own lives? Have you ever had something like this happen to you?

I recently wrote a friend to ask if he wanted to do something this week, and he answered that he didn’t have a lot of time but if something was going on to let him know and maybe he could ditch work for a few hours. I wanted to clarify that my question had not been a preliminary heads-up to some future invitation; this was the invitation. But his busyness was like some vast churning noise through which he was shouting out at me, and I gave up trying to shout back over it.

Self-importance is a joy killer, and that’s all most busy-ness is, when you get right down to it. If you are swept away in a current of busy-ness, why, then you must be somebody important! Or at least somebody.

It’s the opposite of being here now, of being present and grounded/centered/boundaried/etc. in your own body. It’s dissociation.

Here’s more, about a New York artist who moved to a village in the south of France:

What she had mistakenly assumed was her personality — driven, cranky, anxious and sad — turned out to be a deformative effect of her environment. It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this, any more than any one person wants to be part of a traffic jam or stadium trampling or the hierarchy of cruelty in high school — it’s something we collectively force one another to do.

How do we collectively force one another to be too busy to be real? It’s as I suspected:

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

I’m listening, feeling, and letting each day unfold while not losing myself in breathless busy-ness. Isn’t that what summer is for?

The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.

Well, it’s almost noon, and I’m still in bed on this Monday morning, in bed with my laptop, tarot cards, book. Actually, my butt is getting numb, and I feel thirsty. I believe I’ll get up, stretch, drink some green tea, and mosey over to the yoga mat. I hear a down-ward facing dog calling my name.

The Universe comes through!

After seeing someone being triggered by something I did, days of emotionally struggling with PTSD memories, processing all that it brought up (hopefully being of some use to someone somewhere), and being ill, here’s what I find in my inbox this morning:

When you finally get that call, meet that person, walk that walk, and live that dream, MaryAnn, do you think you’ll even care that there were a few dark and scary moments in a journey that made them all possible?

Trust me, you won’t even remember.

The Universe

Thanks, Universe. The percentage of time that you are right on target is amazing. Keep up the good work!

Daily email inspirations

I subscribe to several daily email services that enrich my well-being as I begin each day. I receive joy, encouragement, wonder, food for thought, and catalysts for expansion from these emails. I feel grateful for the people who thought these up and deliver day after day. It makes a difference.

For several years, I got a poem a day in my inbox from Panhala. That stopped a few months ago, and I don’t know why. Joe Riley did a great job of sharing some wonderful poems, and I hope he’s well. No one seems to know. I miss the poems. The link above is still a great repository of poems.

I also get quotes from Tricycle Daily Dharma about Buddhist practice. (Click the link, then the Your Daily Dharma Sign Up Now link to subscribe.) Here’s today’s quote:

Fear is not the Enemy
There are many ways to meditate on fear. One is to wait until it appears adventitiously. Another is to invite it in — when we send out invitations we can be a little better prepared for who shows up at the party. Perhaps for both methods of approach the first thing to bear in mind is that fear is not the enemy — it is nature’s protector; it only becomes troublesome when it oversteps its bounds. In order to deal with fear we must take a fundamentally noncontentious attitude toward it, so it’s not held as a problem, but as a visitor. Once we take this attitude, we can begin to work with fear. ~ Amaro Bhikkhu, “Inviting Fear”

Fear is a visitor to the guesthouse. Allow it in — it protects. Ask what it is protecting me from; ask what needs protection. It is only troublesome when it oversteps its bounds. Got it!

I get quotes from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the flawed but wise Tibetan Buddhist teacher, from Ocean of Dharma as well. Here’s the most recent:

THE THINKER. No one can stop or control your thought process or your thinking. You can think anything you want. But that doesn’t seem to be the point. The thinking process has to be directed into a certain approach. That does not mean that it should be in accord with certain dogma, philosophy, or concepts. Instead, one has to know the thinker itself. So we are back to square one, the thinker itself: who or what thinks, and what is the thought process?

Right now playing with how thoughts bubble into awareness, disappear, and new thoughts arise…the flowing mind, the full mind, the empty mind, the nature of mind to think.

The Universe (Mike Dooley) sends me a message of support, encouragement, humor, and expansion every day. I especially enjoy how playful The Universe often is. Playful has become one of my favorite energies.

What if every wrinkle, scar, or gray hair only made you more beautiful? What if every tear you’ve shed, mistake you’ve made, and challenge you’ve faced, only drew you closer to the light? And what if, MaryAnn, for every breath you’ve taken, every sentence you’ve spoken, and every path you’ve chosen, your fans in the unseen multiplied?

Well, I’d say it’s about time you found out.

Be proud, we are –
The Universe

Universe, I must be really beautiful and close to the light, with a multiplicity of unseen fans! Recently had an angel reading with Russell Forsyth, my first, and am feeling more aware of the angels around me than ever before.

Creative catalyst Lynn Scheurell sends me a Daily Catalyst quote each day. Here’s what Lynn sent today:

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Wow. Well, as my About Me page says, I’ve got ’em, scars. I do believe that life’s wounds can become spiritual currency and mistakes are for growth, so no matter what, you can’t lose.

The latest addition to my daily email habit is “EnneaThought for the Day,” a message for people of my Enneagram type, Five. Sometimes the messages are very inspiring, as today’s was:

Remember that at your best, you become an intrepid discoverer and explorer, broadly comprehending the world while penetrating it profoundly.

I’m really liking that description of the directions I move toward — broad comprehension and profound penetration. I enjoy using my mind and awareness in these ways.

Many different flavors of joy

Today’s post centers on a quotation I received this morning via email from Tricycle magazine’s Daily Dharma subscription service. I subscribe to several of these — The Universe, Tricycle Daily Dharma, and Ocean of Dharma are the main ones, and I’m currently testing one for my Enneagram type that I’ll write about later.

I enjoy opening my inbox in the morning and finding words of wisdom.

This is what I found this morning:

Joy has many different flavors. It might overflow from us in song or dance, or it might gently arise as a smile or a sense of inner fullness. Joy is not something we have to manufacture. It is already in us when we come into the world, as we can see in the natural delight and exuberance of a healthy baby. We need only release the layers of contraction and fear that keep us from it.

The author is James Baraz in Lighten Up! 

Joy. I seem to be in a groove in my life in which I often experience joy. It’s delightful and welcome.

Here are some ways joy has shown up for me recently:

  • Singing along with remastered Beatles songs in my car brings me joy.
  • Responding to an invitation to improvise my movements to music (aka dancing ecstatically); to seek a groove, release it, and find  another groove; continually discover the balances between ease and stamina, attention inward and attention outward, and staying in one place and circulating through the space; of connecting with others and choosing how much to engage; lying in a circle on the floor afterward in silent community.
  • Laughing with a certain friend whose laughter is loud, full, wild, and raucous. Her laugh makes me laugh.
  • Taking two road trips with dear friends recently. Road trips engender good conversation while barreling down the highway and exploring the destination.
  • Making chicken soup for my visiting grandchild who had a fever and sore throat and being comfortably together sharing our lives while it cooked.
  • Attending a house blessing for my friend who is bringing her aged parents to live with her until they pass or need more assistance, and literally filling the house with didgeridoo and rainstick and human sounds, filling every room, closet, and space with our presence and love and joy, decorating altars, and inviting our parents and grandparents, living or dead, and others with similar caretaking responsibilities to benefit from our work together.
  • Massaging people, experiencing the difference between before and after, and knowing I made a difference.
  • Waking to the sound of rain on the roof of my trailer.
  • Having Mango curl up on my chest and purr and put his “hand” on my face when I visit, knowing that my friends who gave him a home love us both. Yeah, kitty reiki!
  • Experiencing a long close embrace with someone special, breathing joy.

Being present and allowing life to unfold as it will inevitably brings moments of joy in some way, shape, or form. Letting joy go when it’s over instead of trying to hold onto it invites it back.

May your day hold many moments of joy, and may you savor each one fully, and let it go.