Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Walt Whitman

We are all singing ourselves alive. As I enter the spring of my soul, Walt Whitman keeps playing through me. There are so many brilliant places he can take you.
Today I'm enjoying this:

I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil,
 this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and 
 their parents the same,[...]
The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, and buzzed whispers.... loveroot, silkthread,
   crotch and vine,
My respiration and inspiration.... the beating of my heart....
   the passing of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore
   and darkcolored sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,
The sound of the belched words of my voice.... words loosed
   to the eddies of the wind,

A few light kisses.... a few embraces.... reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along
   the fields and hill-sides,
The feeling of health.... the full-noon trill.... the song of me
   rising from bed and meeting the sun.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sing Your Song of Self

In July, 3 years ago, I almost died by suffocating. Since, I've been afraid to live.
But bit by bit, remarkable people float into my life and sing alive some part of my smothered self.

Recently, I felt my heart return and open. I hadn't know it was closed or hidden away elsewhere. I thought it was protected, yes, but I hadn't felt it's absence. Classic case of you don't miss what you don't miss. Except I did feel a hole.

What helped? A hakomi session with the amazing Jaci Hull and the company of a remarkable lover. He is one of those few good men who just by how he is in the world calls forth my deepest and most naked self;-)

Now that I can feel everything again, I'm less inclined to be so democratic in my friendships. I still want to "see Jesus in everyone" as Sister Benedetta used to say. But until I know how to stay loving and open without taking in emotional radiation, I will be surrounding myself with people who are generous, good, balanced, creative and kind. Generosity is a value I prize more and more in my relationships. Without generosity, so much is absent--like safety.

It's like when you are recovering from being really sick and your immune system has been assaulted, you don't hang around people with flu and colds. Generosity is a natural immune booster. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Courage and Tenderness

I just noticed that my last two blogs have to do with courage. We have Irshad Manji's "Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the recognition that some things are more important than fear," and we have Dr. Brene Brown's "Courage is the ability to tell the whole story of who you are with your whole heart." 

One of the things that is more important than fear is telling the true story of yourself. To tell who you are with your whole heart everyday and in every action.

Something I am learning to do more and more is to not control others' reaction by controlling what I tell them in order to make them feel or think anything. I'm starting to really value the opposite of "making" someone do or feel. The opposite seems to be about exhibiting, yielding and surrendering to tenderness. I'm mindfully cultivating more tenderness with myself and others, and mindfully grateful to receive another's tenderness with me.

In these months since Michael and I have split, I have received such uncommon tenderness from new and old friends (and yes, a lover) that I know to my core the power of such a gift. Tenderness unlocks my fear, shame, anger, guilt, pride, and has released me to be free to receive, create, feel, and share joy, love, gratitude, grace, peace and the innermost corners of myself. There is nothing to do in the face of tenderness than to surrender to it. Yield to tenderness. Be tender with another. That's good medicine.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TEDx Women

I found a blog post at AmazingWomenRock.com today bemoaning the fact that there are so few women presenters at TED and TEDx events. This, despite the fact that some of the best talks EVER are by women like neuroscientist, Jill Bolte Taylor's recounting of her stroke, or Aimee Mullin's idea that dis-abled has evolved to mean extra-abled or supra-abled, or Eva Vertes new take on medicine and memes in cancer.

The blog author is encouraging us to nominate women speakers we'd like to hear speak at TED and has created a Facebook page where you can nominate your favourites by clicking on this button.

I've been nominated! I Should Talk at TED

I'd like to see/hear Irshad Manji. Why? Because the woman is brilliant, and her insides are on fire with insight, and she has the gumption to take a stand that puts her straight in the cross hairs. Ms. Manji is an erudite and moderate muslim. She challenges her faith to wake up to radical Islam and suggested there is room for reform in her faith.

Ms Manji's speaking in Toronto March 7, and I almost booked a flight from here to there just to hear her and watch her in action. I can't justify the carbon. Please, someone bootleg a video and send it to me?! Irshad maybe your "handlers" can send me one? You know I want to be there!

For those of you who are ADHD, well, I've likely lost you already. If not, watch this video snack of this earthmoving woman talk about what she is up to:

As she so rightly says, "Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the recognition that some things are more important than fear."