Tag Archives: breakthrough

Perfect Moment Monday: Retreat

As part of a year-long course I’m immersed in, I had the pleasure of spending a weekend with a group of authentic and supportive women (12 of us plus a teacher) at a dude ranch called Peaceful Valley. We drove up between snowfalls and, because of the time of year, ended up being the only people there that weekend. It was blissful in many ways.

One way was that I got a dose of the solitude I so often crave. I enjoyed some of that time and mountain air to think about and continue writing my book.

Much of the class time was spent getting acquainted (or reacquainted) with the creation stories of the book of Genesis. The beliefs within have shaped much of western civilization, regardless of which religion you personally may or may not practice.

In Chapter 1 we read about a loving God, the epitome of a good parent, who who creates and gives and blesses. After “male and female created he them,” God rests. Over and over again we read, “It was good.”

In Chapter 2, however, this LORD God dude enters the picture and the story is told all over again.

  • Only in this version, the woman comes from the man’s body (even though everything we’ve ever observed in nature is that the female body delivers new life).
  • Only in this version, god isn’t loving and blessing and giving. In fact, LORD God is a bit of a trickster and not what anyone would use as a model parent. What loving parent would set his innocent children in a beautiful room and say, “Touch anything you want except THIS REALLY SOFT AND COZY BLANKET?” When the children do succumb to the constructed temptation, what compassionate parent would then berate his children, curse them and their progeny for eternity, curse the very earth they live on and banish them from his home?

Can you imagine doing so? I think most of us mere mortals would foresee the folly of the forbidden fruit. But if we didn’t, we’d probably use any resulting disobedience as a teaching moment. Why is it we have given LORD God a pass on this?

  • Later in Genesis, LORD God chooses one brother over the other  in a pattern that later repeats itself. What kind of wise parent would praise a child who hands him a fistful of dandelions but chide the sibling who brings him a frog? The  result of the ensuing jealousy is a murder and another curse and another banishment.

The reason we were talking about the early chapters of Genesis is that we who have a relationship with God may have conflated “God-the-loving” with “LORD God-the-poser.”

Doing so leads to our collective feelings of shame, unworthiness, separation, fear, hopelessness. We have been cursed and deceived and told that our eternal life depends  on loving and being loved by this trickster of a divine parent. No wonder we have evil in the world, as we try to cover up our shame, best each other, and do unspeakable things because we feel disconnected from LORD God and from one another.

It was a lot to think about and a new way of framing my relationship with God. Liberating, really.

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the 4th Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. The next Perfect Moment Monday event will be on February 27.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow Write Mind Open Heart.
  2. Between the Sunday night before and the Sunday night after, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.Perfect Moment MondayWhat Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.

Perfect Moment Monday: Shiny things

This is on my nightstand. No reason .

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We’d made a deal, Tessa and I. If she could go four days in a row without any arguing with me — not over clothes, homework, TV, eating, bedtime, bathtime or anything else — she could get her ears pierced early for her birthday.

(Secretly I half-predicted enough false starts to take us all the way to her 2012 birthday.)

This arrangement was set on a Thursday night.

Friday was very pleasant as Tessa was on her best behavior. Granted, during the school day she wasn’t with me, but during the times she was, I heard “OK, Mom!” over and over.

Hear that? The angel choir?

Saturday and Sunday were the same. No fights with her brother. All chores done happily. Appropriate clothing chosen. Agreeable to a fault. Toys put away.

The transformation was amazing. I no longer had to exert such control over her because she was now controlling herself.

Which, of course we noticed and praised and reinforced in every way we could think of.

I wish there were more of a plot line (well, not really), but Monday went off without a hitch, too. So Tuesday after school, Tessa and Grandma and I went where every pre-teen girl on the planet seems to go to get her ears pierced (do you know how many such videos are on YouTube??):  Claire’s.

And Tessa grew up from this:

to this:

In more ways than one.

I am quite enjoying this new relationship with my very grown up girl.

Ear Images: © WriteMindOpenHeart.com. May be used only with attribution and linkage.

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.

 

Perfect Moment Monday: Swearing on

Back in high school, I went skiing with our church’s youth group. It was miserable and I swore off skiing forever.

That was before I had a husband to please. Six years ago, I succumbed to said husband’s requests to ski again. It was still pretty miserable (especially on my left, black-and-blue hip) and again, I swore off skiing forever.

That was before I had children to please. In January, my extended family shared a weekend in the mountains. Only my parents and I remained in the cabin while the others skied. When Tessa and Reed returned from the slopes, they plaintively asked me if I would pleeeeeeaaase try skiing so that we could do it as a family. (Coached — ya think??).

I was momentarily touched and said yes, I would try again sometime. Hoping that they would forget.

Well, they didn’t, and this past weekend we four hit the slopes. Even I!

One thing that made me hopeful is that since my last foray onto the slopes, I’ve taken up yoga. In theory, my balance should be better and my core should be stronger.

But you know what made the biggest difference between the last two times I tried and now?

This time, I cared not a whit what anybody else on the slopes thought of me — in fact I didn’t even notice other skiers and snowboarders. Previously, I was paralyzed by the thought of what I might look like to all the hot-doggers on the slope — I foolishly let the imagined thoughts of others derail my efforts. This time, I was fully in myself, focusing only on the task at hand.

Another motivator? This is my era of facing fears.

I took a group lesson with “Dutch,” a 60 year-old former stud with a current swagger, who looked and sounded like Ah-nald. After learning the basics of moving around in skis, we headed uphill on the magic carpet and later graduated to a small ski lift. Getting off it was the scariest part of the lesson; I bobbled a couple of times.

And got back up.

The kids were taking a more advanced lesson nearby, and would cheer me on whenever we were within shouting distance.

Other than getting off the ski lift, I stayed upright almost the entire lesson. After my 5th or 6th run, Dutch commented on my style. “Lah-ree! You have SOOO much cahn-trol. In fact, you haff 110% cahn-trol. Could you give up a little bit of cahn-trol?” Belly laugh.

Clearly, he didn’t know me.

The half-day lesson ended at lunchtime and Roger, fresh off the double diamonds, skied down the bunny slope with me. “Did you have fun?” he asked, hopefully.

I couldn’t say that I had fun. I could say that I accomplished my goals by showing up and booting up, by finishing the lesson, and by showing my kids that it’s all about trying, even if you’re grown up.

And this time, I’m not swearing off anything.

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.

Perfect Moment Monday: Changing my mind

For over a year, I’ve been making a conscious effort to re-examine thoughts I have about myself, and to ease up on locking my limited self in boxes.

I did so last January when I morphed from the woman who couldn’t bear to think about LASIK to the woman who sees clearly now.

My recent perfect moment has to do with salamba sirsasana, more commonly known as headstand. And no, I didn’t do one.

One thing to know about salamba sirasana is that you don’t really stand on your head. The top of your head barely touches the ground. You’re supposed to balance instead on your forearms, so the pose requires shoulder and core strength. Like other inversion poses, headstand is terrific for circulation, for brain function, for digestion, and for seeing with a new perspective.

The box I had myself in?

  • I hate being upside down.
  • I couldn’t do a headstand even if I wanted to, which I don’t.
  • I’m not strong enough.
  • The pose is always going to be way beyond me.

I would watch enviously as my fellow yoginis (I’m looking at you!) would ease into salamba sirasana in the middle of the room as if it were no.big.deal. Watching them generated decidedly un-compassionate and un-yogic thoughts.

I spent 4 years practicing yoga before I peeked out of the box. About 6 months ago I ventured to try salamba sirasana against a wall. The first time I did so for about eight-tenths of a second. From one of the next 25 times I tried against the wall — each time getting a little longer — I ended up with a small burst blood vessel in my eye.

See? I said to my scared self. Safer to stay in the box.

But my brave self prevailed, and about 2 weeks ago I was able to not only maintain a headstand for several breaths against the wall, but also to move my feet away from the wall.

This was huge.  I could now sense in my body what the pose feels like. I’ve got some muscle memory.

This week in a yoga class, I attempted salamba sirasana in the middle of the room. I didn’t get all the way up, but I was able to hoist both sets of toes off the mat, poised to pike up. It lasted eight-tenths of a second, but made the crack in the box that much bigger.

The goal is in sight. I know that someday soon I will add salamba sirasana to the list of asanas I can do.

This sense of progress and of mind over matter gave me a perfect moment.

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.