Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

your fellow sun-worshippers
run
the world. Watch as they kneel to the sun.

~ Frank Bidart, from “The Fifth Hour of the Night” in Paris Review (Issue 229, Summer 2019)


Photo: PDX Daybreak by Jake Egbert (Mt. Hood, Portland, OR)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

 

“To live deliberately on the edges of things, in active resistance to a world that places all its value on speed and productivity…It is a reminder that more than ever we need people willing to pause and listen, to open their hearts to what is uncomfortable, and to hold space and attention until the new thing emerges…Perhaps…if we keep practicing…we will hear whispers of a new beginning.”

~ Christine Valters Paintner, from “Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist


Quote Source via Make Believe Boutique. Photo by Laura Malucchi titled Pause.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack… This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life.

― Lynne TwistThe Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life

 


Notes: Quote Source: In Your Head. Painting by Rafael Sottolichio (Montreal) with Engloutis_19 (via Mennyfox55)

Take the Test


Source: Ed Batista

Lightly Child, Lightly.


and maybe a good day
is standing outside your window,

quietly tapping
until you are alert enough
to hear its sound
and draw the curtains.

let light in.

Noor Shirazie, into the wildfire: battle scars


Notes:

  • Photo by Ibai Acevedo titled A la vuelta de la esquina
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

It’s been a long day

Rich: I want to talk about this idea that is super important, the stories that we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and how we get caught up in these narratives that don’t serve you. Where do these stories come from and how we can decouple that narrative and begin the process of telling ourselves a new story.

Sharon: If you have a prevalent, frequent critical voice, your inner critic, sometimes what’s good is giving it a persona, give it a name. Give it a wardrobe. I have named my inner critic Lucy after the character in the Peanuts comic strip…I see this cartoon where Lucy is in the first frame talking to Charlie Brown and she says: “You know Charlie Brown, the problem with you is that you are you.” And then in the second frame poor Charlie Brown says: “Well, what in the world  can I do about that?”  Then in the third and final frame Lucy says: “I don’t pretend to give advice, I merely point out the problem.”

And I would keep coming back to the line: “The problem with you is that you are you.” Because that Lucy voice had been so dominant in my early life, I really credit my meditation training for basically having a different relationship to Lucy. Instead of on the one hand believing her completely, you are right Lucy, you are always right. Where on the other hand hating her, and fearing her and being shamed and all that.  I realized that I had two ways of approaching her. One was, Hi Lucy, I see you and the other was to Chill out Lucy.

Rich: Packed into that is the idea of becoming the Observer as opposed to identifying with that voice as being part and parcel of who you are, like wrapping it up in your identity.

Sharon: Very soon after I saw the cartoon, something great happened for me and my first thought was: “This is never going to happen again.”

Rich: It’s the negative bias. We’re hard wired, we’re predisposed to identify these negative things that occur to us and then choose to string these together and create this story of who we are, how we got here and what’s going to happen to us in the future.

Sharon: …we are conditioned usually towards negativity – – – you are thinking about your day, evaluating yourself on how well did I do today.  It’s not uncommon to only think about the mistakes and what you didn’t do that well, and where you didn’t show up that well, and it takes intentionality to say anything else happened today. It’s not hypocrisy. It’s not denying that there were issues. But it’s not all that happened.   To get to a truer, bigger picture, we have to actually move our attention consciously towards the good. Anything good happened today? Anything good within me? And that kind of elasticity reflects the ability of attention and part of the meditative process. But it begins with seeing the story…

Rich: I think about the story I tell myself, about myself. But also the story I tell about the other people that I encounter throughout my day, and that story is generally reflective of my own state of mind and how I feel about myself. If I feel good about myself, I’m probably going to tell a more flattering version…But when you really analyze it, you realize over the course of your life, billions of things have happened to you. Billions! And we extract out these 10 things that happen over the course of our life and we identify with them so deeply, so thoroughly that they infect and invade how we see ourselves and every decision we make. How we interact with other people. What words that come out of our mouth…Its amazing how pervasive it is. Its so cemented that the idea of even looking at that or being critical of the veracity of that, let alone reframing it, is something that I think that most people don’t even begin to engage in.

Sharon: That’s true. Absolutely true.  Which is why I think seeing the story is the first and most critical step because a lot of people don’t even believe that…we don’t realize how impacted we are by all those views, our Lucy coming at us…

~ Rich Roll, Interview with Meditation Master Sharon Salzberg on Real Love & The Art of Mindful Connection (Podcast, June 25, 2017)

 


Related Posts: It’s been a long day

 

Swirl it around and find it

Set aside 10 minutes before you go to bed each night to write down three things that went really well that day. Next to each event answer the question, “Why did this good thing happen?”

Instead of focusing on life’s lows, which can increase the likelihood of depression, the exercise “turns your attention to the good things in life, so it changes what you attend to,” Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman said. “Consciousness is like your tongue: It swirls around in the mouth looking for a cavity, and when it finds it, you focus on it. Imagine if your tongue went looking for a beautiful, healthy tooth.” Polish it.

~ Julie Scelfo, excerpt from Get Happy: Four Well-Being Workouts (NY Times, April 5, 2017)


Photo: Pinterest

Light child, lightly (2)

bird-in-hand-kiss

I heard a bird congratulating itself
all day for being a jay.
Nobody cared. But it was glad
all over again, and said so, again

~ William Stafford, “News Every Day” from Passwords

 


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you Karl @ Mindfulbalance.
  • Photo: wsj.com – Youssef Badawi – A bird seller getting close to the merchandise at al-Shaalan market in Damascus, Syria.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

This is your brain. This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?

patty-maher-ceremony-of-waiting

A mind fed on words such as heaven, earth, dew, essence, cinnabar, moonlight, stillness, jade, pearl, cedar, and winter plum is likely to have a serenity not to be found in minds ringing with the vocabulary of the present age–computer, tractor, jumbo jet, speedball, pop, dollar, liquidation, napalm, overkill! Who would thrill at the prospect of rocketing to the moon in a billion-dollar spacecraft if he knew how to summon a shimmering gold and scarlet dragon at any time of the day or night and soar among the stars?

John Blofeld, What Words Does Your Mind Feed on? “Taoism: The Road to Immortality” (Shambhala, August 8, 2000)

 


Notes:

Burn Down That (Old) House

mind-psychology-chart


Notes:

  • Source: Ed Batista – Meredith-Whipple Callahan on Mindsets
  • Post Title inspiration – “There are those who receive as birthright an adequate or at least unquestioned sense of self and those who set out to reinvent themselves, for survival or for satisfaction, and travel far. Some people inherit values and practices as a house they inhabit; some of us have to burn down that house, find our own ground, build from scratch, even as a psychological metamorphosis.” – Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Such a simple little chart…

energy-intensity-chart

Read more: Your High-Intensity Feelings May Be Tiring You Out


As you decide what to wear this morning…

Carl-richards-chart-dress

The way we dress affects the way we feel. And the way we feel affects our ability to get stuff done and influence people. Call it superficial if you want, but researchers have a different name for the link between what we wear and how we feel: enclothed cognition. […]

“I found the shoeshine stand and sat down. The man took one look at my boots and said, “This will be the hardest project of the day.” He got to work, and a short time later it looked like I was wearing new boots. But as nice as my boots appeared, what really surprised me was how much better I felt. Now, I usually don’t care all that much about what I wear. Just ask my wife. So it sounds silly that a simple shoeshine changed my mood. But it did. The simple act of getting my boots polished made me feel better. […]

“One other reason for dressing the part: When we’re getting ready to perform a task, a good deal of the work starts with putting ourselves in the right place mentally.” […]

For anyone who sees people as part of the job or wants to influence the behavior of others, the way we dress does matter. So let’s not kid ourselves. First, people judge us, at least in part, by how we dress. Second, what we wear affects how we feel about ourselves. […]

Read more by Carl Richards: Dress the Part, and It’s Easier to Walk the Walk

Lift it. Lift it way up.

jellyfish-blue

My mood suddenly lifted.
The day was crisp and bright,
the atmosphere quivering with life,
like the translucent strands of a rare aquatic species
with long, flowing tentacles,
lappets flowing vertically from a jellyfish’s bell.
Would that human energy could materialize in such a way.
I imagine such strands waving horizontally
from the edges of my black coat.

~ Patti Smith, M Train


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly

light-sun

[…]
I walk
into what light
there is
[…]

~ Mark Strand, from “Another Place,” Collected Poems

Notes:

  • Quote Source: Schonwieder. Photo: A Clean-Well Lighted Place
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

 

Just do it.

sun-light-positive-negative-clouds-gif-illustration


Source: mennyfox55

 

Lightly child, lightly

tunnel-dark-light
Don’t wait
for a light at the end of a tunnel.
Stomp on down there and
turn the flare* on yourself.

~ Sarah Millican


Notes:

  • Photo: Rui Veiga (Lausanne, Switzerland) via Mennyfox55.
  • *Modified Quote.  See original The Sensual Starfish. (This is a PG rated blog.)
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Oh, yes. I feel that.

legs-light-sun-toes-feet

He had said,
‘Sometimes I feel quite distinctly
that what is inside me is not all of me.
There’s something else, sublime, quite indestructible,
some tiny fragment of the universal spirit.
Don’t you feel that?’

~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward


Credits: Quote Source: Memory’s Landscape. Photo:  Miradas (via Mennyfox55)

Go.

tune,lyrics,this little light of mine


Source: yogaholics. (“This Little Light of Mine” is a gospel children’s song with lyrics by Avis Burgeson Christiansen and a tune written by composer and teacher Harry Dixon Loes (1895–1965) circa 1920.)

Aye Aye

negative,positive
This idea is simple.
We’re updating the guidelines to add:

“Avoid gratuitous negativity.”

Critical thinking is good; shallow cynicism, on the other hand, adds nothing of value to the community. It is unpleasant to read and detracts from actual work. If you have something important but negative to say, that’s fine, but say it in a respectful way. Negativity isn’t the problem–gratuitous negativity is. By that we mean negativity that adds nothing of substance to a comment. This includes all forms of meanness.

~ Sam Altman, New Hacker News Guideline @ Y Combinator Posthaven


 

Walking Cross-Town. On Edges.

NYC-walk-new-york

The mercury tipped 15º F. A veritable heat wave.
It’s 6:20 AM and the train pulls into Grand Central.
I twist in my ear buds and cue up my “Favorites” playlist.
Angus Stone: Bird on a Buffalo.
The herd stampedes out of the station.
Are you the bird? Or the buffalo?

I’m passing commuters on my left. And on my right.
Middle age, my a**. Can’t touch me. I’m sure those are whispers I hear behind me: “Who is that Pro Athlete?”
Another solid night of sleep. Superman. Cape.
I’m out on 48th and heading cross-town.
Cold air shocks Clark Kent. He wobbles, exhales mist, watches it rise and marches on.

My pace has me hitting each “Walk” sign in succession. Dominos falling.
No slowing, no stopping. Batta Bing, Batta Bang.
It’s going to be a good day.

Light wind gusts at my back.
Wind triggers the Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May the cabs stay on the highway and not plow into me on the curb.
May these brutal Arctic winds stay down.
May the sun warm my cold freezing a**,
And please God, no freezing rain. Please no more. [Read more…]

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