When my dog Shadow was a baby she learned a trick. I usually keep a glass of water on my bedside table at night. She would crawl onto my chest and stare at it, growling, until I lifted it to her nose, tilted the glass and gave her a sip.
After enough times of this, even if there was no glass of water, her clamoring up to my chest, staring at the bedside table and growling meant: I’m thirsty, please give me some water.
In her mind, the bedside table is where the good water, that’s cold and comes in…
In my 20’s, I signed myself up for a week long silent meditation retreat at a Buddhist center deep in the woods of a tiny New England town. I was nervous. But not about maintaining silence. No, the real driver of my fears was the thought of being stranded in the middle of nowhere at the mercy of retreat center food, with no means to pop out for a bite of something better should a craving arise.
I’m a New Yorker; we’re used to being able to eat almost any kind of food at almost any time of day. There’s…
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said: I’m not bossy, I’m just always right. It made me laugh out loud and it reminded me of something I needed to remember: one of the most powerful tricks we can keep up our sleeves along the journey in this life is a good, healthy sense of humor.
The Ego insists on being taken seriously regardless of how ridiculous its attitude and expectations are most of the time. …
The hydrangea came early this year. I sat on a blanket and pulled weeds from the mulch at their base in my front yard. It’s a meditative task that brings a lot of satisfaction. But one weed had grown like a spiral staircase, twisting up and around the tall stalks of hydrangea in a way that was very hard to untangle.
I tried to yank down from the root but that only tightened its hold like a set of zipper teeth, closing and pulling up. It crushed some of the fat, green leaves growing among the flowers.
I tried to…
I moved to the new house on the heels of finalizing my divorce. It was the end of June and New York looked like a coloring book, filled in. Green and lush and abundant. Rhododendrons in full bloom and bright pink peonies everywhere, bending outside the lines.
Alive, alive, alive.
The kids, the dogs and I drove across the bridge from my real estate lawyer’s office, in the dead heat of the afternoon. Windows all the way down, radio all the way up.
I was gripping the key in my hand as I drove. This single, metal key on its…
Last week I listened to a recorded lecture from Caroline Myss. She shared a saying of her father’s: “There’s no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.”
The theme of her lecture was: Where is God?
She asked questions like: Who do we picture when we pray to God? Where does God live?
The responses were different versions of the same answers. The ones I grew up with. The ones that were never compelling enough to hold my interest. “God is masculine, with a long white beard like Santa Claus. He lives in the clouds. …
The opposite of writing is ironing.
It’s vacuuming under the couch cushions.
It’s scrubbing grout with an old toothbrush.
Or wiping down the inside of the cheese drawer in the fridge.
It’s all the deep, detailed aspects of housekeeping which tend to go to hell when I’m on fire with a good idea.
If the house is sparkling, my well is dry.
A Course In Miracles teaches that every problem contains, within it, the miracle which will solve it. They are never separate from each other. We just can’t see the solution because we’ve forgotten how to turn on the…
A few weeks before the pandemic settled in to our collective realities, I walked, maskless and ignorantly blissful, into a department store changing room and had an epiphany: I’ve been wearing the wrong size jeans my whole life.
I am a carbon copy of my mom’s body, for better or worse. Strong arms and legs and a belly like a bread basket. My belly has been my nemesis for the majority of my adult life. I’ve hated on it. Then I’ve tried loving on it. I’ve negotiated with it. I’ve hid it. I’ve girdled it. I’ve resented it. Sometimes I’ve…
Growing up, my dad was severely depressed but we didn’t call it that. We called it: “Quiet, Dad has a headache.” We called it: “Dad isn’t coming today. He needs to lie down.” We called it: “Don’t tell Dad, he’ll just get upset.”
We sectioned off from him out of thoughtfulness for what we thought he needed from us. But the truth is, we were afraid of him. Afraid of his moods. Afraid to challenge his request to be left alone. Afraid of his depression.
How does isolating someone who already feels worthless and broken make things better?
I lost my body once.
Not the way you lose car keys or sunglasses. More like the way we lose touch with old friends. The effort to stay connected turns half-hearted. We shift from tossing out specific days and times to saying things like: “soon” and “let’s make it happen”.
I lost my body the way the mountains get lost in the fog some days. We could be driving toward them or toward the middle of the ocean. It’s impossible to tell the difference.
I lost my body the way I lose my train of thought sometimes. What was it…