January 25, 2017: Thank you, marchers and artists!

I am so inspired by all who marched and rallied so peacefully and playfully at last Saturday’s women’s marches--all around the world! 

And by artist Kelly Poole, who created this wonderful “Pussies for Peace” drawing in commemoration of the event.

You can see more of Kelly’s art at http://www.geezberries.com/. She’s also an ecologist, “in love with wild places and things.” I love her eye for wonder and her ability to write about nature from an ecologist’s point of view. 

January 19, 2017: Thank you, Bob Dylan

Neuroscientists have a phrase, "What fires together wires together." What this means partially is that while we can't always control external events, we do have considerable choice in the way we think about those events. Apparently it's true, neurologically speaking, that the thoughts we focus upon ("what fires together") become more prominent ("wires together"). Our thinking then obviously affects our behavior, outlook, circumstances, and maybe even the big world beyond.

Bob Dylan really said this first, didn't he? Here's the way he puts it in "She Belongs to Me":

She's got everything she needs, she's an artist
She don't look back
She's got everything she needs, she's an artist
She don't look back
She can take the dark out of the nighttime
And paint the daytime black

So it is. As artists, which can mean all of us, we have everything we need. We don't have to look back.

That's what I'm working on wiring into my brain.

Even in these very uncertain times.

Thank you, Mr. Dylan.  

January 12, 2017: Dealing with Political Triggers

Getting riled up by political comments on social media, on the street, or in the news?

A mindfulness strategy of compassionate investigation can help channel anger and worry when we are triggered. While we may fall short of the ideal, we can at least try to open our hearts, get curious, and ask ourselves questions like:
·         Why might that person have written/said what he or she did? What might be going on in his/her life to feel that way?
·         What are my own initial reactions? How do those thoughts register in my body – what do they feel like, physically?
·         What do I value that I perceive is being threatened by the person’s comment?
·         Do I feel called to take positive action in support of my values?

Identifying our values can help us de-personalize and shift toward actions like contacting legislators, writing letters-to-the-editor, giving support to organizations working toward our values; or talking to people who think differently in a genuine attempt to understand their views.
This is how our struggles can become our best guides. Exploring them with compassion can lead the way to taking enlightened action. And that’s liberating. 

January 10, 2017: Learning to Bloom Where Planted

Thank you, Spirituality and Health magazine, for publishing my article, "Learning to Bloom Where I am Planted." You can access the article here. I loved the artwork that accompanies the article, as shown below: "Bathers," by artist Olivia Wise.