Beginner’s mind

Today I read a passage in the book A Return To Love that allowed me to better understand some of the issues I’ve been having both with meditation and with surrender.

In Zen Buddhism, there’s a concept called “zen mind”, or “beginner’s mind”. They say that the mind should be like an empty rice bowl. If it’s already full, then the universe can’t fill it. If it’s empty, it has room to receive. This means that when we think we have things already figured out, we’re not teachable. Genuine insight can’t dawn on a mind that’s not open to receive it. Surrender is a process of emptying the mind. 

I think of how many nights (and days) I have listened to endless mind chatter. Worrying about one thing or another, being angry about things I can’t change, thinking about the past or the future. My rice bowl has been full. When I meditate the bowl empties out a bit, when I have CST treatments it’s like someone turns that bowl upside down and shakes all the old stuff out.

I keep telling God I want to surrender, I want to hand my worries over to him. Yet I have control issues, I think I can handle things myself (FYI, I can’t), I keep my rice bowl full of things that aren’t nourishing me.

I understand better why the meditation time is so important, why I feel so filled after a CST treatment. I have made space in my head for the voice of God. That is happiness.



Keeping the faith

Yesterday in the conference I’m attending, we talked about the fact that often we come up against a wall that prevents us from being able to move ahead. Even when we know we are walking on the right path and have a clear sense of what we are doing and where we are going, sometimes this huge wall comes up and we are unable to go through or around it. Brian talks about how we can learn to create a door and walk through that. Not that there is a guarantee that everything on the other side of the door is easy necessarily, but it means that we have made it through the wall.

I woke up last night at 2am with a very strong understanding that I am sitting at my door in the wall, but that it is locked. I lay there for a while wondering what to do about that. I had no idea where the key was, what it looked like, or what I needed to do in order to unlock it. I stewed for a while, finally asking God to show me what the hell this meant (God has got used to the fact that I don’t use church language in my daily life), and then fell back asleep without having any clear answer (or even a foggy answer).

I got up and read my devotional this morning and it gave me some guidance (big surprise). Faith is being certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Genuine faith puts its letter in the mailbox and lets go. Distrust, however, holds on to a corner of the envelope and then wonders why the letter never arrives…. it is the same with genuine faith. It hands its circumstance over to God, allowing Him to to work…. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this”. He will never work until we commit. Faith is receiving – or even more, actually appropriating – the gifts God offers us. We may believe in Him, come to Him, commit to Him and rest in Him but we will never fully realize all our blessings until we begin to receive from Him… (Streams in the Desert)

Yesterday there was a lot of focus on making a commitment. We need to make very clear and concise intentions and then commit to them so that we can then receive them. I have known for a while that I get blocked at the receiving or allowing phase of things. As I was driving into town today to hook onto the internet and I was listening to Just be Held it came to me. Really it was spoken to me. I need to surrender all the crap I’m carrying so that I can receive. There’s so much fear tied into that surrender.

Of course, the thing that I am also aware is my greatest challenge is the thing I need to do to get through the damn door. Who is surprised? It enforces the fact that my focus is in the right place though. I need to continue to work on surrender. Being able to surrender will allow me to finally move beyond my fear and my pain. I will not spend the rest of my life being defined by fear and pain. It’s exactly why I started this blog – to move into a state of happiness.

I have so much to say about what I’m learning this weekend. It’s already profoundly changed the way I’m going to move into my professional practice – and given me the confidence boost I needed to do that. It has overridden the negative hateful voice of Mr. X telling me I will fail. Love wins – always.

A happiness moment I gained today that I didn’t expect was that I made friends over the past couple of days. Some of them I will get to meet in real life in June and some of them I will continue to connect with online. I’ve added more people to my tribe – healers like me who are banding together to bring light to the world.

I’ve come out of the weekend with my vision:

My vision is to bring happiness and peace to people’s lives




Lay it down 

I think I am finally at the point where I lay down some of the burden I am carrying to God and surrender it. There’s nothing more *I* can do now anyway, someone else is going to decide what is fair and just and we will both have to live with that. I am looking forward to that, we are never going to agree.  I don’t want to be carrying around all this hurt and anger anymore. I do want the chance to begin to build a new life.

Part of the reason I’ve struggled with the surrender is because I have the feeling that what will come after that will be sadness. I’ve done disbelief, betrayal, fear, anger, and now here I am – surrender and some sadness. But, what am I sad about really? Now that I know who he is, I don’t love him so I’m not sad about it being over. I’m not sad about the idea of starting a new life. I think I’m just sad about the end of a dream I had for our family. A dream that was never going to come true anyway. I think the sadness part is going to be relatively quick.

So, I’m going to lay it all down and surrender it over to my higher power. I know he feeds on my anger and hurt, I’ve seen his smug smile when he’s managed to upset me (and I’m not the only one who has noticed this). It seems to bring him some strange satisfaction to know he’s managed to make me feel insecure or upset. I don’t need to be fueling that anymore.

I want to walk into the life I’m living now with joy and gratitude. There is so much about the life I’m living now that I appreciate. I am surrounded by an awesome tribe of people, I live where I love, I am gaining confidence in the career I’m establishing, and I can smell horses from my front yard. It’s time to look forward into my happy future instead of looking back at a very painful past.

Today is kind of a whole happiness moment day. I spent quiet time working on my course, spent time visiting with my sister, walked the dog on a gloriously warm Sunday afternoon, and tonight the monsters and I are having a very special (and fun, fun, fun) cousins night. I have so much in my life to be happy about and I am incredibly grateful that I decided to look for a happiness moment in each and every day. I think about how much my joy has increased since I began this journey and it makes me smile. Life is good.

I love where I live


Learning to surrender

Learning to surrender seems to be my theme over the past year. Not too long ago I had to surrender to God as I watched Dad come to the end of his life. I so wanted a miracle, and prayed for him to get better. But that wasn’t the path, and I was finally able to surrender to God and allow what was going to happen.

As difficult (and incredibly sad) as that was in some ways it was easier than the surrender I am learning to fall into now. I knew Dad was going to die. Surrendering all of that to God felt like being lifted up and held. It provided love and comfort.

I’ve struggled much more during this divorce with the concept of surrender. I sometimes confuse that word with giving up, and I constantly have to remind myself that they have completely different meanings. I get often angry at the thought of surrender (confusing the actions) and think – I am never going to just give up. I didn’t stand up for myself (and the kids) for years, finally I’m strong enough to face this and I’m not going to wave the white flag ever.

But, giving up and surrendering are totally different. I don’t have to give up the path I am on in order to surrender to God.

Giving up means rolling up in a ball in bed and crying. It means no action, no hope, living in suffering, and moving away from the connection with God. It actually sounds much like the way I lived for years in an emotionally abusive marriage. Well, that was an eyeopening and unexpected revelation (maybe you knew it already, I didn’t until I wrote it just now).

Surrender is more an acceptance of what is. By releasing it allows for more happiness, brings me closer to God, and means embracing life as it is.

This has been such an emotionally challenging year. Having Mr. X cut off our finances not even 8 months after Dad died and then finding out he had spent thousands of dollars getting his mistress into bed while telling me he was living on rice and beans was gutting. But it showed me once and for all the person that he is. I couldn’t deny it or make excuses for that behaviour anymore.

Every time I pray for help, for support, for love I keep hearing that I need to surrender everything to Him. And then I fight it. Because I don’t want to give up. But now I understand that I can surrender without giving up. I’m not saying I’ll go gently into it. I think it will be a struggle for the rest of my life this learning how to gracefully surrender. That frustrates me because I have a strong faith and I know that  every single time I have needed Him that God has been there preforming miracles. It should be the easiest thing in the world to have complete trust in the One Being who would never let me down. And yet….

I’m a work in progress

My happiness moment was standing in my kitchen looking out at the barn listening to the song Stuck on You. I used to take my old tape recorder with songs I’d recorded off the radio (remember the 70s and 80s?) and play my songs over and over while I hung out with Pirate in the barn. Some of my best memories are of singing Stuck on You while grooming and hugging on him. He was a one of a kind pony and I feel so blessed that he was in my life. I learned so much about how to be brave and to achieve the impossible from my relationship with him. That was love.


Spring cleaning 

I have decided with the change of season that it is once again time to get rid of those things that no longer serve me. 

Even though I have made a lot of changes over the past few years, and have already done a lot of clearing, there’s still a lot of crap I’m holding onto that isn’t serving me well. So, it’s time for all of that to go. 

There’s a lot of thoughts I need to change. In so many ways my life is more hopeful, positive, and happy – and I want my thoughts to reflect that part of my life. That black poison has consumed more than its fair share of my thinking and I’m done with that. 

So all that fear and hate that he’s sent my way I’m sending back. All the fear and hate I’ve created within myself (and I’ve done a good job of that), I’m releasing into the universe. I don’t need it. I want to think about the swans, the laughter of the kids, smiles from friends, and all the other glorious things the world has to offer. 

There’s a lot of material junk I’ve got sitting in my house that is no longer of any use to me as well. Some of it isn’t even mine. I don’t need to be holding  onto things that I’m not using, or that don’t bring me joy and have sentimental value. They’re all getting stacked up to go. 

I went through my Facebook and contacts and got rid of people I have lost touch with or aren’t friends with anymore. The clutter of old acquaintances who I will likely never talk to again was really filling up space. I want my world full of people who bring brightness into my life. 

My happiness moment was stretching this morning in my yoga class. It was during this class that I realized that I have so much I need to let go of. It feels good to surrender some of that. 


My hummingbird charm 

The other day I wrote about the little chapel I discovered while out walking around Old Town Albuquerque.  For some reason I was really drawn to that space. I had been feeling kind of upset and just being there had really calmed me and brought me back to feeling peaceful and grounded.

Yesterday I was wandering about looking for little souvenirs to take back for the kids and I came across a small hummingbird charm. Hummingbirds and I seem to be very drawn to each other. I am fascinated by their small size and yet their ability to travel long distances, the way they fight with each other (way more aggressively than I would have thought), and their simple beauty. The charm was only $2.50 and for some reason I was compelled to purchase it. It came with a little quotation about the spiritual meaning of a hummingbird:

When you see a hummingbird it is very lucky indeed,

because it is known as a healer if you’re ever in need

Despite its small size it flies great distances and even flies backwards too.

A reminder to have faith and enjoy all that you do.

It seemed to be a perfect reminder of where I was at in my life right now. Learning to have faith and enjoy what I’m doing is kind of my theme at the present moment.  I bought him, the lady put him in a tiny ziploc bag and I brought him back to the hotel. For some reason last night I moved him over to my purse, even though I intended to pack him in the suitcase. As I looked at my little bird in the bag, I thought about how he looked like he was suffocating the way he was locked inside that plastic. I felt upset about this, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do about it. I didn’t want to take him out and lose him, I had planned to put him with my special rocks at home.

However, when I was standing inside the chapel today looking at the small gifts and letters that other people had left there, I was compelled to take my little bird out and place him with the other offerings. I sat for a while holding him, seeing how I felt about leaving him there. All of my feelings seemed to guide me to the realization that this was where he was supposed to be. For whatever reason my little hummingbird did not need to go home with me, he needed to stay right there in that chapel.

So, I found a nice little spot for him in a pinecone, said a prayer of gratitude and I left.

My moment of happiness today.



I come from a long line of extremely stubborn and willful people so to say that I don’t surrender easily (or at all) into things is putting it mildly. 

Since having yoga and mediation and Ayurveda introduced into my life I have been actively seeking the way to surrender. It hasn’t been successful. 

This is likely because I’ve been trying to force myself to surrender. Stubbornly and willfully. With no success. 

I always imagined how my true surrender would go. It would be like Disney meets Kripalu. I would be sitting serenely in a field with butterflies flitting about, deer skipping by, and flowers dancing a merry rainbow of peace and serenity. I would be radiating bliss from my inner core as I sat in peaceful meditation. 

No matter how many times I tried to force this peaceful surrender it never happened. 

Today for the first time I felt myself – my whole self, body mind and spirit – surrender. 

Here’s what it looked like: me lying on the ground yelling no, no, no, no, no, no,no f*ck, f*ck (a few more hundred of those)…. FINE. Then I lay there and cried. And I’m not a pretty crier. It was heaping, drooling, snotty sobs of tears. 

Then I got up, dusted myself off, and continued to cry for the next 12 hours. Actually, since I’m still crying now it will be much longer I’m sure.

But, somewhere in that heaping, ugly mess came surrender. I felt it happen. I just gave it all up. 

Once I got to the point where I was beyond trying to force myself into a place that was not authentic for me it just happened. Right now in this moment in time, surrender for me is curled up in the fetal position crying my eyes out. And that’s ok. Because it’s real. 

Surrender meant acknowledging what is happening, having my authentic response to it and being ok with it. Knowing that what happens is beyond my control. That it’s not my job to reach for a specific outcome. Right now it’s my job to surrender, to cry, to feel, to relax and let be

Happiness moment today was sitting with dad in a sunbeam while giving him a big hug. Yes, I cried for most of it. But whatever. It was still a moment of true love and that means happiness.