Monthly Archives: February 2010

The First Rule is: Show Up

In therapy the other day I found myself talking about teaching other people how to meditate. Please note that I will cheerfully admit that I am still learning to meditate, and I’ve been doing it for 30+ years. But I know how to teach others, because the first rule is:

show up

That’s it. If you show up you are 100% of the way further than you were yesterday when you didn’t show up.

It’s a tough one, I know. There are all of the things that keep you from it, that distract you, that make it impossible . . . I know.

Over the years I’ve told people to go to the bathroom to meditate (its the only place they are left alone for a few mins); I’ve encouraged them to set boundaries (It’s ok to be left alone for 15 mins every day); and I’ve introduced them to the Law of  3Bs (if there is no blood, or bone, and everyone is breathing — don’t bother me).

But all of that is just window dressing for the most important step: Show Up.

. . .

Oh, you want to know what the 2nd rule is? Shut up.


Tiredness, FTW!

Yes, that is my attempt at humor.

Yesterday — Saturday — I worked a 10 hour day. We have a big project going to the client (hard deadline) on Tuesday and they are still writing one portion of it. One of my ‘hats’ is report production, so I went in to take all of the other portions of the report and make them pretty. This is after working a normal week.

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Today is World Cancer Day

Today, February 4, is World Cancer Day. As someone in the midst of the freaking wild ride known as cancer, this is a day to mark. I am celebrating the day by going in for my Oncology Orientation. Isn’t that beautifully ironic?

This year, the theme is ‘Cancer Can be Prevented Too’ and it is a position I heartily endorse. Most illness, including cancer, can be prevented if each of us takes three steps: don’t smoke, eat well, and walk 30 mins a day. That’s it.  Everything else is a flourish on the basic plan and I freely acknowledge that you can spend a lot of time discussing what ‘eat well’ means. For me, it means all foods are viable, but limit anything processed and try to stick with local, in season produce. (If the 1st ingredient is ‘enriched,’ its processed.) I will gladly sit down to a grass-fed steak dinner with salad and baked potato and butter. I’ll even have a glass or two of good red wine. But I don’t do that every night. In fact, most nights my meal is 2/3 vegetables.

Not smoking is a major factor. As an ex-addict I know exactly how hard it is to quit. Try. Try it again. Keep trying until you quit. You don’t want to end up like me, who could only stop when she needed cancer cut out of her body.

Walking every day is entirely possible. Get an iPod or (old school!) Walkman, and go for a walk. Get a friend or drag your partner up from the coach and go. Walk in the rain, the snow, and sun. Walk. I’ll eventually be allowed to do something more, but even then I will continue my regimen of waking every day.  If you are really super busy, walk 15 mins and do it twice a day.

Cancer is preventable.

Imbolc: A Feast of Hope

Last night my coven gathered together to celebrate the passing of the seasons with our Imbolc ritual.

Traditionally, this is a Feast of Brigid, the saint/goddess or poetry, smithcraft and healing. Or it is a Feast of candles with fire, initiation and purification being common themes.

We celebrate it a little differently. In our lore, the Sun King is born at Yule  and is a Youth, the embodiment of hope and new beginnings at Imbolc. The Lady is recovering from her birthing and is very much in the background at this celebration. We honor Her wish for solitude and rest and Lugh is our main focus.

We light the balefire, and He invokes all of the promise of Spring and Summer with the burning of a sprig of evergreen. Then He takes into the fire all of our hopes and dreams for the new year, to manifest in the coming months.

I love Working with my coven. There is such a good spirit about coming together with them and honoring the underlying cycle of the world.

All yesterday I was seeing the signs of new life around me. The plum trees across the street from where I work are blooming, as are the pink flowered shrubs in front of my building. In my own garden, the Buddleia and roses are are sprouting at the tips of their branches. The Lilac tree (newly planted last year and a non-starter, I thought) has buds on its tips. On the side of the house, the purple tulips, planted in a tub by the previous owner are growing luxuriously.

Sometimes when I walk, the scent of some newly-opened ground flowers will reach me. We have heather planted all around and some kind of low-lying shrubbery that has rows of heart-shaped tiny flowers all laying atop one another. I suspect that’s the source of the scent, but haven’t confirmed it.

Next stop: Ostara (Spring!)