Desire over Doubt.
I remember this moment in Costa Rica just before the pandemic hit in March of 2020. We were on a family vacation on the East Coast near Tortuguero, Costa Rica. We went for a walk on the black beach just as a storm was rolling in over the Caribbean Sea. Leif wanted to stand on this rock and experience the surf all around him, to feel the rush and the power of the ocean and the impending storm - to marvel at the power of weather and water and the enormity of feeling small. He kept trying and fearing and stepping down and getting nervous to try again. Once or twice he fell in the water and almost gave up. It seemed so easy for his older brother and he was beginning to question whether he could actually be brave enough to step up and stay up to let the waves wash in all around him, thunder broiling in the distance. He was weighing the dueling powers of Desire over Doubt. Which would prevail? Would the desire for the experience outwin the doubt of ability?
He had to...
If there is one secret to reaching for anything you want, love, money, health, happiness, success, it is this: NEVER GIVE UP.
That's it. That is the secret to life. Never quit. Relentless pursuit of anything sounds punishing and aggressive and obstinate. But it is the secret of purpose and happiness. Because the opposite of constant reaching for your dreams is complacency. The opposite is settling. And settling feels wholly unfulfilling. Always.
We hear that happiness requires "acceptance" and we interpret that to mean that we should just settle for the truth and not fight the reality of the situation. Yes, it is true that battling something we can't change gets us nowhere - it only breeds anger and frustration. But something that is true, that we can't change, is that we will always have DESIRE. We will always want more. The desire for more is what drives revolutions and inventions and creativity and births change. That is the first step of...
"It's up to you," she whispered as she lay me down to sleep that night.
"You can choose where you wake up in the morning, you can choose who you want to be."
I grimaced, wanting so badly to play along. How could I choose to paint my own reality? How could I possibly dictate the facts of my surroundings?
"You get to choose the lens of your perception" she crooned.
I closed my eyes as the thunder shook the house, powerless at the feet of the weather gods.
She smiled her warmth and compassion and breathed her gratitude breath.
In a heartbeat I glimpsed the truth of her words as I was overcome with the abundance around me and the power within me.
I felt the warm sheets against my skin and sank into the firm support of the mattress holding me high.
The thunder reverberated against the ever present walls and windows, brick and mortar, promise and protection.
The rain pelted down against the roof above my head , reminding me of her steadfast strength.
I saw my reality of warmth and safety....
What would I do if I had no fear and there was a promise of no failure?
Fear is a mysterious teacher and reflective mirror. Fear alerts us to our most valued inner possessions. Fear is a clear indicator of what really matters. Who would fear the fire if they could never burn? Fear plucks the chord of knowing that nothing is permanent or promised. Fear is an echo of the insecurities and fragile illusions we hold close to our hearts.
Would that I had no fear, would I ever seek to grow? To strengthen? To learn? If I had no fear would I ever feel courageous or accomplished or even satisfied? Isn’t fear intrinsic in our value of something great? Of being great? Of overcoming fear laden obstacles and proving ourselves to ourselves despite the terror or threat? Or is fear the inhibitor of creative flow? Doesn’t fear step in and steady the painter’s hand and restrict and limit and stay? Isn’t it fear the block that writer’s dread and orators obey when they stay...
The past has no ability to keep us from being fully conscious in the present.
It is only our attention to old stories that prevents us from seeing the possibility in the now
Every single day is an opportunity for a new perspective, a new beginning. The past can be a generous teacher but it never has to hold us slave to what was. The present moment holds all the power and possibility we allow ourselves to see.
Imagine the abundance all around us if we could train ourselves to see without the judgement of yesterday? Without the labels we have given our-selves? Without the stories we have wrapped around our “potential” that smother and dull. Imagine the power we would have if we could shake off the cloak of old presumptions, old mistakes, old shame? It is so easy for us to see the possibilities in children, we easily say and believe that “the world is your oyster” and that “You can do anything you put your mind to”. Deeply feeling that open future...
Right now, here in New England, we are surrounded by the most incredible display of gold, deep mustard yellow, rusty orange and the last of the fiery Burning Bushes. It is the more mature older sister of the kaleidoscope of the early fall brilliance. It is a reminder and a fore-bearer of the crisp days and even longer nights to come. It heralds frost and icicles, the tawny leaves letting go of the sticky branches to prepare them for the sugar coated shell of ice. In my bones I feel the excitement of hunkering down, of packing in the outdoor furniture and switching out the couch cushions to the heavier, warmer, comfy ones. I revel in meditating at the warmth of my gas fireplace in the morning, a luxury that the sticky summer mornings won't allow. I start to dream of swirling snowflakes and school snow days when we stay in our PJ's and indulge in novels and warm drinks all day long. I am not a skier but my children and my husband are. Last night the excitement was palpable...
Efforting my day, adrenaline drums.
I turn my back on your whispering plea.
Lungs: Fill me. Slow down. Breathe.
Neck: Rock me. Slow down. Stretch.
Bladder: Empty me. Slow down. Pee.
Imagined priorities deafen my ability to listen, to feel.
You carry me, still. Oblige my bid.
Now squat, now lunge, now push.
Strong, capable arms to hold and to serve.
Relentlessly beating life’s sustaining blood despite my ignorance.
You have stayed with me since my first breath drawn – through thick and thin, in sickness and in health.
Bleeding. Birthing. Nurturing. Morphing on demand.
I hear you today.
Every few weeks, for a few hours or a few days, my life is interrupted by migraines. This has been the narrative for my whole life. I have learned to persevere and never let my migraines define me or control my dreams.
Recently my deep sleep was shattered, yet again, by the familiar pressure and blinding pain and I did what I have been conditioned to do: just make it to the bathroom closet and find my medication. The next few hours were another familiar journey of attempted meditation to crawl through the pain until the medicine’s numbing gift could kick in. Queue the heady combination of the “migraine hangover”, the dulling side effects of the medication. Exhaustion, interrupted word recall, difficulty multi-tasking, all pushing against my brain in a depressed (not depressing) state. It was a Thursday. I had a full day of scheduled patient appointments and the running of a busy orthodontic practice ahead of me. My only thought was to put one foot in front of the...