Sunday, April 29, 2012

fearless adventure

tree sky

I love everything Andrea Scher writes on her blog, but a recent post was especially meaningful to me. In it she shared an experience about how hard it can be to sit with the feeling that someone could be upset with you (and how we often make up the fact that someone is even upset with us in the first place). It's a great post and you should go read it here, probably right now. There's a lot of wisdom in it.

Andrea's post reminded me of a story that Pema Chodron shares in her teachings about being on a three-year retreat and her feeling that another retreatant, who had been a close friend of hers, was very upset with her. One night the situation had gotten so bad that Pema couldn't sleep and went to the meditation hall and just stayed with the raw pain of it. She then saw how much of her personality had been built around wanting to avoid this feeling.

As she writes in Taking the Leap: "I had a completely clear insight that my whole personality, my whole ego structure, was based on not wanting to go to this groundless place. Everything I did, the way I smiled, the way I talked to people, the way I tried to please everybody - it was all to avoid feeling this way. I realized that our whole facade, the little song and dance we all do, is based on trying to avoid the groundlessness that permeates our life. By learning to stay, we become very familiar with this place, and gradually, gradually, it loses its threat." She puts it this way in one of her talks: "You get pretty fearless."

I loved reading Andrea's post and being reminded of Pema's experience because I was in a similar situation recently. I'd been at an event that was pretty far out of my comfort zone and afterwards I could feel myself doing what Pema describes so perfectly as "the little song and dance we all do." In this case, I could feel myself trying to rewrite the experience, which was fine while it was happening, to make myself look better, to take away any possibility that I'd come off looking anything other than totally OK.

And then I caught myself, because isn't most of this type of behavior sort of unconscious, kind of like the background stuff your computer is running while you're doing something else? I saw what I was doing and it felt exhausting. The song and dance rewriting of history was just exhausting. And unnecessary. It was over. People would think what they would. They always do anyway. And what did it matter? I was still here. I was still alive and in another moment.

And with that realization I became a little more fearless, I must admit. I could feel the discomfort of what people might have thought of me and it was something I could live through. It was uncomfortable, but it didn't annihilate me. And isn't that what we fear, really, underneath all the unnecessary singing and dancing? Our time can be used better, trust me.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

mountains/metal/medicine adventure

Lizzy with Walking Stick

Photographs by Rodg

I've been feeling like I've been needing some good healing lately and there's nothing like a road trip to blow out the cobwebs in one's psyche. Our Mountains/Metal weekend bonanza did just that! In fact, at one point I stopped and asked myself if it was possible that we'd fallen off the mountain and died a dramatic death - it just felt too good to be true how everything was working out so perfectly. But we seem to have survived and here's some photographic evidence from my humble camera. Check out Rodg's amazing description of our fabulous weekend getaway for more details. Enjoy!

perfect spot

feast for my eyes

the best traveling companion

indoor outdoor bliss

lovely twist

tiny beauty

And I really feel like I need to share the concert experience with those who might be interested. It was a lot like this:

And this:

Also, I watched this video while we were away (I'll have to rave about my Kindle Fire in another post) and just have to share here in case anyone hasn't seen it yet. What an awesome story!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

beauty adventure

There's nothing like working weekends for two months to really enjoy having a weekend off! Let's celebrate by taking a walk down Cheekwood's sculpture trail.
sculpture trail at Cheekwood
easter rabbits
figure in tree trunk
dream joy
turrell tunnel
sunflower swirl
And in honor of dear Mr. Hadley, here's a photo I took at the luncheon before his memorial service this week --
in honor of albert
There's a lovely tribute to him here. Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend and enjoying the beauty around you!

Friday, April 6, 2012

body adventure

good friday self portrait

I'm so grateful for this dear animal self that gets me from place to place and gives me a location in which to wake up each day. But I don't always show it the respect it deserves. I can turn against it when it doesn't do what I think it should do, although I do think I've been a better friend lately. And this dear friend has been helping me learn to slow down, to take things less seriously, and to enjoy the simple pleasures, like a good stretch.

After finishing up the Hadley exhibit, I realized that I hadn't been listening to my body and had pushed it way too far. I can tell this has happened when I get really speedy and just can't slow down. I researched adrenal fatigue and was delighted by the list of things suggested to help my body heal. It included laughing, chewing more, and doing something fun every day (yep, definitely an inspiration for the Joy Adventure).

And I just have to mention Claire Weekes here. I'd received an email from a publisher I enjoy purchasing materials from recommending a book on dealing with anxiety and stress, but when I went to Amazon to read some reviews several people mentioned how much more helpful Claire Weekes' work had been to them. My library had one of her audio sets at a local branch, so I picked it up that day and I'm a believer! If you suffer from panic and you're not familiar with this delightful, Australian, no-nonsense physician, visit this page and check out the samples. Her tough, compassionate voice is just the advocate some of us need.

So between learning to pass through panic, exercising 30 minutes a day, sitting for 20 minutes a day, and getting back to Marianne Elliott's excellent yoga routine, I'm feeling a lot more unified with my body these days. And so the Joy Adventure continues...

weed beauty


Sunday, April 1, 2012

watching adventure

Here are some wonderful things I've been enjoying watching on my Joy Adventure lately:

How about you? Anything to share?