Archive for July, 2010

shower thoughts

This morning, my shower thought was a realization that a very important life skill is to see the problems that are actually there. A lot of us are very good at not seeing problems, at thinking something is a problem that isn’t, and at redirecting blame for a real problem onto something unrelated. The more I hone this skill of identifying real problems, dealing with them and not freaking out about unimportant stuff, the better my life gets.

Yesterday’s shower thought was about genetics. WHOA THERE BIG SCIENCY HEAD! Mostly it revolved around faux latinos, freckles and boob obsessions. More on that later.


enter Cupcake

the newest in my series of portraiture.


and also i’ve been practicing drawing.

Hans still believed in fairies

Hans still believed in fairies. He did, he did, he did.

a flying squid for Cupcake

just tried out a new art style i saw on MY NEW FAVORITE INTERNET THING,

since Cupcake is the biggest fan of cephalopods I know… Cupcake, this squid’s for you. and he’s flying.

don’t judge me

When you’re meditating, you’re not supposed to stop thinking (which is impossible), you’re just supposed to return your focus from your thoughts to the rhythm of your breath. This teaches not only that YOU are the one in control of where your attention goes (not whatever shiny thing happens to grab it at the moment) but it also teaches you to take a break from judgment. We’re always judging the quality of things. This is good, this is bad. I like this, I hate that and this isn’t terrible but I’d rather be watching Justin Bieber. Value judgments every moment of the day.

When you’re meditating and suddenly realize you’re focused on a thought instead of your breathing, it doesn’t matter whether that thought is disturbing, exciting, ugly, or the most brilliant idea you’ve ever had, you let it go. All thoughts become the same. No judgment. It’s not good or bad, it’s just not what we’re focusing on right now.

Practicing this break from the habit of judging pays off in day to day life. I’m starting to see more and more that so many things aren’t good or bad like I’d thought, they’re just there. With nothing to do with me. Suddenly the people and things that I feel myself threatened by or desperately drawn to are becoming fewer. As long as I keep meditating daily, that is.

To help with letting thoughts go in meditation, I’ve tried picturing them as clouds (whether dark or fluffy, they all move on and disappear), as balloons (and I gently cut their string and let them fly away), or as birds. Susan says to observe the birds as they fly by and return my attention to breathing. But I’m not sure if I’m a circus freak or something because my thoughts are freaking LOUD. I have shouty thoughts. I’m starting to picture the birds carrying little stereos tuned to different stations. Which is neither good nor bad, it’s just there.

and you are reminded that your heart is absolutely indestructible

Susan Piver is at it again with great heartbreak advice like “stepping off the self-improvement treadmill” and instead “developing methods of extreme self-care.”

Making self-care sound like a sport that requires wearing protective gear made out of neoprene and PVC makes it even more engaging for me. But what is extreme self-care? One example is “allowing your feelings to be just as they are without attaching a narrative to them.” Feeling brokenhearted? Open to yourself and listen to those feelings without necessarily rising to action to DO anything about them or explain them away. Feeling fragile? Susan says to “accept yourself on the spot.” Do it over and over as you navigate the unpredictable waves of emotions that come even for months after a broken heart. According to Susan, opening to yourself and accepting yourself and your feelings is a “gesture of gentleness” that can lead to great wisdom. Give it a try. It’s totally true.

I woke up feeling fragile this morning. Why? I’m sick to death of working out my worries and feelings about Hot Lunch ALL NIGHT EVERY NIGHT FOR MOST OF THE LAST DAMN YEAR. I feel like I’m doing awesome with the healing thing during the day, but I have no control over what my mind does when I’m asleep. Boo.

I guess this heartbreak is another thing that isn’t done with me yet. So I’d better quit tuning it out and listen some more. And suddenly I find myself grateful for the open door heartbreak represents. A broken heart is an invitation to touch the real, deep things in life and in yourself and to stop living on the surface of things.

This morning, I’m diving in with this meditation. Care to join me?