Monthly Archives: August 2012

Alan Watts- We have to live in boxes


And although our bodies are bounded with skin, and we can differentiate between outside and inside, they cannot exist except in a certain kind of natural environment.


Start Right Here


My mind has had a hard time slowing down lately. I know that I could be doing something more, something different. But is more always better?

Scattered around like a child’s painting, my mind wanders and creates images, moments, memories, life…

I find it critical and difficult to continue to manage my life in a way that seems common, and yet real. These two collide in my mind. I consulted my readings to find guidance and truth..

“The right place to start is in your body, your feelings and your perception. You must begin at the beginning and give yourself some time to care for yourself, to cradle and care. then you will begin to generate energy.”- Thich Nhat Hanh

These words helped me. I have to start here, in the middle of my body.. in my heart.. and my truth. I get away from this place when my world feels chaotic.. and I need to remind myself.. start with my heart.. my truth.. my gut. my reality.  Because what is common?

A flood


It seems that life lately has been going extreme. Do you feel that way too? When the Universe decides to rain.. it goes for 12 hours of downpour. Cars went from workable gadgets to monster live-able buses. Instead of two options for lunch, you have 25 options. Everything has gone extreme. Extreme Makeover, Extreme Sports.. even Television has bought into this hype.

My life has been extreme lately. In 3 fast days.. I had a pile-up of bills that I didn’t know existed. School started, I turned 26, a friend is moving away. I made the decision to move in with  my sister.. Our school is packed with people and leaves me with little space literally and figuratively. life feels to the brim. I’m at the point where I’m looking up to the sky and saying.. Throw it at me.. keep it comin.

I called my Dad with a question about how to handle a certain bill and left the conversation with a message. We can’t do more than one thing at a time. As life gets busier (we allow this) the world has tried very hard to make things easier to handle. Hence.. drive-thru meals.. banks.. “on-the-go” marketed products etc.. And we buy into this. I will.. in one car ride.. pay a bill, get a call into Nana, decide on dinner plans, tie a shoe, put on mascara, choose the playlist, and all of this while breathing!

Let’s take the message and really apply it to our lives. Sure, prioritize your “to-do” list.. but do one thing at a time.. and do it fully. If you’re going to engage in conversation with Nana.. be present. If you have to pay a bill. take the time to put the numbers in right.. To follow directions. Doing one thing at a time in our lives will allow for the breath.

A New Year


Working in the school systems, you get the new school year itch. The school is pumping with new students who are trying to make their way around school without getting lost. They’re nervous and excited.. but are generally on their best behavior. There are lots of new notebooks, awesome colorful pens, and a steady strong vibe. Some of the students come in with a new “identity” that they hope to be a part of, and generally the energy is high.

I was standing in the cafeteria, monitoring 90 plus students, and feeling a bit overwhelmed. I had to manage a first day’s activities.. handing out the syllabus, talking for hours on end, explaining the standard procedures of the day, answering lots of questions, remembering names, remembering old faces, checking Individualized plans for students who needed extra attention.. and all the while remaining high energy for the first day. So.. while standing there..  I reminded myself to take a deep breath in and let the feelings go. I asked myself to press the reset button, and start again.

And we get really busy during our days.. weeks, months.. that turn into years. We are so busy that we forget to pause and reset ourselves. We are so frantic to get to the next thing on time, or make another’s life easier.. or maybe to get our own ducks in a line.. that we forget to slow down and take a breath. But if we did this in our daily lives… if we stopped, and took a breath and reset.. we would would be so much more effificent.

The reset button might need to be pressed more than once in a day. During those extra busy days where life gets completely out of control.. you may need to reset four or five times. You can and you should. Just pause, recognize the wreckless energy of the moments leading up to it, take a giant breath in.. and release your worries. Maybe you’ll need to do this a few times in a row.. reset.. and you should. Give yourself the minute to just be. And nothing more.

So a very worried 7th grader with the sweetest disposition comes sprinting around the corner and he may be late to class.. but today I stopped this student.. and I looked him right in the eye, and I said, “Stop.. Take a deep breath. Reset.” And he looked at me, and smiled, and said, “Thank you.”

We all need the reminder. We all forget. Remind yourself.. Remind a co-worker or a friend.. or your pet.. It doesn’t matter.. Take a minute. Deep Breath. Pause.. And re-set..

Start your new year off right.




Grasping on to aspects of my life… knowing that they are inevitably changing.

We like the comfort of knowing and the security of it being there. Our whole lives we create a world that feels permanent. We go through moments feeling like those moments will always be around. Whether it’s a relationship with a friend, or a job, maybe it’s a roof over your head or hot water. We tend to believe it to be everlasting.

Here is where we are off track. Life is not that way. It can’t be definite.  Someone you love gets sick.  Your husband loses his job. There is a detour on your way to work and you didn’t plan for it. The Pop Machine is Sold Out of Coke Zero. These changes in our life throw us off of our “expected”route and so our mood changes, and our day turns from good to not-so-good.

But if we choose to open our eyes to reality.. we will discover that nothing is permanent and nowhere in your life did your contract say.. never-ending. The energy of life is always changing. And it should.

“When you look at the nature of things with concentration, you discover that they are all impermanent. Everything is constantly changing. Nothing has a permanent identity. The impermanence is not a negative thing. If things were not impermanent, growth would not be possible. If things were not impermanent, you could not have children, and your children would never grow up.

We are made of elements called form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. A feeling or perception is very real, but you cannot find anything permanent in it.”

And so we as humans want this sense of something being permanent. We are so goal oriented to create and keep parts of our lives that can’t be. If you lived knowing that things were impermanent.. wouldn’t it have more flavor? more zest?

We are all impermanent beings. And see life this way. Each moment will never be quite like the last. No matter how you map out your day.. something is bound to change.. be okay with that. Embrace the visit of control but be aware that it has a short stay… Life will shift .

Remember without impermanence one does not grow. And isn’t this what we come to do? Let go of your grip on things that can’t be held.. you are suffocating their growth and yours.

Let it go.. not as wrecklessness or abandonment but out of reality. What is today will change tomorrow and we will continue to grow.