Love No Matter What

“I love myself no matter what, I love myself no matter what, I love myself no matter what.” It is a mantra I repeat over and over and over again in my head, especially when I don’t believe it. When I don’t want to love myself because I have done something wrong, or stupid, or worse. As I was making my self-love mist, amongst the lavender, rose petals, and vanilla, I began to think about it more, about what self-love really means, looks like, and feels like. Because I really need it now, we all really need it always. And then, because it is the technological age, I asked google for some help and it lead me to the quote I share with you today.Self-Love 2

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!” -Charles Chaplin

Thank you google, thank you Mr.Chaplin.

You’re Not Basically Messed Up

“When the Buddha sat down to meditate under the Bodhi Tree 2,600 years ago, he didn’t sit down to come up with a master plan to make himself different. He acknowledged that he was suffering and knew that he wanted to do something about that. He engaged in a simple meditation practice to begin to look at that suffering. The more he looked the more he realized that at his core, he wasn’t basically messed up, he was basically good. He was basically awake. And he was not alone. We are, too. Our wakefulness is indestructible. It is like a diamond in a heap of dust. It is always there. We just need to discover it.” Lodro Rinzler

As a seeker I fear I spend too much time looking at my faults and weaknesses as I try to improve myself. I notice the people around me, who I think are such incredible beings, picking themselves apart in a similar way. When we seek, we can get lost in the details, in the deconstruction. We may forget that the reason we started to seek in the first place is because we wanted to live happier lives. We don’t need to grab our internal jack hammer and sweat away as we break it all down, what a misery! We make it hard, when it is actually easy, because, as Rinzler says, we are basically good, not basically messed up.

I invite you to rediscover yourself in joy, in laughter, in time with friends, in blissful daydreaming. I invite you to discover your basic goodness.

Gazing at Mnt. Shasta... I felt peace

Gazing at Mnt. Shasta… I felt peace

Heartbreak On Halloween

Halloween Magic

Halloween Magic

I love Halloween, the excuse to play dress up, use a glue gun, become someone else, to create, to craft, to get together with friends, to be silly, to interact, and watch from behind masks…the imagination and transformation… I love it.

Today I will share a story from four years ago, when a particular Halloween taught me that sometimes the most incredible things can happen despite the muck that may be going on outside, in your head, or in your heart.

October 29th and the train crawls towards NYC while outside the snow is beginning to fall. I am sitting on my hands to keep them warm because the heat isn’t working in the car. I have a book I can’t read because my mind is unwilling to consume fantasy or knowledge at the current moment. I stare at the snow melting into the Hudson river, willing it to show me the meaning of life, or the meaning of anything.
I walk the streets of Queens as the sleet, snow and ice mixture soaks through my clothes and melts down my face. She opens the door, pulls me into a hug and exclaims into my shoulder “I have been waiting for you to get here.” She has tears in her eyes as she pulls away and I feel the full weight of her sadness as I recognize my own heartbreak in hers. How everything aches when a relationship ends. Bursts of anger float in with regret and longing somehow balanced out unevenly with shreds of hope for the next and the future. I congratulate her on not hiding under the bed.
As is common practice at the end of a relationship, the focus is back on the self and to be your own best possible version of that. So we go to yoga before getting drunk.
We are going to the MTV Halloween party, or are supposed to be going to it. The freak fall snowstorm dropping down on our heads threatens to deter us from our plans. After lying in Shavasana, the yoga teacher exclaims “Whatever you were supposed to do tonight, go ahead and do it, put a garbage bag on over your head and go out and live your lives.” We use the advice to help us through our costume undertakings and it motivates us to stay the course. A dying of hair, wrapping in duck tape, glue gun, bobby pinning, face paint, whiskey drinking bonanza. She has an electrical cord wrapped around her head and her junk drawer costume keeps dropping things, but she looks amazing. I manage to stuff myself in a unitard. We will have difficulty when we have to use the bathroom later that nigh but we are all set. There is a calm after the frenzy of getting ready which leaves us staring at each other asking “now what?” as we wait for the car. Neither one of us can sit down comfortably.
We give the password at the door and the tequila drinks starts to pour. Freaks, bananas, zombies, skeletons, sexy Raggedy Anne’s, and half naked half costumes fill the spaces. There is something magical about Halloween. A bunch of strangers mixing together and everyone dressed up as somebody else. It is easier to put yourself out there when you are not yourself, random costumes give reason to interact with randoms. A coming together and new interest lights up the city. There is dancing and running, talking, yelling, more drinking, candy, kissing, hugging, no tears, joy, laughter, new friends and lots and lots of fun. We stay out all night unaware of anything but the present and our altered consciousness. We are happy.
So when in doubt my friends, no matter where you are in life or what the weather is doing, take the advice of a very wise yogi:
Put a garbage bag on your head and live your life.

Don’t Dance So Fast

Slow Dance:
Have you ever watched kids, On a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain, Slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down. Don’t dance too fast. Time is short. The music won’t last. Do you run through each day, On the fly? When you ask: How are you? Do you hear the reply? When the day is done, do you lie in your bed, With the next hundred chores, Running through your head? You’d better slow down, Don’t dance too fast. Time is short, The music won’t last. Ever told your child we’ll do it tomorrow? And in your haste, Not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die, Cause you never had time, To call and say Hi? You’d better slow down. Don’t dance so fast. Time is short. The music won’t last. When you run so fast to get somewhere, You miss half the fun of getting there. When you worry and hurry through your day, It is like an unopened gift thrown away. Life is not a race. Do take it slower. Hear the music, Before the song is over.”  Timothy Ferris

Taking in the sounds, smells, and feel of a waterfall always slows me down and brings a sense of peace

Taking in the sounds, smells, and feel of a waterfall always slows me down and brings a sense of peace

Timothy Ferris’s book, The Four Hour Work Week, made me contemplate the way we as a culture use our time, wasting much on busy work, and how to use the time we do have to do things worth doing. My reflection on time continues as I strive to use the moments I have fully.

Stop Wasting Time.

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn

Birthday Smiles

I recently celebrated a birthday. They say that the number means nothing, with that I have to agree, but there is something about a birthday that makes me think about the passage of time. I acknowledge the fear I have around wasting my precious time here on this earth.

Another year of my life has gone by, did I use it well?

How much time did I waste as a robot, going from one thing to the next, or worse, worrying about the problems that didn’t really exist? How much time did I waste on the things that don’t matter at all?

How much time did I spend doing things I love with the people I love? How much time did I spend contributing to the world? How much time did I spend happy?

Time is our most precious resource, so taking a couple moments to reflect on whether or not we are making the most of the finite time we are given is worthwhile. The decisions we make about how we spend our time will determine the quality of our lives. Would you rather use this time learning something new, or scrolling that person’s Facebook? Would you rather spend this time making a phone call to a loved one or playing a game on your cell phone?

There are no right or wrong answers, if you find true joy in Facebook or phone games, I say, GO FOR IT, use your time that way. However, if you don’t, remember that your time is precious, and it is best used on precious things.


When Perfectionism is driving…

This week I was talking to my mother as she talked to me about not being my “usual, happy, bubbly self.” I wanted to hide from the world as I felt my imperfections seeping out, unable to plaster the smile on. I asked her how my patients and others that I would like to think highly of me would react if they could see me in that moment, not at my best. She said, they will say “You are human.”

I know when someone opens up to me and shares with me their faults, fears, or other imperfections it brings a sense of deeper intimacy, compassion, and connection that cannot be achieved without that kind of vulnerability. However, I notice the shame I feel at admitting those things to the world in my self. It feels terrifying. We are taught not to cry, to look a certain way, to follow the rules, and to not disturb the status quo. Except, everything that inspires us fits into none of those molds. I think about the straight As I got in school because everyone told me how important that was, looking back, that form of perfection wasn’t that important either, and the anxiety it took to get them tore me apart. Perfection is an illusion and so I am trying to give up the quest. Brene Brown wrote a whole book on this, on Daring Greatly, and so as I seek the support of her words I will share them with you as well, so maybe you can be inspired to Dare Greatly today as well.

Image from

Image from

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”

“When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary. I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.”

Vulnerability is not about fear, grief, and dissappointment. It is the birthplace of everything we are hungry for.”

Make People Brighten

“I am always grateful that wherever I go somehow I did something that makes people brighten and that is a wonderful thing…” Jim Carrey

When I heard Jim Carrey say those words in this clip, it really struck me. What an amazing thing to be able to say about your life. Here are some simple ideas to get you started if you want to be able to say the same about your own life…

Tell a joke

– Give someone flowers (or anything) for absolutely no reason

– Give out compliments generously and freely

– Show excitement when someone walks through the door

Connect people 

– Leave a voicemail telling someone how they inspired you or made you proud

Celebrate someone

– Show your love

Pick up someone else’s tab: When I was 20, a couple I had never met or talked to picked up the bill at a diner for me and a friend, it is something I will never forget. We only had bagels and water, a college breakfast on a college budget, but I cannot explain how moved we were by the generosity of these strangers.

– Here is the most important idea: Just ask yourself this question whenever you encounter someone “How can I brighten their day?” …It will bring a state of awareness that will allow you to change and enhance every meeting you have. You will be surprised how much this question can change your life experience if you listen to the answers. Challenge yourself to look for situations where you can show your interest in others by doing something unanticipated. When you think of something, do it without hesitation and make someone’s day.

– And don’t forget this very simple act….SMILE

“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.” -Paramahansa Yogananda

Have other ideas? Let me know in the comment section below!