Well Being – Being Well

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“RENAISSANCE” 10 x 3′ earth,wood 2008
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1. KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DESIRE AND A CALLING
2. KNOW IN YOUR BODY WHAT DECISIONS FEEL CORRECT FOR YOU
3. SHARE YOUR LIFE WITH AN ANIMAL
4. LOVE YOUR BED
5. LET IT RIP WHEN YOU WEEP
6. BE AWED
7. SAY THANK YOU AND I’M SORRY
8. BEGIN YOUR DAY CONNECTED IN
9. GET COMFORTABLE BEING ALONE
10. BE QUIET
11. SAY SOMETHING ONLY WHEN AND IF YOU ARE MOVED TO DO SO
12. ALWAYS HAVE FLOWERS
13. FORGIVE EVERYONE YOURSELF INCLUDED
14. IF THINGS GET ROUGH GIVE THE WHOLE THING AIR
15. DO NOTHING HALFWAY
16. LISTEN WHEN GOD TALKS AND DONT THINK ABOUT IT
17. PROFUSELY THANK THOSE WHO SERVE YOU IN ANY WAY (RESTAURANTS, MECHANIC, DOG GROOMER, ETC..) WHILE YOU LOOK THEM IN THE EYE
18. BE INTIMATE WITH HUMILITY AND GRATITUDE
19. CULTIVATE SPACE OF ALL KINDS
20. ALLOW YOURSELF TO GO WHERE YOU ARE DRAWN TO GO AND KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE WHEN THAT IS HAPPENING
21. GIVE UP SHAME AND GUILT
22. HAVE AT LEAST 2 PEOPLE TOU TRUST TO HELP YOU REMEMBER THE LARGEST PART OF YOU WHEN YOU FORGET
23. LIVE IN BEAUTY WHATEVER THAT IS FOR YOU
24. SAY “I LOVE YOU” A LOT
25. GIVE AWAY
26. RECEIVE WITH GRACE
27. GIVE MORE
28. BOW TO THE BURNING MESS
29. DIE EVERYDAY
30. LOVE THE MYSTERY AND MOVE FORWARD

Authentic Personalities

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This is what we look like before we care what we look like:

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Poise

hungry heart

definition via Websters: ” to be drawn up into readiness”

This word just grabbed me this morning.

There is a pose in yoga called TADASANA- the tree pose.

One stands tall with an equal reach of every cell, muscle and thought up toward the sky

AND down toward the earth.

Poise, like an African woman negotiating the shifting weight of a large bundle on her head

Demands attention in every direction.

My body gets tired and frustrated continuing to try to send energy into less-than-fully-functional limbs

But I can’t let up

Because of my love of life

And beauty.

An Innocent Mouth

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I have written before about what I have learned about keeping an innocent mouth but I feel like paying attention to the idea again this morning.

I have a very honest face; honest in the way I really can’t hide what is going on with me.

Sometimes, when I look in the mirror I see the wall of tension I carry.

My jaw looks hard and ‘set’ in it’s hardness. I’m defending against… well- take your pick:

muscle weakness
wheelchair malfunction
financial concerns
societal (shall we call them ‘mysteries’ and be kind?)
and,
and,

and…

I am no different than anyone else in this regard though each of us carry our personal worries differently.

I love it when my whole being feels soft and allowing of everything…

When I feel this way I become porous instead of hardened and life is far more ‘doable’ on all fronts.

One surefire way for me to get there is to soften my mouth and jaw.

I do this by consciously letting my bottom jaw drop away from the top and just letting it hang.

It feels so good and I try to just keep reminding myself to do it during the day.

Unexpected Love Letter

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I live with a stuffed raven mounted on my wall. I love him. Always have.

Ravens as an animal totem in many cultures signify mystery, introspection and creativity; wisdom we can cull from the shadows.

He keeps his mercurial, black eyes on me which is at once soothing and disconcerting.

I gave him as a gift 35 years ago to a beloved friend.

Last year I called him to ask if I could live with the raven for awhile as I knew he was in storage at the time.

I did this because I wanted to ‘keep death on my shoulder’ as Carlos Castenada had been urged to do by his teacher, Don Juan.

My understanding is that Don Juan felt that living a full and conscious life demanded looking at death intimately before that threshold is reached; to use death as a reminder to really live whatever that means for each of us.

And so- I have been letting Death guide my life for awhile now; not planning on transitioning all that soon but intent on living.

I have spoken before about the process of filling out THE FIVE WISHES which is a living will template legal in many states.

The process of actually completing this has taken me quite awhile not because it is difficult (can be done in 15 minutes ) but because I needed the time.

This week I sent off both the completed form as well as directives for my memorial service (in sealed envelope not to be opened until I pass) to my 2 chosen people who I have charged with making any medical decisions for me if I can not. I put another copy in my files.

Our culture is so wacko about ‘death talk’ that I fully expected this process to be tedious at best.

BUT NO!!!!!!!

IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!! How weird is that?

It was fun to say what I wanted and freeing to know what that was.

It was fun to decide the tone of my memorial; choose specific people for different tasks, pick music, place, disposal of remains.

My ‘memorial letter’ is really a love letter to my family as well as to myself; Making my desires available to them alleviates any question marks and, I hope, allows the process of sending me off to be a poignant one rather than an experience of undue stress.

It is a love letter to me because I got to set the energy of a very important part of life- that of death. I steered away from anything rigid or morose and invited people’s hearts forward in celebration of a life well lived.

I love the process of facing death.. not facing it down but having a conversation.

It is a fine, fine teacher.

Breaking and Entering

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taken yesterday in my wheelchair covered with roses
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The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

– Ernest Hemingway

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I saw a good friend yesterday I had not seen in a year. He said: “Wow… you look different… You look like you went through a rock tumbler and came out with a beautiful sheen.”

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Breathe and ReBoot

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BREATHE

AND

REBOOT

AND

BREATHE

AND

REBOOT

AND

BREATHE

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