Rinse and repeat

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I made a decision just a few years ago from a place of profound darkness. 

My heart was pretty beat up. I was in that place where we all find ourselves occasionally, full of the grief of mourning the failure of my own expectations. Years of being “just fine, thanks” and “deciding” to be happy caught up with me. I felt like hope had sold me out, and and I was bone tired. 

I felt myself closing off as I “learned my lesson,” and I was ready to protect myself from ever feeling that pain again. I wasn’t ever going to expect anything good from anyone. That was the answer. I was sure of it. And wow, did I think it made me strong.

The more hits our hearts take, the more tempting it is to close them off. To break up with hope one last time. To decide vulnerability is for suckers, and you’re tired of being one of them. 

Vulnerability is a portal, though. It takes you to all the things that make life worth living. In fact, it’s the only way to get to the deepest levels of those experiences. A life without the risk of pain is also a life without the light, and joy, and LOVE that only come through a willingness to be vulnerable. 

Frustrating, yes. But, true.

So I made a deal with myself. My heart would stay open. Completely, totally, free and open. No matter what. I decided it was resilient enough to withstand whatever came its way. I had made it that far, right? And I was limping, but that also meant I was still standing. 

And my heart was still beating.

Many times since then, my resolve has been tested. The hits have come, and come again, some knocking me straight back down to my knees. I’ve even declared the deal off once or twice, in moments when I thought I might suffocate from sadness. Just live in the world for a day right now with your eyes fully open, and I dare your heart not to break.

As the old song goes, that’s how the light gets in, though. Let it break. The coming back together again is what it does best. It’s made for that work. Whole again and again, if always in a new way. 

Wake up, and start again. You don’t have to decide to feel ok. Just decide not to give up, or close off. There is so much good work to be done by those who are willing to limp back to standing, and so much love to be shared by those whose well worn-in hearts are open to holding it.

Image credit: Nayyirah Waheed


“No-Fail” Friday: Duly noted

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Most of the time, when people talk about why mindfulness can be challenging, it’s about quieting the chatter in their minds. We know our minds are busy, and sometimes that noise gets a little overwhelming. So, we focus on the potential for mindfulness to slow that rush, or more precisely, to give us space to observe it without getting too caught up in it.

As we talked about before, there’s a whole other layer to that internal framework, though, and it often suffers from neglect – and sometimes even denial. Read More


Monday Moment: Joy & pain

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Whatever you may be experiencing at this moment, you are not the only one. If you’re as happy as you’ve ever been, know that someone else, somewhere else is, too. Same goes for nervous, scared, excited, and even that brutal, rock-bottom kind of sad. Whether it feels good or bad, you are not the only one.

All humans experience the same range of emotions. Sometimes they’re soft and fuzzy, and sometimes they’re like a knife, cutting straight through you. Occasionally, they float through you, and in other moments, they settle in, take up space and try to write your story for you. Some of us are more inclined to engage them than others. We all feel them, though, and we are never the only ones when we do.

That one, particular kind of beauty that only your energy can bring to only your body in only this lifetime, though? That’s all you, and even in this great-big-giant world, it is completely, utterly irreplaceable.

Things feeling especially hard lately? Maybe some scary thoughts you can’t seem to control? Call 1-800-273-TALK and just say “hi.” (en español 1-888-628-9454)