Zoe jumping from the plane

“Our own suffering, if we turn toward it, can open us up to a loving relationship with the world.” — Pema Chodron

Whenever I hit a valley in my life and I feel hopeless or worried, somehow if I can lean into it, sit with it, turn toward it, it always seems to pass.

This is an example of what I mean. Say you’re on an airplane about to jump out and you’re attached to a very tall, handsome (or beautiful) instructor. You’ve learned everything you need to learn before getting in the plane and it takes off and you’re okay and then suddenly it’s your turn to jump and you refuse to move. Read More →

This morning I was taking a walk and suddenly the words “No More Tears: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” hit me and I thought of Donna Summer and the song she sang with Barbra Streisand back in 1979. I was thinking about how I’ve been writing some really depressing blog posts about loss and living in the “I don’t know” and all that crap. Which actually isn’t crap at all, it’s really important, but after a while it gets self-indulgent. And boring.

I want to dance to “No More Tears: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” and not sit around moping. I want to dance and be joyous because — well, because I’m alive. Read More →

For a long time (over two years) I’ve had a daily struggle to overcome fear about the future, grief of letting go of my family, the loss of my mother and my beloved Lola, a new job, many challenges. And though I often get thrown off course by some anxiety, it generally doesn’t last too long and most days turn out pretty well. 

I do find myself getting angry about the government and many issues outside my own personal sphere, but that’s to be expected, I think.  Complacency is not my style.

Today I was doing my meditation in the early morning and I suddenly had a wonderful feeling come over me of tremendous appreciation for my life.  I’m helping people daily (not in Somalia and not doing anything really vital – but still – helping people), I’m working at getting the play produced, and I’m trying to take care of myself and to stay in touch with friends.  I work a spiritual program, that is, I do my meditation and try to listen to that small voice, which today said, “Hey, this is pretty good!”  

This morning, a friend and I were laughing when we came up with a good analogy for the idea that one never really reaches total enlightenment.  It’s like getting your body in shape.  You go to the gym, or do yoga, or ride your bike, or dance – whatever works for you and after a time you look at your body and you think, “I look pretty good. I’m in good shape.”  And then you say, “Okay, great, I’m done.  I think I’ll sit on the couch from now on and eat ice cream and cake.”  And then, of course, in a few weeks your body looks terrible again and you have to start all over.  

Every day, it’s important to keep working on my inner life and not think I’m ever finished.  I guess I will be someday, when I’m no longer alive.  But as long as I have a breath to take, I have to keep meditating and reading and working on myself, and trusting.  And especially remembering to be grateful for all the good in my life and even some of the bad.  That’s important too!  

And all I can do is hope that the sanest people we have right now – the Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warrens and Jon Stewarts (just to name a few) will keep talking truth to power and will eventually be heard. It’s so hard not to be disappointed in President Obama.  I keep thinking he has a plan, that he’s really not going to take cuts in Social Security and Medicare and other social services, but so far it looks like he is going against his campaign promises.

Mostly, despite the bad news, I want to laugh more.  I want to find someone to love who is funny.   I realize that’s part of my spiritual path – to laugh more and take life less seriously.  There’s plenty to be serious about, but I am so grateful for people like Chris Rock, Bill Maher and Jon Stewart for making me laugh.  Bill is the only single one, but I’m more into Chris and Jon. I guess I have to find my own Chris or Jon.  He’s out there somewhere!

I would really love to have something really funny come out of me now, because God knows we all could use a good laugh.  One benefit of having George Bush as our President was that you had to laugh now and then or you would lose your mind.  President Obama is not that funny, is he?  And he’s definitely trying to accomplish something, but what’s up with those Democrats?

They are definitely not funny. 

I love that Jon Stewart can make us laugh even when we’ve lost most of our money in the stock market and we can’t come up with any kind of health plan and I wish he could sit in on my divorce meeting that’s coming up.  That would definitely lighten the mood, wouldn’t it?  I would never divorce Jon Stewart, he’s too cute.  And though I know he has thirty or so writers, he is pretty quick on his feet when it comes to humor.

And in my next relationship, humor will again be at the top of the list.  So now let’s all take a deep breath, try to find something funny to at least smile about, and don’t forget to exhale.