Spiritual Fitness

IF YOU CAN start the day without caffeine or pills.

IF YOU ARE cheerful, ignoring aches and pains.

IF YOU CAN resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.

IF YOU CAN understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time.

IF YOU CAN overlook when people take things out on you when, though no fault of yours something goes wrong.

IF YOU CAN take criticism and blame without resentment.

IF YOU CAN face the world without lies or deceit.

IF YOU CAN conquer tension without medical help.

IF YOU CAN relax without liquor.

IF YOU CAN sleep without the aid of drugs…THEN you are probably a dog.

-written by unknown

(photo by Jason Briscoe)

Le..Annie Drop Your Gun

I get lost in my thoughts, like every other human being in the entire world.  For me this “getting lost” is most prevalent in the morning.  They are thoughts fueled by anger and sadness and before I know it I have spent a good hour shuffling through my morning “doings,” and sometimes even driving while lost in them.  I go on this kind of automatic pilot while my mind travels with the injustices I have been dealt; that person that flipped me off, how time is rushing by, and  basically everything I think is wrong with me and “my life.”

These thoughts are always all about me, centered on myself and they don’t feel good.  Frankly, I make myself angry with the stories I attach to the feelings. It’s not long before my thoughts begin attacking one another.  A little voice comes up that tries to find the solution and ward away the angry thoughts by justifying why I’m angry or feel resentful, and before long there is a litany of people who are at fault.  The next round of thoughts start trying to talk me out of those angry feelings: “there are so many people worse off in the world,” “just breathe,” “relax,” “they are just feelings they will pass soon,” and this resistance causes tension to mount in my body.  I start to deploy tactics I’ve read about or that have worked in the past to get away from the anger and sad feelings buried deep inside.  Then I get angry all over again.  I’m not exaggerating, I can literally get lost in this cycle for an hour.  It can sometimes repeat itself 20 times within an hour; angry, list of the causes of anger (i.e., resentment), trying to beat myself internally for feeling the anger, and then trying to get away from myself with tactics to stop the feelings I don’t like.  I’m not going to soften it, I don’t like feeling anger or negative feelings, and I’m pretty sure it’s because they don’t coexist well with the self-image I’ve created all of these years.

Death And The Merging With Life

Death, it is a funny thing and not something, in my experience, anyone enjoys talking or thinking about with sincerity.  We keep death at a distance.  It is known but always a known that will be “later.” It seems, for the most part, we avoid the reality that this thing called death is the one thing that is a for sure in life.  We all will die.   Everything dies.  Moreover, as human beings, we tend to do everything we can to keep the thought of death at bay.  Death is sometimes referred to as darkness, but lately, I have been spending some mind time wondering if it is indeed darkness as we perceive it to be.  If death is inevitable, as it is today, it is therefore interwoven into life itself, yet we see them as separate; life and death.

When it comes to death, we tend to wrap it up with euphemisms, parodies, or even thoughtful quotes to encourage the mind that this death thing is OK.  I see stuff like live the moment entirely, this moment is all you have, etc.… with the underlying tone that you could be hit by a bus in a second and have it all gone.  When we grasp those present moment thoughts or when we have a traumatic event we get glimpses of the idea and feeling that this could be my last day on the planet.  However, it is beginning to seem to me that death and the idea and understanding of death could have much more to offer.

How A Personality Test Brought Acceptance

I ran into some old papers last evening from a job I had over 20 years ago and included in them I found a personality test I had taken, a Myers Briggs test.  I vaguely remember taking the test back in the day and the feeling of disdain I had for being placed in a defined box.  The last sentence in the summary of the report states, “Leanne is a highly introverted individual who has mastered extrovert skills.”

My personality summary was defined as an INFJ type.

Now, I never cared about what an INFJ type was 20+ years ago, but I found another Myer Briggs test today, and I retook it.  The results have not changed, the same four letters appeared to define my personality type, INFJ.

What If?

What if you accepted this moment, and everything and everyone in it, including yourself, as exactly enough?





Expectations Obscure Reality

Expectations are a funny thing.  I feel I am someone who harbors many expectations.  My expectations so often obscure my view of reality to such an extreme I cannot see things as they are or people for who they are for that matter.

Dropping expectations often feels like a thin line to walk, for I fear I will become tolerant of being mistreated or detached and complacent.  One thing I can experience undoubtedly is how many expectations I have for myself.  I am always “working” on something to fix, repair, or put the way I expect it to be.  I am beginning to experience control, insecurity, and fear masquerade as expectations.

I focus so intently on making things work I lose sight of being able to watch them work.  Everything then becomes viewed through the lens of a problem, and everything becomes blurred.  Because there is no separation of how we treat ourselves and between how we treat others I can undoubtedly experience how my expectations of myself bleed out into the world and onto all of those around me.



Right now, where you are – breathe.

Take a deep breath and imagine a rubber band around your lower ribs and inhale through the entire circumference of your ribcage.

Exhale fully.

Repeat three times.

Take your time.

Resume whatever you were doing and may your day be filled with lots of space.

(photo by Tim Goedhart)

Your Self Perfect

Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors…all I plead with you is this:  make love of your self perfect.

-Sri Nisargadatta

The Personal Mind, Is It Really So Serious?

Oh, my personal mind!!  It churns and searches for something to latch onto and grasp.  If given its preference it would do leaps and bounds into the future every minute of every day.  Dear mind you show me the yearning to fix, solve, create, implement, buy, change, and modify.

Experiences stored, memories created and strategies planned off of the information of the personal mind.  When the mind is calm, there is space for new experiences, new insight and ways of being with my body, mind and the world.

The Answers Lie Within The Question

What happens when you wake up one day and you realize you have no connection with your Self?  You realize you have never seen your Self, acknowledged your Self or honored your Self.  Where on god’s green earth do you begin?

My experience is you begin with listening, and you begin by seeing.  Seeing all the things you may have been running from all of your life so far, covering it up with dismissal, turning away, busying yourself with distractions.