Wanting & The Modern Age


I am regularly wondering how it is that we are going to be in the world of Instantaneous, Effortless, and Disposable Everything, and still remain Aware, Grateful, and Conscientious.

Still remain Humans Connected to the True Source of Everything.

We all know that in a matter of mere seconds we can locate something online and in one easy click find it on our doorstep. Sometimes even the very next day. No trip to the store required. No experience of going to get something, and it being sold out. How wonderful to get something we want so effortlessly!

Simultaneously, how very, very problematic. As we have quicker and quicker access to the stuff we want, it reshapes our experience to wanting itself. What it is we think we need to have. What it is we believe we deserve.

As the effort, the wait, and the weighing of options gets taken out of the equation of the stuff we want, while the impulse to “want what we want when we want it” takes over via the technologies, we create a world of impulse buying. With all of the detrimental consequences that impulse buying brings to not only the planet, but to our very sense of what it is that we actually need.

Of what it is that is most important.

Yesterday I got one of those notes from the post office that said I had an envelope waiting for me to be picked up that needed to be signed for. I literally had no idea what it was. It was from France of all places!?? When I got it, it was so light that I thought this must be a joke. Or a hoax. There’s nothing in this.

When I opened it up, it was seeds. In a moment of feeling a deep connection to the plant Desert Rose several weeks earlier, I had gone online and purchased seeds to plant in my medicine garden. In that impulsive moment of buying I had not noticed how ridiculously far this would travel to get to me. Worse than that, I forgot about it as soon as I was done.

If those seeds had not arrived, I would not have remembered ordering them. That’s a problem.

It hurt my soul to be standing in the parking lot of the post office looking at those seeds. It felt like such a dishonoring of the very essence of what seeds represent: Life. Pure potential. A connection to not only the earth, but to the very Source of Life itself.

It leaves me wondering: How are we going to do this? How are we going to be with our wants as they get more and more accelerated through the technologies, and still remain true to what is most essential in Life?

How are we going to be with this seemingly bottomless pit of human wanting as it meets up with the instant gratification of The Modern Age? How are we going to remember that while to want is human, the amplification of that very same wanting, as encouraged by the technologies, is absolutely disastrous when it comes to what we make most important in Life.

Embracing Obstacles


It’s not easy being in a body. There are so many sensations, pressures, thoughts, beliefs and experiences that go along with how we feel about our bodies, and what it means to inhabit them. That’s why it can feel preferable to “leave” them. Or let someone else be in charge of them.

It has become a socially condoned way of “living” to leave our bodies and what it is we are experiencing. Take my college students and the way that they “party.” The way they use drugs and alcohol to knock down the stress. To keep them from feeling what they don’t want to feel.

I know this place. All too well. It was how I lived for years. Partying, eating and exercising to excess and as punishment. Self-loathing and worthlessness arising out of the choices I was making. It was only when I began to feel how horrible what I was doing to myself felt, that I was able to shift. Only when I was willing to encounter the obstacles to good and fulfilling connection with my body did things, slowly and steadily, begin to change.

While incredibly difficult, excruciating and sad to come up against the obstacles that were keeping me from myself, it was real. Most of all, it was true. Obstacles are an absolutely unavoidable and essential part of the journey of being at home in our own body. So that’s where I began. With what was real by way of what was in between me and my body. In between me and my ability to be at home in myself. 

I know the current thinking is to get away from what feels bad. I would even go so far as to say that it is built into us as mammals to get away from what causes pain. That it is a necessary part of our survival and coping mechanisms to avoid what hurts. This life-giving tendency most certainly has its place. However, in modern day living where our pains are often self- and culturally-induced, with no connection whatsoever to real physical survival requirements, our wires have gotten crossed when it comes to avoidance. 

The basic, primal instinct of avoidance has gotten flipped on its head, and is now bringing harm rather than relief, while being met by a world all too happy to sell us things that keep us from ever having to feel what it is to be in our own bodies. 

Given the cultural mindset that says “Take this to get away from feeling what you are feeling in your body,” to hear that in order to be at home in yourself, you must go towards what you typically avoid, can sound paradoxical. Or even insane. But if we don’t include this part of embodiment, we’ll miss out on some of the most important information we need when it comes to the body and how it is that we are treating it. Not to mention that it is pure fantasy to try and avoid what we would rather not know. 

Acting as if something is not there, does not make it so.

It is only when we include what does not feel good, what is not working, what is keeping us from a good relationship with ourselves, can we see that what we’re doing is actually not working. Maybe even hurting. That any of the denying, diversions and medicating we’re engaging in, outweighs any “benefits” they may bring in the short-term. Worst of all, that what we’re choosing through our avoidance may actually become the impediment itself to healing what ails us.

In the end, keeping us from not only the health we desire, but the opportunity to know ourselves fully through the empowered journey of learning to trust and care for ourselves. 


The Words We Use


Our precision (not perfection) at naming the moment to moment and daily truths of life in a body, will determine how well we can respond to what it needs and what it is saying; which will determine the overall feel and quality of our lives. The words we choose about our bodies carry great weight. They shape the stories we tell ourselves, revealing powerful belief systems about how we really think about ourselves and the world.

The words reflect not only what we think is happening, but what we believe is possible in terms of health and healing. Most of all, the words we choose determine how we feel about these bodies of ours, and what it means to be alive.

When my mother was still living, we had this bit we would do. She would disparage some part of her body (the stomach that was never flat enough because of the four cesareans and one hysterectomy, the skin that was too loose because she was in her 80’s, her weight on any given day that she tracked repeatedly by daily weigh-ins on the bathroom scale), and I would look at her and tilt my head. To which she would respond, “Oh yeah, I’m not supposed to say that.” 

It was funny. And not. After years of us doing this bit together, although she had come to know that if she ran her body down in my presence I was going to challenge her, I don’t think she ever actually knew the extent of what she was doing to herself. I don’t think she ever allowed herself to feel the impact of maligning her body, sometimes even with great disgust at its inability to measure up to some externalized state of perfection. I don’t think she ever got it was her own self she was running down.  

I will say here to you what I said to her: Your body is listening, and the words you use about it hurt or heal. If this makes sense to you, practice being more mindful about the words you use in reference to your own body. When you catch yourself using hurtful words, say, “I’m sorry. I take that back.” 

If we use pejorative, fear-based, and negative phrases about our own bodies and what is happening for them, our ability to see clearly will be grossly obscured and misleading; rendering any “observations” we make, inaccurate. False. Potentially even detrimental in outcome because we have misnamed them. Meaning, we won’t be able to take good care of ourselves. 

Not only that, any ongoing negativity towards, and about our bodies, will have a detrimental impact on the overall experience of being alive. As in, it won’t feel good to be here. 

P.S. If you’d like to feel better in your body, consider joining my health and healing community at: https://rememberingwhatmattersmost.thinkific.com/courses/membership


The Antidote To Selfie World


Years ago, during a yoga training that brought up a lot for me around how I felt about myself, the teacher suggested I do a ceremony. Basically, to place a mirror on my alter at home, and to spend part of my daily meditation looking at my reflection as a way to get to know and honor myself.

I balked. Part of me freaked out at the thought. I mean, who knew what I might see? Did I even want to know? I thought I kept my reaction inside, but he must have felt my response because he smiled, and said, “That’s a hard one for you, huh?”

As you might imagine, the suggestion fell on deaf ears. I literally “forgot” about it. Completely.

Cut to a current training I’m in where the homework was to spend 5 minutes gazing at yourself in the mirror. I put it off for as long as I could. It just felt too close. Too intimate. Too filled with the possibility of seeing something I didn’t want to know.

But surprise, surprise, after spending just a few seconds evaluating myself, I looked into my eyes. Beyond the skin, beyond any “imperfections,” I really, really, looked. And there I was! I could see a tiny reflection of me in my own eyes. How cool.

It made me wonder: How often is that thing we don’t want to know about ourselves not dark or ugly, but actually cool? 

What I’m referring to here is not the mega-absorption of selfie world where out of desperation and a false sense of ourselves, we seek, demand even, accolades for our appearance and other curated and contrived activities. Ever on the hunt for “likes’ to validate our existence.

This is not an honoring, it’s a diminishment. Selfie world is for the amateurs among us. For the desperate. For those too afraid to take a real look. For those who have forgotten their value and seek to get it back in the most destructive and unsatisfying of ways.

As harsh as this sounds (and feels to be writing it), it’s true. And somewhere, down deep inside, we all know it. If this makes any sense to you, throw away your selfie stick, and find some time in front of a mirror, with just you.

Let all the noise, the judgment, the evaluations and the criticisms fade into the background. Don’t worry if they don’t completely leave, that takes practice. Instead,  watch what happens when you give yourself the time to really see yourself.