Modern Day Confusions Around Productivity


I step outside at the end of the day to bring the laundry in when I catch my mind wondering how “productive” I’ve been on this supposed day of rest. The thought stops me cold.

And not because the thought is so off base given that I have hung laundry, made ghee, meatballs and sauce, planted garlic, closed the yurt for the winter, brought in wood for the week, and submitted an article for publication. But because it is such a modern day ailment/indulgence/obsession/anxiety to even be having a thought such as this.

At another time in history, or even now in another place on the planet, the idea of being productive enough would have been something real; an actual matter of life and death even. Needlessly making up ideas around whether or not I had done enough would not have been something I would have had the time, luxury or inclination to do.

I would have been far too involved in doing what I actually needed to do to keep myself and my family alive, warm, fed and protected. In other words, surviving. And maybe in some seasons, even thriving.

These days, we use the idea of productivity as proof of our worth, as something we judge ourselves by. As some kind of endless justification treadmill we get on to prove to others and ourselves that we are worthy of our existence. This as opposed to ensuring our existence.

And while there is only the difference of one word between these two phrases, they could not in reality be further apart.

At another time, we would have needed no proof that we were productive. We would just be doing what we needed to do. No prizes. No “likes.” No neurotic comparisons. No bragging rights. No fretting in some self-indulgent way. No “adulting.”

What am I saying here?

I guess I’m wondering if it is possible to live with all the conveniences of a modern day existence, while remaining simple and true to the reality of life on the planet in a human body. Grounded in what is actually necessary in the midst of all the pushing around what our “best lives” look like.

Detached enough to recognize when and where we are incessantly trying to live up to some standard that says we must prove and establish our worth by being recklessly and continuously busy.


Clarity Found

I’m up early. I am still adjusting to the time change from the week before. When I look out the window and see everything covered in frost, how it all glimmers in the light of the rising sun, I know why I was called out of bed so persistently.

The excitement builds and I can’t get outside fast enough. Everything is sparkling. And the air, oh the air, is so crystal clear. I take deeper and deeper breaths, feeling the medicine on each and every inhale. The unadulterated medicine of pure clarity. I breathe it way down deep; into every nook and cranny of myself.

The experience is life-changing; taking me beyond my confused mind and the muddle of the world. I see in this moment that despite what we might believe about life in the midst of so much chaos and confusion, there is clarity to be had. Right smack dab in the middle of so much destruction and obfuscation.

It originates in the quiet stillness of the air and the way it smells. It is reflected in the change that comes over me as I take this all in; what is outside of me taking up a place inside of me. Rearranging me. Becoming me.

I can see further and I can hear more. Yes, I know partly it’s because of the leaves being down, but it’s also something more. Much, much more. It is something beyond words, but it can be felt. And known. If only we would make ourselves available to It. On this particular morning, It has made itself available to me because I allowed myself to step outside of my routine. Because I was willing to see the power of availing myself to something much grander than the man-made world.

No smartphone will ever do this for you. I don’t care how “smart” we think they are. They do not, and will not, ever compare to a perfectly crystalline morning. To believe otherwise shows just how far we have fallen from the Truth of existence. For no news cycle, exciting new app, more “likes,” what’s trending or another stupid cat video will ever quell the disquiet that lives within.

Will ever return us to ourselves and what it is we most yearn for.

What I am with on this morning is the greatest Source of anything I will ever need. The clearest guidance I could ever use. The deepest reflection of what it is that’s true. Why? Because it is real. And because it is beyond beyond the made-up fears, the hang-ups, the mixed agendas and the incessant worrying of man. Pure and agenda-free in its origin, delivery and intention.

To align with this is to know oneself. It is to step beyond the noise. It is to choose for something real. It is to make a sane choice in an insane world.

The Hidden Gift of Betrayal


You don’t need me to point out that things have gotten more intense in the world as the years roll on. Or that life here has gotten more confusing, fear-based and confrontative. And now, through the “advancing” capabilities of the technologies, we can add dishonesty and betrayal to the growing list of what undermines a fundamental and necessary sense of trust in Life itself; leaving us not knowing who or what to believe anymore.

Is the social media post a real representation of someone’s life, or has it been heavily curated? Is the news you’re watching accurate, or is there the heavy hand of corporate money driving the flow of information? Is the customer representative you are speaking to a real human, or a robot?

While many of us would say, yeah, yeah, it’s awful, but that’s the way it is now. Or maybe, we hate it or are outraged or anxious because of it, but we don’t think there is anything we can do about it.  And while this and more may be true, I find it misses the point of what is actually available to us at this moment in time. For though we live in a day like no other when it comes to the levels of false appearances and widespread deceit making its way into our day to day living, there is actually another way to see this.

That being, seeing all of the curation, the dishonesty, the confusion, the outright lies and the betrayals as one of the greatest blessings you will ever receive. I know it sounds ludicrous on the surface, but give me a moment.

When any of us has the good and great fortune (not misfortune) of being betrayed by a system we felt protected by, the pain we feel is one of the greatest wounds we will ever experience for it shreds our beliefs about the world, ourselves and what it is we can count on. When the rug gets pulled out from under us in this way, whether with one big pull or through a series of little pulls, the faith we have in Life itself can get blown right out of us.

And in its wake, it can leave an inner devastation so great that it seems like we can never come back from the betrayal; even as we scramble to make sense of something there is no making sense of. To be led astray, intentionally or not, by those people and institutions we put our deepest trust in can feel like the highest form of treachery and deceit. Can feel like a tear so great, there is no repair.

But, and this is a big but, if you can see betrayal as something to learn from, it becomes a gift. That gift being the chance for your feet to be placed, knowingly or not, on the road to greater self-trust. A chance to turn your faith back into yourself and to Where Else it has always truly belonged. This gift then becomes something you can share with a world deeply confused about what to believe in, as well as whose hands that belief is meant to reside in.

Then, in times of universal deceit where telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act as George Orwell once wrote, you are in the needed position of holding something others cannot yet hold for themselves. A perspective that sees the rampant universality of not knowing what to believe in as the directest route to an abiding self-trust, whose truest power can only be forged in the fires of betrayal.

Find Your Way Back


I’m out driving and I turn the radio on. This is something I rarely do, but I was in my husband’s truck and he has all these stations that carry the soundtrack of my childhood, so I decided to see what was there.

At the same moment I’m tuning to the station I want to listen to, I’m thinking about us as a people. What it is we make important, the fears we have, the ways we make the wrong things matter more than they should. All the thoughts and wonderings that are often on my mind, but that over the years, and especially of late, are taking on an accelerated position in my life, and an ever-growing clarity in my heart and mind.

At the exact moment all this is occurring, a song comes on that begins with how long the road has been, how heavy the load has felt, and how this person is just trying to get back home to their heart. At this point, I’m already crying. Moved by the synchronicity of the message coming through the lyrics; reflecting what was just on my mind and in my heart.

By the time the song is into the chorus, I am weeping as they sing “Find your way back. Find your way back. To your heart.”  The emotion is not sadness as much as it is more of a deep longing. An inherent yearning for me to live like this. For all of us to live like this. A kind of organic knowing, beyond all the wounding, that this is not only possible, but why we are here.

I believe this longing is one we all feel. Way down deep inside. A hunger to get back to who we really are. And a deep desire to return to the Truth of what we are meant to be for one another.

I know this runs contrary to either how we feel inside at times or what we see when it comes to other people’s words and behaviors. But I think that all the stuff we do to hurt ourselves and one another is an expression of soul sickness. I think we ache so bad to know who we are and how to be with one another, that when we can’t get there, for all of our reasons, we default to hurting. Either ourselves or one another.

But if we could take that hurting and see it as something that needs healing, instead of creating more armor, more blame, more separation, we would find our way back. To Our Heart. And in that place, we would know what the heart knows, and what the mind does not. That it was never personal, we were never abandoned, and we have always mattered.

It is from that knowing that we find our way back to our true home: The Heart.