Friday, June 15, 2018

Dissolving Barriers

Pain and suffering. Release and peace.

I went to see Dr. Maria LaPutt, an advanced John Barnes Myofascial Release specialist. Like many of the specialists I see, John Barnes MFR has a spiritual and physical component to its framework.

Maria worked on my frozen shoulder in slow and gentle movements. At times I wondered which was worse ... childbirth with no pain meds or this tortuous steady, light pressure she was putting on my shoulder blade. I panted and groaned, as decades of armor started to bend.

Would my noisy exhales turn into sobs? Not today, but I was on the verge of breakthrough. Maria said, "How are you feeling?" I said I feel grief. "Despair and "Trapped" came through as well.

What is so fascinating about energy work is that there are so many layers.  I break through one, only to find another waiting to be undone. I used to dread the process, but like spring cleaning, I want to open all the drawers and cupboards and expose the hidden dirt and clutter to the light, a damp rag, and a trash bag.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Twenty-two years ago, at 2:54 pm, I become a mother.

When I posted on Facebook to wish my fabulous daughter a Happy Birthday, I wrote, "I would love to do it all over again."

Wouldn't it be nice to have the stores of wisdom, patience, and good humor that I possess now as a newly minted mother? All the crying over spilled milk, literal and figurative, would evaporate under the light of understanding this: don't sweat the small stuff ... and it's all small stuff.

My friend Denise replied to my wistful remark, "Absolutely, any day of the week. But I'm not up for the months of little and interrupted sleep."

Oh yes, sleep.

Been there, done that.  I'll wait until I'm a grandma.

Monday, January 29, 2018

We are like two bumps on a log. My husband and I.

My husband would say to me about right now, "Being called a bump on a log is not a compliment."

I would respond, "You know what I mean."

My husband has become an expert at translating Ninette. He has logged over thirty years of time perfecting all forms of Ninette, written, verbal, and non-verbal. It has been a requirement of the job.  Since I grew up in a home where my parents' first language was not English, veering off the beaten path when it comes to colloquialisms is par for the course.

Ha, did I just use those two phrases correctly?

When I say we are two bumps on a log, we are inseparable. We are strong. We are enduring.

Sounds like a compliment to me.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Being in One's Body

I have noticed a palpable change since the Pema Chodron retreat at the Omega Institute, thanks to the silence meditation and the Qigong class I took.

I am fully present in my body.  I feel the pressure of the desk against my wrist as I type, the sturdy texture of the dress fabric against my legs.  I hear the whirring of the HVAC system outside my office window.  I see the dried lipstick smudges on my coffee mug.  Time for a wash.

It's exhilarating.

My brain is still here. It's not dominant.  My ego is still here, but its voice is not so loud.  I relish where I am right now.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Remedy

Photo Credit

Negative energy spreads quickly. Like the flu, the impact of unkind words infects others, jumping from one person to the next. Complaining and gossiping, soured moods and dour faces, malaise and apathy, and lost time and productivity unfold as side effects in a sick world.

Luckily, Nancy Troeger, my colleague, had the remedy.  The recipe was simple and familiar: honesty, respect, kindness, and responsibility. One dose of our Honor Code, and we were as right as rain. 

She employed honesty as a way to have a respectful and kind conversation with the original host, listening but also communicating the widespread impact of actions taken in anger.  By taking responsibility and speaking her truth, Nancy demonstrated our core values.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Gift

"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." -- Joseph Campbell

One thing that chronic pain does is stop you in your tracks.  Literally.

After a long day of work, I paused before my front walkway.  I gathered my resolve, steeling myself to take the first, agonizing step.  I looked up and in front of me unfolded a stunning view of grass blooms glowing in the late afternoon light.

Without the gift of pain, I often wonder how many sacred moments I would miss as I hurried and fretted my way through life. By slowing down, I see.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Gift of Warmth

Every year, the senior class does a Midnight Run to NYC.  They collect jackets, clothes, blankets, toiletries and other items from the St. Luke's community.  Camille DeMarco-Havens, whose warm and loving personality embraces us all on a daily basis, runs this program with heart and passion.

My husband went through his clothes and donated many pants and shirts, many of them with the tags still on them.

I went to my linen closet and pulled out an abundance of blankets.  Like my younger daughter, I develop an attachment to things.  Each blanket holds a memory.  This one was the first blanket I bought when I was working and started making money.  So and so gave that to me for Christmas when we moved into our first house. That blanket was draped over the rocking chair in my daughters' room when they were babies.

I had a selfish impulse to take my blankets and place them back into the secure confines of my closet as tangible artifacts of my history.

I had another flash ... of people in the here and now, with no homes and little resources, out in the cold, hard rain and sleet we've been enduring here.  I saw my blankets descending gently around their shoulders, spots of cobalt blue, ruby red, and patterned green in an otherwise gray landscape.

I took my blankets, washed and dried them, brought them to school, and placed them in the Midnight Run basket.

I always say that if I had a lot of money, I would give most of it away, knowing how much impact that money would make in people's lives.  But it's worth acknowledging the impact of all acts of generosity, including those small packages which carry the gift of warmth and care for our fellow man.