bellows breathing in the basement

21 10 2013

Mo invited me to a meditation group this evening.

Good timing. I’d been wanting to see Mo, and I’ve also had a lot of noise in my head. Mo says she does too. Bizarre. I’m surprised whenever I hear an amazing woman I know who looks like she has it all together concede that she has a case of the crazies too.

The last two days, I’ve felt more peace for having written the letter to Steve. At least, it’s no longer a thing to do in my mind and having considered it enough, the doing is done, and I can close the door on that part of my life. I metaphorically mailed away all my expectations in that letter, and maybe now I will have a new perspective on Darrell. No matter, meditation sounded good. I have long wanted to be my own biggest cheerleader instead of critic number one.

We went to a home in Brier Creek, and in the basement, practiced breathing and meditation. Ravi the host introduced us to The Art of Living, and we meditated to an iPod mp3. Different than what I expected, which was forced silence for 30 minutes, just me and my thoughts. Terrifying.

We practiced Bellows Breathing.

One surprise. The speaker on the meditation track said, “let your thoughts come and let them go.” I imagined we would be forcing ourselves to keep our minds clear. I found letting my thoughts come, it was also easier to let them go.

I can’t say I feel at peace but I am interested in trying meditation again. As our monk told us in Jeondeung Temple in Korea, we create our world with our mind. I believe that. I want to be more mindful and feel like I can control my thoughts. If I can do that, really, I think I can do anything.

you know how some people fill your cup?

19 10 2013


bob mertz fills my cup. i missed you, bobby.

A Prayer in Spring

16 10 2013

I don’t know how I received a scholarship this year. My undergrad GPA was 2.65, and I have misgivings about being smart enough to be in this program. The only reassurance I have is that the admissions team is smarter than me, so they must know what they’re doing. (One day, everyone will find out I’m a fraud.)

Who knew Paul McCartney feels the same way?

In any case, I wrote thank you notes for my scholarship tonight.

The scholarship I received was in honor of Dr. Nanette V. Mengel, who taught communications across disciplines at UNC. I would have loved to have known Dr. Mengel. She coached her students to become better writers and by all accounts was a humble person who enjoyed simple living and the joys of serious contemplation.


I wanted to write a thoughtful note to Dr. Mengel’s family, one that conveyed how much the scholarship meant to me, not just in terms of borrowing less money to go to school, but in psychic support that I’d made a good decision to pursue education.

In searching for information about her, I found this remembrance: a prayer in spring

Dr. Mengel recounts teaching one particular student, a registered nurse who attended Mengel’s night class. The student challenged Mengel at every turn, asking her to unpack poems and poets, like T.S. Eliot and Robert Frost.

A turning point comes when Dr. Mengel and the student meet for the last time and read together Robert Frost’s A Prayer in Spring, which begins

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away

The student understands at last Frost’s “blissful acknowledgment of loving in present time.”

I finished my thank you notes to Dr. Mengel’s family and included a copy of her remembrance.
I hope I conveyed how grateful I am for the scholarship and what Dr. Mengel taught me this evening.

Modern Times

12 10 2013

Ohmygod, Modern Times. Charlie Chaplin is genius. You can not take your eyes off of him, when he sings in the Italian restaurant, and the assembly line scenes are laugh-out-loud funny. My heart feels so full. This may be the best movie ever.




Saint Rich @The Pinhook

6 10 2013

Date night with Jenny and Saint Rich at The Pinhook. There was one person at the bar, when we got there, like when you make a reservation at a restaurant and show up to find the place empty.

Who knew there’d be an opening band on a Sunday night?

Saint Rich eventually played after opening band Wool and put on a solid show. They thanked the crowd, calling out The Pinhook, and Durham, and seemed grateful to be performing even on a makeshift stage decorated with reflector tape.

I like this band.

when you’re in love, how do you want to feel?

5 10 2013

I surfed the web tonight searching for answers like I was searching for Viagra, as if you can find this sh!t online.

I thought about why it was so hard to leave my ex-boyfriend and surfed the web for the definition of commitment phobia and recommendations about love.

After wasted time and much navel gazing, I think I am not a commitment phobe.
I might be afraid of intimacy and depending on someone else though. Most of my life, I’ve felt most secure when I wasn’t depending on someone else, but this is no way to live.

The bigger issue is I don’t want to be alone. So I hold on too long and hurt people’s feelings, which is asinine, because avoiding hurting people’s feelings is the reason I held on too long in the first place.

I have a hard time breaking up, especially with someone who loves me. I might have a problem with wanting to be needed, which is narcissistic. I mean look at Tula. Look at F4K. I had such a hard time leaving my marriage and my job, when my reasons for leaving both were legitimate. And look. Both my ex-husband and my company have flourished, even moreso without me.

I also overthink.

I admire Kimberley, who can pack her belongings into a station wagon and move across the country for love. Me, I use logic to justify my decisions, because I don’t trust my gut. Actually, I think I have good instincts. So why don’t I trust them?

When I know I’m not connecting with my boyfriend, I argue with myself.

But he’s smart. He treats you well. You get along with each other. You could have babies. Why would you break up?

And I delay making a decision. I should say, I have delayed making decisions. This is a new chapter d@mmit.

The thing is, there’s little room for logic in love.

For example, my ex-boyfriend had so many wonderful qualities. He was thoughtful, liked to cook, liked running, loved travel, he looked after me, he loved me, our physical relationship was fulfilling. Yet our relationship was good but not joyful.

Previous to him, my ex-boyfriend and I had a large age difference, having kids together was a question mark, he didn’t cook, and we needed some work on our physical relationship. Yet our relationship was full of joy. I wanted to talk to him for hours. I wanted to hear every idea and perspective that ever crossed his mind.

You can’t approach love logically.
Connecting with someone is but one factor yet it counterbalances all others.

I always try to be logical, though it’s not my natural tendency, so I read through a lot of “are you in love with him” articles tonight. (My brother said that if you have to ask yourself if you’re in love with someone, you’re not in love with that person.)

One of the articles said a good way of knowing if you love someone is if they make you feel the way you want to feel. Clearly, you need to know how you want someone to make you feel first.

I want someone who

  • makes me feel heard and makes me feel smart
  • makes me feel unique and appreciates my brain. yeah, same as the first reason.
  • makes me laugh
  • makes me feel good about myself like I’m enough
  • makes me want to be a better person
  • makes me feel sexy and wanted
  • makes me feel safe and secure like I can count on him in life

two steps forward, one step back

3 10 2013

Today was contract law, standard deviation, and still missing Steve.
Say three times: I’m happy for Steve. I’m happy for Steve. I’m happy for Steve.
Now move on, Susan.