Navigating the Currents


When I am moving through days or weeks with a very demanding schedule - a myriad of tasks to accomplish-

frenetic energy often carries me from place to place - usually ineffectively as I trip over my shoes on the floor or wash a full load of clothes on a small setting.

My body clearly reflects the continual forward momentum as I lean into the day, rarely allowing my shoulders to meet the back of a chair or even rest upright above my hips.

My thoughts consume most of my attention, negotiating ways to manage the expectations of a culture focused on achievement and image.

I carry on with the illusion that I am navigating the currents without injury.

But as I ask myself to step back for a wider view, I more deeply experience the agitation that consumes the lion share of my energy.

I notice the discomfort in my neck and the shallowness of my breath and become acutely aware of the depth of my fatigue.

My sterile checklist boasts a multitude of completed tasks, but lacks the messiness and unexpected that bring substance to my life.

Even the unwelcome surprises, a lost suitcase, a struggling child, a serious illness - all vastly beyond my control, awaken me to the generosity of connection and engagement. 

I step back even further and allow myself to feel the loneliness of my rapid pace and telescopic focus. 

I gently bring my shoulders upright, welcome the support of the ground under my feet and quietly scan my inner and outer world.  

My awareness of community - the relationships that connect and sustain us - expands.

The expectations that pushed me into high gear loosen their hold on me.

My next steps are slower, more flexible, less urgent - with my shoulders upright, I can now lift my head and be with the world.

Freedom from Isolation

Freedom from Isolation

My breathing provides a melody for a morning meditation, as varying degrees of raspiness are met by the audible rush of air. 

I am reminded of an interview with Linda Ronstadt when she spoke of the subtle flavors of the notes.

Breathing in and out, I notice as my body moves in sync with the rhythm, expanding and contracting, lengthening and widening with each cycle, an active participant.


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Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance

An accident, an unexpected test result, a dismaying prognosis...

A flood of thoughts and intense emotions compete with my pounding heart and quickening breath for attention.

As my discomfort escalates, I struggle to make sense of the challenge that has emerged.

Why did this happen?

Is there something I could have done, something I should have known to prevent this or ensure a different outcome? 

I scrutinize the details, searching for an explanation that will bring me peace.

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Backbends and Blueberries

Backbends and Blueberries

As she threw her hands over her head, effortlessly folding her tiny body backwards and upside down to reach the floor, she looked up at me and exclaimed:

“Like this, Dr. Deb.  This is the position that helps me feel better.”

“What else?” I asked.  

Without hesitation, she jumped up on the treatment table, flopped onto her belly and rested her chin in her hands.  After a moment or two of complete silence, she looked straight at me, as if to emphasize the seriousness of the situation, and announced:  "I need rest!

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