Live Like a Mighty River—Deep Wisdom from Poet Ted Hughes

Here, my friends, is a letter that is worth reading. Click on the quote below to read the entire letter. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.


25 Ways to Survive as a Creative Person

Thank you Chuck Wendig for this inspiring post, and props to Erin for cluing me into it.

A couple of thoughts. First, my language ain’t pretty. I like to swear. I like to smoke. I like to be nasty. Sometimes, vulgarity is what expresses my feelings best. I used to think Zen was all quiet and proper and nice and shit. But it’s not always that way. It’s nice when it’s nice and it’s shit when it’s shit. “What is Buddha?” “Shit-stick”. Yep, Buddha is what you wipe your ass with. And what you wipe off of your ass. Buddha is used tampons, rotting carcasses, and stinky-assed farts. Buddha is also beautiful flowers, stunning sunsets, and so much love that it knocks your socks off. Deal with it.

But Chuck’s post hit home in another way for me: permission to get rid of the negative people in my life. “Don’t let ‘em in your house or your head.” I’ve spent way too much time giving guided tours of my house and my head to people who don’t have my best interests or success at heart. Fuck that shit. It’s my house and I don’t want you in it. Goodbye. I’ve got important shit to do.


A New Day

Every morning is a new day. As I continue to struggle with various aspects of my illness and mind, I realize that I have been depressed and grieving for several months now. Last August, Bryan’s youngest brother Jay was diagnosed with cancer. 24 days later, he died. In between, his parents disowned him and then repented, his ex-girlfriend Katie almost lost her job because she was caring for him, and I helped Katie figure out how to tell their 5-year-old daughter that her daddy was dying.

Then we bought a house. Then I was sick for two months. Then it was February. Who wouldn’t be depressed and grieving?

I still struggle daily with my anger at Jay’s parents for how they treated him. Invoking forgiveness and inviting it in does not seem to lessen my anger and resentment. Letting go is needed, yet I don’t seem to be able to. However, I shall continue to open to forgiveness, seeking a way to let go of the anger and resentment. Someday…

Today is a new day, bright with possibility. I want to make the most of it, to continue on my journey of healing, to cure the pain that still fills my heart. There’s lots to discuss: art, DBT, drugs, ordination, teaching, mental health, mental illness, Zen. I shall endeavour, in the coming weeks and months, to put hands to keyboard and start expressing what is inside of me.

I offer it all for the purpose of helping others.

love and bows to you all…

Mayhem and Recovery

This was a bad morning. Perhaps it’s the fact that we all seem to be fighting off/coming down with cold bugs. Maybe it’s the onset of that time in my cycle I like to call “PMS hell”. Maybe it’s the onset of the bitter cold (-23C this morning, -10F for you imperialists). It’s also possible that Brianna’s “bad day” and her resultant attitude was a factor. It doesn’t matter in one sense, it’s done with and over. Yet I want to be cognizant of triggers and make a plan to avoid a repeat.

But the time for that is later. Now is time to practice letting go, slowing down, and practice the moment. It’s what I’m doing now, not what happened this morning. When emotions calm down (Ativan helped), then I can reflect. Now is time to take care of myself.

Difficult, difficult, difficult. Easy, easy, easy. More like, a little from column A and a little from column B. Now it’s time to bundle up!


Well, not really, but that’s the feeling inside. My practice has been to really pay attention to my emotions and I am seeing a lot where my emotions are completely out of sync with the day-to-day reality I live in. Yay me! Seriously, as a  person with an emotional disorder that has been present from childhood, the ability to actually see this is a massive step forward. (I do forget that too.)

Right now, where I’m really seeing it is when I try and figure out what needs to be done next. I feel completely overwhelmed as my mind starts throwing out the list of things that need to get done. In past, my priority was to stop feeling overwhelmed by any means necessary. Today, I’m aiming for the middle way of (a) addressing the symptoms via relaxation, self-hypnosis, medication, and mindfulness and (b) not getting derailed completely from the tasks at hand. Most important is to not get sucked into failure mind, that whirl of incessant self-critical thoughts that maintains a tattoo of abuse. Yuck.

The emotional mayhem is highest surrounding paying bills and doing the finances. Technically, I’m very good at it. Emotionally, it derails me to see the pile of receipts and paperwork on my desk. I’m just doing the baby steps thing, one thing at a time and let go of the worry.

Again, fear and anxiety are the driving forces in the emotional mayhem. My only defense is to breathe and to start where I am. Not sure if it’s working yet…