Posts Tagged ‘kindness’


May 18, 2017 Comments off

“The mole, I’m not
so worried about,”
said the nurse practitioner,
peering at me over the rims
of her eyeglasses. “It’s
the anxiety that
concerns me.”

“I didn’t say anything
about anxiety,” I
pointed out.

“Oh, honey,
you didn’t
have to.”

“This is half as bad
as it was even a
month ago,”
I replied.

We talked
for fifteen minutes.

At one point,
I said, “the best thing
was accepting, really
accepting, that the world
could be very, very grim
for my children, no matter
what I do or say–“

“We don’t know that
it will be!”
she cautioned.

“Oh, I know. I’ve been
reading Arundhati Roy
and Rebecca Solnit, and,
well, dozens of other authors
just this year. There’s hope in
uncertainty, here.”

She nodded.

“What I mean is:
I was ragged from figuring
out what I could do, and how
I could do it, to show that citizens
must not wait for politicians to do
the right thing environmentally.
What finally freed me
from that churn
was seeing that …
if the outcome does end up
being very, very grim,
it will be all the more important
for me to have left my sons
with tons and tons of love
to sustain them through
hardships I can’t
They’ll need
the memory
of all
to get by,
you know?
So I’ll keep
reading, and I’ll
keep showing up,
where I think it’ll help,
but I’m not arguing anymore,
or fretting about the right words,
or seeking the magic combination
that’ll suddenly engage
the disengaged,
but mostly,
mostly …
I’ll love

When I left
the room moments later,
she told me, “You’re
a lovely woman.”

“Ha!” I wanted to say.
“You should talk to
some of my now-
former friends.”

I accepted her words,
and her hug,

The work of feeling groovy


Less coffee, more water

Four months ago, I thought coffee was The Problem dragging me down.

Three months ago, I realized The Problem ran much deeper than coffee. I was running myself ragged and using coffee to conceal the degree of that raggedness from myself. Coffee worked to keep me going short term, but relying on it was a terrible approach to sustaining myself longer term.

I began investing in myself daily: first by rubbing my ears and temples for a couple of minutes twice daily, and then by adding in a few minutes of meditation. I created a bedtime routine to improve my chances of getting a good night’s sleep. I started listening to musicals, which I found were far more conducive to feeling human connection than was social media. Best of all, I practiced addressing myself kindly and with compassion, soon determining this was the single most powerful change I’d made.

This isn’t hippie, New Age stuff, but grounded in human biology. As I wrote in mid-April:

Long story short, we are supposed to spend most of our lives with our parasympathetic–calming–nervous systems engaged, with stressors only briefly activating our sympathetic–panic–nervous systems. Life these days involves constant activation of the sympathetic nervous system, at great cost to short and long term well being. The more you can do to consciously, repeatedly activate your parasympathetic nervous system, the healthier and happier you will be over the long haul. This is more than just a moment’s distraction; it’s a cumulative investment in you.

By quitting coffee and being kinder to myself, I’d solved The Problem! Yes!

Yes? Read more…

Born of stardust

as knots were massaged
from shoulders tense from
constant motion and
relentless worry,
the universe unfolded
within me

I am born of stardust

So vast
as to be beyond
even dreams of calculating
are the motions of
through time and space
that led me to be
here, to be
at all

are so small
held up against
mountains and
oceans filled with
stardust in myriad forms
and the stars in the sky
(that we are a part of)
and the galaxies
from which, so far away,
their brilliance still

are born
of stardust
worry, from
that we are

I saw

I soared,
stardust among stardust

And when
asked how I was,
my “good. better than good,
better than in a long while,”
was offered through a shimmering
of tears
followed by
a hug from one woman,
then from another,
who whispered “God bless”
as she released me

“Thank you,”
I told her
before stepping out into darkness
filled with twinkling lights
and telling the sky,
“He already has”

Don't make Winky cry. Let kindness shine!

The rest is commentary

You probably think I’m a pretty serious person, and it’s true. I am. I would love to heal this world’s ills.

But underneath all my seriousness, I like to laugh. It’s why I made ridiculous animated GIFs throughout law school.

dancin' all the way to orygun!

It’s why I also opted to be an extra on my favorite shows in law school. Given a choice between studying torts and running away from giant tentacled beasts, how could I say “no” to Torts?

Don't go there!

Li’l D bears witness to my bygone diligence

I am constantly drawing stick figure comics in my head. Read more…

To the lady who asked:

When I pictured NYE at Disneyland, I did not picture dealing with my most horrible diaper-gone-awry mess to date with bad wipes and a handful of damp paper towels. In a public changing stall.

I did not imagine how embarrassing it would be to spend ten minutes trying to clean up a mess only a bathtub was adequate for.

On the bright side, I also didn’t imagine you, the mom who would stop and ask, “Are you OK? Do you need anything? I have spare clothes.”

By the time you saw me and asked, I was almost done. But your question made me feel not alone, and turned my frown right upside down.

Like I told you then, I thank you so much just for asking. Your questions alone, and the care behind them, were all the help I needed.

Happy new year to you, all of you who stop and ask! May your new year be full of many sweet tidings.

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