Category Archives: Inspiration

“The Light of Late Spring”

Today, a Memorial Mass is being said in celebration of my mother’s life, which was one of faith, always. It is what I remember most about her; so often, it guides me. The #LongerView celebrates my mom’s opening of her last door.

As always, the swinging bench awaits.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Somewhere Between Two Shores

Every morning, my meditation starts in storm. New winds beckon my sails; mine is the course to set. In the stillness, my sextant sights.

Sometimes. my ship wrecks but imbalance is impermanent. Like the boomerang, balance will have its return.

The self must settle somewhere two shores.

Make not a bond of love;

let it rather be a moving sea

between the shores of your soul.

(Khalil Gibran)

Sustaining the meditative state is a constant shifting of course, ever mindful of each day’s tides. They are never the same.

Every day, I choose whether to rush inland or to remain offshore, anchor dropped in observation.

Wearying but worth it, this life.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Let Me Be Gracious

I must buy more T-shirts that give people pause. It’s good for them, I think, and I know it’s good for me. It shakes us up.

This morning, I wore my “Nasty Women Project” shirt, more for a color coordinated look than as a statement. I always enjoy wearing it but as often happens, I forget I am until someone notices.

This morning, it was the pharmacy tech who reminded me. She regularly waits on me and usually calls me by name but not this morning. She just kept staring at my shirt.

“Name?”

“Huber.”

She paused before asking, “Karen?” Her tone was one of disbelief.

I could not help but smile but it was just a small one. “Yes,” was my answer. Admittedly, my tone was a bit sing-song.

The tech may not have been crestfallen but she was puzzled. How dare I not be the ailing old woman that she was so sure I was.

To be fair, she has seen me on some pretty rough days but the only conversation we ever had was my giving her the information required to purchase my prescription.

I presented as a new person to her. Maybe I will replace the one she was so sure she knew. Who knows, maybe someday she will surprise me, too.

Let me be gracious when she does.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

“Poem” Pause: Being By a Cat

Nothing grounds me like a poem. Nothing. It brings me to life right where I am. Crossing the gulf of today’s #DailyDose is not a task too tall. It is paw by paw focus.

as the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset
first the right
forefoot 

carefully
then the hind
stepped down 

into the pit of
the empty
flowerpot.

(William Carlos Williams, “Poem”)

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Is There Really a Choice?

Be impeccable in your word

Don’t take anything personally

Don’t make assumptions

Always do your best.

Don Miguel Ruiz

In yesterday’s post, I made a passing reference to Don Miguel Ruiz’ Four Agreements. Is there ever a time when they are not needed? Has there ever been a time when it was easy to practice them?

In these dark days, we know we are not hearing one another. In any conversation, who will put assumptions aside in favor of thoughtful discourse?

Anyone? It’s hard. Often, it does not work. Why make it a practice?

I focus on word choice, aiming for impeccable. I don’t always reach that level. Still, I remind myself that in equanimity there are no enemies. My heart remains open rather than shut tight. I only need a sliver of light.

What I’m saying sounds far-fetched, perhaps impractical. Yet, the few times that I have stood in mindfulness—trusted it–drama was left without a stage on which to play. I fueled no fires.

It has happened enough to reinforce my practice of the Four Agreements, especially on those days when my skin is too thin, and I react rather than respond.

One mistake need not necessitate another, so I am more thoughtful in my word choice. At the very least, it changes up the pace of the conversation or social media commentary.

My recent blog post on childhood and its innocence sparked a comment full of hate, truly vitriolic. The words were so raw I could not take them personally. Neither, could I decipher the reader’s meaning.

It is the kind of spew I see far too often on social media. It does not deserve a response, ever. That said, such hate has always been part of the human experience. The Internet only makes it more immediate.

Our language returns to us, sometimes unrecognizable. We effect change with our word. Do we have a choice other than to be impeccable?

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

More Than a Title

I once wrote a blog post entitled “Forgiveness Is More Than an Afterthought.” The title contained more substance than the post but it did offer a fine quotation:

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

These words are often attributed to Mark Twain or have been since the 1970s. There is no evidence he wrote or said them.  The sentence seems a compilation that crosses centuries.

Sometimes, words work their way out of one story and into the next anecdote until reduced to a single sentence. Words are like that, aren’t they?

They come together in ways we least expect or even hope, especially when we are careless with them. We forget they will come back to us or we hope they don’t. It is only when we are “impeccable with our word” are less violets crushed (Don Miguel Ruiz).

With forgiveness, debt is involved, and it includes all parties. I never really thought about debt and forgiveness until I read a story of a mother forgiving her daughter’s killer.

Over and over she told herself that she must be able to forgive the debt; forgiveness was not complete, however, until the man who killed her daughter no longer felt the debt, either. Only then was the fragrance released.

Few will ever know this mother’s love and strength. I will not but I carry her story with me as a reminder forgiveness is only possible when no one holds onto it.

M. L. Stedman wrote that “You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.” It is a heavy load, this debt. Only when resentment and regret are crushed does the violet give its last breath.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Owning Both Halves of Me

One word can either open a wound or a world. Words stretch into sentences, then stories. We love stories. They show us who we are, no matter what they reveal.

Today, I return to the Cherokee story of the two wolves who live within us. A grandfather tells his grandson about the ongoing battle between good and evil, light and dark.

Always, the wolves hunger and gnaw. The grandson asks what to do. In most versions of this story, the grandfather says you starve one and feed the other.

That never made sense to me.

And then I found a version where the grandfather advises to feed them both. Starving one makes the other uncontrollable. They are two halves of a whole and not two beings stuck in eternal struggle.

I try to feed both; therein, my battle lies.

Putting on the armor of the bodhisattva is to wear the most powerful weapon ever known to existence–compassion–owning both halves of me.

And when I do, I stand with my wolves not in fear but in awe.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.