Saturday, June 23, 2012

Still meditating

Even though I said I wanted to change the focus on my blog to dancing, I guess really dancing is a metaphor for having more pleasure in my life.  I just came from a long bike ride along the river and when I came home, I realized that I was feeling a little blue. 

I went back a couple of years on this blog and found a Pema Chodron reading that I thought I'd share again, because as always, she seems to say exactly what I need to hear:

"A magical golden key

Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way. One of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called enlightenment is resentment, feeling cheated, holding a grudge about who you are, where you are, what you are. This is why we talk so much about making friends with ourselves, because, for some reason or other, we don't feel that kind of satisfaction in a full and complete way.

Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn't do any good to try to get ride of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we're doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we're doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves."


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dancing in the light

I decided that I wanted to change the focus of this blog to something a bit more joyous...dancing.  I remain committed to meditation, but in the past six months I've found so much pleasure in dancing and I want to share that. 

We are having a wedding shower for a friend of ours tomorrow night and we're supposed to share something positive about love and marriage and quite honestly, at this point in my life, I couldn't think of a thing.  The one quote about the institution that came to my mind was Woody Allen's:  "Marriage is the death of hope."

Then I started to think about dancing and how it played a part in my relationship with my ex-husband.  When we first got together, we spent many happy evenings dancing in his living room in Venice, California.  I think if we had kept that up, even in the midst of all the dramas we were living through over the next 24 years, our lives might have been different. But unfortunately, we didn't... and now I am dancing with other partners and hopefully someday with a steady partner.  (Although I'll never give up dancing with other men too, it's fun!

I think dancing is one of the true pleasures of life.  It's something we do when we're really young (I'm stealing that idea from Nigel, one of the judges of my guilty pleasure, "So You Think You Can Dance.") 

Dancing in the light...that's the message I feel like sharing. Dancing for the pleasure of being in the body and feeling the music. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Three years

The anniversary of my mom's death was Saturday, June 9th and somehow the sadness of that didn't hit me until this morning.  I woke up feeling very sad.

I opened the book "The Tools" where I'd left off and it talks about sadness...which is like having a black cloud over our head, which then blocks out all the sun.  That's how I was feeling.   The antidote, they say, to the black cloud is gratitude and also connecting to a source, a higher power, or whatever that means to each of us.

It helped me to read that, but I still felt blue, so I took myself to Friends In Deed at noon.  It turned out that the topic of the Big Group at noon is grief.  So I had a good cry and now I have to deal with Lucy, who's got so many health issues it's hard to know where to begin.

Ah, life.  I am so grateful!  I am grateful for summer coming!  I am grateful that I had a good night's sleep!  I am grateful for humor!  I am grateful for health!  I am grateful for dancing!

I can feel the black cloud opening up.  I really can.  Not fast enough, but it's opening.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Tools

I recommend this book highly - "The Tools" by Phil Stutz and Bary Michels, two L.A. therapists who have developed a technique which is an "open secret" in Hollywood.  I think of it as The 12 Steps Meets Jung.  

One of the quotes in the front of the book is, "The things which hurt, instruct." Benjamin Franklin.  I couldn't agree more.  The best part of my journey these past three years (today is the third anniversary of my mother's death) has been the unbelievably powerful lessons I've learned.  I am stronger, more empathetic, more emotional, more alive, happier and more excited about life than I have been in a long time.  I'm also still scared, still dealing with the fear of the future, but if I've learned anything - it's that we are all stronger than we know.  I love this book and can't wait to get all the way through it, but I'm reading it slowly, it's one of those books I will underline and re-read.  

Monday, June 4, 2012


I woke up early this morning and couldn't fall back to sleep.  Zoe, my daughter, is visiting until tomorrow night and it has been a pleasure to have her here.  I finally really understand how my own mother felt whenever I came to visit from Los Angeles for a few weeks and then left.  It's difficult to be so far away.

My dear friend Joe went through ten hours of surgery last Thursday at Sloan Kettering to save his leg and the surgery, though extremely difficult, went well.  I think he's going to be fine and hopefully he will be out of the pain he's been in since he underwent radiation for his cancer. 

I looked back on this blog to early June 2009, when I was in the thick of the horrible year of divorce and death and it reminded me to be grateful for where I am today.  Life is truly challenging.  Last night on "Mad Men" one of the characters committed suicide and the show is so well written, it was very sad and very moving.  I am grateful that there are some fantastic shows on television that have wonderful writing.  I am grateful that I went dancing on Saturday night at the JCC and had some fun.  I am grateful that I had a magical week in Paris, with Bella and her sister, Meret.  I am grateful that the producers of my play are going to look at a theater today and that they've started building a website.  I am extremely grateful for my loftmate, Abigail, and for the time I've had with my wonderful daughter, Zoe, and our beloved dog, Lucy.