sabrinamari: (Default)
I just got another message that's been reverberating through every part of my life over the last few months: when people value you, that value is reflected primarily in the actions they take towards you. Words are important, but they pale beside actions.
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sabrinamari: (The Star)
This morning I have been thinking about ruthlessness in its many varieties. Over the last couple of months, I've had the opportunity to see it, close up, in myself and in others around me. I think this opportunity has arisen because there have been so many upsets in my immediate environment, and emergencies tend to summon out people's Shadows.
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Jan. 24th, 2012 12:40 pm
sabrinamari: (Daily practice)
Correct all wrongs with one intention.

Commentary: "Wrongs" here refers to difficult circumstances that we encounter. Our intention is to use these situations to develop compassion for all the beings who also suffer from difficulties and to aspire to breathe in their pain with the practice of tonglen.

Lojong slogan 40, The Compassion Box, Pema Chodron

[59 Buddhist Teachings on Living Life with Fearlessness and Compassion, translated by the Nalanda Translation Committee, with commentary by Pema Chodron]


Definition of tonglen is here:
sabrinamari: (Default)
In answer to someone's question, it refers to this:

"...a passionate sex life requires each person to face the anxiety of defining himself/herself while getting closer to their partner, a process [David Schnarch] calls differentiation.

Differentiation involves changing the way we think about...[relationships]: Instead of seeing ...[them] as the merging of two people into one, as has often been taught, we must learn to maintain a sense of ourselves as distinct from our partner[s] in order to become closer to [them]. Gaining more differentiation is not easy-and [David Schnarch] warns that any "expert" who promises Eros and intimacy in ten easy steps should not be trusted. Sexual encounters provide perfect opportunities to differentiate and develop the strength to love deeply."

I got this concept from working directly with David Schnarch a handful of years ago and it has served me incredibly well. Although I learned about it in the context of relationship therapy and sexual intimacy, I could immediately see how it applied just as well to non-sexual relationships like those we have with our parents, mentors, long-term teachers and close friends.

If you want to learn more about differentiation, I highly recommend that you read his book, "Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships".

In fact, I think it's required reading for 3rd Degrees and even 2nd Degrees, because the concept helps explains so much of the conflict that arises between students and teachers in long-term Craft relationships.

And for anyone obsessed with maintaining agency in intimate relationships, it's a must-read.
sabrinamari: (Default)
Thank you for your support and good wishes, my friends. So far, so good. I successfully picked up my rental car and drove to my parents. The guy who gave me the car walked me through all its features very patiently and gave me a carefully marked map. I was grateful! I guess he could tell I was nervous. He was even so kind as to tell me that my husband is very lucky because I am beautiful and that the Holy Spirit would be with me as I drove. In Oklahoma speak, that's highly encouraging and supportive talk (it's a male-dominated, Christian kind of place).

I was just grateful to get some help and support.

Got lost once but pulled over and figured it out. Made it home just when I said I'd be pulling in.

Most importantly, mom and dad were wonderful, loving and so supportive! Mom exhibited shock that I managed to drive myself here alone, but she was positive about it. Maybe this will be a really good trip. I am very hopeful.

Again, thank you for your excellent coping suggestions (using the car for short escapes, calling on my support network). I am *very* fortunate to have such loving friendships and right now I am especially grateful.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


I've decided that I'm going to try and drive my parents everywhere this weekend.
sabrinamari: (Inanna/Transformative work)
So I’m on the plane thinking hard about the next few days and the last many years. Trips home are fraught with hidden traps, both minefields and opportunities. Hell, the minefields are the opportunities. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that’s Starhawk is right: where there’s fear, there’s power. Sometimes---often---the most fruitful places to look for power are where you least want go.
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sabrinamari: (Inanna/Transformative work)
I'm heading to my parent's home tomorrow. If I'm not back in three days and three nights six days and five nights, send someone to Enki with a nail file to plead my case.

Today's Tao

Nov. 7th, 2011 11:52 am
sabrinamari: (Godhooks/Transformation)
The Tao always knows what I need to hear most.


Act without doing
work without effort.
Think of the small as large
and the few as many.
Confront the difficult
while it is still easy;
accomplish the great task
by a series of small acts.

The Master never reaches for the great;
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn't cling to her own comfort;
thus problems are no problem for her.

Tao te Ching, Stephen Mitchell
sabrinamari: (Godhooks/Transformation)
From today's Early Morning Buddhist Inspirations:

"The tighter you squeeze, the less you have."

I never thanked my first husband for one of the most important lessons he taught me, and it seems important to do it, even though I am not speaking directly to him.

Thank you for teaching me never to try and convince someone that they could/should love me.

That lesson was worth its weight in gold.

Understanding that love can only be inspired, and never demanded, has made my life better.

Thank you.
sabrinamari: (Default)
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Lots. I was just an awkward kid. But you know, it really encouraged me to develop resilience and tremendous inner resources. I never learned how to grow a thick skin so I still feel everything, but I am very, very good at getting back up after I fall down.

On the whole, I have to say that being bullied was useful. It produced a resilient, adaptive human being with plenty to offer.

This sounded preachy, so I put it behind a cut.
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Feel free to add your own.
sabrinamari: (...what is brain?)

Sweet article on framing, with a Pagan tilt. Love the emphasis on creating your own frames and not automatically adopting those of others. Love the concrete advice on how to respond to questions in ways that showcase your own frames rather than reinforcing theirs.
sabrinamari: (Inanna/Transformative work)
Today I am the bringer of unpopular news. I remember that Erishkigal, too, is my homegirl, alongside Inanna/Aphrodite, and I honor them both.

See the original image, and artist, here:
sabrinamari: (Daily practice)
I've just discovered that part of the challenge of this visit will be learning to navigate a three of swords situation. Family politics are never easy, and it looks like I'm stuck between two family members I care for a great deal who are absolutely refusing to communicate with each other. This is really uncomfortable, especially since I put a high priority on harmony. Chances are good that I'll have to be an adult and manage my desire to be anywhere but in the middle of this situation. Talking would really help---except, of course, we're dealing with a mercury retrograde.

Really, there's no choice but to breathe deeply and sit with this discomfort, trying not to impose my own stuff on the situation. If I stay present and give everyone the space to operate, they may choose to open up to something better on their own. If not, at least I will have done no additional harm.

Damn, I'd rather be doing almost anything other than sitting with this. Time to pull out the mad Buddhist skilz, I guess.
sabrinamari: (The Star)
Big learning day here: a few of the lessons so far...

* Yes, I *can* stop myself from losing it/acting out when my brain falls out. There's still an adult in here.

* Really strong temptation today to just step into an emerging situation and fix it in a way that would be very easy for me, but not happy for Michael. Further, Michael is correct in having reservations. Successfully managed to do the right thing instead of the easy thing---and oh gods, I really wanted to do the easy thing---and I even managed to communicate clearly and lovingly about it all to everyone involved. Go me!

* Still managing to get some work done despite the many opportunities for personal growth that keep emerging around me. Am even laughing about it. Dratted personal growth! You make it so difficult to simply get work done!

* Lots of small victories today, mostly consisting of the frequent realization that the sky is gloriously blue and cloudless, unless I choose to put clouds there. That's Pema talk for the observation that most of my angst is self-created, and I can choose to simply release it anytime I wish.

Not bad for most of a day's learning.
sabrinamari: (Venus)

So calming, so good for me.

Remember, Sabrina. Re-member.
sabrinamari: (Venus)
Sabrina: "I need a kiss right now..."

Michael: "Why? Are you OK?"

Sabrina: "My heart is so full of love it hurts."

Michael, laughing and embracing me: "Then it needs to grow three times larger today!"

Kissing me

Michael: "It's like a workout: you start to love bigger, and your heart stretches and it's sore. But then it gets used to the feeling and you're OK. Then you learn to love even bigger and it stretches again."

Sabrina, listening

Michael, using his best Arnold Schwarzenegger accent: "Venus is here to pump you up, baby!"
sabrinamari: (Venus)
I'm home from FSG. It was like living through a tectonic shift.
Read more... )
sabrinamari: (Godhooks/Transformation)
Yesterday was a good and useful day. I'm proud of myself and impressed with my friends and family. Life is much easier when everyone chooses to be a grownup. There are still plenty of challenges, but when everyone has both the capacity and the willingness to be reflective, patient, communicative and transparent, challenges become vehicles for growth instead of drama...

It's difficult to pull this off every time a tricky bit shows up, but whenever I can take a deep breath and get over myself, the results are generally excellent, even spectacular.

I love the vast toolkits our lives have given us, and our endless human talent for generating creative solutions to nagging, chronic problems:

From the forest itself comes the hand for the ax
Split this wilderness listen up this ain't where it's at
Clear a path so that you could find your way back
Chop 'em down, chop 'em down; chop 'em down, chop 'em down

Chop 'Em Down, Matisyahu

And now there are many wonderful things to do/prepare/create before I leave for FSG. The week before a festival is always very, very full. This year I intend to make this a good thing instead of framing it as just another challenge.
sabrinamari: (We are family)
It's morning, and only a few of us are awake. That's a good time for thinking and exercise. Often there's not enough time to do both. I have to work this out, because I almost always have the urge to do both, and I end up either picking one while missing the other, or having to settle for a shortened workout.

Yesterday felt pretty good. I've spent so many years hanging around with Peggy, Ed, Rose, Audrey and Ben and their many animals and plants that it always feels like home. Just what I needed this weekend...and this evening is Peggy's Dedication, which will add an interesting new inflection to things.
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May. 12th, 2011 10:18 am
sabrinamari: (tiny seedling)
"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."

~The Buddha

You know, there are moments when I look at myself and think,

"It doesn't even matter, in this particular moment, whether I succeed or fail at what I am attempting to do. The progress I've made in even being able to to take this step is breathtaking."


sabrinamari: (Default)

June 2012

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