Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Random Poetry

I am participating in a swap of poems with people. The goal is to take a book you are reading and take every tenth word from a page until you have 15 words. Then take those 15 words and somehow assemble them into a poem.

I'll be posting poems I receive in the mail as they show up. The first one I've received so far, from another Oregonian, is very cool!

The women's Dharma group I'm participating in is embarking on a deep study of Pema Chodron's book 'When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
' so I picked my words from the first page of the first chapter. My words, in order selected from book, are:

  1. to
  2. journey
  3. setting
  4. with
  5. will
  6. get
  7. the
  8. drawn
  9. if
  10. become
  11. it
  12. different
  13. we
  14. activities
  15. emptiness

The poem I assembled out of these words:


Setting the activities.
drawn to will.
Get with it.
Different journey.

We become emptiness.

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Ch… ch… Changes… (and a simple novel)

I'm still kind of stumbling around mentally after that snapshot of the Inner Critic moment. I am considering the suggestion of giving her a "non-threatening" name, so I can talk to her. I thought about staying home on Monday after taking that picture but went out instead to the women's Dharma group I participate in. I was glad I went even though I felt very resistant to it.

Tuesday I talked with CS at Dishman and resigned from teaching there now that CC & EB have said they will take over the two classes. Feels weird even now typing it. Felt big and shaky doing it. I immediately got off the phone with him and went to Dishman to teach a class. That felt even weirder. I've not told them yet, I'll bring it up over the next 5 weeks, my last classes. I'll officially end teaching at Dishman on December 20.

And I have no where to teach. I've been talking about teaching at our Zen center, but I have a whole lot of back-and-forth feelings about it. In some part I'm worried that the space, so amenable to Zen practice, is not the best for yoga practice (carpeting, everywhere). I sent a message over to a new studio in my neighborhood today and have been chatting with a new studio in Northwest Portland.

I've been considering other changes too. Looking very strongly at what I'm doing at work, what my motivations are for that work, and considering all the feelings I have about work carefully. At the very least it might be good for me to do the practice of writing my resume (it has been nearly 8 years since I did that) and see what kind of response I get to it. Might convince me to tough out this rough patch, might remind me that I do possess a lot of skills, and it might be a new step on my path.

And I've been letting myself wholly enjoy a good novel. I picked up Sunshine at Powell's the other day, it was on sale, on an end cap as I walked through and I've always enjoyed Robin McKinley's books. It is fun to be reading something so lighthearted, relatively, compared to my stacks of poetry, Dharma and yoga books!


Inner Critic Revealed

I'd like to introduce you to my Inner Critic. I talk about her a lot here and a new art project in my Zen community inspired me to catch her in the act.

I had this clever idea to use Photo Booth on my MacBook to "catch" my Inner Critic. Earlier this morning I'd thought about writing down some of the top things I hear from my Inner Critic on a note card and photographing them with me in the background looking angry, disgusted. When I finally got this done this afternoon I found myself really taken aback by the image.

Wow, is that some nasty shit. Inner Bully is more like it.

And yet that's the person I hear nearly constantly. Something about having this image really kind of creeps me out. The enormity of this voice, the judging and harshness of it. The ugliness fully revealed, not just alluded to.

Somehow seeing this visual representation helps me get a grip on why I've felt so self-doubting these past several weeks, why it is so hard to feel any sense of accomplishment when this is the constant negativity I'm bombarded with. No wonder my therapist will interrupt me occasionally during our sessions to remind me, "I don't like it when you talk about Sherri that way!"

Yeah, need to keep working with this voice.

I burned the note card in the fireplace and lit some incense just now. It felt like the right thing to do. A cleansing step.