meditation

What really matters

Last week's post on creating a bigger container seemed to resonate with many people. Grief and loss touch all our lives and remind us of our togetherness.

Related... for the past couple of months, a friend and I have been sitting together every morning at 7 am. "Together" is a loose term, since we live 15 miles from each other; a text check in lets us know the other is there.

Meditation is something I always mean to do and I've gone in and out of steady practice with it over the years. But getting it to stick again has been hard.

In Gretchen Rubin's Tendencies model, I'm an Obliger -- I stick to commitments best when there's external accountability. (A large part of the population fall in this category.)

Admitting I need accountability is helpful because then I can set myself up to succeed. Like knowing a friend is expecting a text from the meditation cushion.

And, it's more than that.


For me, this text-buddy arrangement is about more than the accountability piece -- it's about knowing that I'm not alone. And knowing I'm not alone helps me stay consistent, it encourages me to go deeper, it reminds me that there are "others" out there who I can call on.

We have hundreds of thousands of years of tribal memory in our DNA and only a couple hundred years of modern life, which has turned into an obsession with individualism. I feel a longing for connection -- and deep relief when I get it -- in my bones.

This is why I continue to put out invitations to you for ways to come together. Where we can share perspectives, question, listen, encourage. It's easy to get caught up in life and forget how essential these moments of deep connection are.

Being together also helps expand the container.

So I ask you, gentle reader...
What are some helpful ways you have set up accountability for yourself?
How can you create support or community in your day/week for the things that *really* matter?


If you are looking for accountability, consistency, a like-minded group for practice, discussion and some time to take care of yourself this fall, consider one of my upcoming offerings.

I'd love to be together, in whatever form that takes.

If you have a story, a question or a comment, share it! Always love to hear from you!

With love,
Michelle


P.S. I apologize for the recent faulty link for the Fall Renewal.

we are made of the stars

In spite of, or maybe because of, all the things going on in the world -- from political insanity to indefensible misogyny to nature's massive pandemonium with the California fires closest to home -- I found myself slightly obsessed with a recent 60 Minutes segment on the Hubble Space Telescope.

Of all the striking images and jaw-dropping facts (they now estimate that there are 2 trillion other galaxies in our universe), what spoke to my heart was the piece on the "Pillars of Creation" where stars are born.

pillars of creation

The above image is of the Eagle Nebula, a mere 7,000 light years from Earth. These tall, billowing columns are made of interstellar gases and dust, which with the aid of strong winds and swirling charged particles, create a nursery for new stars.

And wherever there is birth, there is also death.

The explosion of star is a Supernova. In the words of NASA Astrophysicist Amber Straughn:

Big stars, when they die, they explode and send their contents into the surrounding universe, and these contents are what seed future stars and future planets and help seed life ultimately.
The iron in your blood and the calcium in your bones were literally foraged inside of a star that ended this way.
We are viscerally made of the stars.

As important as it is to narrow the attention and sit in this very moment, in all its simplicity, it seems equally essential to pan back and take the l o n g, expansive view. (Which, when it comes to meditation, might be more the same thing than not.)

Pondering light years and photons and stardust restored my trust in the long haul and, against the scale of space, reminded me that the heartbreaks and devastation of this life are as temporary and finite as they are valid and worthy of honor.

You can see the full 60 Minutes segment here.

And check out this gallery of images from space

Would love to hear your reflections.