“The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment.” ~Eckhart Tolle
I was in pain.
My legs hurt, I felt nauseated, my heart thumped hard and fast, and I labored for every breath.
I was halfway up a steep, three-mile hill, and I was so exhausted I could barely keep my bike upright.
My mind tried desperately to solve this problem: “Should I stop? I should stop. No! I’ve done this hill in the past without stopping—what’s the problem this time? I hate this! Why is this so painful?”
I glanced over at my …
“Feelings are real and legitimate.” ~Unknown
I’ve been thinking about pain lately.
It’s come up for me more now since my sister, Susie, has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Susie and I are close in age—just 15 months separate us—and close in friendship and love. So I worry about her.
She’s an electrician and needs to be able to use her hands on a daily basis for wiring, splicing, drilling, and all of the other myriad things electricians do.
But, of course, her hands are right where the arthritis has chosen to reside currently.
She told me that some days …
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
My partner, Ruth, and I were not happy.
The inside of her mouth was covered in sores, she couldn’t swallow well, and she was exhausted. The chemotherapy was ravaging her body. Something had to be done.
When her oncologist, Dr. Patel, came into the room, he perched on his little rolling stool and looked up at her Ruth where she sat on the exam table with her legs dangling.
She railed against the chemotherapy and what it was …
“Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.” ~Lama Yeshe
Several months ago, I sat in a large workshop audience being led by Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research.
She directed us to divide up into pairs for a self-compassion exercise. I turned to the young woman next to me. We introduced ourselves and returned our attention to Kristin.
Following her instructions, my partner closed her eyes while I sat looking at her. Kristin led those of us with open eyes through a loving-kindness meditation that was directed at our …