I Love You ❤

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I love you, woman with two dogs who lights up when she sees me, who stopped me last November to talk of her distress over the Cult of #45.

I love you, odd lumbersexual who looks at my chest, not my face (eyes are up here, dude).

I love you, rude cyclist who hit my arm carelessly because your skill does not match your perceptions.

I love you, homeless sweltering in the heat under the bridge, I wish I had magical answers to alleviate your suffering today, no one in society should be kicked to the curb.

I love you, cool senior couple holding hands, who look like they have been together forever.

I love you, grey-bearded naval veteran who blew past the weightlifter taking his ego for run, running with complete joy.

I love you trees, river, and buildings.

I love you bridges, monuments to our ability to work together toward common big goals despite our apparent differences.

I love you world, I love you all so deeply that I feel the infinite energy of Love surge up through me, filling me with peace, joy, and happiness.

I love you.

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I walk a lot on the Portland waterfront at lunch, I see a lot of people.  I was inspired to write this while experiencing the sober bliss of intense love, of connection, of shared struggle. I’m often inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman.  When I first read his Song of Myself, I immediately said ‘YES! THIS!’

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

 

Despite our obsession with tribalism, arrogance of self, and fear, we are all One.  There are plenty of people in this world whose behavior I don’t approve of, but that isn’t love. People whose behavior is the worst, I see their suffering and fear.I can no more hate another than hate myself, because that’s effectively what I’d be doing.

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. – Buddha

When we really see this, when we can get past our fear of the Other, when we can stop comparing and judging, or reducing others to feed our Ego, we can really see.  I dream of a world of light and love, where we lift one another up, where our competition is to be the best person we can be, not to dominate or subjugate others. Love is our natural state, our fundamental vibe, often suppressed by suffering, our connection.

I love you. 💕

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I am the Warrior

Today, I am the Warrior

I stand tall and strong, I will not falter

I will be brave enough for this day

I will allow empathy, compassion, and kindness to rule all my actions

I will thrive and love my self today

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Chinidere Mountain, near Wahtum Lake, Oregon. Mt. Hood in the background

I often write short mantras with yoga themes, to help my focus, particularly when I’m suffering from anxiety. I wrote an article last year for the Washington Post Lily on how anxiety affects me, you can read it here.  The above is another variation on this, one of my favorites.  It focuses on strength, but strength applied with empathy and compassion, to others and self.

#yoga #mantra

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Bell Creek, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Sadly, this trail is still closed due to the #Eaglecreekfire

‘You Don’t Need to Do Anything About Those People’

I sat in an avacado kitchen of decades past

A brilliant Pacific sunset framed behind her

Her aura angelic and pure, kindness and compassion

Hair silver, never seen in that kitchen

A wrong note in an otherwise perfect performance

‘Mom, you can’t be here,’ my dream self told her

“I know, Susan’, she replied. ‘Just know – you don’t have

to do anything about those people.’

Pausing in deep reflection on the many possibilities

Hidden in her words, unable to select one

I finally replied, ‘No, you’re right. I really don’t.’

‘I love you, Mom’

‘I love you, Susan.’

In Love with Life

 photos by Eliza ❤

Some will die in hot pursuit
And fiery auto crashes
Some will die in hot pursuit
While sifting through my ashes
Some will fall in love with life
And drink it from a fountain
That is pouring like an avalanche
Coming down the mountain

– Butthole Surfers, Pepper

I realized again this morning, while listening to that song, that’s me.  I fell in love with life, I drink if from a fountain, pouring like an avalanche coming down a mountain. It shows in everything I do, in the boundless energy the universe provides me to live this one beautiful and precious life.

People tend to burden themselves with so many choices. But, in the end, you can throw it all away and just make one basic, underlying decision: Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple. Once you make that choice, your path through life becomes totally clear.

– Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul

Do you love life? I mean, do you really, really, really love life? Do you drink it from a fountain, like an avalanche pouring down a mountain?

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Eliza and Luna, loving life ❤

Or, do you only love life when you get what you want from it? It’s relatively easy to say you love life, when you just got that promotion at work, or a new house or car, or someone loves you deeply.  What if someone runs into that new car on the way home?   What about when our many expectations are not being met? Can you still be happy and love life?

If the answer is ‘no’, then your love and happiness with life are conditional.  More troubling, if you goal is to be happy, they’re conditional upon the actions of others and events pretty much completely outside of your control. Other people have a persistent habit of doing things that we don’t expect, and no matter how much we try to influence others (or even manipulate them, in the more extreme case). You cannot control what they will say or do.

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Bayocean Spit in Tillamook, OR

If the answer is ‘yes’, then your happiness is unconditional. You don’t need others to meet your expectations to be happy.  You don’t need reality to match your preconceptions to be happy.  Choose to be happy. Choose unconditional happiness.  Escape the tyranny of mind and its multitude of preferences, expectations, and choose to love your precious, beautiful life, dancing on the big blue ball, hurtling through space.

It’s your choice, no one else’s. Namaste, beautiful beings!

The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality. Once you do that, you’ll be clear enough to deal with what’s left.

– Michael Singer

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Luna totally gets this 

 

The mind is where the soul hides from the heart

‘Please, I need a break from you!’, I tell her.

Silently she draws closer, ignoring my pleas.

‘I’m a mess already, I don’t need you!’, I tell her.

‘What about your mother, don’t you miss her?’ she coos

Feet of lead, I don’t move away from her, as I say ‘Yes, I do’

She draws closer, my heart screams ‘NO! Don’t let her in!’

As Grief wraps her arms around me, I wage another hopeless

battle against the tears, and my heart whispers, ‘Mom…’

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I miss you, Mom. </3

 

The Life You Save…

“…there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.”
― Mary Oliver

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top photo: South Summit, Table Mountain in WA State

bottom photo: Pacific Crest Trail, Cascade Locks, Oregon

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

– Mary Oliver

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Luna approves of Dalles Mountain Ranch ❤ 

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The Balsamroot and Lupine blooming together, so beautiful!

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Kelley and I had the most beautiful, wonderful day walking on the big blue ball ❤ . Mt. Hood in the distance. 

Helpful links:

https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Dalles_Mountain_Ranch_Loop_Hike

https://gorgefriends.org/hike-the-gorge/columbia-hills-historical-state-park—dalles-mountain-.html

https://parks.state.wa.us/311/Columbia-Hills—Dalles-Mountain-Ranch