Category Archives: pain



Of course I always was
at this time of year,
because of the absence of light,
because of the cold,
because of the way
the sun sets when I’m not ready.
But this year,
the Christmas decorations
are bringing me down too.
The Christmas carols
are making me cry
instead of sing.
I feel sad looking at my children.
I feel sad about everything.
I never knew something
that always brought such joy
could bring the sting of sadness
over and over and over again.
But I guess that this is how it goes
when home doesn’t feel like home,
when your husband isn’t a husband,
when your life isn’t what
you thought it would be.
Still, there’s something about the holidays
that makes this worse.
Is it the outward cheer
that throws my inner desolation
into such sharp relief?
Every time I see a Christmas tree
I want to weep.
Sometimes I do.
Please God, let me make it through.


Back Home to Joy


Don’t hide your pain,
especially from yourself.
Pain hidden from yourself
gets blamed on others.
Be brave, warrior,
and look deep inside.
The pain is just another facet
of the deep and abiding joy
that is who you really are.
To experience this deep joy,
you must navigate through
your own pain.
Sit still, breathe,
pay attention to your body—
it has much to tell you.
Breathe a little more,
let it reach deeper into you.
Tune into all of it,
feel all of it,
the grief, the anger, the sadness,
the resentment, the disappointment—
whatever it is, it is showing you the way
back home to your joy.

The Cooling Waters of Compassion


Breathing in depression,
the feeling of loneliness, of heaviness,
of sadness,
breathing this in for myself and all beings
who are feeling this same way–
Breathing out clarity,
calm, confidence, motivation, joy,
letting this radiate out from me
to heal and bless the world.
Breathing in anger,
feeling hot, amped up, tense,
explosive, out of control,
breathing this in for myself and all beings
who are feeling this same way–
Breathing out peace,
stability, calm, clarity, slowing down,
choosing deliberately,
letting this radiate out from me
to heal and bless the world.
Difficult emotions are not reasons to escape,
to hide, to muffle, to change or to fix–
they are the very reason we practice.
They give us the reason we need
to see how our suffering is not unlike
the suffering of others.
We are linked in our suffering,
and recognizing this, we feel compassion.
When you feel pain,
feel it not only for yourself,
but feel it for all beings who are in pain.
Let your tender heart burst open
to shower an endless stream of compassion
on this world so thirsty,
so thirsty for the cooling waters of compassion.

Ma belle France


Ah, ma belle France
Qu’est-ce que je peux faire pour toi?
Les larmes tombent à l’intérieur
Je ne crois pas mes yeux, mes oreilles,
la voix de mon mari
me semble loin de ce moment,
ce n’est pas vrai, pas vrai.
C’est un cauchemar,
et je vais me réveiller bientôt.
Ma belle France,
Ce qui s’est passé–
ce n’est que mon rêve, mon cauchemar–
je vais t’aider en me réveillant.
Je vais réaliser que ce n’est pas vrai,
je vais t’aider, ma belle France,
je vais t’aider.

Ah, my beautiful France
What can I do for you?
Tears are falling on the inside
I do not believe my eyes, my ears,
my husband’s voice seems
far from this moment,
it’s not true, not true.
It’s a nightmare,
and I will awaken soon.
My beautiful France,
what happened–
this is just my dream, my nightmare–
and I will help you by waking up.
I will realize that it isn’t true.
I will help you my beautiful France,
I will help you.


Dig In


Why do we run away
from the intense, painful emotions?
At some point we were told
that it’s not okay
to feel angry or sad or anxious,
that we have to put on a happy face
and soldier on.
But emotions cannot be shoved down
and expected to just go away on their own.
Emotions are a great gift
from our bodyminds.
They tell us about ourselves
in relationship to our environment
and the people in it.
If we allow ourselves to just be
with our emotions just a little,
we might learn something important.
We might awaken,
we might open.
The next time you’re experiencing
intense emotion,
don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
Dig in.
Sift through this fertile soil.
Plant some seeds of lovingkindness,
clear mind,  and great compassion.
The most beautiful garden will grow
wherever you do this work.

Essential Forgiveness


If we are to continue
on this path of awakening
with our open hearts,
the spiritual warriors that we are
will need to learn how to forgive.
Forgiveness is essential.
If we are to set down
the burdens of the past
we need to learn how to let go.
Sit a moment.
Feel the regret, the remorse.
Acknowledge the shame, or the pain
as you reflect on past events,
and then…
let go.
Because this moment is ever new
and fresh–
Because you are this being now.
The you who made that mistake
decades ago
no longer exists.
In this one now moment,
this eternal present,
your heart beats life blood
through your body.
Its intelligence masters
complex processes
and with a symphony
of collaborative movements
you are here alive
this very moment.
If you want to learn how to forgive others,
start with yourself.
If you want to learn how to forgive yourself,
start with your own heart.
Acknowledge its beating,
then let go of the past.
You can let go of the past
the way a tree lets go of a leaf
in autumn–
finality without mourning.
Each letting go can be joyful
as space is made for the
burgeoning and the blossoming
that is to come.