Thursday, March 19, 2009


Last weekend I presented a three day workshop on pottery and sculpture to a diverse group of 10 artists in Connecticut, at Wesleyan Potters. It was truly amazing experience to be of service and to offer up everything I knew. The realization was that, if I can be my authentic self, I can connect totally with all of these people, and I can receive everything they have to offer.

It was a liberating weekend, for some reason. I think that, in combination with the recent trip to Hawaii, it was a totally disorienting month that required me to really let go of control; control of the time, of where I am, what conditions that I will be living and working in, location on the planet.

It felt like a boggle game where the dice were completely shook up and when everything settled, there is a whole new set of possibilities. And the realization that there will always be a whole new set of possibiities every time the game is shook up opens up a new acceptance of uncertainty.

A change of perspective

Yesterday I was experiencing some vertigo, which was a bit of a surprise. But when my friend Bill brought up the idea of balance (or lack thereof) as a possible cause of the sense of vertigo, and when I took that into account, the vertigo suddenly released its grip on me. Cured by awareness.

What had happened is that someone had given me a new way of looking at things, a hidden part of myself that I was totally unaware of, that seemed to go completely against my type. But I didn't know that part of me was possible because I didn't know how much of my personality was determined by a way of being that did not honor myself. So the vertigo was about finding myself being pulled by a new way of being that was in seeming conflict and imbalance to my old way of being.

What I found was that my old way of being is to "Be Nice", to help others at the expense of myself. The reward (imagined, probably not real) was that people would like me. Maybe, maybe not. But would they really want to be around someone who sacrificed self for the sake of approval?

A new perspective at the top of the mountain, a dissying height. I can get used to that.

Your comments?

Slow Down Challenge

This afternoon, I decided to slow down a little. I realized that I seemed to always be rushing from one activity to another. Even going from work to a gorgeous walk. Sometimes I am so grateful when my dog Rudy takes a detour, and I have to stop and wait. That's when I notice what is around me. Or stopping as I get out of the car and the stars are painting the sky.

Just fixing dinner, to slow down as I went to the spice rack, to walk to the cabinet a little gentler, to sit down in the chair and notice my body folding and bending. It continued into the evening. What I noticed was how I moved into the moment when I slowed down. I can't slow down without becoming aware of the present.

And everything seemed smoother, more graceful, more natural. It seemed to calm me down, to find a little peace in the conscious activity of day to day, just by slowing down a little.

So my challenge to you, the Watson Challenge, is to slow down everything you do. Just for one day. Not a lot, not slow motion, just a little slower. Just enough to become present. Let me know how it goes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In the moment

After two weeks travelling to Hawaii, one of the most important lessons for me was to see how my joy and happiness depended on how much I was in the moment. Being present was the highest and most powerful criteria for my state of happiness, no matter the situation or environment I was in.

One night I was in an old hotel that was a panoply of businesses occupying the myriad of rooms facing on to the central courtyard below, a crescent moon shining down for our main spotlight, and a candle for ancillary lighting. The music was subtle, tunes arbitrarily chosen from chord progressions to support rapping. I was playing hand drums, which takes my total concentration. With that concentration, there is nothing that can intrude. Focus on the present.

Lying on the beach with very few people willing to brave the cool elements, the sun and beautiful Pacific ocean dominated the environment, and began to fill my mind with serenity and joy. But it wasn't the environment, it was my own mind that allowed for the beauty around to fill me up, to feel the energy of the island. In the moment, I was able to experience my bliss.

Attending Unity of Hawaii, I was able to release my experiences prior and to enjoy the experience of this service, to experience the warmth of the people around me, to appreciate the gifts of the spiritual guides present. I danced down the aisle to offer my gifts; I appreciated each person who approached and asked questions, only in the moment.

Perched on a mountainside above Moanoa valley, nestled among lob lobby pines, I was listening acutely to the winds and looking at the waining twilight, clouds spinning off into the west. In the moment that would never be again.

Flying into Cincinnati, the terrain was being occluded by impending dark, noticing the highway's curve and whine, the slower pace of blacktop tributaries leading to my quiet abode, a home by any other name. . .

Looking into each face, stranger or old friend, there is only this moment. Pain is of the past. Frustration is of expectations. This moment includes neither.