Prior to flying out of Dulles in Washington, DC

Friday, February 16, 2018

I am not a great flyer. In fact, I can be quite anxious about flying. I don't fly often, but I have learned various ways to manage/not join my anxiety when in an airplane at 30,000+ feet. Sudoku puzzles help me a great deal, and I had one close-at-hand as we settled into our seats for my first trans-Atlantic flight.

With all of the data in front of me about our soon-to-be-flight, something in me shifted from anxiety to joining this great adventure. Recently I have been realizing that the work I have been doing on my own behalf all these years may in fact really have changed my neural pathways, just as neuroscience is telling us. More on that at another time. The point here is that I was not anxious. I was present and ready to be where I was: on an airplane in flight.

Our flight was through the night. So after they served us our late meal, the plane lights were dimmed and we were "put to bed" to have our "airplane sleep," as someone described it to me. I rested in 30-45 minute blocks of time, waking to rearrange myself, drink a little water, and drowse back off.

Sometime late in the night, in some time zone well east of the US and miles above the north Atlantic Ocean, I woke. The plane was silent with its sleepers and device-watchers here-and-there. As I looked out of the window by my seat, I saw a sliver of a moon hanging in a familiar way in the distant sky. I smiled at what a lovely jewel I was seeing. I felt closer to the moon than ever and simultaneously further than ever from all that I know.

Here was this constant object - the moon - holding me in place while I was being catapulted through the sky to a foreign country.

We all share the moon. We all know the moon and its phases. The moon that we see in the US is the same as the one in the UK. We are all on one world. We may have different languages, traditions, governments, but we are connected by the natural world and its wonders.

I appreciated that waning crescent moon that night. I appreciated the way it connected me to the familiar in the midst of the strange. And I appreciated that my mindful presence allowed me to take all of this in.

Today as I write this blog, I Googled what was the moon's stage that night, and here is what it says:

Friday, January 12, 2018
Waning Crescent
Illumination: 18%

On this day the Moon was in a Waning Crescent phase. In this phase the Moon’s illumination is growing smaller each day until the New Moon. During this phase the Moon is getting closer to the Sun as viewed from Earth and the night side of the Moon is facing the Earth with only a small edge of the Moon being illuminated. This phase is best viewed an hour or 2 before the sunrise and can be quite beautiful if you're willing to get up early. It can also be a great time to see the features of the Moon's surface. Along the edge where the illuminated portion meets the dark side, the craters and mountains cast long shadows making them easier to observe with a telescope or binoculars.

What stage is the moon in tonight? Will I get to see it and appreciate it?

Wherever you may be on our Earth, it is good to remember that we all share this same, precious moon and the experience of its presence.

Next: "shapeless without technique"

Sunday, February 11,  2018

As I packed to go to England, I considered taking a large book with me which I am reading in preparation for some new writing. I imagined having time to work on this new project in between things as we traveled.

Fortunately, I came to my senses and realized that was not what I wanted to do. The size of the book alone was a ridiculous item to add to my suitcase traveling through airports and customs and trains. That's what stopped me first - the size of the book.

Then, I realized I did not want to be thinking and writing about things which I carry with me from my work and life. I did not want to spend my time and present moments traveling in brand new places with mental ideas, concepts, and preoccupations which I was importing from America. I realized I wanted to let new thoughts and experiences in as fully as possible. I realized I wanted to be present to my unfolding trip and take in some new input - whatever that might be.

The input did not have to be in specific categories or related to anything I am working on or have in mind. The input was to be what came to me in any moment as I was on this journey with Grace.

Grace was aware of this Input (restorative) plan. I carried a small blank notebook with me, and sometime during most days, I made a note or two about what I was noticing. Sometimes we both commented that a particular sentence or experience we shared was Input: "Wandering through St. James Park;" "It's a good day to wear the same clothes as yesterday;" "There's a limited amount of daylight."

The subtitle of this piece of writing is (restorative). The more I am in the present moment, the fresher I can become. New experiences enrich. I want to really let them in, to seep in as I say, and to let them help me to grow in all ways.

Are you carrying around any large books that are keeping you from the input of the present moment?

In the following blogs, I will be writing a brief essay on each of the Input (restorative). I look forward to learning what I have to say about them and sharing those experiences with you.

Next: Input (restorative): "In flight; slivered moon"

In flight from Dulles to Heathrow
At the Roman Baths in Bath, England

At the Apollo Victoria to see "Wicked"

Sunday, February 4, 2018

I know. I have been away from blogging for a very long while. I don't quite know what to say about that. I do have things to share with you. I think of writing here, and then I don't.

I find that can be the way with self-care: I think of doing it, and then I don't.

Awareness + intentional action are everything.

So here I am - back from an amazing first-in-my-lifetime trip to England with my dear daughter, Grace, the same one you hear me speak of in my books. Now 29-years-old, Grace is quite a world traveler and invited me to join her on this working/traveling trip. So I moved through many of the things that hold me in place and keep me from growing more fully and got my first passport at age 65.

We had a wonderful time, and I will have a number of things to share with you from that trip. Yes, a few photos and touring recommendations, and also short essays that come from a list I made while traveling called: Input:(restorative). I did not want to spend a lot of my time writing while in England, but I knew I wanted to be in touch with the writer in me. So as we moved around that lovely country, as we interacted in our daily adventures, as we made mistakes, as we celebrated successes, I made a list of things I learned and want to remember.

Future blogs will be from this Input "manuscript" of mine, but in this blog, I just want to show up and to let you know that while I was in London, Noel Bell, a psychotherapist there, recorded 2 podcasts with me:

"What is Codependency?

 "Working Therapeutically with Codependency"

What a very fine souvenir to bring home with me ~ professional interviews with a colleague interested in codependency. Thank you Noel.

I am bringing them home to you, too.