Changing the Self-Talk


I’m trying to work on the self-talk. You know, those things we tell ourselves that begin to loop around in our heads until they start to control our visions of ourselves. I’m not immune to the tendency to call myself an idiot when I do something I wish I hadn’t, or to look in the mirror and think mean thoughts about the body I see there, but these aren’t currently affecting my self awareness particularly negatively. The one that I find has become an almost verbal mantra in recent weeks (months? years?) is, “I’m so tired.” I AM tired.

How self-defeating is that, though? Isn’t that a deadly downward spiral? I’m tired, so I tell myself I’m tired, so I get more tired, and soon I am coasting into a pit. Hmm. Let’s add a touch of insomnia to that. Now anxiety feeds the spiral and I’m speeding faster down the hill. I’ll have a little sugary pick-me-up, and that helps for a moment or two, but then I crash further, faster, and it takes more to bring me up to baseline.

Perhaps I need to get more iron, more rest, more time for meditation. But none of those things will be long-term help, I think, unless I can change the way I talk to myself, unless I can start noting also the times when I feel energized and awake, noticing how it feels in my body to be alert and full of energy.

Gratitude List:
1. Venus. How she shines!
2. Broccoli and cheese.
3. Helpful self-talk.
4. Naomi Shihab Nye’s poetry.
5. The hot shower I am about to take.

May we walk in Beauty!

Good Omens

Skunk is a good symbol of nonviolent resistance.

Gratitude List:
1. The Imbolc sun rising this morning. Before the disk rose above the horizon, a single wide shaft of sun rose up into the higher cloud cover to east, a brighter magenta smudge on magenta and indigo clouds. Then, as we traveled eastward, the sunshaft shifted to tangerine, and then to golden. It felt like a good omen, that dawning.
2. The relief of a less grueling grading schedule this semester.
3. Harvest. Of word and image and story and idea. Picking the bits and weaving them together.
4. The loving resistance.
5. Venus. I am pretty sure that I have never yet seen a star or planet so brightly shining. This past month or so, Venus seems brighter and bigger, so big and shiny I could almost pack up my camel and go searching for a child of promise. And of course, it’s Venus, so that feels like a particularly good omen.

May we walk in Beauty!

You Are Welcome Here

Available as a pin on

Gratitude List:
1. Lancaster, PA. Hundreds of people stood on the four corners of Penn Square to support refugees from Muslim countries, to resist the Muslim Ban. I stood with Iraqi friends, with Syrian friends. There were teachers and students there from my school, people from church, people from the peace groups, babies and teenagers, elders and middle-agers. The trees were still wrapped in their holiday lights, and people were carrying candles and signs. There were pink hats and hijabs and shaved heads. Laughter and shouting and tears.
2. That bowl of a moon that smiled down on us, filled with a twinkling of Earthshine, there, next to bright Venus.
3. The scarf-bombers. On our way out, we passed through a gathered group of scarf-bombers, pixies out on the town, leaving warm treasures for those who need warmth on a cold night. I knew at least one student from my school in that group, too.
4. The World-Changers. I am filled with pride to think that at two different events in Lancaster tonight, one to show support for displaced people, and one to show support for homeless people–at both of those events were students from my school. I am awash in pride and wonderment at their determination to good in the world.
5. Respite. Retreat. Rejuvenation.

May we walk in Beauty!  So much love.


<Prompt 29: Write a Commercial Poem> Oy.  I’m tired.  Here’s a toss-off:

Face it.  You’re not good enough,
not clean enough, not nice enough,
not beautiful.

You need more stuff to fill you up,
to ease your grief, to fit your need,
to fill the hole.

Don’t you feel that blinding ache,
relentless need, the restless urge,
desire’s pull?

Just buy more stuff, just do your part
to keep the Corporation in the black,
to meet our goals.

Gratitude List:
1. Venus!  She is so big and bright she makes me want to grab my frankincense, saddle up the camels and slouch off to Bethlehem with the other rough beasts.
2. Day trip to the State Museum of PA.  We got a membership to all the state museums for half price, and free parking for the day, to boot.  It was wonderful and educational.
3. The Bird People of the Susquehannocks.  Carved as glyphs into the rocks into the middle of the river, wings spread and soaring.  Carved standing into shell and bone, wings folded, beaked faces watchful.
4. Reading Anne of Green Gables to the boys.
5. You.  Have I said that yet? I am so very grateful for you.

May we walk in Beauty.