Friday, July 31, 2009

nova in real life

As a librarian, I am called to cite my sources. This post is completely inspired by Brandy Roth.

Roth, B. (2009). The Mysterious Mrs. B Roth. retrieved from Internet on July, 31 2009. (that's the geekiest thing I've done in quite awhile.)

Brandy wrote out the five priorities in her life and it inspired me to think about mine. I began to list the important roles in my life. Wife, mother, librarian, learner, spiritual practitioner......and then oh, my house(!), I should also be a home manager....oh! and also my family, being a sister, daughter, and aunt! I thought of nine important areas to focus on. Having nine is NOT prioritizing. It's the opposite of balance. I've decided to choose four. That seems manageable, right? So here it is. Thanks Mrs. B. Roth.

I am the wife of Brian. I am completely frank with Brian about everything. This is good and bad for the marriage. I hurt his feelings. I treat him like he might possibly not have feelings. My mom has told me that Dr. Phill (yes, I'm going there) says that marriage is a branch above a raging river. No matter how bad that branch can be, at least it isn't in the raging river. This is a darn bleak picture, but I find it comforting for some reason. Point just don't let go of that branch. What Brian needs from me is friendship. He needs kindness and compassion. I show more consideration to co-workers than my own husband. Above all, I should be giving him the best of me, instead I usually give him the worst of what my raggedy soul can dish up.

Dearest Ramona, while writing this I can say that I have never done you wrong. You are three months old and I have mothered you like it's the only thing in my life. I've spent 45 minutes happily pumping milk that you guzzle down in 10 minutes and then spit up. I can say that I've never messed up, I've been a good mother to you. Ramona, that is about to end. Any minute now I'm going to start falling down on the job. I'm going to make mistakes, I'm going to feel guilty. However, I can promise that despite everything else on this list, being your mother is the most important thing I am.

Spiritual Practitioner:
Last winter I read something about commitment on a Starbucks coffee cup. I felt like it might be a sign that it was time to commit to Buddhism. I've still not done this. My mom dove right in, but I've held back. It's not because I don't believe in the eight hot hells or celestial Buddhas. It's because I'm lazy. It's because rather than sit on the cushion and empty my mind, I watch my TV, I feed my baby, I eat cheetos........anything. I write this. But I don't sit on the cushion. Rather than taking refuge, I continue to drown in my attachments. I know studying the dharma and engaging in a real daily practice is the right path for me.

I've been on maternity leave for 3 months and it's time to go back to work. The real world begins now. I've said so many times to people over the last year that I want to keep working. This is my career, I have an almost masters degree, I love my work. I'm not sure if this is true, I really might just need the money. I want to re-commit to librarianship. I would not say that my first year of being a librarian was that successful. I can do better this year.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I am a horrible meditator. I struggle very much to sit still. I love the idea of it, but actually being still and emptying my mind gives me panic attacks. I know a lot of things, I know Buddhists mediate. I know that "meditation is not suppose to hurt, life hurts, meditation is a relief from hurt".

Once while meditating with a sanga (group) my foot fell asleep. I tried to ignore it, but I began to really lose my foot. And with it my mind. I reached down to touch my foot and, honest to god, I thought I was touching someone else's foot. It scared me silly and I began to worry that I might actually never get feeling back in my foot. At this point there was NO meditation happening. It's just me pretending to mediate and trying not to bother others. I was so scared that I was going to lose my foot that I began to sweat and feel sick to my stomach. Sitting still sent me into such a panic that every time I sat on the cushion I would feel ill.

My most recent meditative experience was pretty typical for me. I spent most of the session not actually emptying my mind, but just trying not to jump out of my skin. However that evening I had a moment of dharma clarity. Buddhist teachers always say to be gentle with yourself. Your mind is a toddler running out to a dangerous street. Calmly and patiently keep bringing your toddler-mind back to nothing. My moment of clarity came from watching Ramona toss back and forth, banging her head from side to side. Despite being very tired, she fought sleep. I kept patting her until she gave up, let go and fell asleep. She needed patience and love to get to sleep. I am the same way. Putting my child to sleep is my practice.
"Your life is your practice." - Karen Mazen Miller
Yes, Nova, this life.

too long for twitter

I keep wanting to write more....more than just tweets....I want to explain it all a bit better.