1. Life is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always.
We are just uncovering them. We are rediscovering them. We’re not inventing them or importing them from somewhere else. They’re here. That’s why when we feel caught in darkness, suddenly the clouds can part. Out of nowhere we cheer up or relax or experience the vastness of our minds. No one else gives this to you. People will support you and help you with teachings and practices, as they have supported and helped me, but you yourself experience your unlimited potential.
2. So, if you can combine that moving in the direction of nothing to hide from yourself with humor and loving kindness then the whole thing begins to transform your being.
3. As long as we’re caught up in always looking for certainty and happiness, rather than honoring the taste and smell and quality of exactly what is happening, as long as we’re always running away from discomfort, we’re going to be caught in a cycle of unhappiness and disappointment, and we will feel weaker and weaker. This way of seeing helps us to develop inner strength. And what’s especially encouraging is the view that inner strength is available to us at just the moment when we think we’ve hit the bottom, when things are at their worst.
Instead of asking ourselves, “How can I find security and happiness?” we could ask ourselves, “Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away? Can I stay present to the ache of loss or disgrace-disappointment in all its many forms-and let it open me?” This is the trick.
4. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.
For those of you who have days where you still need air conditioning, or humidity that won’t quit, or a late Indian Summer spurt, try this.
Inspired by Mimi Cheng’s
A few notes: I made this the first time with the cucumber skin on. As only surprised me, this makes for a very green juice, as in your guest will ask “You made me green juice?” Of course, no harm in that. The second time, which yielded the finished lemonade you see here, I peeled the cucumbers, which led to pale pastel green tinge to the lemonade. You can use any variety of cucumber; in the first batch, I used one of those large English cucumbers. In the second, I used 4 kirby cucumbers from a Greenmarket (each weighed 4 ounces). Flavor and concentration-wise I prefer a tart lemonade that’s a little bit on the concentrated side because we almost always finish ours off with a small glug of seltzer. For a sweeter, but not excessively sweet lemonade, use 1/2 cup sugar. If you’re not going to finish yours with sparkling or mineral water, use it for a cocktail or pour it over a glass of ice, you might find that you’d prefer this with 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra cold water. Finally, I find making simple syrup a pain (it’s a whole extra step!) and upon reading this over the summer, was reminded that you can totally skip this step and just add the sugar directly. Shaken a few times, within 15 minutes it will be fully dissolved, far more quickly than it would take to cool simple syrup. My lemonade feels so free!
1 pound cucumber(s), peeled or unpeeled, cut into large chunks, plus a few extra thin cucumber slices for garnish
1 cup lemon juice (from about 7 to 8 lemons, although juiciness will vary)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cold water
Run cucumber through a blender or food processor until pureed, then run it for a full extra minute to ensure that it’s as processed as possible. Set a fine-mesh strainer ora regular strainer lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter over a pitcher and pour cucumber puree through it, stirring to help it move along faster. Discard solids. In the pitcher, you should have about 1 cup cucumber juice. Add lemon juice and sugar to it, then water. Give it a good stir or shake, and let it sit in the fridge (to get it started chilling) for 15 minutes, after which a couple more stirs or shakes should leave the sugar fully dissolved. Taste lemonade, adding more sugar or water if desired. (See Notes up top about concentration and sweetness.) Serve chilled over ice, with or without a splash of seltzer on top. You can fancy up the glass with a garnish of cucumber slice, if desired.
Can we put gin in this? Of course you can.”
"In the US, the risk of having a false-positive test over 10 mammograms is a concerning 58 percent to 77 percent!1, 2 When a woman is told she may have breast cancer, it causes considerable anxiety and psychological distress. Meanwhile, you will be subjected to more testing, such as biopsy or surgery, which carry their own set of risks, unnecessarily."
Why I stopped having an annual mammogram. (I would go if I had a lump or a concern). I am considering thermal mammography.
"Your gut microbiome activity plays a role in the development of any number of diseases, including food allergies. Recent research shows a common gut bacteria helps prevent sensitization to food allergens
By destroying gut bacteria and altering your microbiome, agricultural chemicals like glyphosate and antibiotic pesticides can play a significant role in creating food allergies
Use of antibiotics in healthy livestock accounts for about 80 percent of all antibiotic use in the US, so to halt the growth of antibiotic resistance we must address this source
Along with its potential for causing food allergies, agricultural antibiotics are also a primary driver of antibiotic resistant disease, which now kills an estimated 23,000 Americans each year
I believe these are compelling reasons to eat organically. In the case of meat and other animal products such as eggs and dairy, your best bet is organic grass-fed or pastured varieties”
First, I’m holding on to the three most centering, mind-calming practices I developed during the break. There’s yoga, of course, which I can no longer imagine doing without. There’s walking. And there’s bass guitar, my delight in which is undiminished by lack of skill. (If I accomplished nothing else this year, at least I learned the Game of Thrones theme on bass.)
For at least one or two hours every workday, I’m going to use an app called Freedom to cut off my Internet connection entirely. That will be my time for deep focus.
Come hell or high water, I will take regular, scheduled breaks from screens: 15 minutes of nonscreen activity for every two hours at the computer. I’ll take a short walk, play with Forest, get coffee with a friend, or just sit and look out the window. (I’m telling you, it’s underrated.) That’s about an hour of mental recharging per eight-hour workday—not perfect, but a big improvement.
I don’t plan to swear off social media. Unlike some disconnectionists, I don’t view online relationships as toxic or inauthentic. I benefit from them enormously. But I do want to keep that ping time corralled, so it doesn’t smear into everything else. That means turning off all push notifications and checking e-mail and social media only when I’ve decided to, not when they buzz at me. The ideal cycle, in my hopeful imagination, is a period of singular concentration, followed by a limited period of pinging, followed by a period of rest, exercise, or social interaction, away from screens. Four or five of those cycles add up to a productive day, with rhythm and variety.
When I’m writing, I want to write with full focus. When I’m pinging, I want to ping without angst or guilt. When I’m with my family, I want to be with my family, not half in my phone. It is the challenge of our age, in work and in life: to do one thing at a time, what one has consciously chosen to do and only that, and to do it with care and attention.
It’s a long article but worth it to read the whole thing. Then, step away from the computer. Go for a walk.