Our Distressed Lizard Brains need Lizard Medicine, now

Posted on Mar 17, 2022

“You can’t attend lizard brain distress with your analytical brain. Our lizard brains need lizard medicine,” words I gently offered a patient struggling with a pendulum of acute panic and fatigue. The exhaustion I spoke of in December has not ebbed, even with spring. And while the activation depends on our positioning and privilege, life circumstances and the direction in which you’re looking, peoples’ nervous...

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Our Collective Exhaustion

Posted on Dec 22, 2021

I didn’t intend to write before year’s end. However, I’m moved to respond to something I’ve heard over and over in past days. From patients, from people beloved in my life, from acquaintances, those providing service in the world, those in my communities, I’ve heard again and again I’m exhausted.  I’m exhausted. If you can’t identify this feeling somewhere in your body-mind, I feel confident there...

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Montgomery, Alabama Pilgrimage III, Zoom Storytelling Talk

Posted on Oct 20, 2021

I returned in late September for a third pilgrimage to Montgomery. The word pilgrimage is chosen intentionally. It implies leaving home and all familiar. It connotes intention of some moral or spiritual dimension, and a great openness to learning. This earlier newsletter offers reflections on that first journey in 2019. It includes initial motivation, a wide view of our country’s healing, and some harvesting from that pilgrimage, told...

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What is the True Ground on Which I Stand?

Posted on Apr 13, 2021

Spring is opening, chirping, bursting…and, while an awe-inspiring backdrop, in my experience, most everyone’s capacity is compromised as we head into this beautiful season. How that feels really depends on our individual privilege and circumstances in this pandemic. This year has been tough, and continues to be for many. End of February, when I desired to write something uplifting, I myself felt weighted: in the body, my nervous...

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Channeling Congressman John Lewis. Channeling RBG.

Posted on Sep 30, 2020

Channeling Congressman John Lewis & Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in facing these troubled times.  I’ll be honest, it’s hard to be coherent these days. This newsletter has been fermenting for weeks now. Every few days, I  start from scratch, integrating the most recent injustice, Part 1  calamity, or loss. And, right in the middle of my own bewilderment, I seek refuge in the breath and look for inspiration all around. I breathe in...

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Sorry for not writing sooner…I’ve been protesting.

Posted on Jul 3, 2020

I don’t think anyone who’s been reading for awhile will have any question about where, how and with whom I stand in the recent imperative upheaval in our country. I’ve become more vocal over time about racial inequities as a part of the critical healing of this time. I have written in broad brushstrokes about all kinds of healing with the hope my lyrical musings might allow the more unpalatable truths in. I remember vividly...

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An Anchor in Facing the Unknown…part 4: Step Forward

Posted on Apr 24, 2020

Step: an act or movement of putting one leg in front of the other in walking (or running). Some weeks ago, already in the ‘wave from front stoop’ era of social distancing, I swung by to greet some elder neighbors. I noted that their front step was badly rotten. In these weeks of ‘staying home” I’ve been really anchored to the immediacy of what’s right in front of me. Connected to the ground and my breath, as...

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An Anchor in Facing the Unknown…part 3: Tune into the Heart

Posted on Apr 9, 2020

Every day for about a month now, while water is boiling for morning tea, I look at Italy (site updated by John Hopkins). I feel my feet on the ground as I wrote about in part 1. And then I look at numbers in Spain. Iran. China. France. New York. Here in Washington…And then, quite commonly without even thinking about it, I place a hand on my chest center, I rub against the bone and I just stand; breathing aware of healthy lungs, aware of...

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An Anchor in Facing the Unknown…part 2: Notice the Mind

Posted on Mar 27, 2020

I feel even more confident than when writing Part 1 two weeks ago that I don’t need to school anyone  reading this on hand washing or social distancing. Hopefully, in these past days, you’ve found the content of Part 1 supportive in staying grounded, connected to the earth in your body, in this dynamic, unprecedented moment in our world. Today,  I’m extending an invitation to notice the activity of your mind, with a particular...

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An Anchor in Facing the Unknown…part 1: Find the Earth

Posted on Mar 13, 2020

I feel reasonably confident I don’t need to school you on hand washing or social distancing. Here, I’m extending a very gentle invitation; notice your feet, just now. Notice how you feel your feet on the ground; the balls of the feet, the heels, the toes. Why is this important? Anxiety, fear, hysteria, are often expressed in energy rising upward. Headaches or migraines. Shortness of breath or chest tightness. Heart palpitations....

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Invocation and Invitation

Posted on Jan 13, 2020

In a notably gentle and slightly playful tone, Desmond Tutu described his daily ritual of reading the newspaper to a Tacoma audience almost a decade ago. He shared with us he was not overwhelmed by despair at the headlines, at the state of the world. Rather, he found delight, gently rubbing his hands together, at the ‘things to do list’ laid out at his very fingertips. I offer For All Beings below as an invocation for this dawning...

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