day by day

i have been largely away from technology for many days – almost a week. some of the breakthroughs of this time include:

1) a fantastic talk with my father about gay marriage. we moved from “it’s a wedge issue” to “there should be a separation of church and state, with civil unions for anyone who wants tax breaks from the states.”

1b) i have been spending a lot of time thinking about root causes lately, and trying to learn how to move conversations towards the roots of an issue, rather than the most recent political manifestation of conflict. this method is returning to me a curiosity i have been missing for years, and reminding me that most people want solutions, they just aren’t engaged to think of solutions by the mainstream media and political processes.

2) i always think of myself as someone who doesn’t wake up early, but that’s not true. when my niece and nephew wake up, and i hear their voices, i wake up completely. this might be 6:50am, 7:30am – i am up and i am rolling around the floor and dancing and throwing balls and giggling. further proof that auntie IS a calling.

3) i have deeply shifted my relationship to my family – which means i can do anything! a while back i realized that i was the type of sister-daughter who would show up to the house, stay on my phone and computer being important, and wonder why everyone was complaining. my past few visits i have left the phone in another room, kept the computer closed, realizing everything could wait except my time with my family. i wish i could say this realization came from meditation or something, but it came after my dad’s heart attack, my nephew and niece being born, my sisters asking me to show up…now, being here, i learn so much every day – primarily that being present with my family teaches me more than i learn from the news OR from circuitous debates with folks who think just like me.

4) my nephew and my niece are shining examples of how to be emotionally present in the moment. and be honest. and my sister and brother (in-law) are shining examples of how to parent in a way that protects and empowers that emotional experience. they show their joy, then pain or anger or hurt feelings or need, then move past those experiences. when anyone goes to stop my nephew from crying, my sister says – “feel what you’re feeling, we’ll give you some space.” YES! it’s such a beautiful thing to experience that kind of spaciousness and imagine giving that to myself, and to everyone i know, to feel what we are all feeling. it allows the emotional processes to move so much faster, and reminds me of a quote i once heard and will paraphrase here: true mastery is not the avoidance of failure or mistakes, but learning and recovering faster and faster until the mistakes or failures are nearly impossible to perceive.

5) finding nemo is a truly wise film. everything about it is vitally important to understanding how to proceed in the world.

6) taking time intentionally immediately ups the quality of the time. my family and i make time for checking in with each other on what has shifted since we last saw each other. this transforms the time we get together, knowing that we want to listen as much as we want to share.

that’s as many days as i have been away, so that’s enough 🙂