Sorry for the long hiatus between issues. It was just plain too hot. Now it’s cooler (I am wearing a sweatshirt! Yippee!) and I can think. I feel more able to be present with my breathing, and I once again have the energy to imbue before I imbibe.

How are you doing?

Many of you found the concepts “I don’t know” and “What do I want” to be quite useful.

*I have learned a lot from you over the years, but nothing has radicalized my life so much as “I don’t know” and “what do I want.” I have incorporated what you teach about beliefs when I notice that I want something. It has been a revelatory process. May I go on? Take your example of a close parking place. That is something I always want. Well, I looked underneath that knee-jerk want, searching for beliefs. And I found a doozie about aging. It goes like this: “I’m getting old, I can’t walk as far as I used to. I am declining.” I’m 65, but I’m surely not ready to be declining! I know where that belief comes from, my grandmother. And I most definitely do not want to use my grandmother as a role model for growing old.

So thank you my friend for all the valuable teachings you have given me over the years. I first came to you for a reading in 1990! I plan to be a radiant, robust, rabble-rousing old woman, and I’ll have you to thank for it.

You are most welcome. I love the image of a radiant, robust, rabble-rousing old woman!

It’s true — under our attempts to protect ourselves, which is what most of our “wants” really are about, lie beliefs. Our beliefs shape the way we live our lives. The more we know about our beliefs, the more choice we have in our everyday lives.

Speaking of beliefs, two of you even asked me about my religious beliefs, am I an atheist or what?

I am neither an atheist nor a theist. In fact, I see theism and atheism as two sides of the same coin — beliefs we cling to so that we might feel less vulnerable in this vast mystery of existence. But vulnerability is our birthright. An ongoing challenge in life is to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Knowing that we will die allows us to be as vulnerable as were meant to be.

Vulnerability shows the way

The notion of vulnerability might serve as a useful guide in life. One could ask, is this decision/desire/belief an attempt to open up my vulnerability or protect it? The next time you have a thought or a belief or a desire, investigate it in terms of vulnerability.

Look back on your life, at choices large and small, and ask the same question. Did it bring you closer to your ability to be vulnerable or take you farther away from being vulnerable?

As always, let me know what you think.