Signal Fire Posts

Recent Posts

  • #365 Retired?

    I want to share this email I got recently: “I know that you’re retired, but I could really use a reading. Is there any chance you could make an exception for me?” RETIRED? I don’t consider the work I do a job from which I’d want to retire. It’s an ability I have, an ability that Continue reading →

  • #364 Resiliency

    It’s been a rough few years for many of us, what with COVID and all that has entailed, including loss of jobs and even death. And of course the greater cultural rhetoric—anti-woman, anti-Black, anti-all people of color, anti-gay, anti-trans, anti-immigrant. Etcetera. Yes, it’s been a rough few years. I’ve been wondering about what has made Continue reading →

  • #362 Let Go

    From Clarissa Pinkola Estés A Prayer to Open Doors. I would ask you to do this one thing. I would ask you to heal your wounds completely, to the best of your ability, and to let the rest go. I would ask you to heal your wounds completely, insofar as you can, and to let Continue reading →

  • #361 I’m in Love!

    I’m in love! Yes it’s true, I have fallen in love. 74 years old, and I am completely enthralled. Some of you may know that in the past year I’ve had two total knee replacements. I love my new knees. In fact, I feel about my knees the way you’d feel about a person you’re Continue reading →

  • #360 Bodies

    I was with a friend when she started talking about her body — it was too fat, her breasts were too small, her hair was too thin, her skin too wrinkled. I interrupted her, crying, “You must stop! I cannot stand by and let you talk about my friend that way!” That got us both Continue reading →

  • #359 Be Brilliant

    I saw a woman wearing a t-shirt that said, “Let That Shit Go.” I smiled. You were born luminous. You were born gifted. You were born brilliant. You were born one-of-a-kind. You were born all of that, and you are all of that. And you were born into a culture that does not tolerate uniqueness; Continue reading →

  • #358 Assumptions

    Here’s something else I’ve discovered is worthy of stalking—assumptions. I’ve been stalking my beliefs for 30 years, and I thought I was pretty good at it. Lately, however, I’ve been inspired to stalk my assumptions. Oh my goodness! Gadzooks! Crikey! Assumptions galore! I wonder what percentage of my thinking has been taken up with assumptions. Continue reading →

  • #357 Stalk! Pounce!

    A  reader called my attention to this Signal Fire, published 10 years ago. I like it, so I’m sending it again. And I’m pretty sure I’ll have a followup before very long. I stalk beliefs. I lurk around the corners of my mind, listening to what I think and to what I say, ready to Continue reading →

  • #356 Deserving Joy

    This is a follow-up to the most recent Signal Fire, which engendered some interesting conversations. First, joy. People often ask me what the purpose of life is, and what the purpose of their life is. I will posit that, simply put, the purpose of life is to experience joy. Second is the idea of deserving. Continue reading →

  • #355 Ask the question

    So many holidays! I hope some of yours have been happy. I have, however, been aware that people are experiencing emotions other than happiness—anxiety, fear, and even angst. Maybe having nothing to do with all the holidays. There’s a question I’ve been keeping close, and I invite you to use it, too: “Is this life-giving Continue reading →

  • #354 Old Women With Scabs

    I’ve said it before, but I keep smacking into this truth, so I’m saying it again. Everything I have ever judged another for, I eventually end up doing. Little things, big things, seemingly inconsequential things. But truly, reaching out to another in judgment is never inconsequential. And judging another always reaches out. It is the Continue reading →

  • #353 Your Soul

    Assume that you have a Soul. Then assume that your Soul has a purpose. Then you can rightly assume that your Soul desires to fulfill its purpose. That desire is an intention that all of creation aligns with. That alignment allows opportunities to arise that will allow your Soul to fulfill its purpose. Those opportunities Continue reading →

  • #352 Warrior Training

    Pay attention to what you like. Notice what pleases you. There are an awful lot of disturbing things in our lives. There are things that irritate or confuse or frighten us—people, situations, our own internal landscape—and they all call for our attention. But paying too much attention to these will cause us to become unbalanced Continue reading →

  • #350 Forgiveness?

    Here’s one more thing about forgiveness — I don’t really believe in it.   If you’ve been reading these notes for a very long time, you may remember a previous discussion of forgiveness in which I said that forgiveness is a religious concept, one that I’m not particularly interested in. Let me see if I Continue reading →

  • #350 Forgiveness?

    Here’s one more thing about forgiveness — I don’t really believe in it.   If you’ve been reading these notes for a very long time, you may remember a previous discussion of forgiveness in which I said that forgiveness is a religious concept, one that I’m not particularly interested in. Let me see if I Continue reading →

  • #349 Forgiveness

    You may remember that recently I said, “I’d like to master unconditional love. What will my practice look like? Gratitude will play a big role, of that I’m sure.” I thought, “I’ve got this! Gratitude’s groovy, easy. fun. No Problem!” Then unconditional love looked me in the eye and told me it wasn’t going to Continue reading →

  • #346 Happiness

    Happiness never ever leaves us; it does not abandons us; it never withdraws. It is we who leave it. And it is we who can can return to it. Happiness remains, even when we’re not aware of it. There certainly are times when happiness is not really appropriate—when we’re deep in grief, or fear, or Continue reading →

  • #345 Negative again

    “No negative talking or thinking about anyone, including oneself.” I made it three days! 😂😂😂  Though I must say, this practice is filling me with gratitude. I’m grateful when I don’t go negative. And I’m grateful when I catch myself going negative—because then I have the opportunity to make a different choice.  I’m even grateful Continue reading →

  • #344 Nothing Negative

    I saw a sign on Facebook: “Try to say nothing negative about anybody for three days, for forty-five days, for three months. See what happens to your life.” I’m going to give it a try! I put it on my calendar: “say nothing negative about anyone.” I put it on every day until February 14! Continue reading →

  • #343 Gratitude and Generosity

    Whatever happens in your life, never forsake gratitude! Do you brush your teeth? What do you do while you’re brushing? Think about the government? Compose your shopping list? Worry about your family? Try this—while you’re brushing your teeth, feel gratitude for them, each and every one. Perhaps even love them! And consider this: the gratitude Continue reading →

  • #342 Miracles

    Love is power. Wait, let me rephrase that—UNCONDITIONAL love is power. Or say it this way—UNCONDITIONAL love creates the space where you can access your power. And let me tell you something else—that’s the space where miracles happen. Power accessed within the space of UNCONDITIONAL love is the power that can do miracles.

  • #341 Gratitude for no reason

    Gratitude For No Reason.   When you get up from sitting, pause, take a breath, and feel gratitude—for no particular reason.  When you sit down, pause, take a breath, and feel gratitude—for no particular reason. When you enter a room, pause, take a breath, and feel gratitude—for no particular reason. When you get in your car, pause, take a Continue reading →

  • #339 My Life’s Purpose

    Someone shared a letter that Rev. Shari Prestemon, from the  Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ, sent to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. In it she said that hers is a denomination that “strives to seek justice and share extravagant love with the most vulnerable among us.” I like that phrase, seek justice and Continue reading →

  • #338 Ways of Gratitude

    This issue of Signal Fire is written entirely by a reader. It’s something I’ve been wanting to express for a very long time. I just could never put it as clearly as this. But then, clarity of thought and word is Jeff Nygaard’s way. If you don’t already read Nygaard Notes, I highly recommend it. Here’s what Continue reading →

  • #337 Generous

    Bear with me, as we take a trip inside my head. “What in the world is wrong with these republicans?! They’re either working people with machine guns or they’re billionaires who use everything as a way to increase their hoard of wealth. Good grief!”Recognizing that disturbers are always allies, I wonder what these particular allies Continue reading →

  • #336 Hug a Tree

    If you can’t hug other people right now, hug a tree! And you can do more than hug. Try this. Most of you are familiar with this type of grounding exercise. As you lean on your tree, imagine that you have roots in the earth, too. Mingle your roots with the roots of the tree. Continue reading →

  • #335 Why Gratitude?

    Why do we practice gratitude?Because we feel better when we do. One subscriber wrote: “With your prompting, many months ago we adopted a new practice. Every night before dinner, we toast something we are grateful for. Sometimes several things. Which means throughout the day I am mentally assembling a list. Truly, this is often the Continue reading →

  • #334 The Nagging Psychic

    A friend suggested I should describe myself this way: “Jett Sophia, the Nagging Psychic. She’s on your side.” ? Owning that moniker, I’m here to nag a bit: Are you practicing gratitude? Specifically, what are your gratitude practices? What are you actually doing to practice gratitude every day? The Live Oak trees, beautiful and majestic shade givers Continue reading →

  • #333 Practice, practice, practice

    Actively practice gratitude. Every day. Practice gratitude every time you get in your car; every time you get out of your car. Find other things during your day that will remind you to feel gratitude — when you eat, when you go to the bathroom, when you go to bed. Be diligent. Be deliberate. Be intentional. Continue reading →

  • #332 (an addendum to #331)

    An astute reader pointed out that I have in fact written about Hug Your Heart since 2017. Issue number 313, from July of 2018, is titled Intimacy Within. It actually expands on the original breath. I like it! Check it out here: Thanks, Susan!

  • #331 Hug Your Heart Again

    It’s been a couple years since I wrote about the Hug Your Heart breath. Here’s what I said in December, 2017: “I am frequently freaked out about the Republicans. Wise counsel says when that happens, just love them. But I have found myself to be unequal to that task. What to do? Then I remembered Continue reading →

  • #330 The Living Spirit of Gratitude

    Focus on what pleases you. Paying attention to what you like is gratitude in action; it is living in gratitude. Try it right now. Look around you. What do you see that you like? What do you hear, smell, feel that pleases you? Take a breath, take a moment, and savor it. As the days Continue reading →

  • #329 Complaining

    Do you ever complain? About the person who didn’t return your phone call or email? About the long line at the grocery store, or the less than courteous clerk? About the percentage of your monthly income taken up by bills? About the government? About an irritating co-worker or neighbor or relative? About the weather? Regardless what Continue reading →

  • #328 Cultivate Awe

    You can cultivate awe. How? By noticing. Noticing and not knowing. Notice the flower in the crack in the concrete. Notice the snow on a green leaf. Notice the flavor and feel of salad. Notice the feel of your lover’s skin. Notice the aroma of whatever you’re cooking. Sometimes, after I wash the kitchen floor, Continue reading →

  • #328 Definition of Love

    A definition of love, by Brené Brown. “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known; and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection. Love is not something we give or get, it is something that Continue reading →

  • #327 Stalk Expectations, Stalk Beliefs

    If you’re stalking expectations, here’s a clue — should. Whenever you catch yourself saying or thinking “should,” it’s likely you’ve encountered an expectation. He should, she should have, they should, it should, I should have. When you come across a should, investigate it. Is an expectation lurking there? Not always, but more often than not, Continue reading →

  • Eschew Expectations #326

    Eschew expectations! “If you tell someone that you are about to stick their hand into a bucket of scalding water, but instead you plunge the hand into ice water, most people will cry out as if the water was hot.” ~Deepak Chopra Expectations can mess you up! Think of a conflict you’ve had. If you Continue reading →

  • #325 Awesome

    You don’t have to PROVE that you’re awesome, you only have to ACCEPT that you’re awesome.

  • #325 Practice

    A reader sent me this note and this quote. I like then both! “Dear Jett, knowing you has changed my life. You have taught me so much. I’m happy to say that 14 years later I’m still practicing Breath and Water! Thank you.”   ~A subscriber “Remember that this is not something we do once or Continue reading →

  • #324 My Work

    I like this poem by Joy Harjo. It’s how I think of the work I do — serving as guide on the journey the poet describes. For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet Put down that bag of potato chips, that white bread, that bottle of pop. Turn off that Continue reading →

  • #323 Your Last Day

    It’s the last day of your life. Who will you choose to be? How will you choose to feel? What quality of energy are you accustomed to running in your life? Fear? Anxiety? Regret? Resentment? Poor me? Judging? Frustration? Self-abnegation? Comparing? Envy? Blame? Shame? Anger? Hopeless? Helpless? Aggression? Trepidation? Depression? Victim? Worry about the future? Continue reading →

  • #322 Who Are You?

    What stories have you constructed about yourself and your relationship to the world? Who are you? How do you describe yourself to yourself? One person says, “My mother didn’t love me enough, so I cannot feel satisfied.” Another proudly describes himself as “a perfectionist. I never settle for second best.” Get a piece of paper, write Continue reading →

  • #321 360 Degrees of Gratitude

    When you practice gratitude, be sure you practice 360 degrees of gratitude. By definition, that must include you! So when you get into your car and notice three things you’re grateful for before you put it in gear, and when you feel that gratitude and direct it, and then when you’re aware that whatever you’re Continue reading →

  • #320 Conscious Creating

    Beware! If you focus intently on what you want, you may get it! Say you’re climbing a hill. It’s a stony hill, and steep. But you’re determined to reach the top, and even though it’s a difficult climb, there’s little doubt that you will reach it. But wait. I have a question for you: Why do Continue reading →

  • #319 Practice

    What is your spiritual practice?  What is your creative practice?   Practice like a professional.“An amateur practices until they get it right. A professional practices until they can’t get it wrong.” Itzhak Perlman

  • #317 When It Comes Apart

    Even if you’re enlightened. Even if you meditate every day. Even if you’re a happy and optimistic and spiritual person. Even so, “Life don’t clickety clack down a straight line track, it come together and it come apart.” (Thanks to Ferron for the wonderful lyrics.) So what’s a person to do when it comes apart? Continue reading →

  • #316 Best Version

    Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Anxious? Bummed out? Fearful? Discontent? Hopeless? Do you ever feel like circumstances are making your life difficult? When you focus on your situation or your circumstances, you encourage anxiety, fear, and hopelessness. Rather, focus on being the best version of yourself. In any situation, in every situation, be the very Continue reading →

  • #315 Your Power

    Don’t dissipate your power. How might one dissipate their power? Oh dear, let me count the ways! One example — you’re driving in rush hour traffic. How do you interpret that situation? Do you say, what a bummer? Do you rant that there’s a conspiracy to keep you from being on time to work? Or Continue reading →

  • #314 Troubling Times

    There are a couple of practices that are keeping me relatively sane during these troubling times. The first one is gratitude. I am enamored of gratitude. Every night before bed, Debra and I write a list of 10 things that we’re grateful for from the day. Then we read our lists to each other. At Continue reading →

  • #313 Intimacy Within

    The breathing part of my Breath and Water practice is usually my Hug Your Heart breath. But I’ve added something, and it makes a difference. Quite a difference, actually. As I inhale and experience my lungs embracing my heart, I say hello. I greet my heart. I don’t say it aloud, and it’s not really Continue reading →

  • #312 Same Time and Place

    It’s always a good idea to have your mind in the same place and the same time as your body. Likewise, it’s always a good idea to have your emotions in the same place and the same time as your body. Too much dwelling in the past can bring depression. Too much dwelling in the Continue reading →

  • #311 Watch Your Language!

    Watch your language! Pay attention to the words you use. Pay attention to your sentences. Bring your awareness to bear on what you say about yourself, even if you only say it in your own head. Listen carefully to what you say about the circumstances of your life. Pay attention to what you say about Continue reading →

  • #310 A Joyful, Fulfilled Life

    People have asked, so I’ve thought about it. Here is my prescription for a joyful, fulfilled life. 1. Practice Conscious Breathing for 15 minutes twice a day (have a meditation practice). 2. Stay hydrated (drink plenty of water). 3. Be grateful, every day. 4. Be generous, in every way. 5. Be kind to all sentient Continue reading →

  • #309 Judging

    I swear to you, everything I have ever judged another person for, I have ended up doing or becoming.And that’s a lot of things! Oh dear. So now, every urge to judge (and believe me, those urges still arise) is tempered by the knowledge that, “That which I judge, I become.”

  • #308 Breath and Water

    Why do we practice Breath and Water? When I started the Breath and Water Club in 2004, I promised that if you practiced Conscious Breathing for 15 minutes twice a day, and drank 8 glasses of water a day, and did both daily for 6 months, your life would change in wonderful ways that you Continue reading →

  • #307 My Meditation

    As we approach the winter solstice and the gradual return of the sun, it’s a good time to focus on what we would like to let go of, and what we would like to create. So I’ve been doing this meditation every morning. Maybe you’ll find it interesting. I start with breathing. Specifically, I practice Continue reading →

  • #306 Hug Your Heart (again)

    Do you remember the Hug Your Heart breath? You can find it in Tenacity Notes #168. I am frequently freaked out about the Republicans. Wise counsel says when that happens, just love them. But I have found myself to be unequal to that task. What to do? Then I remembered my Hug Your Heart breath. Continue reading →

  • #304 GREED

    GREED. Think of it as a virus. A virulent, insidious virus. A pandemic from which the world has been suffering for a very long time. But perhaps we can help this virus to decline. Perhaps the more people who heal themselves of the virus, the less likely it is to spread. There are many symptoms Continue reading →

  • #303 Imagine this:

    Imagine this: Your body is the merest shimmer of energy, barely discernible, in the field of pure potential. In that shimmer is the essence of you, the you that is more than just the physical you. Consider this: Your beliefs and your thoughts, especially your repetitive thoughts, fill in that shimmering outline of your body. Continue reading →

  • #302 Deep Gratitude

    Try this: Close your eyes. Take your attention deep into your body. Get a sense of your blood. Get a sense of various organs, various cells, various molecules. Name what it all feels like. Then: Be grateful. Be heart-swelling grateful. Be joyfully grateful. For something, for anything. Feel it. Next: Return your attention to your Continue reading →

  • #301 Breath and Water

    A reader writes: “Thank you for starting up Breath and Water again. It is so exactly what I needed (you have a way of doing that). I felt better physically and emotionally within 2 weeks. Still, it took an effort to stay regular with the practice. Then my daughter told me to do this: drink Continue reading →

  • #300 Breath and Water

    Do you remember The Breath and Water Club? I’ve returned to my Breath and Water practice. My life is in some kind of major transition, so I figured there couldn’t be a better time to begin Breath and Water again. I invite you to join me! That’s how the club began, back in 2004, as Continue reading →

  • JUST BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE SOMETHING, doesn’t mean that it’s true. Just because someone told you something is true, doesn’t mean that you need to believe it. Just because you’ve always believed something, doesn’t mean you must continue to believe it. Just because everyone in your family believes something, doesn’t mean that you need to believe Continue reading →

  • #298 Remember to Remember

    I stalk beliefs. Why? Because by and large, beliefs are limitations. They limit my expansion into who I am capable of being. What’s the procedure for stalking beliefs? There are many, but here’s a good one: catch your automatic responses. For example, when you make a mistake, do you automatically say something to yourself like Continue reading →

  • #297 Finding Hope

    There is a woman I know, an ardent Trumpist who crows out her delight at his every utterance. I, the one who teaches of the surging ocean of love, can only approach her snarling. Then I came upon this Rumi poem. Are you jealous of the ocean’s generosity? Why would you refuse to give this Continue reading →

  • #296 The Surging Ocean of Love

    A few years ago, I wrote a lot about emanating love. I learned something from that practice — one cannot simply emanate love. One must be in the flow of love in order emanate it. Think of love as a moving, flowing, stream of energy. A surging ocean of it. It is from within that Continue reading →

  • #295 Conscious Breathing

    “Meditate”  is a word that means different things to different people. Here’s what it means in my life. Twice a day, morning and evening, I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes. Then I practice conscious breathing — which means I breathe and I keep my awareness on my breath. I feel my Continue reading →

  • #294 The Thread

    I came across this poem the other day, and it got me thinking. The Way It Is by William Stafford There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others Continue reading →

  • #293 A Life of Joy

    Is your life one of joy? What is your service? “I slept and I dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”    ~ Rabindranath Tagore

  • #292 Looking for lilacs?

    For the past several weeks, a phrase from a song has been playing over and over in my head. I was fixin’ to get irritated by it, when I thought to wonder why it was sticking around. I listened to it as though it had a message for me, and it did! Turns out it’s Continue reading →

  • #291 Thanks, toaster

    I received several encouraging replies to my most recent Tenacity Notes. They helped me be not quite so unbalanced. And being not so unbalanced, I was able to receive the blessing that came in an email from a friend and Tenacity Notes reader. She said: The other day I noticed that I say thank you Continue reading →

  • #290 Briars and Brambles

    I lost my footing, and I blame the election — the shock and the dread knocked me off balance, and I found myself falling back into some very negative and very old patterns. Being judgmental; noticing everything that’s wrong with a situation and nothing that’s right; complaining — things like that. Then someone pointed it Continue reading →

  • #289 Blame

    “If you are holding anyone else accountable for your peace and happiness, you’re wasting your time.” Oprah Winfrey Never blame. “My life would be so much better if my spouse would only get their shit together.” Never blame. “If my childhood hadn’t been so horrible, I could be happy.” Never blame. “If sexism wasn’t so Continue reading →

  • #288 Mary Oliver Poem

    A reader sent this in response to my recent Tenacity Notes: “This Mary Oliver poem is a sacred text to me, and I try to say it sometime every morning/day.” Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver Hello, sun in my face. Hello, you who make the morning and spread it over the fields and Continue reading →

  • #287 Compassion and Kindness

    I don’t know how to be compassionate. I don’t know how to be kind. Well, I do know — kind of. But my compassion and kindness are selective. It’s the election. It’s brought a lot of ugliness out from under the rocks where it’s been hiding. My own included! Last time I wrote, I was Continue reading →

  • #286 My Presence

    My campaign to TAKE IT UP A NOTCH has so far mostly failed. But I have learned some things about myself. Well, not learned exactly, because I have always known, and even appreciated, this about myself — I tend to be oppositional and confrontative. And, which I have known and haven’t appreciated about myself, judgmental. Continue reading →

  • #285 Take It Up A Notch

    I’m tying a string around my finger now for sure. I have long enjoyed Rob Brezsny’s astrology newsletter. He’s got a quirky style that pleases me, and he sometimes reminds me to pay attention to something that I’ve neglected. His current newsletter tells me to be in love with everyone and everything, and to conjure Continue reading →

  • #284 How to Accept Gladness

    I was pondering a line from poet Jack Gilbert, sent to me by a reader: “We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.” I was wondering about the ruthless furnace of this world and all the forms it takes, and how to stay connected to gladness in Continue reading →

  • #283 Never Pass Up an Opportunity

    I said to a friend, who was complaining about something his wife wanted — never pass up an opportunity to be generous! I say it to people who are appalled that I give roadside beggars money — never pass up an opportunity to be generous. I’ll say it again and again — NEVER PASS UP Continue reading →

  • #282 Gratitude+Curiosity

    Sometimes I find myself wanting to CONTROL the outcome of a situation. Usually that takes some form of OBSESSING about the situation; some form of I WANT TO KNOW! That certainly is not helpful to me, nor has it ever proven to help a situation. Now, instead of obsessing, I do two things. #1, I Continue reading →

  • #281 Hafiz poem

    I have come into the world to experience this: men so true to love they would rather die before speaking an unkind word. I have come into the world to see this: the sword drop from men’s hands even at the height of their arc of rage because we have finally realized there is just Continue reading →

  • #280 Separation, Connection

    Expectations, regret, shame, worry, and blame all have something in common — they create a barrier between you and your life as it is unfolding in present time.   What else separates you from present time?   Appreciation, gratitude, conscious breathing, and fun all have something in common — they keep you grounded in present Continue reading →

  • #279 Wedding Officiant

    I just returned from officiating a wedding in Texas. It was awesome. Beautiful in every way. Yes, I can legally do that. So if you know anyone who is getting married and is looking for an officiant, feel free to point them to me. Here are some photos. Me waiting in the wings before the Continue reading →

  • #278 Positive Words

    This morning my water exercise instructor told us to close our eyes and think positive thoughts. Here’s a list of positive words. I suggest you read them aloud, to yourself or others. Pause long enough between words so you can get a sense of the word, but not long enough to begin arguing or nitpicking. Continue reading →

  • #277 Lost Balance

    I had a rough couple of months, and I lost my balance. Nothing terrible happened, just a series of troubling things. A wise friend reminded me that I knew something about gratitude. She was right. So I returned to my practice of gratitude getting in the car. Remember that? What a difference it has made! Continue reading →

  • #276 This is generosity
  • #275 Questions to Ask

    Someone (I don’t know who) said this: “I’ve found that teaching my children to ask the following four questions has helped them navigate conflict and come out the other side more self-aware: 1. What was my role in creating this conflict? 2. Does the way I’ve acted during this conflict represent the kind of person Continue reading →

  • #274 Your Love Repertoire

    Someone said, “I feel unloved.” The feeling of being unloved arises from the truth. There are so many who didn’t love us — a parent, a relative, a teacher, a minister, a neighbor, a school mate, a stranger.  And truth be told, there are many who don’t love us even now. There is one solution, Continue reading →

  • #273 International Women’s Day
  • #272 Begrudge Nothing

    To the best of your ability, don’t do anything grudgingly. If you’re going to do something, do it gladly. Because, why not? If you’re going to do it anyway, do it with generosity of spirit. Do it with joyful acceptance. Do it with curiosity. To the best of your ability, begrudge nothing.

  • #271 Rejoice! Rejoice!

    3 days a week I work at a computer and wait on customers — it’s my volunteer job at the State Park where I live in the winter. I love it. But the configuration of chair, computer, and counter is awkward, and my body suffers. So I have a new regimen. I set the timer Continue reading →

  • #270 Getting It Together

    Sometimes I feel that I’m right on the verge of “getting my shit together.” I can just about touch some kind of shift to a different level of perception, some kind of expansion — but I can’t quite see what it is. Then a friend dies, and my knee is stiff and cranky, and my Continue reading →


    Here are some random quotes from Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, among other books. Enjoy. “If you have never been called a defiant, incorrigible, impossible woman… have faith… there is yet time…” “Some people mistake being loving for being a sap. Quite the contrary, the most loving people Continue reading →

  • #268 Generous Replies

    This post is a bit long, but I think you’ll agree it’s well worth reading. (More replies will follow on another day.) This first reply from a reader is a beautiful example of what I mean by living life wide open, and being available. But, and to me this makes it even more beautiful, it’s Continue reading →

  • #267 Practice Generosity

    It’s funny about generosity. I almost always get replies to Tenacity Notes. Not always many, but at least a couple. However, I don’t get replies when I mention generosity. I understand that generosity can be an edgy topic for many. Given that we live within a mass culture focused on taking and having, the impulse Continue reading →

  • #266 Girl Scouts and Jesus

    It’s interesting to me how many people tell me that I’m a Buddhist. I have never studied Buddhism. I am not at all inclined towards religion. Any religion. I would never call myself a theist. But hearing so often that I’m a Buddhist has gotten me to wondering where my values and my world view Continue reading →

  • #265 Praise and Joy

    Appreciation is an experience that keeps me present in the moments of my life. It’s very easy for me to drift, to have my mind far away from my body. But appreciation keeps my body and my mind in the same place and in the same time. And it feels good!   Gratitude is my Continue reading →

  • #264 Tattered and Scattered

    Sometimes it feels like life is going too fast, and that I can barely remember who I was at 23, when I thought I knew who I was. So much has happened between then and now! Doing some minutes of conscious breathing every day helps gather together all the disparate threads of who I am, Continue reading →

  • #263 More Lamenting!

    All this political stufff is driving me crazy. And I don’t even have a TV! My granddaughter, Amberley Brynn McGuire, was born a few days ago. I find myself wondering, “What kind of future can this child have? If some people have their way, she won’t have health care, or birth control, or any type Continue reading →

  • #262 Begin Again

    Remember a couple of issues ago, I talked about pausing to experience gratitude every time I got in my car? Well, the circumstances of my life got a bit whirly, and I completely forgot that lovely practice. However, after some time I came to my senses, and I started again. And am I ever glad Continue reading →

  • #261 It is what it is.

    Lately, in an attempt to soothe feelings of disappointment, I’ve been saying “it is what it is” to myself. You know, expectations cause such trouble!  In my case, I had not just a simple expectation, but an entire string of expectations.  And, as is their nature, my expectations were a set up. I set myself Continue reading →

  • #260 Gratitude at Night

    A reader writes about gratitude, and a great way to fall asleep: I like to write gratitudes in my journal just before bed, but often, like you, I forget to do it. So after I’m luxuriating under the covers and feeling great gratitude for my pillows and sheets and wonderful mattress, I remember about gratitudes, Continue reading →

  • #259 Gratitude All Day

    I want to feel gratitude more frequently in my life, but it seems that I just forget to do it. I drive a lot. Running errands, I’m in and out of the car a lot. So I combined gratitude and driving. Now, whenever I get in the car, and before I put it in gear, Continue reading →

  • We were in the Boundary Waters for two weeks. Wonderful. The Loons sang us to sleep, and the White Throated Sparrows sang us awake.         Deer moseyed into our campsite, paused to look, and moseyed out again. Birds pecked for seeds at my feet. I loved that the animals did not see me as a Continue reading →

  • #257 Off the Grid

    I will be off the grid and out of touch for a while. I won’t have access to email, voicemail, phone or text. I will have access to water, sky, trees, and campfires. And Walleyes. I’ll be canoe camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness — an extended trip. It’s a bucket list kind Continue reading →

  • #256 Can You Be Happy?

    Can you be happy? Well, what’s keeping you from it? Do your automatic, ingrained responses to life’s situations and circumstances cause you to feel happy? Yes? No? If not, change your response. It is easily done, it just takes practice. If you can think one thing, you can think another. If you can feel one Continue reading →

  • #255 Lamentations

    Choose your solution. I’ve heard a lot of laments lately — the state of the nation; the state of the workplace; the state of relationships. But for every lament there are solutions, and they are legion. Here’s one solution I like: become what I desire. Do I desire peace? Then find ways to be more Continue reading →

  • #254 Assiduousness

    In Tenacity Notes #191, August 26, 2013, I announced that I had decided to walk the Path of Love. Immediately, there were many delights along the way, joy was my companion in life, and I was grateful that I had chosen to walk this Path. It was easy. There have been challenges, too. When I Continue reading →

  • #253 Unconditional Acceptance

    Is “unconditional acceptance of all others” an achievable goal? I have trouble even imagining such an accomplishment! Whew. Time to get out the string to tie on my finger. I will move in the direction of unconditional acceptance by remembering, over and over, that that’s where I intend to go.  

  • #252 In Person

    I’m in Apple Valley, MN for several days. We got here just in time for the lilacs and the flowering trees. A balm. (Yes, that’s my home in the photo.) I have some open time, so if you’d like an in-person reading, get in touch. After Memorial Day we head up to the Iron Range, Continue reading →

  • #251 There Is No Past…

    There is no past. There is only now.

  • #250 There Is No Future…

    There is no future. There is only now.

  • #249 Suffering

    My wife’s nephew has a serious physical disability, and he recently had a medical crisis. People said things like, “It’s so sad that he has to suffer.” But here’s the thing — I have never known him to suffer. Simply stated, he does not interpret any aspect of his life as suffering. He is a Continue reading →

  • #248 Appreciation + Gratitude

    Practicing appreciation isn’t necessarily about looking for and finding things to appreciate. Rather, it’s being aware, in the moment, of the things that please you. Practicing appreciation is noticing those things, and noticing the pleasure they bring you. You don’t have to search out something to appreciate — simply appreciate what is already there. The Continue reading →

  • #247 Bubble of Love

    I’ve talked about your aura of love. About my aura of love. But what does “aura” mean? I find that it’s easier to understand my so-called energy field as a “bubble.” And it’s easy to imagine that my bubble is composed of love. My lexicon recognizes “bubble,” but it’s not so sure about “aura.” And Continue reading →

  • #246 Practice Happiness

    Happiness isn’t something that just happens to you if you’re lucky. Happiness can be practiced. It’s like a muscle. In many, it’s like a muscle that is too seldom used and has become puny. Build your happiness muscle! Practice happiness; practice appreciation. When you walk through any door, pause and find something to appreciate. When Continue reading →

  • #245 Why Worry?

    Why worry?   “Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.” Stay open, stay vulnerable, stay free. (The quote is from the novel The Time of Our Singing.) By the way, how are you doing with generosity?

  • #244 Cultivate Generosity

    Spring is such a generous time of year. Although spring is arriving at Blanco State Park, where I live in the winter, I do realize it’s not quite spring where many of you are. But maybe a great outpouring of generosity will attract spring to you. Now is an excellent time to cultivate generosity. First, Continue reading →

  • #243 A Valentine Exercise

    A valentine exercise. Pay attention to the expectations you have of the valentine/s in your life, especially any expectations you have of how your valentines should express their love for you. Rather than expecting them to show their love for you in the way that you would, be open to their way of showing their Continue reading →

  • #242 Eschew Expectations!

    Here’s one thing about having expectations — when you have expectations of another, you’re likely to end up relating to your expectations and not to the person. When my friend says she’ll be here at 6:00, I expect her to be on time. When she doesn’t arrive until 6:20, my anger and other emotions are Continue reading →

  • I got my hair cut yesterday, and by the time it was done, the stylist and I had concluded that there are only two things any follower of any religion needs to know: 1. God is love. 2. Kindness is the highest calling of a religious person — unconditional kindness to Earth and to all Continue reading →

  • #240 Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.

    It was Martin Luther King, Jr. who first got me to seriously consider the idea of love. Not when he was alive. No. I was too committed to self-righteous anger to understand that there might be power in love. Then, about 25 years ago I suppose, I started listening more closely to Dr. King and Continue reading →

  • #239 How Can That Be?

    Sometimes, even oftentimes, interacting with other humans fills me with joy. But here’s the thing — that joy can show up even when the human I am interacting with is one I know to be racist, sexist, homophobic, and Republican. So where does this joy originate? Surely not from the other. It must be from Continue reading →

  • #238 Aura of Love

    A friend gave me a new way to describe/experience radiating love: walk through my day in an aura of love. I like it! I like it a lot. It’s a joyful thing to do. It’s a simplifying thing to do. It’s a happy thing to do. It tickles my fancy. I laugh. I’ve had to Continue reading →

  • #237 Happiness and Kindness

    Happiness and kindness. They are inseparable. If you can’t be kind, you’re not happy. If you’re not happy, you can’t be kind. Want happiness? Be kind. This week, practice kindness. With everyone and everything you encounter, be kind. Regardless of anything else happening in your life, be kind. For this one week, practice kindness all Continue reading →

  • #236 Profoundly Important

    If it’s true that every moment of my life has led to this, then THIS must be a profoundly important moment. When I have sufficient awareness to remember that every moment of my life has led to this moment, then I can choose to honor the profound importance of this moment by how I choose Continue reading →

  • #235 This. Now.

    Every moment of your life has led to this.

  • #234 Disturbed

    When I am disturbed by something a person says or does, I remind myself that it is my response to the person that is causing me to feel disturbed. Then I see if I can find a way to respond that not only doesn’t disturb me, but actually makes me feel good.

  • #233 Dr. Emoto

    In honor of Dr. Emoto, who died recently, I’ve been assiduously practicing Imbue and Imbibe. Remember that? See: Icky Rice  Imbue and Imbibe  Intentional Eating  and  More Intentional Eating

  • #232 It’s Neutral

    Consider this: The situation is neutral — it only becomes a positive experience or a negative experience according to the energy you impose upon it. The circumstance is neutral — it is your perspective that turns it into a mess or a blessing. Whenever I consider the power that one experiences from allowing the situation Continue reading →

  • #231 Shame is Not Yours

    Here’s one thing I know about shame: IT’S NOT YOURS. You only have it because someone gave it to you. It’s what we tend to do with shame — we pass it on. That’s what the person who belittles another is doing, he’s passing on the shame he was given. Like a hot potato, someone Continue reading →

  • #230 Shame

    I know it’s been a long time since Tenacity Notes #229, but things happened. The first thing that happened was autumn. I was staggered by the beauty of the far northland. Possessed by it. Stunned. I could do little, other than be awed. Then Lena, my feline companion of 20 years, died. While not unexpected, Continue reading →

  • #229 Guilt

    “Guilt is just an inside-out way of feeling good about yourself by saying how bad you feel, and I don’t have any time for it. Taking responsibility is something different.”  ~ Dan

  • #228 Good Enough

    We move from good to better. We move from success to greater success. Some of us focus on what is wrong, on what we haven’t done right, and we hope that our negative focus will spur us to do better. But we’re much more likely to do better if we allow ourselves to HAVE what Continue reading →

  • #227 The Mirror

    Many of you wrote to me about my attempt to love someone I cannot love. All of you said something on the order of: the one you cannot love is an aspect of you. I understand that to mean that the one I cannot love is a mirror; that if I look at the quality Continue reading →

  • #226 To Love Those I Cannot Love

    If love is my path, my next step is surely to feel love for those I cannot love. Oh dear. Every now and then recently, I am surprised by a vision of being surrounded by people I cannot love. I stand on my path of love, and I am encircled by these people. Despicable Woman Continue reading →

  • #225 Too Hard!

    A reader asks: Can I really learn to radiate love and be at peace? I ask: How do I love someone who did something despicable? This whole love thing might just be too hard! Why is it my path? Why did I choose it? Why did it choose me? But none of that really matters. Continue reading →

  • #224 Despicable Woman

    Remember, you radiate love from, not to. Do you remember that old New Age practice of surrounding other people in White Light? It said: Do you know someone who needs healing? Are you having a conflict with someone? Simply imagine them surrounded in White Light. It is easily done. At the risk of going on Continue reading →

  • #223 Other Manifestations

    Other manifestations of love, from readers: courage, optimism, awe, and remember that love is without conditions — no ifs, ands, or buts. The reason I began listing manifestations of love is because it was easier than describing the physical, felt experience of love. And that’s what you radiate — the felt experience. You can’t radiate Continue reading →

  • #222 Manifestations of Love

    Love is such an imprecise word. I was wondering if I could parse it out a bit, perhaps identify various aspects of love. Once I began listing them, I realized they are not so much aspects as they are manifestations of love. Compassion, empathy, appreciation, wonder, gratitude, generosity, kindness, forgiveness, open-heartedness. But it seemed to Continue reading →

  • #221 Fail, Fail, Fail

    I haven’t written for a while because I didn’t know what to write. What could I say? That I fail more than I succeed at radiating love? That’s the truth. I return, again and again and again, to the practice of radiating love. But I don’t seem to be able to stay there for very Continue reading →

  • Abundance and Gratitude

    Note: This isn’t an actual Tenacity Notes, but I put it here so I could link to it on Facebook. Read it. You’ll understand. This is an excerpt from a Breath and Water Club newsletter, July 2005. I was teaching about gratitude at a recent class. I suggested that we all practice filling ourselves with Continue reading →

  • #220 Breath and Water Excerpt

    Last week I mentioned the Breath and Water Club newsletter. Some of you don’t go back that far, and you wondered what it was. (I started it in 2004, and it ran for 6 years before it morphed into Tenacity Notes.) I’ve moved the back issues of the Breath and Water newsletter from my Web Continue reading →

  • I got pretty crabby last week. I didn’t like being 66 years old. I didn’t like that I’ve gained weight. I didn’t like not knowing what the rest of my life would look like. I didn’t like not having enough money. I didn’t like much of anything. So I reminded myself to radiate love. Oh Continue reading →

  • #218 Readers re: Should

    Readers write about “should.” *  The minute I started paying attention to “should,” I noticed it everywhere! I stop myself from “shoulding” all day long! I hear my co-workers and my friends “should” themselves. I’m surrounded by should! *  I have noticed that the shoulds I place on myself are often related to expectations that Continue reading →

  • #217 I Don’t Know

    One of the things I like about radiating love is the space it makes for “I don’t know.” For example: in a given situation, I may know that I have the right to feel done badly to. But when I radiate love, I find myself in an entirely different reality. And in that reality, not Continue reading →

  • #216 Don’t Should on Yourself

    Someone said, after reading last week’s Tenacity Note (when I failed to radiate love): “I would have been so irritated with myself!” Another reader would have felt guilty for having failed, believing she should have been able to do it. Another would have been ashamed to admit it. The title of this Tenacity Note? Don’t Continue reading →

  • #215 Radiate Irritation?

    So, I was driving in the Ozark Mountains recently, on our way to Hot Springs from Fayetteville. (I was driving our little car, not the big truck and trailer.) It was a beautiful drive — steep and winding roads, awesome scenery. Suddenly, there’s a big Chevy 1 ton dually (if you know what that is) Continue reading →

  • #214 Why Bother?

    Why bother? It’s been a while, I know, since I sent out a Tenacity Notes. An old and dear friend of mine died totally unexpectedly, and ever since I have felt completely bewildered. But now, as I rise out of my bewilderment, I find myself thinking, Why bother? When any day could be anyone’s last Continue reading →

  • #213 I’m Using My Wedding Ring

    I couldn’t find any string, so I’m using my wedding ring. In an effort to remind myself to consciously radiate love, I put my wedding ring on my other hand. It’s not as effective as tying a string around my finger, but it helps. I am certain that radiating love is an intriguing path for Continue reading →

  • #212 Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

    This week, don’t be hard on yourself. Hour by hour, day by day, all this week practice not being hard on yourself. And when you catch yourself being hard on yourself, celebrate that you caught it! Don’t be hard on yourself for being hard on yourself! Let me know.

  • #211 You Can’t Force It

    I’ve been having some interesting email conversations with people who really want to radiate love to someone or something. Or who really want to know that their radiating love is having an impact on someone or something. But that’s just it — you can’t. The instant you go there, you’re doing something other than radiating. Continue reading →

  • #210 Radiating Love Is My Path

    Radiating love is my path. Radiating love is the light on my path. That is all I can know. That is all I need to know. All the rest is just details.

  • #209 Radiators vs. Forced Air

    I’ve heard from several readers that they are “sending love” to this or that person or situation or animal. As always, I’m grateful to hear what you’re up to. Those of you who live in the frigid northland know the difference between a forced air furnace and radiators. In a forced air furnace, air is Continue reading →

  • #208 What If You Are Perfect?

    What if who you are now is who you came here to be? What if you are perfect? “Find your own stress level — the speed at which you can run toward your own goal. Make sure that both the stress level and the goal are really your own, and not imposed upon you by Continue reading →

  • #207 Love and Gagging

    Remember me talking about getting my teeth extracted, and radiating love in order to relax? (Issue #205) Well, here’s what one reader had to say about that:  “Ever since I had chemotherapy two years ago, I have had a terrible gag reflex when in a dentist chair.  Yesterday, I tried your suggestion of radiating love Continue reading →

  • #206 A Falling Asleep Mantra

    Open to your own true awesomeness. Accept it, allow it, let it glow. I have used this as my falling asleep mantra, and I’ve had some lovely and thrilling dreams! “I open to my own true awesomeness. I accept it, I allow it, and I let it glow.” What is a falling asleep mantra? It’s Continue reading →

  • #205 Love At The Dentist’s

    I had two teeth extracted yesterday. As I reclined in the dentist chair, I wondered how I could relax. I wasn’t nervous exactly, but I wasn’t exactly at ease, either. So I decided that the best thing I could do was radiate love. Which I did. And I realized that I could radiate love simultaneous Continue reading →

  • #204 It’s Not That Easy

    Someone wrote: “You can’t shift from feeling betrayed to radiating love just like that. It’s not that easy.” I know. I get it. That’s why we practice! The more you practice radiating love when it’s easy, the easier it’ll be to radiate love when it’s hard. Practice, practice, practice. By the way, if you want Continue reading →

  • #203 Do You Like Feeling Betrayed?

    Someone asked me, how do you radiate love when you’re feeling that you’ve been betrayed? When you radiate love, that is what you radiate. You cannot radiate love and the feeling of being put upon or betrayed. You cannot radiate love and shame, or love and any other negative point of view. Radiating love changes Continue reading →

  • #202 Relinquish

    If you insist on having expectations, go ahead and have them. Just be sure that you’ll be able to relinquish them at a moment’s notice! (Therein lies wonder!)  

  • #201 From a Reader:

    I’ve been practicing your idea of radiating love, and I want to tell you some things that I have noticed. The first thing I want to tell you is how good it feels! I practiced it like you said, all the time. All the practice must have paid off, because now I find that I’m Continue reading →

  • #200 I’ve Got A String

    I’ve got a string tied around my finger. We’ve been on our fall migration south, and in all the activity and stress of moving, I misplaced my intention to radiate love and practice receptivity. It’s relatively easy to maintain my practice when my days are more or less regular. But sometimes I need a reminder, Continue reading →

  • #199 Terrifying!

    #199 When I practice receptivity, I can feel all my defenses and protections fall away. It is exhilarating! It is also terrifying. Then I realize that the terrifying part has to do with having stepped into the future. Or more accurately, attempting to step into the future. It’s anxiety about what it might mean to Continue reading →

  • #198 Vulnerability and Receptivity

    I’m trying to reconcile two images: 1. Arms thrown wide open, saying Yes! to life. 2. Radiating love. There is a powerful vulnerability in arms thrown wide open, a vulnerability that I don’t sense in radiating love. So I wonder, with radiating love am I creating a safe place from which to live my life? Continue reading →

  • #197 What’s So Scary About It?

    The more I practice radiating love, the more aware I am of when, and how often, I’m not radiating love. At first, I practiced simply shifting from not radiating love to radiating love. It is a lovely practice, and I appreciate it. Truly, I cannot radiate love and at the same time be fearful or Continue reading →

  • #196 Who Am I To Limit It?

    I have come to recognize that there are forces in the universes that are more proficient at managing details than I am. When I focus on the details, all I really do is limit possibility. When I concern myself with what the effect of my radiating love should be, I am focusing on details and Continue reading →

  • #195

    #195 Sometimes I catch myself imagining the energy of love traveling out from me and touching others. Even more, I imagine those shorts bursts of energy influencing the others. But that’s not radiating, that’s directing. Pointing. Attempting to control. Judging the others as needing that energy. And that’s not love. And so I return to Continue reading →

  • #194

    #194 Appreciation and gratitude beget more opportunities for appreciation and gratitude. Radiating love begets joy. A negative perspective begets more opportunities to be bummed out.    

  • #193

    #193 I’m radiating love! Here’s how I do it. I imagine that the energy of love appears as short bursts of sparkling energy. Rather like these dashes – – but bright. Radiating love is simply this: imagining those short bursts of bright energy radiating out from me. That’s it. I practiced radiating love diligently for Continue reading →

  • #192 Daring Adventure

    Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” I must view this business of radiating love as a daring adventure, or it’ll turn into nothing. What I mean is, it’s not a walk in the park! There are times when I steadfastly resist the whole idea of radiating love — times when Continue reading →

  • I have decided that there is nothing more important for me to do in my life than to radiate love. Shall I tell you how I’m doing it?

  • #190

    #190 Mirror, mirror everywhere. I am more and more aware of the way other people provide a mirror for me. For example, at the Y the other day, the woman at the desk scolded me soundly because I had my cell phone in my hand as I checked out. I wasn’t talking on it, and Continue reading →

  • #189

    #189 (Warning: disgusting image ahead) When I find myself indulging in old, not-helpful, habitual patterns of thought or feeling, I suggest to myself that I am “stewing in my own shit.” That image is so thoroughly disgusting that all I can do is roll my eyes at myself, and switch. I take a breath, chuckle Continue reading →

  • #188

    #188 I’d been thinking about structure and the freedom that can be found within it, and about the value of practice, when someone sent me a link to this Oprah/Deepak Chopra 21-day on-line guided meditation thing. Hmmm, I thought, synchronistic timing. Structure and practice. It can be easier to build your structure on an already Continue reading →

  • #187

    #187 Readers sent these questions about Everyone Is Doing The Best They Can: You say everyone is doing the best they can, but wait — what if someone is being mean to me, is treating me disrespectfully? What if my son-in-law is cheating on my daughter? What if my brother is mean to his dog? Continue reading →

  • #186

    #186 I’m on a vacation of sorts for the next couple of weeks — grandchildren are visiting. But that doesn’t mean that I am unavailable. Please call me and write to me as you wish. They may be young and energetic, but they do go to bed! In the meantime, please don’t forget about generosity. Continue reading →

  • #185

    #185 Living as though everyone is doing the best they can is an act of generosity. Are there other ways you can be more generous? Ways you can take your generosity to the next level? Think about any way you might be a bit stingy in your life, and turn it around. Are you stingy Continue reading →

  • #184

    #184 This week, live as though everyone is doing the best they can. I may think that this one or that one should do better, but then thinking that wouldn’t be me doing my best, and I know it. Let me just assume, for just this week at least, that everyone is doing their best. Continue reading →

  • #183

    #183 Take it to the next level. Do you practice conscious breathing every morning? Add a few minutes. Do you run a mile every day? Run a little bit more. Do you write 500 words a day? Write 550. Or maybe it’s something you’re not doing. Are you trying to smoke less? This week, smoke Continue reading →

  • #182

    #182I’ve quoted from Nygaard Notes before. I’m doing it again. I consider Nygaard to be a clear thinker and a clear communicator, and his idea of “anchors” is useful. I suggest you read the entire issue, #532.  Here are parts from that issue. Read to the end and see my comments.Question: What kind of Continue reading →

  • #181

    #181 I want to revisit appreciation. Do you ever wreck your present time experience by worrying about what might or could or should happen in the future? Or by thinking about something that happened or didn’t happen in the past? Try appreciating your present experience instead. Let go of all the what ifs, should haves, Continue reading →

  • #180

    #180 Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your Continue reading →

  • #179

    #179 I’ve been thinking about demons, and about being possessed by them, and about what a commonplace experience that is. If a demon is something outside of you that can posses you and take you over, then your beliefs, your expectations, even your values and goals can be demons. A demon is anything that is Continue reading →

  • #178

    #178 While navigating a difficult situation with a commitment to make the best of it, I found that the situation did not have the power to confound me. Challenge me, yes. But not cause me distress. And as it went along, I kept finding silver linings. If I hadn’t been making the best of it, Continue reading →

  • #177

    #177 I’m having plenty of practice in making the best of it. I find that at my best I am open-hearted and undefended. I also find that I am at my best in fits and starts. I trust that I’ll get better with practice! We’re in the midst of the spring snowbird migration, and grounded Continue reading →

  • #176

    #176 A reader writes: “I have a lot of distress in my life, and your idea that it is self-inflicted was insulting. At first. But since the idea came from you, I gave it my consideration. Grudgingly, I admit that you’re probably right. So I’ve made a list of all the things that cause me Continue reading →

  • #175

    #175 I was sick in bed for awhile with pneumonia. Thus no Tenacity Notes last week. I’m pretty much better now. Having pneumonia put me in mind of death, and I’ve been thinking about a couple of people I know who’ve died. One of them thought a lot about how people — her children, her Continue reading →

  • #174 The Effects Love Causes

    I was watching the wind as it was swirling the dust and blowing the leaves, and thinking how the wind is only known by the effects it causes. Love is like that. Love has no physicality — it can’t be described, like a tree or a person can be. It can only be described by Continue reading →

  • #173

    #173 Remember to always leave a conflict better than you found it. Let me know how you do so.

  • #172

    #172 This entire issue is from readers. The first 5 items are a list of things one reader noticed about gratitude while doing his daily list of 10 gratitudes. 1.  It is possible to invoke a feeling of gratitude by an act of will.  That surprised me; I thought one was either grateful, or one Continue reading →

  • #171

    #171 Throw caution to the wind! Risk being your whole, unadulterated, unprotected, awesome self! from Edna St. Vincent Millay: “My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — It gives a lovely light!” and “Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: Continue reading →

  • #170

    #170 Have you been writing your list of 10 things that you’re grateful for every morning? What have you noticed? Any particular insights? If you haven’t been, why not? Let me know.

  • #169

    #169 It’s a wonder, our bodies’ natural inclination to heal and be whole. Sometimes a little nudge helps to support that natural inclination. Debra taught me a technique she learned someplace. It’s a bedtime technique for healing. I use it a lot, like a mantra as I fall asleep, and I love it. “Tonight my Continue reading →

  • #168

    #168 Hug Your Heart Your heart is nestled in among the lobes of your lungs. When you breathe fully, your inflated lungs press on your heart. Think of this as your lungs hugging your heart. Breathe, and get a sense of your lungs and your heart interacting. See if you can inflate your lungs enough Continue reading →

  • #167

    #167 This week, pay attention to your lungs. Can you? Pay attention to your lungs? Breathing with awareness can help you can get a sense of your lungs. Noticing your ribs in action can help you get a sense of your lungs. Practicing the Hug Your Heart breath can help you get a sense of Continue reading →

  • #166

    #166 When is my life? Keep the question close, and ask it of yourself during the day. Ask it when you’re impatient, or worried, or judgmental. Ask it when you’re happy or sad. Ask it, but don’t be too quick to answer. Stay with the effect of the asking. When I ask it, I get Continue reading →

  • #165

    #165 This week’s Note is a request for help. I have a manuscript that I have been working on, off and on, for about 8 years. Mostly off, actually. Nonetheless, it has reached the stage for an editor to look at it. I’ve gone over it several times, and a friend who is a writer Continue reading →

  • #164

    #164 I remember, when I first started teaching (1989), in one class hearing myself talk about 2013 as a time of great possibility. Not frequently, but sometimes when I was teaching, I’d say things that I didn’t intend to say and that I didn’t know I knew. I always thought of those times as inspiration. Continue reading →

  • #163

    #163 After three days in bed with some kind of flu, my comfortable bed made it to my daily List of 10 Gratitudes. I’ve had my bed for many years, and I love it. As I put it on my list, I began thinking about all the people who made it possible for me have Continue reading →

  • #162

    #162 This holiday season, drink Sacred Water. (Sacred Wine, Sacred Soda Pop, Sacred Coffee, Sacred Tea, Sacred Cocktails, Sacred Juice, Sacred Milk…) Imbue everything you imbibe. Imbue it with a quality you’d like more of in your life. Do you remember Imbue and Imbibe from the Breath and Water Club newsletter? In that example, I Continue reading →

  • #161

    #161 Over the years, during readings, people have asked me about the New Age 2012 phenomenon. Is it really the end of the world, etc? Every time I’ve been asked, I have “looked” anew. And every time, I’ve “seen” the same thing: there appears to be a shimmer of opportunity at this time; “this time” Continue reading →

  • #160

    #160 A man I know told me that every morning he makes a list of 10 things he’s grateful for. I’ve been doing the same for the past couple of weeks, and I like it. There are some ground rules: when you’re done every day, put your list in a drawer, or into a file Continue reading →

  • #159

    #159 That which you resist persists. Resistance to adversity amplifies the adversity. This week, observe, in yourself and others, resistance and non-resistance. And practice the Breath of Wonder: Inhale deeply. Look up, as if seeing the Northern Lights (or a swarm of butterflies, or the Milky Way). Keep your eyes open while looking up and Continue reading →

  • #158

    #158 Can you relinquish resentments? Can you let go of grievances? This week, uncover any grievances and resentments that you hold. Can you be done with them? Let me know.

  • #157

    #157 Here’s a good question to keep handy: “How can I make the best of this situation?” Too often we expect someone else to make the best of the situation. We expect our boss to be more fair, our spouse to listen better, our children to be more forthcoming, our friend to be more supportive. Continue reading →

  • #156

    #156 In the past few weeks, it’s been reported to me or I’ve actually seen the following conditions either eliminated or vastly improved solely through people increasing the amount of water they drink every day: headaches, itchy skin, a bloated feeling, chronic cough, chronic constipation, cranky joints, muddled thinking, feeling stuck, feeling depressed. What’s a Continue reading →

  • #155 Read The Back Issues

    Blooming vs. remaining tight in the bud;  take the utmost care and kindness in all things;  smile;  love the one you’re with;  what do you emanate?;  there are two essential elements to any performance – joy and passion;  don’t do anything to anyone else that you wouldn’t want done to you;  eschew expectations;  always leave Continue reading →

  • #154

    #154 Many of you replied with appreciation for the question: “Am I tight in the bud, or am I blossoming?” I was hiking one day at the Laurentian Divide recreation area, just north of Virginia, MN. It was a stunningly beautiful autumn day. I thought to wonder if I was tight in the bud or Continue reading →

  • #153 “I Am Blossoming”

    Dear Jett, I have never enjoyed yoga, but I keep trying. It’s supposed to be so good for you. But those teachers are always correcting your posture – a quarter inch here and a tiny fraction there – and telling you to hold a position longer than you want to, and making the whole experience Continue reading →

  • #152 Remain Tight or Blossom

    There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin Can you feel the difference in your body between remaining tight in the bud and blossoming? Can you identify what causes the tightness? One important clue is that it’s Continue reading →

  • #151

    #151 Sometimes we dither on the edge of a decision because we’re afraid of making a mistake. Sometimes we don’t step into the adventure of life because we’re afraid of making a mistake. Sometimes we stay tied to our habitual ways of being/doing because we’re afraid of making a mistake. Sometimes we criticize ourselves or Continue reading →

  • #150

    #150 Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense. ~ Rumi

  • #149

    #149 Life is huge; a huge, wide, unknown mystery of existence. In that vast expanse of mystery, what do we know? We know the laws of nature — if I jump up, I will only go so high. Even Michael Jordan will only go so high. And I will come down again. But other than Continue reading →

  • #148

    #148 Intelligent, down-to-earth, in-depth, accurate, and wise psychic guidance for personal and spiritual growth. Thank you all very much. Your responses to my plea have been useful for sure, and most gratifying. No catchy, two-word phrase showed up to replace “psychic readings,” but I got a lot of feedback, including the suggestion that I put Continue reading →

  • #147

    #147 Have you ever had a reading from me? I’m in the midst of trying to figure out how to increase my business. In that light, it has been suggested to me that I find words other than “psychic” and “reading” to describe my work. I can’t argue with that. I’ve never felt that “psychic Continue reading →

  • #146

    #146 Regarding reading back issues of Tenacity Notes, a reader sent this. It’s great. “I’ve been struggling with someone in my family, who is not the way I wish they were. I asked for some guidance and decided to choose a Tenacity Note at random and see what it had to offer on this situation. Continue reading →

  • #145 “Dear Jett”

    “Dear Jett, When I get your Tenacity Notes each week, I say ‘Yes, that makes good sense, I’ll practice that.’  I do practice your teachings, and they make a difference in me and in my life, and in the lives of people I interact with, and I am grateful to you for being such an Continue reading →

  • #144

    #144 Take the utmost care and kindness in all things. I’d decided to take this to heart and practice it. The first challenge I encountered was remembering that I’d decided to practice. So I used the tried and true (tied and true?) technique of tying a string around my finger. That helped a lot. When Continue reading →

  • #143

    #143 A reader writes that she will read Joy Harjo’s poem often, “to remind myself to ‘take the utmost care and kindness in all things.’ ” Do you want to try it? Let’s! Let’s try taking the utmost care and kindness in all things. Try it for a minute today, or for five minutes. Try Continue reading →

  • #142

    #142 Eagle Poem             by Joy Harjo To pray you open your whole self To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon To one whole voice that is you. And know there is more That you can’t see, can’t hear Can’t know except in moments Steadily growing, and in languages That aren’t always Continue reading →

  • #141

    #141 The question from a reader in last week’s Notes caused a great discussion. I’ll repeat the question, and then I’ll share some of your responses. Thank you for those replies. The original question, in part, read: “Hi Jett,        I have a question for you.  Do you have any suggestions for what we can Continue reading →

  • #140

    #140 I don’t want to belabor this issue of  “don’t think unkind thoughts about anyone,” but it has caused a lively discussion. I’ll share with you the email conversation I had with one reader. She said: “Hi Jett, I have a question for you.  Do you have any suggestions for what we can do if Continue reading →

  • #139

    #139 Don’t think unkind thoughts about anyone. Do this for your own good. Harboring unkind thoughts is not good for you. Not good for your spirit; not good for your body. Here’s how one reader put it: “Although I have spent much time over many years trying to remove sarcasm from my speech, I was Continue reading →

  • #138

    #138 I got a few replies to last week’s Note, asking me how I could possibly ask you to think kind thoughts about your boss, your neighbor, your sister-in-law, etc. These are awful people, you said. You told me I was asking too much. But I didn’t ask you to think kind thoughts. I asked Continue reading →

  • #137

    #137 This week, don’t do anything unkind. Don’t think unkind thoughts, or say unkind words, or do unkind actions. Pay special attention to your thoughts. Don’t harbor unkind thoughts about your spouse/partner, or your boss, or your neighbor, or your siblings, or your kids, or anyone. Including yourself. Say you catch yourself with an unkind Continue reading →

  • #136

    #136 This week, do what you love; love what you do; drink plenty of water.

  • #135

    #135 This is a news and information Note. Mostly you had an easy time listening to Tenacity Notes, even those of you who have slow internet. That’s good to know. You were enthusiastic about being able to hear as well as read the Notes. That’s good to know, too. And you sent me lots of Continue reading →

  • #134

    #134 I could use some help. I have been asked to record Tenacity Notes. Some people’s eyes don’t like the computer screen, and some people want to hear my voice. There are other reasons in the background, something about people submitting questions and me answering them by voice, as if in a reading or a Continue reading →

  • #133

    #132 Do you notice what’s wrong with you? Are you aware of what needs fixing? Do you have plans for your betterment? What if you loved yourself as you are? Try it. This week, any time you get the urge to pay attention to aspects of you that need improvement, switch to paying attention to Continue reading →

  • #132

    #131 I stalk beliefs. I lurk around the corners of my mind, listening to what I think and to what I say, ready to pounce on a belief when it appears. When I catch one, I investigate it. Becoming as open and undefended as I can, I try the belief on. What is its purpose? Continue reading →

  • #131

    #130 Regarding last week’s Notes, a reader wrote: “May your spring bring much beauty as we try and weather all the craziness – I fear the Supreme Court ruling on the health care plan, my synagogue board choice for an assistant rabbi, the war in Syria, summer heat…  Life always calls for trust trust and Continue reading →

  • #130

    #129 I have been greatly disturbed by the attempts, across the nation, to disenfranchise certain voters. I have actually been quite distressed about it. So I’ve been asking for guidance. All of the various tools that I use to discern that guidance tell me the same thing — enjoy the wonder of life all around Continue reading →

  • #129

    #128 If you go to my Web site, to Where is Jett, and then scroll down to the bottom and click on ’11 Autumn, you’ll see a picture of my children’s birth mother, my former partner, Vicky. Vicky died on Sunday. Her dying was several days long, and was attended always by loving people – Continue reading →

  • #128

    #127 About #126, you said: “I walk around a lake almost every day, and I used to notice that on some days everyone I encountered was smiling, open and friendly. Other days they were off in their own worlds, unreachable. I wondered whether this was some mood adrift in the universe, or part of the Continue reading →

  • #127

    #126 Smile when you’re alone or with others, keep a little smile on your face. (try it while you’re driving) Love the one you’re with in the grocery store, on the bus, on the street, at work, wherever. Be Glad to be you, on this Earth, at this time. Let me know how it goes. Continue reading →

  • #126

    #125 It’s the energy we emanate that people respond to. Our words and actions are only of secondary importance. If the energy you emanate is different from your demeanor, different from the words you use, you’ll drive people crazy. I’m thinking of another woman I worked with once, many years ago. She was indiscriminately and Continue reading →

  • #125

    #124 What do you expect from your interactions today? What do you emanate? You may know that I live in a State Park in Texas in the winter, and that I volunteer at park headquarters – collecting day fees, registering campers, cleaning the office and generally helping out as best as I can. I’ve been Continue reading →

  • #124

    #123 I’ve been remembering this old chant a lot lately, a chant of appreciation. Now I walk in beauty Beauty is before me Beauty is behind me Above me and below me.

  • #123

    #122 To answer two frequently asked questions: Yes, I’m back in the USA (Texas, to be exact). Yes, I’m available for readings. Email me to schedule.

  • #122

    #121 You are the actual, factual embodiment of desire fulfilled. You, as spirit, as soul, desired to be embodied.  You achieved the fulfillment of that desire at your conception.  You succeeded.  You fulfilled your desire.  You accomplished your purpose. You cannot fail because you already succeeded! All you have to do now is live your Continue reading →

  • #121

    #120 Hello again from Oaxaca. The zocolo (the main square/garden) is filled with flowers, lights, live music, and with local people selling many things. My interactions with these venders have been both uplifting and humbling. But they are interactions that I welcome, and that I enjoy. Some “gringos” (mostly citizens of the United States) feel Continue reading →

  • #120

    #119 Hello from Oaxaca, Mexico. I am a bit overstimulated (which is a bit of an understatement!)  But I am practicing intentional breathing every morning and evening, and I imbue my water with the energy of appreciation – appreciation of everything, including myself. Appreciation keeps me connected to my heart, which keeps me connected to Continue reading →

  • #119

    #118 Our trip down to Texas from Minnesota was a bit rough. To begin with, the day before we left, I drew an Intention Card at random – Life As Adventure. Then on morning we left, I drew another Intention Card at random – Life As Adventure again. Hmmm, I thought, not my favorite card Continue reading →

  • #118

    #117 About #115, resistance, Rachel Nelson said, “Very pithy – what am I resisting?” Then she wrote a poem. Free Fall I stand at the edge looking down. A pebble, boot-knocked, plummets makes no sound seems to fall forever sweet release. My place is here on the edge, and my stance has as clear a Continue reading →

  • #117

    #116 The responses to last week’s Notes were numerous and varied. I’ll be writing about them soon. But for now, I’m still on the road from Minneapolis to Texas. What a long, strange trip it’s been. Plus, I’ll be gone to Oaxaca, Mexico for the entire month of December, once again studying Spanish. Do you Continue reading →

  • #116

    #115 I was talking with a Tenacity Notes reader recently, and she said something interesting: Everything is either resistance or non-resistance. I agree with her. In a way, that’s what Tenacity Notes is all about, practices for releasing resistance. But, you might ask, as I did to myself, what are we resisting? Resisting life, resisting Continue reading →

  • #115

    #114 We have been in the Twin Cities for longer that we expected, visiting a friend who is dying. Sitting with her, I was reminded of a story, a true story, that I told in a Breath and Water newsletter (#45).  I was glad to remember it again, and maybe you will be, too. It’s Continue reading →

  • #114

    #113 This issue comes from two readers. Two stories of transformation: Reader 1.  I have had a lifelong tendency to have a negative outlook. My negative outlook has made me unhappy and short tempered. Lately I’ve been following your advice to leave every situation better than I found it. It has been a huge challenge. Continue reading →

  • #113

    #112 It’s sometimes easy for me to get out of my rhythm. Moving from one place to another will do it, which is what we’re about to do. The plan is to move from Duluth to Prior Lake, MN tomorrow, weather permitting (we don’t drive in the rain if we don’t have to, and we Continue reading →

  • #112

    #111 As you may remember, I have suggested this for a motto: “Eschew expectations.” Well, I recently learned something more about expectations than that they are “planned disappointment.” Expectations make a situation be all about me. If I have expectations about a situation or a relationship, then I make that situation or relationship be about Continue reading →

  • #111

    #110 I’ve been disturbed by some of the public discourse l hear lately. If you’re old, or sick, or poor — tough luck; there is no such thing as the common good; your hardships are not my problem; you are on your own; if you suffer, it’s God’s will. Whew. This profound lack of generosity Continue reading →

  • #110

    #109 The Word By Tony Hoagland Down near the bottom of the crossed-out list of things you have to do today, between “green thread” and “broccoli” you find that you have penciled “sunlight.” Resting on the page, the word is beautiful, it touches you as if you had a friend and sunlight were a present Continue reading →

  • #109

    #108 You may remember that I am fond of tying a string around my finger to remind me to pay attention to something. Well, a reader has a much better idea. She recently purchased the 3 new Intention Cards, and the Allow card, with the image of a sailboat, pleased her greatly. She propped the Continue reading →

  • #108

    #107 If you think you know how something should be, you’re likely to miss how it really is. If you think you know how someone should be, you’re likely to miss how they really are. You could be missing a lot. This week again, eschew expectations. Instead, try being open-minded and open-hearted. Let me know.

  • #107

    #106 Last summer, on June 30, in issue #48, I wrote: “I know I’ve talked about this before, but lately the topic has been nudging me something fierce. It wants attention: Expectations. They can get you into such trouble.” Well, the subject of expectations has once again been around a lot. It is a perennial Continue reading →

  • #106

    #105 What exists is much richer than what you can observe. quantum mechanics

  • #105

    #104 A reader had this to say about Tenacity Notes #102 (the one with the José Martí poem): “Your radical idea of leaving a conflict better than you found it is having a profound impact on my family. My daughter has been embroiled in conflict with her teenage son for a few years. Although I Continue reading →

  • #104

    #103 I’ve made 3 new Intention Cards, and  if I may say so myself, they are very nice. You can buy them from me for cost plus mailing — $3 per set of 3. You can go to my Web site, to the Intention Cards page, and purchase them there via PayPal. Click this link Continue reading →

  • #103

    #106 Last summer, on June 30, in issue #48, I wrote: “I know I’ve talked about this before, but lately the topic has been nudging me something fierce. It wants attention: Expectations. They can get you into such trouble.” Well, the subject of expectations has once again been around a lot. It is a perennial Continue reading →

  • #102

    #102 Along the lines of leaving a place better than you found it, I give you a poem by José Martí. The place in this poem could be named conflict. Always leave a conflict better than you found it. Which is quite different from the way we’re used to thinking about conflict; always leave a Continue reading →

  • #101

    #101 Here’s a reader’s reply from last week: “What a great 100th Tenacity Notes. Just asking ourselves, ‘what can I do to leave this better’ can bring clarity to every corner of our lives — as helpful in depth as in breadth.  Goes to picking up trash to working with the challenges of relationships to Continue reading →

  • #100

    #100 This is issue #100 of Tenacity Notes!  Wow. Congratulations to all of us for our tenacity. Someone recently asked me what my philosophy of life was. Although I’d never considered that question before, I answered without pause. “Always leave a place better than you found it.” When I was a Girl Scout I thought Continue reading →

  • #99

    #99 “One does not always stay intact.”  ~Judith Butler There is something to be said for allowing yourself to be shook up; as opposed to trying to protect yourself from the shaking. There is something to be said for letting yourself be who you are, rather than striving to be some other kind of person. Continue reading →

  • #98

    #98 It was hotter than blazes up in the north country over the weekend. Whew. I hope y’all are keeping your cool — drinking your water and breathing. I have news about my Intention Cards. I am selling them for what they cost me to produce plus shipping, which equals $14.00 You can see a Continue reading →

  • #97

    #97 “Like Confucius of old, I am absorbed in the wonder of earth, and the life upon it, and I cannot think of heaven and the angels. I have enough for this life. If there is no other life, then this one has been enough to make it worth being born, myself, a human being. Continue reading →

  • #96

    #96 Regarding last week’s Tenacity Notes, a reader sent me “a quote from some old Chinese guy.” She said she has it taped to her computer at work: “Don’t worry about the occurrence of thoughts, only beware of being slow to notice it happening. The occurrence of thoughts is sickness; not continuing thoughts is medicine.” Continue reading →

  • #95

    #95 Habitual patterns of thinking/acting can damage the brain. Changing those patterns can heal it.

  • #94

    #94 Some readers replied about falling asleep: * A few years ago I began to channel love into my body as I’m falling asleep. I envision each cell getting what it needs as I breath in and feeling really satisfied and happy as I breath out. Usually, before I get done going through all my Continue reading →

  • #93

    #93 What do you think about as you fall asleep? Or do you think? Maybe you count sheep. Maybe you fall asleep the second your head hits the pillow. Maybe you listen to music. Me, I have tended to ruminate about things that bother me and that I can do little about — anti-gay hate Continue reading →

  • #92

    #92 A reader writes this about wonder. I call it Love Invites Wonder. I took a couple extra days off this week, and each day I walked around Lake Nokomis. I love that lake. Well, the first day, I saw 2 orioles. What breathtakingly beautiful birds, and their song is also striking. The orioles put Continue reading →

  • #91

    #91 One week, while I was still in Texas, I decided that I would practice wonder. I enjoyed wonder; it made for a delightful week. Then I saw a Luna Moth. Oh the wonder! That moth was the most exquisitely beautiful thing I have ever seen. Did my practice of wonder have something to do Continue reading →

  • #90 Practice Something

    Practice something today. Pick one thing, one thing you don’t usually practice, and practice it every day this week. Here are some items from my list of things to practice: wonder, appreciation, smile (especially when no one else is around), awe, emanate love.

  • #89

    #89 Are you taking 15 minutes every day to do intentional breathing? I know I’ve neglected the Breath and Water Club, but I hope you haven’t neglected your breath and water practice. It makes a difference. It makes a difference in your day, and it makes a difference in your life. You know it does. Continue reading →

  • #88

    #88 A reader writes: I wrote a letter of apology to someone against whom I have harbored resentment for many, many years. This person, my father, has been dead since I was a young woman. At first it was ludicrous — me apologizing to him?!? It should be the other way around! But I did Continue reading →

  • #87

    #87 I am finding many benefits from reviewing the previous days (and decades) as I write my letter of apology in the morning. Here’s one: As I clean up the past, I become aware in the present. I am aware, in the moment, of interactions that I am about to leave unresolved. For example, in Continue reading →

  • #86

    #86 I was reading a novel, and a sentence caught my attention. “If one followed the well-ordered life, one would start each day with the writing of one’s letters of apology.” If there is the need for an apology, it shows that there exists an experience that is unresolved. Any experience of mine that is Continue reading →

  • #85

    #85 A reader replied to last week’s Notes: “Years ago, at the depths of winter depression, I knew I had to do something drastic to rescue myself. I took a day off work (something I only do when I’m sick) and dubbed it “New Day.” I made sure that everything I did was a departure Continue reading →

  • #84

    #84 There’s something to be said for noticing our automatic behaviors, our automatic responses, our automatic assumptions. Noticing them and, instead of following what’s automatic, making a choice. Today, do something differently. Do you always take the same route to work? Alter it. Do you always brush your teeth with your right hand? Use your Continue reading →

  • #83

    #83 Someone asked, “How do I practice appreciation? Do I make a list of the things I’m thankful for?” To me, there is a difference between appreciation and thankfulness. Appreciation is an experience; thankfulness is a thought. P.S. Next week my 8-year-old grandson will be staying with us. I may forget to send a Tenacity Continue reading →

  • #82

    #82 “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

  • #81 Practice!

    Some of you wrote after last week: “I want wonder in my life now, I want to exist in a state of love now. I don’t want to wait until I die.” Practice appreciation and you will know wonder. Emanate love, and you will exist in love. Practice assiduously. A spiritual practice is like any Continue reading →

  • #80

    #80 February 22, 2011 Over the years, I’ve done a lot of psychic interacting, during readings, with people (and animals) who have died. Some had experienced deaths that were long and protracted, some sudden. Some deaths were peaceful, some violent. But always, once death has happened, I see beings in a state of wonder. Certainly Continue reading →

  • #79

    #79 February 15, 2011 You ask: What do I mean by resistance? What do I mean by defendedness? I mean any thought, action, belief, response, idea, attitude, intent, personality trait, behavior, habit, expectation, perspective, etc. that you use in order to feel safe; in order to feel not vulnerable; in order to hide. Examples? Pretty Continue reading →

  • #78

    #78 February 8, 2011 Release resistance. Allow. Release defendedness. Choose appreciation. Eschew fear. Love.

  • #77

    #77 February 1, 2011   You are your soul’s path.

  • #76

    #76 January 25, 2011 I am quite taken with the notion from last week that prosperity does not come from outside ourselves, but rather from ourselves; as last week’s reader said, from our heart center. Worth pondering. Speaking of prosperity, and concerning our discussion of resistance and allowing, here’s what one reader has to say: Continue reading →

  • #75

    #75 January 18, 2011 I had an interesting conversation with a reader. She said that she enjoys using the Intention Cards, and that she picks one at random every morning. She has found the cards to be apt and enlightening. Then she said this: Looking at the Prosperity Card, after I’d picked it for the Continue reading →

  • #74

    #74 January 11, 2011 In response to last week’s Tenacity Notes, about resistance and allowing, a reader wrote: “The world and all its kingdoms are being challenged to open up and receive.” The world and all its kingdoms, which includes me (and you). Actually, she wrote much more, which I will share with you next Continue reading →

  • #73

    #73 January 4, 2011 A happy and fulfilling 2011 to you. For the rest of January I’ll be in Guanajuato, Mexico. I’ll be studying Spanish at a language school there, and I’ll be living with a local family. I am quite excited. I imagine my brain cells will be quivering after being immersed in a Continue reading →

  • #72

    #72 December 28, 2010 Pause and breathe . . . appreciate where you are . . . breathe . . . appreciate who you are . . . breathe. Repeat often.

  • #71

    #71 December 21, 2010   Happy Holidays… Remember: you have nothing to prove.  Remember: everyone gets to be who they are, and that includes you. Remember: appreciation — of others as they are, but especially of yourself as you are — is a (the?) path to fulfillment. …with ease and grace.

  • #70

    #70 December 14, 2010 There is no template for impeccability, but there is this: if you do something that you know (feel, suspect, believe) is bad for you, it is very likely bad for you. If you do something that you know (etc.) is good for you, it is very likely good for you. So Continue reading →

  • #69

    #69 December 7, 2010 Compassion, a work in progress. One of you wrote: “I wanted to write you an answer to ‘What does compassion mean?’ But I can’t verbalize it. I thought about it for days and days in November, and I heard the word compassion everywhere I went day after day after day! And Continue reading →

  • #68

    #68 November 30, 2010 I’m taking a week off. On our way from Duluth, Minnesota to Blanco, Texas, we’re stopped about mid-way, in Chanute, Kansas, with some perplexing trailer issues. I tend towards being anxious, worried, mad, and generally freaked out about it; and I want to use that tendency to remind myself to emanate Continue reading →

  • #67

    #67 November 23, 2010 Fulfillment has something to do with being impeccable. Remembering that being impeccable means to do my best in whatever I’m engaged in, am I not sometimes acting impeccably when I give myself a little slack? If doing my best includes effort, self-judgment, comparing myself with others, etc. — then it’s not Continue reading →

  • #66

    #66 November 16, 2010 I have an announcement, one that I am pleased as punch to share with you: I have something I want you to see; it’s something I’m selling, something that I made — Intention Cards. I think they’re pretty cool, and people who already have them have had lovely things to say Continue reading →

  • #65

    #65 November 9, 2010 Thanks a lot for your thoughtful replies about compassion. They’re all so interesting and varied. I have lots to digest. If you haven’t responded, it’s not too late. (It’s never too late to write to me.) I’ll write more about it soon. One of you defined compassion as, “When someone is Continue reading →

  • #64

    #64 November 2, 2010 What is Compassion? When my niece was a squirrely 5-year-old, we were crossing a busy street and I said to her, “This is a busy street, I want you to pay attention.” She stomped her foot in exasperation and said, “I have to look to the right, I have to look Continue reading →

  • #63

    #63 Grieve. I have spoken of fear, the fear that results in dire warnings, in hoarding and gun buying; the same fear that engenders the Unsafe Litany. I have the sense that this fear is related to grief. Specifically, it is related to our reluctance to grieve. Why is it useful to grieve? Because grief Continue reading →

  • #62

    #62 October 12, 2010 Speaking of emanating love, here’s an image that you might find useful. Imagine that the energy of love appears as short bursts of brilliant energy. Then imagine that the opposite of love, fear, appears as long stands of energy. You can see from that image that it is always possible for Continue reading →

  • #61 Emanating Love

    As some of you readers know, I was a shoemaker for 15 years, and for 7 of those years I taught shoe repair at Minneapolis Technical College. During most of the time I was at MTC, I practiced emanating the energy of love. There was a table in the lunchroom, a round table, where several Continue reading →

  • #60

    #60 September 29, 2010 You’ve probably heard it: The End of Days is coming! Stockpile canned goods! Erect a fortress! Lock the gates! Buy a gun! 2012! It’s the end of everything we know! Maybe so. I have had occasion to “look” at that whole scenario psychically, when asked to do so by a client Continue reading →

  • #59

    #59 September 26, 2010 Today is International Peace Day. I’m going to join A Million Minutes For Peace, and pause for one minute at noon and pray for peace. Although I don’t know that what I’ll do could really be defined as praying — I won’t be petitioning Anyone for anything. I’ll be finding peace Continue reading →

  • #58

    #58 September 14, 2010 Not fair!! It’s true, it’s not fair. Actually, there is no such thing as fair; there is just life — messy, mysterious, miraculous, miserable, magnificent, meaningful and meaningless life. You can look to nature to see that fairness is not a natural concept. Is the forest fire fair to all the Continue reading →

  • #57

    #57 September 7, 2010 Last week we talked about retrieving pieces of self caught in another time and place — resolving one’s history. That is why I pay close attention to resentment and regret. They are clear indications of retrieval to be done. They are the X that marks where to dig for treasure. Where Continue reading →

  • #56

    #56 August 30, 2010 I made a grammatical faux pas in Tenacity Notes #54 (I used effect when I should have used affect.) Thanks to those of you who wrote to me about it. I’m glad you did. Let me tell you why I am grateful. You may remember that I was going to keep Continue reading →

  • #55

    #55 August 17, 2010 It’s all about freedom. It’s why we want to resolve our history; it’s why we want to release our defenses, our expectations, our addictions, and even our preferences; it’s why we want to investigate our beliefs; it’s why we want to let go of worrying about being safe — because all Continue reading →

  • #54

    #54 August 10, 2010 The last Tenacity Notes brought up some questions and comments. In fact, there are a few questions I’ve been asked over the months that are waiting for issues of their own: What do I mean when I say resolve your history? I talk a lot about being defended, what do I Continue reading →

  • #53

    #53 August 5, 2010 The Unsafe Litany… …and a longer than usual Tenacity Notes. It has two parts. I hope you can persevere to the end. Part One Many of us feel unsafe in the world. And we justify the feeling of unsafety by reciting our list of the things that we believe make us Continue reading →

  • #52

    #52 July 27, 2010 I was reading my Tenacity Notes blog the other morning, reading the past issues. (You know how to find the past issues, don’t you?) I was taken with the idea of impeccability. I was taken with it because, as I read, I had the distinct sense that I haven’t been living Continue reading →

  • #51

    #51 July 20, 2010 Today, enjoy being you. Today, like yourself.

  • #50

    #50 July 13, 2010 Here are some of your responses from Tenacity Notes #47 — Eschew Expectations. I invite you to smile along with me. “That’s impossible. You really pissed me off with this one, Jett.” I guess I touched a nerve! A day later, from the above reader: “On second thought (fourth or fifth Continue reading →

  • #49

    #49 July 6, 2010 Mortals, gods, apotheothenai, friend, what bridge, what road, doesn’t double as runway? ~ Andrea Cohen Last week I said, about the choices others in your life make: “You have no idea where any particular choice will lead them, what path it will set them upon, what big-picture outcome it will engender.” Continue reading →

  • #48

    #48 June 30, 2010 I know I’ve talked about this before, but lately the topic has been nudging me something fierce. It wants attention. Expectations. They can get you into such trouble. Try an experiment — for a week, or a month, or a year, or from now on. Eschew expectation. Catch your expectations. Catch Continue reading →

  • #47

    #47 June 22, 2010 I feel lucky to be becalmed someplace where there is a recreation center with a pool. I swim laps pretty much every day, and I love it. I get into the water, and in no time at all, I’m smiling. I love swimming! I’ve always loved swimming — and that’s how Continue reading →

  • #46

    #46 June 15, 2010 This issue is written entirely by a subscriber: Jett, I don’t know if I told you about my going to a lecture several years ago by some old Tibetan Buddhist guy, who was talking about meditation and healing (he had been very ill, and is now healthy — I forget the Continue reading →

  • #45

    #45 June 8, 2010 One thing driving has taught me, is that you have to look in the direction you want to go. If I’m looking backwards while I’m moving forwards, I won’t be very successful. In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster. Likewise in my life, in my relationships. If I’m focused on what’s Continue reading →

  • #44

    #44 June 2, 2010 “The single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice.” –G. Rubin. Everything you do is practice. All day long, you’re developing an expertise. The question is, are you practicing being who you truly want to be? When it comes to practice, I was lucky. In 1980, Continue reading →

  • #43

    #43 May 25, 2010 The statement from last week’s reader, “It’s clear sailing now,” gave rise to this image: The act of getting born is also the act of leaping into an unfathomable abyss. You are still falling in that abyss, although there are opportunities to create wings as you fall. You create your wings Continue reading →

  • #42

    #42 May 18, 2010 A Tenacity Notes subscriber reports “I got your packet of cards. Thanks for sending them. I’d been in the thick of a conflict with my husband. I kept going over and over in my mind my list of grievances against him, and it’s a list that goes back decades. Then I Continue reading →

  • #41

    #41 May 11, 2010 As part of my endeavor to have more fun, I’ve taken up laughing out loud. It’s a goofy thing to do, laughing out loud all by myself, and doing it makes me laugh. And when I think about it during the day, that makes me laugh. I laugh out loud in Continue reading →

  • #40

    #40 May 4, 2010 Have fun! Our definition of fun changes over the years. When we’re 4, we like to twirl around until we fall down. When we’re 64, that’s probably not what we do for fun. But the value of fun does not diminish as we age and change. Fun is rejuvenating. Exhilaration is Continue reading →

  • #39

    #39 April 27, 2010 I ask myself “What do I want?” And my answer today is that I want to feel free and interested in life. What I want will be my guide. I’ll ask, “How can I interact with life in a way that allows me to feel free and interested in life? What Continue reading →

  • #38

    #38 April 20, 2010 Tenacity Notice I have a few clients who don’t use email, and they have asked me if I would send Tenacity Notes to them in print form. After some thought and experimentation, I’ve decided I can offer Tenacity Notes as a weekly postcard. I figure it’ll cost me about $20 to Continue reading →

  • #37

    #37 April 13, 2010 “Walking on water wasn’t built in a day.” Jack Kerouac (This is actually a Breath and Water Club Newsletter. But it put me in mind of Tenacity Notes from July 28, 2009, so I included it here.) Why are we doing this? Do you remember why we began this Breath and Continue reading →

  • #36

    #36 April 6, 2010 I am still intrigued by that poem fragment from last week’s Note. I’ve been reading it and thinking about it ever since. I am withholding something, and that is making me weak; it is myself I am withholding from my life; my salvation is in surrender. I wonder what it is Continue reading →

  • #35

    #35 March 30, 2010 I am intrigued by a fragment of a Robert Frost poem: “Something we were withholding made us weak. Until we found out that it was ourselves We were withholding from our land of living, And forthwith found salvation in surrender.”

  • #34

    #34 March 22, 2010 As you may know, every couple of months I publish the newsletter of the Breath and water Club. When I do that, I don’t publish a Tenacity Notes issue that week. Here, then, is The Breath and Water Club Newsletter #65. You can find all the issues of the newsletter of Continue reading →

  • #33

    #33 March 16, 2010 My Web site has a new design. Check out the new Savvy Psychic look. Working with the site, I realized that the Tenacity Notes page was getting really long and unwieldy. So I created a blog, with a link on the Tenacity Web Page to the blog. I hope that will Continue reading →

  • #32

    #32 March 9, 2010 “If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.” Isn’t that true in every aspect of our lives? Esteemed historian, activist, and teacher Howard Zinn died in January. In a newsletter I subscribe to, Nygaard Notes, I learned of a 2004 article of Zinn’s published in The Continue reading →

  • #31

    #31 March 2, 2010 What is the purpose of art? What is the role of art in your life? This week, immerse yourself in art. Look at pictures, draw a picture, take a picture, read a novel, attend a poetry reading, write a short story, make a book, listen to music, play music, see a Continue reading →

  • #30

    #30 February 22, 2010 What does it mean to be open-hearted? How does it feel? Can you feel it in your body, in your own physical heart? Describe that physical feeling. Describe it out loud. Describe it now. What are you if you’re not open-hearted? Fearful? Defended? Can you feel that in your body? Describe Continue reading →

  • #29

    #29 February 16, 2010 There is nothing for you to be against. There is plenty for you to be for — including yourself.

  • #28

    #28 February 2, 2010 A reader sent me the lyrics to an old Frank Sinatra song: Once there was a silly old ram Thought he’d punch a hole in a dam No one could make that ram, scram He kept buttin’ that dam. ‘Cause he had high hopes, he had high hopes he had high Continue reading →

  • #27

    #27 January 26, 2010 It was not easy for me to write, two weeks ago: “assume that when you are not experiencing joy it’s because you placed a dam in the stream of love.” I thought of all the people I know who have suffered much. How dare I suggest that they had placed dams Continue reading →

  • #26

    #26 January 19, 2010 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “We are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us. [This new way is] an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft-misunderstood, this oft-misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as Continue reading →

  • #25

    #25 January 11, 2010 What if what the sages say is true? What if it’s true that all you need is love? What if it’s true that the essence of all of creation is joy? Is there a way you can test it? Yes. Assume, for a little while at least, that it is true, Continue reading →

  • #24

    #24 January 5, 2010 You have nothing to prove. (nothing to justify, nothing to defend, nothing to explain, nothing to fear)

  • #23

    #23 December 29, 2009 Do you love what is potential or what is real in yourself and others? “Potential” is a story we tell ourselves, a story about an imagined future (one of nearly an infinite number of possible futures). Can you love yourself and others for real, right here and now? I just had Continue reading →

  • #22

    #22 December 21, 2009 Happy Holidays. As you visit family and friends, remember that everyone gets to be who they are. And you, to the very best of your ability, get to appreciate them for who they are. Not for who they might be, or could be, or should be, or ought to be, or Continue reading →

  • #21

    #21 December 8, 2009 Not only is the golden rule “challenging, enlightening, irritating, delightful, informative, funny, kind, hopeful, humbling, inspiring, and seemingly endless,” as I said last week, but it is simple. It is unambiguous. It is clear. Either this is something I would like another to do, think, or feel towards me, or it Continue reading →

  • #20

    #20 December 1, 2009 No Notes this week. I tripped over the cat and twisted my back, and I’m laid up. But let me just say that practicing the golden rule has been challenging, enlightening, irritating, delightful, informative, funny, kind, hopeful, humbling, inspiring, and seemingly endless.

  • #19

    #19 November 24, 2009 The golden rule caused lots of comments. Before I respond, I want to give you an addendum. Don’t do anything to yourself that you wouldn’t wish on others. For example, take envy. Do you ever feel envious of others? Think that their lives are easier, they have more money, more time, Continue reading →

  • #18

    #18 November 17, 2009 The launch of the Charter for Compassion ( reminds me that impeccability includes practicing the golden rule — do unto others that which you would have them to do unto you. Don’t do anything to anyone else that you wouldn’t want them to do to you. I’m tying a string around Continue reading →

  • #17

    #17 November 9, 2009 The string worked its magic. In reminding me to be impeccable, it first reminded me to slow down. It reminded me to wonder if this thing I was about to do — this action I was about to take, this thought I was about to think, these words I was about Continue reading →

  • #16

    #16 November 3, 2009 I laughed and laughed after I sent a Note with two typos, saying “be impeccable.” Many of you laughed with me. But it got me to wondering, how can one be impeccable? What are the means by which I can do my best in whatever I’m engaged in? I’m tying another Continue reading →

  • #15

    #15 A subscriber left me a rather breathless phone message: Jett, I swear that writing Tenacity Notes has caused you to condense your not inconsiderable wisdom. This is deep stuff. Have no expectations. Have no preferences! No preferences?!?! Wow. Ooh, you ask a lot, but I love it! Bring it on! Let me tell you Continue reading →

  • #14

    #14 October 13, 2009 You’ve practiced having no expectations. (Tenacity Notes, August 4) Now it’s time to practice having no preferences. Try it for a week: to the best of your ability, have no preferences. Tie a string around your finger so you don’t forget. And when people ask you about the string, tell them! Continue reading →

  • #13

    #13 October 6, 2009 Expansion is your natural state. Desire is a function of expansion. Do you know what makes you happy?

  • #12

    #12 September 29, 2009 Sorry for this second email, but I just couldn’t let the typos go uncorrected. Ironic, don’t you think, given the content? 🙂 “Impeccability is to do your best in whatever you’re engaged in.” Don Juan Matus, to don Carlos Castaneda. Be impeccable today. Remember, expansion is your natural state.

  • #11

    #10 September 29, 2009 A subscriber writes: Your tenacity note comes as I struggle with my frustration at the lack of creative flow. I have picked up my beading, and am challenged to let it flow. But I want it to look like the pictures in the book, which of course it doesn’t. Thanks for Continue reading →

  • #10

    #11 September 25, 2009 “Impeccability is to do your best in whatever you’re engaged in.” Don Juan Matus, to Don Carlos Castenada. Be impeccable today. Remember, expansion is your natural state.

  • #9

    #9 September 15, 2009 I hear people insist that they must be perfect. I hear them lament that they aren’t perfect. I see them give up trying because perfection is so elusive. I hear them compare themselves with others who are more perfect, who’s lives are more perfect. Then I hear them despair because others Continue reading →

  • #8

    #8 September 8, 2009   The degree to which you are undefended is the degree to which you can experience life as an adventure. What are your defenses? (Hint: we’ve already talked about one — expectation.) Remember, expansion is your natural state.

  • #7

    #7 September 1, 2009 How many of us give ourselves permission to become the one we suspect we are capable of being? In 1954, Alan Ginsberg was living a comfortable middle class life in San Francisco. He had a high paying job in market research and an upscale apartment. But he was not happy. His Continue reading →

  • #6

    #6 August 18, 2009 Remember last week? Practice catch and release? There’s a third step: celebrate. Practice catch and release. Then celebrate. Every time you catch yourself blocking your expansion, don’t be mad at yourself, be glad. Exclaim “Good Catch!” or dance a little jig, or pat yourself on the back, or just smile knowingly Continue reading →

  • #5

    #5 August 11, 2009 Expansion is your natural state. One way to allow your expansion is to notice the ways you block it. Catch yourself blocking your expansion, and release the block. Catch and release. Take our example from last week — expectation, particularly subconscious expectation. Catch your expectation, then release it. Release expectation and Continue reading →

  • #4

    #4 August 3, 2009 Expansion is your natural state. Flow happens. Joy and passion are essential qualities. But what about when flow isn’t happening, when joy and passion have gone missing? What then? Then, look to ways you block the flow, ways you limit your expansion. One superb blocking agent is expectation. Are you frustrated, Continue reading →

  • #3

    #3 July 28, 2009 I heard an interview with Stanley Drucker, the recently retired principle clarinetist for the NY Philharmonic Orchestra. He performed with the orchestra for 60 years. He said that there are two essential elements to any performance — joy and passion. Assume for a moment that Shakespeare had it right; all the Continue reading →

  • #2

    #2 July 21, 2009 I like the idea that expansion is our natural state. Flow happens. We just have to recognize the ways we block it. There is a certain feeling in your body when you are resisting your expansion, a certain vibration, a certain tone, maybe even a particular aroma. What is it? Remember, Continue reading →

  • #1

    #1 July 13, 2009 The first Tenacity Notes, excerpted from The Breath and Water Club Newsletter #60. I became curious about how we come to be embodied. How do we move from non-physical to physical? I have an image of that, but the image requires an assumption — the assumption I mentioned in the April Continue reading →