Loving Each Other With Words and Silence


Not feeling well today, a sore throat, I left the house for the first time after 5pm. Although I support the germ theory of disease to some extent, this one seems too coincidentally psychosomatic, at a time a loved one has decided not to let me express myself any further with him.

I couldn’t find the restaurant I wanted to go to so I ended up at the Tibetan restaurant I had never eaten at before. I hadn’t wanted to go in, having heard rumors of bad reviews, but thought I might as well investigate for myself. After waiting quite a long time to have my order placed (apparently I was the first customer of the evening), I found the eggplant chips (fries) were wonderful, and the vegetable soup was very bland and the chef had forgotten to add the roasted pumpkin seeds, which my waitress, who arrived after I did, went back to remedy.

After my okay meal, I went to leave, and noticed a spinning circular box on a table. There was a laminated card which explained that it was a mantra, beginning with OM, and that chanting, reading, or looking at a spinning mantra could relieve many troubles. The waitress suggested that whatever my faith, if I was sad or upset or angry, I could benefit from picturing my spiritual leader and using the mantra.

She was right, of course. And it was a nice reminder about keeping your internal peace.

It occurred to me that it is so difficult to sit with your own pain and not try to harm others to show them how much you are hurting by being passive aggressive or just plain aggressive.

After dinner I went to a tea house down the block, and heard these lyrics over the sound system, “Don’t think about all those things you fear, just be glad to be here.” Except I heard “feel” instead of “fear”, and it hit me harder: “Don’t think about all those things you feel, just be glad to be here.”

I don’t think it’s wise not to ever think about what you feel or what you fear. The body’s signals help us navigate away from what makes us shut down or feel dead toward what makes us feel alive.

But I feel I’m being reminded of subtle skills that my parents could not teach me, one who was aggressive and one who tended to be passive-aggressive to compensate (chicken or the egg?).

I’m meditating on the depths of what communication can and should be. Silence can be the *most* passive-aggressive form of manipulation and control, and god knows I’ve tried it and every other tool in my toolbox to try to get my way, though I tend to be more verbally aggressive than passive.

I think the lesson here is that heart-to-heart communication is the most difficult, time-consuming, and potentially rewarding journey that lovers can commit to. Imagine the ability to love not just with your bodies and your hearts, but also with the flow of your words and the spaces between your words, and the words you use about your lover when they are not around. That would be truly sublime and a real accomplishment.

“All really great lovers are articulate, and verbal seduction is the surest road to actual seduction.” Marya Mannes

So what prevents heart-to-heart communication?

I am reminded of something I asked my ex-boyfriend on our third date, in Miami. He told me he was divorced, and I asked him why, or rather, what did he think ended the relationship. And he told me “communication.”

“Lessons in life are repeated until learned.”

Ok…so if I’m still having relationship issues around communication, clearly the Universe is still trying to tell me something.

I think a failure to communicate comes down to trust:

Not trusting that one can get one’s needs met. This sabotages all communication, because if you start a conversation with that energy of being a victim of limited resources, the other person will sense it emotionally immediately and run from it instinctively in self-protection.

But we all have needs, and we have to have mutually beneficial relationships. I suppose it is important always to assume you are going to get your way, and start EVERY conversation with that confidence. That way you stand in your own power. It really does take courage and imagination to picture getting your way every time, especially when it feels like you’ve been shot down so much in the past, or that someone doesn’t want to listen to you.


I got a chance to practice this tonight on the way home from hiking barefoot up the Berkeley Hills to see the sunset. On the way back, three skateboarders ripped down the hill next to me. The first one came so close, so fast, he nearly touched my body and ran over my foot. My heart started racing. They stopped at the bottom of the hill, so I decided to call out to them: “Hey, you guys! Hey!”

Once I had their attention, I said, “I totally respect your right to skateboard around here, but your friend came waaay too close to me. I’m not wearing shoes and he almost ran over my foot.”

The friend came over. “You were way too close to me, man. Even if I had my flip flops on that could have really hurt me, it was really scary. I need like *this much* space.”

One of them said, “Well it’s really hard to control how close you come when you go that fast.”

I said, “Yeah, it is, that’s why it’s important.”

“Are you a law student here?”


Then one said to me, “Why aren’t you wearing shoes?”

I explained I don’t wear shoes very often, and that I go barefoot for my health, for stronger feet and legs. One of them offered me a fist bump for this.

Then one guy said, “Can I give you a compliment without you getting offended?”

“Compliments don’t offend me,” I offered.

“You have a nice chest.”

This was a rare compliment indeed. I should have advised him that complimenting a woman’s sexual parts right up front won’t get you that far in life, but I let that one go. “Thanks, that’s nice of you to say. See you guys later.”

“Be careful about stepping on rocks and stuff!”

“Thank you,” I smiled, walking away, happy that they might think twice next time before ripping down a hill so close to another person.

This was a small step for me toward better communication, and speaking up when something is not working for me. I definitely felt resistance to saying anything, but I’m glad I did. If not just for the flattery ;-) thanks Universe :-p. Small steps, and practice makes perfect.

Some great communication tips: How Can I Communicate Better?

Preparing to Receive

That which I’m seducing
Stays hidden
For a time
To me
On the perimeter
While God prepares me to receive
Or give

I’m so far away from me
Yet we’ve come so far
What do I desire now?
What do I fear?
What can I love?
Who will receive?
How lucid is this dream?
Less wondering, more knowing.
Stay in the body.
This needs to be an earth-shattering orgasm.

Better Already

Starting over
After three years of wondering what’s next
It’s go time
Make it great time
Recalling lessons learned
Because history repeats
Without vigilance, recording of errors, and deliberate different action
Thankful for friends
And wise lovers
It’s a better start already…

Love Addict

I fell in love with you
All over again
Like I was seeing you for the first time
Drinking in from a distance
The hard lines of your face
The thoughts that must wrestle

Your gentle, dreamy rare smile
That turns up your mouth
Your biceps and warm body against me
As we danced out in the sun
My heart as it broke all over again
At the distance that I had created

Feeling Sorry
My rejection was not of your love
Our love is deep and pure
But a need to shut out the world again
So I could remember who I am, what I do

You set me sailing on this new course
But I had to exhaust what love was not
It was not for disappearing into

Your love draws me in so close
I just never want to leave
Like a junkie I keep coming back
When I should be out doing some good

And your strength to refuse me
It hurts
It’s detox
I seethe and I fight it with words that might sting
But I’ll thank you
When I can finally stand with you in my own.

Panic Attacks

While nannying the other day, the baby was especially fussy. He is teething, was overdue for his nap, and none of the usual tricks were working: more crawling practice to tire him out, putting him in front of his favorite art piece, feeding, chewing on everything, dark room, white noise, light room, stimulation, toys…

He was crying so loud on my hip, in a panic, and I spotted a light blanket. I scooped it up, sat in the rocking chair, and covered him up completely. In the dark, small, lower-oxygen environment, he immediately calmed down, closed his eyes, and started sucking his thumb. Then, mercifully, he went to sleep.

I’m realizing that I’ve been doing the same thing lately, but no one has been there to throw a blanket over my head, hold me close, and lower my oxygen:carbon dioxide ratio so that I am forced to breathe out more than I breathe in.

As adults, we’re expected to monitor and adjust our own stimulation exposure so that we stay calm and balanced. I realized I had been putting more stimulation on myself than I could handle: Trying to start a new career path while navigating a new relationship, financial pressures, and building new community and hobbies. Then throw in a few hours of missed sleep, and you have a recipe for a panic attack and no one to pull the blanket over your head but you, no matter how loud you scream.

I now have much more appreciation for panic attacks. Thanks, baby.

My Orchids are Blooming


Today I noticed my orchids had bloomed flowers. I waited over three years.

See poem of July 15, 2010 that I wrote when I came home after my first date and magical first kiss with PM (below).

I could not seem to keep my orchids alive when I had my massage therapy business. I kept having to buy more and throw them out. I think this is some kind of metaphor for what I’m doing better/differently with my life. I am feeling more hopeful for my future, better about the way I can run a business. It brought me to tears today:

“There’s a white-hot fire
Stoked by my heart
It dances
As I lie down
Lighting the room with a soft glow
And then there’s me
Basking in the cool warmth
Hoping the orchids around me will grow.”


I feel like I’ve been given a hard path
Maybe my siblings do too
We spent 18 years learning how our family line survives
Then we met the world
And sometimes that world
Is so very, very different
And we do what they did
And it doesn’t work
Forced to make our own way
On the things that really matter
Love, money, work
Full of doubt
Fighting demons
No support
And we stomp
And we cling
And we stomp
And we let go
And we stomp
And we cry
And we stomp
On the shoulders of our ancestors
As we push their ignorance and mistakes
Into their graves
So that we have a chance to survive

Peace, chilling the planet out, one heart at a time!?!

While meditating tonight, I was reminded of a hypothesis I started a few months back.

I learned in yoga that the heart slows down when you exhale slower, because carbon dioxide begins to build up in the blood.

This made sense to me because I was the overachiever jock who wanted not only to make varsity in every sport, but to have the lowest resting heart rate on the team. I found out I could manipulate a lower pulse rate by not breathing in while the doc was measuring. 40 bpm, win!

But in yoga, retaining or slowing the out-breath is done to calm the body, and therefore also the mind.

Earlier today I mailed a meditation pamphlet to a new friend who wants to learn, and later today I perused the website of a monk whose aim is to help the world heal through love, accomplished through meditation and chanting (bhakti).

So meditating has been on my mind.

The opposite of breath control, pranayama, might be hyperventillation. Somewhat paradoxically, people who hyperventillate are not breathing out, only mostly breathing in. That is why a paper bag is given to someone hyperventillating–so that they will breathe in their carbon dioxide instead of so much oxygen, causing their heart to slow back down.

I suppose this is a “benefit” of many drugs on the market as well, the most popular being the downer drug alcohol.

I believe that one overlooked fact is that the breath is retained quite long when a person is chanting or singing. I think this may be one reason why many people derive mental health benefits from these activities. In a way, chanting does connect you to your heart: it slows it down.

My mother sang constantly during my childhood. I found it rather stressful and annoying actually–it seemed she did it without regard for anyone else’s pleasure. But looking back I suppose it must have helped her deal with the stress of raising three kids without much support and under constant threats of hunger and violence.

I wonder if a lower heart rate has been positively associated with more right brain activity, or more feelings of oneness or peace–I would not be surprised.

In a sympathetic nervous system response, pulse goes up to supply oxygen to muscles for fast activity. Its purpose is to protect #1 at all costs.

It should not be a stretch to imagine then, that a lower O2:CO2 ratio might lend more to receptivity of one’s environment rather than reaction to it. The parasympathetic nervous response is one of “rest and digest.”

I am working on the connection as to why many professional singers and meditation gurus are so plump, I do think it is CO2-level-related, just as the bodies of pregnant mothers become more acidic. Accelerated tooth decay being one outcome of a lower pH.

I would think most people in our rushed, dangerous, solitary modern world would be spending more time taking in too much oxygen, and not breathing out long and slow enough. Chanting and singing can help with this, as can focused breathwork. Drugs are recommended only as a last resort for their negative side effects.

Beezus Christ, Super Car, Mutant Beehicle

After a long evening of discus and hammer throwing, I dragged myself out to a fundraiser in SF for a really cool Bee Art Car. So glad I did. The frame is underway, and it is going to be epic. Apparently this is Michelle’s idea. Not sure I met her. Great DJs, heavenly food.

BUT I did meet some other very chill peeps, just what I needed tonight. Leslie and Fe (sp?), Chris and Jaime. Just writing this down in case I do actually make it out to BM this year and wanna remember!

Realized while dancing, that I have a lot of energy. And that I am my father’s daughter. When my dad was out of work in the North Dakota winters, you did not want to be around him. He got set off very easily. He worked very hard construction labor, long hours, like a champ. I realize I need similar stimulation. I need to stay active. It is my nature. I tried doing yoga a few mornings ago and got an upset stomach and lashed out at someone in anger. I don’t need yoga right now. I need some serious activity.

Think I’m gonna head to Cal Berkeley soon and see if they have any ideas for me…I’m needing major mental as well as physical stimulation. I need study or work. Glad my love bought me hammer shoes, it’s a small piece of my energetic puzzle right now. xo