Friday, August 1, 2008


When I have time, I really enjoy nurturing my family and myself by cooking great meals, using a lot of local, fresh produce from our weekly Johnson's Backyard Garden CSA subscription ( There are so many yummy summer veggie dishes to enjoy this time of year--roasted veggie pizza, fresh corn on the cob dripping in butter, pasta primavera, cucumber/tomato salad with hummus and tabouli, peach ginger crisp, fresh blackberry pie, sauteed garden veggie fritatta, figs with goat cheese and walnuts and on and on (yes, I love food!).

Thursday night I planned a great simple dinner of citrus/shallot swordfish, rice with toasted sesame seeds, sauteed garlic eggplant and fresh pineapple. Unfortunately, upon sitting down to eat (after a good amount of prep time/cooking), we discovered the swordfish we had gotten for Whole Foods was bad and the fresh egglplant was bitter (and was not from Johnson's). So, our dinner ended up consisting of rice and pineapple! I felt some disappointment that quickly turned to laughter and my husband and son and I ended up finishing dinner early and heading outside for a walk.

Internationally-known speaker/spiritual teacher Byron Katie (, author of "Loving What Is," says the root of our suffering is caused by not accepting "what is." She says we create pain, sadness and deeper emotions than these when we argue with reality. She has a short but powerful 4-question process highlighted in her books and on her site, that challenges you to question your thoughts and begin to understand that the world is our perception of it. We see and hear through the filter of our "story." I know--this may be a radical notion for some, but here is what I've observed with my coaching clients and myself:

We have a finite amount of energy available to us each day, right? When we stay stuck in fighting "what is" -whether that's our current state of unemployment, chronic pain, an astronimical Visa bill, a car accident that is causing us great inconvenience or discomfort, a 401-K that appears to be tanking--we're giving away our precious energy to something we often have NO ability to change.

Not only does this keep us stuck, but it prevents our energy from going towards what's really important to us--our career change, nurturing our relationships, being present with our kids, a new creative project, growing our business, connecting/collaboaring with others, etc.

I remember years ago, the smallest thing--a significant error on a phone bill, something at work I "perceived" was not going my way, an argument with a sibling--would really throw me. Sometimes, for days! I think about how much energy I wasted fighting "what was" and ruminating about how things might be different.

Two weeks ago, my new five-month old car was parked in front of a restaurant where my family and I were eating. Before our food arrived, a server informed us that someone had slammed into my car (causing 3K in damage) and left. No one got their license plate. This week, my husband's car started leaking gas and he ended up having to fork over for a $1400 fuel tank replacement, and he got to take the bus to his office all week, which is located an hour north of where we live.

I'm not going to say these things didn't cause us significant irritation--I have a new business in start-up-mode, so we are very budget conscious right now--but we didn't dwell on these problems. We handled them as they came up. And, we moved on. Because, we decided we'd rather feel peace than fight reality.

This has taken years of practice and we have a long way to go, but, I'd challenge you--just for fun--notice how long you allow yourself to stay stuck when you experience something that initially looks or sounds "bad." Katie says, "Arguing with reality is like trying to teach a cat to bark--hopeless."

Peace is only a thought away (don't know who said that, but isn't is the truth?!) . Take good care.

1 comment:

Tricia Mitchell said...

Hey Renee!

Check out my blog:

I am feeling a strong inner nudge to do the PRG facilitator training.

And I really want to meet you sometime.

Take care,