Liberation into Now

This journey that we are on is about survival. The ways we survived in the past stopped being effective more than three years ago That has left us exposed, vulnerable, without skin. We have spent our time nursing our wounds and making new skin. And we are attempting to remake ourself, not just heal what … Continue reading Liberation into Now

New Therapist (Intake Part I)

We had our initial intake for a new therapist today. This therapist's specialty is Somatic Experiencing. Our goal in adding this fourth therapist to our lineup is to extend the mind-body connecting we started in the hospital last fall. Since fall, we tried contacting five other therapists with some sort of specialty in movement, mind-body, … Continue reading New Therapist (Intake Part I)

We let ourselves be swallowed up this weekend. Swallowed up by the space between sessions. The silence from them. The desperation from us. We forget they are still there and still want us. And now, with new boundaries, we cannot confirm they are still out there--living their lives and still connected to us. "We are … Continue reading

Empathy for those who piss us off

Everyone and everything and all experiences are teachers if and when we are receptive to the lessons. We spent much of our working career in a college, which means we spent most of our life at school. This was by choice because we like learning and teaching. Here is what Nonviolent Communication (NVC) teaches about … Continue reading Empathy for those who piss us off

Is this email factual, ambiguous, or not factual?

Please be honest about how you think/feel. Gauging our perception is useful. Also, we can handle being wrong and can respect opinions/perceptions that do not mirror our own. Younger Child's school sent out a mass email that reads: We want to remind you of State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines to use when determining if … Continue reading Is this email factual, ambiguous, or not factual?

What change feels like

We are practicing in therapy sitting with and surviving distressing emotions. Five days. Five therapy appointments. Four consecutive days of distress. (Mondays are usually just committing up the weekend.) Change feels like getting ill. Like influenza. People often recover from influenza. We have. DID Trauma therapist says, "What if more resourced parts of you give … Continue reading What change feels like

Live Updates: College Student Washes Clothes

In a remarkable turn of events reminiscent of the Moon Landing and the first circumnavigations of the globe by sea and air, local college student Older Child reportedly washed a pile of dirty laundry last night for the first time since beginning college more than four months ago. "Well, yah, I was running pretty low … Continue reading Live Updates: College Student Washes Clothes

Our original stories

Until we were a young adult, we could not solve the mystery of realistic paintings hanging in art museums. People would stand in front of a painting that depicted throngs of people frozen in time, and the observers would study the painting and talk about details in specific, knowing ways, as though they were watching … Continue reading Our original stories

Changing Established Patterns of Behavior

Older Child returned to college this week. This house is filled with people grieving. When our body and mind experience pain, Punisher--one of our protectors--begins a long-establishes process of self-harm. Punisher ranges from a newborn to age 3. Punisher often initiates chaos and then becomes an infant, with whom you cannot plead, bargain, reason. Punisher's … Continue reading Changing Established Patterns of Behavior

Small steps are most effective for making changes

It can be healthy to set goals for a new year. It can be unhealthy, too. To make it healthy, make small, sustainable changes. For example, if you want to start meditating, revive a meditation practice, or extend a meditation practice, try what feels achievable and realistic. Five minutes twice a day is a useful … Continue reading Small steps are most effective for making changes

Reframing thoughts without judgment

Negative thoughts are setting us up for a negative outlook. If we think, "We didn't do a good enough job," then we feel like a failure. We don't want to replace the negative with a positive, though, which might sound counterintuitive. Positive would probably help our outlook more than negative. And what would help the … Continue reading Reframing thoughts without judgment

If you’re stressed about outcomes

You’re not doing it wrong. It takes practice. When you find yourself in the same thoughts, circling the same carcass like a Turkey Vulture, look at the carcass—study it. What can you call that pile of roadkill? If you're worry is, "Will I succeed or fail?", that sounds like "attachment to outcomes.” Outcomes are what … Continue reading If you’re stressed about outcomes

What is the “Middle Way”?

Seeking pleasure ignores whatever is happening now. If we do experience pleasure, we try to cling to it. It ends anyway, and then we mourn it. Avoiding pain ignores whatever is happening now, especially when it's pain. Avoiding what is actually happening causes suffering because we want pleasure and have its opposite. We crave pleasure. … Continue reading What is the “Middle Way”?

Practice, patience, and repetition

3-day weekends are hard for us. Lots of time around other people. We and our children are much less effective at night: decision-making poorer, emotional brain overwhelms rational brain. Consequently, at night, little problems seem bigger. For us, that often leads to nightmares, and then we wake up disoriented. We finally have some alone time, … Continue reading Practice, patience, and repetition

The practice is to be human

We injured ourselves again via inattention. Walked home from mental health therapy without being grounded in our body. A child operating a heavy machine. Twist. Foot ligaments damaged again. This is our most common injury: twisting foot ligaments. Two years ago we injured the left foot at least 5 times. We strengthened both feet's ligaments … Continue reading The practice is to be human

Reflections on Consciousness

We're studying consciousness and trying to notice our states of being as they arise (someday we might notice when they pass, too). Paying some attention to how our emotions and sensations affect our particular moment-to-moment consciousness has yielded some strange mind thoughts, too. For instance, why does the name of every Canadian city with a … Continue reading Reflections on Consciousness

Please don’t kill wolves

If control over gray wolves (aka timber wolves) is returned to the states that don't currently control them--namely, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin--these states can implement trophy hunting of wolves. Please don't kill wolves. They have delicate social structures so that killing an alpha is like killing the sole income-provider of a large family. The family will … Continue reading Please don’t kill wolves

It Starts in Darkness

Want to make the biggest difference in the universe starting today? Follow Salty’s take on limiting suffering, and start with yourself. We will keep trying the practice.

Salty Dharma

Everything rots. This is the sunny insight that starts us off on the Path.

Ya don’t have to start there, but it helps. It keeps us focused and motivated. It also keeps us from being surprised by the sudden calamities we come across in life.

This was the insight that kept me away from Buddhism when I first stumbled on it. I wasn’t ready to hear such pessimistic shit at the time. Then, well, the next five years were hell, and it started to make more sense.

There’s nothing sacred here. Circumstances provide us with everything, and then take it all away—including our bodies and minds. When we toss self-interest and self-concepts into that merry-go-round, the cosmos seems like an unfathomably cruel place.

We lose our youth, our health, our vitality; we lose our friends, loved ones, and possessions. A few months ago, I noticed hair growing out of my…

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Your hobby or your life?

[This blog may use we/us and I/me pronouns interchangeably] We used to write fiction for fun. We wrote a humorous novel. It took us, like, twelve years to finish it. Maybe longer. We worked diligently on it for the last five or six years. It was among our primary hobbies and consumed many a weekend. … Continue reading Your hobby or your life?

Poetry Art: smash and assemble (with instructions)

A shaking leg A quivering voice These are Sure signs Of bravery Below are the steps to make this project, followed by a short video link that documents its creation: 1. Wrote an original poem in permanent marker on a ceramic salad plate 2. Put the plate in a gallon-size zipper bag 3. Dropped the … Continue reading Poetry Art: smash and assemble (with instructions)

Go big or go home? Or make little changes?

Small changes can add up. For example, say you want to have more money (ideally to pay down debt, save for retirement, or go on a vacation). If you switched to a cash-back credit card, brought home lunch and beverage to work/school every day or every other day, and  made a few other tweaks, the … Continue reading Go big or go home? Or make little changes?