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Archive for August, 2012

He held the strawberry in his hand today
for more than two hours
not eating it
just cradling it

In India they say
that a guru is anyone
who shows you the truth.

And so it is that I bow at his feet again
those little fat feet
hoping he will teach me the world as he feels it
pressing into him
so bewitching
so new
every moment
the promise
of something ordinary
made holy
and pure.

(To leave a comment on “Bowing at the altar of the strawberry,” by Samantha Reynolds or to share this poem with your friends, visit bentlily on facebook.)

what’s up with the necklace, you might ask? although it might seem like the coolest northern california way to accessorize your baby, it’s actually for teething. the amber leeches into his skin and acts as a natural analgesic and anti-inflamatory, helping tremendously with the wicked pain of having teeth cut their way through his gums.

i can say i really like this kid, i really like being his mama, i like who being his mama makes me be:

* assuming that it’s all fine until it’s not, rather than my usual MO of the other way around.

* choosing to suck every drop out of the marrow of the moment, because this too shall pass: like the intimate cuddle time of breast-feeding, like his figuring out how to get up on all fours and crawl, like his flirty one-eyebrow wiggle, like how he fits perfectly between by belly button and my chin.

* deciding to be happy, focused, smiling and hopeful even when i’m bone-tired.

* asking myself, when i’m freaking out or overwhelmed, “NOW, are you ok RIGHT NOW in this present moment?” (the answer is always yes.)

Top Ten Ways to Imbibe Baby Crack (power-booster shot that’s good for whatever ails you):

1. inhale as baby laughs
2. examine his toes
3. place his toes in (my) mouth
4. plant zerbert (aka a raspberry) on his blessed baby buddha belly
5. hold the jar under his nose and imagine what it must be like to smell cardamom for the first time
6. say, “whatchu think, baby, yo shit don’t stink?” (nope, not yet anyway!)
7. perk ears to baby babble (la, la, da, da, zha, zha, bla, bla never sounded so scrumptious)
8. ask my arms to carry with care the dewy soft sleeping babe
9. clap when mashed spinach doubles as food and facial
10. wonder why steal glances at him through the baby monitor (oh, it’s because i’m In Love)

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it felt like a knife being inserted between my ribs, then twisting.

and that wasn’t even the most painful part.

that knife pirouette let in the bright light of day and shone it on a fragile pink part of myself, a part i considered so icky that i’d purposely hidden it far, far from view.


OK, so it WASN’T a real knife, even though it felt like one; i was just asking for some simple feedback. it WAS, however, my trial-by-fire way to learn

>>> it starts out simple and innocent:

“hey, what do you think of this article i wrote?”

“hey, i know i’m a catch but i can’t find a date. do you see a blind spot that i should look at?”

“hey, do i look fat in this?”

>>> and then comes the knife, the carnage, the shame, the exposure:

“actually, i don’t understand the last half of the article, and the first half bores me – i’m sure i’ve read it somewhere before.”

“when you walk into a room, you exude neediness. you suck all the air and light out of a space, and no one has room to breathe.”

“you do look like you’ve gained 20 pounds. i noticed you’ve been prioritizing work and croissants over going to yoga for the last two months.”


whether the feedback was solicited (i asked for it) or if it just came unbidden out of left field (thanks for sharing), i’ve learned that if it hurts, there’s something important in it. otherwise it wouldn’t hurt.

when people lay truths like this on me and i react by wanting to lash out at them or hide in a hole, i know they are speaking some version of truth … something i need to hear.

if it didn’t contain a kernal of truth, important for me to hear, it wouldn’t land on me like a blade ripping at my heart, it would slide off like teflon – or simply leave me confused.

today’s tip isn’t about how to be more conscientious when giving feedback. (that’s next week’s tip!). for sure, some folks who’ve laid my viscera bare with their feedback could have been more artful. but that’s not the point. i’m interested in how feedback lands for YOU, not in THEIR delivery.

consider that this kind of pain is like a little flare, sending the message high into the air so your bigger self can read it’s sky-writing: THERE IS SOMETHING HERE FOR YOU TO LOOK AT, TAKE IN, AND CHEW ON.

consider, too, that the shame-filled bits you’ve squirreled away in a dark place in you, they gain their power by being kept in that dark place.

your shadowy parts, with light poured on them, become your blossoming. ~ LiYana Silver, (click on it to tweet it!)

it’s tough, but i’ve learned to open into this kind of feedback and even welcome it. i’ve learned to breathe through the pain and the shame of it, because on the other side of it is a more aligned, empowered, true me.

SO: your mission, should you chose to accept it:

–> get ripped.

–> meaning, when you receive feedback that rips at a tender part of you, consider that there’s something in there that’s important for you to hear and heed – and that it can lead to a more empowered, authentic, aligned and bright YOU.

to you,


PS: especially if you surround yourself with a kick-ass tribe, to their eyes and hearts you are completely fucking naked, anyway. they see and feel everything. they LOVE you. and they want your most authentic you in the world and so their dragon’s breath singes everything off your bones that isn’t truly YOU.

PPS: your comments give light and breath to this tip. share below, wise one