general principles

Many years ago I was flipping through a magazine (I honestly
can’t remember if it was a fashion magazine or Playboy or Parade or what) and
there were short bios of a few women – a photo, a name, a hometown, some likes,
some dislikes and a motto. I remember wondering how one comes to have a motto.
I wanted one. I wrote in my journal and tried to come up with something. It
didn’t work. I would write some pithy statement, but it felt like wearing
someone else’s shoes, ill-fitted.
Several years later, I realized I somehow, organically, had grown
a motto: “Life is very long, there is no need to hurry. Life is very short,
there is no time to waste.” I had written it unconsciously, I reminded myself
of it often. It became a mental touchstone for me.
Now I realize I have quite a list of mottos and general
principles lurking inside of me. Some are crystal-clear, fully-formed. Others
are still wispy, still pre-verbal concepts that don’t have just the right words
yet. So I’ve given myself this writing assignment: to make and add to this list
of mottos and principles that guide my practice and my understanding, and to
elaborate each one. Please let me know if you want me to write one of these
sooner rather than later. Eventually this post will link to an entry for each
of these:
Treat everything
Herbs can always help
Use what you have
Stay in the training zone
It’s your body
Ask how it makes sense
Gratitude and Loving Kindness are balms for all wounds
A body is an ecology
The future will come
Check the other side
Strengthen the observer
Healing is an active process
Sometimes you just need a little green noise
Favorite metaphors: lenses
Favorite metaphors: music

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