>When I first started taking time in the middle of my work day to stretch my body, I found it difficult. I am not talking about taking a lot of time to practice a yoga pose.  I downloaded a software program called Big Stretch Reminder that pops open a (customizable) window advising me to move around. (Mine says “breathe, stretch and smile.”) Many times, I would just click okay and close the window. After some practice, I realize thinking “it’s safe to take this time” helped me do the stretches.

Safe? Really? I work for a human-friendly nonprofit organization. My bosses frequently remind us to take lunch away from our desks, stay home when we are sick and take time to connect with our families. They are certainly not going to complain about my two-minute stretch breaks.

I am learning a new form of metta meditation. The first phrase in the quartet we are using is “May I be safe.” My monsters rebelled against this idea. “There is no safety in this modern world,” they shriek. “There are wars, terrorism, people who intend to do harm. Your body itself is attacking you. That’s what auto immune diseases mean. Prove to us you deserve to be safe!”

Now the monsters are getting to their core message: proving, proving, proving. It is not enough to be. They want activity designed to gain approval.


mid-14c., “to attest (something) with authority,” from O.Fr. aprover (Fr. approuver), from L. approbare “to assent to as good, regard as good,” from ad- “to” + probare “to try, test something (to find if it is good),” from probus “honest, genuine”

Ironic that I’ve taken an idea rooted in honesty and genuineness and made it mean trying to be better than I am. I am always busy proving myself and never rest from that effort.

I need to realize that who I am is enough. Not who I can be, not what I can accomplish, but who I am.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” –Pierre Teilhard de Chardin