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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Moon's Offers

Over and over through time's long flight,

the moon offers possibilities.

Full moon, a chance to let go of

what needs to be discarded:

old ways, held grudges,

rigidity that no longer serves.

Give these to the full moon to disperse harmlessly,

away from you.


New moon?

New beginnings:

a way of living,

a change of view,

another opportunity

to embrace loving rather than tolerating.


Two times a month the moon offers these options:

Let go.


Each requires reflection.

What shall I release?

What shall I take on?

There will be times when we accuse the Moon

of duplicity.

She offered something that didn't come to pass.

But if we are honest

we know that it has nothing to do with her.

We must embrace wholeheartedly

Our choice to let go,

Our choice to take on.



Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor

Sunday, September 18, 2016


I have taken lately to hyphenating the word en-joy.

Bring joy to.

I find it compels me to action

and, if I keep it in my mind,

I can actually make it happen:

I can fill a moment with joy

simply by remembering it.

That moment, at least.

This is an on-going project.

but here I am remembering

to en-joy this bit of writing.

My spirit lifts.

I think I even smile.


Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Brain Issues

One day I completely misread the label on one of my freezer containers, imagining that the words "Carrot Soup" actually said "Lorna's Goat" (and don't ask about why I had Lorna's Goat in the freezer).


What lessons did I learn from this misreading? Well, to put on my glasses before I read a label. To engage the brain as I read the label. And so forth.


Where is this leading? Is this normal aging behaviour, or does it signal some major deterioration? And the obvious next question: how do you know when it's time to call a halt?  How do you decide that the slope is downhill all the way, and you'd like to get off the slide before you hit bottom? Whom does one consult about this?


I do want to point out the constant worry about losing one's ability to think and remember. Even those who are ten years younger than I are frantically observing the workings of their minds and leaping to the most dire conclusions on the flimsiest of evidence. I hope that's what I'm doing as well. Still: how can I misread "carrot soup" as "Lorna's goat"?


I am stubbornly refusing to go more deeply into the issue of what to do with the deteriorating brain. See me smile. See me enjoying my life. Don't see the inner workings of the brain—or the fear engendered by those workings.



Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

How quick our minds are! I didn't know this until recently. About three months ago I started doing a very simple breathing meditation. It appealed to me because it is presented as secular and scientific, and it allows you to approach it with no preconceptions and no expectations. You don't have to feel like a failure for not achieving nirvana.


You simply sit for five minutes and breathe, being aware of your breath in, breath out. In order to make it my own, I do two things: first, I incorporate the "stacking" of the vertebrae as described in "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back." What better time to work on my posture than when I am sitting there doing nothing anyway, right?


The other thing I do is count my breaths, one to ten, then start over. This happens in some faraway part of my brain, one in, one out, two in, two out, while the rest of my mind is free to focus on the actual breaths.


Well, you know how it is. One-in, one-out, what's for breakfast? Did I finish that peach crisp last night? The peaches at the market were great this week but they're gone now and that's the end of the peaches and I didn't freeze any this year because I never seem to use my frozen peaches because I smoothies are too cold to drink in winter but maybe I should have because I'll really miss peaches-–and then I'm at two-in, two-out. I resolve to make it to ten in, ten out without drifting off into will I take a walk today? What's the weather? Maybe I can take one later but I know I won't because I get bored walking on my own I wonder if Adri would like to walk in the afternoon but it might be too hot Dean hates the heat. And I find myself at three-in, three-out.


My point is this: I have discovered that my mind produces hundreds of inconsequential thoughts in mere nano-seconds. I know my counting is correct—and I am having to acknowledge that the mind flits furiously in the space of a single breath. If I weren't counting, way in the back of my brain, I would never have realized how fast (and involuntarily) the thoughts run. I would have supposed that I'd been thinking for three or four minutes here—but now I realize that it's been only the space of a breath, or even half a breath.


Pema Chodron said something about how vigorously our minds try to keep us from being with who we are—and I finally have incontrovertible proof of this. One-in. One-out.



Copyright © 2016 Ann Tudor