On this day 2018.
Celebrating a year of daily cartoons.
For different reasons, the things we say to each other and what we mean or imagine to be shared reality can blend and separate in innumerable combinations during even the briefest interaction. So much happens that we simply miss. So much of the time we don't actually know that much about what is happening no matter how attuned we are. We might have rapidly overlapping and diverging desires. We might have different languages and different ways our brains process information, while having similar emotional responses to this array of differing perspectives. When you're relating with another, how do you return to curiosity about what is happening between you?
Like many, I really appreciate Laura Kimpton's Big Words — BELIEVE, DREAM, EGO — that continue showing up at Burning Man. I've personally gotten to stand next to and touch LOVE twice now. And of course, I can't help but dream of joy and shared joy making more of an appearance in our collective consciousness. MUDITA, COMPERSION, FIRGUN — I welcome any variation on the theme of sympathetic joy. What word would you love to see represented in climbable, larger-than-life, really big letters?
The Head Maze was my favorite art at Burning Man this year. Yet, it had me thinking a lot about the "heart brain," the 40,000 neurons organized around the heart that send information to the "head brain" and throughout the body. Like other beings that scramble around in our heads, other sentient forms that clamber into the chambers of our hearts become a real part of the maze of synaptic connections and gaps of our hearts' contagious emotions, interconnected purposes and vitality, and interdependent survival. Inside "The Heart Maze," I imagine many rooms, including a cuddle space, a dark, empty room with occasional strobe lighting, a gym, a junior high dance, and a toddler's playroom with crayons available to draw on the walls. What rooms would you imagine encountering in a three-story, explorable heart?
It's possible that for ten years I have heard "trash vents" when people were saying "trash fence," AND that I never bothered to look it up OR to realize that vents was a pretty weird thing to imagine out in the desert somehow collecting trash. But that is the human experience sometimes. And now I totally want to read more about the trash fence and maybe build an art installation of trash vents at Black Rock City especially for anyone else who has had this same misunderstanding. What's something (Burning Man–related, or otherwise, lyrics to songs included) that you have misheard?
I'll be back in September. See you all then! xoAnna
In some situations in life, we may have become expert at leaving. In other situations, we may get that leaving is necessary for our health, struggle to leave or feel incapable of leaving, and yet ultimately know that it is in our capacity to do so. Taking breaks — from work, from challenging interpersonal dynamics, and from our own thinking — is a practice in self-care that can be difficult to get ourselves to do at all, or on the other end of the spectrum, a bit too easy to do. How do you practice balanced checking out in your day-to-day activities?
All relationships begin and end. When a relationship feels short to us we can be sad or relieved or both. When a relationship feels long to us we can be filled with joy or challenged by the journey or both. The length of the relationship does not predict our happiness, and yet we can practice acknowledging the meaning of the length in our own hearts, become familiar with our own yearnings, and give ourselves compassion and self-understanding in order to cultivate equanimity with the coming and going of the seasons of our lives. What is one of your relationships — past, current, or future — that you want to send some love out to through your mind's eye (and heart's eye) today?
We're all following our own North Star, the place inside of us that tells us what our deepest truths and biggest desires are. And around that North Star is a constellation of what we've learned and what we can understand, a constellation that helps guide us in a direction forward. But sometimes the map gets turned around inside of us for different reasons. Sometimes we second guess ourselves. Sometimes we lose faith in our own knowing. It can be helpful to be reminded that we do know, and that we maybe have just forgotten or gotten distracted. What helps bring you back to your internal compass?
The human startle reflex is with us from the time that we're babies. We may hear a loud noise or suddenly feel uncontained physically or unstable in gravity, and in reaction, our whole body will jump to attention with a force we didn't expect or consciously call up. With effort, we can meet these moments of surprise with self-care. We can practice orienting our awareness to ourselves and to our surroundings. This effort can help us to stay calm and alert, while the body is being called to attention and to react on our behalf. How do you stay connected to yourself and to your surroundings when life throws you a curve ball?
PREPOSITION: a condition governing one's relation to another
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Sometimes we want so badly to know what this or that is all about. The human mind is a meaning maker. Both the enskulled, bodily part of the mind, or the brain and nervous system, and the relational part of the mind, our social networks of friends, family, and community, are often very busy trying to figure out what we ourselves are all about. As the same time, just feeling like we're about something can become as important to us as knowing more about what that something is in the first place. What about your life feels meaningful to you right now?
I love you already.
500 PATRONS IN 5000 DAYS CHALLENGE
You can be part of spreading #MindfulHearts
to people's living rooms. The first 500 patrons will be acknowledged
in the #MindfulHearts coloring and activity book, Room for Living (with an estimated release in 2025).
Just $1/month pledge is a great way to say,
"I want to keep seeing new #MindfulHearts every day!"