Learning How To Receive

A few years ago, I underwent one of my most powerful inner transformations while listening to my friend Alice belt out this song.

While the full set of lyrics does best justice to the message, the title does, in fact, do a nice job of summing up the point: “All I Need is Everything.” At the risk of diluting the beauty of the song with left-brained analysis, I’ll just say that hearing this moved me to surrender the limited set of things I think I want to Everything, which does in fact await me.

As the song notes, part of this process entails “learning how to receive.”

Fast forward to today. I was finished teaching spin class and having some quality time with the foam roller to nurse a months’-old butt injury when Darok the Rastafarian Personal Trainer playfully scared me from behind. When he saw how much this threw me out of my happy place, he proceeded to ask me if he could make it up to me. By offering me a personal butt massage.

So I took one more step in learning how to receive. Allll righty then!

Darok needs to practice his skillz, and I need to practice how to receive!


Often I encounter a turn in a movie where I simply can no longer suspend disbelief and, consequently, part ways with the entire movie. Few top-of-mind examples:

V for Vendetta. When the Masked Man’s cave is exposed, the absurdity of the whole pretext of the film suddenly becomes clear. The scales fall from my eyes. It’s over.

The Kite Runner. 2 scenes conspire here: First, when it’s revealed that the childhood friends are really brothers (=”Luke, I’m your father!”). Second, when the one offending Taliban character they encounter in the entire city of Kabul just happens to be the same tormenting bully antagonist from childhood. Statistically astounding! Again = over.

And now, this same intolerance threshold just kicked in for Facebook, my once-beloved platform of self-expression.

The trigger? A friend invite from Phil Ting. When I saw the invite, I KNEW that name was familiar. A college friend? Work?….and then I realized: none other than ….the San Francisco City Assessor-Recorder!

I think Phil realizes that, like the meter maid, a letter from him is never fun. So he’s trying to make up for it by a Facebook Friendship? I don’t think so.

It was a beautiful thing while it lasted, Facebook. But I think it’s over.


Just say no to implosion

For as bad as macroeconomics can get, they sure make life feel light compared to the despair that results from excessive self-absorption. Frida Kahlo’s exhibit at the SFMOMA is a cautionary tale of the futility of remaining trapped in one’s immediate experience. My friend Melissa remarked how about 90% of her work was self-portraits.

Given how important it is to have outside perspectives to ground you in reality, it is no wonder she was enmeshed so long with her near-canine partner.

“Sin Esperanza” (above) drives this home most poignantly in both image and title.