Author: Laura Harvey

Realizations Upon Separation

30 days after move-out day, these are the lessons I have learned: Levelness is not as necessary as I was led to believe. Over the course of the last 30 days, I have succeeded in hanging things from the wall without a level. They are relatively straight. Note:  Listing will be expanded periodically, as new insights are revealed.

Seek Not for Love

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.–A Course in Miracles My task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it. My task is not to seek for creativity, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it. My task is not to seek for health, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it. My task is not to seek for friendship, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it. My task is not to seek for fortune, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it. My task is not to seek for energy, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have …

Climbing the Mountain

Today was my tenth hike up this mountain. It is a 1567 foot climb in elevation, a 4 mile loop. It’s hard for me to climb this mountain. I am 50 lbs. overweight. I have asthma. I am not yet as fit as I want to be. But I did it. And that makes me feel really good. Not everyone climbed a mountain today.  But I did. One day I may be one of those people who run up this mountain, or one of the ones who can carry a conversation right up to the top, or one of the ones who appear to barely break a sweat. But right now, I am the one stopping every few minutes to catch her breath. I am the one letting others pass. I am the one wondering if my legs will give out. I am the one stopping to use my inhaler. I am also the one taking in every ounce of refreshment from that cool breeze, and I am, quite possibly, one of the most grateful …

Critic, move on

I had just sat down to write in my journal, but my thoughts were scattered and I was starting to feel pressured by the clock. I only had 45 minutes before I needed to leave. I hadn’t writen anything today.  I was thinking I should, but I didn’t. I was down on myself for “wasting” the morning away. “I’m a f**king idiot who has nothing to offer.”  That’s what I just heard myself tell myself.  WTF?  What am I going to do with the merciless judge and jury in my head? Should I sit here and try to gather evidence that I am worthwhile? Should I debate the point? Should I make a list of my good qualities and try to convince myself that I actually do helpful and meaningful things and some people like me. I am not an idiot. And I do have something to offer. But for some reason, this inspector general is never satisfied. It always wants more. More more more more more more more. Should I distract myself from this …

Today I’ll defer to the dog

  My inner critic has run amuck, haranguing me with disapproval. I am resisting its critique of my worthiness and capabilities. Then I remember, don’t resist. What you resist persists. Observe without attachment. Observe without attachment. But I have attached and internalized its assessment of me. I’ve got to shake this mood. Take a walk. I grab the leash. The dog is so happy he knocks himself over with his exuberant tail wagging. We take off down the street–a mile and a half round the corner, up the hill and back. The sun is shining. The weather is perfect. We both feel good and happy and fulfilled. I am back to work. He naps on the floor beside me. For the rest of the day, I’ll defer to the dog’s judgment of my worthiness. He thinks I’m pretty spiffy. What else do I need? Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Post 

Frustrated? Take a gratitude break.

First published on Huffington Post, June 25, 2013. Is there someone in your life whose mere presence drives you crazy? Has a certain situation got you all stirred up, but you’re not sure how to fix it? Have you ever been completely convinced you were right, yet no one else seems to care? Yes! Yes! And yes! We’ve all been there. And how do we usually handle it when we are bothered and frustrated and can’t seem to shake it off? Maybe some of these strategies sound familiar: We play out the complaint, the conversation, or the annoying behavior in our minds repeatedly. We bitch and moan to anyone who will listen until they agree with our point of view. We try to fix the problem by analyzing every detail, every possible scenario. We have an imaginary conversation with the object of our discontent — a few hundred times — until we are convinced we know how it is all going to play out. While these strategies may make us feel good for a moment …

Don’t Think. Get Up!

First published on Huffington Post, January 2, 2013. Where do you fall with the New Year’s resolutions question? Are you a fan? There is certainly an argument to be made that resolutions are not particularly effective or that they assume we need to be different than we are — thinner, better, richer, wiser — to be happy or feel fulfilled. I agree that it is easy to miss the mark when setting New Year’s resolutions, but I can’t resist the temptation to set them. I love any opportunity for a fresh start. I keep my resolutions affirmative. My aim is not to resolve to be better than I am, but to be as good as I am — allowing myself to grow into my divine purpose and potential. As I set my goals, I include an intention, affirming the qualities I am willing to be. My goals look something like this: Goal: I am developing a habit of daily exercise and healthy, conscious eating. Intention affirmation: I am fit, healthy, and beautiful. Goals like this work for …

Mindful Anger Management

First published on Huffington Post on May 3, 2012 The other day I was driving down the road feeling peaceful and happy. Life was good. All was right with the world. As I signaled to change lanes, the driver next to me wouldn’t let me in, and impulsively, I reacted. I yelled sarcastically, “Thanks a lot!” Then I called her a name. I proceeded to get angrier because I missed my turn. Then I paused and observed how ridiculous I was — in two seconds I had gone from joyful and content to angry and yelling at a stranger. Have you had a similar experience? Have you ever snapped at someone because the perfect order of your world unexpectedly went awry? We all have our strategies for dealing with anger — some healthier than others. When we unconsciously lash out at people, it can be hurtful to both them and us — or just plain embarrassing. Recently His Holiness the Dalai Lama had this to say about anger: “The first drawback of anger is that it …

How I Broke All the Rules — But Still Quit Smoking

First published on Huffington Post  on September 3, 2011 I was a smoker for 28 years. This month I celebrated one year smoke free. Even though I tried to quit many times before — probably 20 to 30 times in the last 10 years — this time felt different. This time it stuck. If you are struggling to gain your freedom from cigarettes, I hope I can give you a few new tactics to try. This is what made the difference for me, once and for all. In many of my past attempts, I tried the usual tips and tricks. I set a quit date, threw out the ashtrays and elicited support from friends and family, but in the end the standard methods didn’t bring me success. So this last time, I broke nearly every rule but still managed to quit. So what made the difference? I finally challenged the belief that I needed a cigarette. “I need a cigarette.” Smokers say or think this all the time in any number of ways. If I …