Join us in Chicago on December 29th for a Burning Bowl experience! Move into 2020 with receptivity and the space to amplify creativity and aliveness. Then on January 7th and February 4th House of Bodhi with Lola Wright will be at City Winery. Visit bodhicenter.org to reserve your space at all three events!
In this season of “best-of” lists and Oprah’s favorite things, Lola takes a different approach this episode and shares five of her least favorite things. Like: running yourself ragged to keep up with the holiday hustle and bustle! Lola’s least favorite things list will remind you to prioritize your well-being, rest, reflection, and genuine connection with others.
“I think it’s a really important time of year to be in reflection. It’s a great time of year to be considering: what am I ready to let go of?”
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For more information on Bodhi Center, please visit us at bodhicenter.org.
For more information on Lola Wright, please visit her at lolawright.com.
This podcast is electronically transcribed. Please excuse any errors or omissions.
Lola Wright: Bodhi Center has a bunch of great events coming up that we would love to see you at. On December 29th we are holding a burning bowl here in Chicago. There will be a guided meditation and a multisensory experience created by myself and the incredible Shannon Harris who is a beautiful Sonic healer in the city. We will be creating an environment intended to support you in the release and renewal of that which you want to leave behind and that which you are ready to create. So that the calendar year maybe completed consciously and powerfully, we will literally be burning that old ish together and creating space for all the good in the upcoming year. Then on January 7th and February 4th House of Bodhi will be at City Winery in Chicago’s West loop neighborhood. Join us for this super potent evening supported by the ridiculous sounds of the Bodhi House Band, an inspiring message, a powerful meditation and incredible guest artists and leaders that come through. You may reserve your spot for all of these upcoming experiences by visiting bodhicenter.org
Lola Wright: You are more than this meat suit. A feeling lasts 90 seconds. Awakening is for the many, not the few. Hello and welcome to, And This Is Bodhi, I’m your host Lola Wright. On today’s episode I want to create a kind of counter exploration to Oprah’s favorite things. For years we have enjoyed her list of her favorite gift ideas and while it can be fun and inspiring and you know, certainly satisfies the one in me that loves stuff. I thought it could be fun to explore my least favorite things. I realized that a least favorite thing list, like come on, keep it holiday light. We want to hear about the fun and I think it’s a really important time of year to be in reflection. It’s a great time of year to be considering what am I ready to let go of both seasonally and as I move into this upcoming year.
Lola Wright: So let’s let Oprah focus on her favorite things and if it’s okay with you, I love to share about my least favorite things. Ready? Number one: Running yourself ragged to keep up with the holiday hustle. Oh my goodness. It is so tempting to do all the things on your calendar. Many of us have lots of invitations. There’s a sort of scurry energy that can take us over and it can have a real impact on our physical body and our emotional body. My least favorite thing this time of year is to run myself ragged. It’s unfriendly, it’s unkind, and it actually has a kind of counterproductive outcome. This is a time for deep restoration. This is a time for deep reflection. It’s the season of darkness to turn within, to go into a kind of hibernation and to really do a kind of inventory about what matters to you.
Lola Wright: Number two: Suppressing your true self to fit in with family and friends. One of my least favorite things for you and for me is to suppress my self-expression. You know, when we are going to lots of social gatherings or family functions, we have these kinds of roles that we can feel the need to fit into. You know, Oh, my family prefers me when I am this way. Like I know for me, I feel like I’ve constantly navigated both my own narrative and it certainly has gotten affirmed in my family of origin that I’m just too much. I’m too loud, I’m too opinionated, I’m too free, and so I can sort of mold into a socially acceptable version of myself. Now, look, I’m not saying that there’s not great value in being sensitive of the environments that you and I are in for sure there is.
Lola Wright: If I realize that you know, certain family members have a limited capacity for me in all my glory, I can be sensitive to that. I can be mindful of that and I am unwilling to dishonor myself and my brilliance and my beauty and my power and my voice so that others can feel comfortable. Just watch for that tendency in you as we wind down this calendar year and set ourselves up for the upcoming year. How often are you willing to sell yourself out to suppress your true self, to get the validation and the affirmation of others? I promise you when I tell you, allowing and accepting and appreciating yourself as you are is one of the most attractive qualities, one of the most magnetic ways of being.
Lola Wright: Number three on my list of least favorite things: Guilting yourself for having fun and letting loose. I am talking to you, my productivity junkies.
Lola Wright: Maybe it looks like having fun and letting loose. Maybe it looks like relaxing. We had a kind of compulsivity to busy-ness and productivity and so as the holidays invite us to slow down and to enjoy being with ourself and others, we can sometimes tend to get a little uptight like, “Oh, I need to be checking my email.” Oh, I’m sort of unconsciously monitoring social media and comparing myself to others. Those are all numbing techniques to avoid feeling the void, the void of busy-ness. When you and I allow ourselves to have more time and space for rest and play, it can oftentimes feel super unfamiliar. My husband and I navigate this regularly. You know, we work for ourselves. There’s nobody telling us what we better do. And so when we start to slow things down and become present to ourselves, one another, our kids, it used to be much more difficult.
Lola Wright: There used to be this constant kind of voice like, Ooh, you’re not doing enough. You’re not doing enough. You’re not doing enough. How is the money gonna come in? How are we going to pay the bills? And that’s really just the ego doing what it does. The ego exists for a kind of self protection and it serves us in many ways. And when I forget that, that’s just the mind, the ego state, the identity looking out for me, I can find myself in a trance. When I remember, I can say, Oh honey, thank you. Thank you for looking out for me. Thank you for worrying how I’m going to pay my mortgage in January and February and March. I have such appreciation for you and I’m good. I know that resting and playing are as valuable to that which I’m creating in the world as my productivity.
Lola Wright: Rest and play are your friends, I promise. So stop guilting yourself for having fun and letting loose.
Lola Wright: Number four on my least favorite things list: Spending money that you don’t have on holiday outfits and gifts and just trying to keep up. Getting seduced by consumerism and thinking more really is better. Your good is right where you are. You are the gift, I promise, and it is fun to give. It is fun to buy. It can give us a kind of hit. There’s a kind of adrenaline rush that we actually get in the process of shopping, but when you and I go unconscious, it begins to lose its luster. Just buying for the sake of buying or spending for the sake of spending. It actually can leave a kind of hangover effect. So really ask yourself as your in this process of shopping and spending, “Do I have complete alignment as I purchased this gift or am I doing this out of some kind of obligation?”
Lola Wright: One of my favorite games to play with gift-giving is to walk around my house and find beautiful objects that I no longer enjoy and that someone else may really enjoy. You have so many things in your own possession already that could be re gifted. Number one that’s incredibly friendly to the environment, far more creative and super conscious of your pocketbook. It doesn’t make you cheap. It actually makes you crafty, smart, creative. I oftentimes have said that, you know, in my tightest money times I have invoked my greatest creativity. If you and I have just big fat piles of cash to spend, it doesn’t require a lot of innovation. It doesn’t require the same level of intentionality. So you can actually create that whether you have a fat stack of cash or you don’t. Look around you. There are ideas that can be re circulated, gifts that can be given.
Lola Wright: My husband is someone who’s like a maker and one of my absolute favorite gifts that I get from him most years are his handmade cards. There’s almost nothing he could buy that could supersede the beauty, the creativity, the thoughtfulness, the ingenuity of his homemade cards. Write a poem, write a letter. Can you imagine receiving a thoughtful letter from someone that you love and appreciate? And that’s the gift. If you notice a kind of empty hole or if you notice a kind of thing, place or space in your being that needs to get filled up by receiving gifts, pay attention to that. Pay attention to the one in you that thinks that things are going to fill you up. They never will, I promise.
Lola Wright: And number five on my least favorite things: Indulging your moods over feeling your feelings. I want to create a little distinction here. It is a powerful distinction that has been life altering for me. You know, I oftentimes cite the work of the conscious leadership group and also the work of Gay and Katie Hendricks. In this practice of feeling your feelings. It is sad that feelings only last 90 seconds. They’re like contractions. They move in waves. Feel and release, feel and release. One of the ways we can do that is moving, breathing and vocalizing. So anger comes up. Feel the anger free of words, free of judgments. Just allow it to move through your body. Sadness comes up. Allow it to move through your body. Joy comes up. Allow it to move through your body. Fear comes up. Allow it to move through your body. Creativity comes up, allow it to move through your body. Make a sound that matches what you’re feeling.
Lola Wright: When you and I do not give place in space to feel our feelings, they calcify in our body and we become moody. And you know that a moody person is one of the least enjoyable things to be around. So this holiday season, as we move into this new year, pay attention to your tendency to axe out your feeling states, and then watch how susceptible you become to moods. My invitation for you is to feel your feelings. My least favorite thing is when you and I indulge our moods. It’s not good for us, it doesn’t feel friendly to the body and it’s not fun for others to be around. You and I know that.
Lola Wright: And finally, if it’s okay, I would like to provide a bonus of one of my most favorite things. So my most favorite thing this holiday season is you. Trust yourself. Listen to your internal guidance system, honor yourself, see your innocence. I just want to keep reminding you and I over and over and over again.
Lola Wright: You are glorious demonstration in this vast universe. There is no one that can do life like you can do life. You literally have pressed in to this dimension of time and space incoded with a unique purpose. You are here on a soul’s appointment. If you do not honor and celebrate and love and appreciate and invest in you, no one else will look for opportunities to see your innocence. As you invest in loving yourself, you become far more able to perceive the love and the innocence in others. It is this very, very basic practice: Change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. When you and I focus on our deficiencies, we become hawks for deficiencies and others. When you and I focus on our brilliance, we develop a muscle that enables us to see the brilliance in others.
Lola Wright: All right, so I’m gonna just do a quick review, right? We have five items on my least favorite things and one bonus item. You ready? Number one on my least favorite things list is running yourself ragged. You just don’t need to do that. Be friendly to your body, be friendly to your spirit, be friendly to your mind. Number two, on my least favorite things list is suppressing your true self to fit in. You do not need to suppress you. You are glorious, extraordinary as you are. Allow the world to see that. Number three on my least favorite things list: Guilting yourself for having fun. Getting in the way of your own rest and play. I promise you rest in play will serve you. There’s all the time in the world to be productive. Number four, on my least favorite things list: Spending money that you don’t have. Don’t do that to yourself. It creates a kind of hangover and upset, an uneasiness that impacts all of you. It’s so not worth it. And number five on my least favorite things list is indulging your moods. Again, allow yourself to feel your feelings, but that’s actually a pretty quick process and if you give yourself place in space to do that, it won’t become untenable. And again, my bonus item, that is my favorite thing this holiday season is the brilliance that is you
Lola Wright: And speaking of releasing what no longer serves you, here are some brilliant folks from the Bodhi community sharing about what they are releasing as we bring this year to a close.
Jaye Ratio: My name is Jaye Ratio and I am the coordinator of community engagement at Bodhi Center. And what I am releasing is attachment. I have walked my 31 years of life on this planet fully attached to how interactions should go, to how relationships should it be, to how things that work must be the certain way. And it’s fine to have expectations and it’s fine to have drive and it’s fine to create a resolution. However, I have created so much suffering in myself when things didn’t go the way I thought they should or interactions didn’t go the way that I had planned that I get mad at myself and I beat myself up and it’s all because of this attachment that I create. And what I’m physically releasing is the last piece of furniture from one of my longterm relationships. It is a symbolic piece of releasing here and now the attachment of what that could have been, what that should have been and how there is so much new freedom and space to be created in this life.
Tyler Greene: I’m Tyler Green and I am Bodhi’s creative producer. In 2020 I am releasing fear around learning new languages, specifically Mandarin, which is my husband’s language. I really love to travel and having fear around learning those languages puts me in a severe disadvantage. I’m releasing my cell phone in my bedroom. If I have my cell phone in my bedroom, I’m sitting there for an hour looking at any number of things that could be a trigger for a wild, crazy mind state that’s not conducive to sleep. No cell phones in the bedroom.
Lola Wright: As always, all of Bodhi’s programming is made possible by our wonderful, generous, incredible supporters. We would love for you to consider supporting this body of work. We’re at the end of the year and year end gifts make all the difference. We are a nonprofit organization. So your giving is tax deductible and I’d love to make one final request that you consider us in your giving practice. You are an abundant being and living in a way that enables you to support work in the world that matters to you is life altering. So again, consider us as a year end gift. You can text the word GIVE to (773) 770-8577 or visit bodhicenter.org/giving. Consider a onetime gift or become one of our monthly contributors.
Lola Wright: So let’s just take a deep breath together. Let’s go into a kind of practice and just see like what’s coming up for you in these last few days of the year as we move into this next calendar year. Take a deep breath if you will, and perhaps bring your eyes closed if you’re in a position to do so.
Lola Wright: So you allow your breath to deepen in your body. Invite your shoulders to fall and your belly to soften. Allow the support of the seat underneath you to hold you fully. Just allow yourself to notice whatever is here now. Just see what are the ways that I’m compromising myself.
Lola Wright: Just notice, have I been in the trance of this season? Have I been running myself ragged? If you’re already there, if you already notice, yep, I’ve been in that trance and you just allow yourself to be exactly as you are. Just acknowledge that I’ve already been doing that and let that be as it is. Just notice the tendency to run and run and run. So you allow the stillness to become more familiar in your body. Just ask yourself the question, in what ways have I been suppressing myself in this run, in this hustle run of the season? Can I just allow myself to be as I am and recommit to myself if only for today. Who I am as I am is good. No need to morph into some other version of me.
Lola Wright: Again, breathing in deeply, just ask yourself, how comfortable am I with the practice of rest and play? Just notice any tendency to compulsively produce. What if you don’t have to say yes to every invitation? What if the greatest gift of this time of year as an intimate conversation between you and another. Could you allow yourself to be in the stillness of rest and play?
Lola Wright: Begin to check in around your relationship with money and with things. Just notice any way of being that has you relate to money and consumerism, to shopping from a state of unconsciousness. Again, this is not an invitation to now make yourself wrong, but just to notice as we become more aware of our ways of being, we can make new choices. Just allow your practices around shopping and money and consumerism to be as they are and invite a little more self-awareness. How might I move through this holiday season more consciously. And finally would I’d be willing to give myself? Would you be willing to give yourself kind of access to your feelings that maybe unfamiliar? Would you be willing to rest in your innocence and your tenderness and say to yourself, all is welcome here. Your anger is welcome here. Your sadness is welcome here. Your fear is welcome here. Your joy is welcome here. Your creativity is welcome here.
Lola Wright: Allow your feelings to move in you. If you notice the desire to perhaps make a sound or a body movement, just allow that to be okay. And finally, give yourself the gift of placing your attention on your higher self or your essence. Relaxing the ego and resting in the brilliance that is you.
Lola Wright: Who you are as you are is good. Would you be willing to appreciate yourself, to love yourself for no reason. Not for what you’ve produced, not for who you’ve become, not for what you provide others, but just for you as you.
Lola Wright: Take a deep breath, begin to perhaps shift your body a little bit in the seat that you’re in. Begin to open your eyes and bring your awareness into this time and space.
Lola Wright: One of the ways that I support myself in staying awake, or remaining conscious, or whatever words you wanna use is by reading. I love to read books that support my wholeness. In my experience, especially when we’re inundated with consumerism through shopping, is that we are so often focused on our deficiencies, what we don’t have or what we need. So for me, a mental hack is to like inundate my psyche with affirming words. The book that’s coming up for me that I love to recommend is sort of a classic, it’s the Journey of Awakening by Ram Dass. So if you’re looking for a book to sink into, I just think the journey of awakening by Ram Dass is a beautiful one. It’s one I’m going to be referencing in the first quarter of the year as I offer a few classes at Bodhi Center. If you’re joining me for those, it’s a great time to get a head start and if you’re not able to join me for one of those two classes, read it alongside, I’ll likely be referencing it quite a bit in the next few months and it’d be a fun way for us to stay connected.
Lola Wright: I’m so grateful to have the launch of this podcast with you over the last couple of months. It has been a huge gift for me. Thank you for being a part of this creation. Thank you for being just a most magical partner in this conversation And This Is Bodhi with Lola Wright is a vision fulfilled and I’m grateful that you’ve been on the journey with me. We have so much more good stuff coming in 2020 I’d love to ask you to share this podcast with those in your life. Remember, you are a channel of and for this universe you are not some random touch point in existence. You really are here with a unique idea of and for your life. I know that. Trust the vision that moves through you, trust the nudges that you get, you are worthy of trusting. As always, I would love to hear from you about your experience with our meditation practice or with one of the books I’ve recommended.
Lola Wright: What are you noticing? Shifting, moving, opening, expanding in you. Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can know what you’re up to and find me on Instagram and Facebook @lolapwright. And if you don’t already follow Bodhi, follow Bodhi @bodhichicago. B O D H I Chicago. As a reminder, Bodhi Center’s work is funded by you, by people who participate in Bodhi programs and are supported by them. I mean, for example, you listened all the way through this episode. You probably found something in here that was a value to you that was inspiring and nourishing. I want you to help sustain this work and everything we’re creating in the future. Live experiences like House of Bodhi with Lola Wright, our burning bowl on December 29th, and so much other good stuff. You can text the word GIVE to (773) 770-8577 or visit bodhicenter.org/giving. We would love for you to give a one time gift and or become one of our monthly contributors. I’m your host, Lola Wright. This podcast is produced by Katie Klocksin with editorial guidance from Bodhi’s creative producer Tyler Greene. Music in this episode came from Blue Dot Sessions. Our theme music is by independent music producer Trey Royal. Make way for the new, there’s so much good ahead.
Lola Wright: Oh, I need to be checking my email.