The Heart of the Matter
September 21, 2010
The Phoenix of Love


A few weeks ago, my wife and I had a big fight. A doozy. If you're married -- or ever were -- I'm sure you've had at least one of these. Probably more.

You think you're right. They think they're right. You attack, they deflect. They attack, you deflect. You get hopeless. They get hopeless. And both of you -- self-appointed judges in a court of your own creation -- feel diminished, abused, blamed, hurt, and misunderstood.

The love? Out the window. The window? Stuck in a half-closed position.

Whenever I'm embroiled in this weirdness and manage to come out the other side, I get humbled -- all concepts of myself as a conscious, loving human being now completely blown to smithereens.

And yet... no matter how painful the experience, something good always comes out of it. A phoenix rises from the ashes.

Like the list below, for example -- my wishes for Evelyne and, by extension... for you, me, and the other 6.5 billion people on planet Earth.

THE PHOENIX OF LOVE: My Wishes for You

1. Gratitude every day

2. Deep inner peace, especially during tough times

3. Kindness


4. Patience

5. Forgiveness

6. The courage to be yourself

7. Rest and renewal

8. The vision to see God in everyone

9. Letting go of self-righteousness

10. Simplicity and ease

11. The willingess to let go of worry and doubt

12. Allowing yourself to be nurtured

13. More fun

14. Plenty of time to do nothing

15. Spaciousness

16. Heartfelt self-expression

17. Health and vitality

18. Moving through the tasks of your life as if you were a dancer

19. Relating to each person you talk to as if they were the only person on earth at that moment


20. Laughter from your core

21. Appreciation of your family

22. A "live and let live" mindset

23. Waking up each day with gladness

24. Humility

25. The experience of community

26. Full responsibility for your own projections

27. Trust

28. Honoring all of the teachers in your life, past and present

29. Slowing down, going deeper

30. The ability to order a very rich dessert in your favorite restaurant without enrolling someone to share it with you

31. A wi-fi connection whenever you want

32. The end of lower back pain

33. Living the St. Francis Prayer without making a big deal of it

34. Knowing you are loved

35. Good sushi within a five-mile radius

36. Appreciation of other people's "spiritual path" -- with absolutely no judgment

37. Foot massages

38. Fresh air

39. Understanding what Krishna meant when he said: "The world is an illusion, but you have to act as if it's real."

40. Random acts of kindness

41. Nights on the town

42. The ability to be alone, but not lonely


43. Accepting the aging process with dignity and delight

44. Fabulous dinners with friends

45. Nights in front of the fire

46. Having no regrets

47. Cranking up the music

48. Not judging your kids for texting or being on Facebook

49. Seeing the blessing in every challenge that comes your way

50. Loving yourself when you look in the mirror

51. Not having to look in the mirror to love yourself

52. New adventures

53. Endless learning

54. Giving up complaint

55. A dependable plumber

56. Snow angels!

57. Working smarter, not harder

58. Looking up at the stars

59. Never going to bed angry

60. Being happy for other people's successes

61. Realizing you are everything and nothing both at the same time

62. Unconditional love


63. Reframing aging as "becoming an elder" instead of "getting old"

64. Weekends in exotic places

65. Someone else to wash the dishes

66. Enjoying the poetry of Rumi, Kabir, and Hafiz

67. Did I mention foot massages?

68. The commitment to immerse in the projects that most fascinate you

69. Deep listening

70. Longer vacations

71. Reaching out to those less fortunate than you

72. Holding hands with someone you love

73. Taking on an impossible project -- and making it happen

74. Really good chocolate

75. Unforgettable celebrations

76. Going beyond your limiting assumptions

77. The discipline that comes from love, not duty

78. Spontaneous generosity

79. One remote for all your electronics

80. A hot bath on a cold night

81. Wonderful surprises


82. The laughter of children

83. Realizing you have enough

84. Timelessness

85. Understanding this quote: "When you're on the path it's a mile wide, when you're off it, it's razor thin."

86. Giving flowers to absolute strangers

87. A wardrobe you love

88. Resilience

88. Making a clear distinction between longing and desire

89. No fear of death

90. Dancing around the living room for no particular reason

91. Howling at the moon

92. Knowing how to say "no" without being negative

93. Completing what you came here to do

94. Experiencing life as a beautiful play

95. Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies

96. Forgiving everyone who has ever wronged you

97. Passion

98. Compassion

99. The peace that passes all understanding

100. Sweet watermelon on a summer day



Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at September 21, 2010 10:01 PM


i suggest you both try to sit down and practice together. but in general, it's best to sit down and practice as soon as it starts to feel like a conflict is brewing...thus avoiding the storm altogether.!!!

Posted by: sanfranciscojim1 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 22, 2010 10:30 PM

i think if a conflict is brewing, why not discuss it, rather than sit down to practice.

Posted by: Jaimo [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 26, 2010 11:41 PM

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Welcome to Mitch Ditkoff's blog about what's really important in this life: Peace, gratitude, love, joy, clarity, and the effort required to wake up and smell the roses. Enjoy!

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