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Holy wow, do I have a list for you today!

Cupcakes.

I call these “grown up cupcakes”: dark chocolate with buttercream frosting. I added peppermint chips on top because it was Christmas. Every time I make these, I think of the zenhabits.net post that Leo Babauta wrote, “The Quiet Theory of Influence,” in which he says “Imagine owning a muffin shop. If the muffins are commonplace, you’ll have to advertise and do some ‘guerilla marketing’ to get customers. But if your muffins make people roll their eyes in ecstasy, they will tell the world of your deliciousness, and the world will pound on your muffin-scented door.” Or in this case, cupcake-scented.

Review, Reflect, and Resolve: Being Able to Start Again

Today, I am starting this process. My plan is to go through all the practices and worksheets I mentioned the other day, and distill them into a list that works, specifically for me.  At first, because it’s just how/who I am, I thought I would do all of them: “do all the reviews!” Then I thought maybe I could pick a few of my favorites, but finally decided I like the magic and possibility of reading through them all and selecting the questions and strategies that stood out, spoke to me, sparkled. Some things I know I’ll be doing is reviewing my journals from this past year (skimming, there’s just too much to actually read), coming up with a reading list for 2012, and personalizing the day planner Eric got me for Christmas, in which he wrote “Jill’s guide to the best year ever!”

Great Presents.

For the past few years, my nieces have sent me the cutest mugs.  Here’s this year’s offering:

Eric made me two terrariums. My grandma kept African Violets, and when I did my releasing ceremony on the Winter Solstice, towards the end of the burn, there was part of the fire that was the exact color of the one Eric gave me. I’d never seen fire burn that color.

And Eric really liked the book I made him, “The Story of Us.” He said it reminded him of Post Secret or Found Magazine, two of our favorite projects. Most of it is too personal to post about, but here’s one of the Blackout Poems I “wrote” that I am especially proud of, “Beyond the Horizon.”

belonging
a sense of being rooted
a memory profound, sacred
within space that is desire
a living source of the present.

We live
one to another,
the memory of a horizon that is not closed off.

New Music: Parachute Youth, “Can’t Get Better Than This.”

I plan to listen once, and then I find myself hitting “replay” ten times.

Cool Sites Whose Mission is to Find and Share the Cool Stuff.

Here’s just two of them:

The Cool Hunter,” (where I first saw the above video). On their “about us” page, they explain that their site “celebrates creativity in all of its modern manifestations…what’s cool, thoughtful, innovative and original.”

Kirtsy“: This site’s “about” statement says “Kirtsy is just like that friend who always finds the best stuff. Only better…art, design, products, pins, photos, and projects…curated by some of the most interesting people online.”

100 Ways

100 Ways to Live a Better Life” and “100 Ways to Screw Up Your Life.” Which list looks more like your life?

Deva Cards

This originally came to me from Susannah Conway’s most recent “Something for the Weekend” post, (in fact, lots of things from my “Something Good” posts come from her–she’s amazing). Hiro Boga shares these cards on her website. I tried it, because I love divination: picking a random line from a sacred text, tarot readings, throwing I-Ching coins, dream interpretation, Q-Cards qcasting, or any such oracle through which the universe might send me a message.

So, I typed my intention, “I intend to rest and restore,” shuffled the cards, and got the word “Transformation.”

I had to think a bit about what that might mean for me, and then it came to me, like a lighting bolt: my guiding word for the next year is “retreat.” I was feeling a bit sad the other day, thinking about words other people had selected, things like “brave,” “leap,” “shine,” “manifest,” “adventure,” and even “conquer.” I wanted to have an exciting word too.  Retreat? That’s boring, dull.

But, transformation? This word reminded me why “retreat” is exactly the right word. Every butterfly is first a pupa in a cocoon–fat, soft, round, vulnerable, and completely still. You simply cannot transform and grow wings without that time in stasis, and therefore, you must retreat if you are looking to transform. Yes, I might feel a bit sad or even embarrassed by my blobby, fat, slow self while the rest of the world is happily crawling around chewing on stuff, or floating in the sky on their beautiful wings, but I have to remember I am exactly where I should be, things are unfolding just as they should. It is right, true, and completely natural.

Just like savasana pose in yoga, this quiet and stillness and surrender is necessary to integrate the body and mind with the practice, to assimilate and process the practice into an embodied whole.  In the same way, off the mat, deep change needs a balance of deep rest and contemplation to allow our innate wisdom to work, for integration to happen.

Shit Girls Say

I might be offended by these, if I weren’t laughing so hard.

The Universe Says “Yes,” Again.

Chris Guillebeau, author of “The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World” and organizer the World Domination Summit (which I get to attend this year), mentioned one of my posts in his most recent blog post, “2011 Annual Review: Looking Forward.” Needless to say, my blog has gotten a lot of extra hits today. I write this blog for other reasons, but it’s still nice to be noticed sometimes–really nice.

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