Daily Archives: January 15, 2012

Day of Rest

On this day of rest, I am reminded of a video that caused a shift in me: Brene’ Brown‘s TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.” The TED website describes it this way (TED = Technology, Entertainment, Design), “Brene’ Brown studies human connection–our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.”

I heard Brene’ talk about this video recently, and she said that if she’d had any idea how many people would actually see it, fear might have gotten in the way and she might not have said all that she said. I’m glad she didn’t know, I’m glad that she showed the power of vulnerability by allowing herself to be vulnerable. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look. If you have, it’s worth a return look.

Here’s wishing that on this day of rest, you can let go of feeling like you need to perform, or please, or be perfect, that you can feel a sense of love and belonging, simply for being who you are, just as you are.

Wishing you ease, peace, love and rest.

Timeline

As I was working on cataloging my journals yesterday, I made a timeline, to track back when this particular change in me and my life began. I started writing the blog five months ago, and this life-rehab can sometimes feel like it happened just as recently, but THIS exact shift has been happening for at least three years, like water wearing away at a stone–freezing and thawing, dripping, rushing over and past, slowly changing its shape, causing cracks where the light gets in.

Image: Evgeni Dinev, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Some highlights from the timeline:

2007: Therapy. Shambhala Training. Meditation practice.

2008: Yoga. Fitness trainer.

2009: Obi and Kelly diagnosed with cancer the same week. Obi starts chemotherapy. Obi’s cancer goes into remission. Warrior Assembly at Shambhala Mountain Center. Obi’s cancer comes back and we make the decision to stop chemotherapy. Kelly’s cancer comes back too. Obi dies in November.

2010: Major changes to my job, a long and difficult situation finally is resolved. We get Sam. Kelly passes away and I fly to Kentucky for her memorial service. I do a one day writing retreat with a friend that reminds me who I am, what I have always wanted. I restart a daily writing practice. We spend a month in Waldport, Oregon at the beach. I do a weekend online meditation retreat with Pema Chödrön, “Smile at Fear.”

2011: I take a few meditation classes to reestablish my sitting practice. Once a month for four months, I take a day long creative non-fiction writing workshop. Publish an article about Kelly. Join an Artist’s Way group and finally finish the book, having started it the first time ten years ago. 10 years at Colorado State University. WILD writing group starts to meet. Yoga Nidra & Loving-Kindness workshop with Ed & Deb Shapiro, 30 days of unlimited Yoga classes at Old Town Yoga Studio, and Yoga Immersion workshop shift Yoga to a true practice, (no longer just exercise). 25 year high school reunion, (I don’t go). Start a book couple with a friend, reading Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown. EClasses: Mondo Beyondo, Superhero Photo, and Ordinary Courage. First blog post.

This gradual building, this wave of energy that ripples out into every part of my life, is illustrated by the “bar graph” of my journals–those places where I take notes, record events, vent my feelings, list ideas, doodle, dream and remember and plan.

And this timeline, this review of things reminds me also that true change happens slowly, like water wearing away at a rock, and even then, the basic truth of me–my wisdom and compassion, my calling–doesn’t ever change, it remains constant and the same.

Small Stone: Day Fifteen

Small Stone: My Journals

Yesterday, I worked on cataloging my journals from the past ten years (a project I’d started earlier but never finished), putting book plates with date ranges in the covers, reading various passages, and stacking and organizing them by date. I showed Eric, noting how interesting it was that the piles from the last few years got increasingly taller, and how many of the ones from 2001-2009 weren’t completely full, still had empty, blank pages. He said it looked like a bar graph.


What I noticed most–besides how much more I am writing now, after struggling with writer’s block for decades–is something I notice when I reread posts from this blog: my struggles don’t really change that much over time, and even as I struggle, there is so much wisdom there. I like to imagine the real change, the one the “bar graph” illustrates, is the increase in compassion I’ve applied to the process. What I’d like to think is that the real change is I am kinder to myself, more present and a better friend. This isn’t just a small stone, it’s more like a whole river bed of rocks.

TL;DR: I catalog my journals from the past ten years and notice that while I still struggle with many of the same things, I have wisdom, I am kinder, and I am writing more and more.