Daily Archives: February 13, 2012

Something Good

:: Well-Fed Woman Mini Retreatshop in Fort Collins, Colorado: next Sunday, February 19th. If you’ve been on the fence about it, buy your ticket today. The feedback from attendees makes it clear it’s not to be missed. Read why it’s so important to me, what Rachel had to say, and what she says on her website about the event.

Update: I just got an email from Rachel that she’s put up a new post about the Retreatshop, pictures and praise. You should go read it, and then buy your ticket!

:: Slim, my new favorite person. Jamie Ridler posted something this weekend about Slim and his Kickstarter book project, (which I am going to contribute to as soon as I get the chance, because I want to read this book).

Seung Chan Lim, better known as Slim, holds a BS in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University where he studied under the late Dr. Randy Pausch [you may have seen his “Last Lecture“]. He also holds an MBA from Point Park University and has recently graduated with an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Slim says about the book:

What is the book about? At the heart of it is an inquiry into the meaning of making. I am deeply interested in how making works (as a process), what it means (to make something), and why it matters (to our lives). One of the central themes is the relationship between the act of empathizing with the act of making. The second theme is exploring how we can design a space that facilitates the act of making: what I call the empathic conversation.

He talks more about these concepts in this video.

You should take some time and look around on Kickstarter, “a new way to fund and follow creativity.” It’s a great idea and there are some really cool projects looking for funding.

:: Taking training walks with Sam. One of the things I am doing to work with Sam’s “issues,” as well as to bond with him and build my confidence, is to take short “Do you see that?” walks. The goal is to train him another way of noticing what he sees on a walk. So, instead of getting up on his hind legs, lunging, barking, yodeling, and slobbering like a crazy Cujo dog, I say “Do you see that?” and he looks at it, then at me and gives me a calming signal (for him, that’s usually licking his lips). I give him a click and a treat as a reward. His default seems to also include sitting in front of me, just to make sure I see that he’s doing what I asked for, doing what will get him the good stuff.

Other than my thumb being sore from feeding him treats (he’s got the mouth of a crocodile when he’s anxious or excited, something else we are working on), I feel pretty good about the work we did today. During our short, 20 minute walk, there were four sets of people and dogs (one off-lead), three cows, three bikes, two runners, and Walking Dude, and Sam figured out pretty quick what he should be doing. Thanks again to Sarah Stremming of Cognitive Canine for all her support and help, (and patience, considering she first suggested this training more than a year ago, and I got lazy).
:: Ani DiFranco at the Aggie Theater. Last time, my friend and I had to drive to Boulder. This time, we could practically walk to the show.

:: Anne Lamott, and more specifically, her “B+ is Just Fine” commencement address. Anne Lamott is right up there for me with Pema Chödrön as a woman who is older and wiser and loving and funny and can always make me feel simultaneously okay just as I am and inspired to be better, to both relax and get off my ass.

:: Making or taking vows. I wrote about his yesterday, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that it’s an important exercise. My most recent vows were easy–already written for me, clearly and lovingly explained by Shastri Dan Hessey, with the ceremony planned and hosted at my local Shambhala Center. As part of the process, we wrote aspirations before each vow. We made lists of what habitual patterns we wanted to purify and dissolve, what characteristics and qualities we wanted to cultivate, and how we would embody and manifest these vows we were taking.

And I’ve been thinking, it’s a good thing to do, no matter who you are or what your beliefs or practices. Write out your vows–how you want your life to look, what you want to be and do, what you pledge and promise. Maybe it’s simply a vow to yourself, or maybe a vow about how you intend to live your life–kind of like New Year’s Resolutions, but more serious, more sacred. And if you are honest, no nonsense, it can be a powerful statement of how you plan to proceed, how you will move through your life, and what you hope to manifest. You can make your own private ceremony and read your vows. If you have someone you trust, you can ask them to be there as a witness. I believe it is a powerful, profound practice, and you might consider doing it for yourself.

:: Cute baby owl, just because.