Daily Archives: April 20, 2012

Gratitude Friday

This post is a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.

1. The afterglow of “Fearless Creativity.” It was magic, and it was medicine, and it continues to shine, to soothe me.

2. Photo Editing. This black and white from this weekend makes me look at least ten years younger, and editing makes photography doubly fun–first taking the picture, then playing with it.

3. Older Dexter. At almost nine years old, he is so adorable and sweet and gray, and so much calmer and complacent than he was as a younger man. I want to keep him forever.

4. Young Sam. He is equal parts cute and handsome, playful and calm. I want to keep him forever.

5. Confidence. After so many years without it, it feels incredible.

6. Seeing Eric. Between his conference and my retreat last week, over the course of seven days we only saw each other once, for three hours. Seeing him again was so great. I want to keep him forever.

7. English Department Retreat. I don’t think it’s news to anyone that I don’t always love my paid work. And at yesterday’s retreat, there were moments of eye rolling and tension, but for the most part, it was great to reconnect as a whole department, to dream together about how good things can be, to give support to the suffering that can happen along the way, and to be reminded how funny, smart, creative, and interesting we all are.

8. Ingrid Michaelson concert with a dear friend. My friend and I are both busy, don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like, and when we do, we don’t get to talk as much as we like, so this was a good chance to do that. And, the concert was really good. Seeing Ingrid sing “Ghost” live gave me goosebumps. Her voice is so much bigger and she rocks so much harder than I expected. And, there was a super sweet stranger who had his friends scoot over and who sat by himself on a step, on the floor, so we could sit in regular seats. Dude, wherever you are, I hope you know how awesome you are.

9. The surprise smell of lilacs. They are in crazy bloom right now, all over town, and I keep getting surprised by them, smelling before seeing.

10. Being told I have the perfect mix of comedy and insight.

11. People clapping when I talked about how important it was to value having a healthy whole life, not just “work/life” balance.

12. A message from someone I admire, saying it had been a delight to meet me in person.

13. Unravelling class started, and Telling True Stories continues. And, I have some serious catching up to do with them this weekend.

Q is for Question

image by f/oxymoron

I love a question’s sense of curiosity, its longing to connect and understand, even its doubt, and it’s ability to prompt a response. Even if it’s a question you refuse to answer out loud, even if its asking offends you, you find yourself thinking about it, pondering, wondering, and maybe, eventually, arriving at knowing.

  • an expression of inquiry that invites or calls for a reply; an interrogative sentence, phrase, or gesture
  • to seek, ask, inquire, quiz, query, examine
  • a subject or point open to controversy; an unsettled issue; a point or subject under discussion or being considered; a difficult matter or problem
  • uncertainty, possibility, a feeling or expression of doubt about the truth or validity of something, not knowing

A life coach once told me that the essence of coaching was knowing the right questions to ask, gently guiding clients to their own truth, allowing them to investigate, consider, and arrive at an authentic answer, a personal realization, deep knowing.

image by f/oxymoron

And you, when will you begin that long journey into yourself? ~Rumi

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
~Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

What are you truly hungry for? ~Rachel Cole

What do you long to say with your life? ~Patti Digh

Why am I here? What is my purpose? What is the meaning of all this? ~Every Human Who Has Ever Lived

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? ~The Kid in That Commercial


Danielle LaPorte’s The Burning Question Series: She says, “Generally, I think people should ask more questions. Of themselves. Of each other. Questions are doorways that lead to higher consciousness…or pop culture trivia. Both are good.”

Writing for me is the process of asking questions and searching for answers.

I ask the birds where to find joy, and expect them to know because of their understanding of song and flight.

I ask the fish “how’s the water?” but their only answer is “what’s water?”

Sometimes, the questions are new, different, and unfamiliar. Other times, it’s the same old question, again and again, over and over, never an answer.

image by walknboston

It’s good to be curious, but at times, it’s also good to be silent, to ask for nothing, to be content, where you are, as you are, with reality just as it is. For me, meditation is an opportunity to listen for answers. And when there are no answers, I sit, still and quiet, with the vast, unconditional silence and space that is beyond questions and their answers.