Daily Archives: December 7, 2012

Gratitude Friday


gnome door at lee martinez park, where I walk with the dogs

1. Last week of classes at Colorado State University. I am not lying when I say that I had an awesome class, a great group of students this semester, funny and smart and creative, but there comes a moment when you are done, you are ready for it to be over, and I think that moment was two weeks ago…

2. Sherry Richert Belul, founder of Simply Celebrate. The compassion and generosity she has shown me has left me gobsmacked so many times. We haven’t yet been lucky enough to meet in person, and still she continues to extend such kindness to me. Her personal audio notes and her laugh are some of the best things ever. I am humbled by and grateful for her presence in my life, and a little unsure of how to really thank her.

3. Homemade cookies. 

4. Snow in the forecast. Not sure if it will actually happen, but I’m ready for it, and we could use it (it’s so dry). It makes everything so cozy, and will make it seem more real that Christmas is not that far away.

5. My iPod. I have really been enjoying it lately, appreciating being able to trick myself into turning off the “big computer” in the evening because I could always check my email or facebook on my iPod if I really needed to, playing silly games, apps, Instagram, being able to listen to a podcast while I put away laundry.

Bonus Joy: Yet another week with my sweet Dexter.


#Reverb12: Day 6



The full prompt: If you could change one thing that happened this year, what would it be? Why? (Author: Linar Studio)

I am a person who typically doesn’t have regrets. I understand the value of my experiences, good and bad. I don’t spend a lot of time wishing that things were different. I’d rather spend my energy accepting and working with what is. I am usually able to forgive myself for my missteps, be gentle, laugh about it even–eventually.

But, if I really had the power to change one thing, my Dexter wouldn’t have cancer, wouldn’t be dying. And If I couldn’t change that, I’d make sure he at least hadn’t suffered because of it, so no bloody scare, no weeks of belly issues while we adjusted the one medication we could give him, the one thing that might help him feel a little better. And if I couldn’t change that, I’d change the fact that he had to reverse sneeze so much at the beginning, because he’s the sort of dog that runs out of the room when anyone sneezes, gets worried when someone chokes or coughs or gags, and he hated being the one doing it, not being able to stop.



The full prompt: What were some of your mantras from 2012 and how did you come by them? Will they remain the same for next year – if not, what new ones will you set?

dreamwithfeathers My message from the Universe, by way of Andrea Scher, the idea that all I needed to do was clear some space and watch the magic unfold.

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, a sanskrit mantra which invokes Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. I heard someone say that sometimes the obstacle needing removed is yourself, and ever since, it stuck with me. I find myself chanting it silently, spontaneously, trying to get out of my own way.

This from Susan Piver, “Confidence is the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.”

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” ~Mary Anne Radmacher.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.



“Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.” ~Osho

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman

“We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.” ~Pema Chödrön


All these mantas, prayers, truths will go with me into the new year. There are so many more, collected and contemplated, written on my bones, but these are the main ones.

The one that I will be leaving behind is: “I’m so tired. I’m so tired. I’m so tired. I’m so tired.” ~Me

Favorite Gift

The full prompt: What was your favourite gift given and/or received in 2012? Who was the recipient, who was the giver? What was it for (an event, holiday or just because)? Was the gift tangible or something else (i.e. support in a hard situation or laughter when it was most needed)?

My favorite gift I received was a marble from my friend. We were attending a weekend long workshop with Brene’ Brown, and Brene’ told the story of the marble jar. Her daughter’s teacher had a jar in her classroom where she’d put a marble every time the kids did a good thing, and that once the jar was full they got to have a class party. Brene’ had used the example to explain true friendship to her daughter. “Marble jar friends are the kind that keep putting marbles of trust and encouragement, reciprocity and boundaries, and all those good friend type things, into your metaphorical friendship jar,” (description from The Scent of Water: Marble Jar Friends). The next morning, when I went to pick up my friend, she gave me a marble.

My favorite gift I fave was a journal for that same marble jar friend for her birthday. I filled it with pictures, inspiring quotes, and writing prompts. I loved making it, and it made me so happy to see how much she liked it, that she understood it was a gift that was intended to communicate how special and precious she is.


the journal is the one with the blue cover, with the jar full of white flowers on the front


The full prompt: What can you do to add ease to 2012?

  • Meditate regularly
  • Get enough rest, sleep and relaxation
  • Eat good food
  • Move more
  • Be less busy, less speedy
  • Spend lots of time in nature, in quiet, in stillness
  • Pay close attention, be mindful
  • Be kind and gentle, to myself and others
  • Let go of judgement and criticism
  • Stop smashing myself to bits
  • Stop struggling, resisting, running away
  • Relax, breathe, let go, surrender
  • Let love and joy in
  • Keep my heart open

Learning, Discovery

The full prompt: Compare the “you” from the beginning of 2012 to the “you” that you are now. What new skills or talents have you learned or discovered this year?

I am braver, am actively practicing and cultivating courage. I ask for help. I make contact, speak up instead of being frozen by my fear or sense of unworthiness. I offer my help. I say what I think, what I feel, what is true. I have a voice, I let it be heard. I love even though I know I will be hurt, I keep my heart open even when it’s hard. I stay with what’s happening instead of numbing out, resisting, or running away.

I reach out and connect with total strangers. I haven’t lost my mind, I don’t leave my front door wide open or anything like that, but I’m not as timid as I used to be. Today when I was walking across campus, I saw a women wearing boots, and carrying a basket with yet another pair of boots. I asked her, “I really have to know: why the extra pair of boots?” That might not seem like a big deal to some people, but it was huge for me. I send emails, make comments, invite interaction, go to a conference with 1000 attendees by myself–where a year ago I would have remained silent, hidden.

I am beginning to honor my own worth, to know that I have value, that I am enough as I am. I don’t have to earn love, I don’t have to change how I am. Who I am is my power: my genuine nature, my gentleness, my generosity, my goofiness. I am weird, but that is exactly what is so awesome about me. I am a beautiful, brilliant mess.


#Reverb12: Day 5

reverb12 Kind and gentle reader, this week has been nutty goo goo. It’s the last week of classes here at Colorado State University, so I have been in the thick of grading, meetings, tying up loose strings and putting out fires. A few things had to be postponed, which is why I haven’t reverbed for two days, and why I’ll be publishing multiple posts today as I catch up. Yes, I could just skip them, but like I said before they are way too much fun.


The full prompt is: Who have you taken for granted? Write to them a handwritten letter expressing how you truly feel about them. Then mail it. (Author: Linar Studio)

This might sound like a strange answer, but I have taken my body for granted. When I first started working on this prompt, I had every intention of writing the letter, scanning it, and sharing it here. But I wasn’t too far into it before I realized that it was too personal, too private, and way too long to share.

My body is a precious thing, but I have for so long ignored and denied and abused it. It is an awful, ugly, messy business. The apology has been made more than once, earnestly and wholeheartedly, but as with any relationship where trust has been broken, the restoration is going to take time. I have to prove that I’m not going to break my promises. I have to stop saying “I love you” and start proving it.

Brave Belly

Letting Go

The full prompt is: For next year, I’m letting go of…

  • Busyness. I have no idea how I am actually going to do this, because I am a doer, I go go go, I want to do all the things, do/be more, do/be better–but I am finding that way of being is no longer sustainable, healthy, or even productive.
  • Smashing myself to bits. Again, not sure how this is going to work, because I’ve been trying already, but it needs to happen, so I’ll keep trying.
  • Letting what other people say or think (or what I think they think, even though I can’t possibly know for sure) stop me. If I have confidence, an open heart, and am doing the work I feel called, compelled to do, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks. I am not trying to be popular or to fit in or get rich, that isn’t the point at all, so I can let go of caring or worrying about it.
  • Stuff, lots and lots of stuff. I mean physical things here, the clutter and nonsense and mess that has accumulated in my life. If I don’t use it or love it, I am going to let it go, clear out some space.
  • Shame and regret. These have never served me, never added any value to my life, so buh bye.
  • Judgement and criticism. This one is quite possibly the stickiest of them all, maybe the one at the heart of the rest, but I am going to try.

Don’t Forget

The full prompt: Five things you do not want to forget from 2012? List out 5 things you do not want to forget from this past year, and write a bit about why you do not wish to forget…

dexterwithlittled If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know my Dexter is dying. There’s a good chance he won’t make it into 2013, (although, I am happy if he does). Right now, in this season of goodbying, I am trying to memorize everything about him.

  1. The way he runs back and forth across the kitchen and down the hallway when I am getting his breakfast ready, whining with excitement, tail wagging the whole time.
  2. How much he loves his Little D. How he carries him around in his mouth, looking just like his real baby might, following me down the hallway in the morning to my desk, where he rests by my feet, chewing on Little D’s bones (the beans in his feet). Or how he lures me into the bedroom when I get home from work, gets on the big bed, Little D in his mouth. He runs in circles, shakes him, drops him or even throws him off the bed to let me know it’s my turn. I pick him up, whisper “ready, set, go” while Dexter crouches and stares intently at his boy, catching him and having a little party when I finally throw it.
  3. How when I pet him, he pets me back. He reaches out and rests his paw, curling his toes and pressing them into my arm. If I stop petting, he pats me this way a few times in a row, “more, Mom.”
  4. How I can tell him something and he knows just what I mean. Like “where’s your toy?” (his ears will perk up and he’ll go find it) or when I get ready to go to work and I say “I’m going to work, you have to stay here with Sam” (he’ll run and get in his bed, knowing he’s not going with me), or I can ask “where’s Dad” and he’ll go find him. He knows so many words, understands so much for a boy who can’t speak English.
  5. All the normal things we do, routines we have. Our walks, at almost the exact same time every day, to the same few places, on the same trails. Cleaning up the yard, patrolling the neighborhood, checking for deer or beaver or foxes or cats or other dogs or people doing weird stuff that people shouldn’t be doing, watching out the front window, taking out the trash, yelling at the trash collectors and mail deliverers and little kids walking to school and people walking dogs, sharing food, sitting on the couch watching tv, taking naps, hanging out in the backyard, brushing our teeth, meditating–all of it.


The full prompt: What has been your favorite book (or books if you can’t pick just one) that you’ve read this year?


Dream Destination

The full prompt: What was your dream destination in 2012 and why? It can be a town, city, country or region — real or imaginary — and doesn’t matter if you actually got there or not!

My dream destination wasn’t so much a place as a state of being. I longed this year to get to a place where I would be utterly and completely confident, wise, compassionate, healthy, strong, sane, awake, and at peace. I’m sorry to report, kind and gentle reader, I didn’t quite make it. Maybe next year?