Monthly Archives: December 2013

Reverb 2013: Day 30 and 31

reverb13Project Reverb prompt: “Relationships | Did you find a new best friend? Delve deeper into a relationship? Break up? Get back together? Tell us about who you added – or subtracted – from your life. Why?”

In regards to most other people, this seems like an awkward thing to talk about here. To share the ways in which relationships were strained, damaged or ended altogether doesn’t seem kind to anyone involved. There was forgiveness and letting go, and that’s what matters. And in terms of people I’ve gotten to meet for the first time in person, to know better, be closer to, I feel like I’ve already talked about that a lot. As for the people already in my life who matter, who have stayed, continue to support and inspire and encourage me, make me laugh, those people know. I’ve told them how much I love them, how grateful I am, and that seems to be what matters most. If anything, in the relationships that remain and are working, I’ve gotten clearer about what I need and what I can give.

The relationship most changed is the one with myself. The last resolution I made three years ago was to be a better friend to myself, and over time that has happened. Through practice, by showing up and staying, not abandoning myself, giving attention to both my hunger and my fullness, I have developed genuine compassion and appreciation for myself.

I also met my new best friend yesterday. We went to visit a litter of Cattle Dog, Blue Heeler puppies. I believe in rescue with my whole heart, have rescued three dogs and give regular support to our local no-kill shelter, and will most certainly rescue again. However, after much soul searching, and after three dogs in a row with some pretty serious health issues, we need a break from rescue, so we found a local woman with beautiful, sane and healthy dogs and are getting one from her.

puppypile04The way this all came about is pretty magic, actually, and I’ll certainly share more of the story at a later date. For now, I’ll just say that this pup feels sent directly from the Universe, God, Love, Dexter and Obi, like this is all happening exactly the way it should be. Yesterday morning, before we left to go visit the pups, I pulled a two of cups, which says “anticipate new love to be heading your way…the birth of a dear and lasting friendship…the connection between you will be pure, honest, and solid. Open your heart and get ready.” He’s going to be a therapy dog for my tiny little family.

Besottment Reverb 2013 prompt: “When did you feel your most authentic in 2013? When was it? Where were you? What can you do to have this feeling more often in 2014?”

When I’m writing. A significant shift happened on that front this year. My own voice became familiar to me. I recognize it, trust it, can see it’s particular power. What a relief of after 30+ years of struggling with writer’s block, and yet there’s also part of me that is saying, “I told you so. I knew it!”

Besottment Reverb 2013 prompt: “What was the most important, or potent, lesson you learned in 2013? Who or what taught it to you? How will you use what you have learned in the future?”

I can trust myself. I had so many teachers. Dexter and Sam, the doctor who called me “obese” and told me to go on a diet and do more cardio, the mysterious illness that sent me to the emergency room, my own body, my practices, my writing, my kind and gentle readers, sadness and grief and anxiety but also love and joy. Susan Piver and Laurie Wagner and Rachel Cole in particular were healing guides, each with their own specific method — meditation, writing, and hunger whispering. In the future, I will use this lesson to ease suffering, in myself and the world.

Project Reverb prompt: “At the finish | What’s next for you?”

Making space. The first step before I invite what comes next is to clear a space for it, let go of what is no longer serving me, forgive, say goodbye, and make room, make way.

Besottment Reverb 2013 prompt: “What is your greatest wish for 2014? Anything you are hoping for? Wish to focus on? Put it down on paper to help visualize and cultivate it!”

The most fundamental wish I always wish, because it makes a path for anything else I could possibly desire: to ease suffering, in myself and the world.

Something Good

image by eric

image by eric

1. Good stuff from Patti Digh: your daily rock : give comfort, your daily rock : transform, your daily rock : you make a difference, your daily rock : you know the answer, and your daily rock : feel good now.

2. Write A House Is Giving Writers Free Homes In Detroit on Huffington Post.

3. A little preview for you, an update about the You are Beautiful book by Matthew Hoffman that I helped fund through a Kickstarter project. Can’t wait to get my copy.

4. Let Everything Happen by Rainer Maria Rilke:

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.

5. This Man’s Wife Died 2 Years Ago. What He Just Discovered Last Week Is Indescribable. Get A Tissue. on Viral Nova.

6. The Five Things Our Dogs Want for Christmas from The Other End of the Leash.

7. Love from Be More with Less.

8. Truthbombs from Danielle LaPorte:

If you measure your success against someone else’s results, you will never be free – ever.

and

Do not give your past the power to define your future.

9. how to keep the spirit of christmas all year long from Positively Present.

10. From Susannah Conway’s Something for the Weekend post: Something small, every day, Sensitivity is Beautiful, 8 Kale Salads, and sit on a small wooden bench with yourself.

11. Wisdom from Robert Holden,

One new perception,
one fresh thought,
one act of surrender,
one change of heart,
one leap of faith,
can change your life forever.

12. the magic is in the mess from Brene’ Brown.

13. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life: 10 Ways to Stop Treating Yourself and 10 Gifts You Deserve to Give Yourself.

14. What Christmas Is Like For A Working Poor Family Earning $10,000 A Year (And How To Help) on Huffington Post.

15. No one reads a comic strip because it’s drawn well from Seth Godin. Something like The Oatmeal is proof of this, which leads to an interesting post he made on Facebook, which shows what an amazing artist he really is.

16. Wisdom from Anne Lamott on Facebook.

17. Here Are All The Movies Expiring On Netflix As Of January 1st, in case you want to do some binge watching over the next few days.

18. Wisdom from Marianne Williamson, “The most powerful step is when we move from “Ain’t it awful” to “Let’s make it not awful.”

19. Wisdom from Rumi,

Sometimes you hear a voice through the door calling you,
As a fish out of water hears the waves …
Come back. Come back.
This turning toward what you deeply love saves you.

20. 12/26/13 on 3x3x365. Beautiful.

21. Maitri on Elephant Journal by Waylon Lewis, in which he says,

But it is also the essence of maitri. It seems to me in my experience and also in talking to other people that we come to a body of teachings like the Buddhist teachings or any spiritual path, to meditation in some way like little children looking for comfort, looking for understanding, looking for attention, looking somehow to be confirmed. Some kind of comfort will come out of this.

And the truth is actually that the [meditation] practice isn’t about that. The practice is more about somehow this little child, this I, who wants and wants and wants to be confirmed in some way.

Practice is about that part of our being finally being able to open completely to the whole range of our experience, including all that wanting, including all that hurt, including the pain and the joy. Opening to the whole thing so that this little child-like part of us can finally, finally, finally, finally grow up.

22. Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing on Brain Pickings, in which she says, “Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.” Word.

23. How to Write: A Year in Advice from Franzen, King, Hosseini, and More: Highlights from 12 months of interviews with writers about their craft and the authors they love, a really great series on The Atlantic.

24. Give your brain a break… and achieve inner peace with our easy guide to meditating.

25. A Forest Year.

26. Duke Grad Student Secretly Lived In a Van to Escape Loan Debt.

27. Mindful Writing Challenge – Jan ’14 from Writing Our Way Home.