Daily Archives: December 9, 2013

#reverb13: Day Nine

reverb13Reverb13 prompt: “Who inspired you in 2013? And why? What gifts did they give you? And how will you carry these forward in to 2014?”

I was and continue to be inspired by women who are doing the work I aspire to do myself. They are supporting people, mostly women, in a journey of recovering themselves — their creativity, power, confidence, authority, voice, joy, LIFE. The ones I’ve paid specific attention to this year are Susan Piver, Andrea Scher, Rachel Cole, and Laurie Wagner.

I felt like I was able to get a closer look this year at how they do what they do, how they move through the world, was able to spend time in person with each one of them. I noticed common themes of being flexible, being creative, having genuine compassion for others, practicing self-compassion, having a desire to serve, having authentic presence, maintaining healthy boundaries, being willing to process and attend to their own stuff, having a wish for security and making a meaningful offering rather than seeking fame, and honoring their own truth, needs, desires, and limitations. What I have learned from them will save me so much heartache in the future, but also enable me to experience more joy. I will go more gently, have more patience, savor the process.

Project Reverb Prompt: “Surprise | What surprised you the most this year?”

I have undergone a paradigm shift, and the new view has left me gobsmacked. I used to think that the way life worked was I would please others, provide what they needed, and in turn they would be so filled with love and gratitude that they would give me what I needed. That was the transaction. And yet, there were all sorts of opportunities for that interaction to break down — I was maybe guessing at what others wanted or needed and I’d get it wrong, or the other might not know what they needed and even if they thought they knew and told me, they might receive it and it doesn’t go how they imagined, they might respond with “meh…that doesn’t do it for me,” and I would have failed again. Or even if I managed to give another what they needed, and they felt love and gratitude, it might end there. They might not understand that they are supposed to give me anything in return, or they might just decide not to. Or, they might try and find themselves in the very dilemma I faced.

It was a flawed system in so many ways, but I attempted to live like that for so long, believing I had to perform, to earn what I needed, that someone else had to provide what I wanted, give me permission to have what I wanted or needed. Clearly I had to shift to taking care of myself.

The surprise is that I can be who I am. I can want what I want, have what I want, savor and enjoy it without feeling guilt or shame. I am allowed pleasure and joy and delight, and I don’t have to suffer to earn it. It is not a reward for how hard I’ve worked. I don’t have to earn the right to be here, to take up space and have a voice. I don’t have to wait for permission. I don’t need to apologize for myself. I can live my life responding to what I’m hungry for, rather than pleasing others, attempting to meet their demands and expectations. And, it is actually in this way, self-centered, that I can offer my best, be of true benefit. Kinda blows your mind, doesn’t it?

Something Good

Frozen City Park Pond

Frozen City Park Pond

1. Let’s make some magic in 2014, Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook.

2. My Word of the Year for 2014 and The Importance of Outtakes! from Vivienne McMaster. She also wrote a wonderful guest post for Rachel Cole.

3. Wisdom from Danna Faulds,

Despite illness of body or mind,
in spite of blinding despair or
habitual belief, who you are
is whole. Let nothing keep you
separate from the truth.

4. Puppy reunited with his dad after being found under rubble 9 days after tornado destroyed home on Dog Heirs, (and his name is Dexter). Every time you read a story like this, the dog’s person always says something like this one did, that he’d lost everything but he was okay because he’d found his dog. When disaster strikes, we don’t care so much about our stuff, we just want our dogs (people, other pets) to be okay.

5. Good stuff from Viral Nova: A Retired Mathematician Found A Rotting Cabin From 1830. What He Did With It Is Perfection. and Here Are The 28 Cutest Things That Have Ever Happened. #20 Made My Entire Year. and See That Tiny Entrance? A Guy Just Went Down There… And You Gotta See What He Found. and This Little Terrier Got That Rottweiler Pregnant. And You’re Gonna Want To See Their Puppies, Trust Me.trust ME, they are stupid cute!

6. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life: 12 Lies People Love to Tell You and 7 Smart Ways to Deal with Toxic People.

7. Good stuff from Chookooloonks: finding peace and announcing create.2014!

8. Wisdom from Mark Nepo, “No matter how we study or analyze or hone our skills, the greatest teachers have always been love and suffering.”

9. Desire: Hedonism or Happiness? from Jonathan Fields, in which he says,

Sometimes I still need to do the things I hate doing. The things that don’t let me feel the way I want to feel. I don’t entirely buy the fact that if the ride doesn’t feel the way you want to feel at every step along the journey, there’s something wrong.

Especially as a maker, a creator, an entrepreneur. There are times you need to do what you’re least called to do until your endeavor is far enough along to generate the cash, resources, story, energy needed to pay people to do the things that light them up, but empty you out.

10. Marc Johns calls this one life as a tennis racket, but I think you could just call it “Life.”

11. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

When I talk about peace, people sometimes mistakenly think that this means detaching yourself from the stream of life. They view peace as if it were something strange, maybe a numbed or sleepy feeling, or being spaced-out and in a different mental zone. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can be ‘‘peaceful’’ when you are asleep, but that is only the absence of consciousness. The way to truly heal your life is to be awake to its simple joys and to develop an open, welcoming attitude toward all your activities and encounters with other people. You should enjoy yourself and be fully engaged in what you do.

Notice when you feel open and peaceful. Be aware of any feeling of freedom. Awareness is the key. If you are aware of peace, it has a chance to become part of your life. When you feel peaceful, enjoy it. Don’t force your feelings or chase after them or stir up false excitement. There’s no need to grasp. Simply be aware and let the feeling blossom and open. Allow it to expand. Stay with any positive feeling; allow your mind to relax in it. You may find your body feeling peaceful, too. If your breathing feels more relaxed, or you feel a sensation of warmth, pause to notice that as well and enjoy it.

12. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

Our habitual patterns are, of course, well established, seductive, and comforting. Just wishing for them to be ventilated isn’t enough. Mindfulness and awareness are key. Do we see the stories that we’re telling ourselves and question their validity? When we are distracted by a strong emotion, do we remember that it is part of our path? Can we feel the emotion and breathe it into our hearts for ourselves and everyone else? If we can remember to experiment like this even occasionally, we are training as a warrior. And when we can’t practice when distracted but know that we can’t, we are still training well. Never underestimate the power of compassionately recognizing what’s going on.

13. Artist Creates Elaborate Non-Photoshopped Scenes in Her Small Studio, amazing and beautiful.

14. Real-Life Fox And The Hound Best Friends Will Melt Your Heart on BuzzFeed. This dog reminds me so much of Dexter.

15. How to Love and be Loved, by a dog on Storyline.

16. before the beginning by Sas Petherick.

17. The 2013 Holiday Gift Guide – Part Three from Rachel Cole.

18. 2013 Meaningful Gift Guide from Create as Folk.

19. Sometimes You Just Need a Snack and a Nap from Curvy Yoga.

20. Kid President’s Holiday Gift Guide.

21. A legacy of Mandela from Seth Godin. My favorite line is, “If you don’t require the journey to be easy or comfortable or safe, you can change the world.”

22. “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
~Chinese Proverb

23. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: Why I Don’t Recommend A Vegan, Raw, Paleo Or Gluten-Free Diet and 25 Questions To Ask Yourself Before The End Of The Year and 4 Things Women Need To Stop Apologizing For.

24. Artist weaves delightful ‘bio-sculptures’ & animal habitats out of wood on Tree Hugger.

25. Brené Brown on the Courage to be Vulnerable on the On Being podcast.

26. your daily rock : listen to your life

27. Man’s snow storm ‘bread and milk’ freakout goes viral.

28. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves

Do not believe your fear. You will not be stuck forever. Things will shift. The way will open. This is a Universe of Love. The only reason it’s hard to trust is because you keep caressing your anxiety instead of moving forward. Take the steps you can take. The light always emerges.

29. The Why We Rescue project is complete, all 50 states are up. This project is one of the best things of 2013.

30. Keep Your Day Job, advice from Austin Kleon.

31. What are you building in the New Year? (Get it down on paper. Start here.) from Alexandra Franzen.

32. From Positively Present Picks: 33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer, (I don’t necessarily agree with all of these), and Spending Time with Some Difficult People over the Holidays? Consider These Tips. and A Beautiful Mess photo app.

33. Give the Gift of Self-Compassion, another post about the Self-Compassion Saturday series.

34. Another round of ZenPen the ecourse is open for registration.