Daily Archives: December 1, 2014

Reverb14: Day One

reverb14withtextThis is my third year doing Reverb. It’s a great way to reflect on the year that’s coming to a close, to contemplate what I’ve learned and experienced, and to begin to consider where I’d like to focus my time, energy, and effort in the new year. This year, I’ll be responding to prompts from Project Reverb and Reverb14, hosted by my soul sister Kat McNally.

Project Reverb Prompt: Where did you start 2014?

To respond to this prompt, I got out my journal, read the entry from 1-1-14, found myself literally where I started the year. I wrote that I felt sure a big shift was happening in my life. We were getting a new puppy and I was starting yoga teacher training, so for sure a change was coming. Sam was sick and we still didn’t know why.

I had spent the day before decluttering my office, a big project I’d committed to complete over the winter break, to start the new year with an environment that represented more accurately the practice I was doing there, to claim the space. “I couldn’t get rid of some things — letters from Chris [my brother] and mom, the sweater Grandma knit, the collection of nicknacks I’d always imagined in our mountain cabin that now could go in our beach house [the dreamed of second home], love notes from Eric, dog collars and puppy teeth, Little D [Dexter’s favorite toy], old picture prints and negatives, so many books.” Some things I still couldn’t let go of, but other things were easy to let go, “a box of my writing from graduate school, some even older writing, all bad, me trying but not knowing my own voice, spending more time selecting font for the titles.”

I had gone to my favorite yoga teacher Sarada’s New Years Eve class the night before. “We wrote on a piece of paper what we wanted to let go of and what we wanted to invite, and they would burn it later in a ceremonial fire. “I wrote I wanted to let go of anxiety, fear of suffering … I invited love and joy, ease.”

Reverb14 Prompt: What can you say right now with certainty?

I contemplated this prompt for a long time, because part of me wants to answer that there is nothing I know for sure. And yet, the more I thought about it, I could admit there were somethings I was certain about.

  • I want to be here, want to keep trying.
  • I am a writer — this is my path, who I am, who I always have been.
  • Starting is easier than I thought. I imagined all these obstacles, but all you really have to do is take one tiny step.
  • Transformation is harder than I thought. It takes a lot of time and effort, especially when you are working with habits and ways of being that are old, sticky and deep.
  • Becoming myself and being my own best friend is my most important work.
  • I am not in control. I assume I am responsible, that whatever is happening is my fault and I need to fix it, but that’s not always true.
  • Impermanence is real, change is constant. Learning to be okay with that brutal truth is crucial.
  • Numbing out doesn’t work.
  • Only I can save myself, but thankfully there’s lots of help and support available to me.
  • The more you practice being open, the more your heart breaks.
  • I generate my own suffering.
  • There’s a path that offers a way out of that suffering.
  • I can trust myself.
  • I am embodied boundlessness.
  • Living against cultural norms and expectation is difficult and at times painful.
  • You can’t save others, you can only love them.
  • I love to read almost more than I love to write.
  • You never stop missing someone you loved and lost. Never ever ever.
  • Laughter really is the best medicine.
  • I am allowed to rest, to feel what I feel.
  • I don’t need to apologize for or be afraid of who I am.

Something Good

1. Feast, the latest and best from the amazing Rachel Cole. I can’t wait.

2. Anne Lamott on Grief, Grace, and Gratitude on Brain Pickings.

3. Growing out my grey hair. This is not brave.

4. A million invisible threads from Andrea Scher.

5. Office Hours with Austin Kleon, and writing advice from Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose

6. Fun stuff I’m doing on the blog in December: December Reflections with Susannah Conway and Reverb14 with Kat McNally.

7. Wisdom from Virginia Woolf (by way of Positively Present Picks),

It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.

8. Overwhelmed & Rushed? Do a Stress Assess from Zen Habits, (also by way of Positively Present Picks).

9. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: How Highly Sensitive People Can Learn To Be Vulnerable, and Roasted Cabbage & Cauliflower Salad With Peanut Dressing, and Why You Can Be A Feminist & Still Struggle With An Eating Disorder.

10. Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook: Are you allowed to exist?, and Be careful of your families!, and Why aim so small?

11. Hands, Soul, and the Crack in Everything from Guinevere Gets Sober.

12. Men And Women Were Asked Why They Really Divorced. Here’s What They Said from Huffington Post.

13. South American Stray Follows Extreme Racing Team and Wins Forever Home in Sweden.

14. Infographic: This Is More Or Less How Every Kind Of TV Show Plays Out.

15. My American Han.

16. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Self-Care for the Highly Sensitive Person, and Why I want to Delete Half of my Facebook Friends during a National Crisis.

17. Wisdom from Geneen Roth,

Emotional eating is an attempt to avoid the absence (of love, comfort, knowing what to do) when we find ourselves in the desert of a particular moment, feeling, situation. In the process of resisting the emptiness, in the act of turning away from our feelings, of trying and trying again to lose the same twenty, fifty, eighty pounds, we ignore what could utterly transform us. But when we welcome what we most want to avoid, we evoke that in us that is not a story, not caught in the past, not some old image of ourselves. We evoke divinity itself. And in doing so, we can hold emptiness, old hurts, fear in our cupped hands and behold our missing hearts.

18. How to be Ultra Spiritual (funny) – with JP Sears.

19. This Housekeeper Is In For A Surprise Once She Finds Out Whose House She Is Cleaning. This is why I would want to be super rich, so I could do this for people.

20. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

In yoga, we often study the obstacle vs. seeking a goal. So, if we want to understand gratitude and generosity, we must also be willing to look at what prevents us from being either.

21. Box Of Love Letters Reveals Grandfather Didn’t Escape WWII With ‘Everyone’ from NPR.

22. How to improve your gut health from Kris Carr.

23. Wisdom from Prince Ea,

People waiting on God to come back and fix the world. Truth is, God’s not coming back. God never left; he exists inside of every cell in your body. Only thing stopping you from realizing this … is the person you think you are.

24. On The Subject Of Cultivating Empathy on Terrible Minds.

25. Two new blog posts from Christina Rosalie, Patience is the destination and Say yes to life and embrace it wherever it is found.

26. nowhere to hide from Sas Petherick.

27. Wisdom from Jack Gilbert, “It is no surprise that danger and suffering surround us. What astonishes is the singing.”

28. The Holy Yes from Meghan Genge.

29. free your shooting star from Marc Johns.

30. Wisdom from Seth Godin: Stumbling your way to greatness, and The problem with problems, and The fear of freedom.

31. Truthbomb #677 from Danielle LaPorte, “Do you need to work that hard?” And Truthbomb #678, “Your freedom is good for all of us.”

32. Five ways to be more lucky in life from Life is Limitless.

33. Note from the Universe,

If you had chosen an easier path and been born knowing how beautiful, deserving, and important you truly are, Jill, by this time you’d probably be worth billions of dollars, have millions of friends, and own businesses around the world. But then… you wouldn’t be exactly who you now are. All in favor of keeping the Jill we know and love? It’s unanimous. Try it.

34. Wisdom from Mara Glatzel,

For years I was tethered there, believing my own voice when it repeated the refrain… be good be good be good.

That goodness meant being silent. It meant shaming my body. It meant ridicule, perfectionism, and strict guidelines. It meant softening myself, caging myself, making myself palatable. It meant rereading the status update seventeen thousand times, to make sure that it was as in offensive as possible. That goodness meant carefully curating my outward presentation to please others instead of curating the way that I want live when I am alone.

35. Good stuff from Be More With Less, Gratitude for 7 Things that are not on Sale and Tis the Season for More Joy & Less Clutter.

36. This Artist Spent 10 Years Carving A Giant Cave – Alone With His Dog on Bored Panda.

37. On Medium, 5 Things About Writing I Wish I’d Known 20 Years Ago and 5 Things About Writing I Wish I’d Known 20 Years Ago (Part 2).

38. Wisdom from Jamie Ridler, “I emptied a drawer thinking I was clearing out old clothes and realized I was coming face-to-face with my life and how it’s changed.”