Category Archives: Furns

#reverb13: Day Four

reverb13Today, one of my prompts for Reverb13 is up. No big surprise, it’s about grief and loss. I wrote,

This past year, we have all experienced so much loss and felt so much grief — in relationships, through sickness and death, from mental illness or abuse, because of finances, even due to the need for healthy change.

It is good to honor those shifts, to fully feel them, so that we can let go of what needs surrendered, and remember what is worthy of our love and gratitude.

What have you lost, what are you grieving?

olderdexterI can’t talk about what I’ve lost in the past year, what I’m grieving without mentioning Dexter. His cancer and eventual death was the most significant event of 2013. I emailed Kat yesterday, (she’s hosting the Reverb13 I wrote this and one other prompt for) and told her, “Almost every day, I’ve been writing about Dexter, as I reflect back on this year, and it’s helping me to honor that experience but also to let go in a way I still haven’t. I’m so grateful for this practice.”

Another big loss this year is my husband’s parents and his aunt moved. For the past five years, they were here, close to us. We’d lived here for almost seven years on our own before that and were fine, but then they came and we had someone else to call when we needed help, a built in dog sitter (one who washed dishes and did laundry when she came over), people to gather with for holidays or just a regular meal any time. We’d come home from work to a container of homemade cinnamon rolls or oatmeal cookies, and there was always someone to help Eric take a load of stuff to the dump or borrow a ladder from. We got used to it, so now being here by ourselves again feels a little lonely.

Another loss is not going to Susan Piver’s Fearlessly Creative: A Meditation and Writing Retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center (SMC) at the end of the month. The timing is just off for me this session, and even though I can do a writing and meditation retreat any time for myself at home, and I can drive up to SMC whenever I want, I am really going to miss seeing Susan again. The other grief related to her is the Open Heart Project Practitioner level didn’t end up working out. We aren’t completely disbanded or adrift, things are simply shifting, but we had just completed our 2nd virtual retreat when we got the news and it was sad.

There’s grief about other family stuff, things I don’t write about here, other people’s struggles and secrets that aren’t mine to share, but can’t be ignored, are hard to witness, generate so much suffering. I practice remembering, as Anaïs Nin suggested, “You cannot save people. You can only love them.”

When it was happening, and immediately after, there was a lot of grief around the session I had with a new doctor where she told me I was obese and tried to put me on a diet, told me to do more cardio — all this after I explained I was a dis-ordered eater and was hoping to heal that behavior.

handpocketsbyandrea

this is what obese looks like — when I look at her, all I can see is how hard she tries, all the ways she’s denied herself, how worthy she is of nothing but love (photo by Andrea Scher)

Which leads directly into my answer to the next prompt: 20/20: Hindsight is the one thing we never benefit from in the present.  Is there one moment you wish you could do over? I’m not usually one to wish for do-overs because it seems to imply regret, wanting things to be different, and if that were the case, I wouldn’t be where I am now. For example, from the visit to that doctor came the Self-Compassion Saturday project and the real healing that is happening now, something I had to do for myself. Yes, what she did was awful, but it was the catalyst for something good. Or, I could wish that I’d let Dexter go hiking that day, the one where he stayed home with me and hurt his knee chasing a squirrel in the back yard — and yet, without a hurt knee, he wouldn’t have required physical therapy, and we never would have met Dr. Lindsey Fry and the support staff at Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency Hospital. They gave both Dexter and I such good care in those final months. So, rather than wish for a do-over, I choose to accept what’s happened, to be grateful for what I can, learn what I can.

The Besottment Reverb 2013 prompt is “Did you discover a favourite song or musical artist in 2013?” I love music as much as I love books and dogs, so I can’t give just one. These are my three favorite new to me artists I discovered, my three favorite of their songs.

One eskimO, Amazing

Mary Lambert, She Keeps Me Warm

Furns, Power

Something Good

1. READ THIS when you can’t remember who you are, what you do, why you do it — or how to talk about it from Alexandra Franzen.

2. Intimate Portraits of Cosplayers at Home from Twisted Sifter.

3. Simplify Your Life by Writing It Down and The Greatest Secret to Productivity That No One is Talking About from Be More With Less.

4. From Chookooloonks: what are we looking for? which led to what we hope to find.

5. Wisdom from Danielle LaPorte, “With envy out of the way, you’ll have more room for your own greatness.”

6. Wisdom from the Dalai Lama,

When the teachings say we need to reduce our fascination with the things of this life, it does not mean that we should abandon them completely. It means avoiding the natural tendency to go from elation to depression in reaction to life’s ups and downs, jumping for joy when you have some success, or wanting to jump out the window if you do not get what you want. Being less concerned about the affairs of this life means assuming its ups and downs with a broad and stable mind.

7. Good stuff from MindBodyGreen: 10 Ways To Stop Stressing & Start Living Peacefully, and Is It Time To Stop Worrying About Sugar? (You Don’t Have To Quit It), and The Ultimate Bliss Salad With Ginger Miso Dressing.

8. My 10 favorite “Before I die” responses: Candy Chang celebrates the release of her book on the TED Blog.

9. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön,

We use our emotions. We use them. In their essence, they are simply part of the goodness of being alive, but instead of letting them be, we take them and use them to regain our ground. We use them to try to deny that in fact no one has ever known or will ever know what’s happening. We use them to try to make everything secure and predictable and real again, to fool ourselves about what’s really true. We could just sit with the emotional energy and let it pass. There’s no particular need to spread blame and self-justification. Instead, we throw kerosene on the emotion so it will feel more real.

10. No One is Coming from the Positivity Blog. Oh how I wish the right person would read this, really hear it. *sigh*

11. Hello 35!, a list of lessons Tammy from Rowdy Kittens has learned over the last thirty-five years. She’s one smart cookie.

12. Wisdom from Ronna Detrick, “It is one thing to admit, maybe only to ourselves, what we most want, need, and deeply desire. It is another thing entirely to trust that we might be worthy of such, to give that internal voice any semblance of credibility.”

13. Danielle LaPorte Truthbomb, “So much is a cry for love.”

14. Distraction or desiring? What you are choosing? from Jennifer Louden.

15. Good stuff from Elephant Journal: Can Yoga Save Us? and How I came to love my body–just the way it is.

16. 15 Reasons why Fort Collins is the Greatest City in America. I love where I live, but do not understand why Lee Martinez Park is not on this list. Wait, scratch that — let’s continue to keep it our little secret.

17. The Simple Guide to a Clutter-Free Home from Becoming Minimalist.

18. DIY: Hem Jeans Fast & Easy.

19. your daily rock : amazing grace and your daily rock : let someone help you

20. You don’t need to dance before your double mastectomy to be awesome from Lisa Bonchek Adams.

21. From Susannah Conways’s Something for the Weekend list, The Plant Whisperer.

22. Shared (first stanza) by Kelly Rae Roberts in her newsletter:

What in your life is calling you?
When all the noise is silenced,
the meetings adjourned,
the lists laid aside,
and the wild iris blooms by itself
in the dark forest,
what still pulls on your soul?

In the silence between your heartbeats
hides a summons.
Do you hear it?
Name it, if you must,
or leave it forever nameless,
but why pretend it is not there?
~Terma Collective

23. A 4-Year-Old Girl Asked A Lesbian If She’s A Boy. She Responded The Awesomest Way Possible, a really great talk Ash Beckham gave at the TEDx Boulder, shared here by Upworthy. I especially loved, “Hard is not relative, hard is hard,” and “When you do not have hard conversations, when you do not tell the truth about who you really are, you essentially are holding a hand grenade.”

24. Shared by Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens on her Happy Links: Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Microbusiness and There are no rules.

25. Lessons in love – a tribute to Charlie on Life is Limitless. *sob*

26. This is an actual essay written by a college applicant to NYU.

27. Golden Retriever Puppy Cam. This is only going to get better.

28. Dogs vs. broccoli from Dog Heirs. I had no idea this was so popular.

29. 11 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business from .

30. Comfort Food: No one brings dinner when your daughter is an addict on Slate.

31. There is no gone, on Painted Path. Amen.

32. Wisdom from Tama J. Kieves,

You want to know “how” you will do your dreams. You want a guarantee. I’ll give you one. Commit to tasting the nectar of anything that brings you joy or peace. Get hooked on your own idiosyncratic ecstasy. You will have found your reason. You will have experienced an undeniable power. Then you will listen to yourself. And that is how you find your how.

33. Wisdom from Parker Palmer, shared by Curvy Yoga, “The heart is where we integrate what we know in our minds with what we know in our bones, the place where our knowledge can become more fully human.”

34. Creating the Life We Want from Annie Neugebauer, in which she says really good stuff, like,

It can be indescribably difficult sometimes, to follow through with our desires. For me, the main push-back comes from intangible socieital pressures. I don’t want to care what others think about me, but holy crap do I ever. I really care. I want people to like me. (Why is that made into such a despicable sentiment? Doesn’t everyone want to be liked?) More importantly, I want people to respect me – or at least accept my choices. The problem, then, arises when what I want isn’t what society wants me to want, and I must overcome that natural instinct and step beyond its draw.

35. 2013 Holiday Gift Guide – Part Two from Rachel Cole. Registration for Rachel’s Wisdom Notes for a Well-Fed Holiday is now open. Most people have holiday traditions, and I think this is becoming one of mine.

36. Stunning Portraits Of The World’s Remotest Tribes Before They Pass Away on Bored Panda. Makes me think two things are natural about, fundamental to humans, that honoring these things is essential to our survival: we are creative and we have a relationship with the earth and its creatures.

37. The first lie… from Seth Godin.

38. Free High-Resolution Photos from Paul Jarvis.

39. Wisdom from Mark Nepo, “To be broken is no reason to see all things as broken.”

40. Day 1: ‘Hey, What’s The Neighbor Doing To His Lawn?’ Day 60: ‘OMG!!’ This is exactly what we are doing to our front yard, little by little.

41. From Positively Present Picks, Two people decided to surprise New York’s jaded subway conductors, and the results will make your day.

42. Photographer Takes Beautiful Portraits of Shelter Dogs to Find Them Homes, shared with me by Justine, who like me wants to rescue all the dogs.

43. New music on SoundCloud. I am obsessed with Furns, and Sales is good too. Furns “Power” might be my favorite new song.

44. Are You Happy And In Love? Here’s Why That Makes You So Sad. from Upworthy. The only thing I disagree with here is that he says the Buddhist practice of non-attachment means you don’t care, and that is just wrong, a misunderstanding of the basic concept.

45. The Control Myth, a brilliant blog post by Michael Baugh that combines dog training with the wisdom of Pema Chödrön and Brene’ Brown, and says “What do we want, control or connection?” Thanks for sharing it, Sarah (and thanks for about 100 other things too), my favorite dog trainer.

46. Two brilliant pieces on being self-employed from the brilliant Susan Piver, Self-Employment: Three Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me and The pain of pricing.