Category Archives: Inspiration

#reverb13: Day Ten

reverb13Reberb13 prompt: “Living life on auto-pilot can feel disorienting and dull. How did you cultivate a life worth loving during 2013? How can you turn off your auto-pilot button in 2014?”

I aspire to be awake and present as often as possible. However, there were ways this past year in which I was clearly disconnected, specifically from my body, and thus from the present moment. Yoga helps me to stay grounded in my body, attached to my breath. It reinforces a sense of “I’m here, right here in this body, in this moment, breathing in and out.” I feel present, and free without feeling unhinged — connected and grounded, free but in my body on the earth. Nia and walking my dogs does this too, and meditation. Intuitive eating also keeps me connected but free.

Project Reverb prompt: “Inspiration | What inspired you this year?  How do you think this will impact the year to come?”

Yesterday, I talked about “who” inspired me, today it’s “what.” I was inspired by projects like Kid President and Why We Rescue, along with creative practices, making something simply for the joy of making it. And music, poetry, and story always inspire me, people like Mary Lambert, Maya Stein, and Anne Lamott showing up and telling the truth, making a brilliant mess.

Besottment Reverb 2013 prompt: “Was there anything you were feeling nostalgic for in 2013? Anything that you were feeling nostalgic for? Something you were yearning for from your past? A memory that wouldn’t leave you, or tradition that you wish you could continue?”

I almost always feel nostalgia for time at the beach, summers in Oregon, dinners at The Farm, but the thing I thought of this morning that had me in tears, which means it’s the real deal, is that I am nostalgic for a time before I was so aware of what can go wrong, the depth of loss and grief, a naive time when I thought love was safe.

#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?