Category Archives: Mary Anne Radmacher

Day of Rest

insideandoutfridgeThis morning on Facebook, my friend Mary Anne Radmacher asked, “Do you think the front of your fridge makes any kind of statement?” She went on to say, “I have often thought that the fridge captures the essence of the home. What is inside feeds our body and what is on the outside feeds our soul (laughter, memories, reminders).” I took the above picture of the inside and outside of my fridge, posted it, and said, “Mine, inside and out, is just like me: a passionate mess sharing her busy, full life with three boys, trying to figure herself out. (Note the three different calendar magnets on the outside and the light inside is burnt out).”

I think some of what my fridge says is that I’m busy, disordered, and overwhelmed. I’m trying to be two people, live two lives, as well as love and care for three others, and it’s too much. I’ve held on to some things for too long, things that no longer serve me — if they ever did. I’m moving so fast and taking on so much that I’m distracted, sometimes don’t even see what I have, what’s right in front of me. When I’m hungry, I don’t always allow myself access to what I need, what would be satisfying and filling. I love how Mary Anne’s perspective, her question, the picture I took captures where I’m at, moving from a year where my guiding word was “home” in which I came back to myself and my space, to one where my word is “nourish,” in which my intention is to feed and to cherish. I can see when I slow down and look closely how I’ve changed, as well as the places where I still struggle.

My snack this morning after a long walk with my three boys

My snack this morning after a long walk with my three boys, exactly what I was hungry for

I’d already spent the morning thinking about how I feed myself. I read a few chapters from Heath at Every Size, and one section seemed especially important, relevant to where I’m at right now.

While it is clear that our food choices are a matter of personal responsibility, it is important to recognize that we do not make our choices in a vacuum. We select our foods in an environment toxic with government policies that encourage cheap prices for foods with low nutrient value, and in which billions of dollars have been spent to convince us to distrust ourselves, to overeat, and to eat foods laced with ingredients that raise our setpoints and damage our health.

I find myself turning away more and more from external pressures and expectations, beliefs that I at one time had internalized as my own. For so long I attempted to live in line with what was expected of me. I really wanted to be a good girl, pretty and fit and nice — agreeable and acceptable. Things about me that didn’t fit with the norms, I hid, rejected, hated. I felt ashamed and uncomfortable and awkward. I can see it now for what it was, so much self-hatred and self-aggression.

I’m learning to trust myself, my own innate wisdom, my own hungers. I’m practicing self-compassion. I work towards every thought, every action being something that says “I love you.” Some of the transformation is visible, but so much of it is still hidden, internal, secret. I’m not sure you’d see it if you looked at my refrigerator.


Something Good

1. This description of a good writer, from Isaac Asimov, “You are my idea of a good writer because you have an unmannered style, and when I read what you write, I hear you talking.”

2. Something you may need to hear today from Kat McNally.

3. To Succeed, Forget Self-Esteem, a post about self-compassion on, of all places, Harvard Business Review (?!)

4. On being copied from Andrea Schroeder, in which she says “people aren’t buying your product or service on its own – they’re buying your product or service animated by your creative essence.”

5. 36 Things You Will Naturally Understand If You’re From Colorado on BuzzFeed. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with all of these, and don’t get the childhood references since I didn’t grow up here, but it’s pretty funny.

6. Brave Love, “A love-based case for the what’s right in the world, curated by Brit Hanson.”

7. 30 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Die.

8. Sacred Love: 12 Things at the Bottom of Everything** from Rachel Maddox. P.S. There’s still time to donate to her Traveling Soul Circus project.

9. The Five Buddha Families and 10 Reasons why Buddhism is Better than your Religion on Elephant Journal.

10. Erica Staab shares a beautiful poem, Clearing by Martha Postlewaite.

11. From Brave Girls Club,

Beautiful, true, important things almost always take a long time to come to fruition. There are often very long stretches that are tedious, thankless, difficult and hard to measure. We get tired and that makes us weak and vulnerable to things that hurt our feelings or make us want to stop trying. There are often points in the journey when we feel absolutely alone, misunderstood and even cast out. There are sometimes points in our journey when we just want to be alone…and that is hard to explain to people we love. Making progress is not easy, is it?

With all of that in mind, however…think even more seriously about how miserable it is to stay stagnant. Think of how awful it feels to know in our hearts that we are meant for something, but to continue to ignore it, run away from it….or stay stuck just looking at it in fear.

12. The Well-Fed Woman: Tara Sophia Mohr on Rachel Cole’s blog, in which Tara describes something I know all too well, in a way I hadn’t quite figured out how to say it yet:

I grew up making art of all kinds – but when I went to college I couldn’t find a way to create comfortably in the highly competitive, hierarchical environment there. My center drifted over to my more intellectual, left-brain side, and that became my comfort zone. The more I was centered there, the harder it was to create. I became very, very afraid making art – so frozen in my creativity, afraid of failure, afraid of “not being good.”

13. Also on Rachel Cole’s blog, a brilliant reframing of perfection, The New (Im)perfection.

14. rodrigo y gabriela, and a lesson in passion on Chookooloonks.

15. your daily rock : love what you do

16. ZenPen: Body-Based Writing for Healing, Transformation, and Personal Growth, a great new offering from Courtney Putnam, a six week writing ecourse. I swore I wasn’t taking any more ecourses, needed to put my energy into creating my own, but this one makes that vow so hard to keep.

This microcourse, How to Create a Microbusiness that Matters, from Courtney Carver at Be More With Less, is also making this promise a tough one to keep.

17. “Often I busy myself trying to find the key – and fail to notice the door has no lock.” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

18. The August Break with Susannah Conway is back! I’m in.

19. how joy is a toughie for me from Jessica Swift.

20. My Dog Got Kicked Out Of Daycare Today.

21. Rachel Cole linked to a song in her Midsummer’s Joy post, and I was so happy, not realizing that Mary Lambert, the gorgeous female voice on Macklemore’s “Same Love,” had her own full song, She Keeps Me Warm. I bought her EP Letters Don’t Talk and have been listening to it on repeat (it’s only five songs).

22. Note from the Universe,

Dreams come true, Jill, that’s what they do. The only variable is when. For the slow approach: Resist. Attach. Insist. Deny. Stop. Second guess. Whine. Argue. Defend. Protest. Cry. Struggle. And ask others, when you know the answer yourself. For the quick approach: Visualize. Pretend. Prepare. Dodge. Roll. Serpentine. Do not waiver over intentions, but over methods. Show up, even when nothing happens. And give thanks in advance. You knew that.

24. This wisdom from Henri Nouwen and his book Turning My Mourning into Dancing, (shared by Satya in Writing Our Way Home’s newsletter),

I am gradually learning that the call to gratitude asks us to say, “Everything is grace.” As long as we remain resentful about things we wish had not happened, about relationships that we wish had turned out differently, mistakes we wish we had not made, part of our heart remains isolated, unable to bear fruit in the new life ahead of us. It is a way we hold part of ourselves apart from God.

25. Your Permanent Record from Seth Godin, in which he says, “Perfect can’t possibly be the goal, we’re left with generous, important and human instead.” Also from Seth, People like us do stuff like this.

26. A birds-eye view of this right now {Just One Paragraph 4/30} from Christina Rosalie, in which she says, “Time is a trickster. A torrent one minute, then a slow as honey crawl the next.”

27. Amazing Plant Sculptures at the Montreal Mosaiculture Exhibition 2013 on Bored Panda.