Category Archives: Paid Work

Gratitude Friday

1. Creatures great and small. The butterfly that let me take its picture, the bees feeding on my flowers, baby geese and ducks, the heron standing on the edge of the pond, the two moose Eric saw while he was hiking, the two deer we saw on our walk one morning with new antlers covered in velvet, the dog at the gym who wiggled with happy when I pet him, and my Sam.

2. The side front flowerbed, the first one I planted on purpose, the strip of ground between our driveway and the neighbor’s property line. It’s maybe about five years old now, has shifted and filled in, presented the surprise of Rocky Mountain Bee Plants and a Golden Raintree seedling. Some of what has happened there is organic and some because of my intervention, is wild and intentional, and I love the way it looks, gives me hope that with time, effort and attention, the rest of the front yard will grow and develop in the same way.

3. Cucumbers, zucchini squash, and lettuce from our garden. And even though the strawberries didn’t go as well as we’d hoped, Eric ate one the other day, the only berry on any of the plants, and said it was the best he’d ever eaten.

4. Paid work. I had to go in the other day and it didn’t totally suck, and I do like getting paid.

5. Internet friends, people I met online, some I’ve been lucky enough to then meet in person, who are all REAL friends, people who show up when it counts, make me laugh, inspire me to keep doing good and taking care of myself, a genuine tribe.

loftylookoutBonus Joy: Time away, in the green and the quiet, the ability to schedule blog posts so that even though I might be gone I’m not gone gone, no internet so I can unplug for a bit without even having to try, time and space to do nothing but stare out at the view.

LoftyView

Gratitude Friday

1. Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency and Rehabilitation Hospital. They took such good care of Dexter this weekend, and for the past few months with his physical therapy. I feel so lucky that they are there.

2. Surprise flowers at work. I might not always love my job, but I work with some of the kindest people, one of whom bought me flowers because I was having a rough week.

surpriseflowers

3. Green grass and blue sky, after a week of snow.

4. Sherry Richert Belul and her shenanigans. This time it’s Plant a Kiss Day, which I’ll be participating in. She is an instigator of joy, and I adore her.

5. Flexible paid work. With Dexter being sick, and then needing regular doses of medication and lots of company, it was so nice to have work that understood and allowed for my need to be flexible.

Bonus Joy: Even though it was a rough one, we had another week with Dexter. I’m so grateful he’s feeling better, not suffering. That’s all I want–not more time, not a miracle cure for his cancer, just that he is happy and well while he’s with us, and when it’s time to go, that he have an easy death.

dexaprilsnow

Day of Rest

packagefromsusannah

I got the most precious package in the mail yesterday. It got me thinking about how grateful I am for all the amazing women in my life. This morning as I was writing in my journal, I made a list of names. It took up two full pages, and I wasn’t even done–friends and teachers and artists, women who offer support, wisdom, inspiration, and encouragement.

I have a clear vision about where my life is headed, an “exit” plan that will make my paid work and my heart’s work one and the same. I aspire to make my living, my loving teaching ecourses and workshops and retreats and “face to face” courses, blogging and writing books, maybe also offering some kind of one-on-one creative coaching or therapeutic support. Writing and yoga and meditation would be at the center of these offerings, my core practices, with the intention of bringing women into relationship with their creativity, opening their hearts to what is and who they are, and helping them to develop trust and faith in their own basic goodness–their essential wisdom, kindness, and power.

I feel so lucky that I have support and such amazing role models. The books and blogs they write, the classes and workshops and retreats they offer, the art they make, the friendship they extend, their open and tender and brave hearts. I aspire to be like them, and in so doing be more deeply and authentically me.

superhero earth necklace made by andrea scher, a gift to myself

Today I rest in honor of the essential kindness, wisdom, and power of all women. I offer my rest, my self-care, my gentleness, my joy, my mindfulness in gratitude to all those women who’ve shown me how to sink into myself, how I might love myself, and what I have to offer. They have collectively crafted a map to the center of my own heart, at the same time that they have urged me to trust myself, to make my own way.

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: A life that looks small from the outside might actually be deep and wide, vast and spacious. For example, you might learn that we’ve walked our dogs at the same park at least once a day (sometimes twice) for the past 10+ years, and think “how boring.” I’ve seen it in every season, every kind of weather. I have favorite trees and stretches of trail, spots along the river I’ve memorized, patches of grass that are special. I know where the turtles lay their eggs each year, where the fox dens are, where the heron fish, and where the beavers live. I know where there are things missing, where there used to be three Cottonwood trees stretched out over the river or where the wild irises used to grow. I remember the place where Obi used to drink out of the river, the bridge that scared him, and the route we took on that last day, for his final walk. I know all this, and yet I am not finished knowing.

2. Truth: I am superstitious. I know I can’t control anything, but my small mind still tries, just in case I’m wrong and I actually do have some sway. I have little altars, tiny shrines at each of the places I write and practice. Some days, I wear a string of black onyx beads around my wrist for protection and healing. I have a black string tied around my wrist that I asked Eric to put there. I think of it as my “life line,” and imagine that as long as it’s there, Dexter will be here. I also drink out of the same coffee cup every morning, for the very same reason. I made a vision board with Dexter’s picture, a white lotus flower hovering over his forehead and a mandala with the Medicine Buddha at the center, and listed my wishes, the last one being “may his death be easy.” Every time Eric and I part, I insist that we tell each other “I love you,” just in case. I think that these rituals, these talismans will keep us safe, keep us together, even as I’m clear that they make absolutely no difference, have no power at all.

3. Truth: I know what I want to do, but for now, it doesn’t pay well enough. The other day, I saw the difference between the two things, my current paid work and my heart’s work, very clearly. I was working my way through an academic training for online teaching. The information was good, useful and accurate, but the context, the framing, the platform made me want to poke my eye out with a pencil. I had trouble concentrating, felt tired and irritable, wanted to bolt from my chair. In contrast, I’m also currently taking a free class from Ruzuku, 5 Days To Your First Online Course. When I was reading through that content, I leaned forward in my chair, stretching towards the screen, focused and intent, taking notes and coming up with all kinds of ideas. The truth underneath all that is that the work in the first situation is paid and that of the second isn’t, and I want paid work, need it to live how I want. And while there is an exit plan of sorts, the intention that things will shift, sometimes I get frustrated, impatient.

One Wish: For acceptance and patience and gratitude, for surrender, for “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Gratitude Friday

This post started as a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.

1. A friend’s healthy new baby. The story of her labor and his delivery–a baby too big to get out on his own–makes me think about how many mothers and babies have died in childbirth, how if this friend had lived in a different time or place, she might have been one of those women, he might have been one of those babies. It makes me grateful for the help and care she received.

2. Physical therapy for Dexter. Talk about luck–we live in a culture where our pets get better healthcare than many people in the world, people who either can’t afford it or simply don’t have access. I am so grateful I can provide that for him, want the same for all of us, people and animals. He’s getting much better, was cleared this week to go on a few short hikes.

3. Avocados. Yes, I am still obsessed with them. I might have a problem. I am finding that I like them so much better than cheese on a sandwich. My current favorite sandwich is organic multigrain bread, Nayonaise, honey mustard, organic turkey breast, avocado and spinach, with a few organic potato chips for a little bit of crunch.

4. Spring. It really is coming, (here?). I hadn’t realized how much I missed the sun, the warmth, the song of the birds, the green and the blossom.

5. The chance to do good work, paid and otherwise. Yesterday at my paid work, I sent an inquiry to Brene’ Brown’s management to get some numbers so we can write a proposal, attempt to get the funding to have her invited to give a talk at CSU. I signed it, “I look forward to hearing from you.” What I meant was “OMG, I am so excited, squeeeeee, *please please please let this work*.” And this week I sent out a submission for publication, my first in a long time.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. He teaches me to let go, to surrender and be here now, to open up to the joy and beauty in this moment.

Gratitude Friday

1. Yoga Class. I hadn’t gone for a whole week (having to walk the dogs individually because of Dexter’s knee injury was messing with my schedule), and it was so nice to be back, complete with a loving arm punch from Mitch.

2. Green food. Mini cucumbers, avocado, brussel sprouts, and spinach.

3. Spring. Starting to see green and even some flowers poke their way out of the dirt, the birds are singing (oh how I missed them!), and there is more light.

4. New opportunities at my paid work, more involvement with departmental publications and the chance to work with one of my favorite people.

5. Books. When things get rough, they are a source of so much joy, comfort, wisdom, and even rest. Sometimes I wonder which is stronger, my love of writing or my love of reading–I know for sure I couldn’t choose between the two.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. His knee is doing much better, he likes physical therapy (loves all the attention), and the trick now is reminding him that he’s got to take it easy, go slow.

#SmallStone: Day 14

Everblooming

everbloomingDust covering my desk, a strange name entered as the log in on my computer, last year’s calendar on the wall, expired protein drink and moldy cheese in the refrigerator, new toilet paper and soap dispensers in the bathroom, and one Everblooming Amaryllis. How long have I been gone?