Category Archives: Reverb12

Many True Things and One Wish

New Year's Day SkyI know, I know–this post is supposed to be Three Truths and One Wish. But lately, it just doesn’t want to behave, doesn’t want to conform to the rules, and since my goal here is the truth, forcing it to be something it isn’t doesn’t make any sense. Today, what really wanted to be said is that in the past month, there have been practices that have helped me to get at the truth, to go deeper, to consider what has happened in the past year and contemplate what might happen in the next, and I really just wanted to share them with you, in case they might be of some benefit for you as well.

1. Truth: I am so happy that Kat of I Saw You Dancing decided to host Reverb12 this year. For starters, I now have another wonderful blog to read, one where I find myself constantly saying “yes!” and “me too!” as I read. I have entire conversations with her in my head, only a tiny part of which ever get shared with her in the comments. She is a kindred, and even though I am officially about half a month behind in posting responses to the Reverb prompts on my blog, I am so glad I took part this year, gained so much clarity from the process, and hope to again in the next.

2. Truth: Sarada’s New Year’s Eve Yoga class at Om Ananda, my favorite yoga studio was amazing. I attended this special event for the first time last year, and was so happy I did. This year’s practice was the same, the best way to say goodbye to one year and welcome the next: Sarada’s amazing teaching–her warmth and her wisdom, the light and warmth of the space (twinkle lights outside, candles on the window sills, the studio lights dimmed, the hum of the heater), my fellow practitioners, and the focus of the class (union, carrying the strength of the past into the new year, surrendering residual tension, moving forward with intention and love, opening our hearts and being present). I left feeling blessed, blissed, and so so lucky.

newyearseveyoga3. Truth: Reset. Revive. Restart. was so worth doing, and I plan to do it again next year. Sandi Amorim and Cigdem Kobu are amazing women and put together an incredible program. It’s over now (*sob*), and there’s a rumor that our private Facebook group will be shut down in another week, but I’m still in denial about it, am going to miss it so much. It was like virtual summer camp for grown up women. The good news is I can now restart A Year With Myself (another awesome program Cigdem put together), since last year I only got to about week 15 before I crapped out, (another year with myself isn’t the worst thing that could happen).

4. Truth: Signing up for the Open Heart Project, and then joining at the Practitioner level was one of the best things I did for myself this year, maybe ever. Today is the final day of a seven day retreat and it was such a good thing for me, to intentionally focus on reflecting, practicing and contemplating, to not jump ahead into next year or the next thing too soon. I absolutely adore Susan Piver, and the community that has formed around her, the practice and the project, is such a support to me, such an amazing opportunity.

shrinenewyears5. Truth: There were so many prompts and videos and posts and people and practices that helped me transition from 2012 to 2013.

  • Rachel Cole’s Wisdom Notes: Rachel has a quiet, gentle yet powerful way of leading you to the truth. This came at just the right time, and her emails were such a comfort and inspiration during the busy and sometimes stressful holiday season, the overwhelm that can happen this time of year. Her upcoming Ease Hunting promises to be the same sort of wonderful.
  • Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook. I did this last year too, and it’s one of my favorite New Year’s rituals.
  • Picking a word for 2013. This originates (for me anyway) with Ali Edwards, Susannah Conway, and Andrea Scher. Last year I selected Retreat, and this year it’s Freedom.
  • Andrea Scher did a really great post with a series of videos this year, A New Year’s Ritual, a short practice that you might want to consider if you haven’t had time for anything else.
  • Patti Digh offered Two Questions for the New Year, another practice you might still consider if you are short on time, but big on intention.

New Year's Day Sky

One wish: Neil Gaiman offers some of the best New Year’s wishes, so I will share his from this year as my wish for all of us, kind and gentle readers.

It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.

So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.

#Reverb12: Day 13

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Try

The full prompt: What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2012? What happened when you did/didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

Next year, I want to try:

  • Once and for all letting go of my food addiction, having a normal and healthy relationship with food, to eating
  • Keeping my heart open, staying awake no matter what
  • Teaching an ecourse
  • Submitting some things for publication (or rather as is more likely, for rejection)
  • A dance class, could be Nia or Zumba, or a “real” dance class
  • Running, again, beginning again
  • Art Journaling

What I wanted to try in 2012, what happened when I did/didn’t go for it:

  • Blogging, maintaining a regular writing practice: totally did it and it was awesome
  • Being more involved: did it, but had to accept and honor the limitations, the special needs of being a HSP and an introvert
  • Eating more mindfully, healthier: there were moments, long stretches of success, of ease, but the past month or so has been difficult, I’ve slipped back into old habits and ways of being, even though they so clearly no longer serve me
  • Life Rehab, retreats and classes and workshops and study and practice: so much transformation (as a caterpillar turns to a butterfly, still the same being but turned to mush and reconfigured, and in the end having grown wings), so much I still want to do, to learn, to be
  • Being myself, wholly and without apology: I still can be timid and unsure, but the realization here is that who I am already is of so much more value than who I was trying so hard to be. I thought if I was perfect, always giving more and doing more, that’s what would make people love me, get my needs met, but it turns out that the simpler option (just being myself) is more loveable than the plastic version. Easier for me + more love = no brainer

Love

The full prompt: What are the things (or people or animals) in this world that you love the most.

My three boys, my little family. I love them with my whole heart.

threeboys

Do-Over

The full prompt: Of the things that happened this year, if you had the chance to do X all over again, what would it be?

This is difficult to answer. There was another prompt at some point that was similar, I think it asked about regrets. I couldn’t really answer that one either because everything that happens to me, everything I do, I see as one step forward, and looking back I can see how they string together to make a map from the place I was to where I am now. In this light, even the missteps, the things that hurt, that generated suffering, the places I stumbled or even fell down, the moments I resisted or wished away–all of them led to here, and how can I say that anything about here is wrong? I just can’t.

For example, Dexter was miserable on the drive to Oregon, really hating all that time in the car, would sometimes shake with it, was panting and unable to relax or rest most of the time. I could say I wish we’d found a sedative or something he could take that would calm him down, keep him comfortable, but what if that made him feel sick, had other side effects? And even if he relaxed or slept on the medication, how could I be sure that he actually felt better about it, had an easier experience?

So, I could say maybe we shouldn’t have even gone to Oregon, but that’s just silly because the month we had there, all the walking and running and playing and napping and hanging out with his people and having visitors, Dexter absolutely loved it. And it turned out to be his last chance to go, and I wouldn’t want to have taken that from him. So you see, even though I wish he hadn’t had such a rough trip there and back, I made the best choice I knew how for him, and to wish for a do-over, well I wouldn’t even know what to wish for exactly.

dexter on the beach, pure joy

dexter on the beach, pure joy

Or another example might be my participation at the World Domination Summit. I could say I wish I could go back and be more involved, more extroverted, attending more events, meeting more people, but would that have really made it a better experience for me? As it was, I took the time alone and apart that I felt I needed, and I did attend things, connected with some amazing people, introduced myself to almost all of the people on my “must meet someday and tell them to their face how much I adore them” list.

My final answer to this prompt would be something I saw posted on Facebook the other day, “With every rising of the sun, think of your life as just begun. The past has cancelled & buried deep all yesterdays. There let them sleep,” (author unknown).

Favorite Photo of You

The full prompt: “Please post your favourite picture of yourself from 2012, self-portrait or otherwise!” Besottment also included this prompt for Day 15 of Reverb: What was your favourite photo taken OF you and/or the photo you loved best that you took in 2012?

This one is a tie, but what I like about them is the same. They both show me content, somewhere that I love, confident in who I am, no mask. The first is me in Waldport, Oregon this summer, our first week of a month long stay, taken on a rainy morning while wearing my purple fleece robe, having just finished writing a blog post, an image I posted on Instagram.

purplefleecerobeThe second is me at Shambhala Mountain Center during the Fearless Creativity writing and meditation retreat with Susan Piver, the weekend I finally surrendered and claimed “I am a writer,” meant it, knew it was true, confident and content.

smcmecloseup

#Reverb12: Day 12

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Joy

The full prompt: What activity brings you the most joy? (Author: Lee Currie)

This is a tie between writing and being with my dogs. Both things have at their heart connection and pure love. My writing practice in the past year has moved beyond judgement and conditions (mostly) to a place of satisfaction and contentment, and my experience of my dogs has always been that simple. I can write for hours, lose all sense of time, am reluctant to stop, feel like I always have so much more to say, wake up in the middle of the night with ideas, am writing in my head as I am walking or doing yoga or even meditating, wake up excited to start working–this is love, this is joy. And my boys, all three of them, even the one who is no longer with us–all I have to do is think about them or look at them, sleeping or playing or barking at the trash truck or whatever they happen to be doing, whatever they did good or bad, and my heart softens, sometimes melting completely, sometimes breaking with so much love, so much joy, and even sadness because it’s all so beautiful and temporary.

meandtheboyslory

Not Done

The full prompt: What was something you planned to do in 2012 but didn’t? What was it, and why did you not accomplish it?

I planned to heal my body, my relationship with it and with food. I thought that with awareness, this would come easily. I would notice what I was doing, gain knowledge and understanding, be able to stop numbing out, disconnecting, smashing myself to bits, forgive myself and be able to change. I was so wrong. The habitual patterns, this way of being is so old, so deep, so sticky. There are layers and layers of resistance, of grief and longing, and it’s about so much more than just my body–it’s everything. This is going to be much harder than I thought, but it’s why it is one of my primary intentions in the next year: sanity, wellness and balance.

Brave Belly

Your Most Intense Emotions

The full prompt: What made you dance in 2012? What made you weep?

My purpose becoming clear made me dance. As I take each step forward, as I do the work without attachment to the outcome, without knowing why or where exactly it will lead, the rightness of my longing, the ways in which I can make a difference in the world, have the potential to ease suffering, is becoming more and more clear, and I am becoming more and more certain, confident.

My blog doing well made me dance, the kind and gentle readers, the times people shared my posts or left heartfelt comments, the times when I knew what I was writing mattered, wasn’t just helping me but rippled out.

The possibility and opportunities that occurred made me dance. So many good things happened, and I can see that so many more are on their way.

Finding out that Dexter had cancer, that it was incurable, that he wouldn’t be with us for much longer made me weep. And it continues to do so.

Things that I won’t share here made me weep, things I won’t write about on this blog because they belong to other people, are their mistakes and confusion and grief, and it wouldn’t be right to tell you about it–and yet, these are things that caused me deep suffering, ongoing pain. It is so hard when someone you love dearly is making bad choices, generating so much trouble for themselves, is hurting people, doing damage, wreaking havoc and causing mayhem, and all you can do is watch and try to keep loving them.

Mistakes

The full prompt: It’s easy to focus on our mistakes—to reflect with 20/20 hindsight and berate ourselves for what went wrong. Bring your awareness to a mistake you’ve made over the past year. Unveil one positive lesson from that mistake. How can you actively use this lesson moving forward?

I was too busy, pushed too hard, wanted too much, did too much, overcommitted and overextended. In fact, I am doing it right now. This isn’t sustainable, and there are consequences. I disappointed people, some things were left half done or abandoned altogether, stuff literally piled up, was messy and unkempt, I denied myself the care necessary for health and wellness, I broke promises, I was distracted and because of that mistakes were made, I didn’t always do my best work and sometimes I failed completely.

I suppose what I learned is that I have limits, that I can’t do everything, that I will have to let go of some things, surrender to others, and that there is time, there is good reason to do so. In the coming months, my intention is to learn what balance looks like for me, what health and wellness mean, and to start living towards that.

Unexpected Passion

The full prompt: What new hobby or interest piqued your passion this year?  Or did you think about an old passion in a new way?

wholeheartedzentangle

Making art. I used to tell myself not to bother because I wasn’t any good, thought that to be creative you had to first have talent, to know exactly and for sure what you were doing, your goal and your method. This year I realized that creating something just feels good, and I don’t ever have to share what I make, it can be a process and practice that is just for me, for the pure joy of it. I can also see how the way to get good, to find my “thing” when it comes to art, is to make a lot, to keep showing up, being open to what arises, and in this way I will eventually stumble upon my artistic voice, my style, my thing.

#Reverb12: Day 11

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The Plank

The full prompt: (this is one I did out of order, missed) It has been said that you must learn to take care of yourself before you can be effective at taking care of others. How did you take care of yourself in 2012? How will you take care of yourself in 2013?

My self-care this past year was a bit frustrating, confusing and complicated. You see, taking care of myself has been something that for years I just didn’t do. I was like one of those people who drive a car hard, but provide it very little maintenance, only what is absolutely necessary to keep it from dying–get gas, change the oil, and wash the windows when they are so dirty you can’t see out of them anymore, but that’s about it. I brushed my teeth, I slept, I took vitamins, I tried to eat well, I worked out, but I didn’t really care.  I had been in an abusive relationship…with myself…for about 20 years, and when you are busy hating and loathing yourself, smashing yourself to bits, there isn’t really a lot of time left over for care, you don’t “waste” your energy on concern, certainly not love.

That is slowly changing. What is frustrating is that I am still mostly in the stage of being aware that I’m not caring for myself, at the same time that I continue to act out the same old ways of being. I can see what I am doing, but I am not stopping. I can see all the ways that I ignore and deny myself, all the places where I push and bully myself. I am aware, but real change is slow going. My way of being with myself, of relating to myself is a deeply rooted habit, sticky and old.

In 2013, I have aspirations to be a self-caring fool. I wish to be well-fed, not starved or stuffed, (thank you, Rachel Cole). I long to restore my body to wellness and full health. I crave balance, to know what that means for me and to live it.

Small Pleasures

The full prompt: What small pleasures did you discover this year?

Most of this list is rediscovered pleasure, things I had forgotten to do, forgotten to notice, but some things are new: Reading, Skype, Instagram, teaching, writing long loopy love letters, looking at the sky and all its various moods and weather and light, avocado, fresh cucumbers, grapefruit juice, Depoe Baykery, Farmer’s Markets, fresh flowers, baking, collaging, painting, making stuff, long and lazy talks with like-minded and like-hearted people, movies, music, laughing, kissing, whispering, sitting in the backyard, and long long walks with dogs.

Anticipation

The full prompt: What is the one thing that you are most looking forward to in 2013?

Becoming, embodying and manifesting who I really am. Something really cool, very exciting is happening. I gave up on pretending, trying to be perfect, trying to be cool or fit in, and started being myself. Instead of waiting to be invited or given permission, I started–living the life I longed for, doing the work my heart desired, being myself. I showed up with an open heart and when I did, the Universe took note and has been sending me all kinds of wicked crazy support and inspiration and connection, like it was just waiting for me to agree, to say “yes,” to stop waiting for something to happen and just happen. I am so curious to see what is going to happen next, because anything, anything is possible. I am all kinds of possible.

Music to Your Ears

The full prompt: What was music to your ears in 2012, literally or metaphorically?

Related to the above response, the feedback coming my way. The confirmation, time after time, that I’m on the right path. The comments on my blog, the fact that so many kind and gentle people are reading, the invitations I’m getting to be a part of such good things, the gratitude and opportunity and love coming my way.

Last night, Eric brought home this book for me from the library, “I saw it and thought you’d like it.” Him noticing what I’m doing, being so aware of what matters to me, that he supports me doing it is a big deal.

collageworkbook

10 Things

The full prompt: 10 things you were thankful for in 2012? Another list prompt! Big or small – list out (at least) 10 things you were thankful for.

  1. My three boys, and the memory of the one who is no longer with us.
  2. The love of family and friends.
  3. Financial stability and security in a time when so many people don’t have that.
  4. Even though there were issues, for the most part there was health and wellness.
  5. The various ecourses I took, workshops and retreats and conferences I attended, projects I’m involved in, blogs I read, people I met that brought such meaningful experiences, so much support and inspiration into my life.
  6. The sky, the sun and the moon, the weather, the flowers, the fruits and vegetables, the trees, the river, the bees, the foxes, the cranes, the deer, the beavers, the birds, the rocks, the dirt, the trails.
  7. Long long talks about everything important and everything not so much, kisses, hugs, laughing, long walks and love notes.
  8. Opportunities to help, to be kind and generous, to ease suffering.
  9. Books, music, and movies–art, words and stories, the truth.
  10. My open heart. Your open heart. The kindness and wisdom that reside there.

Relationships

The full prompt: Did you form any new, or strengthen any existing, relationships in 2012? With who? How did you go about it? If you didn’t, why not? Was something holding you back? Was there someone you wish you strengthened your relationship with?

A few relationships that were previously me adoring or following someone from afar, with maybe a little shared adoration here and there, became real, some of them turning into wholehearted love fests. Some of these people I was lucky enough to meet in real life, to hear their voice, hug them, tell them to their sweet faces how much I adored them, but with others the relationship, which though not literally face to face, got stronger through the shared will of our connection, often facilitated by various technologies. I feel like I have found my tribe, a sisterhood, a collective, that I am supported by “these golden threads that connect us.” I might be weird, but I have found so many others that are weird like me and in that way I know I am not alone.

Money

The full prompt: Where did you spend money through this year? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

This year it was like I did a self directed graduate program, attended life-rehab. I took a lot of ecourses (mostly focused on personal growth, health and wellness, writing, photography, blogging), bought and read a lot of books, attended many retreats and workshops and one big conference, joined the Open Heart Project, studied and practiced my little heart out. And it was was worth every penny, every minute.

#Reverb12: Day 10

reverb12There are a few extra prompts from over the weekend from Besottment that I’m catching up with here, and other ones that are on the wrong days because I can’t seem to keep them organized–but I like how no matter how I approach them, the right ones seem to come to me just when I’m ready to answer them, trusting in the process, the practice, the magic.

Funniest Story

The full prompt: What was your funniest story from 2012? This is a great prompt to have some fun with! Think of a funny story you were involved in, heard of, saw happen, etc. Describe what happened – is there any back story to it? What were the circumstances? Do you still chuckle when you think about it now?

For me, no one story stands out as memorable, as THE funniest. However, there are relationships where laughter happened on a regular basis–in my Writing for the Web class (I made them laugh, they made me and each other laugh), between Eric and I (we are always cracking each other up, over sometimes the dumbest things, stuff that would make no sense to anyone else), with my trainer (we both have a sense of humor equivalent to that of a 14 year old boy), and with the dogs (I don’t know if the dogs laugh or think things are funny, but they are constantly making me laugh).

samleafpile

why the backyard needs grass: for running, rolling, lounging, and peeing on

This year I’ve became increasingly aware of my sensitivity to what I watch on TV–it has to be either funny without being too mean (no pranks of taking advantage of those who can’t defend themselves, no humor that is dependent on hurting someone), or a “feel good” story. I typically watch short episode comedies, with the occasional movie, when I watch TV. Shows like 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, The Mindy Project, Ben & Kate, New Girl, or The Office. On Netflix this year, I worked my way through How I Met Your Mother and then started My Name is Earl. (I really don’t watch as much TV as that all makes it sound like I do!)

Quote

The full post: What was the quote or saying that most resonated with you this past year? Was there any quote, mantra or saying that really spoke to you? Helped you through something? Made you smile?

The most significant quotes for me this year were:

Confidence is the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment. ~Susan Piver

We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips that we lay on ourselves—the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds—never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake. ~Pema Chödrön

I have a hundred other favorites, but it was these two that came up, over and over–so often that I practically memorized them.

Nostalgia

The full prompt: Was there anything you were feeling nostalgic for in 2012? 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 felt this longing for something past first when we went to the beach this summer. We have stayed in the same house in Waldport three times now, and one of those times was Obi’s final trip there. The second time in that house, the next trip we took to the beach, we brought some of Obi’s ashes with us to scatter in our favorite spot, and this last time, I brought a little bit more. When we visited the place on Driftwood Beach, scattered more of his ashes, letting him go little by little, there were yellow wild irises blooming.

obisirisesThen right after we got back from our trip, Dexter was diagnosed with a fatal cancer. We’d only lost Obi to his three years before. This made me again feel nostalgic for the days when Obi and Dexter were together and so in love, both young and healthy. Three years out, I had finally felt as if I’d released most of the pain surrounding Obi’s loss, that it had softened to gentle sadness and happy memory. And just as that ease occurred, the grief began with Dexter. If only I could know for sure that Dexter would get to be with Obi when he left us, it would be so much easier to let him go.

Obi and Dexter

Accomplish

The full prompt: What are the 10 things I’m most proud of accomplishing this year? What are 10 things on the to do list for next year? (Author: Lee Currie)

10 things I’m most proud of accomplishing this year

  1. My continued commitment to this blog, the ease and joy of this practice.
  2. Attending the World Domination Summit.
  3. Meeting so many women I admire and not throwing up on any of their shoes.
    feet
  4. Hosting a Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop, led by Rachel Cole.
  5. The poem I was brave enough to write and share at the Fearless Creativity Writing and Meditation retreat with Susan Piver.
  6. The way I’ve handled Dexter’s cancer, his care.
  7. Teaching.
  8. All the classes I’ve taken, the engagement and the learning.
  9. Connections I’ve made, so many amazing and like-minded, like-hearted people.
  10. 20 years with Eric, in a relationship that is functioning and workable, happy and loving.

10 things on the to do list for next year

  1. Take a lettering class, such as this one.
  2. Do a massive decluttering of our house.
  3. Send some things out to get published, both in print and online.
  4. Increase my HTML and CSS knowledge, specifically learn to set up and maintain a WordPress site on my own server.
  5. Heal my body, my relationship with it.
  6. Cultivate my meditation practice so it rivals my writing practice.
  7. Another retreat with Susan Piver.
  8. Explore and learn what it might mean, be like to teach an ecourse, (consult the experts).
  9. Catch up the home repair and improvement project list.
  10. Determine what a “balanced” like looks like and live it.

Soul Food

The full prompt: How do you nourish your soul? What activities are essential nutrients for your soul’s well-being?

buddhafeatherPractice: yoga, meditation, word, and dog.

Study: reading, reading and more reading, responding to prompts, taking classes, attending workshops and retreats, watching video and listening to podcasts, showing up and doing the work.

Connection: consulting with teachers and other open-hearted, wise beings, being open to whatever arises, synchronizing body and mind, connecting with nature and reality and myself.

Creation: art, space, and love.

Greatest Risk

The full prompt: What was the greatest risk you took in 2012? What was the outcome?

Being myself. Maybe I wouldn’t like her, maybe she’d be boring or insane, maybe Eric wouldn’t like her, maybe I’d have to choose between her and him, maybe she’d ruin my life, maybe she’d have nothing to say, no skill, nothing to offer, maybe she’d be less than I imagined, small, maybe she’d have something to say but no one would want to hear it, maybe she’d be hated, unlikeable, maybe she wouldn’t like who liked her, maybe she’d be impulsive, reckless, so selfish that she’d end up alone and unloved, maybe she’d fail, ruin my life.

None of these things turned out to be true. I adore her, and she’s doing really good work, helping people, easing suffering in the world.

eyei

Scars

The full prompt: (this is the one I’m doing out of order, but it’s the right time now). They leave marks, and sometimes you can only take what you can carry. What will you, by choice or by chance, carry into 2013?

I will carry with me the consequences, the karma of mistreating myself, of denying my power, resisting my calling, rejecting my need for love and affection. There is real physical damage, a literal weight I carry with me, but there is also mental and emotional baggage, old habits and ways of being that no longer serve me, but are sticky and deep, patterns of behavior, discursive and destructive thinking, ways of numbing out, resisting and rejecting, running away from the truth. Judgement and criticism, anxiety and depression, practiced for so long, so intently that they don’t fall away in an instant, not even after concentrated effort. There remain faint lines, bumps, jagged raised scar tissue. They ache in the cold and itch in the heat, old hurts, lingering damage that can resurface under certain conditions.

#Reverb12 Day 9

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Spontaneity

The full prompt: What was your last act of spontaneity? (Author: Lee Currie)

Confession: I’m a planner. I am careful and thoughtful. I put things off, procrastinate and contemplate and research the heck out of everything, every choice, every decision, trying to anticipate and control every variable. My life is steeped in routine, regular practice and sameness. I can go for an entire year at a time eating the same exact thing for breakfast almost every single day. Not only do I look before I leap, sometimes I don’t ever get around to leaping. I criticize and judge others for being impulsive.

So when considering this prompt, I was so confounded, confused by the whole notion, the very idea of it, that I had to look up the concept, get a definition to see if I even knew what it meant. Here’s what I found: “Performed or occurring as a result of a sudden inner impulse or inclination and without premeditation or external stimulus; Having an open, natural, and uninhibited manner; Growing naturally and without being tended or cultivated; Instinctive or involuntary.” As I was reading, I was thinking “yeah, not so much, not me at all.”

But then I realized, I am really good at one spontaneous thing: laughter. I am always on the lookout, prepared to laugh, waiting and wishing for something funny, totally open to it, ready and willing. Just yesterday (so, my “last act of spontaneity”), I almost lost my breath because I was laughing so hard at this exchange between my husband and I:

Me: (as we are heading out for our afternoon walk) I haven’t showered or eaten lunch yet, and it’s already 2 pm!
Eric: You haven’t showered yet?
Me: Yeah, I was still in my bathrobe.
Eric: Well, sometimes you shower and put it right back on.
Me: *spontaneous, hysterical laughter*

It was funny, because it’s true. 🙂

Superpower

The full prompt: If you were a superhero, what would your power be?

You might not know this about me, kind and gentle reader, but I have dreams about being able to fly fight like in The Matrix or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. If I were a superhero, I’d want the power to protect and heal, to be the ultimate peacemaker, defender of love and sanity, a brave and openhearted warrior able to bring an end to suffering.

Most Important Relationship

Somehow when I was reverbing yesterday, I accidentally answered the day nine prompt from Kat, so today I am answering the prompt I should have already.

The full prompt: Considering the idea that nothing lasts forever: what was the most important relationship that you fostered in 2012? How will you continue to nurture it in 2013?

I shared a quote in another post I published this morning, “our relationship with ourselves is like a mighty pebble tossed into a still lake, everything ripples out from that center point,” (Rachel Cole). I really believe that the most important relationship I fostered in 2012 was the one with myself. For many many years, I had been in an abusive relationship with myself, self-hating and self-loathing, smashing myself to bits, ignoring and denying her, but this past year that finally started to shift. I am getting better at honoring my true hungers, at valuing my innate worth, even as there is still work to do.

As I mentioned in another Reverb12 post, I have long mistreated my body specifially. Tending to this relationship, restoring it and thus restoring my full self to total health, to balance and sustainability, to joy and ease–this will be the primary focus of my year, of my relationship with myself. I aspire to nurture my body back to wellness, its healthiest and sanest expression. By next year at this time, may it glow.

Day of Rest

freedomthanksgivingcrow“The message is sending me a universe.” That’s exactly how I mistyped the way I intended to begin this post, meaning to tell you that the universe has been sending me a message. I like the mistake so much I am keeping it, because it’s just as true as what I meant to say.

As I work this weekend with Rachel Cole’s Wisdom NotesReset. Revive. Restart., Reverb12, and Susannah Conway’s Unravelling The Year Ahead workbook, (as well as attempting to do the laundry, pay bills and balance the checkbook, clean up the house, get groceries, care for the boys and myself…*sigh*), certain things are emerging, becoming clear.

One thing that I want to share with you today, because maybe this is a thing for you too–the rightness of being myself. So many quotes, so much wisdom has come my way in just the past few days about this, and every cell in my body, every corner of my mind, every breath and heartbeat says “yes” and “oh, hell yeah” in response.

babyme

The phone is ringing, darling. Pick up. Pick up! It’s the Universe, with a directive just for you – a way you can be of service in the world, a calling just for you that you can choose to accept or reject. You may be tempted to reject the calling, because it’s likely to feel scary and push you out of your comfort zone. You have free will, so the choice is yours. But I’m here to tell you that if you’re brave enough to accept the calling, not only will you be part of healing the world; you will also open doors that will lead you to a life of mission, service, abundance, love, connection, and work you love. Will you muster up your courage, answer the call, and bring your brilliance into the world? ~Inner Pilot Light

meanddressy

We may doubt that we’re up to being a warrior-in-training. But we can ask ourselves this question: “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?” ~Pema Chödrön

clown

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. ~Denis Waitley

meanddex

I keep having to remind myself, and wanted to take the chance to remind you, to welcome what’s here. To not fight with myself or it. I think it’s one of the hardest things to learn, particularly for those of us who believe we know what’s supposed to happen, and that we could do a better job at controlling the immediate universe!

Krishnamurti, the great spiritual teacher was once asked about his enlightenment. He said, “The answer is: I don’t mind what happens.” It’s such a different life, both inside and outside, when we don’t mind what happens. The tight fist in the chest opens. The body relaxes, and suddenly, even if there is sadness or loss, there is the ability to hold it–and to hold oneself. Such a gift. Such love. ~Geneen Roth

me

…our relationship with ourselves is like a mighty pebble tossed into a
still lake, everything ripples out from that center point. ~Rachel Cole

You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. ~Buddha

scribble

You suppose you are the trouble
But you are the cure
You suppose you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it
It’s too bad that you want to be someone else
You don’t see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.
~Rumi

purplefleecerobe

In the end
these things matter most:
How well did you love?
How fully did you live?
How deeply did you let go?
~Siddhartha Gautama

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

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.
~John O’Donohue