Category Archives: The Inky Path

Winter Joy Retreat: Edible Memories

nourish2015As you may or may not remember, my word for this year is nourish. I don’t blame you if you don’t remember, kind and gentle reader, as it has slipped my mind at times too. I picked it initially because I loved its double meaning: to feed and to cherish. Those were both things I felt I sorely needed.

The last traditional New Year’s resolution I made was to be a better friend to myself. After that year, I heard about the practice of picking a word instead, a single word that would guide me and help me focus on what I really wanted, an intention that would act as a sort of mantra. The first year I picked retreat, then freedom, then home, and this year nourish. Those first few years I was more immediately focused, had a clearer intention, even did mid-year reviews on the blog.

The first part of this year, I thought a lot about what nourish meant to me, what it would mean to have that in my life, to experience it. But then I got sick and was down for a long time, and when I was finally better, my foot was hurt and has taken such a long time to heal. I tried to rest and take care of myself, but I was confused about what was happening and what I really needed, what I was “supposed” to do, how to “fix” it. I got depressed.

Just recently, however, I’ve felt the fog lifting. I’ve been practicing, reading and listening to podcasts, taking part in some ecourses and other experiences that have helped me see truth. Some of the things I’ve learned, in no particular order:

  • I need more rest, and that is NOT a sign of weakness. I am allowed to rest, it’s okay to be tired. Sometimes the wisest, most compassionate thing is to quit, to do nothing.
  • Because I’m sensitive and tender and keep my heart open, the will it takes to just get out of bed or to leave the house on some days is fierce. This can get confusing when I need rest or quiet or to be alone, because that big will wants to say “suck it up, keep going, get out there,” but that only leads to collapse. The trick is to balance the will with gentleness, to know when and where.
  • Heart-centered work isn’t just about what I can offer the world, it’s about supporting and nourishing me too.
  • Discernment and receptivity are essential to my process, to my life, but they also require a lot of effort and therefore a lot of rest.
  • I am driven by what other people need and want. I have to be so careful to not abandon myself in the pursuit of easing the suffering of others.
  • Breaking old habits takes a really, really, really long time, especially under stress or in chaotic conditions.

WJREdibleMemories600x481As the holidays wind up and the year winds down, I am doing a few special things to support myself, to treat myself. One is taking part in the Winter Joy Retreat hosted by Jena Schwartz and Cigdem Kobu. Just to be clear, I’m an affiliate for everything Jena and Cigdem do through The Inky Path because I absolutely and utterly believe in their work and their mission, and want to share it. Separately these women offer amazing things, but together they are a force to be reckoned with.

I’ve done Winter Joy Retreat before and loved it. I am so excited about this year’s focus on writing and food, and the women contributing are some of my favorites. Edible Memories: A Writing Retreat on Food as a Metaphor and a Feast for Memory is described as “a 14-day annual end-of-the year event that combines inspiration, introspection, connection, fun, and creative expression. It is a fabulous way to relax, rekindle your creative spark, and reconnect with yourself and others as one year finishes and a new one comes along with fresh new possibilities.” Yes, please!

Something Good

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So great to be partnering with Wanderlust to share this list with a larger audience.

1. Mabel Magazine #4: What’s Next? is available for preorder, (one of my pieces is featured). I love their tagline so much, “making a living, creating a life.”

2. Good stuff from Alexandra Franzen: What if your job didn’t exist? and Will anyone come to my party? What I like so much about Alexandra’s advice is that even though it’s really good for specific people, it’s also applicable to anyone who is human, anyone trying to figure out how to live their lives.

3. Go Big, Go Weird, Go You, And Fuck Fear Right In The Ear and Kubler-Ross Model of Grief Associated With Editing And Rewriting on Terrible Minds. He might use a lot of naughty words to do it, but Chuck tells the TRUTH.

4. The Case of the Stolen Basketball Hoop from Jena Schwartz, in which she says, “Isn’t that the reason I blog, to pull all of the disparate strands from a day into some kind of bow you’d recognize and want to pull open, to unwrap with the promise of something beautiful waiting inside?”

5. 3 Ways to NOT Fail at NaNoWriMo. And in related news, 12 Thoughts On NaNoWriMo: Why you should or should NOT participate in National Novel Writing Month.

6. Getting Over the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) from Kute Blackson. I don’t necessarily think that something more exciting is happening somewhere else, I worry that if I stop, slow down, take a break, I’m going to miss something good, something important — so I listen to Kute preach.

7. The power of fear and Simple questions for writers from Seth Godin.

8. Eighteen Attempts at Writing About a Miscarriage. Sad, beautiful.

9. 10 Slow and Steady Strategies for Practical Decluttering from Be More With Less – clear, useful, simple instructions from Courtney Carver.

10. How To Be An Artist (In An Internet Age), an interview with Austin Kleon.

11. What have you experienced? on Chookooloonks. Make sure to read the comments, leave one of your own.

12. One-Third Of This Company’s Workers Have Criminal Backgrounds. “Dave’s Killer Bread is urging other employers to hire ex-convicts, too.” This is the kind of bread we eat, because it’s good and because they are doing good.

13. 15 Habits That Will Totally Transform Your Productivity. #3 is my favorite.

14. ‘Broad City’ released a Columbus Day video, because they know what we need.

15. Making Magic: Thoughts on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Big Magic on Flingo.

16. Artist Uses Nature To Color Animal Paper Silhouettes on Bored Panda. In related news, Self-Taught Polish Artist Uses Fallen Autumn Leaves As Canvases For Her Paintings and Maple Leaves Left In A Box For 15 Years Became Canvases For My Art. Which reminds me of Flor & Fawn, a creative collaboration between Katie Daisy & Karen Eland — they are going to start doing custom pet portraits and I really want some of my dogs!

17. The Key To Oprah Winfrey’s Success: Radical Focus, a fascinating look behind the scenes.

18. Rest on Allowing Myself.

19. UN to investigate plight of US Native Americans for first time. “The UN human rights inquiry will focus on the living conditions of the 2.7 million Native Americans living in the US.”

20. To Witness Victory of This New Bravery by Omid Safi at On Being. So good.

21. Rescue Kitten Adopted By 5 Ferrets Thinks It’s A Ferret Too. Stupid cute.

22. The Meaning of Hatha Yoga (and No, It’s Not “Sun & Moon”) from Michael Lloyd-Billington, one of my favorite local teachers. I teach Hatha Yoga and this was still an interesting read for me.

23. “A Love Affair with Change”: An Inkerview with Isabel Abbott on The Inky Path.

24. Karl Paulnack Welcome Address on The Boston Conservatory. This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read about the importance of the arts, of artists, of humans. He concludes, among other things, that,

Art is part of survival; art is part of the human spirit, an unquenchable expression of who we are. Art is one of the ways in which we say, “I am alive, and my life has meaning.”

25. Why October is Hard on Getting the Words Wrong. All I can say is Amen.

26. Truthbomb #907 from Danielle LaPorte, “No need to try so hard.”

27. The Water Takes You Just as You Are from Rachel Cole.

28. The Lonely Death of George Bell from The New York Times. “Each year around 50,000 people die in New York, some alone and unseen. Yet death even in such forlorn form can cause a surprising amount of activity. Sometimes, along the way, a life’s secrets are revealed.” This piece was so interesting, so heartbreaking.

29. The Tiny Book Show. There’s still plenty of time to take part.

30. RISE, a morning yoga course with Adriene.

31. Read this when no one loves you. You know what, read it anyway. Read it now.

32. A Group Of People Tried Journaling Every Day For A Month And It Got A Little Too Introspective, a BuzzFeed video. “A group of us was asked to commit to writing in a journal 10 minutes every day for a month and this is how we did.”

33. 22 Habits That Will Make Your Life a Little More Peaceful Each Day. Certainly worth a try.

34. A Girl Gets Her Period And Is Banished To The Shed: #15Girls.

35. Your life is of the utmost importance, Susan Piver’s latest Open Heart Project video. In the email she sent to the OHP Sangha, she ended this way, “Thank you for being alive. Thank you for bringing your unique beauty to us all. Thank you for working to open your heart to the mystery.” Amen.

36. Wisdom from Dza Kilung Rinpoche,

You don’t need to be an “excellent meditator” to start with. All you need to do is have your heart and mind make the following agreement: “Let’s rest. There’s no reason right now to wander around following thoughts or worrying. Let’s be relaxed and open.” There’s not even any need to shut down your thoughts. Just be there with them, but not overly concerned or engaged. Let there be total openness, and just relax within that.

37. Anna Kendrick’s Surprising (and Brilliant) Shower Thoughts. The last one is the best, and I can’t stop thinking about it.