Category Archives: Tribe

Wishcasting Wednesday

Nurture-the-Creative-Within

On this Wishcasting Wednesday, Jamie asks, “How do you wish to nurture the creative within?”

I wish to provide her space, the time and room to slow down and stretch out, look closely and contemplate, expand and play, twirl around or sit still in a deep, quiet, safe place all her own.

I wish to give her love, an unconditional sense of herself, brilliant and beautiful, wise and compassionate and powerful, seen and valued, precious and protected.

I wish to balance her effort with ease.

I wish to offer her gentleness, to quiet the critical, mean voices, to stop the pushing and smashing, to silence any “should” or “have to” or “can’t” or “not enough.”

I wish to provide her mindfulness, to allow her attention to be fully in the present moment, hands and heart on the same task.

I wish to practice with her, to show up regularly, to maintain a routine, a way of letting her fully touch the work, to repeat and retrace and revise and remember.

I wish to pause with her, because sometimes doing nothing is the exact thing to do, sometimes staying still to stare at your toes or the sky, to feel a soft furry body against the palm of your hand, to notice your breath going in and out is everything.

I wish to soften to allowing, letting go of resistance or rejection or grasping or pushing or hiding, and simply surrender to what is.

I wish to give her courage, the willingness to be vulnerable and weird, accepting the possibility of being wounded, practicing being brave, showing up and being seen.

I wish her to know and attend to her hunger, to not fear or deny her desire and longing, even when it has teeth, even when it rages, even when it wants what is impossible, even when it wants to love the whole world.

I wish to open her to joy, pure feeling, heart wide open, full of light and love.

I wish to surround her with all the tools and resources she needs to do her heart’s work.

I wish for her connection and community, a tribe of understanding and love and support, a collection of artists and healers and teachers, those with big hearts and amazing ideas and the ability to make her laugh until it hurts.

Gratitude Friday

janmorningsky07

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.

1. Play. Specifically Dexter, him playing with Sam in the backyard, reminding me so much of when he was younger and would play and play, him with his babies, waiting outside the bathroom door for me this morning with his Little D in his mouth, tail wagging and head held low, Sam’s play bow, so graceful and long because of his crazy tall legs, but also being reminded of play by others, of how fearless and free we were as children and contemplating how to bring some of that back, how to remember, to be that again.

2. Pen Pals. I am being reminded of the pure joy of sending packets of hand written, doodled, dreamy and loopy love between friends. This feels playful, tangible, makes me feel like a kid again, so young and full of possibility.

3. Books. I started a few new ones, ordered a few more (I have a serious problem, y’all). As much as I love to write, I love to read. I wonder who I would be if I had been born in a place or time where women were (are?) kept illiterate. What would I do? Where would all that love, that longing go?

4. Clip on Collar Lights for the dogs. I clip these on the dogs’ harnesses on dark mornings (all of them this time of year), since they are both blackish. It makes them more visible. Along with my headlamp, you can’t miss us, and we can keep mostly clear of the ninjas who are out that early too.

5. Tribe. And all the technology and tools that make connecting with them possible. Whether it’s in an online class, a Skype session, an email, a handwritten letter, or across the table from each other over a cup of coffee, I am so grateful to know and be loved by so many strong, inspiring, kind, brilliant women.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. This has gone on for so much longer than I expected, and yet every week is worth noting, worth celebrating, worth remarking and giving an offering of gratitude, a heart full of it.

ilikeham

2013 Vision Board

I finally, finally and just in the nick of time (since I have to go back to my paid work tomorrow) finished my 2013 vision board. Liv Lane describes the practice this way, “Rather than waiting to ‘see what happens’ in 2013, creating a vision board allows you to see what can happen in 2013.”

I couldn’t get a very good picture of it, and it’s too big to use my scanner, but here’s what I came up with:

2013visionboard
New Year, New You

“The new year is always the perfect time to make a commitment to yourself to increase your daily fitness and live a healthier life. This year, make another commitment to find new ways to slow down your busy life and create a little peace and serenity.”

Free, free, free, free, free.
(Freedom is my guiding word, my intention for 2013,
to feel free, free from and free to).
Walking in the park…shades of gray.
A thousand shades of gray.

Making space,
radical self-acceptance,
beautiful you.
Dreaming. Comfort.
Change your space, free your mind.
Relax. Open. Deepen.

Path is simple: to root in purpose.
“Your purpose is about discovering and nurturing who you truly are, to know and love yourself at the deepest level and to guide yourself back home when you lose your way,” (Kris Carr).

To tread lightly.
To remember.
To be outside.
To step off the path.
To play.
To live.

The art of living knows no bounds.
Free, free, free, free, free.
Truly joyful.
Truly memorable.
Truly original.
Dream.

Images: The image of the submerged stump in the lower right corner for me represents that the growth you can see, the life that is visible is only part of the story, that there is so much more below the surface.

treestump

This year I intend to continue sinking deep into my body and the present moment, running and practicing yoga and walking in the park and meditating and getting naked.

There is an elephant on the lower left side, like Ganesha, a protector and remover of obstacles. Art, light, writing, and strawberries, (I’m planning a berry bed that will run the entire length of the front of my house). Arrows and a strip of map, a path, direction and movement.

The picture of the woman on the typewriter is a tiny bit of magic. I originally had a picture of a woman in sitting meditation, but felt the board wasn’t done, it needed something that represented my desire, my longing, my aspiration, my intention to write and publish. I opened up an issue of Taproot and started to flip through the pages, and there she was, the turquoise of the typewriter so perfectly matched to the blue of the water below it.

What is so magic about it is that hat looks suspiciously like one owned and worn by my good friend Sherry Richert Belul. If it’s not you, Sherry, please don’t tell me. The thought that it might be her/you, that she/you might represent the friendship and support of a collective of kindreds, of like-minded artists and warriors, of all those in my tribe, including all my kind and gentle readers, gives me so much joy.

P.S. Magic update: If you read the comments, it turns out that IS Sherry in the picture. How cool is that?!

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 White Christmas. It felt so much softer, quieter, more festive with the snow and the cold.

2. Good friends and family with whom to spend the holiday. It was a tiny number, but quality can be just as good as quantity.

3. Leftovers. I did a lot of cooking in the days leading up to Christmas, and now I am doing a lot of eating. Apple pie oatmeal remains one of my favorite things.

4. Retreat. I know what a luxury, what a gift this time is (even though I know I have earned it), and I am enjoying sinking in and seeing what might arise.

5. My tribe. In the past few days, it has become very clear to me that there is a strong community surrounding and supporting me–my yoga classes, my local and virtual friends, the Open Heart Project, the Cultivating Courage alumnus group, those who are involved with Reset.Revive.Restart., my fellow Reverb12-ers, other bloggers and writers and practitioners and seekers–I am feeling so much gratitude for that, for them. Its value is beyond my ability to truly measure it.

Bonus Joy: We got to spend another Christmas with Dexter. Last week, he went hiking and made dog snow angels.

dexsnowangel02

What I Learned in Cultivating Courage

I just finished the first session of Andrea Scher’s Cultivating Courage E-Course. In the course description, she says:

One conscious, brave choice — every day for 30 days. Who will you be on the other side?

During those 30 days, I developed a practice. I experienced inspiration, comfort, community, and a refined definition of courage. Here I am, on the other side, and this is who I am:

1. “I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.” ~Walt Whitman Every act of kindness is an act of bravery. My first thought often is something generous, but I usually stop myself, especially if a stranger is involved. I let those old, nasty voices about how I’m “too much” stop me, but this class, this practice has reminded me that this is my superpower, my nature, and maybe even my purpose.

2. I am not alone, and with a tribe, I am so much stronger. After 30 days in this class, I remember the importance of tribe, of communicating and connecting, of showing up and being vulnerable. Even though most of us in class were meeting each other for the first time, Andrea created a safe space, a secure container for our practice and our sharing, and we dared to be vulnerable, to connect. We quickly became a support team, a tribe of tender-hearted warriors practicing courage, encouraging each other and celebrating together.

3. What is an act of courage for me is just that, brave for me. Cultivating courage isn’t about becoming anyone else’s idea of brave. For me, right now, courage means cultivating confidence, the kind that Susan Piver describes as “the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.” Trusting myself, having faith in my own voice, showing up with an open heart, even when it’s hard and even when it hurts.

4. Courage doesn’t have to be big or bold. It can be quiet and gentle, soft and simple. You don’t have to save someone from a burning building, or make a grand gesture to be brave. As Mary Anne Radmacher says, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.’ ”

Andrea Scher is a maker of magic. She has a compassionate vision, and it’s so vivid, so vibrant that you can see it too, and this shared dream has the power to move you. You know immediately that you can trust her, and that with her support, amazing things are going to happen, you are going to happen.

P.S. One of the NaBloPoMo prompts this week was “What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?” and another was “Tell us about your favorite pet.” As Andrea was putting together this course, she asked for courage stories, and the one I sent her was about my first dog, Obi, and having to let him go–the bravest and most loving thing I ever had to do. Andrea’s Cultivating Courage e-course has reminded me that this is who I am.

Gratitude Friday

This post is 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. Fall. The colors (vivid green, gold, red, purple, and brown–even the gray of rot and dust and the white of ice shimmers like it’s on fire), the temperature (sunny and warmish during the day, cool at night), the clothes (everything so soft and warm and cuddly), and the food (soup and warm drinks and cheese and carbs, solid comforting food).

2. 19 years with my favorite person. I still can’t get over how lucky I am.

19 years ago we eloped, got married in evergreen, colorado, and both wore green

3. Another Aimee Mann concert, with some of my favorite people in the audience. She’s so good, so talented and smart and funny, (Eric and I think we’ve seen her at least seven times now, including her Christmas variety show), and so gracious even when people in the crowd who’ve had too much to drink won’t stop yelling at her, (btw: wasn’t me).

Here’s the original Til Tuesday video.

4. Good days for Dexter. When there is no cure, and the treatments don’t make much difference, and you get closer to the end when the amount of time no longer matters as much as the quality: you can let go of the search for a better therapy, you can stop trying to control the outcome, you can let go of wishing things were different, you can surrender your panic and dread, and sink into fully experiencing each single day. All that matters is “was today a good day?” and if the answer is “yes,” you feel gratitude and agree to move together into the next day. You are present, you connect and love and are together for that day, that moment. You don’t spend your now banking time for later, waiting or hoping or dreading. This is exactly what life should be, what it is, and you experience it with an open heart. In this way, you won’t miss anything, won’t have regrets. Your heart will still break, but this is the deal when you love anything mortal.

5. My Writing Online, writing for the web class. I am grateful for how funny, smart, and creative these people are, how they laugh at my dumb jokes and make me laugh, how they help each other and the way they celebrate their successes, the way their particular voices are emerging. If this does end up being the last time I teach it for CSU, this will be a great community to end with.

Bonus Joy: Finding feathers in my path when I’m struggling, how they remind me that I am part of a tribe, a part of something beautiful.

Instructions for Living a Life

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
~Mary Oliver

This morning, walking the dogs with Eric, I saw: a huge tree that’s been dead for a long time finally fell down (and it was big enough that it certainly went “boom” when it did), a dead beaver carcass, two white tailed deer, one whose tail wasn’t quite working so it might be hurt, one massive turtle still looking for a spot to lay her eggs walking like a tiny dinosaur through the grass by the creek between Wood Duck Pond and the McMurray Ponds (same exact date we saw her last year, so May 31st is now officially Turtle Day), two mini Herons, one of which looked more like a Penguin as he stood on a log fishing (turns out they are actually called a Black Crowned Night Heron), one large Blue Heron in flight over the river that later was heard squawking and flying in the other direction, and finally, a bicycle parade.

I paid attention and was astonished, and I wanted to tell you about it.

Black Crowned Night Heron

I received gifts: access to workshops with amazing women at the World Domination Summit in July (yoga with Marianne Elliott, Writing with Susannah Conway, Book Content Mapping with Cynthia Morris, and Identifying Superpowers with Andrea Scher…holy wow, such amazing women that I so adore, my head/heart might explode), my Kickstarter reward from Danielle Ate the Sandwich arrived, along with her new album, which is every bit as good as I knew it would be, and I found a heart-shaped rock on our walk.

I paid attention and was astonished, and I wanted to tell you about it.

I gave gifts: some were shared words of wisdom and kindness, others were scholarships for Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project Practitioner level, and finally there was my heART exchange project, which I finally finished and mailed to Australia today. I plan to write a post about the process (I didn’t just make something, I learned stuff) once my swap partner receives it.

I paid attention and was astonished, and I wanted to tell you about it.

heART exchange project sneak peek

Tribe: it’s Tribe week in my Unravelling ecourse with Susannah Conway, so I’ve been thinking a lot about that, how we can be a tribe of one even. I spent a little bit of time being a tribe of one, writing and eating lunch while waiting for a friend to arrive so we could be a tribe of two and have a long talk about perfection, art, boundaries, dogs and trust. Then, I spent part of the afternoon having another long talk with another good friend, drinking mango lemonade and eating a blue flower cookie as big as my head. I have amazing women in my life, in my tribe.

I paid attention and was astonished, and I wanted to tell you about it.

Yay Turkey, Split Pea Soup, Root Beer, and a notebook at Red Table.

I’ve had moments of being wholehearted, with myself and others in my tribe. These two quotes from Anne Lamott remind me how wonderful and difficult that is: “The love and good and the wild and the peace and creation that are you will reveal themselves, but it is harder when they have to catch up to you in roadrunner mode” and “We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be.” I am reminded to slow down, stop doing so much and be.

I paid attention and was astonished, and I wanted to tell you about it.