Category Archives: Worthiness

#Reverb12: Day 5

reverb12 Kind and gentle reader, this week has been nutty goo goo. It’s the last week of classes here at Colorado State University, so I have been in the thick of grading, meetings, tying up loose strings and putting out fires. A few things had to be postponed, which is why I haven’t reverbed for two days, and why I’ll be publishing multiple posts today as I catch up. Yes, I could just skip them, but like I said before they are way too much fun.

Worthy

The full prompt is: Who have you taken for granted? Write to them a handwritten letter expressing how you truly feel about them. Then mail it. (Author: Linar Studio)

This might sound like a strange answer, but I have taken my body for granted. When I first started working on this prompt, I had every intention of writing the letter, scanning it, and sharing it here. But I wasn’t too far into it before I realized that it was too personal, too private, and way too long to share.

My body is a precious thing, but I have for so long ignored and denied and abused it. It is an awful, ugly, messy business. The apology has been made more than once, earnestly and wholeheartedly, but as with any relationship where trust has been broken, the restoration is going to take time. I have to prove that I’m not going to break my promises. I have to stop saying “I love you” and start proving it.

Brave Belly

Letting Go

The full prompt is: For next year, I’m letting go of…

  • Busyness. I have no idea how I am actually going to do this, because I am a doer, I go go go, I want to do all the things, do/be more, do/be better–but I am finding that way of being is no longer sustainable, healthy, or even productive.
  • Smashing myself to bits. Again, not sure how this is going to work, because I’ve been trying already, but it needs to happen, so I’ll keep trying.
  • Letting what other people say or think (or what I think they think, even though I can’t possibly know for sure) stop me. If I have confidence, an open heart, and am doing the work I feel called, compelled to do, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks. I am not trying to be popular or to fit in or get rich, that isn’t the point at all, so I can let go of caring or worrying about it.
  • Stuff, lots and lots of stuff. I mean physical things here, the clutter and nonsense and mess that has accumulated in my life. If I don’t use it or love it, I am going to let it go, clear out some space.
  • Shame and regret. These have never served me, never added any value to my life, so buh bye.
  • Judgement and criticism. This one is quite possibly the stickiest of them all, maybe the one at the heart of the rest, but I am going to try.

Don’t Forget

The full prompt: Five things you do not want to forget from 2012? List out 5 things you do not want to forget from this past year, and write a bit about why you do not wish to forget…

dexterwithlittled If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know my Dexter is dying. There’s a good chance he won’t make it into 2013, (although, I am happy if he does). Right now, in this season of goodbying, I am trying to memorize everything about him.

  1. The way he runs back and forth across the kitchen and down the hallway when I am getting his breakfast ready, whining with excitement, tail wagging the whole time.
  2. How much he loves his Little D. How he carries him around in his mouth, looking just like his real baby might, following me down the hallway in the morning to my desk, where he rests by my feet, chewing on Little D’s bones (the beans in his feet). Or how he lures me into the bedroom when I get home from work, gets on the big bed, Little D in his mouth. He runs in circles, shakes him, drops him or even throws him off the bed to let me know it’s my turn. I pick him up, whisper “ready, set, go” while Dexter crouches and stares intently at his boy, catching him and having a little party when I finally throw it.
  3. How when I pet him, he pets me back. He reaches out and rests his paw, curling his toes and pressing them into my arm. If I stop petting, he pats me this way a few times in a row, “more, Mom.”
  4. How I can tell him something and he knows just what I mean. Like “where’s your toy?” (his ears will perk up and he’ll go find it) or when I get ready to go to work and I say “I’m going to work, you have to stay here with Sam” (he’ll run and get in his bed, knowing he’s not going with me), or I can ask “where’s Dad” and he’ll go find him. He knows so many words, understands so much for a boy who can’t speak English.
  5. All the normal things we do, routines we have. Our walks, at almost the exact same time every day, to the same few places, on the same trails. Cleaning up the yard, patrolling the neighborhood, checking for deer or beaver or foxes or cats or other dogs or people doing weird stuff that people shouldn’t be doing, watching out the front window, taking out the trash, yelling at the trash collectors and mail deliverers and little kids walking to school and people walking dogs, sharing food, sitting on the couch watching tv, taking naps, hanging out in the backyard, brushing our teeth, meditating–all of it.

Reading

The full prompt: What has been your favorite book (or books if you can’t pick just one) that you’ve read this year?

somanygoodbooks

Dream Destination

The full prompt: What was your dream destination in 2012 and why? It can be a town, city, country or region — real or imaginary — and doesn’t matter if you actually got there or not!

My dream destination wasn’t so much a place as a state of being. I longed this year to get to a place where I would be utterly and completely confident, wise, compassionate, healthy, strong, sane, awake, and at peace. I’m sorry to report, kind and gentle reader, I didn’t quite make it. Maybe next year?

Day of Rest

It’s not about letting go of worry or getting over fear.

It’s about letting go of the idea that you can control everything, or anything.

It’s about making space for uncertainty and doubt.

It’s about surrendering to impermanence and getting past resistance to change.

It’s about “having the life you want by being present to the life you have,” (the subtitle to Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening).

It’s about confidence, “the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment,” (the brilliant Susan Piver said that).

It’s about paying attention, being mindful and present.

It’s about letting go of both hope and fear.

It’s about having faith in basic goodness, our innate and fundamental and natural wisdom and compassion, our essential and shared humanity.

It’s about risking heartbreak and failure, knowing that it’s so much better than being numb.

It’s about living a wholehearted life–“engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging,” (from Brene’ Brown’s new book, Daring Greatly).

It’s about refusing to smash yourself to bits, and not being afraid of yourself.

It’s about choosing vulnerability over safety and predictability, letting go of the longing for solid ground, for a life of nothing but happiness and security.

It’s about love.

It’s about having the courage to face your own life, show up, keep your heart open, and allow yourself to be seen.

It’s about being brave.

a winnebago parked in my neighborhood, the brave model

Who’s with me?

One wild, precious, small life

The other day, someone I met at the World Domination Summit (WDS) posted a list of all the great people they’d met over the weekend and didn’t mention me. I admit, it stung a little. What made it worse is just the day before, I’d written a post about WDS and wrote my own list that didn’t include everyone. The list was the superstars I’d met, people who’d published books and taught ecourses, people whose names you might recognize, and then when I mentioned all those amazing “others,” I summarized by saying they were “new people I hadn’t expected to meet but loved anyway…a few I really wanted to take home with me.” When I wrote that post, I’d struggled with whether or not to make a list of those specific people, those “others,” but in the end didn’t. I only listed the names you might know.

I confess I went to WDS to meet the people on my dream list, to thank the ones who’d inspired and helped me (most without knowing they were doing so), to look them in the eye and tell them that I adore them, to hand out gratitude and love in person, to be seen by them. Now I want to tell you about the others, because they matter too.

I hadn’t planned for them, had expected them, those others. Yes, I knew 999 other people were attending, that I’d meet some of them, even give out a few business cards, but I really didn’t expect to fall in love. The unfairness of World Domination Summit: you meet these amazing people, fall in love with them, only to be flung back to your original locations far away from each other. I hate that…

Some of them, I don’t even remember their names (if I ever knew them at all): The woman in Andrea Scher’s Mondo Beyondo workshop who stood up to tell us how she’s “just Muppety enough” to make kids comfortable, the other who did life coaching at battered women shelters, the one who walked with me that first morning to the event hall because she wasn’t quite sure where she was going and I was, the woman who wasn’t sure what she was doing but was going to start by figuring out how to help her 18 year old son market his art (he’d told her he didn’t want to be a “starving” artist), and the guy from Colorado who showed up at both morning meditation and yoga with Marianne Elliott and explained in Andrea’s workshop (when asked directly by Andrea) that women are more connected to their hearts (some of us live there) and men are more comfortable in their heads, and the guy I ran into in my hotel elevator and later sat next to for morning meditation whose friend had urged him to get business cards and hand them out to every person he met, the friends I met in the line one morning who’d dressed alike without meaning to (black leggings and tank tops with yellow cardigans) and the one of them I kept running into everywhere for the rest of that day, the girl I sat next to who was guessing what our surprise from Chris would be (“maybe a car, like on Oprah that one time, or a year’s supply of Rice-a-Roni”), or the graphic artist who’d taken the train to Portland that I met at a Green Juice meet-up and who I saw again again at morning meditation (I asked for her card, can’t know too many graphic artists), or the therapist from Australia who had to come all the way to Portland to find out from us that there were life coaches right in Melbourne.

And there were other people whose names I remember, that I either just met or met in person for the first time that I really did want to spend more time with, take home with me. I finally got to meet Jen Vertanen in person, and love that I recognized her awesome red boots before I even saw her face, but did not get to spend enough time with her. I met Anne-Sophie Reinhardt and kept luckily running into her, getting to sit and talk, but not enough. And I met Kerilyn Russo, and absolutely know that if we lived in the same geographic location I would follow her everywhere because she is a magic kind of awesome. And there were the dog people, Jennifer Lee (who is also an amazing artist and fellow yoga practitioner) and Bridget Pilloud specifically that got as excited as I did talking dog, and there wasn’t enough time.

And the most touching meeting of all, that I didn’t even fully understand until later: Marthe Hagen, who came and talked with Rachel Cole when I was sitting with her. I read the post she wrote after and I am blown away. I could have never guessed that this was her story. She was so calm, kind, bright when I met her in person, no trace or hint of the darkness she’s experienced. It just proves that everyone has a story, a whole secret world inside them. I am touched by her bravery, her willingness to be openhearted and share her story.

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe. ~Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You

We sometimes get trapped by the idea that some people are more worthy and others less so, but we are all the same. We have the same basic potential, innate wisdom and compassion and power. We are at different points on the path, but still the same, all just wanting to be happy and safe, to contribute and belong. Some, like those on my WDS dream list, are further ahead on the path, already manifesting their potential, realizing their possible, making real their dreams. And yet, I am closer than I think and so are you. We are all amazing, brilliant and messy and stinky and precious.

Taking My Time

I’m in this strange space, this odd state today. It feels a bit like being hungover or jet lagged. I think it’s actually World Domination Summit love lag, a possibility hangover accompanied by waves of wonder and magic aftershocks that has brought about a sabbath, a day of rest that fell midweek.

I’m exhausted, existing in a whole other time zone, another reality. All I could manage today was walking the dogs, a shower, eating, and a long nap. This kind of day used to send me into fits. I’d power past the tired and overwhelm, keep working anyway, to the point of collapse or illness, chanting “have to, should, must, already wasted too much time.” I’d drag myself, push and pull and bully and smash myself to bits to get from this moment to the next, not stopping until I’d reached the goal, which I never did because I was always adding more things, having more ideas, creating more tasks for myself.

which way is up?

Be here now.
Be someplace else later.
Is that so complicated?
~Josh Pais (by way of Danielle LaPorte)

This goal thinking, this endless to-do list, this rush toward the real thing, the important moment, the big accomplishment, the grasping and reaching is exactly the thing that wastes time. It denies this moment, the one I’m in now. Denies my need for rest, to go more slowly, to ruminate and contemplate, to enjoy the ride. It says “hurry up” when I want to lollygag, fool around, dawdle. It rushes to get somewhere else when I long to be here, now.

So for today, I’m allowing myself to take it easy, to go slow, to accept that even if it means I miss out on something, it’s okay. Because what I definitely won’t miss is this moment. It’s all there is, and that’s such a gift, because in this moment there is the sound of the ocean and bird song, sun and a light breeze, two soft and sleepy dogs resting at my feet, my boy on his way to the store to buy vanilla ice cream to go with the peach cobbler he made while I napped, the tap of my finger on the keys and words to string together, and you, dear reader, to tell all this to. There is love and there is time, and that’s more than enough.

I am enough.

what tired looks like

I am enough

This morning, tired and strung out from unresolved stress and tension and sadness, awash in guilt about not doing enough and doing too much, sagging under the weight of overwhelm, I watched this video. It’s the brilliant Geneen Roth reading a section from her new book, Lost and Found: One Woman’s Story of Losing Her Money and Finding Her Life.

I will admit, at about minute three, I almost stopped the video. It was all about shopping, and as I mentioned the other day, I don’t really like to, so I was losing interest…until Geneen got to the punch line. At that moment, I realized that not only was it the exact message I needed to hear today, but that maybe you might need to hear it as well–even if like me, you’ve already heard it a million times. Below is the video, but for emphasis, because it’s so important, here’s the part that made my heart do a flip and then fall on the floor.

The truth is until we believe we are enough [are doing enough, accomplishing enough, producing enough, helping enough, good enough], we will never believe we have enough. So just for today, break your trance of deprivation, stop the chatter of discontent. Live as if you are already enough. Watch what happens.

So, just for today, I’m going to attempt to live as if I am already enough. My habitual way of being, so old and deep and sticky, is that I need to earn love, that I need to do more, but today I am going to try and take care of myself, to rest, to simply be, because if I’m really honest with myself, I can’t keep going like this…

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: You can’t do everything. For starters, you have a body that has real limits, edges and absolutes, a soft animal form that needs breaks for rest, nourishment, and maintenance. Your mind cannot insist this frame, this figure, this shape do more than it can do–that only invites illness and collapse. Your mind needs breaks too, to revive it’s creative energy, to day dream and play, to get quiet and still, even though it doesn’t like to admit it. And your heart, bless your heart–it will let you break it over and over again with your bullying and demands, it will forgive you for each and every abandonment, but the unhealed grief that comes from that process will one day knock you flat.

Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ~Steve Jobs

2. Truth: It’s okay to stop, to rest, to say no. In fact, it’s more than okay–it’s essential. The good work you imagine, the love you long to manifest, will never be fully realized unless you take care of yourself, stop smashing yourself to bits. You will shred yourself, turn to ashes if you don’t lie down and let go, calm down, slow down, surrender.

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. ~Anne Lamott

3. Truth: Enough. It’s enough. There is enough. You are enough. You are doing the best you can, can’t do or be any more than that. Even if you never do another thing, it’s enough. You are already light, you are already wise and kind, you are already loved. You are. There’s no test, no goal, no should or have to, no destination other than here–there is only breath, and only this moment. You are medicine, magic, love manifested, precious and brilliant.

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. ~Anne Lamott

One wish: That we can all slow down, stop pushing so hard and insisting on so much, and that we, once and for all, finally know that we are enough, already and exactly as we are.

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.
~Shel Silverstein