Tag Archives: friendship

Gratitude Friday

1. Only one more week until Ringo gets his final round of shots and then we can start walking him and taking him to daycare, wearing him out and getting a break from him. I love that little dude, but I’ve got a lot of other things going on too.

sleepyringo022. A good therapist. Her ability to see, her willingness to help, her wisdom and compassion. It doesn’t hurt that we are a lot alike so she’s able to help me both laugh at myself and see my worth more clearly.

3. Crackers, cheese, and a crunchy apple.

4. Realizing I’ve made a mistake, and being able to fix it.

5. New books. Wish I could spend the weekend reading, but I have yoga teacher training.

Bonus joy: Tiny beautiful things and good friends that make it easier to not give up.

Gratitude Friday

1. Fall weather, cool but sunny, my favorite.

2. KIND bars, especially cranberry & almond, and dark chocolate nuts & sea salt.

3. Schlumbergera, more commonly known as Christmas Cactus, but mine bloom closer to Thanksgiving, and right now the two in my office are covered in blooms that are about to burst, ready to pop.

4. Cooking dinner. I don’t do it that often. I used to do it all the time when Eric and I were first married, but then when I went to graduate school he took over, and he liked it whereas for me it was a chore so he kept doing it, but lately I’ve been trying some new things, some that have worked out and others not so much, and it feels good.

5. Reconnecting with a friend. At a certain point when you haven’t talked or seen each other in a long time, you start to think, “are we fighting? did we break up?” but then yesterday, I forwarded an email that I thought might be of interest, and finally, finally just said it, “how are you? I miss you. are we okay?” and found out that she felt the same way, was also wondering what had happened.

Bonus Joy: Hugging Eric in the kitchen first thing in the morning when neither one of us is really awake yet, when Sam has already eaten breakfast and is back in bed.

Self-Compassion Saturday: Kerilyn Russo

I am one of the searchers.

There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter. ~James Kavanaugh

There are some people that when you meet them for the first time, you feel like you’ve always known them. You are comfortable right away, love them immediately. For me, one of those people is Kerilyn Russo. When I was at World Domination Summit (WDS) last year, sitting with Rachel Cole during a break between sessions, this woman came up to greet Rachel. They clearly already knew each other, and Rachel turned to me and said, “you two need to meet, should know each other.”

But somehow I already knew Kerilyn. As Rachel introduced us, and I looked at that big smile and those dimples, a feeling overwhelmed me, a sense of “There you are! Where have you been? I’ve been waiting, looking for you!” I felt so happy, so relieved, like I might cry. It was the strangest, best thing. We didn’t get to spend nearly enough time together that weekend, but I kept running into her, and every time I had that same feeling of “there you are!” and that sense of an immediate, easy connection.

Since then, Kerilyn and I have been able to stay in touch. We’ve Skyped in our bathrobes, talked on the phone about deep and important things, became pen pals (regular snail mail, just like we were 12 years old again). She is the best kind of friend, helping me to go deeper, asking the best kinds of questions, but also making me smile and laugh until my face hurts. I absolutely adore her. Her smile is one of the best things on earth.

kerilynflower

Kerilyn describes herself this way, as a wife, friend, sister, and sensitive soul, (add to that mother-to-be, yay!). Interior Designer by day. Creator/Certified Life Coach of Married to a Chef, student of A Course in Miracles, lover of Reggae music, amateur Greeting Card Designer, novice photographer, Highly Sensitive Person, Searcher, and swimmer of the deep. You can read more about what she’d say about herself in her first post for Roots of She, Stand out: Meet Kerilyn Russo and see the power of stepping into your true role, or on her Who Am I? page on her website, Ancora Imparo, (which means “I am still learning” in Italian). I am so excited to share her perspective on self-compassion with you today.

1. What does self-compassion mean, what is it? How would you describe or define it?

Self compassion, from where I stand TODAY… is the continual process of forgiving ourselves (and others) for what we THINK we/they did to us, them… and the world. We have forgotten who we REALLY are (UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE) and self compassion (or RADICAL self forgiveness) is a TOOL to remembering our TRUE state. When we unconditionally forgive and accept ourselves and those around us (much harder than we think, which is why it’s so hard to maintain a feeling of self compassion)… we are remembering who we REALLY are and in that, our divinity.

kerilynlake2. How did you learn self-compassion? Did you have a teacher, a guide, a path, a resource, a book, a moment of clarity or specific experience?

What an exciting question! I love this one! My view of self-compassion has evolved as I have evolved and if it’s okay with you, I am happy to share a little bit of how it has changed along the way.

As I began my spiritual (not religious) journey (hee hee, how many of us have said that?), I was eager and hungry to attempt to understand how the WORLD worked… what made it tick, underneath it all. The seen and the unseen. I soaked up books on energy, reincarnation, and spirit as a way of understanding what was happening TO ME in my life. Still at this point, it wasn’t about how I had a part to play in it… it was like I was sitting in a theater… watching the movie about how the world worked, without my awareness of how I am a full blown contributor to it. I was unconscious to how my thoughts and actions toward myself was a reflection of what I saw. I think my former organized religion conditioned beliefs about how it was out of my control still had it’s grip on me, and while I was aware there was more to this than just praying to God and going to church, I was still unknowing of how my participation had to do with what I saw in my life. HOW could I have self compassion at this point in my journey, when I still believed that the world was happening TO me, not because of me. The limiting beliefs that doing anything for myself was selfish and how dare I believe the world, still revolved around me. This was challenging because it didn’t sit right with me, but I forged on… STILL feeling like I was still missing something.

kerilynseeker

When The Secret and Abraham (Jerry & Esther Hicks) came my way. Blew the lid off of that I had nothing to do with my outcome. I heard “As you think, so shall you be.” And I was spiritually in shock for a while. WHAT? I have something to do with how my life looks? I am ultimately responsible?? As I got swept away in the loving current of this new philosophy… I was still quite unsure as to HOW to REMEMBER that it’s TOTALLY in my control. It starts with how I FEEL. How I feel includes feeling good about HOW I feel about myself and the predicaments I find myself in my life. When I remembered this, I felt wonderful and when I didn’t, I went back to that old thinking that it was outside of my control. (Those old beliefs really do have a hold on us… wouldn’t you agree?) STILL… I felt there was still something MORE to this. These beliefs filled me up, absolutely, but they didn’t answer the question about WHY the world (and still myself) were constantly in conflict, so I kept searching…

Kerilyn's sweet kitty, Pez

Kerilyn’s sweet kitty, Pez

Not too long after that, I found A Course in Miracles and all my questions have since been answered (even in my resistance of them). As I became a serious student of the Course, I began to learn that there are NO answers outside of myself. “Seek Not outside yourself” is still one of the most powerful messages of the Course for me. It is ALL about me. The OPPOSITE of what I’ve been taught at an earlier part of my journey. It is ALL about my perceptions of what I see, my projections of my OWN inner thoughts and feelings, is what I see in my experience, the role RADICAL forgiveness plays and the process of UN-learning we all must do to heal ourselves, and experience TRUE love, which the Course says is all there is.

Based on the Courses teachings, we have not been taught love, but attack. The ego (the part of us that wants us to believe we’re separate from everyone and everything else) has us brainwashed with thoughts of self hatred to keep us believing we’re separate from everyone else. SPECIAL. Attack with everyone we see (whether we’re aware of it or not) and everything we think… that includes our thoughts about ourselves.

NO WONDER we cannot sustain self compassion for long, we’ve been believing that we are not worth UNITY with anyone or anything, including ourselves. It’s this belief that keeps us in that feast or famine vicious cycle. *Secret: To keep us believing we’re separate, the ego has to give us good experiences (FEAST) to keep the pendulum of duality (GOOD AND BAD) in motion.

That is where you will find me. In the process of UN-learning those old messages, infusing them with a practice of RADICAL Forgiveness that even I cannot even fully grasp at this time, facing my resistance and regularly in forgiveness when I attack my brothers, and more importantly, myself.

Picture by Kerilyn, taken in Savannah, GA

Picture by Kerilyn, taken in Savannah, GA

3. How do you practice self-compassion, what does that experience look like for you?

Self compassion (or what I call RADICAL forgiveness) is just that… a practice. It’s a TOOL. I pick it up and use it when I need remember that have a CHOICE to make… continue to feel yucky, continue to not understand, continue to believe in my victimization OR to live from another way of being. It’s totally up to me. Maybe one day I have to pick it up a handful of times, and maybe other days I have to CONSTANTLY be picking it up, hundreds of times a day. To ask myself, “Do I want to be RIGHT, or do I want to be HAPPY?” Challenging those beliefs of separation and lack and remembering my natural state of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. At this point in our evolution, we are not able to LIVE in that state of radical forgiveness (which is okay) but for me, I know it’s at my fingertips… whenever I REALLY want to understand why I am feeling, the way I’m feeling. *Oh, and If I don’t REALLY want to understand, that’s okay too… I’ll want to forgive myself for not wanting to understand and keep on moving forward. Again, it’s a CONTINUAL practice of forgiveness.

Oh, and how do I practice self compassion? Easy. I am constantly forgiving myself. Forgiving myself when I judge another to be wrong, when I judge myself as less than… and judge the world for what I see as “bad”. Practicing self compassion is saying “I forgive myself, for I know not what I see/do.” over and over again.

Why don’t you try it now… Forgive yourself for something you THINK you or someone else did today. Forgive them or yourself in your MIND. That’s all. No need for an outwardly expression of forgiveness. Go inside and FORGIVE. *And if you find it too hard to forgive… that’s okay… forgive yourself for not being able to forgive. Let yourself or someone else off the hook today.

Kerilyn and Peter at their wedding

Kerilyn and Peter at their wedding, (read more about their love story)

4. What do you still need to learn, to know, to understand? What is missing from your practice of self-compassion, what do you still struggle with?

Oh my goodness… What do I still need to learn? That my shift in perception (from conflict to peace) is a reflection of how often I practice. Practice a little, get little results. Let this philosophy fold into my day and I am able to be happier, more at peace. It’s about CONSTANTLY practicing. Why don’t I constantly practice? Because I think I’m here in this world, this dream, ALONE. That I can “do it” myself. I need to learn that I am not and CANNOT do anything alone. (Remember the EGO has done a doosy on us, having us think we’re SEPARATE and therefore ALONE.)

I struggle with my resistance to really KNOWING this information to be true. We have been brainwashed a LONG time.. and I still have quite a bit of resistance toward unlearning. There are days when I want to seek for my specialness.. where I would rather be RIGHT than happy… where I feel where I have been wronged… and in that awareness I need to remember that I can always choose differently.. whenever I am ready to. The option is ALWAYS there for me, it’s a matter of my little willingness.

kerilynI am so grateful for Kerilyn, for her responses, (especially what she had to say about forgiveness), for her support and friendship and wisdom, her constant effort and curiosity and sense of humor, her big heart and big smile. To find out more about Kerilyn, to connect with her:

Next on Self-Compassion Saturday: Rachel Cole.

P.S. If you didn’t see the first post in this series, you might want to read Self-Compassion Saturday: The Beginning.

Gratitude Friday

lilacs

1. Spring. The green of it, the bird song, baby foxes, blooms, gardening, cool weather and rain, warm weather and sun, sitting in the backyard with the dogs and a book, the rush of the river full and fast with melting snow, the long summer stretching out ahead of me.

This is best picture I could get of the three fox kits — they were playing with some small bodied animal they’d caught, running and pouncing, wrestling and chasing each other so that almost every picture came out a blur, and I could only ever capture two of them at a time.

2. Pie. Yesterday I bought a blackberry and raspberry pie at our local market made by My Mom’s Pies, and it was delicious. Oh my. Pie. *sigh*

3. Beaver’s Market. The local market I referred to above. It totally reminds me of the store where/when I grew up, Ditter’s Store, a small neighborhood market. They are about the same size, and both well known for their meat counter and local products. I don’t buy all my groceries there because they are too small to have a very good produce section, but I go as often as I’m able.

4. Love bombing. Writing a post or a letter that offers support and comfort, buying someone a cup of coffee, having a conversation, really listening, following my first thought, my instinct, my gut, the call of Big Love, being able to spread love, ease suffering. And it goes both ways — I got love bombed this week too, a surprise package in the mail and a “voice mail” that included a ninja poetry reading and a lovely soundtrack.

embodymentmail

5. New tires on my car. To be able to buy them without having to worry about how to pay or how we are going to afford it. To have a husband willing to go take care of the purchase for me, who takes care of me in a million other ways.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. He’s still happy to be here, loves to eat and take walks and bark at stuff and play and roll around or just lounge in the backyard, all the things that make Dexter who he is. However, his nose is bleeding more frequently and there’s been lots of sneezing and general stuffiness, causing me enough concern that I postponed my trip to Oregon to visit family. Dexter is welcome to stick around as long as he wants (when diagnosed, he was given 2-3 months and it’s been almost 11), I’m even putting a cherry tomato in the back garden so he’ll have his own plant if he’s still around, but we won’t keep him if his suffering gets to be too great. Until then, I am enjoying every minute, filled with love and gratitude for our life together.

Gratitude Friday

melting

1. The breeze coming in through the window over the kitchen sink while I was baking cookies, and how my whole house smelled like vanilla and chocolate.

2. Plant a Kiss Missions. I am convinced that I got more out of the giving than any of the recipients got from the getting. I am seriously trying to figure out how I can become a professional love bomber.

3. Hanging out with a friend and her new baby. Walking around old town, running errands, watching him smile at her, sitting for coffee, making plans for world domination and personal freedom.

4. Sleeping in. Specifically waking up slowly, having that last hour or so where you are sort of awake, but keep saying “just a few more minutes, not yet” and maybe even fall back asleep. And as an added bonus, Eric walked the dogs for me, in the snow and on my day, so I could sleep in.

5. Peaches in smoothies. They make it creamy, tart, and bright–satisfying.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter, but even better–today is his birthday! He came to us at ten weeks old, and now he’s ten years old. My first double digit dog. The only things that have changed since those first days with him are that we are both older, his face is much grayer, and I love him so much more.

babydexter

sleepyd03

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.

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. Avocados. Yes, again. Seriously, I might have a problem, might turn into an avocado if I don’t stop it. This recipe for a Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich from Two Peas and Their Pod is the next thing I’m going to try.

2. Spring Break. Today is the final day, and it’s been soooo busy, never is the week of nothing but space and time and rest that I imagine, but it was nice to have a little break.

3. Dexter’s Physical Therapy. Dr. Lindsey Habermann has two cattle dog mixes of her own, and has been taking such good care of Dexter, along with Sharon, and everyone else who’s helped along the way, (seriously, he loves going). He’s doing so much better and I’m so grateful.

4. Getting to walk dogs with Eric in the morning. Or getting to sleep in and having him walk the dogs for me. Either way, I’m grateful.

5. Good people. I am surrounded by them. Loving, funny, wicked smart, generous, creative people. They buy me salted caramel lattes, make me laugh, cheer me up and inspire me.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. He did have another bloody nose this week, but has been in a much better mood (the one way I could tell when his leg was bothering him was he wasn’t his usual cheerful self) and he even slept in bed with us all last night, (I miss that).

you might not be able to tell, but he's smiling

you might not be able to tell, but he’s smiling