Tag Archives: Gifts

What I’m Learning Now

Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself. ~Jean Anouih

On Thursday, I worked a lot with letting the day unfold naturally, without force or agenda. I was fatigued, worn out, and took a sick day to rest. The plague (several versions) has been circling around campus and there’s a good chance my body is doing everything it can to fight it off. I stayed in my pajamas all day, fed myself well, drank lots of grapefruit juice, watched some inspirational videos while resting on the couch, taking notes and at one point having a long nap.

The Universe is bombarding me with messages about self-love, self-care, self-acceptance. The classes I’m taking, friendships I have, things I read and see and hear make clear what I can give, what is needed. The theme is that there is only one me, I have unique gifts, a specific perspective and calling, and that I must be true to that, honor it, because that’s what I have to offer the world. And most importantly, it is not selfish to be who I am, to love what I love. In fact, it is the deepest kind of compassion, the most profound expression of wisdom.

To succeed at being somebody that you are not (but think you need to be) is still a failure. But to love who you are and courageously be that fully is a life well lived. ~Kute Blackson

I contemplated this blog post that I’m writing now all day Thursday, but made the choice to rest instead. In fact, this past week, I only posted three times, when I typically post every day, sometimes twice. Normally that would make me feel bad, less than worthy and anxious because my stats were down. For years, I’ve been singing as loud as I can, dancing as fast as I can, performing elaborate routines, begging to be noticed, to be loved and accepted, cared for and safe. I can’t do it anymore, won’t–“a life lived in order to please others ends up pleasing no one at all,” (Elizabeth Lessor).

Pleasing another person is often about avoiding the conflict that might ensue if we tell the truth about our feelings, needs, fears, and dreams. ~Elizabeth Lessor

I know I have something of value to offer, but I can’t do it from a place of exhaustion and overwhelm. When thinking about how I might do this, my heart’s work, while maintaining full-time paid work and all the other things I’m responsible for, it is clear to me that the same approach that had been so unworkable, such a failure in my old job–overwork, overwhelm, anxiety, perfection, hustling for worthiness, people pleasing but self-hating–was being carried over into this. The same method of forcing and pushing and denial.

I want to continue loving what I love, so I need to soften my approach. I need to meet this work with gentleness, kindness, and be open to joy. I need to maintain my focus on how I want to feel, the experience I want to cultivate, the process rather than a product. I need to balance my effort with ease.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~Howard Thurman

I also must forgive myself for all that came before. All the years of trying to be good, hoping to be perfect, imagining that if I did what others wanted and expected that I would be loved, safe, accepted. The self-denial, self-loathing, self-abandonment, self-abuse, the pushing, forcing, smashing myself to bits, and broken promises. The cycle of starving and stuffing, never satisfied. I have to also forgive myself for my confusion, my disappointment, my despair, my rage, and every action that came from that dark place. I was only trying to be who I thought I was supposed to be.

Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are. -Anne Lamott

I’m choosing that second option, dreaming bigger, cultivating courage and rest and joy, keeping my heart open, showing up and staying with whatever might arise, and doing it all imperfectly. My wish is to leave you, this space, this planet in better condition than I found it, and to ease suffering, in myself and the world.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
~Mary Oliver

Gratitude Friday

keepagreentree

Keep a green tree in your heart, and a singing bird will come.

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. Holiday twinkly lights. During this season that is so dark and cold, I have so much gratitude for the cheer of lights, colored and white, blinking and still, single strands and layered strings, hung on houses and in windows.

2. The Annual Dell Big Crow / Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Holiday Gift Project and “my” Pine Ridge kids. This is my third year doing this. The first year, I got the names and lists of a boy and girl. On the second year, they selected those same two kids for me, randomly and magically. This year, I insisted that if they weren’t already assigned to someone else, that I get “my” kids, which I did. More about the project:

As you may know, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is one of the most impoverished and marginalized regions in America. While we seek to address the underlying causes of poverty on Pine Ridge, we also recognize the importance of building connections between people on and off the reservation. We work at Pine Ridge throughout the year with Service Learning projects, a winter coat drive, providing families with firewood, home repairs, winterization, and other sustainable development projects.

2012 marks the 7th year of our Pine Ridge Holiday Gift Project! Last year, thanks to the kindness and generosity of friends, families, hundreds of amazing individual donors, and our colleagues at Colorado State University, the Holiday Project provided gifts to more than 1,100 children and elders on the reservation! Donors like you forwarded the original project email on to their families and friends and we received responses from all over the U.S. as well as Germany, Australia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, France, Japan, Belgium, and Canada! We would like to invite you to contribute a holiday gift for a child or elder this year.

The project is very “grass roots,” since just two of us “Elves” volunteer and coordinate the project. Once again we are working with several reservation school teachers, counselors, community organizers, homeless youth centers, the Pine Ridge Veteran’s Emergency Shelter, etc. in order to identify children and elders with the greatest needs.

It’s really easy to get involved, and there is still plenty of time, still so much need. All you have to do is email Julie Ann Sullivan at julie.sullivan@colostate.edu OR Christine Bartholomew at forepineridge@gmail.com and ask for a name or two, or visit their Facebook page to find out more. I feel so grateful for all that I have, especially during this season of thanksgiving and love, and it is so important to give some of my good away to someone who might not have so much.

3. Magic opportunities, the sharing of good ideas, and genuine, openhearted effort and connection. I didn’t used to have the confidence to say “yes” to this, but now I do, and this past week I have, again and again, and I am so excited about the possibility of this coming year, so curious to see what’s going to happen.

4. Eric, who believes in me, loves me, wants me to be happy. He leaves me love notes, checks books out from the library that he thinks I’d like, celebrates my successes with me, takes care of me when I don’t feel that great, makes me potato soup and biscuits, and walks my dogs.

5. Warmth and shelter when it’s so cold outside. Warm hats and gloves, wool socks, long thick soft sweaters, big fluffy down blankets, a functioning furnace, two dogs who love to snuggle.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. He’s doing so good, has stuck around so long after he was predicted to be gone, that it’s almost easy sometimes to forget that he’s dying. Two months ago, I didn’t dare imagine he’d make it to Thanksgiving, and here we are, there he is with only two weeks to go until Christmas. Here’s a picture of him, from a Christmas five years ago, when he and his favorite big brother Obi were both young and healthy, and cancer wasn’t even something we thought about.

dexterobichristmas

#Reverb12: Day 7

reverb12

There’s one prompt from today’s group that I feel like even if I haven’t answered it directly, I’ve answered around it, so close to it, making lists of the highlights of my year, talking about what I didn’t want to forget, that I don’t feel like doing it again. It’s this: “7 Minutes: Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2012 in 7 minutes. Set an alarm for 7 minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2012. (Author: Patty Digh, with an extra 2 minutes from me [the Linar Studio]!)”

What’s the one thing you want to take with you into 2013?

This prompt is from Kat at I Saw You Dancing. Her summary of this first week of Reverb 12, her own answers to the prompts she’s been offering, the event she’s hosting, is really beautiful. You should read it if you get the chance.

The one thing I want to take with me into 2013 is my open heart. After so many years of keeping it locked up tight, trying to protect it from harm, I had it broken open, twice in a row. First I lost my Obi, and six months later, my friend Kelly. It was a painful and stark reminder of impermanence, that there are no guarantees, that I didn’t have time to waste. I decided to honor their loss, their lives by finally, really and fully living mine.

I had been sleepwalking, hiding, suffering, faking my way through my days, through my whole life, confused and afraid. That hurt, the loss, those traumas woke me up. The process started three years ago, but it wasn’t really until this year that I adopted the change as a way of being, determined that I was never going back. I don’t want to go back into my cocoon. I used to believe that it kept me safe, but it was a stinky, cluttered, lonely mess of a place.

Giving

The full prompt is: “The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.” (David Viscott) What is your gift to give?

First of all, this reveals the origins of the quote on the picture I shared the other day. Someone had posted it on Facebook, and I loved it so much, I had to make something with it, but I had trouble finding who to attribute the quote to, (a few places even credited Pablo Picasso), so in the end I didn’t. Now we know: David Viscott.

mypurposeMy gift is reminding people of their basic nature–awake, wise, and compassionate–and encouraging them to embody it. Reality, the world, all of it is workable. Anything that needs fixing, anyone who needs help, we can be the someone to do so (even if the life we are saving is our own), we have the power, the means to make things better, to ease suffering in the world. We will struggle, but we are not alone, we are not lost. No matter where we are, no matter how bad things have gotten, we can start again.

I won’t sugar coat it, don’t pretend that nothing is sad or broken or irritating or upsetting or difficult. I’m not lying, or making up a story with a happy ending to make it easier to fall asleep. Hope is just as problematic as fear. I am sharing what is real and true: life is beautiful and brutal, tender and terrible. As Pema Chödrön says, “None of us is okay and all of us are fine.”

I encourage and inspire people to keep their hearts open. No matter how much it hurts, or how hard, we have to show up, soften to what is, stay in our seats, in our bodies, on our path. There is joy to be found, love to be given. Even in the worst moments, we can take a breath, experience freedom, offer kindness and feel at ease.

Feast

The full prompt: Hopefully you’ve had more than one spectacular meal in 2012, but what is the first that comes to mind? Were you surrounded by family at the dining room table? Sitting on a bench by the lake? Bring us there.

The feast I experienced this year was a month of eating while we were in Waldport, Oregon. Fresh seafood. Marionberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots from the Farmer’s Market.

farmersmarkethaulMaple bars, Bear Claws stuffed with marionberry filling (*swoon*), cookies, and other luscious goodies from the Depoe Baykery. It was a really, really good thing we were walking so many miles on the beach every day.

depoebaykeryMy mom and aunt visited for a few days, and we ate very well. The full breakfast, spaghetti dinner, and venison stew were some of my favorites. At dinner one night with a group of my aunts and uncles, we were all stuffed from pasta, so full we could barely eat another bite but there was strawberry shortcake, so we were making the best of it, and at the same time, we were talking about food, other meals we remembered, special recipes (my grandma’s orange marmalade was referenced). I looked around the table with love and said “You know how I know y’all are my people? We are all stuffed, but still managing to eat dessert, and at the same time, we are still talking about food.”

#Reverb12: Day 6

reverb12

Change

The full prompt: If you could change one thing that happened this year, what would it be? Why? (Author: Linar Studio)

I am a person who typically doesn’t have regrets. I understand the value of my experiences, good and bad. I don’t spend a lot of time wishing that things were different. I’d rather spend my energy accepting and working with what is. I am usually able to forgive myself for my missteps, be gentle, laugh about it even–eventually.

But, if I really had the power to change one thing, my Dexter wouldn’t have cancer, wouldn’t be dying. And If I couldn’t change that, I’d make sure he at least hadn’t suffered because of it, so no bloody scare, no weeks of belly issues while we adjusted the one medication we could give him, the one thing that might help him feel a little better. And if I couldn’t change that, I’d change the fact that he had to reverse sneeze so much at the beginning, because he’s the sort of dog that runs out of the room when anyone sneezes, gets worried when someone chokes or coughs or gags, and he hated being the one doing it, not being able to stop.

healthydexter.jpg

Intention

The full prompt: What were some of your mantras from 2012 and how did you come by them? Will they remain the same for next year – if not, what new ones will you set?

dreamwithfeathers My message from the Universe, by way of Andrea Scher, the idea that all I needed to do was clear some space and watch the magic unfold.

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, a sanskrit mantra which invokes Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. I heard someone say that sometimes the obstacle needing removed is yourself, and ever since, it stuck with me. I find myself chanting it silently, spontaneously, trying to get out of my own way.

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

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” ~Mary Anne Radmacher.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
~Rumi

lyricslidefinal

~me

“Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.” ~Osho

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman

“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

mypurpose

All these mantas, prayers, truths will go with me into the new year. There are so many more, collected and contemplated, written on my bones, but these are the main ones.

The one that I will be leaving behind is: “I’m so tired. I’m so tired. I’m so tired. I’m so tired.” ~Me

Favorite Gift

The full prompt: What was your favourite gift given and/or received in 2012? Who was the recipient, who was the giver? What was it for (an event, holiday or just because)? Was the gift tangible or something else (i.e. support in a hard situation or laughter when it was most needed)?

My favorite gift I received was a marble from my friend. We were attending a weekend long workshop with Brene’ Brown, and Brene’ told the story of the marble jar. Her daughter’s teacher had a jar in her classroom where she’d put a marble every time the kids did a good thing, and that once the jar was full they got to have a class party. Brene’ had used the example to explain true friendship to her daughter. “Marble jar friends are the kind that keep putting marbles of trust and encouragement, reciprocity and boundaries, and all those good friend type things, into your metaphorical friendship jar,” (description from The Scent of Water: Marble Jar Friends). The next morning, when I went to pick up my friend, she gave me a marble.

My favorite gift I fave was a journal for that same marble jar friend for her birthday. I filled it with pictures, inspiring quotes, and writing prompts. I loved making it, and it made me so happy to see how much she liked it, that she understood it was a gift that was intended to communicate how special and precious she is.

bookwritingsaturday

the journal is the one with the blue cover, with the jar full of white flowers on the front

Ease

The full prompt: What can you do to add ease to 2012?

  • Meditate regularly
  • Get enough rest, sleep and relaxation
  • Eat good food
  • Move more
  • Be less busy, less speedy
  • Spend lots of time in nature, in quiet, in stillness
  • Pay close attention, be mindful
  • Be kind and gentle, to myself and others
  • Let go of judgement and criticism
  • Stop smashing myself to bits
  • Stop struggling, resisting, running away
  • Relax, breathe, let go, surrender
  • Let love and joy in
  • Keep my heart open

Learning, Discovery

The full prompt: Compare the “you” from the beginning of 2012 to the “you” that you are now. What new skills or talents have you learned or discovered this year?

I am braver, am actively practicing and cultivating courage. I ask for help. I make contact, speak up instead of being frozen by my fear or sense of unworthiness. I offer my help. I say what I think, what I feel, what is true. I have a voice, I let it be heard. I love even though I know I will be hurt, I keep my heart open even when it’s hard. I stay with what’s happening instead of numbing out, resisting, or running away.

I reach out and connect with total strangers. I haven’t lost my mind, I don’t leave my front door wide open or anything like that, but I’m not as timid as I used to be. Today when I was walking across campus, I saw a women wearing boots, and carrying a basket with yet another pair of boots. I asked her, “I really have to know: why the extra pair of boots?” That might not seem like a big deal to some people, but it was huge for me. I send emails, make comments, invite interaction, go to a conference with 1000 attendees by myself–where a year ago I would have remained silent, hidden.

I am beginning to honor my own worth, to know that I have value, that I am enough as I am. I don’t have to earn love, I don’t have to change how I am. Who I am is my power: my genuine nature, my gentleness, my generosity, my goofiness. I am weird, but that is exactly what is so awesome about me. I am a beautiful, brilliant mess.

smcmecloseup

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. Cooler temperatures, the beginning of Fall. Fall is my favorite time of year in Colorado, and this week has definitely been much cooler. I even wore a hat and gloves for the first part of our walk the other day (it was 49 degrees!). Yay for Fall!

2. Handmade zucchini bread with walnuts and homegrown peaches from friends. Yum. Good for the heart and the stomach.

3. Yoga. Good people, movement and practice that centers and settles my mind, softens my heart. I have one good friend in yoga who has cancer, who recently shaved her hair off, and in this morning’s class, when her “yoga husband” had to leave class early, and we were all telling him to have a good weekend, he walked over and kissed her on the top of the head. And later, when one woman was asking for dog sitter recommendations, another offered to keep her dog. This is the kind (kind) of good people I’m talking about.

4. Dexter’s experience. He’s doing what makes him happy, without too many interruptions, and I am so grateful for that.

5. Lots of good stuff to share with my Writing for the Web class. They might not get it right now, might find a way to be bored with even these things, but it might spark something, has at least the potential to inspire good stuff.

Bonus joy: relaxation of fear, releasing of panic. I don’t wake up every morning with my stomach hurting. I realize that might return when/if Dexter starts to get worse again, but for now, I feel okay. Sad and tender, still a little scared, but not sick with it.

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.

Something Good.

Holy wow, do I have a list for you today!

Cupcakes.

I call these “grown up cupcakes”: dark chocolate with buttercream frosting. I added peppermint chips on top because it was Christmas. Every time I make these, I think of the zenhabits.net post that Leo Babauta wrote, “The Quiet Theory of Influence,” in which he says “Imagine owning a muffin shop. If the muffins are commonplace, you’ll have to advertise and do some ‘guerilla marketing’ to get customers. But if your muffins make people roll their eyes in ecstasy, they will tell the world of your deliciousness, and the world will pound on your muffin-scented door.” Or in this case, cupcake-scented.

Review, Reflect, and Resolve: Being Able to Start Again

Today, I am starting this process. My plan is to go through all the practices and worksheets I mentioned the other day, and distill them into a list that works, specifically for me.  At first, because it’s just how/who I am, I thought I would do all of them: “do all the reviews!” Then I thought maybe I could pick a few of my favorites, but finally decided I like the magic and possibility of reading through them all and selecting the questions and strategies that stood out, spoke to me, sparkled. Some things I know I’ll be doing is reviewing my journals from this past year (skimming, there’s just too much to actually read), coming up with a reading list for 2012, and personalizing the day planner Eric got me for Christmas, in which he wrote “Jill’s guide to the best year ever!”

Great Presents.

For the past few years, my nieces have sent me the cutest mugs.  Here’s this year’s offering:

Eric made me two terrariums. My grandma kept African Violets, and when I did my releasing ceremony on the Winter Solstice, towards the end of the burn, there was part of the fire that was the exact color of the one Eric gave me. I’d never seen fire burn that color.

And Eric really liked the book I made him, “The Story of Us.” He said it reminded him of Post Secret or Found Magazine, two of our favorite projects. Most of it is too personal to post about, but here’s one of the Blackout Poems I “wrote” that I am especially proud of, “Beyond the Horizon.”

belonging
a sense of being rooted
a memory profound, sacred
within space that is desire
a living source of the present.

We live
one to another,
the memory of a horizon that is not closed off.

New Music: Parachute Youth, “Can’t Get Better Than This.”

I plan to listen once, and then I find myself hitting “replay” ten times.

Cool Sites Whose Mission is to Find and Share the Cool Stuff.

Here’s just two of them:

The Cool Hunter,” (where I first saw the above video). On their “about us” page, they explain that their site “celebrates creativity in all of its modern manifestations…what’s cool, thoughtful, innovative and original.”

Kirtsy“: This site’s “about” statement says “Kirtsy is just like that friend who always finds the best stuff. Only better…art, design, products, pins, photos, and projects…curated by some of the most interesting people online.”

100 Ways

100 Ways to Live a Better Life” and “100 Ways to Screw Up Your Life.” Which list looks more like your life?

Deva Cards

This originally came to me from Susannah Conway’s most recent “Something for the Weekend” post, (in fact, lots of things from my “Something Good” posts come from her–she’s amazing). Hiro Boga shares these cards on her website. I tried it, because I love divination: picking a random line from a sacred text, tarot readings, throwing I-Ching coins, dream interpretation, Q-Cards qcasting, or any such oracle through which the universe might send me a message.

So, I typed my intention, “I intend to rest and restore,” shuffled the cards, and got the word “Transformation.”

I had to think a bit about what that might mean for me, and then it came to me, like a lighting bolt: my guiding word for the next year is “retreat.” I was feeling a bit sad the other day, thinking about words other people had selected, things like “brave,” “leap,” “shine,” “manifest,” “adventure,” and even “conquer.” I wanted to have an exciting word too.  Retreat? That’s boring, dull.

But, transformation? This word reminded me why “retreat” is exactly the right word. Every butterfly is first a pupa in a cocoon–fat, soft, round, vulnerable, and completely still. You simply cannot transform and grow wings without that time in stasis, and therefore, you must retreat if you are looking to transform. Yes, I might feel a bit sad or even embarrassed by my blobby, fat, slow self while the rest of the world is happily crawling around chewing on stuff, or floating in the sky on their beautiful wings, but I have to remember I am exactly where I should be, things are unfolding just as they should. It is right, true, and completely natural.

Just like savasana pose in yoga, this quiet and stillness and surrender is necessary to integrate the body and mind with the practice, to assimilate and process the practice into an embodied whole.  In the same way, off the mat, deep change needs a balance of deep rest and contemplation to allow our innate wisdom to work, for integration to happen.

Shit Girls Say

I might be offended by these, if I weren’t laughing so hard.

The Universe Says “Yes,” Again.

Chris Guillebeau, author of “The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World” and organizer the World Domination Summit (which I get to attend this year), mentioned one of my posts in his most recent blog post, “2011 Annual Review: Looking Forward.” Needless to say, my blog has gotten a lot of extra hits today. I write this blog for other reasons, but it’s still nice to be noticed sometimes–really nice.

  • Okay, your turn: tell us something good.