Tag Archives: Heart’s Work

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.

Three Truths and One Wish

1. Truth: A life that looks small from the outside might actually be deep and wide, vast and spacious. For example, you might learn that we’ve walked our dogs at the same park at least once a day (sometimes twice) for the past 10+ years, and think “how boring.” I’ve seen it in every season, every kind of weather. I have favorite trees and stretches of trail, spots along the river I’ve memorized, patches of grass that are special. I know where the turtles lay their eggs each year, where the fox dens are, where the heron fish, and where the beavers live. I know where there are things missing, where there used to be three Cottonwood trees stretched out over the river or where the wild irises used to grow. I remember the place where Obi used to drink out of the river, the bridge that scared him, and the route we took on that last day, for his final walk. I know all this, and yet I am not finished knowing.

2. Truth: I am superstitious. I know I can’t control anything, but my small mind still tries, just in case I’m wrong and I actually do have some sway. I have little altars, tiny shrines at each of the places I write and practice. Some days, I wear a string of black onyx beads around my wrist for protection and healing. I have a black string tied around my wrist that I asked Eric to put there. I think of it as my “life line,” and imagine that as long as it’s there, Dexter will be here. I also drink out of the same coffee cup every morning, for the very same reason. I made a vision board with Dexter’s picture, a white lotus flower hovering over his forehead and a mandala with the Medicine Buddha at the center, and listed my wishes, the last one being “may his death be easy.” Every time Eric and I part, I insist that we tell each other “I love you,” just in case. I think that these rituals, these talismans will keep us safe, keep us together, even as I’m clear that they make absolutely no difference, have no power at all.

3. Truth: I know what I want to do, but for now, it doesn’t pay well enough. The other day, I saw the difference between the two things, my current paid work and my heart’s work, very clearly. I was working my way through an academic training for online teaching. The information was good, useful and accurate, but the context, the framing, the platform made me want to poke my eye out with a pencil. I had trouble concentrating, felt tired and irritable, wanted to bolt from my chair. In contrast, I’m also currently taking a free class from Ruzuku, 5 Days To Your First Online Course. When I was reading through that content, I leaned forward in my chair, stretching towards the screen, focused and intent, taking notes and coming up with all kinds of ideas. The truth underneath all that is that the work in the first situation is paid and that of the second isn’t, and I want paid work, need it to live how I want. And while there is an exit plan of sorts, the intention that things will shift, sometimes I get frustrated, impatient.

One Wish: For acceptance and patience and gratitude, for surrender, for “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

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 friend’s healthy new baby. The story of her labor and his delivery–a baby too big to get out on his own–makes me think about how many mothers and babies have died in childbirth, how if this friend had lived in a different time or place, she might have been one of those women, he might have been one of those babies. It makes me grateful for the help and care she received.

2. Physical therapy for Dexter. Talk about luck–we live in a culture where our pets get better healthcare than many people in the world, people who either can’t afford it or simply don’t have access. I am so grateful I can provide that for him, want the same for all of us, people and animals. He’s getting much better, was cleared this week to go on a few short hikes.

3. Avocados. Yes, I am still obsessed with them. I might have a problem. I am finding that I like them so much better than cheese on a sandwich. My current favorite sandwich is organic multigrain bread, Nayonaise, honey mustard, organic turkey breast, avocado and spinach, with a few organic potato chips for a little bit of crunch.

4. Spring. It really is coming, (here?). I hadn’t realized how much I missed the sun, the warmth, the song of the birds, the green and the blossom.

5. The chance to do good work, paid and otherwise. Yesterday at my paid work, I sent an inquiry to Brene’ Brown’s management to get some numbers so we can write a proposal, attempt to get the funding to have her invited to give a talk at CSU. I signed it, “I look forward to hearing from you.” What I meant was “OMG, I am so excited, squeeeeee, *please please please let this work*.” And this week I sent out a submission for publication, my first in a long time.

Bonus Joy: Another week with Dexter. He teaches me to let go, to surrender and be here now, to open up to the joy and beauty in this moment.

Shower, Eat, and Meditate

janmorningskyEven though I’ve been posting Small Stones and I rewrote my About page, I’ve skipped some of my regular posts lately, didn’t do a Three Truths and One Wish this week, haven’t been Wishcasting regularly, and in general, I feel like I haven’t been “around” as much lately. And yet, it’s been a necessary shift.

This past week, I started as a teaching assistant for Mondo Beyondo. That course is even more amazing than I remember, and this time through, I’m seeing so many new things, still getting so much out of it for myself as a student. I’m so eager for Andrea to feel like it was right and good to ask me to help, and so excited for the wonderful people involved, so happy to be there that I have to be careful to not run around like a big clumsy Great Dane puppy, barking and knocking things over and generally annoying everyone with my enthusiasm. I’m trying to be really careful to keep the “volume” down, but I just love that class and Andrea’s work so much–but you already knew that. (P.S. Cultivating Courage starts on Monday, January 14th, and there’s still room in Mondo Beyondo).

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In other news, I’m trying not to panic that I have to start back at my paid work on Monday. This morning, I made a “Big To-Do” list of everything I have going on next week, in the hopes I could put that all aside, having it now organized, and not have to think about it anymore this weekend. That sort of worked, but then again all day I’ve been thinking today is Sunday, that I start back tomorrow, and that doesn’t feel nice.

Here’s the real issue: I currently have two full-time jobs, my paid work and my heart’s work. And it is about to get even crazier, because on Monday two more classes will start, Cultivating Courage and The Story of You. I have two long meetings next week, and had to schedule things like getting a haircut, going to the eye doctor, and having the plumber finally come fix our leaky sink in the bathroom, along with going back to CSU and doing that work.

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My strategy, my mantra has become “shower, eat, and meditate.” I already have a set morning routine, what happens from 4:30-8:00 am–feed the dogs, drink half a cup of coffee while I write my morning pages, check in with my email and Facebook and blog, and then either walk the dogs, go to yoga or the gym. Where I can get stuck is when I come back home to get ready for work, what happens between 8 and 9 am. I got in the habit while on break of “just checking one thing, real quick” before getting in the shower, which would usually lead to me being on the computer for two or three hours instead, and by then being so hungry that I’d eat whatever was fast, not what I really wanted or what was healthy, and once I showered, it would be so late, I’d think “I can’t meditate now, I have work I want to do, so I’ll meditate later,” and later never came because by the time I’d stop working, I was too tired, would allow myself to skip it.

So this mantra, “shower, eat, and mediate,” reminds me to take care of myself, both literally (these are the things I need to do first thing, that I seem to need help remembering, that I tend to skip in order to help or love someone else) and it also triggers a bigger remembering of necessary self-care, self-love, reminding me of the place to begin, to let go and come back to center.

And this busyness, this activity is just how things are going to have to be for awhile. Unless my fairy godmother shows up, I win the lottery, or a kind benefactor decides to fund my heart’s work, I need to keep my job that pays. As for the rest, I will keep taking tiny steps, dreaming my big dreams, anticipating mystery and magic and surprises, and learning to love and care for myself along the way. This is my life, and I am completely in love with it.