There are a few extra prompts from over the weekend from Besottment that I’m catching up with here, and other ones that are on the wrong days because I can’t seem to keep them organized–but I like how no matter how I approach them, the right ones seem to come to me just when I’m ready to answer them, trusting in the process, the practice, the magic.
The full prompt: What was your funniest story from 2012? This is a great prompt to have some fun with! Think of a funny story you were involved in, heard of, saw happen, etc. Describe what happened – is there any back story to it? What were the circumstances? Do you still chuckle when you think about it now?
For me, no one story stands out as memorable, as THE funniest. However, there are relationships where laughter happened on a regular basis–in my Writing for the Web class (I made them laugh, they made me and each other laugh), between Eric and I (we are always cracking each other up, over sometimes the dumbest things, stuff that would make no sense to anyone else), with my trainer (we both have a sense of humor equivalent to that of a 14 year old boy), and with the dogs (I don’t know if the dogs laugh or think things are funny, but they are constantly making me laugh).
This year I’ve became increasingly aware of my sensitivity to what I watch on TV–it has to be either funny without being too mean (no pranks of taking advantage of those who can’t defend themselves, no humor that is dependent on hurting someone), or a “feel good” story. I typically watch short episode comedies, with the occasional movie, when I watch TV. Shows like 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, The Mindy Project, Ben & Kate, New Girl, or The Office. On Netflix this year, I worked my way through How I Met Your Mother and then started My Name is Earl. (I really don’t watch as much TV as that all makes it sound like I do!)
The full post: What was the quote or saying that most resonated with you this past year? Was there any quote, mantra or saying that really spoke to you? Helped you through something? Made you smile?
The most significant quotes for me this year were:
Confidence is the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment. ~Susan Piver
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
I have a hundred other favorites, but it was these two that came up, over and over–so often that I practically memorized them.
The full prompt: Was there anything you were feeling nostalgic for in 2012? Anything that you were feeling nostalgic for? Something you were yearning for from your past? A memory that wouldn’t leave you, or tradition that you wish you could continue?
I felt this longing for something past first when we went to the beach this summer. We have stayed in the same house in Waldport three times now, and one of those times was Obi’s final trip there. The second time in that house, the next trip we took to the beach, we brought some of Obi’s ashes with us to scatter in our favorite spot, and this last time, I brought a little bit more. When we visited the place on Driftwood Beach, scattered more of his ashes, letting him go little by little, there were yellow wild irises blooming.
Then right after we got back from our trip, Dexter was diagnosed with a fatal cancer. We’d only lost Obi to his three years before. This made me again feel nostalgic for the days when Obi and Dexter were together and so in love, both young and healthy. Three years out, I had finally felt as if I’d released most of the pain surrounding Obi’s loss, that it had softened to gentle sadness and happy memory. And just as that ease occurred, the grief began with Dexter. If only I could know for sure that Dexter would get to be with Obi when he left us, it would be so much easier to let him go.
The full prompt: What are the 10 things I’m most proud of accomplishing this year? What are 10 things on the to do list for next year? (Author: Lee Currie)
10 things I’m most proud of accomplishing this year
- My continued commitment to this blog, the ease and joy of this practice.
- Attending the World Domination Summit.
- Meeting so many women I admire and not throwing up on any of their shoes.
- Hosting a Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop, led by Rachel Cole.
- The poem I was brave enough to write and share at the Fearless Creativity Writing and Meditation retreat with Susan Piver.
- The way I’ve handled Dexter’s cancer, his care.
- All the classes I’ve taken, the engagement and the learning.
- Connections I’ve made, so many amazing and like-minded, like-hearted people.
- 20 years with Eric, in a relationship that is functioning and workable, happy and loving.
10 things on the to do list for next year
- Take a lettering class, such as this one.
- Do a massive decluttering of our house.
- Send some things out to get published, both in print and online.
- Increase my HTML and CSS knowledge, specifically learn to set up and maintain a WordPress site on my own server.
- Heal my body, my relationship with it.
- Cultivate my meditation practice so it rivals my writing practice.
- Another retreat with Susan Piver.
- Explore and learn what it might mean, be like to teach an ecourse, (consult the experts).
- Catch up the home repair and improvement project list.
- Determine what a “balanced” like looks like and live it.
The full prompt: How do you nourish your soul? What activities are essential nutrients for your soul’s well-being?
Practice: yoga, meditation, word, and dog.
Study: reading, reading and more reading, responding to prompts, taking classes, attending workshops and retreats, watching video and listening to podcasts, showing up and doing the work.
Connection: consulting with teachers and other open-hearted, wise beings, being open to whatever arises, synchronizing body and mind, connecting with nature and reality and myself.
Creation: art, space, and love.
The full prompt: What was the greatest risk you took in 2012? What was the outcome?
Being myself. Maybe I wouldn’t like her, maybe she’d be boring or insane, maybe Eric wouldn’t like her, maybe I’d have to choose between her and him, maybe she’d ruin my life, maybe she’d have nothing to say, no skill, nothing to offer, maybe she’d be less than I imagined, small, maybe she’d have something to say but no one would want to hear it, maybe she’d be hated, unlikeable, maybe she wouldn’t like who liked her, maybe she’d be impulsive, reckless, so selfish that she’d end up alone and unloved, maybe she’d fail, ruin my life.
None of these things turned out to be true. I adore her, and she’s doing really good work, helping people, easing suffering in the world.
The full prompt: (this is the one I’m doing out of order, but it’s the right time now). They leave marks, and sometimes you can only take what you can carry. What will you, by choice or by chance, carry into 2013?
I will carry with me the consequences, the karma of mistreating myself, of denying my power, resisting my calling, rejecting my need for love and affection. There is real physical damage, a literal weight I carry with me, but there is also mental and emotional baggage, old habits and ways of being that no longer serve me, but are sticky and deep, patterns of behavior, discursive and destructive thinking, ways of numbing out, resisting and rejecting, running away from the truth. Judgement and criticism, anxiety and depression, practiced for so long, so intently that they don’t fall away in an instant, not even after concentrated effort. There remain faint lines, bumps, jagged raised scar tissue. They ache in the cold and itch in the heat, old hurts, lingering damage that can resurface under certain conditions.