Tag Archives: Oregon Coast

#Reverb12: Day 13

reverb12

Try

The full prompt: What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2012? What happened when you did/didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

Next year, I want to try:

  • Once and for all letting go of my food addiction, having a normal and healthy relationship with food, to eating
  • Keeping my heart open, staying awake no matter what
  • Teaching an ecourse
  • Submitting some things for publication (or rather as is more likely, for rejection)
  • A dance class, could be Nia or Zumba, or a “real” dance class
  • Running, again, beginning again
  • Art Journaling

What I wanted to try in 2012, what happened when I did/didn’t go for it:

  • Blogging, maintaining a regular writing practice: totally did it and it was awesome
  • Being more involved: did it, but had to accept and honor the limitations, the special needs of being a HSP and an introvert
  • Eating more mindfully, healthier: there were moments, long stretches of success, of ease, but the past month or so has been difficult, I’ve slipped back into old habits and ways of being, even though they so clearly no longer serve me
  • Life Rehab, retreats and classes and workshops and study and practice: so much transformation (as a caterpillar turns to a butterfly, still the same being but turned to mush and reconfigured, and in the end having grown wings), so much I still want to do, to learn, to be
  • Being myself, wholly and without apology: I still can be timid and unsure, but the realization here is that who I am already is of so much more value than who I was trying so hard to be. I thought if I was perfect, always giving more and doing more, that’s what would make people love me, get my needs met, but it turns out that the simpler option (just being myself) is more loveable than the plastic version. Easier for me + more love = no brainer

Love

The full prompt: What are the things (or people or animals) in this world that you love the most.

My three boys, my little family. I love them with my whole heart.

threeboys

Do-Over

The full prompt: Of the things that happened this year, if you had the chance to do X all over again, what would it be?

This is difficult to answer. There was another prompt at some point that was similar, I think it asked about regrets. I couldn’t really answer that one either because everything that happens to me, everything I do, I see as one step forward, and looking back I can see how they string together to make a map from the place I was to where I am now. In this light, even the missteps, the things that hurt, that generated suffering, the places I stumbled or even fell down, the moments I resisted or wished away–all of them led to here, and how can I say that anything about here is wrong? I just can’t.

For example, Dexter was miserable on the drive to Oregon, really hating all that time in the car, would sometimes shake with it, was panting and unable to relax or rest most of the time. I could say I wish we’d found a sedative or something he could take that would calm him down, keep him comfortable, but what if that made him feel sick, had other side effects? And even if he relaxed or slept on the medication, how could I be sure that he actually felt better about it, had an easier experience?

So, I could say maybe we shouldn’t have even gone to Oregon, but that’s just silly because the month we had there, all the walking and running and playing and napping and hanging out with his people and having visitors, Dexter absolutely loved it. And it turned out to be his last chance to go, and I wouldn’t want to have taken that from him. So you see, even though I wish he hadn’t had such a rough trip there and back, I made the best choice I knew how for him, and to wish for a do-over, well I wouldn’t even know what to wish for exactly.

dexter on the beach, pure joy

dexter on the beach, pure joy

Or another example might be my participation at the World Domination Summit. I could say I wish I could go back and be more involved, more extroverted, attending more events, meeting more people, but would that have really made it a better experience for me? As it was, I took the time alone and apart that I felt I needed, and I did attend things, connected with some amazing people, introduced myself to almost all of the people on my “must meet someday and tell them to their face how much I adore them” list.

My final answer to this prompt would be something I saw posted on Facebook the other day, “With every rising of the sun, think of your life as just begun. The past has cancelled & buried deep all yesterdays. There let them sleep,” (author unknown).

Favorite Photo of You

The full prompt: “Please post your favourite picture of yourself from 2012, self-portrait or otherwise!” Besottment also included this prompt for Day 15 of Reverb: What was your favourite photo taken OF you and/or the photo you loved best that you took in 2012?

This one is a tie, but what I like about them is the same. They both show me content, somewhere that I love, confident in who I am, no mask. The first is me in Waldport, Oregon this summer, our first week of a month long stay, taken on a rainy morning while wearing my purple fleece robe, having just finished writing a blog post, an image I posted on Instagram.

purplefleecerobeThe second is me at Shambhala Mountain Center during the Fearless Creativity writing and meditation retreat with Susan Piver, the weekend I finally surrendered and claimed “I am a writer,” meant it, knew it was true, confident and content.

smcmecloseup

Leaving Home, Going Home

They say that home is where the heart is. I would agree with this, but the problem for me is half my heart lives in Oregon and the other in Colorado, with my body shuttling between the two. And yet, I don’t ever feel like I am living with half a heart, or carrying the ghost of another half, more like I have two full hearts residing in two different locations, but somehow still connected, like twins who can feel each others pain, sense what the other is experiencing.

This morning I discovered that other than the first day of July, when I correctly wrote “7-1-12” in my journal, I’ve been dating every entry with a “6” and thus giving myself a whole extra month of June. With the weather here at the coast never getting much warmer than mid-60s, you could almost believe in two Junes.

Cape Foulweather

But now it’s time to go back, to temperatures in the high 90s, to a place that was on fire when we left and is now in the thick of sadness, confusion, and anger brought on by another kind of tragedy. Yesterday, all I wanted to do was watch HGTV and sleep, which is rare. I hardly ever watch that much TV anymore–when I am “sick” maybe (too depressed and tired to get dressed and leave the house, barely able to get out of bed), but I haven’t been that for a long time now. This post from Jennifer Louden helped yesterday, “Ways to Channel Fear and Sadness,” reminded me of what I already know to be true. She ends the post with this: “We are human and fragile and afraid – together.  Never alone, my friend, never alone.”

Later in the day, I even found myself smiling a little.

There are a lot of lasts today: last full day at the beach, last sleep in this house, last farmer’s market, last serving of marionberry cobbler (*sob*). Walking on the beach this morning, talking about how this last month went by so fast (the kind of talk that always reminds me of this post on A Design So Vast, where Lindsey’s daughter says to her “When you’re in them, days take a long time.  But then when you look back they went really fast”–brilliant, and exactly…), I asked Eric “how do you get your life to slow down?”

Farmer’s Market this morning in Newport, our last one

Eric answered: less internet, less tv, less feeling like you have to be “on,” checking in and connected. I know from practice that slowing down is about relaxing into the moment, remaining present, surrendering, no judgement or rejection, no plans or control or even hope. Let go. Give up your agenda. Pay attention. Breathe. It’s simple, but we make it so hard.

South Beach, south of Newport, where we walked/ran this morning while being chased by 100 mosquitoes trying to eat us

Much love to you, kind and gentle reader. I have a post for tomorrow, but won’t be doing a Something Good list this week, as we’ll be on the road to Colorado, moving from this home to that one.

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. Spending time with family. Movie day with Mom (and Dad, although he usually doesn’t watch the movies with us), lunch and walking on the beach and ice cream with my brother and niece, and dinner with aunts and uncles.

2. Farmer’s Market produce and Depoe Baykery baked goods. Oh how I am going to miss them, but there’s word that my garden in Colorado is producing cucumbers and the tomatoes are starting, and it’s probably time to lay off the sweet, sweet carbs for a bit as well.

3. My purple fleece robe. This item has wrapped me in warmth and comfort through some really hard times of grief and sadness and depression, as well as being useful during better times. Eric bought it for me for Christmas many, many years ago. It is simple, functional, clearly durable, and a long time favorite, and was a good thing to have with me this summer, where the temperature never got much above the mid 60s and I was trying to learn to rest and take better care of myself.

4. Naps, sinking in and relaxing. The boys and I have shared many a nap during this vacation, pure bliss when you get up early and take long walks and have no plans, no work, no where you need to go. I need this kind of rest, and my only worry is how I will manage it when I am back at my paid job. But for now, no worries. The boys are napping as I write this post, and I soon as I finish, I’ll probably join them.

5. HGTV. This is the only thing I miss about not having cable TV. I’ve been able to watch it this whole month, since the house we are staying in has access. I am especially loving International House Hunters. I barely even bother with the other channels.

6. Hiking yesterday, and then the long shower I took after.

7. This vacation, this month at the beach in Waldport, but also going home to Colorado. This place is home too and I have loved being here so much and as it does every time, my heart will break a little when we have to go, but I’m also missing my little house, my bed, my studio space, my garden, my routine there, and my friends. I am looking forward to returning, to catching up and reconnecting with that space and those people.

Bonus Joy: Laughing with Eric. Sometimes he makes me almost hurt from it and I have to beg him to stop, but sometimes he’s the one who can’t stop.

Things I Forgot about Hiking on the Oregon Coast

This morning, Eric and the dogs and I hiked the Cummins Creek Trail near Cape Perpetua. Hiking is for me what church is for other people, a sacred space where I can actively connect with that which is larger than myself, a way to worship and celebrate and surrender, to give thanks for the wonderful life I get to live and the amazing beauty in which I get to live it.

Eric doing an impression of Tron

Our hike this morning reminded me a few things I’d forgotten about hiking on the Oregon Coast.

  • I forgot: The way the wind contorts the trees at the very edge of the forest, where it meets the sea, permanently shaping and bending them.
  • I forgot: Slugs and spit bugs, (those last ones are every bit as gross as they sound).
  • I forgot: How much I love Hemlock and Maple trees.
  • I forgot: How up in the big Hemlocks and Firs and Redwoods and Maples, the ground beneath your feet is nothing but tree roots and decayed plant matter, moss and fungi, and that all makes it super springy, spongy, soft.
  • I forgot: That it’s w a y more humid than in Colorado. At one point on our hike today, I was completely wet, body and clothes, covered in a thick layer of sweat and water, dripping and soggy. I had to finally give up and put my sunglasses in my pocket because they kept fogging up, making me blind.
  • I forgot: As in Colorado, you have to hike hard and far to get to the real sweet spot.

    Today’s sweet spot, about half way into the loop, four miles in and 1200 feet up.

    The view from today’s sweet spot.

  • I forgot: While in Colorado on a hike you might see up to 40 different plant species, on the Oregon Coast you see at least 400.
  • I forgot: Sometimes, it’s so beautiful that you can’t hardly believe it’s real, and you love it so much it hurts.

Things I Forgot about Oregon in the Summer

  • I forgot: The utter glory, the sheer magic of berry season. The full measure of deliciousness and wonder to be found in Marionberries, farm fresh blueberries and raspberries and strawberries, as well as farmer’s market cucumbers and lettuce and tomatoes, real maple bars, and seafood fresh from the Pacific.
  • I forgot: That giant, lush roses and daisies and sweet peas and hollyhocks grow wild in the ditches along the side of the road, and in some places, the trees are so thick you can’t see through them.
  • I forgot: There are some trees that are so green they are almost black.
  • I forgot: That nothing here ever dries completely, that it’s either soaked, soggy, wet, or damp. I forgot mud and mold and moss.
  • I forgot: Every summer has its very own soundtrack. This summer it’s Beach House Radio on the TuneIn Radio app. It’s perfect, “If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air,” (Groove Armada, At The River).
  • I forgot: Even when you have tons of good food available, you don’t have to eat it all at once, don’t have to eat until or unless you are hungry. There is enough, enough time, enough goodness. You can wait, or you can eat–either way you can relax into the sweetness of enough.
  • I forgot: If you drive HWY 22, you will get stuck in traffic caused by massive farm equipment driving slowly down the road towards the next field.
  • I forgot: The gray sky and rain will make me feel terrible, down and depressed and tired, even this near the beach.
  • I forgot: This close to the ocean, it’s like there is a giant white noise machine running 24 hours a day, and it’s wonderful.
  • I forgot: I never tire of walking on the beach, the smell and the sound and the shape of it. This space, this place is precious.
  • I forgot: On some days, it’s so foggy that you can’t see the ocean, even if you are right next to it.
  • I forgot: In Waldport, owning a weed-eater is more important than owning a lawn mower.
  • I forgot: Sometimes driving to the store to buy groceries or taking a shower is the only time you’ll have alone, so take advantage of it.
  • I forgot: How much I like the people I love, how much I enjoy their company, and how much I miss them when we are apart. It is absolutely a survival technique to forget this, because if I felt the entire measure of how sad I was to be separated from them, I’d fall down and never want to get back up.

    Me and my brother (who I adore).

  • I forgot: It’s more fun to remember stuff with other people who remember the same things, even if your memory of it isn’t exactly the same.
  • I forgot: No matter how long or how well you know someone, you still don’t know everything.
  • I forgot: That I am never really ready to go home, because this is home too.

Gratitude Friday

baby blackberries

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. Depoe Baykery. I love baked things: bread, donuts, cake, pie, cookies. In fact, I kind of wish I didn’t love them quite so much. I think it has something to with my German DNA, because I love all things potato as well. White, doughy and starchy, chewy and a little sweet makes my mouth happy. And here on the coast, I have discovered the most wonderful little bakery.

First contact was a maple bar bought from their stall at the Waldport Wednesday Market, (second to baked things and fresh produce, my favorite is maple: maple bars, maple nut ice cream, maple syrup). I fell instantly in love. And then the next week, I had one of their coconut macaroons, and it was over. They are made out of coconut, butter and sugar, with a splash of heaven or pure evil, I haven’t made up my mind which, and each one is as big as your face. And if that weren’t already enough to kill me, they fill their bear claws with Marionberry! I haven’t decided if it’s good or bad that you can order their cookies online and have them shipped to you.

I wish you could somehow smell them: a chocolate chew and coconut macaroons

2. Fresh produce. I am still obsessed, hitting three farmer’s markets per week. My current obsessions are raspberries and cucumbers.

3. Coming home after being away. I had a great time at the World Domination Summit, but I sure missed my boys. In those first moments back, I remember how lucky I am and I feel so grateful for all the love and comfort that is mine, to be missed and loved as much right back. My dogs spent the whole rest of that first day following me everywhere, sticking with me like two Velcro dogs, and I loved it.

4. Long walks on the beach. This morning, we were out for three hours: walking, playing, chasing birds (that was Sam, not the rest of us, the Lab/Border Collie mix just can’t help herding the birds), collecting shells and rocks, taking pictures, listening to the rhythm of the waves. I am trying to enjoy this time, rather than think about how much I am going to miss it, but as our vacation winds down, it’s hard not to feel a little sadness.

the view this morning

5. Reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. There are people in this world who have their hearts wide open, who are kind and generous and amazing, who see you, really get you, make you laugh, comfort you, encourage you, whose bravery makes you feel safe and braver yourself. I got to hang out with a lot of them this week, and it was bliss. I also am aware that “the rest” have the same potential, even if they haven’t quite got it together just yet.

Bonus Joy: Routine. I like having the comfort, the certainty of a routine, even when I’m on vacation. We realized the other night that after coming to Waldport for the past ten years, we have that here: we walk and hike the same places, have a set schedule, go to the same markets and shops, eat at the same restaurants. I am very much a person who would rather sink deeper into a place, into a practice, into a relationship, into myself, than seek out something new or different. I know that for some of you, that would seem like some kind of torture, too boring for life, but for me it’s complete happiness.

Something Good

tide pool

Oh my, kind and gentle reader, after a shorter list last week, this week’s is extra long, so many awesome things I saw this week. My right eye is twitching anticipating writing this one up–and the tagging! Ugh…But every last thing on this list is worth it, otherwise I wouldn’t bother sharing.

One thing, there won’t be many videos shared while we are here on the coast, because I can’t really watch much of anything. While I am grateful to have the internet and my tiny computer, even a makeshift standup desk to use while I’m here, it’s not the same as home.

beach workstation

Specifically, everything just takes longer. For example, this morning I wanted to watch my latest Practitioner video from Susan Piver’s Open Heart Project, not because I had to, she lovingly includes a transcript with her email that I can read and get the same info, but I wanted to watch the video, wanted to see and hear her because I’m missing her, but for a five minute video, it took a half an hour to download on this internet connection, which is running on beach time, and because my tiny computer is slower, even working as hard as it can, I couldn’t really do much of anything else while the video downloaded.

So, all the fancy stuff on this list (whatever that means–do I even do anything fancy on this blog, or ever?!) will most likely be put on hold until I’m back in Colorado, mostly because I can’t watch anything to know if it’s good or worth sharing. But not to worry, because like I said, there’s lots of good stuff, even without the videos (and there is at least one video on this list).

1. Badass Courtney Carver and her post, People Will Think You Are Weird. I mentioned one of Courtney’s posts on this list last week, told you she was a badass, and she linked from this, her latest post, back to mine. I love this new one, it’s so true and such a good list, (many of which items would show up if I made a list of all the ways I’m weird–oh, good blog post idea! I must make a note of that…). She ends the post with this:

You will threaten some, but your weird, crazy, lovely, badass behavior will inspire and spread hope, joy, courage and change. Let go of the excuse that people might think you are weird if you make a change or try something new. They absolutely will and you will survive it. Maybe you are weird. Welcome to the club!

Yay for the weird club!

2. Where in the World Do I Start? from Leo Babauta on ZenHabits. I think Leo might just be the king of how to start. I know that he was incredibly helpful to me when I was starting again.

3. The Foolproof Way to Know You Are Loveable from Rachel Cole, a post which, interestingly enough, serves as the foolproof way to know that Rachel is loveable, utterly and completely.

4. How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love on Brain Pickings. So much awesome in this post.

5. This video touches and breaks my heart, The First 70 trailer shared in a post by Squam, and is too important to not pass on. And yes, I have been known to hug a tree.

6. Scavenger Hunt for Happiness, Live Lane on Your Heart Makes a Difference. Word.

7. How to Write a Book from Susannah Conway. Really good advice. She inspires me.

8. Dancing Matt. If you haven’t already seen these videos from this big hearted dancing goofball, I am so happy to introduce you to them.

9. Flab, Cellulite, and Dangling Arm Fat. Oh sisters, indeed: you are beautiful!

10. On What’s Wrong With You. Just read it.

11. 100 Things To Do Instead Of Procrastinating On The Internet! from Gala Darling. Now, to be clear, I obviously have nothing against the internet. Like all things created by and for humans, it has at its heart compassion and wisdom. What I like about this list isn’t as a list of things to do instead, but just as a good list of things to do.

12. Why the 21st Century Author is an Internet Entrepreneur. Oh, this is very, very interesting…

13. This quote, from the Dalai Lama.

Genuine peace of mind is rooted in affection and compassion. There is a very high level of sensitivity and feeling involved. So long as we lack inner discipline, an inner calmness of mind, then no matter what external facilities or conditions we may have, they will never give us the feeling of joy and happiness that we seek. On the other hand, if we possess this inner quality—that is, calmness of mind, a degree of stability within—then even if we lack various external facilities that are normally considered necessary for a happy and joyful life, it is still possible to live a happy and joyful life.

14. From Miss Minimalist, Minimalist Philosophy: Not-To-Have and Not-To-Be. Yes, yes!

15. Against Positive Thinking: Uncertainty as the Secret of Happiness on Brain Pickings. This is good, essentially is arguing the same thing a Buddhist would tell you: “In order to be truly happy, it turns out, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions – or, at the very least, to stop running quite so hard from them.”

16. What Is Art? Favorite Famous Definitions, from Antiquity to Today on Brain Pickings. Something I think about a lot.

17. Violence and Moral Dystopia on the L Train from Bindu Wiles. This falls into the category of “hard to think about, but important to try.”

18. How to Be Perfect from The Chick Blog. I need this message over and over until I finally get it.

19, This quote: “Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you, you know? Maybe you just need one person.” ~Kermit the Frog

20. And this quote:

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. ~Albert Einstein

21. Leo Babauta’s Guide to Overcoming Self Doubt.

22. This quote: “Be just the way you have always been, with this difference: do not believe any of it, and pay close attention to all of it.” ~Cheri Huber

23. 12 Habits Standing Between You and What You Want from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

24. This quote: “We rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you have to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.” ~Fred Roger

24. Guest Maven: Susannah Conway on How to Survive the Crash on The Maven Circle. Sometimes, Susannah is so awesome, it makes me want to cry.

25. How To Survive When Everything Sucks, an oldie but a goodie from Alexandra Franzen on Unicorns for Socialism.

26. And this quote, from Pema Chödrön, shared by Patti Digh:

Instead of struggling against the force of confusion, we could meet it and relax. When we do that, we gradually discover that clarity is always there. In the middle of the worst scenario of the worst person in the world, in the middle of all the heavy dialogue with ourselves, open space is always there. (to which I [Patti Digh] would add: let’s
resist the urge to fill up that open space).