Posted: 31 May 2011 Filed under: identity
Steeping ourselves in a place, simmering in its bounties, celebrating its wonders, and loving its peculiarities are necessary steps on a spiritual journey. We often take for granted the places where we work and play. To get to know them again, or perhaps for the first time, involves acts of consecration and imagination. Or as Wendell Berry puts it: “My most inspiriing thought is that this place, if I am to live well in it, requires and deserves a lifetime of the most careful attention.”
~ Anne Lamott
Posted: 31 May 2011 Filed under: #Trust30
We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.
1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.
I don’t think it’s that I’m so much afraid of death; it’s that I am overwhelmingly in love with life. The thought of not being here, of not living in this world, in this life, fills me with the most overpowering sadness. If I wasn’t here, if the people who I love weren’t here, something would be desperately saddened in me. And yet, I know that I have to overcome the waves of fear that threaten to crush me each time someone speaks of death, even of rebirth. Deaths in books fill me with shuddering sobs, and the discussion of a time when we’re no longer here is paralyzing. Existential therapists face the question of living this life, and leaving it, and I know that I’m overdue to spend some time with one, facing this fear, this more than fear, that shakes me to my core. But in the bigger picture, I also know it’s inextricably tied with my search for truth. I have spent so much of this life exploring God, exploring truth, exploring love, and I know that to fulfill these explorations, I have to explore death as well. The part of me that is drawn to celebrate the ancient seasonal festivals has to acknowledge that what they are celebrating is the circle of life, death, and rebirth. But while I can celebrate a waning moon or a dying year, it challenges me constantly to celebrate moving on to another lifetime. Because there’s always the possibility that we’re wrong, that there’s only this one, only this time around, and what if we don’t live every second of it as fully as we can? What are we throwing away? I have to live in both – live in the exploration of what I need to do for the next time around and live in the moment as if it is the only chance I have. I’m too afraid to do anything less.
So maybe the story that has to be told is this: Each morning, I wake up and go about my day, and maybe I don’t think of it as the last one, the last chance, because the mundane is so powerful, and the rhythms so ingrained. But what if I did choose to live every day as if it was the only chance I had – because it is the only chance I have to live that single day. What if I looked for ways to make each minute something more? It’s so easy to do my job the same way I always have, because it doesn’t excite me anymore – but what if I find a way to make it more every day? What if I make the choice to write, not simply because I’ve committed to these 30 days, but because there is something that I need to say, and the only way to do it is to sit down and put words on the page every day? What if I take chances because I desperately miss performing and I need to take the chance that I might fail at every audition, because there’s also a chance I might succeed? What if I walk and run and dance more because I want to enjoy everything that I can do in this body for all the days that I have left to live in it? What kind of story would that be? How different would it be from the one I’m living right now? It’s worth a try, isn’t it?
#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey
Posted: 24 May 2011 Filed under: 32
”GEMINI [May 21–June 20] Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins coined the verb “to selve,” which is what a person does in the process of creating his or her distinctive presence in the world. Writing this column is an ongoing opportunity for me to selve, for example, because each time I conjure up a new horoscope I exercise the idiosyncratic combination of skills, attitudes, training, and knowledge that is special to me. You are in a phase when you have a sacred duty to selve with extra intensity and alacrity. In fact, I suggest you be ruthless in seeking out experiences that give you a chance to tap into, cultivate, and express your most unique qualities.”
Posted: 23 May 2011 Filed under: 32
It’s funny – this is not an age I associate with trepidation or excitement. It’s not really an age I ever really thought about. But birthdays are a time to reflect and refocus…so here I go…32 thoughts/goals/ideas for the upcoming year:
1. walk more
2. meditate more
3. read more
4. write more
5. work less
6. study more
7. cook more
8. spend less
9. breathe slower
10. listen more
11. get rid of the possessions/clothing/things that make me unhappy
12. don’t replace them unless it’s with something that makes me happy
13. talk to friends more
14. worry less
15. stop checking work email at home
16. stop checking email as often
17. unplug often
18. sing more
20. be one or many steps closer to motherhood
21. be one or many steps closer to better health
22. be closer to financial stability
23. learn more chords
24. write more songs
25. find a csa
26. drink less caffeine
27. drink more water
28. sleep better
29. wear sunscreen
30. get a decent haircut
31. and a decent sports bra
32. and throw away all the clothes and shoes that have holes in them
Posted: 1 May 2011 Filed under: identity
Dance around an open flame and celebrate love, life and spring today!