Saturday, December 31, 2011

less adventure


I think I'm starting to catch onto how this "One Little Word" thing works for me - it seems to have become an interesting annual process of digging into what I need, revealing where the blocks are.

In 2010 my word was DELIGHT. Upon review at the end of the year I chose REST for 2011. It would seem that by living with the word "delight" for twelve months I realized, consciously or not, that in order to feel delight I needed to rest. And now, interestingly, after a year of working with rest, I find the word LESS has selected me for 2012.

Seriously. This is not a word I would have imagined choosing, but there is no question that this is the word for the year. Every time I think about it I feel wonderful - light and spacious and grounded and present - so there you go.

And it is very clear to me that if I'm going to rest deeply, I need less. Less worry, less stuff, less in my mind, less in my space. It has become clear to me that I can only love so many things well. I trust the rest of the world to love the many things that aren't mine, or at least not mine for much longer.

As my inspiring friend Lis posted on her blog, less is indeed more! (If you do yourself the favor of checking out her post, please read all the way through the John O'Donohue blessing - that last stanza completely sums up my feeling as we bid 2011 adieu!)

Happy New Year, all you dear souls! May 2012 offer you all your heart needs.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

light adventure

winter light

"Make of yourself a light." ~Buddha
"You are the light of the world." ~Jesus

During this winter solstice week I've been thinking a lot about light. I'm intrigued by the seasons and how they bring invitations for us to participate in the natural world. For instance, fall seems to be a time to savor the bounty of the activity of spring and summer and to start turning inward and let the outworn go.

It just occurred to me this week that the various winter holidays, with their emphasis on light, are a perfect invitation for us to experience the natural movement of bringing light. What if we look at the holidays as an opportunity not only to celebrate the return of light to the world, but also to join in? What if we look at this as a time to bring our light to the world? What if the food we make and the gifts we give and the company we keep are reflections of our light?

Whoever you are and however you're celebrating the winter holidays, your light is beautiful. Let it shine.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

renew adventure

This past week brought a welcome rush of energy and forward motion on several work projects. It also meant I was very much in my head all week. This weekend I've tried to get back into my body and the world around me. So I'm avoiding too many words and too much time on the computer. I thought I'd share some recent images instead. Enjoy! And take good care of yourself this week as we head into the holidays.

elegant puddle



Sunday, December 11, 2011

dark adventure


I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God.

~T. S. Eliot

This has not, historically, been my favorite time of year. I get really worried about ice and snow. I've been known to go into a manic frenzy of gift making, trying to ensure everything is Holiday Perfect. But as I share in this guest post on lovely Steph's blog, Creative Living Experiment, I think I'm starting to make my peace with the shorter days of December. I'm so honored to have been included in this series of reflections on the Solstice!

This week, as I was catching up on my Sun magazine reading (up to November, folks!), I had one of those perfect-thing-at-the-perfect-time moments reading an interview with Michael Meade. Holy moly! It totally knocked me out:

"When I was growing up, I liked big questions: What is life all about? Why are we here? Eventually I learned that the key question involves the meaning seeded within each individual life.

"Almost all cultures have the notion that there is a judgement when we die. Some kind of accounting has to be made of one's life. I believe God - and to me 'God' is just shorthand for the ineffable divine presence - has only one question for us at the end: 'Did you become yourself?' We have a seeded self that begins to germinate at birth. Our true goal in life is to become that self.

"There's an African proverb: 'When death finds you, may it find you alive.' Alive means living your own damn life, not the life that your parents wanted, or the life some cultural group or political party wanted, but the life that your own soul wants to live. That's the way to evaluate whether you are an authentic person or not."

Yes, yes, YES!!! Now we're talking. And the amazing thing is that when you read this, don't you know exactly what self he's talking about? Isn't this incredibly liberating? Perhaps you're already living that life, and if so, hooray for you - keep going. But for the rest of us who secretly know who we are, but still look to the outside world for approval and encouragement and thus are constantly thrown off the path, doesn't this just feel like the best manifesto ever? I can't tell you how inspired I am to live my own damn life:) Hell yeah! Now this, my friend, this is the God who is waiting for me in the dark.

If all of this rings your bell the same way it does mine, you might also enjoy these videos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Plus you get some Very Dramatic Music.

[Also, I just watched an amazing John O'Donohue video from Sounds True right along these lines. Can't help but share!]

Other good things rocking my December world have been this incredible episode of This American Life (continuing the theme of the listening adventure), which really basically cracked me open in the best possible way. Also, super excited to have received the first crate of our local Community Supported Art program. It includes five amazing pieces of artwork by local artists, including (delightfully enough) my totally fabulous dentist's son!

community supported art - 1st share

Sunday, December 4, 2011

listening adventure


I love listening to people talk about things they're passionate about. And some of the best conversations I've heard lately have been on "Insights at the Edge," Sounds True's weekly podcasts with Tami Simon. I especially enjoyed "Difficult Times and Liberation" with Jack Kornfield and "Coleman Barks: Rumi, Grace, and Human Friendship". They're such good company and especially welcome in the car. Perhaps you might enjoy checking them out?