Monday, February 28, 2011
Yesterday I was pretty seriously in need of some inspiration. I'd taken care of everything that "needed" to be done and I knew I could just fritter the day away in nervous anxiety or I could find some way to feed my soul. Mindlessly scanning my Netflix queue one title jumped out at me: The Parking Lot Movie. And that turned my whole day around.
I have always loved smart misfits and this documentary is full of them at their best. But the other great thing about this movie is that Netflix's copy of it has the Independent Lens information at the beginning. I'm ashamed to admit that the library has had an on-going series of showing these documentaries for years. I even helped with a craft before the start of one of them. But have I ever attended a screening? Not once. Not even for the one I helped with. Nope, I just cleaned up the craft and hit the road. So, I totally understand if you read this post and think it's not for you. But keep it in the back of your mind for a gray Sunday when you need to be reminded of our common humanity and all that is right in this troubled world. And then you might consider also watching Ram Dass: Fierce Grace and The Cats of Mirikitani. I don't believe I'm steering you wrong and yes, all of these are currently streaming on Netflix, as are many of the other Independent Lens titles.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
1. excited to start the Everyday Peace Workshop this week - I believe today is the last day to sign up if you're interested, otherwise, you might just enjoy checking out Elise's blog
2. totally enjoying Quiet: The Power of Introverts, especially this post
3. more great Jon Bernie
4. love these vlogs by the lovely Pixie Campbell
5. this Tom Waits song had me cracked up last night!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
and above my head on this beautiful morning
Recently a phrase popped into my head that's been really powerful for me. "I need to stand in my own truth." Here are some of my truths that have become clear for me lately:
I love the part of my job that's about connecting with and serving people with a powerful sense of love and joy - using my information superpowers (and smile) for good feels like my true life work, a sure fire way into flow for me
I love public transit, especially getting to sit on the bus among kindred spirits and read to and from work
I need a lot of time to myself in our sweet country home
I love remembering I have this amazing, wise body that loves to be remembered and used
I spent two early years of my life on a Choctaw reservation and although I am not Native American, parts of their culture were an important early influence on me and I have a deep soul connection there
I have a fierce love of all my family - just looking at their sweet faces in pictures reminds me of how blessed I am
I truly married the love of my life and so enjoy this journey through life together, as we grow and change and laugh through it all
I love glimpses into other people's lives, their passions and pain and purpose
I love all the different spiritual influences I've had in my life and don't want to limit myself to following just one
I can take too much on, just through passionate interest, and then start to feel trapped under the weight of it all - I love that movement back to simplicity, too
And, oh, how I love sunny days
Friday, February 25, 2011
my sweet hubby's neck when I give him a hug in the evening
early daffodils in all the usual places
(A big Thank You to Rodg for the use of his excellent picture of last year's flowers.)
tired and raw and grateful
and loving all things 70s these days, including this gem (OK, officially late 60s...)
Thursday, February 24, 2011
There were days when I cheated and wrote more than three pages: "I'm doing so well, I can't stop now!" I found that as soon as I did so, my ego woke up, "proud" of what "I" had "accomplished." The reemergence of ego was distinctly uncomfortable. I began to see the wisdom that lay in a small, modest quota, nothing to get all worked up about.
When I was tempted to binge on my work, my advisers would caution me, "Easy does it." At first I heard this as a bromide. I thought they were telling me something like "Oh, calm down." My ego hated this phrase "Easy does it." My ego still wanted binges of writing, the drama of trying to write flat-out.
All too soon I learned that binges invited an equal and opposite reaction. I would binge one day and feel "dry" and "empty" the next. Instead of steady production, I would experience spurts. My progress would zoom ahead, then skid to a halt.
"Easy does it," I was told again, and this time with a bit more explanation. "Easy does it means 'easy accomplishes it,'" I was told. "If you're willing to go along 'slowly,' you will be amazed how quickly pages accumulate. Three pages a day is ninety pages a month. That's a lot of prose."
~ Julia Cameron in Floor Sample
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Things have been kind of intense these days, so when the weather forecast called for blue skies and temperatures in the upper 60s, Rodg and I decided to head to the Nashville Zoo for an adventure. We're both kind of conflicted about the whole zoo thing, but we do love to visit the animals and appreciate the infinite variety of amazing creatures on this earth. And most of them actually seemed to be happy. It really is a nice zoo.
Rodg posted his awesome zoo photos (and fun film) here. And a trip to the zoo isn't complete without getting this song stuck in your head:)
Rodg posted his awesome zoo photos (and fun film) here. And a trip to the zoo isn't complete without getting this song stuck in your head:)
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Here are some of the things that are nourishing me these days, things my soul just can't get enough of:
~ truth - Julia Cameron, Brother David, and Jon Bernie are such good sources of this for me
~ space - my evening practices of sitting and stretching are doing me so much good, as is learning to say no, lovingly eliminating things that aren't necessary to my well-being and happiness
~ love - feeling so grateful for my wonderful family and friends and enjoying connecting with people in my day-to-day life - really seeing them and their beauty and truth and goodness and humor and struggle and challenge
I hope you're enjoying the feeling of being nourished today.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
tart, delicious Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar in Boho Girl's mom's recipe
back to enjoying my delicious Aveda Chakra sprays, especially 2 and 4
another cannot-put-down memoir, Julia Cameron's Floor Sample
so much tender love for my dear mother-in-law and her sweet family
this bird symphony in the morning
Thursday, February 17, 2011
We flew to Kansas City last weekend to visit my dear mother-in-law whose health is failing. It was a hard visit, but there were some funny moments. One was at the airport when I grabbed our suitcase off the carousel. It felt like something was vibrating inside. Now, the whole thing with TSA is to make sure there aren't bombs in suitcases, not to put them in there, so I wasn't really worried, just kind of confused. I decided it must just have been picking up a vibration in the airport, since I was pulling it by the handle and it was in contact with the floor.
Eventually it seemed strange enough to me that I picked it up by the handle. Sure enough, it still felt like something was vibrating inside. This was going to be a quick visit, so there really wasn't a whole lot in the suitcase. I started mentally running through the contents: clothes, books, DVDs, walking shoes, various toiletries, and then I remembered my travel toothbrush... Mystery solved!
The fun thing about this experience is that it reminded me of my sweet, Betty White-esque grandma getting pulled off the plane to have her luggage examined years before 9/11, when this little friend got frisky in her suitcase:
Somehow a toothbrush would seem easier to explain... especially since she figured it out as they started going through her luggage and started laughing and announced, "Oh, it's just my vibrator!"
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
1. Brene's thoughtful post on faith, doubt, and inspiration
2. Richard Rohr's interview "Utterly Humbled by Mystery" from NPR's This I Believe, referred to in Brene's post. Very worth listening to.
3. Dani Shapiro is all about not pushing in her recent post on taking baths.
4. Oh, how I love Jen Lee and her amazing stories!
5. I also love Liz Lamoreux's beautiful encouragements.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
Feeling deeply grateful for:
Hard-working MTA employees who patiently and determinedly tried to get us home on gridlocked, icy streets
Friendly and kind bus comrades who looked out for each other, bought yummy dinner rolls for everyone on a big, articulated bus going nowhere, acted goofy, shared phones, gave each other rides, and found places for friends to stay
Friends who dropped everything to take care of us
Strangers who dropped everything to open their home to us
Walgreens employees who let us into a closed store so we could obtain emergency medications and supplies like toothpaste, toothbrushes, t-shirts, underwear, stockings, shampoo, lotion, mascara, and food and then offered us a ride to where we were staying
A sweet husband who took advantage of impassable roads to clean the house and when I could get home welcomed me with much fanfare, many hugs and kisses, and a warm and toasty fire
Home sweet home
Thursday, February 10, 2011
"One time we were working on a problem with a scene. There were a lot of things to consider - lighting, staging, pacing, and the like. We were up very late struggling to find the right way to do it. Finally, when we seemed close to the solution, [Alfred] Hitchcock came in and started telling jokes, silly, junior high-type stuff, and got us all lost again. Later, I asked him why, when we were so close to solving the problem, did he choose that moment to get us off track by joking around? He paused, and then said something I'll never forget. He said, 'You were pushing. It never comes from pushing.'"
~Hume Cronyn, quoted in Sabbath
[I'll let you in on a little secret - I advance post most things that show up here during the week the weekend before. What fun this week to find wonderful Steph musing on this same topic on Monday! And thank goodness for advance posting - I didn't get home last night! Nashville got snow just at the wrong time and after 4.5 hours on the bus dear friends were able to find a safe place for me to rest my head for the night. It will sure feel good to get home today and give my sweetie a huge hug!]
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
If you don't already know about StoryCorps, here's how they describe the work they're doing: "Our mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our broadcasts on public radio and the web."
A big Thank You to my dear friend Griffin for sharing this with me!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Image from Joan Anderson's photo gallery
I love Joan Anderson's message of being true to oneself. Her focus is on women and how the first half of our lives typically are devoted to taking care of others. I can relate to this to some degree, although I don't have children and haven't had the same kind of struggle for time of my own that I know many women experience. Still, it can be hard in our society to drop the feeling that we need to mold ourselves to please others. Joan is a wonderful role model for me in my quest to stand in my own truth, as you can see here and here.
Joan Anderson's books include A Year by the Sea, A Walk on the Beach, An Unfinished Marriage, and The Second Journey.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
1. blue sky today - this photo was taken just minutes ago:)
2. a cozy evening by the fire watching Wise Blood with my sweetie for the second time. We first watched it together about 18 years ago in my funny Boston apartment - I had absolutely no context for it then. At least now I understand the South a little better, but I'm still pretty stumped by this one...
3. looking forward to a Day of Great Natural Peace with Joe Zarantonello in a couple of weeks
4. starting to stand in my own truth - a phrase that popped into my head the other day and has been really powerful for me. Something about the physicality of it. I was delighted to see it echoed in today's Tricycle Daily Dharma: "It [metta/lovingkindness] relies on our ability to open continuously to the truth of our actual experience, not cutting off the painful parts, and not trying to pretend things are other than they are." ~ Sharon Salzberg/Joseph Goldstein, Commit to Sit: Metta
5. I started the "five (really) good things" posts in response to wonderful Liz Lamoreaux's original idea a while back. It was fun to see her do another list again this week. She is full of really good things!
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Happy to have made it into February. It's still snowing (yes, even as I was taking this photo minutes ago) but the end of winter feels closer and I've started keeping an eye on where the daffodils first come up each year, looking for green shoots.
Really loving spending less time on the computer. Between the Dream Lab challenge this week of stopping numbing behavior, dear Sharon Salzberg's 28-day meditation challenge for February, and reading the first chapter of The Joy Diet ("Nothing" being the topic for the week), it seemed like a good time to finally get back into a meditation routine, so I've been sitting for a while before doing my evening stretches. This is good stuff. Really, really good.
Reading Joan Anderson's book that came out in 2008, The Second Journey, about what happened to her simple, wild life after fame struck and her hermit beach existence ended. I had no idea she'd written this book and I can't put it down. Molly, this is definitely one to pick up...
Friday, February 4, 2011
a yummy Kashi Tuscan Veggie Bake - mmmmm:)
delicious fresh air on some of the warmer days we've had lately
giving Martha Beck's Joy Diet another try
good stretches every evening - love opening up these hips!
a tie between fabulous Nina Simone and my good buddy Jon Bernie
Thursday, February 3, 2011
A while back when I was fueling up at my favorite gas station a truck from a state that tends to get on my nerves anyway had parked in what I felt was a very inconsiderate way, so that I had to really pull the hose way over to get to my car. My bubble of self-righteousness burst as I just got the nozzle near my gas tank and gasoline started gushing all over everything. Turns out I was so caught up in how I was being so put out that I unknowingly started squeezing the handle. Thank goodness I was close enough that I was able to pop it into my tank without making too much of a scene, but the smell of gasoline on my hands for the rest of the drive home was a good reminder that I would do better to just pay attention to the things I have control over - which is pretty much just me:)