“The world is what you think it is.” – Serge Kahili King
It's a big day! I am thrilled to announce that Jamie Ridler is featuring me on her podcast: Creative Living with Jamie today! It was such a treat to get to talk to her, and I was really honoured to be included. Thank you Jamie!
My new site is live! I'm so excited about it! It's been a real labour of love, but it is finally real. There are a few pages that don't have very much on them, but you can be assured that I will soon fill them with as much inspiration as I can get in there. It's called Creating Wings. Please come over and take a peek!
"I felt it shelter to speak to you." - Emily Dickinson
A year ago today we got married under a canopy of trees. The party was blissful chaos, the ladies wore hats, we were surrounded by love, we ate ice cream even though we could see our breath, and it was the very best day of my life.
There are some times that I take what I have for granted, and occasionally I forget how truly blessed I am. But those are more than made up for by the moments when I sit in the middle of my life and realize that I have the most wonderful family in the world, and now a big part of that family is my husband. (Yes, it is still weird to say!) Happy Anniversary my love, thank you for saying 'I do!'
“One evening a Cherokee elder told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside of people. He said, “My son, the battle is between the two ‘wolves’ that live inside us all. One is Unhappiness. It is fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment, and inferiority. The other is Happiness. It is joy, love, hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth, and compassion.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” ~ Marci Shimoff from Happy for No Reason
This morning I am up early to work on my new website, and I have gotten so wrapped up in it that I am likely going to be late for work. But today, I don't care. It's a big day for me. Today is the last day of September. October, my birth month, is just around the corner. On the 25th I will turn 35. This weekend I am hoping to launch a brand new website focused on... well... you'll see!!
So that is where I am. I'm feeling like a huge door is opening in front of me, getting ready for this next step. Today I am going to walk to work through the beautiful crisp autumn air. I am going to breathe deep and enjoy the world around me. I've been feeling incredibly connected lately, but I think it is simply because I have been paying attention. So I hope to enjoy this last day of September even with my swirling brain. I'll see you again this weekend!
"The effect of the Joy Diet is to shine a light into our hiding places, allowing us to see and remember ourselves and our reasons for being." - Martha Beck
(Hello there! I am sorry I have been away for so long. I've been told my blog over the past few weeks was boring - giggle - I know it's boring to come and see the same old post, but all I can say is that I promise to make it up to you very very soon.)
I've been meaning to begin Jamie's new book group ever since last week. The trouble is that the book is The Joy Diet by Martha Beck and the first thing that you have to embrace is nothing. That's right, you have to do nothing for a few minutes every day. It sounds so easy to type it here, but it has been so hard.
I tried to get up early and do nothing in the morning. But it turns out nothing + early morning + jet lag equals sleep. I tried to do nothing when I got home from work - but there was always something! Then, without actually meaning to on Friday morning (a full week after I should have been doing it every day) I did it. I woke up on my day off and didn't immediately get up. I realized that nothing is something I actually do once in a awhile already, but I have always called it filing. When I have been really busy, sometimes I find myself lying in bed and just thinking. I can almost hear the files slipping into place in my brain as I make sense of what has been going on in my world.
So it turns out that I shouldn't have tried to do nothing, I should have just done it because I already know how to do it. And now I just need to keep on doing nothing at least once a day.
"From the urgent way lovers want each other to the seeker's search for truth, all moving is from the mover. Every pull draws us to the ocean." -Rumi
I remember having a conversation once with a friend about wanting. I remember her saying that she sometimes wished that she could just be one of those people who was content. The word content gushed out of her mouth with equal amounts of desire and contempt. For her, content had somehow come to equal boring, but also freedom from the constant state of longing that had come to pervade her life.
I could relate then, and I can relate now. I am working at a job that could easily be a career, but I am hoping to get my book published and make a living from that. I am trying to love myself as is, while still trying to lose 40 pounds and make my body healthy and my self vibrant. I am happily married to a wonderful man, but a large part of my heart lives in a completely different country. At no point in my life do I ever sit down in my chair and look at my life and think, 'yes.' I always seem to have something to do to get me somewhere else. It is exhausting.
I have to wonder if I should just stop already. Should I just focus on the career and leave the big dreams of publication? Should I admit to myself that I am going to be heavy forever and forget my hopes of health? Should I ignore my hope that someday I am going to take care of orphaned baby elephants or do a book tour or run workshops for women, or be able to travel whenever and wherever I want to? Should I stop looking forward in my life and start living in it right now? Is it possible to do both?
"Would that we could write about ourselves." - Sharon Olds
Last night I dashed home from work so that I could make it to Bath. Susannah and I had tickets to see Sharon Olds read poetry, and I didn't want to be late. I need to give a full confession here and say that I don't read a lot of poetry. I can only read one or two at a time or I get too tired. But listening to poetry is a whole different thing. When poetry is written by someone who really loves it and read by that same person, listening to it can feel like a meditation.
She had us sitting in the palm of her hand from her first soft words. There were troubles with the microphone and she had to tie her hair back, commenting on how she had to lose her 'shawl.' Later when the microphones were sorted out, she pulled it free and told us that now she felt safe again. From that moment so did we. We knew that we were in the company of a real person, but one who was about to give us an incredible gift.
After she read some of her poetry she sat in discussion with one of the organizers. I couldn't get very much down, but here are a few of the things she said. When asked about why she draws in her letters she said, "The pen just wants to do different things." She also said that "We as humans have a need to write poems." But my favorite thing (and you'll have to excuse me as I can only give you the gist) was when she talked about her writing process.
She writes longhand in spiral-bound notebooks so that she doesn't get intimidated by beautiful blank books (there was a lot of laughing with recognition in the audience at this one.) She writes quickly, scribbling words out as she goes. She said, "I don't want to put a word in to hold the place of another word." She said that each word has a sound, and it calls other words with a similar sound to it. When you put a word in to hold the place of another word it makes the work into something, and if you go back and change the word to the one you actually want, the whole thing goes wrong.
I needed to savour that a little this morning - that each word has a sound that calls another word to it - and think about it in relation to my own writing, and indeed the way that I think. Not allowing a word in that isn't drawing its like to you and your work is a very powerful decision.
Thank you so much Ms. Olds. You have inspired me enormously.
I feel my bootstrying to leave the ground,I feel my heartpumping hard. I wantto think again of dangerous and noble things.I want to be light and frolicsome.I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,as though I had wings. -Mary Oliver