Saturday, April 26, 2008

Another piece of Inspiration

"Approach everything you care about as if you really, really mean it." - Unknown

I started looking for more words that inspired me and I found this in my files. I tried to chase it up to see where I had found it first and I can't find the original site so I apologize to Dr. Estes for duplicating it in its entirety here. (It's getting very obvious to me and anyone else who reads this blog that I am a huge fan of Dr. Estes. I think I shall put meeting her on my list of goals. I'd really like to thank her in person someday!)

If you are reading this and haven't read my last post, please do add your own inspirational words to the list! I'm enjoying seeing what inspires people.

by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I assign you to be a beautiful, good, kind, awakened, soulful person, a true work of art as we say, ser humano, a true human being. In a world filled with so much darkness, such a soul shines like gold; can be seen from a far distance; is dramatically different.

Want to help? Show your deepest most divine self to the world. There is nothing more rare, more strange, more needed. Why would you wait? Not worthy? Oh piffle. Not ready? Okay, so when? Next lifetime? Don't be silly with me about this. Inferiority complex? Okay, let me put it this way to you: you're not good enough to think you're not good enough. And you can
quote me to yourself whenever you have need... Dr. Estes said so.

Have you forgotten that you made promises to your Beloved before you ever came to earth? The time to fulfill these is truly now. You want to cease feeling helpless, and you want to help the aching world? Serve someone and something. Everyone on earth serves someone and something. This means being your truest self now, fulfilling the promises you made to heaven long ago.

Anything you do from the soulful self will help lighten the burdens of the world. Anything. You have no idea what the smallest word, the tiniest generosity can cause to be set in motion. Be outrageous in forgiving. Be dramatic in reconciling. Mistakes? Back up and make them as right as you can, then move on. Be off the charts in kindness. In whatever you are called to, strive to be devoted to it in all aspects large and small. Fall short? Try again. Mastery is made in increments, not in leaps. Be brave, be fierce, be visionary. Mend the parts of the world that are "within your reach." To strive to live this way is the most dramatic gift you can ever give to the world.

Consider yourselves assigned.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

which words changed your life??

"One day you knew what you had to do, and began." - Mary Oliver

I am a collector of quotes. I love them. I read them over and over again, letting them sink deep into my bones. I write them down in books and journals, print them and put them up on my walls, and underline them in books. I am drawn to a beautiful phrase or a profound thought like other people are to paintings or clothes or shoes. I am an addict.

Sometimes you read something and it resonates and you really really love it. You write it down and read it several times and go back to it sometimes and read it again. These are great quotes. Other times you read something and it hits you really hard. You catch your breath and read it several more times and you begin to live it. These are amazing quotes. Then there is the last kind. The last kind is the kind that doesn't necessarily seem like much when you read it for the first time. You might scribble it down or live with it a little, but you don't realize what effect it has had on you. Then it begins to whisper to you. You hear it in your head out of the blue. It actually begins to speak to you and in the end you realize it has changed your life. These are the best quotes.

My life-changing quote was from Women Who Run With the Wolves. If you read my blog much you won't be surprised. This is the passage that made me change the way I wrote and the book I was writing:

"We find lingering evidence of [the Wild Woman] archetype in the images and symbols found in stories, literature, poetry, painting, and religion. it would appear that its glow, its voice, and its fragrance are meant to cause us to be raised up from contemplating the shit on our tails to occasionally traveling the the company of the stars." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

It isn't a normal quote but it really echoes inside of me. I'll often be thinking something really yucky and suddenly the last bit pops into my head: stop contemplating the shit on your tail and start traveling in the company of the stars.

My writing is about that.

So as an avid collector I am asking - no, begging - you to use my comments to share with me the quote/ passage/ book/ poem/ lyrics/ words that changed your life. Which words were strung together in just the right way at the right time to make you shift? I would love to add them to my collection!! (And this time I will reply in my comments!)


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Good Things.

1. Having a visit in two weeks from two lovely bloggers!!!
2. This new blogger who I am loving getting to know through her beautiful words and photographs.
3. These amazing pictures which I just received in the mail. (I am completely enchanted! Thank you Maddie!)
4. All of the kind words you all left about my book being finished! (Well, the first draft anyway!)
5. Buying plane tickets to go home for MY WEDDING. (Yup, still weird.)
6. A brave, inspiring woman!!
7. This piece of poem: night
there's a heartbeat at the door.
Outside, a woman in the fog,
with hair of twigs and dress of weed,
dripping green lake water.
She says "I am you,
and I have traveled a long distance.
Come with me, there is something I must show you..."
She turns to go, her cloak falls open,
suddenly, golden light... everywhere, golden light...

-Clarissa Pinkola Estes


So what's next then?

"So often a woman feels then that she lives in an empty place where there is maybe just one cactus with one brilliant red flower on it, and then in every direction, 500 miles of nothing. But for the woman who will go 501 miles, there is something more. A small brave house. An old one. She has been waiting for you." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes

This is the quote that started my book. This is the quote that gave me a peculiar tingle on the back of my neck. I had read it a dozen times, but then the 13th time I read it, it gave me a nudge. I wrote it down and thought about it a little. I scribbled notes about a book I wanted to write. This was all about 2 years ago. Around this time I was also trying to meditate for the first time. I was not very good at it. I squirm too much. After one particularly squirmy meditation I opened my eyes with a clear full picture of the book I would write. I sat down at my computer that day and started to write. A year and a month or so later I finished.

I write because if I don't my head gets crowded. Stories and characters line up and tap their toes waiting for me to notice them and give them a voice. I feel like this book has been the one I have always been preparing for. It is an unusual book that is full of traditional symbols and archetypes, but then I have always been a slightly unusual traditional girl.

So what happens next? Well now that I have written the end I need to go back and change the beginning. Then it needs a pretty big rewrite followed by a gentle reading by friends and family. In the meantime I will research agents and ask people if they know agents to see which one might be a good one to approach with my chapters. Then I make the first 50 pages as good as they can possibly be and then I send them to an agent to see if they would like to help me get it published. It all sounds terribly complicated, but I really believe in this book. I think that people - and women in particular - will really like it... i hope...

Thank you for all of your kind words on my last post!! It's so nice to just have people say 'Well Done!' and let you bask in an accomplishment for a little while. Thank you for that gift.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

one year and one month later...

"You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment." - Annie Dillard

Does anyone remember that scene in Romancing the Stone when Kathleen Turner's character is finished writing her book? There are tissues everywhere and her hair is slicked back and everything around her is generally in a state of chaos? She sits back and for just a moment the look on her face is calm. She's done.

My Mom reminded me of this scene this afternoon when I called her to tell her THAT I FINISHED WRITING MY BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I giggled because I feel just like that. Mark has been away this weekend and I have been a woman possessed. I have hardly eaten, I haven't washed and there are dishes and clutter everywhere. But it's DONE. It's DONE. The words are echoing in my head. I can't really get my head around them.

Creation is a messy business no matter how you look at it, and I need to go and sort out the mess I have left behind this weekend. I've been so far down and so far up this week I don't know where my head is anymore. BUT it's DONE. I have written my book. It is there in black and white. No matter what else happens, I did it.

I've just spoken to my parents and one of my peeps and I am going to try to get my head together with a glass of wine and a bath full of sparkly bubbles.


Friday, April 11, 2008


"To be strong does not mean to sprout muscles and flex. It means meeting one's own numinosity without fleeing, actively living with the wild nature in one's own way. It means to be able to learn, to be able to stand what we know. It means to stand and live." - Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

I'm not here for long. I am writing. Madly. My book has been pouring out of me in the last little while. I have been reminded this week of the preciousness of time. It's a cliche but like most cliches it is there because it is true.

My book is nearly done. I am writing the last few chapters now. It is a strange and unusual thing, but for me it pulses with energy and familiarity. I hope that it will also do the same for the readers it will eventually have. I am in love with it and it has finally opened itself up to me. I see where it is going. I feel like I have been preparing for it my whole life. I feel like I know it and it was waiting for me.

Tell me - what is pulsing with energy and familiarity for you? What is bubbling beneath the surface of your life? What are you creating in your psyche? What do you know you will create?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Did you know when
you went to bed
on Friday
that it was the last time?
Did you somehow hold
him closer or
whisper a prayer?
Or were you as surprised
as we were?

Do you know when things are about to change?
At the end?
Do you hear voices you
don't understand?
Does your skin
quiver as the
angels draw near?

Where do we go from here?
Where are we
when the shock wears off?

There are so many cliches around death.
None of them
make any sense
when your heart breaks
inside of your chest.
Not one of them will heal it.

I know that if you could
you would say
It is so precious -
this life.
I know you would want
just one more day
as much as we do.

(A friend of mine passed away last night. I don't know where to put the feelings I have right now except here. Even though you don't know them, please send good wishes out for her husband and family - and then squeeze the one you love very very hard tonight. Tell them that you love them and thank them for being in your life.)


Friday, April 04, 2008

It's coming!

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” - e.e.cummings

Six months from TODAY I will marry my best friend! This picture was taken (by me if you can believe it) while we were at the Colosseum in Rome last June. Mark took me to Rome for a long weekend as a surprise and proposed at 5:30 am in front of the Trevi Fountain. Could he be more romantic? I don't think so.

Six months to go. I'm going to be a bride... I'm going to be a MRS!!!

I feel like I have a lot to do in the next six months. I don't want to go into the rest of my life dragging any baggage. I want to stand beside him as whole and healthy as I can be. I want us to be full partners. I am madly in love and I want to use my energy to take us forward into our dreams instead of worrying about boring things like weight and guilt.

Six months to go.

I can't wait!