Thursday, July 31, 2008

hitting pause

"We have been given a new story. When it is time for a new story to emerge, holding on to the past... only intensifies our dilemma." - Margaret J. Wheatley

For the past few weeks I have felt quiet. With so much going on, I expected to feel excitable and frantic, but I don't. I feel quiet. I have three projects that need my energy and a wedding to plan and a friend to grieve, so I think I have pulled all of my energy into myself.

I am past the help of my books. I am past the help of my blog. I am afraid I realized this morning that I JUST NEED TO GET THIS STUFF DONE. Be brave is about doing something every day that scares you. Well, it scares me to stop procrastinating and just get these projects into the world. So that is what I am doing. I am taking a few weeks to pull my energy in and use it where it will help me the most.

Have a delicious, wonderful, divine, soul-full August. Keep me posted on you and wish me luck!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Be Brave

The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Isn't this picture amazing? Mark and I were walking through the woods and I realized that everything on the right was old growth forest. It was lush and wild and green and gnarled and magical. Everything on the left had been planted to replace forest that had been cut down. It was dry and brittle and contained.

Be brave started this week. I have been working on a project that is the bravest thing I have ever done but I can't talk about it until it's ready. Baby steps every day are bringing me closer to its launch. Last night I took a brave step and asked my boss to read my book when my latest revisions are finished. But brave for me this week is like this picture. I am walking a path between lush and wild or dry and contained. Brave means making the most alive and vital choice every time. No matter which way I go I will get to the end of the path, but if I make the brave decisions, the journey will be a lot more interesting.

Be brave today. Do one thing today that scares you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

help! (updated!)

"Let there be spaces in your togetherness." - Kahlil Gibran

So most of you who I know about who read this are married, or have been to a wedding or two. I don't write about wedding planning very much as I know it bores a lot of people, but I need your help! I am looking for a wonderful wedding reading. We have already chosen two. One is by Robert Fulghum and the other is from a children's book (of course!) I need another one. Here is where you come in!

I have browsed every single wedding reading site out there, but I have failed to come up with the one that I want read over our tense about-to-be-married selves. Please, please, please, please, please - do you know of any fabulous pieces of writing that could be used for two people who love each other?

What I don't want:
- Kahlil Gibran (he's lovely but I read it at my brother's wedding - I want something different!)
- 1 Corinthians (I KNOW it's the thing to read but I want something different!!)
- Rumi (ditto on the something different!)

(I'm trying to make Mary Oliver fit but she's just not making it easy for me! giggle!)

So my dear creative, interesting, varied readers, please give it to me! Fill my comments with beauty and inspiration! I'm desperate here!


Update: Look! Laini (my Sunday Scribblings cohort and writer extraordinaire) has been featured on the blog 'Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.' And if you look closely at the post, you will see MY little face there too!!!

AND SO HAS JESSIE!!!!! Look here!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

my goddaughter

Sometimes you fall in love when you least expect it! I've only spent about a week in total with this little person in her life. How, then, can I be so in love?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

changes are afoot

I've always liked that word, " afoot." I like it because it conjures up delicious images of things that are slightly unusual. Nothing ordinary is ever 'afoot.'

After months of teeth-gritting or lip-pursing or stomach-knotting or eyes rolling or suck-it-upping, we are finally getting closer to some big changes in our lives. We are finally (oh holy moly praise be FINALLY) nearly done our website. (Watch this space!) I am embracing Jessie's Be Brave Project in a way that frightens me to my toes (watch this space, too!) I am working on draft three of my book (clear a space!!) (Anyone know a good agent who would be interested in a deliciously feminine and unusual book?) AND we are getting married in 11 weeks. Yup. Change is happening whether we are ready for it or not.

I am sitting here still quite unsure about it all. I have been 'holding on' for so long that now my brain doesn't know how to do nervous excitement anymore. I have been 'muddling through' for so long that I have forgotten how to look things straight in the eye. But it is all coming. And the past few weeks have just shown me AGAIN that life and all of its ups and downs is fleeting and precious. I've known that for a long time but losing Faye has just reminded me that I must not take it all for granted. It's good stuff, this life thing. As Ferris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!"

For over three years we have been working towards these dreams. We had forgotten to stop and look around. We didn't realize how close things were until this week. It has felt never-ending. But changes are afoot, my friends! Lots of them are coming. Just wait'll you see!!

(I needed some inspiration so I picked up book and opened it to a random page. Here is what I found:

"Push yourself beyond when you think you are done with what you have to say. Go a little further. Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of the beginning. Probably that's why we decide we're done. It's getting too scary. We are touching down onto something real. It is beyond the point when you think you are done that something strong comes out... I give this advice out of pure experience. Go further than you think you can." - Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

OOh, goosebumps! Thank you Natalie!)


[UPDATE: Have you seen this? Go here and look around. I think I am going to sign up when I start my Be Brave challenge.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

something light -

Hi there -

Thank you for all of the kind emails and thoughts. I have been laying low and coming to terms with it all. Today I was in need of something a little lighter and a little m0re beautiful in my world, so I lurked around some blogs and finally spent some time doing a meme that I found at Claudia's site.

(NOTE: if you are going to do this, make sure that you join up to the mosaic maker site first! I spent a long time doing it and then had to join & lost everything!)
Here´s how you do it...
type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search, using only the first page, choose an image, copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows).

The questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you attend?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10.What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

The links to the pictures in my mosaic:
1. Meghan's Fireflower, 2. Our new favorite Sushi Bar, 3. Bryan Adams and Keith Scott, 4. ♫ black crowned night heron from bali♫, (but I chose red!)5. Gerard Butler, 6. Tea Corner..., 7. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, 8. Meyer Lemon Tarts, 9. flying... inspired, 10. ...more time for books, 11. uniquely unique..., 12. Blue fairy wings back view

Thursday, July 10, 2008

goodbye my friend

"People come and go in your life but they never leave your dreams. Once they are in your subconscious, they are immortal." - Patricia Hampl

In the summer of 1991 I was working at a summer camp in Canada. One night in the middle of 'Training Week' I was sitting on the railing outside of the Dining Hall when two people came out. One was my friend Jason and the other was a girl named Faye. We hadn't spoken very much that week, but she asked me if I had a hair elastic. I said I had lots in my cabin so we set off across the field together. From that small, ordinary conversation grew one of the best friendships of my life.

I remember sitting in cabins and talking into the night. I remember talking to her every Wednesday night when we were home from camp. I remember taking long ridiculous road trips to visit her, just so we could see the look on her face when we showed up unexpectedly. I remember that whenever she arrived somewhere, the atmosphere changed. She always filled me with expectation. You never knew what she was going to say or how she was going to say it. I remember how she sat with me at another friend's funeral and held my hand. I remember how there was never anyone else like her in the world.

There are some people in your life who you think will always be there. There are a group of girls who are friends from that time - Faye, Karen, Cindy, Colleen, Gerb, and me. We don't talk for months - sometimes years - at a time, but as soon as we get together it's like we have never been apart. We click. We get each other. We know that no matter what, we are there for each other. Other friends have come and gone, but these girls have always been a constant in my life. I love them. Somehow I thought they would always be there.

A year ago Faye was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought it and she beat it. Last night I found out that three weeks ago she went back for a check up and it was back. Last night I also found out that she had lost this particular fight. She was 32.

Dear Faye,
Thank you for being my friend. I am braver and sillier and smarter and more honest because I knew you. I will miss you for the rest of my life. I promise not to take that life for granted. I am sorry I didn't get the chance to say all of this in person. I hope you knew how much you were loved by us all. I hope you know it now. I love you.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

your life is waiting.

Go here. Trust me.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

a poem.

The letter
the night
writes to you
with the last drop
of dreams,
(unfinished sentences
on crumbling paper)
is addressed
to a grave,
a hole in the ground
where shovels
scoop debris
from past to future,
and the present
is blown away
like the dust
you breathed
standing in a cloud
watching the rubble
the boundary stones
of your life removed.

- Keith Althaus


"There is, as Emerson says, some central idea or conception of yourself by which all the facts of your life are arranged and classified. Change this central idea and you change the arrangement or classification of all the facts and circumstances of your life." - Wallace Wattles

There are some people out there who believe in the power of cosmic ordering completely. There are others out there who scoff at it and can't believe that they 'brought this on themselves.' Sometimes shit happens and we just can't get our head around it. Those people then shake their heads and say that things like "The Secret" can't be right. How can we possibly believe that that someone caused something so awful to happen to them?

I don't have any answers to that, but my own life has been changing in the past few years, and when I read the quote I have shared by Wallace Wattles, something finally clicked into place so loud I even heard the click. I get it. I can't believe it took me this long. It's not about wishing for something so hard that you magically get it. It's not about wanting something and thinking you already have it. It's not about that at all. In fact, those things are the quickest way to sit on your ass and have nothing happen.

Reading Wattles' quote again I can see that we have a far greater task in all of this. Somewhere at our core we have a belief about ourselves that holds us down. It's the belief that we are the most afraid of. It's the belief that makes us cry. To make it metaphoric, I'll say we believe we can't fly. So we don't. Our job is to excavate that belief. Our job is to be brave enough to find out what it is and what is keeping us from being at peace deep deep down. It is that thing that is keeping us from being happy as we are. When we can be happy as we are then we will make choices and be confident enough to work those asses we were sitting on off in the direction of our goals. We will stop doubting ourselves. We will be focused on learning to fly. That is the real secret.

And shit will still happen. But if we aren't already stuck in a pile of our own shit we will be better able to deal with it when it does.

"Our desires presage the capacities within us; they are harbingers of what we shall be able to accomplish. What we can do and want to do is projected in our imagination, quite outside ourselves, and into the future. We are attracted to what is already ours in secret. Thus passionate anticipation transforms what is indeed possible into dreamt-for reality." - Emerson