looking back || week 52

"Integrity is the ability to listen to a place inside oneself that doesn't change, even though the life that carries it may change."
—RABBI JONATHAN OMER-MAN

The wonderful thing about doing a 365 is the ability to go back in time and read what was happening last year, or in my case, the last few years. The day to day journey quickly resurfaces as i go back and reread different post. The pairing of a photo with the obscure hints dropped here and there about what was troubling me or what I was elated about brings back bits and pieces of each day and I feel pain, grief, joy, love, confusion, growth and familiarity. 

“And no one will listen to us until we listen to ourselves.” 
― Marianne Williamson

I have talked before about my struggle at times to define my purpose here, but this last year has morphed into one of those revolving doors, which I am comfortable cycling through, over and over again. I see so clearly now, why and how this works for me. 

I have put into place, piece by piece, a daily practice that feels authentic and honest for me right now. I have knitted together people and things that support this practice; listening to myself and trying not to emulate, but rather gather inspiration from those I admire and respect.  I have walked through all that doubt that had oozed into my life over the past several years, arriving at a place that feels different but normal again. 

“Always seek less turbulent skies. 
Hurt. Fly above it. 
Betrayal. Fly above it. 
Anger. Fly above it. 
You are the one who is flying the plane.” 
― Marianne Williamson

I have weeded out and recycled, nourished and pampered, felt silly and so damn smart. I understand I don't have all the right answers but I do have the tools to find my voice amongst all the muck life dishes up. 

“We walk through so many myths of each other and ourselves; we are so thankful when someone sees us for who we are and accepts us.” 
― Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

three things i learned this past year :: 
of all the "enlightening" books i read in 2016 (and i read a slew) no one speaks to me like Anne Lamott
meditation does not have to be hard, some soft music from Spotify (there are mediation playlist that are so good) ten minutes of quiet and my breath is all i need
there is no special formula for praying, no special time that God listens best, no rituals that need to be preformed or followed

Oh, my God. What if you wake up some day, and you're 65 or 75, and you never got your novel or memoir written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools or oceans because your thighs were jiggly or you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen.
~ Anne Lamott

how was your year? 
xooox, 

Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life - it gave me me. It provided the time and experience and failures and triumphs and friends who helped me step into the shape that had been waiting for me all my life...I not only get along with me most of the time now, I am militantly and maternally on my own side. 
~ Anne Lamott


 

three on tuesday || in the moment

Take a deep breath and think of the three things you are grateful for, right in this moment. 
~ M. J. Ryan

my list goes way beyond three . . . 
 

So much inspires me. People living their lives with courage, beauty of all kinds, nature in all its aspects, people I love and people I hardly know, and, of course, other poets.
~ Ellem Bass

luring santa || week 51

CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS

Celebration is an attentive and gracious joy of presence. When you celebrate, you are taking time to recognize, to open your eyes and behold in your life the quiet miracles and gifts that seek no attention; yet each day they nourish, shelter, and animate your life. The art of belonging in, with, and to your self is what gives life and light to your presence; it brings a radiance to your countenance and a poise to your carriage. When your heart is content, your life can always find the path inwards to this deep stillness in you.

John O'Donohue

Christmas Laughter, by Nikki Giovanni

My family is very small
Eleven of us
There are over 80
There are over 60
There are over 50
Two of us are sons

Come Labor Day the quilts
are taken from the clean white sheets
in which they summered

We seldom have reason
and need no excuse
to polish the good silver
wash the tall stemmed glasses
and invite one another
into our homes

We win at Bid Whist
and lose at Canasta
and eat the lightest miniature Parker House rolls
and the world’s best
five cheese macaroni and cheese
I grill the meat
Mommy boils the beans

Come first snow the apple cider
with nutmeg…cloves…cinnamon…
and just a hint of ginger
brews every game day and night

We have no problem
luring Santa Claus
down
our chimney

He can’t resist
The laughter

i hope your Christmas is full of love and laughter, compassion and hope,
the twinkling of tiny moments and festive joy. 

xoooxo, 
cathy