Sunday, September 24, 2017

Judge C. R.

#1 - My two friends and I completed a beautiful weekend together at Judge C.R. Magney state park near Lake Superior. The last time the three of us camped together was 9 years ago, before one of us got married and had kids. The forecast was for stormy weather, but the only rain came at night. I'm so glad we didn't let the forecast change our plans.

#2 - Waking up after a good, long, peaceful night's sleep in a tent. I had a couple panic attacks while camping last summer. The first at night in the tent during a thunderstorm, the second at night in the tent when the wind blew (but no storm came). So this year I've been on edge about camping and reminding my body that it loves it, not to fear it. This weekend there were storms forecast during camping, which happened Friday night. Thankfully they never got too close or intense, but I still had a hard time for a while. Last night, storms were also a possibility, but they didn't come and I was so happy to fall asleep easily, and sleep peacefully the entire night.

#3 - I passed our extra kindling on to a family camping beside us before we left. Occasionally someone will be surprised that I camp alone (sometimes), I always find the only people who express such fears to me are people who don't camp. Here are the encounters we had with other people at our campground.

First, one of my friends ran into a family she is really close to. We were over 4 hours from home and here at the same campground, without her knowledge, are people she loves and trusts. Then the people at the site next to ours, without a word between us, gave us some kindling, they said it was hard to get the logs started for a fire. Then while we were at the first someone with a headlamp approached our site to ask if we had any salt or pepper. Nope.

#4 - When we were getting ready to leave the campsite I motioned my friends over and initiated a group hug and a thank you to the trees, the earth and the sky.

#5 - On the drive home one of my friends made a comment about me. Soon after I realized it hurt my feelings. I became curious about my reaction. Yep this is what I do, I stuff it. I know it wasn't a big deal or intentional so I just act as if nothing happens even though, inside, I'm in pain. Hmm. Then I started feeling down on myself for reacting that way. "What can I do differently?" I decided to wait until we stopped as I was sitting in front and she in back. Then I put my arm around her and said, "I know you didn't mean to hurt me, but when you said...I felt hurt."

And then it was gone. It was that simple.

I don't think I would have ever done that if I hadn't been doing all the work I have been with the guy I'm dating. And the remarkable thing was I no longer had to carry it with me. It was gone.

And later my friend said she hadn't meant to be hurtful, which I knew, which is why I didn't want to say anything. Well that and admitting your hurt is a vulnerable thing, especially if it seems small and like you, "shouldn't be" or are "too sensitive".

As Brene Brown says, "Vulnerability is courage."

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Market and Soccer

#1 - Last Sunday I had the best several hours I've had in many months.  I finally had the emotional well-being, time alone and space to take a "date" with myself - to follow my joy, to turn deep within.  The next morning, I woke up a half an hour before my alarm morning and read more, played a little guitar and started the work week in such an energized space.  However somehow a day or two later things shifted, plans led to frustration and I started waking up early feeling anxious instead of energized.  Each day earlier - one day 5:30AM, then 5:00 AM, yesterday I woke up at 4:15AM after a bad dream and today 3 something (though I did go back to sleep).  Today, it was good to go from that to the farmers' market, to spend the day outside with people, and asking children if they wanted to spit watermelong seeds.

#2 - Despite the lightning, rain and wind during market set-up, the weather calmed by opening time and people were able to participate in the watermelon seed spitting contest.  And even better, my favorite watermelon seed spitting assistants arrived to help out.
#3 - Watching the assertive energy of my niece as she ran up and down the soccer field, the first time I've seen her play a game.

#4 - Also witnessing her skill and ease in social interactions - something I never had.  I appreciate how naturally it comes to her.

#5 -

The Quiet Outside
The Quiet Inside
The Quiet Within


P.S.  I listened to this podcast on Wednesday, and I can't help but share it.  I LOVE Brene Brown and Lewis Howes! Here is the link to the podcast.

“What’s your definition of greatness?”  Lewis Howes

“To own your story and love yourself through that process
that is greatness to me.”  Brene Brown

"There's only two kinds of kids you raise. Kids who will ask for help when they need it, or kids who won't. And that's as good as it gets, is to raise a kid who will ask for help." Brene

"Yeah I never asked for help." Lewis, "I was always suffering inside, and I always felt shameful, guilty. My way of asking was being angry, resentful, mad, hitting people in sports, or outside of sports because that is all I knew."

Friday, September 8, 2017

Just Be

#1 - My friend has been sending me pieces of a memoir he is working on.  Last night I printed out the next segment with the plan to savor it in the backyard with a smoothie (but I was too content to read) or before bed (but I ended up not turning on any evening lights).  This morning I was being kind of pokey about fully waking up, until I remembered I still had the next section to read, and then I instantly turned on the light and began.

#2 - "Mom that truck says, 'Tree Care Service', but it's actually 'Tree Killing Service'," my friend's 8 year old.

#3 - Getting to hear about the first week of school after 8 years of being a full time at home mom and the stress my friend feels lifted she didn't even know she was carrying.

#4 - So far both of those children are enjoying their new schools, and apparently have requested another sleep over at my house.  I haven't seen them enough lately, so we might have to wait until the farmer's market is over, but I'd like to make that happen.

#5 - Having some SPACE and, most likely, early bedtimes in my weekend.  Plans to be quiet at home.  There is a lot of beautiful things to enjoy and venture towards in life and too much time idle gets boring, but too little, and I miss it dearly. 

This weekend maybe I'll have some time to read a book, organize a little, write a letter, or just be.  I can't play guitar unfortunately because I was trying an Ani DiFranco tuning recently and I broke a string.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Beauty That Awaits

I was taught this simple practice a number of years ago by Elizabeth Harper - the mandala drawing - supposedly a snapshot of the subconscious (or unconscious I get the two mixed up) from Carl Jung.  You take a piece of paper, you make a big circle, and then you doodle for 20 minutes and at the end you give it a title.  This is the mandala I did the night before I received some devastating news in March.  I had no idea anything was about to happen, but it seems my subconscious did. Looking back on this drawing later, I see a bunch of stick figures firing bullets at each other.  The title I gave it was, "Fallen."

A week ago tonight I'd had a pretty awful day.  I'd been furious.  I'd cried.  And I knew I was going to have a hard time sleeping that night.  So the first thing I did when I climbed into bed was doodle a mandala.  In this case, despite these feelings, a peaceful image came out and the title, "The Beauty that Awaits".

 Hmmm, once again.

 And it was right.

I shared this information with a friend on a walk today.  I almost apologized when I left for dominating the conversation.  Really I should have just thanked her for listening.

I made a big sweet potato and black bean salad to share at a picnic I'm having with friends on Saturday.  It isn't really a potluck and I suspect at least one friend will feel bad if I offer food to share and she doesn't have any, so I'm already prepared to email this quote tomorrow,

"When you attach value to giving help, you attach value to needing help.  The danger of tying your self-worth to being a helper is feeling shame when you have to ask for help.  Offering help is courageous and compassionate, but so is asking for help." Brene Brown

Speaking of asking for help, do you remember when I mentioned a couple weeks ago that after years of being urged to at the dentist, I was finally considering getting an electric toothbrush?  Well one magically appeared from a family member who can kind of be like Santa Claus.   I'm hopeful I will stop taking a beating on my gums. Being told I brush too hard just didn't seem to be working.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Eagle Huntress

#1 - Need a  little uplift today?  This blog

reposted this link -

which made me cry (in a good way)

#2 -  I got on my bike on a beautiful day and arrived at a park where an old friend awaited me, immediately turning my neediness into easiness

#3 - We listened to some nourishing outdoor music by Sarah Morris, "Can't tell if you're lonely or free, looks the same if you're lonely or free"
and "confetti like kindness"

#4-5 - Watching a man and his two daughters snuggle up to watch a movie in the park, The Eagle Huntress, a documentary about a 13 year old girl who breaks into a long standing father and son tradition in Mongolia

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Open Swim, Waterski Show, Friends

#1 - I have two friends I've been thinking of contacting but haven't gotten around to.  One is working on some writing and has been sending me installments.  I hadn't received any for a while.  The second has been in Brazil for almost a year and I was curious if he'd come back.

They both emailed me yesterday within an hour of each other.  The first sent the next writing installment and the second sent me some photos from Brazil.

#2 - I'm planning to take my niece to a free waterski show on the Mississippi this week.  We went together two years ago, but missed last year.  I invited a couple friends and their kids to join us.  The one whom I least expected has decided to join us.  Yeah!

#3 - Once a week there is a free open swim across a lake in Minneapolis.  My goal is to complete it once I month.  I did go once in June, July and August, so today will be a bonus swim, the last of its type for me (with the lifeguards across the lake) this year.  The season is winding down.

Last year the sweet man and his kids would usually meet me there which is a fun bonus, but until today that plan hadn't worked out this summer.

#4 - The dental hygienists have been trying to get me to switch to an electric toothbrush for years.  At first I just thought it was a money making thing, plus why use battery power for something unnecessarily?  But I've switched dental clinics and the person who cleaned my teeth said the same thing today, I brush too hard on my gums, an electric toothbrush would really help. 

At the same time I need to make sure to brush better a couple spots.  So for the first time my resistance has weakened and I'll consider it.

#5 - Super yummi fruit time right now!  I had local cantaloupe, local raspberry, semi-local blueberry and CA strawberry with a little lime fruit salad with my lunch today.

Monday, August 7, 2017


I took a Mind/Body/Story workshop last weekend.  It had three instructors:

Patricia Francisco – a writing teacher.  I took a week long nature writing class with her 10 years ago.  I loved it and was excited to do something with her again.

Matthew Sanford - "a nationally recognized yoga teacher... and a paraplegic for the last thirty seven years."  I have been vaguely familiar with his name for a long time and was interested in checking him out.

Kevin Kling - a storyteller - never heard of him.

To my surprise, it was the one I held the least excitement about (Kevin Kling) that I most enjoyed.  Today I decided to look up his public schedule and found he has a storytelling event at an art park at the end of the month.  It's only $5 and at a place I've only been to once and would love to go again!

Tonight I felt pretty tired, partly from not quite enough sleep this weekend, but also I think because the workshop was about telling your story, and I'm sure that working on and telling mine (or a 5 minute version of mine which takes incredible skill in its brevity) also took a great deal of emotional energy.

 So luckily tonight happens to be the night that restorative yoga is offered at my studio.  For some strange reason during the first pose I couldn't lay still.  My body was restless and kept wanting to move and then I wanted it to stay still which created additional tension and frustration.  It was the opposite of restorative, was it going to be this way for a whole 75 minutes?  Thankfully we did a mindfulness activity next, slowly eating one bite of peach, and after that, during the next pose my body calmed down.

As a support staff person at the studio I was able to pick out a purple t-shirt with image of a beet (or a radish) I'm not sure.

Offering my friend a piece of advice on something that her mother said, which she wrote back that she appreciated hearing.

Getting a copy of this photo, from my camping site last month.