Monday, November 29, 2010

What Holds Us Together

#1366 - It seems like there are constantly new things to keep me interested in playing guitar, and they just come without my looking for them.

#1367 - I figured out almost 1/2 of the songs on this CD so I can play along

#1368 - Unsure I'd get any exercise today - then Iended up Jogging around Lake of The Isles while my aunt shopped at the co-op

#1369 - "I've got some interesting shoe experiences" my aunt

#1370 - Reading the following in Elizabeth Harper's Newsletter. I'm not surprised by this, but it is a good reminder,

"Years ago I was in a class where we made breast plates. We used Plaster of Paris to mold the breastplates to the contours of our bodies. It was an all female class and as part of the curriculum we sat in a circle and shared how we felt about our physical selves. I was privileged to be in the presence of Goddesses who felt safe enough to bare their souls.

It became apparent that the most beautiful women in the group with the best looking bodies were the ones with the most hang ups. I was surprised! There I was thinking that slim svelte women with perfect complexions and not a dimple in sight would be hard pressed to find something to hate about themselves. I was wrong."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Brothers Frantzich Overflow

Arriving here exactly when Tim Frantzich was unloading so I could get in to help (divine timing), seeing the whole pre-show (which gave me a better idea how much work goes into something that to an audience looks like all fun), and them picking me up a yummi dinner.

Paul Frantzich's Hug/Kiss when he saw me. It was Deliberate, Genuine, and Solid.

Realizing How Important the Audience is - This might sound obvious, but when Tim and Paul were running through the rehearsal it just wasn't the same. I could feel how much an audience gives to a performance. We might think we are doing nothing, because we are just sitting there, but actually we are saying, "I am here with you right now. I am giving you my undivided attention." This has the power to change everything

Robert Bly reciting two poems with Tim and Paul - how the three of them together take you into a deep place and give poetry a good name.

The space that emerged after "Fly Like an Eagle," a pause before the applause began.

The guy who started the dancing during We Are Family and my lack of hesitation to join in.

Coming home to an empty house so I could:
a. not turn on any lights
b. put the Brothers Frantzich CD on loud
c. play guitar with the one song I know, and to my surprise, belt out singing

Thursday, November 25, 2010


#1346 - Going to Yoga Class this Morning so I was More Pleasant Appreciative of My Family Today

#1347 - When someone asked the owner, where I take Yoga, about her recent trip to Africa, I added, "Where in Africa did you go?"

She said, "Burundi, Rwanda, and Kenya," and I could Picture Exactly Where They Were Located Because I Have Been Working on This.

#1348 - When the turkey was taking longer than expected my aunt started standing at the oven expectantly. I distracted her with my favorite waiting activity, Playing the Guitar/Singing. It Worked.

#1349 - Neither my Father or Brother are into Football - which is apparently a big part of Thanksgiving for many people, but has never been for us.

#1350 - However my brother did recently purchase a Nintendo 64, which I guess is old, but not as old as the Nintendo I played with as a kid. As a gift to him of sorts, I played a bit with him today. I know my enthusiasm was lacking but I at least tried.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why I Love Writing

#1336 - Why I Love Writing - Instead of answering an email asking what I'd been up to, I thought "I'll send a short card." About two sentences in I realized it was going to be a long card. I didn't even know I had a story, I often don't even know that a story is there, until I start moving my pen. Sometimes nothing comes, yet sometimes there is this mysterious surprise. Things in my life that suddenly seem bigger or more connected or...something... just because I've taken the time to write them down.

#1337 & 1338 - A couple orders (this is what I am calling them because it sounds fun) for my advent-like calendar with kind words,

"I always enjoy real mail from you because I'm never quite sure what is inside."
"I would love one - thank you for your generous heart and creative spirit which you share with such love!"

#1339 - Thinking, "Yes I would really enjoy getting a letter from me too." :)

#1340 - The sychronisticy that my Dad's company was bought by a Japanese company a few years ago and that my brother married a Japanese woman. So today for example, my Dad can talk to my sister-in-law about cross-cultural issues and she can give advice. The issue today was being given a gift card for groceries for Thanksgiving. A Japanese man thought the gift card was from his manager (not the company) so now he thinks he needs to give his manager a gift back. The manager doesn't know how to explain the gift is not from him but from the company, and he does not need a return gift.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Playing as a Team

#1326 - We have at least three pieces of crap peelers. About a year ago we added a fancy/nicer one. I broke it almost immediately. So usually it is not a pleasure to peel. But today it was - Please Meet My New Peeler

#1327 -
About 1/2 hour before it was time to leave for my soccer game I was checking on the internet and becoming really agitated because of the icy roads. Missing one week isn't a big deal, but for various reasons I haven't played my Sunday game in four weeks, and next week there isn't one because of Thanksgiving. Anyway, it looked like I shouldn't go. I was not able to accept this (I felt agitated) and I debated for the next half hour. Finally when it was time to leave I prayed, "Please help me to let this go."

Then I found out that it had warmed enough to not be so icy. And I went and got to play two games because the team following ours was short women.

#1328 - It was just myself between the goalie and a man with a break-away charging at me. Despite the fact that his soccer cleat (which isn't sharp but still) landed directly on top of mine, I Blocked the Breakaway, and besides a bruise my foot is alright.

#1329 - My Sunday Soccer Team - I started playing soccer again a few years ago after not playing for over ten years. I signed up as an individual and they put me on a team. I've probably played on at least 10 different teams since then. They have all been positive experiences, but it is tiring meeting 10 new people every few months, learning names, and more importantly how to play together.

Finally last Fall's team decided to continue playing together. I'm so grateful for this because they are my favorite team. I like them as individuals. If anyone gets angry (which is rare) they only get angry at themselves. Most importantly I feel comfortable being me. They are my favorite despite the fact that the first year we lost almost all of our games. This session we are doing much better suddenly, and today was evidence of this in the simple way We Played as a Team.

#1330 - "You're Definitely Correct, You're an Interesting Person, and any Guy with Half a Brain will Notice That."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Advent Idea

#1316 - I fell getting on the bus today, the circumstances of which are not interesting enough to relate. However I am grateful for my Strong Bones that Hold Together

#1317 - Once my shin no longer throbbed I started to think about how embarrassing that situation was, well that is one interpretation. Another is to Imagine Myself Leaping onto the Bus like Spiderman or Batman and because of the sheer velocity of my entrance onto the scene - of course I didn't land on two feet.

#1318 - I am having a wonderful postal mail correspondence with a friend right now. I received a letter tonight and would like to pour myself into the response, but there is so much there. I need to 'download' it first it seems. Give a little space to it because otherwise it will become blocked, there is no way I can write it out fast enough. I am Grateful for the Enthusiasm I Feel to Write this Letter.

#1319 - My friend Jill recently sent an email with a suggestion that excited me. As a child Jill used to really enjoy those advent calendars where you open a door a day. She wanted to create something like that this year, only we'd create our own and exchange them. I enjoyed making mine so much I thought, "Maybe I should make a copy to keep." Then tonight I thought I could send these to other friends too, they might like it.

#1320 - So I'm typing an email asking who wants one and then I Will Share This Idea Inspired by Jill

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spiraling Generosity

I watched Food Beware - The French Organic Revolution today. It was about a village in France where the Mayor decided to switch to Organic in the school lunches. It's not something I would necessarily recommend, however, I was still able to pull a few gratitudes out of it.

#1306 - It stated that in Europe 70% of cancer is linked to environment, 30% to pollution, and 40% to food (doesn't equal 100% because cancer can have multiple links). I was so grateful that they highlighted the fact that research funds mostly go to cure and treatment of cancer, ignoring prevention.

#1307 - To be reminded that buying organic Puts a Farmer's Health First

- The mayor of Barjac, France speaking about not blaming farmers, but providing them another way.

#1309 -
I have Deva Premal's Mantras for Precarious Times CD from the library. It has a bunch of chants on it and the suggestion to pick one and do it daily for 21 days. I've had the CD for a couple weeks and haven't done that. But I did chant yesterday and today for ten minutes and it felt really good. (Chanting is just repeating something melodically over and over. I think of it as an easier, and for me more enjoyable, form of meditation. It gives your mind a task, "Focus on this." So that it will quiet down.)

#1310 - Spiraling Generosity (well a spiral might not be the best descriptor but). I was offered a free ticket to the Brothers Frantzich concert because I am volunteering (Generosity to Me);I refused because if there is anyone's work I want to support it is theirs (Me Generous); then a friend also going to the concert paid for my ticket because I've helped with her baby (Generosity to Me); then another friend going to the concert is starting a hospice choir and sent an email asking for donations, she owes me for her ticket but I told her to keep the money as my donation (Me Generous) far can this progression go....????

Monday, November 15, 2010

About to Blame

#1296 - Playing If I Had a Hammer on Guitar - It is fast and therefore challenging, but fun.
#1297 - I am volunteering for the Brothers Frantzich concert I am excited about. I was asked to submit a notice/short article to my local paper. I had no idea how or what. I Just Submitted this, though I think it was just to the on-line paper, still it was a small step into the world of publicity.

"Bring your family together to the Pantages Theater this Thanksgiving weekend to feed your souls. The Brothers Timothy and Paul Frantzich (fran-zik) are singer-songwriters who sing for peace with a passion for socially conscious missions. They blend fresh takes on old hymns with heart-opening originals. Each ticket also delivers 25 MEALS to the children of Sopudep School in Pentionville, Haiti."

#1298 - I don't know much about the music industry, but I have wondered about what Paul Frantzich said in this video. My favorite part "the record industry is built on the backs of people who are risking and bringing art to the world. Create. That's all you really want to see, on youtube that's why it is doing so well. You want to see creativity and you want to see risk. And where does that art come from? A divine place. A window opens up when an artist writes a song and some beautiful wind from heaven comes floating through. I don't care if you are Rage Against the Machine or Dolly Parton."

#1299 - "About to Blame? Stop. About to Judge? Stop. About to Criticize? Stop. Take a Deep Breath, and just be Willing to See things Differently." Marianne Williamson

#1300 - How that Quote Made me Breathe

Saturday, November 13, 2010

First Snow

#1286 - Being at my Uncle's during the first snow. My Cousin Ashley was Excited about it and kept me Outside much Longer Than I Would Otherwise.

#1287 - Ashley wanted to make a snowperson. I thought there wasn't enough snow, and wouldn't have even tried. Ashley was Persistent and Focused and Completely Proved Me Wrong.

#1288 - My brother and I were arguing about something. Ashley said, "Are you Two Still Talking About That. It Doesn't Matter at All." (She was right.)

#1289 - Being able to Understand Holly's Algebra II Math Homework and Help Her.

#1290 - Watching Krystal Perform on Her High School Dance Team- She just started dancing last year and I was really impressed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


#1276 - "Report: Global Warming Issue From 2 or 3 Years Ago May Still Be a Problem

...China's undervalued currency, the midterm elections, and gay marriage have since monopolized lawmakers' time. It concludes that the likelihood of any of these matters flooding the entire Eastern Seaboard and leaving the state of Florida completely submerged is "very slim....The document also suggests that taking steps to prevent the earth from becoming completely unlivable should, for the moment, take precedence over tasks that do not do that."

The Onion 11/11/2010

Seriously which news is more accurate?

#1277 - Where I take yoga they sometimes organize volunteer opportunities. I ended up joining one tonight, a Market/Food Shelf. I'm grateful to have been presented and stepped into the opportunity.

#1278 - Reusable Bags - the people at the market were given real incentives to bring reusable bags and nearly everyone had them. They kicked people at the co-ops butt!

#1279 - Overheard conversation between two women/friends about getting together some evening.

"If you want we could do anything.......If you want we could watch TV."

"YEAH TV!" the friend exclaimed.

You know if people want to watch television, fine, but to suggest that it is some creative idea to get excited about? Usually I would find this really annoying, today I thought to myself, "Maybe there is some sort of hidden camera - either advertising how happy TV makes people or to catch my reaction." I just found it amusing.

#1280 - My mother died a few years ago. Mid-October I dreamt I was eating with her at a restaurant. Then I saw a friend from middle school at a table across the restaurant and knew she was to meet me. I went over and we caught up on each others lives. She asked about my mother. I said she was dead, but then realized I'd just been eating with her. My brain was trying to reconcile these two contradictions and working much harder then usual in a dream state.

Two nights ago I had a similar dream. I asked my father, "Where is mom?"

"She is in Portland."

"She's not dead then?"

Once again I am faced with this contradiction and my brain is trying to sort this out.

My interpretation of the first dream was that my mother is dead, but still with me.

After the second one, two nights ago, I thought, "Maybe she is trying to tell me something." I wasn't really sure how to figure anything out though. I thought maybe I'd try a deep relaxation or meditation sometime.

Last night I dreamt of a college friend. When my mother came into my room I woke up. I pretended to still be asleep. She Placed Her Hand on My Heart and I Felt all this Warmth and Healing Energy Pour In. She moved her hands along my arm a little too, but the main spot was the heart. Then I woke up and realized I'd had a dream within a dream, that my mother was not alive to place her hand on my body. However, it felt so real, everything was as it is in my waking life, my bed etc. I've never had a dream like this before and I think the previous two dreams helped me prepare for and be open/aware.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hey Kids

#1266 - Man in music shop who got excited about a banjo, then said that's the last thing his wife wants to see - him come home with another banjo...

"How many do you have?" I asked.

"In the teens and I play all of them," (and he's been at it over 20 years.)
I admire people who keep their passions alive.

#1267 - Getting an Email from Someone I Rarely Hear From. She Had Recently Written Her Life Philosophy.
She sent a few of the quotes and a brief update on her life.

#1268 - "Hey Kids, Don't Try this at Home" - words spoken by an elementary age kid before he flipped/dove over a piece of playground equipment

#1269 - Cleaning up the Kitchen for a Friend so She Could Relax When She Got Home

#1270 - My Sister-in-Law Babysitting with me so it was Easy to Clean-up

Sunday, November 7, 2010

No Impact Man

#1256 -
"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world.
Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves.
All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people."

George Bernard Shaw

quote is from
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

#1257 - Tonight Laura and I went to a church to watch No Impact Man. It is a film about a man and his family living in Manhattan who attempt to have low net environmental impact for a year (and do so in stages.) What I most admired about Colin Beaven "No Impact Man" is that he is trying/experimenting/questioning. Many people had criticisms of what he and his family were doing. It makes me think about how difficult it is to do anything out of the ordinary, anything that isn't considered normal. When someone does we are quick to point out the flaws, to pull them back into the mass in which we all swim. So many spend so much energy criticizing. What if we shifted all that energy and used it for something else? Like what if instead of wondering why Taylor Swift is on the cover of yet another publication I just said, "That's great Taylor. Go for it."

#1258 - Colin Beaven was asking could he leave the planet in better shape, or at least not worse. He was focused environmentally, yet this question can go anywhere - take emotionally and forget a whole life - let's talk about a day.

In a day - Do I leave the people I come across in a better place or worse place after crossing my path? Do the people I live with feel better because they lived with me today? Or the people on the bus - even if I don't interact with them I am oozing my state of mind. That was Elizabeth Gilbert's thing (Eat, Pray, Love) that the people on the subway didn't deserve to be subject to her pain on a daily basis. Though some people called Gilbert selfish for the steps she took, why isn't it selfish to think that your misery doesn't affect anyone else? Not that anyone should feel guilty for feeling miserable, just that it is Not Selfish to Take Steps in Your Life that Lead Toward Genuine Happiness or Contentment.

#1259 - Tonight is one of the nights that I considered not writing this. It is 11:38 according to my body now and I want to go to bed. Yet on my way home I realized tonight is one of the nights I needed to write most. I had something to say. I am so grateful to have an outlet when I do have something to say, even if two people read it. Similarly earlier this week when I was feeling depressed about the election and therefore the future, finally I realized I should channel that energy and start writing a song.

There was a time in my life when I didn't feel I had outlets - when there were all these ideas and concerns and energies twirling about inside and they felt trapped there. I am grateful for their expression.

#1260 - Once I was asked what I most wished for. I forget the wording/context exactly. "Most wished for the planet..."? Anyway, I didn't have time to think, but really fast I saw the answers I thought I would give flash through my mind, "That people would understand/care for the environment so we'd have a future..." or things along this nature. I was completely surprised with what came out of my mouth a couple seconds later. It was something I had never said or thought before and emerged from a deeper truth than I knew existed. And I still hold this truth/wish today. My wish is -

"That people would know
what truly makes them happy
and follow that."

Friday, November 5, 2010


#1246 - Buying Tickets to what has been my favorite musical event of the year, 4 of the last 5 years, Brothers Frantzich Thanksgiving Weekend

#1247 - Getting them at the Box Office - no Ticketmaster Fees

#1248 - Paying Cash so my Money goes to the Artists and Theater - (not a credit card company)

#1249 - Speakers broadcasting Opera and then Classical Music at a downtown bus stop

#1250 - "If you don't have a good time. It is really going to be your fault." - bus driver as I exited

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


#1236 - That I chose to start a gratitude blog instead of a rant blog or a "what I'm afraid of blog." Otherwise I would not be forced to focus (here) about positive results from yesterday's election such as Amber Collett is the Hennepin County Soil & Water Supervisor, District 2
and I am still represented in Congress by a man in whom I have Great Trust, Respect and Faith

#1237 - I knew I needed a little Eckhart today. I listened to his "The Current Economy" video since the election was "all about the economy." As usual he Returned me To my Center.

#1238 - That I'm going through old poems and sending a bunch to a friend. I don't know why, just following an impulse. But as I go through them I Still Like them. I Still Feel Them. They still Hold Energy.

#1239 - Being Asked for A Recommended Reading List by a Friend

#1240 - I was going a bit nuts last night trying to find a quote in one of my journals that I wanted to put in a letter. I gave up, but today I found it on the internet. If I had found it last night I would not be posting it here, so maybe someone needs this:

"The paradox of pleasure is that unrestrained pleasure kills itself: in other words, self-restraint is the very first condition of pleasure.

The paradox of intimacy is that distance is the first condition of intimacy: the intimacy in which there is no distance turns very soon either to resentment or even to hatred.

The paradox of sexual pleasure is that all those conditions which create sexual pleasure and happiness lie outside sexuality.

The paradox of self-interest is that the only way of serving one’s self-interest is to serve the interest of the other. In other words, the pleasure and the happiness of the other is an essential condition of one’s own pleasure and happiness."

Chaturvedi Badrinath

Art of Love
Resurgence Issue 212 May/June 2002

Monday, November 1, 2010

Emily's Gratitudes

An Email from My Friend Emily, After She Didn't Show Up for Yoga

Parents - Emily and Jeff
3 yr old twins - Lauren and Amanda

"I was really looking forward to class and getting to see you so even though I had a rotten night here are my 4 gratitudes plus one from Lauren.

(The back story is that I took Lauren to the doctor last night and she threw up in the car.)

1. Lauren has fluid in her ear causing her some discomfort (and car sickness) but it is NOT infected. (Apparently kids who get ear infections get them all the time and that would not be fun.)

2. Walgreens sells zip up hooded sweatshirts right inside their front door for $8 each when I needed an emergency change of clothes for Lauren.

3. I was able to drop Amanda off at home before taking Lauren to the doctor’s office which meant that Lauren got to sit in Amanda’s CLEAN car seat after she threw up into hers.

4. From Lauren, in the waiting room: “Thank you Mom, I love my new sweatshirt”. This sweet girl is wearing an adult-sized sweatshirt that hangs down to her ankles, with just her shoes and socks. She was truly grateful to be out of the jacket, shirt, and pants that she’d thrown up on.

5. Back at home, while I gave Lauren a bath…Jeff cleaned up the throw up."

I have been studying gratitude daily for eight months. One of the things I've learned is that gratefulness doesn't necessarily have anything to do with things going "right." Emily illustrated this perfectly. She was looking forward to meeting me at a Yoga class and didn't miss it for anything fun, but she still pulled 5 gratitudes out if it. (This seriously made my day Friday.)

Today I am happy to report she gave me permission to share them. So now I have the fun opportunity to Publish Someone Else's Writing!

I'm also grateful for the Mother who Shines through these words.