Thursday, March 31, 2011

Visible/Invisible Worlds

#2076 - Sometimes I say to myself, "I don't need a photo," for this, and I don't. However sometimes, like today, making myself search for one in my day, helps me discover a little piece of beauty in my life more deeply.

#2077 -
Today I received an reply to an email I sent a friend giving my doula spiel. She said they are strongly considering one. If they get one, they will be the fifth couple I partially or at least in one case, completely, caused to have a doula for their delivery. That is pretty damn cool!

doula : a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth

#2078 - I think sometimes not getting something, makes you search deeper, so that when it does come you receive so much more than you would have otherwise.

#2079 -
Oh, I almost forgot, I have a new "hit" song. It is a hit, because it gets stuck in my head. Last night I woke up, maybe 3am, and I realized I was singing it in my head. My other songs weren't this catchy.

#2080 - I was feeling a little depressed this morning when someone said to me, "I noticed that you jump around with career paths. Isn't that really hard to do because you usually have to start out at the bottom every time." I've really enjoyed my career path, but I have no idea where it is going and this just made me sad/want to cry. Then, later in the day a friend sent an email that made me want to cry again - this time in gratitude.

"I see how you work on yourself to grow spiritually- few, perhaps no one that I know, works as hard as I think you do."

It reminds me of Rumi -

"Work in the invisible world
at least as hard as you do in the visible
Be companions with the prophets
even though no one here
will know that you are"


Monday, March 28, 2011

Jill's Sky

#2061 - A nourishing piece of writing my friend Jill sent about the sky

#2062 - My brother was playing chess with his friend. Later his friend was, I don't know how to explain this, his friend has some famous chess games memorized. So he was re-enacting a famous chess game for my brother showing him the moves each player made by memory!

#2063 - I was asked today if they were making a movie about my life, who would I pick as the actor to play me. At first I had no ideas and really wasn't interested in the question, but then I arrived on my person, and now I am excited about it - Ashley Judd.

#2064 - Okay let's just be straight here, I am in complete support of Jason Mraz's engagement to Tristen Prettyman. And I still have to say, I just read this post and I frickin love this man! It begins speaking really seriously about the world, in a way I appreciate, and ends by making me laugh. I love people who do not turn away from the world, and yet still summon joy.

#2065 - Seeing these qualities in Mr. Mraz reminds me I have them in myself.

Friday, March 25, 2011


#2046 - I would never major in finance, and in general don't find money stuff interesting. However, about once a year I spend some time on it. Today, because I don't have anything else to do, I ended up doing just that. It's hard for me to get into, but once I do I actually enjoy it. (I've felt that way about doing taxes before too.)

#2047 - I'm grateful that I have listened to my instincts on investments.

#2048 - I'm grateful for websites such as
This is a link to socially responsible funds ranked by performance. It's a good starting point for looking. Maybe if you are having an uneventful evening too, you will get bored enough to look at it. Who knows, maybe you'll start to enjoy it too.

#2049 - Telling my cousin Ashley on the phone that I explored the indoor playground the last time I brought my friend's baby there and it was really fun! (Usually we just stay on the bottom/baby level.) She could hear my excitement, and suddenly really wanted to go too.

#2050 - When I spilled a bunch of yogurt today (I was trying to just pour it from the container) it landed on the cutting board so I still ate it. And it was white, and I was wearing a white shirt, so the bit that splattered on me didn't matter.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Four People and a Dinner Party

A friend sent an email a while back asking people to send her an old T-shirt, she would turn it into something we could use. I received a small package today, I figured the T-shirt would be transformed inside, I hoped there would be a letter too, and there was.


Little Things by Mary Everest - a song that made me stop what I was doing and listen.


The library has Mary Everest's CD so I will be able to listen to it again.


"I know why you and your brother are siblings."


"Because of the things you expose each other to." This is what my friend said after I told her about Bonobo Handshake. (She asked how I heard about the book - my brother).

My latest interesting question (well it's not my question at all), but the one that I'm really enjoying asking right now.

"If you could invite any four living people to a dinner party who would you invite?"

My dinner party has

#1 - Jason Mraz
#2 - Eckhart Tolle
#3 - Vanessa Woods
#4 - Laura
#5 - Me

I know Jason has already met Eckhart and they would have both a humorous and spiritual/deep conversation. Then we would all be interested in discussing bonobos with Vanessa and the positive traits they reflect on humanity. And I'd have my friend Laura there to join in and be able to continue the conversation with her after it ends. This is already so much fun even in my head!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bonobo Handshake

#2016 - Bonobo - ever heard of them? According to Vanessa Woods, Microsoft Word spellchecker hasn't, I just verified this fact. They are a great ape, one of the two species in the genus Pan. Chimpanzees are the other. The two of them are the closest living links to humans. As Woods explains there are at least ten field sites in Africa where chimpanzees have been studied for 20+ years, along with a 1,000 chimps in American labs. There is one field site where bonobos have been studied long-term.

Unlike chimps, bonobos are female dominated, are much less violent and have sex for fun. Is this sounding a little familiar by now? Which species have we chosen to study extensively? (Even though they are both related to us equally.) The more violent and male-dominated one. In fact most of us haven't even heard of the one run by the females. This book had me on page #1.

#2017 - I don't know much about chimpanzees, but apparently a grown male and juvenile male chimp wouldn't even be in the same room together, or one would at least be cowering in the corner. A grown male bonobo and a juvenile will share food together (67).

#2018 - This book is also giving me a primer on politics in the Congo region.

#2019 - Divine Distraction
- I didn't even notice it was happening, but finally after the third unplanned event came up I realized there might be some divine distraction going on. Otherwise I would probably be in more of a state of waiting/wondering if I will hear back in relation to gratitude #1888.

#2020 - My Dad being one of those distractions, asking if my brother, sister-in-law and I want to go to Riverdance tonight. In fact that has been something that has appealed to me for years, which I've never mentioned, and I saw the marquee for it downtown last week. I told my Dad and he said, "Shows you better be careful for what you wish for because you just might get it.".

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gratitudes aren't always Uplifting

#2001 - Being real with how I feel right now. I certainly have things to be grateful for today, but right now I was just reading about the nuclear situation in Japan and I just feel a deep sadness.

#2002 - Having methods to soothe me. Last night I watched The Rachel Maddow show right before bed about the nuclear situation too. She did an excellent explanation of what is going on in the reactors for us lay people. Anyway, I had to play the guitar before bed to relax and not be so worried, so tonight I'll probably try that as well.

#2003 - My alarm was actually a blessing this morning as it woke me from a bad dream about firecrackers that were exploding/out of control (kind of like the fuel rods I suppose).

#2004 - This might seem strange to say, but I'm grateful to know this situation, in itself, will change nothing. Since the Three Mile Island meltdown in '79, there hasn't been a new nuclear plant commissioned in the U.S. (though many under construction at the time were completed.) But now it is 30 years later and the nuclear industry is experiencing a revival. So yes, there will be a backlash for a while, but I don't have any illusions that this will lead to a long-term change.

#2005 - However, I do believe we can change and progress and evolve. And I can't quite put words yet to how this happens, but I've seen it and there is a place inside of me that trusts.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


#1886 - Stopping at a friends' house unannounced because I had an extra hour between soccer and grocery shopping/the evening celtic service. I hesitated about stopping, but then was really glad I did. We had a good conversation and I got to see the remodeling project they've worked on the last 6 months which is beautiful and almost complete.

#1887 - When I received communion at the Celtic service tonight I made a point to look the person in the eye who gave me the blessing. When I returned to my seat, I decided to count how many people looked, even for a second, the person giving them a blessing in the eye, and how many people completely avoided eye contact. I was counting on my fingers, so I don't have exact statistics, but less then half of the people made eye contact. There are so many simple ways we could become more open to receiving.

#1888 - My friend Fletcher, kindly yet unhesitatingly, telling me I had more to communicate in a situation where I thought I'd done all I needed to.

#1889 - Having More Compassion towards Myself - In the past I would have considered this communication situation a "test." I would have told myself I "had to take" it, I had to be vulnerable, so I could pass the test and move on. Otherwise, I would just end up retaking the test in the future, so I might as well get it over with.

Ahhh! How exhausting! I don't feel that way at all now.

Now there are not tests, now there are there are openings...

#1890 - Which reminds me of a poem I wrote more than a few years back. My poems are usually like light posts up ahead, not the way I currently live, but a guide to aim toward. Today for a moment, I caught up to this one.


Self acceptance just wandered in
like a gentle
yet relentless


til I could resist
no more.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Don't Have to Move...

I don't think about my menu choices being limited. However tonight when I realized the entire menu at Hard Times Cafe was vegetarian...WOW suddenly so many options!

The title of the talk I went to tonight given by Marjora Carter,

"You don't have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one."

Marjora Carter agrees with the Tea Part that we should have smaller government. She says we could do this by creating economic opportunities for America's most expensive citizens - veterans, generationally impoverished and those traveling in and out of the criminal justice system. (She said it costs $60,000 a year to keep someone in jail. I just did a quick search on this - one site said $25,000 another $50,000. Anyway you put it, I think we could we be a little more creative with that money.)

A study in the Cabrini Green housing projects found that in those who had access to a small groups of trees

#1 - the adults had lower stress levels
#2 - kids had higher test scores
#3 - young girls had higher self-esteem (lower rates of pregnancies).

I have no idea how they isolated the trees to be the cause of this. However I also have no doubt that trees help us in unimagined ways.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Gift

#1856 -
Tonight I overheard talk about gas prices on The Bill O'Reilly show. A woman was trying to talk about the long-term future, Bill O'Reilly interrupted, "I don't care about long-term! I don't care!" I thought, "That's where we differ Mr. O'Reilly, I do care about the long-term future."

But later as I was driving, I realized, no that is not really how we are different. How we are different is that while he stated his opinion forcefully overriding another's, my internal reply was stated softy and calmly, and as I felt it, I could also feel the strength.

#1857 - There are few things I, "Know for Sure," but as I was driving 60mph on a 70 mph highway (gas mileage generally decreases after 60), the cars speeding past me helped me to think of one of them.






#1858 - When I am driving between 9-10pm, I'm probably listening to The Story on NPR. Tonight the first half of the show featured Aqeela Sherrill, a former gang member who is now a peacemaker. He brokered a peace agreement between the Bloods and the Crips, and is a leader in his community. I felt nourished and supported by the program.

#1859 - By far the moment that most affected me was when Aqueela was asked about his response to his son's murder. This is what he said,

"In every tragedy, there is a gift...
We have to be present
to the pain of it
long enough
for the actual gift
to arise from it.
It wasn't, it hasn't been easy.
It took everything in me
to sit
and to hold space
for the gift to manifest itself."

-Aqeela Sherrill

#1860 - Tonight I am so grateful it is a blog night, to have an outlet to write, share and feed.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I Would Love to Be Wrong

I would love to find out one day that cell-phone radiation in fact has no negative consequences to humans. However, I haven't been proven wrong yet and Time magazine is now considering my concerns (in a simplified fashion.) If you want some depth on the topic try here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Red Barn

#1841 - I found out on Wednesday that I did not get a job I interviewed for a couple weeks ago. I was bummed about that, but my principal frustration was, "Then what else am I supposed to do?" I waited a couple days, and then today I briefly looked at job posts and found an interesting one almost instantly (just posted today) because of the track that the job I didn't get led me on.

#1842 - While cleaning the yoga studio today I thought, "There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be."

#1843 - When I got to the vacuuming part though it felt a bit more tedious. It is a big room and a little vacuum. I think it would be more satisfying if it were the kind of carpet that you can tell, where I could measure my progress, however, the place I vacuum looks the exact same as where I haven't. About 1/3 through this task, the owner of the studio arrived and we had a some good conversation and I completely forgot about the vacuuming being boring.

#1844 - What I craved (and ate) for dinner - tomato soup, crackers and cheese.

#1845 - I had a think a while to find this 5th gratitude, whenever this happens I remind myself to, "Think small!" I heard a beautiful duet today by Mercedes Sosa and Shakira, that is the Shakira I admire.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Year in Gratitude

#1826 - This is the one year anniversary to my gratitude experiment. I am grateful that I made it this long, more or less easily propelled to the task by the original impulse that brought me here.

#1827 - My friend Jill for suggesting I blog. My response at the time was, "Whatever would I write?" And then a month or two later the answer was given. Maybe this is how a book will come someday. "Whatever could I write for a whole book?" I think. But maybe this is an example. I would have said the same thing about writing anything authentic everyday for a year.

#1828 - I've had this stance in recent years that, "The News," should be called, "The Bad News." How do we, as a society start to pay attention to the good as much as the bad? How do we find a balance where, "The News" will actually be an accurate description? I don't know, but I guess like everything it might begin in my own life. Right now I'm not really feeling grateful, well actually I wasn't when I started writing this, and yet I am already feeling more positive. This is my assignment, here I am and as I do it, its gifts come back to me.

#1829 - Writing something 362 days of the last year!! (I never forgot my gratitudes completely. However there were 2-3 days when I was about to fall asleep and I remembered. On those days I made the list in my head and then wrote them down in the morning.)

#1830 - My numbering is correct. I just did the math 365x5=1825. I figured it might have really gotten messed up at some point. I was hesitant to check and didn't want to put the effort into it, today it is easy though and it's right!

[For the few people who may read this regularly. I plan on switching my gratitude blog posts to every third day. A little more confusing for me to keep track of, but it feels appropriate at this point in time. Thanks!]