Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wishcasting -- 12/30

What do you wish for 2010?

I feel a bit overwhelmed by answering this question. This makes me think... list...

1. run another half marathon (this would make 7)

2 run another full marathon (this would my 2nd)

3. figure out what grace means for me and how to invite it into my life

4. find a new church home (our old church was ruined by petty behavior...long story)

5. develop and stick to a daily spiritual practice

6. continue to find joy in my psychotherapy practice

7. be grateful

8. to have a baby

9. to make more art

10. be grateful

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishcasting -- 12/24

What do you wish for this holiday season?


We don't celebrate Christmas as a Christian holiday. We recently joined a Unitarian Universalist church.  Honestly, it felt like coming home. It was a community and spiritual tradition that mirrored so much of how I have felt and thought over the years. Feelings and thoughts that often made me feel different and as though I did not fit in. Feelings and thoughts that I often did not talk about with others. But, to find a community that had similar values, ideas, and thoughts ... very special. This holiday season I am grateful to have found a community such as this.

My wishes for the holiday season are rest, peace, and simplicity. So often my holidays become cluttered with too many parties, gifts, and obligations. This does not feed my soul. It pulls me outside of myself and makes me feel uncomfortable, tired, cranky, and depleted. I am an introvert (despite my attempts to change). I am also really sensitive. These things I find are not valued by most and I have spend a lot of my life being ashamed and acting as if I were different. Mostly this ended with me feeling depressed, tired, and angry. My wish is that I can be in touch with these parts of myself, love them and care for them. That I can create quiet moments with my husband that lead to deep relationship. That I limit obligations that deplete me. My wish is also that through this discipline and practice, that I will be able to share my true self, my joy, and real peace.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 31st Dream Board

I made the first one quickly, just picking out things that spoke to me. The second one brings forth the word that I have chosen for 2010.

The first board....

Some close up views....

What I learned from this dreamboard is that I am reaching for something bigger than myself. That I want to live from a place a faith, not fear. That I want to find a quiet, strong and powerful center that can lead me to authentic connection with others. This will allow me to move beyond ego, to be vulnerable. I also learned that connection with my physical self is very much on my mind. I desire to learn to feed myself in a healthy, reasonable and joyful way. I want to move everyday to help me stay connected to myself. I want to awaken with gratitude. I want to discover what defines me and then blow past any definition as I expand into the world with grace love and gratitude.

The second word for 2010...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Musings for the day

I saw this quote somewhere and it speaks to me...
I surrender in gratitude to that which is

The idea of gratitude has been in my heart and thoughts a lot lately. It is something I want to cultivate more in my life. I want to recognize the blessings in my life even when they present in unexpected packages. Even when I initially think it is not a blessing and resist.

The other idea in this quote that I am desiring is acceptance. That things are good the way they are. That moments are good even when they are messy, painful, or confusing. Even when the moments cause me to feel vulnerable and exposed. I am desiring a confidence in myself that I can move through moments with a gentleness and gratitude. I wish to cultivate a confidence in the universe that things will work might not be how I think it will work out, or how I would want it to work out....but a sure-ness that things will be fine.

Maybe this quote can be a mantra for me. A reminder of these things I am cultivating in my life. A calling to bring this to me.

I surrender in gratitude to that which is. I surrender in gratitude to that which is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wishcasting -- 12/16

What do you wish to give?

I want to give kindness, love, and grace. I want to give people freedom and empowerment. I want to give of myself in relationship. I offer my gratitude for the stuff of life.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

12/09 Wishcasting

What is your spirit wishing for?

 There are answers that come up immediately: peace, confidence, connection with myself, connection with something bigger than myself. But, I'm not sure that these come up quickly because they are the things I want most. Sure, they are important and I want to cultivate them in my life. However, I wonder what is beneath them. What are the things that are hidden deeper within myself that don't reveal themselves as easily or quickly? I want to be a mom and nurture life and hope in the future. This is one that surprise me a little as it is something that I have not always wanted. I want a deeper and more intimate connection with my husband. I also want to belong to a community. This actually scares me quite a bit. It means being noticed and seen by others. It means being vulnerable, making mistakes, showing my talents, and being accountable. All things that make me anxious. My spirit is also calling me to be more present in each moment. To get out of my head, to live form my heart, to be alive in each moment. 

I have only recently begun to discover my spirit and the larger spirit that has begun to call to me. I hope that the spirit can give me courage to take steps into unknown waters and provide faith that I have what is needed and that I am enough. I wish that the spirit will shine a light into the dark places of my soul and call forth the best of me. I hope that the spirit will illuminate beliefs that no longer serve and help me to help places within that have felt broken for many year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Reflecting on my Full Moon Dreamboard


This board reflects my journey inward to find a way to live outward in the world. Huh? I want to live in the world in a deeply connected way. This year I have been trying to figure out what it means to live in a way to be deeply connected with myself.

I want to speak my truth. To feel confident in that truth. To call my true self out and set her free. I recently had a dream that I think reflected that I am finally saving the younger girl who is still inside me. Saving her from having to please others, from living other peoples' truths, from ridicule and fear. This is huge for me. I have been working to find that younger self, care for her, protect her, and to set her free. I feel proud of the work I have done for myself.

I also see peace and stillness. I have sought to connect to something bigger than myself. To spirit. To god. I have come to understand that value of getting still and listening. I feel blessed to have discovered this. It is a gift I can give to myself.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December Dream Board


Jamie Ridler Studios provides a prompt every Wednesday to help get in touch with the deep desires we hold in our hearts.

Here is my first go at Wishcasting. Not just testing the waters with my toe, but jumping in the deep end.

 What would happened if every week you made a wish?
What magic might start to stir?

To wish is to dream. To dream is to hope. And to hope is to live...

My biggest obstacle to wishing is getting in touch with what my heart and spirit want. I have for a long time lived outside of myself and I became an expert in making myself small so as not to upset others. I became an expert in identifying what would please others. I became an expert in others. I still find it challenging to live life from within my body, my mind, my heart, and my spirit. If I took time every week (probably everyday would be better) to be still and listen for the voice inside myself. I honestly don't know what that voice sounds like. But, I can get still, I can show up, and I can listen. I can be patient, surrender to what I hear, and offer love to myself. Love and patience will help that little voice feel as though I am, for the first time, believe that my voice matters. 

Here is to getting still and listening to my heart to discover what magic resides within.


Saturday, October 31, 2009


I love Saturdays with nothing to do. I love being able to move from one thing to the next with no pressure about finishing or getting somewhere. I did have one thing planned today, but it was delious. I had my monthly facial at Ruby Room and it was wonderful. I felt relaxed and calm afterwards. A nap rounded out the perfect afternoon.

The other thing we did this morning was take our dog to a photo shoot. Yes, you read that correctly...a photo shoot. It was for a calendar that will be sold to raise money for a local park. No idea if our girl will become a pin-up girl in 2010, but I, of course, believe that the calendar would be incomplete without her.

Here is a picture that a friend took of her recently...

Before my facial, my lady always leads me through a guided meditation (yes, she is that awesome -- ask for Amy). She has me image my feet pushing into the earth and putting in roots, so that I feel supported and love. She then has me imagine a white light filling my body, mind, and spirit. She asks me to collect thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and memories that no longer serve me and to push those dark pieces out through my feet so the white light can fill me entirely. Take a deep belly breathe, she says, and say to yourself "You are loved". Thank you, Amy. I will see you in a month to make my skin beautiful and my spirit sing.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

ThE nExT cHaPtEr

I have been reading the Joy Diet and participating in the Next Chapter with Jamie Ridler. BUT, I have not gotten very far and am hopelessly behind the schedule. In my defense I found out about the project late. That is not really the reason for my lagging behind.

The real reason...doing nothing is really hard for me. Martha Beck makes it clear that until you are doing nothing for 15 minutes everyday, you should not move on to the rest of the diet. Why is nothing so hard? I find lots of excuses, I forget.

My initial idea about why nothing is hard is because I have to sit with myself. I spent my whole life perfecting the ability to avoid myself. To stay out of touch with myself. To stay disconnected. There are many reasons for this that I won't go in to here. However, this push to do nothing is really foreign for me. It is hard to only be with myself, no distractions. My anxiety goes up, my body gets restless, my thoughts spin, the demons come out. I know from reading and talking with people that this is what makes it hard to get started, but getting past the demons is what makes it so great. I have faith that nothing can change me for the better. I have faith that nothing is part of the Joy Diet. Starting is just so hard.

I have done my nothing for today. It was okay. I made it. I tell parents and clients all the time that progress in not linear. And I think that is will be true of my journey with nothing. I think overall it will get easier with time, but I think that the small day to day nothings will not always be easier. This is good practice to take things as they come.

I've Been Away

Not away from home, but away from blogging. I think I still a little bit ambivalent about putting myself out on the web. However, I find it an easy way to record my thoughts, playing with the layout/design is really fun, and I can connect with others. So, I am going to stick with it for the next 6 months and see how I feel then.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Words That Inspire

... Here are some words that inspire me ...

... joy ...
... power ...
... gratitude ...
... process ...
... hope ...
... grace ...
... now ...
... imperfection ...
... acceptance ...
... stillness ...
... heart ...
... spirit ...
... growth ...
... play ...
... truth ...
... relationship ...
... breath ...
... emotion ...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I love when things that seem very separate seem to find a way to intertwine. This week I discovered "The Next Chapter" a group reading "The Joy Diet". The first chapter in The Joy Diet is Nothing. Doing nothing seems so simple, but I have found it to be really challenging. My mind wanders to what I should be doing at home, what work is waiting for me at the hospital, what I am going to wear to work tomorrow, and on and on...

At the same time, my church community is exploring what it means to have a daily spiritual practice. The pastor has a blog in which she is talking about this exploration. I have learned a lot from the messages at church. Jennifer (pastor) has talked about what keeps us from starting a daily spiritual practice. Our church believes that there is a big, infinite love that is available to anyone at anytime. That everyone deserves to feel this love regardless of who they are, what they have done, and what they believe. Jennifer talks about inviting this love into your life and allowing it to crack your heart open. She said that what keeps people from starting a daily spiritual practice is the fear that we are the one that will not feel the love, that we are the one that does not deserve the love. That this love and this grace is not available for us.

I know a lot about fear. I know very little about love and even less about grace. However, the message to start a daily practice is clear. It is hard to ignore something when it is coming at you from all sides. I find myself grateful for these messages. I don't know if I believe Pastor Jen that love and grace is available for me, but I am willing to reach for it. I am willing to have faith. To take a leap of faith.

Today in church, Jennifer talked about the 3 steps necessary to beginning a daily spiritual practice. Step 1 -- Make a plan. Step 2 -- Begin. Step 3 -- Persevere. She said that we need to get still, but have attention and intention to reach for love and grace. She asked that those of us who are ready to make a commitment to undertake a daily practice for the next 6 days. I committed to this. I committed to Jennifer and to myself. Now I am declaring this commitment to the world. I am going to sit still for 20 minutes everyday for the next 6 days. I plan to repeat a mantra to help quiet my mind. My mantra will be Reaching for Grace and Love. I also have a yoga DVD that has chanting and I may use that as well. Regardless of the tool I use, I am going to be still and have the intention to reach for love, to open myself to possibility, and to feel grace pour in.

Joining The World of Blogs

My first post. I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while. Not so much for other people, but for myself. A place to record thoughts, feelings, reflections. I am a bit nervous about the public nature of blogs. It feels much more exposed then my trusty leather journal.

So, this is an experiment. I made a decision to try this for 2 months and see what I think. What pushed me over the edge is wanting to participate in "The Next Chapter" with Jamie Ridler. She offers an opportunity to read "The Joy Diet" and connect with others on the same journey. I am starting late, but committed to catching up.

I feel as thought I am always searching and and reaching for ... more. More self improvement. More self acceptance. More grace. More hope. More relationship. More vitality. More life. This is not new for me. What is new is my attempt to find balance. To balance this search for more with acceptance of what is. To accept where I am. To accept who I am. To accept those around me. To accept the present moment. Balance, acceptance, hope, love, and grace are all challenging things for me, but I am trying. What feels more familiar is fear, anxiety, and hiding. I have lived with fear and anxiety for so long, I don't always recognize them as my companions. But in the last year, I have come to see how they damage my potential for happiness, for hope, for love, for connections, and for grace. I have decided to stand up to fear. I have decided to not allow anxiety to be my constant companion. I chose faith. I chose love. I chose hope. I chose grace. I don't always know what that means, but I search the present moment to try and find these qualities that I trust to be more sustaining, more nurturing.

So, today I begin my Joy Diet. Not completely sure how the Next Chapter process works, but here is to figuring out new things, to taking a risk, and to reaching for something higher.