Archive for September, 2012


A Minnesota Sky

Cherishing is the closest word we have in English for the beautiful Japanese word amae, which means “the expectation to be sweetly and indulgently loved.” Or a term the Portuguese use—tomando conta, which  means “filling oneself up with special care and attention.”

Lianne Raymond

What are you cherishing today?

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20 Seconds…

I do think it is true.  Sometimes all we really need is 20 seconds of insane courage and the world breaks open in a new way.

I invite you to indulge in 20 seconds and share with me what happens!

Here is to more courage being unleashed in the world!!

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There has been a lot of learning happening for me lately (Note To Self- that is what happens when you ask for seeing where you can grow).  And as always life is happening despite my best efforts to catch it, quantify it, name it, control it or stop it, it keeps going.   Themes keep popping up as they often do even though it is different places, different people and I don’t have to fear because if I don’t pay attention there are always other opportunities to learn, relearn, remember and re-frame.

In the midst of relearning a particularly difficult lesson a friend wrote a blog post that spoke straight to my heart.  When I had asked if she had written it just for me she responded with this:

It’s the most magical thing about blogging: every post is like a message from my wisest, kindest self to the soft and confused animal me, but when I publish, it also seems to be just what someone else needed to hear.

From the beautiful and brilliant Jill over at A Thousand Shades of Gray.

How often do we assume that we are the only ones struggling with something, to wrestle alone with our thoughts, fears and doubts only to hear when we finally gain the courage and bravery to share we hear “Me too.” (one of the themes that has been in several places)

When I write I am able to be wherever I want or need to be.  Writing allows me to go to the spaces I haven’t yet claimed for myself, it allows me to play with new ways of being, new ways of thinking about things.  It reminds me that even in the midst of my deepest doubts there is some wisdom to be accessed, some new way of looking at things.  I believe that we all have that wise self within, some call it a Higher Self, some call it God… that little voice that travels along with us for the journey.  For me the best way to access it is through my words.

At one point I struggled with that… shouldn’t I be writing what is true?  What is “real”?  And yet, it occurred to me after rereading Rilke’s quote one day:

…I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
in Letters to a Young Poet

For me that is one of the most beautiful gifts that writing offers the ability to live (or in my case- write) into the answers. There are so many times that I have reread journal entries knowing about who I wanted to be, what I wanted to have for myself and I find myself now living those things as my truth.

And perhaps that is what true friendships do as well, they allow us to try on new ways of being, little changes to see what works for us and holds us gently as we do that.

Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light.

– Jennie Jerome Churchill

My prayer for you today is that you put yourself in the best light, and allow yourself permission to be exactly where you are right now, knowing that you are living your way right where you need to be.

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So much beauty
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
There is no way that I could repay all of the kindness, the gestures and outpouring of love and compassion that I have been offered as I walk, run, stumble and leap with joy on this journey of life, particularly since losing my brother… and these words resonate deeply.  And perhaps that is enough.  And yet to continue to seek out ways that I can pass along that gift- that gift of being seen, of being heard, of being loved so deeply- but remembering that my gratitude alone is enough.
These past few years have reminded me of how connected we are, how vulnerable and just how strong.  But the one thing I know is that we all benefit from the little kindnesses that we offer every day. This quote reminds me to stop keeping score but instead try to make my life an outpouring of gratitude, to continue to show up and when it is all said and done with every fiber of my being simply say thank you.  And to know that is enough.

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Brene Brown, one of my favorite social workers and authors, has a wonderful book called The Gifts of Imperfection.  [She also has done my favorite TED Talk of all time (which if you haven’t seen it stop right now and watch it!).]  And I can’t wait to read her newest book that was just released and I can’t wait to get my hands on: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.

In her book The Gifts of Imperfection she talks about vulnerability and how important it is to be vulnerable, and to be willing to share our deepest, most authentic, wholehearted selves with another… with one caveat… with someone who has “earned the right to hear your story.”

So often we shy away from being vulnerable, from showing tremendous courage in showing ourselves to another because we have been hurt, and often it is because we have chosen to share with someone who hasn’t earned the right to hear our story.   It is a learning curve to figure out this vulnerability piece…

Trust, vulnerability, love and boundaries sometimes have steep learning curves.

When I was thinking about these things, I came across this poem from Hafiz:

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.


What a beautiful image, someone who has woven pieces of our soul into a blanket to protect us.  Those are the people who deserve to hear our stories.

My wish is that all of us have people in our lives who have earned the right to hear our stories.  People who have taken our pain, our loose ends, and who have taken the bits and pieces and gently and lovingly woven a blanket to protect us.

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