We’ve had some snow today…

The spiral labyrinth I snowshoed onto the river on January 3, 2021

The path to my snow spiral labyrinth was erased in places, as was the spiral itself. Snow and wind. Drifts.
Beginning to walk the spiral – there was barely a hint of a path. It felt like beginning again.

I could sometimes make out an edge and follow along, placing my snow shoe up against a ridge to re-draw the path.

Sometimes there was nothing by white deep drifting for a long section, but looking ahead, I could see the old path and then I would cut a new(ish) trail to meet up with the tracings of the old one.

The centre spot where I stop to rest and pray was entirely drifted in. I walked it flat again and stood awhile.

By the time I walked back OUT of the spiral, the outer ring was almost erased again by the wind.

As I walked home, the tracks I had left an hour earlier were barely visible and I could feel the wind erasing the spiral behind me.

I am back to work on Sanctuary. The novel I began so many years ago and … walked away from… when I took the job with the Family Health Team.
I am re-tracing there too.Trying to find the old path, or cut a new one.

will the path remain?

Step by step, I make my way through this glorious life.
Stay cozy ~p

Why Bother? A Most Excellent Question!

Hey gang!

Hopping online because I am bursting to share this book with you.  In this time of uncertainty and stress, many of us are diving even deeper to our practices of self-reflection and this book has given me solace and challenged me to do some deep thinking about what I do and what I DESIRE to do in the world.

I just finished reading Jennifer Louden’s new book, Why Bother? Discover the Desire for What’s Next.

whybother_jenniferloudenYou know that feeling when you finish a book and your eyes are full of tears and your heart is entirely full of, “Yes.  Yes, I remember now.  Thank you for reminding me.”  That is what I feel right now.

I was given the great blessing of being able to read a copy of Why Bother before it is released to the public.  I am grateful and so honoured to join to the chorus of voices singing the praises of this book and of Jennifer’s work in the world.

  • For anyone who has ever passed through a time when their first thought on waking was, “How long until I can crawl back into bed?”
  • For the numb
  • For the sad
  • For the lonely
  • For those who despair ever being able to craft another book, story, poem, or song; to paint or snap another picture, to dance, or run, or take your next bloody breath without struggling
  • For the next time we lose our way
  • For all of us

This book is both good medicine and an excellent companion.

This book is so many precious things wrapped up in one beautiful, wise, package.

  • It is the heartwarming (and often heart-rending) story of Jen’s own journey thus far.
  • It is a well-drawn map to guide others out of the doldrums and back into the flow of life.
  • It is a poetic and practical How-To Manual with clear simple instructions and delicious prompts that guide us deep inside towards our own wisdom.
  • It is a book to be devoured and then to be returned to again and again to taste and work with as we need to.

But wait…there’s more!

There are also a ton of online resources included as links in the body of the book itself and a crazy heap of bonuses for those who pre-order.

Stuff like:

  • A FREE live online workshop with Jen on May 21, 2020
  • A FREE 5-day online live Why Bother training with Jen in July 2020
  • And immediate access to the first chapter of the book

The launch date for the book is April 21, 2020

You can find the info here: https://jenniferlouden.com/why-bother/

Staying Put… for now

stay putalongside

today the air is full of noise and fear
chitter chatter
skitter scatter

 

i take a breath
listen deeper
watch the light move across the wall
trying to hear my own wisdom

 

making the choice to Stay In Place
here in the hilltop house
in the warmlands
where the roosters crow

 

I will not close my ears
to the shrieking of the turkey vultures
but i will hear it alongside
~ the dog barking in the distance
~ the mariachi on the radio
~ and Lydia’s grandsons laughing as they play in the sand by the side of the road

 

I choose to
continue to live
breath by breath
awake to it all

 

~~o~~

 

Hullo sweet ones

 

Yes, we are still in Mexico and our wisest choice right now seems to be to Stay Put.

 

We are living in a friend’s house on a hill outside of town.
The house is cozy and there is currently no worries about food or toilet paper.
Our flight back to Canada is booked for May 5th and we hope that by then things will have … calmed down.

 

We may be mistaken about that, but it doesn’t seem to make any sense to scramble for a flight out now.  To travel now seems to be heading into the maelstrom, and putting ourselves and others at risk unnecessarily.
Because to get “home” means…

 

  1. A bus
  2. A taxi
  3. A plane ride
  4. A large airport to arrive at in a city where we don’t actually live so we would put family at risk by staying with them or have to keep moving on to…
  5. another bus
  6. and a train
  7. to arrive in our sweet town but still needing to put a friend at risk by hitching a ride out to the shaky shack where we would have to dig through mucho snow to get in

 

and so…

 

IMG_1264

We will stay here and see what comes.

We have registered ourselves with the Canadians Abroad service.
We are keeping in touch via email with friends and family.
We are sending love out to you all.

 

Take care of each other.

 

And, as always, go easy ~p

 

PS – sorry for the low quality pictures – our internet is sort of weak and spotty here.

The Sounds of Writing…and other doings…

Hullo Sweeties.
I am curious – what do you listen to when you write, or paint, or clean out the cupboards?
Do you like sounds or silence?
I sometimes prefer silence, but I have come to love instrumental music or music sung in a language I can’t understand – like Latin 🙂 – so the words don’t slip into me.
I just spent some fun time creating a new playlist for the new book and I giggle because in the end, I actually chose two full albums instead of mix of this and that like I usually do.
I love that this is all the voices/sounds/creations of women.  Well, I’m not sure about who created the gong timer from Audio Dharma.
The meditation beginning and the dance breaks are new for me.
I will start working with this deliciousness on Monday when I head back into the work.
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.
Go easy ~p
PS – Yes…. I know… I have been silent for a long long time.
I am beginning again — to write – and to come here to this place and send things forth.
I decided to just …. step back into the flow today with this tiny post.
Thank you for still being here with me, listening.

How Do We Show Ourselves That Our Desires Matter?

Hey Gang

I attended Jennifer Louden’s Masterclass last night.  It was great to see her so excited about sharing her thoughts on the top three hidden fears that keep us from doing our work in the world – the work we so deeply desire to do.

Jen gave us all a wonderful worksheet to fill in after the class in order to help us explore our own hidden fears and solidify some of the wise ways that she has discovered to deal with these fears and to begin to pursue the things we desire.

These desires run the gamut from:

  • that book we want to write
  • that clutter we want to banish
  • those scrapbooks we want to make for the Gran-babies

Whatever it is that falls into that place of:

I keep saying I want to do — but I never get around to it, or am entirely UNABLE to do it!

I love that she ended the worksheet with a challenge for us to share OUT LOUD what we will do this week to show ourselves that our desires matter.

Here’s what I’m gonna do.

This week, I will show myself that my desires matter by taking time each evening to do  the following:

  • Jen’s 90 second antidote to FEAR:
    • Calm my nervous system with a few long exhales (Calm)
    • Look around my environment and see that there is nothing here that can eat me (Come into this moment and see your Environment)
    • Ask myself who is having these thoughts that are scaring me/telling me my desires don’t matter (Witness)
    • Declare that I am doing this course and this project because I WANT TO. (Activate Desire)
    • Do the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown and then either do my next Simple Step or journal for 5 minutes about what it is I want to do next and then ADD these Simple Steps to my Todoist
  • And for deeper contemplation, on Friday evening,  I will do a 15 minute meditation wherein I use Vipassana to settle into my body and feel my body sensations and then open up to asking myself what it is I am truly seeking/why this project is so important to me/what I would like to do next.  And then write out anything that rises to the surface and then ADD the Simple Steps to my Todoist.
  • I will also post this on Facebook and Insta – to show myself that it MATTERS!

Wheee!

And hey – if you find this whole thing intriguing but weren’t able to come to the masterclass last night.  Here’s a link to the GSSD Masterclass REPLAY.

Enjoy.

Go easy ~p

PS – Todoist is a new app I am trying out to keep track of … all the stuff I want/need to do each day.  I’ve used reminders and I always have my trusty Bullet Journal – but I wanted to give this app a try.

Getting Our Scary Sh*t DONE!

Hullo Sweeties!

I am getting so excited!
I will be serving as a coach for Jennifer Louden’s upcoming seven week course on Getting Your Scary Sh*t Done.

Most of you know by now that I spend some time every week with Jen at The Writer’s Oasis. I love and appreciate her work (and support) so much and now I get to work alongside her to support others who want to dive in and get to work on a new or ongoing project.

SQUEEEEEEEE!

I will be serving as a coach and I will also be working through the course myself as I prepare to begin a new novel.

There is still time to sign up and Jen is offering a free masterclass on Monday Sept 23 where you can learn more about the course. I will be there and the adventure will begin!

Click the link below to check it out!

Get Your Scary Sh*t Done Masterclass

Time for another 3 Day Novel…

Hullo Sweeties…

Yes. I am still alive. Still here, though I have been silent for a long long LOOOOOONG time.  So long that I don’t even really remember how to DO this.

But here I am.  I’ve an urge to begin blogging again and so – what better time than tonight, as I teeter on the cusp of a new story. It’s 8:04 PM and I am out in the Writing Burrow. The 3 Day Novel Contest begins at midnight. I’ve been excited about this year’s adventure for a few months, but tonight I am gripped with fear.

Here I am again with no real outline and just a character and I am afraid that there won’t be a way forward. Though, there always is. That is the deepest joy of this weekend for me. Just letting the words flow out onto the page. Side-stepping, faking out and sometimes even body-slamming my inner-critic into submission. BOOM!

It’s exhilarating.

The day spun by me as I cleaned and prepped the new Writing Burrow. Isn’t it a beauty?

This is the Golden Falcon when she first arrived. I love her!

BedNest in the Writing Burrow

I also got a sweet new haircut from the Raggedy Man. That’s how we roll.

Before

Snip…

snip….

And voila! A new hairdoo!

I cooked up a vat of Hot n Sour soup, chopped some veggies and fruit for easy hand to mouth action and baked some chicken breasts to gnaw on. There is also plenty of dark chocolate, coffee, herbal tea, juices and water on hand.

I am ready.

I will chat with my pals over in the 3 Day Novel CHATzone and sip some tea and watch the sky darken.

At midnight, I will begin.

By midnight on Monday – I will have a new novella to play with.

Wish me luck!

Onward! ~p

PS: This is the fortune I got today in an ancient cookie.  I think it bodes well…

My fortune for today.

making room for magic…

Hullo Sweeties

As some of you know, I’ve been hanging out with Jennifer Louden over at the OASIS for a while now. I just passed into my second year as a member and I am still loving up the space that Jen creates and holds for us and her most excellent, gentle, way of leading us down fascinating paths of inquiry.

Our theme for October is “Make Room for Magic
Mmmmm – isn’t that delicious?

I sat out on the step this morning thinking about magic and what it means to me these days. What I think it IS.

I’ve always liked Starhawk’s definition of magic in The Spiral Dance: “the art of sensing and shaping the subtle unseen forces that flow throughout the world.”  Though I lean more to the sensing these days than the shaping.

I feel magic in the moments of… expanded consciousness… that come with the remembering/seeing again how radically inter-connected everything is. I say “radically” because I think that this way of seeing is radical. We humans tend, so much to FORGET this inter-connectedness as we cling to our individuality.

As I sat and considered how I invite magic into my life these days, I realized that it is with my meditation practice.  Vipassana.  The noticing of the sensations and the constant flux of these sensation.  Always changing changing changing.  And the joy I feel in the noticing and, even more so, in the lack of needing to CHANGE anything myself — by any type of act of will.  Right now, anyhow.

I see that I block magic by…getting “busy” with work that is not creative (and/or challenging) and by sliding into my old shadow comfort of tooooooo muuuuuuuch television 🙂  The things that take me away from… simple mindfulness.

Jen asked us to think about the last time we experienced magic in our lives. What happened and what it felt like.
I wrote this lil ditty in response…

sandhillcranes
Photo by: ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE WORLD-HERALD

Road Magic

Seeing the sandhill cranes yesterday—a pair of them standing in a marshy spot just off the road.
That flash of red over their eyes—like a brushstroke—shifted the entire world for me
into the most glorious painting.
Like I could see it—more clearly. Just for a moment.

And then, I spoke to tell you that I had seen them
and the spell was broken. 

But the beauty stayed with me awhile.
The noticing.
—the colour of the leaves.
—the road ahead of us freshly paved and painted with yellow lines.
—your smile. 

The way the water lay on the river when we pulled into the yard
home from our travels.

I look forward to inviting more magic into my life this month by…

NOTICING the beauty of this place I am so fortunate to live in.
I will take some long walks up the lane and at least one into the bush along a trail, just to notice.

Yummmmm.

May your month be filled with magic as well.
Go easy ~p

I will take life….

I will take life and say, “yes” to it this week…
By returning again and again to the breath filling my lungs
By noticing the transitions, the “between” times
Returning again and again to the awareness that as my life is flowing along
—a stream of time, of movement, of happenings, of encounters—
that there are moments when a twitch of my fins can send me down a channel that I choose.

That I have the chance to choose

—again and again and again—

instead of being simply pulled along by the current.

I will take life and say yes to it this week
by choosing
and choosing
and choosing

Enough…

Enough

I cannot settle to the work today.

The Fears have me by the throat.

Fear of Not Enough –

not enough money

not enough talent

not enough brains to save

myself from drowning

from debt

from the voices that cry out again and again and again

that I am not

good

enough.

 

I cannot settle to the work today

but Desire has me by the heart

and she whispers a question,

“Good enough for what?

To live?

To breathe this soft air, like the old man in the sea?”
Yesterday, I sat on the sun hot shore drawing pictures in my book of people selling oysters from wheelbarrows, offering silver and wooden carvings, woven bracelets, paintings and clothes, sticks of candied apples and mangoes and shrimp and colourful kites shaped like parachutes with plastic men dangling from them (so much bigger than the poop-a-troopers my sister and I threw off the garage roof at the farm when I was ten). Down the beach, I noticed people walking into the water. The waves were high and loud. They walked in fully clothed. A man in a red plaid shirt and dark shorts. A woman in yellow. Two young boys joined them. They lifted the children above the swells until the boys learned to jump the waves and ride them back to shore.

I kept a running tally in my book as I drew. 2 people, 4, 7.

Now there are eleven.

There are twenty-four people! All fully clothed, standing in groups – ankle deep, knee deep, thigh.

I set aside my book to watch them laughing and shrieking at the cold and chatting in Spanish.

Out with the farthest group, I notice an older man. His grey hair glints in the sun and I see that the guy in the plaid shirt and another man are holding him and, like the couple lifted their boys, these men lift the old man as the waves crest around their chests.
Then the old man stands on his own, knees bent and taking a small jump as each wave comes. The men give him space, but stand by to steady him as he lands. I can’t hear their voices over the crash of the surf, but their joy is clear.

The old man waded back into the shallows on his skinny old man legs, and his family cheered him as he passed. The women reaching out to him. The children taking his hand and walking alongside him to the shore.

And that old man’s face held so much joy that it cracked my heart and let me remember—that these things are free.

The joy in the rushing water.

The solid support of the earth.

The frigate birds riding the breeze.

The curious dog who lay near me on the sand.

The feeling of sun on my skin and the taste of salt

on my lips.
I cannot settle to the work today, and yet—

these words flow out onto the page

and the waves hit the shore

and this soft air

is ours for the taking.

~ La Penita Jaltemba 2.16.17

 

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