Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year

The new year begins in gratitude....thank you, brave souls, for adding your voice!
Here is our group affirmation-manifesto for 2011:

I feel limitless because I am strong and resilient.
I feel hopeful because I've weathered a lot so far.
I feel secure because I have inner resources.
I give myself permission to be creatively productive because I am self motivated and creative.
I am a healthy person so I will get enough rest and exercise to maintain a strong body.
I feel calm and accepting of wherever my path takes me because I have the skills to creatively adapt and flourish.
I feel powerful because I stand each day in what I know is true and avoid spiraling into negativity.
I am loving, so I am loved.

I love it! Thank you all...may we all draw on each others' wisdom and strengths.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Manifesto 2011

Here is an invitation for you. I love the power of the group, and thought it would be uplifting if we could compose a manifesto together. A manifesto for 2011. I originally wanted to call it a "mother's manifesto" but it seemed too limiting.
There is much written out there about how to best construct an affirmation, and you are welcome to add your ownway of composing an affirmation. One thing I came across and like is the use of "I feel" rather than "I am". "I am" felt too pretentious tome...especially if I didn't think I could quite live up to what I was trying to affirm.
So, my suggested format for this affirmation is as follows:
I feel :            because I am:
The first part is something you want to strengthen...affirm in yourself. The second part is something you already feel is a strength of yours.

For instance, I can be snappy and crabby. I can also be nurturing. So, I can capitalize on this and have my affirmation reflect the fact that because I am nurturing, I have the capacity to choose nurturing in any given moment, even the crabby moments.
Hence,
I feel calm and accepting because I am nurturing to myself and others.

Now, your invitation has been extended. Please leave your contribution to the manifesto in the comments (comment anonymously if desired) or on Facebook. I will compile them all by Friday and we shall have a collective, strengthening, powerful vision of hope for the new year. I do hope you will join me in celebrating our strengths and supporting each other in who we are becoming, whether we have met or not.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Coming Year-Reminder Pictures

There was little time for stillness and reflection while swept up in the busy::sleep-less::scattered past few days. Lucky for me, I had found moments to reflect and be calm before the holidays started swinging.
My first thought was reminder pictures. Reminder pictures are a tool we use at our school to help children hold an inner picture of themselves as doing the right thing. For instance, if a child has been reminded in class to stop goofing off with his neighbor, and continues to do it, he might be given a reminder picture where he draws himself working quietly. In thinking about the holy nights, I was reminded of the things I need to cultivate within myself.
The second thought was of my home. In looking around my home, there are few things that truly speak about who I am, who this family is. Maybe someone from outside would think differently, but I feel there is an emptiness there. I believe the things you surround yourself with affect you.
The third thought I had was about art and creativity. Art has always been a compulsion for me....a way of being in the world...a way of making sense of my personal history...a way to process, organize, and express. It has been a compulsion and a drive. Ultimately, though, living the creative process has been a way for me to heal. I want to bring consciousness to that.  I want to work on strengthening my voice.
I want to paint.
I fear painting. I buy canvases on sale and tease, "oh, those are for retirement. I will paint when I retire." But when I look deeper, the truth is, I am scared. I am scared of being empty. I am scared of being imperfect. I am scared I won't have something to say. I am scared that what I produce won't be good enough. I am not the most skilled artist in the world.

I am going to summon the courage to work through that fear. I am going to listen to the parts of me that say, "so what if it isn't good enough?? So what if it isn't this or that? SO WHAT?" I am going to paint through all those parts that say this and say that and find my Self, my voice. This is important work! This is healing.
So, I would like to do a series of reminder pictures. I would like to use them to strengthen the qualities I have, and help remind me that I am developing areas of weakness. However, I am not going to limit myself to just painting. I would like to allow myself to write poetry, sew, knit, draw, whatever inspires me. I will allow myself to be inspired by others instead of stifling myself with this illusion that I can somehow be original.
My list is going to come in the next few days. I think words like tolerance, nurturing, kindness, family, openness, lack of anxiety, spirituality, connectedness, organization, creativity...these are things I'd like to nurture. I'd like to think of more so I have a pool to pull from. But if I process, through art, one word a month (sort of like the holy nights but different), at the end of the year I will have "pictured" myself....and remind myself who I am, where I come from, and who I would like to be. At the very least, I will have a strong inner journey. And just maybe I will be able to surround myself and our home with these pictures.
Whew! Thanks for reading this. If you were around last year, you know from my Hero of the Sanctuary (see labels) journey that I am fond of new year's plans. Tomorrow I have an invitation I would like to extend to all of you, and you can join me and be part of a collective affirmation. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 24, 2010

On the Eve of Christmas

Love and Light

At Christmas Eve dinner




There's one in every neighborhood! The nicest neighbors.....



What can I say? It was the best picture we could take considering the dog was there.

Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holy Nights

 For years now, a group has met to contemplate and meditate during the holy nights. I am not always able to go to these gatherings and hope to this year. Following are the themes we are given to discuss. I do not know who wrote it, so I wish I had someone to attribute it to (anyone?)
There is also Lynn Jericho's Inner Christmas, which also has some good spiritual food for the soul.
 
                               Virtue                                                           Its Opposite

Dec. 24 (January) courage becomes the power to redeem             timidity, anxiety
Dec. 25 (February) discretion becomes meditative strength            comment, criticism
Dec. 26 (March) magnanimity becomes love                                 pettiness, narrowness
Dec. 27 (April)  devotion becomes the force of sacrifice                no concern, spring fever
Dec. 28 (May) inner balance becomes progress                            externals take over, too busy
Dec. 29 (June) perserverance becomes faithfulness                        loss of grip, giving up
Dec. 30 (July) selflessness leads to catharsis                                  self absorption, willfulness
Dec. 31 (August) compassion leads to freedom                             heartlessness, insensitivity
Jan. 1 (September) courtesy becomes tactfulness of heart              lack of consideration, insensitivity
Jan 2 (October) contentment becomes equanimity                         complaint, dissatisfaction
Jan 3 (November) patience becomes insight                                  hurry, loss of temper
Jan 4 (December) control of speech becomes feeling for truth        gossip, judgment, slander
             

Friday, December 17, 2010

Greyscape

We woke up to this:










 Lots of ice, icicles, "skating", and trying to walk outside.
Lots of baking, making, and snow day celebrating inside.
My heart has been wrapped in my home, and I have savored being present there this time of year.
I did a guest post on Magic Onions.
Thinking of you with gratitude...thanks for reading and sharing with me this year.