Last year I sent a list of my favorite blog posts of 2011 to my newsletter subscribers. I recall thinking at that time that there was no way I could write the same quality or quantity in 2012. I had far surpassed my expectations for 2011 and was sure that I’d hit my limit for what I could do with my words for the year to come.
Sounds silly to share this as there is obviously no limit or reversing course when it comes to teaching, but it was my honest belief.
In going through the 2012 archives it was easy to find ten posts that I loved. So much so that I couldn’t pick just ten and had to share 12 with you today.
Perhaps you read these the first time around or maybe they got lost in the hubbub of the interwebs. Either way, for your inspiration and expansion, here are the words from this year that still tug at my heart and reverberate in my bones.
Extra: In Praise of Zoloft (guest post from 2011, reposted in 2012)
As I peek around the corner to 2013 I, once again, can’t imagine what there is left for me to say or how I’ll find a way to share eloquently, but if the past few years are any indicator, I expect I’ll surprise myself.
I remember taking cross-country road-trips with my family as a child and playing car bingo. In that version of the game, instead of B6 or A17, you had to spot things like a barn, taxi cab, or bird out the car window in order to fill your bingo card.
It’s clear to me after talking with my clients this week that a similar tool is needed for this holiday season. If you’re feeling any level of dread or like you already know how things will unfold, try making a game of it. When you spot someone being passive aggressive you get to check that box (yay!). When you’re in a bad mood and itching to move your departure flight to five minutes from now, look for gratitude, love, and pie…you need ’em to win the game.
So my wish for you is that your days be merry and bright…and may you freak your family out by randomly yelling “BINGO!” at the most awkward of moments.
It’s December 18th. If you celebrate Christmas, it’s just one week away. The New Year begins one week later.
Where did you think you’d be today? What did you think you would have gotten done? What had you hoped for?
Is all as you’d planned or has it taken a detour?
What’s the story you wrote for this year’s holiday?
For me. I thought I’d be healthy (after months of a sore throat), traveling to Germany to visit my sister, and stocked with all the homemade gifts I’d made for friends. I thought the holidays would be a quiet time for my business where I could write and restore.
Tomorrow I’ll find out if (and likely when) I need to have my tonsils removed. I’m a little afraid of the pain that, as an adult, recovery from this procedure involves. I’m afraid of taking up to two weeks from my work – when you’re self-employed, this is no easy feat.
The trip to Germany was cancelled. My immune system is up to it but my business, if I’m to be away from it for long, needs my full attention. So it’ll be my first solo Christmas. Not what I expected at all.
Those homemade gifts for all those I care about? This hasn’t happened. Not even close.
The quiet time for my business? Not so much. I’ll spare you the behind the scenes workings and just say that my free 5-day journey, as part of Kick Start Your Change, launched today. It’s called Sensual Holiday and is all about feeling into every moment of this meaningful time of the year. In the coming weeks you’ll hear about Ease Hunting, a 6 week journey I’m inviting you on that is all about discovering life’s exhales. You’ll hear about the stunning Well-Fed Woman Art Collection and tickets for the Well-Fed Woman Retreatshop Tour will go on sale. I’m my own boss, so much of this is my own choice…and I embrace it.
There is no pity party; nor am I here to sugar coat things. Many people are experiencing real grief in the world–others unexpected joys. This is simply an awareness that I wrote a story and it isn’t reflected in real life at the moment.
What is reflected is that I have good health care, a family who believes in me and loves me (even if I’m far away this year), and family and friends who know I love them, even if my gifts arrive late. I have wonderful readers, clients, and followers of my work – wonderful women on the path of becoming well-fed.
How about you? What’s the story that didn’t turn out as you had written it? Is the real story even better? What do you need to let go of to move closer to embracing the true story of your holiday season?
From one master storyteller to another.
*This post is adapted from a Wisdom Note I shared with subscribers to A Well-Fed Holiday.
These photos are of my grandfather. Wasn’t he the cutest baby? And the most handsome young man? I’ve just returned from celebrating his 90th birthday and had to share a little story from my visit.
After the dessert plates had been cleared and we were all circled round in the living room I spoke up and said, half jokingly, “Now’s the part of the evening when you tell us what the secret is to living to 90.” Not missing a beat, he replied “Well that’s easy…” A hush came across the room. “Strong women. Grandmother, mother, wife, daughter, granddaughters, friends.”
He didn’t say green vegetables, though he eats lots of those.
He didn’t say daily exercise, though that’s been a mainstay most of his life.
He didn’t say time spent in nature, though he lives in the most beautiful and wild place.
He didn’t say being kind, though you couldn’t imagine a better friend.
His answer was unexpected, but also obvious:
As you may know, I’m a student of Wayne Muller. His book, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives was a total game-changer for me. In fact, I kept my own non-traditional sabbath for several years inspired by Muller’s words. This practice still influences how I live my daily life and my work in the world. You don’t need to be religious to benefit from this profound book–I’m not.
Muller has a fantastic new book out: A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough. Doesn’t the title just make you happy?! I wanted to share this excerpt from the book with you because it so wonderfully sums up why I coach and what I love about coaching.
“So in order to live well from the inside out, to listen for the right choices and the firmly and courageously act on them we simply cannot do this alone….
Because we are not taught or supported to live in this way, rarely educated or encouraged to listen and act from our own inner wisdom, never told how to follow the firm but invisible thread of the next right thing through the world, we will always need the support of good, honest friends.
We are called to be strong companions and clear mirrors with one another, to seek those who reflect with compassion and a keen eye how we are doing, whether we seem centered or off course, grounded or flailing.
As in all sacred, life giving practices that require a deep and confident faith in ourselves, we need the nourishing company of others to create the circle needed for growth, freedom, and healing.”
– Wayne Muller, A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough