Meeting Musings

Instead of going on my planned trip to Philadelphia this weekend, I stayed home - one thing changed, and it seemed better to change all my plans.  And now it's clear why that felt like the right decision to make... Today, during Meeting, a Friend stood up with the following message (which I will try to repeat verbatim):
I'm going through some changes in my life and they're no going as smoothly as I'd thought they would.  I'd always imagined my life a being a beautiful strip of embroidery, with gorgeous colors and patterns flowing into each other.  But it seems that the better analogy is to a piece of macrame - knotted, twisted, with holes and the occasional shiny bead woven into the pattern. 
After she spoke, I knew why I'd stayed home and been able to attend Meeting.  My scattered, twisted thoughts heard the shiny bead of her message... it truly spoke to my condition.


Links Galore

Not quite ready-for-prime-time -or-annotation bits and pieces from other blogs, tweets and e-mails:


#Reverb11: Final Round-up

The final #Reverb11 prompts - here are my responses:

Prompt 21: Space
Where do you feel most safe, most free to be yourself—where you let down your guard?
- Of course "at home" should be my first response but, well, it depends on who is at home with me. The Herd? The Things? Family? Friends? So it's not a real space, it's more a mental space created by the people I'm with.

Prompt 22: Mischief
What can you do to add a spark of mischief into your life?
- How do you define "mischief"? Is it akin to "playfulness" or is it more "trouble making"? Let's go with the former, in which case things like adding a streak of color to my hair (purple? dark blue? neon fuchsia?)... reviewing books that don't exist... skipping rather than walking... random acts of humorous kindness.

Prompt 23: Creativity
What was the most creative thing you did in 2011? How do you plan to use your creativity in 2012? (Note: creative does not always mean artistic. Think outside the box here. Get creative!)

- I did my Style Statement.  It's given me a sense of direction in terms of future acquisitions, future direction.  As my life continues to encounter change, having this as a compass is comforting and allows me to be a little more focused in how I approach things.

Prompt 24: Dream 
What crazy and wild dream was born in 2011?
- Born doesn't have to imply "realized", correct?  So let's go with minimalism, doing more with less but not sacrificing quality.  Ok, not so crazy or wild but it's a dream.

Prompt 25: Surprises
What was one thing that surprised you in 2011?
- Given the major changes in my life this past year, the biggest surprise was how little stress there's been.  Usually I'm awash in stress, with my body reacting in Very Bad Ways (ulcers, migraines, break-outs, GI issues, etc.) and now?  Not so much.  A very pleasant surprise indeed!

Prompt 26: Rituals
What ritual(s) would you like to introduce into your life?
- Daily silence, akin to Meeting... daily tea break (I drink a lot of tea, but to do this intentionally, with a sense of ritual not just "oh, I'm thirsty and cold")... a weekly meal with a friend


Guidelines for 2012

Over the years I've tried to make New Year's Resolutions and, well, like many people I've completely failed. And who likes failure? So then I tried Goals, which had a better success rate than Resolutions. This year I'm trying Guidelines.

Robin, over on What Canst Thou Say? is my guru on this; for 2012, her guiding words are wisdom, serenity, courage, discipline. What beautiful guides.

For me, those words resonate deeply, but I'm choosing "faith, wisdom, serenity".
  • Faith because I need to trust that in life and God. To quote Robin: This is to help me remember that I am enough. That we are enough. That God is enough. I believe, Lord, help thou my unbelief.
  • Wisdom to know myself and to hear that inner voice more clearly, rather than giving in to the pressures of the moment. 
  • Serenity means practicing intentional slowness, decluttering my mind and surroundings so that distractions allow for inner peace, encouraging wisdom to emerge.
For those of you not comfortable with resolutions, try guidelines.  Let me know how you're doing.


    Is there an editor in the house?

    Let's play spot the homonym error.

    For shame, NYT.


    #Reverb11: Week Four

    The fourth week of #Reverb11 prompts - here are my responses:

    Prompt 13: Love
    What are the things (or people or animals) in this world that you love the most?
    - Obviously The Herd (and their predecessors) is practically tied for top spot; Thing One is right up there as well.  While I should say "my family" the problem is that there are members of my family that don't quite make the cut and since some people in my family read this blog discretion wins over a full list of Who's In and Who's Out.  Less tangible "things I love" are silence and solitude.

    Prompt 14: Marvel 
    What have you done well over the past year—the little stuff and the big stuff? How do you celebrate the positives?
    - The big stuff would be my big decluttering project, as my life feels so much lighter both in terms of possessions and mental "stuff".  Little stuff includes not giving in to my inner hermit/recluse and celebrating my friendships, as well as the presentations and publications I've given professionally.  Collaborating with friends in both personal and professional areas of my life has given my soul much warmth.

    Prompt 15: Fear 
    The easiest way to overcome fear is to confront it. Rather than brainstorm ways to avoid your “fear,” shift your attention to the reasons for confronting your fear. What fear would you like to overcome in 2012?
    - I'm a nester, most happy at home in bed snuggled with whichever members of The Herd want to join me.  Honestly, if bodily needs could be completely ignored, that's where I'd spend my life.  So my "fear" is that of moving around - to a new space, a new job, a new friend.  I'd like to be more comfortable with the unknown and new in 2012.

    Prompt 16: Transitions 
    Over the past year, have you experienced any major/minor life transitions? How has your life changed?
    - Yes, both major and minor transitions.   There's been a Big Life Change that is still affecting my life and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  I'm quite at peace with it, and my "fear" (see above) is what the next Big life Change will be.  Minorly one could include the lessening of my physical possessions as I transition to a more simple, gratifying life.

    Prompt 17: Bliss 
    What are three things that make you feel the most blissed out? What can do in 2012 to invite more of that into your life?
    - Cuddling with The Herd is such a bliss-filled experience (and those that study these things can attest to the serotonin released by interacting with a pet).  I'm also experiencing quite a high as I remove things from my life, be it physical items or digital "clutter".  Finally, spending time (including the silent gatherings of Meeting) with good people has been a joy that needs to be expanded on in the coming year - there are several gatherings already scheduled through mid-Feburary!

    Prompt 18: Ordinary Sparkling Moments 
    Reflect on the ordinary moments that bring you joy (e.g., the tea pot whistling, the sun setting). What moments would you like to relish in the coming year?
    -  One that springs immediately to mind is "good food" - not a great meal, but the first bite of a crisp McIntosh apple in September or a hot cup of peppermint or jasmine tea on a cold afternoon.  The feel of warm sheets and pjs fresh from the dryer.  Unexpected thanks or acts of friendship. 

    Prompt 19: Joy 
    What does a joyful life look like for you?
    - Let's turn that to "joy-filled": one with moments of deep friendships, good food, unexpected blisses mixed with times of silence and reflection.

    Prompt 20: Community 
     Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2011? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2012?
    - I've already blogged about the Surprising Moments of Joy that I've found with community, but wait - there's more!  As readers know, my sister is a very different person than I am, but reading this makes me a little envious of the community she (and her husband) have created:

    While every week seems a bit much to me, a gathering like this once a month has such appeal!

    A 2012 Reading Resolution

    Way back in November, Shree posted abouther reading challenge plans for 2012. I'm not so organized, but I kept thinking about her post and there's one challenge I think I can actually do: The Read Your Own Books Challenge. What does it entail?

    • Starts January 1, 2012 and ends December 31, 2012
    • Anyone can join
    • You don’t have to have a blog to participate.
    • Non-Bloggers feel free to share your list of books in the comment section of the monthly link up post.
    • Reviews though not required are always nice.
    • Audio, E-books, Bound all count
    • Re-reads DO NOT count
    • There is no need to come up with your list of books in advance.
    • Challenge crossovers ok
    Create a sign up post and link up in the linky below.

    What qualifies for this challenge?:

    Any book that you have personally purchased, been gifted, or swapped, BEFORE January 1, 2012 and just have not gotten the chance to read yet.

    What DOES NOT qualify for this challenge?:
    • Any book that has been purchased AFTER January 1, 2012.
    • Any book that you have been asked to review
    • Tour sites, Netgalley, GalleyGrab, etc.
    • Library Books
    Level 1 – Read 1-5 Your Own Books
    Level 2 – Read 6-10 Your Own Books
    Level 3 – Read 11-20 Your Own Books
    Level 4 – Read 21+ Your Own Books

    Like Shree, I'm trying to kill Mt. Bookpile and make some room on my shelves so... LEVEL 4 it is.

    Who's with me?  Aravis?  Jandy?  Anyone else?