Where are you?
I was turned on to Dan Howard’s concept of Intentional Resting by Martha Beck (you can see it here in O Magazine). I have loosely practiced it over the last six months and I’ve spread the word when it felt right.
Today I looked deeper at the concept as I am supporting a friend through a challenging experience of being a caregiver for her sister with cancer. I ‘loosely’ taught her how to do it.
As I find that I want to support her energetically through this process, I find that I want to walk-the-walk for her (and with her) so that I can be a model and a guide…so I’ve signed up for the 30 Day Intentional Resting program. I can only see a benefit for me and for those I love.
I am more than willing to align with someone (Dan Howard) who has the mission of sending ripples of love through the world via intentional resting…AND it is a win-win for me because I’ll be loving myself too!
In the spirit of intentional resting; I rest for my intention to rest! If you are at all interested in this, either check out the website, and/or contact me.
(PS if you think it is about taking naps…think again).
Reverb10 Prompt: What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?
My answer may sound so cliché but it really feels like the truth…the gift of time from friends and my tribe has the most meaning for me this year. My Myers-Briggs classification is ESTP…and the E is pretty much on steroids. I thrive on connecting with others in meaningful ways. I also notice that I don’t thrive when I’m feeling isolated and disconnected. So, through this year, I’ve had the gift of many many many sessions with “my people”. With a few people, I’ve even gotten to the point of having weekly contact with them. Those weekly check-ins have become somewhat of a lifeline for me and they’re pretty much non-negotiable. Sometimes my lizard likes to speak up and ask if perhaps I’m being needy and that THEY actually do not want to spend that much time with ME…but then I say to my lizard (Alice), “I am going to assume that if they did NOT want to connect with me, they’d say so…so until otherwise noted (my new favorite phrase) I will continue with my habit of regular communication”. I like to think that this particular gift will be “the gift that keeps on giving”.
Reverb10: Ordinary Joy
Reverb10 Prompt: What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?
I definitely have a gift for enjoying the moments as I experience them…it is automatic…so I’d have to say, this moment two days after Christmas as my extended family meanders through the day playing pick-up card games, then outside for a throw of a football, and then a story from the past. The comfortable”ness” of my family puffs my heart to almost popping. These ordinary”ness” of our gatherings is my definition of comfort and joy.
Reverb 10: Beyond Avoidance
Reverb10 Prompt: What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing it?
Besides the normal wishing I’d said NO, or some of my “follow through” on things, the avoidance that comes first to my mind is…not “going for it” on many elements related to my interests and passions. Many many MANY ideas have come to me in the past year, some I’ve followed through on and some I’ve not. My hunch is that the stuff I didn’t follow through on, were ones that would have put me in a more vulnerable state in terms of really saying what I want, trying to get it and risking failing (or succeeding). I believe that is why I’m compelled to use the word COURAGE as my word for 2011.
I do subscribe to the concept that it is not worth focusing on the things that I have NOT done, but to focus on what I choose to do moving forward…so, I choose COURAGE…and my next ‘trick’ will be to decide what COURAGE looks like for January.
REVERB10 Prompt: How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst?
I have little time to dedicate to this topic as my day is nearly spent. What comes to mind is that recently I’ve been called to support a friend who is caring for her loved one who is requiring a large amount of medical support. This friend is someone who has come into my life recently and we’ve spent several great afternoons solving the world’s problems over lunch (you know those kind of lunches!). The other day I got a text from her saying she needed a friend to witness HER needs of the moment. I NEVER have my cell with me and in this moment her need for support matched my timing of having my cell on hand. I felt both incredibly vulnerable and incredibly humbled that I was someone she would consider calling.
This was my call to realize that my energy and caring does reach further than I could ever imagine. In that moment I happened to be a number she called upon and I happened to be a number available. AND all I could give her is my time…and all she needed was someone to listen…I cannot describe the meaning that had for me and the incredible impact it has for our relationship. I have to say her problem is ions beyond what I believe I have the capacity to understand, but her asking for my time allows me to at least SEE where I can stand and deliver for a friend who is suffering. What I learned from this friend is, it is important to ask and it is equally as important to be asked…and each are both simple AND immensely, incredibly, deeply powerful.
So in one short call, I felt connected to something that I still feel is bigger than me, but I also feel I am ready to give it my all. AND that is all I can expect of myself, and that is all she can expect of me…as it should be!
A wrong and then a right
The other day, I made a wrong turn (those who know me will now be saying…what’s new?). This wrong turn turned out to be a RIGHT turn (both literally and figuratively). I live near a large lake and in the 4 years of living here, I’d never made my way all of the way around. It isn’t THAT big that you cannot drive the distance in a matter of 30 minutes.
My little suburban life had me going to and fro to school, sports, play dates and an occasional trip into the city…but there was nothing drawing me around the lake. Another thing about this lake and me….is that what I thought was the size of the lake was NOT even close. We’d swum in the lake every summer and when I looked right, I assumed that just “over yonder around the bend” was the edge of the lake…not even close. My ‘little world’ had metaphorically been broken open by this little foray around the lake. It gave me an almost ‘cosmic sense’ that not only was there this “bigger than I’d thought lake”, but perhaps just out of my literal view of my life, there is something just around the bend opening up to me. My awareness has not yet brought it to light but it is just over there waiting for me to make a ‘supposedly’ wrong turn but to actually find it to be a blessing.
I am giddy to find out what ‘bigger than I thought’ life is waiting for me. How fun to think of it that way. Where are you not seeing the whole picture? Do you think something is just out of view waiting to be seen? Do you sense it is bigger than you can imagine? I am so excited to share with you what my virtual “trip around the lake” will be in my life. By the way, this journey around the lake provided stunning views, larger than necessary houses, an Eagle sighting, and a side trip to Target…I wonder what those gems will look like in my future life!