Thursday, September 29, 2016

Poem about the past

He said it never took place
That late night conversation
Of bourbon and bad news
When we agreed to end
What had long before died
I see us there in that lush spring evening
So young, so ill-suited
The caramel-colored corduroy chairs
As out of place in that old farmhouse
As our tenuous hippie commitment

Whiskey in my hand, a full glass
Ice, no soda by that point
We reminisced, we cried
Why now, he asked, why now
And I said what should have stayed hidden
And that led to all the rest
The park, the bruises, the broken tooth

His letter a surprise after 30 years
He’d read my book
I got it wrong, he said
My memories false, his true
We never reminisced, he said
We never cried
I never confessed
The letter says nothing
of the hitting or the choking

Curious, isn’t it, how memories live in us as real
And not in others who were there too?

Jill Kelly, 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A great quote from Elisabeth Gilbert

I am not a big Elisabeth Gilbert fan although I did enjoy her collection of short stories, Pilgrims. I couldn't get past 25 pages of Eat, Pray, Love, which seemed to me to have as much relevance for the average woman as 50 Shades of Grey. But I have just finished Big Magic, which is a marvelous book, both for those on the creative path and those on the conscious life path. She has many wonderful things to say, and much of it resonated with me. I recommend it highly.

Here's a quote that was very meaningful for me.

"Whatever it is you are pursuing, whatever it is you are seeking, whatever it is you are creating, be careful not to quit too soon. Don't let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding. Because that moment? That's the moment when interesting begins."

And interesting is the gateway to wonder, which is the gateway to being alive.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Another great app: Grid Diary

When Tamara showed me Paper 53, she also showed me Grid Diary, another app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It is both things that the names says: it's a diary in a grid. You answer 8 questions about your day in any way you want. The cool thing is that you can use their questions, or choose others from their many suggested questions, or create your own questions, which I particularly like.

I do this as part of my Miracle Morning and I share it with two close friends, Brian and Sue. Brian shares his with me as well and so we have a sweet way of keeping tabs on each other. Here's my diary from Sept 4 to give you an idea. 

September 4, 2016

Weather: Sunny

Mood: Happy

When did I express my creativity today?

Worked on two paintings
Editing Gayle's novel

How did I connect with others?

Chatting with Mel
Talking with a sales clerk
Phone call with Diane

What in my day touched the Sacred?

Sitting outside while I journaled

How did I care for myself today?

Good food

What step did I take towards manifesting a desire?

Painted in the evening
Sought help for a technical problem

What did I enjoy today?

Editing that novel
Buying exotic magazines

What was I curious about today?

Getting the right shade of green mixed
Why the scanner isn't working even though it prints and copies

How engaged did I feel today?


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Shifting my relationship with perfectionism (again)

I've talked here before about my ongoing relationship with perfectionism. As an Enneagram One, that personality trait has a strong pull on me. I was surprised to learn that since I've never thought of myself as a perfectionist. Not me with my food spills and ink stains and wrinkled clothes and tattered books. But there are all kinds of perfectionists and the way it shows up most often for me is in not wanting to do things that I can't do well or in having expectations that people around me should do things my way.

While the first keeps me from making a fool of myself, it also kept me from playing with art-making for decades, joy that I'm sorry I lost. And I'm glad I've been able to set that aside, at least in the creative and art realm. The second piece causes me a lot of consternation because of course I can't control what anybody else does. So I've been thinking about both these things, neither of which serve me in a way I want.

And that's what I'm coming to in my relationship with perfectionism. I want it to serve me, not me serving it. I want to be able to use it to do my best, to work hard and be productive, to strive towards better painting and writing and editing skills. I want it to move me forward, not hold me back. I'm not sure yet how to do this, but I'm thinking on it. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Loving Paper 53

Paper 53 is an Apple-compatible app that lets you draw and paint on your iPad or iPhone or Mac. This summer my good friend Tamara Sorelli introduced me to Paper 53 and it's become my favorite activity when I'm waiting somewhere: stuck in traffic, doctor's waiting room, you name it. And I use it as part of my miracle morning.

You can draw on the screen with your finger or a stylus. It gives you four tools plus an eraser and a whole variety of colors and you can email them to yourself or a friend. Such fun! Here are couple of my quick draws.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Miracle Morning routine

My good friend Jean Barry mentioned the Miracle Morning book to me recently. Jean and I have participated in some powerful personal transformation workshops together and I trust her advice so I ordered the book. It's a quick read but it has a powerful message, for me anyway, about the value of starting your day with 30-60 minutes of activities that help you manifest your dreams and desires. Author Hal Elrod's point is that in order to do that manifesting, you have to become your best self and that starting your day off right is a terrific way to become that.

This idea syncs up well with my knowing that how I start my day has a huge impact on the whole day but I've struggled, like many of us do, with fitting it all in. Elrod's suggestion is that we create a 60-minute routine of six essential-to-us activities for 10 minutes each. That we get up early enough to do this before we need to prepare for the day. He also says you can 6 x 5 minutes if needed or 6 x 1 minute if needed, but carving that hour is something special and I am finding that's true.

Here's what my miracle morning looks like:

10 minutes of meditation (with a timer)
10 minutes of journaling
10 minutes of working with my current set of affirmations
10 minutes of reading something inspirational
10 minutes of stretching (this makes my physical therapist very happy)
10 minutes of drawing (this way I always get in a little creativity no matter what else the day bring)

By the end of the 60 minutes, I am awake, alert, centered and mellow. What could be better?

What would your six activities be?