What’s working for me this week – November 15, 2016

​ Sometimes it seems as though every time I sit down to write, it turns into something heavy, even ponderous. One of the dangers of being quite introverted and introspective is losing myself in the depths of things. I could spend an entire morning pondering on the significance of a three minute conversation.  While this practice sometimes lends me insight, if I lean too hard into it, it becomes like trying to swim with cinderblocks tied to my ankles.  I’ve become a semi- expert in self care over the last couple years, learning to recognizing what I need most and implementing it into my life as soon as I can until I feel more myself again. Self care helps me […]

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Reading is my Super Power

​One of my favorite things to talk about is books .  I love them. They help me understand the world, escape the world, relate to other cultures and understand myself.  Often times they help me feel not-so-alone. I cannot actually remember a time when books weren’t part of my life. They are part of my very earliest memories. Growing up I mostly read fiction, all the fiction, as much fiction as I could lay my hands on. Even now I am always reading at least one fiction book (yes, I read more than one book at a time, a propensity which I sometimes far over reach). It’s not until the last ten years or so that I began to really […]

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Choosing the Right Thing

I originally wrote this for the Middle Places blog in 2015, following the Supreme Court ruling to legalize gay marriage. Foolishly, I did not believe anything in my lifetime would be more polarizing for the nation or for the Church. I was wrong, as I am about many things.  But I still believe in the power of Love.  I hope those who read these words will see them not as an “I’m right; you’re wrong” judgement, but as an invitation to be better than what we have all been to each other over the last few days. May we know we are Loved, and may we spill that love into every person we meet. Selah. Last week I wrote about […]

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The Healing Power of Huevos Rancheros: random thoughts on politics, spirituality and hygge

​ I’m hibernating this weekend. Hibernation is certainly nothing new in the world, grumpy bears have been doing it since the beginning of beardom, but for me, hibernation is a rather new concept. What started as mental health withdrawal from social media has morphed into a withdrawal from society some three or four days a month.  Basically, I stockpile groceries, shotgun the errand list, put on pajama pants and refuse to leave the house or answer the phone for a long weekend.  What can I say? I love being home. This weekend finds me more like a grumpy bear than ever – I may or may not have told a good friend yesterday that I no longer like anyone on […]

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Hello, June: A Rebirth of Words and Hope

Hello June

It hasn’t felt like summer until this week, not only physically but spiritually. I generally look forward to summer as space to breathe,  think and relax, to stretch out like a cat in the sun – again both physically and spiritually. But this year has felt different with house guests and graduations and parties and weddings and obligations galore, filling in the margins and spilling over on the next day’s pages. I even spoke, alone, for twenty minutes to room full of people and did not die. Life has been wonderfully good, overwhelmingly emotional and very outside my comfort zone –which as we all know is curled up quietly in the hammock with a book. But here we are in […]

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A Year in the Dark

A Year in the Dark

“To pretend that we can get to helping, generous and brave without navigating through tough emotions like desperation, shame and panic is a profoundly dangerous and misguided assumption.” –Brene Brown, Rising Strong   I spent last year in the dark. For a few weeks, I’ve been looking back over the year with a semi-objective eye, trying to determine if it was all necessary, or if it was simply an unhealthy wallow in messed-up, battered regrets .  I’ve been circling around it, poking its soft underbelly and trying to sneak up on it when it wasn’t looking, hoping it would reveal its true nature. I’ve finally come to this conclusion: Sometimes we must walk through dark places and there is no […]

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Learning to Sit with Pain

Learning to sit with pain

Sometimes when we are wounded very deeply, we learn to hold on to the false hope that there are things we can do to shield us from being hurt again.  It happened to me. There are moments and feelings I remember with breath-taking immediacy, as sharp as if they were just happening: Being so ashamed I closed all the blinds and made excuses not to leave the house, not even wanting to meet people’s eyes. Realizing I was so cut off, so effectively bound by silence that I couldn’t even attend the wedding of my best friend’s son. Walking away from entire communities of people because the few ties to what happened made my grief and pain unwelcome. Believing that […]

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What is the Uncommon, Good Life?

What is the Uncommon, good life and why you want to read about it.

Yesterday I shared about a new vision for this space: searching for the uncommon, good life.  To be very clear, my grammarian friends, I do not mean an uncommonLY good life, but a life which is both an uncommon life and a good one. These are the two themes around which all my reading, all my study, all my efforts and dreams seem to revolve. What is an ‘Uncommon’ Life? An uncommon life is one which doesn’t have it’s roots popular culture.  I used to call this “the American dream,” but to use those terms interchangeably insults what was once a relatively noble ideal, though we could spend all day arguing whether the ideal was implemented with any nobility, or […]

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In search of the Uncommon, Good Life

Uncommon Good Life

Have you ever had an idea but no concept of how to begin? Have you ever felt you could see a thing, in fact you could almost touch it, but no matter how you stretched and grasped, you only barely brushed it with your finger tips, but never really grasped it?I’ve felt this way for several years, but over the last month, it feels like I may get my hands around it at last.My husband and I spent last weekend away. Over the three days, we stayed in two distinctly different locations. We stayed the first night in a small, no frills hotel room.  It was very nearly a micro-efficiency, boasting a tiny, but full, kitchen, a large closet and […]

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Welcome, New Year

How to Welcome New Year

Last night I flitted around the house, opening doors, kissing my husband and children, being inappropriately loud and enduring the disdain of dogs and humans. No one in my house welcomes New Year quite like I do. Remember how the world felt on Christmas morning when you were little? How you’d creep out from your room and peek into the living room to see what was hidden by the light of the tree? Maybe you didn’t do this, but I did. Every year without fail, even after the heartbreak of learning my beloved Santa was only make-believe, I’d sit and stare at the gifts, turning some over and over in my hands, wondering and waiting, anticipating what the early morning […]

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