Tag Archives: friends

Reverb11: How did your passion inspire you?

2 Dec

The Ood (Doctor Who)How did your passion inspire you?

It’s almost a cliche  to talk about find your passion or living your dreams, but in 2011 people who have chosen to follow their passion, wherever it leads them were my biggest sources of inspiration.

For people guided by their passion, their dreams are their priority, and that is reflected in every decision they make.  In Doctor Who there is a race called the Ood.  The Ood have two brains: the typical brain that resides in the head, and an auxiliary brain that they hold in one hand.  Holding part of your brain in your hand tends to make you vulnerable, which may make the Ood the patron race for living your passion.  Your dream is out there, being held in your hand, for everyone to see.  You’re leaving that passion open to the scrutiny and criticism of anyone who cares to look.  It’s a scary, scary thing.

However, living in pursuit of your dream means you always have a joyful guide.  If your actions will bring you closer to that dream, that’s all it takes to know you’re on the right path.  Priorities become clear and life simplifies itself.  (Which is not to imply that it becomes easy.)  The Ood do not have names because they are one; living your dream will help you find and recognize where you belong, leading you to the people you are already one with.

It’s easier to be guided by what we “should” do rather than what we’re passionate about.  It’s easier to pursue “should” instead of our dreams.  It’s easier to let what we think we “should” do write our core story than it is to rewrite it ourselves.  What are you passionate about?  What’s first step to living that dream?

Reverb11: Yours, Mine, Ours

1 Dec

To the surprise of no one, Gwen Bell announced that there would be no official Reverb11 this year.  I’m disappointed — that was an excellent exercise for me.  However, it was an excellent exercise for me, so I’m going to do it again this year.  I wrote 31 prompts and I’m excited to start ending 2011.

Despite writing new prompts for myself, I want to begin this project with a nod to Reverb10.  Today’s prompt comes from Kaileen Elise:

Where did 2011 begin?

Skiing is my big passion, so every year I eagerly wait for cold weather and snow so I can gleefully slide down a mountain.  The year never really feels complete until the ski season ends, and this year that was especially true.

This year I was working as a ski instructor in the morning and cooking at night, leading to 60-70 hour work weeks, so the first third of 2011 is largely a sleep-deprived blur.  However, by May the weather was finally too warm for the snow to hold up and Tahoe’s amazing 2010/2011 season came to an end.  My year began a week later when I performed my end-of-season ritual with my roommate.  That ritual pushed us from roommates to friends and hit the reset button for me, so my year began.  I moved to Spokane within the week.

I’ve spent this year working to find my place here, trying to define my identity so clearly that I can take it anywhere without feeling like I’m starting over.  I’m re-evaluating and rebuilding my core story, examining my beliefs and making room for a little more faith in myself, a little more self-compassion.  It has not been an easy year, but last December I recognized that I had a lot of work to do if I wanted to change my life.

I’m not sure when 2012 will begin or how 2011 will end, but I do hope that I end 2011 with copious amounts of gleefully sliding down a mountain and begin 2012 feeling love and compassion for a new friend.

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How do you end the year?  Are you participating in a reincarnation of Reverb or some other project?  Share the links in the comments.


My Internet Dependency Is Okay!

22 Nov

Besides, I stopped using the internet for escapism years ago.

I essentially went a week without the internet when my computer died.  (I did have my Ipod Touch, but I used it sparingly because I couldn’t charge it.)  During that week I caught myself thinking that I should be just fine without the internet and wondering if it was healthy to be so dependent on technology.  It was an interesting insight to an aspect of my core story that I haven’t really examined yet: apparently I think the internet (all of the internet, no exceptions) is nothing but a means of escapism and I should be strong enough not to need it.

This is exactly why I’m rewriting my core story.  Now that I’ve brought that belief into the light I can see it for the craziness and hypocrisy that it is.  Obviously there are plenty of ways to waste time online, but just as obviously that’s not all that’s possible and that’s certainly not all that I do with the internet.  I use the internet because it is a useful tool.

I also realized that I’d unwittingly picked that idea up from a few friends and family members who feel intimidated by computers and the internet and that makes them feel a little insecure.  They’re dealing with their own “shoulds” on the matter, and their disparaging comments are a means of justifying their choice not to use these tools, not a criticism of me or my actions.

No one has ever suggested that I am too dependent on these things; I intercepted their self-talk and internalized it and let it influence me.   I don’t need to feel insecure about my enthusiasm for all the internet has to offer; it’s a useful tool, and I’m very happy I have a beautiful new machine to enjoy it with.

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What messages have you intercepted and internalized?  Have they helped you or hindered you?

Who Do You Wish To Have Cocoa With?

8 Nov

I Love Hot Cocoa on a Snow Day

Wishcasting Wednesday: Who Do You Wish to Have Cocoa With?

I have been lucky enough to ski with a lot of incredible skiers over the years, and even luckier to have skied with some very generous ski instructors.  The ski season is approaching, and I’ll be at a new resort this year, meeting new people.  However, I’ll miss sitting around the fire (or bar, depending) with my cocoa, talking shop with my former (and hopefully future) instructors.

I appreciate all the advice and encouragement I’ve received over the years.  Their support and even love have always let me know that I belonged in the chairlift, that I was on the right path.  I wouldn’t be the same skier or the same instructor without them, and I hope everyone has a great season this year.

Let it snow.

Announcing My Second Childhood

28 Oct

LEGO!I’ve decided to make 2012 my second childhood and I’m excited about it; this seems like an excellent tool to help me rewrite my core story.  I have two major goals that I hope to accomplish: learning to have more fun and building better friendships.

Turning my two original goals into a core story changing project will make me more productive; instead of just tackling those two things, I’ll be able to fit in many tasks under the umbrella of a second childhood.  I’m going to want to buy some new bedding in the next several months —  every child needs that special blankie to help her sleep, so what bedding does my inner child want?  Can she have some pillows too?

Neither of those goals excite me on their own, but now that I’ve packaged them as a year long opportunity to return to childhood, I am just bursting with ideas.  I’m trying to remember the things I loved from being a child so I can use them to achieve these goals.  I have ideas for trips and activities, I have book lists, I have toys I want to buy.  I’m glad I’m giving myself an entire year, because there is so much potential here.

* * *

I’m very excited about this project, and I’ll write a more detailed post when it’s closer to 2012.  For now, I would love to hear about your favorite activities as a child.  What did you love?

Seeds Planted #5

17 Oct


“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Every week we plant seeds, small actions that may someday become mighty sunflowers.  These are the seeds I planted this week:

  1. A job interview.  It’s just a part-time weekend job for some extra cash, but I think it went well.
  2. I called a friend and asked for help.  I hate asking for help, but not only will he be able to do so, talking to him left me feeling very good.
  3. I started using StumbleUpon, which is both entertaining and useful.
  4. I remembered my stepdad’s birthday!  I always forget, but this year we had a nice chat.

I also did a little watering and weeding of previous seeds:

  1. I tweaked my posting schedule a bit.  By the way, I’m still looking for guest posts.
  2. I’m still using my breaks at work to make progress on my own projects.
  3. I’m sticking with The Artist’s Way and being diligent about my morning pages.
  4. I’m tweeting regularly.  I typically go in fits and starts, but I’ve been much better about it recently.

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What seeds did you plant this week?  What projects did you tend to?  Remember, it’s all connected, so anything counts.

Scary New Ideas

6 Oct

I just learned about an unexpected change in my core story: I want to connect to other people.  I want to build close and even romantic relationships.

I’ve always been very comfortable being alone and my innate social skills are…lacking, (It’s a chicken and egg type thing — did I learn to enjoy being alone because I lacked the skills to be around others, I did I fail to learn social skills because I enjoyed being alone too much to be bothered?) so wanting meaningful relationships is new to me.  I do have some wonderful friends, but mostly due to showing up and luck.

I just managed to put everything together and realize that I want to connect to others, so I’m not yet certain how to proceed.  I think I’ll start by being more selective about the people I spend time with; I don’t think learning to connect will be easy, so I’m going to need to start with some exceptional people.  Building on the existing connections I have with my friends sounds like a good first step, and I’d like to ask their help in vetting people for me to try to connect with.

As I learn and things get easier, I think I’ll be able to be less selective and more open and eventually outgrow the need for vetting.  Right now though, asking my friends for help with this project is a sign of progress for me.  Asking for help is a form of vulnerability, and I’m not good at being vulnerable.  Unfortunately, the ability to be vulnerable is a direct measure of the depth of my connection to them.  In order to learn to be good at connecting to others, I need to learn to be okay with being vulnerable.

This is scary, but I think it’s necessary.