Monthly Archives: January 2010

on making a clearing*

red berries, Sonoma, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Several times a year, usually when I’m sick, I have one particular dark thought, or collection of thoughts I call the hospital fantasy. This happens when you are so overwhelmed with the doing, the worry, the speed and intensity of life that you just want to get off the ride for a while. In the fantasy, I am laid up with something (a sprained ankle?) and I get to finally rest. I am not responsible for anything and other people do things for me… I am aware of how irrational and inappropriate this thought is and I have learned to listen to what it is trying to teach me — slow down sister!

Soon enough though, I get better, the thought fades, and I go back to the way I do things, the way I’ve always done things — don’t stop, hurry up, do more, achieve, excel… And every once in a while, on a really good day, I get a glimpse of the truth. The veil is lifted and I see how driven I am by fear. I see the fire under my tail, how I will run and leap and conquer- the list, the house, even the fun, just to keep the beast at bay. And yet I am always behind somehow, reaching, reaching for something out there, some impossible thing I will never grasp.

Part of my soul work is to find balance, to create a well rounded life where rest, exercise, friends, food and joy are a natural part of my landscape. This cycle of work, get sick, fall behind on work, work harder, get sicker… I just can’t do it anymore.

And then I surf the internet and see what everyone else is doing – the blogs, (how do they write so often?) the Etsy stores, the books published… their pretty houses with dinner on the table every night… and the shame seeps in and the critical voices start howling in my ear. Hurry up, you’re falling behind, you’re blowing it, get your sh*t together…

And then I remember that wait, I am one of those people that others see this way. The superhero character that appears to have it all together, who is doing all that cool stuff (how does she have time for all of that?) and I see how all of these projections are a fiction, something I made up, something we all make up. It is the way we gather evidence, our proof that we are the ones who are not good enough.

It’s not true.

And I’m tired of living as if it is.

I’ve decided to take a break! and I am closing my jewelry shop until March (or perhaps longer) If you have taken the Mondo Beyondo course you might recognize this as my clearing. I am creating space in my life for more richness and more joy. I am creating space to create a home, to nurture myself, my marriage and my family. I am creating space to connect more with my spirit.

I am tired of being a doing machine.

Joy for Haiti*

Myriam and the moon, Oregon coast, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Okay guys. Myriam is ready for us to give! You can read Myriam’s story here, and donate by clicking the “ChipIn!” button. Her goal is to raise 30,000 dollars in the next few weeks and hand deliver these funds to her family’s community in Haiti. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to give in such a direct, powerful way.

I’m also moved that Myriam had “learn more about Haiti and my ancestry” on her Mondo Beyondo list from our first session. This dream is coming true in a profound and unexpected way. I know that this adventure in giving is going to be powerful in so many ways… thank you for being a part of it!


lemons, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Four seizures and a bout of pneumonia later, we are all on the road to recovery. Thank you for all of your wishes!

More about helping with Haiti coming soon…

Heartbreak, Haiti and the importance of connection*

This week has got me thinking about heartbreak.

It started on Tuesday afternoon when Ben had another febrile seizure. This one was particularly violent and we happened to be on the street when it happened. Couple that with the fact that Ben spit up his Martinelli’s sparkling cider at the same moment (making it look like he was foaming at the mouth) and you have me in full blown panic, my entire body shaking violently, matching his tiny little body shaking violently in my arms. Then there is me trying to breathe, checking to make sure he is breathing, asking someone to call the paramedics, feeling helpless and unbrave, alone and scared to death.

When I think about that scene, the moment that still brings me to tears is this one: There was a college student, about 20 years old, who appeared out of nowhere, looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m here to help.” At that moment I didn’t have a good job for him and the paramedics arrived shortly after, but this small act of kindness, of simply being with me in this moment was an incredible gift. He probably thought he wasn’t needed and wasn’t helping, but I actually wish he hadn’t disappeared when the paramedics arrived. I wish I could thank him for that small bit of kindness and connection.

Ben is fine. Or mostly fine for a boy who had a 103 temp this morning, another seizure, and is still coughing violently. Fine for a boy who is watching Dora right now, but who I feel I need to hover over, just to be sure… every tiny jerk of his body sending my own body into a vigilent kind of attention- like an electric shock or a cattle prod. 

What this has to do with Haiti

So while my own heart has been breaking in a thousand pieces the past few days, there has been the most unimaginable kind of heartbreak going on in Haiti. In the scariest moments of my own week, my mind keeps flashing to these other mothers and I get the tiniest window into their suffering. It’s almost too much too bear.

My friend Myriam., pictured above, has family in Haiti. She is understandably devastated and is calling on us, this wonderful community to help. Her goal is to raise 30,000 for her family and I know we can help. More info coming later today so that we can all donate whatever we can.

If there is anything that moment on the street taught me is that it’s easy to walk by, or to look horrified from a distance. We are afraid to get too close, or we just don’t know what to do. I get it. I don’t know what to do either. But I am grateful for this opportunity to give through Myriam. It is one way we can stand alongside these people and in our own way say, “I’m here to help.”

ATM: Always Trust Magic*

me and Jen Lemen, SF, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Amy Krouse Rosenthal just launched a new blog. I am in love… Check out her first mission here. It’s all about transforming the acronym ATM to mean Always Trust Magic.

What would you do?

hope notes, salted caramel donut, Four Barrel cafe, SF, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Now I know what Ben would look like as a girl*

Ben and his pal Sayana, iphone

Or if he went through a princess phase. This photo has provided me with endless giggles.

Word of the Year*

Have you picked your word of the year? Seems like the interwebs are abuzz with this idea and I love that it has taken a firm foothold over New Year’s Resolutions. I’m actually amazed that resolutions have stuck around so long. For most people they don’t work! and you know why? because they are all about deprivation. They remind us what’s wrong with us, what there is to fix. They tell us that if we were only more (fill in the blank) we would be happy/successful/a good person.

That’s the old way, right? Soooo 2009.

This is the year of the list. The Mondo Beyondo List, the word of the year, the year that we create intentions, follow our dreams, and let our passions and our joys guide us instead.

Let’s do this together. Here is a great tool to get you started:

Leonie’s Goddess Workbook: A beautifully illustrated, and more complete workbook that will be your companion in closing out the year (with great completion exercises) and a tool for visioning for the year to come.

I will be at a cafe this morning with my journal and favorite pen in hand. Hope you will join me! In the meantime, what’s your word for the year?

New Year’s Day Rituals*

I spoke with a friend today who told me about her New Year’s eve tradition. At the stroke of midnight (after kissing her loved ones) she bites into something extraordinary. This year it was her favorite chocolate. She wants the first thing she tastes in the year to be totally sweet and delicious. It’s a great affirmation for the coming year.

Another friend of mine hikes somewhere beautiful every New Year’s day. After many years of joining her and her family, I realized they passed this great tradition on to me. Matt and Ben and I hiked this morning, wandered through the trees and pet lots of dogs. Since I am often asleep at midnight (last night was no exception), I treasure my New Year’s day ritual of hiking somewhere beautiful.

What is your ritual for the New Year? Is there something you like to do? something you like to cook? a way you treat yourself?