:: Ten Things ::

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Ten things.  Right now.

  1.  See that sky?  That’s my sky, right now.  (well, a few minutes ago) (it was so beautiful) (and I wanted to share it with you)
  2. English Breakfast tea.  With coconut palm sugar.
  3. Christmas music.  Of course
  4. My worn, grey, wool sweater.  I wear it, um, almost all the time once winter arrives.
  5. Piles of things on my not-very-big desk.  Must tidy up.
  6. Despite the long list of to-do’s, there’s a feeling of peace within.  I like that very much.
  7. Thinking about the December Notes I sent out yesterday.  Thinking how much I like sending those.  Thinking about the way I move in this world.
  8. A belly that’s beginning to feel hungry.
  9. Hoping that my son wakes up without a sore throat this morning.
  10. Wanting to sit in the still-dim room once I click ‘publish’ on this post.  The house is quiet with both kids still sleeping.  Yes, I think I’ll do just that.  Sit.

 

 

What is your right now like?  It’s worth the pause.  I promise.

Sending a little love your way, m
***
p.s. it’s the first Friday of the month, which means my friend Barbara and I have a new pairing up at Tandem Echoes.  quotes + photos.  Click here to see.

 

 

Goodness and Gratitude (and Thanksgiving)

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On Thursday (tomorrow), folks in the United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  A day to count blessings.  And, surely, every day is a good day to count blessings.  But sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder.  Thanksgiving might be that reminder for some of us.

Having explored gratitude during Gratitude Week with so many of you, having explored life and self with some of you in Just Five Things…well, my heart is full.  I was witness to incredible compassion and beauty.  Blown away (yet again).

I have great faith in the goodness of humanity.  I see ugly things on the news (I know you do too) and sometimes I cry.  Real tears.  But I will always return to my belief that goodness underscores all.  It’s there.

This week, if you celebrate Thanksgiving…this week, if you do not celebrate Thanksgiving…celebrate the goodness around you.  It’s there; honor it.  Whisper a little prayer.  Give a big hug.  Bow your head or lift your eyes.

Take a moment and feel the goodness (the gratitude) move through your body.  Carry it with you.

Yes, good, carry on.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Happy goodness.
To you and you and you.

sending a little love your way, m

p.s. I’m sharing more thoughts (and more images) at ViewFinders. I hope you’ll have a peek.

 

(Not New) Lessons

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Lessons in living this week.  That’s what I keep thinking about.  Surely, there are lessons every week, every day, every minute.  But this week…well, it was a week.  I don’t talk politics in this space and, even with the mention of it there (twelve words back), that’s all I’ll do.  The word, the mention.  Because it’s heavy on our minds.  Across the globe.

My lessons this week (some of them) are to work hard here at home; my lessons begin with me.  To love my children and guide them.  To love my husband and extended family.  To love my friends.  To love those I don’t know.  To love those whose opinions are different from my own.

If I teach my children one thing (and, good grief, I hope I teach them more than one) (I think I already have) it will be to have an open heart and to show respect for everyone.  Okay, that’s two.  But they go together.  You cannot do one without the other.

I shared the above image on Instagram the other day.  And I paired it with these words.  Words I now share with you:

keep an open heart
maintain respect
listen carefully
extend compassion
keep going

These are not new lessons.  But they are lessons that turn up again and again and again.  I’m trying.  And, if you’re here reading this, I know that you’re trying too.  And I thank you.  Let’s do this.  All of us.

sending a little love your way, m

Gratitude Week {2016}

In years past, I’ve blogged daily for Gratitude Week.  This year, however, I’ve decided to post just once as we begin our week together.  I’m sending out Gratitude Notes each day and I’ll be posting daily on Instagram, but here I’ll post just once.  I encourage you to leave comments and/or links to your own blog posts and/or links to Flickr shots or Instagram shots on any day of the week! If you share your thoughts and links, we can visit and share your gratitudes with you. xo

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Here is some of what I’m grateful for, some of what fills my heart…

For the birch trees and the winds that blow through them.  For their yellowing leaves and the graceful way they fall to the ground.  For the swing that hangs from the leftmost birch tree and for the (still sort of little) girl who swings there.

For the garden which I’ll soon put to rest.  For the patience it teaches me.  For the blueberries.  For the onions.  For the cantaloupe.

For my desk, from which I write this.  For its worn top and warped legs.  For the support it offers as pen moves across page.  For the haven that it is.

For my children and my husband.  For our pup.  For my sisters and mother and step-father. For Daddy too.  For friends.  For kindreds.  For humankind. (we are a complicated species, are we not?  but I love us, have faith in us.)

For cookies and sourdough bread.  For tea.  For coffee.  For love biscuits and lemon pancakes.

For photography.  For words.  For art.  For love.

For those of you with whom I connect here, on Instagram, and in my e-courses. You are part of my journey.

Sending so much love today and this week, m

 

And you?  What are the gratitudes of your heart right now?

(remember you can post here all week long!)

I Said Yes

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They asked for biscuits and
I said yes
the flour, the butter, lots of butter,
the egg, the milk,
the salt, the sugar, the baking powder
the mess on the counter
some spilling to the floor.

There’s no substitute for
biscuits made by hand (which equals love)
maybe not good for the body but
terrifically good for the soul.

Someday they won’t ask me
for biscuits though maybe
they’ll make them on their own
and maybe the flour will spill to their floors
and maybe they’ll remember the days
they asked me to make biscuits
and how I said yes.

 

Sending a little love, m

 

***Gratitude Week starts next Monday!
Read about this free offering and sign up here.

***Just Five Things begins in less than two weeks!
I hope you’ll sign up here.

:: Randoming ::

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Some random things.

These water soluble crayons.  Because color.  Sometimes I forget, but then I remember.  Just the other day, I remembered how much fun these are.

This post about self-care via shifting our thoughts.

I love when certain foods remind me of dear friends.  This dish does that for me.  (thinking of you, B)

This is surprisingly nice.  (thanks, A)

I love using these as my desktop display.

If you fancy a little read of mine, here’s a post on sibling relationships and here’s one on creativity.

For the love of books.

 

Hope you have fun clicking!
Sending a little love your way, m

***
Gratitude Week begins Monday, October 31.  Sign up here for the Gratitude Notes I’ll be sending out (they’re free!)

Registration for Just Five Things is open.  We start November 7 and I can’t wait!!!

Comfort Zone (Out of)

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Let’s talk comfort zone.

My husband is a runner.  Me, not so much. Every year, our family runs a local 5K around Thanksgiving, a Turkey Trot. Long story short, I’ll be running with my daughter this year. At eleven years of age, she’s…well, she’s fast. Last year, I ran the 5K with her and it was fine; I can run a ten-minute mile without a problem. But, darn it, she got bigger and faster over the last year and it looks like she’ll be shaving a few minutes off her time. Which means I need to step up my game. I don’t love running, only do it halfheartedly in the interest of exercise. I’m not into speed and I’m not competitive (at least not in this realm).   But my sweet little girl went out on a run with my husband last weekend and he told me afterward how steady she was. How fast.

Uh oh.

And so this week I began running with new intent. I began pushing myself, just a little. Because I want to be able to run with my girl, and I’d like to do it without gasping for air or puking as I cross the finish line (okay, perhaps exaggerating that second part). So no more halfhearted. I’m All In. I’ve had three good runs this week. I feel motivated. I’m also aware that I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone.

Which is good. That’s often where the growth is.

I think it’s time to get a little uncomfortable creatively as well. I’ve felt quiet lately. Not exactly unmotivated to write or photograph. But quiet, and not doing much of either. I’ve been allowing this to be so, because sometimes stepping away from something brings clarity, brings space. But I’ve been stumbling upon telling passages in books and magazines; I’ve been listening closely to conversations I’m having with people. And some messages about stepping outside my creative comfort zone keep coming my way.

I’m not comfortable sharing these messages right now (let’s not get too carried away with this out-of-the-comfort-zone thing). But I will tell you that I’m listening and I might be close to stepping. I will tell you that I know what it is to feel vulnerable and unsure. I will tell you that I know what it is to feel simultaneously excited and scared shitless. And I wonder if you know this too. I bet you do.

Comfort zone. It’s so…comfortable. But a little stretching, a turn down a new path, a little more openness…it’s sometimes hard to initiate, but once we do…well, there’s no more complacency, there’s no more halfheartedness; there’s only All In.  Which is good.

Are you in?

Sending a little love your way, m

***
Don’t forget to sign up for Gratitude Week love notes here!
And remember that Just Five Things will immediately follow Gratitude Week.  Check it here.

 

 

Five on a Tuesday + a Giveaway

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I like my lists.  I know you know.  When I just need to get something (anything) down, lists are how I fill my page.  Yes, the to-do lists (there’s always a current to-do list). But the other lists.  The ones for gratitude, the ones for right now, the ones for dreams.  I like the way lists tell a story.

If I write a list of five things for my Tuesday morning, here’s what comes to mind:

  1. a sunny and cool autumn walk with my favorite girl and our pup
  2. gratitude for being home this morning
  3. a hot cup of tea and then toast for me and waffles for the kids
  4. reading with the kids and the discussion that ensued
  5. tissues and tea and a longing to lay down (I’ve got a cold ;)

It’s simple, this list.  But it captures the morning perfectly for me.  It’s a little story for this Tuesday.  My story.

And now the giveaway part…I’ve got an upcoming run of Just Five Things starting in November and I’d like to invite you to join me.  You can read full details about the class by clicking here (dates for the class are November 7 – November 20).

In order to celebrate the opening of registration, I’m hosting a giveaway this week. Hooray!  Two spots in the class.  To enter the giveaway, share a few things you might list for your day.  You don’t have to write five.  You could write one.  Or ten.  As you wish.

Comments will close Sunday, October 9 at midnight PST.  I’ll announce the winners back here, in this post, on Monday.  Comments are now closed.  The two winners, selected at random are:  Heidi Johnson and Betty Tusing.  Congrats, ladies + I’ll be sending you an email shortly!  

Thanks to all of you who played along.  I enjoyed reading what each of you shared; so many things listed brought a smile to my face.  (And if you didn’t win…and, really, I wish you could all win…send me an email reminding me that you played along in the giveaway and I’ll send you a discount code to use for class registration).  xo

I can’t wait to read your lists stories.

Sending a little love your way, m

 

p.s. hey, it’s almost time for Gratitude Week!
Click here for details :)

The Overlap

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This morning, in between good morning kisses and starting the laundry and emptying the dishwasher and making pumpkin bread and helping the kids with their schoolwork and proofreading my October Notes (to go out tomorrow) (what, October already?!)…yes, in between and among all of that, there came a moment when I picked up the camera and turned the lens on me.

Because I needed to pause.  And I wanted to remember.

I wanted to remember the patches on these jeans and the slippers on my feet and the coffee in my mug and the kids close by and the rain falling and the pumpkin bread baking.  I wanted to remember that first things first, and second things second, and that I can create pauses in between the first and second (and third).

I wanted to remember to look in my niece’s eyes when she was talking to me (yes, we’re so lucky to have one of my nieces staying with us this week).  I wanted to remember to sit on the floor next to my daughter and let her show me the map she’s drawing to pair with her current fantasy writing.  I wanted to remember that, even though my son is fifteen, he still needs me for proofreading and pumpkin bread and hugs.

I wanted to remember this Friday morning as a continuation of yesterday and a preparation for tomorrow.  I wanted to remember.  And so I turned the camera and I made the shot.  And I felt at peace.  At peace in that pause.  At peace in the midst of our love-filled home.  I’m so grateful for the life that is mine.

There are things I need to do.  And there are things I want to do.  And sometimes (in fact, I think quite often) the two overlap.

That, my friends, is what I wanted to remember.

Wishing you a happy Friday.  Wishing you a weekend full of remembering and pausing and generally feeling good.

Sending a little love your way, m

 

p.s. hey, it’s almost time for Gratitude Week!
Click here for details :)