Monday, August 22, 2011

Part Two - My Cheering Section

This is the optional second part to my previous post. I create my ideal family to be my private cheering section. I realize the irony of my photo selection. As a child I watched the Brady Bunch everyday after school, and not unlike many other kids I'm sure, I wished my family was like that idealized family. Only now with perspective and history can we see that the Brady Bunch was as flawed as the rest of us. It doesn't stop the desire for that ideal family, and here I will create mine, not very Brady, but to me, pretty damn awesome.
My Ideal Family and what - I think - they would say about me. 

Stephanie Robertson - gorgeous, gifted and generous from her core, with just a bit of naughtiness to make her even more wonderful.
Ruth is beautiful, stunningly so ( I don't have to make that one up, she said that to me this summer). Her eyes reflect years of journeying and the wisdom gained from it. She is soft and welcoming. I love it when she sings.

David Whyte - wise, insightful, and one damn sexy Irish poet.
Ruth looks deeply into life. She does not turn away when what she sees is frightening. She knows this is the path to find the gold coins, to find her gold coins. She has an openness and authenticity when she speaks.

Diane Gelder - my wished for mother, strong and soft, generous and kind, and funny. 
Ruth is simply a beautiful person. She's very funny and kind. She's interesting to talk to. She is compassionate and a fierce defender and advocate for those who need her. She is incredibly creative. 

Maggie Huscroft - my wonderful, wonderful beautiful friend, who I miss terribly
Maggie would sit with me and we would paint and listen to opera. then we might have some excellent food and a naughty laugh or two.

Rumi - I got to pick, right. no where did it say the person had to be currently alive... and if you don't know why I picked Rumi, go read his words...
Ruth will take the time to examine things deeply. Even when it is difficult, she reflects deeply about her thoughts and her actions.

Well, there they are - I would naturally have many, many more friends and relations, and we would have fabulous family get-togethers, but that would take pages and pages. I might just write them one day, it would be a wonderful reminder of the outstanding people I have had to privileged to know.

Wishcraft - Assets & "Objectivity"

EXERCISE 6: Seeing Yourself as Others See You
Accurate, perceptive praise is a rarity in our society.

This one was difficult. Here are my instructions - "Pick somebody you love and trust—a good friend, or your mate, lover, or child. Sit down with a pen and a piece of paper (no erasing!) and ask him or her to spend about three minutes telling you precisely what’s good about you. And you write it down, word for word. This is going to be your positive tape, so get it right."

I choose a good friend who knows all about my faults, and still insists on seeing my good side. What follows is not in real sentences because it was more a stream of consciousness from her. Here goes (and for the record I sat through this without any self deprecating remarks, you have no idea how difficult that was!)

  • I have amazing gifts, the way I see life and the difficulties it presents with humour, with wisdom. I have a quirkiness I inject, a hopefulness I project
  • David Whyte + Rumi + Life's Absurdities = ME
  • I understand life's paradoxes with humour and wisdom combined 
  • I bring this approach to my relationships, to my parenting, and to my extended family.
  • this makes me a very good parent, one who wants to connect with my children as they really are
  • I seek authenticity in relationships
  • I bring who I am to my relationships
  • I are who I are, I am authentic
  • I have worked hard to overcome difficulties, brought an order to my life. to do this takes a certain a Will, this is uncommon
  • I have insights and apply them to everyday living
  • it takes courage and self awareness not to avoid issues, I have this
  • I have an authentic fearlessness I express through poetry, art, photographs
  • I am gifted creatively
  • what I put out into the world takes a larger trust in the universe - I have this trust
  • I am generous and kind in community and with my children
  • I am caring with people
  • I use all the above skills when working with difficult people
  • I am hard working, creative and passionate
  • just because I am these things does not mean I do not have to struggle
Got to love that last one. I sat through all of this and just wrote. My smirking mouth and occasionally slightly rolled eyes did not completely comply with "sit quietly, listen and write, do not argue or interrupt."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wishcraft - Personal Style in Action

I've taken a break from this, but I'm back now. The next exercise is to write down 20 things I like to do (I stopped myself at 25) and then to look at each item and state how long it's been since you've done it, do you do it alone or with someone, is it planned or spontaneous, fast or slow, mind/body/and or spirit, is it free?, is it job related, and finally does  it involve physical risk. I think it's safe to stay writing html code is NOT on my list, and that's why there is not a nice table listed below. I will say that on the table I wrote up by hand I seem to most enjoy things planned, slow things I do alone that involve my mind, don't cost too much and almost none had anything to do with my job! that said I do like to do many things with friends, and can be spontaneous (that kind of surprised me, that I wasn't more  spontaneous). Hapkido, and perhaps horseback riding were the only things that involved any risk - so much for my jaunty, devil may care outward appearance, which again surprised me, but when I thought about it really didn't.

so here is my list of things I like to do (note, I did figure out how to put in a numbered list

  1. ride horses
  2. paint - wall, canvases, objects, bodies...
  3. photograph - not a big surprise there
  4. edit and create photos
  5. draw (getting a theme here I think)
  6. read (action packed so far)
  7. dance (ha! one that is fast, with people and often spontaneous!)
  8. watch movies
  9. poetry, read, write, listen to....
  10. observe nature
  11. play with my dog - he's just so happy with whatever you do, how can you not love playing with someone who adores you and runs around like a total moron..
  12. hanging with my family (those who do not cause me grief, they get their own list) fortunately I love hanging with my kids and my aunt's family
  13. helping people - this is planned with things like the shelter and spontaneous when a friend in trouble calls me. it lets me give back some of the compassion others gave me
  14. sing - really, maybe I'll actually stop belly aching and work on my voice and join the choir... maybe
  15. get a massage - aaaahhh, if I were a better person I'd say I like to give a massage as much as get one, but I'm not, I'm an unabashed hedonist when it comes to foot rubbing and any sort of massage, LOVE IT
  16. music, music, music - I can't imagine life without it, although I don't generally have it playing constantly, I LOVE sitting quietly while someone plays piano or guitar
  17. driving fast with music - ah ha! somewhat risky behaviour, but I generally reserve this for the highway and when there is no one around, but boy do I love it, and  I  SING ;-)
  18. sit by a lake or ocean - this quiets my soul, my mind and let's me just be
  19. putter around - not glamorous, but to have a day where I putter here and there around the house recharges me, I'll be a great retiree, should I ever get the funds to do so - this also includes in the garden, but still with a slow puttering kind of pace
  20. activities with friends - I sometimes have to give myself a push out the door, but when I do I almost always have a great time, I have to keep reminding myself of this. otherwise I will become some creepy old recluse with too many cats when I am older
  21. talking to my kids - damn, I have raised some interesting people! I also taught them to think for themselves, I occasionally wonder at the wisdom of this....
  22. hug people - just because, when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm just chillin' as Graham would say
  23. Hapkido - god only knows why, but I am absolutely DRIVEN, I go 3,4 or 5 times a week, and get knocked down over and over and over, I feel clumsy, but I just keep going - and the bruises, I look like I've been beaten - oh, wait....
  24. yoga - which officially I LOVE and am great at, but I haven't been in soooo long, not sure why.... 
  25. rearrange things - this goes well with a putter around day. I like to change my space, in little ways, and occasionally big ways
so, there you have it. I'm not as daring as I thought I was, part of me wants to say I'm lazy, but I don't think that's the case, I think these 25 things allow me to think about myself, the world and how I want to be in it.

oh! how could I forget

   26. verbal banter - I get this from my family, and some friends. one man I fell in love with over his words, and then it turned out he was tall, handsome and rich, but it was not meant to be, alas.... I miss his words more than anything
   27. Roller Coasters!!!! weeeeeee! and one with personal risk, other people, FAST, but still mostly planned... (and very scary movies, which I count as very similar to roller coasters)