One Lovely Blog Award

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eep! I’m so surprised and honored to have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Grace over at A Bowl of Cherries. I met Grace through Susannah Conway’s Blogging From the Heart course, and she’s shown constant support for my writing. (Thanks Grace!)

The guidelines for this award are as follows:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you for the award;
  • you must add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post, your blog or both;
  • you must share 7 facts about yourself;
  • and lastly, you must nominate 15 bloggers who you admire and consider “lovely.” Let the nominees know they have been nominated by commenting on their blogs.

So, seven facts about myself:

1. I started taking dance classes at the age of 3 1/2, and dance is still one of the activities I love most.

2. I’ve played the clarinet, the oboe (for a few weeks), the bassoon, and the organ. The bassoon was my longest running instrument, and the only piece I ever really mastered on the organ was the theme song for the TV show Happy Days.

3. My aunt recently asked me what I do for fun. I told her I read. She kind of scrunched up her forehead at me.

4. I have a very small biological family. My mom is an only child; I am an only child; and my dad has one sister, through whom I have two cousins.

5. I am childfree by choice.

6. Most days I don’t wear any makeup.

7. I don’t like beer. Or cilantro. And I got the flu after a rather large slice of blueberry pie many many years ago, and I still can’t stomach blueberries. I do, however, love pizza. Probably more than is appropriate.

Now for my nominations (alphabetically…):

Dara Hoffman-Fox: An acquaintance and former co-worker who has become a friend. Dara’s goal in this life is to make the world a better place for those who are transgender.

Gail Carriger: When I hear the word “lovely,” I think Gail Carriger. She’s also one of my favorite writers, who describes herself as “a tea obsessed NYT best selling steampunk author meets archaeologist meets fashion blogger.”

Half Moon: Elise is a fellow RootEd grad, and she regularly transfers our teachings to her blog.

In Full Blume: Daisy quotes Kahlil Gibran on her main page. Which I’m a sucker for. “And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”

The Kintz Factor: Carrie’s blog tagline is “We’re all stories in the end. — Doctor Who.” Enough said.

Lit/Rant: Kel reads more than anyone I know. Seriously. And she reviews much of what she reads here.

Lolalina: A lover of all things warm, cozy and creative, Laura recently started a “Follow Your Bliss Friday” series. Check it out!

Myth & Moor: Oh so lovely. Musings on mythic art and life.

Noema: Another contact made through Susannah’s course. Beautiful photos, poetry, reflections.

The Oat Project: Integrating the Wild, one adventure at a time. By my good friend Jené.

Rachel Naomi Remen: Rachel’s book Kitchen Table Wisdom is one of my all-time favorites. And though she’s been known for her work for many, many years, she just recently started blogging.

Return Yoga: Karin’s words speak to me each time she writes.

Tara Hedman: She’s a counselor who blogs, vulnerably.

A Thousand Shades of Gray: I discovered Jill’s blog through Susannah’s blogging course, but since then have come to learn she is friends with my dear friend and yoga teacher Jessica. (Which I find funny, because Susannah is in England, and Jessica is here in Colorado Springs.)

Sunshine & Silence: I feel like Tamsin and I are kindred spirits, and I appreciate every word she writes.

On thinking and meditation

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ome of my best thoughts come while meditating.

Yeah, I know. Those of you who’ve never meditated might say, “But I thought you’re supposed to clear the mind of thoughts when meditating.”

And, those of you who have meditated, whether briefly or for years, might say, “if you’re thinking, and thinking your best thoughts while you’re seated in meditation, you might not be able to count that as meditation.”

But hang in there with me. 

A few weeks ago I participated in a webinar with MDs Lissa Rankin and one of my all-time favorite authors, Rachel Naomi Remen. (Seriously, pick up Kitchen Table Wisdom. It changed my life, and might just change yours.)

Part of the webinar focused on identifying how our soul speaks to or guides us. Some of the ways that were discussed were internal signs, like persistent thoughts, dreams, or intuition. Others were external, such as somatic symptoms (illnesses), found objects, “coincidences,” and voices or visions.

As I sat through the webinar, I struggled with identifying the ways my soul speaks to me. And then after the next two mornings when I meditated, I noticed something.

And first, I should explain. To me, meditating is a process of allowing for thoughts to come to mind, acknowledging that you’re having those thoughts, then letting them go on their merry way. It is not a process of intentionally forcing thoughts out of the mind, nor is it a process of indulging and getting caught up in those thoughts. It’s a way to observe the thoughts you have and let them go. A way to recognize that you are not your thoughts. 

So, back to those post-webinar mornings. I noticed that my thought patterns run two ways.

First are the thoughts I’ll label the laundry list.

Gotta do the dishes today.

To do the dishes, I need to buy dishwashing detergent.  

Why’s the dog whining?

Is that meeting at 11 or noon?

Geez, my knee hurts.

These are the thoughts that I can acknowledge, then release, and come back to a quiet state. They can be annoying, and seem never-ending, but they’re harmless.

Then there are the thoughts that niggle. And return. And return. And return.

Sometimes they return in one session. Sometimes they return morning after morning after morning.

These are the thoughts I’m learning to take note of. To differentiate from the laundry list thoughts. And to acknowledge them in a different way — to sort of “mark with a star” in my mind, then let go in order to come back to quiet. (I am still meditating after all — a process that’s becoming more fruitful than I ever anticipated.)

How does your soul speak to you?