If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

Posts tagged ‘new year’

A Month of Presence

I made little quote notebooks for family and friends this year.This is the letter I enclosed with each book:

I really like quotes, but often wonder what others’ words mean for me. Here are some ways I attempt to satisfy my curiosity.

1. Read one in the morning as a morning meditation.

2. Consider connections when first reading it.

3. Write it over and over. (Remember learning spelling words that way?)

4. Go through the day watching for examples of the quote. (Like when hearing a new word or idea and suddenly it’s everywhere.)

5. Come back to the quote at the end of the day. Do a ten minute free write using it as the prompt. (Set a timer. Put pen to paper and write. Don’t edit. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Just write what comes up.)

The following is from the blog I used to write, itstartedwithaquote.wordpress.com.

“The entire universe is within us. My answers are inside of me, and yours lie within you, too. Everything that seemingly happens externally is occurring in order to trigger something within us, to expand us and take us back to who we truly are.”  Anita Moorjani

In the little notebooks I wrote the following month’s worth of quotes.

1. Write it on your heart that each day is the best day in the year. Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. Mary Oliver

3. Follow what you love and it will take you where you need to go. Natalie Goldberg

4. All creation teaches us some way of prayer. Thomas Merton

5. It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. Attributed to Harry S. Truman

6. There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one you in all time, this expression is unique. Martha Graham

7. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt

8. The most sophisticated people I know–inside they are all children. Jim Henson

9. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. Rumi

10. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. Rachel Carson

11. I believe that when we ask to be led, we are led, and there’s nothing too small or esoteric for spiritual help. Julia Cameron

12. In a gentle way, you can shake the world. Mahatma Gandhi

13. The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. Thomas Merton

14. The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. Joseph Campbell

15. If you want to be incrementally better, be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better, be cooperative. Unknown

16. To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind that to be hopelessly in love with spring. George Santayana

17. You’ve got to keep the child alive; you can’t create without it. Joni Mitchell

18. Their story, yours and mine–it’s what we carry with us on this trip we take, and we owe it to each other to respect our stories and learn from them. William Carlos Williams

19. Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand. Sue Patton Thoele

20. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

21. Every survival kit should include a sense of humor. Author unknown

22. Those who wish to sing will always find a song. Celtic proverb

23. Wherever we go, we take everything we’ve ever known with us whether we know it or not. Maya Angelou

24. Always walk through life as if you have something to learn and you will. Vernon Howard

25. As long as you live, keep learning how to live. Seneca

26. The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away. Pablo Picasso

27. Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. Marianne Williamson

28. Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is. Francis Bacon

29. It was in the 1920s when nobody had time to reflect, that I saw a still-life painting with a flower that was perfectly exquisite, but so small you really could not appreciate it. Georgia O’Keeffe

30. Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others. Marion Wright Edelman

31. A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. Thomas Carruthers



De Clutter

Where did all this stuff come from? How did this house get so cluttered? I’m the only one who lives here now. Did I make this mess all by myself? How embarrassing.

The house I grew up in was a tribute to 57 years of family living. The dance recital costume that fit when I was five. My brothers’ toy box full of little plastic army men. Mother threw away nothing. After she died I looked at my own home of 25 years with a critical eye and an intention of “not being my mother.”

That was two years ago.

On Friday floor installers will come to replace my living room and hall carpet with wood laminate. My task this weekend was to clear them out. Argh. I started on the living room only to have it lead to the six connected to it. And we’re talking closets here too. OMG.

I’ve spent a lot of time working on decluttering my inner world. Looks like it’s time to work on this chaos around me for a while. Balance, I tell myself, as I take another bag of trash to the curb.

Now where do I put these things?

Now where do I put these things?

Letting the Muse Work

I figure a day of staying in and letting the muse be in charge might not be the norm and, sure enough, yesterday I need to drag myself back into the “real world.”

Jazzercise at 8 in the morning?  I want to stay in my nice warm bed.  But an hour of moving around to music gives me energy.  Muse, is that you?

A 10 o’clock appointment with my financial adviser doesn’t sound real exciting.  What do I need with a financial adviser?  She asks what’s new with me and I start babbling.  Telling her my dreams.  She listens and asks questions and suggests some tweaking to my annuities, taking some of the worry of future finances.  Is Terry a friend of my muse?

Then a quick run to Target for a planner for the new year…and thirty minutes of dawdling through the arts and crafts aisles.  Muse?

Ah, back at home to finish the new Barbara Kingsolver book, Flight Behavior.  (Highly recommended)  But somewhere in the middle of butterflies and cultural diversity I realize I’m not making art.

Was about my new year’s resolution?

I climb out of my  recliner, pick up my camera and head to the writing room.

Here’s some art I made…just not recently.  Today is art appreciation day.

near the ceiling, a snowflake border...no two alike

near the ceiling, a snowflake border…no two alike

My new year’s resolution is to pay attention.  My muse is everywhere.

I’m not in control of my muse. My muse does all the work.  Ray Bradbury

You Can’t Use It Up

paperdollsAs I work on my little ring of paper dolls, I think of the circles of women I’m so lucky to have around me.  However, half way through this happy project, I want to make black eyed peas and cabbage for New Years.  And those green tomatoes that are beginning to turn redthat I want to fry.

peasandcabbage Between these creative activities I work on bookmarks for next week’s book club, as Netflix streams the first season of Downton Abbey.  I’m glad I have had an unscheduled day to follow this energetic muse.

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.   ― Maya Angelou

Yikes!! That kinda scares me.

Listening to Learn

Learning to Listen

Listening for Lessons

A Teacher and her Writing Practice

Writing Is My Drink

slake your thirst; find your voice


~ creative ideas for making a difference ~

...the house I live in...

A journal of life pursued