Monday, August 27, 2012

Wisdom from the Road

"Stay calm, nothing is under control." --Lynnet McKenzie

The theme of the month has been "Wisdom from the Road" - quotes gathered on our family road trip this summer. Today's quote is wisdom from someone else's road trip.

Lynnet McKenzie is the founder of "Opening to Ecstasy," She recently left her home and most of her possessions behind to take off in search of the unknown. Just her, her partner, her son, their dog and a mini-van on the road, looking for their next Divine Assignment.

The lessons have been many, but this is one that resonated with me.

How often we strive to get things "under control" only to realize that this is not always possible, not always within our power. Yet, we struggle and fight to try and make it so.

This is the true wisdom of the road. We are not in control. If we can stay calm in the wake of that realization, we can come to understand that The Universe that is wants nothing but what is truly for our highest and best good and wants nothing more than to bring us all the good we didn't even know that we wanted.

Stay calm, nothing is under control. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wisdom from Black Elk

"Know the power that is peace." --Black Elk, from the visitor's center at the site of Custer's Last Stand

There are certain places on this earth that seem to carry the energy of the things that happened there: my grandparents' farm in Iowa, the former site of the Twin Towers, the city of Paris.

The site of Custer's Last Stand, or The Battle of Little Bighorn is like that. Bleak, hot (on the day we were there), and preternaturally quiet, there is no doubt that this is a place where serious things happened. Where battles were fought and won, mistakes were made and men died. Where the hope of a people rose and then fell again....

In the midst of all this are these words from Black Elk, the famous Medicine Man of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux), who fought in the Battle of Little Bighorn when he was just twelve years old. Whose hopes no doubt rose on this day, but fell after the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.

What does it mean to have peace under extreme circumstances? When your land has been taken away by force and trickery, when your way of life has been destroyed by foreign invaders?

This was the question I asked myself as we drove across Indian reservations and visited the site of Wounded Knee (a place that also carries the energy of what happened there, in this case, the energy of sadness and defeat tinged with a little bit of hope). How do you move on from something like this? How do you create something positive in the wake of such loss?

I have no answer, but the power of peace seems to be a good place to start. In our country and in our own lives.
 

Friday, August 17, 2012

WRITE YOUR LIFE MINI SERIES - SESSION 1

Wow! What a great group of writers - 21 in all! - showed up on Wednesday to write their lives at East West Bookshop. I enjoyed getting to know you all and hearing about the role writing plays in your lives and where you would like to go from here.

If you couldn't make the first session, here's what you missed:

  1. For a bit of inspiration we read Dear Sugar's column "Write Like a Motherfucker."
  2. Then we each wrote our own "Dear Sugar" letter, to Sugar or our favorite advice columnist, about what we felt was the main thing holding us back right now or what we needed advice on to move forward in our lives.
  3. After a time of sharing, we came back to our journals, put on our advice columnist caps and wrote back to ourselves with some objective, kind and compassionate advice. (ADVICE TO MYSELF)
  4. Putting our advice columnist hats away, we shifted focus to Part Two of our mini-session: RELEASING YOUR STORY. In this section of class, we focus on letting go of past hurts so that we can truly write our lives from a place of strength and freedom. To do this we use the technology of Radical Forgiveness as taught by Colin Tipping
  5. To get started, we read The Five Stages of Radical Forgiveness. Then I introduced the homework exercise, called The Three Letters Process. After a somewhat lively discussion on forgiveness, I asked everyone to think of the person they most need to forgive right now in order to make space for the life they want to live. THIS is the person to use when doing the homework this week.

HOMEWORK:
  • Write like a MOTHERFUCKER
  • Try and Take Your Own Advice
  • Do the Three Letters Process with the person you have chosen to forgive.  

We will meet again next week on Wednesday, August 22nd at 7:00 PM at East West Bookshop. See you then!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wisdom from Dubois, WY

"If we share what we have, we will all have enough." --Opportunity Shop brochure from Dubois, WY

My great aunt lives in Dubois, WY and I have always wanted to go there. On this trip, we made that happen.

One of our stops was the "Opp Shop," as it is known in town, a thrift store that my aunt helped to found as a non-profit that benefits the local community.

This quote rings so true to me and yet I know that like many profundities of life, it can be hard. Hard to believe. Hard to trust. Hard to truly live. But I am trying....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WRITE YOUR LIFE in One Week!

This is it! Only one week to go until we are going to write our lives together. Are you signed up yet? If not, click here to sign up. Hope you can join us! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wisdom from Hungry Horse, Montana

"We don't trust ourselves. We need to trust ourselves. Women especially." --Night Manager at the Mini Golden Inn in Hungry Horse, MT

My family and I recently got back from a nearly month-long road trip. It was an amazing adventure and we are enjoying a little "down time" back home before the onslaught of supply lists and school shopping ensues.

For the next few weeks I will be sharing some "Wisdom from the Road," quotes that I picked up on our trip.

This first one is courtesy of the night manager at the Mini Golden Inn in Hungry Horse, Montana where we stayed on our way to Glacier National Park.

She asked me for my license plate number and I went out to check, despite that fact that I already knew it. When I told her that she said, "We don't trust ourselves. We need to trust ourselves. Women especially." And I knew we had come to the right place.