Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Sorry Not Sorry

I'm sorry I keep pointing you towards Brené Brown's podcast, Unlocking Us, but I'm not that sorry.* I've appreciated every episode. Brené recently interviewed one of my very favorite writers, Sue Monk Kidd, and I can't wait to read her newest book, The Book of Longings.

The episode that dropped today is Part One of two-parts on the subject of apologizing. She interviews Harriet Lerner, and they discuss the book, Why Won't You Apologize: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts. Their episode, I'm Sorry: How to Apologize & Why it Matters, is deep, funny, helpful, vulnerable, and you'll never shop for bananas the same way again. 

* Big apology no-no, using "but"

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Baker's Dozen

The search for the Hummers continues. Wil had it in his head we would find twelve on Monday. We've identified each and every one within a one-mile radius from our home. It was time to take it up a notch. 

Not far away is a road with lots of used car lots. We headed there--him in the backseat, me in the front, the front passenger seat scooted as far up as it could possibly go, so he could have leg room.

Right away we found four, boom, boom, boom, boom. We were energized and encouraged to keep going. With so little traffic on the road, we could see both sides of it and he took one and I took the other, shouting out, "There's one!" to every Hummer and sort-of-Hummer-looking-Toyota. Extra joy when we found one in burgundy. 

I convinced him a Brink's truck was a type of Hummer, so we got our twelfth and I was able to start our way home. He was happy. I was happy. It took 20 miles and chewed up our morning, but that was kind of the point. He was singing church songs from the backseat, and I was lost in my own reverie, when all of a sudden he spotted another one parked along the side of the road. "There's another one! We found a baker's dozen!"

He has not asked me one time when all of this will be over, when church will resume, or his job, class, his beloved Mondays with Timmy. I know he looks forward to all of that, but he is managing to take this one day at a time. He exemplifies the Law of Attraction and manifests both what he wants and what he needs. He's finding joy in what is available to him right here, right now, and believes in abundance--not only will he have plenty, he'll have plenty plus one.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Something Worth Keeping

For whatever reason, the Comcast account I've had for a million years, would not accept my password. It quickly became obvious that I would need a new password, which set off a whole chain of events, culminating with me losing all my "mailboxes" in Apple Mail, that were associated with Comcast.


Dozens of folders I'd meticulously kept since I got the account... when was that, 20 years ago? I am a backer-upper, so I figured there would be a way to reclaim them using my external hard drive, Time Machine, or some combination thereof.

After many Google searches and attempts, the files were not restored. I could probably call Apple and try and have someone walk me through it on the phone, but the phone weighs two hundred pounds and the likely wait time stops me from doing so.

It feels a little like walking into my basement and discovering someone has given away all my junk. There is relief the basement is clean, but I never went through it to make sure something in there wasn't worth keeping.

Truth be told? I couldn't really tell you what 98% of those files were called or what they held. The ones I'm finding myself needing now, I have recreated and found messages from what I guess is the "cloud." 

I don't know how all this works.

I do know that we are all experiencing loss, and discovering that some things we are missing badly, and others, not so much. Having "things" removed suddenly and very little control over how and if we can get them back, causes us to grieve. 

Richard Rohr calls this time we're in, liminal space. a sense of being in between. What do we discard? What is worth keeping? 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

A Cure to Loneliness

I've been working on this post for two days. That is to say, I've opened it up and tried to type, but was interrupted for any number of reasons--most having to do with "finding fugitives." Wil has been obsessed with "Dog the Bounty Hunter" for years, and he's turned it into a game. During this time of confinement, he's been going on walks with one of us. It's great, he walks fast and is getting much-needed exercise. The downside is the walks are--shockingly--driven by something as random as finding four Hummers (fugitives). When three, but not four are found, there is no peace. Fortunately, there are several models of cars he's willing to call a "Hummer," but sometimes when OCD is particularly pronounced, we have to not only find one, but in a particular color. Drove 15 miles and walked three times yesterday, looking for a "burgundy red" one, to no avail. 

He's lonely. He misses church, work, going to the mall, seeing his friends, going to restaurants. No amount of Hummers are going to replace what's been taken away.

I often listen to podcasts as I putter around my house. I love Brené Brown's new podcast, Unlocking Us. What I loved about her interview with Dr. Vivek Murthy, on loneliness and connection, was their conversation around the disconnect with those that don't share our opinions, values, and beliefs, which creates its own sense of loneliness.

The tendency is to vilify, name-call, blame and dismiss those with differing opinions. As Peggy Noonan says in her great article, What Comes After the Coronavirus Storm? "... we’re too quick to categorize, and ungenerous in our categorizations. Everybody isn’t only the role they’re playing at the moment."

During one of our walks we stopped and visited with my 93-year-old neighbor who was working in her yard. We asked her if she needed anything? Could we do anything for her? "Oh, honey, no, we have everything we need," she answered, then went on to compare these times to WWII, and her high school years being "war-torn."  "I just pray this brings us all together--helps to unite our country and world. We need that so badly," she said. 

Many of us are experiencing unprecedented loneliness. Let's unify in unprecedented ways. Let's have unprecedented amounts of empathy and understanding for one another. 

It feels as though the Universe has sent us all to our rooms to think about our behavior. We can't come out until we're ready to be kind.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Interview with Enlightened Empaths

It is a great pleasure to share with you my interview with two favorite podcasters, Denise Correll and Samantha Fey. If you aren't already a subscriber to Enlightened Empaths, you'll want to rectify that ASAP, if not before. Truly, not enough can be made about the impact their show has had on my life. I have binge-listened over the last few months, and learned a ton, nodded in recognition, and been connected with like-minded individuals. To be asked to join them on the show was a thrill and honor. Take a listen.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Take Me Home

A dear childhood friend texted me the other day, "I'm listening to John Denver and dancing in my kitchen, and I thought of you." Fair to say, we did a lot of listening to John Denver and dancing in our youth. We danced with abandon in the living room, practicing for hours then putting on performances. We had such confidence in our abilities.

Neither of us grew up to be professional dancers. That was never the goal. We danced because we loved to dance.

Like all the rest of us, my friend is stuck at home, but instead of going stir crazy, she's dancing. Making the most of it. Pulling out the oldies and reconnecting with friends.

I was inspired to tune into my John Denver Pandora station, and was gifted with "You Fill Up My Senses" "Annie's Song," and "Leaving on a Jet Plane," interspersed with some great James Taylor, Carole King, and Jim Croce. I knew every word to every song.

But I doubted myself. I listened and sang and before I let the words out, I asked myself, Are those really the lyrics? Then, I sang something else that was wrong, because I didn't believe I knew in my bones what was right.

As my friend Ilonka Michelle O'Neil says, "Metaphor much?"

She also says, "This breath in. This breath out." She's a yoga teacher (among other things). She has taught me much through the years of our long-distance friendship. One need not be close to be close. 

My friends teach me. I teach my friends. We teach each other. We breathe in. We breathe out. We sing the words to songs we know in our hearts.

And we dance wherever life finds us.

Thursday, April 2, 2020


I was so excited for 2020. This was going to be the year of clear vision--just like the number implied. What had been murky, would settle. I'd be able to see goals and dreams come into view and be achievable, because I'd be so focused, what with the perfect sight and all.

Turns out? I was right. 2020 is the year of acuity. 

In the last month, a lot has been redefined, reconsidered, reprioritized. Richard Rohr is defining this time as an "initiation."

I have been using my Mother Mary Oracle Deck more lately. I have many decks, and this is my all-time favorite. Several times I've drawn Our Lady of Soul Birth. It's a message for me, but that message is for all of us: something is trying to be birthed.

We keep hearing the term "unprecedented" as it relates to what's going on for all of us. What makes it especially "unprecedented" is it is happening to all of us. It's not just "over there." We won't all be impacted exactly the same, but every life is altered. 

I've been able to shield Wil from lots of world events, but this is something I can't keep from him, much as I'd like to. The bubble he's been living in has been burst. 

He's risen to the occasion in ways I never would have predicted. He's doing more chores, being more flexible about what he eats, helping to walk the dog, which is giving him exercise he was lacking. He's not complaining of being bored, or going stir-crazy. He's rolling with it. I'd go so far as to say he's finding joy in the new normal. He loves the games we are playing as a family. He's been extra-funny, making us all laugh until we cry. 

I didn't see any of that coming. 

I have a rule: When something has been recommended to me one time, I consider it, when it happens a second time, I look into it seriously, and when for a third time it comes up, I jump. That's what happened with Brené Brown's new podcast, "Unlocking Us." Yesterday, I listened to two, FFTs and Comparative Suffering. I highly recommend you listen to both, ASAP. I'm finding it really hard to settle down and read a book, but I can listen to a podcast with my head phones on, and do laundry, cook, or very satisfying chores such as deep cleaning the stove top. 

I don't have 20/20 vision about what I'm seeing right now. To gain 20/20 vision, you have to be 20 feet away. We are in it. We aren't "away." It could be a while before we are "away," but we can squint, and look for clues from those around us. We can take our cues from others we trust to help lead us through. 

Sorry Not Sorry

I'm sorry I keep pointing you towards Brené Brown's podcast,  Unlocking Us , but I'm not that  sorry.* I've appreciated ever...