Sunday, February 28, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

A new year, a new theme, and a new location

I decided to start the decade with a new site, name, and theme as part of moving on and stepping forward. Instead of creating a different blogger name, I thought I would give wordpress a try....stay tuned...........

"And eventually being perfect became like carrying a backpack filled with bricks every single day.... What is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."
~~Anna Quindlen

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Another decade! Hard to believe!

I have now been in Portland seven months. It doesn’t feel like that long even though I have gone from that place of everything is new and exciting to that of somewhat familiar. Although, I still get lost on occasion and have not even scratched the surface in uncovering all the quaint restaurants and shops Portland has to offer. I am a huge fan of small boutique and artisan shops. Fortunately, Portland has many and I have met people who are introducing me to the quaintness and uniqueness of Portland. 
I have managed somehow to pack on 15 pounds since my arrival. As my friend’s two year old would say, “Howd dat hapin?”  I am not so sure. Well, ok, too much eating out and I stopped running.  I miss my 20’s where all I had to do is reduce what I ate and exercise – gone in a few weeks. This is NOT true of the 40’s. Ah well, one step at a time. I have hit the gym and donned the running shoes despite the screaming ankle.

This is the first Christmas in 25 years where I am not joining the hustle and bustle of other travelers. I am not glued to the weather report listening for incoming storms in Boston, Philly, Denver, or Chicago and then wondering if I should reschedule my flight or risk getting caught somewhere. I am not stressing about how I am going to squeeze in family AND friends once I arrive in Portland.  It is the first year I won’t have a chance to read all those magazines I get. I typically went through at least 10 magazines and a book flying coast to coast during the Holidays.  This year I am working through Christmas Eve, will celebrate Christmas with my family, connect with new and old friends and then back to work on Monday.  I have to admit, it feels very strange. 

Many years ago someone told me it isn’t change that is hard, it is the transition! AMEN to that. It is hard to talk about because people either assume I must be happy or unhappy with my move, but it really is neither of those emotions – it is just different.  I am in the midst of creating a new life and am not sure what that is going to look like.  I think as we get older we are more attached to routine and this is my first year where nothing is routine. I admit, I miss the routine.  I still believe moving west was something I needed to do, but all the same harder than I thought. Recently, I had dinner with a psychiatrist colleague and mentioned that I didn’t give enough attention to how hard it was going to be to leave a life I was fairly content with the last 7 years. Not to mention coming back to west coast culture. He said in the last seven months I have experienced at least three of the top stressors in life. In some way unbeknownst to him that validated all my mixed emotions. PHEW! Glad that is cleared up!  I know, blah, blah, blah, I keep writing of my transition, but  that has been my head space the last several months. That is not to say I haven’t had some great experiences and met some wonderful people – I just haven’t found my groove. Basically, Stella’s looking for her groove and believes it will unfold in 2010 as 2009 has been a lot of letting go. I have connected with a few organizations focused on ending poverty and addressing homelessness as this work is important to me and I look forward to strengthening the connection to these organizations in 2010.

This year Portland was saved from the snow and ice that hit the region last year and instead we will experience a relatively warm clear day. Personally, I am disappointed it won’t be a white Christmas. A part of me misses the events around cold weather:  hot chocolate, sledding, crunchy snow, cabin trips, attempting to ice skate, trips to Quebec City, getting stuck, then unstuck, snow shoeing, moonlight x-country skiing, and watching the snow fall while sipping warm coffee. However, this is not the experience of Portlanders.  If you want to watch someone have a near apoplectic fit, mention snow to or near someone from Portland.

Yes, it is true, Portland is not designed for snow fall, which apparently has traumatized the people. I don’t mean to be rude, but the reaction to the mere mention of snow is quite intense.  However, for me, I have incredibly fond New England snow memories packed with laughter. I will conveniently forget what happens as the snow begins to melt, the hassle of walking a dog on a sheet of ice, the angst of hitting the car brake, only to continue to move forward (typically down a hill), and what the salt and gravel does to your shoes, clothes, cars, and floors. And, no doubt in March as signs of spring blossom in Portland, I will be thankful as I know in New England it will be early to late May before it begins to feel like spring.

I have started what has become a ritual over the last three years of evaluating the past year and writing what I have learned, how I have grown, etc. This includes writing a list of what I am releasing and setting intentions for the New Year. I have really enjoyed this ritual as it honors endings and new beginnings. 

In 2010 I am looking forward to a trip to the Galapagos Islands, which is something I have wanted to do since I was 27. I still remember the catalog I held onto for years with the trip circled. I am excited to see my nephew continue to develop and spend time with that sweet little baby girl in California who can demolish a room faster than a hurricane and then ask, “Howd dat hapin?” I am going to Colorado to take advantage of teachings from teachers I have admired for years, Fleet Maul and Pema Chodron.  Cycle Oregon is a possibility as are the San Juan Islands and a volunteer trip to New Orleans.  I hope to have visits from my DHMC partners in crime, Ann and Cricket, or perhaps we will reunite in Alaska or Montana! And, who knows what else will unfold based on my New Year intentions.

May all have a prosperous New Year!!!! 

May unconditional love blossom ever more in your heart!
May your heart-mind resonate in loving-kindness!
May all your actions of body, speech and mind serve all beings!
May you love and be loved for who you are!
May all beings overcome suffering and live happiness with wisdom!
May form and emptiness generate ever more awareness in your life!
May wisdom and compassion combined flourish in you!

May you pursue your path with the universal essence of all beings!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks!

On my walk with Cody in the misty rain, I thought I would use this peaceful morning to update my blog. Time has a way of slipping away. Someone once said as we age time increases exponentially. I have to admit as I watch my face change with the years that puts a wee bit of fear in my heart, but I remember this quote posted on a friend’s FB wall, Age may wrinkle the face, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.

I have been in awe and moved by the amount of gratitude being expressed on Facebook and Twitter. Perhaps this was there last year and I don’t remember or perhaps this year people are more in touch how much there is to be thankful for in this life. I have spent time volunteering with Sisters of the Road and the Oregon Food Bank, which has really driven home how thankful I am for what I have. The opportunity to volunteer there has provided fantastic perspective as I realize most of us are only one disaster away from homelessness -we just don’t acknowledge it. Both organizations’ mission is to eradicate poverty and hunger. I hope that can happen, but in the meantime that is part of my purpose in this life to do what I can to to be a part of the belief.

This Thanksgiving, I want to express how very thankful I am for all who are in my life or who have been in my life. I truly believe people move in and out of one’s life purposefully. Sometimes people show up to help you grow or view the world with a different lens, then they move on. Some people are in your life for a long time and the richness of their presence grows even though at times you have to step back a bit to see that because the tendency is to take these people for granted.

I am still in shock that 2010 is almost here, I can remember like it was yesterday writing my intentions for 2009. The last eight months have moved like a speeding train with change, healing, and transition as the coal. I knew in 2008 I wanted to move west, but had no idea how that was going to happen and quite honestly was scared to leave the familiar. Even though the familiar wasn’t working anymore. However, in 2009 things started to shift and I was presented with the opportunity to move. Despite that decision led to another painful decision, the time to move west had come. I had no idea all that came with those decisions.

Well, my personal transitions and realizations are not what I intended to write about so I will summarize. I am settling into Portland, I still feel a little lost some days as so much is still not familiar, but I am finding my groove. I didn’t realize how much rural life had permeated my lens of the world. After seven years of a quiet bucolic life, I was a bit fearful of certain aspects of the city. Mostly fear I created myself vs. reality. Oh, and, I am still subtracting three hours when I think of California, but perhaps that is age surfacing. So on this day as everyone is pausing to give thanks, I want to put forth my thanks to all who are in my life.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.-Melody Beattie

A funny quote- GOD bless the optimists, something I will never be.

"An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day."

-Irv Kupcinet

Monday, October 19, 2009

Personal Authenticity

Little time to write so stealing this as it resonated with me.

A Marker on the Path to Personal Authenticity:
"The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to himself."

~ Don Juan Yaqui Indian shaman, in Tales of Power,by Carlos Castaneda, (1925-present),Peruvian-born American author and mystic

Saturday, October 17, 2009

San Francisco Photos Take 2

Giving Flickr a try. Take 2!

I will write soon! The last several months have been a ride!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The seal is broken

Have you ever thought you were over something or someone?Thought you had moved through the sticky emotional roller coaster of a situation or a person....then realize NOPE not so. Is it denial or does something just get touched? I am not sure, but I had a experience yesterday that broke the seal. I felt the return of that cold weightless feeling, that feeling of someone reaching in and grabbing hold of my heart. In some ways I think these things that happen to resurface - bring forth what is not being faced is good. One cannot truly move past or through or on without facing it directly with compassion and strength!