Sunday, February 9, 2014

To Begin, Again

Bald Mama is still bald. Sometimes more bald than not. Currently mostly bald!

And yet, I wanted to step into something new. I have lots of ideas for the journey, and at the same time I'm going to let it evolve a bit.

Come join me.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

in Guatemala

I´m in Guatemala this week, with a dear childhood friend and a group from her church in Minnesota.

I´m blogging (with some guest bloggers) for the group at - come follow our journey!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thoughts for a New Year

It's been a while, dear reader.

Somehow January has flown by, and here we are in the middle of February.

I'm at the airport waiting for a plane to take me to Guatemala (without the family) to meet my dear childhood friend Nicole and a group from her church for a mission trip in Coban. I know I'll be blessed far more than anyone I meet. Traveling has always given me the perspective I need to come back and refocus on things back at home.

The funny thing is, as I thought about my focus for the year, it was the opposite of travel.

My friend Zohary introduced me to the "one word" movement on her blog,  as a way to focus for the coming year.

"Well, this year I wasn't even sure I wanted to come up with a resolution but then I came across the One Word 365 movement and I decided to try a different approach for 2013. From their site:

Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Scrap that long list of goals you won’t remember three weeks from now anyway. Choose just one word.
One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.
It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your word will shape you and your year. It will guide your decisions and help you grow.
Discover the big impact one word can make.
One word. 
365 days. 
A changed life"

What came to mind immediately for you when you read about one word?

What could your word be for the year?

The first thing that came into my mind when I thought of one word was "Home." Then of course I thought I'd journal about it, and maybe pick something hard and fast like "Focus" or "Faith". But there it was again. Home. 

So here I am, trying to focus a bit on Home everyday, and I'm traveling thousands of miles away, after a busy month in which our family has traveled thousands of miles apart and together.  I'm feeling a bit conflicted.

Yet I know, in all things, God is here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Visibility into What I Don't Want

A few weeks ago, I had an amazing weekend in Seattle - doing some strategic planning with my new boss and then spending a great weekend reconnecting with my friend, also named Megan. On Sunday we went to this "hot" yoga class led by this great young guy. The class was such a good balance between flow and stillness - we moved with good beats in the background, and then took a moment to be still and take it all in. Plus I kind of liked all the sweat and heat!

So I wanted to recreate the magic.

On Monday, I tried to do too much and ended up a bit stressed. And I ended up going on Yelp and found an afternoon hot yoga class not too far from my home.

When I entered the class I got the feeling that it didn't quite resonant with me. But I gamely went on, and I started praying. "God, help me find the goodness in this." I often talk about how going to church can be like a yoga class - just because you go to a class you don't like doesn't mean you should throw out the whole practice.

When the teacher told us all not to drink so loudly from our water bottles (seriously!) I prayed again, God help me find the goodness in this. And when he insisted that our feet stay on the towels, as my feet slid off again and again, I just laughed.

All the while, praying to God for the goodness.

What I came away with was surprising, but real. Notice what you don't like - because that will point you to what you love, and what you need.

I could list the numerous things I didn't like about the class. But I learned much more about what resonates with me. So I'll frame this in the positive:

I feel alive in spaces that have a connection to nature. I need teachers who have a sense of humor, and don't take themselves too seriously.  Sometimes the exercise I need most is to slow down. I need to trust my instincts, and leave when it doesn't feel right.

Needless to say, I won't be going back to that yoga class. But I did learn a lot about what I DO want and need in this journey called life, and in spite of it all, my body felt more flexible.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dreams, Not Resolutions

I had a resolution in this New Year to go to bed earlier. Day 1 and it was midnight and I was still awake. The failure chased me around all day, and frankly didn't motivate me much the next night (afterall, I have things to do!).

I realized that resolutions are bound to fail - because when the goal is to "do" something, inevitably there will be days when I don't do that thing at all.

So instead of resolutions, I'm focusing on dreams. Heart's desires. And every day asking myself, hopefully in a non-judgemental way, is this helping me reach my heart's desire?

Many of you have heard my praise of a book that my friend Keiko sent me last year, but that took me many months before I could even open it.  Heart's Desire by Sonia Choquette. I love her story of how her heart's desire was to write a book, but she just couldn't get started. Instead, her immediate heart's desire was to get her daughter to sleep through the night.

So instead of just resolving to go to bed earlier - my heart's desire is to have more energy, so that I can be more present with the people around me, and have the energy to accomplish my other heart's desires!

Some days (hopefully most days) that will mean going to bed early. Other days (hopefully many days) it will mean nourishing my body with food that energizes me, and paying attention to what I've eaten when I feel depleted. And many days it will mean being deliberate about getting the exercise my body and spirit crave.

Monday, December 31, 2012

A bit lonely on New Year's

Today I was feeling grumpy all day. In the morning because my stomach hurt and I didn't seem to be well-nourished, and then later, just tired and all-around grumpy.

And then it hit me. I'm feeling lonely.

I have a great husband who is cooking one of my favorite dinners (stuffed shrimps), two amazing boys who give me spontaneous hugs even when I grump on them (if that's not grace, don't know what is!) and I'm feeling lonely.

So I called a good friend. Then I called another. Then I texted one. Then I left another message.

My friend Megan said it best "Every year, New Year's sneaks up on me." Christmas is full of anticipation and planning, and then New Year's arrives for me, with no plans in place.

I'm feeling better now. I connected with a couple of friends. Snuggled with my boy on the couch, and chatted with my husband. We'll be asleep before midnight most likely.

And next year? I'll figure out some ritual to end the year. Keiko suggested burning paper. Love it.

I've got lots to catch up my readers on this coming year - owl autopsy results, plans and dream manifestation.

Wherever I am tonight, it's okay to feel what I am feeling.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Receiving the Gift

A few days ago a sweet friend gave me a gift of a hand-baked loaf of sweet bread. Oh no, I thought inside. This isn't really for me. After all, I can't eat wheat. I haven't for years. Better to stop this and have her give it to someone who would enjoy eating it. And then I stopped my thoughts in their tracks. No. Receive the gift. Just receive it. Receive the spirit of love, receive the intent and the care. Just receive.

I have a lot of friends struggling right now with what to do around Christmas. They celebrate it - the presents, the anticipation of Santa, the tree - but feel a bit awkward about not really connecting with the Jesus part. They've confided in me that they are occasional church go-ers, or feel a bit hypocritical doing the Christmas thing without the baby Jesus.

I'm always surprised how people think that they've gotta believe before they step into a church. As if the faith comes first (it never does!) or that once you're inside the church doors everyone else is full of certainty (they aren't). Or even, that if you're pretty sure this isn't your thing, that there isn't some piece of goodness to behold.

I always think about my experiments with yoga like my experiments with faith. One class I could barely keep up as the teacher moved through countless poses. One style was way too hot. One teacher led a class so relaxing I kept falling asleep. But I didn't give up on yoga. In some cases, I knew I had to try a different style. And mostly I just needed to keep coming back. But in every case, I was a bit more flexible afterwards.

Christmas is that moment of grace. Yes, it's about Jesus. But even if you're not there yet (or ever) it's about light. And however you celebrate it, there's a gift of grace to receive. An unexpected connection with the divine that pursues us in spite of ourselves.

Today I was reminded of the magic that's afoot right now. I was hiking in the canyon with my brother-in-law and son, and we saw a red-tailed hawk sitting on a low bush just off the trail. It was only five feet away, but we could have easily passed it since it was so camouflaged. Ten minutes later we saw a coyote (which I haven't seen for months in the canyon) and then a second hawk, perched on a fence just steps from us.  The hike ended with a downpour (which we waited out in Safeway) and one of the most fantastic double rainbows I've ever seen.

Sometimes I feel like God whispers and I just have to stop and pay attention. Today I felt like God was singly as loudly as the first graders in the Winter Show.

Receive the gift.