December 2 - Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)
Make excuses. Such as... I'm too tired. It's too late. There isn't enough time to really get into anything. I most certainly can eliminate these excuses, but at the same time they feel very real to me! I think I have also been avoiding writing by reading lately. I have been reading more than ever (and writing less than ever). I've even been skipping my journal writing/morning pages. Which leads me to more excuses... maybe this is just a period in my life when I don't write, everyone goes through lulls in their creativity, etc. However, deep down I know this is a cop out. As SARK says, Action Before Inspiration. Which means just write. Even if you are not in the mood. She also says something meaningful happens every time you write. Another reason to ditch the excuses and just do it. Writers don't write only when they are inspired. They get up each day and face the page and give it their best shot.
December 3 – Moment.
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
This is a tough one. This year has been filled with so many magical moments. I'm going to go with the day my hubby and I spent on the beach at Fire Island this August. It was a beautiful day, with clear blue skies and an abundance of sunshine. I remember the feeling of the warm sand underneath me, the sounds of people chatting on the beach, and the smell of the ocean. At the water's edge the sand sparkled and I collected a handful of shells. Best of all I remember watching my husband dive into the ocean waves over and over again, smiling and laughing. He seemed to overflow with a joy and freedom that I rarely see in our day-to-day life together. He was (literally) totally absorbed in riding the wave. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Even remembering it now I get that overwhelming tingly joyful feeling that comes to you when you witness someone you love really letting go and enjoying himself.
December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)
My theme for 2010 was Joyful Abundance. I created a sense of wonder by focusing on gratitude and appreciating all of the everyday miracles that surround me. I felt a sense of wonder as I watched the leaves change this fall, as I gazed into the eyes of my newborn nephew, as I heard our baby's heartbeat for the first time, as I observed the first snow fall of the season, as I watched my daughter step out of the car on her first day of middle school, as I savored a glass of wine at a Paris cafe, as I held my husband's hand while we took a walk, as I gazed out over my yoga class, and as I paused and listened to the beautiful chaos of my family gathered together on Halloween. I could go on and on! And I am eternally grateful for all those everyday miracles.
December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)
The first thing that comes to mind is the extra weight I let go of this year. I literally shed about 25lbs. I decided to lose this weight for my health and also to prepare for the possibility of having another baby (I say another even though my "baby" will be 13 next month!). I felt very proud of myself for losing the weight and making healthier food choices. Meeting my goal filled me with a sense of accomplishment and reminded me that I truly can accomplish things when I set my mind to it.
Figuratively, I let go of taking responsibility for other people's feelings. That is a tough one for me, but I think I've done pretty well with it. I chose to let go of this responsibility because it was not (and is not) healthy for me. I also don't think it was very useful for me to feel like it was my job to keep everyone around me happy. I've learned you have to let people work through their own stuff, which can be very hard to do (especially with those we love the most).
December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)
The last thing I made was cookies with my gramma, sister, and niece! I've never been much of a baker (or a cook), but I enjoy making holiday cookies with my gramma. She actually does most of the work ahead of time for us, but yesterday my sister and I were like a couple of professional cookie-dough-ball-rollers. We made a few different kinds, including my favorite Snickerdoodles! My niece was a wonderful little helper too and I think the Snickerdoodles were here favorite as well. She kept saying to me, "Aunt Mindy smell how good this smells" as she dipped her hands in the cinnamon and sugar mix we were rolling the dough in - so sweet :-)
December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)
I am so proud of the little community that our yoga studio has built this last year. It truly fills me with joy when I hear the yoginis (and occasional yogi) chatting with each other before and after class, asking about each others work or family, giving each other shopping tips, or recommending resources. Community is a big part of my vision for the wellness center and I look forward to growing that community in 2011 as we welcome new partners into our freshly expanded space. In 2011 I would also like to create more of an online community through my blog, websites, and social media outlets.
Crying with Strangers: Part 2
4 weeks ago