I just listed myself on Gwen Bell’s blog for the “Best of 2009” (#best09) event. There is a theme to write about each day, but I suspect, as is my style, I’ll pick and choose themes and will not publish daily.
Here are my responses to the prompts for the first eight days.
I invite you to consider how you might answer these questions as well and write your discoveries in the comments section. It provides a fun structure for reviewing the year. This review can, in turn, feed into a powerful intention and release for Winter Solstice on Dec 21st. (More about that in an upcoming post)
December 1st – What was your best trip of 2009?
I am tempted to look at my calendar. One trip shines out in my memory. That is surely the one and yet, wanting to be thorough (ok, perfect) I sift through my memory for others. Surely there were others. I’m always going somewhere. I have friends who begin every phone conversation by asking, “Where are you?” My memory banks are full and it takes considerable effort to line things up sequentially. Consulting the calendar will inform me as to whether an event happened in this year or last.
The shining trip was a Lucid Living retreat entitled Secrets of Happiness at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, CA. Exquisite lodging, impeccable service, conscious companions, brilliant material in a beautiful setting with dolphins revealing themselves to me during a particular meditative beach walk.
December 2nd – Restaurant moment
Uhm…..(stare out the window for awhile, watch a black squirrel scampering through trees)
Uhm….. (see what new tweets are rolling down my Twitter page)
Uhm…(get hungry and go to the kitchen. Gosh, it takes a lot of work to break open the new box of Ferrero Rocher candies.)
Ok – I don’t eat at restaurants much. Oh, but last week , I took my good friend Leslie out for a belated birthday lunch. We tried to go to our favorite Insalatas in San Anselmo, but they’d just stop serving. They directed us to their other restaurant just up the street, Marinitas . We sat by a lovely warm fire and were the only patrons in the place at 2:30 in the afternoon. We ordered from the bar menu and shared two mouthwatering dishes – Mini salmon tostadas with shredded cactus and a Chili Relleno stuffed with 4 cheeses, butternut squash, pumpkin seeds with a delicious green drizzle sauce sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. I wish I had the menu so I could satisfy the “foodies” who might be reading this. We didn’t have much of a conversation beyond “Oh yum” and “This is so good!” The food was savory, sumptuous, downright sensuous. We had to restrain ourselves from licking the plates.
December 3rd – Article (that I read that blew me away and the I consistently reference)
I generally speed read articles. Most do not stick with me. There’s a lightness to articles that always leaves me hungry for something more meaty. One that did have quite an impact on me though, and that I have referenced a couple of times in conversation, was in More Magazine, Killer Sex: Midlife Women and HIV. As a divorced woman ready to begin dating again, it scared the enthusiasm out of me. It also made me really grateful that my cheating ex-husband showed no interest in me in those final years, as I read of other married women whose husbands brought sexual diseases into their marital bedroom. This is a must read for you married and single women alike. Be informed. Be prepared.
December 4th – Book – what book touched me?
My friend, Karen, gave me Bill Plotkin’s book Nature and the Human Soul. It struck a deep chord in me and I experienced several reactions. The discouraging ones ran like this: “Oh darn, someone has already written about this stuff; someone with a big PhD behind his name; someone who is established and runs retreats.”
The greater part of me felt relieved that someone else knew how I experience the world. My copy is full of stickies indicating the choice quotes. Well, I might as well reference the entire book because that’s how many stickies are in it. Think nature and soul, of course as the title reflects, and add Hero’s Journey, archetypes, cycles, rhythms, rites of passage and you get the idea. Plotkin calls it “ecopsychology.”
December 5th – Night Out (one that rocked my world)
Uhm ….(gosh, I’m staring out the window and getting hungry again)
Do I expose to the world that I don’t have many nights out? There was that drive home at night when I was terrorized by three yahoos in three tricked out dirt trucks. Does that constitute rocking my world?
There are my friends Leslie and Brooks who have welcomed me in their guest room and served me delicious home-cooked meals on multiple evenings over the past couple of years.
And there is that great evening with Alicia and DJ where we hit the spa and then had dinner, sitting at the bar.
Just about any night out rocks my world. No, that’s not true. There was that guy that spoke on non-duality at the local bookstore who nearly put me to sleep. Of course, rocking puts me to sleep. I digress.
You know what rocks my world at night?
It’s the amazing cricket chorus in the summer.
It’s the Great Horned Owls encircling our house and calling to one another.
It’s the full moon shining on me through the skylight as I sleep.
It’s the silhouette of the bobcat sitting at the top of our driveway.
It’s lying bundled up on my lounger gazing at the Milky Way and meteor showers.
Oh and there was the Gretchen Peters concert I went to all alone. That was a rocky adventure for me. I see that December 9th is about a challenge. So I’ll tell you the story in my next post as it certainly was a challenge.
December 6th workshop or conference
Hands down: Lucid Living. I revisited the entire series of weekend seminars that I’d attended 6 years ago and I went to the retreat in Santa Barbara that I mentioned above. Whether it’s for personal growth or further self-development for coaches, I can’t recommend Lucid Living highly enough. I know more of who I am both as human and as spiritual being. I understand that I create my reality. I know what an empowered relationship looks like. I know that Love is the way. I am making distinctions about happiness and its source.
I also did a year-long study of Tarot with Pamela Eakin’s Lightning Spiral Mystery School and absolutely loved it. If you would like to delve more into Tarot, this course is offered online/distance. I highly recommend it.
Finally, it wasn’t all in 2009, but my study of Soul’s Dream with Michele Mchall was a journey I will always cherish and will likely do again. I learned so much about myself and became even more intimate with body, mind, spirit and heart energies and how to align them. Michele coined the term “Whole IQ.” I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more about this.
I am also enjoying a series of teleconferences Great Integral Awakening. Check it out.
December 7th Blog find of the year
I don’t read many blogs. Not because I don’t like them, but because there are so many amazing blogs, written by writers who are cleaver, brilliant, creative, inspirational, I simply can’t follow them all. To start naming some here would feel like creating a list for a wedding. I am not sure where the close-and–intimate part ends and the go-ahead-and-invite-everyone portion begins. So I’m going to “elope” with apologies to those I love and whom I’d like to promote here.
December 8th Moment of Peace (hour, day, week of solitude)
I’ve had so many incredible moments of peace. Just walking in the woods with a notepad, camera and no time limit leaves me perfectly content and filled with inspiration.
I do a solitude meditation from Lazaris that my coach Jeanine Mancusi gave me. I call in the four elements (air, earth, water, fire) as well as guides and guardians, ask for clues regarding something that’s up for me, and then sink into a deep state of meditation. Sometimes it feels like insight meditation, sometimes like a shamanic journey and others like an internal board of directors meeting.
There’s so much I could write about this, and here’s the bit that knocked my socks off:
One day, after doing this meditation daily for about a week, I was returning from a walk in the woods and I had the most amazing and wonderful experience. I knew that I belonged. I belonged with the woods, with the trees, the earth, the sky, the river, the air we breathe. I knew I belonged in a way that had my solar plexus feel full and shining. I knew I belonged in a way that was fully in me and all around me, but was not to something outside of me. In that moment, I knew that I was home and I belonged, no matter where I found myself. This freed me to be more of who I am than who I thought others wanted me to be. It freed me to be alone without feeling lonely. Yes, I already knew that feeling, and this was something more rich and satisfying. I felt very, very full, which is to say, whole and complete.
I know myself
To be cosmos
To be me.
How can I not belong
Copyright(c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved