Month 13 – CHARITY

I am working with Brady Murray and RODS (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome) to find a ‘forever family’ for a precious Down Syndrome orphan whom I love. I have joined the RODS team and I will be running a 10K race to raise money for this little boy’s adoption process.IMGP0647

I will be selling ‘HERO HEARTS’ made by Jolene Dusyk. The glass JoJo Bead necklace will sell for $39 ($17 goes directly to finding our dear boy a home). Let me know if you’d like one (by leaving your email/phone # in the comment box below). OR, you can donate directly by visiting rodsracing.org (hit the blue ‘DONATE’ button).  My goal is to raise $1,000 this year.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Month 12 – BRUTAL HONESTY

BRUTAL honesty doesn’t seem like quite the right name for this topic. I mean it to be something about ‘owning my truth’, honesty, forthrightness, not withholding, not sugar-coating, but not being brutal either.

As this social experiment progresses, I realize that I didn’t have as much to fear about my own honesty as I first thought I might. I was sure I had to be bold, rude and blatant to be honest, but as it turns out, I’m not really ‘hard-wired’ to be rude. My ‘wise self’ (Cheryl Richardson) or my ‘essential self’ (Martha Beck) is actually quite the diplomat. She can be brutally honest without being brutal. That’s her true nature – my true nature – is to be kind and gentle and diplomatic, sometimes at my own expense.

It isn’t in my bones to be mean-spirited or hurtful, in fact, it is in my nature to be the opposite – too consiliatory, too kind, to the point of sparing my own truth. This is a totally liberating realization – I don’t have to fear myself, I actually just have to embrace her and the best will emerge. JOY!

Month 11 – RELAXATION

Photo from 2013-09-10For the past week I’ve been working at relaxation in its various forms and I have been largely unsuccessful. When I say to myself ‘relax’ my body seems to have the opposite reaction.‘Oh no, here we go again. She’s going to force us to sit still or lay down or partake in some mind numbing exercise that we’re really not cut out for.’

I don’t consider dancing for three days at the Folk Festival relaxing. After all, my feet ached (so much so that I switched to my jogging runners), I had to stop to catch my breath on many occasions and I was hot, sweaty, and dehydrated to the point of confusion. But I could not stop. It felt entirely involuntary – kind of like breathing. ‘Of course I will get up and dance to this celtic jig and I will jig.’ What other choice was there? None!

And perhaps, this is one of the keys to relaxation – going where the body wants to go, where the spirit sends us, where the music moves us. It is EXHAUSTING to hold a spirit back, to sit a body down once in blissful movement, to wonder how this will look to others, to analyze why I feel the need in my soul to dance, to sit oneself down in a lawn chair and simply tap a toe when what one really feels like doing is jumping and twirling and spinning and singing and giggling uncontrollably. It is like going against the grain, swimming upstream, it’s like driving with the emergency brake on – you can do it, but it’s difficult and it’s work and it’s exhausting.

So maybe relaxation is that flow, that active engagement of the part of you that knows what it needs to do at all times. Ahha – that is the God part – the part that ‘knows’ what it needs to do at all times – consciously or not.  I am taking deep breath as we speak – I’m more relaxed already.