Your Assignment

 “Did you know, you were born as the first, and the last and the best and the only one of your kind, and that eccentricity is the first sign of giftedness?”~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Dr Estes’ words found their way to me twice yesterday, once today. Once would have been enough, but now I’m really listening.

Your Assignment

I assign you to be a beautiful, good, kind, awakened, soulful person, a true work of art as we say, ser humano, a true human being. In a world filled with so much darkness, such a soul shines like gold; can be seen from a far distance; is dramatically different.

Want to help? Show your deepest most divine self to the world. There is nothing more rare, more strange, more needed. Why would you wait? Not worthy? Oh piffle. Not ready? Okay, so when? Next lifetime? Don’t be silly with me about this. Inferiority complex? Okay, let me put it this way to you: you’re not good enough to think you’re not good enough. And you can quote me to yourself whenever you have need… Dr. Estes said so.

Have you forgotten that you made promises to your Beloved before you ever came to earth? The time to fulfill these is truly now. You want to cease feeling helpless, and you want to help the aching world? Serve someone and something. Everyone on earth serves someone and something. This means being your truest self now, fulfilling the promises you made to heaven long ago.

Anything you do from the soulful self will help lighten the burdens of the world. Anything. You have no idea what the smallest word, the tiniest generosity can cause to be set in motion. Be outrageous in forgiving. Be dramatic in reconciling. Mistakes? Back up and make them as right as you can, then move on. Be off the charts in kindness. In whatever you are called to, strive to be devoted to it in all aspects large and small. Fall short? Try again. Mastery is made in increments, not in leaps. Be brave, be fierce, be visionary. Mend the parts of the world that are “within your reach.” To strive to live this way is the most dramatic gift you can ever give to the world.

Consider yourselves assigned.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Xx~~~~~~

This song is from the album The Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles, one of my favourite singers. I bought it for myself at Christmas after hearing only one track; I’ll share that track with you later, but for now, the universe told me to post this. In Spanish. (I do what I’m told!) It’s my favourite car listening album at the moment, and yesterday I was sent SO many signs along the winding road home through the hills that I’d have posted four songs from the album right there and then if I could have!

I heard this line “Maybe one of these days you can let the light in… and show me how big your brave is…” as the sky looked like this…

and I passed a truck with this Glenfiddich whisky advert on it…

 

Image result for glenfiddich ad one day you will

Which lines of Dr Estés’ beautiful invocation or Sara Bareilles’ song stand out most brightly for you today?

Meet the Crew

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then . . . . I contradict myself;
I am large . . . . I contain multitudes.” ~ Walt Whitman (from Song of Myself)

hearts by Heleen - Dutch Colours/ Dutch SistersIt’s blog spring cleaning time again and all of my selves are enjoying the process of renewal. Everything, everything is made easier by my decision to craft my life around how I want to feel.

My editor brain is enjoying the quest for clarity; the re-writing, the deleting, the cutting, pasting and re-ordering of my narrative.

The life coach in me is enjoying the big questions: Who am I? How do I serve? What do I want to share? With whom? Why? How? Where do I want to go? How do I plan to get there?

The lingust and language teacher are evangelists for connection, for learning and sharing.

The translator instinctively understands – lives and breathes – the concepts of heart connection, vibrant expression, authenticity… the filtering of essence and soul. (Perfectionism? Anxiety about getting things ‘right’ before they’re made public? Part of the territory.)

The homelife coach shares those obsessions, but she applies them to the notion of homes as sanctuaries, galleries, gathering places, life-museums: her realm is the relationship between function and form, the balance between simplicity and warmth in the shared spaces, between serenity and cosiness. Am I living my life by design? What am I holding on to? Why? What does it say about me? These are her questions. She loves letting things go to make room for what matters most. She’s the one who HATES the clunky, stuck, cluttery, unfixable bits of her blog and so spends hours learning CSS and HTML and searching for that perfect – but elusive – free WordPress theme, the one that’ll pull everything together.

The homemaker – mother and wife? She wants to create a home where folk are loved, cherished, supported, championed, heard… She curates, treasures connection and is always available.

The daughter? Exhausted. Caring for a ninety year old father is an honour, a hymn of gratitude and also, sometimes, a challenge; she often has to press the blogging OFF switch.

The writer? Ah, well, she has the easiest role; as long as she can be authentic, everything’s fuel.

The songwriter, lover of music and poetry? Desperate to share her favourite music, lyrics and poems but frustrated by copyright laws and technology.

The poet? Waiting. She doesn’t mind; she just keeps soaking it all in and taking notes.

The painter? Also waiting, but resenting that blogging takes her away from days spent inspired, immersed in colour, details and texture, watching something recreate itself in paint. I suspect she also plays a major role in the longing to log off.

The crocheter? Couldn’t care less about blogging; she’ll post pictures of colourful blankets someday, but she comes to life when the laptop clicks shut.

The quotehunter? The reader? Longing to share everything, but biding their time, reading… filtering… building up to that moment when the jug overflows… they’ve gathered thousands of quotes to share, but ah…the filing and sorting is a chore.

So that’s a few of my me’s, but enough to illustrate my complex relationship with blogging.

How many you’s make their way into your blog? Do you ever feel like you have multiple blogging personality disorder? Which of my blogging selves do you resonate with most?

In my clearing out today, I found this version of my very first post, published in 2008 on a simple wee practice blog before I  launched properly. My decision to keep it got me wondering why, so I decided not to bin it. I still visit craft blogs for pleasure, and it seems I still have the same blogging values as I did back then.

Autumn Hearts

I love unique blogs full of exuberance, creativity and pure authentic passion. Blogs that feel like snack food for the soul. Blogs that don’t make me feel like my only purpose as a reader is to bump up the numbers at a vampire fest. I logged on today to learn from some of the world’s top pro-bloggers and ended up feeling like the poster child for how not to blog. A few of my crimes?

  • I use the word ‘I’ more than ‘you’.
  • I write about myself, my home and my family – one blogger called this “egocentritis”.
  • My favoured format isn’t daily How To… lists or Top 10 anythings.
  • My posts are so long they’d land me in blogging jail if there was such a place.
  • Even my short posts aren’t easily scannable by folk who like to whizz through dozens of posts a day.
  • My post titles aren’t written with search engines in mind.
  • I still think of you as a reader, not ‘traffic’ that needs to be ‘driven’ somewhere.
  • I haven’t stuck to one niche.

That’s why I was delighted to come across today’s Daily Mmmm… while I was doing what I call synchronicitous surfing, letting my natural curiosity take me from one link to another for the length of time it takes to drink a coffee.

A couple of curious clicks led me to a Dutch blog by a stay at home mum and part time teacher who makes little works of art, creative pieces rich in colour and detail. I love hand-made craft items that take time and love to create; in much the same way, I enjoy blog entries that aren’t just dashed off to feed the insatiable hunger of the search engines.autumn-hearts

I smiled when I came across these wee hearts; they warmed mine on a cold autumn day full of low self-esteem, self-doubt and ranting frustration. I wrote to the artist and asked her for permission to use this photo; she replied, in English, within minutes and her warm, appreciative response made my day.

Dutch colours: hearts | Dutch Sisters

Brave Authenticity

0901130011I read an article today about the SEO value of paring down categories and cleaning out archives. (February would seem to be my favourite month for clutter clearing – I’ve already shredded the contents of five photo albums in the last few days!) Fired up and ready to start culling and consolidating, I started off with posts in the AUTHENTICITY category.

At the end of an ancient ‘patchwork post’ from 2009, I found a list of some of my favourite authenticity quotes. As a cluster, they were a prescient glimpse of the blogging journey that lay ahead of me, and I smiled to myself, realising that my blog has always been a quiet manifesto for brave authenticity, one where even my absences and frequent jeremiads about ‘deciduous blogging’ have their place; many of us need periods away from the internet to replenish our spirits and reconnect to the real world.

Finding these words of wisdom today reminded me, too, of how much I feel at home when I’m quote-hunting, that simple, deliberate act of having a pen and notebook to hand when I read; I love the synchronicity of it, the filtering, the distilling and the sharing of other people’s gems and journeys.

Just rediscovering these quotes has thrown up ideas for new posts to write, old posts to revisit and an old manuscript that’s been haunting me… Do any of them resonate with you?

What we are really looking for is a sense of the real and an experience of true significance, true meaning. That can only come from one source. Deep down inside, every human being hears the echo of the experience of unity and wants it back. So we live our whole lives with only a vague sense of what it is we want but with the absolute knowledge that we had it once and it’s possible to have it again if only we knew how. ~ Sarah Susanka

The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is insincerity. ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

If  I choose to ignore myself when I am in desperate need of my own attention, I will resent those I have deemed more important than me. Even though I might spend the day trying to be happy and pleasant, underneath I will feel depleted because I have made a choice that has depleted me. ~ Debbie Ford

Instead of trying to hide the emotional refuse that is festering with rot, bring it to light and stick it in the compost bin to be transformed into useful fertiliser that will grow your future better self. ~ Kathryn L.Robyn and Dawn Ritchie

When you are adrift from your core, the space between your surface and your depth fills up with anxiety. Too much time away from your inner home leads to homesickness. ~ Carrie McCarthy and Danielle La Porte

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

In order not to cheat yourself, you have to make writing a high priority. You have to make it very nearly sacred. But you have to live the rest of your life. too; you have to allow room for all that makes you you, for all that feeds you. In my mind, being more than a writer means you’re more of a writer. ~ Elizabeth Berg

We are not powerless specks of dust drifting around in the wind, blown by random destiny. We are, each of us, like beautiful snowflakes –  unique, born for a specific reason and purpose. ~ Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

When you do not seek or need external approval, you are at your most powerful. Nobody can disempower you emotionally or psychologically…You cannot live for prolonged periods of time within the polarity of being true to yourself and needing the approval of others. ~ Caroline Myss