Sunday, December 23, 2012

Telling Stories ~ Module 51: Oneness

I find it a bit unnerving to focus on my thin-skinnedness or my thick-skinnedness. It feels like someone will overhear me and say I am WRONG!!!

Perhaps that is my story?!

One thing I am sure of is that I have made it my Life’s Work to BE both less and more sensitive. To toughen up and all the while BE highly considerate of others.

Those “others” never seemed to HAVE feelings or express them in language I understood. I always felt I was a stranger in a peculiar [and somewhat scary] land.

A message I heard [mayBE it was said only a handful of times] was I Don’t Want To Know About That.

“That” always referred to me, my feelings, my pain, my fear, my deep uncertainty about BEing here at all, and my constant low-grade confusion.

I heard this message at an especially tender time of my Life, BEtween 11 and 16 years of age.

I was very clear about only one thing in those years: I was NOT wanted.

A burden.

An oh well I’ve only got to DO this until you are 18, Now go and leave me alone child in a splintered family of people I Now see through different eyes with a more open heart.

I thought I was broken. Unfixable. Flat-out wrong.

If I spoke of it I was in for exasperated anger, flaring tempers and punishments, and often felt that BEing Me was something I had no idea HOW to BE.

Why did all my parts NOT work “right” like others’ did?!

I never ever felt a sense that what I experienced was something I shared with anyone.

That is the story of my skin. Too thick and too thin, I was never Just Right.

Over the decades since I was that young girl, I’ve learned that I am NOT the only one to have felt this.

To have experienced a deep and lasting sense of BEing outside looking in where I was NOT welcome.

Still, I tend to keep more to myself. I want to connect, sometimes far more than I think anyone could imagine, but I am unwavering in my determination to protect and cherish myself, even if I’m the ONLY ONE who does.

Coping. That’s my skin story. Coping.

Accepting that this is just the way things are.

NOT trusting my own radar.

I often think there is something NOT Right or simply Wrong, but I don’t speak up or take wise, adult actions to sort things out.

I don’t ask for help.

I no longer go to my family members without having dragged myself through hell and back FIRST, and then never without apologies and feeling really ashamed to BE having this “problem” at my age… hoping THIS TIME I might discover I’ve been wrong all along.

They DO, they really REALLY DO like me!!!

I tell myself all the time to expect nothing and to NOT BE surprised when there is nothing. Recent events have borne this out yet again.

I shake my head. I try to snap myself out of it. I “act as if” I’m okay with all this. But living alone it makes it hard to “pass” as okay.

That is far easier when living with others. So I suppose this Life Choice is convenient. A way to seem more thick-skinned.


I am NOT so easy to fool as others.

Plus I don’t encourage myself to BE more thick or less thin in the skin department. I look myself in the eye. And the heart.

I know myself better than that…

Oneness is another kettle of fish entirely. It is something I imagine, envision, hope for, and look for. I rarely see it and I sometimes feel that my seeing it is really stretching myself across a wide chasm.

But I have experienced it.

And much moreso in this year, this A Year With Myself Year.

Each week I have read and resonated with something, oftentimes many somethings.

I have gradually and steadily come to see that others must have similar perspectives to my own. Otherwise, how could they say or write or dream up things that sound so familiar to me?!

Camp was a place, during those difficult years in particular, where I felt what I suppose is Oneness.

I’ve often thought and mayBE even said that Camp saved my Life.

And then there is my son.

How I FEEL about him.

Who he is to me.

Where he came from.

That is a Light shed in a Very Dark Room.

He helps me cope with the skin thing.

He loves me.

As I AM.


He listens. He hears me.

And he shares himself with me. Which is so amazing and BEautiful.

Those are my stories…

Saturday, December 15, 2012

...if the world was made of people who could do that...

Teaching As a Tool for Changing Yourself and the World

As a teacher and a student of Life, this Module touches me and inspires me in myriad ways, places, and fashions. Even my assumptions about it, picked-off, one at a time and in such gentle ways, teach me much to un-learn as well to re-learn.

The trick for me, for this post, is to say what I most want to At This Moment. I realise I could write reams of posts and journal-ish writing about any one of the Modules.

As a teacher in my Former Real Life, of little children, of adults, of young people and of teenagers, [are these NOT separate categories?!] I know my teacher’s heart. It is distinct and uniquely bent just for me.

As a teacher in my Present Day Real Life one thing that I know is that my motivations are different.


And they are exactly the same.


As far back as I can remember I was teaching. Teaching my bassett hound to read. Teaching myself to write. Teaching my teachers how to challenge me and help me BEcome a self-driven [NOT hard-driving] girl who could easily evolve into a self-driven woman.

I have had many job titles and positions within organisations and in my own businesses. I have learned to DO things that have zero relevance Now. [and a few that didn’t even THEN, in my opinion ;~D]

I have learned to teach myself how to DO or Learn new things or simply desired things. I wanted to blog  so this year I started that and goodness, Now I have several blogs and I am thinking up what I’d like to try for 2013!!

I have un-learned that grades and outcomes matter. Sure, they matter and always will. BEcause I live in a World which places value on things that I don’t completely get and often don’t agree with at all. What I mean is what and how they matter to me. For me.

Recently I was writing about selling my art. Someone commented back to me about what I wrote and said something so interesting. She said that is why she STOPPED making art. The upkeep, care, and other maintenance our art “product” requires.

I moved quickly past my reaction that I have completely lost my compass, a place I go often when the topic of selling my art comes up, and into the heart of her words.

I saw immediately that her comment was an answer for me. To a prayer. To a wish. To a hope.

To help me understand that the MAKING of my art is the Whole Thing.

Like teaching. The reason I teach is BEcause I CAN. BEcause I am given the opportunity. All the time. Whether it is a “job” description, for any sort of remuneration, or BEcause it is my Purpose in that moment.

I teach BEcause I am alive. Above ground. Breathing in and out.

Today I taught myself to stop BEfore hurting Gracie’s feelings. To see round the corner of what I was about to DO in reaction to what she was choosing to DO, BEing a dog. [even a dog who had a spa day yesterday!!!]

Yesterday I taught myself to keep talking and thinking and processing even though I didn’t get the reaction from someone else that I had got from myself!!!

Every day is an opportunity to teach and re-learn. To un-learn and re-teach. To try and fail. And try again. Or try something else.

Still, Now that I have gone off on a word-bender, I want to come back to the one thing in this moment that most moves me in this Module.

On page 8, left column, near the bottom Tara Sophia Mohr says:

We focus incredible financial and social capital on teaching children how to read, do math, and play sports, but we don’t teach them how to forgive, cope with an argument, react wisely when they are afraid, or manage their own anger – even though we all would probably say our lives would be much better if the world was made of people who could do that.


This is juicy stuff. This is the heart of WHY I am Here. On Planet Earth. Right Now. As all that I AM and all that I AM NOT.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hope, Enthusiasm, and Sparks of Possibility

Rekindle Your Inner Spark Over and Over Again

I loved reading this module, especially this past week. I am using December as a Month for Reflection. It really helps to DO so with Hope. And with Enthusiasm. It was refreshing and frankly quite lovely to see that my Inner Spark is well-lit and shining.

Reading caused me to think back on my Life BEfore what I consider “my Life” Now. A longer ago ME. Younger. A bit more fearless. Far less concerned with what other people thought or felt.

Then, almost without realising it, I was locked onto a sensation I can only call a Nor’Easter of Optimism. How it blew in and through and, yes, almost right on by me a couple times.

When I reflect, generally, I have to wade through Regret, Shame, Blame, Resentment, and a significant amount of Quicksand.

This week, reflecting was totally different.





Even forgiving.

I look back on the week and realise its many gifts. And the tremendous surprise I felt when I saw there WERE gifts. That is quite the thing…

Sometimes Life feels ginormous and impossible and frankly, I’d rather go take a nap.

Yet with a splash of Enthusiasm, a couple shakes of Perspective, and Hope, Anything BEcomes Possible…

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lovingkindess... It's What's Essential

A YEAR WITH MYSELF MODULE 48: Lovingkindness
Touching the World with Kindness and Compassion

As someone who loves to invent words, play with their spellings, and oddly capitalise, the word Lovingkindness has held a very special place in my heart.

I heard the word BEfore I read it, and I didn’t know it was [is] a real word with actual dictionary definition status.

: tender and benevolent affection
First Known Use of LOVING-KINDNESS

I spent this week reading, listening, and reading more. I immersed myself in the notion of Lovingkindness and let it steep in me. 

I am finding a comfortable familiarity with it, one deeper than surface and NOT at all glib.

It can BE difficult to BE loving or kind. To some people, to me. For some people, for me. 

And yet what else is there but this?! 

Is there actually a Life to BE lived and cherished where Lovingkindness is NOT central and essential?!

While this module covers many aspects and experiences of Lovingkindness, for me it is the foundation of everything. 

It is where I BEgin and return. 

It is how and why I live Life. 

It is a guiding principle as necessary as Hope.

I’m reconsidering my “positions” on some things in the LIGHT of Lovingkindness. 

[Which is extraordinary all by itself…]

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Serenity Whispers Into My Heart

As often happens, Module 47: SERENITY How to Recognize and Use the Elements of Inner Peace and Spirituality of A Year With Myself has caused me to gently slow down, take a little time, perhaps more time than I think I “should BE” taking, to consider and wonder long and easy and deep into these things. To live slowly into their place and purpose for me, NOW, NOT in some remembered Past, nor some imagined Future. Right Now. This moment.

Years in the 12-Step World had me straightaway associating Serenity with Recovery-related things; even if I know perfectly well it applies in ALL of Life… As I took that out to chew on a bit I discovered that for me, Now, Recovery-related is Life-related. Living my Life in Recovery doesn’t translate into must look like what it’s been at other times along my Journey.

I loved this early quote from Randi Buckley in Cigdem Kobu’s Mission Brief on page 2.

The soul speaks by whispering into our heart. Whispers into the heart come when they are ready and they don’t mean we were not clear in our actions, identity or know who we were before them. We evolve and peel back our layers. New layers reveal aspects closer to our core. We weren’t wrong before them but the whispers inform who we are to become.

This perspective is quite empowering, and a “something” with which I resonated. I love the context these words put around the “whispers” that are whispering into my own heart. Especially recently.

It has been sheer JOY to experience each of the modules in AYWM full-on and one after the other. I know I am blessed to have the sort of Time and Life where I can CHOOSE this, and I am deeply and truly glad for having chosen to embrace this Journey through 2012.

New layers are revealed almost daily. They might BE a new way of holding or considering a thing, perhaps one that was painful and difficult for me. Or a sudden lightbulb thought that reveals the “secret” of something I might have considered magical and IMPOSSIBLE.

Whatever form these take, and whichever way I “see” and experience the “whispers” into my Life, I am undone, utterly, with how Serenity flows gently through it all. I am NOT Buddha-glowy and enlightened… I’m just a girl, well, a woman, nearing 60, enJOYing the experience.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Some Reflective Thoughts on My Gratitude Practise, Gratitude, and JOY…

Wholehearted Living Through Joy and Gratitude

I have long known the benefits of counting my blessings. I just never knew the JOYs of having my own practise where Gratitude is concerned. I might have NOT got this BEcause I had some NOT-so-pretty-to-own thoughtsandfeelings about entitlement. Ahhhhhhh… the E-word.

Six years ago, in late December of 2006, I was living alone in Sedona, Arizona, feeling sore and sad and so confused. My relationship of 12 years was coming apart [though at the time I thought we were apart only temporarily] and it seemed I was desperately trying to herd frogs. This was a time that I remember with much sadness BEcause, frankly, I didn’t have my head OR my heart screwed on right about so many things. I was reacting, trying to force things to fit in the size of the boxes I had. Furthest thing from my mind was Gratitude, Practise, or JOY.

By happenstance and, thanks in large part to Google and my own memory reaching back to 1985, I found a Fellowship for ME. And I found it online. Suddenly I felt less apart, separate, alone, and more a part of. It was weird, for sure, an online fellowship, but hey, it was 2006, progress is, as they say, “all good.” All of the 12-Step “stuff” came back to me, like riding a bicycle. It was sweet. It was also tidy, simple, and Right Where I Was.

And so it came to pass that I was invited into a participatory Gratitude-Sharing Practise. I felt like I’d finally found the right sort and size of boxes, and all those frogs hopped into line.

Well, sort of. I am sure I make it sound much simpler than in fact it was.


In the BEginning of what is Now a blog called I Love You, Currie & a daily email I send to NOT so many anymore, I was utterly fascinated by this way of sharing and BEing shared with. For a Very Long Time I didn’t even see it as a “practise” just an opportunity to connect. How had I grown so disconnected, isolated, and apart from the World?!

A funny question in that last paragraph. Here I am in the nearly-end of 2012, where everyone is sharing about taking technology breaks, daily, and for whole days… A friend recently “fasted” with her church by staying off Facebook and Twitter. Pretty much every week I read two or three posts that address this new need we’ve come to have “living” as we DO Now, online. Virtually. Electronically…

Sorry I got on that little tangent, but this is definitely a reflective post. ;~D

Anyhow, as I read this week’s module, something happened. Almost straightaway. I felt defensive. I felt “dissed” for my practise. I felt judged.


So I read it again, aware of myself and my tendencies in the way I have BEcome DOing A Year With Myself these past 46 weeks. I realised again that I automatically go there, to the defensive Currie, the one who thinks that she must BE understood. And I made her a cup of tea…

The thing that “people say” [which people and how they say it will vary for you, mayBE there isn’t even a “THEY” for you like there is for me…] about Gratitude is mostly just hooey. In my NOT-so humble opinion. BEcause, Gratitude, like other practises [meditation, prayer, mindfulness…] is personal. Individual. And really, it’s NOT to BE understood so much as simply experienced.

And so, tea enJOYed, defensive Currie paused. She thought back to where her head and heart and BEing were back in December 2006. She pondered the Journey they’ve been on these past six years. She remembered, like little twinkling lights, the connections and Life rafts her Gratitude Practise has brought her, been for her, and sailed her to, BEtween, and BEyond.

And it was in that moment utterly clear that no matter what any “they” may say, think, or imagine, Gratitude has revived my Life. It has given me a focus. It has reminded me each and every day that it’s neither a thing I DO for others nor for myself. It is a thing with a Life of its own. Somedays I may know about its reach and somedays I don’t even think of it again once it is written, sent, and posted.

There is so much richness and magic in this module’s 25pages. So very much. And what is exceptionally BEautimous to me is that nowhere in it does it prescribe that Gratitude is something to Complete, to DO, or to Achieve. I can’t “get BEhind” in Gratitude. I can’t “catch up” on it.

It is like the breath I just took. Gratitude is simply Me BEing ME…

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Forgiveness... It's What I Choose Now

Sometimes I get stuck. Like I've stepped in gum. And trying to get it "fixed" is almost worse than just adapting to it. But stuck is stuck and I really REALLY prefer NOT to BE stuck.

Forgiving is a kind of stuckness. It's like when you're first realising about the gum you stepped in and you're really quickly impossibly MAD that this has happened to YOU!!!

[okay, mayBE that is just something peculiar to me...]

Forgiving is always an option. ALWAYS. I forget this though. Actually, I've spent years without remembering it...

I was outside raking leaves earlier. I was remembering raking leaves in my Life. Remembering a big push thing that the leaves seemed to pop into... Is that a real memory?! I don't know. But it's in there, so what am I going to DO?!

The leaves reminded me of forgiveness, or more accurately, my unwillingness to forgive. I've held on and held fast to BEing "done wrong." To BEing the victim of another's cruelty and unkindness. To the hurt inside me that wouldn't, that I couldn't seem to stop.

What I thought next was how I was generally waiting for someone else to ask me for forgiveness. Like when I was little and thought that husbands had to BE older than wives. That this was a State Law. [yes, I was a wonky little girl with a busy brain] 

Waiting for someone else to change my mind. That's what I was DOing, what I have DONE, nearly all my Life I think...

If I haven't forgiven someone, of course that is BEcause that someone didn't ask me to. Didn't acknowledge out loud and directly their wrongs.

Crazy business this, living inside THIS brain...

All of this is to say that I Now know I've had it wrong. Backwards and inside out and upside down. Those leaves weren't "wrong." I just wanted to rake them up. For me. Period. End of story.

No one thanked me for raking them. Didn't even notice. 

Curious thing, though, Gracie was very happy when I was sweeping the leaves off the patio. She wanted to play "Broom" which has been a favourite game of hers since she was the size of a sack of apples.

Once I started raking she found something I'd picked up the other day on a walk and decided to chew it up some...

So this is Forgiveness. It is DOing what's in front of me. It's NOT about someone else. It is just about ME. 

I could have grown very old waiting for someone to ask for my forgiveness. And you know what else?! Some of the someones I've needed most to forgive aren't even on the planet anymore.

I guess it's simple. Forgiveness is a choice. It is always there. NO. MATTER. WHAT.

I liked this module BEcause it let me sift through a lot of stuff I have thoughtandfelt about forgiving. BEing forgiven. All that... And it gave me more to think on. 

That's always good. Now... to find out if there really is a raking thingie or if I have just made that up like I used to state laws...