Saturday, December 29, 2012

Beacons of Light

These days, reclaiming my Boho Mojo seems more important than ever. 2012 was quite a year and I don’t mean that as a compliment.  It tested my patience, my endurance and long held beliefs. I know it was a year of growth, but that growth was hard won.

With so many demands on my time and attention, taking time for self-renewal often takes a back seat. I’m letting go of the frenetic drive to be a leader in order to find balance and peace.

To this end I have started to purge my blog-feeds of blogs that I feel I should read, but that I don’t genuinely look forward to. I am trying to clear the deck of old projects, old dreams and unrealistic tasks. I am giving away things to people who could really use them and gaining the gift of space. I am remembering that spending some time with people, in person or online, that inspire and renew me is important and vital to my success and well-being.

I wanted to share a list of blogs of people who inspire me and make my heart lighter. These are people who have been Beacons of Light in my past year. Most of them have nothing to do with my life as a school librarian, as a poet, as a writer or as an educator. This is a list of people who inspire me as a human being. They are precious to me for their positive messages, the joy they infuse into the atmosphere around them and for the feeling of peace and belonging I feel when I visit their virtual  homes. I know I've missed some that I should have added, but here is a start. 

The Dalai Lama
To tell the truth, I just looked up the website. I don’t recall ever looking on the website before. I do, however, enjoy following the Dalai Lama on Twitter and on Facebook. His words of love and compassion speak to me.

Emmy Blue

Emmy Blue does have a strong tie in to what I do – stories and children. Beyond that, Emmy brings light and warmth to any format where I encounter her – facebook, twitter, email and certainly her website. She is a bright and energetic ray of hope that reaches my heart even on the most humdrum day.

Kind Over Matter
Kind Over Matter is always uplifting, but I am particularly taken with the 26 Acts project. This is your one stop shop for happiness activism.

Vivienne McMaster

Vivienne teaches transformational photography courses. I took her Chakra Photo Workshop last summer. Just looking at her website is a empowering act. Taking a class with her goes way, way beyond that. I treasure the photos I took in her class and hope to sign up for one of her You Are Your Own Muse courses in 2013.

Dosanko Debbie’s Etegami Notebook

Debbie’s blog uplifts me on so many levels. Her artwork is beautiful, her heart is compassionate and she also reminds me of the many happy times I had living in Japan. Looking at her blog I return to Japan if only in my mind.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Cup of Self Renewal

On this day after Christmas I have the luxury of sleeping in and rising slowly. I can steal a few hours toward self-renewal today. The holidays are always a blur of activity. The last few years have found us Christmas afternoon in states of exhausted, happy slumber. Today none of us are seeking company, rather we revel in the moments of recharging and dreaming. The clean up will come soon enough.

On mornings like this, too few and far between, I turn to my tea set with joy. This morning it is a good pot of Assam, store bought scones and what little clotted cream I have been hording for a special day. Today is special. They all are, but today is the day to remember the fact. A slow cup of tea in a beautiful tea cup, a scone on a cut glass dish, clotted cream spread with a silver knife I bought at the Brimfield antiques market last year, these all make this morning a celebration.
If I glance away from the scene right before me I see the dishes that need washing, the room that needs picking up, the tasks that require my attention today. Many and pressing are the demands on my time. There is little space to let in my brain some days.

Today, for this moment, I choose not to look. I choose not to let those cares and concerns press in on my joy. I choose to revel in this moment, to stretch and to allow myself to feel the sense of peace and perhaps to relieve the tenseness in my shoulders. For this moment I claim me.

As I look ahead to the next year I am determined to find more time for my tea set and for my self.

I wish you a pot of tea and a cup of self-renewal. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Red Berries

I love the way red berries look at this time of the year. The red contrasting with a green stem. Leaves are all fallen and so much is brown and sombre, but the berries are a burst of celebration. 

The state of the berries in the picture above makes me smile. Some have all the goodness used up. They are ready, or nearly ready to fall. Others are still fresh and plump and full of life's goodness. Come February all these berries will be kind of flat looking. Not so attractive to me, but absolutely irresistible to the small birds that hang around outside my window. They will eat them and fly straight into the living room window. When we first moved here, we thought we'd find a row of dead birds on the side of the building come spring. On closer observation we found that the same birds do this over and over. 

The picture reminds me to do some important things:
1.  Use things up while I have the chance.
2. Stock pile beauty for harsher times.
3. Beauty comes with both joy for the eyes as well as thorns that pierce.
4. I am reminded to smile more.
5. I am reminded to simply and make space.