Archive for ‘Reflections’

March 19, 2011

My Personal Manifesto

Since the new year I’ve been thinking about what I want out of life.  It’s one of the reasons I started this blog, as a place to keep track of my thoughts.  The OLW project has helped refine my thinking, as has my reading.  Finally in the last few weeks disparate thoughts have come together and I’ve created what I call my Personal Manifesto.

Live Intentionally – consistent with my Life’s Purpose.

Live Simply – free of clutter and “stuff”

Be Authentic – be myself, follow my heart, and don’t make choices according to what others expect or think I should do.

Be Mindful – Be in the present

Live by example – Practice what I preach, be a role model, be the person I want Matthew to learn how to be.  Act ethically and the way I would want to be treated.

Love – Actively demonstrate my love for Matthew and others in my life through my actions.

This list feels really good to me – something I can use as a roadmap when I am faced with a choice or decision – I can just decide which path best fits with the items I’ve outlined above.

A big part of this Manifesto is living consistently with my Life’s Purpose.  This is huge – wouldn’t it be great if we all lived in concert with our most cherished goals?  The hardest part for me is defining what it is my life’s purpose is all about.  That’s coming in a later post…I’m almost done articulating and refining what I think is a fair representation of it at this point in my life.

January 23, 2011

My Wordle

One of the exercises for this month’s OLW project was to look up the synonyms for our word.  I realized that all the synonyms I liked were all “Re-” words.  The prefix re- means ‘again’ or ‘anew’.  I thought that was super interesting, and says as much about my goals for the year as my actual word.

I used Wordle to create this word cloud of my word and its synonyms.  I’m pretty pleased with it.  It may say more about my goals for the year than “renew” does alone.

January 11, 2011

When you travel

I took a break from working this morning to check out a few of my favorite blogs.  Chris Guillebeau had a poem on his most recent post that was perfect for me as I prepare to head out for a week’s travels.  It’s beautiful, and sums up my feelings about getting out of my comfort zone and seeing the world.  Granted a week on a beach in Cancun is not my typical seeing-the-world vacation, but the spirit of this poem resonates with me nevertheless…

Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.

-John O’Donohue

January 4, 2011

2011 Priorities

I won’t call these resolutions.  I don’t do resolutions, as previously stated.  But there’s just something about the new year that does cause one to reflect.  As I do, I’m starting to think about what my priorities for 2011 might look like.  So far I’ve got:

1) Start a yoga practice.  I think this may involve taking private yoga classes, because I know I don’t have the diligence or ability to do it at home, and the beginner classes at the nearby yoga studios are all at times that would require a babysitter.  Why can’t there be a beginner class at a nice convenient time like right after I drop off Matthew from school?  But there is a studio right around the corner that does private sessions.  While the cost is a bit high, Deloitte has a fitness subsidy that will pay 50% up to $500 per year.  So far that fitness subsidy has gone unused so I think its about time I take advantage.

2) Get involved and give back.  For years I’ve wanted to develop a relationship with an organization that I could volunteer with – something more substantive than the typical cash or clothing donation.  But I’d never found an organization with whom I felt a connection.  A few months ago I started some research and I think I may have found it.  I’ve filled out an application and am waiting for 2 letters of reference, and am excited that this may be both a great opportunity for service and a great way to build connection in my community.

3) Travel in a way that makes sense to me.  I love to travel and have been lucky to have done quite a bit before Matthew was born.  Since then not so much.  Now that he is getting older I want to start traveling again, but not in the “lay on the beach in a 4 star resort” kind of way.  I want to identify travel opportunities that expand my horizons, are adventurous, a little rough, and possibly include some philanthropic aspects.  I just came across RoadMonkey and think that some of their trips sound amazing.

4) Take more pictures.  I’m trying to decide if I have the fortitude to embark on a 365 project. That seems way too ambitious.  But I’d like to challenge myself to something that will encourage me to have my camera in-hand more often.  This one will take more thought.

Hmmmm….what else?


January 3, 2011

One Little Word

I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. Never have been.  And for years I have purposely avoided making them.  This year however I came across the One Little Word concept by Ali Edwards and the online workshop she is teaching at Big Picture Classes all year.  So instead of having a resolution for 2011 I will have a word.  And my word is….renew.  I think.  I almost picked tribe as my word, but renew embodies both my intention to build new connections and refresh old ones, but also to refresh my mind and body as well.  I think I’m excited!