Word of the Year 2023
I attended the annual White Stone Ceremony at Unity Church of Houston this week... read on if you want to do your own white stone ceremony at home!
This is a long tradition at Unity… and many others have practiced this art of choosing a ‘word of the year.’
The approach at Unity was a little different than I’ve ever done it before.
I have always given my word of the year a lot of thought.
I always try on many different words, and want to choose just the right one. I change my mind many times.
The experience at Unity invited us to come to the ceremony with no word in mind.
They explained that in ancient Roman times, if a person spent time in prison, when they were released, they were given a white stone. This was evidence that they were purified, they had all the rights of any citizen in the community, they would be protected by the law, and most importantly, they had a clean slate.
This bolg post was recorded as my very first podcast podcast. Use the link to listen! *If there's a blank space following the word "podcast" click there!
*This is a first attempt just to test it out... better sound quality and production coming soon!
Well Hello Sunshine!
I just decided to something crazy on a Wednesday… Start a podcast!
This is such a very ME thing to do!
I have been thinking about podcasting since I began life coaching… the idea has been like little champagne bubbles that keep rising up in me… start a podcast! you should start a podcast! And you know what? I listen to that. I take it seriously. I believe that it’s important. I have SO many words in me. If you know me, you know it’s true. I have been a talker since the very beginning – and what do you know… there are platforms in the world that are just MADE for talkers! What is this magical world we...
I’m coming off an epic birthday week, and if you’ve been with me for awhile, you might remember my Build Your Own Birthday blog post from last year.
I’m all-in on crafting your own celebrations that are uniquely YOU… rather than waiting on someone else to make your special days special.
This year, my birthday began with a little pile of gifts from my family, then I enjoyed a spa day with friends, an overnight trip to Galveston with a bestie, a Miller Outdoor Theater production, yoga and lunch with another beautiful friend, and the party will continue in my hometown of Lafayette this weekend! (I’m headed there for a wedding, but I’ll have some time to love on my family, which is my favorite!) I'll return to another sleepover with some of my favorite ladies at the lake... and there are a couple more birthday lunches in the coming weeks!
I know this is a lot! I didn't plan all of it... but it is so...
I visited my local library recently. It was the first time I’d set foot in a library in 2 years… because… say it with me… #covid. I found my favorite section… self help/spirituality… and a happy little book caught my eye: “Good Morning, I love you” by Shauna Shapiro.
I haven’t had a chance to read it because I was hungry when I went to the library and I took more books than I could read in 3 weeks. I renewed them all and now it’s time to return them, and still I haven’t opened the little book with the sunshine on the cover. So, this morning over coffee, I flipped through the book and landed on a paragraph about the author speaking to a therapist who said to her, “Shauna, life is not a self-improvement project.”
It’s not? I giggled a little. You know, the ‘yeah right’ giggle?
I kept reading. Shauna said she almost...
Picture me in my Catholic school uniform, a junior in high school, terrified, smiling nervously, sitting on a stool in front of my Psychology class. The room is filled with Juniors and Seniors and a diabolical teacher who randomly chooses a student each week to suffer through this exercise. As I sit there, the students write on the backs of ripped sheets of ditto paper. They have permission to judge me. They are asked to write their thoughts about me… anonymously… and place them in the envelope that is being passed back through the rows. When the envelope reaches the last student, it is handed to me and I have to read them aloud. The envelope shakes in my hands. I am sweating. I am begging the faces in front of me to be kind. I open the first folded slip, then the next and the next… below is a list of all the comments I received (typed exactly as written).
- Very outgoing and active. Fun person
- I just now got...
What's boring to YOU? Waiting rooms? Laundry? Church service? Homework? Carpool pickup line? Sitting through a lecture? Shopping with a partner? Long car rides? Long (or even short) flights? Babysitting?
I remember getting my first iPhone... the iPhone 3. It took me about a year to join Facebook because I thought it would be a time waster and I didn't want to dip my toe in that pool. I was sitting in a Drs waiting room soon after creating my FB profile. I scanned the magazines - nothing looked interesting. Not yet accustomed to looking at social media, it took awhile for me to have the thought, "Oh yeah, I can look at Facebook!" Then I thought ... "Man, I never have to be bored again!"
Sure, phones keep us entertained... but is that REAL fun? I actually feel really bored when scrolling social.
What is actual, genuine, REAL fun to you? To make boring things fun... first you've got to KNOW that you CAN. In Joie de Vivre this...
Today, we’re gonna take a look in the mirror. Just stand there and look at her. Notice where your brain goes. What are the exact things it likes to say to you? Are you able to look at yourself for long without looking away? Can you handle the steady stream of casual constant self rejection?
I listened to a podcast this week featuring Mel Robbins who wrote The High Five Habit. She teaches a method to help address the ‘language’ we speak to ourselves. Here’s an impactful bit of the conversation:
“We justify self-criticism by thinking that somehow we’re holding ourselves accountable.
Self-criticism has been passed down from generation to generation.
You are so unaware of how fluently you are negative.
When you are speaking, you are unaware that you are speaking the English language, you just speak it. Self-criticism and self-rejection is something that we are fluent in. So...
I’m just not that kind of person.
This empowering sentence runs through my head anytime I encounter anything that I know immediately is not ‘me.’
I first heard the phrase from my friend Sara 20 years ago. We were talking about cleaning house in ‘zones.’ It was a fad of the moment. You set up your house into 5 zones and you clean 1 zone each weekday.. “I’m just not that kind of person” she said. I giggled at her confidence. I, on the other hand, was definitely considering giving the trend a try. My brain loves something NEW. If I’ve never tried it before, then maybe THIS new system will be just the thing I need to finally make the changes I have been meaning to make.
This new planner.
This new diet.
This new fitness tracker.
This new commitment to invite people over once a month so I’ll finally get all the little projects done around the house (because nothing motivates home...
The most powerful and life-changing conversation I've ever had was with a mother who lost her son to suicide. Our sons had been friends when they were little. Our sons are very much alike. Hearing about his death, I knew to my core that if it could happen in her family, it could happen in mine. I learned from visiting with her that there was no warning and there was no note. There was no obvious reason, but there were many possible reasons. She listed a string of challenges: ADHD, depression, junior year overwhelm, major school pressure, an illness which kept him home for two weeks and caused his grades to slip, isolation because of covid, some bullying, some self-doubt. On the other hand, he had a lot going for him and it always seemed that he was managing just fine.
I write this on Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2021 and in honor of Suicide Prevention Month to bring attention to the very real truth that this IS the #2...
Known as the "Guru who wasn't"... Jiddu Krishnamurti never wanted any recognition or fame but seemed to intuitively know great and universal truths and shared them with audiences throughout his life. He was believed by his community to be the great "World Teacher" claiming that salvation is found within. “I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth…you have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to hold that key. That key is your own self.” In one of his most famous speeches, Krishnamurti said, "Here is my secret: I don't mind what happens."
Wow. This has been on repeat in my head lately. "I don't mind what happens." Is that true? Is it possible not to mind? On the very simple, very ground floor level of life... I guess I don't mind. Like, let's say I'm out...
Do you enjoy trying something new? New foods? New habits? New friendships? New hobbies? New board games? Do you start out with a fresh sense of wonder an openness about the experience... or do you feel a little cynical and figure that you probably won't be very good at it?
We tend to only try things we know we have a proficiency for. It takes a very brave constitution to start something new and KNOW for sure that we're gonna suck at it for awhile. "I'll try" might be the bravest thing you ever say. It's the bridge between not doing and doing.
The culture here, in America, is pretty goal oriented. We like success. We like achievement. We want to be REALLY GOOD at everything. We have a tough time being 'bad' at something. But really, when you're new... you're just NEW. You're a beginner. You're like a baby deer on wobbly legs. It's NORMAL that it doesn't come...
If the answer is yes... you won the lottery! You might not believe me, but it's really true. This child of yours comes bearing gifts. To begin with, hello patience... hello acceptance. Because, what other choice do you have? You can try to CHANGE them, but that's not why they're here. They're not even here to CHANGE YOU! They are here to be themselves, in whatever form that takes... and guess what? THAT IS CHANGING THE WORLD.
Look, I know you probably worry so much about all the 'terrible toos.' They're too emotional, too loud, too opinionated, too obstinate, too slow, too fast, too awkward, too sensitive, too smart, too unorganized, too talkative, too exhausting, too honest, too hyper, too lazy, too difficult, too MUCH! Do you wanna know why? Because we are asking these square pegs to fit into round holes and THEY CANNOT. They can't. They won't.
It is out of their true integrity to be...