It Was All of You

– Friends!  

I wish I could share the whole story – because, believe me, my dear friend’s story is worth celebrating and shouting from the rooftops*…  But out of total respect for everything she’s been through and everyone else surrounding her, the story has to be distilled to this –

Last night, I celebrated a friend’s one year of sobriety. 

It was beautiful, and I am SO proud of her.  

I was struck last night by how open and honest and vulnerable everyone was.  To say it was refreshing doesn’t quite cover it, honestly.  There’s this tendency so often to cover up the parts of ourselves we don’t really like.  We are modern, educated humanity, and of course we can make it on our own! 

Try standing up in front of a room full of people and announcing your biggest fears and greatest weaknesses.  

There is so much I have to learn still.  

One of the central tenets of AA is that you can’t make it alone.  No man is an island and all of that.  You rely on God. On others.  On anything bigger and stronger than yourself, because otherwise you are never getting out of the mess you’ve created. Vulnerability is your middle name. 

And healing begins.  

You don’t ever get to say, “Look at everything I’ve accomplished!  Look at how great I am!” 

You simply stand in the middle of your community and celebrate.  ”It was all of you who got me here too.  I could never have survived without you.” 

I’m going this weekend to listen to Brene Brown speak.  Her TED talk (embedded below for you – seriously, it’s so worth listening to) on the power of vulnerability was one of the most encouraging, challenging and inspiring talks I’d heard in a long time. 

The trick is to jump off that cliff and take a risk.  Share your soul.  And be a safe place for others to do the same!  

*I ran this blog past her before posting… Of course! 🙂

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A Short Breather….

– It’s so funny how the weeks can fly by so quickly.  

How much can change.  

Hiatus. 

There’s a thousand things happening every day.  A thousand possibilities around every corner.  I’m so excited I can barely breathe.   

But today?  Today is a slow day.  This is a slow moment.  I think my last quiet moment was sometime in January.  And I am terrible at quiet moments.   

I think I’ve seen more friends in the past 5 days than I’ve seen in the past 5 weeks.  My house is spotless.  This morning, I made a sweet onion scramble with spinach and roma tomatoes, two french presses of coffee, kale chips, cauliflower ceviche and honey vanilla frozen yogurt.  (ps – I’m starting a food blog so my facebook and instagram friends aren’t constantly overwhelmed by my food pictures! You’re welcome…)  

kale

I don’t know what to do with myself. 

But after a long time of being so busy, a friend of mine finally said something that makes so much sense… 

Creativity and rest are two sides of the same coin. 

Though I’m still sorting this one out, from an artist’s standpoint – it’s just as important for me to recharge as it is to throw myself into my stories and scripts and projects. 

You can’t keep pouring wine out of an empty cup.  

So over the next few weeks, I’ll still be blogging here.  I’ll still be living life – writing, reading, seeing friends and colleagues, imagining a totally crazy future… 

But today, I am learning to rest. 

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Sabbath

– Our world is full of traditions of rest. In every culture, in every century, there have always been traditions of withdrawing from the world for short periods of time to refresh and reflect.  

Now, let’s just be honest.  I always hated it.  

It always felt so fake. 

Life always felt so much bigger than sitting in a Sunday school classroom, dressed up and eating goldfish crackers out of a little Dixie cup. This was the rest I was supposed to aspire to? There was no running, no jumping. No laughing.  No scuffing up your shoes. Today was God’s day, and it was boring.

There was this big beautiful world out there, and somehow I was just supposed to sit through this day and… I don’t know. Wait for Monday?  Who likes waiting for Mondays? There were things to do and people to see and dreams to plan for… It felt like such an enormous risk with absolutely no reward. What if the world moved on without you while you were wasting the day? 

But there was always something more. Something slipping in around the edges, something dancing around the margins, inviting. Dreaming. Whispering. There was more.

What if I’ve got the whole thing wrong? 

What if this resting thing everyone keeps talking about actually looks like this? 

What if that day of rest – any day of the week, really – meant that your soul was deeply rested and deeply satisfied? What if a day of rest really meant a day of fun? A day of taking one tiny step closer to joy? Though they weren’t perfect, what if those days of goldfish crackers and shiny shoes actually had something to them? There were moments with friends. Moments of learning something new about God’s profound love for our weird little hearts. Moments where we laughed anyway.

What if God’s heart for rest was much closer to those moments when you’re surrounded by your close friends, laughing over dinner and a glass of really good wine? Or a perfectly timed phone call from a faraway best friend? What if rest looked like the moment when a baby falls asleep in your arms?   

That’s a wildly alive moment. Peaceful. Restful. I could certainly live there. 

It suddenly seems like a risk worth taking. 

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* reblogged for Basileia here

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Seeing the Moon on a Clear Night

I was born into a world where Neil Armstrong had already walked on the moon.

It was a fact of life, a way of living established by people who had long ago lived out the wildest dreams of humanity.

So easy to forget sometimes that these adventurers made it to the moon and back with guts, grit and the practical equivalent of a few pieces of metal held together with chewing gum, duct tape and hope.

A few months ago, I ran across the speech President Nixon had ready to go in case of an Apollo 11 disaster where the men were unable to launch back off the moon.

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

“These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.”

 

It wasn’t until I read those words that I really understood what they’d risked.  

Of course, they made it home to a hero’s welcome and a place in the world’s history books, splashing down into the Pacific Ocean and forever defining our history with before the moon and after. 

I have a short list I call my Happy List.  It’s a collection of songs, historical clips, movie moments, journal entries, even YouTube videos that I watch when I need to be reminded that there is good in the world.  There is hope.  That despite all of the truly horrific pieces of life, that sometimes we actually do come through with something breathtaking.

I like to imagine God laughing in delight with me.  Humanity is so weird, so funny.  So adventurous.  

One of my clips is Walter Cronkite’s anchoring of the moon landing. Here is this grown man –  smart, tactful, respectful, always pulled together.  He was the voice of reason for a country trying to make sense of where they were at as the world changed dramatically around them.

But when the Eagle touched down, he was once again the voice of a nation and the world – the giddy, unbelieving, laughing nation going, “Holy hell… Jules Verne was right.”  Walter Cronkite laughed like a little boy given the keys to the planet of Christmas.

Neil Armstrong – standing on the shoulders of giants – made our dreams come alive, then came home and lived.

I always wondered what he thought about when he looked up at the moon every night.  

While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.  

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” 

– the family of Neil Armstrong

Good night, Mr. Armstrong, and godspeed….

  

 

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Godspeed, Mr. Armstrong…

” While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

— The Family of Neil Armstrong.

More thoughts from me coming later tonight. But I just wanted to share this first…

Godspeed, Mr. Armstrong

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