loss freed me and saved my life.

I was thrilled to be invited to talk today with Jen Louden about savoring and serving. You'll find that interview here. Here's an excerpt, an answer to one of Jen's delicious questions: Loss freed me and saved my life. It gave me my real voice, not just my “professional” voice, the one I used to write and speak in. It tore all that down. It revealed the architecture of life to me, the one we decorate and hide and clutter up. Took all that down, down to the bones of it, the rebar and concrete. It gave me a measure, a tone, a note. Like a rondo, it let me see a life in which the note “a” is repeated over and over again, but sounds different each time because it is the counterbalance to a different note (a different circumstance). So life goes like this: A, AB, AC, AD in which “A” is constant but sounds different when juxtaposed against different people, different circumstances. Loss opened me up. I hope you'll read the rest of our conversation, here. I'm looking forward to continuing that conversation when Jen, Susan Piver, and I meet in Boston on September 23-24, 2011, to lead Walking into Fire, a writing retreat. Based on our successful retreat of the same name recently in Portland, Oregon, we're thrilled for the opportunity to engage with a room full of amazing human beings and writers again soon. I would love to see you there! [image from...

six years ago today.

Six years ago today, Hurricane Katrina hit. Here's what I wrote then. Consider yourself part of the solution Replace "they" with "we" with "I" We can do...

mindful monday.

(I want bedroom walls the color of these eggs that Tess found.) Yes, boxes are being filled with things I no longer need to carry around in this life with me. Bookshelves are being purged. Closets are emptied and choices made on what goes back in. I'm looking at paint chips and figuring out how to measure for blinds and curtains. Shouldn't I already know how to do that? Maybe. Probably. But I don't. I'm shedding. And I am paying close attention to what William Morris said: "Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful." That criteria has helped fill many boxes over the past few weeks: Is this Useful? Is it Beautiful? Does it represent me now, or 30 years ago? Does it represent a story I want to continue telling in my life? Or one I don't want to tell any longer? Here are four things I'm reading and thinking about creating beautiful, simple spaces: This has me thinking: Everyone gets organized at some point, they just might not be around for it. 10 Things You Can Do Today to Simplify Your Life 21 Tips on Keeping a Simple Home with Kids Here's the wallcolor that started all this paint chip...

be safe.

In light of Hurricane Irene's approach, please be safe if you are in her path. Be prepared. Be over-prepared. Here are some great things to think about doing and having as you prepare: Prepare a family "to-go" kit Look at this disaster supply list Eat the food in your freezer now to avoid losing it if you lose power (suggested by Lydia Walshin, creator of The Perfect Pantry) What other tips do you have? Please leave them in the comments below. Prepare. Plan. Stay informed. Be...

thinking thursday.

[mind]   I love the work David Robinson and I do together in our company, The Circle Project. We've started posting on our blog every Tuesday and Thursday, as a way of corralling what we're thinking about, and what we're working on. I hope you'll join us for conversations about split intentions, strong foundations, and much more.  Over 700,000 kids get lost in the U.S. every year. It is a great fear of parents that their kids will get lost. Most get found. This book is being added to our library for Tess: Yay! Freda is Found! on getting help when lost: important tips for children, parents, teachers & caregivers. Being prepared is a very good thing. [body] This looks and sounds really good. I love lentils. Oh, my. Fig and fennel bread. Two of my favorite things in the world in one bread. Raw "egg" salad. Someone told me this is delicious – on my list to try for sure. How one family broke its junk-food addiction. This looks like an interesting way to reduce trash. Does anyone have experience with something like this? Your thoughts? People with autism often have to rehearse life. This article about autism and airlines provides some helpful information about flying with autism, both for the person with autism and for their traveling companions. [soul] I adore this chalk tribute to Canadian politician Jack Layton who died recently. What a beautiful way to be remembered. I don't know how else to say this: I am in love with Kathryn Ruth "Hot Dog" Schuth and Amy "Amos Moon" McCracken, the two women who are...