To bless the space between us.

At the End Of the Year The particular mind of the ocean Filling the coastline's longing With such brief harvest Of elegant, vanishing waves Is like the mind of time Opening us shapes of days.   As this year draws to its end, We give thanks for the gifts it brought And how they became inlaid within Where neither time nor tide can touch them   The days when the veil lifted And the soul could see delight; When a quiver caressed the heart In the sheer exuberance of being here.   Surprises that came awake In forgotten corners of old fields Where expectation seemed to have quenched.   The slow, brooding times When all was awkward And the wave in the mind Pierced every sore with salt.   The darkened days that stopped The confidence of the dawn.   Days when beloved faces shone brighter With light from beyond themselves; And from the granite of some secret sorrow A stream of buried tears loosened.   We bless this year for all we learned, For all we loved and lost And for the quiet way it brought us Nearer to our invisible destination.   -John O'Donahue, To Bless the Space Between Us   With thanks for the year, for all we loved and lost and learned. And with many thanks to Pixie Campbell for pointing me to this poem, this blessing of the liminal space in which we find ourselves. [image from...

Let 2012 be a year of reading and thinking in community.

Have you had "read more" on your list of things you want to do for a while? I have. I want to read more. And think more. And read and think in community. And add value to the reading process for others. That's the thinking behind my new 37days Book Club. If you've had "join a book club" on your list of resolutions for a while, but haven't found one or can't make the time to physically go join one, I hope my virtual Book Club might be of interest. Over 30 amazing people have joined so far–we will read one book a month in 2012 and have online conversations via a private Facebook group as well as a once-a-month online gathering to discuss that month's book. When possible, we'll get the author to come talk to us as well. Until midnight tonight, it's only $5/month to join and be a Charter Member of the group. I hope you'll take the leap into a rich, diverse reading experience in 2012 with us! Here are some of the books on our 2012 list! 1st Quarter 1.     Feb 1, 2012 – The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes  2.     March 7, 2012 – Bento's Sketchbook, John Berger 3.     April 4, 2012 – To be voted on by group members 2nd Quarter 4.     May 2, 2012 – Orientation and Other Stories, Daniel Orozco 5.     June 6, 2012 – The Lake, Banana Yoshimoto 6.     July 11, 2012 – To be voted on by group members Click here for more...

The Week of Inward Looking: Day 6 – Spirituality

DECEMBER 31 – QUESTION #6 From: Susan Piver Topic: Spirituality Question: Where, how, and with whom have my spiritual values manifested in 2011? Where, how, and with whom do I wish to express/manifest/share them in 2012? The Dalai Lama has famously said, "My religion is simple. My religion is kindness." There are certain qualities that transcend all belief systems and these can be thought of as spiritual values. For me, gentleness (defined as opening to and accepting yourself from moment to moment, feeling what you feel without judgment or agenda), kindness (feeling, knowing, and acting as if all beings are just like me in that they seek love and happiness), and bravery (inviting my fears, confusion, and personal nuttiness as part of the path) are among those values. How about you? How did 2011 meet or defeat your spiritual journey? Where do you long to go in 2012? Use today's question to lead you further along the path. ___________________ Background: Author Susan Piver and I are hosting "The Week of Inward Looking" during this week between Christmas and the New Year. It occured to us that this inbetween week is a time for examination, a time to build a bridge to a peaceful, joyful, creative, and wildly successful 2012–whatever success means to you. So we invited five extraordinary thinkers to join us in creating a 7-day journey, starting today. You are welcome to join our Facebook group to connect with others participating in The Week of Inward Looking, or not. You are welcome to post your answers on that Facebook page, or not. You are welcome to journal in...

The Week of Inward Looking: Day 5 – On Creativity

DECEMBER 30 – QUESTION #5 From Jonathan Fields Topic: Creativity Question: What have I learned about living the creative life in 2011? And how will it change what and how I create moving forward? I was somehow delivered into this life with the mad Jones to create, but not the ability to handle the process without a fair amount of anxiety. To do what I'm here to do, I figured, I'd have to suffer. But, I've now come to a different understanding. Action in the face of uncertainty is essential to creation. To life, really. How we experience that walk into the unknown is much more a matter of choice and practice. We can choose to frame and experience it not just as pain, but as elevation. It's not easy, but the question isn't whether it's easy, it's whether it's worth the effort. I'm very much in the beginning of this learning, but so far, the reward has far outpaced the effort. So, as we move into a new year, what would you venture to create if you felt equipped to handle whatever the process brought you? ___________________ Background: Author Susan Piver and I are hosting "The Week of Inward Looking" during this week between Christmas and the New Year. It occured to us that this inbetween week is a time for examination, a time to build a bridge to a peaceful, joyful, creative, and wildly successful 2012–whatever success means to you. So we invited five extraordinary thinkers to join us in creating a 7-day journey, starting today. You are welcome to join our Facebook group to connect with...

The Week of Inward Looking: Day 4 – Serving

DECEMBER 29 – QUESTION #4 From Jennifer Louden Topic: Serving Question: How did I serve in 2011? Whom did I serve? What aspects of my service brought me alive? What aspects drained me? If I could serve in any way possible in 2012, what would I create? Let your imagination run wild. Service can sound so dull and feel so heavy, something only really good (cue white toothy smile) people do or something you do to other people for their own good. Yuck. Let's ditch those ideas. Instead, try on the idea that service is your heart's desire made visible. Service is the act of sharing what you most care about for the greater good. It requires no special goodness, thankfully. After our basic needs are met, we all yearn to make a difference and service springs from listening to that yearning – and taking action on it, step by little step. Service makes you tingle with aliveness like all true acts of intimacy. It's deeply creative, generative, and yes, risky, because it means you share your heart. It's also as natural as breathing, and like breathing, must include giving and receiving. How will you serve in 2012? I can't wait to hear! ___________________ Background: Author Susan Piver and I are hosting "The Week of Inward Looking" during this week between Christmas and the New Year. It occured to us that this inbetween week is a time for examination, a time to build a bridge to a peaceful, joyful, creative, and wildly successful 2012–whatever success means to you. So we invited five extraordinary thinkers to join us in creating...