March 28, 2013

While I'm Away

I'll be away from my blog for 5 weeks (see unplugged sabbatical). Yet this is a space to which you can return, investigate, share, and learn. While I'm away, I invite you to ponder and experiment with the following prompts. And please share your experiences. Comment and comment again (and reply to the comments of others). Or if that feels too uncomfortable, email me your experiences. (I will happily read them upon my return in 5 weeks.) I want us to feel connected during my sabbatical. I want to hear about your experiences; I want you to have a safe space to share.

1. Take a risk
To risk is to be vulnerable; to risk is to be brave. What risk has been calling to you? Something that's mildly scary, yet for which you feel ready? Is it having a particular conversation? Or showing your creative work to another person? Or letting your voice be heard? Or asking for help? Whatever the risk--small or big--take it. And tell me about it. How did it feel (before, during, and after)? Perhaps more importantly, did the sky fall? (No, it never does.) That is, it's important to notice and internalize that you took a risk and ultimately you're okay (this is a valuable felt memory to which you can return in the future). Do you recognize your okay-ness, even after taking the risk (even if there was failure)? 

2. Try a recipe at 101 cookbooks
Heidi Swanson is a talented artist--both in the kitchen and behind the camera. Her recipes are interesting and tasty. Try one of her recipes and let me know what you think. Is it a keeper? Was it too much work? Did you enjoy the process of making food? What were the flavors in the food? What was new or interesting? Did you share the food with others?

3. Dig around in my blog
Spend some time with my blog--read old posts, view the photographs, consider the format. What is inviting about my blog? What is potentially off-putting? Are there certain posts you like or dislike? Why? Is there a topic (or series of topics) on which you'd like me to write? Would you suggest a different format (additions, deletions, changes)? I'd love your thoughtful and honest feedback.

4. Write someone a letter and send it via postal mail
I'm in love with postal mail. When I decorate and hand write a card, my heart opens and I feel connected to the addressee. When I receive a letter in the mail, my heart soars. A snail-mail letter can make my day. Think of someone you want to contact--someone to whom you're grateful or you love or you've fallen out of touch. Then write your thoughts and feelings on a card (or even a piece of notebook paper). It needn't be elegant, just write. And then put that letter in the postal mail. (How do you feel as you slip the letter into the mailbox?)

5. Try something new
For some of us, it's difficult to try something new, because we put ourselves in a vulnerable position--we might not excel or we might (egads) make mistakes. (I know this position well.) But that vulnerability (scariness + exhilaration) is a juicy place to learn about ourselves and have some fun in the process. What new experience do you want to try? Dancing? Traveling? Attending an event with a new group of people? Taking a class that's out of your comfort zone? Blogging? Eating a new-to-you cuisine? Whatever strikes your fancy, try it. Just dive in. Then tell me about the experience--before, during, and after.

6. Bare a new part of your soul (to a safe person)
We all hold places of ourselves private--the soft spots that feel too tender to share. Yet holding on (in solitude) to an intense emotion can be a burden--a burden felt with all our being.   Often we feel better by speaking the words, by sharing with another. If you feel safe with a friend, mentor, or family member, share a new piece of yourself. Start small if it feels scary. But share. How do you feel afterward?

7. Declare a dream
We are wired to protect ourselves from harm. In times of real threat, this is helpful. But for the bulk of our experiences, this is limiting. We hesitate in declaring dreams, protecting ourselves in advance against failure. But there's no contract to sign; there's no promise that the dream will become a reality. Dreams are meant to be shared--to be declared in big ways. What are your dreams? Please tell me, I want to know.

8. Tell me about a book you've recently read (or a movie you've seen)
I love reading books and watching movies. I love words and visuals. What book recently caught your attention and why? Was the story intriguing? Was the writing vivid? Were the characters particularly real? And what movie recently sparked your interest? Story? Acting? Cinematography? Tell me all the rich details.

9. Write a six-word memoir
These six-word memoirs are fun. The limited word count simplifies the process. Yet each word matters. And the memoirs can be touching, funny, crass, refined, soul-baring--whatever fits your mood; because you can write many of these memoirs. It's an interesting activity and the memoirs are fun to share. (Drink coffee or wine with close friends while you write six-word memoirs--I guarantee there will be laughter and deep connection.)

10. Take a walk outside (right now)
As technology evolves, we spend more time inside on gadgets and less time outside in the fresh air. So--right now--stop reading my blog and take a walk outside. What does the air feel and smell like? What sounds do you hear? What colors and textures do you see? What does it feel like to fully inhabit your body and connect with nature?

1 comment:

  1. Missing you, dearest Joy: really can't wait to read about your experiences in the last couple of weeks. I will use some of your hints during the next days ... Warm hug, read you soon!