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Filtering by Tag: the kindred project

the kindred project: day 12 (on noticing)

liz lamoreux

The Kindred Project: 12 Days of Light and Yes is about sharing our stories of light and hope. The moments where we said "yes" to choosing beauty in the midst of it all. The moments where we stood in our own light. The moments where we saw someone else choose hope. The moments where another became our teacher and where we taught ourselves. Read more about the project and share your own stories in this post. During these 12 days, I am sharing a few of the lights along my path that have pushed me and taught me and held me in the midsts of it all. 

 

*****

soul mantras awaiting a polish and chains before they head into the world

There were so many stories I wanted to share with you during these 12 days (that have become 13 days) but I am going to instead let go of that for now and tuck those stories away for another time because this is what I am called to share today...

In my Asian Philosopy class in college, I was introduced to this idea of becoming an observer of yourself. My quick explanation of this (because really you could study books and more books about this): The idea is to try to observe moments in your life with a sense of detachment, so you can see a bit more clearly and notice. You just notice. Letting go of the judgement or worry or fear or anger or what ifs and notice. 

This is a beautiful and powerful practice but so often it is oh-my-goodness hard.

Lately, I have been trying to do this in a few areas of my life, and this practice has pushed me to really admit some things (to myself):

You are on the path. (And you know it, so stop pretending you don't.)

You are too hard on yourself baby girl. There is only so much time in the day and you are only one person and it is okay to know that you are doing the best you can.

People are rarely as mad or even as dismayed as you assume they will be. In fact, they are hardly ever mad at all.

The universe is taking care of you in ways you don't even realize.

It so isn't about you. It isn't. But it can seem so easy to make it all about you. Yes. But people are just living their lives, doing their best too.

You will always miss them. This is truth, and it is okay.

People won't always get you. Just keep moving forward.

You must honor the people who do get you. Like. right. now. 

Spending more time in the living will infuse you with energy.

You are enough. You are enough. You are enough.

I am pushing myself to own these truths. I am also looking at the expectations I have of myself and trying to uncover where those expectations come from and if they really belong to me and are my truth. Luckily, I have some support in this area as this is big work. But in doing this work, I know my path will be lighter. Because even when I don't want to admit it, I make the choice. I choose to know these truths and stand in this light. I choose..

*****

A few shop notes: I am going to close the shop for two weeks starting tomorrow (Thursday). With all the retreats that have happened in this first part of 2011, I have learned that this simply is a must. I am working on some new designs to reveal when I reopen (including bracelets!) and I will be moving on from some of the pieces in the current collection (meaning several will no longer be available). Also, today and tomorrow will be the last days for the special edition kindred project necklace. So if you have your eye on something, use the coupon code SPRINGFREE for free shipping through tomorrow. 

the kindred project: day 8 (a birthday)

liz lamoreux

The Kindred Project: 12 Days of Light and Yes is about sharing our stories of light and hope. The moments where we said "yes" to choosing beauty in the midst of it all. The moments where we stood in our own light. The moments where we saw someone else choose hope. The moments where another became our teacher and where we taught ourselves. Read more about the project and share your own stories in this post. During these 12 days, I am sharing a few of the lights along my path that have pushed me and taught me and held me in the midsts of it all. 

 

*****

 

2010 :: 2011

As she sleeps down the hall, I think about how this time last year I had lost a sense of time and was deep inside a bravery I never knew I had within me. There was such joy and pain to come in those next few hours, days, weeks.

And there is so much I want to say. I want to tell you about the fear and beauty and laughter. I want to tell you about getting lost and forgotten, then standing tall as a mother in a way that had been within me all along. I want to tell you about the cracking open and the stitching it all up again only to have life leak through. 

Side by side we are healing and laughing and living it all.

May it always be like this, even when she stands farther away on her path and lives her own dreams into reality. May we always see the laughing and the healing and the love.

More stories to come, but right now there are presents to wrap and I need to remind Jon to pick up the cake and the sky is so blue and it is so warm outside and I can hear her calling me. We have some living to do over here.

(Homework: Close your laptop, turn off your phone, and go do some living of your own dear one. You deserve it.)

 

the kindred project: day 7 (traveler)

liz lamoreux

The Kindred Project: 12 Days of Light and Yes is about sharing our stories of light and hope. The moments where we said "yes" to choosing beauty in the midst of it all. The moments where we stood in our own light. The moments where we saw someone else choose hope. The moments where another became our teacher and where we taught ourselves. Read more about the project and share your own stories in this post. During these 12 days, I am sharing a few of the lights along my path that have pushed me and taught me and held me in the midsts of it all. 

 

*****

traveler and me . washington coast, july 2004

this evening, an audio post that includes a senses memory and just a few thoughts about how traveler taught me about love and grief.

(just click on june 2 below to hear it; it is about seven minutes long)

thank you so much for sharing your own stories throughout this little project i am doing. today, i would love to hear your stories about the animals in your life who teach you...

june 2

the kindred project: day 6 (nine with meredith winn)

liz lamoreux

The Kindred Project: 12 Days of Light and Yes is about sharing our stories of light and hope. The moments where we said "yes" to choosing beauty in the midst of it all. The moments where we stood in our own light. The moments where we saw someone else choose hope. The moments where another became our teacher and where we taught ourselves. Read more about the project and share your own stories in this post. During these 12 days, I am sharing a few of the lights along my path that have pushed me and taught me and held me in the midsts of it all. 

 

*****

The world of blogging has brought so many lights into my world in the form of many incredible women who are living their lives wide and deep. They are dancing and resting and being as they walk paths of realness and grief and hope and joy. They teach me as they share their stories. The Nine series has become a way for me to interview a few of these people in a way that teaches all of us about how they see their worlds in this moment. Today, I am rebooting this series a bit with a slightly new set of questions. Look for more Nine interviews in the months to come.

Today's Nine interview is with Meredith Winn. Oh how this woman shares pieces of beauty and truth through her words and photography. Every time I visit her blog, she deeply inspires me with her courage, and even though our stories are different, she has this way of pushing me to know that I am not alone. I am so thankful our paths have crossed and am delighted that she agreed to kick off the Nine series reboot.

Enjoy this peek into Meredith's story.

*****

Question 1: Who are you?

 

Question 2: In this moment, where are you?

 

Question 3: What are the textures of your corner of the world?

 

Question 4: If you had an hour alone to just play, what would you do?

 

Question 5: How do you seek joy?

 

Question 6: What nourishes you?

 

Question 7: When you need to simply take a breath and ground yourself, what do you do?

 

Question 8: How do you nurture your creative dreams?

 

Question 9: Does your heart have a secret wish you want to share?


 

*****

Meredith Winn is a sometimes writer and an everyday photographer. Meredith’s creative nonfiction has been published in various magazines including Midwifery Today, Motherverse, Literary Mama, Hip Mama, and a forthcoming issue of Mothering Magazine. Her photography has been on exhibit in TX, VT, and NYC. Meredith is a contributing editor and photographer to Shutter Sisters and is also a contributing photographer for Getty Images. Her photography portfolio can be found online. She is a somewhat elusive (and sporadic) blogger found at the~spirit~of~the~riverMeredith drinks chai tea, parents
mindfully, embraces this human existence, and will always be a camera shy momma. You can find her on twitter (@camerashymomma).

(All photos copyright Meredith Winn.)

*****

Nine is an interview series with creative folks that began in the Spring of 2009; the interviewees are asked to respond to the interview questions in photographs (or video). You can scroll through all the interviews here.

the kindred project: day 5 (a simple, everyday choice)

liz lamoreux

The Kindred Project: 12 Days of Light and Yes is about sharing our stories of light and hope. The moments where we said "yes" to choosing beauty in the midst of it all. The moments where we stood in our own light. The moments where we saw someone else choose hope. The moments where another became our teacher and where we taught ourselves. Read more about the project and share your own stories in this post. During these 12 days, I am sharing a few of the lights along my path that have pushed me and taught me and held me in the midsts of it all. 

 

*****

as i have read your comments and emails, i am noticing that there might be a thought out there that the choices i am talking about - choosing joy, hope, love - must be big choices. that somehow one must look only at the darkness to find these stories of choosing hope. i invite you to realize that the choice to find beauty or joy is one you do make every day when you put on your favorite socks or choose an orange at the grocery store or tell people you love them.

life is hard. life is full of so much, well, much.ness. we are pushed and pulled in this life. yet, we make simple choices every day to bring in more hope and joy. 

one simple way i bring in more joy to my everyday life is through music.

so often i stop everything to find my rhythm, to dance, to move in this world to the soundtrack of my life. honestly, this is such a part of me that i don't even realize i am doing it. singing and dancing simply make me happy. in fact, i find when i am singing, my heart feels lighter. is that a cliche of sorts? perhaps. but it is also part of my truth.

i sing to ellie all the time. i make up words to songs i know from my childhood. all the songs are about her and her bravery and strength and silliness. i so look forward to the day she joins in. and we dance. oh how we dance in this little house. don't you think we could solve more of the world's problems if there was more dancing?

a simple truth: almost every day i make the choice to find beauty in my world when i turn up the music and find my rhythm and sing along.

in this moment, i invite you to come along with ellie and me. get up right where you are and make the choice to find joy as you dance and sing along to a favorite song, "graceland," by paul simon.

please consider sharing a favorite song or two or three in the comments. maybe a song that brings a light.ness into your world or one you love to dance to or one that is giving you hope these days.  

the kindred project: day 4 (poetry)

liz lamoreux

The Kindred Project: 12 Days of Light and Yes is about sharing our stories of light and hope. The moments where we said "yes" to choosing beauty in the midst of it all. The moments where we stood in our own light. The moments where we saw someone else choose hope. The moments where another became our teacher and where we taught ourselves. Read more about the project and share your own stories in this post. During these 12 days, I am sharing a few of the lights along my path that have pushed me and taught me and held me in the midsts of it all. 

*****

 

here 8

shelf of poetry . march 2011

i want to say this as simply as possible. i want to chip away at the words until i am left with a simple answer to a question i am often asked: why poetry?

poetry holds up a mirror and forces me to see truth. it makes me laugh out loud in the middle of a bookstore in portland, oregon. it invites those pinpick tears that force me to remember something i thought i had let go. it holds me while i weep. it makes me just uncomfortable enough to know i must look closer. it dances and dips and turns and stretches and lives.

poetry lives big. 
(poetry saves me from myself.)

if you are sitting in your corner and wondering how to begin your relationship with poetry or perhaps you already have one and are always looking for more poems to collect...well, i invite you dare you to start here (each link below is to a poem by this list of some of my favorite poets), today, right now:

mary oliver (after you read that poem, head over to oprah.com to watch a video with ms. oliver being interviewed by maria shriver)
william stafford (more of his poetry can be found here)
david whyte (he teaches me again and again. if you have the chance to hear him speak. do it. until then, visit him on his site.)
hafiz (translated by daniel ladinsky. you should have the gift on your shelf.)
billy collins (includes collins reading his poem)
maya angelou (see dr. angelou read her poem here. soak it up.)
elizabeth bishop (read this one aloud...well, read them all aloud but for sure this one)
may sarton (how i wish i could arrive at her house for tea and ask her to read this one. [you should also read her journals. in fact, we should read them together this summer.])
marge piercy (and this one about the day her mother died...yes...read this one too)
carl sandberg (the first poem that got me thinking back in fourth grade...took a long break after that)
nikki giovanni (the women and the men is a favorite collection)
david lehman (and many other poems of lehman's have been shared on the writer's almanac and can be found here)
sharon olds (her poems often have a bit of grit and push me [teach me] big time)

and you reading this? please share any other poets who you enjoy in the comments...maybe you will even want to share a story about how poetry speaks to you in your life.

the kindred project: day 3 (Mrs. Lewis)

liz lamoreux

The Kindred Project: 12 Days of Light and Yes is about sharing our stories of light and hope. The moments where we said "yes" to choosing beauty even when it seemed impossible. The moments where we stood in our own light. The moments where we saw someone else choose hope. The moments where another became our teacher and where we taught ourselves. Read more about the project and share your own stories in this post. During these 12 days, I am sharing a few of the lights along my path that have pushed me and taught me and held me in the midst of it all. 

 

 

*****

mrs. lewis was my preschool teacher, and i loved her with the fierce determination of a three year old who was a bit too mature and wanted to be friends with the teacher (and thought she was). i wanted to mirror her every move and hold her hand whenever possible. even in this moment, i can remember what it felt like to almost rest inside the sound of her laughter and to witness the calm of her presence. she taught me to love the sound of someone's voice reading aloud. she taught me the importance of sharing and invited me to understand that i should always tell the truth. but most of all, she accepted me in a moment that could have been full of shame, and in doing so, she taught me about choosing kindness and how this invites a person to feel deeply loved.

as a child, i was often afraid of the dark. i always slept with a night light, and my bedroom door was always open. when i was three, my preschool class attended a play (i think it might have even been a marionette show), and at one point during the production, the theatre was pitch black. i remember holding mrs. lewis' hand, and at some point, she pulled me into her lap because i was so overwhelmed. in the midst of my anxiety, i did the unthinkable: i wet my pants while sitting on her lap. 

and this is what i remember: she just scooped me right up and took me to the bathroom where she cleaned up both of us. i don't remember the logistics of all of that, i just remember that as i cried and cried worried she was going to be mad or not like me anymore or not let me come back to school, she soothed me in a way that let me know that she was not angry. somewhere in this memory i can hear her explaining that this happens when we are afraid sometimes. she helped me know that it was okay, and i was going to be fine, and she was fine too.

i am sure this was quite a story to be told in the teacher's lounge at the end of the day; though i suppose preschool teachers experience this now and then. still, she never invited me to feel any shame, and she never brought it up again. 

as i think about the people who have been lights on my path and taught me about the choices one can make in every moment, i see how mrs. lewis and her way of being in the world shaped me in many ways. thinking about her tonight reminds me that love invites people to become even more than they already are through encouragement and acceptance. love does not invite shame. and choosing love, even during the messy and unexpected, is a powerful practice...one i want to push myself to live.

(pieces of this post originally appeared back in 2006 in a post about first loves.)

the kindred project: day 2 (Viktor Frankl)

liz lamoreux

The Kindred Project: 12 Days of Light and Yes is about sharing our stories of light and hope. The moments where we said "yes" to choosing beauty even when it seemed impossible. The moments where we stood in our own light. The moments where we saw someone else choose hope. The moments where another became our teacher and where we taught ourselves. Read more about the project and share your own stories in this post. During these 12 days, I am sharing a few of the lights along my path that have pushed me and taught me and held me in the midst of it all. 

 

*****

gearhart, oregon . february, 2009

this evening, i walked over to the shelf that houses the books i gathered to me like friends while i was in college. as i flipped through a few, i came across the scribbles in the margin around one paragraph that had stopped me many years ago and caused me to sit in the quiet and think think think. as i read it again tonight, it has the same effect.  

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning 

Your homework: Head over to Ted.com to watch an incredible video clip of Viktor Frankl giving a speech in 1972 about why we should believe in one another. Brilliant. Funny. Yes.