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Filtering by Tag: whole(ness)

courage = trust + fear

liz lamoreux

trust this wisdom.

I’ve been thinking about words this week. I suppose this is because in Poem It Out, we are gathering lots of words to add to our creative toolbox to help us when we face the blank page. And there is nothing quite like a long list of gathered words to inspire some poetry. And then there are the words I hammer into metal, so those words, in the form of soul mantras, are often on my mind.

This week, as I gathered up an "I am Brave" locket to send out into the world, I started thinking about a conversation I had with a friend last month. She asked me to define brave. Because we were texting, I was pushed to get to the point, so I wrote:

Brave = faith + trust
Brave = holding hands with fear

I started tearing up after I pressed "send" because it felt like I had been waiting for those words for a long time, as though I needed permission to admit that I know being brave, standing tall in your courage, means standing side-by-side with fear and trusting anyway. It isn't about leaving fear behind. It is about knowing it is there and still choosing trust.

As I write this, I am sitting on my red couch in the middle of my little home while everyone is still asleep and the house has cooled off just enough to feel comfortable. And as I sit here, I literally feel as though I am sandwiched between “fear” and “trust,” and I'm wearing a t-shirt that says "courage" as I admit to myself that they wlll be house guests for a very long time. 

This week, we have been lowering the doses of Ellie’s medication and tomorrow she will have her last dose (at least for now). This is the medication she has been on three times a day for more than two years. The medication that regulates her heart rhythm. The medication that saved her life. The medication that has really driven the train that is our family’s daily world.

This is really good news.

This means that we are at the point where we think it is very possible that she has outgrown both of her heart rhythm “issues” and won’t need to be on the medication any more. 

The only way we can know this is to take her off of the medication and wait to see what happens.

Twice so far I’ve almost called her cardiologist to say, “I’m not ready.”

But of course, it isn’t about me. It isn’t about how ready I am. It is about a little girl. It is about letting go of knowing. It is about trust.

For several months we've been in a holding pattern with her weight. Wanting her to get bigger to literally grow out of this arrhythmia; speculating she isn’t getting much bigger because the medication affects her appetite. So this is the next step.

And we wait.

And while we wait, she just keeps teaching us as she dances and runs ahead of us and lives a life punctuated with yes.

And I tuck trust and fear into my pocket and take a breath and exhale a forcefield of courage around all of us.

EJ washington coast

softly (leaning into wholeness)

liz lamoreux

whole heart soul mantra locket

Yesterday, I was thinking about my word of the year and reviewing my practice of thinking about what this time next year would look like if I lived 2012 from a place of wholeness. I began making a mental list of the "shoulds" and suddenly heard these words, "let yourself do it softly."

Deep breath.

As I navigate all that was being away from my family for several days during the last month to so many launches during the last few weeks that I can't even keep up with myself to how I know I need more rest instead of "do" to the ways in which I want to choose love to how I want to show up for myself and those I love, I am going to hold onto these words that seemed to have been whispered through the open window last evening.

Stillness speaks just the wisdom I need yet again...

a guest post from kristin noelle

liz lamoreux


Kristin Noelle is a writer and an artist whose work illuminates trust as the antidote to all that ails us.

Find her at Trust Tending, where she blogs, draws, and listens deeply for the sake of trust-ward transformation. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, young kids, and 6 chickens.



A note from Liz: This re-entry after retreats can be such a tender time as exhaustion walks hand and hand with love. After everyone leaves, my own loneliness sets in as I experience what I tell retreat participants they might experience: You come home forever changed but no one at home has had the same experience you have had...so they might not get it (even if they really want to). At each retreat this year, Kelly and I are giving retreat participants "self-care kits" to take home to help them with this re-entry phase. During the retreat, one of the Pen & Paper participants asked me about how I practice self-care during my own re-entry. 

I didn't really have an answer.

Then I saw this piece of art Kristin created that is shared above. My heart felt like it literally expanded when I realized she had sent over a gift for me (for all of us really) in the form of a guest post. Looking at this, it is as though we sat in a cafe together and she peeked right inside me and then created this...but we've never actually met or even talked on the phone.

As I sit here in a mostly quiet house wearing my superpower mom cape over my owl pajamas while wishing for a nap, I am reflecting on all the truths and stories and creative play shared over the weekend and marveling at how these women found there way to a little cabin in the woods just because I said, "Wanna come?" And then I am looking at this gentle artwork Kristin has created, and I am simply struck at the exquisite beauty the internet can facilitate as it gives us a forum for the simple act of reaching out and saying, "Me too. Me too." 

My self-care during this re-entry time is going to be creating an altar with this artwork as the backdrop. It will be an altar to wholeness and home.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


liz lamoreux

a glimpse into evening work + play

This week is full of days that are "just us girls." Work has Jon away many evenings and unexpectedly out of town all day Saturday. This means the overwhelm continues to wait in the wings, hoping for its cue. As I sit with the reality that a cold arrived last night and has decided to stay for a bit, I am sifting through my self-care moves to see what might work for me today as I know I have to cross off things on my "must be done today" to-do list.

As I mentioned in my video post earlier this week, I have been thinking a lot about this illusion people have when they ask, "How do you do it all?" I am still not sure what "it" is exactly, but this is what I am thinking about this morning: A big part of this illusion of someone else "doing it all" has to do with how someone observing another fills in the cracks with assumptions.

And in the blogging/social networking world many of us "live" in, the observations another makes are just a tiny slice of what is real. Just a tiny slice of what someone puts out into the world. And we put our own spin on what we see and read and hear as it goes through our own filter. I think part of what pushes people away from connections that are made in this blogging community is that they feel the weight of the assumptions others are making about them, and perhaps, even more than that, they feel the weight of the assumptions they are making about others.

As I hear Ellie stirring and begin to slip into yet another role I will play today, I want to echo the words I said in Tuesday's video because I need to write them here to remind myself: Being enough does not mean doing everything. Being enough does not mean doing it all.

Let's be gentle with one another today. Let's be gentle with ourselves. Let's release our grip on the shoulds and the assumptions. Let's listen to what we most need and love ourselves so that we can live from a place of open-hearted love as we move about the world. Let's try to live from a place where we believe the people we meet, where we believe we, are already enough.


a few more journaling thoughts

liz lamoreux

So the Smash Journal love continues. As I mention in the video, I received a few emails with questions so I thought I would share a bit more in this video. (Be sure to check out my first post about how I am creating a practice around my journal and read the great comments in that post where people share their own thoughts about journaling.) I have decided to just call this my "Creative Wholeness Journal" because that really sums up all that it holds right now.

Settle in with a cup of tea...

A few notes about things I mention in the video:

1) Jen Lee totally made a video when I asked her to share the way she uses her journal. So excited for you to hear her thoughts and be inspired. Watch her video here. (Thank you Jen!) And while you are over on her site, check out the t-shirts she has been posting about that are coming soon. LOVE her shirts!

2) I am using my new red Smash journal for ecourse ideas. I really do think creating a journal with tabs for your current projects is such a good idea. Do you do this? Would love to know more from those of you who do. I have tried the 3-ring binder approach in the past, but it didn't stick. Hoping this will as my current approach of having notes in three spiral notebooks (depending on which I can find in a given moment) is not so much supporting me.

3) Here is a link to Tricia's shop of beautiful handmade journals. I have one of her coptic-stitched hardcover journals that I use for notes at my retreats. Love it.

4) A few of you have asked me about the sticky notes I am using (since you too thought they were cute!). It looks like the company, Galison, that makes them has discontinued this exact line, but I did find their website with so many other delightful options and other good things to distract your for a bit. I also have these that I am using in the new journal. 

Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts about your own idea journaling and daily journaling. It is so much fun to learn from one another.

snow and pizza (the story of today)

liz lamoreux

This was going to be a post about the stew and soup I made this weekend (both really really good), but then we had this delightful day that included playing in the snow and making pizza and dancing in the kitchen and coloring and lots of toddler giggles as snow continued to fall outside, so I am sharing this story + recipe instead.*

(More than Just a) Simple Pizza: A Cooking Experience

Before you begin to make this simple pizza, set the scene. Having music on is a very good thing. (Current favorite is radioIO Acoustic Café using the Pocket Tunes App for ipod/iphone.) Then have your family nearby so you are reminded that you are making this meal for people you love. Of course, being totally solo in the kitchen singing along with Adele is an equally delicious way to approach this meal, and since this pizza isn't huge, it would be perfect for dinner for one and then lunch the next day. 

Then, take premade pizza dough from the fridge, remove it from the bag, and let it sit for 20 minutes on a floured surface. (My friend Christine recently mentioned that Trader Joe’s has a great pizza dough in their refrigerated section, so we tried it today. It is awesome! Your local store should have Pillsbury or another brand near the pre-made cookie dough if you don't have Trader Joe's nearby.)

Preheat oven to 450.

Next, gather your toppings. Cut up your veggies; then find the cheese you want to use and put it in a pretty bowl just because it makes you happy. When someone says, “We are going to have more cheese than that, right?” you can reassure him that yes, we will but this bowl looks pretty for photos

At this point you might realize you have 12 minutes until your 20 minutes are up. Here are some options:

a) Dance with your family in the kitchen to a song or two.
b) Fill one more grocery sack with items from your cabinet full of too many glasses and put on the porch to take to Goodwill.
c) Give your one year old her very first orange pepper slice and then proceed to feed her about 10 more pieces because she keeps saying, “good!”
d) Begin to clear the table of all your beading supplies so you can sit at it to eat.
e) All the above (as you realize 12 minutes is much longer than you think).
f) Make a quick salad that would pair nicely with pizza and give you more greens. (Next time. Yes. Next time)

Now you are ready to roll out the dough onto a floured surface. It is a good idea to let go of having a round pizza, especially if the surface you are using is rectangular. (And when you cook it, it somehow finds its way to being mostly round. Of course, later I thought about how I would roll it out on the pizza stone next time. Ahem.) And if someone stronger than you is around and offers to roll it for you, well, say yes. (It wasn’t that hard though and reminded me of standing at the window at Noble Romans watching teenagers make pizza decades ago.)


(Now this next step is one you should insert up there right before “dance with your family,” but when it comes at this point instead, give yourself permission to roll with it.) Next, remember that you have chicken sausage in the fridge that you want to add to the pizza. 

Cook the sausage if you are adding it. If someone else is cooking it (thanks Jonny), you might be able to wire-wrap 10 beads and dance with your daughter.

Next, put pizza dough on a pizza stone if you have one (if not, use a pan). Then, assemble your pizza. I layered as follows: olive oil, thin layer of cheese, mushrooms and orange pepper and small bits of chicken sausage, then lots of cheese.

Bake for 8-12 minutes. You know it’s done when the bottom of the dough is browning. I baked ours for about 15 minutes though and it was perfect, so do adjust the time based on your oven and dough thickness.

When you take it out, gather your family to oooh and ahhh at the pizza’s beauty.

Take a few photos.


Have toys on hand for your toddler to play with when she decides she is full from all the pepper slices and won’t eat while you are eating. She can color or build things and you will be much more likely to enjoy your pizza if she is content.

Because this is a food that Ellie eats and since it really was so easy to use this dough (and felt really satisfying to roll it out and even has me thinking about making my own dough), I imagine making pizza a few times a month and sometimes making it for the two of us for lunch during the week (EJ and I are more likely to do no meat, less cheese, more veggies). So, this means, I am totally creating a pizza Pinterest board to save recipes I want to print out and add to my recipe binder. Just started using the binder because I am learning that I simply need that “oh right, I could make pizza this week” reminder that seeing a recipe in a binder gives me.

An invitation: I would love to know your favorite homemade pizza toppings/recipes. Please share them in the comments.

*The story behind the story: In some ways, this is the most important paragraph of this blog post, so I hope you made it to here. In the past few months, there haven’t been a lot of days that could be described like the romantic “wow, aren’t they lucky?” paragraph that begins this blog post. There are moments of beauty and love each day, but there have also been some of the toughest moments Jon and I have experienced as a couple. Today, as I wrote this post, I kept thinking about how the slight changes I have been making as I continue to focus on leaning into whole(ness) have been creating space for more laughter, for listening, for sharing (because we are talking with one another when we sit at the table), and for intimacy as we work together in the kitchen or as he talks to me while I cook or as we read or work together after she goes to bed (or naps) because we just want to continue to be together and not turn the television on. 


Here is a simple version of this recipe in case you have a binder like me and would like to print it out.

The "Anyone (this means you too) Can Use Premade Dough" Pizza


Premade refrigerated pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s)
Veggie toppings of choice
Meat toppings of choice (I used Trader Joe’s breakfast chicken sausage)
Cheese of choice (I used pre-shredded mozzarella from Trader Joe’s)
Olive oil (I used Annie’s infused with basil)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. UPDATE: I now heat our oven to 500 so it takes less time.
  2. Take dough out of packaging and let sit 20 minutes on floured surface.
  3. Chop veggies, cook meat if applicable, grate/slice cheese as needed.
  4. Roll pizza dough into a round(ish) shape, continuing to keep surface floured to avoid sticking (it’s a good idea to follow directions on your dough’s packaging).
  5. Spread olive oil over dough.
  6. Add toppings of choice (keeping to thin layers to avoid weighting down the dough)
  7. Bake for 8-12 minutes (longer as needed depending on oven/dough thickness). 

a journal (a post in moving pictures)

liz lamoreux

Today, I spent some time working in my "Smash" journal, and I began to get so excited about it that I decided to create a little video explaining how I am using it to hold myself accountable this year when it comes to living from wholeness, my intentions for my blog, practicing self-care, and making my big dreams a reality.

In the video I mention:

The Smash journal and all the fun accessories you can buy like the tabs and pockets  

My habit of buying these Moleskine journals (I love them and still use them for various things but not for my idea journal. I think they simply blend into my home too much because they are so skinny. But they are perfect for one project or taking notes. And here is the truth: I could turn any of my journals into something similar to how I am using the Smash book BUT I don't have time, and waiting for that time was stopping me from putting pen to paper.)

Jen Lee's way of journaling (I couldn't find a post on her blog about it [I will ask her if she has one], but I did remember this story from Karen Walrond about her conversation with Jen about journaling)

My business coach Nona Jordan

Mondo Beyondo

My post on Roots of She about how this year might unfold if I leaned into wholeness, my post about nourishing myself and family through cooking more, and my post about showing up as me and telling more stories here on my blog

Oh and I am totally wearing the simple "Pigtails" necklace. How she makes me smile! I am working on telling the story of how the one word . one girl collaboration with Kelly was born and will be sharing soon. 

I would love to hear about the way you journal. Do you have one notebook? Do you keep track of your ideas in one place? Do you "hold yourself accountable" when it comes to your dreams? 

PS While browsing the Smash website tonight, I discovered that they have a YouTube channel with short videos with a glimpse inside each of the various journals (because they all have different papers/graphics).

show up as me

liz lamoreux

At the beginning of my Create Space ecourse, I ask the students to claim an intention for themselves as they begin. I practice this with them, and in the Fall class, my intention was "show up as me." This weekend, I have been thinking about what I wrote about this intention: 

This is my intention because, at times, I can get so distracted by my whirling mind and the shoulds and the "who does she think she is" gremlins and wishing for more time and the comparisons to others and how the list goes on. Knowing these things about me has gently pushed me to focus on just showing up as me and trusting myself more as I do this. 

I have been thinking about these words because I have been thinking about how really leaning into wholeness might affect my blog and how I blog. When I come to this space, I do show up as me. However, as I wrote above, sometimes those whirling thoughts of "who does she thinks she is" and the comparisons come up, and I don't always tell the stories here that I long to tell.

And there are some stories I long to tell:

I want to talk more about poetry. Some of you might remember that I used to post about poetry every Thursday when I co-led a poetry community a few years ago. When that project ended, I didn't post about poetry as often for a lot of reasons that I can't even remember now. Starting this week, there will be more poetry.

I want to tell you more about the experience of writing Inner Excavation. I want to share thoughts on how it has really been to have a real live book on a shelf in bookstores and tell the truth about how my book shipping from Amazon on the same day my daughter had open-heart surgery has affected my entire experience with "the real live book."

I want to tell you more about Ellie and my world as a mama. For some reason I have worried that people will come here and think "oh how quaint, she blogs all about her kid now" and miss the whole point. But really, I long to tell you more about our days and about a few things concerning her health and share some things I have learned about having a child with "an illness." I really want to talk about my experience of letting go of how you think it is supposed to be or how you thought you would be as a parent, especially when your daughter's cardiologist says things like, "it is time to let her have milkshakes and french fries" because getting weight on her and her keeping it on is more important than the shame of not being one of those "natural mamas" you hoped you might become. (And then there is the whole "yes, she has plastic toys" shame and the "she watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse because it always gets rid of her grumps" shame...oh how I want to invite all of us to let go of this shame.)

I want to tell you about how incredible and somewhat wacky it was to experience such growth in my Etsy business, host five retreats, begin to write a series of articles for a magazine, teach two online classes, and begin some incredible projects all while being a work at home mom in 2011. (I think I can only talk about it now that I am on the other side and saw that it was possible. But oh my goodness there were times that I thought I was drowning yet I kept going and learned this: I always get it all done, especially when I take time to rest.)

I want to talk more about the Be Present Retreats and share photos and stories from participants about what happens at the retreats and their experiences. I want to tell you about how leading and teaching at these retreats has invited me to realize I am truly at home when I do this work.

I want to go on more self-portrait adventures and encourage you to do the same. I want to share more about self-portraits and why I feel they are such a beautiful way to feel deeply seen.

I want to talk more about how I am trying to push myself to come from a place of compassion when I realize I am having a "knee-jerk" reaction to something or someone.

I want to share more about how I wish we would all let go of whispering "who does she think she is?" and instead stand tall in the truth of who we are.

Yes, there is so much I want to share, and this list feels like it is just the beginning.

Thank you for coming along...