I did not have any idea of where I would go with my word this month. I was absolutely feeling like I understand the concept of how to fill your days with things that matter.
But leave it to Krista Tippett to show me how to take what I have learned this year and fine tune it. Full 2.0, as it were! So this month I have been putting into practice the things she talks about in the first three episodes of her short “Foundations” podcast series.
She starts by asking the listeners to become alert and reverent of the everyday ordinary. This was just the prodding I needed to take the concept of a Full Life deeper… Was I alert during my days or was I tuning out on the ordinary. The reality is that I absolutely was tuning out – frequently! So I began honing my Full Life to be more alert and reverent of the everyday ordinary. This is not easy… it is seriously one of the hardest things I have worked on. Because… tuning out is a natural occurrence (for me, at least) Make coffee… tune out. Make dinner… tune out. Steve is complaining about work… tune out – big time. As you can see, this will be an ongoing process and right now I feel like I am constantly reminding myself to “tune in.”
The second installment brought an easier task and one I was happy to circle back on. Yep… Krista encouraged us to “live the question” which is a concept that Rilke talks about. For me, living the question is such a freeing task. It reminds me that I do not need the answers to everything. Uncertainty is okay! Really!! And when I coupled trying to be more alert and reverent during my day with living the question… I had too many “a-ha” moments to share here. But one thing I found much easier was when I am consciously “living the question” I am much more aware of the everyday ordinary and it was easier to allow the ordinary fill my days rather than tuning them out. As I said above… I was so happy to circle back on this way of living! Perfection? Not at all, but the journey this month has been so enjoyable.
The third installment settled me into a lovely concept… becoming critical yeast. As a baker, I found this analogy for life brilliant! You see, baking without yeast… is well, flat, tough, and yes… hard. This week I have been thinking about how very un-yeasty I am in my day to day life. And so as I fill my days with living the question, being alert and reverent of the ordinary… my focus has been on asking myself the question: Am I bring any yeasty-ness to life around me? A new way to fill my days! (Are you seeing a common theme here? I sure did this month…. even when I think I am living a Full Life, there is always more room!)
There is one final installment coming this Thursday and I am very eager to see where Krista will take me then! This little series has provided such good things to think about as this year begins to draw to a close… and with all this pondering, I am noticing a new word has been showing up regularly in my days. I am enjoying these word visits and am contemplating this word in my morning meditations. It feels early for a new word to “show up” but I am glad that this month I have been thinking about being more present and alert so that I have noticed its arrival!
As always, I am so grateful that Carolyn provides a space for us to share our Word Work! I am excited to see how others did with their words this month!
I hope to get caught up on all your blogs this week – be patient with me! And!! I have a painting to get done before Wednesday! Yikes!
Happy Monday everyone and I will be back tomorrow (what?!?) with a November welcome!
You are really making the most of your word, Kat! I’m going to listen to Krista Tippett’s Foundations series because I definitely tune out and the critical yeast thing is interesting to me. Congratulations on another full month!
They are so good, Bonny! And they are not terribly long! (15-ish minutes) I hope you enjoy them! (and I think you are wonderfully yeasty… you are always lifting me! XO)
beautiful reflection for the month and WELCOME back 🙂
I do love your yeast idea Kat! That is wonderful. I may need to start looking at that in my own life. I think “Full” has been such a good word for you this year!
It has! 🙂 But being yeasty is such a fascinating way to think about things!
I hope you have a very “yeasty” day. See ya tomorrow.
Well done, Kat–and Krista Tippett! I am a huge fan of the concept of ordinary… Ordinary Time (from the religious angle)…the gift of the ordinary day…I far prefer it to the ‘special’ or the ‘fancy.’
Living the questions, though–so much harder for me! I have a deep admiration for your perspective here, and I could take a page from it. I’m afraid that I bring my original experience of Rilke’s ‘living the questions’–from my very early 20s. A painful time, personally. (& a natural time to find Rilke, I s’pose.) But as a result, I’ve always associated that concept of ‘living the questions’ as a painful experience brimming with rejection. So whenever the need to ‘live the questions’ has come up *for me,* I tend to grit my teeth and brace myself. (Ineffective.)
Your perspective this month is a welcome and different take on the theme. And it sounds like a rich one for you! xo
I too originally struggled with Living the Question. But perhaps my age has helped me over that hurdle. At almost 62, I am well aware that there are never going to be answers for all.the.things. Okay… so how do I sort though the ones I need to seek the answer, and the ones that don’t matter if there is ever an answer. That has helped me tremendously live in the uncertainty that is life today.
But the yeast analogy… eye opening for me. Am I a lifter? Most days, probably not. But this is a thing I absolutely can change! XO
I never thought of being yeast before, but it’s certainly a very creative way to think about how to improve and lift the everyday. I know I’m guilty of tuning out a lot, too. With all the stuff that comes at us all the time, it can be hard to slow down and focus on what’s in front of us. I’m glad you’re focused on being full of life!
Tuning out… such an easy thing to do. Tuning in … and keeping your mouth shut… oy. That is one heck of a challenge! An ongoing project, for sure!
I love the thought of tuning IN instead of tuning OUT. We all do it and it’s something to be mindful of frequently. Also the yeast analogy is perfect!
You are making the most of your time with this word. I just listened to Krista Tippett’s episodes last night. I loved the idea of critical yeast and also taking a long view. I plan to look at the show notes for the episodes and do some pondering.
I have printed out the Critical Yeast ones… this is such a defining thing. Am I lifting anyone around me? Sadly, most days the answer is probably not! It is such good food for thought and food for change!
I love those years when our words just . . . keep on going! (And when they lead us to our next word, too.) Krista Tippett always provides such rich food for thought. I’ve been meaning to listen to this series, and now you’re inspiring me to do it soon. (I could use some yeast-y inspiration myself.) XO
The Krista series was an unexpected boon for my October. I had no idea what to “do” with my word last month. Who knew I had still so much work to accomplish this year… yet Krista’s thoughts have shown me I am no where near finished with FULL!
Love the idea of adding yeast to the everyday, I mean chores have to be done but with a bit of oompahpah what might life become. Looking forward to how you get on.
Wonderful introspective post, Kat. [diversion] Re: yeast. Did you know that the title of Emily’s List, that organization that focuses on women candidates, is an acronym for Early Money Is Like Yeast, encouraging supporters to contribute to their candidates early in the campaign.