Release | March 2021

Release | March 2021

Hello Monday.

I am joining Carolyn again to share my March update on my word. A word that I have again considered dumping… releasing release. Or maybe just curtailing release to be my clean out the physical closets in this house companion, and keeping release out of the emotional closets of my mind. But I am persevering, because I am reminding myself how hard Focus was and how challenging Intentional was. Starting something new is never easy and so I persevere.

I have spent this very long month with my thoughts. And this quote from Brené Brown in my head:

When you numb your pain, you also numb your joy. 

Oh boy. Yep, that is absolutely true. I am the master of saying nothing and numbing/ignoring the painful memories of an abusive and dysfunctional house. This month I have been opening the doors in my brain that I have kept shut and discovering that by locking those painful memories in, I was also locking in some good memories as well. I can’t erase the painful memories, but I don’t have to be numb and thus avoid all joy. It has not been easy and honestly, I considered just shoving all those memories – good and bad – back in the farthest recess of my brain and locking the door again.

But then I started reading Padraig Ó Tuama’s new book and this passage has become my new meditation, especially when I am feeling like shutting that door, locking it and throwing away the key:

To greet sorrow today does not mean that sorrow will be there tomorrow. Happiness comes too, and grief, and tiredness, disappointment, surprise and energy. Chaos and fulfilment will be named as well as delight and despair. This is the truth of being here, wherever here is today. It may not be permanent but it is here. I will probably leave here, and I will probably return. To deny here is to harrow the heart. Hello to here.
Pádraig Ó Tuama, In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World

The emphasis is mine, but the power of that sentence is exactly what I need. It is just for today and it might not be tomorrow. Yes, it might be back, but just like that small determined child…I will survive.

And I have a list of things I can begin to work on releasing next month: the shame of being a victim of abuse, the guilt that it was somehow my fault, the embarrassment of being talked about, the worry of being judged.

Thank you for reading and if you want to see my journey with release, you will find it here.

See you back here on Wednesday with a knitting update!


Release | March 2021

Release | February 2021

I am joining Carolyn again this month to share my word update.

This may be the most exhausting blog post I have ever written. I started it on Friday, rewrote it on Saturday, deleted it on Sunday and started again…exhausting  to the nth power! And even then… hitting that damned publish button! February has just been so mentally difficult. Despite a plethora of recommendations, I had been avoiding Brené Brown for a very long time. Something in the things she said just hit way to close to home for me and I was not ready at all to even begin to think about why. But then February came… and I figured, how bad can starting be? Especially in such a short month…

Oh boy…how bad?

Apparently really bad because I listened to The Gifts of Imperfection…twice. And that was not enough so I ordered a physical copy and have been reading it, marking it, underlining it, writing in it ever since. There has been lots of anger, tears, frustrations, if only’s, and thoughts about how ignoring things just doesn’t work long term. This phrase really hit home for me:

“The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Yep. Exactly.

This month I began the work of not hitting the snooze button anymore and started to peek into my inner closets that are jammed full of all the things I don’t really know what to do with.

I started out by using a combination of Carolyn’s Being vs. Doing prompt for February and the worksheets that Brené has on her website for Wholehearted Living. Before I knew it, those pages were full so I moved to the margins and wrote more and then flipped over the paper and wrote still more.

And while I’d like to tell you that I have found a solution in all this reading, thinking, and writing. It just is not as easy as all that.

But what I do know is that I am not going to solve anything. I just need to find a way to release it.

If only the doing was as easy as the knowing what to do

I will be back on Wednesday to share some unraveling (fingers crossed that there is a finished sweater!!)

If you want to see my journey with release, you will find it here.



Release | March 2021

Release | January 2021

A New Year, a new word, a new day, and a new home for our monthly link up! I am excited to join Carolyn as she hosts us this year!

January word studies might be one of my favorite things. Digging into a word, looking at all the possibilities, releasing any preconceived ideas I might of had…it’s so much fun.

Carolyn opened my eyes to looking at the root word of my word… something I had never even thought of doing in words past. I looked up release and I loved what I learned:

release (v.)

c. 1300, “to withdraw, revoke (a decree, etc.), cancel, lift; remit,” from Old French relaissier, relesser “to relinquish, quit, let go, leave behind, abandon, acquit,” variant of relacher “release, relax,” from Latin relaxare “loosen, stretch out” (from re- “back” (see re-) + laxare “loosen,” from PIE root *sleg- “be slack, be languid”). Latin relaxare is the source also of Spanish relajar, Italian relassare.
c. 1300, “to withdraw, revoke (a decree, etc.), cancel, lift; remit,” from Old French relaissier, relesser “to relinquish, quit, let go, leave behind, abandon, acquit,” variant of relacher “release, relax,” from Latin relaxare “loosen, stretch out” (from re- “back” (see re-) + laxare “loosen,” from PIE root *sleg- “be slack, be languid”). Latin relaxare is the source also of Spanish relajar, Italian relassare.

release (n.)

 early 14c., “abatement of distress; means of deliverance,” from Old French relais, reles (12c.), a back-formation from relesser, relaissier (see release (v.)). In law, mid-14c., “transferring of property or a right to another;” late 14c. as “release from an obligation; remission of a duty, tribute, etc.” Meaning “act and manner of releasing” (a bow, etc.) is from 1871. Sense of “action of publication” is from 1907.

Yes, there is so much that I want to pick out… cancel, lift, relinquish, quit, let go, leave behind, abatement from distress, and yes, transferring of property to another! And that is where I began this month, spurred on by this quote:
Literal cleanliness and orderliness can release us from abstract cognitive and affective distress – just consider how, during moments where life seems to be spiraling out of control, it can be calming to organize your clothes, clean the living room, get the car washed. — Robert Sapolsky

So this month I have spent sorting and thinking. And while I still have more to do, the process of emptying closets, drawers, and  bins has been cathartic. Contemplating, cleaning out, and yes, releasing. Some things have been tossed and it felt so good! Some things will go to someone else…that sock post that so struck me… well, I have a stack of things that will be heading there shortly.

And some things… well, they just need a bit more thought. And that is okay, too!

Midway though the month it occurred to me that my house does not have a storage problem, I have a “things” problem. And so this month release seemed easy. It was freeing. And in doing some organizing, I freed my mind to begin to contemplate the hard work of release I have only just begun.

Again, thank you Carolyn for hosting us! See you all on Wednesday for some Unraveling!

Monday Magic | 1.4.21

Monday Magic | 1.4.21

Happy First Monday in January! There might be a wee bit of excitement in my house this morning as Steve returns to his “usual schedule” this week…whew! LOL

My day is full of so many things from laundry to Undecorating to OLW contemplation… a truly varied list. I am hoping that laundry becomes less “mundane” when paired with OLW contemplation.

This short poem that I listened to yesterday was so full! It is going to be my guide for a January of quiet contemplation. I hope you find something in these words to help your January get off to a very good start! See you all back here on Wednesday for some “first finishes” of the New Year!

Winter Is the Best Time
by David Budbill

Winter is the best time
to find out who you are.

Quiet, contemplation time,
away from the rushing world,

cold time, dark time, holed-up
pulled-in time and space

to see that inner landscape,
that place hidden and within.

David Budbill, “Winter Is the Best Time” from While We’ve Still Got Feet. © 2015 by David Budbill

A Year of Intentional Living | December 2020

A Year of Intentional Living | December 2020

I am joining Honoré to close out my word of 2020.

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. — Mary Anne Radmacher

This quote has served me very well this year… today, I am not sure if I picked it, or if it picked me. But these words became so important each day of this year. I almost gave up on this word early on in Pandemic Days, but I am glad that I stuck with it and finally stopped fighting it long enough to truly learn something.

December I purposefully lived with intention every single day. And my days included bits of all of Mary Anne’s advice! I listened. I practiced wellness. I played with abandon (thank you AC for really helping in this category! lol) I laughed… so much. I learned some new things this month and as a result knit the best fitting sock I have ever knit!

Perhaps December is the easiest month to “do what you love” but I really leaned in to the joys of this season. I sang along with all the Christmas songs. I nurtured my inner child and watched The Grinch (both the Boris Karloff and the Jim Carrey versions!)

I savored every phone call… the ones full of laughter, the ones full of uncertainty, and the ones full of frustration and tears… and instead of wishing things were different right now, I practiced living as if this is all there is. And while I have always understood that this is living – it somehow clicked in a different way this month. And I realized that those parts… well they are the parts that walk you to the edge. It is not about living dangerously, but rather living fully. I don’t think I would have even begun to grasp that concept in a “normal year” because I think this was the year for truly learning about being intentional and making it part of my life… an integral part.

But the question I have been thinking about for longer than December is where do I go from here. I started this word journey sort of haphazardly. No thought went into the first couple of words. My first word in 2016 was Gratitude (yet I could find no blog posts at all showing that I even spent any time at all learning anything about gratitude) and then in 2017 I spent the year with Joy. There are a couple of posts about that, but still no thought about why I might pick joy. And so, because I just really did not “get” the impact a word could have, I did not pick a word in 2018. However, as the year moved on something curious began to happen. A word started showing up (or maybe I just started paying attention) there were some inspirational emails that talked about it, and there were so many quotes! So I started 2019 with a new word Focus! It was a glorious year. I learned so much. I grew so much. It was exactly what I needed.

Intentional living came to me much the same way… inspirational emails, passages in books, and my focus led me there. So where will Intentional Living lead me? Two words kept circling round my brain – authenticity and vulnerability. They seemed to be the right next step, but something just felt off about both of them. The more I spent time with those words… pondering them… the more unsettled I became. And in November the big answer came for me. Yes those are simply brilliant words and likely a lovely step from Intentional Living, but I knew that there was some heavy work I had to do before I could get to those words. And that heavy work… well, it’s all about release…

release [ ri-lees ] noun
a freeing or releasing from confinement, obligation, pain, emotional strain, etc.

Just the thing I have been avoiding my entire life. I am not sure how much of this journey I want to share here, but my hope is to share the process of realease rather than the things being released. And of all people, Goldie Hawn’s words of wisdom will give me some guidance.

“If we can just let go and trust that things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully. The joy of the freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.” ― Goldie Hawn

I hope you will continue follow along on this journey to see where it takes me!

Finally, I would like to thank Honoré for hosting us this year!

You can see all of my Intentional Journey here.

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