Friday, September 27, 2013

From Values to Action

I often end my broadcasts of Radio Thrift Shop with this thought:

Take good care of yourself.
Take good care of your community.
Take good care of those you love. 

How often do I follow through on my own admonition? This is an intention not simply for the week, month, or year. This is an intention for life. 

Taking good care of my mind, body, and soul.
Finding ways to support my community - not just endeavours in the region where I live, but the various communities of writers, zinemakers, colleagues and radio folk that my life intersects with.
Take good care of my family, friends, connections I value.

I often fall short of my idealized goals. Sometimes taking good care means taking the road less travelled or saying difficult things from a loving heart. Making boundaries. Speaking your truth. Mustering energy. Embracing change. Supporting dysfunction is not taking good care of self, community or others. I need to summon the courage to heed my words like a mantra. Every day. 

Robert Bly once said that we make the road by walking it.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Intention: Attend the Sunapee Coffee House

I love live music. I hardly ever go to performances. I'm either too exhausted or too socially avoidant. I've been thinking about checking out the Sunapee Coffee House at the Sunapee Methodist Church for years, and have not - until Friday evening. 

Bill Staines was this week's performer. I've listened to Bill Staines music off and on since I was in my early 20s. Bill is a down-to-earth folk singer / songwriter who has recorded a couple dozen LPs and travelled millions of miles (literally) touring the world and playing his songs. 

The suggested admission was $15, and after a flurry of emails I negotiated a reduced admission of $8 based upon my level of income (or lack thereof). Mustering up the courage to fly solo (two friends I invited couldn't make it) I arrived at 7:05 Friday evening and literally took the last seat in the house, snug between an open window (fresh air!) and the merchandise table.

Bill sat up front with a sweetly tuned and battered-looking guitar. He told stories and did some of the yodelling he is famous for. He played a handful of his "hits" like Roseville Fair, Wild Wild Heart, and All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir.  Some of his lyrics are so simple yet so poignant that I broke into tears while listening:

there is a road and that road is all your own
but we are here, you need not walk alone
to face, not fear each coming new unknown
is the way to lift your wings
child of mine, you are the sweetest song
and the greatest gift I will ever know

This is what I am doing via this blog - facing my fears and walking through them.

If you'd like to hear a Bill Staines song, here is So Sang the River from his Old Wood and Winter Wine LP. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Intention: Attend Toastmasters

I generally don't make quick decisions. Early in the millenium, there was a Toastmasters group at my workplace. I thought about attending, and made a million excuses why I was too busy to check out their meetings. I successfully avoided Toastmasters until Thursday, September 12, 2013. Not bad as procrastination goes.

You see - I already knew it all. I taught facilitators how to facilitate groups. I spoke up every week at leadership team meeting. I was confident and competent with public speaking. Who needed Toastmasters? The very name itself conjured an image of my inebriated uncle raising a half-full glass of some suspiciously clear liquid while blustering and slurring his words at my cousin Frankie's wedding.

Despite my false bravado, even when broadcasting live on the radio I often feel a knot in my stomach when the need arises to speak spontaneously. After changing jobs, I've fallen out of practice with public speaking and giving presentations. This week I set my intention to attend the Kearsarge Toastmasters group & loved every minute of it. I can't wait for the next meeting! You can learn more about Toastmasters here:

This blog is a catalyst for setting goals and intentions and following through with them. You're invited to join me in posting your intentions for the week! Let's support one another in creating the lives we want.