Week{s} in Review

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Week{s} in Review

“You change lives,” a retreat participant said as she walked out of the cabin en route to her car Sunday afternoon. We’d spent three days together writing, practicing yoga and meditation, and she was heading back to her daily life in the city.

This statement seeped in, my eyes welled, and I thanked her—feeling a twinge of unworthiness.

During last night’s Writing Lab at Tranquil Space I gave a prompt picked up from a Shakespeare and Company Cafe Proust Questionnaire: What’s your idea of perfect happiness? Although I’ve pondered an ideal day many times, I hadn’t considered something so grand as “perfect happiness.”

Here’s what I wrote:

“Ease. I long for ease. I long for connection. I long for less suffering. I see myself in a loving partnership surrounded by animals, writing, and making a difference in the lives of others through my work—therapy, mentoring, teaching, writing, speaking. I have a simple business/organization that is focused on big impact in small ways. I eat only plant-based with a few tasty vegan baked goods thrown in. I rise with the sun, check email twice a day, and shut down as the sun begins to set. I’m seen as a person of value—someone who changes lives (as said to me last weekend). I have systems in place to avoid having to do it all or reinvent the wheel. I have close friends who I’m in contact with weekly, some daily. I feel like I can trust people and not be looked to as something to use. My home is warm, cozy, filled with delights such as twinkle lights, candles, flowers, pets, momentos, books, and creative supplies. I have a garden for planting veggies and flowers. I live part-time in a tiny town on a farmette with rescue pigs and part-time in the city seeing clients and overseeing business. I feel safe, loved, supported, and as if I’m contributing to the greater good. I have a lighter load.”

And the 10-minute timer chimed.

I was surprised with what came out. Uncensored, unedited, raw. Although it’s missing many core pieces like how I start (yoga, tea, meditation, writing) and end (tea, writing, reading) my perfect happiness day, any mention of health, and much more, a deep desire for simplicity and making a difference bubbled up.

In Simple Abundance, author Sarah Ban Breathnach writes, “You have no idea of the countless lives you touch in the course of your lifetime.” This quote has always resonated and Sunday’s departing comment reinforced the power of how we contribute to another’s experience in ways we don’t realize.

This weekend set a timer and consider the prompt “What’s your idea of perfect happiness?”

Consider quirks (rescue pigs), big dreams (farmette), contributions (touching lives), struggles (need to feel valued), and anything else that percolates from within. There’s no quiz at the end, no right or wrong, just the intention to dig deep over a prompt found on the serving tray of a cafe in Paris. Bisous. x


These past two weeks I collaborated with clients, hosted a weekend writing retreat, traveled to and from Charleston, WV to see Garth Brooks (again!), released a podcast, survived a 10-day virus, savored a massage, released two doga videos, had tea with a friend, penned blog posts, shipped Daybooks (18 left!), walked through the woods, attended a writing habit class, and slept a lot.

Pics in Review

  1. Found new friends at Politics & Prose
  2. Bliss in a bookstore
  3. Pumpkin patch with the pups
  4. Saturday night reading in Charleston, WV
  5. Sunday afternoon of studying in Charleston, WV
  6. Sunday evening celebration with Garth in Charleston, WV
  7. Family shot in Shenandoah Mountains
  8. Morning soak
  9. Writing in the Woods retreat prep
  10. Fall foliage
  11. Writing in the Woods group {loved them!}

Savvy Sources

7 Ways Writers Actually Write in Today’s Wired World
The Dizzying Grandeur of 21st-Century Agriculture
What Happened When I Left Everything To Travel The World at 38
Showing Mercy to Animals Is Not Criminal Mischief
I’m On Trial for Giving Water to Thirsty Pigs
3 Tips for Overcoming Fraud Syndrome
How This CEO Reads 100 Books a Year
How To Free Yourself From Your Personal Stories
Meditation Keeps Emotions in Check
How To Create Quiet Spaces In Your Home
Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity And Having a Voice
Dalai Lama: Behind Our Anxiety, The Fear of Being Unneeded

Weekend Wish List

Finish The Good, Good Pig by Sy Montgomery {LOVE!}
Study 4 hours each day
Finish HTC10 draft
Finish bonus mp3 on writing Hip Tranquil Chick and HTC10
Practice yoga
Brunch with girlfriend
Explore National Gallery of Art’s recently renovated East Building
Attend the Kennedy Center’s Hip-Hip Orchestra Event
Pen November dreams


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