May 30, 2019

Driving an Hour to Return a Ballpoint Pen

ROBYN'S MOM
About this time last year, my mom was in the last week of her life. 

Tucked into those days, were some of the sweetest moments I ever had with her. The time had come to help lead her to the other side. I sang with her & to her, stroked her hands & forehead and fed her the vanilla ice cream, that she had requested in her final days, many years before.

 I miss her so dearly.

A few days ago I saw the post (below) on my friend Robyn Ivy's Instagram about her mom. Robyn and I are what I call soul friends. We haven't seen each other in ages but her wonderful posts and photos always resonate with me. She is a fabulous photographer and coach, who has photographed me twice. Once for THE REVELATION PROJECT and another time for the marketing of a food product that I was trying to launch that failed miserably. Both times I felt instantly comfortable in Robyn's presence as she snapped away behind the lens. She is creative, spirited, very talented and knows how to connect, on a deep level, immediately with people. More on Robyn HERE.

Robyn's post about her mom:

"Happy happy birthday to my beautiful mama who is 82 today! Does she not look amazing? My mom is the OG on how to age impeccably. She’s also in perfect health, quick as a whip and whooping the competition at mah-jongg. The first to help anyone she meets; she would quite literally give you the shirt off her back… and you’d quickly be horrified… Honest to a fault-one summer she drove over an hour in insane downtown Newport traffic to return a ball point pen to a shop she’d purchased something just before and had accidentally walked away with. A true Vermonter, she can bake a pie like few others, is more capable than anyone I know and knows how to get a stain out of ANYTHING. She rose up through the ranks as a leader in nursing in a male-dominated system and paved a path for many women to follow. She spoke her mind when it was unpopular to do so. She also raised me to be a strong, independent, smart, kind and generous woman. She let me try and fail and never said no to any of my wild ideas... like going to Africa alone at 20 to work with baby chimpanzees… or jump off the high dive at 2 years and swim to the side. She taught me to say yes to things, that things will always work out, never abandon your faith and always be kind to people. I’m so grateful for all you’ve done, taught and role modeled mom. Love you dearly!Happy, happy birthday!"💜🎂💜 

I hope y'all have a lovely weekend!
Louise


May 18, 2019

Belonging to Yourself




If you haven't yet watched Brene Brown's special, The Call To Courage, on Netlfix it's a good one. Above she speaks recently about the show and the courage to be vulnerable. She's very insightful (and helpful). Vulnerability she explains = uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. It is a learned practice of being in discomfort.

I also discovered this conversation with her on how to emerge stronger after a setback
https://m.soundcloud.com/washington-post/test
xo

April 30, 2019

Soothing Joint Pain

For over a year now I've consistently been doing a floor routine 3 days a week that takes me only about 12 minutes. It has really helped my whole body feel better (and stronger) and I don't have any joint pain. The other thing that I think is really helping me is laying way off the sugar, which causes inflammation (which causes joint pain). I saw this video from the Omega Institute (one of my favorite places on earth )that might be helpful to those of you experiencing joint pain. xo, L

April 27, 2019

T.A.O.S.


How many times do we need to cry but hold the tears inside ourselves instead?

Maybe we don't want to appear weak or too emotional

or perhaps, 

we fear breaking the dam of emotions that reside within us, because if we do open the dam, they may never end and overtake our lives, like a tsunami.

Or

if we cry,

it is truly acknowledging that something is really hard or isn't right.



But it's normal for feelings to be hard and to struggle.

When we settle into challenging feelings being okay and good to have,

we're more able to see the light, and the lessons and move on to a more peaceful place.

This I've learned.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

One of things about my mom's upbringing was that her mom was bi-polar and because of this, the emotional climate in my mom's childhood was a hard thing for her to navigate. 

Who would my mom come home to after school? 

Her exuberant mom?

or her mom who could easily get overwhelmed with emotion and be in bed for days? 

Later in life, in protection of these childhood memories, my mom learned to sweep hard emotions under the rug and carry on stoically. It's not that she never cried, because she certainly did, but she was more apt to hold tears in and carry on like a trooper.

This childhood coping skill became her emotional protector in life, when raw, uncomfortable feelings and situations surfaced.

Because of my mom's childhood, she unknowingly taught me to suppress my own tears when I was young. I learned from her that a few tears were okay, but I also learned, to buck-up and carry on.  

Which in many ways, may have served me well the past few years, as I NAVIGATED THE ASYLUM. Sometime I felt that if I had cracked the hard shell protecting my heart and let the tears out more than I did, the tsunami might have drowned me, with its force.

But what I am learning now, as I make my way further, is that tears are our strength. Letting hard emotions out, helps us to process and heal. They allow us to be vulnerable and emotionally connect with others. 

Tears allow us to access our truth, and share it, which can have an intimate domino effect with others.

Kind of like a healing circle.

Let our tears come.

Let them water our souls.

Let them heal us and be our strength.


For further reading on Lines of Beauty

❤️in love, 
Louise


March 31, 2019

Choosing Hope Over Fear

my ode to my mom & dad, the birch tree lovers
"It's easy to get overwhelmed...

to wake up at 3AM questioning every decision you've ever made.

It's easy to feel like your life isn't working or your plans aren't panning out.

That's the fear.

When you feel that make a decision to replace it with hope and trust instead.

Trust yourself and where your life is going.

Trust the chances you're taking.

Always pick hope over fear."


~Awesome wisdom from
Maya Angelou

March 30, 2019

The Tapestry

After an almost 2 year separation, MR. FIX-IT and I have been living under the same roof, having a new look at our 35-year relationship, through the lens of all that we have learned while apart, as well as sometimes together, but most importantly perhaps, through the lens of learning about ADULT ADHD and it's impact on our connection and our disconnection.

I’m looking at our marriage as a complex floor tapestry, which it has always been, but now with new light, shown upon its intricacy.

Much of the tapestry got sucked into a vacuum cleaner and torn while being vacuumed the last two years. 

So we've set about mending it.

Attempting to reweave a torn union, mending it where is needs repair, but also adding in the new stands of colors, that have been missing.

Can we make a masterpiece out of the remnants?

This I know, 

there is a lot of love here

and I’ve survived the torn and tatters, as the HEALING continues.

I've new perspective and understanding, but most importantly, compassion and better communication.

You know how Sully successfully landed that plane on the Hudson River?

Knowing what I do now, can I execute the same with my marriage? Is it possible for it to land better than it ever was? 

These are the questions that I’ve been thinking about it. 

These are the ponderings that when I’m an old lady, 

that I’ll be happy I took the time to explore.

Marriage, like all relationships of course, isn't about landing the perfect triple gainer dive off the high board of life.

It is organically complicated, very WABI- SABI and always a work in progress.

And hopefully with its own sprinkling of soul magic.


💗💗

February 27, 2019

We Are, What We Think


Photo by Alexandra Seinet on Unsplash
This week's post is a partial re-post from my beloved MARC & ANGEL HACK LIFE (practical tips for productive living)


"I’m going to suggest a simple practice for whenever you feel stress, frustration, worry, and all the other detrimental mindsets that bring drama into your life.

Ready?

Focus, carefully, on what you’re feeling. Don’t numb it with distractions, but instead bring it further into your awareness.

Turn to it, and welcome it. Smile, and give what you feel your full, thoughtful attention.

Notice the feeling in your body. Where is the feeling situated, and what unique qualities does it have?

Notice the tension in your body, and also in your mind, that arises from this feeling.

Try relaxing the tense parts of your body. Then relax the tense parts of your mind. Do so by focusing on your breath: Close your eyes, breathe in and feel it, breathe out and feel it, again and again, until you feel more relaxed.

In this more relaxed state, find some quiet space within yourself. And in this space…

1. Allow yourself to rediscover the fundamental goodness within you, that’s present in every moment.

2. Allow yourself to rediscover the fundamental goodness of this very moment, that’s always available to you whenever you’re willing to focus on it.

Take a moment and just sit with the inner peace these two simple rediscoveries bring.

This is the practice of letting go of drama—of THINKING BETTER and LIVING BETTER—and simply accepting the moment as it is, and yourself as you are.

You can do this anytime, wherever you are. You can practice focusing on the goodness in others as well. Seeing the goodness in your challenges and relationships and work, and so forth.

You can stop the drama, and rediscover the peace and joy and love that are always close by.

The bottom line is that the biggest and most complex obstacle you will ever have to overcome is your own mind. Let that sink in for a moment. You aren't responsible for everything that happens to you in life, but you ARE responsible for undoing the dramatic and debilitating thinking patterns these undesirable outcomes create."

Marc & Angel are offering a discount on the recording of their live event a few weeks ago, "Think Better, Live Better". Click HERE for more info

Another thing to note is that Google is discontinuing Google+ in the next few weeks, so if you receive the Lines of Beauty posts through Google+, an alternative option is to sign-up for my posts by email. I PROMISE not to spam you. To sign-up, simply add your email address to the subscription box on the upper right hand side of the blog. Be sure to verify your subscription via the verification email that the blog will send you. Just click confirm when it arrives. 

Thanks & love!
Louise


February 23, 2019

It's About Building Friendship

You don't have to be a swimmer to enjoy this lovely short clip about finding satisfaction, friendship and community as we age, even amongst strangers.

Many more wonderful Green Renaissance films HERE.  I could look at them all day. They are a passionate team of filmmakers on a journey to inspire change. Creating beautiful, meaningful stories, that we so dearly need more of, in these times.

I hope you're all having a nice weekend,
xo Louise

 

January 30, 2019

Every Morning a New Arrival


I had no idea how old Rumi's writings are until now. He died in 1273! This is not a typo :-)

Boy was he ahead of his time. 

It makes sense that The Guest House is the most frequently recited poem in mindfulness retreats and courses.

Here are some great Rumi quotes to get us through this arctic freeze:

  • The wound is the place where the light enters you.
  • Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.
  • Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
  • Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.
  • Love is the bridge between you and everything.


Ahhh, nice huh?
xo

January 20, 2019

Navigating the Asylum

Painting by Patty Bromberg
This past fall while talking with a friend, they paused a minute and observed, "You've been navigating the asylum."

"That's such a perfect description," I said.

I've been wanting to write about it ever since.

But where to begin?

Another friend sent me a link to the New York Times, where people can submit intimate stories. It got me thinking- what would I title my story if I ever sent one in, anonymously?

Perhaps I would title it The Year of the Lie.

I thought of this title because part of navigating the asylum for me was so complex and private that only a handful of very close people knew what I was going through.

For months and months I'd see friends, who I have known for decades, who had no idea what I was navigating in my life (besides my mom who had EXTREME PARANOIA FROM ALZHEIMER'S and two other family members who were very ill). It was a relief to at least let some of the pressure out of bubble that I was living in, by sharing this with them.

During those days, I felt like an impostor.

And for me, it had to be that way, because I needed privacy around myself, while I figured my way through it. Like an emotional obstacle.

Plus, the more people who knew, the more people I felt I needed to keep updated on the situation when they touched based, out of concern.

So many times I'd awake in the middle of the night and think, "What the FUCK has happened to my life?"

My sister said that I was in the BARDO, a Buddhist term for a transitional state between death & rebirth.

I was a woman, alone on a boat out at sea, where a storm had rolled in and I tossed and turned in the churning waves, whilst trying to find my footing & balance.

I had to take my sail down in an effort to survive the storm. I had to go down in the galley and shut the hatch tightly overhead and sit and wait out the harsh winds.

I had to be alone, and sit in the darkness and be patient with all the things the storm churned up and taught me about who I am and what I needed next in my life.

Finally it was time to share MY STORY.

In time I found a direction out of the storm and as the days and months have carried on, the storm has settled. I've poked my head up out of the hatch and come back up on deck. Things are calming in my life and calm is what I crave and where I want to be.

Lately, with new insight and information, I am looking at life through a new lens. Still unsure where it is all going to land, I will say this- that spiritually and energetically- navigating the asylum has been perhaps one, big, great gift.

More to follow in time.

Stay warm, and let's keep loving people and taking care of ourselves,
as sometimes it's the only thing we can do.
xo