February was a blessed month with times of meaningful connection and reflection. I am so blessed by my friends and family. My life is full, for which I’m extremely grateful.
I took the plunge and chopped off some locks.
While I realize this is still long hair to some, this is the shortest I’ve had my hair in probably 20 years. It took a bit to reacquaint myself with my hair, but now I’m enjoying the convenience and look of shorter hair.
I went to a contemplation retreat at All Saints Church with Dr. Dan Siegel. I love Pasadena!One thing I’m trying to do this year is look at life through different lens and from different perspectives. Here’s my attempt to do that through my camera (with the wall).
Lil e lost another top tooth. This phase goes by so quickly.
I actually kept an orchid alive so it rebloomed!!! This felt like a miracle (albeit small) to this black thumb.
A Self-Portrait protest to God about the beheading of my Christian brothers by ISIS. This is much too tame in emotional expression but I took this picture with people near me so I felt unable to do what I wanted, which was scream and yell.
This is a picture of some lovely birthday flowers given to me.
I ended this month with a self-directed solitude retreat, a present to myself. It was really rough. Take a look at the scenery.
“No matter how much insight and understanding we develop, the rational brain is basically impotent to talk the emotional brain out of its own reality.” p. 47 — B. Van Der Kolk, The Body Keeps The Score
“Silence is frightening because it strips up as nothing else does, throwing us upon the stark realities of our life. It reminds us of death, which will cut us off from this world and leave only us and God. And in the quiet, what if there turns out to be very little between us and God?” — Dallas Willard
“Perhaps the deepest and hardest to articulate fear is the fear that this God whom we cannot control will not meet us in the way we want to be met. Sometimes this expresses itself as a question: “What if I show up and God doesn’t?”….In the vulnerability of love we risk saying, “Here I am. With my whole heart, soul, mind and body I am here, ready and willing to move more deeply into relationship with you. I make myself available to you, and I will wait for you. There is nothing I can do to control the outcomes. There is nothing I can do to force your response or make your response what I want it to be. All I can do is put myself out there and wait.” And that is a fearsome place to be, but oh so necessary….In many of us, the fear of not getting what our heart longs for has led us to develop an unconscious pattern of distancing ourselves from our desire in order to avoid the pain of its lack of fulfillment….your desire for God is the truest and most essential thing about you. It is truer than your sin, it is truer than your woundedness, it is truer than your net worth, your marital status or any role or responsibility you hold. Your desire for God and your capacity to connect with God as a human soul is the essence of who you are.” (pgs. 49-51) — Ruth Haley Barton, Invitation to Solitude and Silence
“There is a trait I recognize now in the child I was then, a curiosity about my own physical composition, an obsession bordering on fever. Perhaps that inquisitiveness is common to children of mixed parents. You till, you dig, you paw, searching for bits, scrabbling at roots, eager to learn to which tribe you belong. Are you more like one or more like the other? Are you one way when you’re in one country, but another when you’re not? You dangle from that precipice, wondering where to drop.” — Marie Arana, American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood
“Mistakes aren’t a necessary evil. They aren’t evil at all. They are an inevitable consequence of doing something new (and, as such, should be seen as valuable; without them, we’d have no originality). And yet, even as I say that embracing failure is an important part of learning, I also acknowledge that acknowledging this truth is not enough. That’s because failure is painful, and our feelings about this pain tend to screw up our understanding of its worth. To disentangle the good and the bad parts of failure, we have to recognize both the reality of the pain and the benefit of the resulting growth. — Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace, Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
“The gospel is for everyone and everything.” — Reframe video, Episode 1
Songs on Repeat Mode in January:
I Don’t Want Your Love by Five for Fighting (How could I miss this song before?!)
Give me a Song by Will Reagan
Set a Fire by Will Reagan
Losing Your Memory by Ryan Star
Where the Island Ends by Ryan Star
Where will your feet direct you this month?