Friday, August 20, 2010

The story around the bend...

Sometimes it's a tiptoe and sometimes it's a bang but the crafted words or the span in on the city scene always bring you into a new experience. After being engulfed in a story I am always amazed at the emotional journey I have been on. I walk away with a skip in my step, a new found hope, a mind racing with ideas and wonder or a heart heavy with compassion and sorrow of the brokenness in this world. Story is so powerful.
When I know that God created a powerful inviting story for us to live within and has made us as creators and characters to participate with him I am more drawn to him. A man that has written stories that have connected with many hearts around the world is now sharing with others the wonders and intricacies of story and how the exploration of that can propel us into a more active, life giving story. That man is Donald Miller. You can find his blog on my list of blogs and check out his books, the most recent being A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, which is about story and is told through story. You can join others in a conference in Portland about these things.

Check out this video:

I have thought about my story and my parents have enriched my life by their very unique story (running away from a cult, a dream of a girl named Larka and hard childhoods). The story in my life had some tragedy and conflict growing up (our house burning down, car wrecks, poverty and the death of a best friend). Among them all our family was blessed with good moments of story and we created our own story full of love for each other, tradition and endurance and faith in God.
Since college I have lived story by investing in college students. I have mentored girls, traveled across the states and through the world. I have shared stories and vision and have celebrated with them as they lived through different life milestones.
The place that has come up lacking in is my personal life. I have realized that more in the last few years but can't seem to be able to tip into stories in my life. It is much easier to celebrate and help others have a great story or to watch many movies, or to write all my what ifs and hope maybe I will find myself in the midst of them.
I throw out little lobs or start sparks hoping that just maybe one will catch and I will find myself in a story. I have taken 17 before pictures in the effort to get back in shape and setting a new goal each time like by this wedding or to be able to be active with my crush at the time. I have said I am going to take classes towards a future career and have said and wrote about many things. I have thoughts about going on dates but get freaked out when the chance is there. Something is missing. Am I a failure at discipline? What holds me back? Fear? Wonder if I am taking things into my own hands and need to wait on God more? Laziness?
*I want to write a book, if only for myself from the writings I have been writing in the past 23 journals. This will take time, patience and the belief that it is worth it and ok to pursue.

* I want to lose 75 lbs in the next year. This will take time, pre-planning with food and a schedule of exercise doing something I enjoy and look forward to or at least feel good about having pursued. Maybe I need a race or other goal?

* I want to create a way for elementary students to have mentoring that can happen at school. Everyone longs to be seen, heard and enjoyed and some get it outside of school but I think if we could fit it in some way at the school it could reach more students. This will be hard to allow people to come in that will allow the kids to be safe and still leave time for them to learn academically all that they need to.

I am a dreamer and a what if person. I feel like this blog entry for the contest is another one of those lobs, those sparks. I would love to think things through and find out how do I get over sitting in a boat, wondering which way to paddle towards and then actually moving towards something. In so many areas of my own life I feel like I am waiting for it to come to me and it's not. How do I hear those whispers better and how do I motivate myself to move? If I can learn something about being active in my own story I feel like I will have the opportunity to be propelled in many areas.
What an amazing gift you are giving by sharing these wonderings and knowledge with people. If I can find a way financially I will be there whether I win or not. Like so many others, this may be the only option. Thanks for getting us to consider our stories and to imagine change.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I love warm-ups

Where is your mind? On a football team running through tires and doing all sorts of drills or those pink velour track suits that may even say something on the butt like yummy? Obviously I simultaneously go to both. The first is exciting and the second makes me laugh and for some reason almost makes me want to have one. Almost...

A friend of mine wrote a blog entry about living a bigger life. ( We have both been inspired and spurred on by the author, Donald Miller. You can see Don's blog in my links or check out a past entry of mine, titled Longings. I saw Donald speak at an Arts Conference in Chicago. It was so full of stories, entertainment, ideas and thought sparks that I walked away dizzy with delight, wonder and not even sure I knew what the main point was. He is having his own conference in Portland at the end of September. I am considering the adventure. There is a contest you can enter through a blog entry about how you hope to live in a new way, basically. You may see an entry in future postings.

Anyway, this blog should probably be called Side Note as that has come to be a constant pathway in my thinking. People see me writing feverishly in every meeting I am in and probably think I am just jotting down every single word. I do take notes but I am often writing SN followed by the most recent question or path of thought that has sparked in my mind. If it is written down I can refocus my mind and get back to engaging with the present. I think I could fill a whole book with all the SN's in my journals and notes. I wonder if they would make any sense taken away from the context that sparked the question or wonder.

I find myself in a pool slowly waving through words, patterns of behavior and future desire. I want to write about what I want to move toward. What are the adventures ahead I can step toward? More often than not though I am in the warm-up, the dreaming, the hope, the tiny steps that I hope will magically catapult me past the initial change to full blown, living in the midst of a whole new direction. As I look at past entries, I've been here a long time. I hope I will get lucky and will tip into my future. I struggle, wondering what parts are up to me. I want certain end results and feelings but don't see clear paths to get there. I fear getting locked into a whole path that takes me far away and I have to get back to the beginning intersection again.
I should know by now there is no beginning intersection, that pathways lead to new pathways.

When I look around I feel like others are in those moments and places in their life. It almost seems effortless like the door showed up and they just walked through, without much thought. I make lots of plans and get excited for the big game but it sometimes feels like I am sitting on the bench wondering why it hasn't started yet. Are we waiting on the coach? Is something going on I don't know about? Is everyone waiting for me to step out there? In the meantime I pick up the equipment lying around the bench, I entertain the kids waiting for the game to start and go back and forth between worrying and being distracted. Sometimes I tell myself it's not about the game. It's about making the most of the time right now, where you are on the sidelines. When it's time to play, you'll know. You'll hear the whistle blow.

A Mess of Misc.

"I'm back in black"
"Side Note Sally"
"Blast from the Past"
"You are going to the Land of Enchantment"

The last one came up as we were chatting over a friend's move to Colorado. A light blinked in my mind of how she was moving to her own outdoor mecca. It's the place where men (you can be included too ladies) get enchanted and a little siren implants herself in their brains and calls to them in seductive whispers for the rest of their life.

A friend corrected me and said no the Land of Enchantment is New Mexico. I said no, I don't speak in phrases, I speak the truth. I think Colorado is the land of enchantment. After that as the odd conversation continued I let a few more phrases slip. Then as I sit here on the edge, waiting to tip back into my land of blogness I find my mind swirling with phrases like the above.

My mind always has had the organization of a quirky artist. There appears to be piles, some of which belong together and are meant to be piled while others are all mixed up hiding buried treasures amongst the random fortune cookie sayings and old movie ticket stubs. How fitting then that my actual house has similar piles. Then when a spot opens up in conversation and my mind sees a fit it's like they line up, begging to be used, to fulfill their potential. I drop a few in, when I know the cheesiness will be enjoyed or the company loves me enough to exercise a smile and an eye roll. Other times I have to say sorry and send them back to their seats where they wait with hope. I sadly, wish they would scoot on to someone else who doesn't see the cheesiness and would give them more opportunities. I really would like to have some space back in my mind for those key facts that are important and helpful

*Stretch *Grin* Curl my legs up in the leather computer chair
How I've missed you, my friend, the keeper of my waves of thought, images and oddities. It feels good to play, to exaggerate, to spin words and thoughts and see what appears.