Oh Deer!

During my sabbatical (January through March of this year) Willa enjoyed the best of both worlds spending time in Boise, Idaho with Len, and then he’d bring her to me in Darby, Montana. She adored the wilds of Montana for a couple of reasons:

  1. The two resident cats where we stayed—Marlo and Avocado.
  2. The zillions of up-close-and-personal mule deer. Willa always stayed statue-still and simply enjoyed watching them.

Willa watching the Nature Channel—deer outside the window

And then there was the day that a doe hopped the six-foot wooden fence into the back yard and couldn’t get back out. That was definitely an oh deer moment. I made like Harry Potter and put on my invisibility cloak, snuck outside and opened the gate, then snuck back in and watched through the window. Sure enough, the moment she saw the way to freedom she made like a bread truck and hauled her buns!

Literal or figurative, what was your last “oh deer” moment?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Stillness is Dynamic

Being married to a pilot, we fly a lot. When I take in-flight photos through the window, the propellor looks motionless. Not because it’s still, but because it’s spinning so fast!

Physics tells us that everything—without exception—is in motion. Even the Buddha statues you see in the photo below.

During my sabbatical I visited the GARDEN OF 1000 BUDDHAS in Arlee, Montana

Stillness is dynamic; it’s un-conflicted movement (no friction). We experience it when there’s unrestricted participation in the moment; when we’re unreservedly present with whatever we’re doing.

Stillness is a natural rhythm in the cycle of life. In the space that stillness creates we have the opportunity to quiet the mind and body; to re-group, re-charge, re-connect, and to find a point of reference; something to measure against.

For me, that point of reference is my inner compass. From here, I can move back into the busy world refreshed.

Do you create intentional stillness?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Can DEW Attitude

There’s no doubt about it; I have a CAN DEW attitude! When I wake up in the morning and look at my ta-dah list, I think, Yes I can!

When Len and I eloped those many years ago, we both said, I DEW. And we have, for thirty-seven years.

When meeting people, we often ask, How DEW you DEW?

When our son was growing up, we knew if we said DEW as I say, a demand was less likely to be complied with than a pleasant request preempted with a “please” and a smile.

I like DEW better than do. To me, it seems friendlier, more amicable. This from the person who intentionally spells refridgerator with a “d” because it looks nicer.

Do you have a can dew attitude?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Deep Roots

Trees are among my favorite living things.

“Trees purify the air; they also purify the mind . . . if you want to save your world, you must save the trees.” —The Trees of Endor in J.R.R. Tolkien’s book, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,

Hidden under the rich soil is an enormous underpinning of roots; an intricate system that extends two to three times the radius of the crown. Deep roots anchor the tree; enabling it to dance without falter; to sway in unison with other trees in the unpredictable wind.

Weathered tree roots along a high-and-dry portion of the West Fork Bitterroot River

When we look to trees—learn from and emulate them—we discover the ancient key to tranquility. We’re reminded that we, too, have deep roots and are meant to branch out into the world.

And while life seems to move faster and faster each day, when we stand still like trees, remaining rooted to what sustains us; we remember to take pleasure in nature and hold dear all who live here.

Trees are my personal reminder that deep roots allow me to bend in a storm—to be flexible—while still reaching for the sky.

If you could be any tree, what type would it be?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Writing Down the Bones

While on sabbatical in Darby, Montana to complete The Business of Being, I wrote like a fiend during the day, and read until I couldn’t hold my eyes open any longer at night.

During a walk with Willa near the river, we happened upon a skeleton—most likely that of a mule deer. It immediately brought to mind Natalie Goldberg’s book “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within.”

In her book, Goldberg addresses the importance of reading. Writers read for the sheer joy of it, but also to ignite our imaginations. We read to gain insight on storytelling; to ponder concepts, ideas, and issues outside our sphere of knowledge; to learn new approaches and techniques for narration, plots, and scenes—each necessary for “writing down the bones.”

Goldberg said, “Writing practice is no different from other forms of Zen practice.” I would add that—for me, at least—reading is the same. It’s a practice; one I adhere to daily.

What book are you currently reading?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

I Stress, Eustress, We Stress

The first weekend in May I attended Hedgebrook’s Vortext Writers Workshop on Whidbey Island (off the coast of Seattle). Many of the breakout sessions took place at the Whidbey Institute, home to a giant gong—approximately six feet in diameter!

To stand in front of a gong that’s just been sounded—especially one this large—is an incredible experience! The vibration is deeply settling, while simultaneously euphoric.

In my experience, eustress is similar to the vibrational bath from a gong. Considered “good stress,” or stress from the anticipation, or experience, of pleasurable events, it envelopes us.

Eustress can share some physical symptoms with bad stress, such as a racing heart, but our body processes eustress as positive and releases endorphins, making us feel good.

Distress, or “bad stress” is associated with worry and anxiety, and it stems from concerns that your physical or emotional well-being is threatened. Distress can arise when you’re grieving, or more commonly when you’re having problems at your job or in your relationship. Your body processes distress in a negative way, and it can cause some nasty side effects, such as headaches, stomach problems, insomnia, and anxiety attacks.

Eustress or distress—what was your most recent encounter with stress?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Training for Warriors

I’m fond of the Zen proverb, “The obstacle is the path.”  When something blocks my way, it’s an indicator of what my next steps should be. The obstacle is the teacher—the guidepost. Repeatedly encountering the same obstacle bears significance.

In Paulo Coelho’s book, The Warrior of Light, he writes:

A Warrior of the Light knows that certain moments repeat themselves.

He often finds himself faced by the same problems and situations, and seeing these difficult situations return, he grows depressed, thinking that he is incapable of making any progress in life.

“I’ve been through all this before,” he says to his heart.

“Yes, you have been through all this before,” replies his heart. “But you have never been beyond it.”

Then the Warrior realizes that these repeated experiences have but one aim:  to teach him what he does not want to learn.

What do you not want to learn?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com