Monday, November 26, 2012

spirit animals

It's always a great getting-to-know-you game question: If you were an animal, what would you be?

I've thrown out my list of my kindred spirits in the animal kingdom as well as the mix of what animals I deem the cutest. I mean who can resist the tumblr blog titled: "Attack of the Cute?"

A couple years ago, I was at  Tzaize meditation, where the leader of the retreat begged three very powerful questions:

Who is the divine in you?
Who is the human in you?
Who is the animal in you?

I quickly brushed off the later and tried to focus on the first two, but it is the third question that I have been sitting with most since that retreat.

Who is the animal in me? I didn't really consider myself any bit animal.

On the contrary, 800 years ago, St. Francis of Assisi introduced the idea that human beings are only one of a myriad of creations of God and all are blessed in God's "eyes." He preached to birds. He blessed the fish. He spoke to animals as they were his equals and shared with them the God's glories as both humans and animals and reasons to be grateful. And, we do.

Perhaps, we are our own spirit animals.

And the question is moreso: who is the animal in you?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Wonder Years

The Wonder Years - 2005
Kiran may hate me for this, but a little sip of nostalgia seemed appropriate. I absolutely love digging up those old photos that make you laugh and ask how you took yourself seriously.

Saving the world [what I thought could be considered that] has been an obsession for quite some time. I love to moan and groan about injustice and how we need some change. This year has altered that view, not in its necessity, but in understanding my self-overindulgence and limits.

Today, I'm thankful for the feeling of vulnerable smallness. For wonder. For receiving. For my own, be it terribly frustrating sometimes, frailty. I give thanks.

And, Lord, I will continue to thank thee for the Weepies.

Monday, November 19, 2012

To Break Your Heart

So, Kiran and I started this blog to talk about Brene Brown's new book Daring Greatly. I dare to say, and apologize to Kiran, that I am still on page 1. So, my promise this week is to read said first chapter and report back. It is Thanksgiving and I will actually have some few minutes in all the movement to hold the thoughts in reflection.

In the meantime, read a little bit about why I'm excited from another lovely voice here.

One of the main things Brene talks about in her books is her research on vulnerability, shame, and wholehearted living. When I first heard her speak, I thought immediately of this poem. I've always been a fan of Mary Oliver and this is one of my favorites.

Here is a story
to break your heart.
Are you willing?
This winter
the loons came to our harbor
and died, one by one,
of nothing we could see.
A friend told me
of one on the shore
that lifted its head and opened
the elegant beak and cried out
in the long, sweet savoring of its life
which, if you have heard it,
you know is a sacred thing,
and for which, if you have not heard it,
you had better hurry to where
they still sing.
And, believe me, tell no one
just where that is.
The next morning
this loon, speckled
and iridescent and with a plan
to fly home
to some hidden lake,
was dead on the shore.
I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


It was one night during during our freshman year of college at Georgia Tech in our popcorn meets ramen smelling dormitory, where Nia and I decided we wanted to loosen up from our type A selves and become more "orange," if you will. Our dreams of being more orange meant living with a more spunk, spontaneity, and freedom. Well, seven years have passed since that conversation and perhaps we are much more orange than where we started. So welcome to our sliver of the interwebs where we share our long distance book club exchanges (from Atlanta to D.C.), music sharing, poetry, thoughts on  sociological issues, working for non-profits, and our quest to make the best gluten free scones. Madames et Monsieurs, bienvenue.