Monday, January 5, 2015

Courage for 2015

In 2010, as I turned 30, my mantra if you will was "No Fear in My 30th Year" and I would say this with a warrior pose. It was a good mantra. I learned to let go of some fears.

And held on to others.

We watched Dr. Maya Angelou on Super Soul Sunday over Christmas break and she talked about Courage. And I thought that it was time for me to move from "No Fear" to Courage.

Just like joy is not the absence of sadness, health is not the absence of illness, so too Courage is not the absence of fear.

There is much I will learn about courage. I am in fact ... almost afraid to say that this is a lesson I must learn. I know only too well that when you ask for something ... you get it... and the important lessons are learned the hard way.

Courage - I think - is strength,
is your head lifted up,
is joy,
is the ability to be in the world, the ability to do in the world,
the belief that you are good enough,
is trust
is love
is wholeness

I don't understand courage but this year I would like to.

This is also a good read: Oprah Talks to Maya Angelou

The Four Agreements


I watched Don Miguel Ruiz on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday. I haven't read the book but I think it would be helpful. I like the "Don't Take Anything Personally". I did this a lot when I was younger and it still happens sometimes now... but it's a big lesson to learn. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Notes to My Father

My father passed away 10 years ago - August 23, 2003. I have been thinking a lot about him and the time he was ill and those last few months of his life. It seemed like everything changed once my father passed away. Nothing was safe anymore. Nothing fully enjoyable. Nothing purely joyful.

At 23, I was introduced to excruciating pain, regret, tears, anger, insecurity, fear, illness, death and a deep, deep sense of loss. My father's death would forever change me - it would make me unsure - of life, love, God, faith, healing, and myself. It would...

I started this post on the 23rd of August, 2013. I don't know why I did not finish it then.

I have a quilt project in mind. I was at the Bruce Cockburn show in Toronto last year and the backdrop to his stage was interesting. It looked like a net with squares of fabric. Like a fishing net but with patches of fabric on it. I thought then that a way for me to deal with my father's dying was to make a quilt. A quilt with notes to my father.

I was big note writer in college. Notes to my friends - little colourful pieces of paper telling them that I had though about them. Some of my friends still have them. I think I might have written a couple of notes to my dad too during those days.

I longed very much to have a different kind of relationship with my dad. One where we could talk freely with each other and express ourselves well. I know he loved me very deeply and his way of expressing it was to provide for me, take care of me, take me to the places I wanted to go, drive me home when I needed it. He would do anything for me. But he was not very good at expressing his emotions or talking and I longed for that. Something that showed me that he was proud of me or that he enjoyed having me as a daughter.

I don't think I dealt with my grief very well. I'm not someone who acts out or harms myself visibly. I do however develop thoughts and ideas that limit my enjoying and being in the world.

Maybe I need to work out my grief. Heave it onto something. Wrench it out of me. Maybe then I will feel lighter.


Friday, January 2, 2015

It's Been a Good Year

I didn't blog much this past year but its been a good year when I look back at it.
I want to learn to live in the Now so that I can see that the year is good even as I live through it.

In 2014 I...
  • had a wine and cheese New Year's party with my husband. We took time to talk about the year that had gone by
  • had a wine and cheese birthday party for my friends. I had a great time hosting.
  • got a nice haircut! I hadn't cut my hair since September 2011 after we moved - couldn't bring myself to spend the $50! In the early years - that's a luxury.
  • made a meal plan and stuck to it for about 3 months.
  • lost a couple of kgs
  • went to the Ripley's Aquarium
  • began my journey to become a surface pattern designer
  • made a trip home after 3 years
  • met my family and my old friends
  • built my relationship with a couple of my closest friends
  • realized that I need to build better friendships with the people I like 
  • met my nephew for the first time - he was born after we moved
  • met some of my old colleagues and was very touched by the warm welcome. Made me feel like my time there was appreciated and that they were really friends. 
  • realized that love is really the only rule. :) And that I have been showered with love my whole life. 
  • met my dogs and played with Hugo whom I adore and miss very much
  • went to Quilt Market! This is a big deal in my world. Quilt Market is a trade show for the quilting industry and you can only go if you are in the business. I remember sitting at home in our apartment in Bangalore telling my husband how cool it was and how I wanted to be there! 
  • went to the US for the first time. 
  • went to the US twice in the year
  • spent Christmas with my older brother and his family
  • saw my entire family 
  • read The Naked Now by Richard Rohr
  • learned to live in the Now - a little
  • learned that my struggle was bringing me to consciousness and awareness
  • learned that the cosmic flaw in reality needs to be forgiven
  • read Telling the Truth by Frederick Buechner
  • learned that carrying the cross of my own life is enough for now
  • learned that I must look at my life carefully - there is much to learn there
  • learned that self awareness is probably the best thing I can do for  myself and the world
  • read Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber
  • learned that singing in the face of evil and death is an act of defiance
  • watched Dr. Maya Angelou on Super Soul Sunday
  • was reminded that I need to learn to forgive
  • had a good work year
  • got a raise and hit the sales goals for 2013 - 2014
  • got a bonus
  • did better creatives at work
  • got restless about my life again
  • learned that my restlessness is a good thing that will push me to do more with myself
  • became certain that I want to be a surface pattern designer and a quilt artist
  • bought a Craftsy class: 10 Essential Techniques for Better Drawing
  • bought Bonnie Christine's Design Surface Patterns from Scratch on CreativeLive
  • learned to use Inkscape
  • started a design blog
  • made my mother a quilt
  • sent out Christmas Cards
  • went to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
  • watched their ABBA show and it was a surprise from the husband. Such a great night! 
  • got a great winter coat
  • wore boots! 
  • bought 2 amazing pairs of heels!
  • travelled on my own to India
  • went to church more often than last year
  • went to the cottage and loved it
  • emailed my brothers
  • was at peace with myself at different points in the year - progress
  • learning to love 
  • went to D.C and saw the historic buildings
  • saw a Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Rembrant for the first time at the National Gallery of Art, D.C
  • saw Bruce Cockburn in concert
  • bought Rumours of Glory and got it signed
  • took classes on Skill Share
  • made Thai food
  • heard about a friend's diagnosis with cancer. Wept. For her. For my father. For her family. For mine. For me. 
  • talked to the friend who was diagnosed with cancer. She is strong. And honest - some days are good. Some days are bad. But she holds on to God. And holds on to joy and laughter and friends. It is possible it seems to live with cancer but still have joy.
  • Enjoyed listening to music and started to listening to some new people
  • struggled with some colleagues at work - this was not pleasant but hopefully the learning from this experience will carry forward
  • learned that I don't need to feel judged even if people are judging me. 
  • learned that I have power. 
  • happy with the team at work now. very happy. 
  • had a couple of good interactions with a homeless man. Then withdrew coz I got scared. I should renew those interactions again. 
  • learned to see the beauty in the world - in its brokenness
  • learning to appreciate the every day. The goings and comings of our lives. Learned that the secret to a good life might just be to live each day intentionally, deliberately, aware of the many gifts we already have and be open to give.
  • learned that the greatest gifts are the people who love us and the people we love.
Songs for the Year

Beautiful World - Bon Jovi
Love's the Only Rule - Bon Jovi
93 Million Miles - Jason Mraz
I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz
Living in the Moment - Jason Mraz