N is for New Experiences

Hello Friends,

Have you tried something new lately? Have you stepped out of your comfort zone and tried a new food? A new vacation spot? A new date? Hell, a new kind of face lotion? I struggle with trying new things and as I get older I am finding it a bit harder. Not in the way one might think though.

I think I have gotten more open to new ideas, but I am exposed to fewer opportunities to jump in. Does that make sense? As one gets older it seems one’s sphere can also narrow. Not a good thing.

So, I have decided to update my life list with this:

EXPAND MY WORLD.

How do you expand your world? How do you find new opportunities to do new things?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, really.

Love,
S

Insecure Writers’ Support Group

Hello Friends,

I am participating in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Okay, the name is a little misleading.  It is a support group in that it is a group of writers who post on the same day about their struggles with writing and how they handle said struggles. As a writer who has never really openly admitted that I want to write or be a writer, this felt like a good place to start accepting this about myself.

I am a writer.

I love to write.

I am my own worst critic.

I decided a few months ago to start writing again. I have a novel in the works and a screenplay. Gosh that sounds so weird to write (out loud) down, publicly. The novel is what I need to focus on, as in it eats at me every day. So my focus is on completing my collection of stories that make up the novel. This is harder work than I thought it would be.

I started my blog to help me become acquainted with the discipline of writing and to get used to having my writing available in a more public fashion. It has been so fun. I have tons of ideas about posts. I am always thinking about different ideas to explore. But, the writing is very different from the writing one does for a novel . Blog writing feels less, serious. The English major in me thinks I should focus on finishing my novel and the insecure side of me says, “Wait, you aren’t ready yet. Work on your blog some more…”

So, I admit I am a writer. I admit I am pulled in different directions writing-wise. I will also admit that I have never been happier than now, in this new writing world.

If you are an insecure writer, please consider joining the rest of us. You never know who you will meet or what you will discover along the way.

Love,

S

Insecure Writers Support Group

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

A to Z Challenge and Theme Reveal

Hello Friends,

I am participating in a challenge for the month of April and it will be a blast and a challenge! I plan on writing an entry for each letter of the alphabet during the month of April. This will mean I will be posting every day but Sunday and referencing a letter of the alphabet.

Each entrant for this challenge has chosen a theme, My theme is impermanence. The name of my blog references this theme as do many of my posts. I feel the passing of time more fervently these days and I also love the idea of impermanence.

All things pass. There are seasons, births, deaths, sunrises and sunsets. I know that is stating the somewhat obvious for us but impermanence is about letting go. Accepting. Surrendering. Being present in the moment without getting called into the drama or the trivial. This is important to me.

I will still be posting some of my “regular” posts as well. So there will be plenty to read and comment on. I am so excited about participating in this. Let me know if you decide to participate too. It will be a party!

Here is the link if you want to participate.

A to Z Challenge

Love,

S

Courage, Dear Heart…

Dear Friends,

“Courage, dear heart.” C.S. Lewis wrote this line in a book I read so many years ago. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It is a more loving way to say my own mantra which is “Be brave.” The more I thought about these two phrases the more I realized that they really are very different. And I may have been misleading all my students every day that I taught as I dismissed from our classroom with the saying, “Be brave. Be strong.”
What is it about courage and bravery that seem to be the defining elements in the land for men alone? If men are not brave and courageous somehow they are seen as lesser. Boys are encouraged to be brave all the time. And we cannot have a brave boy that cries.

Buck up son.

Stop crying, brave boys don’t cry.

Don’t be a sissy.

Stand strong.

Show your bravery.

Where are your balls, son?

vietnam-war-pictures-rare-unseen-photos-history-images-002

My Pakistan

In so many ways we demean the vulnerability in men that somehow is completely acceptable in women. As if women do not have the fortitude to be brave. But our sons. What of our sons? So I say to my son, “Be brave.” Am I shutting off the option to be vulnerable? Am I setting him up to think that bravery is valued over vulnerability? I surely don’t want my son to be a fortress of strength that no one can breach the walls of. I want him to be able to be vulnerable and feel safe in the thought that he is allowed to be vulnerable. There is no shame in tears. There is no shame in showing who you really are. So, why is the land of courage solely the men’s domain? Where do men get to embrace their vulnerability?

What does it look like for men to be vulnerable? For boys to see how to be vulnerable? How does my son learn to be vulnerable or courageous? I am his mother and I want him to be both things, but what can I really teach him about such things? I am a woman. He looks to the men in his life for this lesson, for the way. The way of the man. The way of the boy. They are linked by eons of experience, trial and error. Men have learned to be brave, courageous for that has been the most successful way to survive. But we want more for our men. We want them to thrive. We want our boys to thrive. We want our men to thrive. We want our families to thrive.

Tattooeddad

Tattooed Men Holding Babies

We know that boys need good role models.  We know that boys need a rich range of experiences to develop their character and their masculine and feminine sides. We find these role models in a variety of places. Movies. Music. Books. Teachers. Coaches. Pastors. Uncles. Granddads. Fathers. Peers. Popular culture.

coach

The Sports Doc

Some of these can be positive experiences. Some can be negative. We learn as much if not more from the negative experiences. Sometimes what we see someone do is the exact opposite of what we should do. How many times has this happened to our sons as they watch our mistakes? As they emotionally coil away from the put down from the coach, teacher, or father?

At some point all our men, all those men in our metaphorical village, must learn how to be men. They must come to an understanding about what it means to be men. For many it is really aobut being strong. Strong enough to get up every day and go to work, doing a job they do not like in order to support their families. For some it means hitting that baseball the furthest. For some it means climbing every great peak in the world. For others it means developing a good and healthy relationship with their own sons, and with their own fathers.

As I watch my sixteen year old son learn from his mistakes and from his father’s mistakes, I see a boy who will be a great man. If that means being sensitive, kind, helpful, confident, and brave. For many of his male family members he may be too gentle for their comfort level. But his ability to be gentle is what I think makes him strong.  We all have chinks in our armor – the more aware we are of those “chinks” (as if that somehow means they are bad), those vulnerabilities, the stronger we really are. For our vulnerability helps us build resilience and flexibility. It is what makes men men and women, women.

Love,

S

Willing

Hello Friends,

Willing.

 

I am willing. I am ready. I am open. I am a vessel ready to receive and receive I will. All things good and joyful. All things righteous and true. I am willing to open my heart to the possibility. To the wonder. To the promise. To all that can be in my life.

Willing.

There have been so many times in my life where I have not been willing. I have been afraid. Afraid of failure, disappointment, rejection. Haven’t you been afraid? Haven’t you been afraid to be willing? Because really, to be willing is just another way of saying your arms are open to possibility. You are willing to risk. You are willing to be vulnerable. You are willing to, fail, really. You are willing to take on risk, vulnerability, rejection, love, goodness, acceptance…

Willing is good. Willing is necessary for any change. At least any sustainable change. Any change that really matters. Step up. Step up. Hear ye. Hear ye. With willingness comes reward. If we open our hearts and we are willing to accept all that comes our way; the good and the bad, we will find our road.

I am willing.

Lisa Jo Baker has an interesting task every Friday. She calls it Five Minute Friday and it is a writing exercise posited around a particular prompt. You write to the prompt for a total of five minutes, uninterrupted, unedited, and then you link your writing to her site. As well, you go back and read two entries and comment on them.
She has, in effect, created a writer’s workshop. I love this and find it fun to participate in whether or not I had a blog. It is about the writing after all.