Thursday, September 28, 2023


 I really hate blog posts that are just all about how I said I would post more but I haven't. So, I'll do this once and use this as a public confession and time to change course and let myself off the hook, and then go gently into trying to use this space more often but letting go of the commitment to post every weekday. Otherwise every other post will be me coming back a week later saying that I didn't do what I said I would do, and that would be insufferable. So, here's to the Aries full moon and to redirecting and showing up a little more flexibly!

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

practicing forgiveness

 I'm preparing for my sermon on Sunday, which is going to be about practicing forgiveness...current working title is "Practicing Forgiveness in a Punishing World." 

Other alternative titles:

  • Making Amends, and Mending the World
  • Open-Hearted Participation in God's Mercy
Apparently a few weeks ago, I thought I might call it "A Sermon on Forgiveness - With a Twist." This is according to an email I sent on August 28. I don't think I'll go that direction now...the twist sounds a little self-serving or precious.

I like the idea of using the phrase open-hearted in the title, but if I don't, that word will still likely make it into the content of the sermon. The guidance to remain open-hearted no matter what is happening around me is wisdom that has served me well especially over the last 8-9 years, and ESPECIALLY over the last 2-3 years. Being merciful people, and people who strive to keep our side of the street clean, helps a lot to keep our hearts open. More will be revealed.

Monday, September 11, 2023

creativity is a life force: open the nearest sail

Admittedly, I’ve been in a funk lately. I woke up this morning and though, Am I depressed?

At first I told myself I could do the bare minimum today. Just get the deliverables done, meet the deadlines, show up for the meetings and appointments already on my calendar.

Then I had a conversation with a friend and we were talking about creativity and I had the memory that creativity is a life force. I’m sure someone who is not me said that before. And then the image came forth of needing to open the sails on a boat to harness the wind.

I’ve heard many times before the idea of making small changes in direction to get where you want to go. The suggestion to alter the coordinates just by one degree and end up in a totally different place. But I had the idea that I have plugged the coordinates into the control panel (do you do that on a boat or is that an airplane?) but I’m sitting on the deck rocking in one place because the sails aren’t open. So for today, I’m opening the sail closest to me, the one that takes the least effort to see some movement. Maybe later I’ll have them all open and harness some major wind force. 

Friday, September 08, 2023

showing up each day

Welcome back to me!

I've decided to practice showing up every day and posting my thoughts, whatever is coming up for me in my life, in my thinking and feeling, whatever wants to come forth and be shared. I thought about starting a new blog, and if I had it would've been called "Showing up," but when gmail showed me that my existing blog is still around, and I stand by the name of it and the perspective it carries, I thought, Why not? So, here we are. I hope to stick to the practice of writing something here at least Monday through Friday - I'll give myself a break on the weekends for now. Some posts may be long, some short, some contain links, some contain graphics, and some just contain words. And we'll see what happens!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

the irony of people pleasing

When you're too hooked in to people-pleasing and worrying about how other people feel (and how they feel about you), the irony is that you will mirror your moods based on their reactions or the energy they're putting out.

You may walk into a room happy and content, but they immediately start grumbling about how bad their day was, or worse, something that you did that they're unhappy about. Immediately, you shift your energy from lightness and joy to match their grouchy, murky negative energy (at least I do...or did...or am trying not to.)

Other days, you might find that you are SO happy and SO ebullient that you walk into a room and you don't even care about the energy of others. So what if they had a bad day? You didn't! And so you are yourself and you are shiny and happy and, guess what? They might get a little of that shine on them!

Being empathetic and compassionate and tuned into others is really a gift, but it can definitely be taken too far.

The more you try to make people happy, the more you might match their energy and both depress/suppress your own and also take on some of their negativity. Protecting your own energy and staying in your own joy NO MATTER WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THEM will help. And, the irony is, it helps more people!

You think that by pleasing people, you are doing good. You think that you are solving problems and keeping people happy and having a positive effect on their lives. But when you let them suck you down instead of spreading your joy and maybe even affecting them with it, less people are happy! They're still not happy, and now YOU'RE not happy! Why not own your own joy and power and light and allow it to infuse every room you enter? Who cares if other people are annoyed by it? And they're probably not!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

on shining your light even when people are mad at you

I've been reading Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell. I resonate with the idea of being a light worker/light bearer. (And, by the way, as soon as I say that about myself, what immediately comes up for me is "Who do you think you are?" Which clearly means I have more work to do around shame: Brene Brown says that shame has two scripts: "Who do you think you are?" and "I'll never be good enough.")

Anyway, I DO think that I am a light bearer of some kind. I've always wanted to be, from the time I heard the Counting Crows song "A Long December" and the line

All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl

Okay, so I've now shared way more than I meant to about myself than I meant to...guess we're really getting at the heart of vulnerability here! 

But what I really came to write about today was the struggle I have with continuing to let my light shine when I've messed up, or when someone is mad at me. I'd like to try to break this down, and maybe we can all learn from it. Here's what happens when I mess up (unintentionally):

1. Think everything is fine.
2. Find out everything is not fine (and someone is blaming me for it not being fine).
3. Feel like a fool/a failure/I should have known better/how could this happen?
4. I don't deserve to shine my light. Bad Sarah! Go hide in a room, nobody wants to see you.
5. Lick my wounds; run a tape of defensive thoughts in my mind (But I didn't know! I did my best!) Or admit where I was wrong or mistaken, and still beat myself up about it. I should have known better.
6. Eventually pull myself out of self-loathing and gradually polish my lamp again and get back to shining (and this process can take hours, days, or weeks, unfortunately.)

I'd like to get to the point where it doesn't take so long for me to shine the light again. I realize that the only person who can control this is me. Even if I messed up, it doesn't mean I have to completely extinguish my light. I can continue to shine and still work on solving the problem, or I can realize that just because someone is unhappy with me, it's not actually all my fault and it's quite a bit about them. 

The main point I want to get to is the it's not up to other people whether or not we shine our light. We need to keep shining even if we messed up. Even if we were wrong. Even if we were completely misguided. 

If I could tally up the amount of times in my life that I put out my light because of what other people were thinking (or what I thought they were thinking -- ugh, see how exhausting it is to be in my brain???), I would be able to cover walls and walls of my house with tally marks. I mean, I seriously do this. 

I know this starts with self-love. Even as I began this post, this famous quote from Marianne Williamson started running through my mind:

I have loved this quote from the moment I heard it (even mis-attributed to Nelson Mandela). It's hard, but we can do it! Our job is to keep shining the light! It's OUR LIGHT! No one else's. So let's keep shining.


These thoughts are a major work in progress...I'd love to know what you think! What do you think about your light? What are your tips and tricks for keeping your light shining even during difficult times? I'm sure I'll be writing more about this in the days to come, so I'd love to integrate your thoughts and comments as I continue to think about this. :) 

Saturday, April 09, 2016

a flash of insight about food

What I eat impacts the way my body feels, not the way my mind or my heart feels.

My husband is away this weekend and so last night I had a great idea to buy movie theater popcorn from the theater but to bring it home and eat it while we had a movie night. (I actually do still think it was a good idea, and the movie night overall was a good idea.) Whenever I eat a ton of popcorn (and I don't seem to be able to have it around me without eating a ton of it), I do not feel well. Even as I write this, I'm sitting here on the morning after with a rumbly tumbly and a low-grade, salty headache.

I realize, especially with eating things that I know will put my body into distress later, that I'm eating to try to change how my heart feels, or how my mind feels (thinks), and it doesn't work. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with it (and it can even be an alert that something is going on that I'm not even conscious of yet), but eating the food that I think will make me feel better generally backfires.

I'm learning that it's not what I eat or don't eat that impacts how my heart feels. That's a different matter. If my heart feels like it needs buttered popcorn and red wine and leftover Easter candy, what does that really mean? It probably means that I wish my husband were home, not away for the weekend. It means that parenting alone makes me anxious and overwhelmed. It means that maybe I wish I were hanging out with some girlfriends who have kids, too, so that we could all be in it together.

Some of those things I can work with. I can't make my husband stay home -- he needs to travel and I travel quite a bit, too. As for parenting alone, I know I can do it. I prefer to parent as part of a team, but I'm capable of doing it alone. I can reach out to friends to get together today and tomorrow now that I've realized that's something that I yearn for. Those things, I can work with. They require me taking some action and being conscious, but following up on those realizations could actually get me somewhere. Buttered popcorn isn't going to do those things for me. I have to do them myself.