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Resolution #1: Listening In

This is not chaos by Lisa Kattenbraker

I love people. I love my family, my children . . . but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up.–Pearl S. Buck

I have been thinking long and hard about how I want to transform my life and habits in 2010. So it’s taken me a while to figure out the 6 changes I want to focus on, but this one I know for sure is numero uno: LISTEN.

I have been working on my listening skills for a few years because I know for a fact I was once really bad at listening, so I have been actively, intentionally working on it. My bff, Randall said once upon a time that I was the best listener he knew (I think his assessment may have changed when we lived in the same town for 6 months last year!). Now, I may have gotten a little better at it over the years, but I need lots and lots of work. (Here is where my husband nods emphatically).

My resolution focus is more on Listening In because this past year was pretty hectic with moving to a whole new world (from the Northwoods of WI to the metro area of Columbus, OH), starting new jobs with my freelancing/music/teaching stuff here and here and here and here, and all the insanity and excitement that comes with relocating a family of 4 across the country.

So listening in, which is also the title of a great song by my friend Nate, means specifically turning inward to that “still, small voice.” I have a wonderful teacher who once told me that Life is Meaningful, It Just Takes Practice and as I saw this past year, more than ever, it is extremely vital to practice listening inward, especially when it is hardest to do so.

So I slacked on my meditation practice this past year, no biggie, I am picking up where I left off and renewing the commitment to practice meditation once a day, starting with 10 minutes. In fact, this morning my kids fought over the timer and climbed all over my lap during those 10 minutes I sat, because I woke too late and was determined to sit anyway. I think in the middle of the sitting I actually yelled at them to stop fighting! CLASSIC! Well, who ever said meditation was pretty? Or peaceful? I don’t think those people ever really tried it .. .

I am a working mom, wife, creative, entrepreneur who tries to fit it all in, and meditation is no different. But meditation is also imperative to my well-being, I have found. I have studied in online classes with Buddhamom author Jacqueline Kramer of The Hearth Foundation for many years and love her take on meditation, mindfulness, and motherhood. And as my friend Lisa so aptly describes in her visual batik poetry above


How do you listen in? Let me know your thoughts!

I Used to Be a Bird

[As for me, I used to be a bird]

As for me, I used to be a bird
with a gentle white womb,
someone cut my throat
           just for laughs,
           I don’t know.
As for me, I used to be a great albatross
and whirled over the seas.
Someone put an end to my journey,
without any charity in the tone of it.
But even stretched out on the ground
I sing for you now
my songs of love.


by Alda Merini / translated from the Italian by Susan Stewart • from Love Lessons: Selected Poems of Alda Merini • Princeton University Press

I Love Good News

One of my favorite writers and seers is Rob Breszny, whose horoscope updates I receive weekly in my inbox and looooove.  He has written a book about Pronoia, the antidote to Paranoia, and I just had to share these links because I love good news and am addicted to it, and this is a great list of resources!  Thanks, Rob!


Sources of good news are proliferating. In fact, their increasing abundance
is proof that there’s no longer any excuse for steeping yourself in the
perverse life-hating obsession that infects the mainstream media.

Here’s my challenge to you: For the period of one week, I dare you to
refrain from sucking in the nihilism that pours out of mainstream news
sources. Instead, for those seven days, get all your news from the
pronoiac websites below.

Good News Network

Change the World News

Great News Network

Positive News

Ode magazine

Yes! magazine


Good News Daily

Good News Blog

Happy News

Heroic Stories

Positive Economic News

Good News Economist

NPR report on good news

New “positive change” magazines thrive