Reverb11: The final post

There! I did it! I officially completed Reverb11! For those of you who have been reading and following along, thank you for being part of the journey. I hope you enjoyed it. Let’s Reverberate again next December! <3

Dec 28: Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. (Tara Sophia Mohr)

You would think, given all of my dreams and plans for 2012, and the fact that I’ve been using this approach regularly since last December, that I would have had NO trouble with this question. But…no. I am beyond stuck on this one.

Seriously…the things I want to achieve next year are things like “move my body daily” and “maintain a sense of presence, awareness, and appreciation in my day to day life.” They don’t really fit with this question. They’re not goals that you achieve once and then you’re done—they’re ongoing things.

I think that this has a lot to do with Tara Mohr’s Goals Guide (which this question is based on, and which you can download for free HERE). It was a total game changer for me last year. If goals totally stress you out, I can’t recommend it enough.

…and that’s really all I have to say about that.

Dec 29. Today’s Reverb11 prompt: Defining Moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. (Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

In the late winter, Andrea Schroeder announced that she was doing a workshop called the Creative Dream Incubator. And I wanted to participate SO BADLY, but we were still reeling from an over-spendy Christmas and I just couldn’t afford it. She told me about a giveaway where you could win a free spot in the course. So I entered the contest. And I won. It was like the Universe was saying, “Yes, you need this. You asked for it, and you did what you could to get it. Here you go.” (that in and of itself was kind of a defining moment).

The course was incredible. It connected me with other dreamers, it helped me envision my dream, and it snapped me out of paralyzing fear and resistance. And then the miracles kept happening and the dreams kept coming true. And even though I didn’t make my dream fully real yet, I’ve grown and healed and created so much on my journey towards it that I don’t even care. I’ll get there. Magic is real, and it happens…and the Creative Dream Incubator helped me realize that (thank you, Andrea! <3).

 

Dec 30. Today’s Reverb11 prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (Molly O’Neill)

The most memorable gift I received this year was the gift of a night off when I really REALLY needed it. I was deep in mama-burnout, crying and raging and generally having a horrible time. And after I had cried on the phone to Matthew for the second time in one day, he suggested that maybe I should book a hotel room and take a night completely off.

The idea was TERRIFYING. Xander was still night-nursing, and I had never spent a single night away from him in all of his almost-3 years. But Matthew knew that I needed some space, and deep in my gut I knew it too. So I did it. I booked a night at the hotel down the street, Matthew and Xander walked me there, they said goodnight, and I was alone. Totally alone for a blissful 12 hours. I had a bath. I went for a walk. I watched TV. I slept alone. And in the morning I felt like a human being again. And Xander and Matthew did just fine (of course).

Really, the cost of the room itself wasn’t the gift—it was the permission. The permission to just go, let go of the responsibility, leave mamahood at home for a night, and just BE with myself…that was the most important gift I received this year.

 

Dec 31. Today’s Reverb11 prompt: Core Story. What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

This is where I’ve seen the biggest shift in the past year.
My central story at this point in my life is one of a woman who is coming into her own. She’s released a lot of pain and baggage, and she has blossomed. She is learning to be gentle with herself, rediscovering her own awesome, and dancing with the magical Universe.

And that…is amazing.

Have a beautiful New Years Eve, my darlings. And may 2012 be filled with joy, love, and light…and dancing. Let’s dance into the New Year.

xox
Meg

Reverb11: Self-portrait, soul food, ordinary joy (Dec 25, 26, 27)

Hello!

Today I felt very inspired, so I’ve got three Reverbs for you. GO ME!

I can’t believe how close we are to the end of the month! I hope you’re enjoying this quiet week in between Christmas and New Years. It’s such a beautiful time of year.

Dec 25: Photo—a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you. (Tracey Clark)

I took this photo in the very-early spring this year. It was the first day that we didn’t need actual jackets (it must have been part of a warm spell, because subsequent photos feature the winter coats again…gotta love Nova Scotia!). I took Xander to the playground to enjoy the sun, and I snapped this photo myspace-style.

I adore this photo. It shows me all lit up from the inside. I’m in the flow, inspired by life, radiating joy. This is what I look like when I’m living 100% authentically, being 100% me. I’m a glowing, radiant mama, and this photo captured that.

Dec 26: Soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Elise Marie Collins)

Today I made a loaf of bread (actually, two, because that’s how much the recipe makes).

I mixed a batch of my mom’s holiday-only Nisu (a rich braided bread with cardamom in it, only I left out the cardamom this time). I combined the ingredients, I mixed the bread with my old wooden spoon, I added flour until I couldn’t stir it any more, and I dumped the dough on the countertop. I set the timer and kneaded the dough, the floury lump gradually growing soft and stretchy under my hands. My mother once told me that you could tell when bread was done being kneaded because it would start feeling alive in your hands, and I felt that aliveness as I worked the dough. I let it rise, punched it down, braided it, let it rise again, and baked it. And as I did all of this, I felt part of an ancient line of women stretching down the centuries, all standing at a counter (or table or stone) and kneading bread for their family.

...Soooooo....goooooooood!

The loaves baked up perfectly—golden brown and softly crusty. Once they were mostly-cool, I sliced into them and inhaled the fresh-baked scent. I spread a piece with butter, and I sank my teeth into the warm, soft, delicious bread. Words can’t express how delicious it was. I may never add cardamom to my nisu again…it was rich, bread-y, just salty enough, and sweet enough to compliment the butter. It was the perfect experience of bread-ness, the pinnacle of bread-itude. I can’t wait to have another piece.

Dec 27: Ordinary Joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Brene Brown)

Back in October our friend Krista was over at our place and we decided to go for a drive to a playground so that Xander could get some fresh air. We ended up driving out to a small park way out of town, near the house we lived in before we moved to this apartment. I’d taken Xander there when we lived in the house, and there were swings and teeter-totters and a slide.

Unfortunately, in the year since we’d moved the playground had been ripped down. All that remained was a clearing in the woods with a pile of timber and scraps (and rusted nails…not cool, Halifax Regional Municipality).

Luckily, there was still a walking trail that looped through the woods and went down by a lake. Matthew took Xander for a walk through the woods, and Krista and I took charge of Xander’s giant rubber ball. We ended up standing about 10 or 15 feet apart on this boardwalked area by the lake and bouncing the ball back and forth to each other while we chatted. And something about it—about the fresh fall air and the lake in the background, the trees rustling, the conversation, and the sounds of Xander’s laugh in the distance…something was just magical.

We didn’t do anything particularly magnificent that day. We didn’t go anywhere new or have any marvelous adventure. But the simple act of going outside and playing together…it was perfect.

Reverb11: Day 24 (on the 28th…oops)

Hello!

I’m back! I admit, I meant to make a post yesterday, but I was buried under a giant pile of Lego and it took a while to dig myself out (I’m only half kidding).

See? That's just a tiny fraction of the Lego Xander got. It's AWESOME.

We had a magical Christmas…a lot of time with family and friends, and a lot of wonderful presents given and received. The weather here in Nova Scotia was perfect: cold, crisp, snow-covered, and clear. It was beautiful.

TREE! And assorted wrapping paper. I don't have a single photo from Christmas Day. Again. Blogging photo fail.

I have a LOT of Reverbs to catch up on, but I’m going to start off slowly and just do one for today. This will probably mean that I’ll be finishing up Reverb11 in 2012…but hey, I did that last year too. It’s tradition! (or something).

Dec 24: Everything’s OK. What was the best moment from 2011 that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Kate Inglis)

 

This was a series of moments, but I couldn’t imagine a better choice for this prompt.

Last spring I took the plunge and announced a series of dance classes (for lack of a better term) for mamas and babies. I booked a space, I placed online classified ads, I posted flyers, and I fielded some phone calls and emails about it. And then the day of the first class came. I went in to the studio, I set everything up…and I waited. And waited. And no one came.

More or less undaunted, I packed up and went home. I posted more flyers. And then I went to the studio, set up, waited…and no one came.

Five times I went to the studio. Five times no one showed up. Not one person.

I admit that each time I was a little sad. But at the same time, I was full of ideas: changes I could make, things that might not be working. I came away from that studio with pages of notes and tons of insights.

I wrote a blog post about my “dance with failure.”

And it was far and away my most popular post of the year. I received beautiful comments about it. Goddess Leonie shared it on one of her Goddess inspiration posts (which was a dream come true for me). It was amazing.

The process of writing the blog post and the reception it received combined to show me that, even when you fall flat on your face, it can lead you somewhere awesome. The entire Dancing Mamas Tribe experience made me realize that trying and failing is far and away less painful than not-trying.

In 2012, I will remember this lesson. I will remember that not-trying hurts more than trying and failing. I don’t know how or when I will apply this lesson, but I know it will look like forward motion…sometimes tiny baby steps, and sometimes giant leaps. Because it always feels better to move than to be stuck.

As I said in my post, I’d rather dance a round with failure than stay a wallflower and not dance at all.

Dec 23: What if.

Reverb is an every-day-in-December journalling/blogging practice. Each day features a prompt that either helps you integrate the past year or envision what you want to create in the next one (sometimes both). If you want to follow along with me, I’m posting a prompt on my Facebook page every morning.

Dec 23: What if. If January, 2012 was your last month to live, how would you live it?

If January was my last month to live, I would spend it doing two things: connecting with my family and friends, and creating madly. I would make the things I’ve been “meaning to.” I would snuggle with my little one all. the. time. I would write letters to him and Matthew “P.S. I Love You”-style so that they would still have a part of me around in the future. I would make so many videos. I would tell people I love them. I would give things away. I would make things by hand for people I care about. I would have a beautiful month. And then I would go, feeling grateful for the time I did have.

 

Housekeeping note:

I’m going to take the 24th through the 26th off so that I can be fully present with my family over the holiday. I’ll be back with catch-up Reverbs on the 27th. I hope you have a beautiful winter-solstice-holiday-of-your-choice.

xox

Meg

Dec 21: Future Self and Dec 22: Do, Be, Have

Reverb is an every-day-in-December journalling/blogging practice. Each day features a prompt that either helps you integrate the past year or envision what you want to create in the next one (sometimes both). If you want to follow along with me, I’m posting a prompt on my Facebook page every morning.

 

Dec 21: Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Jenny Blake)

Dear Meg (Dec, 2011),

In your wildest dreams you cannot imagine the places this year will take you. It will be full of magic and mystery, joy, and healing. You will blossom even further than you did last year. You will become even more yourself, and it will be a beautiful process. You will shine.

If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to trust yourself. Tune into your body. Listen to its signs. Go gently. Honour your instincts. Respect your limits. Instead of setting outward goals and forcing yourself toward them, feel your way forward step by step. Sometimes it will feel like you’re inching your way into a dark cave with a candle, and sometimes you will need to pause and adjust and get centred again…but remember that you only need to see a few steps ahead at any time. The magic is being able to look back and see where you came from.

I’m not going to say any more. In the immortal words of River Song, “…spoilers…” (with that knowing smile and raised eyebrow you love so much). But know that I’m rooting for you. I am cheering you on. You will be glorious.

Love,

Meg (Dec, 2016)

 

Dec 22: Do, Be, Have. What’s one thing you would like to do, be, or have in 2012?

In 2012, I would like to travel to Portland, ME with my family and friends for a long weekend in May. I would like to take the ferry from Nova Scotia to Portland and stay at the Eastland Park Hotel. I would like to eat delicious Mexican food at Margarita’s. And I would like to attend the authentic movement workshop that’s happening in Portland on May 18-20. I would like to soak in its energy and be filled with radiant light. And I would like to be so inspired that I carry that light back with me when we return to Halifax.

Dec 19: Healing

Reverb is an every-day-in-December journalling/blogging practice. Each day features a prompt that either helps you integrate the past year or envision what you want to create in the next one (sometimes both). If you want to follow along with me, I’m posting a prompt on my Facebook page every morning.

 

Dec 19: Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2012? (Goddess Leonie)

A year ago, I looked at this question and I answered the second part like this:

In 2011 I could ask for nothing more than to be able to continue on this path I’ve started treading.  I picture myself going deeper and deeper, learning these lessons, developing new awareness.  I picture myself feeling wholly and joyfully me, with no apologies, and no self-judgment.  Embracing and befriending myself.  The process has already started…please let it keep going.

I got my wish. In 2011, I moved further along the path to ME-ness. I embraced and befriended myself. Yes, I had hard times, yes, I struggled with self-criticism and guilt, but I learned from those experiences. Even those things helped to heal me.

My healing was not sudden, although there were many epiphanies, realizations, and breakthroughs that felt sudden (but that I recognized hindsight as part of a natural progression). Step by step I moved toward self-friendship. Bit by bit I developed new awareness.

I can’t even tell you what healed me because it was life itself that healed me. The act of living, of moving through my days, of loving myself and others, of struggling, of soaring. I realized that every breath can be part of a healing journey if we move forward that intention. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

For 2012, my wish is just the same. I wish to continue on this healing path. I wish to cultivate new awareness, befriend myself even more closely, continue my pilgrimage to the temple of the Self.

One step at a time, one breath at a time, please let my healing journey continue.

Dec 17: Lesson Learned & Dec 18: Try

Reverb is an every-day-in-December journalling/blogging practice. Each day features a prompt that either helps you integrate the past year or envision what you want to create in the next one (sometimes both). If you want to follow along with me, I’m posting a prompt on my Facebook page every morning.

 

Dec 17: Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Tara Weaver)

This year I learned that I can be brave. I can do more than sit and dream and wish (not that those aren’t completely necessary and worthwhile things to do—they are—but eventually there needs to be action or it starts to feel really stuck and crappy). I can put plans in motion and move through my fear and resistance. I am more powerful than I ever dreamed.

In 2012, I’ll apply that lesson by making a habit of responding to stuckness and sadness and icky-feelings with movement. When I feel crappy and self-loathing-y, it’s not a sign that I am worthless or lazy or too timid to exist. It’s a sign that I have stayed still long enough, and that the only thing I need to do to snap out of my funk is to take a step, even a tiny one.

Instead of drowning my sorrows in chocolate, all I have to do is move. Make that phone call I’ve been avoiding, set a timer and do my yoga, go for a walk, write the email, schedule the class, publish the blog post. Whatever it is, movement is the key. With movement and courage, I can do anything.

Dec 18: Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2011? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Kaileen Elise)

A page from last year's Creating Your Goddess Year workbook! You can get one at GoddessGuidebook.com 🙂

Next year there are SO many things I want to try!

Off the top of my head:
-writing a newsletter
-teaching YogaDance again
-a Nia class
-an Authentic Movement workshop
-a regular dance video post
-a yoga class

And this year I managed to try a lot of things that I wanted to!
A dancing mamas class!
An editing job!
Crocheting!
JourneyDance!
Contributing to an e-book!
Coaching!
E-courses!
A home yoga practice!
A gratitude journal!
Tarot readings!
Making a Facebook page!
Being on a podcast!

They didn’t always work out, but sometimes the trying and failing taught me more than the trying and succeeding.

There were also a lot of things I wanted to try and didn’t get to…but it turned out fine. Unlike past years, I don’t feel that bad about it. This year I learned that things happen when they’re meant to, and that means that I can put them on the list for next year and trust that I’ll get to them when I’m ready. In fact, most of the items on my “to try next year” list are hold-overs from this year. And that’s just fine.