Monday, January 25, 2021

Monday Morning Freewrite

 I have my timer set for 12 minutes. I have a spiritual direction appointment this morning. I postponed by 7 am one because I slept 8 hours last night (after napping in the early evening for 1 hour). That is usually a good indication that I am coming down with something. I have not had a full-blown cold in probably 7-8 years. So, I always like to nip it in the bud and rest. I took some Day Quill, and I feel much better. Still a bit achy in my joints.

I also have an appointment to get my stitches removed at 10:30. So, I will limit my time to 1 hour. I know most directors only have 1-hour appointments, but I am working toward it. After 40+ years of discipling women with a 2-hour appointment, it is so ingrained in me to go longer than the hour. When I do the Spiritual Exercises appointments, it is always 1 hour, but that is because it is just about the Exercises. So there you go.

I do feel better than I did two hours ago. So that is a good thing. I rested all day yesterday. It was probably my lowest exercise day since I broke my leg in 2019. It was weird, but I finished reading two books I have had hanging over my head.

Speaking of books, after getting a book list two weeks ago for my OMS Year of Preparation, and purchasing the books, they changed one of the books. So, I am a bit bummed, and I guess that the majority rules because no one else had received their books yet. Oh well, the book we are reading instead is the "pop" book of the years. I have not read it because my best friend read it, and it is basic stuff that we learned when we were 20 years old, but I realize, for most people, this is all new things to be learning. So, I will go with the majority, and I really need to read it so I can recommend it. 

My time is running out. See you later!

Adding on to my timer for another Monday morning freewrite: 

Back for another round since my freewrite was only 10 minutes. I had my direction appointment. I tried to stop the time at one hour, but it did not work, and we went 25 minutes over. I am going to try to do better next time. This is my number one area of growth as a director. I feel really good about my time with my directees though. It has been SO FULFILLING. It is where I am supposed to be at this stage of my life.

George and I were just laughing about the word: Cymbrogi (pronounced KOOM-bro-gee). It means "fellow countrymen" "companions of the heart."  This is exactly what I have been looking for since it came out as a theme with Mike during his direction through my second time through the Exercises! I do have individual companions of the heart, but I don't have a group who are this way. I would say Kim, George, Debbie are most this way in my life. George and I just laughed because the word is a funny Celtic word, but I love how it just rolls off your tongue: KOOM-bro-gee! I have to have one for my year of preparation through the Order of the Mustard Seed. I have that everyday with George, and I have it at least monthly with Kim, and I could probably have it regularly with Debbie if I just asked, but I don't think I could have them all together. So, I need to ask Scott if that is OK to have three separate people that I would not necessarily be able to gather together. 

I already said earlier this morning that they changed the books, but I found out that the book they changed it to is at the library, and I don't think it is a super popular book. So, I should be able to have a long-term check out of it, and I am sure I could borrow it from Nicole. 

Speaking of Nicole, I had to move our time on Friday because we are saying good-bye to D. She flies out to the Middle East late Friday night. So she is going to have an  open house. I heard from N while I was in my direction appointment. I also heard from my boss who said I did not submit my timesheet, but I checked, and I DID! I am not sure why he thought I did not. 

All that said, I think my biggest stress this morning was getting these stitches out! I think it has been nagging me since Friday, and I felt like a burden to my nurse friends. The guy who did it was so gentle and kind, and I had a wonderful time of breathing through the pain and being in God's presence in the midst of it because a couple of those stitches really hurt to be removed. BUT I felt such relief, and then I felt joy as I used my Jane Austen band-aid to cover up the wound. LOL! So, my somewhat more turbulent morning (because my mornings are super mellow and not stressful about 99.9% of the time). 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Pilgrimage to Mt. St. Michel

Since I got up SO EARLY this morning, and I finished my paper, I am going to write about my Pilgrimage to Mt. St. Michel this January. 

In 2018, George and I took an unforgettable trip from Paris into the Heart of France with Rick Steves' Tours. One of the best parts of that tour was our wonderful tour guide, Chris Coleman. She and I had a lot in common in that we both teach fitness classes, and she had a little muscle problem that I was able to help her with the use of MELT Method balls that I had brought along on our trip. We became Facebook friends, and she noticed that I was doing the Conquerer Challenge Virtual Pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago (let me know if you want to do it because I can send you a code that will get you a 10% discount). We were hoping to do the REAL Camino with others in the Fall of 2019, but we all know what happened. So I invited everyone to do it virtually, and everyone signed up to do the 480-mile challenge! It was fun. I am currently doing the entire length of Great Britain and have about 130 miles to go on that 1084 mile trek (currently on Loch NESS in Scotland - it is a big loch). 

When Chris saw me posting about these challenges, she got an idea. Why don't I set up a virtual challenge through France and use my Rick Steves Tour Guide expertise? So, she partnered with another RS Guide, Patrick Vidal, who is on the ground. He has been filming the entire "Pilgrimage to Mt. St. Michel" (see above map)! Every day, we get a recorded YouTube video (10-15 minutes), and we get a live feed on Saturdays (I do Pilates in my living room while I watch and get mileage credit). It is 170 miles, and it has lasted the whole month of January. On Mondays, we get culture and history. On Wednesdays, we get wellness tips, and on Fridays, we hear about the food and wine (and get recipes) of the region. 

It has been great fun, and I highly recommend it. Next month, Chris will be partnering with CORVALLIS native, Karin Kibby, who lives in Italy. That should be fun too. 

Here is info on the Italian adventure on Chris Coleman's website: 

Wednesday Morning Freewrite

 I've been up since 12:45 am because I fell asleep at 6:45! My goodness. I was going to just take a little cat nap so that we could watch Scarlet and the Duke on PBS, but I fell fast asleep for my usual six hours. ACK!

Well, I have had an EARLY morning time with God and read a couple of chapters in two different books. Now, I am doing another freewrite. It will be an early night tonight, but the nice thing is that I don't have any "people" obligations today. So I can refuel my introverted heart/soul/mind and also have some more reading time. I also plan on a nice long bike ride as it is not going to rain today. It won't be sunny, but I will take that. It might snow next week. So I want to get as much riding time in as possible.

Yesterday was full, but it was FULLfilling. I had a lovely time with God. Then I had a long hospital hill walk (with the labyrinth). Then I met with a girl from South Korea over ZOOM. I usually meet with Arab women, but I forgot to specify that in my conversant volunteer application. But the girl is so sweet. I love learning about South Korea. I had a conversant from there in the late 80s, but I forget all about it, and I have been to Asia several times since then. So it is fun. 

Then, I had something, but I cannot remember what it was. I went for a bike ride to meet with Kim, and even though I felt like it was time to pull in a bit after so much people time over the last two weeks, it was LIFE-GIVING. Kim is my soul-friend, next to George. So, we walked in the beautiful sunshine on to the OSU Library quad, and it was lovely. I was going to continue my bike ride, but Kim gave me TWO long sleeve red tunics! Why did she get Land's End TALL tunics? I will have to ask her about that because they were too long for her. So she gave them to me, and the sleeves are long enough! I am so excited about this as I LOVE RED, and I don't have any non-turtleneck red sweaters or shirts! Blessings!

I came home and prepared for a BANDS Pilates class. I did it out on my sun-drenched deck. It was COLD, but I kept my jacket on, and I hope they enjoyed it because I sure did! Teaching Pilates is LIFE-GIVING for me!

After this, I rolled, stretched, rested. I had hit my step goal with Kim, and I did 3.22 on my bike and called it a day. 

The biggest desolation of the day was having TOO MANY spoonfuls of Nutella! LOL! I have the hardest time not dipping into that jar. 

I did really well on the rest of my eating and ended up not going over my points for maintaining. On Friday, I will start another 5% of loss since I have maintained this one for three months of that day. I am FINE with where I am right now, but I want to get a bit lower to have "wiggle room" for some fun things coming up like my Valentine's trip to the coast with my honey. There are NO RESTAURANTS open, but we got a kitchenette at a great price. We also want to take another overseas trip as soon as the countries open up.

There is my timer. BYE! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Tuesday Morning Freewrite

D's Graduation Party - Master's in Public Health Nursing

Haven't done a freewrite since Thursday because on Thursday morning, I sliced my index finger in a lime cutting accident. So, I have stitches, but I finished writing an eight-page paper yesterday. So I have gotten quite used to typing with a wrapped index finger these days. LOL!

We had a going-away party for D. It was such a nice time of charcuterie, pictures with the evening light, steak, chicken, Middle Eastern food, and yummy fellowship with those I love.  So good. 

I did start fading about 8:45 and managed to stay another 45 minutes after that. :) Those young people can stay up so much later than me. 

So, I ate too much! I am three months of maintaining my 10% weight loss. So, I think I will go with another 5% as I am anticipating some travel coming soon. 

I did not feel super well yesterday. I think my body just needed a rest day. So I took one short walk. That was it. I feel much better today. I wish I could have changed my Exercise ring though. I have to remember to reduce it on rest days (that I RARELY take and should). 

I start the Order of the Mustard Seed Year of Preparation Cohort on Saturday and am excited. There is a person from Scotland (in Portland, OR), England (in CA), South Africa (in CA), and three Americans from the Pacific Northwest. Three men. Three women. Great fun ahead.

Today, I also start my first conversation with a partner from South Korea. I did not specify the Middle East. I forgot about it on my application. I have not had one from there since the 80s! I also walk with Kim. Then I teach Pilates.

Speaking of Pilates, I had a student from 2018 contact me. She wants me to teach Pilates classes for a Wellness business she is starting. She said she hated exercise until she was in my class. She said I made it FUN! Well, that was unexpected and encouraging. I have a ton of videos. So, that shouldn't be a problem.

I love my class this term. It is just 8 women. I like the small number. I am finally all caught up on all the university videos I needed to watch. So all I have to do is teach my class on Tuesdays/Thursdays and grade 8 Cognitive Learning Assignments! 

I came to a big realization recently. When I had gone through 8 hours of Enneagram training of my first week of classes, I went from learning (ending at 3 pm) to teaching (starting at 3 pm) and moving my body. It was the BEST thing to do after all that HEAD/HEART triad work of the Enneagram. I put my body into it, and I also went into my GQ (Gut/Body Triad) Type 8 teaching mode rather than being taught (mostly IQ Type 5 with a little bit of HQ Type 2 when we met in small groups). I need some BODY TIME. Totally gave me life and brought me back into balance.

There goes the timer. Will try to do more of this in the coming weeks. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Thursday Morning Freewrite FIFTEEN MINUTES

A freewrite is setting a timer for fifteen minutes (traditionally but you set your own time) and not worrying about grammar, punctuation, spelling, feelings expressed, etc. 

I said a few posts ago that I would do this weekly, and I forgot to do it last week. So here goes. When I started doing these, I would set a manual timer. Now I just speak it out to Siri or Alexa, and they do it for me. 

Here goes!

It is 6:46 am on a beautiful Thursday morning. I got up at 5 am (sleeping in for me), and I have been sort of dabbling in this and that and not following my usual morning prayer routine, but praying nonetheless. This is my spontaneous side today. :) 

Oh, where to start with the last days since my last freewrite. (I would look it up, but that would defeat the purpose of just typing straight through for fifteen minutes, but I think it was the Sunday before last - maybe January 3.) 

It would have been my mom's 94th birthday today. I have been thinking so much about her lately and all my nuclear family. I am writing an Enneagram autobiography of my family with the primary types of my parents, siblings, and romantic relationships. I am doing this for my Level II Professional Certification for Motions of the Soul. 

I so appreciate my mom's loyalty to my dad and how she reveled in being the woman behind the larger-than-life personality that was my dad. She was a Type 6. Sure, there were the phobias and fears that she constantly verbally processed and caused great anxiety in me growing up. (As a Type 2, I always wanted to make it better for her.) My dad was a Type 8 with a strong 7 wing. My oldest brother was a Type 8. My only living relative is my brother, Chris. I asked him to take the test, and he is a Type 3 (I guessed correctly!), and that is three MOVE AGAINST MALES in my household. The women were MOVE TOWARD TYPES (We access, scan the situation and then we move toward whereas MOVE AGAINST people don't discern and just propel themselves forward, overflowing their energy onto others.) 

Yet, it wasn't a male dominating kind of thing with my dad. I never felt squelched by his larger-than-life personality. I always felt so loved, so accepted, so "I am woman hear me roar. You can do ANYTHING your brothers do. Go for it!" So there you have it.

On the physical fitness side of things (switching topics abruptly, but that is what you can do in a freewrite), I am getting SO STRONG. I did this New Year's Eve 90 minute boot camp with Positively Pilates. I think she is the best Pilates instructor out there. So I have been doing that boot camp over and over again on my own. It has been GREAT. It is also worth 4.5 miles on my Virtual Pilgrimages. Yes, I am doing TWO. I am walking through France from the Loire Valley to Mt. St. Michel (my happiest place on earth) and walking the length of Great Britain (currently in the Scottish Highlands). I have less than 200 miles on Great Britain, and I am way ahead of schedule on the France one. (The France Virtual Challenge one is so fun. My friend and former Rick Steves Tour Guide, Chris Coleman, and her friend, Patrick, are leading us along with live footage by Patrick and lessons on food, culture, architecture, history, etc.) 

Eating has not been the best. I am up .2 of a pound from the weight I want to be at for 3 months to see it. That is not very much, and I think it is because I ate Baked Ziti and am retaining a lot of water, but not to worry. I want to nip these very slight gains in the bud and NOT BE AFRAID TO WEIGH myself weekly. That has always been my downfall. I am weighing myself every Thursday no matter what. I have kept it below my goal from October 22 until today. BUT .2 of a pound is nothing! That is a 700 calorie output exceeding my intake of calories. So easy sneezy. I am going to MAINTAIN this year.

Oh, I am starting my OMS cohort on January 23. I am so excited about this. I worked really hard to make it to the deadline, despite the discouragement. My sponsor is Scott from Scotland, and he was so nice to accommodate me and get all three interviews in before the deadline on December 15. So, we will meet for two hours on the 3rd Saturday of the month. I am reading Punk Monk to start it all off. 

Well, off to more prayer. But this was good. TTFN. 

Sunday, January 03, 2021

2020 Reading Wrap Up

 These are a combined list of questions from Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks. She changed it this year. 

How many books did you read? 68

Which book would you recommend everyone read: 

How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People - No matter how much prayer experience you have. This book is so good to read. It led me to some life-changing decisions. 

I also posted all my answers to the study guide questions and have the study guide in a PDF or a Word Document if you want it. I did this with six other people, and it was really a great experience. 

Did you discover any "new to you" authors? 

Frank McCourt. Loved his writing. 

Tell us about your reading year? What was your goal this year and did you have a plan, and/or follow rabbit trails or wing it? 

My goal was to get through all the book lists for the Book Babes Book Club, the Renovare Book Club, Spiritual Direction tests, and last but not least, the 1000 Book to Read Before You Die list.

I also accomplished the big goal of finishing Proust: In Search of Lost Time! WOOHOO!

Where did your armchair travels take you? 

Moscow, Russia, England, World War II Europe, France, Japan, Ireland, Central Valley California, Texas Samoa, All over America with John Steinbeck, Interior Castle of the Soul, Canada

Which books stood out, made an impression and/or stayed with you the longest? What did you learn from them? 

Interior Castle - I had read her autobiography several years ago, but this is her seminal work, and it encouraged me to go on a deeper adventure in Centering Prayer, and I am glad I did.

The Critical Journey - This was a reread as we went deeper into the book for the second year of Spiritual Direction training. It is such a good base for evaluating where a person is in their journey with God. I have it in the back of my mind with my directees. 

Spiritual Direction - I think this is my favorite of all the books on the subject. It is so thorough and practical.

The Golden Compass - So well written and finally read it for me after so much hub-bub about its anti-Christian undertones.

Silence - Jesuits in Japan. Gruesome. So hard to read but SO well-written!

Friday Night Lights - Such an interesting look into life and values in Central Texas. Mesmerizing. (Caused me to watch the movie and the entire TV series.) 

Angela's Ashes - Totally understand why this is on every classics list. WOW! Such a good memoir of poverty in Ireland. 

Bleak House - This might be my favorite Dickens. And the central characters are women. That is unusual for Dickens.

Open Mind, Open Heart - I finally really "get" Centering Prayer as a result of reading and discussing this book with others. 

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - So a lovely classic. "Wisdom of born of wonder." 

How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People - No matter how much prayer experience you have. This book is so good to read. It led me to some life-changing decisions. 

Hardwiring Happiness - I learned so much from this book that I apply daily. 

Remains of the Day - Delightful. I saw the movie years ago, but the book is so worth reading. 

Travels with Charley - What a wonderful insight into America in the 60s. 

Which book had the most original, most unique story?  

The Golden Compass - So unusual. The writing is near-perfect.

Which book made you laugh? 

Travels with Charley - Steinbeck is so clever. 

Which one made you cry?

Bleak House
Jude, The Obscure

Which book did you like the least and why? 

The Buddha in the Attic - Just a running list of all these Japanese immigrants to California. NO character development. I am so surprised by anyone who would like this book.

Favorite Cover:

68. The Ghost Writer

 I see why Roth won awards. Very good writing. It was not super engaging for me though. 

Summary: The Ghost Writer introduces Nathan Zuckerman in the 1950s, a budding writer infatuated with the great books, discovering the contradictory claims of literature and experience while an overnight guest in the secluded New England farmhouse of his idol, E. I. Lonoff.

At Lonoff's, Zuckerman meets Amy Bellette, a haunting young woman of indeterminate foreign background who turns out to be a former student of Lonoff's and who may also have been his mistress. Zuckerman, with his active, youthful imagination, wonders if she could be the paradigmatic victim of Nazi persecution. If she were, it might change his life.

The first volume in the Zuckerman Bound trilogy and epilogue, The Ghost Writer is about the tensions between literature and life, artistic truthfulness and conventional decency - and about those implacable practitioners who live with the consequences of sacrificing one for the other.

67. The Splendid and The Vile

 I forgot this review in 2020

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the BlitzThe Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The newest book by Erik Larson. This guy never misses. It is excellent. It is history and very personal. In 1940-41, 44,652 civilians died and 52,370 were injured in the Blitz! Of those dead, 5,626 were children. Much of it was Churchill's pleas for Roosevelt to get America involved. This would not happen until the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

View all my reviews

Sunday (Early) Morning Freewrite: My Compass 2020 Review

 Let's try a new type for the NEW year (at least for this freewrite because I will probably forget the new one I am using in future freewrites). I have in my Rule of Life to do a freewrite at least once a week. So, here is my first one for 2021. 

Here is a screenshot of the yearly review using 

YearCompass | The booklet that helps close your year and plan the next one.

It was a very good year for me. I still had to continue to work through the difficult thing that happened to me in December of 2019, but I kept working through it, and I "prayed to the PEACE" during my Advent retreat. It ended with a very dramatic conclusion as I drove over a bridge on the way back home from Mt. Angel Abbey. I really sensed a closure that I had not sensed prior to that. 

By the way, I am up at 1:19 am in the morning. I fell fast asleep at about 9 pm, and I woke up thinking it was morning, and I had slept enough at 11:45! I could not go back to sleep. Ironically, George was awake next to me, but I did not know it until he got up saying that his stomach was churning. He has been up for a long time reading. Paul came home from work at 1 am, and Michael was still up. So the whole family is up at 1:21 am!

After this freewrite, I will go ahead and do a quick reading wrap up of the year. I have to check and see which books I did not include here yet. 

I did a 90 minute Pilates/Barre class on New Year's Eve that was great. I was not even sore the next day, and I want to keep the strength I gained from doing all those Pilates videos for FSF. It took me two whole days to upload them on to the media site for OSU! I know it would have been less time had I done all my videos on an iPhone and uploaded them, but I did not get my iPhone until December 23. I will do the remaining ones on my iPhone. That is better. 

I have a big week ahead of me:

1) iMOS (Motions of the Soul) Enneagram training Tuesday - Friday from 7:15 am - 3:00 pm. 

2) Pilates 194 Tuesday/Thursday 3-3:50 pm (trying an afternoon teaching schedule and may like that better)

3) International Mom and Baby Group Teaching on "Person of Peace" Wednesday 3-3:45 pm

4) Prayer with M people 7:30-9:00 pm Friday 

I am doing Spiritual Direction every other week now. That way I can do things on the off week instead of having stops and starts because of directees sprinkled throughout the day. I like that better. 

Well, I am going to work on my "Reading Wrap Up" now. Stay tuned. 

Tuesday Ten Minute Freewrite

I am going to go great guns for 10 minutes on this freewrite. I am meeting with a person (not sure if she wants direction - she just wanted ...