Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Wish (23)

I grew up with a barn. A big old-fashioned barn. And in that barn out behind my childhood home was a hayloft. The kind you see in the movies. With a rope swing and even a resident owl. Breathe in with me? A deep swig with your eyes closed. Yep…there it is. The sweet and musty scent of hay. In my childhood barn.

My neighbor Sandy had her own barn, too. She lived across the field. Her’s was red and white. Mine was a soft, peeling-paint yellow. Her’s was filled with hay, just like mine. But Sandy’s barn was different. You see, Sandy’s dad was a real farmer. And real farmers, in addition to using their heads, use their sixth sense. They intuit. They feel. They are connected to nature. Sandy’s dad knew that the hay wasn’t just for feeding the animals. He knew it was an opportunity for fun, too. So every year when he filled their hayloft in their red and white barn, he didn’t stack the bales in tight little rows like legos with thoughts of practicality. Nope. Sandy’s dad took the extra time to throw reason to the wind and to elevate fun to its rightful place not just for us kids, but for himself, too. Sandy’s dad made Sandy’s hay loft into an entire magical world.

Up levels, down levels, dead ends and sharp turns, tunnels to make even a bore squeal with happy. Cozy little cubbies just right for two girls to tell their secrets, big open spaces near the tip-top windows to see the rolling fields high up from above—Sandy’s dad thought of everything to make my heart sing. And every year when the new bales came in, I could hardly wait to see what new magic, what new fun, what new delight awaited me in Sandy’s hay loft across the field.

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My Wednesday Wish for You?

You probably work. You probably need to use your head to do your job properly. And that’s all good, of course. You have to eat, after all. But sometimes,  that head needs to be thrown out and into the wind. Sometimes we need to get back to our roots, to the real farmers that live within each of our souls. We need to remember our connection to nature, our natural need for fun, and how we all, at some point in our lives and more often than not, over rate practicality and the importance of head. We forget to cultivate the lightness of fun…the magic of being.

This week, I challenge you to loosen the reins, to stop your head from driving your life’s car. Maybe not all day, or even for very long, but for as long as you can. And longer every time, until you see what a difference less head can make in the fun of your day. Be silly without thinking of the repercussions. Aren’t repercussions really just other people’s issues anyway? Eat some decadent food without a thought of what it will do to the scale. Make a desired phone call without wondering how someone else might interpret it. Take a sick day to lounge in your bathrobe with bubbles and chocolate and not a sniffle in sight. Put your head on the shelf and feel like a real old fashioned farmer with a barn full of hay and a banjo on your knee. Feel. Be. Trust. And believe. Believe what? That everything is better, more magical, when we honor what makes our souls sing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday Wish (22)

I was sitting at the kitchen counter in my childhood home. It was early morning, before school. My brothers were on either side of me, each of us eating cereal. Cheerios. It was silent but for our silverware hitting the porcelain, our little mouths occasionally slurping up the happy milk-soaked rings.

“What did you say?”
I looked over at my elder brother. Was he talking to me? Yep, he was looking at me with the half irritated, half curious brow only a brother can give.
“Nothing,” I said.
“Yes you did. I heard you.”
“It wasn’t me.”
“Oh, really? Then who was it?”
“You don’t want to know.”
“I don’t?”
I shook my head, “Nope.”
He pushed in a big pile and chewed violently, his cheeks bulging. I could almost hear their terrified screams. That was it. I had to tell him.
“The cheerios. My cheerios were laughing.”
He choked on his own laughter, spraying the counter with white and brown splatter. “You’re weird,” he said.
“I told you you didn’t want to know. I knew you wouldn’t understand. But just so you know the whole story, I eat them gently, so they can ride down unhurt. It’s like a water slide. They laugh when they go down. It’s super fun. For them and for me. You should try it sometime.” I took another bite, my face pure smile. Pure smile.

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My Wednesday Wish for You?

Christmas dinner is almost here and I am willing to bet that a few of you get to eat with at least one person you don’t really enjoy. In fact, I am willing to bet that some of you are right now, all these hours ahead of time, dreading such things as conversation topics, uncomfortable questions, all the patience you are going to need, even the way you feel in your belly when you’d rather be doing something entirely different than listening to this person who you really don’t connect with on your left. I mean, lets face it, sometimes we have to do things we don’t always enjoy. And especially when it’s the nice thing to do. But…we do have a little wiggle room. And that’s what I’m here to help with. The wiggle room, the place where fun lives even when boring or painful or ugly surrounds you. And you know what? Even when it doesn't. You see, wiggle rooms are just as fun to be in when life is pure joy.

My Wednesday Wish for you, whether you are dreading Christmas dinner or more excited about it than anything else all month is…are you ready for this…to give consciousness to your food. That’s right. Let your food come alive. Imagine what the mashed potatoes are saying as you slop them onto your plate. “Hey, easy. Its Christmas for me, too, you know.” And what about the dessert? “Ooh, I love this part, when I touch your tongue. I love to make you feel happy, you know. I can hardly wait to play in your belly, too. I will keep making you happy all night, if you let me!” Whatever you eat, invite it to speak to you, to give you smiles, to make your Christmas even more magical than perhaps it has ever been. Give yourself a little childhood fun, if not for me, then for the boring old lady on your left who has never had a better Christmas conversation with anyone but you in her entire life.  

And p.s. don't forget to watch this video. It might give you a happy head start. For truth is, you don't have to stop with your food. Maybe a lot more in your life craves consciousness, too:)

Address Is Approximate from The Theory on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Wish (21)

A Friday morning with Fernando, my Spanish language partner, in the library of San Miguel de Allende, a colonial mountain town in the heart of Mexico:
     "Lo siento, Brynne but I cannot meet you on Sunday morning. Sunday I go to church. How about Sunday afternoon?"
     "Si, si," I said, "no problem. But Fernando, I thought you said you weren't sure if you believed in God. Then why do you go to church? To be convinced?"
     He giggled. "No, no." He sighed, his eyes looking down, then suddenly straight up, into mine. "You want the truth?"
     I nodded with an eager smile. It was hard not to smile when Fernando was around. He was such a kind human being. And besides, his English accent was adorable.
     "I go to church because the church is filled with old people. I do not like church, and true, I am not even sure if I believe in God. But, maybe I do not like church just because I am young and not yet wise. Old people are old, and many are also wise. If old people think church is worth going to, then I must trust them. They have little time and yet still, they go. I have lots of time so its even more important that I go. You see, Fernando wants to be the best man he can be so he listens to the old people."

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We are all getting older every day. The question is, do you experience aging as a degradation? Or do you experience it as a process of sage-ing, growing into the wisdom that you always were? In the United States, most people usually associate aging with a sense of degradation. But in many places in Mexico for example, the elderly are revered, honored, held in the highest esteem. And why? For the simple reason that they have walked where we have yet to tread. They have seen and felt and experienced life with a depth (not always, but many times) that only comes with age. Degradation may be the physical face of aging but the soul's face of aging is very different. Its softer, gentler, and yes, wiser.

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My Wednesday Wish For You?

My Wednesday Wish for you? To transform your idea of aging (and maybe someone else's) by listening to an old person this week, a sage. Maybe someone you know, maybe someone you do not. But someone that you feel needs to be heard. Ask them their advice about that question on your mind. Invite them to share what they wish they would have known when they were younger. Tell them what you fear and let them tell you if your fears are worthy to be honored for many minutes or very few. And if you can't get out to find this older soul who has so many messages for you, then stay right here, with me. For there is a lovely sage filled with wisdom waiting for you at the end of this movie with beautiful words and pictures, and just...for you. Hope you enjoy. with love, Brynne