How to be a Witness/How to be a Friend

Love. Think. Speak. Know. Creatures, I give you yourselves!

~ C.S. Lewis (Aslan in The Magician’s Nephew)

We’ve been listening the audio cassettes (that’s right) of The Chronicles of Narnia and I was so moved by this scene in which Aslan sings Narnia and all its creatures into being. Afterwards, he stands back and he commands them, “Love. Think. Speak. Know.”

It comes as no surprise that Suzanne’s mantra for 2011 is LISTEN because for almost as long as we have been BFFs, we’ve led parallel lives or even better, complimentary ones. The word that came up for me on this turning of the calendar was WITNESS.

What does this mean? For me, it means being a friend. It means holding the image and space of your best self so you can fill it. It means being a “safe pocket” for you in times of vulnerability. It means earning the right to hear your stories. I have grown into this word of witness/friend only by having received the same gift so fully in 2010. Suzanne, of course, is my Master Friend — the person who taught me that it is safe to “hold my seat” in a relationship even though it is painful sometimes. And I learned that this messiness is a small price to pay for the prize of true connection — especially with your Self.

So in 2011, this is a gift that I can now give. My internal GPS has been set to give you back to your Self. I got my marching orders. They begin with “Love….”

How to Make Resolutions… and Break Them!

My daughter has a goal to be the first six-year-old with a hundred-dollar bill. I don’t have the heart to tell her about the Vanderbilt/Whitney/Mary-Kate and Ashley set. So far she’s accumulated three twenties from her weekly payoffs/allowances. resolutionsI’m glad she has a goal, even if the economy has turned our notions of thrift and hard work upside down. In that spirit, let’s take a look at a few resolutions we might as well break in the New Year. [Read more…]

How to Set Priorities

parentingOne of my friends I can always count on for a good laugh sent me a Top 10 Priorities list the other day. Not unlike David Letterman’s lists, it was funny. But beyond the humor, what struck me was the very real benefit of taking one’s own life, complete with loved ones, work, interests, dreams, goals and aspirations and being able to sum them up, simply stated into ten lines of text. The next real challenge, not for the faint of heart, is to then label them 10 – 1, ascending in rank from lowest to highest priority. And then if you really want to live by these new priorities you have set for yourself, you will share them with someone close to you. We all need reminders every now and again and if we don’t share them, how can we be accountable for them? So once you have your top ten, post them on your magnet board, write them on little pieces of paper and hide them all over the house but definitely be sure to share them with a friend.

[Read more…]