Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday morning inspiration

This weekend I read the following passage, which I know I've read before. But the layers of it hit me just right this go-around and I was encouraged:

Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
-Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

A post that has long been in my in-box finally rose to the surface, and I resonated with much of what Pamela (the blog author) wrote, about another author she admires, and the life that both women are trying to pursue. The book author admired by the blogger is Katrina Kenison, and a few of her words, as quoted by Pamela, that stood out to me:
Now I see that the journey was never meant to lead to some new and improved version of me; that it has always been about coming home to who I already am.

I will be reading Magical Journey soon. I was given The Gift of an Ordinary Day last year by a friend, and it is probably due for another turn at the nightstand, as well.

Watching the Oscars last night, I wasn't especially hopeful that I would find much in the way of inspiration (and, that's not really why one watches, is it?). I mean, there are inspirational movies, sure, and of course I got choked up at the first line of One Day More, as the cast from Les Mis came out (even Russell Crowe didn't ruin it. He came close, but not quite...). But the real inspiration, for me, was watching and being surprised by people who don't fit the "Hollywood mold" perform or present and be comfortable in their skin. I mean, when someone like Renee Zellweger, all tiny and petite and cute, so obviously amends her looks for some inexplicable must-look-better, must-be-skinnier reason, what hope does a normal-sized and normal-looking woman have? Well, my hero last night was Adele (with an honorable mention to the always beautiful Queen Latifah). Adele performed Skyfall, beautifully, and accepted her award quite graciously, all the while her very own self. I adore her.

I had to dig up one of my favorite songs to share. And this video is a little bit extra special since she talks a little about the song and the album before she sings, and the things she speaks of--finding a lasting love--is now a reality for her with her husband and baby boy. So that's sweet too.

Wishing you a week of being very comfortable in the gloriousness and wretchedness of your skin. (If that sentence doesn't make sense to you, re-read from the top.)


  1. Gracie watches a fair bit of YouTube and a few times Adele popped up on screen and I made sure to comment on how BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING she is (and how odd Nicki Minaj looks). I think it rubbed off on Gracie, because whenever she sees anyone with a real body (curves or not!) she compliments it.

    1. Good work, Mom! It's a special challenge raising a girl to believe in the beauty of different sizes and shapes.


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