Through my mother’s eyes

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I’m embarking on a new adventure: to intentionally incorporate one simple act of kindness into each day for one year. My certainty that kindness can change the world is a little like throwing a glass ball into the ocean and believing it won’t break.

Feel free to call this series: 365 Reasons to Roll Your Eyes, but science says your own happiness will increase if you share the journey.

She said, “Show me how you meditate.”

One of my favorite kind acts of January was sharing mindfulness meditation resources with my mom and dad.

Do you want great ideas for ways to spread kindness in February?

Reach out on the contact form below and I’ll share a gorgeous February calendar to give you a kindness quest for every day. The 8 1/2 x 11″ printable PDF calendar is free. It’s intentionally designed by Monica Greene, a young artist I’m crazy about.

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From her design stylesheet:

“That leads me to the color palette. Flowers such as primrose and violet are often associated with February as they are the first flowers to bloom in the cold. I thought this imagery was beautiful as they are harbingers of spring and better things to come and your calendar is serving as a harbinger of positivity and beauty in the winter month…

The leaves are from the Ash tree, another symbol for February and by calling on the tree a source I read says, “…you are seeking a clarification for your own vision and path”. I thought this calendar could be the clarification needed…”
Monica Greene

Go be kind.
Share your kindness journey at #KindInKind
~Catherine

 

A fall class offering

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Yesterday a coyote shadow crossed the trail. Chester, my big white dog, growled and I stooped to grab a fist-sized rock. At home this morning, slight breeze rustled the wind chime.

This year fall it feels odd because, for the first time in more than a decade, I’m not teaching. I wonder how I’ll pace my writing.

Some writers insist the only discipline is a daily practice. I cannot doubt the value of this. But Terry Tempest Williams, one of my hero writers, opens my mind to a different possibility:

I have a sequence to my creative life. In spring and fall, I am above ground and commit to community. In the summer, I’m outside. It is a time for family. And in the winter, I am underground. Home. This is when I do my work as a writer–in hibernation. I write with the bears.
From: Terry Tempest Williams Interview. The Progressive.

My own practice looks different from the writers who insist you must write every day, you must produce, you must train the brain to perform on demand.

I write with moon and coyotes and silence. I write in all seasons but there are weeks when I don’t write at all. I like to write with humans.

To keep myself accountable this fall, I’ve decided to take a class. One of my own: Composing Self. I’ve taught it many times and if I’m any good at this teaching thing, I should learn quite a bit.

Do you want to take this course with me?

If you’re intrigued with the prospect of having someone curate a reading list for you, and create regular writing prompts, check out the details on the page: COMPOSING SELF, Fall 2018

School begins Monday, October 1, 2018 and ends Friday, December 7.
There’s a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday.

What’s the cost?
What do you think I’m worth? Pay me what seems fair when the class is over.

If you want a jumpstart to your writing life, to join our fall community of writers for a short 10-week class, send me a note using the contact form.

Just to say what we’re doing here

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Once upon a time, my sister, the amazing photographer Susan Greene, and I shared a blog space called Backyard Sisters.

Sue gets credit for this open-armed, wet-footed photo of me. She always has her camera out on family adventures. My niece recently sent me this photo and said, “it’s a perfect reflection of how I see you: Arms open wide, smiling, and happy.”

Fun fact: Susan and I are middle sisters, a demographic that’s on the decline as families become smaller.

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If you’re concerned about one way smaller families may impact our culture, you can read up on the wonders of the non-firstborn, or non-lastborn, baby in Adam Sternbergh’s piece, “The Extinction of the Middle Child.” To sum up what I find interesting:

“In fact, the more you learn about the skills of classic middle children — peacemakers, risk takers, levelheaded loyalists with expansive friend groups — the more middle children seem essential to our survival.”

Adam Sternbergh, “The Middle Child is Going Extinct”

So, now that we’ve established Susan and I are essential to your survival, you can follow my writing here and you can find Susan’s creative work at Susan Greene Photography. And if you’re a sentimentalist for Backyard Sisters, we’ll keep it up for a while, post together every now and then. We do still like to share food and places to go and it would be so unlike our spirit of sharing to forever vanish such popular gems as our famous Jalapeño Lemonade recipe, or “I love you yellow,” one of my most popular love posts.

I mean our Backyard Sisters motto has always been: “saving ordinary moments from the brink of oblivion.” And we’re not about to go dark now.
~ Catherine

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