Tag Archives: truth

Ten Things I Know For Sure

I am in a constant state of wondering. It isn’t uncommon for Mr Dreamboat to admonish me, “You don’t need to analyze it, just give in.” Referring, of course, to whatever it is that is going on; my appetite that day, if I need a nap, my progress or lack thereof on a project. I can become downright tiresome. Even to me.

With all that I wonder and all that I ruminate on ad nauseum, there are a few things I simply know. I know in my bones and in my heart. At least I think I know them. I’ll ruminate on that and get back to you…

Until then:

IMG_09201. Love really does find a way. And it is a kind and gentle way. It persuades and nudges and stays firm in a foundation of generosity. Love’s the best.
2. We receive what we believe. If you don’t like what you get, then change your mind. No, simple doesn’t mean easy.
3. Pie, under the right circumstances is absolutely a breakfast food.
4. Staying connected to the earth in some way or another, going outside for a walk, wiggling our toes in the grass, is imperative to our balance and happiness.
5. Believing the best of circumstances and people is simply a better way to live.
6. Happiness isn’t a right. It’s an obligation to the fact we were even created. Our obligation back to Creation is to become our best, brightest and happiest selves.
7. People are good. There are a few clunkers, sure. But people are good and kind and want to help.
8. One time a woman told me she doesn’t like hemp milk lattes. She even made a face about it. For that alone she lost three Likable Points with me.
9. In every situation there is something to be gained, though the harder the situation the more challenging it might be to find.
10. Doing something you love every day isn’t a luxury but a necessity. It feeds the soul and we all know letting your soul go hungry is bad for everyone involved.

family reunion

Hobbits Are For Real And Life Is Magical: My Surprising Travels To D.C.

I walked the hallowed halls of many historical buildings and through the landscapes of iconic, American monuments.

There were enormous statues, obelisks and parks dedicated to the history of our young nation. I explored museums and culture and something came alive in me that I did not yet know existed.

I had never been to Washington D.C. so how could I know it was the entrance to another existence? Moment by moment I felt intrinsically changed.

Isn’t she fantastic!

One such moment came at my personal discovery of the species named homo floresiensis, better nicknamed, Hobbits. These little people who walked the earth some twelve-plus thousand years ago grabbed my attention just a few days ago and they won’t let go.

It is my habit upon discovering something delightful to my sensibility to continue down the rabbit hole of the world and find more things about that.

Upon returning home I discovered our tiny, remote relations are controversial, as any good hobbit should be. They are controversial and some people think they were an anomaly, while others believe they are connected in our “folk memory” to mythological creatures called Ebu Gogo.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I’m undone. I mean truly. Last Thursday as we taxied down the runway I had no idea at all that these were things. Hobbits and folk memory and Ebu Gogo (Which, by the way, means “grandmother who eats anything.” I mean, can you get enough of this stuff???).

My trip to the Capitol surprised me in its delights. Really. I didn’t know I would love it so much. So as we boarded our flight out of Dulles Airport a part of me mourned that it was over. All that discovery. All the sights and sounds and energy I’d never known before.

I’m not much for suffering and so while I simultaneously allowed myself a bit of sadness over the end of a delightful adventure, I wondered at what made me feel so alive, and, more importantly, how I might keep that feeling with me upon my return to home and family and all that is familiar to me.

It is then that I realized what made me come alive wasn’t only all that is wonderful about that particular destination, but it was the learning and discovery. It was seeing things in a new way and learning things about which I knew nothing before.

Correct me if I’m wrong, and I’m really not, but wherever we are, whether traveling or sitting at home on the couch that is intimately familiar to us, there is always something to discover. There are rabbit holes to explore every single moment of every single day. It’s just that kind of limitless world at our fingertips. Boredom, my friends, is the final frontier.

Granted, it’s not every day we discover hobbits actually roamed the earth and not every day we learn about folk memory or grandmothers who eat everything. But I like to think that there are discoveries just as important available to us every day if only we’re willing to look for them.

Isn’t life grand?

The Value Of Your Soul As Decided By Your Laundry

It took me more than 25 years to clean my laundry room. Give or take. It began with my first child and, fittingly, now that my last is the only one living with us, I seem to be getting a handle on it.

At first the trouble was that I was a new mom. That morphed into mom with babies and small children and then busy schedules and finally to a laundry room that’s really big and too much clothing.

The most recent difficulty was that there were stacks and stacks of clothes on the counter and much of it I couldn’t figure out whose it was nor if they still wanted it. This was perhaps the worst laundry room torture of all.

Finally I had the time to clean the room but couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the clothes. I’m serious. It was torture.

Weeks ago I began the last, and hopefully final, odyssey into the laundry room. All much children were at least in close proximity to the house so I could ask them to go through the clothes to decide what was theirs and what was wanted.

This was a pretty big failure as not one of them cared about me and my need to have a laundry room that didn’t qualify for an episode of Hoarders (a truly disturbing reality show that should be banned, or at least cleaned out).

laundry-pileI abandoned my effort out of frustration and, let’s be honest, disinterest, and went to the beach for a month instead. Going to the beach is more fun than cleaning out my laundry room.

We’ve been back for a couple of weeks and the half filled bags for Goodwill taunted me and goaded me into finally taking the plunge and getting rid of the detritus that haunts my laundry room. Today I took 6 bags to be donated and my laundry room, while not magazine ready, is clean and organized with nary a stray sock to be found.

It’s taken me 25+ years to get my laundry room clean. Twenty-five long years. But I suppose the only thing I regret in those 25 years is all the anxiety it caused me. You see, if I am judged only by the content of my character, no one gives a damn about the cleanliness of my laundry room.

We worry too much about things that don’t matter. We wonder about “worthiness” and our value in this world. The fact that we even exist is nothing short of miraculous. We are all on our paths and our value is inherent.

It feels good to have a project completed. Hopefully for the last time. But it feels good to know that it never really mattered, that it’s all just a part of the journey.

Yes. Yes I did wear feathers to school. Didn't you?

Your Life Sucks? Let The Season Change You

There is a certain angle to the sun as we head into the late days of August that never fails to remind me of walking to school. Freshly tanned by the summer sun and uncomfortable in more appropriate attire, we doggedly trudged to class with virgin notebooks, pens brimming with ink.

I loved that time of year. I hated that time of year.

It’s been many years since I trudged anywhere. If I go somewhere I’m unsure of at this point in my life, I march, in a doggedly determined way not yet mastered by my younger self.

Long gone are my school days, and yet the slant of the sun carries me back. Rather than feel wistful and all achy and stuff, what I feel now is inspired to movement. If we are to live all the days of our lives, we simply must move. .

We need growth, movement, to do things that are hard and new and scary and demanding (And what’s more difficult than vacating the public pool for the public school?). I love fall with her cool mornings and sparkling afternoons because she demands change as she begins closing up shop for the coming winter.

For the most part, no one requires attendance or homework from me these days. I choose my schedule and attend no formal classroom. Even so, I am called to create a more demanding schedule, by the sun slanting just so. I am reminded of standing in front of Tina Williams house, waiting to walk to school with my friend. Waiting to start a fresh, new season.

I remember the days when my brain was awakening from its summer slumber and I am excited by the idea of cool days and dedicated teachers inciting me to learn and grow.

Each of the seasons seems to demand something different from us, and Autumn, to my way of thinking, bids us go inside and make something of ourselves, all the while changing her gown to something a little more formal.

I’m in the mood to go school clothes shopping. Who’s with me?

volunteer or weed

In Defense of Weed(s)

Many years ago when Mr Dreamboat and I were just starting off on the wild ride that would be our life together, we bought our very first home. It was a tiny and lovely nestled on a sleepy street in Northeast Portland, Oregon.

There we brought home our very first Baby Boy Young. Perhaps because it is so many years in my past, the only memories I have of our first little cottage are illuminated with soothing yellow lights and somehow every memory seems tucked into a perfect summer evening. Sigh…

Though we lived in our home for only a year, it was there we became a family and there we learned many other lessons as well.

One of those lessons was about weeds.

The previous owner was a young man who had bought the house and fixed it up. A nice job

You wanted to talk about pot, didn't you?
You wanted to talk about pot, didn’t you?

he did of it too. The floors were stripped of old carpet and redone in a beautiful, old patina that felt cozy and grounded. The remaining carpets were new and fresh. The house was tiny but charming in every way. Well, if I’m being honest, the kitchen was achingly small and outdated, but beyond that it was entirely perfect.

Including the yard.

Both the front and back yards were nothing fancy but well kept and tidy. He was a meticulous guy and wanted to walk us through the whole property, small though it was, before we took complete ownership.

He talked about the floors, the fireplace and the basement. When we came to the plot he walked us about the little patch of grass and pointed out the decorative beds.

“These plants I brought back from some hikes I took in the gorge. They’ve done really well. These over here are volunteers. I don’t know what they are, but they’re pretty.”

For certain it was the first time I’d ever heard a plant referred to as a “volunteer”. And without a doubt it had never occurred to me that one might choose what one thought was beautiful and worthy of a garden based on nothing but preference.

Where were the experts? What did the books have to say about it? How can we possibly value something unless we’ve been told it’s valuable?

And so the light turned on.

Weeds are only weeds when we think of them as such. Beauty is to be found in every living thing, in every living circumstance. Sometimes, if we find we like something that until now we’ve thought of as a weed, it’s not a weed at all, it’s a volunteer.

Too often I am quick to label things.

This is “good”, and that is “bad” and these things have “value” while those don’t. It is in the labeling that I am committing the injustice. When I throw something out without critical thinking I may very well be getting rid of my very favorite flower in the garden of my life.

The volunteers that have popped up in my life have sometimes been quite ugly on the surface. Challenges I couldn’t have planned for and outcomes never imagined have thrown me for a loop and sent me running for the weed killer. Until I remember…

You are the expert of your own life. You decide what should thrive and what should die. Yet sometimes if you give things a chance to grow, occasionally that which was never valued before turns out to have the most magical powers.

Got some weeds in your garden? Let’s sort them out together.

Contact me at michelleatplay@gmail.com

more happy

One Time I Thought I Knew ~ A List Of Ten Things

In my twenties I knew a lot of things. In my thirties, beliefs started dropping like flies at the end of a long, hot summer. In my forties, just a bit gun-shy for having made so many broad assumptions in the beginning, I began collecting things I believe.

It would be foolish to say I will always believe the things that seem so obvious to me today, but I have quite a lot of confidence in these, and so I present them to you:

1. I believe that miracles multiply. Once we start noticing them, they’re everywhere for us to pick up like gems along the path. This is not unlike buying a black Jetta and suddenly they seem to be swarming the highways. Only better than that.
2. Though it’s difficult to embrace it when it’s happening to us, I believe that when people behaveroald dahl quote badly it has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with them. While it doesn’t make it more fun, it’s just an explanation that if embraced, makes the ordeal less painful.
3. Audrey Hepburn is one of my heroes and to that end; I believe that happy girls are the prettiest. Sure, put on mascara, but live a life you love and the whole world will look at you in wonder.
4. Having been around the block a few years, I now see love less like a feeling and more like a complex root system to be nurtured. While root systems can look similar, there is a multitude of plants out there and they can be quite different. Don’t worry how your “love” looks, concern yourself with what it needs in order to thrive.
5. If I were in charge of the world, and let’s face it, that doesn’t seem like a wise idea, but if I were in charge, I’d make core curriculum testing way less important than teaching young people how to think critically and trust their intuition. I would totally sign up for those classes today if anyone would please offer them.
6. It’s an ugly truth that “nap time” is eradicated from life just when we don’t resent it any longer.
7. Audacity is possibly the most underrated characteristic out there. If we all put on our Audacity Capes, we would achieve great feats of bravery and every one of us would change the world in a big way. Put on your cape. Please, for all our sakes.
8. We’d all feel a lot better if we never clicked on links to negative and outrageous stuff like, “Cute child stars who got ugly when they grew up.” Sure it’s a curiosity, but who amongst us would want someone clicking on a negative page about us? Scroll on by.
9. Choosing to believe in miracles and magic is simply more fun. Everyone should try just a bit of it.
10. I believe in love. I believe in laughter and dancing in the rain, by yourself or with someone you who sets your soul on fire. I believe if we were all taught true, pure, self-love, we could love each other better. I believe pettiness never was happiness and I believe the road to perfection is paved with embracing imperfection and simply being wildly and joyfully human.

Like, share, comment, tweet and hey, reach out if you’d like a little help along your own path. I’ve got some rockin’ cool stuff to help you along the way.

People Aren’t Killed Because Of The Truth ~ Michelle Church

Mr Dreamboat and I see things very differently. Though we both come from the same, small sub-culture, even so, we interpret the world very differently. Once when I was laying out the bare facts of my life, his life and our life together, my therapist asked incredulously, “And you two get along well?”

She wasn’t a great therapist. Let’s just call that spade the spade that it is.

“Yes,” I answered emphatically, “very well.”

If you were to look at our histories as children and young adults on a superficial level, yeah, I can see how it seems like a hands of the worldstretch. But it is not. It is lovely and we work well together, not despite our differences, but because of them.

Yesterday Mr D and I went out on a date into the wild and wet weather of the day. Snug in the car we ran errands and I did much of the talking, I’ll admit that right now. He’s been out of town and it seems I’d stored up some thoughts and opted to give them all to him in one sitting.

Gracious man.

One of those thoughts was something like, though I can’t be certain of the exact wording, “I do not believe there are absolute truths.”

He is gracious, but never condescendingly indulgent.

“I completely disagree with you,” he said. “There are truths, absolute truths, but what most people do is grow up with beliefs, traditions and things that are familiar to them. And they call those things truths instead of comfortable. Right now there are people all over the world killing people because they believe ‘with every fiber of their being’ that what they have is the truth.

There are laws of the universe that are true. There are not just a few of them. That’s for sure. However, they never have anything to do with the traditions of our fathers, the dress code to which we subscribe or the foods that make us feel comfortable. Those things, by and large, are about customs and comfort and while yours are valid to you, mine are equally valid to me and that’s about the extent of the truth of the matter.

Mr Dreamboat and I are very distinctive people. We have had different experiences and those that we do share, we have interpreted in dissimilar ways. It is not that we have a strong marriage despite those differences, it is because of them.

And so it is with all the world, we just have to be willing to listen to one another and find the truths together. I recommend going out to dim sum afterward. It worked for us…

Like, share, comment, tweet and embrace the rainbow.

I Have Secrets

I have secrets. Most of them are little baby secrets like my dress size and true cinematic preferences, but a few are quite a lot larger. They’re a little bit heavier to carry. I have secrets.

Once I read that a family is only as healthy as its ugliest secret. This statement rang true for me. It makes sense then that what is true for a tribe is likely true for an individual. A person can only be as healthy as her most painful secret.

Certainly there is a time and place to air one’s secrets. I once listened to a woman at the pulpit discuss her STD. While it may have felt cleansing for her, I felt the need for a shower and therapy afterward.

That said, when the time is right, the audience, a supportive group and the desire to be our full-on selves is in the air, there is no better relief, no better release, than to own who we are full out and without apology.

secretsA naturopath/acupuncturist/therapist once explained to me the destructive nature of lying. She clarified that when we cannot own the truth, it is because we believe it is not a good enough truth. We are not good enough. So we put what we believe to be a more acceptable version out there. And we know we lied.

Every time that lie is referenced, even in a thought, we feel as if we are not enough. We are less known, and because of that we keep ourselves from being fully loved. And we begin to believe we are not fully lovable. Perhaps the greatest lie of all.

When I think about STD woman, I don’t begrudge her the time at the podium. More power to ya, my sister (and maybe some antibiotics as well). It is imperative to be known.

Over the years as I’ve aired my most frightening truths, I cannot think of even one time, not one, when I wasn’t fully embraced, hugged and loved and given a “Me too,” or at the very least a, “That sucks.”

I am enough. You are enough. We are flawed and we fail and we are enough.

My cinematic preferences include, but are not limited to movies with harsh language and a lot of shooting. I’m just putting it out there. I like when the bad guys don’t just go to jail, they’re done in. It’s a nice contrast for a world that is not always fair.

There. I said it. And I feel better. And even if you don’t like what I like, or agree with how I think, at least you’re given the opportunity to accept or reject me based on who I truly am. And this feels good to me.

As for my dress size? Not today. Baby steps. Even transparency requires baby steps.

Like, share, comment, tweet and give people the chance to love you for who you really are.