the gentle power of “mend”

This morning I woke up with the word “mend” on my mind.  What a simply beautiful word.  I kept thinking about it while I actually mended a few things.

  1. A suede jacket I inherited from my paternal grandmother.
  2. My daughter’s blue jeans…not a rip in a fashionable spot.

I realized that mend somehow uniquely seems more feminine to me than its masculine cousin, repair.

Mending and sewing connects me to the ancient wisdom of mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and friends.  Women have been sitting together stitching, solving problems, laughing and crying in gardens, front porches, church basements, adobes, tents and huts throughout the history of the world. This is a part of all of us, even if it hasn’t necessarily been our personal experience.  We mend in the way I did today, but we also mend broken hearts, bones & skin, relationships, nervous systems, false narratives and so much more.

Here’s to mending whatever is in your literal or emotional stack of damaged goods. 

Go ahead, tap into that ancient wisdom. 

The ladies are waiting to help you.

Prairie beauty. 

There is a unique beauty the prairie possesses. The starkness out here is as rugged as the frontier spirit.  This is a part of the world that would prefer things stay known, steady and traditional. It never does. Shifts occur. 

I’m visiting my family in South Dakota now. I can see both the independence I reveled in as a teenager AND the uncertainty about how the world is changing.  Understanding this duality fosters my curiosity about things unknown. I like that. I’m grateful for both my independence and my deep roots here. 

Life is a puzzle, people are puzzling and sometimes all we can do is keep looking between the cushions or under the couch for the piece we’re missing. 

Let’s all keep seeking understanding and looking for the missing pieces folks. Let’s ask more questions of eachother than lecture. I do believe a little curiosity can change the world or at least your holiday table.  It will be a much shorter drive home from Grandma’s if everyone felt heard and respected. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Being my own best friend…

and modeling that for my children is really important to me.  I find this concept to be really crucial in my adult development.  I didn’t really understand this until I was entering middle-age. As an introvert, I’ve always loved my time alone.  However, the concept of really being my own best friend took years to fully integrate.  Thankfully, Lisa and I finally have this all pretty well figured out now…even though she can be a total pain in the ass sometimes.  I love her in spite of her flaws.

self love definedmy own best friend lillibridge

My Positive Psychology teacher Tal Ben-Shahar frequently reiterates that we have to give ourselves “permission to be human”.  This doesn’t mean that we have to accept every one of our behaviors as—”oh well, that’s me” and not even try to self correct.  It does mean however, that when we screw up, we can take notice, mend the damage, alter our behavior, move on and try to do it a little bit differently next time.

As our own BFF we have to encourage ourselves just as we would encourage a friend who is going through some of life’s trials.

own best friend lillibridge dakota

 

I would love to cut short some of these challenging years for my three children.  The hard years when we often aren’t so kind to ourselves…teens and early twenties.  I guess some lessons are like learning to walk before we crawl though. We simply can’t shortchange the steps.

Some of our growth requires more years of life’s joys and sorrows coupled with the experience and wisdom that follows. Regardless, I believe we can start talking to our children at a very young age about being their own best friend, enjoying their own company and knocking back negative self talk.

 

 

You know how your day can have a theme?

This morning over coffee I asked my husband, Jeff what needed his attention the most today? “slowing down” he said. Then we sang John Prine’s “Sound of the Speed of Loneliness” which has some great lyrics and a theme kept emerging for my day.

You’ve broken the speed of the sound of loneliness
You’re out there running just to be on the run

Later, I went to a dance class at the South End Studio and as we cooled down and stretched, our instructor, Linda said, “surrender to gravity”.  I’m not usually a big fan of gravity, but it felt really great—quiet, surrendering to gravity and stretching my spine.

In this era of BUSY being a badge of honor…I want to act dishonorably, get quiet and slow down.

When I am smart enough slow down and accept some quiet (which isn’t quite often enough):  I work smarter.  I’m more creative and deliberate.  I’m less reactive.  I see my options. I’m more productive. This got me wondering what Confucius, Whitman and others had to say about this quiet. Turns out quite a bit actually.  Of course they did.

Walt Whitman/Give me the Splendid, Silent Sun “GIVE me the splendid silent sun, with all his beams full-dazzling;…Give me nights perfectly quiet, as on high plateaus west of the Mississippi, and I looking up at the stars;…”

“If he who does not know kept silent, discord would cease.” —Socrates

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”      ―Will Rogers

It isn’t easy to find time for quiet other than sleep in our days. However, it might be necessary when the world is just too loud all the time.  Here’s to quiet.  Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

a week of wonder…awe, amazement & admiration.

WONDER

[wuhn-der]

verb (used without object)
1. to think or speculate curiously
2. to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe   
3. to doubt
 

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Red Moon/Lunar Eclipse—Sunday, September 27th

“Wisdom begins in WONDER”
—Socrates

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Sunset/Lake Champlain Ferry—Sunday, September 27th

the stuff dreams are made of…

dream jpeg lisa lillibridge lillibridge dream dakota 1966 nine year old self

I loved this dream.  I’ve had a bit of crisis of confidence lately in my creative world and this was just the necessary tonic.  You know what my nine year old self loved to do?  I loved to write stories, draw, design a whole Barbie apartment complete with art, furniture and (occasional visits by G.I. Joe), pick up trash, make things out of trash, explore the world around me, play sports, watch television, talk to my friends, travel and eat potato chips.

I guess that old man was telling my inner voices to shut up. You are doing fine.