English: Chicago, as seen from Northwestern University campus at Evanston, IL, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Liz, over at be.love.live, has posted a series of questions she’d like us to answer. Although we connect more through my other blog, I usually do this kind of challenge over here…
What’s your favorite way to pass time? What do you enjoy most?
It’s changed a lot over time. In my Chicago days, I LOVED to go to hear the best local bands at small local clubs (still my favorite way to hear live music). But I’m less inclined to huge amounts of noise and crowds these days.
A long time of coping with unusual health issues has left me leading a really quiet life and I’m afraid my favorite activities have become reading and watching TV. I’ve always loved both, but I used to spend a lot more time doing other things as well.
When I’m feeling better, I love to go to spiritually-oriented events like a Full Moon Ceremony, a puja, a zikr and I look forward to getting back to that.
What is the best or hardest decision you have ever made?
Moving to Kentucky. I’d been living in Marin County for a while and I totally loved it. But my health issues were worse and I couldn’t work more than half time (and struggled to do that). It’s crazy expensive out there and I just couldn’t make it work.
My mother was in Kentucky and I knew I needed a place where I could heal. But at the time Kentucky had almost nothing in the way of alternative therapies, and a pretty small array of spiritual groups.
I also knew that being with various family members who were still around at the time would push me to deal with some issues and I felt guided to make the move. It took me a couple of years of foot dragging to convince myself on all levels to do it.
Things have changed a lot here and there’s far more stuff going on that suits my tastes, though I’m not in love with being here. But it has proved to be the right place to work through a lot of issues and I’ve found my way to amazing practitioners who’ve helped with the healing.
Describe your personality with only one word.
What’s been the most important/transformative moment in your life during the past year?
Last April I had an extraordinary healing session with a local healer. I wrote a bunch of posts about it on my other blog, starting here. Outwardly my life probably looks about the same but inwardly it changed so much, I know the outer aspect is in the process of changing too.
What is standing between you and happiness?
Nothing. Although I’m a little whiny these days about the final phase of healing, overall I stay pretty content. Decades of yoga and meditation and other practices have given me a gift of equanimity and trust me when I tell you I NEVER had that before. So, not a giddy kind of happiness, but a state of tranquility that’s not easily shaken and which I’ve learned to be quick to recover on the rare occasions when it is.
What (or who) are you most grateful for?
Whoa that’s tough to pin down. I’ve been working a lot the last couple of years on practicing gratitude so I’m quite conscious of how incredibly fortunate I am on many fronts and I’m grateful for everything from my breath to clean running water to the fact that I’ve never had to go hungry.
Name one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but have never done before?
Villefranche-sur-Mer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’m not very adventurous so I don’t have a list of things I’m longing to do or try. Two items more recently high on my want-to-do list are attending immersion schools for (1) French, in Villefranche-sur-Mer and (2) Italian, in Todi, Umbria. I’ve actually studied both languages before and, in fact, had a summer session studying French at the Sorbonne many years ago, but I’ve never had an immersion experience to help me really get the conversational aspect to fluency.
Where have you lived in your life? If you’ve never moved (or even if you have), where would you like to try living?
I grew up in Michigan but spent holidays and big portions of summer here in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. I went to Northwestern in Evanston, IL and fell in love with the Chicago area. Had a semester of graduate school in Madison, WI before transferring back to Northwestern–aside from that one semester, seven years in Chicago. Moved to Portland, OR for three years and then attended law school in Seattle for three years. Moved back to Chicago for seven years, before heading to San Francisco and Marin County for almost seven years. [Is there a moving equivalent to the seven year marital itch???] Been in Kentucky ever since.
The Golden Gate Bridge and the City of San Francisco as seen from the Marin Headlands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’ve occasionally wished I could spend some time living in the south of France or in Italy but I’m not sure I’m really cut out to be an expat. I mostly toy these days with whether I’d go back to Marin or Chicago when my mother passes and I no longer am tied to Kentucky.
What is the most important/most meaningful thing in life?
A compassionate and loving heart
In one sentence share what your wish for your future.
A compassionate and loving heart.
Where do you find your inspiration + motivation?
Oddly enough reading novels and watching TV and movies often brings inspiration. I’m always spinning out thoughts from scenes or dialogue — someone else would often have a hard time guessing how I got from point A to point B but I take off on flights of fancy that arise from odd connections.
I’m also inspired by meditation or chanting or going to spiritually-based events.
What is your motto in life?
I’ve never had one.