Learning to Fly

Live life to its fullest

Creativity Explosion! March 1, 2010

Filed under: practice — jennsheridan @ 6:19 pm
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I just love how much my creative juices are flowing right now! The new year brought a bubbling up of ideas that hasn’t really stopped. While I don’t necessarily have time to act on these ideas, I’m still spending an hour or two a day nursing, which means me and the baby in a dark room with minimal stimulus — ideal conditions for creative flow. I absolutely love being plugged in and just allowing things to flow out of me. It’s almost like an idea faucet — once the faucet is on, it flows all the time. I’m taking notes in meetings, when I get out of the shower, in the car. It’s a beautiful thing!

The year kicked off with the idea for a book. And then another book. And then last week a third book came to the surface. When I set my goals for the first three months of the year, I included “complete book outline,” thinking I knew what that meant. Well, I’m very excited to say that I have completed a book outline as of today — just not the one I had in mind in January!

The great thing is I’m getting to practice what I preach. I may not have hours that I can sit down and “work on my book,” but I do have a few minutes here and there to take notes. Sometimes those notes are really brief sketches so I will remember what I was thinking later. Other times they are full and complete paragraphs. In an amazingly short amount of time I’ve thoroughly sketched out what I’d like for this book to include, taking notes for each of the eight chapters, and even written a few paragraphs for most of the chapters. This it the ultimate in taking things one moment at a time, not getting caught up in what tomorrow will bring, and redefining what it means to get things done. Booyah!

Wish me luck on this new creative journey. I may not know exactly where it will lead, but I sure am having fun in the meantime! Namaste.

Photo: “Crayola Lincoln Logs,” originally uploaded by laffy4k


Rumi quote January 29, 2010

Filed under: quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 3:00 pm
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Don’t go off sightseeing.

The real journey is right here.
The great excursion starts

from exactly where you are.
You are the world.

You have everything you need.
You are the secret.

You are the wide opened.
Don’t look for the remedy for your troubles
outside yourself.

You are the medicine.
You are the cure for your own sorrow.



Recalibrating October 12, 2009

My little boy is 10 weeks old. It’s hard for me to imagine it sometimes, even though I’ve been living and breathing his development for the past year. It feels like he has always been with me, yet he is brand new. Motherhood is a natural progression for me, yet a huge shift in the way I live my life. This adventure is a daily experience of the divine dichotomy.

It’s as if I’m having to relearn how to ride a bicycle. There is definitely a part of me that has never forgotten how, that flows effortlessly, that rises to any and all occasions, that is connected to Source and grounded in Gaia and in sync with my son and my center and the Universe. But there is also a large part of me that is tongue-tied, lost in the woods, feeling my way around in the dark.

Someone recently described parenthood as the hardest best thing they have ever done, and I have to agree. It is at its hardest when it is three o’clock in the morning and I can’t figure out what my baby needs and I feel completely alone and like the world’s biggest failure; and it is at its best when (sometimes five minutes later) the right thing clicks and his face lights up and he smiles up at me with such pure joy and my heart just sings.

Everyday I feel more surefooted, more self-confident, and those hardest moments become fewer and farther between. But those joyous moments, where it’s as if I have wings, are getting closer and closer together as he learns a little more each day about this human he has come here to be, and I learn more about myself in this new role as his mother, his guide, and his student. He is such a divine gift, such a divine teacher, showing me the ways of love and life and laughter and light in ways I never even dreamed possible.

I thought I was prepared for this journey, but I have to say, I am living the idea that life is what happens when you’re making other plans. And that’s okay. I am excited to see where this journey will lead. I may not always have time to write about it, but I am learning to be okay with that too, and I will share what I can when I can. Balance is coming, of that I am certain! Namaste.

Photo: “Apple Blossom,” originally uploaded by Jonathan Gill


People Look Around October 6, 2008

Filed under: inspiration,music — jennsheridan @ 9:56 pm
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When it rains, it pours. It isn’t a belief I typical espouse, however it has manifested in my life over the past couple of weeks. It’s all good stuff–a few examples: my mother is finally moving to the Bay Area after two years of planning, and we found her a lovely new home last week; I’m interviewing for a position that would get me out in the world, interacting with people in a way that utilizes my excellent project management skills in combination with my life’s desire to help people live their lives as fully as possible; and I’m embarking on a journey into the world of the shaman, realizing a dream I’ve had since I first discovered the Navajo’s Beauty Way when I was a teenager. It’s keeping me busy, but I must say, Life Is Good.

While I was working today, I was listening to Catie Curtis’s most recent two albums: Long Night Moon (2006) and Sweet Life (2008). I talked about one of her songs back in January when I had a similar experience of reconnecting with her music and falling in love all over again. This time, I was especially struck by two songs . . .

“People Look Around,” from Long Night Moon, is a timely look at where the political discussion in America has gotten derailed to. Written post-Katrina, it is just as applicable today as the conversation is turning yet again from global considerations (i.e. economics and climate change) back to things that have no business being mixed up with politics (i.e. religion). Of course, if we really wanted to bring religion into the discussion, I’m with Catie: “Jesus said, ‘Feed the hungry,’ Jesus said, ‘Help the poor,’ / ‘Take care of each other, love one another.'” Not bad advice.

The other song that jumped out at me today was “Are You Ready to Fly?” from Sweet Life. Yes, I do have an obsession with the idea of learning to fly, but what a wonderful look at the sweetness of childhood, and how change really is an opportunity to fly.

So I hope you enjoy a little Catie Curtis distraction here this afternoon. And if it turns out you like her even half as much as I do, she’ll be at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley this Sunday and Monday. Wanna go?

Artist: Catie Curtis
Website: http://catiecurtis.com/
More information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catie_Curtis

Song: People Look Around
Album: Long Night Moon
Video: http://catiecurtis.com/index.php?page=video&display=797

The Mississippi River divides this land in two
Like the way tend to think of things, black and white, red and blue
If they can keep us fighting about marriage and god
They’ll be no one left to notice if our leaders do their jobs

The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
Falling in the ocean

When the water is rising and there is no higher ground
You can wave your hands up on the roof but you might be left to drown
In the streets of New Orleans, a makeshift funeral pall
“Here Lies Vera, God Help Us All”

The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
Falling in the ocean

Jesus said “feed the hungry,” Jesus said “help the poor”
“Take care of each other, love one another”
People look around, we let them down

The Mississippi River flooded New Orleans
And we stared in disbelief at our TV screens
If they can keep us fighting another endless war
How many tears before the truth cannot be ignored?

The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
The truth is bigger than these drops of rain
Falling in Lake Ponchartrain
Falling in the ocean

Written by Catie Curtis and Mark Erelli

Song: Are You Ready to Fly?
Albums: Sweet Life

Teenagers jumping off a railroad bridge
They’ve known each other since they were kids
It’s the end of the summer, good friends ready to fly
They do the cannonball in to the creek
They do the cannonball one more week
At the end of the summer, good friends saying goodbye

They were riding double on bicycles
Buying bubble gum and vying for the sun
And the summer was so long,
‘Til the summer was so gone

Your sister went to college in the fall
She took her posters off the bedroom wall
And the family drove all night from the university
And in the morning looking down the hall
She left her trophies and a couple dolls
But your family would be alright ‘cause you had to be

You were riding double on bicycles
Buying bubble gum and vying for the sun
And the summer was so long,
‘Til the summer was so gone

On we go down crooked roads alone to who knows where
Burning in this moment like a sparkler in mid-air

When you are jumping off a railroad bridge
No one can tell you what living is
At the end of the summer are you ready to fly?

We were riding double on bicycles
Buying bubble gum and vying for the sun
And the summer was so long,
‘Til the summer was so gone

Photo: Tony Baker


Zen saying September 22, 2008

Filed under: quote of the week — jennsheridan @ 7:00 pm

Paths cannot be taught, they can only be taken.


Ghosts August 26, 2008

Filed under: journey — jennsheridan @ 11:03 pm
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I’ve been feeling ghosts all around me lately. Not the ghosts of those who have left this world–I know that in a way because they have moved on they are always with me–but the ghosts of old friends who used to be a large part of my life but due to geography or priorities or whatnot are no longer around. I see them in old pictures, hear them in classic songs, even have them cropping up in restless dreams. Suddenly, I’m missing people I haven’t thought of in months or seen in years and I feel sad.

My mom calls me a pack rat, and that applies to people as well as to things. I hate to let people go, even when it is obviously time, when we’ve grown apart or aren’t helping each other to grow any longer. It’s true, I have this dream of being able to gather everyone I’ve ever loved into one community so that they may continue to be a part of my life even if it’s only to run into each other at Town Hall meetings. There’s a piece of me that hungers for that small town feel where it’s a rare person that moves into the town and an even rarer one that leaves, where everybody knows everybody and their business, for good or for bad.

And yet, no one is aware more than I am that it is precisely because I’ve led the somewhat transient life I’ve led, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and moving into new areas with new people, that I’ve been able to grow and change as much as I have. The old friends, while still dear to me, could not have helped me to get to where I am today. They’ve had their own paths to explore, and I’ve needed fresh ideas, fresh motivations to nudge me along my own. There was a time and a place for us to be together, and the time may come where we’ll meet again. But in the meantime, I’m always being pushed out of my nest out in the wide world, where no one is really a stranger, they’re just friends I haven’t collected yet.

And so, I am writing this to honor my ghosts, to let them know I will never forget them. I will be here when the time is right for us to be in community again. In the meantime, best of luck on the journey. Namaste.

Photo: “Lighthouse in sepia,” originally uploaded by eva

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On Being Happy August 19, 2008

Filed under: inspiration — jennsheridan @ 6:11 pm
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Do you remember how much fun it was to play as a kid? Just throw yourself whole hog into an activity, just about any activity, and see where it takes you. When I look back, I have to laugh at how many of my games were based somehow in tasks I would consider work today, like playing school, making mud pies, heck, I even ran my own imaginary hotel. I loved this page out of Chellie Campbell‘s The Wealthy Spirit reminding me of the simple fun of playing in the ooze. Reaching the goal was never half as fun as the creation process, yet as grownups the end is just about the only thing we focus our energy on. Just think about how much fun we’re missing out on!

On Being Happy
Day 95 of The Wealthy Spirit by Chellie Campbell

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
~Marcus Aurelius

As human beings are creatures of endless desire and hunger for betterment, it is our nature to always want to improve ourselves and our circumstances. This can be a positive force, motivating us onward to greater glorious goods for ourselves and for others. However, one can become lost in the constant search and craving for the next best thing, so trapped in future imaginings that we discount and ignore the accomplishments of the past evidenced in our present.

The art of happiness is an act of balance. We need to appreciate the process while we work within its creative ooze, the end results as yet unformed, like elements banging against each other in search of becoming sentient. As children playing with mud pies, the fun is in the making: baking in the golden sun, fingers sticky with mud-paint, grass-stained knees, brow wrinkled with concentration, searching for the perfect fine-grained dark earth to fashion into visionary pie. Day’s end will come soon enough, no need to hurry to completion, for then the fun is over. Rejoice in the dreaming, glory in the doing, and let the dirt clods fall where they may.

Now, today, with your own mud-luscious imagined inventions, play with the ooze and be happy.

Today’s Affirmation: “I am a rich child playing happily in Life’s rich playground.”

Photo: “A Boy’s Work is Never Done,” originally uploaded by KellyB.

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