“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Tend to the narratives you tell yourself, what you’ve come to believe.
Is it familiar, flat and stale?
Does it serve your growth, healing, transformation?
Unlearn, relearn, learn.
Choose a different story line.
Change the arc.
Expansion over contraction.
Knowing in the unknowing.
Depth and dimension.
Salt and light.
Becoming through unbecoming.
Listen, write, rewrite.
The first draft is never the final draft.
Edit and hone.
Keep writing your story each day.
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – Colette
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
I have been writing Cast-Light for 8 years with almost 900 posts and intend to continue. And because of this endeavor, I am also launching a new website called Start3Things. It’s been ruminating inside of me for over 3 years and today, on Freedom Day 2019, I am lighting the bottle rocket and launching this new endeavor. It is unfinished and still evolving just like me, but it’s time to launch so it can get momentum that comes from starting, committing and doing the work every day.
I’ve shared the depth of this concept for the past few years with co-worker and good friend Nicki Brunner, Minnemama. She listened, questioned, looked confused and then pushed me to finish the sentence per se. She is a phenomenal human being, artist and writer who designed my Cast-Light logo and designed the Start3Things (S3T) website, which will eventually become my “retirement” business in a decade as it evolves into additional income through subscriptions, e-books, freelance writing and whatever else comes up as it transforms and takes on a life of its own. Maybe even a book – who knows? That’s the goal and the dream. And now comes the work to get there.
“The original concept was based on doing 3 things everyday that move you to your purpose. To becoming the you that you are called to be. And it’s still true today but I realized a few months ago that it’s more than starting and finishing. I’ve been caught the last three years in the middle. I started and then I sputtered and stopped. We have hundreds of ideas of starts but not a proportional amount of finishes. Why? The middle – the working ground. Starting again and where we are at is where living and being intersect.
So S3T started to make more sense as the concept evolved and I evolved my thinking along with it. The only way to the finish is starting but we need that grit and fortitude in the middle to keep going. Starting is easy compared to the work demanded in the middle to finish.
And the concept of 3 took on more itself as well. Life is a series of beginnings, middles and ends. It’s cyclical and dynamic. And in all areas of our life in one of those areas all at the same time. We are complex beings living in a chaotic world. And the one thing we all have in common to be sure is that we are here for a purpose in our daily life, on our years and in what we leave behind.”
Over the next month, I will be digging in with discipline and rigor to research, curate and write content including a weekly enews, building out pages and articles and posting regularly on Facebook and Instagram. Over time, I will be looking at a mobile app and other features to make this a valuable resource to return to again and again.
Thanks to all who have followed Cast-Light, encouraged me with comments and likes and helped me improve my writing. I am grateful and excited to continue to evolve and develop my writing and have fun along the way with both Cast-Light and Start3Things.
Happy Freedom Day!!
“Metamorphosis has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next.” – Louie Schwartzberg
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn
Be careful of what you say and what you hear. I was reminded of this today on several fronts while laying around with the flu. People just want to be heard. No need to solve their problem or give dime store advice. Just listening will do. Well-meaning helpfulness, advice, assumptions and opinions have ruined a good many relationships.
For the quiet ones, slowly expressing and at times pining allows their voice to eventually make sense of thoughts that swirl around inside looking for a place to land. For the exuberant extroverts, sharing is a natural discourse with little effort, and at times, without stopping to consider what comes next. The quiet ones could use less forethought and get it out through the shortcut. The not so quiet ones could use more forethought before racing past the afterthought, taking the longcut.
Don’t interpret yipping as a request to solve a problem and don’t accept silence as agreement or consensus. The good news is that we are not all the same.
Thanks to all who have been patient enough to listen to me through the years on Cast Light on mere observations and my interpretation of the world. Just one voice looking for a place to land.
A good writer can make you feel like they know you. A great writer is an observer who is both self-aware and also aware of the relationships and connections outside of themselves while searching for understanding of the big picture. They may know part of you and they challenge you to keep seeking, asking and going until you transform your perspective for the good.
I hope to be a great writer someday with practice and time.
And while connecting some dots along the way, I’ll have fun sharing through writing rather than speaking.
So lighten up. I plan to do much more of that going forward. I fondly remember my Dad once saying, “if you want to know what’s on Kathie’s mind, read Cast Light, otherwise you’d have no idea what she’s thinking.” He knew me the best of all because he was just like me or vise versa. That’s the thing with both understanding and being understood. Together, they are rare and oh so special. St. Francis nailed it:
“Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned”
“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” – Omar Khayyam
With a bit less pining and consternation, there’s more time for the fun stuff. And the really good posts are always about Abby and Sasha who have no struggle casting light. They just love being, and they’re good listeners too. Can’t imagine what they think of me, but I’m opting for the good version.
“Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.” – Julia Cameron
Each day is a new blank page in the story of our life that we are writing with our actions, thoughts and words. We either write our story or we let others write it for us.
Some days, too many days, our page is filled the scribbles of chaos, busy work, mechanically going through the motions. Some days, not enough days, are pure poetry, light and joy. Life makes sense when we connect in conversation with that quiet voice that calls us home to who we really are, not who others want us to be.
So if your story is not turning out the way you want it to or know that it can be, start changing the plot, a few new words at a time, each day. Tomorrow is a blank page.
Poetry unfolds a word at a time, with first drafts, edits and rewrites, leading us down a path to the unknown but known to us at the same time. Take your pen back and start filling that blank page with meaning, depth, dimension and lasting value. Create the life, the story you are meant to write.
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” – Robert Browning
It is in the effort and action of reaching that we are simultaneously pulled and pushed. Motion transforms to momentum. Dreams released to unfold. The effort soon becomes effortless and the action natural.
“But for each of us, isn’t life about determining your own finish line?” – Diana Nyad
Change is our friend not foe. Growth is our calling. And reaching our potential is not only for oneself but is the gift that the world needs from each one of us. Our purpose is to leave this world with no regrets or doubts that we became our best and most sacred self. And the world is better for it.
Just as I fall into bed, tired from the day that was and preparing for the day ahead, I pause for a moment to pick up a book, to plant something new in my head, hoping for a harvest. Sometimes the seed sprouts, other times it remains dormant for another day. Suddenly, when least expected, the notes of the words mixed with those of experience meet to form a new song. And the hope is that in the sharing of the song, someone else may get the same lift.
“Within this journey, I plod some days like an ant so focused on the grain above my head that the next step holds all of life, and I feel in the lineage of slaves pushing the next stone up an unfinished pyramid. Then, without reason, life billows with an unearned ease I can’t describe. When it leaves, like a breeze of Spirit, I feel renewed and certain that God is in both the moment of lift and the moment of ease, in the moment of pain and after. So I’ve given up wishing for ease and running from pain. Everything on Earth moves by this inching between ease and pain. It’s how we grow. And praising both, surrendering to both, accepting both is the work of love.” – Mark Nepo, The Endless Practice
May we all keep practicing, inching and never giving up on the work of love, confident that each note will join to create the song that we are meant and made to sing. Find it deep within yourself each day to cast light and receive light, especially when you don’t feel like it and least expect it. Once light is cast, even if but a glimmer, the reflection returns brighter and stronger to show the path, to bring clarity. That’s the power of light.
“A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.” – William Hazlitt
I walked into the living room this morning and Lily was sitting in the recliner with a “what’s up” look. She lightened the moment and I just started laughing. The only way to start the day. Every day Lily and Molly bring a new attitude with a focus on fun, present and living right in the moment of joy.
“Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.” – Barbara Kingsolver
There are signs and wonders all around us if we tune in and listen. A jolt back into what’s real and true, well beyond all of the dissent and distractions.
Last Saturday when I was walking in a daze through the grocery store in my running clothes and my hair pulled back, a deaf woman stopped me. I thought she would ask for help to find something. She looked me in the eyes and mouthed while her hand circled her face, “you are beautiful” and walked away.
To say the least, I was taken back. I certainly didn’t feel beautiful. This blessed encounter has stayed with me deeply since that moment, a reminder to release our inner beauty and draw it out in others.
Sometimes we are the receiver of signs and wonders and sometimes we are called to be the signs and wonders to others. Our higher power (I prefer God), our true self walks right into our day and makes it so very much more than ordinary.
A word, look, smile – change a day, change a life.
“Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be.” – Joy Page
The light does not ask permission to shine. Water need not ask to be, to flow. Warm and refreshing. Go shine, quench your thirst. No permission slips required.
“Let’s choose today to quench our thirst for the ‘good life’ we thinks others lead by acknowledging the good that already exists in our lives. We can then offer the universe the gift of our grateful hearts.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach