Tag Archives: Stories

What are you a warrior for?

 

The message above is from Danielle LaPorte; I have her #Truthbomb App on my phone which means that I get a new message every day from Danielle/The Universe. A few days ago the #Truthbomb was, “What are you a warrior for?”

Such a good question! I started making a list:
* Truth
* Growth/Change
* Feminism
* Stories/Art
* Teenagers and young adults
* Love

What’s on your warrior list?

Looking over the map of 2016, I can trace my routes towards all the ideas on this list. Some are well worn footpaths such as the work that I do with kids every day or running the Poet Laureate course. Other journeys have left fresher tracks. These are the big bold leaps.

When you look at your own voyage through 2016, are you surprised at the paths you took? Would you like to change directions for 2017? What would you like to move towards?

HOME

In the twilight of this past year, Damien and I bought a house in a small fishing village outside Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. We took possession on December 20th and have spent our Christmas vacation here with a minimum of furniture and a maximum of joy. Our house is small and yellow. It is 104 years old and has beautiful wooden floors and only one closet. It’s a five minute walk from the sea. For a few years, we’ll be here during our long school breaks and then it’s our plan to live here full-time.

GAP YEAR FOR GROWN UPS

During the 2017-2018 school year, I’ll be taking a Gap Year for Grown Ups. Damien will continue his work at our school in Japan so Yokohama will be our home base and I will… well, that’s the funny thing… I’m not sure what I’ll do. For more than 25 years, I’ve worked full-time in the service of others and next year I’m going to put myself first and see how that feels. Although planning is normally my thing, I’m going to let the year unfold and see where it takes me. Perhaps I’ll write. Perhaps I’ll get a chance to do some contract work with kids and teachers and counselors at some international schools. I’m going to have more joy.

I welcome your ideas for my gap year. Just leave me a note in the comments for this post or on Facebook. Thanks!

Finally, Happy New Year to you, dear one!

Yesterday, on Facebook, I wrote: “Thank you, 2016, for all the lessons you tried to teach us. May our hearts and minds be open and more receptive in 2017.”

I’m not mad at 2016. We lost some good people but we got amazing new people as well… and we made and witnessed beautiful things and the golden light here makes me think of Italy and there are these miraculous connections between us that shimmer and dance like small white Christmas lights wound around a porch.

Welcome, 2017! May we join forces in the creation of a luminous new year.

Big hugs.

Cheers,
Monna

P.S. This message was originally published as The Sunday Reader. If you’d like to receive these letters directly in your mailbox, you can sign up here.

 

What are the stories

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What are the stories real and imagined
told by you, those who love you and also
by complete strangers, the stories that are
holding you back from living your fullest,
truest life, from becoming the person
you know you can be?

What’s the story that would set you free?
 

What we’re really talking about when we talk about missed plane connections

MissedConnection

This post is part of a weekly series about designing your life.

When we talk about
missed plane connections,
we’re not talking about planes.

The details of that particular voyage
are of no consequence
even though we’re convinced
that’s the story we’re telling.

We’re compelled to share
the number of minutes spent on the tarmac
and how close we came to missing the flight
because they provide a shape,
a socially presentable container,
for all our messy emotions.

Anxiety. Panic. Frustration.

We’re annoyed
when we feel
our time has
been wasted.

And we’re scared
of being stranded,
of the unknown,
of things beyond our control.

We don’t like to admit this.

On Saturday morning
the line up for my flight
from Malaga to Paris
was epic.
The computer system
was down (Who knew this
could happen in an airport)
and each passenger
was checked in
by a staff member
on the phone
with an employee
in another city.
So let’s say
things

proceeded

slowly.

There was no way
our 6:50 am flight
would leave on time
and that looked bad for
my connection in Paris.

At a little cafe
near the gate
I ate a bocadillo with
Iberico ham
and a cafe latte
and tried to create
a new story
for this journey.

Needed: a new paradigm.

I asked myself
“What would Damien do?”

He would survey the situation.

What’s real here?
I’m safe.
I’m having a lovely meal.
The plane is at the gate
so this flight will
eventually depart.
If I miss my flight to Tokyo
I’ll spend the day in Paris.

Even before the plane
took off
I was asleep.

When I awoke
people were moving
to the front of the plane
with their knapsacks and luggage.
Those with tight connections.
I would have 40 minutes
to get a boarding pass,
clear passport control
and catch a bus
to the M gates.

Not probable
but possible.

Relax. You’re okay.

When I scanned my passport
at a machine, a message said:
“You do not have enough time to board.”

I asked for help.

An Air France employee
whom I stopped in the hall
directed me to a desk
that would issue my boarding pass.
A Canadian woman living in Spain
asked if I’d like to go ahead of her.
She had plenty of time
she said.
I cried at her kindness
but just a little.

Ran through the airport
forsaking a day in Paris.

Home.
Si es possible.
If it is possible.
If the universe desires.

I boarded Air France 272
during the final boarding call
red-faced from running.

The rest unfolded
as it always does.
12 hours in the sky:
Movies, brie cheese, sleep.

My bag arrived a day later,
delivered to my door.

None of this was the end of the world.

The feeling
I chose to have
on my journey
was not one of
fear
or anxiety
even though
I’m especially gifted
at both.

I chose adventure.
{Let’s see what happens. Run!}

I chose creativity
and wrote four poems.

I chose gratitude
for finding
a balance
between
letting go
and
helping myself
and to the women and men
of Air France who got me
and my luggage
home.

I changed my story.

An inconvenience
is not
a catastrophe
unless we think it is.

The self who missed
the flight
is sitting on a green metal chair
in the Tuileries Garden
on a sunny day in late May
deciding where to eat
roast chicken for dinner.

An Ode to Original Content

bicycle

i.
We live in a wild new age,
and this frontier
in which we are
cowgirls + boys
is the Internet.

Nobody knows what is possible.

ii.
In this amazing
and limitless space,
some are obsessed
with the idea of
viral.

Hundreds of thousands
of followers
starts to feels
like the norm

It’s not.

iii.
Other folks
stay inside the log cabins
of Facebook and Twitter.
With less and less
original
+ illuminating
content,
they’ve become
play-it-safe dwellings
for posting cute pics
of kittens.

And websites
tell us
in bold headlines
how their recycled stories
will transform our lives.

{When my life is transformed,
I don’t normally need a heads up.}

iv.
I wish to be
both
brave and vulnerable
in this wild frontier.

I want to tell
some stories,
perhaps fictional
but all true.

I want to describe
what it looked like
and felt like
from here.

I hope you will too.