This One Beautiful and Precious Life

Beauty is the illumination of your soul.  ~~John O'Donahue


Continual reminders of how precious life is: 

  • witnessed a car roll-over and bounce a couple of times on a busy interstate right before my eyes. (I searched and searched on-line to find out what happened.  Never found anything so I'm hoping that means everyone in the vehicle survived.)
  • hearing of the death of a radio host, at the same age as my husband, who I feel I grew up with as I listened to him throughout high school, college, and grad school
  • frequently seems to be that someone I know or a friend or relative of someone I know has cancer
  • someone posts a picture on facebook of a newborn baby
  • something circulates around the internet that brings tears to my eyes

I get lonely sometimes and then I get an encouraging comment to a post on this blog, instagram, or Facebook or I attend an on-line video chat led by two friends and the loneliness dissipates for awhile.  My husband or kids hug me close and all is right with the world.  I'm reminded how important it is to take the time to smile at a stranger or ask an acquaintance how they are doing, and really mean it.  Spread some kindness so others can also feel less alone.

I see artwork, hear a song, or read a novel and am amazed at what others can create.  What they bring to the world brings light and happiness to my corner.   I wonder what I can share with you, dear reader.

This life we live, the soul work that we do, is painful and joyful and heart-wrenching and full.  It. is. beauty.

Incidentally, should I ever decide to get another tattoo, it just might very well be that quote above. 



Around Here

Around here... 

    • read this post by my friend Liz and it inspired me to write the one you are reading.  And I think I want a unicorn now. 
    • seriously loving my new Macbook Pro.  Worth every penny.  I've never had a laptop before.  So so nice to just sit in bed with it on my lap and type away.  Hoping that it will motivate me to blog more often.  
    • got this book from the library.  Proud of myself in a strange way.  The fact that I'm saving money, that it's such a big book.  I usually prefer to buy new books from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.   I am loving it, by the way.  I don't want to put it down.  I don't want to do anything else but read it.  Surprised it doesn't have a higher rating on Amazon.  
    • getting closer to school starting for the kids.  Yes, I know it starts very early around this part of the country.  My girl will start high school.  So so freaky.  I remember so much what it was like to start high school.  Sometimes it seems like the decades ago that it is and other times it feels like yesterday.  (Then I look at this body of mine and am brought back to reality.)
    • hubby has been doing lots of reading.  He'd like to write a book someday.  He just asked me how to pronounce in German the name of St. Wilgefortis.  She is the patron saint of women who want to get rid of their husbands.  ha ha  No, I don't want to get rid of him.   
    • it is fun to see what my boy will come up with next.   The only toys he needs are cars, legos, and stuffed animals.  His engineering mind uses anything else to create all sorts of concoctions.
    • working on a blogpost about my experiences at the World Domination Summit 3 weeks ago.  I am behind.  Hope someone will want to read it. 
    • also working on this project.  Plan to officially announce it on Monday.  Trying to figure out how to make a badge/button so anyone can add it to their own site.  So many directions via google.  Just want something easy! 
    • driving to eastern Kentucky to teach this weekend.  Three hours on the road.  Would rather be spending the time with family so I can sympathize with the students who probably feel the same way.  Thankfully, the drive and the place is beautiful in the mountains. 

    What's going on in your neck of the woods?   


    Doing the Important Work of Self-Care

    on my way to play academic at the library

    all photos in this post taken with iPhone

    I really must get out the dSLR

    An update.

    I’m still here.Making important life changes.It’s like going to the dentist.You dread it but afterwards you are so glad you did, and if you put it off you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.So much of these changes truly fall under self-care.Like the commercial… 'cause I’m worth it.

    This would also fall under practice what you preach/teach.I’ve been teaching one or two sections of 30+ students in undergraduate Lifespan Development for the last 12 years.For each stage of the lifespan the students learn about what to expect for that age physically, cognitively, and socioemotionally.So here’s where this early middle age person is lately.


    Lori Portka's

    2012 calendar

    the wish for January

    Physically—I get up each morning and walk quickly on the treadmill while watching something I’ve recorded on the DVR.

    It’s usually the Colbert Report or The Daily Show so I’m also literally LOL.

    Trying to eat better.

    Less bread, sugar, etc.

    More veggies and fruit.

    You know the drill.

    Smaller portions.

    Eating less.

    Not stuffing myself.

    Have tried to change my work schedule so I can attend yoga and pilates classes at least twice a week.  My wish: to be strong and healty.  And if I lose several pounds, that'll be nice too.

    Cognitively—I’ve been educating myself more and more about politics and our political system.

    It seems quite depressing at times and I have fantasies of being some kind of activist and changing the world.

    I’ve been watching Bill Moyers new show on PBS and recommend Tavis Smiley’s Poverty in America special.  My wish: never stop learning.

    above the bar at the local joint

    Socioemotionally—Hubby and I are trying to spend more time with one another and with friends.

    Kids, responsibilities, and life can get in the way if you let them.

      So this is an example of play for me.  Going to a movie (w

    e saw The Artist) or hanging at a local place listening to live music.  Having long conversations with friends.  My wish: meaningful connections.

    play related journals via Instagram

    Play therapy career—Wrote another Mining Report for APT--I "mine" for play therapist intelligence and summarize it for other play therapists.  Was asked to apply to be on the ballot for the Board of Directors of APT.

    Submitted 2 proposals to present at the next APT conference and was included on a third.

    I enjoy presenting at conferences.  My wish: isn't it obvious?

    Work—planning my play therapy center’s 4th conference, supervising graduate students, teaching, attending committee meetings, seeing clients, and on and on.Not much new here.

    Spiritually--I try to follow #spiritchat on Twitter on Sunday mornings.  Virtual connections with people from all over the U.S. and the world.  They make me think and inspire me.  Some will even send me tweets throughout the week.  It's nice to know someone's thinking of you.

    Here's hoping you're doing the important work of self-care.  And if you're not, what's stopping you?