Monday, March 29, 2010

Hello, My Name is...

For my money, The Princess Bride has got to be one of the most quotable movies ever made. Honestly, just throw out the name of the movie and immediately people start quoting phrases and sentences that have stuck with them, and have now become cultural semi-icons.

Probably because so much of my life is immersed in helping people find out who they are and why they are on the planet, one of my very favorites is, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." I know it's sort of a negative identity, but it has kept the man alive for years, honing his fencing skills to a fine point, no pun intended (oh, OK, yes it was). Anyway, at the end of the movie, Inigo has discovered whom he has been hunting all of his life and that man seems about to do Inigo in, too. But at his weakest moment, Inigo whispers, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." And in that moment he becomes a little stronger. So he says it again. Again a little stronger. Finally, he is saying it with such conviction that his father's killer and his attacker becomes unnerved at the ferocity of the claim. In the end, Inigo gets his revenge.

I have to admit, I've been feeling a little lost in life lately. Perhaps it's that I turn 51 this weekend. Perhaps it's that I've taken on other people's fears about things. Perhaps it's that I don't truly believe that I can make a contribution and a living at what I do, both at the same time. But I've been feeling lost.

So I'm reading a wonderful book called "I Know I'm in There Somewhere" by Helene G. Brenner. Dr. Brenner encourages me to listen to and act on my inner voice. She believes I do know what I'm all about if I'll be courageous enough to truly listen and live into the call deep inside. She's seen it happen before. And, even though she doesn't know me, she believes in me.

Yesterday, when I was making coffee, the truth erupted out of me so exuberantly that I said it right out loud because I couldn't help it. "I am a writer." I know that my Divine Assignment is to Stimulate Wisdom, and writing is the best way for me to carry out my mission, as I understand it. It's what I love to do. It's where I lose myself in the process. It holds the moments of my best contributions. I'm scared about the money making in it. But maybe that's my tormentor, my assailant, the being that killed something important to me earlier.

Hello, my name is Robin Chaddock. I am a writer. Prepare to read.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Sun's Arc

This morning as I was finishing my meditation time, I glanced over my right shoulder to look out the back window of my dining room. The sun was just coming up in its fullness, ready to make its effortless arc over my home throughout the day and set again in the west, as it does every day.

It made me think of all the things in nature today that will do exactly what they were created to do, without stress, without effort, and without my help or management of them. Nothing in nature today needs my help to do what they will do.

If I were to live as naturally as the sun's arc, what would that look like? If I were to travel my destined course each day, being true to the purity of the created me, what would that look like? If I were to follow my path as the sun follows its path, what would that look like? If I lived into my true created nature, what would that look like?

Then I started thinking of the invitation, "Be still and know that I am God." And I started thinking about the beautiful circular nature of that invitation. Relax, cease striving, calm down ~ and when we do, we will have time and space in our now-calmed craziness to really understand the true nature of God. And the more we understand the true nature of God, the more we will relax, cease striving, calm down and be still.

I like the way this day started.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Power of Community

My friend Claudia turned 50 last week. I wouldn't even dare to report it except that I turn 51 in a month so I'm not casting any aspersions!

I had the honor of attending her birthday party, hosted by two of her most beloved and long-time (I don't say "old" anymore!) friends. These women love her. And she was surrounded by a dozen other women who love her deeply.

We got to do an activity in which we wrote down on lovely cards 50 Things We Love About Claudia. We didn't each write 50, but all of us together made a serious dent in that number.

After dinner, the cards were handed out to each of us at random and we read them to Claudia. It was a very moving experience. It was sort of like the fabulous tribute to the woman of wisdom at the end of the Book of Proverbs.

As moving as it was, the moment that will always stay in my mind and in my heart was Claudia telling all of us what friendship means to her. She has faced some very challenging situations in the past 50 years. Her faith in God and the friendships that she has lovingly and carefully cultivated, along with the love of her kids, has sustained her and allowed her to keep her optimistic outlook and nurturing attitude toward all those around her. It was beautiful.

It is a scientifically substantiated reality that allowing ourselves to give and receive support in a community it excellent for our health on every level. I suspect Claudia will be around for another 50, given what she has by way of friendships and love.