whims + gold with Amy Oscar

Amy Oscar is many things: writer, soul caller, encourager of love—to name a few. We first met in Amy's online course, Soul Caller Training, and then really got deep in the Pennsylvania hills this summer.

Here, we talk about following whims: and how, sometimes, a whim comes as a part of conscious reflection. That is, some whims take time in the making. And then, when we follow them, beautiful opportunities arise, opportunities that we could never have dreamed up. Amy also talks about the other kind of "good ideas:" ideas that seem good, but are more fantastical—and she suggests how to tell them apart. We talk about feeling and knowing. Questioning and allowing. Word definitions. In Amy, there is limitless love, and it's pure gold.

Coming up this weekend, Amy is offering her Soul Caller Virtual Retreat—on Sunday, September 20th. This is a one day online gathering, in Amy's words, "to touch your soul and renew your spirit." Sign up here, at the closed Facebook group

In a few weeks, Amy offers her next Soul Caller Training—starting on October 6, 2015. This course is an absolute opening to love—for yourself, from the universe, and as it relates to all relationships. 

Now, find yourself a warm drink, carve out fifteen minutes, and nestle in. I invite you to join us while Amy and I talk whims, renovations, and gold. 

on why I run


I have been running now for one hundred and eleven days straight, and it feels really good.

I'm marking this occasion, in part, to remind myself that it does feel good. It feels great! I have written before about my former unhealthy body obsession, and simply being at the pool, after years of always training for something. The work of swimming without counting or timing has created a space for me to be meditative while moving: for me, it is bliss. I'm learning that I feel better when I have certain routines or habits. 

I like to feel good.

I wanted to do something every day: to have a daily habit. So, if swimming is so great, then why am I running? The small town where I live has a pool: for this, I am grateful beyond words. And, it's a small town. The pool isn't open for lane swimming every day. When it is open for lane swimming, there's often a struggle to get lane ropes actually in the pool (many mysteries simply defy logic, I'm also learning). So. . . no daily swim for me. I love the trails in our forest, so running seemed like a good idea.  

And now I run.

It's not always easy, but it feels good, and I like that. Today, I run for my head. I run for my spirit to be with nature. I run for that meditative feeling. I run to let the good ideas come in. And when I'm finished, I stop. Sometimes I walk half of the distance. Sometimes I wonder if my "run" is slower than my true walking pace. And really, none of it matters. I run for me, and for my connection to all that is. 

So I wonder, what do you do that is strictly for you: for your sense of connection? For your sense of deep-seated feeling good? Can it really feel easy? What could change for the better if that were a real possibility for you?

on having arrived

hurdles race by Retrographique on etsy

hurdles race by Retrographique on etsy

"Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"

It's a familiar refrain, and not just in the back seats of family vehicles. So, what if, instead of focusing on the destination, we might already be there? What if we have already arrived? That there might be no striving, no "coming toward," no "if only?" 

What if we were each okay, just the way we are today? No dieting, no shopping, no "If I had that new outfit/ car/ technology," and had the right friends/ lover/ family?

It's a frame of mind: to have arrived.

It's not as if any of those things can actually change who we are. They are moments of delaying our real work. And our real work is to become pleased (or at least somewhat contented) with who we actually are. 

So quick bright things come to confusion
— Lysander, Act 1, Scene 1, A Midsummer Night's Dream

We are the bright things, in all of our shininess. And it's our doubt that confuses that, so quickly. It's easy to hear the words—that we are perfect in all we are, and came into the world this way—yet we spend lifetimes trying to get to a place of that knowing. What makes it so strange and far-reaching? What makes this bright thing so tangled in confusion? 

I'd like to sit in the knowing, in the distinct possibility that we have already arrived.

as much as a pen knows

woman in water by Eclecticforest on etsy

woman in water by Eclecticforest on etsy

Rumi found me for good in the fall of 2006. I was at a Buddhist meditation retreat: silent, except for the teachings. And the teachings often included Rumi poetry backed up by a hand drum. 

So, when I'm feeling off-kilter, Rumi becomes a beacon. Today, it's this.


As Much as a Pen Knows

Do you think that I know what I'm doing?
That for one breath or half-breath I belong to myself?
As much as a pen knows what it's writing,
or the ball can guess where it's going next.

love is for you

As seen on one king's lane by rebecca plotnick on etsy

As seen on one king's lane by rebecca plotnick on etsy

On love day, all I could think about was how hard it seems to be to befriend ourselves. . . let alone fall in love with our minds, our bodies, our hearts. Our own minds, bodies, hearts. 

And it took me some time to put this on the screen. I have a lengthy history of body and weight obsession. 

Let’s see . . .

I’ve been on the “It’s not a diet, it’s just watching what you eat and recording it and adding it up” diet. Age ten. I realize that the raisins I put on my Wayne Gretzky cereal amount to almost two servings of fruit. So if I want an apple with my lunch and a banana when I get home, I have to stop. Two tablespoons is a serving of fruit, before they were on a points scale. I was eighty-five pounds. It was okay, because my mom was on it, and asked us all to join in.

Then there was the “It’s not a diet, it’s just a wedge of iceberg and some ground beef for a week” diet. “No, it’s okay, you can have dressing on the lettuce, just so it’s only vinegar.” And breakfast was a grapefruit. Age twelve. It was a hardcover book, and probably had a name, and everyone followed it. I was ninety-one pounds.  

How about the “It’s not a diet, it’s just a plan for eating” diet. In a teen magazine, age fourteen. There was a grid for what each of your meals and snacks would be. It included super-skinny slices of bread and tuna. I lost thirteen pounds and fit into a drop-waist chambray skirt with white eyelet trim, to wear on an away game trip. It was a size seven, and I wore that skirt three more times. One hundred and eighteen pounds.

The inappropriate “It’s not a diet, it’s just what we use when we’re tapering for a figure competition” diet. “No, you can eat whatever you want on Wednesdays—like, a total carb binge—but the other days you limit them. To pretty much zero. It’s best to get a good calorie counting book, so that you know how much everything is.” Tuna, straight up with no-fat salad dressing, straight from the bottle (what is in that stuff?). Veggie wieners with cottage cheese, microwaved. I was not training for figure competition. Twenty-four years old. One hundred and thirty-five pounds.

The looks-good-to-observers “It’s not a diet, it’s just training for a triathlon by exercising twice a day at two different sports for three months so that I’m ready for it.” Twenty-nine years old. Size nine, one hundred and forty-one pounds.

Survivor: the “It’s not a diet, it’s just that after trying five antidepressants in seven months, and none of them work, and gaining ten pounds one month and another fifteen from the rest, and now I’m starting to feel better and my clothes are loose again” diet. Noticing. Thirty-six years old. One hundred and sixty-five pounds.

Or the “It’s not a diet, it’s just you buy these shake packets, and you’ll eat those for five days” diet. “No, really, it’s not a diet, it’s just lowering your blood sugar so you’re not at risk for diabetes and some people also drop weight on it” diet. Thirty-eight years old. I’ve lost count. 

And then, the “It’s not a diet, you just bless your food for it’s best purpose in your body, and you'll either gain or lose weight, whatever you want” diet. Forty-one years old. I can’t take it any more.

It turns out that the “bless your food” diet took me to my tipping point. After raging about why I need to be anything other than what and who I am, I spent a full year eating whatever the hell I wanted. Full, family-sized bags of kettle chips. Ice cream (I don’t even much care for ice cream). Chocolate. Every day. And not fancy cacao nibs in my smoothies: Cadbury’s family size bars. Whatever. I. wanted. Forty-two. My weight: who knows. My clothes still fit.

And it turns out that I crave vegetables. Not all the time: sometimes I crave meat. And bread. And sweet things. But by listening in, and not hating on myself, I feel some peace. I tend to eat when I’m hungry. And, when I’m hungry, I find food that fills me. Sometimes, it’s ultra-nourishing. Other times, it fills a gap. And that’s life.

I can’t say that my life-long diet-habits are over. I can say, though, that it feels a lot more humane and human to simply eat. Not to count and measure and obsess, and dislike “results.” Because that’s what I was doing. To simply eat feels good. To find love for my body feels good.

And I feel so, so much happier.