Adventure 39/52: Joining #reverb10

Vintage tinsel tree fabulousness at the JL- DP household.

Wine: Dry spell!!! LeaderShape is an alcohol-free zone for students AND faculty.
Veggies: Made a big pot of Moroccan stew to clean out the fridge before leaving town for the holidays.

What does one do on a Sunday afternoon when suffering from a cold and dreading last minute holiday shopping? Join Reverb 10 to reflect on this year and manifest what's next, of course! I've been in an especially reflective mood lately, so playing catch up on the past 19 days of writing prompts is actually quite fun. Each day's prompt is posed by a different person and focuses on a particular theme (e.g., Community, Wonder, Party). Keep reading for Part I of Reverb 10 catch-up ...

Prompt 1 - One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

(Author: Gwen Bell)

Personally and professionally, many things just didn't feel right to me this year. I was often mentally and emotionally drained, unsafe, distracted and angry ... quite a change from my typical optimistic and buoyant self.
Although 2010 was technically the Year of 52 Adventures, I think it was my year of waking up to possibility. 2011 is when I will truly explore the boundaries of my comfort zone and begin building an adventurous life based on my beliefs and expectations. I will take some major leaps of faith, most of which will lead to positive changes in all areas of my life. I will start to see my entire life as an adventure, rather than lead a series of adventures within my life. 

Prompt 2 - Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

(Author: Leo Babauta)

I spend way too much time at home sitting in front of a computer, just like I've done all day at work. I check out some favorite blogs, then mindlessly look through Facebook and other sites and links I stumble upon. The blogs I read are about food, so I might be inspired to make something fun for dinner, but I'm not usually inspired to write my own posts. I don't want to eliminate reading blogs I enjoy, but I would like to cut down on the mindless browsing. I'll just need to set some specific time limits to ensure that I keep on task. The more time I allow myself to actively reflect (e.g. meditating after yoga, walking, cooking), the more likely I am to write. Maybe I engage in one of those activities immediately after work rather than falling into the trap of sitting down at my computer?

Prompt 3 - Moment
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
(Author: Ali Edwards)

Practicing yoga at sunrise on the rooftop deck of Mary Cottage in Carolina Beach. No mat, just the weathered boards underneath my bare feet. It was breezy, but warm enough to wear a tank-top and my pajama pants. The soundtrack was a mixture of squawking seagulls, breaking waves, and my ujjayi breathing. I felt so focused, content and grounded that I flowed effortlessly through a long series of standing balance poses. I gazed mostly at the horizon, where the orange-pink sky met the deep blue-black ocean, but I noticed the beach walkers, sunrise watchers, and surfers, especially as I sat in the Adirondack chair in meditation/appreciation after the asanas and got excited (or should I say stoked?!) about surfing later in the morning. I wondered if I could ever tire of starting off every day of my life like this, and I hoped that I'd someday get the chance to try.

Prompt 4Wonder.
How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? 
(Author: Jeffrey Davis)

I joined the Year of 52 Adventures in January to breathe some life into what had begun to feel like a seriously boring existence. While I haven't completed an adventure every week, I have noticed a shift in how I approach most days ... wondering how I might say "yes" to an adventurous opportunity or invite more adventure into my life. Even when I have been frustrated and overwhelmed, I've been able to focus on the possibility and excitement of the next adventure.

Prompt 5Let Go.
What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
(Author: Alice Bradley)

Since receiving my 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2006, I've taught at least one class a week, but in April I let go of teaching completely. Because my full-time job was taking so much time and energy, I didn't have much left to prepare for my class. I often felt stressed getting to class, and afterwards I often felt guilty that I wasn't giving my best to the students. When it was time to return after summer break, I listened to the resistance I was feeling about starting the class again and decided that I needed to create a clearing in this area of my life. I think in many ways my life feels better when I'm teaching, and I imagine that I'll get back to it at some point, but it feels right at this time to not teach.

Prompt 6Make.
What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
(Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I made a Focaccia for a party last night. Main ingredients were purchased at Findlay Market on Friday ... organic Bosc pears and Vidalia onions from Madison's, Point Reyes's blue cheese from Silverglade's. All but a few pieces were devoured--success!
I have an idea for DP's handmade Christmas gift but I need some creativity and energy to make it happen. I also would like to sew a slipcover for a chair I inherited from my grandmother. I've had the fabric and the chair for years; now I just need the confidence and motivation to create the pattern and get started. 

Prompt 7Community.
Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
(Author: Cali Harris)

Here’s the honest and painful truth: 2010 was a community-less year for me. The yoga family to which I'd belonged didn't feel like a great fit anymore, DP and I spent most evenings and weekends on our own, and we couldn't find any places where we felt at home. 2011 must--and will--be better! I'm intrigued by the possibility of starting a dinner/idea-sharing community that a fellow Mondo Beyondo participant described. I'd like to build relationships with my neighbors, even though we may be moving soon. Last week I connected with a group of colleagues (all of us were serving as cluster facilitators at a campus-based LeaderShape session), and I'd like to continue the good conversations we started around concepts of integrity, inclusiveness, and positive change. I don't know that I'm interested in working on virtual/online community-building ... I feel a pull toward in-person community building.

Prompt 8Beautifully Different.
Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
(Author: Karen Walrond)

This is a tough one for me ...
I have two vintage tinsel trees and could easily buy 10 more if given the opportunity.
I'm a landlocked Ohioan who is obsessed with surfing.
I like to pay overdue fines to the public library.
I send New Year's or Valentine's Day postcards rather than holiday cards.
I haven't read the Harry Potter or Twilight series.
I don't have a Twitter account or a smart phone.
I can be easily talked into doing something silly, random or adventurous if you catch me at the right moment.
I enjoy doing cartwheels and headstands at random moments.

I don't think that any of those things make me beautiful, but who's to say? I do think I have a gift for listening to, encouraging and supporting others in a way that makes them light up. If you're reading this and you know me, I hope you agree.

Prompt 9 Party.
What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.
(Author: Shauna Reid)

A four-day vacation in Colorado with my husband and 8 of my in-laws rocked my socks off. After days of skiing and playing in the snow, we enjoyed our casual evenings around the kitchen island. Mixed drinks, games, conversations, shenanigans and laughter were abundant. To protect the guilty, I can't divulge much more than this, but the silliness and the camaraderie was exactly what I needed at this point of the year.

Prompt 10Wisdom.
What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
(Author: Susannah Conway)

In a work situation, I decided to share how I was really feeling rather than pretend everything was okay, per my usual style. The response was empathy, concern and support, and I felt released from a huge and unnecessary burden I had been carrying. Enough said. 

Stay tuned for Part II of the Reverb 10 catch-up tomorrow!


  1. I am really enjoying this reverb10 project, but it is such a challenge. it makes me dig a little deeper than I want to at times.

    here's to an amazing and adventurous 2011!

  2. Jen, what a great post! I love being able to read your reflections on your blog. It's almost like I'm having having tea with you :) I am intrigued by your dinner and idea-sharing gathering... I have also been feeling some similar things about this whole idea of "community" especially after being uprooted, in a sense. I'd love to hear more updates when it comes to fruition! And yes - you ARE beautiful, beautifully different, and authentic. :)


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