**I’m just finishing up the book tour for What Comes Next, a Little Bound Books Essay Series installment about my experience with job loss. What follows is part of the book talk I gave at a few of the events. I thought I’d share it here for those who were unable to attend!** What not … Continue reading What Not to Say to Someone Who Has Just Lost Their Job
I see that I have lost myself in the roles I was playing. Rather than being channels for life, they became my life. They became my security and my identity. When I stripped them, I felt like nothing. The roles became my worth. As they moved, changed, disappeared, I did, too. -Paula D’arcy Have you … Continue reading Vanishing Acts
This post is a slightly modified excerpt of Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth.
It’s Halloween in America. If you’ve gone into any commercial establishment in the last few weeks, you’ve been bombarded with pumpkins of all sizes and materials, plastic decor of infinite variety, mountains of orange and black wrapped candy, and enough cheap costuming to clothe the entire country for a year. The holiday season is about to begin in earnest as October gives way to the season of shopping, otherwise known as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Commercialism abounds, we get sucked into the frenzy even if we don’t like to shop, and good deals take our attention from being content with what we already have. We eat too much too quickly and have more excuses than usual for why we can’t exercise. For many of us, the holidays mean putting on weight, being stressed out, spending too much money and throwing in the towel until January. Often times we are multi-tasking, working late to prepare for a few extra days off or packing frantically to visit the in-laws. We get snippy with our children, our neighbors put up lights that are too bright and we hope the time goes quickly. It doesn’t feel like a time of celebration when culture calls the shots. We forget to be mindful and live in the present. Even in this season that’s supposed to be about thanksgiving, we forget to practice gratitude. Continue reading “Palpable Joy: A November Gratitude Challenge”
It’s been almost two years now since I got the news that I was being laid off from a long time job – and in that time a short book about the experience has come into being, and as it gets closer to being released into the world, I am finding myself torn. On one … Continue reading Reason to Pause
A few months ago I sat down with Iris, founder of The Nabalo Lifestyle, for an interview that appeared in their most recent online magazine.
You can download the full publication of Issue Three: The Mystic (and the back issues) here: The Nabalo Lifestyle Magazine
Iris: Can you tell us a little bit more about the beautiful place that you call home?
Heidi: My family and I (myself, my spouse, and our six year old) make our home in the St. Croix River Valley, just to the west of the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin in the United States. It’s a landscape full of lakes, rivers, bluffs, ancient glacial potholes, small towns, organic farms, and plenty of winding trails to explore all of it. We live in a little red house perched on the edge of a ravine on the shores of a tiny lake, with a large field just up the hill from the house that provides space for a large vegetable garden, several types of berry bushes, and an apple tree. It’s all imperfect and takes a lot of work to maintain, but I love it here. Continue reading “The Mystic: An Interview with Nabalo”
Yes, this is a post about 2016, a classic “year in review” run-down, a “hey look at me, this is what happened in my life” kind of post. Because this is my website, so I can do this sort of thing. If you have a website, maybe you can do the same. If you don’t have a website, you could even do this on a piece of paper. The point is to find the clarity in the messes, the good among the catastrophe, and the pattern that flows through the chaos.
Danielle LaPorte posed five questions to herself, and they seem like good ones to ask as I reflect on the past year. So I’ll go ahead and borrow them — here they are: Continue reading “Year In Review: Really?”
Yesterday I took to the woods in the afternoon. It’s the first week in about ten years when I don’t have any sort of schedule. There is no work calendar hovering in the background, I’m not on vacation for a certain amount of time, there are no appointments to plan around. I’m a free agent, at least for now. So I did what I do when I can do whatever I want – I went to the woods.
Going to the woods is what I tend to do when I am feeling melancholy, unsure, anxious, or angry. It’s a place to go when I’m grieving, wondering, lamenting, or stewing about something outside of my control. Basically, going to the woods (or prairie, or ocean, or any other natural area) is healing. It’s a place to go in celebration as well, but lately, its role in my days has been one of holding space for what needs to rise from the ashes of what has recently burnt away. Continue reading “Balance For Today: Lessons from a Rock Cairn”
The sorrow, grief, and rage you feel is a measure of your humanity and your evolutionary maturity. As your heart breaks open there will be room for the world to heal.
Politics. Human decency. Disrespect. Self-hatred. Governmental control. Fear. Complacency. Planetary destruction. Stealing. Dishonoring sacred sites. Destroying nations. The despair of the poor. The despair of the rich. Outrage. Ignorance. Brushing it under the rug. Dishonesty. Hope. Hopelessness. Wondering. Paying the bills. Running away. Feeling stuck.
This list could continue on for some time. The words that describe what’s happening on the planet earth right now are many, and they don’t always make you want to jump for joy or sigh in relief. Of course, there is goodness and that which is worthy of gratitude alongside the parts that make you want to scream in frustration or shake someone. But sometimes it’s hard to notice the good stuff. Continue reading “Broken Open”
Five hours west of here, indigenous people from 300 tribes around the world have gathered in prayer and protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Each week more tribes announce their solidarity with the people of Standing Rock, offering up songs of healing and prayers for the protection of the earth’s water. A fellow resident of the St. Croix Valley took her three young daughters to deliver winter supplies to those who have put their regular lives on hold to stand in protection of this essential Missouri River watershed. Others remain committed to oil and the short term promises it makes. Tension builds, and armed police continue to gather in opposition while the main steam media remains quiet.
The wind has been blowing the last few days, ushering in the colder air from the north to let summer know the time for blossoming and long days of outdoor warmth are over. The forecast for tonight calls for a freeze, and I brought in all of the vegetables and fruits that still lingered in the fields. The water from the hose I used to wash the leeks and potatoes felt like ice, and I moved quickly to get the job done. Continue reading “A Hidden Wholeness”
It has been a busy month. September always seems to mean racing to prepare life for winter. Of course we could do some of these things before we HAVE to do them, but it doesn’t seem to happen that way, year after year. So we fly around in September getting fire wood cut and stacked, filling fuel tanks, mowing the grass a few more times, winterizing motors, cleaning the chimney…..the list is long, and usually expensive. Things feel really hard, tempers are short, work days seem long and sometimes it feels like a hopeless cause to try to change anything at all. But here we are on the first day of autumn, and the list is getting done. We have firewood stacked, the septic is pumped, the furnace is tuned up, and we still have funds to the other things we need to do, even if we won’t be going on any European vacations anytime soon.
Autumn is a paradox. The leaves are changing, the harvest is coming in and the warmer temperatures this year mean the blackberries are still putting new blossoms on their brambles. There is vibrant tree color alongside the withering of the annuals I planted in the spring. There is the fresh possibility of a new school year alongside the mourning of summer’s sense of freedom. There is hope for a late freeze alongside a yearning for the day the temperature drops far enough to bring many kinds of garden work (and allergies) to a halt. We feel like we will never have enough, yet we always have more than we need. Continue reading “Autumn’s Paradox”