This month I have been
Ambiguous Loss by Pauline Boss.
Grief doesn’t usually fit into the neat boxes, timeframes and cycles we’d like it to. Ambiguous loss helps us understand why we can be grieving for someone who is still alive and how grief can live in the space of unanswered questions, when a loved one is physically missing or psychologically lost to us.
Eleven Hours by Pamela Erens
I’m interested in the different responses this book from those who have given birth and those who haven’t. I found it compelling; following each hour of the labour passing as the stories of mother and nurse weave around each other. The attention to detail in the novel reconnected me to my own small memories of labour and birth that had been swept aside by immersion of early motherhood.
Running around Lake Vyrnwy. Months ago I signed up for the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon, the downside of being quite far away was more than made up for by giving me an excuse to spend time with family and because it's a pretty flat route! So, despite my lack of training since signing up, I did manage to get myself around the course and am still holding the huge sense of awe the scenery awakened in me as I ran around the lake.
Thinking about how September marks the arrival of my favourite season, one I associate with optimism and fresh opportunity. And while I have many positive associations to the season, the transitions and changes that September heralds for so many can be deeply challenging and destabilising. I am sending huge positive vibes out to my amazing clients who are heading off to University this month, whether for the first time or the fourth. It takes bravery and courage to set off on this adventure.
I know I am not alone in being grateful to Brene Brown for shining a huge light onto vulnerability and courage and, in particular, how we are called to dare greatly in our lives. In Daring Greatly, she quote’s Thoedore Roosevelt’s man in the arena speech (see below) and puts her own spin on it here:
It’s worse to spend your life on the outside looking in, wondering what if,
than it is to try and dare greatly and risk the chance of failure.
Dare greatly; get in the arena and try.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”