Monday, September 22, 2008

Patti Digh is in the house!

Patti Digh, long-time paramour of Johnny Depp (oops! The secret is out) and the person Billy Collins turns to when his poetic inspiration needs a boost, is also an author and well-known expert both in the fields of diversity awareness and in living a life as close to sanity as one can come when one has two daughters who are strong and intelligent, a brilliant husband, a blue dog (I may have messed that phrase up) and some cats who seem to take upholstered furniture as a personal affront demanding their active and destructive protest.

This, the month her marvelous book, Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally, is officially published, is a celebratory one. Patti is making live appearances all over the place (I heartily recommend you show up for one if she is in your neck of the woods) well into the fall season where one can hear her read from her book and have her personalize your copy of Life is a Verb with an autograph dedicated to whomever you please.

Many of us who are regular readers of Patti's blog, 37days, are participating in a blog tour all month long wherein Patti has been interviewed, her book reviewed, and today, a first: she makes a guest appearance with our very own OFG.

Here is what we did. Each of us, Patti and I (acting on behalf of the OFG) challenged the other with a list of five prompts or topics, with each of us promising to write short insightful reflections on every one of the topics.

As an added bit of excitement (can't you feel it building already??), we included one last twist: we each kicked back one topic to the other. Thus, we each answered six prompts: five from the other participant, and one which we originally came up with that was added to our own list by the other person. That's why you will see that we both answer a couple of the same topics.

If this is confusing to read about, just think how hard it was to pull off!

So, without further muddying the waters, here are both Patti's and the OFG's thoughts on the topics listed.

Patti Digh on--


Like Alice in Wonderland, things shrink or grow in importance to us all the time. Seeing life from an airplane for the first time was remarkable for its lesson in perspective--problems are tiny from the air, but we must always land. Finding the balance between those two becomes vital. And ongoing.


There is freedom in saying "I don't know," but we avoid it, don't we? The vulnerability that comes with exposing our own fallibility shortens the spaces between people.


I believe this is all that is left at the end of our 37 days.


What if we were determined to open up possibilities in our life story, rather than close them down or eliminate them with the choices we make? What if the edges we see in the distance weren't a boundary, but a horizon?


If I am playing a finite game, one that is played to win, then losing is failure. If I am playing an infinite game, one that is played to learn, then "losing" is learning and helps to keep the game going. I have to celebrate the drops.

(Finally, the sixth topic, one Patti gave me, and I returned to her as her last prompt:)


We can only be minimized if we consciously or unconsciously participate in the "making small."


Now, it is the OFG's turn. His take on--


There is no justification for playing small, only an internal issue to be dealt with which playing small is symptomatic of. Ignore the smallness, and address the issue.


Giving offers the greatest joy there is in this life. Receiving is big fun, yet that thrill diminishes quickly. Giving, on the other hand, shines a light within one's soul which never burns out.


Never turn away from who you are. You may find it necessary to be shy about it at times, but never deny your own magic. It is yours because there is a mission you need to complete here, You will find it, or it will find you.


Name for me the single word (okay...apart from "love") which wields as much power, delivers as much joy, or defines the path of success and freedom as does "yes." I'll wait right here.


Be. Here. Now. I was 17 and only marginally functional when I read Ram Dass's seminal work. It elucidates my life today even more than it did on that long-ago,
3 a.m. morning.

(And, as my sixth topic, Patti returned this topic I had given her:)


Our weaknesses, our perceived failures in any aspect of our lives, are only the puny thoughts poured forth from the least part of our powerful selves. When allowed to bloom, many times a weakness becomes ones most-defining characteristic. Grow into that person who learns to nourish what was once perceived a weakness!


I hope you have enjoyed this merger of Patti's world and mine for just these few hundred words. It has been my pleasure to come to know Patti and her passions a bit. Less than a week from now, I'll be meeting Patti in person for the first time as I attend her retreat beginning Friday afternoon. There have been many months of anticipation for me, given my rookie status as far as retreats go. I signed up just as soon as Patti announced the schedule early this year, so I'm more than ready.

For those of you interested in my more-serious thoughts about Patti and her work, I suggest a quick trip to yesterday's post. It is here.


LadyE said...

I arrived at your blog via Patti's. I enjoyed what you both wrote here, very thought provoking.


Julie said...

I did not get a chance to drive to Asheville last weekend with my book and goodies from GA. I am still so dissapointed.

DelaneyKirk said...

Hi Rick. I'll be at Patti's retreat on Friday also. Look forward to meeting you!

Olivia said...

How exciting, how exciting. The illustrious author and the illustrious author-to-be! I hope that you have a FANTASTIC retreat, and am certain that you will. I am excited for you to be stepping up to a new experience this way, Rick. And I can't wait to read about what you learn. Blessings and happy retreat wishes, O xxoo

Rick Hamrick said...

ladye--thanks for stopping by!

Julie--I promise I'll forgive you...eventually (sniff).

delaneykirk--see you later today!

O--you are the sweetest for your continued encouraging words, my friend. I hope your weekend is every bit as enlightening as I imagine mine will be! You don't have to fly across the country to 'retreat', but you do have to if you want to retreat with Patti, so I am.