It's funny how the more I write/blog, the more I seem to have to write! Last night I got the privilege of seeing award-winning author and psychologist Harville Hendrix talk about his new book A New Way to Love (Though it's aimed at married people, the principles apply to all romantic relationships). It's the new name for his workshop called Couplehood as a Spiritual Path, which I participated in at my church in the fall - and blogged about here). Hendrix's NYT bestselling book, Getting the Love You Want, was a watershed book in my life. It is literally life-changing in its impact in both the communication exercises and the information contained within its pages (such as info on the therapy he based on his research - Imago).
He was funnier than I thought he would be! Doug and I were cracking up when he showed a video of he and his wife doing the mirroring dialogue where he shared with her a "caring behavior" he appreciated. It was that he appreciated that she would let him just sit in his office and watch... Star Trek. He was like, "When I'm watching Star Trek, I am not just watching. I am ON the ship." The whole audience was cracking up. The thing is, he was serious! But as he continued the dialogue, he talked about how he was an orphan, and he used to have to sneak and hide to have any private time, even to read a book, or his siblings - who raised him after his parents died when he was 6 - would put him to work. And that's the key to the dialogue, that something very simple that you appreciate is often tied to memories from our childhood. Likewise, with the things that trigger us (aka annoy or frustrate us).
I can hardly believe that I have failed to mention that I got to see one of my all-time favorite authors, and a huge personal inspiration to me - Liz Gilbert (author of the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love) talk about her new book Committed at the Alley Theatre. I'd read mixed reviews, and I didn't quite know what to think, but when I heard her speak and heard her read the opening bit of it - I fell in love all over again. It's fantastic, she's hilarious, and I'm reading the book at the gym now (the cost of the event included a copy of her new book). It's about how she was forced to marry by the Office of Homeland Security or her boyfriend "Felipe" (who she met at the end of Eat, Pray, Love) would be deported permanently. Neither of them ever wanted to marry again, so it's the book of her becoming accustomed to the idea, their long path to marriage between a U.S. citizen and a Brazilian with Australian citizenship, and research on the customs of marriage, mostly in the West - though she does include interesting conversations from various other cultures of people who she visits, such as the Hmong in Vietnam. I must say, in the first few chapters I'm already intriguied, and I'm shocked to say that it's starting to change my view on marriage. For example, the church actually shunned marriage for the first several hundred centuries after Christ.
As I am inclined to do, I'm reading about 5 books at a time. I had been reading Anne Lamott's novel Crooked Little Heart at the gym until I got hooked on Committed. A friend gave me Lamott's novel when I visited Portland last December (08) during the big snowstorm, and I decided to read. I'm about 2/3 done and it's ok, not great. Lamott is another one of my all-time favorite authors, but I really like her nonfiction stuff such as Bird by Bird (which I use to teach my Advanced Writing Workshop), and Operating Instructions. I'm also listening to the audio-book of The Shack, which my dad sent me as a gift (I"d sent him the print version last Christmas and he liked it so much, he sent me the audio since I rarely have time to read - though getting my butt back to the gym has given me a bit more real reading time again). The Shack is great, but not as amazing as I'd heard from others, in my opinion.
I have two articles in this month's Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine (Feb 2010) and they also have a bio and photo of me in the front of the magazine. That's always fun! The two articles include:
Attack of the Killer Fungus:
Will White Nose Syndrome spread to Texas bats?
Soon, the reason why we have all gathered will become apparent. It’s one of nature’s most beautiful and inspiring spectacles — the nighttime emergence of hundreds of thousands of bats. Bat watching, particularly in Austin, has become an international phenomenon. But what if all these bats were to vanish?
And I also have a "3 Days in the Field" travel column in the magazine:
German Jewel Destination: Fredericksburg.
How do you show Texas to someone who has been living in the big city and hasn’t seen the Lone Star State’s natural beauty since moving here a couple of years ago? That was my challenge. I picked the Hill Country because of its diversity — waterfalls, bats, rocks for climbing, quaint towns, wine country and good food. We chose Fredericksburg as our home base.