questioning the process & new experiment in belonging
Read on for what's shifting:
* centering reflection *
* opening dialogue *
* and current happenings you can join in on *
so, what is Be With Cassandra all about?
Well, it's about being here with me. Walking along with. Listening along with.
I've been on quite a wandering path with this email newsletter. I don't know how it's felt for you on the receiving end?
It's felt quite wander-y to me. Since the beginning but especially recently.
I took a pause the past two weeks and let some questions simmer. I invited myself to shift the a to an o > wandering to wondering. :-)
I have been feeling overwhelmed – pulled in a few too many directions. I considered downshifting the frequency of writing to you.
But then I remembered you and the connection I have with you. This question floated over:
what if instead of taking a step back from this responsibility, I lean further into it? and transform it?
Stepping back or downshifting is something I've grown quite fond of lately – how can I subtract? Do less?
But the other end of the spectrum is something I'm learning to fall in love with too – how can I dive deeper? (Re)claim more space?
Each end of the spectrum supports the other. The question then becomes:
Which realms are inviting us to embrace them more fully and which are inviting us to release them more softly?
What's unfurled from the wondering:
a new autumn+winter experiment in belonging
I like to set check-in dates for my experiments. For this one, the check-ins will be end of January and March 2023.
- these weekly-ish notes will now either go deep and reflective or be a short and sweet check-in
- there are two new pathways for back and forth dialogue for members*
- there is a new current happenings section for members*
*Perhaps you are thinking, "am I a member?" If you're reading this in your email inbox and you received the email directly from Be With Cassandra, you are a member!
If you're reading this in an email that was forwarded to you (thank you to the forwarder!) or you're reading this on the website, it is free and simple to subscribe to become a member – join if you resonate, join in your own time.
so, how might it feel to Be With Cassandra?
My recent wonderings moved with this question
I desire for this small spot of togetherness on the Internet – and in your email inbox – to feel like we're on a long, easy drive together.
We have the time and space to sink into a winding, weaving conversation while we drive the open one lane roads through hilly and forested roads (that is, if the drive is in my region!).
Or, if you're not into being in a car together....
I desire it to feel like sitting down together with hot mugs of tea or the warm beverage of choice. We have the time for the mugs to warm our hands and for the conversation to warm our souls.
Of course, sometimes you or I won't have time for the sprawling conversation!
If I'm the one who doesn't have spacious time a certain week, you can plan on receiving a short and sweet note simply sharing that I'm thinking about you. I do regularly think about you and wonder how you're moving through the world.
When you don't have spacious time for the sprawling conversation, you have my full permission (not that you need it, of course!) to save the note for later. Maybe 'star' it and come back to it during your emailicious time? (haha yes I know, what is emailicious?! the short of it is that it's another new experiment of mine)
To me, being with one another means moving with the unique ebb and flow we each embody.
I am practicing honoring my unique ebb and flow.
I am dedicated to the practice of honoring yours as well.
framing this week's reflection
this is me offering a glimpse into one way I walk through reflection's open door
A preamble before wandering and wondering with these questions: read why I like to embed "you/I/we" and "(y)our" in my writing. I invite you to play around with switching the pronouns in any question I pose.
I am looking at my tall standing desk with the laptop sitting exactly in the middle. It's closed, sitting atop its stand.
The laptop seems to be on a pedestal.
I am practicing yoga. Standing poses.
It feels like I am bowing to the laptop.
I think about how much time I stare at the open laptop. And now, here I am, bowing to a closed laptop.
The laptop is a screen (and yes, so much more ~ nodding with a knowing smile at some readers who have built many computers).
There are other screens in our lives, too, right? Phones, tablets, televisions, smart watches.
"Screen time" often gets a bad rap.
Right now, I feel deep gratitude for connecting with so many people through screens.
These people and I likely wouldn't have connected or be in the process of staying connected if the screens didn't help us.
So these questions can move with both gratitude and critique.
These questions are centered in deep reflection (rather than judgment, shame, or guilt).
Want to share your reflective responses – or add your own reflective questions! – to the questions below?
Scroll back up to the uniquely weekly header image, look right below and click 'View Online'. You'll be transported to this same note online! You can read the rest of the note there, sign in, and leave your comment. 😊
this week's reflection
If it feels good, maybe give your body a deep breath, a yawn and stretch, a shoulder shake... grab your warm drink from its spot nearby (or your water bottle or kombucha... I somehow have literally all three nearby right now)... and if you have the spacious time, sink in for these questions...
what have you learned from a screen lately?
what have you learned with a screen lately?
how do we learn from screens? with screens?
how do I learn with the beings who made the resource shared through this screen?
what do I learn from the beings who made the resource shared through this screen?
how do I learn with the beings who made the screen itself?
how do I learn from the beings who made the screen itself?
what have I learned with a being with four legs? eight legs?
what have I learned from a being with three legs? thirty legs?
how could we let ourselves be held by the floor – ground – earth – dirt?
how could we let ourselves be held by overwhelm? by sadness? by joy?
how can I listen to the overwhelm? how can I meet a need the overwhelm has shared with me?
how can you listen to the joy? how can you meet a need the joy has asked you to fulfill?
and for the sake of beautiful repetition...
what if instead of taking a step back from this responsibility I lean further into it? and transform it?
Which realms are inviting you to embrace them more fully and which are inviting you to release them more softly?
Want to share your reflective responses – or add your own reflective questions! – to these questions below?
Scroll back up to the uniquely weekly header image, look right below and click 'View Online'. You'll be transported to this same note online! You can read through the rest of the note there, sign in, and leave your comment. 😊
opening up dialogue
commenting is open on Be With Cassandra!
Throughout this note you've seen mentions of the new commenting option. Back when I had two Substacks (experiments in belonging and Well-Resourced), I loved reading and replying to the thoughtful comments written.
I love receiving emails in response to these notes too and simultaneously, I'm so excited to give space for a back and forth dialogue that is more communal.
When you have a moment, read the commenting guidelines. I invite you to try out this new commenting feature by commenting on the commenting guidelines!
Maybe you want to:
- offer your ideas for what would be valuable to add to the guidelines,
- offer your ideas for what could be removed,
- ask questions about commenting in general or the guidelines,
- simply say hi,
- write "I agree to these guidelines,"
- or respond to someone else's comment!
- really, the possibilities are quite bountiful, there's likely much I haven't thought of... and I'm excited to explore the possibilities with you!
Commenting is only open to members but it's free to become a Be With Cassandra member. Comments are visible to non-members, which means the people who come across this small spot of togetherness on the Internet will see what's written. Maybe it'll be your comment that welcomes someone in? 😊
centering being with each other
this section is hopefully only visible to members. The desired intention is to give regular space for sharing ways to be with me, ways to be with Creative Partners of mine, and ways to be with each other.
1. how you can be with me
Yesterday I signed on the dotted line for a co-working space membership! Part of my specific membership includes a business mailing address.
I love to send and receive snail mail notes, letters, and surprises. I was happy to send postcards to some of you while I was in England in August.
write me at:
Be With Cassandra
123 2nd Ave S. Suite 230 #66
Edmonds, Washington 98020 USA
2. how you can be with Creative Partners of mine
Diona Reese Williams is my first Creative Partner! I absolutely love creating with her!
Sweet Potato and Mud Pies is her first self-published children's book and it offers such sweet and colorful storytelling.
Diona, AlmaLuz, and I have been working together on Diona's second children's book which will be released in the coming months. I didn't help her directly with Sweet Potato and Mud Pies but working with her on her second book has been such a gift.
If you want to be with her work, buy her book to share with a child you are connected to!
You'll see she offers paperback, Kindle, and audio versions.
Buy through Amazon* or if you'd like a signed copy, you can order directly through Diona (well, reach out to me and I'll connect you with Diona).
*yeah, Amazon isn't the best (well, I guess it depends on who you ask, if you ask me, it's not the best) but the services it provides self-published authors are legit. Diona and AlmaLuz, the illustrator, have learned an immense amount about self-publishing and would like to expand their reach. This is just the beginning!
3. how we can be with each other
This section is expansively experimental! I envision it as a spot for you, dear human, to share offerings of yours so that fellow members can join in and support you. I also envision this as a spot for sharing current happenings that offer ways for each of us to be with ourselves. I'm not sure what that means yet but shall we find out together?
The best way to be included in this section is to reply to this emailed note or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the current happening you'd like to invite fellow members to!
The current happening could be something that you are offering others or it could be something that someone else is offering that resonates with you.
I reserve the right to not include a happening if it doesn't align with Be With Cassandra's unfolding vision or if I receive too many happenings at once. Given what I know about you, I'm thinking the happening you share will align!
Well, here we are, at the end of this note full of housekeeping, orientation, and reflection, and hopefully connection.
Thanks for flowing along with me through this wandering and wondering journey. 💛
Til next week,
tl;dr (too long, didn't read): Be With Cassandra is entering a new 'experiment in belonging' where we get into intentional reflection and open up dialogue with one another (through commenting on notes and sharing current happenings with each other)! If you're a member (it's free to join), you can comment and read current happenings.