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15 Years of Writing Publicly

15 years ago when I started this weblog, the fact that I am easily amazed was more evident in an effervescent and silver-lining kind of way. As a 26 year-old school teacher, it felt totally appropriate at the lunch table one day when a 9-year old student looked up at me with wide eyes of knowing and exclaimed,  “Ashley, you need a tee shirt that says Easily Amazed!” I said, “You’re right!” as he had simply and clearly reflected back to me the passion and enthusiasm I had for life… and named this blog. I was quick to amazement in those days, awe tingling in my cells.

In addition to teaching at a Montessori school, I was in graduate school studying child-centered play therapy, school counseling, and transpersonal counseling. I was also having my own spiritual awakening (with all its own darkness and light) while being rather socially isolated living in Denton, Texas. Life was filled with reflection, depth, investigation, and I was in love with and curious about the unique expressions of being human, in awe of the living world, fascinated by our meaning-making, intelligence, and the unknowable, and excited by opportunities for connection and positive development.

Today, 15 years of life later, having followed the path of my calling and continued my inquiries into the ways of existence, I might say that I am more deeply committed … to truth, to healing, to justice, to love…. than easily amazed. My fierce commitment to seeing and healing from the truth has shifted my quick response from effervescent awe to a familiar feeling of heart-brake and bewilderment by the effectiveness and strategies of those who cause or perpetuate harm and inequality, and have been doing so for generations.

While my awe and reverence for life and the living world (which includes humans) and our interconnections is still a bright light within me, I definitely recognize that actively pursuing and facing truths that I was previously oblivious to has zapped out of me some of my effervesce… for now… and sharpened my ability to see more clearly what is going on around me. I trust that as I continue to wake up from the slumber that was socially granted to me along with my white skin and middle class socialization, as I re-ground and realize who I am, where I come from, and what it means to be responsible in this body and legacy I was born into and this purpose I am here to live, that as I root, my effervescence shines forth in new ways.

The other side to this anniversary that I want to mark is that today is also 15 years of my writing publicly. I remember the hesitancy when I decided to write a blog. What should I share? Who am I writing to? What is the line of what I share publicly, what is just for my own journaling, and what is for my intimate circle of relations? I know that at many stages of my life there were specific people in my mind who I wrote to. As I wrote, I would feel family members, loved ones, friends, colleagues, and people I didn’t know but whom I knew read my blog. I would imagine that I was writing to them personally, hoping that the time and effort I invested in bringing words to my perceptions and experiences would bring value to others in addition to myself.

In honor of this anniversary and journey of finding words that make visible the shapes and queries inside my head and heart, I want to thank some of the people who inspired and encouraged me in those earlier years. I have so much love and gratitude for the ways you helped me find confidence and commitment in writing — thank you, Chris Weaver, Thomas Arthur, Chris Corrigan, Christy Lee-Engel, Jeff Aiken, Meredith Krugel, Brandy George.

And thank you deeply from my heart to anyone who has read my words and let me know that you appreciate my writing voice.


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Rediscovering My Voice

I’ve lost my rhythm for writing.
Where did it go?

The multitiude of ideas, concepts, observations and experiences in my life begin to stack up. One on top of another. Time and energy begin to feel scarce as the possibilities of their use lie before me. How to not only synthesize for myself but to stop and bring stillness so that coherent language might shape its way around the abstract and birth forth a form that can be held by another? That I can hold myself?

How to stop and bring stillness?

What voice do I want to use? This weblog has been through so many incarnations. Depository of interesting nibbles in the web world; journal of self-expression and exploration; synthesizing tool for weaving together perspectives from different conversations and disparate reading materials. What now? How can it serve me and my current development? What value might my words upon thoughts upon images upon expression have to share beyond the confines of my swimming brain and bulging heart?

And how do I organize all the content. When I started writing publicly in November of 2003 there weren’t so many options for organizing and categorizing and purposizing my wanderings. There are now. Which I value and appreciate…. and have yet to discover my order for pages, categories, tags and topics.

Again I ask… what wants to emerge? How do the pages want to be filled?

And so the journey begins… again… re-turning… emerging… discovering… stepping into a voice that has something to say and is ready to speak. What music will get played? How will I be moved? Who will join me in this dance?

Stacked books photo by Wonderlane

Mimi dancing is my grandmother!

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Goodbye Comments


The comments at easily amazed are going to disappear soon. I’m sad about this as there have been some incredible conversations and insights that emerged in those little haloscan boxes. I might post some of them into the original post, we’ll see.

Thank you Haloscan for serving me well up until now. It’s a bummer you have to go away and that there is no easy free way to save all these little word nuggets!
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Woa ~ Pure Excitement

A little boy’s pure excitement, a dash of astonishment with a tinge of fear… ahhh, the emotional smorgasbord that accompanies making contact with something new and unknown.

Thanks Thomas for this link and for the contagious awe that it’s left me with… and hopefully you too!

~ ~ ~ ~

And after posting this I saw that this is my 600th post here at Easily Amazed… and today also happens to be the 6th birthday of Easily Amazed. Woa! Wow!

All I can feel is that little boy saying, “Can I touch it?” with excitement and desire and then feeling his fear of what is it? and answering his own question with “no!”

That’s very similar to my journey of writing here. So often I feel the strong impulse to share something deep from my heart or right at the edges of my thinking. I bubble with excitement at the challenge to put words to these sensations and thoughts and at the opportunity to share my experiences or perceptions with others. And then when the publishing time comes I will often feel a hesitation and What am I doing? Can I really share this? Does this make any sense? Unlike the little boy, I do touch it. I press publish and a little part of me grows just a wee bit more as a result of putting myself out there!

Thank you, Easily Amazed, for giving me the opportunity to open into this world of writing. Thank you soooo much to everyone out there who reads this. Your presence has been significant and influential in my development… I sincerely mean that. The comments I’ve received over the years, the conversations with people who read this webl, the inspiration that provokes many of the postings, and all my curiosity about those that are here reading but have never let me know that you are… it’s a fascinating and wonderful experience to feel the life that circulates around this website!!

And special thank you to Thomas who has been an emotional, intellectual and super-special editorial support these last few years. Seriously, I ask him to read over so much of what I write and he’s so gracious about giving me helpful feedback. Thank you!

Happy Birthday Easily Amazed… Woa… Wow!!

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5 years, 555 times

Happy Belated Birthday, Easily Amazed! In November, this webl (blog) turned 5 years old. Yesterday I posted the 555th post. That’s cause to celebrate!!

In the old days when this place of expression and connection was just being birthed, it looked a little like the picture to the left. And then my curiosity about how to personalize blogger reached it’s peek and the new look found it’s way into being. Now, my friends, it’s almost time for phase 3, the next formation of this house of creation.

As we’ve heard, change is on the horizon… it is arriving. I don’t know exactly what this will mean for the next version of easily amazed. I do know that I’m excited to find out! Thank you, beautiful blue and your radiant invitation, for being a cozy place where I could find my voice and share with others.

Stay tuned…

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Giving Thanks and Turning Four

Four years ago I was working at a Montessori school. In the kitchen during snack one day (the school lived inside a sweet little house), I was being me… getting excited about something… I imagine there was lots of energy and a sense of awe in my expression (wink).

A nine year old turns to me, “Ashley, you need a t-shirt that says E A S I L Y A M A Z E D!” I was honored. Inspired. And EasilyAmazed was born! Four years ago today, this webl came into being.

It’s amazing to look back through the archives and watch some of the flow of my own coming into being; my words, thoughts and methods of expression evolving. Growth is such a magical and fascinating thing.

I stumbled upon this birthday through a Thanksgiving morning memory. I felt myself sitting in my dad’s office in Atlanta on one Thanksgiving morning, feeling the peace of a simple morning of celebration, giving thanks and family. I recalled writing one of my first blog entries. In looking back to that entry, I found that today is the actual birth day. I later read the post from EasilyAmazed’s first birthday. With both offerings, my heart purred with resonance, gratitude and love. Some things never change!

I feel thankful for the opportunity to not only see my growth but to also recognize the essential core elements of my being that show up again and again, moment after moment. I feel a deep gratitude for the ways in which this place of expression and sharing has helped me to listen deeper and deeper into my calling here on this earth, honoring a dedication to sharing with love, curiosity and beauty.

This sacred space continues to be a mystery to me and a gift in so many ways. The most valuable treasure is the presence of you, those who interact here (in visible and invisible ways). I rest in a breath of awe… this inner-net is quite a magical place.

Happy thanks-giving to all who like to honor giving thanks and Happy Birthday, Easily Amazed!

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celebrating a cycle

pull out your party hats, your drums and flutes and whistles… summon up the spirit of celebration and join me in wishing easily amazed a happy 1st birthday. (insert joyous sounds and laughter here!)

i adore the life that easily amazed has grown into in its first year of sharing and inviting. the exploring, celebrating, honoring, and uncovering that has unfolded here is most definitely worth appreciating. and i am humbled by the amorphous, mysterious presence that this space holds… taking its time and defining its shine!

the biggest gift that easily amazed has given me is all of you. the evolution and pulse of this site is 100% a result of the commenting generosity of those who read and participate, engaging me and one another, linking together into the amazing network of connections that we are. wether your voice appears in words or you read without commenting, your presence is felt and appreciated.

the feeling your own story thread continues to thrive at integral naked. a recent contribution of jacqui’s echos, to me, a core component of how being connected to all of you through easily amazed (and your personal webbles and blogs) has encouraged an exponentially greater amount of Love within me:

If I see the beauty in someone, and I tell them that, and they tell me how much that meant to them to be seen in that way, I feel more love, more joy. I also see them as even more beautiful. If they see beauty in me, and tell me, I see them as being even more beautiful, and I feel more love and beauty in myself. This is a real, biological happening in me. It happens in my body, in my heart/soul whole being. It is as if Love plus Love equals an exponentially greater amount of love. But that love has to be spoken, shared, announced, proclaimed, celebrated or it doesn’t work.

thank you easily amazed for inviting us to speak, share, announce, proclaim and celebrate… it’s working!!


happy 1 birthday, easily amazed!

i sing you a song, light you a candle, and watch
in delight your joyous face while you’re eating that birthday cake!

happy birthday, all you easily amazed!

GravatarHappy Birthday from Ghana, easily amazed! lots of love, ted

Gravatarthis is a sweet chance to pause
to look back to last november, to celebrate
a year of incescribable inner growth, to reflect
on how easily amazed has been like a little
laughing river right outside my back door,
beckoning me barefoot into the forest
on the scent of the fabulous pathways
of postconventional love;

what an easy, amazing crossroads – it’s in these
comment boxes that i met christy, and thomas,
and brandy, and leela, and got to hang out with old friends like chris corrigan and jeff aitken and to smile and thrill at the words of so many others…

i thank you for the inspiration to start my poetry blog metaphorest walk, and for all the other sparkling ways that you invite us to open up and spin our love and our daily-freshly-integrated selves out onto the shining waves of the awakening world…

happy birthday easily amazed! with love,

Gravatarwow! a happy birthday toast (definitely with something sparkly, effervescent, fragrant, and intoxicating!) to easily amazed, its wonderful, colorful, celebratory space, and to all of the easily amazed souls who have been happily drawn in by its radiance.

and ashley, that reminds me that it’s been a little more than a year since PoP, when I first got to meet you, walking on the drizzly forest path from our dorm to thomas berry hall–what a gift it has been for our worlds to have spilled into each other since then!

lots of love,

GravatarMy dear friend. Of course it has been a year you have been sharing your thinking and inspiration with us. Your voice has been a lovely addition to the chorus that fills my eyes and ears.

I am so glad to know you, and to have been able to deepen that knowing over the past year, online and in person.

May your path take you to many more years of sharing your easy amazement with everything that touches you.

Much love…c


Happy (belated) birthday.

Oh, Ash. You’ve given me so much to be thankful for. You have a rare ability to make every post a reminder of the importance of thanks-giving.

And don’t pass off too much credit to your blog alone. You are, after all, the one who nurtured it. You’re the one who breathes life. These pages are an extension of your own beautiful nature. So happy birthday, yourself, and thank you (thank you!) again.

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