Gratitude 1/1/20

1. The rush of aliveness that comes with my spring phase.

2. Chosen silence.

3. I’m excited to breath deeply and push all the passion bubbling up inside me through my veins and finger tips and toes and beyond.

4. I’m excited about the possibilities a day does bring. The blessings and gratitude and understanding or just the light that will be shining somewhere that I feel even if I cannot see.

5. I’m excited for coffee and stretches and snacks and vitamins and making offerings of love and affection to my Earth bound body.

6. I’m excited for a late night and late morning.

7. I’m excited for meditations and visualizations that open windows and doors in the dusty, dark, and lonely rooms of my mind and let freshness and light flood in.

8. I’m excited for me. And all the time and energy and love and peace that was inherited in my seed. I’m thankful for the ways it makes me live.

9. I’m excited I might share this with someone and they could feel a connection with me and move into an empty place in my life that I’ve been saving for them.

10. I’m excited for the magic and wonder and unique texture of this day. And how it can hold me no matter what and I will not sink through or break it’s seams with any amount of my human concern. It will just hold me sure and steady and a little bit rhythmic like you hold a young thing, swaying left to right and pressing it’s little head to your chest so that it can hear and feel the strong beat of your willingness and mentorship.

11. Thank you to the Being or Beings that have picked me up and rocked me all my life.

Flow Rituals

I know I desire a slow form of living this year. So that I can notice more and pay tribute to more and let myself flow.

I’m learning what slows me and delights me. Quietude. Sometimes writing my way through noisy storms in my mind. Some times just sitting, watching, breathing.

I want to pause more I guess. When I’m enjoying something I want to stretch it out. Make it last, collect and keep a piece of its essence for fuel.

Ways to keep my flow:

Brain dump lists

Being outside

Candle light in darkness

Dancing

Folding laundry

Gratitude lists

Posture and breath practices

Push ups

Slow sex

Sweet savored sips or bites

Water breaks

Yoga

Ps. Do you have stay in the flow rituals? Please share.

What are Your Wins?

A couple of friends and I recently added a Wins Celebration Day to our monthly calendars. Around the time of the new moon we gather, have dinner, and share with each other our wins from the previous cycle. We talk about blocks we overcame, goals we reached, things we are working toward. We discuss the Universal magic, miracles, and unexpected awesomeness that were sprinkled into our most recent cycle.

The win celebration is a ritual of acknowledgment, accountability, and appreciation. We lavish ourselves in luscious endorphins and empowering antidotes, we feel supported and supporting, we make note of recent growth and excitement of the future growth that embodies the energy of a new moon and the end/beginning of a cycle.

Ps. Please feel free to share your Wins from the last moon cycle in the comments. We can celebrate together here!

Gifts

Give me that song that makes you feel balmy.
Give me that prayer that brings you peace.
Give me that recipe, that tastes like comfort and works like a remedy.
Give me the art you made last week.

Give me the worn-out copy of that book you love.
Give me the old picture of us that you found.
Give me a list of your gratitude.
Give me the name of your favorite place in town.

Send me a letter that captures the mood you’re in.
Tell me the last omen you saw.
Give me the source of your latest laugh.
Leave me a voice-mail, give me a call.

Delight in slow deliberate growth.

Don’t force it.
Just enjoy the build up.
So it’s slow.
Let it be slow.
Let your breath and limbs relish in its tension.
Let trust envelop the philosophers in your mind.
Let it wax.
Let it wan too.
It will come back around.

Press into it.
Appreciate its pulp.
The sweet illusive magic of its essence.
Explore its subtle edges.
That bleed like water color into the rest of life.

Because I want to

I Know contentment.
Reverence.
Wonder.

I Know the power
of my varied edges and sides.
I Know they are just right.
They are serving me.

I Know patience.
I Know its waves of anticipation
also, its warm incubation.

I Know my Source.
It’s endless loving essence. 
Its assurance, it’s ability, and delight.

I know because I want to. 

Ps. Here’s a similar piece called What I Know (A Birthday edition)

And now, move.

Sometimes I wish I were different already.
That I could untie the knots in my mind, on demand.
Make my limbs reach more readily for the love that I crave.

But there’s this ravine it seems, between me and the creature I wish to be.
There’s some big long journey  involved?

…Or is there?
Is that just an excuse, a story of resistance?
Did words not create this story to begin with? As they do so many other things? As they will my freedom.

Is all I desire simply one step away?
My untrusting mind frozen in place?
I wish I could thaw it.
Perhaps I can..
Perhaps I just need to speak the warm words that will melt my trepidation.

Say:

“Thaw.

Fear not! – where your next step will land you.

Know that you are only everything you say you are.”

Say:

“I am Veracious Love.”

And now, move.

All I need.

Tonight I drove home from work in a snow storm. The world looking like a Lite-Brite smeared behind cold glass. The snow flakes just pouring down under street lights in every direction. Sugar rain from an endless source.

And I thought to myself…
“Abundance.”

And then I felt that each snowflake that landed on my car brought something that I needed into my life. Each a solution, a blessing, or surprise.

One for a peaceful house when I get home. One for words that untie the tangles in my soul. One for the exercise my body is craving. One for every single person who will feed me their soul-chips.

Countless specks for love and laughter. Some for the music that soothes me. Some for joys, some for strength, some for ease. Some for the way through uncertainty.

On and on it went. A lifetime of everything I need landing on me. Even the things I can’t name yet or things that may never have a name. Even the things that have come and I’ve forgotten them but they left a kind of peace.

Endless, endless, endless, support in each landing. Until soon each crystal drew a whisper from my love drenched heart.

A soft and happy “Thanks.”

For Kim, Priestess of Pronoia – who taught me this concept with falling leaves.

An "Anywhere I Can Get it" Fitness Plan

One day I may lead a Buti yoga session, or a cardio-quicky class, or offer a shower-dance fitness tutorial… One day I may finally regularly attend a fitness class at the Y or that hot new yoga studio I’ve been meaning to check out. One day I may hire a fun and affordable personal trainer. Soon enough I envision myself on blissful runs a couple times a week and taking a different type of dance class every month. One thing I can say for sure is that I wholeheartedly declare to discover the amazing strength and agility that my body is capable of.

However, lately, I have been more focused on other areas of my life. And I have not yet laid the foundation for the fit and fabulous lifestyle I want and need. I have on many occasions through out the years gotten wildly ambitious and set goals that I could not achieve fast enough for my own non-sensible standards.

Now I know better. Today, I am simply stepping in that direction. My method for redesigning that area of my life is different than it’s ever been. I have learned through all my past failures what I can reasonably expect from myself. And that just like with redesigning anything else, it takes time. At this time I am slowly and steadily integrating new activities, breathing practices, concepts of my desires, and fitness habits into my life.

So right now my Fitness-plan includes things like making a desire map,which is a list of all the must-have/dream-come-true desires of what “body bliss” means to me. I’m also accepting where I’m at and setting SMART reasonable goals and sharing them with others like you (Hey! you can share your SMART goals with me too if you want, (template below) I would looooove a body-bliss buddy) My integration plan also includes tons of plain old, trying, learning, re-trying, and of course hypnotizing myself while I sleep with Kelly Howell’s Sacred Body – Guided Meditation. I love anything by her! I’ll link that Youtube vid at the end of this post as well.

Here is a list of my current slow and steady fitness integrations (and where they happen) :

  • Dancing (in the shower.) This is typically a slow-moving, core, quads, and calve workout. The music is usually slow, relaxing, and has a bass-rich beat. Pandora stations like Glass Animals, Chet Faker, or Instrumental Hip-hop. Also, it’s a ritual of mine to wind down at the end of the day with a candle light shower. The darkness is very soothing and the candle light centering and meditative.
  • Invisible jump-roping (Anywhere) . I find it easier to “skip” or jump rope with out the actual jump rope. That way I can do it where ever I damn want and I don’t have to worry about forgetting my rope! Plus it’s very entertaining to onlookers. I do all the arm motions even the cris-crosses… I just never trip.
  • Cat yoga (In the Kitchen) for 10 mins in the morning while I wait for the coffee in my french press to turn the right color of black. This is when I try to do a sun salutation sequence while my cats lay next to or directly under me and bite each other, my hair, or my ankle. #zenmaster
  • Dancing (Laundry room) While I fold laundry. The key here is hard floors and soft socks for ultimate twisting potential! My go to Pandora station for laundry room dancing is the Pandora Hipster Cocktail radio station.
  • Burpees & Mountain Climbers (Anywhere there is at least 4×8 square feet of space) These are total body cardio quickies that are easy to bust out anytime I’ve got five minutes. This may happen between cooking timers while I prepare dinner.
  • Tag with the kids (Outside) – I recently rediscovered how fun tag is.
  • Wrestling with the kids or dance party with kids. (Inside) They get to pick the music.
  • 21 day total Goddess Workout (Home) – Video library through Dailyom.com. For a good 20 minutes of guided, total body work out, I can pull this up on my phone. Easy to do while traveling too which is important to me.
  • In waiting situations (for example at stop lights) I am starting to do things like realign my posture, deep breathing, and kegle exercises. I use the “waiting-feeling” as sort of trigger reminder to realign and deepen my breath.
  • Tracking my steps, stairs, workouts, and calorie burn on Fitbit watch. I just got this watch and I’m still working on just remembering to put the thing on daily and also to remember to wear it in the shower but its a great way to measure my progress and study my habits so I can celebrate little and big wins.
  • Win celebration – This is something I do monthly, I make a list of all my wins for that month big or little. Sometimes I share this ritual with others and we all get to celebrate each others wins! It feels awesome!

Books I’m using to develop my fitness-integration plan :

  • 4-Minute Fit by America’s Fittest Trucker, Siphiwe Baleka – The metabolism accelerator for the time-crunched, deskbound, and stressed-out.
  • Airplane Yoga by Rachel Lehmann-Haupt & Bess Abrahams – This is a simple yoga guide for poses you can do anywhere, airplanes, elevators, living-rooms, etc.
  • Mom Hacks by Dr. Darria Long-Gillespie – 100 Science backed shortcuts to reclaim your body, raise awesome kids, and be unstoppable.
  • Seven Sundays by Alec Penix – A faith, fitness, and food plan for lasting spiritual and physical change.
  • The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises by Adam Campbell – The pictures and work out plans in this book are incredible.
  • Your Ultimate Pilates Body Challenge by Brook Siler – At the gym, on the mat, and on the move!

Inspiration/Resources :

Ps. I would be so grateful if you shared your favorite fitness resources with me in the comments.

What is a Gratitude Collective?

‘Tis the season of thanksgiving, sharing, and gathering. Why not grow your very own Gratitude Collective? This is an inciteful and interactive series of questions that I put together to help you engage your friends, family, or followers in a fun and meaningful way throughout the holiday season. 

Here’s how it might look:

“Friends! Let’s do a fun and grateful thing together! Join me in creating a Gratitude Collective! For the next 20 days, I’ll be posting a question each day. Here are 3 ways you can participate. #gratitudecollective

  1. Share your answers to the prompt via words, photos, or links. 
  2. Simply enjoy browsing the answers for inspiration or great ideas. 
  3. Grow your own collective by sharing the question(s) on your own page, at your dinner table, or in the elevator with a stranger. “

For those of you with social media followings, you can create your own branded versions of the following questions in post form by using canva.com (a free design center.) Create your own questions or use the ones below. 

example of social media post created on canva.com

The Gratitude Collective Questions:

Day 1 – What is a Life-hack that you use and are grateful for? 

Day 2 – What is a thing about yourself that you or someone else once thought was negative but you now see it as a positive thing and are grateful for it today? 

 Day 3 – What is a morning ritual you do that fills your Happy-cup way up? 

Day 4 – What is a creative outlet for you that makes your heart sing? 

Day 5 – What is a book that changed your life or gives you warm fuzzies?

Day 6 – What is a fun or supportive group you’re part of that you wouldn’t want to live without? 

Day 7 – What is a meditative practice that showers you with a sense of gratitude? 

Day 8 – What is a parenting-related resource that you are so grateful you found? 

Day 9 – What is a “mistake” or tough lesson you are grateful for? 

Day 10 – What is an app or podcast that empowers you?

Day 11 – What is a Nature spot or getaway that you enjoy? 

Day 12 – Where is a local place you go to relax with kids on a cold winter day that you really appreciate? 

Day 13 – What is a relationship related tool or resource you are thrilled to have discovered? 

Day 14 – What is a housekeeping tip or ritual you are grateful for having? 

Day 15 – What is a comedy related thing that gets you cracking up every time? 

Day 16 – What was a moment of adversity or a sucky situation that you are now grateful for enduring? 

Day 17 – What is a musically related thing that you can melt into every time?

Day 18 – What is a self-care practice you do that leaves you feeling peaceful and happy? 

Day 19 – What is a Gratitude Practice that you and your family love doing? 

Day 20 – What is a holiday story or movie that tickles your hygge bone? 

* Hygge (noun) a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)

May blessings and beauty fill every crack and crevice of your life! Happy Holidays!

Journaling is Like a Superpower.

Something really special has happened the last few evenings. My kids and I have discovered a new evening ritual. We call it Journal Time.

Normally the time after dinner and before bed is designated for quiet time. We’ll play cards, listen to stories, read books, sip hot tea, or as of late, just sit in a silent row on the couch and pour ourselves into our composition books.

Last night I couldn’t help but wonder what we were all filling our individual pages with. I asked my 11 year old daughter, “what are you journling about tonight?” She turned her page towards me, it was a list. Gifts for friends and family for the holidays. I asked my 7 year old son the same question? He showed me how he was practicing writing his numbers and drawing a picture story about ghosts who meet a human. Then of course I had to give my answer. I was hand lettering an affirmation that was bringing me peace. “Just for today, I will live for this day alone, and not try to solve all of my life’s problems at once.”

Then my son asked me “what are you supposed to write in a journal?” I told him absolutely anything that comes to your mind. Sometimes it might be a list, sometimes it might be a story or a picture, sometimes its a plan for something, or simply the thoughts that are cluttering up your heart or mind. Journaling can help you realize all the things you know. And it can also give your mind a place to create peace and gratitude. Journaling is like a super power! I told them.

I just love writing all kinds of things down. It helps me ground myself and discover my truth. Here are 3 journaling practices I use that are especially good for cultivating more creativity, contentment, and clarity.

Purging for creativity
The purge practice came from the book The Artist’s Way – The practice is to write for a set amount of time, say 10 minutes, without a preconceived prompt or topic in mind. The process implores us to write with complete inhibition, no regard for spelling, structure, or even logic. Just write and don’t stop until the timer rings. The results can bring a sense of lightness or relief. This practice is great for warming up for a creative project as well, cultivating self-awareness, or clearing out a seemingly cluttered or negative mindset.

The Unconditional Gratitude List for contentment The Unconditional Gratitude list comes from Melody Beattie’s book Make Miracles in 40 days. This practice is different from other gratitude practices in that it encourages us to list difficulties and challenges alongside our preferable circumstances. The idea is that we become willing to open our hearts and minds to the unfavorable aspects of our lives and appreciate them for the strength and growth they elicit in our lives. The benefits of making an unconditional gratitude list are endless, but some of the immediate results can include, a sense of groundedness and strength, appreciation and comfort, and It can also be an empowering and effective antidote to depression and/or anxiety.

Here’s what this might look like:

Today I am grateful for:

  1. The weekend to relax and recharge.
  2. This instrumental song called Find Enjoyment by Ray Barbee.
  3. The ache in the center of my back that prompts me to stack my vertebrae, engage my powerhouse, press my crown towards the sky, and breath deep.
  4. The anxiety I felt this week that sent me searching for peace and finding exactly what I needed in a free audiobook called The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers.
  5. Tea that smells like oranges and cinnamon.

Getting to Hell Yes for clarity
Getting to Hell Yes communication model came from the book Getting to Hell Yes by Alexandra Jamieson and Bob Gower and it is very helpful in helping make tough decisions or getting clear on group efforts. The practice can be done with one’s self or with another person or group. The goal is to get clear about a topic or endeavor in the kindest and clearest way possible. The process requires each person answer the 4 questions (listed below) in the most complete and honest way possible. It is foundational that the person or persons participating in this are open and receptive, they are patient with themselves and others and pay attention without comment or judgment. The end result is a clear and concise understanding of individual intentions, concerns, needs, and desires. As a result, the information gained can lay the foundation for clear goals and action steps.

Intentions – for this day/goal/project?
Concerns – fears and/or paranoia?
Boundaries – what needs to happen to ensure I feel safe and free, what is needed from self and what is needed from others?
Desires – What would outcome look and feel like if it went exactly my way?

infinity sign

Just remember the infinite-tality of this point!
Remember how it fed you everything you needed and wanted.
Remember how sacred the words that trace a landing…
For all the love you need,
For all the compassion and grace you need,
For all the tenderness and connection you need.

Do not panic and go looking for it in vain and anxiety.
Stay and let it land on you.
Let is sweep in great gusts through your fingers and hair.
Let it live on your shoulders and sing praises to your ears.
Let it knock on your lips and ask your heart to come out and play.
Let it pull your soul, shining and brilliant to the surface.
Let it send out sparks that land decidedly as seeds.

5 Ways to be Sick Without Grossing Everyone Out

Let’s just dive right in today, because I’m sick and have less energy to write a creative introduction on being a sick person, who feels gross and more importantly looks gross.

  1. Attempt to get better, don’t just whine about being sick.

Attempt to get better as soon as you notice your symptoms and don’t just try to cover them up and wait it out. Meaning don’t just take a bunch of Sudafed and continue to drink diet coke all day and eat junk food for the duration of your illness. There is nothing wrong with finding relief in the cold and flu aisle of the grocery store, but be sure you also hit the produce and tea section. And don’t forget the honey to add to tea and toast! Honey has antiviral and antibiotic properties, soothes sore throats and aids in healing. Replace the diet coke and coffee with tea and water. “What about my caffeine fix?” you might ask. You don’t need any because you should be resting! (also an important aspect of attempting to get better) Teas with Echinacea, Elderflower, Lemon, and Cinnamon not only bring relief to your symptoms but also strengthen your immune system. If people see you taking care of yourself, and not just staggering around sneezing in your nachos, they’ll be more inclined to look towards you with an attitude of compassion rather than revulsion.

2. Smile.

Even if you are raspy and your face is oozing, a smile is going to look and feel wonderful! People like happy people. Be as happy as you can muster. You’re going to need the added happy points on your side anyway, to counter your seemingly rude avoidance behavior, that is standard for being sick like, not shaking people’s hands or giving hugs and kisses good-bye. A smile also gives your face a nicer feature to focus on other than your crusted, chapped nose, and seeping pink eyes. And, for your benefit, smiles also help you heal faster! Facts!

3. Pass it off as allergies.

You may find yourself in a situation where it is really important that you do not come off as a disgusting sick person. For example, you may have a job interview you can’t cancel or run into that guy or girl you really want to “get to know better.” In this case, there is no other option but to avidly deny your illness. Most allergies produce similar symptoms, however, you are not as gross seeming when “it’s just allergies.” Maybe because allergies are usually temporary and don’t indicate you may be an unhealthy slob with a poor immune system. It’s not even really a decision for most people to reject you, it’s just a primitive instinct not to work with or sleep with a sicko. So, in this situation, you want to lie and smile as much as you can.

4. Dress nicer.

Like the smiling technique, this is also a mode for distraction. The nicer you look the more appealing you will be for sure. In addition, your sleek attire, perfect hair, and makeup distract from your profuse sniffling and phlegmy breathing that makes you sound like a purring kitten. It also makes you look more important. Everyone loves important people. It doesn’t matter that you’re sick because you do so much for the world and are so fancy and nice to look at. In their minds, you probably just caught something from working so hard or such close proximity with the sick and underprivileged children you are building a school for somewhere.

5. Play hard-to-get.

You don’t want to lead on that you are sick or out of commission to that dreamy date or sexy lover of yours. So instead of risking turn-off or rejection, you change your game a little. You must become a mysterious tease, that only gives just enough and has epic plans for future escapades. You’re looking at some serious foreplay here, which as you can imagine is not necessarily a bad thing. You have time to recover from your repulsive illness and they have time to fall even more lustfully in love with you. Win-win! You’re sexy, not gross.

It’s more often we are tempted to pretend that we are sick, not vice versa. Obviously, it is just as imperative that we know how to “play well” as it is to “play sick.” My heart goes out to all the fellow sickos reading this. Take care of yourself… I’ll see you out there.

may it be here

May it be here,
In this life that screams “Mom, Mom, Mom!”
In the rushing breeze
And noisy trees.
May it be here,
In my sweat,
In my running shoes,
In the storm that could soak us.
May it be here,
Between bursts of rationality,
Probing themes of time and energy.
May it be here,
Among the aimless wanderers,
A park bench, and the weeds,
May it be here,
With sirens and rain in the distant air,
The wind whooshing more and more.
May it be here,
In this body, in these clothes,
With an empty belly,
And a stuffy nose.
May it be here,
That I live.
The children flying on swings to foreign lands.
With their quick feet and strong willful bellies,
A sacred power animating their forms.
Their stampeding-elephant wills, May sometimes make me feel as if I’ll be run over.
One child is a bird,
And one a Tarzan,
And I love this.
But I have to admit sometimes I don’t know how to be with them.
I forget myself in my exhaustion.
I front power plays, I bluff serenity.
Then I remember the power of intention.
And it is here in the panic and anxiety that I allow my heart to drink vats of gratefulness.
It is here I relearn to play their game,
A play inherited by the power that moves them, that power that moves me too.
It is here I find imperfection and grace and empowerment.
And it is here that resistance falls
And the drama in my mind settles like dust.
I smell rain and am awash with a sense of knowing
I borrow their hearts and their ears
May it be here
That I live.

fall

I feel like the leaf outside.

Blowing everywhere but not settling,

I can’t figure out how to settle.

I can’t figure out if I’m just supposed to go along for the ride

It seems lazy and unproductive.

It feels right but it seems wrong

And  I feel like the moon.

New and hungry for my potential to shine.

Perhaps I should drink tea

And read books and just wait for something to come to me

Wait to drift down and know.

Now tho I’m just riding the wind

curious

* Found this poem I wrote in High School while I was looking for old material for a poetry contest. Thought I’d share it. Since it’s one of the only comical poems I’ve ever written…

We had spoken before, just a short “Hello, Goodbye.”
He was kind of jumpy, but an interesting guy.
It wasn’t really stalking; I was just curious where he’d go.
It couldn’t actually be a crime, just to want to know.
Oh, those pictures I’d taken? They were only for fun.
I had to take so many, well, it was hard to get a nice one
with him always on the run.
No, I didn’t break into his house.
He mistook me for the maid,
whom I assure you, I wasn’t trying to impersonate.
I haven’t a clue how she could have gotten in my trunk.
Or, for that matter, how the car could have so strangely fallen off that cliff and sunk.
The night in question? I was at a mad party with a hatter and a hare.
I don’t know what got into me. I’m sure I just had too much tea.
I must not have realized how many messages I had left on his machine.
But I assure you I wasn’t trying to harass him.
I just had a question I needed to ask him.
And the park where I jog is just so close to Mr. Rabbit’s home.
I certainly didn’t mean to loiter.
And, so you see, I really find no need for this restraining order.

 

story

There’s this story.

Underneath every thought I have,
every breath,
just waiting,
restlessly, passionately
to be real.
It’s gripping.
Keeps trying to hold me.
And kiss me.
And give me pleasure.
And security.
So there.
I said it.
It’s like this story’s got
a mind of its own
but the same soul as me.
It’s like a lie tho right now
at this point…
Because the story doesn’t match
what’s really going on.
Or does it?!
Maybe it’s not on the surface yet
that’s all.
It could be tracking me tho.
Maybe it’s creeping on me
So that when it comes knocking
at my door
I know it’s face.
And I answer with some recognition.
I open that door wide and say
Come in, I knew you’d be here.

what I know

1. I know what it’s like to have different colored days
2. I know the wash of the moon as it travels on its monthly journey
3. I know the smell of fear
4. And the whisper of faith
5. I know what it’s like to love like the Moon loves the sea, it can be a secret, subtle, lonely bliss
6. I know the break of the boards beneath my feet.
7. I know the flip of frustration
8. And the chains of stagnation
9. And the halo of bright righteous peace
10. I know what reunion feels like
11. I know what a map can cover up
12. I know the words that might turn me inside out
13. I know clinging
14. I know detachment
15. I know this moment in time is a fraction of the infinite
16. I know the more I know the less I know
17. I know I’m ready for anything, because I have to be
18. I know there’s rules in this game
19. I know it’s a game
20. I know Curiosity and I know Hunger (and they are siblings)
21. I know Passion and it’s illusive sparkle and brilliant code of suffering
22. I know the power of words
23. I know the love of a seed
24. I know the season of Grief, it is Transformation’s prerequisite
25. I know really good love is drenched in laughter
26. And mistakes and trying
27. I know singing will stop anxiety in its tracks
28. I know the seed of courage is vulnerability
29. I know 120 seasons
30. I know 30 trips around the sun

ancient heart

I am the sum of many parts
Dreams
Schemes
Curiosity
Habits
Unfinished starts
Darkness
Light
Lessons
Lies
Microcosmic might..

I am all the aspects of life,
random or otherwise
that filled the space and time
that was before this.
I am an effect of a Greater cause.
I am a factor in Universal law.
And a genuine expression of History’s performance thus far.

Its highest highs and lowest lows,
its timeless beauty its endless woes,
Its long tales and its short tales,
its inhales and its exhales,
its every person and every place,
its many failures, its saving grace,
its primal instinct to evolve,
to play, to solve.

I am a microcosm.
bound to the pattern of life
No getting out of it.
Still tho,
I am a new thing,
And so are you.
never like this before
a door to a brand new world
Part masterpiece
Part mess, none the less
here to create what IS possible
As the sum of many parts
Just Like Levi said…
My future has an ancient heart…

5 Ways to Wake up Without Caffeine

We all have to get up sometime. Some days it’s easier than others. We wake up we stumble through the house like Zombies to the shrine our coffee pot lives on or the instant water heater and stacks of black tea. The caffeine kiss bringing us back to life like “true-loves “ lips. Then there are those of us that can make it up and out of the house fully functional on just the notion that caffeine is waiting loyally for us in the near future, on the way to class or work , that favorite coffee hut or faithful gas-station energy drink. For some this is a tactic in motivation, to assure that we get up at all and go to that very early destination. I’ve used this tactic myself and it was very effective until that fateful day, that I kept missing my opportunity and my coffee break never came. The coffee hut was robbed and/or burned down, I was too frustrated and indecisive to pick a new coffee hut, “they might not get my cryptic drink order right and then that would really be it” (The only thing worse than no coffee is the wrong coffee!), can’t go to holiday or micky-dees cause I’m too much of a coffee snob.. So I had to face it.. It wasn’t going to happen that day and I felt defeated.. “This is ridiculous, I’m a monster,” I thought. I have to try to quite caffeine..again (Like I have done hundreds of other times.) I am not saying I’ll never enjoy a London Fog or Soy Cappuccino again or slug a cold cup of black coffee desperately after losing track of time. Now I enjoy caffeine but am not depending on it to make or break my day. That’s where the following five ways to wake up without caffeine came into play:
1. Sex. We all know its works. Whether it’s partner-ed or solo, sex spikes our brain full of dopamine and oxytocin which puts us in a good mood, gets the blood flowing and the brain churning. Plus it gives you that happy “gotcha-some glow.”

2. Yoga. Start your day with five minutes of yoga. It calms your nervous system, focuses your mind and revs up your metabolism. You can do this in your bed or on the floor. Here is an easy A.M. Sequence:Seated meditation, seated side reach (each side), seated palm press, standing palm press. This gives you that moment right when you wake up to choose what you want to think about and focus on rather than just throwing yourself out of bed and straight into your racing thoughts and plans for the day. Rebalance, refocus and recharge. Then get out there and own the day!

3. Music. I made myself a Good-Morning Sunshine mix. And sometimes before the clothes even go on that jam is bumping out of the cd player, gets you moving and grooving and screaming the lyrics to the soundtrack of your favorite memories, triumphs and empowering messages!

4. Shower. Drag your stiff body into a nice hot shower first thing and let your body wake up in a gradual, soothing way. Practice self-care, make a gratitude list, or set your intentions for the day, make those shifts in attitude and thinking that will bring you up and feed your passions rather than negative notions that drag you down and stress you out. Start off clean, in body and mind.

5. Aromatherapy . Use aromatherapy in the form of essentials oils, a couple drops at the bottom of the shower, or an aromatic body wash or facial cleanser to awaken your senses and energize your mind. Or if you don’t have time to shower try an essential oils roll on or make your own. Citrus, Eucalyptus and rosemary are all great scents that motivate the nervous system.

These are only a few ways to start your day in a positive non-addictive-assholish way! What are some of your morning routines that make it easy to avoid or live without the caffeine?

 

5 Ways to End an Argument

We all know those people that just love to argue, love to get heated and “get their feelings hurt”.  I might sound insensitive, but no! The insensitive thing would be to ignore that these people exist and that their feelings matter.  First of all, if you find yourself in a situation with this sort of person, do the kind thing and give them what they want.  It’s healthy to express our selves, after all.  And you can’t end an argument that does not exist.  So, for the sake of this article we must have one.  You may be a lover not a fighter, but that doesn’t mean we are always surrounded by people alike. These people could be a best friend, a mother-in-law, a landlord, a sister, a whiny pubescent teenage time-bomb, whatever the case, I find these five tactics may lead to peaceful resolution.

Tactic # 1, Apathy:  Apathy is a wonderful expression because it is neither submissive nor threatening. Simple dismissal or lack of emotion is usually very uninteresting in an argument.  The antagonist often finds this dull and sees no point pursuing an unavailing attempt to fight with you.

Tactic # 2, Sarcasm:  The word sarcasm is derived from a Greek word meant to describe the way wild dogs tear flesh off the bones of their prey.  If you know how to use it, sarcasm is word artillery at its finest. The right comment with just enough sarcasm smeared on it will act fast and hit unexpectedly knocking the wind out of any confrontation. I would not recommend this strategy with authority figures. But for that “quippy” little preteen or adolescent, this is perfect.

Tactic # 3, Patronization:  This has proved very effective with those particular breeds of people that are right no matter what.  The question you want to stop and ask yourself in an argument with someone of this nature is “How many minutes of my life do I want to waste being unconditionally wrong?

A. Until I’m interrupted by a phone call?

B. Until the 3-4 minute song on the radio that I’m focusing all my attention to is over?

C. just long enough to realize I can’t even enjoy the song ’cause they’re talking over it?

D. Until my brain ruptures inside the skull acting as a defensive, self-destruct mechanism?

The answer is C, my friends and the solution is tell them whatever they want to hear and get on with your life.

Tactic # 4, Flattery: Flattery is your man, if you are looking for a win/win situation. You are in the middle of a meaningless squabble with your best friend, a simple complement or act of love puts you one step closer to reconciliation. Point out how nice it is that you have acquired the level of closeness necessary for this relentless bickering. Or comment on a new purse or pair of ear rings they are wearing. Not only does it make them feel good but it makes you feel good to say it.

Tactic # 5, Start to cry: Get those juices flowing. Squeeze out a few tears even better if you can pull off a full-fledged hysterical crying/breathing fit and really make them uncomfortable. Discomfort equals confusion equals defenses down. The situation may be weird for a moment but the awkward silence should end the argument effectively.

Good luck and remember peace is a choice. So love one another.