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…

messengers

It’s nice to be here

Knowing nothing
And expecting everything
to come of it.
Watching the ravens & magpies
Experiment with each other
Their black and blue feathers
Rebelling against the white-out world
Covered in snow & sympathy
Messengers of Failure’s mascaraed
As they attempt
Their tricks
Vigorously
Endlessly
Until finally
One swoop delivers them to victory.
And just as they did, their failure,
they accept their fortune
No questions
No need to define it as tangible
Just truth
promises to repeat their damning ways, trusting faithfully in their own
persistence
Until they have completed their work in the world.

The, when you need wholeness, love and clarity LIST


Dear self. When you feel like a sick, prick with no direction, read this.

  • Read things that you’ve written. – this is your trail of breadcrumbs, your way back home.
  • Drink more water.
  • Take your mind herbs – your nervous system is likely a whirling mess (especially if it’s Autumn) Take care of your brain and it will take care of you.
  • Long showers & candle light & self massage – you’re craving the sweet taste.. but really you know you’re craving love, touch, and warmth.
  • Don’t forget to feel – stop chasing “info” & “facts” and just fucking feel. “Know what you know, and if you don’t know something, know that its okay because it is the truth.” – Melody Beattie
  • Remember this is temporary – this may be what is true for you right now, but it is not all there is. “The truth will set you free…but first it will piss you off.” – Gloria Steinem
  • Dance.
  • Drink Chamomile tea.
  • Eat food that is Alive – that means there is still a shred of life in it, it hasn’t been processed to death or over cooked. Life energy gives way to life energy – if you are feeling dead inside, don’t add more dead stuff to the mix.
  • Write – just write, even if its just a stupid list telling you what you already know (especially if what you know is gratitude.)
  • Reach out – write a letter, go to a meeting, send the same text to dozens of people in a desperate, honest, abrupt attempt to know you aren’t alone – send the message you would like to receive. We get what we give. (Hey _____ (one or all/any people I know) Hope you are doing awesome shit and taking good care of yourself. I really appreciate you.)
  • Go outside – or at the very least, LOOK outside. (the natural world is honest and longing to show you what’s real)
  • Don’t (just don’t) expect to know anything right now – this includes: what you’re doing, who you are, or where you’re going… “And I’ll be the most beautiful in this moment… or the most cynical and strange, I can always rearrange, I can always find myself just how I am.”
  • Deep belly breathing (deep breaths for a young (wo)man learning)
  • Stick to as many of your rituals as you can. (remember gratitude first thing in the A.M. work when it’s time to work, eat when it’s time to eat, dance when it’s time to dance, honor your quiet time rule after dinner, take your vitamins, brush your teeth, consult your planner)
  • Ponder the notion that Life is just a ride at some cosmic amusement park…
  • Find your most extreme feeling and counter it – If you feel cold (cold hands, cold thoughts, cold heart) give yourself warmth (hot tea, warm stories, self massage) If you’re feeling crazy – go to what/where you feel stability (a straight line, hang out with rocks, tree pose) If you feel unorganized and full of too much distraction – go to what/where you feel is quiet or systematic (your planner, the library, sweep the floors) etc.. “Immerse yourself in the energy of what you most desire” – Hiro Boga
  • Go to your guides – trust in signs, talk less & listen more, see what your superstars are saying – open your favorite book of daily meditations or poetry to a random page and read it.
  • Remember gratitude.
  • Fall face first into the pillows and scream – then burn some sage and say “thanks.”
  • Stop taking yourself so seriously – for today, remove every label you have ever applied to yourself except HUMAN and STUDENT.
  • Commit to asking yourself these questions a week from now – for now just collect the information you’ll use to answer them.
  • Listen to your PMS playlist -Songs for when you need to relax and remember that you are AMAZING and life is about learning and growing.

“So many times I’ve wondered where I’ve gone, and how I found my way back in.” – Norah Jones

With Love & Light,

Your truest Self

summer solstice

Because there’s only light,

as we dance between the leaves.

And the flowers bow their heavy heads

with the strength and courage

of full blooms.

 

We follow paths that twist and shrink

like the ones that traverse

our own minds and hearts.

And discover as we walk in single file

our majestic blooming selves.

 

Because there’s only light.

And it glimmers through the trees

as it does our fingers.

And emanates from dreams

and off our skin.

 

We learn to savoir the taste of the

summer air.

And the scent of the lilacs.

Their kiss awakening

the stories of every former midnight sun,

of every dream that reached through a dark night

to burst into its final

Bloom

whole body

Once I held my breath

And waited patiently

As though that would make me a saint

I rejected beauty where it was in the form

Of gruesomeness and pain

Thinking I could pull God apart

And discover her love

Somehow separate from the rest of her body

A body that I have begun

To know better now

Like I’d know my own

Aware of the places that hurt

And the places that excite and cry out in ecstasy.

Her body is perfectly flawed

And irrevocably Holy

Her beauty encompassing

All that is “pure” and all that is “lost”

And equalizing them with a single breath

A breath I do not hold so much any more

But savoir

With no attempts of capturing it

A breath that yields to every breath

That ever danced before or after it

Bringing me home to the oneness

Of her whole body

A body that begs to understand itself

The way I trace my abdomen and hips

With my fingers hoping to fully embrace

The magic and wonder

Of my seemingly separate body

Hoping to capture the whisper

Of my “highest” potential and grace

As if it weren’t marbled into my whole essence

As if I weren’t just another piece of her

Whole perfectly flawed body

earth mothers

Earth mothers know what it takes

to give and keep on giving.

And watch with love and acceptance

each seed her children are planting

Earth mothers know the selfless act

of letting go

And smile with faith and patience

as her children reap the seeds they sow,

and become certain they know so much

and forget how to listen, or at times lose touch.

Earth mothers know how to keep the connection strong

and pull her children close like gravity

to a place they know for sure that they belong.

Earth mothers know that disaster is a part of the cycle

and that what remains is always stronger after

because beneath the remnants of what “was”

is the truth of what really is.

Earth mothers know the pureness of tears,

like the rain that washes over pain.

And reveals the rainbow colors of change…that hug the edges of the light

that otherwise you might not know is there

Earth mothers know the lure of the moon.

And the introspective language of the stars.

And urge temples and lincoln log towers to reach towards the sky

where her children may look upward and outward and

somehow end up back inside themselves.

Earth mothers know how to gently stir her children awake.

And point them towards a sun that blinds them with love,

introduce them to forests that show them that to grow

everything else must also grow,

and to Earth Mother herself who has taught a mother all she knows.

Today

Today I will be
Creative
Inspired
Inspiring…
with love and laughter
and silent intention
that weighs warm and heavy in the air
affording, if only just a moment
of space well held
For a stranger, for a friend, for myself

A space where less is more
and meanings are louder than words
and conversations are felt not heard
and sounds and glances glitter
modestly on top
like stars sprinkled upon a vast darkness of truth and infinity

– Big Love, Kenzie

Greatness

I am a mush of greatness this morning
Like oatmeal – with too much maple syrup
Longing to seep everywhere
and penetrate your salty skin

Longing to weigh heavy on your scattered thoughts
like a blanket of sweet truth
“It is all here.”… I would whisper
into
your cold ears
“It is all here just reach out your hand, your mind, your heart.. and take it!”

I am a paper heart this morning
speckled with glimmery scraps
of
tissue paper and glue
Longing to take you far into an old memory
That you have forgotten lately, but is the truth of things
The truth of love and courage and freedom.
One taste of this memory and you are
intoxicated with faith
A humbleness you can’t explain with your adult mind
or perhaps swallow as your ego stands panting over your shoulder

Even still, I am a noisy dog this morning,
that “clickity-clacks” behind you
and longs to nudge you and love you
despite your bossy ego
Urging you to break down and pour out love and laughter
from the moment you rise
urging you to spill your tea and say “oh well.”

Good Morning.

dear Zipporah

Take a look
While you are still
Take in the humor, and the irony
The twists of faith in everything
The sky upon the hill

Accept what it is, as what is
and it will be more mysterious still
but accepting it will set you free

Don’t be afraid to move around,
Till you feel your feet find solid ground
I know it’s hard to settle in sometimes
So much easier to just “survive”

Just remember change shall ever remain
Sometimes bringing diamonds dipped in pain
Or beauty deep within the darkest days

Remember, recollect and rearrange
Be what you call forth
Be the change that you endorse
Be the star that you look towards

Love, Mom

mom’s poem (age 17)

A child still wanders through the lands
that lived in library books and puppet shows
I still run bare foot through puddles
and stick my fingers in hot pools of melted wax,
to remember the feeling
of putting small “smell-good-hearts” in your cupped hands
The smell of thrift stores, your infectious laugh

Though lullabies and fireflies linger in my dreams,
the last tufts of Babies-Breath are wilting at my feet

A disarray of lessons, and particular moments and secrets,
turning the soil soft and sweet

A bed made for a new age

17 years of your doting endearment
have made gardens of my childhood
and a perennial morale grow, from the hearts of troubled seeds

The band on your finger, that let me know which hand was yours in a crowed place
or sea of uncertainty
Still I look for that beacon to guide me in the right direction when I am lost
Showing me always to turn towards the sun

No one could be a better mother to me,
I hope to become the Rose, you meant for me to be

dad’s poem

These tendencies surface boldly from within,
some from the day I started breathing,
some from the times I lost my wind..
I pull them close and feel their urges
and your shadow dances on the edges
I still climb to high places
my breath tugging at my throat
so I can dangle my feet from imperiling ledges..
That part of you in my point of view
telling me to stand tall even when I feel small
It tells me to wear my heart out on my sleeve
and at times, I’m even brave enough, to turn it over in ink
All from watching you
You’ve lived honestly in front of me
I’ve learned from watching you that it’s important
to question what I think
And when life seems hopeless or off kelter
I use your wisdom as a filter..
You taught me to paint the world
with love and humor
The sweetest moments I remember, are of us
drenched in our own laughter
And when there is heavy silence
your music fills my ears, sooths my soul..
and relieves my fears
the same way it always has
for all these years

here is good… where ever that is.

I think I’m going to have to set aside
this wayward thinking style…
And how ‘bout trying just to stay
Let the others run their pace awhile

Now here’s the ground I stood, its feeling weak
The places are the same, most the people haven’t changed
I guess that leaves it up to me..
Plenty of forgiveness, no one left to blame

Here it is… Staring me in the eyes..
I’ve had enough to look at but I’ve failed to realize
That this feeling I’ve been searching for is nowhere to be found
‘Cause it’s been waiting all this time for me to come around

And I think I’m going have to come back in
From these memories I’ve been playing in
I’ll never find myself in old photographs
Nostalgia’s an illusion now just waiting to attack

It’s the times I lose myself, I know I grow
And tell me you will stay, or tell me you will go
It makes no difference to me
‘cause this place I’m in, will still be
The place I need to stand inside the most

So here it is… starting me in the eyes
I had enough to look at but I failed to realize
That I’ll be the most beautiful in this moment
Or the most cynical and strange.. I can always rearrange
I can always find myself just how I am

an anthem

You know what I remembered today?…
It’s okay to want to be alone
It’s okay to take yourself away, to practice what you are
or what you want to be.
It’s okay to dance alone in the candle light to a familiar beat
one that feels like a retreat and brings all the best parts of you to the surface
Lets you shine in the darkness where no one may notice… but you will.
You’ll be a bright shinning ball of light if only for a moment,
the stars will accept you as one of their own.
They’ll adore you and respect you.
It’s okay to be fearsome and brave
and scare all the negative notions stalking you away.
It’s nice to shed those garbage thoughts like dirty clothes
and get naked like it’s just you and your soul and it’s endless prose
urging you to move till you feel everything stop chasing you
and nothing unrighteous touching you.
It’s okay to fall in love with who you are
and take buckets of that love and shed it on another
surely it splashes off you anyway
and seeps into all the cracks and crevices of your life
like a sparkling liquid that will harden into glue.
All because of you.
All because you danced.
All because you took a chance, because you took a stand,
because you realigned, often, perhaps even hundreds of times.
Because you were steadfast, you’ll change in the future
yet admired your past.
It’s good to point this out sometimes
because sometimes we forget…
It all keeps moving, growing, building, flowing.
It’s all so easy to see when you’re alone.
When you’re alone you’re truly home
free to relax or rearrange, if you don’t like the way your home feels
you’re free to tear down and reclaim.
Free to place little reminders on the windowsills and mirrors
free to be emotional or relieved,
free to even change what you believe,
free to feel safe even amidst uncertainty
safe because you always have some where to go, somewhere to be
somewhere to call your own. Just close your eyes
and let your breath bring you home.

letters to the Universe

Try to wrap your mind around

Something deep inside you
Moving through you
Bumping us together
Watching us be clever
Pulling at your soul
Like a parachute from your chest
And existence and creation are the winds…
That send us sailing on like letters God has sent
Kismet pure, it seems
Turn towards anything
Fall away from time and space
They’re only ideas anyway
And how do you feel being naked and alone
Flowers bloom around your bones…
And then you are anything, you are anyone, you are anywhere
You’re everything

side streets and manifestations

May we walk
steady as we go
Full of wonder and compassion
as we grow

Listening only
to the surest smallest voice
Running our fingers intuitively
through every possible choice..

May we find our spirits
the lanterns in the dark
Where there is dampness
may we remain the spark

May we pull our sleeves over our knuckles
and grab tight the handles and buckles
as we bump along adjusting
at every corner assessing
every turn, every challenge

till we are part of every sway
we flow with the rhythms and days
and cycles rooted deep a midst
our natural adaptations

side streets and manifestations…

morning meditation

Mountains sit like Deities in the window
Urging stillness, in my peripheral
I’d be wise to let them urge me
Let them show me, let them be me

It’s not common practice
to sit and wait for nothing
and linger in the moment
in fact we have been conditioned, not to, that it’s lazy

My breath is steam, as I clutch my tea,
it melts into the morning

I could travel a thousand miles,
right from where I’m sitting
But I resist
I stay and visit
the moment takes me in like a dear friend

Man, I’m glad I didn’t miss it
It may seem silly, may seem awkward
But I’m glad I finally accept the offer

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?

 

black tea revelation

Thoughts stare back at me
in a reflection on black tea
Guess you never know when you’ll run into yourself
steam swirls
circles
and curls questions sink and melt
Tea leaves float the surface like tiny boats and striving hopes
that sail right through the harshest storms
shapes and forms reveal themselves
in the midst a revelation is born
One Solid shining notion
Pulled from a pool of liquid black
Sparkles hug the curves of optimism
the way the lunar shadow hugs the edges around the inside of my cup
Reminds me of the tides and all life’s cycles
Roll with the downs
Roll with the ups
You have to be just as brave to finish as you were to start

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.

5 Ways to Enjoy a Red Light

The world is in such a hurry these days. In a society running on Starbucks and work deadlines, it is tough sometimes not to get caught up in the “go, go, go” of every-day-life. I think that red lights have been the bad guys for too long. I think red lights and stop signs and traffic jams all deserve a second thought. And that thought is this: Is it really so bad to pause every once in a while? Is it just awful to have a second to think, to reflect, or to slow down long enough to notice the extraordinary sunset sweeping across the sky? Don’t you ever find yourself wishing you could just escape for a minute? Here is what red lights have been trying to tell us for a century now and five ways to fully appreciate their potential.

1. Take in the stillness.  Take a second and look around and feel the world rush past you. Be a part of the trees or the buildings, the things that are being still, and appreciate life from their perspective. The masters have always told us to go with the flow, but that doesn’t mean losing yourself in it. You deserve to have moments all your own. Be your own flow. Take a deep breath… and then Go.

2. Be grateful.  It always feels good to remember all the things we are thankful for, especially if we are having a bad day or stressing out. You can’t help but stop at a red light (well legally), so even if you are in the biggest hurry of them all, you have permission from traffic laws everywhere to slow down and take a breather. Take advantage of it, relax, name a few reasons you are happy to be doing what you are doing. Think about what you enjoy about your life and what you are fortunate to have.

3. Be friendly.  Notice the people around you. Smile at a stranger. Study your fellow beings. Barge into their lives a little and let them know they are not alone. Making someone smile is a simple gesture that often takes you further than you could ever imagine. ” I don’t even know you, I don’t know what you do for a living or what church you go to or whether you’re a Stealers fan or not, but I’m going to smile at you.” How could that not feel awesome?

5. Quiet your mind. I’m sure we can all relate to streaming and unyielding thinking marathons that just never seem to stop and yet never seem to get us anywhere. You’re just thinking about nothing and everything at the same time and maybe you feel like you wish you could just turn your brain off. Your favorite song is on the radio and you can’t even enjoy it ’cause it’s so loud between your ears. This is when you stop and simply think to yourself “I wonder what my next thought will be?…” (The only way to know if it works is to try it) But I would not suggest doing this while driving, which is why red lights are wonderful!

5. Take care of your body. Red lights are the perfect time to do those little things you should do and always forget to like drink water or do your Kegel exercises! Whenever we do anything nice for our body it sends a message of security and value to all our moving parts and working systems. Cellular biologist, Bruce Lipton, says “our cells really are sentient entities that are trying to work together for our good.” When we send our body messages of love and security our cells take that message and run with it which enables our systems to operate more optimally. Take good care of your body, it will take good care of you.  Also, Doing your Kegel exercises strengthen the PC muscles, helps in treating urinary incontinence and can increase sexual gratification. So many red light wins!

So, instead of being impatient and stressed or bored and stuck with nothing to do but read the bumper stickers on the car in front of you, you now have five productive mind, body, and soul practices to enrich your life one red light at a time. See you out there!

5 Secrets of Bad Days

There is a blue sky shinning outside your window, a fresh cup of coffee in your hand, you’re off to a routine day at a job that may not be great but is however great to have, especially in these times of economic instability. There are really no real problems in your life, yet there is this nagging perhaps even intrusive urge to just flip the eff out! If this is you, today or on other days, I first want to congratulate you on being totally, unmistakably and awesomely human. Just like the rest of us, who are however, having a great day! Secondly I am here to offer these secrets of bad days or if you are too disgruntled to appreciate them then at least a momentary distraction from your life that sucks.

# 1 You may just be stunned by monotony. Maybe there really isn’t anything wrong and you are just subconsciously trying to add a little excitement to your dull everyday routine. Perhaps if you think about it you’ll realize you’ve noticed an almost numbing boredom resonating in the back of your mind as you move swiftly and effortlessly through your day-to-day life. Then, just in time to rescue you from another flawless morning, the bad day blues come charging into reality. You start by imagining your hair looks bad, then, you start noticing things you never notice on good days because everything is just going so damn good. You notice your coffee is too hot to drink, your Grapenuts are stale or that your boots have a hole in them. Your running late (probably due to all the extra noticing you’ve been doing) It only takes a few things to really get the wheels turning and then whoosh, off you go in your premeditated boo-hoo-mobile! (Deep down inside you are thrilled however, over how bored you aren’t being.) If you feel this may be the kind of bad day you are having, take control and remedy it with a controlled twist that leaves you feeling excited (but not like, excited to kick in a bathroom stall and then hide sobbing in the corner excited) Do something different to spice things up like go somewhere new for lunch, listen to a comedy routine on your mobile radio account, maybe make it a netflix night when you get home, instead of just dragging your sorry, tired and uninspired ass, in through the door after a long day of work, just like you always do! Reward yourself rather. You deserve it!

#2 Sometimes the harsh and honest truth is, we are just being whiners. Whiners, looking for attention or wallowing in our own self-pity.  Perhaps we just want someone to laugh with or in this particular situation cry with. “Boo-hoo, I’m having a bad day there’s a hole in my boot, please notice me!” What I hate about these kind of bad days is, I usually am a very upbeat energetic and loving person, always excited to put a smile on someone else’s face but when I get stuck in this pity pool that has been filled with my own sad, sorry tears, I am like the person that I wouldn’t even want to try to cheer up. This is a sad and annoying realization but if this is you on a bad day, you just have to fess up and come to terms with it. Only then can you start getting the attention you are really craving.  I hate to sound like a Positive-Patty here, but positive attention is better than negative attention. So slap yourself on the back or in the face depending on how whiney you were being and get ready to get your nice on! What I’ve learned is: people either really like nice or they are totally creeped out by it. But either way I promise you the attention you get will far surpass the attention or avoidance, that sour-puss pout you’ve been pointing at people all day has gotten you.

#3 Sometimes we are just off kilter and can’t seem to get balanced out no matter how ridiculous we know we are being. This is my personal worst bad day. I have had many days like this. They are my least favorite and no amount of chocolate or yelling at the children or episodes of Dexter can cure it. That’s when you have to really just stop and start over. Your whole life, just start over, move to a new town and find a new family, a new dog…No! I mean start over get back to the basics.  The basics are as follows: sleep, food, water, in some cases sex. All those things in the core of your brain that our primitive ancestors learned to thrive over.  Most of the time my bursts of bad behavior are a result in a hormone or nutrition imbalance. So, when I feel like I’m being ridiculous and there is no outside drama causing me to react the way I’m acting, I stop and think is it possible I haven’t been drinking enough water or eating the right food or enough food, or taking my vitamins, have I had time to myself lately, or time with my honey? Sometimes you just have to take a few deep breaths, drink a glass of water and make yourself a PB&J, while you convince yourself you didn’t get enough sleep last night and everything is fine, you are just over sensitive due to your frail condition.

#4 Sometimes we are being resentful and it slowly starts to unravel into the end all to be all. Suddenly! It happens! Some stupid petty thing sneaks into the daily deliveries truck. You find yourself stuck with a frustration that you were in no way prepared for. Maybe your spouse decided to move an entirely large unneeded piece of furniture in without consulting you first and it has pushed you into a passive aggressive piss parade, maybe the disappointment of the loss of an eBay bid on a one of a kind pair of shoes, or an unexpected call from your nagging, self-righteous, control freak, grandmother has opened Pandora’s box of vigorous triggers to all your self-sabotaging habits. You’ll know if this is your secret of a bad day if ten minutes ago you were perfectly fine and now your head is spinning and you want to run as far away from where the spinning started as fast as you possibly can! Everything that  comes out of your mouth is condescending or served with a side of sarcasm and you’ve made it through half a bag of Dove chocolate and are even too peevish to believe all the sweet little notes on the inside of the wrappers like you usually do. In this case it is important to catch on as soon as possible. Otherwise the resentment monster living on your shoulder will send you crashing miserably into everything and everyone you meet all day. Find a quiet place. I suggest locking yourself in your car for a few minutes. Or if you don’t have a car, then lock yourself in the bathroom and pretend it is your car Close your eyes, and imagine the horrible petty thing that happened, it’s all wrapped up in a pretty little brown package. You scoop it up in your loving, logical hands and take a good look at it, accept it fully for what it is and when you are done soaking in its inescapable existence, look up at the sky and say “Universe, this package sucks. I do not like it, but I accept it and will not let it ruin anymore of my day than it already has, because this feeling or situation will eventually pass and then I will have only wasted my time being resentful.” Then if your eyes are still closed take your package and imagine getting out of your car and placing it on the ground behind your car. Then open your eyes, turn the car on, and back in and out of your drive way 5 or 6 times. If the act of the package killing and resentment freeing doesn’t work, see paragraph three-sentences one and two.

#5 The totally awesome life changing event that is disguised as your worst nightmare. We all have expectations in life, even though we are told its best not to. Most of the time we are just expecting the basics, like to make it to work without getting in an accident, or to not be betrayed by our closest friends or family, or we expect to have enough money to cover all our expenses. But then something unforeseen happens and we are immediately panicked or forlorn. Perhaps a F150 smashes into you on the way to work, or a friend or lover betrays your trust, a check bounces or you are injured and stuck with an immense amount of medical debt. All these things could ruin any day. But eventually you will come to terms with it all.. the sooner we do that the better. As hard as it is to see the positive in situations like this, we must try. The best way to do this is to turn to gratitude. You may be thankful that the accident only damaged your car or that injuries did not result in taking your life, you may be thankful to know that you have the choice to choose who is in your life and who isn’t, maybe you are thankful that although it may seem like you do not have enough money at the moment, there are still literally endless possibilities for money and resources to manifest themselves in your life, if you would only acknowledge the possibility and appreciate all that is present, from love and family to a roof over your head and a meal in your tummy. On top of all you have there is always the possibility that this one horrible thing is the stepping stone to an event or an action on your part that will change your life for the better. You may never know but there is no harm in feeling good, even when you are not supposed to!

The 5 B’s of Doingness

 

#1 Beginning- I have to admit it is kind of intimidating staring at the blinking curser as it prods almost intrusively at my skill and ability to write. I just dive in. It seems characteristic of me, like jumping off the roof when I was 12, into the make shift snow mound.  Now, just like then, a second of uncertainty is less uncomfortable than the thought of standing there feeling frozen and unsure.  When I try to stay in one place and think it over patiently and rationally, I often just talk myself out of things.  I’d rather just take a chance and see what happens then spend too much time second guessing myself. I’m not afraid of mistakes.  I am afraid of feeling stuck.  So here I am.  I’ve begun to write. I’ve already gotten through a paragraph and it all seems relevant and thought provoking, which is after all what I was going for when I sat down to write my first piece for potential publication.

#2 Baby steps- I’ve never done this kind of writing but I’ve always wanted to.  “Well,” I think to myself “anyone who’s done anything has never done it before at one point.” This thought is very reassuring to me and so I press on.  I have found that whenever I do anything new or exciting, whether it is life changing like a move to a new place, a break up, or perhaps less serious like deciding to take a class or start an exercise routine, it’s best to just take it one tiny step at a time and not get all hung up on the final project.  I adhere to the saying  “Progress not perfection.”  Most of the time nothing turns out the way you thought it would anyway, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t turn out wonderful.  The fun part is often getting there and the little-by-little-stuff can be just as exciting as the final step into your original pursuit.

#3 Breaks- I stop writing and go to the store with my honey, due to late night BBQ cravings (an excuse to be outside and around the fire really).  All along I’m writing this in my head as we browse the isles at Fred Meyer’s for short ribs and salad dressing. Then I stop. “Wait, this is nice. I should enjoy this”, I think to myself as I grab my honey’s hand.  Sometimes we forget to take breaks when we are excited about doing something for the first time. I often get over involved forgetting to travel back to the surface of reality, for a breath of fresh air or a warm moment of clarity.  A deep breath is waiting for me here, between all my nerve and ambition, the sound of crackling embers or the plot of my four year old daughter’s day spilling out in broken words and infectious laughter.  When I step back into the project later I may have something more to bring with me than if I had just stayed and obsessed.

#4 But-what-if’s- I look over what I’ve already done. I start to get anxious and self-critical and then I stop myself and remember that mistakes are also great teachers.  It’s not enough to start something if I’m not going to give it my all. Sure it’s true not all things are meant to be, but if you don’t try your best and do everything you can to make it work you will never know.  I guess that brings me back to the “doing-ness” factor.  In the first place, it is tough sometimes to just get out there and do the stuff you’ve always wanted to do.  Whether it’s starting something or ending something. I don’t know exactly what makes it so difficult. Maybe it’s a case of relentless what-if’s rooted in our fears of failure and disappointment?  All I know is I’d rather be disappointed than disenchanted any day!

#5 Balls – I believe we should do the things we want to do even if others warn us not to. Isn’t that what all the greatest do-ers and revolutionists in history have done?  We are ordinary people but we can do extraordinary things and lead extraordinary lives, just by indulging our simplest dreams and want-to’s.   So I am doing this. Writing a column is one of the many things I’ve always wanted to do and I appreciate you being a part of it. I bid you all a good week full of opportunity, change and mistakes to urge your quests to do stuff.