Monthly Archives: July 2012

mercury and i are in retrograde

In astrology, the planet Mercury rules intelligence, education and truth. When it is in retrograde, some of its power is held back.  I’m not sure what this means to all of you, but what I’ve decided it means to me is that I’m less able to access intelligence, education, and truth.  


Just between you and me, I think I have enough intelligence that a slight, temporary reduction in access to it can be manageable (in some audiences being a dipshit is adorable too, and it’s good to have mass appeal).  Now, education and truth… those have been more frustrating.  It’s been more difficult to stay on a rigid path in the course I’m taking and I’ve found myself falling behind (but that’s not something a little self forgiveness and advance planning can’t remedy).  The truth though… the truth has been the most difficult to access.


It’s interesting to hear myself say this because there are some things I “know” right now in some of the most “knowingest” knowing I’ve ever experienced, but in addition to the beautiful presence of truth, the loud, assertive voice of the pre-progammed, all important ego brain is making itself known too.


At the beginning of this year I set some intentions for myself.  Did I tell y’all this already?  I think I did.  Let’s recap. I visualized myself living in this apartment, in this city, with this job, and holding hands with a sweetheart, and now in living color, on this earth, I am living this vision (and it is BETTER than the one I came up with for myself).  Everything I asked for has arrived and the knowing part of me has relaxed into the flow of this vision becoming reality.  


Life feels… well… perfect.


cue: DOUBT


That perfect feeling life is truth.  I know it is… and that doesn’t stop that truth from being challenged by mercury’s absence and my related inability to hold firm to it.  I keep thinking something is going to happen to take away this truth.  Worse, that something that’s going to happen will be something that I’ve done wrong that results in the loss of the home, the city, the job, or the relationship.  There’s no truth in this fear.  It is true that any of those things could cease to exist at any moment; nothing in this illusion of life is permanent, but not because of something I do or don’t do.  If one of these things disappears it wil be for a purpose greater than punishing me for my imperfection… in fact it will be to make space for something even MORE perfect to come along.


And I KNOW that.  I really do, but without mercury available for our regular pep talks it’s easy to get confused about which is truth and which is fear… and I’m scared.

see, those jackets let you know something VERY bad has happened

Right before moving here I was entrenched in another fear.  I kept having these visions of the climactic episode of any season of any medical drama on primetime television.  You know the one, the episode where something epicly tragic happens: like a plane crash, building collapse, or train derailing…  In any of these episodes there’s always someone trapped under the plane or train or building and that person is still alive and awake and talking and all around them the doctors (who have donned their branded, matching fleece jackets) are whispering in hushed voices about crush syndrome and the reality that the longer this person remains trapped the higher the likelihood that freeing them will result in immediate death from blood clots rushing to their brain at the moment the plane/train/building is lifted off their leg.


I was certain that I was that character, and the past six months of this life had been the plane, and I was lying beneath it oblivious to the extent of my injuries and about to be killed by crush syndrome as the move symbolized the lifting and freeing of my previously trapped body.


and then I moved… and nothing happened  Well, not nothing… but nothing tragic.  There were ups and downs and highs and lows and there have been a fair number of energy build ups and releases, but no crush syndrome, and no death… not even the more likely anti-climactic slump I experience every December 26th.


I survived being trapped under a derailed train/crashed plane/fallen building for ten years.  Woah.  


With this reality in mind and my related new found courage I expressed this newest fear to myself earlier today and this happened:

Note to self–even though life feels perfect you still don’t have to be



Right.  Good point.  


You see Mercury, we can get by without you (but please come back anyway!  Seriously, this is making things more difficult than they need to be)!


and then… after reading said “note to self’ a million times something else happened: I started writing a book.  


The book that’s supposed to follow this blog and that will be my next big project which leads to the next big project (the talks) and the next (TED?) and the next (world domination?) and the next (I’ll leave that up to the universe.  She does good things for me)…  I came home, and I started writing that book.  


It’s official.  I am writing a book.


And I’m still scared.







building a fortune

There’s this idea out there in the world, especially prevalent in the spiritual community, that to suffer is noble and to desire is profane.  The most profane thing to desire, of course, is money…  why would anyone ever want any of that?  I mean, it’s only the single most powerful communication tool we have in this culture…  eesh.  I ain’t saying I’m in favor of that power dynamic, I’m just saying… Well, I’m just sayin’.

So, there’s this idea that to want and have money is somehow less righteous than to be poor.  That to be pious one must forgo all worldly pleasures, possessions, and comforts…  I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on that one.  I’m not the first, none of this is original, it’s just my version.

Let’s play it out this way…

If the world’s currency was hugs do you think arm length would have as much stigma associated with it as money does?  I’m going to go with “doubtful” but I have really long arms so maybe I’m just being an opportunist here. It doesn’t really matter how much money someone has or how long their arms are… There is no direct connection to integrity.

If we choose to participate in a capitalist society (which we don’t have to, by the way… plenty of people find ways around it), which is what I choose because I suspect this is where I will make the most impact, we will be exchanging energy in the form of money.  Because of the lifestyle I choose for myself and my son I need money.  I need money to pay my rent.  I need money to buy food and clothing.  I need money to access certain learning opportunities.  I need money to provide care for spiderman so I can care for myself.  I need money for a lot of things.  I also want money for a lot of things.  I like the way I feel when I wear beautiful clothes and cheek stain.  I like to try new foods at independent restaurants.  I like to go to shows and watch people practice their art.

When I have the money to meet my needs (and even more so when I have enough to address the wants too) my life has significantly less tension, and the absence of tension allows the reality of love to shine through… and if that’s not noble I don’t know what is (but please don’t tell me… I’m liking where this is going).

To build a fortune for myself (in this case, by the way… extra=fortune.  fortune is enough for needs and some for wants.  simple as that) I will have been practicing the following this “month.”  In order to teach myself to  am keeping a Book of Fortune* and in it I record the following daily:

  1. On a sheet of paper with a vertically line dividing it through the middle: on the left side I record my financial reality (example: “I always end up with less money than I think I have”) and then on the right I record the opposite belief (example: “I always know how much money I have and it is enough”), and then I cross off the belief on the left.  
  2. Money Flow: A daily total of the amount I’ve received (flow in), and a daily total of the amount I’ve spent (flow out), and then the difference (positive/negative) between the two.  We’re looking for “extra.”  Remember, “extra” is the fortune and you are allowed to have a fortune.
  3. Cash on Hand: (the collecting part of this takes place in a purple velvet box in my life… you choose your own container).  I will take what I always have on hand ($10) and multiply that by 10 to determine the next goal of what I will always have on hand ($100).  Then I will put money (and record the amount in the book of fortune) into the box every day like so: a dime for each day and then the same amount as the day before plus another dime (Day 1: 10cents Total: 10cents, Day 2: 20cents Total: 30cents, Day 3: 30 cents Total: 60 cents, Day 4: 40 cents Total: 1 dollar) until I have reached that goal of cash on hand… and then start over again (with 10cents a day) until I hit the next goal ($1000).
And all of these exercises are going to change my energy about/around money.  They have simple and practical elements like awareness and saving and they have energetic elements like openness to receiving, belief reprogramming, and attraction.
So, that’s what’s happening behind the scenes.  I don’t expect to have too much more to say about it until reporting about it at the end… but if I am surprised you know I’ll tell you!  That’s what I do!
Back to our regularly scheduled programming of me talking about my feelings. 

*If this all sounds kind of witchy–that’s because it is.  If that bothers you, let’s talk about why… 

Thank you notes are important

I have always liked instant gratification (who doesn’t, right?).  No, but seriously… I have at times been addicted to instant gratification and have avoided situations where it wasn’t going to present itself because I just couldn’t bear to live without it.  And believe me, I got the message that I was being immature and silly and frivolous and over time I learned to live without it (although let’s face it, I still crave it).


and here’s the thing… when I am doing the right thing for me (spiritually… energetically…) i DO get instant gratification.  So, to everyone who thinks that desiring it is foolish: PFFFFFTTTT!  I say to you.  You don’t have to have it if you don’t want to, but I’m going to keep on receiving it as the gift it is.


So, that’s where we are today… more gifts coming in at a rapid pace (instantly, in fact!).  As I mentioned in the intro post for this “month” I am participating in Jo Anna Rothman’sThe Receiving Project” as a way to open myself up to more abundance.  Yes, this month does (will, I swear…) have a fiscal lean, but abundance is about so much more than money… and my abundance seems to be quintupling by the moment.


The Receiving Project involves getting a daily “gift” from Jo Anna with loving language prompting the reader to open her/himself to receiving and seeing the gifts the universe delivers daily.  Today is day 8 and I would like to share with you that 6 or 7 of the last days have been rough for me.


I have been feeling off center and had been having a hard time connecting to my creative self and the last couple days have been rough in general with a lot of generalized anxiety and activation in my body and right this moment I finally feel completely my (artist) self.  And the gifts I received from the universe are so unbelievably beautiful I can only process them through sheer excitement!  


Here’s a little bit about two of them: 

iced tea: a gift from a friend.
the photo: a gift from my inner artist
  1. I am taking an online chakra photo workshop with  Vivienne McMaster  and it was something I signed up to do just for fun… It started last week and I was just NOT feeling it.  Every week we focus (pun intended) on one of the chakras, she sends beautiful emails Mon-Weds of each week with prompts about the chakras and what to look for in our lives/days, and encourages us to capture it with photography…  and, again, just not feeling it.  Which felt so wrong… because this is so my thing.  This week began and again I was having a hard time getting into it and found myself wanting to procrastinate and then finally today I just started to see photos everywhere.  Everywhere I looked I saw a beautiful photo connected to the sacral chakra and what it’s all about (feelings, water, flow, passion, orange…) and I was able to capture what I saw with my eyes in the frame.  
  2. THEN… I made a new friend.  🙂  I met her via freecycle the first weekend I lived here (she came to get my moving boxes).  When she came here that day she saw a piece of art I made (the red door) and was just gushing over it (which was, of course, nice) and then later we were standing outside talking and she read me like a book!  She grabbed my hand and stared right through me and said “believe in your art, you are so talented.  you can live off your art.  it’s all you need” and (like I told her today) I have no desire to be a professional visual artist, but I feel like the writing and the work that’s going to come from/out of the blog is my art and it was exactly what I needed to hear after dragging spiderman and myself to a foreign place on a whim that I would feel at home here and be able to live the life I wanted… sigh.  So, I walked back upstairs and I was bawling and madly scribbled what she had said on a post-it (which is in front of me on the computer right this minute).   The next day I wrote her and asked if she wanted to get together again (which she did) and then I put it off because I was overwhelmed by the move and we finally connected today and it was just great!  I saw her.  She saw me.  We found friends in each other.  It was just lovely.
My mother taught me a lot of things… and the one that I could have done a better job at sticking with is the art of thank you notes.  So, let’s try and make good on that right now: 
Dear Universe, 
Thank you.  Thank you for the gifts of this life, this year, this month, this week… this DAY!  Thank you gently leading me back to center.  Thank you for showing me how to see again.  Thank you for Devon.  Thank you for the new friend (blog nickname TBD).  Thank you for all the people who love me (and I love).  Thank you for spiderman. Thank you for mom.  Hell, thank you for BFO.  Thank you for all of it.

Love, 
Kate
—————–
To anyone who’s paying attention to my promises.  I have actually started doing the money magic and I’m going to write all about it right now and post in on Friday.  Thank you for waiting!

trying to do everything=doing nothing

For as long as I can remember, my list of things I wanted to be when I grew up was long enough to be overwhelming: 
midwife
naturopathic physician
florist
magazine editor
author
speaker
pediatrician
professor
filmmaker
graphic designer
personal shopper
professional organizer
doula
lactation consultant
stylist
restauranteur
theater production something-or-other


and also for as long as I can remember I’ve been getting the message that this list is a problem.  that it means that I lack focus and dedication, and without a singularly focused passion I will never have enough drive to “make it.”  Which is a shame, because “making it” was also the way to have a life that could accommodate all of these different interests without going broke or struggling to get by.


It’s also worth noting that when these beliefs were formed my most important priority was: “get attention in the form of praise” followed closely by “be the best” which is really the same thing as the first because being the best is just a way to get more praise.  Just ask the Olympians, eh?  


…and the combination of the laundry list and the be-best-goal was a recipe for… well, for nothing!  those two things mixed together formed a delicious tonic that when consumed (and I drank it by the gallon) would render one motivationally paralyzed.  


because (in case this isn’t obvious–goodness knows it took me a while) it’s impossible to be the best at everything.  sigh… i know, it was tough for me too.  how about a hug?


At some point this year during this process of perfecting imperfection I had started to let go of my need to do everything (and be the best).  I would notice myself taking on more than my plate would accommodate and I would take a break and re-prioritize and not take the plate back to the table until it was balanced.  And I was getting damn good at it too.


I noticed a few weeks ago that my plate was getting heavy again.  Nothing was quite falling off the sides yet, but it was piled so high that it was starting to obscure my vision and I was dangerously close to losing my grip and dropping it (along with everything on it) to the floor.  So, I started to look for a place to set it down and make choices about what was going to stay and what was going to go… I found a place to leave it and then… I got distracted.  


And a welcome and delightful distraction she has been.  But like is bound to happen when you meet someone who reflects back all of the glorious light in you (and then make out with that person)… it’s going to dredge up some of your darkness too.  Of course I’m used to the “she’s going to change her mind and not want to do this with me” darkness and the “she’s going to find out that I’m too moody or some other quality that makes me unworthy of love” darkness.  Those are predictable, and I know the positive self talk I need to practice to get through them.  


AND, by the way… I’m totally up for this.  This (although not always as much fun as the other parts) is the point; this is how we (I) grow.


What I wasn’t prepared for was the sudden return of the drive to be able to be the best at everything all at once and the sulky resentment for the last 10 years and what I chose to do with them and the reality that those choices led me here to a place where I’m several steps from where I want to be with some significant limits in the amount of risk I can take.  Grrrrr… old self.  Grrrr.


Really ego?  I introduce you to someone who likes me for the me I am without even trying and you respond by telling me that I need to try harder? You can be a real jerk sometimes. 


Okay, I’m sorry.  I get it.  You’re not a jerk, but you are a bit misinformed.  Thank you for the protective service you’re trying to offer.  I appreciate what you’re trying to do for me.


Little digression about how this manifested today: I’ve been doing morning pages again since July 2nd and even though it hadn’t happened spontaneously yet I knew that the potential to converse with my intuition was present in that process. So after a weekend home alone with a plan to clear my plate that left me even more overwhelmed with what’s on it instead… I decided i would use this morning’s pages to ask for some guidance. And, i got it! And it was loving and generous and helpful and everything one could expect their true self to be. She reminded me of the intentions I set for the year and that I’d manifested them all (new job, new home in la, someone awesome to hold hands with and kiss on) and asked me what i wanted next. And when i told her what I wanted next we went through all the things on my plate and cut what wasnt connected to the next big goals and made space for everything that was. 


And then I closed the book, did my morning meditation, got spiderman (who is also requesting to be referred to as “golden knight” or “robot roscoe”) off to day camp, aaaaaaannnnnndddddddd completely disregarded the agreement I had with myself (boo!).  Instead of narrowing my focus and giving my energy to the things that really matter I started trying to do it all again… and accomplishing nothing.


Bah!  What is up with me?!  Freakin’ dopamine and norepinephrine…


Luckily it was short lived.  I’m a quick study… AND, in addition to Devon’s presence dredging up some old (and new!) shit, it’s also brought the most brilliant to-do list app into my life.  So, I’m off to plan my life according to what I would be doing if I were living my heart’s desire each moment.

which I totally am.

(and I PROMISE we’re going to get to the topic of this month this week.  P.R.O.M.I.S.E.)

already receiving

ok universe, i get that you have a lot to prove, but you can slow down.  i trust you.  i really do.  there’s no need to feel like you have to win me over with gifts.

but because you did… thanks.

only a few days into plenty month and already my cup overfloweth.  i haven’t much of a clue what’s going on in my bank account (besides that i have enough money) and i’ll work on that this weekend, but for now, here’s what i have “received”: 
  • a super exciting compliment from a fellow book clubber on this here blog-ish thing
    • As I read this, I started to realize (belatedly, I know) that you were doing a sort of Happiness Project. And then I remembered your disdain for the book of the same name… and THEN I looked through your blog archives to January 1st and learned about what you are doing… AND THEN I felt obliged to let you know that I think it’s fantastic and inspiring and admirable, and WAY BETTER than Gretchen’s way of doing anything.
  • a love letter from an the creator of the Receiving Project who is interested in my work!
    • You are a pioneer…willing to step outside your comfort and outside what your mind thinks it knows. You are willing to see the possibilities. You hear the call and begin your adventures. You no longer wait for the Universe to yell and scream…you appreciate the subtleties and honor them. This quality is already serving you well and will continue to do so. You are only at the beginning of the ascent…the true palace of wisdom awaits! And it has hot tubs :-)!
  • a really dreamy evening out with a new character in this life story, Devon
  • there’s likely been more, but i’m going out with Devon again.  gotta run!
xoxo

play month recap (and plenty month intro!)

this being different thing is… well… different

i am so unbelievably busy.  this is not new.  i am always busy, still i always used to be able to find the time and space to ensure the needs of others were being met at or above the same level as my own.  no longer!  i can’t seem to find time to do much of anything for anyone but myself and while part of that is completely terrifying… the other part is completely exhilarating!

i am existing in this space where i am honoring my body, mind, and spirit with 90% of my energy and the other 10% is doing things like the things i must do (that i don’t want to) to keep my job, home, child, etc.

for example, i have many people to respond to in one way or another, and you know what i just did?  i got a bikini wax.  yep.

craziness!  i have never lived like this before.  is this how other people live?

i had an experience this week where i realized how attached i was to another irrational belief.

get this: i actually used to think it was SELFISH to make choices about relationships based on how i felt when i was with a person.  somehow i thought that wanting someone in my life because i feel good when i am around them is wrong and choosing to limit contact with people who don’t bring out the best in me was not loving, accepting, or nonjudgmental enough.

my goodness i have been a whack job for a good long while, eh?  why didn’t any of you tell me these things?!  yeah, yeah.  you tried.  i didn’t listen.  or maybe you didn’t even know yourselves?

but that’s not why i’m here tonight.  i’m here tonight to recap the play month and ring in the plenty month!  woot!

Here is the scoop on the play month

My intention for the month: 
  • Experience more joy (check)
How I think I might get there: 
  • One intentionally silly thing each day (almost check, but we lovingly forgive ourselves here so basically check anyway)
  • Let my son show me how to play (totally check, and he’s a great teacher)
  • Do a little brain-bending and delve into the available research (I have friend getting her PhD in this very topic!) (no check, but according to her i figured it out on my own… so that’s kind of awesome)
here is the confession of the play month: 
i have not kept track of my best self qualifiers or done any other charting of moods, intentions, etc.  instead i have completed a contract at a former employer, moved myself and my child to a new city, made a buttload of new connections with people i didn’t know at all a few weeks ago, acquired a shag rug, and acknowledged how far i’ve really come.
and i’ve had some very low and slow days on the journey, and that’s okay too!
Normally, I wait until the next post to introduce the next month, but there’s something magic about setting intentions on a new moon so today is the day!
This next “month” is:
July 19-August 16: plenty (money, honey)

My intention for the month: 
  • Experience abundance (of the monetary and loving energy variety)
How I think I might get there: 
  • Participate in The Receiving Project as a way of learning how to be open to receiving all the gifts the universe has in store for me.
  • Practice intentionality with my money.  Use the “envelope system” to set limits and observe habits as they relate to spending on things like food, gas, and entertainment
  • Money magic!  More details to come.  Stay tuned!
i want you all to know than when you do a google image search for “receive” this is what comes up.

Happy Birthday Mom!

I recently fell in love with being a mother.  Yes, my child is 5… and yes, I said recently.  Yes, that does sort of make me a terrible person, but if more people would be honest about it then there would be more of us in this category.

Back on track.  I recently fell in love with being a mother and right around the same time my son stopped giving kisses and saying “I love you.”  I ain’t gonna lie–it stinks!  But with the help of GT/Becky and some soul searching I can see/know that there’s some magic in that.  He’s becoming his own person, and he’s making his own choices (damn).  He’s evolving, and as our relationship evolves the needs change.  Most important to me and my ego is the realization that he can sense that he doesn’t have to try so hard anymore.  It has been painfully evident for his entire life that the kid can read my mind and as much as I’ve always sent love I haven’t always loved doing it.  Cut to now, I love being a mother and he doesn’t have to do anything to make that happen.  That must be such a relief for his tiny nervous system.

I’ve learned in therapy that our children are going to trigger all our stuff… forever. So my kid is 5 and it’s bringing up my 5 year old stuff and next year it will be my 6 year old stuff. Lately I’ve been thinking about how if this is what it’s like for me to parent a child and get triggered… What the hell did I put my poor mother through? What do I still out her through? Woah.

Really back on track.  Today is my mom’s birthday.  And like happens when most of us become parents we develop a level of understanding and appreciation for our parents that we simply couldn’t have had before.  And in honor of the fact that she’s let it be all about me for the last 32 years I’m going to make it about her for today beginning now (even though I know she may not really like it).

Mom, thank you for teaching me that shut up, stupid, butt, fart, and sucks are words to avoid.  I ignored you for many years, but you were right.  They sound particularly awful coming out of the mouth of a small child.

Momma, thank you for giving me the space I needed to make up my own mind about things and thank you for being brave enough to give it me your point of view when I ask for it.

Mom, thank you for being the person who is most responsible for keeping this boy and I alive since the day he was born.  I am not sure how I would have done it or how I would do it if I had to do it without you.

Momma, thank you for seeing me, and knowing me, and loving me anyway or maybe even because of those things.

Mom, thank you for all the notes and phone calls getting me out of things I didn’t want to do.

Momma, thank you for the late nights of sewing and all of the handmade costumes–every time I wore one, and every time I put one on my son I feel tremendously loved.

Mom, thank you for all the handmade easter baskets and for the store bought one when I asked for it… yours really were better.

Momma, thank you for teaching me “it’s only money” and to “see all points of view.”

Mom, thank you for letting me be right even when I was wrong.

Momma, thank you for trying to protect me from harm in all forms for so long.

Mom, thank you for giving me an opportunity to learn tact, grace, courage, eloquence, and love just by watching you be you.

I love you.

Thank you for letting the Universe assign me to you.

xo zo zi co

Zoomo!

I’m here!

I was just crying.

I was leaving the house in Long Beach after packing up my final carload of stuff and driving to visit with GT/Becky (whose couch I’m sitting on to write this because that’s the kind of relationship we have. She’s a muse honorer.) when I realized it was here. My new life was here. My new life IS here. And I cried… big, fat, hot, salty, alligator tears of relief.

Yes, the move is now done, spiderman is registered for kindergarten at our neighborhood school, filing fees have been paid and the signed divorce papers have been filed with the court, I’m out of the closet I was never really in, I’m comfortable enough at my new job to tell my team members embarrassing stories about my dating life… and I’m finally used to being blonde. All of the external processes have resolved and the mad, crashing waves around me have slowed to a rippling pool. This is all helpful, and important, and the still waters let the tears know to come out but what’s really here isn’t the new life. What’s really here is me. The new me who lives this new life is here. I am here.

Maybe you remember when I wrote about letting go of limiting beliefs? It wasn’t a very well read post which felt awkward at the time because I thought it was a gem… but what I think is best isn’t what always gets the most attention. In general y’all seem to gravitate towards vulnerability (and juicy dirt) and it felt vulnerable at the time, but it seems to fall into the category of things I tell people I’ve realized about myself and they respond with “duh.”

A few days ago at work I was in training all day. I am a trainer, so sticking me in a room for 8 hours as a participant can be hit or miss. I’m not a passive learner, if I’m not involved I suffer… and so does everyone else. This training was great and I was involved. I had just written about aversion to silliness the night before and all of a sudden I was über-gooberiffic (which the iPad wants to auto correct to “goo erotic”)! Cracking jokes and being playful with the other training participants (all within the scope of a professional learning environment of course).

At one point we were given a group assignment to build a freestanding structure as tall as we could with a pack of index cards and a role of masking tape. I quickly asked what “freestanding” meant to determine if my idea could be pulled off. The instructor said it meant it couldn’t be held up by people or leaning against walls or furniture, but we could use the table or floor as a base… but she didn’t say anything about the ceiling (and I didn’t ask). So in our one minute group consult session I convinced our team to take the risk of being called cheaters by “building” our structure out of one long piece of tape that stretched from ceiling to floor that we would stick index cards to. At one point I heard myself say/ask “what’s the worst thing that could happen, we get in trouble?” and they went for it!

innovation or cheating?

Our “structure” was definitely the tallest, most attractive, and leant itself to the most metaphors about risk taking and innovation throughout the rest of the training.

Steve Jobs would be proud… if he were alive… and knew me… And cared.

The other groups insisted that we cheated… and that was okay, it didn’t hurt, not even sting. At one point after I’d inadvertently (ha ha ha) become the center of attention I found myself explaining that this was very unlike me. That I was normally a rule follower who prioritized being “good” over anything else… and that got more laughs than anything else I had said all day. A chorus of “yeah right, Kate!” vibrated through the room.

over lunch, eating the tomatoes I hadn’t asked the restaurant to leave out of my salad (I can’t tell you how big a deal this is. I have been avoiding tomatoes my entire life. I used to have nightmares as a child about ice cream sundaes with cherry tomatoes on top instead of cherries! As an adult I’ve tried them once a year or so only to confirm that I despised them) I was thinking about what I’d just witnessed in myself: I was being silly and playful, I was willing to take a risk and break the rules, I was eating tomatoes and enjoying them! …it was pretty clear: I was changed. I was not becoming my new or best self… I am my new, best self.

The reframing of the limiting beliefs was a spell… and like good spells it was specific and quiet and didn’t get a lot of attention giving it time to work it’s magic. The belief exercise was just that at the time–an exercise. And now it’s become reality.

I am here. And I am so grateful to be. And you are here to. Thank you for that. Woot!

flying by the seat of my pants

do you ever stop to visualize the ridiculousness of common phrases?
i do.  this person did too, and this is what it looks like to her.
very similar to my mental image.

Tonight I’m going to be flying by the seat of my pants… but I’m wearing a skirt, so maybe not flying at all?

For the first time in a few weeks I don’t have anything written for tonight’s scheduled blog post.  All of these posts are always impromptu–I write them–I edit minimally–and sometimes I just post them a few days or weeks later, but today is REALLY impromptu.  I’m going to write, edit (yeah right), and post all within the next 30 minutes because I have somewhere to be and something to immerse myself in.

This style of writing is how I started this, it shouldn’t be that significantly different, but we’ll see how it goes.  It feels a little scarier than I’m used to feeling here lately.

If I’m being completely honest, which I usually am, I can see a typical pattern coming up in these “months.”  I’m nearing the end and becoming all too aware of how far off I am from where I want to be.  I haven’t, in this case, done nearly as much playing as I wanted to and I feel… well, honestly I feel fine about it.  That’s the thing about this radical self love business.  I am very generous with the acceptance and forgiveness.  So, I haven’t played as much as I wanted to… so what?  I’m still here, I’m still growing, I’m still learning.  That’s plenty.

(somewhere inside the critical voice chimes back in to ask whether we should be more concerned about how I’m ever going to get anything done if I forgive myself for not doing things so readily… but I’m not going to go there right now.  My 30 minutes is now 25.)

I ruminated about play and whether I should feel bad about not doing it all day and I realized a couple of things.

  1. I have this belief that play has to be silly (goofy, loud, and big) to be play–I’m wrong.
  2. Just like with anything else, play exists in every day and taking the time to see it is just as powerful as intentionally practicing it.
With that silliness belief fully engrained I began this play focused month intending to practice some act of silliness each day… and many days I did, but as life started to get more complicated and weighed down by things like packing, moving, and unpacking I recognized that, while it probably would have helped lift my mood, I was far too stubborn to act silly.  It’s something I still intend to work on.  I know it will work, so why don’t I do it?!  I am confident, like all resistance, that my resistance to silly is blocking the way to some joyous business and I want to witness that joy, but I guess I’m not there yet.  Maybe next year.
In the meantime, here’s what I have learned about play and how it manifests in my life: 
  • When I am delighting in something, I am being playful.  Hearing a sound (the dishwasher–swoon!), smelling a smell (mmmm… jasmine), savoring a taste (hello dark chocolate almonds with sea salt) I am tapping into my playful self; connected to my senses and my core self… and that’s play.
  • When I “play” with my son, I am being playful.  I don’t always look like I’m playing.  Sometimes I look like I’m watching and others like I’m just following along, but letting him lead the play defers to the true expert and (hopefully) builds his leadership skills too.
  • Laughter is play.  This blog is play.  Organizing my desk is play.  Honestly.  The first is obvious, maybe even the second, but the third… yes.  Organizing my desk is play.  As a child, I played library (by writing codes in each of my books and filing them accordingly) and I got joy from it!  Just because my play isn’t silly, doesn’t mean it isn’t play.  When I am experiencing joy and satisfaction–I am being playful.
  • My relationships are play.  When I say what many of the other people in the room are thinking, make a joke, tell a story, listen and reflect, hug-kiss-snuggle someone I love, pay a compliment, give feedback I am playing.  I’ve never been described as subtle or quiet, but maybe my play is.
Without having read any of those books on play that my PhD candidate friend recommended, I’ve made my mind up about play; all on my own.  Silliness may still be a goal, but play… I’ve got that one down.  
It’s in everything I do when I choose to delight in and discover the joy in my every day.
Time to go.  Have playing to do.

it’s happening again!

I’ve been wanting to write a lot.  It’s usually not enough for a whole blog post, but is too much for a Facebook status… and no matter what it is, I’m excited about it.

I want to tell people things like how much I love watching “Inside the Actor’s Studio” and when I finally caught up on the ensemble cast episodes I had recorded months ago and saw the one with the cast of Glee I was reminded, even though I am so over actually watching Glee, that I love those people.  Squee!  I just want to squeeze them!  and them… and James Lipton in the same room!  Squee!

*let’s add audit a class at whatever school James Lipton teaches at so I can attend a taping of that show to the bucket list.  THAT, and attend the World Domination Summit

I can’t think of any of the others right this second, but there all pretty much along the same lines:

  • Earth-shatteringly important
  • and I’m just oozing with delight about them and how happy all of those things make me
and then I realize… I’m back to this feeling that I’ve been longing for!  Most of my thoughts about my experiences begin with “I love…” and even more exciting is the realization that I’m not “made happy” by these external things, I am happy and therefore I find delight in them!
woot!
In a few conversations with GT/Becky lately we’ve remarked on a mutual funk we’ve been feeling.  Blame the month of June, if you’d like… I did.  We’ve talked about what it feels like to be making slow progress on what feels like a long, straight path… and we’ve both had experiences that feel like we must have backtracked or turned around or somehow gone in reverse because we’re seeing things on our paths that we’ve seen before and that we aren’t particularly excited about seeing again.
i am here.
And then one of us, probably her because she’s brilliant, points out that the path is not, in fact, straight… it is quite possibly a spiral.
This made a heck of a whole lot of sense to us because when we thought about what it would be like to walk on a spiral path we noticed that there would be a lot of repeated scenery, and depending on where on the spiral we were, the perspective could seem almost identical to one we may have had another loop around.
I’ve spent a lot of the last few weeks walking a path that looks like the tight, inner loops of the spiral.  I keep seeing the same things over and over and they mostly look the same because the angle doesn’t change that much from one loop to the next.
What does this look like in real life?  I am having experiences that trigger me, or disturb my peace, or result in me just feeling “off” and I’m processing through them and I’m doing powerful work and getting the peace back by choosing a loving perspective and then it feels like I’m right back where I started within a day or two…  same or similar trigger, same or similar response.  And I’ve had to focus intently to walk the path without judging myself for the repetitive reactions and instead slow myself down and really look at the experiences and make choices that reflect what I want my existence of imperfection with grace to look like.
Because I know that on the other side of resistance is something pretty damn delightful, I’ve had this idea that when I reach the inside of this spiral I will suddenly *POP!* out the other side and onto a new path… and I think it just happened (yay!).  
The beginning of a new path is a beautiful place to be.  Brand new scenery, a whole host of tools and resources from the last path in a backpack I get to carry with me… and now I know enough to know that soon enough I’ll be approaching the end of that path where the spiral tightens again and I keep seeing the same rock and the same tree, and I wonder if I’m going in circles, and it may feel a lot like this last one did.  And that’s okay, because just like last time… there’s a new one just on the other side.
*POP!*