Sunday, September 28, 2014

Knowing = action.

I get so many emails - many that are promotional that clog up the inbox - that I admit, with the little time I have, I don't read much. Most I leave or "save" for another day (which never comes and so I have 15,000 unread emails I am "saving"). Well, the other day I strayed from my norm and opened an email from the Daily Love with Mastin Kipp. I scanned the email body, and happened upon a very simple sentence that touched me in a deep and profound way. 

I'll include the whole section to put it into context but I will highlight the part that spoke to me in bold:

"Instead of trying to think your way into a new way of action, it’s time to act your way into a new way of thinking.


It’s about risking. It’s about taking the adventure. It’s about letting go of the need to be comfortable and embracing the unknown.


Many people think they know this – but in fact they do not.




Because if you want to look at what you actually know – look at your actions.


There’s a difference between understanding something and knowing it.


We all understand lots of stuff. However, we may or may not actually know it.


That’s why it’s vital to begin to put into action the life that we want. That’s why we must begin to put our butt on the line and turn the fear that that brings into a fuel to push us forward."

Whoa. It occurred to me at that very moment that I sure thought I "knew" a lot, but really - maybe - I just understand it. So often I am aware of things yet I find reasons to be content and not "act" on them. I feel like I can do it when the time is right, or when I feel like it. No rush. 

I would willingly give advice to a friend, so sure of the words I choose, yet I don't always act on those words in my own life. 

Mastin is right. Big time. There's a big difference between something living in your head and living in action. If you want to know where you're at, look not at what you say (or "know") but what you do. 

If you're like me and you find yourself living more with words than actions in certain areas of your life, I challenge you to question why

Mastin says, "That’s why it’s vital to begin to put into action the life that we want. That’s why we must begin to put our butt on the line and turn the fear that that brings into a fuel to push us forward. 

You see – fear is just that – fuel for your journey. When you are scared, when you butt is on the line – that brings forward a different kind of energy, a different kind of action from our souls.


We are stirred into action. We bring forward deep gifts and creativity we didn’t know we had. And none of this can be found within your comfort zone."


Fear. Being afraid is "why."  For me anyway. And Mastin agrees. Though he makes it sound so easy, so matter of fact. I don't find that to necessarily always be accurate. It's not always easy. Sometimes it feels impossible to turn fear to fuel when it's deep seeded or not fully realized. 

Fear can disguise itself as many different things. He is a master magician and manipulator  (Sorry Fellas, but "fear" felt masculine). A puppeteer of sorts. 

My fear hides in contentment. He buries away under "eh, another day. I'm fine. No rush. I can always do it when I need to."

But now that I was reminded of this very fundamental concept, it's time to turn words to actions. Time to "put my butt on the line" as Mastin so eloquently stated. 

Your homework: 

Contemplate this:  is there something in your life that you understand but don't know (act on)? How is fear hiding in your life? What do your actions tell you about where you're at? 

Then do this: Baby steps, darling.  One little baby step at a time. That's all action is. One on top of another. Forward movement in alignment with who you are (the real you). Choose a tiny baby step out of your comfort zone (I'll do it, too!) and take note of how it feels, what happens as a result, etc. 

I would love to hear about your fears, the step you take and how it felt taking it, if you feel comfortable enough to share!  Comment here or email me at 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saying Goodbye...

Today is the day.  

The day I say goodbye to a physical, symbolic stepping stone in my life.  A place I laid roots and experienced many, many different transitions.  Not only manifestations in my external situation(s), but transitions within myself.  

I moved into this apartment recently after graduating college.  And I bought it.  It was something tangible that was mine, it was not a rental.  It felt so warm and inviting, I knew it would be a friend to me for a long time. And it was.  It was always there just at the right time when I needed it to be.  

I was so young and hopeful when I moved into this space.  I splashed it with color and breathed life into it.  And in the next few years, those walls witnessed some of the most pivotal memories and experiences of my life.  A new puppy, an engagement, a marriage. A pregnancy, followed by the birth of my most precious daughter. I grieved the loss of my enchanting canine companion, Ursa.  I fostered several puppies then adopted a new dog, Raja.  Then, a separation. Depression. I moved out.  Then I moved back in a few months later.  I spent several years within this space raising my daugther as a single mother, working around the clock, when she wasn't home, to make ends meet.  I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and earned my certification as a Holistic Health Coach.  I became divorced. I began a relationship with someone from a previous chapter in my life. I eventually became pregnant, again, and moved out a second time.  And admittedly, there have been times since then that I wanted to run back there, again, to my "safe haven." 

Doing a final walk-through today, I can't imagine what it'll be like to never go back there.  Though I will still be paying the balance of the loan (Yes, like so many people out there, I owe more than it's worth) - it will no longer be a place I can run to or call my own.  It has served me through so many times in my life, both joyous and trying.  It was a nuisance on one hand, yet my safety blanket on the other.  Handing over the key... is like letting go of all that once "was."  It feels so finite and concrete.  

As I walked back to my car after my final walk-through, I snapped some photos of "rubble" that was once a beautiful display of natural art, built by my ex-husband.  It felt as though those days I recall are naturally merging into and being absorbed by the Earth in the same way as the actual, physical stones and signposts are.  New life (plants) is growing around and over them.  Their color has faded, the structures have been broken and moved around.  Much like the hopes and aspirations and stepping stones of my journey thus far.

I will never forget those years I spent in this sacred space... or the many versions of myself that inhabited those walls.  I walked in as one person and left as another.  If I close my eyes, I can still unlock the door...walk in and out of the rooms and onto the back patio where deer families could be seen in the woods just a few feet out. I can still hear the creaking of the ceiling from my neighbor above.  I can still shut the light out in the bedroom and tuck myself into the comfort and warmth of my bed. 

I guess it'll never really be gone.  Like everything else, it is stored in my subconscious even if my mind tricks me into thinking I have forgotten and lost so much.

I am so grateful for that apartment. The good, the bad, the ups and the downs.  Good bye, old friend.  I hope that you wrap up the new owner in your loving arms and extend the same gracious hospitality as you did for me and my family. xo

...and so I go, onto the next stepping stone on my journey.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Wheels on the Bus...

With fall upon us, I am called to action and embedded with nostalgia.  A burning desire to “do something” bubbles up in my gut and I get antsy.  Something about the crisp, cool air and the smells and colors of the season (and the enchanting aroma of fireplace!) serve as a reminder for me of who I am and why I am here.  I am not sure exactly when this began, but ironically just a few moments ago, I found a homework assignment I had written and it said that Fall was my favorite season.  I didn’t know that I always loved Fall.  I thought that I just began to in more recent years, or as I hit adolescence.  I almost feel as though I found these stories and assignments I wrote as a child at the perfect time.  Divine timing.  They solidified the thoughts I have had in my mind for the last couple of weeks... and have been a vivid example of the points I wanted to make here today.  Though I began wanting to speak about one thing, I am now called to fuse a few different topics together.

This weekend marks a pivotal “thumbtack” on my journey.  I am dropping a pin on where I “was” and am moving on to find a place to drop a new pin.  As I close one door and leave one chapter of my life behind me, I step into a new place. But, as I step into this new space, I now choose to bring something with me from previous chapters.  I have reached deep into the old and dug out Little Camille.  Yep.  I am bringing my child-self with me.  Only this time, I am going to love and honor her.  I am going to praise her and I will hear her when she speaks.  After all, she’s actually a lot wiser than I am... Big Me, that is.

My original purpose of this “writing,” if you will, was to discuss how our Little Selves actually know a lot more than we think.  That if we peer back into childhood, we may find that so much is cyclical.  That somewhere along the way, we lose our way, then inevitably end up right back where we began (though this may take a lifetime and never truly come to fruition in the physical realm, only in our mind).  It’s like the little sheep that strays rebelliously from the herd... has one hell of a time out in the wilderness on its own... then finds his way back home where he realizes he was meant to be all along.  

My add-on purpose(s) for today is to invite you to honor your inner child, and to encourage your actual children on their journey through life.

A couple of weeks ago, when I decided I wanted to write about this, I was taking a quiet walk pushing my newbie in the stroller.  I was reflecting, as I often do when the world is quiet.  I had just began writing, again, for the first time in many, many years.  It felt so natural and exhilarating. I felt like I was “home.”  I was sharing time with an old friend.  It’s incredible, really.  The circles we make in our lives.  From young to old.  What we once loved as a wee little lad,  we return to later on in life after we sort through our “junk” or give in to our intuition hounding us.  We make a lot of circles in our lifetime.  

“The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town (life).

And such is life.  The wheel of life, or dharma.  We begin by needing someone to care for us, we grow to care for ourselves, then we return to a place where we may need others to care for us, again.  We begin full of life and wonder, we become poisoned by conditioning and fears, then we begin to unravel, again, to appreciate the mystery and enchantment of life as we let go of all else we picked up along the way.  We do circles.  We go around and around and around.

I realized on this day, walking slowly amongst the trees, that I should have listened to Little Camille all along.  Why didn't I?  She knew so much more than I realized.  She knew herself, most of all. What she loved, what she wanted and what resonated in her heart and soul.  Ha.  I have to laugh, because I strayed so far away from her... and became lost.  But maybe, getting lost was a blessing.  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said, “I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.”  We don’t come “home” until we are good and ready to appreciate what we knew all along.  We go out and explore the massive Universe. We pick up things and "stuff" along the way.  Some that serve us, some that don’t.  We gain knowledge and experiences.  And finally, when we have had enough of getting tangled up in everyone else’s stories for us, we happen upon our home.  So, here I was.  Decades later.  I stumbled upon my home and realized that I knew everything I needed to know as a child.  

That leaves one asking, “What happened, then?”  What happens is life.  People (parents included) and society and culture dictate what we “should” do and be.  We begin to draw up conclusions about ourselves and the world.  We give in to fears.  We develop self-limiting beliefs.  We create tales that define us.  And inevitably, we begin to doubt ourselves.  “Oh, how silly is that!”  But, I will argue that Little You knew everything he or she needed to know.  Little You had passion and courage and love and zest.  Best of all, Little You had unwavering belief and confidence.  

I encourage you to ask these questions in a moment of silence: What is it that Little You loved so dearly? What did you enjoy doing?  What did you want to be when you became Big You? What was one activity you could just get lost in for hours on end without peeking your head up? What pushed and ignited your fire-button?   I truly believe that hidden within these answers - if you really spend the time reflecting - is your home.  What’s natural to you.  Where you came from, what feels good and perhaps where you belong. 

Little You may not have been nurtured and encouraged.  Maybe, you’re like me.  Little Camille was laughed at and teased.  She felt very much alone, and shy.  She felt as though she lived in a world where she was the only resident and she didn't belong in the “other” world.  She began to feel fear, and disappointment.  She didn't feel safe.  And, she didn't have the support she needed to grow her little seedlings into beautiful flowers.  Her dreams and desires fell by the wayside as she wandered out into the vast unknown, trying to navigate a place where she felt alienated and unprotected.  People mocked her for loving the things she did, especially animals.  Others told her she would never do what she wanted to do.  It was a hobby or interest. She would “starve” as a creative type.  

As far away as I wandered, my passions were woven deeply into my life journey.  They cropped up left and right, here and there.  Always a reminder of where I began.  And the Fall... that special, chilly air.  It speaks to me like no other.  Pushing me back to the place I call “home.”  Living through what I have, I truly appreciate this moment.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to see through new eyes.  I, most of all, am finally able to look back and reach out my hand to Little Camille.  To acknowledge her for how absolutely beautiful she was. Different, maybe.  But so beautiful.  Soft and gentle, maybe too innocent and naive.  I can finally go back to that place and love her unconditionally... heal her wounds. Look her in the eyes and tell her she was so very wise and that she is safe now.  Teach her to forgive and forge ahead with a renewed confidence to speak her voice and live her passion(s).

I speak of Little Camille, but really, I mean you, too.  There must be some wound that Little You needs mended.  Perhaps a broken heart.  Fears or doubts, needing a soothing embrace.  Little You needs to hear from Big You that everything is OK and that he or she is perfect as is.  Extend your hand, and take Little You with you where you go... loving him or her along the way.  The entire way.  

And for those of you that are parents, please...don’t laugh at your children or discourage them when they tell you what they want to be when they grow up.  When they tell you what they love.  It may not be what you liked or wanted to be or what you want(ed) for them, but it's what feels good for them.  Why cant they be an astronaut or a firefighter?  A dancer or a movie star?  A doctor or an athlete?  They are so much wiser than we give them credit for.  After all, they have not been tampered with, yet.  They are pure and radiate love and passion.  Encourage your children to blossom just as they are.  To reach for the stars, their dreams.  To follow their heart and let their intuition guide them.  They won’t stay little for long... and sooner or later, they meet us where we are.  Big People in the grown-up world.  Hopefully, where we are is living a life with renewed joy and enthusiasm (as says so brilliantly, “en + theos. Two little Greek words. Put ‘em together and you’ve got enthusiasm—or “God within”—the secret sauce to creating an extraordinary life while making a difference in the world”). Divinity within us.

Keep those fires lit, friends.  And if your fire has simmered down, reach in to the world you came from and bring back Little You.  Bring that fire back to life.  And inspire others - especially your children - to do the same.  

If you are meeting with some resistance, don’t fret.  The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round.  You’ll end up where you need to be when the timing is just perfect for you.  In the meantime, enjoy the ride. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

My shoes gave me blisters...

It is so true that until you walk a mile in someone's shoes, you have no idea what it's like. You can hypothesize and surmise, but you really have no idea. Even when that "someone" is you

It's easy to say what you "would" or "wouldn't" do in a situation prior to living it. But the truth is, you haven't a clue. Until we are faced with a situation, there isn't a way to fully understand how it feels for all the senses and all the emotions that arise. We often surprise ourselves with our reactions to occurrences in our lives. For what we consider the better and the worse. We can't be sure how we will process information until the information appears right in front of us. 

Such an example crept up on me recently. Amidst all the chaos and rubble of what had become my current life situation - let's call it an "opportunity for growth" and "trying on new glasses" to shed some positive light on it- some surprising feelings made their way front and center. Feelings - and thoughts - that I never really even considered. There was even a touch (ok maybe more than a touch) of rebellion and resistance. 

It's truly a gift to be able to watch yourself - your emotional and mental processes - as they are born, but through the eyes of an observer. A non-judgmental one.  Without getting attached to them. It's awe-inspiring really. The thoughts and feelings are born, and quickly they look for something to latch onto... To feed and nourish them so they can grow.  If they can't find a way to foster their development, they inevitably die off. 

THIS is the place that determines everything. Whether the storm will pass by quietly, or cause massive destruction.  As our stories manifest new sub-chapters, it is our decision to either accept what is as it is and let it move on (or die) or to welcome them as new truths (thereby feeding these babes to grow into reckless monsters). 

I chose to embrace my little baby demons with love. I understood them, where they came from and why. Without judgment or attachment, I gave them a wee little kiss - a thank you for allowing me to see - and set them free into the abyss. Far, far away from me, that is. (I will add here they later returned at my most vulnerable state to test me, again). 

What monsters were I birthing, you ask? Ah. Good question, indeed. Attachment and meaning. I was mourning a loss. Something I felt was "mine."  Something I gave meaning and substance to.  

Recent events left me without "ownership" of the "home" I was living in. I was "supposed" to be an owner of this place. I spent time, money and tons of energy building it into what it is today.  Time was spent planning the colors, picking out the floors, the appliances and so on. Love decorated it and made it warm and cozy for the children.  At the end of the remodel and move, I was happy with what was created. What I had a hand in creating. A lovely little nest for the little ones.  

You can imagine my upset when suddenly that was all taken from me.  Well, I didn't imagine I would feel that way.  I had no idea that I would actually mourn the loss as though it were a good friend. But thinking about it, it was. It provided us shelter and warmth. A place to express creativity. Share memories. A place to be together.  A safe haven. Something stable in an unstable world. 

It gave me a sense of ownership and pride. Look what "I" did. Look what's "mine."  Losing that entitlement left me feeling really empty and grasping for something to possess. Something to "have" for my children. Something to make me feel important.  No longer being owner totally changed the dynamic.  I didn't want to make it pretty anymore. I didn't want to spend more time and love on it because it wasn't "mine."  This is where the rebellion kicked in. Then a little resistance followed (this is referred to as bargaining in the typical phases of mourning, loss and grief).  

As I watched all of these thoughts and emotions swirl around frantically, desperately seeking a host, I kept myself removed so I can learn. About myself. About loss. About life. About processes. 

While I am sure it's totally normal that I had to grieve what once was, what I thought something was (the meaning and identity I gave it), and the hope for what it would be, I never expected to feel all of that. 

Through a very painful experience, I was able to understand myself better. So, I allowed myself the necessary time to mourn what was no longer and to accept the new.  I learned about parts of me I didn't even know existed! And in doing so, I now have a better understanding of people as a whole. 

We are creative. Very creative. You may be surprised by what comes up during trying times or new experiences. There's a whole big world out there (inside of you) that you don't even know exists. And if you aren't even aware of all parts of you, how can you know what is inside another?  Let's be sure to try lots of shoes on before we discount them or label them. 

As for me? My mind is wide open. I can say with confidence that I don't have any clue how a shoe feels until it's on nice and snug and I have spent some time in it.  Walking, running, playing, relaxing. Good quality time. 

I'm about ready for a new pair now. The last left me with blisters ;)