Sunday, April 23, 2017

Everyone's hair is messy sometimes...

Though I have not pushed my daughter in any which way to strive to be "perfect," and in fact I have tried to tell her to relax a bit (with a lot of "who cares"), she tends to be a little perfectionist. I can't judge; when I had the time to tend to the details, I was one, too. Dot all your I's and cross all your T's.  

Apparently, when I was a little girl I would get mad if there was one tiny bump in my pony tail.  However, my mother always made sure my hair was perfect. So I must have picked this up from her.  No one liked doing my hair because I always gave them a hard time and made them do it over.... many times. (arghhh)

When I do my eldest daughter's hair upon her request (the only one who has hair long enough to do anything to), I don't really pay attention to the bumps or loose, fly-away pieces.  For starters, she has really curly hair! I've never promoted perfectionism and it's been an eternity since I cared about what my hair looked like (who was that person?). Now that I remember how I was, it's quite humorous... but she takes her hair out multiple times before the bus comes and makes me redo her hair. Sometimes she gives up on me, and does it herself.  It's just never good enough.  I'm certainly not good enough at it.  And it has to be perfect! No bumps! 

She goes on to tell me about so-and-so's hair and how it's just perfect and slick back... not one bump!! And I try to tell her that no one is perfect. And I highly doubt that so-and-so has perfect hair everyday.  That would be near impossible. And who cares, anyway? It's just hair. You're 7 (OK, I admit in writing this, I realize that sounds sort of dismissive! I just try to get her to lighten up a bit).

She displays other behaviors that vividly illustrate her perfectionism in play (did I mention she's a Virgo?). And I wonder how she developed them when I haven't really promoted it or enabled it. The more kids I had and the older they get, the more I realize how some things are just so individual... it really has so much to do with personality. 

Well, the other day something very funny happened.  I never really think she's listening to me because she fidgets and changes the subject and acts very antsy when I try to have "talks" with her or teach her life lessons. So, imagine my surprise when she threw my advice back at me like a hot potato. 

Me: We really have to change all your shirts before company comes. 
Her: Why? It's fine...
Me: Yea, but there is dirt all over them from playing outside.
Her: So what mom? No one is perfect. 
Me: (chuckle) You're right.
Her: You told me this. Now I'm teaching you a lesson. 
Me: Oh, thank you... (laughs)
Her: Everyone's hair is messy sometimes.

Yes.... everyone's hair is messy sometimes.  

And by hair... I mean hair...and life

Thanks, little one. I am glad you were listening.... and I appreciate the reminder. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Living Lack versus.....Living.

Previous Blog
Incorporate things into your life, instead of feeling lack that you do not have time (money, resources, etc.) for them.  

Common perception is that when we don't have something, there's a reason.  And we have a laundry list of reasons why we don't have that said something. Ultimately, our perception and mind-frame is rooted in lack

All those (countless) days that I was waiting for "one day" to come, I would envision my dream life in my mind's eye and it felt wonderful. I would be exhilarated, an so excited! But shortly thereafter, my excitement and bliss would turn to dread and helplessness and anger and sadness and a whole assortment of juicy emotions that all could be traced back to lack. 

What I want is not here now. 
I want it now. Why is it not here now? 
I can't have it now. 
Why can't I have it now? 
Why is this my life? 
Why am I here now? 
Why? Why? Why? 

While some of the questions helped me to reflect and modify what I was doing, most of it was fruitless, and kept me stuck in this rabid cycle of negativity. Which, in turn, would keep my external life showing up in much the same way, validating the fact that I was living in lack. Such is the Law of Attraction and vibration.

After becoming aware of my lack-mentality, it still took me a very long time to address it and shift it to a new, healthy perception and inspired action(s). Although we are often looking for ah-ha epiphany, sky-opening, water-parting moments of enlightenment (I sure am!), some times our processes are just gradual evolutions that very well may resemble grass growing

I kept receiving the message, "incorporate things into your life." 

At this point, I'd heard the message so many times... yet I still felt the sting of bitterness that my life was not what I wanted it to be. And I was finger-pointing why it wasn't what I wanted it to be.  Even so, I slowly began doing what I could, squeezing things I saw in my dream-life-vision into tiny pockets of time in my actual life. I would read in the bath while the water filled up, or while putting my girls to bed, or while waiting on line or on hold on the phone. I capitalized on every free 2 minute interval I could find. I began a meditation practice right before bed, even if it was just for 5 minutes. It wasn't much but it was something.
Then one day, as I mentioned in the previous blog, it hit me (this was brought on by slight nudges and then the more obvious face-slapping, signs I was receiving or passages I was reading): without a real connection to who I am, I will never be whole, happy, peaceful, or content... but with self-discovery, exploration and expression, there is nothing more that I need. This was definitely an ah-ha moment... though perhaps it wasn't of grandiose proportions (Score! I'll take it!).

The real reason my life felt so empty was not because I wasn't exercising, reading, drawing, painting, being creative or crafty, writing, going out, getting dressed up (cue the laundry list...and while this list of things "missing" didn't help the void, it was not the root cause of it).  It was because I had lost sight of who I was. I had stopped self-expressing. I had quieted my voice. And I began living a version of life that did not exemplify who I am and what I am about. 

Once we re-align with our true selves, any small moment we spend doing something is meaningful.  And if we can't do something, that's okay too. But those moments where we incorporate things into our life, feel amazing. And the more grateful we are, the more opportunities open up for us to incorporate even more great-feeling things in (or at least our eyes open to more ways we can). 

  • This blog is a living example. I wrote a book in 2015, and I have barely written since. I kept feeling the nudge, "you should be writing..." but always had a reason I couldn't write (too tired, not enough energy, writer's block, nothing to say, not enough time, etc.). It didn't take much for me to sit down and write yesterday and today. And it felt really good to be able to do it. And it's inspired me to continue on.  Sometimes we have to just Shut the F*&$ up with the excuses and just make time, even if it's 30 seconds. Half the battle is overcoming our mind-frame that says we can't. One of my favorite quotes is by Jim Rohn, "If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." So true. You just can't argue with that (well, you can, and you will if you're still playing the victim card, intentionally or not... but the heart of the matter is, it's dead-on). People find a way when they want something bad enough.
Living in lack, or perceiving our lives (or selves) as missing something, is a sure-fire way to keep it going and circling back around time and again. You can find yourself in a rut for years, if not decades. But, if we are just slightly open to the possibility that we can incorporate things into our lives, a whole new world opens up at out fingertips. 

Perception is powerful. 
Self-expression is vital.
And everything is figureoutable (Marie Forleo).

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Sometimes I write blogs, then afterwards about 10 things come to mind in rapid succession that I want to write to explain something in further detail, or piggyback on... it just never feels like I give enough to fully embody what I am trying to say or the points I am trying to get across. And the messages have so many layers! (insert playful shrug and pout)

In an attempt to satisfy my own neurosis, I am going to try something out. Subsequent, explanatory blog posts that are in sequence, addressing what was written prior. 

  • So, why do we continually do things that are not good for us? 
  • Why do we stay status-quo, when how we are living is not really lighting us up or fueling our passion-fire? 
  • Why have we given up in so many areas of life? 
We look externally to plug up our holes, to find fulfillment or happiness. We spend so much time "waiting" for something to come, for "one day" to arrive, for something to "change." Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't... But anything that is found outside of us can only be temporarily satisfying at best. 

We stay as-is out of fear; fear of failure, rejection, success, the unknown, feeling unworthy or believing conditioned thoughts that really don't serve us or our purpose here. Maybe we don't feel good enough, or don't believe we deserve more. Maybe we don't think it's possible, that there's not enough to go around, or we've been told we're just a "dreamer." 

"Stay safe, Dreamer. Play small. Stay with what you know. Don't get too far ahead of yourself... it is NOT safe." 

After careful observation, I have come to many conclusions and insights, and have a deeper level of understanding about myself. For years, I have fallen victim to my own circumstance. I always felt I didn't have "enough" - enough time, money, etc. Something was always in the way... it was just a small bug, not an epidemic, so I stayed status-quo, succumbing to my circumstances and waiting for things to change "one day." I felt that this was being patient. I called it all sorts of positive-sounding words. I believed it, though, and kept waiting... patient...patient...patient...  (And, I'm not really that patient so this wasn't easy and consumed large quantities of energy to maintain).

In hindsight, after flailing and struggling my way through this "awareness" and "enlightenment" thing, it's become clear as day to me that there is only one thing I truly need in order to have joy, peace, love and fulfillment. There's just one set of requirements that trumps all else. 

First, there is the understanding that I am not missing anything externally. I am not lacking anything that the external world can give me. And nothing the external world can give me will make me whole. 
  • Suddenly having free time and getting out of the house more often will not make me happy long-term. 
  • Going out and having fun will not make me whole. 
  • Buying things or consuming food or drinks will not light me up with passion and fire to fuel my days. 
If I am not living my truth, self-expressing and living authentically, there is absolutely nothing that the external world can give me or that will come "one day" that will keep me happy and living fully. And, on the other side of the same coin, there is nothing else I need when I am living freely, exploring and expressing. I am content, playful, enthusiastic... I am whole and inspired and at peace. I can live Love, which is what we truly are. 

There is absolutely nothing in this world that can replace our own self-expression. When we are betraying ourselves (living a lie, omitting, hiding who we are, giving up, settling, staying stuck, quieting our voice, not listening to our intuition, etc.) and not shining our unique light out on to this world, there is an emptiness inside us that keeps us wishing, wanting, waiting, plugging holes and playing small. 

When we realign with our inner Truth, become aware of our inner guidance system and feelings and emotions, shift our focus and our perception off of lack and onto curiosity about who and all we are, life becomes fun, again.  Exciting. Meaningful. Joyous. Fulfilling. Peaceful. The list goes on and on... 

All we really need is to be connected to ourselves, to the source and essence of who we really are. To gently allow - and maybe even welcome - ourselves to be loving expressions of what makes us who we are. Embrace our individuality. Our imperfect perfection. Our divine design. Celebrate what makes you who you are.  Live your truth. Speak your mind. Say no when you mean no. Say yes when you mean yes. Be boldly authentic. Fiercely passionate about what drives you and lights you up. Reconnect with the childlike wonder and presence you once knew so well.  Invite your inner child to play... and to heal. Soften the walls around your heart, replace bitterness with gratitude, and enjoy the peace and stillness that can be found in each beautiful moment. 

Move. Speak. Play. Work. The options are endless... 

Incorporate things into your life, instead of feeling lack that you do not have time (money, resources, etc.) for them. 

But whatever you do, do not wait for "one day" to come. Today is one day.  And the only day that matters.

Namaste, friends.
Love and light.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Just can't let the bad stuff go....

On and off throughout my life, I was a cigarette smoker (this may surprise you as it doesn't really fit my persona). The on-again, off-again trend began late in high school. There were periods where I smoked for years, and then there would be years I was smoke-free. 

After gathering enough data about my cigarette usage through this weeble-wobble, love-hate relationship, I began to realize that I felt much happier when I was a non-smoker.  Smoking made me irritable and I would build life around the habit. I also used a smoke-break to plug holes or fill gaps I wasn't interested in exploring in "real life" like stressful moments as a coping mechanism, boredom, or a full belly. And, I felt guilty about smoking...even tho I really did enjoy it (probably because I associated it with void-filling). 

So, here is this thing that I know is bad for me on so many levels. 

  1. It's unhealthy for my body (cue endless research, both personally and professionally... yes, I would get sick more often as a smoker than non).
  2. It makes me irritable.
  3. I feel bad about smoking.
  4. It sways my thinking (coordinating life around when I am going to smoke).
  5. No, nix #4... it actually hijacks my brain.
  6. I know I am happier when I am a non-smoker.
But, letting go of this thing that I know is no good for me, isn't easy. And I wonder, why the f*&# is it so hard to stop??? 

It is incredibly hard to let go, and leave it behind, even knowing all about the itemized list above. 

Well, here's the thing.  Smoking just is.  It's neutral. It's not good or bad or anything. It just exists. What makes smoking "bad" is the meaning we put on it, the data we collect, the feelings we have, the emotions we bury with it, the patterns and conditioning that we now attach to the habit, the ways we use it to numb ourselves.   

I think the most dangerous "side effect" of my smoking addiction was how I used it to numb myself, to avoid pain and discomfort and to develop less than healthy coping mechanisms for life. 

There is a poem I heard recently at a mindfulness seminar, and I think it'll beautifully illustrate what I wish to say next... 

The Guest House
by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Pain comes to us bearing gifts just the same that joy does. We never know what lies at the front door, but if we welcome it, or at least allow it, we may uncover the wisdom asking to be seen and shared. We are here to have a human experience, yet so often we are trying to avoid the emotions and feelings that come along with that. 

To give up something - person, place or thing - even though we know it is not good for us, we must commit to change, to welcome the unknown or at least accept it, and all of the human experience that comes along with that. Fear of the unknown can be crippling, and so often we stay in the clutches of something that isn't good for us, just because it's what we know and it's safe because of that. 

What many of us may not realize is that until we fully feel our emotions, they stay stuck and trapped inside us. In order to release something, we must fully feel it.  We do not have to attach to it, or identify with it, but we must let it move through us... when we are numbing ourselves, avoiding pain, building life around vices, and justifying our behaviors when we know that something isn't right for us, we are dimming our own light... we are breaking our contracts and promises we made long ago... we are resisting our own highest good, perhaps, and not embracing this beautiful life experience at its fullest. 

To feel the joys of life, we must be open... and that means we are open to feel all of life. 

After quitting, I realized the discomfort faded slowly and the pain was only temporary. But the benefits were so great, once I got through that initial pain period of withdrawing and driving myself mad, I couldn't remember why I ever smoked in the first place. 

Change = discomfort.  

But just like setting a bone, the pain is only temporary and once it is over, you are left with the permanent gift of having something being right - and healthy - for you in the long run. 

Emotions come like waves. Joy comes and goes, pain comes and goes. Each is temporary... taking turns, like the waves in the ocean. This is all part of our humanity; this is why we are here. We did not decide to inhabit Earth as feeling, thinking Humans... just to find every which way to kill ourselves, numb ourselves, dumb ourselves down, avoid the experience we signed up for, and cruise through on auto-pilot.  We came to have a physical experience and to feel... to really feel... and that includes pain, pleasure and everything in between. 

Yes. Giving things up is hard. Even when we know they're bad for us. 

But... what's even harder is living your life, knowing you haven't really lived at all