Inspiration

Do We Have To Die Before We Can Rest In Peace?

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Everything I have, I got from someplace else.

Or someplace else.

I was born into it.

I heard it or read it or learned it or remembered it.

Or it came from the great mystery that is the land of idea, insight, and inspiration.

A few days ago was no different. I was listening to a new podcast called How to Human, by Sam Lamott. Same was talking to Frank Ostaseski about all the big things in life (i.e., death), and other pearls of wisdom from the book, The Five Invitations; Discovering what death can teach us about living fully. 

I loved it. I was listening as I drove and had to keep pulling over to write down every other word they were saying.

I totally related to Sam and his fear of dying. I’ve had it since I was a little kid–the death panic. What happens? Where will I go? What will it be like? How can I handle never getting to see, do, feel, be with all the people and places that mean the world to me?

It used to haunt me. For years. It happens less now but I can still feel the icy fear wash over me late at night as I lie in bed, paralyzed and horrified by the absolute certainty that I will die and how much I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want to leave this place. But. I will. There’s no getting around it.

And so will you.

Maybe you’re lucky and you don’t worry about it. Or your worry is manageable and it actually helps you stay grounded in all the things that really matter without creating undue pressure about HAVING TO DO IT ALL. Or maybe you don’t think about it at all and that helps you just be in your life, doing this or that, because what can you do about dying?

Just a few months ago, my mom lost her husband. He had medical issues but the kind that they knew were awaiting them, down the line, many years or even a decade later. They both sort of thought, Okay, that’s going to be hard but we’re not there yet. And then a sickness came over him and within a week he was dead. It was a terrible shock. Nobody saw it coming even though it was coming the whole time.

Ostaseski is a Buddhist teacher and a leader in the field of mindful end-of-life care, a sort of midwife for the final passage of life (or is it final? I guess we can’t know). He’s helped thousands of people die and hearing him speak about it is a salve for the soul. But guess what? Even he has some fear of dying. I imagine it’s not he middle of the night wide-eyed terror that won’t let him sleep (like mine), but what do I know?

(He did say this one thing: “The part of you that knows you’re afraid, is not afraid.” I love that.)

He said many wondering things that I won’t try and synopsize here except for what’s most on my mind today–what Ostaseski says those with terminal illnesses call their “Secret Gratitude.”

In a word, it’s permission.

They say, “I can say NO now. I don’t have to go to that party or talk to that person or do that thing.” Ostaseski says, YES, and also, Why do we have to wait until we get a death sentence before we allow ourselves to do what we want, right now?

“Why,” he asks, “do we have to die before we can rest in peace?”

Let us all rest in the peace of doing what makes us feel good. And rest in the peace of no longer doing what makes us feel bad.

So, what makes you feel good?

It’s an important question, a deep question, the sort of question that can lead to a more peaceful world. Because when we are doing the things that make us feel good, we are far more likely to treat everyone around us (including ourselves!) with more kindness than if we are feeling like shit.

Here’s my challenge for you: take some time today and think of what makes you feel good. Write it down. Write at least 10 things. Then ask yourself, in the spirit of gentle curiosity and total acceptance 🙂 how often are you doing any of them?

This holiday season, as we move into celebrations of miracles, of light, of closings and openings, of new beginnings, decided to do at least ONE of the things on your life. Every. Single. Day.

For how long? I don’t know. 10 days? 30? 60? Or maybe for the entire year.

Think of it! 2019 can be the year of doing what makes you feel good, joyful, and free.

Why?

Because you’re living.

Because you’re dying.

Because it’s the kindest thing you can do for you and every single person in your life.

Mindset

Set Yourself Free

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I would like to start this off by sharing some things about myself:

  1. I can be a pushy, rigid, controlling, know-it-all, sure that my way is the right way.
  2. I can get stuck in regret and horrendous self-criticism about what I didn’t do or should have done.
  3. I can compare myself to others, making them better, making me less than, feeling jealous and preoccupied by their opportunities and accomplishments.
  4. I have a tendency to yell.
  5. When I feel cornered, I tend to come out swinging.

La la!

My new year’s resolution: LOVE IT ALL.

That’s it.

Love every single bit of me, especially the parts that I, frankly, often want to fix or change or hide.

Now, I’m not talking about when I’m feeling generous and loving. Then, I’m FINE with these messy parts of myself because I’m all, Humans are imperfect! That’s beautiful! Brené Brown told me that I’m wired for struggle! Just like every other person on the planet! AND that I’m worthy of love and belonging just by virtue of being alive! 

Yay!

I believe that with all my heart. Like, that’s my default, my ground, if you will.

But other times? I forget.

Other times, I get sucked down the rabbit hole of fear or comparison or not-enough-ness or shame, and WHOA, I don’t want it, these parts of me I don’t like. I don’t want any of them.

I like when I feel confident, and calm, generous and kind, creative and daring, spontaneous and inspired, delighted by difference, energized by puzzles, unattached to outcome, accepting of uncertainty and wise to the gifts that challenge, failure and rejection bring.

I mean, who doesn’t?

But the goal of this life, for me, is not to feel that way. The goal of my life, is to be okay with whatever is happening out there (OUTSIDE my body) and in here (INSIDE my body).

Wouldn’t that be some glorious freedom?

Every New Year’s Eve, I write a letter to myself that I seal in an envelope to be opened at the end of the following year. It’s slightly different each time but generally it includes items in one of two categories: Things to Invite into my Life, and Things to Let Go.

This year, I’m slapping it on a piece of paper and leaving it out in the open:

Things to Invite Into My Life in 2019: ALL OF ME.

Things to Let Go in 2019:

  1. Trying to hide or fix or change the things I don’t like about myself.
  2. Judging myself for not knowing what I didn’t know until I knew it. (How could I have known what I knew until I knew it?)
  3. Trying to GET anyone to ANYTHING. This doesn’t mean I can’t ask for things. It means, letting go of believing that my safety comes from getting someone else to understand, realize, agree with, say, feel, or do anything.

What about you? What is it about yourself that you don’t like? What feels unacceptable? 

What if you KNEW that accepting those very things would bring more of what you really want and love into your life?

Write it down.

Breathe it in.

Make room for it all.

Then watch what happens.

Parenting

Kindness

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I love that this little message of kindness is in this picture is next to some sort of what, is that a spill? A stain? Not sure, but it’s clearly a bit of a mess, yes? 

That’s what we need–a bit of kindness next to every mess we see or find or make. 

Some people say, kindness is being honest. 

Maybe. It depends on what you mean by ‘honest’. It depends on where your ‘honest’ comes from.

Honesty is often disguised as ‘realism’, the sort of thing people say to others (and themselves) ‘for their own good,’ to shock them out of delusion or to protect them from disappointment.

If that’s where the ‘honest’ comes from, I say, that is not kindness. That is fear. 

Kindness is the truth inside the moment we think is a mistake.

It’s an opening to allow what’s there, to be.

It’s permission to embrace our human being-ness with all the attendant foibles and horrifying imperfections.

Kindness is tenderness and tenderness is always strong and brave and risky.

It’s hard to be kind—I mean, not when we’re feeling good and safe and capable. Then it’s easy. Kindness is hard precisely when we need it most.

Once I was going through a rough patch, for like, years. I was finally a mom to a beautiful baby boy after more than a decade of trying and every day, I struggled to figure out how to help him feel safe.

There were countless moments when I was out in the world with my ineptitude on display, like I was a walking diorama of the World’s Messiest Mom. Nothing was streamlined in our household, nothing on the neuro-social-developmental pathway was clear or easy or programmed the way it is for typical kids and that often made me feel like a big fat boiling failure.

Most of the time, I made it through moments when peopled stared or whispered or outright gasped. They couldn’t get it and I didn’t have the time or the energy to stop and explain it.

But sometimes I wanted someone to smile and tell me not that was it going to be okay at some LATER point, but that it was actually okay RIGHT THEN, in the middle of that sticky moment of feeling lost, exposed, and alone.

Sometimes I wanted a perfect stranger to reach out and tell me that I was doing a good job, even an amazing job, that my kid was awesome, a fucking rock star.

And then one day I made little cards to give to other moms I saw out in the world slogging through their own messy bits. I had forgotten all about them–until I was cleaning out some computer files this week. 

And so, I offer them to you: Here. Why? Because, I see you. You are going through something.

it’s not easy. It can feel lonely. It can feel as if you are continuously spilling out from the neat trajectory you wish this particular part of your path would take.

Take some kindness with you. It will keep you good company, and will surely take you where brute force never can. 

Self-care

Stand Still

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You, in this moment, are this leaf: frozen in time, fantastic, fleeting and soon, if not already, falling to the ground. 
 
Before you were this leaf, you were its bud, and before that, a bump, and before that, a promise, a shadow, an energetic space calling in your form to be, to emerge, fill out, flicker and sing, to wither, fall and then drift and dance to the ground, to disintegrate, decompose, and become more earth that feeds the tree that calls more shadows into form, again, again, again.
 
I mean, look: no matter how organized we are, no matter how much we meditate or how many items we cross off our To Do list, no matter how in touch with our feelings we get or how clear our communication becomes, or how much room we give everyone around us to be themselves and find their own way, we are all falling, all the time falling, always falling to where we will one day disappear into the mystery that made us.

So while we’re here, let’s step away from the grind of self-improvement and instead, fall into the arms of self-acceptance, like the Rumi poem that asks us not to seek love but rather seek to remove the barriers to receiving love.

Let us meet and melt the barriers to accepting ourselves, our whole sticky complicated mess of the selves that we are. (All of us. Yes, even that person.)

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

–Mary Oliver, When I am Among the Trees

So, what small bit of self-improvement can you let go this week? Where can you go easy, and notice the glow that still comes through the cracked or broken or opaque place?

Inspiration

Awake & Aware

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When my mother gave birth to her first child, they knocked her out cold–bam–for the whole thing. When very pregnant with me a few years later, they wheeled her down the hall on one of those gurneys while she screamed, I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM at the top of her lungs and then they knocked her out. By the time she had her third and last child, 11 years later, she was determined to take back the night; she wouldn’t let them give her a thing.

She was Awake and Aware, just like the book she had studied during her pregnancy. Dad was her coach, but in those days, he was only allowed to help her pant and blow until she was ready to push. Then they scooted her into delivery in front of a mirror for her to watch the miraculous event only they didn’t know she was blind as a bat without her glasses and the only contact lenses they made at the time were little saucers made out of glass or concrete or something astoundingly hard that she wasn’t allowed to wear.

Dad was on the other side of the door calling to them, Her glasses! Get her glasses! She needs her glasses! When I think of that, I feel so tenderly toward them, Mom for reclaiming this passage, Dad for scrambling to help as he nervously chewed toothpicks to splinters, barred from watching the arrival of his own son.

My sister and I were at home under the charge of our basement tenant who was called up to babysit but was more accurately sleeping one off as we watched from the doorway and giggled each time his legs went straight up in the air and then crashed down, flipping him like a human pancake while he mumbled incoherently. We thought it was a riot. Look at the funny drunk!

I think of my mom back when she was in her twenties with two small children, a husband, and a household to manage. She was a college graduate with a flare for design and liberal politics. One wall of our dining room was taken up entirely by a huge McGovern banner, and she would often host parties with my father’s architecture students and sit cross legged on the floor and sway to Dylan and Baez.

She would start a round of Kumbaya in earnest, in her long hair and Merimeko pantsuits and once, about a decade ago when Peter Paul and Mary came on the radio singing, We Shall Overcome, she grew still, looked out the window and softly cried. We really thought we could change things, she said. We really thought we could make it a different world.

You gotta love a mom like that.

Of course, she also yelled at us a bunch and chased my 13 year-old sister around a field with a wooden spoon after being called a bitch. She never made contact. I mean, she was a pacifist really, just trying a bit of the hard line like the time she threatened to wash our mouths out with soap but ended up lightly tapping the Ivory bar on a washcloth and swiping it halfheartedly on our tongues.

It wasn’t that she couldn’t be tough, she just wasn’t strict–tucking me into bed with my high school boyfriend doesn’t really qualify as strict–but we cleaned and cooked and worked odd jobs and learned to process our feelings and get in touch with what our headache was trying to tell us.

If it’s true what they say, that life is the school and love is the lesson, then she’s on board for the whole curriculum, signing up for nearly every class and even extra credit projects, stumbling into class breathless with some exciting discovery or fresh outrage, coming in just a little late, making every kind of noise imaginable on her way to her seat, dropping things, laughing, sneezing, coughing, clearing her throat, blowing her nose into a grungy old Kleenex, grunting as she lowers into her chair and then, just when you think she’s all settled in, out comes the Tupperware and she methodically puts together a little snack, silverware clangs to the floor, she licks her fingers, bites, chews, and swallows so audibly you swear she’s been miked. She’s a noise machine. A noise machine wrapped in batik and natural fibers, infused with a stunning amount of energy and a longing for fun, for being a part of things, for being let in.

She’ll about die for a good time. In fact, one night during dinner she almost did; my husband Dave made her laugh so hard she fell off her chair and to the floor. Dave carried on with his funny story because sometimes Mom can be theatrical but thankfully we caught on in time, picked her up and gave her a good slap on the back.

She’s one of the people who hasn’t figured it all out yet.

I relate.

She’s out there, in the big messy world, giving it her best shot, trudging along, despite her preoccupation with getting the right fabric for the new pillows and planting herself on the couch with stacks of Home Goods catalogues and occasionally going blank when I’m telling her something because she’s sifting through her To Do list in her mind, despite her absolute compulsion to correct everyone around her and an ever so slight allergy to being wrong, she is still, at 83, trying new things, calling her representatives, marching with her handwrritten signs, wanting to connect, wanting her glasses on until the very end.

I’m with her. As painful and confounding as this life can often be, I say, Don’t knock me out and make sure to always help me find my glasses.

It might be scary to be Awake and Aware sometimes, but that’s what I want, too. Right up until the very end.

What about you? If life is a school and love is the lesson, what it is love asking of you right now? Where is it asking you to stay awake and aware, to stretch and open, to let something in or let something go? 

Mindset

Doing right by you

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People love you, for sure. They want you to be happy. They do! They want you to do the things that make you feel excited, energized, and fulfilled. Except that often, when you start doing those things, they freak out a little.

Or a lot.

No consciously. But somewhere inside, they panic. They feel unsettled by the change.

They feel threatened by the new you emerging.

They feel afraid that you’re leaving them behind.

And you know what? You might be.

Sometimes that is what’s happening. Sometimes moving more deeply into the truth of who you are will move you away from some people in your life. Most of the time, though, your deep dive opens up a place of permission for everyone around you to step into a more truthful, more beautiful, more expansive life.

Look, you are not here to make anyone else comfortable, or uncomfortable for the matter. It’s not about shaking things up just for the sake of it. Change will happen to you–there’s no need to manufacture it.

Answering the call the shift things or shed things or start things is an act of courage. There will be more that follow, including staying strong when others freak out.

Know you are moving toward freedom, yours and theirs, whether or not they can see it. Doing the wrong thing for you is never the right thing for anyone.

“Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.”–Mark Twain

Body Compass

When You Hit a Wall

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What happens when you hit a wall? When you feel up against it? All out? When you just can NOT anymore?

When you look at the latest pile of dishes and you think, Why bother?

When you drag the clothes out of the dryer and into the laundry basket and then use that as your dresser for the whole week?

When you watch one episode after the other of a show you’ve already seen while your dog stares and stares at you doing that desperate thing with his eyebrows?

It could be that I’m sad about the broken weather or that my thyroid Rx needs a boost or that I’m emotionally wrung out from the tick tock countdown to the midterms and all the bullshit shenanigans and outright terror erupting from everywhere.

Or maybe it’s just life. Life has meandering paths, steep inclines, plateaus, beautiful views, deep forests, gushing rivers, dry wells. And walls.

The first thing to do is, not panic.

Oh look–a wall.

It’s not there because I’m a fuck-up, or I’ve made terrible mistakes, or I didn’t dream hard enough or follow through enough.

It’s just a wall, a part of the landscape.

Get to know the wall. Feel its surface. Paint it a pretty color.

Let it keep you in one place for a while. Lean up against it. Let it take your weight. Let it hold a boundary. Let it bring things into focus. Let it mark an ending. Truth is, you won’t stay there. The moment you give into it, love it, let it be there (it’s THERE so why fight it?) something will shift.

Let your mind drift. See where it goes.

You’ll notice something, a bit of movement, a flutter.

Don’t direct it. Just follow it. Let it flutter around. Notice where it lands.

It might not make any sense.

Good.

I wanna dance like Cardi B. That’s where my butterfly landed–on the twerking butt of a 20-something-year-old.

I’m just a middle aged white lady with a bad hip. I get out of breath changing the shower curtain liner. I can’t even understand what I’m seeing when I watch the hip hop.

But I love it! It makes me smile, feel light and tingly in my throat and chest.

That’s my body saying yes. My body doesn’t have a five-year plan. It’s all about right now.

So, with the wall and the dishes and the laundry and the dog all still there, I put my laptop on the fireplace mantle and spent about 20 minutes watching videos and gyrating around the living room.

It totally cracked me up.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, really, about anything.I  only know that I’m more creative, more resilient and more flexible when I really get that I don’t need to know. My only job is let what’s happening, be happening.

That’s not the same as collapsing into it or resigning myself to it. It’s being okay, even though it’s there.

What’s going on over there in your life? Any walls?

Try leaning in, let your eyes go soft, and see if anything silly, fun, or outrageous move into the periphery.

What was it?

Surprised?

Good.

Body Compass

Fear & Freedom

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I spent last weekend in New York at a workshop led by Josh Pais the actor, teacher, and the creator of Committed Impulse (CI). If you’ve never heard of Josh Pais and his work, go read more about it right now. It’s extraordinarily powerful, exhilaratingly profound work. He developed it over the years as a way to access his spontaneity and creativity as an actor but the classes are for anyone who wants to show up in their life more courageously.

Notice I didn’t say fearlessly. I mean, it’s cool to show up and do something hard when you’re not scared but that’s not courage. Courage is showing up for the hard or scary or new thing even though you’re scared. It takes vulnerability to face uncertainty, emotional exposure, risk.

We get brave not by getting rid of the fear but by shifting how we respond when the fear shows up. 

On the last day of the workshop, Josh led us through a group visualization during which, by the end, we each were ‘shown’ an image (from our subconscious) that represented a sub-personality–an aspect of ourselves–that we wanted to explore.

The exercise was to begin with this image, allow it to inhabit our body and guide us in finding a character — its physicality, voice, name, and anything else. 
 
People got up, three at a time, and went through this exercise. It was amazing! They became these people or creatures, seemingly by magic.  They interacted or not. They spoke or not. They were hilarious and surprising and odd and intriguing and moving. 
 
As I sat there, enthralled and delighted by the work, a growing dread overtook me. They were so good! I’ll never be that good! Ach! I can’t do this! I don’t have the stuff! What am I doing here? What was I thinking?
 
I got more and more in my head.

It wasn’t about planning what I would do or say. I simply had no clue what I would do. I had zero things going on in my head, only a vast terrifying blankness. I became paralyzed by my thoughts of being exposed, being self-conscious, being a failure or a faker, up there in front of everyone performing an idea of an idea rather than being authentic about whatever was truly going on.

As Josh says, “Nobody wants to see your brilliant idea. They want to see YOU. They are hungry for the truth.”
 
It also wasn’t about wanting to be amazing. I mean, sure, that would be fun if that’s what happened. But it wasn’t at the heart of the issue for me. What I wanted was the courage to let myself COMMIT to the IMPULSE and energy of the moment. I wanted to leap. I wanted to fall and find things as I was falling.

I didn’t want to manipulate the fear. I wanted to use it. 
 
This was what I was there for—to face the part of me that gets stuck, frozen, paralyzed and then INSTEAD of looking for a trick, a formula, or some work around, move with the energy of the terror of the unknown to wherever it took me because if you join it, it will move.

I mean, what was I going to do, LEAVE?  With only a few hours left of the entire weekend that I signed up for and paid for and had been looking forward to for months?

Yes. That’s exactly what I wanted to do.
 
During I break, I stood in line for the bathroom and announced to all the mostly young, beautiful actors there: I’m seriously fucked up in the head right now. I have a terrible case of Not Enough-ness. I don’t think I can do it. 

Them: Oh, yes you can!

Me: No, I can’t. Nothing will come out of me. I’ll just be up there with nothing and it will be painful and humiliating and excruciating!

Them: No, no! Something will come, it will!

Me:  It will for you. But not for me. 
 
And this is when it became crystal clear to me that I was making myself into a very special case, different than everyone. else. in. the. room. I am the ONLY ONE afraid to risk, to stretch, the only one for which nothing will come, the only one for whom this will not work. Such arrogance! 
 
Luckily, I didn’t collapse into bashing myself for being arrogant because Josh appeared in the line for the bathroom and I said, I think I have to go.

Josh: Oh, to the bathroom?

Me: No. I think I have to run away. I’m totally in my head. I’m filled with fear.

Josh: Use it! Party with the fear. It’s okay that it’s there.

Me: No. I really don’t think it is. It feels dangerous.

Josh: If you leave, I will cancel the class.

It wasn’t true, of course. He wouldn’t cancel the class. I knew what he meant was, this exact struggle is why you’re here. Leaving won’t solve anything. It will just be there the next time.

See, the problem isn’t the fear or the thoughts in your head, I imagined him saying (because he had been saying these things all weekend), it’s your resistance to what you’re feeling because you say No. Not this. This is not the right thing for me to feel for what I am about to do. 

That, my friends, is what fucks us up, shuts us down, and turns us away from ourselves, from who we truly are and what we are here to do.

I knew what he was saying was, Use the Four Access Tools of CI: (1) Breath. (2) Feel the actual sensations in your body. (3) Connect to your environment. (4) Say, “I’m back.”

After the break, I did that. IN EARNEST.

I breathed. I felt the sensation in my body (clamped chest, heavy stone in the pit of my stomach, numb legs). I looked around the room and really saw something specific—the contrast of light/dark in the corner of the ceiling. I said, I’m back. 

Everyone continued to be amazing. I said, I’m back, as I watched. I said it out loud, softly, over and over. I used the Four Access Tools to stay present while I watched so I wouldn’t spin out into my own drama.

At one point, I forced myself up. My legs were wobbly. My heart pounded in my chest.

I stood up in front of everyone.

I said, I’m back. I breathed and looked at a specific point on the wall directly across from me. I said, I’m back, again. In fact I said it continuously because the moment I finished saying it, my mind tried to rip me away from the present moment. (Minds are like that. The present is like a pile of hot coals to my mind.)

Josh talked us through the start of the exercise. I said, I’m back, a few more times and then I noticed that my body wanted to move in a particular way. I let it. I followed it.

I kept following it. I was in it. I was in the discovery. I was in the truth of the moment. I wasn’t manipulating or in my head or preoccupied by how I looked or what anyone else thought. I did things I didn’t plan to do. I was aware of everyone is the room and I felt free.

It was a total blast.

Afterward I said to Josh, I survived.

Ah! You thrived, he answered.

It was exhilarating.

I’m back. I’m back. I’m back.

It’s like what Pema Chodron says to do during hard times (which are really, times of intense physical sensation): Stay, stay stay.

Stay with the truth in the moment, not the ‘truth’ your mind wants to tell you. The truth your body knows.

It’s this and then it’s this. It moves you, informs you, transforms you.

It’s like a river or an ocean or a fire. It dances.

Dance with it.

Dance with the swirling, ever-changing mass of atoms, of energy.

It’s your power, your vitality.

It’s you. You need it.

But more than that, we need it because we need you.

Not your great idea or your idea of what you imagine we will think is great.

We need you, the real you, the moment to moment you. Now more than ever.

Body Compass

Answer the call

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Books come into our lives at exactly the right moment.

I’m reading Steven Pressfield’s newest book, The Artist’s Journey, and I urge you to do the same. It’s jam-packed and a quick read, both. It’s clear, straight-forward, and full of wisdom.

It’s a call to action.

It’s calling me to action, to inhabit my life differently, meaning–to fully stand in what I believe and let that be the whole thing. 

I’m at the tail-end of a sales class and even though the teacher is great and the content is clear, I’ve lost interest. My mind is telling me I should keep going. My body is saying No.

I don’t want to follow a formula. I don’t want to follow a script.

I don’t want to get better at sales. There is nothing wrong with being good at sales! It’s just not what I want.

What I want is to discover who I am through doing the creative work I am here to do.

I want to move from the great unknown into the great unknown by inhabiting the world of the great unknown (also known as the world of possibilities) by creating.

Creating.

Maybe I’m not meant to be a coach because I’m not pulled toward building my coaching business. I’m pulled toward being more fully IN the creative journey.

I’m pulled toward being with people, toward making things, not being alone in my office trying to get clients.

I want to paint. And write, and be funny with others, and play and read and see art and watch movies. I want to be outside and travel and have adventures and talk about the soul and spend my time with passionate people out in the world doing what they can to make it a better, safer, healthier, more just place.

I want to spend my time living the top 11 things I learned from my year of taking selfies:

  1. Inspiration comes from taking action, not before.
  2. You don’t have to be in the mood to do it.
  3. A bad picture is just a bad picture.
  4. That the more you look, the more you see.
  5. Not knowing is no big deal.
  6. Getting outside can be a game changer.
  7. The soul speaks in metaphor.
  8. Creative expression heals, empowers, and expands.
  9. Product is not the point.
  10. The more of me I have, the less anyone or anything can throw me.
  11. You can’t hide when you let go of focusing on the HOW and instead, begin, start, explore, play, experiment: do the thing.

What I have for you today is the same message I have for myself: Have the courage to do what you really want to do. 

Trust in your higher self, your deepest self, your wildest self, the calling in you that is beyond words and realism, beyond experience and qualifications, beyond what the world of conventionality and expectations tells you is possible.

Trust in the unseen world, the world that is asking to be brought into form. It’s there. It’s real. And it’s calling to you.

Answer the call.

Creativity

10 Lessons from The Great British Baking Show

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“No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing…try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all, have fun.” –Julia Child

Today it’s all about the bake, and by that I mean, The Great British Baking Show.

I’m sure you’ve seen it but if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat! I’m late to the party, but la la! What does it matter when we have every season right at our fingertips, or should I say, Netflixtips?

So for today, I’m going to give you, 10 Lessons I Learned From The Great British Baking Show:

  1. It takes courage to put yourself out there.
  2. It’s all about RIGHT NOW.
  3. Getting uncomfortable is inevitable when you can’t know how it’s going to turn out (and you can never know how it’s going to turn out).
  4. Time pressure keeps you moving.
  5. No matter what happens, stay in the game.
  6. You’re not in it alone, even when it might feel like you are.
  7. Helping someone else never takes anything away from you.
  8. There’s no shame in a bad bake.
  9. Every week (day, hour, minute) is a clean slate.
  10. Humor helps the human. Funny is essential, though as with baking, timing is key.

I think about these every time I show up to do something new or scary or challenging.

Showing up is the hardest.

Staying there is the hardest.

Being okay with a big fat ‘failure’ is the hardest.

Not comparing is the hardest.

And man alive, laughing is SO SO important! It’s the buoy, the salve, the fuel, the spark, and the sweet sweet comfort that creates room for us to be our whole, messy selves.

What about you?

Do you have someone in your life to help you show up, stay there, redefine failure, not compare, and have fun even though it’s new, scary, and challenging?

Try some FREE COACHING!

Yay! It’s true! For a limited time, I am offering free coaching to anyone’s who’s ready for change but struggling with how to make that change happen.

Click HERE to schedule your freebie.

Then go have a bit of sponge, a bite of shortbread, a spot of Parkin or whichever delicious treat melts in your mouth and opens your heart.