20
June

Clarity vs. Choosing

I began writing about this almost a year ago when I was in a transition and searching for the “right” answer to my next steps. I started agonizing a bit over feeling like I didn’t “know” what to do and that felt so uncomfortable. I don’t think I was looking for absolute certainty (or maybe I was), it was just a sense of ‘this is the right path’ or ‘that is the better path,’ for me, right now. And a dear friend reflected back to me that sometimes it’s more about making a choice and allowing the clarity to follow. That resonated with me immediately.

Why had I been forcing on myself some controlled outcome of my choices and my life?

That sense of pushing was not getting me the clarity either. When I relaxed into the idea that if I chose a next step and let that play out, I would become clear if I was on track or if I needed to redirect.

I think we often feel that we don’t have the luxury of choosing and trusting, with bigger decisions in our life. I sense we live more in a mindset where we believe we have to map it out, think it through, make pros and cons lists, talk it over with a trusted friend or advisor, hem and haw, whatever.  And I am not saying all of those are not helpful, the key is that after you’ve done all that and you are still having questions, it might be helpful to make a choice and see what happens.

I am a moderate planner of things and yet I have come to realize that I have really mapped out my life even in an unconscious way. Stepping more into a flow and trusting my instincts, my gut, my intuition, versus always rationalizing my feelings in my mind is a more supportive approach.  The energy of that approach is light, open, expansive, and relaxed. The outcome I am looking for is fulfillment. For me, fulfillment usually comes from the experience of something. I cannot know if I am fulfilled unless I have an experiential reference point. If I am spending all of my energy attempting to create an outcome, or make it happen, I am not so sure I am very present to what’s occurring and to what is available.  When I let go of needing to know and I make a choice, I arrive where I arrive. Essentially, I take myself out of my head and into my life.

The clarity does come later. It’s really quite miraculous. It’s the reward for letting go, releasing the grip on needing it to be or look a certain way and trusting the flow of life.

I have recently found myself in another space of exploring options and this question of “knowing” is present again. This time I am not really making demands of myself to know, rather I am following my energy, my flow of inspiration.  (I will share more about that in another post. :-))

Everything is for us.

For your consideration.

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5
June

Ms. Angelou

She had a voice that penetrated my consciousness. The wisdom was heard in each intonation. And her candor was delicious. She was a truth teller in every sense.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

I remember reading I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings in my 10th grade English class.  I was so intimidated by this book. It was the first time I really began to learn how to dig into an author’s meaning of not just words but their grouping of words. The way she strung them together was not only powerful; it was deep and provocative. I am so grateful her book along with a few others (Kaffir Boy, Native Son) were selected by Mrs. Jones.  It was in many ways my entry into learning how it felt, rather than how it was reported, to live as a young black person during those gruesome times of inequality.

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

I have to admit, I didn’t really know how full of a life Dr. Angelou lived. I understood she sang and did some film and theater, and was even engaged with the Civil Rights Movement.  I knew her as a literary change agent and a one of a kind, and compelling female role model.  I didn’t know she was raped as a young girl and after the perpetrator was murdered she didn’t speak for several years blaming her voice after having testified against him. I didn’t know Martin Luther King, Jr. her friend and colleague, was assassinated on her birthday and that she then didn’t celebrate her birthday for years following.  I didn’t know that she joined with Malcolm X prior to that to support his efforts only for that to be shortened by his assassination.  And that she lived in Cairo and Ghana and spoke more than 5 languages all while raising a son that she delivered at 16.

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.”

Her life story, what she experienced, and then what she did with her life is beyond inspirational.  I am not sure we celebrate the courage of the human spirit enough. Her resiliency was unwavering and it’s evident she didn’t know any other way.   Ms. Angelou‘s life is an example of what is possible for any of us. Her exampleship and memory will serve us for generations to come, and I hold that if nothing else, her choices give us, most especially women, permission to live our lives fully. To not hold back. To not waste time. To not miss opportunities to shine because we don’t want to upset or ruffle feathers. To stop telling ourselves bullshit stories about what we can’t do or what isn’t possible.

She drove impossible out of the game, completely.

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you cannot practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically but nothing consistently without courage.”

Thank you, Ms. Angelou. You will be the rainbow in the clouds for many.

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30
May

Light!

“Sending Light.”  “So much Light!”  “I am sending Light ahead.”

What do I mean by this?

Short version: I am offering up a blessing of Love.

Longer version: In the last few years I have adopted these phrases and I often share them with my loved ones, those that know exactly what I am referencing and those that don’t. Initially, I would catch myself prior to saying, so as not to confuse someone or be asked to explain what I meant.  I didn’t want to be misunderstood and I also didn’t really want to explain why I was saying the word “light” or what I meant by it.  I hoped the way I shared and the moments I chose to share, it would be fairly self explanatory where I was coming from.  Plus we all have an idea of what Light means – at least in the literal sense. Light is bright, illuminating, a form of energy.

Soon, I decided not to worry about being misunderstood, trusting my intention and knowing it would shine through whenever I expressed it. And pretty soon my loved ones that weren’t already saying it themselves, were now reflecting it back to me.  It’s really quite wonderful, language, and how we use it to communicate. It goes to show that the listening behind what is being said is really where the understanding comes from.

So, I want to share a little bit more about what Light is…for me.

Light is spiritual.  Light is Love.  Light is God.  Light is prayer.  Light is calling forward the energy of the Precious Presence or the perfection of Love that is available to any of us at any time.  Light is Joy.  Light is goodwill.  Light is a blessing.  Light is the power of the holy spirit, the universe, God, whatever higher power any of us choose to call home.  Light is available.  If we choose to see it and call on it.

When I express my blessings of Light, I am saying that my Loving and heartfelt attention is calling on, asking for, and offering an intention of Grace, Ease, Expansion, Healing, Divinity, Wholeness, Radiance…you get the picture, to be sent directly to you or the situation.  This is my prayer.

For  your consideration.

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12
October

Mary J + Cardio = Magic!

What is your MAGIC?

My powerful coach, Steve Chandler speaks about his coach, Steve Hardison as being a Magical Motivator for him.  I love this!  We all have motivators in our lives – some that come in the form of our coach, some are experiences we had that push us to want change in our lives, some of us are easily motivated with goals we set for ourselves.  If we are smart, we have stacked our lives with our magical motivators.

My coach, the first Steve, is definitely a motivator in my life and he shares his magic with me in our coaching sessions and also in the numerous books he has written.

I have been internally motivated to achieve certain successes based on how I decided as a little girl I wanted my life to go.  It’s amazing the contracts we make with ourselves when we are growing up that push our lives in certain directions.

I also feel called to share that one of my most amazing motivators is cardio exercise and Mary J Blige!  Maybe that sounds too simple.  But I have to tell you, it is powerful what happens for me when my heart rate is up and she is singing one of her brilliant lyrics in my ears.

What got me excited this morning to write this post was the richness of my experience while running the strand on Santa Monica beach.  I do this run about once a week and each time I struggle a bit to get going.  I see the beauty of the water which motivates me some and then within a few minutes the challenge of the cardio – my heart rate being pushed, I get fatigued and want to stop.

I have learned to listen to my body.  I know when there is an opportunity to push myself to a new level.   Although the physical pain makes me want to forget, I can remember the glory I feel when I get to the other side.  This may be, by the way, a matter of 8-12 minutes.  And I share all that because usually after those few minutes, I am now on the other side and what opens up inside me is profound.

My mind gets clear.

My creativity flows free.

I see nothing but possibility and it feels really good.

It’s from this place, I can formulate my day in way that lifts me up.  I receive downloads of ideas that excite me to action.  Or I acutely connect to the beauty of a fellow runners smile.  All of this fills up my personal gas tank to serve my self so I can serve in the world.

So, I ask you, what is your MAGIC?  Are you your biggest advocate placing motivators all around your life?  If not, why the heck not?

For your consideration…

 

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19
August

Can you help someone be even more awesome?

We all have the ability to help others be even more awesome than they already are!

I received an email from this designer/blogger I recently discovered, sharing an inspiring and refreshing video featuring inventor and co-founder of the company SugruJane ni Dhulchaointigh.  I have no idea what is the deal with her last name and yet I sense it is very fitting.  Although she is super honest and displays her humanness so beautifully, you learn from her story that she is anything but simple.  What stood out the most in her sharing was how she continuously listened to and was open to feedback when she was feeling stuck.  Her dedication to her passion to make something that was useful and to follow the flow of this thing that was to be one of her life contributions was fantastic to witness.

I especially felt inspired by the numerous examples she shared that demonstrated the beauty of the human spirit.  As she shared each one, I enjoyed seeing it reflected through her – how her commitment to trust and be who she is, fostered a space for others to come forward to assist her and her company, and also to benefit from her invention.  Pure goodness!

Key takeaways that could be applied to any part of our lives:

  • Believe in what you are doing – if not, what is the point?
  • Treat your customers as royalty – they are the key to our enduring success
  • Can you help people be even more awesome? – why wouldn’t we want to do this?

Enjoy!

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16
July

Are you playful?

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I recently spent some time at an amusement park with family and it reminded me of the opportunity to be playful, to let my hair down, and to participate in the fun.

Are there rides you don’t think you are ready to get on? Maybe you think you aren’t ready? Or maybe you feel you are “too” old? It’s all just a story.

We decide what is true.

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10
July

Early Morning Moments

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I’ve been aware for a long time that mornings (and the earlier the better) can be exquisite. There is such opportunity to be had in the morning. Sometimes that might mean super early depending upon what goes on in your life. My intention is to create the space where my life fits in more early morning moments…like these. Grateful.

Elizabeth Gilbert writes about the beauty of her mornings here. Inspired.

For your consideration…

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8
July

I’m getting on the Juicing Bandwagon

I first experienced juicing with a past boyfriend who was a triathlete. Not only was he in tip top physical shape, he also was very aware of what he was putting in his body for fuel. He had a fancy Champion juicer and he showed me the ropes. At that time the Champion was really the only way to go and it was pretty pricey. I also remember drawing the conclusion that the process was pretty time intensive and clean up was big. With that, my engagement has been sporadic.

As the health revolution evolves, juicing continues to be a mainstay and the greener the better! I’m not sure that it is less time consuming or without the clean up, but a lot has been learned and there are many tips around prep and use of the machines to ease clean up. I’m so excited to get going I finally committed to purchasing my first juicer.

I’ve been on the look out for a quality machine at an affordable price. Kris Carr of Crazy Sexy Wellness has shared her recommendations and I landed on this “on sale” Breville. I read a lot of reviews and it sounded like a great deal and has stood the test of time for many buyers. Of course I loved the price point too! It may not have been exactly what Ms Carr recommended but the brand was aligned and I’m just a newbie. Plus I have experienced that most things I take care of have a very long life. (Most people can’t believe when they get into my car that its 7 years old. :-))

Anywho, I’m excited about making some green juice and I will be sure to share more soon.

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8
July

Peaches and Cilantro? Yes!

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I discovered a whole new level of food with a good friend a few years back. She taught me the simplicity of working with a few ingredients and not to let cooking intimidate me. It was her art. A craft which she had nurtured and developed over many years. Her ease with cooking created many shared delicious occasions and it also served to inspire me to try new things; her mentorship provided me a sense of confidence and willingness to embark on my own art with food.

It always feels good to cook. In many ways there is an experience of nurturance it evokes unlike anything else. Creating healthy and beautiful sustenance for myself and others. What could be better? :-)

After seeing the delicious crates of peaches at Trader Joe’s, I remembered this article I tore from NY Times Magazine over a year ago. I still had it attached to my fridge door. Mark Bittman has served as a food educator for me via the NY Times over the years.

I chose the simplicity of the cilantro recipe because I liked that there wasn’t too many other ingredients to compete with the peaches and it called for a dash of cayenne pepper. I’m always drawn to some spice. Needlesstosay, it came out perfect and it was super easy.

You still have time to try a few of them!

For your consideration…

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1
July

July 1

There is something about this July 1 and it being on a Monday that really feels like a fresh start. I love fresh starts. It might be an illusion AND it works. Don’t you feel on Mondays it’s like a new beginning? I suppose if your not thrilled with your job, it won’t emote exactly what I’m speaking to and yet it is a fresh start.

Being that it is July 1, which is exactly one half of the year, there is a fresh start to the second half of the year. Anything special you’d like to experience this year? Now is a great time to declare it…whatever it is. You’ve got 6 whole months to make it happen. They say September is the “new” new year. Maybe July 1 is really the “new” new year. Independence day is just a few moments away. Why not? We’ve got red, white and blue party streamers waiting to celebrate.

It may have been a Pollyanna moment. Nonetheless I felt called to share it in case any of you are feeling kinda crappy about something you still haven’t done that you’ve been meaning to do. I know how that goes. The good news? It’s the new new years and now is your chance to make it happen.

All of this to translate: stop talking about it and do it or just stop talking about it. Maybe you aren’t supposed to do it.

Be good to you!

(A good friend says this to me almost every time we’re about to part ways. It’s a really nice reminder of how I can choose to be with myself!)

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