MAGIC (AND PROOF THEREOF)

So, remember my conversation about shifting my signal, inviting more into my life, and saying HELL YES more often?

Hot damn. It is crackin’ up in here. CR-A-CK-ING.

The ceiling can’t hold me. The roof is on fire. My hands are in the air. I’m jumping around. Pushing it. There is magic happening. I’m not lost, I’m ready to Show.The.World.

Okay, if you haven’t yet caught on, I: a) have a major affection to song titles (see my spotify playlists for evidence), and b) I’m not just ready to show the world, I’m ready to share it, this new learning, with anyone and everyone. It’s just too damn powerful to keep all to myself.

Rubber, meet Road. Road, this is rubber. Get to know each other, we’re going to spend some solid time in contact for the next several decades.

Why? Magic is happening people. Miracles. And I have proof.

Yes, I said magic. And miracles. And proof. All in the same line. Yup. Because, well, that’s pretty much how it’s working as of late. Saying “yes” is changing my life, and I have (more) evidence.

Let’s first just clear up the fact that I am definitely the kind of girl who likes proof (and not just the 80% kind served up by my buddies Tito and Goose). Affirmation. Data. I want to touch it, manipulate it, play with it, see it, validate it. I like to know why I know what I know. So surprising, I realize.

Now, I have plenty of blind faith. Tons, actually. I believe in all kinds of shit I can’t see and touch but just feel. I’ve had spiritual experiences, I’ve had Angels walk with me; I’ve witnessed divine intervention.

That’s not quite what I’m talking about, yet.

When it comes to change, new ideas, concepts or thought patterns, I don’t always. . . just buy in. I’m kind of a tough sell, actually. There’s a bit of an inner skeptic in me that views things with a (glittery) scientific lens. Okay, and probably a good solid dose of righteousness too, if we’re being honest. I love learning new things, but if you don’t show me some back-up, well… I’ll just throw it in the bag with all the other bullshit I’ve archived over the years and forget about it.

So, call me Sherlock Holmes if you must, but I have been doing all this reading, and practicing, and learning about the law of attraction, the physics behind it, the neuroscience that describes how and why changing our habits, attitudes and beliefs actually impacts our lives, in an effort to grow, learn, and begin to try to explain the mysteries that exist in our world.

In the meantime, I’ve been living it, day in day out, and loving every goddamn minute of it, for sure. But still, I kind of wanted to see it. And graph it. And . . . possibly, make a list.

Happy sigh.

So, I um, did. Make a list that is.

Two weeks ago I wrote up a little inventory of some things I wanted to manifest in my life, phenomenon  I wanted to happen, miracles, lets call them, just for shits and giggles. I wrote them down, set my intention and I used the the mantra “it’s already mine” anytime I thought of them.  By doing so I stepped into each day with a solid confidence as I allowed the universe to hold space for me so I could let go and let them happen.

And then I watched to see what came out of it next.

Um. They happened. Or, rather, they are happening. Like, all the time. ALL THE TIME.

Check it; here is just a sample of what has happened, just a SAMPLE, not even the full list of miraculous events in the last week (disclaimer- me walking on water is not one of them. Ditto to water turning into wine, so don’t like, get your hopes that high):

  1. I wanted to go to an inspirational talk, but couldn’t justify the expense. Guess what I did on Friday afternoon? Just guess. Hint- I was in San Francisco, ocean front, for a total cost of zero dollar bills, with Susanne Fucking Conrad. SUSANNE CONRAD people. Haven’t heard of her? Put seeing her on your to-do list. Guarantee you won’t regret it.
  2. I was feeling weighed down and bored by my old decor, from my old life, from my old house and could feel it holding me back from progress. There was too much of it, and it no longer represented this version of me. So, to change things up I wanted to purge and redecorate more minimally, but on the cheap (read, free). Through a social media site with fellow moms in my community, within 24 hours of posting I sold almost all of my major pieces and already started purchasing new ones, and for less money. For example, I sold an area rug for $100 and bought a new one for $60. Yes. Profit. Progress. Made some, and in 24 hours with maybe an hour of effort. Helllllooooo new clean look.
  3. I wanted a new purse, a turquoise one as I was feeling a little . . . uninspired by my swag. Lame, I know. I just did. Super material of me, no question, but also, no apologies.  Guess what showed up in the mail today, courtesy of a new friend, who sent it to me just because? Uh huh. A new (to me) turquoise purse, that she bought in a yoga studio no less! Happy dance happening up in here.
  4. I wanted to raise enough money to fund my Seva Safari project coming up in March.  Let me just say, the event that is now in progress to fund that trip with Africa Yoga Project? It is blowing my fucking MIND. Out of this world awesome happening. I.Can’t.Hardly.Wait. Save the date, by the way, January 24th, you will want to be there. I promise.
  5. I wanted a way to access more fresh produce more often, without paying an arm and a leg or growing things myself (see the dead plant by my front door for an example of just how black my thumb really is). I love Farmer’s Market and all, but um, I also love the way those Presidents look in my wallet, you know? So. Couple that with wanting to teach more yoga classes. Ready for this?Are you seated? I’m teaching Yoga on the Farm the next two Sundays. Guess how I get paid (besides a per student rate)? IN PRODUCE. Organic produce. For teaching yoga. It doesn’t get any more green than that. Literally.
  6. I want to find a way back out of the education system I perpetually find myself in, and make yoga, writing, and wellness coaching a real deal career. Yeah, so, about that, I have had a new job opportunity come my way almost every single day for the last few weeks. Not kidding. Every. Single. Day. Today? Two. Two amazeballs ones, actually. T-W-O. Now to begin negotiations with my calendar, which informed me that “ain’t nobody (okay, me) got time for that.” Pshhhh. Who needs sleep anyway?
  7. I wanted get my business(es) really launched, and make them into something really, well, big. A BFD as it were. Right when I was feeling most uncertain, most unsure of how it was going to work out, e-mails started to trickle in from people I don’t even know thanking me for my writing and telling me how it has helped them. One such contained a whole slew of ideas to raise funds, get publicity and generally make things happen. Motivated, I took some positive action, such as my GoFundMe campaign, and the ball is a rollin’ fast now baby. Here.We.Go.

This is maybe a tenth of what has happened in the last two weeks. A tenth. Just think about that for a minute.

I’m beyond surprised. Beyond.

How can you do it too? Well, I’m not one to tell you how to do things. . . but. . . if you wanted to give it a shot then, you might want to know that: a) I don’t tell. I show. SHOW. It’s different, and b) basically, it has gone down like this:

  1. Decide what I want.
  2. Set a positive intention
  3. Envision it as mine, identify and feel the emotions connected to that want.
  4. Take positive action, allowing no negative thoughts, no exit strategies, no “can’t” to enter my sacred space. Keep the zone umbrella free.
  5. Begin each day with a calm confidence that it will come to be and use a mantra any time doubt enters my mind.
  6. Open my heart, my hands and my eyes.
  7. Say “yes.”
  8. Receive, over, and over, and over again.
  9. Show sincere gratitude.
  10. Repeat

Dare you to try it. Hell, I double dog dare you.

Go see what happens. Make some miracles. Bring some sparkle into your life. You risk nothing by trying and everything by not. You have nothing to lose but your own new experience.

Go. Do it. Go say “yes,” damn it. Then shoot me a line and let me know how it goes. Really, I’d love to hear how it’s going for you.

Still uncertain? Want some help? Support? Ideas? Hit me up, sharing is caring after all. Go to my GoFundMe page, pick a session and I’ll give you a call, promise.

Here’s to the miracles my friends. The big, the small, the everyday, and the unbelievable. Life is extraordinary. Every moment of it, together. Love it, and it will love you back.

Have a happy week.

Like this post? Post it, tweet it, pin it, google it, trip on it, or otherwise spread the social love people.Really, really, like it? Subscribe to my feed and get posts delivered in your inbox. Can’t get enough? Stalk me: @CFOLikeaMother, Facebook or Pinterest

JUST SAY YES

On the Sunday just prior to my “Fuck You Very Much Monday” epiphany I volunteered all morning and part of the afternoon at Sacramento Peace Day. It was awesome. It was also a little um, foggy, as I was, to be honest, totally experiencing Rangover. Yes, Rangover. Not hungover (surprise!). Rang-over.

My eight hours of service at Peace Day were preceded by a late night birthday celebration that Wednesday which was followed with a 13 hour work day Thursday beginning at oh dark thirty and then yet another Ragnar Relay (my fourth in twelve months time) Friday (again, in the dark, because that’s how you keep it real [slow]) through Saturday afternoon.

In a team of twelve we ran 205 miles for 36(ish) straight hours (in legs, not like, in one giant mass of endorphins) and kind of, sort of didn’t really ever sleep. Given all that, it would be safe to estimate that between Wednesday night and Sunday morning I got maybe… 16 hours of sleep. 16 hours, in four days. You do the math.

So… I was maybe a little out of it come Monday. Tad. Small amount.

What? Think that’s too much for one weekend?

I don’t. Obviously.

I just don’t like to say “no” to fun. I don’t want to give anything up; I prefer to grow bigger biceps instead so I can carry everything. In one hand. With my eyes closed.

It’s not overdoing it, though, it’s actually brilliant. Exhausting, at times, but genius.

How?

Abundance mentality baby. Vibrations and signals to the universe. The law of attraction. Shit like that I used to make fun of and now realize is actually good science. Funny how that works out, isn’t it?

The more fun I have, the more fun I have, and then the more fun, and the more fun, and so on. It’s a snowball, a big fluffy snowball of fun.

Good stuff.

So, speaking of learning to let the good times, um, roll,  while at Peace Day I was fortunate to get to practice this idea of letting go in order to in. I had the opportunity to make peace with some things in my life, some baggage, as it were,  in unique, creative and expressive ways. By taking the time to really consider what I might let go in order to grow, I was able to begin to shift the pulse of my life in order that it bring me more of what I seek and less of what I don’t.

It helped me reinforce my decision to move forward with a different attitude.

An attitude of “it’s already mine,” of completeness, of wholeness, of trusting the universe to provide, and in plenty.

If I think more of and in my life and my good fortune, the more splendor I will find. The more I say “yes” to things, the more will be offered to me.

Likewise, if I choose to focus on what I don’t have, what I might not get, what I might be missing out on, the less favor I will find placed in my path. The less fun. The more negative. The fewer the opportunities. The more I say “no,” the less will be available.

You with me so far? Think I’m full of ideology and lacking in practicality?

A few years ago I would have agreed with you. Now? Well, now I have a different story.

Me, being, well, me, tested it out, and it turns out, it’s legit shit. For real.

I’m serious.

Want to read about my “proof?” Read this post, then come right back here.

Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

You back?

Wheels spinning yet? Still not believing my cosmic bullshit? Let’s take this from me to you.

What miracles in your life are you overlooking?

Let’s start small, baby steps.

Think of someone great you know, a work contact, a friend,  maybe. How do you know them? Where did you meet them? Who introduced you? Where were you? What chance event may have caused that meeting? How has that meeting impacted your life positively? What would your life be like if you didn’t know them, if you hadn’t met?

Now call to mind something you have in your life that you value greatly. An experience. A thing. A memory. How did you get it, create it or recieve it? How did it come into your life, and why has it stayed? What makes it so different, so special, so worthy of your time and attention? Why do you want it so much?

Chilling to think about, isn’t it? Stay with me here.

Go deeper. Identify something you love to do in your life. How, when and why did you start doing it? What circumstances led you there? How did you discover it? When was it offered to you, and why did you accept?

While I don’t know your exact answer, my money is on taking a risk, following your heart and saying “yes” to something new. I would bet that you met that person because of another person, a chance meeting, a connection from a connection from a choice to go somewhere different than you had before.

Am I wrong?

Maybe. But maybe not.

One good thing leads to another. It’s not just song title, it’s the fucking truth. I’m so far along this amazing journey I can barely trace the path of how I got here.  It’s a story like this: “well I decided to try yoga and then I met so and so, who introduced me to this and that, where I met this person and then went to this place and while there I got to experience this mind blowing opportunity which led me to sign up for this training, where I met these amazing people, who helped me get started doing that thing which connected me to this person, who helped me get this job, who…” And on and on and on it goes.

The common thread? Saying “yes.” Being willing to follow a lead. Getting out of my comfort zone. Growing. Expanding my view, my horizons and my perspective. Letting it flow, like water, right into my lifestream.

When you signal to the universe that you’re ready for more it drops it on you, and hot. When you withdraw, it responds in kind.

Be careful, because you just might be asking for the wrong thing and not knowing it.

If you want more money, but you’re constantly living by scraping by and by cutting back, you’re actually putting out the energy of restraint, not plenty.

If you want more, then give more.

If you want more love, but you’re afraid to be vulnerable and get hurt then you’re saying to the universe- “thanks but no thanks.”

If you want passion, inspiration, appreciation and devotion, give it freely first.

The universe can smell your fear. It can hear your inner voice. It knows you. You.Can’t.Hide.

Time to shake that shit up, Taylor Swift style maybe.

STOP SAYING “NO” TO YOURSELF.

It’s time to move out of the house of cards you’ve built and out into the light, exposed and ready to glow.

Well then. Consider my move official. The contents of this box I call my brain have shifted. There is no room for doubt. There is no vacancy for disquietude. There is not a space to hold “can’t.”

I know what I want, and I’m going to go get it.

This means that for a little while, I will take on more. For some time, I will say “yes” to as much as reasonably, safely, and humanly possible. I will see each chosen opportunity through, and discover where it leads before I decide whether or not to continue. I can bring my dreams into reality through positive action, not creating exit strategies.

It’s already working. I have had a new work opportunity land in my lap almost every single day for the last month. Seriously. Almost every.single.day.

My heart is bursting. My knees are a little weak. My mind? Blown.

Why is this working? Because I set my radar to “seeking,” and the universe is responding loud and clear. God is listening. He heard what I said, and he’s offering it to me.

Ask, and you shall receive.

As I continue to invite  more opportunity into my life, as I set and maintain my intention, as I am impeccable with my own word, to myself, then the world is my oyster, and damn if I don’t like oysters.

Go out. Say “yes.” Just do it. See what happens. Not sure where to start? Say this:

Universe, I’m ready to dance, start the music please.

Then get your ass on the dance floor and get jiggy with it.

IMG_7639

MONEY ON MY MIND

Okay friends, family, followers, stalkers (just kidding, mostly),

I am asking for your help. Yes, me, asking for help. Gulp. It’s time to make my dream a reality and build my business into a sustainable empowerment machine.

As you know, my daily directions include the following tasks:

1. Wake up
2. Be Awesome
3. Repeat

Well, in regards to numero dos … I’m working on making things a little more, awesome. A bit more sparkle. A lot more love. I’d like to make this writing and helping people deal my full time gig. In order for me to to do so, to reach and teach others through my words, my time and my practice, I’ve got some dolla bills to raise, yo.

So, I’ve built the content foundation, grown my networks, designed a business framework (notice how I’m avoiding the word plan here? wink,wink), and um,  it’s now time to take the next (super money) step. Funding.

Yikes.

What does this mean for you? Well, it means, that if you like my stuff, and you would like to be a part of the momemtum with me, it would be the coolest thing ever if you’d dontate some funds to help me grow this little deal into, well, a BFD.

Wondering what will I do with all those greenbacks? Well, some things like this:

  1. Marketing and publication
  2. Curriculum and program development
  3. Content development
  4. Plan, promote and deliver workshops
  5. Community outreach
  6. A CTFD retreat to Costa Rica. Yup. Yoga. Beach. Goal Setting. Life Coaching. I mean, how can you NOT want to go?
  7. Trainings, so I can improve my skills to offer, uh, more skills/ideas/support to you all.
  8. My Seva Safari to Africa with the Africa Yoga Project in March
  9.  The intial phases of a Wellness Center. Care and strenghtening of the body, mind, spirit- I’m building my team now- care to join?
  10. Total.World.Domination. Duh

Interested? Maybe you could spend your $5 on my site instead of a latte today? $10 to help share the love while you eat a salad from home instead of the deli?  Or, if you’re really feeling frisky, $25 in lieu of a groupon massage? :-O

I’m offering contributors anything from good karma to yoga lessons to guidance sessions plus a big discount on the retreat. Help me, help you!

Thanks in advance for your support. You rock.

Oh yeah, click here to donate.

http://www.gofundme.com/Empowerment-Funds

MANIC MONDAY

FUCK.

Monday was just . . . exhausting.  A tornado. A hurricane of a day where I left the house at 8:30 a.m. and didn’t come home to stay for another 12 hours.  I was tired. I was cranky. I was sore from my (ridiculously fun) weekend running adventure, and generally, well, bitchy for most of the morning.

This was my internal speech pattern:

closethatshit

A nice professor I was not. Then again, maybe the students could have say, used their (clearly underdeveloped) critical thinking skills to write a response to confusing questions such as: “Name,” “Have you taken this course before?” and “Semester.”

Not.Kidding.

I mean just read the damn directions would you please?  Read them! It says “initial” there smarty pants, not number of units, not day of the week, not the goddamn class number (that you can’t locate on the blasted grid anyway), just write your fucking INITIALS on the line. First letter of first name. First letter of last name. Two letters. YOUR INITIALS!

Oops. My crazy is showing, better tuck that back in tight.

Big breath in. Big breath out.

Okay. All better. Alllllllll better. Back to being impeccable with my word and crap like that.

Since taking on this new job, changing my schedule back to this five days a week bullshit, I remembered why I: a) left this life, b) was always so tired, and c) why I should start buying lottery tickets. #can’twinifyoudon’tplay.

I also, in an attempt to lampoon my own frustration, have encountered the perfect message to offer to this loathful day:

Dear Monday, 
Go step on a lego. 
Sincerely,
Everyone

Ha. Funny but not funny.

Because really. Holy crap. I forgot how draining it was to work on a set schedule with little to no flexibility during the day, leaving evenings and weekends crammed with handling every single other thing possible on the planet for three people, by myself.

Let’s not even get started on how much I am missing my exercise routine. I might like, start crying or something, and we know how much I detest love that nonsense.

Sigh.

This is not who I am anymore, and I know it. This work lifestyle doesn’t serve me. I can do it, and well too. I just don’t want to. It’s not the best version of me.

And so there I sat. Fake smiling my way through three hours of lab classes while I fought off negativity, fatigue and, honestly, the urge to bolt right out the door and onto my mat.

Even with my generally cheery outlook and reframing skills, I didn’t start feeling better until about noon or so, when I finally (insert happy sigh) got to step back into my service shoes, or er, lack thereof, and start assisting at Zuda again.

Halle-fucking-lu-jah.

I’ve been teaching, a lot. Yoga, reading , more reading, and then some more reading, and while that’s certainly been fabulous to many degrees, it has also affected the rest of my life, and I’m not so happy about that. As just one of the many changes that have come as a result of a new schedule, I haven’t been able to do my regular assisting classes like I used to do way back when (you know, like just last month).

Until right then, when I found my happy (bare) feet once again on the creaky wooden planks of the studio, I had forgotten how very much assisting fills me up, how inspired it makes me feel to be immersed in the yoga community, how much peace it brings me to be surrounded by the love and energy held within those yellow walls. How extraordinarly joyful I feel getting to support others in their practice, bearing witness to and assisting in bringing forth a more powerful being.

I need that kind of awesome in my life. Yes, need. Not want. Need.

Things I need in my life are now quite clear to me:

  1. Food, water, shelter. Duh
  2. Love, belonging and connection. Okay, people. I need people. AT&T? I’ll take the “Friends and Family Plan” please. For life.
  3. Touch and intimacy. I’m a hugger, so um, just deal with it or run fast(er than me). I’m also rather fond of deep and authentic conversation, so be prepared for shit to get real. And funny. Really funny maybe.
  4. Freedom. As in lack of control. Spontaneity. Don’t fence me in. Getting out my comfort zone. The non-plan plan.
  5. Yoga. One workout for the body, mind and spirit, coming right up!
  6. Exercise and Rest. Yes. Rest. I said it. Don’t let me forget it please.
  7. Some more yoga. Because it.fixes.everything.
  8. Laughter and Play. See #1. Duh.

Where and how do I get those? Not by working 80 hours a week for a 40 hour paycheck with no room for fun. Hell no. That’s just not going to cut it.

Well, let me tell you. I have never. Not ever, EVER, been more motivated to get back to my former work life.

E-V-E-R.

I don’t know if it’s the changing of the seasons, the equinox, the harvest moon, some planetary triangle something-or-other, or if just that’s time, but I know this- I finally know what I want, and it’s about to get crackin’ up in here.

Flow. Positive vibrations. Abundance mentality. A shift is coming; it’s time for an earthquake.

My dream job- to empower others through my words, my time, and by sharing yoga- is happening. I can feel it from my head down to my toes. I just know. My gut has been telling me a few things lately, and this is one of them.

Everything is going to be okay.

Fuck, everything is going to be better than okay. Everything is going to be AMAZING.

Because it is. Because I can. Because there is a way, and I will find it.

Because yes.

So Monday, go ahead, step on your lego. Do it. I dare you. Then pick that fucker up, build yourself a bridge and get over it.

 

Like this post? Post it, tweet it, pin it, google it, trip on it, or otherwise spread the social love people.Really, really, like it? Subscribe to my feed and get posts delivered in your inbox. Can’t get enough? Stalk me: @CFOLikeaMother, Facebook or Pinterest


YOU SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY?

So. Today. I um. I’m celebrating 2014.

Oh. No, not the year. I mean, I have punctuality challenges, but I’m not that late for New Year’s Eve.

Nope. Today is my 20-14 birthday. You know, 20, plus 14.

Go ahead and roll your eyes. I know. It’s lame. And yep. I’m 34.

This girl. Right here. Thirty-four today.

Super. Yay me.

This means, that, gulp, I am not realllllly in my early thirties anymore, and instead, officially in the “mid-thirties” range.

Or not. Or, as my dear (same-aged) friend rationalized to me, we can still check the “18-34” category on registrations, thus we are basically the same as an 18 year old, and therefore clearly still in our early thirties. I mean, obviously.

Good spin right there, isn’t it?

But also, on a real level, SHITBALLS. If I’m turning 34 that means I’m almost 35. No really. HOLY FUCK. Thirty- FIVE. That sounds like a grown-up age, and I am definitely NOT a GROWN-UP.

But maybe I am.

And maybe I like it.

Most of the time.

Maybe, actually, since my soul has finally woken the hell up, maybe I’m like, really enjoying being an adult. I mean, take a look at all the awesome shit that happened just while I was 33:

  1. I started my blog! That inspired me to write for Scary Mommy. That motivated me to submit to elephant, which prompted me to become a regular contributor, which led me to being a Featured Author. I can’t WAIT to see what kind of authorship will next manifest.
  2. I got to up my teaching game, become a Professor, and do a decent enough job that I even got hired back on, with more classes, each semester. Suckers.
  3. I got to live in a neighborhood that was on my “I wanna live here someday” bucket list, and not only make friends with the people with whom I share a street, but host and attend not just one, but two block parties with my kickass neighbors.
  4. I got to enjoy the benefits of living the urban life in a city that is of a manageable size for me to conveniently, inexpensively and fully explore with my kids. We walk to the park to attend events and concerts. We take day trips to the ocean and the mountains and are still home by bedtime. We ride bikes to dinner in midtown and pick up frozen yogurt on the way back. We stroll to coffee and yoga on Sunday mornings, and we bring groceries from the food co-op home in backpacks after a long ride along the river trail. Somebody pinch me, because there is no way this is my real life.
  5. I got to learn how to live bigger with less, to let go of material shit, and how to leverage my resources.  Seriously, I haven’t even been to Costco one time in 10 months. Not kidding.
  6. I got to create my own schedule, working when, where, and with whom I wanted. I have never been happier in my work life than then, not ever.
  7. My yoga practice grew, first by assisting and connecting to the yoga community, and then by completing teacher training and becoming a yoga teacher. Me! I’m a YOGA TEACHER. For reals. Happy sigh. Oh yeah, and about handstand and titibasana– check! Maybe don’t ask me to hold them for a long time but. . . I didn’t place a time limit on it for a reason.
  8. I made new friends, and created THE most amazing community and network of friends and contacts through fitness, yoga, writing and connections. I have never had a heart more full of love and appreciation for the people in my life, in whatever capacity they have come, and in whatever way they have changed my path. Awesome. People.Are.Awesome.
  9. I sang and danced, with Michael Franti, on stage, in the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, at a yogathon, with some of the area’s most revered teachers. I mean. . . are you kidding me? That’s just fucking cool.
  10. I got to walk my kids to school almost every day, for the first time ever. In yoga pants. And flip flops. Even in December, when boots might have been a better call. Whatever, it’ s only two blocks. Toes don’t freeze that fast.
  11. I started CrossFitting. Enough said.
  12. I joined a wine club. Stop laughing. While it’s debatably geriatric ridiculous, it also happens to be at a vineyard nearby where I spent many a lovely sunny Sunday with friends creating new and joyful memories. It sincerely warms my heart when my shipment arrives. Literally, it does, it’s mostly red wine.
  13. I ran somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty events, and usually with people I had never (at least majoritively) previously met. I completed mud runs, obstacle runs, relays, half marathons, themed runs, pub crawls and brewfests. Oh wait, no, scratch that last two, no running for those guys. Biking, yes, but not running. Oops.
  14. I chipped a tooth carrying a bottle of Longboard in my mouth out the front door on Christmas Eve. Yup. You read that correctly. Why is this on my list? Because I did it while hanging out with my little brother, who, being eight years younger than me, I am just now finally beginning to get to know. I’m so glad I was invited to the Cool Kids Fire Pit Party. This year though, just advance warning, I’m using a cup.
  15. I got to make writing and consulting a real part of my career and income. I got to attend business meetings in fancy restaurants, at golf clubs, and in coffee shops. I got to hold conference calls and help build websites. I got to manage projects, and see them grow. I got to learn, on the job, in real time, and with some legitmate Superstars. Entreprenuership; it’s kind of a big deal.
  16. I got to experience a wide range of dating adventures. From heartbreak, to one-and-done, thanks for-the-drink-don’t-call-me-again-please dates, to the people cheering at the bar for us (can’t make that shit up), to the weekend where I was whisked away, in a sports car no less, for the weekend, I had so.much.fun. Well, right after I got over myself and started trying to have a good time anyway. And I learned a whole lot about my intuition, about myself, who I want to be with, and just how complete I really am.  
  17. I got to see Yosemite,  finally, and with some super cool ladies. I also learned while there, that if one wants to climb Half Dome it is advisable to: a) not be hungover tired before you begin, b) arrive at the park well before 11a.m., c) go with people who like heights, and probably also, hiking. At least I can say I looked at it. I touched the rock. I have a picture of me holding tree pose in front it even. That totally counts.
  18. I went on a girl’s trip to Napa with some of my nearest and dearest from childhood, reminding me that the bonds of friendship from our youth are strong enough to hold through a lifetime. I pray my children will be as fortunate as I to have a cohort such as them.
  19. I got to explore who and what I want to be, and to take positive action to make that all happen. It’s been a bumpy ride, but I just installed some seatbelts and a new shock absorbing system, so you know, buckle up tight.
  20. I trusted the myself, and the universe, over and over and over again, and it provided and in such great abundance. What an amazing life we have here on this world, let us always remember that.

That list is really just the tip of the iceburg, and I share it not with you as a way to gloat and exult my good fortune but rather to relay a message of sincere gratitude. To let the universe know how very humbled I am to be a participant in this life. To serve as a reminder, that when you look for good in your life, more good comes. To remember to be willing and open, always, to what comes my way, and to choose to find an opportunity in every adventure.

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~John Milton

So thanks, 33, you pretty much kicked ass. 34, let’s go. Let’s do this. Let’s make shit happen. Game time.

Happy Birthday, to me. To the Bucket List, and beyond!

Like this post? Post it, tweet it, pin it, google it, trip on it, or otherwise spread the social love people.Really, really, like it? Subscribe to my feed and get posts delivered in your inbox. Can’t get enough? Stalk me: @CFOLikeaMother, Facebook or Pinterest

 

GUTS OVER FEAR

So, I have  confession to make. Gulp.

I’m not actually always that good at letting shit go.

Like, um, I am. . . but . . . I’m also . . . not.

I’m good at letting SOME things go. I’m good at not letting MOST things bother me. I can release hurt, anger, pain, frustration, and other things that have otherwise provided me a disservice and let them float away from me. Usually.

I’ve gotten really efficient at reframing. I am a Master Bullshitter. Kidding, but not, but kidding. I can shift perspectives faster than a policitican in November. Life is a lot of how I choose see it, and I choose positive at least 90% of the time; it’s just how I’m wired.

I have the Four Agreements pretty dialed in, too, like I’m really working on practicing what I’m preaching here.  I have shifted the way I think. Developed new habits, attitudes and gotten really really clear about my beliefs.

I am open. Receptive. Willing. Making major progress.

Big. Huge. Whole new person. Hell, whole new world.

But, you know, some things just really die hard. Sometimes, old patterns come out to play, sans invitation and certainly without an rsvp. So inconvenient.

The things we struggle with in our deeper selves tend to be the things with which we will wrestle  for a lifetime. They don’t go away, we just get better at managing them. We peel back layers, we understand them better, we learn to respond differently. But, then they manifest in new ways, hopefully better, but often, they just show up in a new package.

Same shit. Different day.

Oh. Boy.

For me, it’s usually, uh, errrrr. . . wellll . . .  ummmm . . . Control. Or planning. Wait, no, it’s overdoing it.

Um. Right. Okay. So it’s really, “controlled chaos.” Yes, better. Perfect, actually.

Speaking of (chaos, that is, and my attempts to rein in that crazy), some things, I just.won’t.drop. Some decisions, I neglect to stop analyzing. Some questions, I demand answers. Some things, I refuse to allow to simply be as they are. Some ambiguity, I slap a label on and stuff into a box, lid closed tight for fear of the fog of its uncertainty clouding my path once more.

Why? Well, usually because:

  1. I don’t feel like getting over it, moving on, or changing. I just don’t. End of story.
  2. I am avoiding dealing with what will happen if I do. I’m actively choosing not to offload something because of what else might shift in my life. I know these demons well, and I don’t want to make new aquaintances. Courage is required here, and my intestinal biceps are taking a rest day.
  3. I’m not ready to learn the lesson, and I know it. It requires more experience, more time, energy, or grounding that I just plain don’t have in me at the moment. And besides, I don’t like to learn things the first time, I like to fuck it up six or seven times, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.
  4. I am (naively) hoping something will change, magically resolve itself, or otherwise get FIXED before I get to deal with it.
  5. I’m a human being.

All reasonable excuses, right? Nothing too particularly novel there.

Yes, I said excuses. Because that’s what they are.

I can call them explanations. They could be rationalizations. Logistical probabilities. Reasons.

Guilt-removing nomenclature.

My ability to articulate reality using words of varying degrees of impact on my perception is of little consequence in this case, actually.

It doesn’t really matter what they are called, but rather, that they exist. And, by acknowledging their existance, I can: a) offer myself some grace, and b) FIX IT!  Kind of.

When you know better, you do better (theoretically speaking anyway). Well, if now I know, then, um, it’s time to do.

So.

Big breath.

I’m working on it this month. This, following set of weeks where I’ve been on a roller coaster ride of vehement sensibilities that has been so turbulent I have fucking motion sickness.

All that spinning. All that thinking. All that pulling. All those things, all at the same time, more than I can possibly hold in my own two arms, with just this one heart, in just this one body, with only this one mind.

I am about to emotionally combust, and I’m glad.

Why? I mean, like I really have fucking time for another fucking meltdown right now? FOR REAL?

Yep. Nope. But, uh, yep.

Because, you see, it means I am almost there. I’m just about ready to let go of those last few things. I’m prepared to shed another layer.

Sometimes I have to be pushed to the edge before I will fall; I don’t always just jump.

But now, honey, get your parachute ready, it’s breakthrough time.

Now, the rubber meets the road. Now, I get to put all that I’ve learned to the test. Now, I get to break open just enough to let some good, juicy, chakra opening, honest-to-goodness soul satisfying sustainable sunshine in my heart.

All I have to do is exhale.

Ready to witness this release? Get comfy, it’s happening, right after this commercial break.

Like this post? Post it, tweet it, pin it, google it, trip on it, or otherwise spread the social love people.Really, really, like it? Subscribe to my feed and get posts delivered in your inbox. Can’t get enough? Stalk me: @CFOLikeaMother, Facebook or Pinterest

JUMP

Yesterday was a trip. Literally. I had my first day at a new part time job (yes, another one. . . ), about 30 miles away from my house, back in the community from “before.”

Before, as in prior to when I made all this progress. Before, in my previous existence, when I was unhappily married and taught kindergarten at a school down the street. Before, when my reality was uninspired, planned, predictable, and I operated primarily on shallow, level one state .

Before, when I knew my life was not great but didn’t know what to do about that.  Before yoga. Before breathing. Before freedom.  Before I became this version of myself.  BCTFD, as it were.

Yesterday was strange.

You know how when you visit your hometown you feel all awkward and conflicted, as though you don’t know who you’re supposed to be? You run into people and can tell that they remember you as you were at 18 years old when you left home for college, and they don’t know you as you are now, and it’s just . . . uncomfortable?

It was kind of like that.

But, worse.

I pulled up that morning into the parking lot and I sat in my car for a minute, breathing deeply. Envisioning my future. Giving myself a pep talk. Using the power of positive thinking.

I can do this. It will be good. It’s just a year. Just one. Actually, it’s just nine months. Nine months is nothing. This isn’t forever; it’s just.Nine.Months.”

My heart sank as I stepped out of the car. My gut was on FIRE, screaming at me – “NO! This isn’t it. This isn’t you anymore. This doesn’t fit. You are finished with this. Stop. Don’t do it. Turn around. Get back in the car. Go home. Go back to your world.”

I wanted my normal Thursday. The one where I teach yoga in the early morning, write, then do my mom thing and get the kids off to school on time(ish). Go to CrossFit. Assist at yoga. Write some more. Maybe go for a run.  Work from a coffee shop. Have family time. Then work again, do some reading, catch up with my friends. Go to bed when I feel like it.

 That life is good, really good.

So, um, WHAT THE FUCK was I doing in that parking lot then? Why was I not doing that, instead?

Why am I there? Why, after over a year of reprieve, I am stepping back onto an Elementary School campus as an employee again? By choice?

Shit.

Well, while my former routine fills my heart with gladness,  it does not, alas, sufficiently fill my wallet, yet.

It’s just not generating the stable income required to maintain my lifestyle anymore; the feast and famine nature of being an independent contractor for the large bulk of my work is making me crazy. It is literally pulling me in so many directions I am breaking.

Even after eliminating as many possessions and monthly expenses as possible, stress is creeping back into my life as monthly bill pay has turned into a neverending game of “go fish.” I am constantly losing, left with a handful of sealife, and an empty stack from which to draw.

This is not maintainable as a single mother of two children. It was fun, for awhile. I had resources, a back-up for some time.

Now? Well now I’m all out of cushion. My ass just made contact with the ground.

This is not to say I haven’t built my businesses, I have. I have gained clients, created networks, grown my professional depth and breadth in new dimensions. Things are picking up, quickly.

They are moving. Just not fast enough to hold it all together.

I can’t keep using this patch kit, there are too many holes to fill.

If I operate from a place of fear, if I’m so focused on generating instant income that I lose sight of the big picture because I can’t move past “go,” then the whole scene is going to fall apart. I won’t do my best work. I won’t make smart decisions. I will function from a stimulus-response pattern instead of using a strategic approach.

There is a difference between not having a solid plan, and refusing to pull your head out of the sand. It’s awesome to go wherever the wind blows you, but, it’s important to make sure you have the wings with which to rise on the airstream.

My wings, as it turns out, are currently out of commision.

I’m tired from flapping so hard in every direction.

I want one stable thing in my life. One normal, stable, dependable thing. A rock to stand on, so I can leap when and in which direction I choose.

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” ― Rumi

Well, I asked the universe, and it answered.

Less than a week after deciding to look for a way to continue doing what I love to do while I had a reliable income stream, my calendar was filled with job interviews. I had the great luxury of having options, opportunities from which to pick and choose.

Thankfully, the two pager resume I’m packing is actually kind of, well, loaded. I have degrees, credentials, and experience. This makes me highly employable, and I am incredibly grateful for that. I recognize how very fortunate I am to have this kind of arsenal just hanging out in my back pocket, mostly unused, but worth its weight in gold (and student loans, but that’s another story).

I ended up choosing a job that offers me the best of all worlds. I get to work at a school where a friend of mine is the boss, I already know most of the staff, and I’m doing something I know how to do forwards, backwards, with my eyes closed, and in my sleep.

I get to teach kids how to read.

How fucking cool is that? How amazing is it that I am blessed to give the gift of literacy to our youth? I get to help them access their world. I get to serve as a catalyst for their growth, development and ultimate success. And, I know what I’m doing too, like for real.

Seriously, that’s badass.

It’s going to be one crazy ride. I will be working about seven jobs, eight sometimes even. Teaching at the college, teaching at the Elementary school, teaching yoga, writing for my clients, writing for elephant, doing PR and marketing for more clients, assisting at Zuda.  I’ll be driving north, south, east, and west, sometimes in circles, and changing changing roles (and clothes) several times daily.

You know what? I love it. I love every teeny tiny bit of that madness. It’s so me. It’s just how I operate- totally non standard, non conventional and sure as hell not like I’d had my life planned out, before.

This time around, I get to do it right. I get to be a great “me,” and a great teacher. I get to walk in my old space as a new person. I can be who I am and who I want to be, with no regret, no pretense. Just me. Just like this.

Nine months. About 270 days to get my financial house in order, my shit figured out, my work clear, my game tight.

Why do it? Why not just say “fuck it,” quit six jobs, take up teaching full time again and make a solid paycheck with some benefits and two months off every summer?

Because that’s not who I am anymore. It’s not what I want.

I didn’t swim across the lake this far to turn around now.

What I learned and I discovered during my exploration these last fifteen months has been awesome. I think maybe, finally, I know what I want. Quite clearly.

And yesterday, as soon as I shook off the fear, the moment I stepped out of the parking lot, into the classroom, and saw the smiling faces of my new (but familiar) colleagues, I knew I made the right choice for right now.

I found my rock. It’s an awfully nice one too. I think I’ll just sit here awhile and catch my breath, happy to be here, in this moment, at this time, in this place.

“I know you’re tired but come, this is the way.” Rumi

STORY OF MY LIFE

Plans. Timelines. Spreadsheets.

Google Calendar.

Ah, my happy place. It’s so lovely living in the boxes of my curated life. So clean. So tidy. So cozy, predictable, and safe.

Bullshit.

I call bullshit on that whole deal.

You hear me?  Bull.Shit.

You know what plans really are?

A crapshoot. A coping mechanism. Our brain’s way of creating boundaries in order that we feel a sense of control over a life that is, to be honest, filled with events mostly not within our power to govern.

Plans are really:

Putting
Limitations
Around
Now

Or, if you want to feel (slightly) better about yourself, let’s call them a:

Preferred
Logistical
Action
Network

How do I know? I’m an expert. Duh.

So you might remember a ridiculous amount few times that I’ve mentioned that I used to be kind of a planner. Okay, not kind of. I was legit. Like, I may as well have had a Ph.D in project management because I um, tried to plan pretty much every single detail of my life. All day. Every day. All.The.Fucking.Time.

This was my brain:

Problems, excuses, obstacles, challenges, goals, milestones.

This was my brain on plans:

Solutions, reasons, ladders, medals, accomplishments, certificates.

You know where that behavior got me? Divorced, over a half million dollars in debt, and so stressed out I had more health problems by thirty than a middle-aged alcoholic.

No. I’m not kidding. Despite exercising often, my blood pressure was high, my thyroid was a hot mess (literally), having already exhausted every OTC option I was on a daily prescription for heartburn/acid reflux, and I had vertigo so bad every day it regularly prevented me from driving, reading, working, or any kind of movement at all on many occasions.

I was working so damn hard to follow the plan, contain everything in a box, maintain appearances, and follow THE RULES, that I forgot to how to live.

I lost my breath. I lost my path. I lost perspective. I lost myself.

So I did something about it. And no, amazingly, I didn’t plan it. Not really. I had a general shell in place. A sort-of, kind-of, maybe-this-is-gonna-work-out kind of idea. Nothing solid really. Just a bag full of gut feelings, a toolkit of strategies for dealing with life, and a massive bottle of “Screwitol” tucked in my back pocket.

screwitol

I carried that arsenal of mine right up to the ledge, took a big breath and lept off, heart forward, arms open, ready to experience whatever lay ahead and prepared (sort of) to land wherever the wind might carry me.

Let me tell you. That was the best decision of my life. Best. Decision. EVER.

I have made some big mistakes. I have failed more times that I can count (believe me, I’ve tried to graph recount them, I can’t). But I have learned more than I believed possible in one lifetime, let alone a few years. I have experienced more novel positivity than I could ever have anticipated, and the amazing things that have become a part my daily life are almost unbelievable to me.

The more aware I become of my wonderful life, the more incredible it becomes. The greater my attention to my personal “wealth,” the more abundant my life becomes.

I am happier, healthier, and fuller than I ever thought attainable. I have learned to do more with less, and how to smile like I mean it, because I do.

My life kicks ass.

And not because of any one thing. Well, maybe one thing. My attitude. Or my perspective. My reactions. Basically, my ability to be flexible, to go with the flow, to . . .

Wait for it . . . ,

waaaaaaiiiiiiittttttit for it . . .

My ability to . . .

CTFD.

Scary as it is, and I know firsthand just how this feels, and it’s worth it. I promise.

The story of my life is still in draft form, the ink is never really dry. More changes are coming. Lots actually. The plot is shifting, again. Some decisions have been made. A few small things are getting clearer. My gray zone is starting to get a teeny tiny bit less gray.

Regardless of the situation, remember always that the lesson is to live from a place of abundance, not scarcity. Go forward from a place of love, not resentment. Be brave, not afraid. Have an attitude of gratitude, and you will see that the universe rewards you, handsomely.

 

Like this post? Post it, tweet it, pin it, google it, trip on it, or otherwise spread the social love people.Really, really, like it? Subscribe to my feed and get posts delivered in your inbox. Can’t get enough? Stalk me: @CFOLikeaMother, Facebook or Pinterest