Ain’t That Some Shit

You think can just entirely get rid of something about yourself?” I recently heard a someone say, “No. Whoever told you that is a liar!

Well no,” I’d replied, “I just keep thinking that if I work hard enough it will like… go into remission or something.

Ha.

I guess it kind of works like that, and doesn’t. Our things, hang-ups, issues, kleshas, struggles, or whatever label you’d like to slap on them, don’t really exactly so much go all the way away, they just show up in new ways . . .

Yeah. FUCK.

Translation: your shit is your shit is your shit.

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WHY

Mid January. Two weeks into the New Year. Somewhere between establishing new habits and abandoning them completely.

Yes?

Yes.

Here’s what keeps coming up for me:

Start with the end in mind.

Everywhere I look. Everywhere I turn. Everything I read. Every time I create a marketing piece for the studio, program a workshop or training, or set quarterly goals. Some variation of setting an intention and creating action around that energy. I hear my teachers sharing it. I see it on other blogs, and posts, and in curriculum, and in the books on my nightstand begging me to finish them.

Start.With the END.In Mind.

And, I’ve been trying this out on a daily basis, instead of just big picture, zoom out a year from now, what am I inviting into my life kind of work. I’ve been applying to my daily interactions, habits, actions, and thoughts. And, I’ve been writing it down using my Best Self planner, which was a suggestion from my teacher.

This planner works differently than most. It’s not about listing shit to do, or prioritizing the shit, or labeling and categorizing the shit. Or tasking the shit out of the shit.

It’s not about the shit itself, it’s about identifying WHY you want to do the shit in the first place, and then choosing your actions based on that.

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THE RUB

I’ve always been a little bit outside “the norm.”  Not average. Challenging. Bold. Big in body, mind, and presence. Strong-willed, determined, and overly verbal about it. A storyteller by nature. I’m a dreamer who likes to make lists. A “YES” who likes to map it.

I rarely choose to do things the easy way. I like puzzles, and problem solving. I crave adventure. I need variety like I need air. I don’t like the word or the state of “normal.” I don’t like to hold still. Conventions make me nauseated. I like to learn the rules so I can bend and twist and break them when it’s time.   

I rarely play it safe. I’m uncomfortable playing small. There are never enough ideas or things for me to learn.  If you say we can go ten miles I want to go one hundred. My quench for growth is insatiable.

I love the way change calls me out of my comfort zone and into a terrifyingly fresh new space.

This, makes me . . . well. Me. It makes me, me. And I’m not sorry for that, anymore. It’s who I am. I’m good with it. Great, actually. Continue reading

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

I want to talk to you about this time I felt stuck. Really stuck. Really down. Really not myself.

Depressed. I would actually classify this thing that happened, that I’m coming out of, as depressed. And that is scary as fuck.

I have lots of reasons why it might have happened. Significant health issues, insomnia, injuries and work limiting access my practice, financial hell, not teaching anymore, not sharing yoga the way I love to share it. The things that I identify myself with, the things that help make me, be me, were not secure.

And even though I am wrapped in love. And even though I have so many things to be grateful for, and even though I am never, ever, ever standing anywhere, at anytime, alone, I felt removed. Not having all my things in place all ultimately resulted in me not showing up powerfully for myself, or for anyone else.

Outside of the things that I do — who am I?

I spent three years in inquiry, three years exploring, three years doing the work and building heat by throwing every available stick in the fire, and then suddenly, I just sat down and stared at the flames. What did I build? Why did I build it? Who is it for? How do I keep it going?

What the fuck do I do now?

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Dark Side Of The Moon

Last week I wrote about hitting the Wall. Or rather, hitting walls, plural. About what it looks like when my body draws a #Nope card.

But there’s a wall I didn’t talk about. It’s a wall I don’t want to acknowledge. A wall that, quite frankly, isn’t supposed to be there.

It’s a wall I unintentionally built myself.

I have a charmed life. My husband is amazing. My kids are thriving. I’m getting along with my ex-husband, and his wife. I live in a cool city, I get to go do epic shit with kickass people. My friends are supportive ,and funny, and kind, and all the things I could want my friends to be.  I have more events to attend and opportunities for culture and learning and fun than time to do them all.

I am surrounded by love and laughter and play and light.

And yet, there are still shadows. Big ones. The kind that wake me up at night in a cold sweat, the kind that start arguments where arguments weren’t expected. The kind that attract mistakes. The kind that undercut my self esteem, that prevent me from showing up, and the kind that invite me to spend a Saturday in bed, under the covers, sleeping my reality away. Continue reading

Be Kind (Or Be Quiet)

Be kind or be quiet!”

I said the other day, during dinner in response to our key jar question. No hesitation, I just blurted it out the second I read the little strip of paper: “if you could give one piece of advice to the world, what would it be?

My family stared at me for a hot minute. Because, well, typically answering these questions takes at least a moment of consideration. But not this one.

Yes. That’s it. Be kind, or be quiet.

Because you know, it’s the rules. For real though. Of all the things I’ve said and done that ultimately didn’t work or feel good, it was because I didn’t choose to be kind to myself or others.

Yes, really. At the root of each action is kindness, or lack thereof.

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CHOICES

You know how there are those people that just do one job their whole lives, they have one distinct style of dress and decorating, they know exactly what kind of wine to get because they always get the same one, and they’re the first one to order when you go out because they read the menu before you got there and decided between the two things that they like as soon as they sat down?

Yeah. This is not me.

I walk into BevMo and see seven aisles of floor to ceiling beer, and I can’t even figure out if I should walk right or left, or back out the door I came in. The bulk discount of six bottles or more makes me feel relieved, not because I’ll pay less, but because I don’t have to make quite as many choices. Except of course, I do. Because choosing six from 600 is just as difficult for me as one from three.  

Paralysis by FOMO.

What if I choose the wrong one? If I do this, I’m not doing that. If I choose this, I won’t have room for that.

This looks the same in my work life. Maybe I can do this. Maybe that. Oooooh, maybe that! Dinner time is not better. Don’t even get me started about shoe shopping. And on a non first world problems level, it looks the same when I’m making parenting decisions, especially about where my kids are spending time, with whom, and how.

I want to get it right.

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ME, MYSELF, AND I

Tuesday, 9:15 pm., January of the New Year.

Me: Various sighs, groans, furrowed brows and a giant flop on the couch.
My husband: raised eyebrow, turn of the head, “what’s up babe? What’s coming up for you?”
Me: glare. Then a loud, overstated,
“IT’S AFTER 9PM, I’VE BEEN UP SINCE 6 AND IT’S THE FIRST TIME I’M SITTING DOWN ALL DAY AND DOING SOMETHING FOR ME AND NOT SOMEONE ELSE!”
Insert long pause here as I realize two things.
  • I’m throwing a tantrum. Like my seven year old, who, coincidentally, is also too old and too verbally skilled to be throwing tantrums.
  • The person responsible for this reality is, um, well, me.

 

 

I seem to have misplaced my reset button these last few months. My daily time-out has been cancelled, my movement break on hiatus, my life force source in dormant mode. Continue reading

(DON’T) FREAK OUT

I’ve been reading a lot lately about energy, about the signals, vibrations and pulses we send out, and what we receive in return.

I’m super geeking out about it. Like a lot. So much so, that if you happen to (be ever so fortunate as to) run into me in person, be prepared to hear me talk about the experiments I’ve been doing, how all matter is energy and how we, therefore, are made of energy which essentially means that what we think about is what we, um, bring about.

Yep. For real.

I used to think that was a bunch of woo-woo, hippie-dippie, cosmic crap.

Used to. Then shit life happened, and it turns out, I was wrong.

Whether you believe it is God, the universe or whatever other unexplainable force of energy you choose to recognize (or not), the deal is— you are a living breathing force that projects energy not just with each exhale, but with each thought.

You create a chain reaction of events from and with each and every emotion, thought, response and reaction you generate.

Scary shit right? I mean, that makes you rather. . . well. . . responsible for your own reality now doesn’t it?

Fuck.

But also, let’s flip that fear on its head, actually, because to be afraid of that truth is in and of itself already generating all kinds of not-so-great storylines.

Think about this— if you are afraid of your own power and spend your time worried that you are going to really screw up your life, then well, you will. If you are so concerned about what you lack, what you are doing wrong, what’s not going to work out, what you don’t have, what you can’t do, be, see, say or go and do, then you won’t ever move forward from where you are right now.

Not really.

If you view your life as one big series of problems you will remain stuck in the mud you created forever.

Lucky for you, there’s a relatively simple fix.

Calm the fuck down.

No really. CHILL.

What do I mean by this exactly? Well, a lot of things actually, but to start with, stop freaking out about everything and see what happens if you stop throwing yourself a pity party every five minutes and manifesting your own personal disaster.

Not sure what I mean? Ever read “Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”? Yeah. Well, that little dude, he created his own hot mess, and so can you. Here’s a (totally made up) scenario for you:

Your alarm clock doesn’t go off on time and you wake up with just 20 minutes until you normally leave the house. “I’m going to be late!” you shout. After rushing to get dressed you spill your coffee all over your shirt, proclaim your pending tardiness (with judicious use of profanity), change your entire outfit, get out the door and half a block away, then realize you’ve left your cell phone and wallet on the kitchen counter, right next to that damn coffee cup. Insert more creative uses of the words “fuck” and “late” here.  

I think I can wrap things up at this point, because we all know where this story is headed. You were late.

I mean, duh. Is that really a surprise to you? You declared it as soon as you woke up, reinforced it for the next twenty minutes and informed the universe constantly of your delayed arrival.

Oops.

So, here’s my suggestion (yes, again):

Calm.the fuck.down.

The next time something doesn’t go your way, don’t lose your shit. When you move too fast and something (hopefully not you) breaks, don’t panic immediately replace or repair it.  When you lose an entire hour of footage (ahem. . .) of valuable film, don’t immediately start making phone calls and checking schedules so you can fix it. When your plans change, don’t stomp your feet and refuse to see alternatives.

Stop reacting and start responding.

Here’s my challenge to you— for the next 24 hours, play scientist with me. When something goes (perceivably) wrong, do this:

  1. Take a breath, and a good look around you.
  2. Set a positive intention (ex: this will work out a different way. Something else will come up. I have other options).
  3. If immediately necessary, clean up what you must, then pause again.
  4. Get some space, change vantage points, and keep sending out that positive intention. This includes your words, by the way, so, uh, if you don’t have something nice to say then zip it.
  5. See what shows up, and receive it with gratitude.

It really works. I promise. But you’ve gotta be all in here, skepticism need not apply. If you bring doubt in, that’s what’ll stick. If you sound the alarms, that’s all the universe will hear.

For just one whole day, don’t bring the heat.

Cool? Good deal. Let me know how it goes, I’ll be watching the comments section to see what discoveries you make.

So here’s me, cheering you on from right here in front of my screen.  I believe in you. Ready?

“To Science!”

fistbump1

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SONGS OF CHAOS (I LIKE IT).

“You like living in chaos,” I was informed recently.

“I do not!” I replied immediately (and indignantly).” I like routines and structure. For some things. Sometimes. For a few parts of my life. Well hmmm.”

“I just like flexibility and the ability to be spontaneous. And change. I really like change. I don’t like predictability. Usually. Well sometimes I do. I just like space, and freedom and choice and doing what I want to do when I want to do it and with the people I want there.”

That’s not chaos. That’s being alive. Okay fine. Maybe it’s also chaos. Controlled(ish) chaos though.”

End scene.

Okay, so let’s look at that conversation, because how you do anything is how you do everything, right? Let’s consider where that shows up in my, uh, life.

Up first, oxymorons, anyone?

Walking contradictions. I am a living breathing opposition of terms. I like to be chill, but I can’t stop moving. I’ve calmed (the fuck) down but I’ve also upped my game. I like having plans, but only if I can write them in pencil. I like to know what’s next, but I love surprises more than chocolate. I cook but hate cleaning, am articulate but curse like a sailor, am strong but love feeling small, etc., etc., etc…

The takeaway- I am not defined by any one term or thing, nor do I want to be. I am willing and adaptable.

I’m a yes.
To all of it.

Second point- see above. That can be problematic, often.

In saying yes to possibility, I have created a bit of. . . dynamic motion.

I’m happy and positively in love with my life now. For real. I am thriving in the energy in which I’ve surrounded myself.  I recognize that it’s taken a lot of work to get here, like a whole lot.

However, I’m coming to terms with the fact that by running so far from a life ruled by the misperception of safety in categories I ended up standing in my own special kind of volcanic residue.

I might have gone a bit far out of bounds.

Maybe.

But then again, I like pushing my limits.

Obviously.

Which brings me to my third reflection- the rationalization of my own bullshit.

I’m like the Queen of explaining myself, evidently, even though I’ve made a lot of progress in that department (I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true). My verbose response makes allows one to draw the inference that rather than having learned the lesson of “less is more,” I’m uh, still working on the application of that concept in the real world (like in this paragraph. . .where I’m using a whole lot of words to say- I talk a lot).

So (as it is always so), just like in my daily life where I have a strong tendency to overdo it that’s pretty much exactly how I communicate.

BIG.

I’m not apologizing for that. I’m not criticising myself for it either. Just observing.

So, in sum,

  1. I’m a yes.

  2. I like living outside of my comfort zone.

  3. I go big.

The end.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”

C.G. Jung

*Sidenote- I’m finding my summary rather ironic in size and message. 

*Sidenote to the sidenote – there I go again with the talking. 

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