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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ASK

It’s been quiet on this front. I know.

This time, it’s not because I was in a dark spot. It’s not because I was so tired and sick. Or so overwhelmed. Or so confused. I was all of those things, for a little bit, again, but that isn’t why I’ve been silent so many days.  

2015 was such a big year for me. Actually, 2013-2015 were HUGE. Epically, life altering, never-gonna-be-the-same kind of years. So much YES, so much change, so much love, so much joy, so much trial, so much failure, so many restarts. After that kind of action, it makes sense that a cycle of stillness and settling would follow.

It was like the part of meditation where your brain is finally quiet enough that you can stop and look around and see what’s floating around in there with you. When the noise is off, when the dust has settled, when the pause comes, then you can step back and examine the picture you’ve been so busily crafting. Continue reading

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 WALL

When I ran my first marathon I was 21. I had trained for five months, I had eaten the right foods, put in the work, prepared my body well, and was mentally ready for 26.2. It was beautiful and I was happy to be there, until I wasn’t. At mile 20 as I reached the final turnaround, I felt like I’d been slammed into The Wall. Frozen. Heavy. My feet wouldn’t move. My eyes stared up the road in agony, defeat in my toes and pain in my soul.

I started negotiating quitting. I considered napping right there on the pavement. I threw up five times just a mile short of the finish line, and then two more times as soon as I crossed it.

So much resistance.

I started my first career that year too, at 21. I had graduated from college at 20, got my first set of credentials and a job, had a Master’s Degree and another credential by 24. I was prepared as prepared could be. I was ready, dammit. 

I worked at a school down the street from my house. It was the cutest thing ever, until it wasn’t. Until I had up to 35 five and six year olds in a classroom alone for 7.5 hours a day. Until I was crying in my car before class and was so tired after that I waited until the last possible minute to pick my own kids up from childcare. Until The Wall showed up bigger and stronger and meaner than the first one.  Continue reading

ALL I (GOTTA) DO IS ZOOMA ZOOM ZOOM

I absolutely adore Mondays.

Yes. Me. I love them. They’re my favorite. Better than Friday even.

Mondays are my vibe day. My creative day. My wear yoga clothes all day, day, my big hearty breakfast day, my work from home in my beautiful office, seated in my cushy turquoise chair, sunlight streaming in the window and warming my feet as I type and schedule and research and drink coffee and and play music day.

On Mondays the kids always get to school on time.

Doesn’t that sound just perfect?

Tuesdays, usually we’re on time. By Wednesdays we’re playing with tardy slip fire. And then the week wraps up, and I’ve gone to a half dozen meetings, a handful of events, written a thousand e-mails, spent three hours on the phone, made eye contact with my husband, cooked meals while helping with homework, played a board game or five, and gotten everyone everywhere to all their things somewhat close to on time. Continue reading

HOLD PLEASE

$780. That’s how much my Tuesday cost. Seven hundred and eighty dollars, and three hours out of my day.

I walked out of a meeting, smile on my face, ready to continue what had already been a great start to the day, and then I saw a boot on my front wheel.

Parking tickets. I might have had a few. Maybe three. Or four. Actually. . . five. Five tickets, one of which was still in my purse. Um. Oops. I guess the mental “fuck off” I sent the City of Sacramento when I got them didn’t make it to the right department on time.

Or did it?

The cost of that energetic message? So much more than the money I didn’t have. So, much more than the time spent in line, waiting. And on the street, waiting.  And on the phone, waiting.

The cost of this waiting is high.

Procrastination. The art of later. This waiting, the kind born out of busy-ness, of avoidance, or boredom, or of fear, is unproductive. Continue reading

FEEL AGAIN

For my whole life, as long as I can remember, in the entire history of “Michelle Does Exercise,” I’ve been drawn to heat.

Fire. Intensity. Sweat.

If I ran, I ran as fast and as far and as often as I could. I’d run a 5k, fly somewhere and run four legs of a 200 mile relay then come home and knock out an obstacle race the next weekend.

If I lifted, I lifted as much as I possibly could, as quickly as I was able to, and with very little aptitude at form. Just do it. Get the weight up. Finish the task. Wipe the sweat. Cover the blisters. Repeat.

If I practiced, I practiced expansively. For every pose offered, I’d go as deep and far as I knew how, and if I didn’t know how, I’d try anyway until I could. I’d suggest others take rest when they practiced, and refuse to offer my own body that same reprieve.

I’d warm up for practice with a workout and chase it with a run. Because… I could? Because it was a storyline I felt safe in repeating.

“I’m tough. I’m strong. I am not a quitter. I got this. Pain is just weakness leaving the body. . .”

Only, actually, pain was my body, telling me when it was weak.

Continue reading

BLANK SPACE

Let’s talk about space baby, Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things. And the bad things that may be. Let’s talk about space.

Yeah Like this. Salt n’ peppa style. Baby.

S p a c e

Kidding. But not.  

The last two weeks I have been playing with the concept of space, noticing where I create it in my life and what shows up as a result.

Here’s a hint— good shit. That’s what.

Real real good shit.

Remember the whole bit about quantum physics? About abundance mentality, and about how the energy you put out there is the energy you get back? Oh, and you know, that whole thing about living authentically and letting go, You know, so like, the whole theme of this blog. . .

Well, let’s break that down in a new way, for funsies, and because it’s Friday and Friday and fun are my second and third favorite “F” words. Also because I like over-explaining things.

Anyhow. . . consider, what does letting go look like in life, exactly? What does setting intentions and inviting energy feel like? What does an authentic presence require to show up?

Space. It requires space.

Because, to point out the (painfully) obvious, if every corner of our hearts, minds and time are occupied with something, be that a plan, an expectation, an attachment, a task, or whatever we’ve placed there, how can we expect to receive anything else? We’re at max capacity, no vacancy, all filled up, no room on the lot to add on, no place to expand.

Unless, of course, we make some room. Gently, organically and from a grounded response, we let go, grow, and create a platform ready to receive a new delivery from the universe.

This means then, that if you want something new then honey, it’s time to drop what you’re holding like it’s hot. Let go of the banana, release the pickles in the jar, put on your big girl panties (wonder woman anyone. . .?) and suck it the fuck up.

You’re going to be okay, I promise. Better than okay, actually. Amazing. You’re going to be even more amazing.

How do I know? I’m living in it, this space and abundance shit. I’m right smack dab in the middle of developing an awareness of my capacity to create and live the life I love. It’s blowing my damn mind.

Seriously.

It works like this: When I fill my head and heart space with things I don’t really want, when my calendar primarily reflects items that I don’t genuinely want to do, see as a chore or distraction, or are there out of guilt, obligation, fear or pressure, when I cling tightly to the WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE. . .

Well, let’s just say I’m not particularly bright and shiny then, and neither is my life.

However. . . When I take a hot minute to myself, breathe, reflect, remove the things that don’t serve me, drop my expectations, say no thank you to things that aren’t aligned with my values, goals or purpose, and say yes to what is, and above all,

When I set an intention and believe it is already mine with my whole heart and soul and then simply pleasantly wait for it,

It shows the fuck up.

Every time. Pretty much right away. Because, as another analogy, intention setting is like setting a place at the table, creating a cozy atmosphere for your guests, and then waiting for them to arrive, drink in hand, food prepared, music playing, smile on.

If you build it, they will come, right?

Yes. Right. It IS right. They WILL come.

But they can’t get there if you haven’t turned the “open” sign on yet.

So, go make the space. Build your thing. Say “no” so you can say “yes.” Wipe your plate clean so you can visit the life buffet and create your own ideal meal. You can. I believe in you. The universe believes in you. You, YOU believe in you.

Go get it.

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(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!”

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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