LOST STARS

It’s Saturday night. I’ve been running around doing all the things all day and now I’m sitting in the backseat of a Lyft driver’s car with my ten year old son. We’re on our way to his first big concert, tickets in hand for Lower Level seats for the Maroon 5 show at the Golden One Center. My son has told the driver he’s heading to his first big concert and the driver is now recounting his own first experience. He’s grinning and laughing and telling the story with joy and detail, his voice inflecting, hands gesturing, body relaxed.

And then it hits me.

Someday, this is the story that my son will tell about his first concert. This moment, right now, the story of the two of us in the backseat on the way to this concert. This is part of a core memory moment.


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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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GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Before this fuck-up of a year is over, I wanna talk about the “E” word You know, the E word. The one that gets you hurt, in trouble, puts your foot in your mouth, the stick up your ass, and your cart in front of your horse.

THE, E word.

Expectations. No, not the great ones…

I want to talk about this so we can all get clear together about the not so small truth that expectations are getting in the way of progress, and happiness, and well, life, really. Not just mine, not just yours, ours. All of ours, and often.

You see, when we expect we create a storyline in our head that must be carried out in order to feel good.

When we expect an event to go a certain way and it does we are mostly satisfied and feel right or successful. When it doesn’t, we can feel a sense of failure, of loss, of disappointment, of dissatisfaction.

Sometimes we even pout about it. For reals. Even us adults. It just looks a lot more like passive aggressive snark than it does foot stomping and bottom lip quivering, usually. Continue reading

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

DISTRACTION

Last night in my yoga class I lost my feet.

I got through integration, through Sun Salutation A’s and stepped into my first Warrior One before I even noticed where I was or what I was doing.

Did we even do Sun A? What about chair pose? Did he [the instructor] forget something?

That’s a good 20 to 25 minutes of instruction and movement that I had essentially no memory of. Like, none, which is about as scary as arriving at a destination in your car, as the driver, and wondering who got you there. It’s also as scary as being a part of a society that you realize you’ve been privileged to exist in without ever being required to notice who was, and was not, in it with you.

My body was physically in the room, yes. My feet were technically on the mat, sure. But my mind and soul elected an alternative activity.

That’s how I’ve felt the last week and a half. Distracted. Detached. Cerebral.

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THE THING

When I was 16, this girl at a leadership camp we both attended said at the end of our week about me “There’s just something about Michelle. You can tell just by being around her that she’s going to do something really great.

Every day since that day, I’ve been wondering— BUT WHAT?  

So I went into teaching. Because I loved kids, and I loved working in a place where my work made a difference in real time and in the future. I went to college, and got all the degrees, and all the credentials and all the labels that said “Teacher.”

Being a teacher seemed like it was going to be a really great thing. Probably THE Thing. Except it wasn’t. Not then, for me, anyway.

I put in a solid and commendable effort too. Eleven years in Elementary Education including a three year stint in School Administration, and then five semesters as a College Professor. And I was a good teacher. I made a difference. I know I did great work.

But instead of lighting me on fire, it was burning me out.

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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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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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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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BE HERE NOW

All week last week I was feeling anxious. Unstill. Struggling to stay in the moment, any moment.

I let my classes out early. I rushed everywhere and was still late. I wore a watch, and checked it, even during yoga, which I left. . . early. Twice.  I checked the time even when assisting.

I never do that.

Like ever.

All week, I could not turn off a total body sense of urgency to

 

HURRY.THEFUCK.UP.

 

For nothing. For everything. For no one, and for everyone.

 

By Sunday evening,  I felt like something was going to burst out my chest, literally perhaps. I was looking for some kind of release— somatic maybe— and what I was doing wasn’t working, yet.

So I went for a run because, sitting in it (whatever “it” was) any longer wasn’t working. I was craving efficient motion. Immediate results.

Yes, there is total irony in that truth. Clearly. But it worked.

Five blocks in and my heart rate slowed. Yes. Slowed. Ten blocks and the space between my forehead softened. Two miles and my shoulders dropped away from my ears. By the third mile I had forgotten what I was doing or where I was.

So I stopped. And I saw. And I felt.

And I reconnected with the moment.

Around me was the abundant beauty of spring in Sacramento. Up and down the streets were people biking, walking, talking, and engaging.

Present. People were present. And that was perfect and enough.

As am I.  As are you. Because,

 

You are whole and complete and exactly where you’re supposed to be.

 

There is nothing to rush. There is no where else to be. There is no “done,” anyway.

 

To be alive is to be impermanent.

All things change. Always. And thus, the attachment we place to time becomes somewhat arbitrary. Why rush? So we can wait? And, why wait? For whom? For what?

Frantic motion is not a solution. Neither is hiding, stuffing, or inauthenticity.

Refuse to live in multiple spaces. Get present. Not behind. Not ahead.

Get real. It’s enough. I promise.

There is this time, there is this space, there is this now. It won’t be back and it won’t wait for later.

There is simply this moment; so be in 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