In the past few months I’ve: listed for sale and then sold our house, moved in with my in-laws, left my in-laws and moved into a 1-bedroom apartment, walked through countless houses and pieces of land, cooked 2-3 meals per day, took care of a toddler and a baby, and all the errands, play dates, walks and events associated with all of the above. And I’ve been (and felt) really, really “busy”. I’ve barely had time to review what’s really important to me. I’ve been just flying through each day, “getting through it”, mindlessly doing what needs to be done and waiting until it’s all over before I can be present and happy and here.
But I don’t want to live a mindless life.
I’m really angry.
A friend of mine, Sally, is one of the most amazing writers I’ve ever read. Her poetry reduces me to tears. Her prose is like walking through a peony garden. Her reflections are as still and cool as a mountain pool.
Did you know that? Do you have any idea what a great writer she is? Of course not. Because 98.5% of what she’s written is unpublished, hidden in journals and text files on her computer.
“I can’t do it until…”
“The kids are in school/the kids graduate/I retire/my spouse retires/we sell our house/we buy a new house/we save enough money/I lose 20 pounds/I have my own business/I make more money/after the kids fall asleep/when the weekend rolls around/when summer gets here/when break is over/when I’m enlightened enough/when the earth has spun eighty more times/when Mercury isn’t in retrograde…”
Our excuses for not doing something now are so ridiculous! They’re long, involved, socially-acceptable STORIES for not getting off our duffs and doing what we really want to do.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet with the Women’s Health Issues class at Kent State University. Their professor and my friend, Mayra Porrata, put my book “The Complete Guide to Mindful Habits” on the syllabus as required reading for this semester, and as a follow-up, asked me to come to visit with them about mindfulness and habits in a Q&A format.
I learned so much from them. They asked insightful questions that brought the subject matter from the book into “real time”- how does this apply to the busy college student?
How can I be mindful and present while attending classes and also planning for my future?
1. WANT to. One of my own biggest stumbling blocks to being present and mindful is forgetting that I actually want to do this. We are often met with invitations to escape this moment, and wanting to stay here and savor this instead is the first step. [Read more…]
“Is it true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? How do you react when you believe that thought? Who would you be without the thought?” -Byron Katie
What stories are we telling ourselves? Recently I found myself telling the story that because I have two small children that I don’t have any time. I found all sorts of reasons why this was true: the baby only sleeps X number of hours, I can’t get anything done, trips out of the house take forever, etc… I love challenging my own stories when I catch myself telling one. When I think a thought that seems really limiting, frustrating, or negative, I think- is this true? I realized I was telling this story of having no time and therefore making it true! [Read more…]
Change can challenge our egos, and it can challenge the egos of those around us, particularly those closest to us.
Change is this great cosmic ball of give-and-take. We want change that we think is good, we resist change that we think is bad. Yet our very wanting and hanging on is causing us the pain and suffering.
Photos from my Instagram the last few weeks.
These days, I feel less like writing about how to live and more like being outside and living. If you feel overwhelmed, under-inspired, tired, frustrated, or just plain “off”, I recommend that you shut down your computer/phone and go outside. As a result of unplugging most of the time (I pretty much only open my laptop every other day or so for about 30 minutes now, though I’m on my phone quite a bit more) I’ve been: keeping a sketchbook and adding to it every day, painting, creating things in the forest (a handmade branch easel, a branch teepee for my daughter), crocheting, decorating, nesting- and my creative soul is soo happy. If it weren’t for the beautiful, enlightened souls who I love to connect with here, I’d be tempted to turn off the internet completely. :)
I’ve been keeping a list of things I’d love to share with you- last month, I sent it to my newsletter, but this month I’d like to make it a little less private so more people can enjoy.
- For some Goddess inspiration one day I opened Leonie’s Creative Goddess ecourse and immersed myself in it’s gorgeous, hand-drawn and painted pages. I was struck by this line, “Every artwork you create has a story to tell you, a lesson to impart. I have learned not to give away or sell my creations until I have heard its story and learned what I need to from it.”
- A dear, dear friend of mine, Sally Deems, launched this beautiful book into the world in the last few weeks. It’s a beautiful poem about a little butterfly and all her garden friends, and the illustrations are lovely. I had the honor of helping format it for the Kindle version and the time I spent with those lovely pages was such a joy.
- Recently I found this poem by Mary Oliver which makes me feel less guilty for the hours I spent looking up at the trees, not “doing” anything.
- Mary Davis, a CSW reader, let me have a peek at this gorgeous app she created for the Apple store. It is such a joy to scroll through the beautiful photos and read the inspiring quotes, and with a tap any of them become your wallpaper. Her vision and determination to bring this beautiful project into the world is inspiring.
- Some “mama” books I’ve read and loved:
- Things for kids I love right now (kids of all ages)
May you have a bubble-blessed, sunshiny day!
“The important thing is to tell yourself a life story in which you, the hero, are primarily a problem solver rather than a helpless victim. This is well within your power, whatever fate might have dealt you.”
YOU are the hero. YOU are the one who slogs through the mud of day-to-day chores, appointments, meals and mess.
You are the one who responded to the call of this life (and we all fought the call at least a little, in the beginning) and what you are to do with it.
What is a Creative, Spiritual Woman? Here’s my take:
Creative: Creativity is one of the highest forms of intelligence. We create artistically, with words and canvasses and style and decor, but we also create families, homes, education, support, and income. We create energy where there wasn’t any. We dig deep and find a way to do what needs to be done. We find resources where there were none. We create comfort. We create homes, even if “home” is only our own arms.
Instead of blindly following the crowd or what’s been done before, we try other things. We follow different paths, we research different ways. We go against the grain not to be a rebel, but because we can see areas where going with the grain isn’t smart. We’re not afraid to stand alone, and we’re often surprised to find ourselves in good company. While we may deal with some forms of feeling like an outcast in normal society, we know you are sacrificing “fitting in” for following our souls, our intuition, and our higher Selves. [Read more…]
Here’s a secret: I used to think that if I just tried hard enough, I’d be successful in whatever I wanted to do. Then when I hit setbacks and couldn’t (or thought I couldn’t) move forward, I figured I just wasn’t trying hard enough.
Then I learned (after lots of trial and error) that a lot of success is following a good system- either my own or someone else’s. That when setbacks come (and they always do, for many good and useful reasons) instead of getting off track and trying to solve all these new problems, I can put them in the system and keep going. Not that they don’t get taken care of- many things that come up do need to be addressed- but they don’t stop me in my tracks or derail my success.
One of the biggest things that can upset success, for me, especially if I don’t have a system, is worry.