Monday, December 6, 2010

it always calls me home.

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

BEing in the moment is really an important part of my life, and so is creativity. Prior to the holiday season, I hadn't made my rings in a while. I sat down in my dining room studio, and got all of my beads out. The excitement of the colors, and textures felt good. Like sitting down with a long lost friend. With each bead I strung, I said an affirming word...I always say that they're made with love, and this practice reminded me of the power of that. I want anything I create, whether it's a ring, or artwork, or something I've sewn, to be infused with love and positivity. The rings make me happy. Creating makes me happy. And getting my hands on the materials brought it all back. I separate myself from my creativity sometimes...but it always calls me home.

My hope for the next year, is that I'll own my creativity more. Claim being an artist. Make more time for it. Clear space for it. BE in it. Allow it to flow through me. Get good and messy. And have fun.

:: This post is written as part of Gwen Bell's Reverb 10 - on the website, it's described as an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

a perfect circle.

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

At the beginning of 2010 I found myself thinking about things I needed to let go of. My need for control. Expectations. Creating scenarios in my head – if I want this…x, y and z have to happen or be in place. If they aren’t it won’t happen....couldn’t possibly happen. Then an interesting shift happened, I began noticing some of the “shoulds” falling away. And embracing became it’s perfect counterpoint. Embracing abundance. Understanding that I am worthy exactly where I’m at – no list of conditions have to be met, to make me so. Wrapping my arms and mind around surrender, and what that looks like for me.

Letting go, and embracing go hand in hand - I feel as though I can't talk about one, without mentioning the other. If I give too much attention to the things that I think I need to let go of…the “shoulds” can take over. And let's face it...shoulds don’t get us anywhere, except in bed with our gremlins. Embracing what is, reminds me of the power of letting go in other ways. It’s like a perfect circle. Every time that I let go of something (whatever it is), I am opened up to embracing what is. And that’s where life (living) happens.

Much of my year has been focused on releasing things that don’t serve me. Relationships that no longer work. Expectations. Lists of conditions. Old stories that have lived on for years. And patterns of behavior fueled by those old stories. On the flip side, I've done a helluvah lot of embracing where I am. One thing I do know for sure, is that both of these things have opened up a tremendous amount of space in my life. And I’m excited to see what the work of this year, will bear fruit as in 2011.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

The two things that came to mind when I read todays prompt are | Play and Being Present.

Making time for more play, and allowing my silly side out a little more, have both been ways that have created much wonder throughout this last year. I grew up much faster than I should have, and to begin allowing time for play vs. respsonsibility (or what I've deemed as responsible over the years) has been really freeing.

When I'm present, wonder is all around. Colors more vibrant. Sounds more clear. Smells more intense. And the amazingness of the world is certainly more evident. I find myself breathing in life and what's around me. Looking for shapes in clouds. Noticing individual blades of grass, instead of a sea of green grass. Looking at my dog's eyelashes and how amazing they are. Appreciating trees for their unique characteristics. Listening to birds sing. Taking in people's individuality, and celebrating it.

Practicing play and being present are something that I've really worked at this year. And a sense of wonder is a magnificent side effect that I wasn't expecting. As I read through this post, what stood out to me is that I've paid a lot of attention to individuality, and uniquities - maybe that's the key to wonder...awareness of the things that make us, and the world around us, unique and connected at the same time.

:: This post is written as part of Gwen Bell's Reverb 10 - on the website, it's described as an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.

Friday, December 3, 2010

breathtaking moments.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail - texture, smells, voices, noises, colors. (Author: Ali Edwards)

Feeling Alive ~

at the ocean :: salt. pure ocean air. crashing of waves. water gently kissing the shore. connection. seagulls. blues. greys. greens. white. pinks. purples. spray. collecting rocks. grains of sand. sea lions. people having conversations. dolphins. playing. wet. ease. life. quiet. home. fresh. words in the sand. meditation. solitude. peace.

when I'm playing :: free. silly. giddy. belly laughs. self confident. every color of the rainbow. skipping. twirling. snorts. abandon. awkward. fun. self conscious. dancing. powerful. making faces. connection. restoration. full heart. breath.

dancing in the kitchen with my love and our wonder pup :: singing. jingle of dog tags. an occasional bark. clapping. laughter. kisses. love. eukelele. breath. home. impromtu musical props. powerful. eau de labrador. dancing. giggles. authenticity. free. abandon.

cooking a meal with someone I love :: love. banter. garlic. onions. sauces. fragrant herbs. fills my nose. fills my heart. singing. wine. reds. greens. yellows. oranges. whites and cremes. purples. cold. collaboration. wood. chopping. heat. shredding. kneading. steam. steel. messy hands. connection. breath. full hearts. full bellies.

squishy down filled blankets, pillows and talking :: fluffy. cozy. squishy. words. laughter. confessions. quiet. breath. safety. heavy. lighthearted. dream sharing. warmth. open. serious. trust. giggles. gentleness. connection. authenticity. essence. soft. truth. intimacy.

on the yoga mat :: breath. chanting. vidwan incense. singing bowls. quiet. peace. power. trust. warmth. rest. stretching. balance. meditation. flow. heat. music. now. challenge. breath. softness. gentle. mindfulness. squishy mats. wood on bare feet. connection. personal. back to breath.

paints, art supplies, and messy hands :: gel medium. paint. wood. canvas. brushes. stroke. music. random. shiny. matte. every color of the rainbow. fibers. smooth. full heart. gooey. bumpy. rough. flow. free. rush. dry. wet. balance. out of my head. challenge. breath. messy hands. permission to have fun.

in the presence of trees :: the smell of soil. leaves rustling. rough. smooth. gnarled. life. fresh air. connection. birds singing their songs. breezes. crunch. sparkle. glisten. shadows. breath. full heart. beauty. uniqueness. grace. strength. movement.

listening to a song that touches my soul :: swelled heart. chords. voices. rhythm. beauty. soaring. movement. flow. breath. tingle. rush. flood. happiness. nostalgia. connection. peace. sadness. home. joy. memories. knowing. singing. release.

having a good cry :: tears. cold on my cheeks. sobs. laughter. messy. truth. feeling deeply. breath. runny nose. snot. tightening. free. flood. soft tissue. forgiveness. music. memories. sadness. happiness. flashbacks. heartbreak. flow. celebration. wet. ugly. beautiful. release.

curled up on the sofa with my four legged baby :: softly snoring. warmth. furry. eau de labrador. breath. velvet ears. accepted. full hearts. love. connection. heart beats. safe. knowing. truth. adored. chocolate brown. pink. grey. authenticity. purity. in the moments when his head is on my chest, I can imagine what a mother's love for her child must feel like.

shopping for treasures at a flea market :: thrill. memories. pounding heart. swirly. over stimulation. beauty. colors everywhere. porcelain. threads. paper. cracks. tattered edges. well loved. imagining previous owners. calm. stories. photographs. milk glass. art. jewelry in all shapes and sizes. recycled bottles. cameras. vintage beauty.

when I'm present and listening :: words. essence. authenticity. trust. patience. presence. love. respect. truth. breath. beauty. the sound of your voice. connection. giving. quiet. laughter. tears. snorts. purity. full heart. amazed. thankful. honored.

speaking the truth even though I'm scared shitless :: trembling. heart pounding. bile. flushed. power. weakness. authenticity. truth. breath. tingle. strength. tension. free. release. rush. flash. trust. peace. lighter.

Couldn't boil it down to one moment. There are just too many that take my breath away.

:: This post is written as part of Gwen Bell's Reverb 10 - on the website, it's described as an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

structure, schedules, and bears...oh my!

December 2 Writing.

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

When I saw today's mind went into whirl mode. I have a feeling this post is going to be more whirl than substance. I'm going to let it be whatever it is. The point of it is to show up.

Time management is something that I've always had some trouble with, and I know there are definitely time suckers in my life. The television, and computer are two of the biggest. I spent a good portion of this year trying different schedules, and tools to see if I could find anything that felt right. The closest I've come to something that works are the monthly planners from Charlie Gilkey of Productive Flourishing.

I resist too much structure, though I need to have some, to get anything done. This is such a simple prompt, but it brings up a lot of ick for me. The simple answer is that I could eliminate some of my tv watching and that would free up time for writing, and my other creative pursuits. The longer answer is that I crave some structure, and want to find balance between my freespiritedness and having a schedule. On a deeper level, I didn't have structure as a child; I was a good kid, and made my way through. It's simply something that I didn't learn. This is where my compassion kicks in... and I remind myself that it can still be learned. I did fine when I was working for someone else. Where I notice it most, is in working for myself. At times I feel like a lost little girl, in a creative entrepreneur's body. And all I can do is be where I am.

:: This post is written as part of Gwen Bell's Reverb 10 - on the website, it's described as an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.

*I was over at unabashedly female (because Julie is amazing), and read this post that is the antithesis of this one, and makes sense of why I was feeling so icky about writing this post. Here's the link.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

an investment in me.

Last year I participated in Gwen Bell's blog challenge, and it was a transformative experience for many reasons. The time to reflect on the year was so good. And meeting so many amazing people, has absolutely changed my life and expanded my world beyond what I could have ever imagined. So here we are on day one.

I chose Expand as my word for 2010, and as it turns out, I did. Today's prompt asks us to encapsulate our year in one word, and Expand rings I'm sticking with it!

After several years of major change, and having moved into a cocoon like phase, I was ready for growth, expansion, and stretching beyond all of my comfort zones. I started the year by participating in * The Courageous Year with Kate Swoboda. I took Flying Lessons with Kelly Rae Roberts. I became a Fire Starter with Danielle LaPorte. I worked with the amazeballs Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach. I did 30 days of yoga - the karma edition, with Marianne Elliott. And I've been rounding out the year with Vivienne McMaster in her self portrait e-course You AreYour Own Muse (this really put a magnifying glass on my comfort zone, in ways that I am still exploring). The reason that I mention all of these things first, is because in the past I wouldn't have thrown myself into so many things, with so many unknowns. It was a challenge for me to put myself out there. To participate. To allow myself to be seen and heard. And it was gooood. Really good. Also, on a deeper level...participating in all of these things, was about self care. And understanding that I am worth it.

I was reminded that we are all more alike than different, and have connected with more like minded souls than I can even wrap my brain around. With the interwebs...I now have friends all over the world. And have made friendships that I know will last a lifetime. How amazing is that? I've had trust issues exposed, and have been faced with moving through that. More expanding happened when I stopped talking about yoga, and began a practice. I love it so much, I really could marry it. 

I've practiced more stillness, and self care in the last year than I have ever. E v e r. Finding myself in situations where I'm able to practice being present, and able to compassionately see my inner child and her feelings and make choices based on that, has been a world rocker for me. Reactionary choices based on the feelings of my inner wounded child doesn't feel powerful. Feeling the feelings, knowing where they come from, and stepping into choice as the adult One of the most powerful things I have ever felt, in fact.

Expansion has been present in every crack and crevice of this year. Even in the small bits. The quiet moments. When I was BEing right where I was at. The times when it felt like nothing was happening. At. All. As I sit and reflect on the's really been amazing. In retrospect, this year has been about investing in myself. And what better of an investment is there...really? I actually expanded my way into seeing and embracing my own worth.

*I chose to add all of the links above because these people, e-courses, and coaching etc. have played a big part in my 2010. I truly believe in the value and worth of them, and what they bring to the world. I also included them, because prior to this year...I would have used every excuse about money & time that I could come up with to not participate. This past year, I made me important enough and what I needed showed up. Each and every time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

things I'm grateful for - day 2

And the list goes on....
  • smiles - from anyone
  • having a roof over my head
  • clean drinking water
  • my fireplace
  • my grandparents
  • my sight (it used to be that I couldn't read the big E on the eye chart)
  • alone time
  • fresh air
  • the warmth and coziness of a down comforter
  • C being a great cook

Friday, November 19, 2010

friday gratitude

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought I would share a few of the things that I'm feeling grateful for.

friendship ~ my life is full of amazing women, and I feel honored to know each and every one of you. At yoga yesterday, there was a beautiful reading from "Anam Cara - A Book of Celtic Wisdom" by John O'Donohue, the title translates to soul friend. Today I'm feeling inspired to share a quote with you.

"Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person's soul." John O'Donohue - Anam Cara

retreats ~ I haven't shared that in March I'm going to attend Creating Stillness a retreat with Kate Swoboda, and her lovely retreat assistant, and my dear friend Darlene Kruetzer. I am so excited to be going! I have spent the year with these two amazing women online and via the phone - I can't wait to spend some face to face time with them and the other lovelies who will there, and have some time for me. It's in Northern California (in the Monterey area) and there are 3 spots left. Here is how Kate describes it:

** A weekend spent on the Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove, CA, where you’ll be surrounded by the smells of cedar and eucalyptus, with the ocean just a ten-minute walk away.

** Writing, photography, and stillness practices that are all geared towards one thing: slowing down, and getting courageously present.

** A queen sized bed loaded with pillows–and a pillowtop mattress calling your name.

** Plush towels and jacuzzi jets in the full-sized tub.

** A fireplace to sit in front of, while wrapping your hands around a mug of hot cider.

** Quiet. Presence. Sinking into you.

I'm hoping that this is going to be the first of many retreats that I treat myself to in the coming years. Girl time with heart. I l o v e it.

yoga ~ I felt the call and I resisted. For years. When I moved past all of my fears and excuses, I fell in love. It centers me. It puts me in positions (literally and figuratively) that challenge me. It calls me to make the time for myself and my practice. It's changing my body in ways that I can't explain. And now I cannot imagine life without it.

I'm also feeling so thankful for my C, my chocolate dog (who is curled up next to me right now), for my health (last year I was so sick at Thanksgiving that I wasn't able to eat!), for boots, and striped socks, oh and boysenberry pie (I've been indulging a bit). I think I'll leave it here for now...

Do you have a gratitude practice? Journaling, meditating, or any other expression of gratitude that you do on a regular basis? I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

someone I need to let go, or wish I didn't know.

Day 10 - someone I need to let go, or wish I didn't know.

I've been thinking a lot about friendships that aren't working. It's interesting to look at them from where I'm standing now, versus when I was younger...even just a few years younger. I have a much better idea of who I am now. And have a clearer picture of who I've always been. I have certainly had friendships with people who thought that I should be different. That if I did this or that, I'd be better, stronger, smarter, more grown up. I used to take that in, and I know it fed into my stories.

I had an interesting experience with an old friend a while back. We were reconnecting, spending more time together, and sharing with each other. One day she told me that she really appreciated my input. She said she thought that I was so level headed and fair (libra), and then she proceeded to say that she thought that I had changed so much. My first thought was....really? I have always been that way, maybe you have changed and now you can finally appreciate me (hello ego). I let it go. There is some deep truth in that feeling though. This is a friendship where I have never been accepted as I am. And in that moment of feeling approved of, and liking it...I got an icky feeling.

Approval from others is not what rules my life. It did for a long time. Now that I appreciate myself for the person that I am (flaws and all), it's easier to see whether a relationship is healthy or not. This is where I'm at, and what I'm considering these days. The friendships that aren't authentic, loving, and mutually supportive are the "someones" I need to let go of. Feels good and scary, all at the same time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

someone I didn't want to let go, but just drifted.

Day 9 - someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted.

I moved in across the street from her just before I turned 7, she was two years younger than me. I don't know that the age difference was ever apparent. Of course throughout school, we had other friends at school that were in our own grades, but we were like sisters. Always. Throughout life, we shared everything. Secrets, stories, fun, and heartbreaks. I moved away, and she was with a boyfriend who treated her like shit. She was the maid of honor at my wedding. I didn't even know that she married the "boyfriend" at the courthouse. Over time we drifted.

It hurt me to see her with him. To hear the stories. To see her hurt. I was newly married, and I slinked away from our friendship. We talked recently and I had the chance to apologize for that. I was able to tell her that I have been carrying guilt for not being there for her. For walking away because I was uncomfortable (it stings to even write that). She said she understood. And we vowed to be better about keeping in touch. Our lives have changed greatly, and we don't have the time to be inseparable. But the bond is still strong and I intend to keep that promise. She's a beautiful person, her friendship means the world to me, and I can't say I've known any other friend that long.

30 days of truth

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

something I need to forgive myself for.

Day 3 - something I need to forgive myself for.

I need to forgive myself for running. Running from things that scared me. Things that felt too huge to handle. I ran when my Grandma was dying. I ran from my step daughter when my marriage ended. I ran when my ex husband died – I ran straight to distraction. Away from reality, and straight to the internet, and television. I left my new love to handle everything in our real everyday life. I left. Period. Physically I was here, but it wasn’t the same. It’s taken years to return home. Home to me.

Part of this is forgiving myself, and part of it is letting go of the story that I am a runner. A quitter. An abandoner. A person who hides from things. Because the truth is, I have also done my fair share of brave things. Big things. Scary things. And I’ve stayed and faced things head on. So there it is. Forgiveness and letting go. I think that it’s equal parts…you must be able to let go to forgive. I wish it was as easy as writing a permission slip. *here you go…forgiveness granted.

The good news is that my story is revealed. It’s out in the light, exposed and seen by me and now by you. Once it’s out there, all lit up, it’s easier to spot again. To see the truth. And that’s when the real forgiveness can begin. The story can be let go of, and the truth can be claimed.

Today I am thankful for the people in my life who listen to my stories, and who see my truth.

30 days

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

something I love about myself.

Day 2 - something I love about myself.

I’m struggling with writing this. Not because I can’t think of things that I love about myself (which makes me smile wide)…but because I am just plain struggling to write. So I am going to just cut to it, because participating in this 30 days is important to me.

The thing that stands out to me is my capacity to love. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly. For me this means that, I can still see someone, through pain and hurt, through fucked up circumstances, through joy, and through everyday life. There is a part of me, a very deep part of me where love is so strong, that it sees through the shit that we all have, and is able to see the purest part of someone. I don’t know where it comes from. And I can’t say that others always understand it. In fact, it’s been questioned many times.

As my first marriage came to an end, I was asked time and time again, what I was thinking? What was wrong with me? How could I choose love for someone that had caused me so much pain? All I can say, is that I just did. The truth is, that he was a beautiful person who was never able to understand that he was amazing. He was tortured, charming, sensitive, complex, funny, loving, and more. Yes, he made choices that caused me immense pain, but he also made choices that cost him his life. It was during this time that I not only chose love for him, I also began to choose it for myself. It was back then, that I began to fall in love with me.

I’ve been in situations, over and over, where the person that someone really is…speaks to me more than the actions they are choosing. Not because I am letting them walk all over me, or I’m allowing them to behave badly. In fact, I have been known to begin the conversation when I’ve been hurt. There is just something that takes over…and the only way I can explain it, is my capacity to love. And I have to say, that I really love that about myself.

Today I am thankful for the right to vote. And have my voice heard.

30 days

Monday, November 1, 2010

something I hate about myself.

Day one - 30 Days of Truth - Something I hate dislike about myself.

As I sit immersed in learning to accept myself for the person that I am, I'm finding it hard to write about something that I dislike about myself. Not that there aren't things, because I could easily get going on a list of things that I feel I should be, or be doing differently. I find that I sit in judgement about a lot of things when it comes to me, and this question makes me feel like I could easily slip into a little self bashing. So with that awareness, I will truthfully and gently share what comes to mind...

I suffer from analysis paralysis. I gather information, and more information, and then a little more information, and then maybe just a little more before I act. And then often, I am acting because I get to that shit or get off the pot moment (either deadline or self imposed). I've also called this procrastination. When it was suggested to me that this may just be my exact words were - if that's true I'll kill myself. Dramatic? yes - really kill myself? no. The thought of laboring over decisions for the rest of my life seems unbearable. I choose to accept that this is part of my process at the moment; I'm learning to trust myself and my inner voice. I remind myself often that I have permission to experiment, to fail, to succeed. Permission granted. Period.

And one thing I've discovered is that my inner little girl is still suffering from a life that was out of control, didn't feel very safe, and had very little certainty. I'm learning that I need to take her by the hand and give her some of the things that she was missing back then. A little guidance, some assurance, and lots of love. Getting in touch with her has been a real gift; it's empowered me in ways I can't explain. As we heal together, the trust is slowly building. The two of us will make one amazingly powerful woman, who stands firm in who she is and the decisions she makes. And when I waiver and waffle (because let's be real, I will) I'll remember the permission slip that allows me to be human.

So yes. I dislike the analysis paralysis, and that I do it. It's uncomfortable, and frustrating. And since running from the discomfort hasn't helped much up to this point, I sit with it, until I can move through it.

*Just for fun - the visual running through my head: me, and me as a little girl walking out of smoke with a fire blazing behind us...with our hands joined and raised victoriously. And possibly a celebratory jump into the air - feet kicked out to the side. Dramatic? yes. And silly? of course.

I think as part of my 30 days of truth, I'm also going to add one thing each day that I'm grateful for. Today it's being in touch with my playful side.

30 days

30 days of truth.

I was over at my friend dar's blog and saw that she is going to take part in "30 Days of Truth" during the month of November. I am thinking of taking this challenge on...speaking my truth is a practice I'm actively engaging in, and I could certainly use the prompts. Since I have been away from blogging for the most part, I'm gently stepping in. With the intent of doing the full 30, while also giving myself the space to do what I do.

Here is the list in case you would like to join in the truth telling ~

Day 1 :: Something you hate about yourself

Day 2 :: Something you love about yourself

Day 3 :: Something you have to forgive yourself for

Day 4 :: Something you have to forgive someone for

Day 5 :: Something you hope to do in your life

Day 6 :: Something you hope you will never have to do

Day 7 :: Someone who has made your life worth living for

Day 8 :: Somone who made your life like hell, or treated you like shit

Day 9 :: Someone you didn't want to let go, but just drifted

Day 10 :: Someone you need to let go or wish you didn't know

Day 11 :: Something people seem to compliment you the most on

Day 12 :: Something you never get compliments on

Day 13 :: A band or artist that got you through some tough days (write a letter)

Day 14 :: A hero that has let you down (write a letter)

Day 15 :: Something or someone you can't live without, because you've tried living without it

Day 16 :: Someone or something you can definitely live without

Day 17 :: A book you've read that changed your views on something

Day 18 :: Your views on gay marriage

Day 19 :: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

Day 20 :: Your views on drugs and alcohol

Day 21 :: (scenario) You've gotten into a fight with your best friend and an hour later, she's in a car accident. What do you do?

Day 22 :: Something you wish you hadn't done in your life

Day 23 :: Something you wish you had done in your life

Day 24 :: Make a playlist to someone and explain why chose those songs. (Just post the titles, the artist and letter)

Day 25 :: The reason you believe you're still alive today

Day 26 :: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Day 27 :: What's the best thing going for you right now?

Day 28 :: What if you got pregnant, (or got someone pregnant), what would you do?

Day 29 :: Something you hope to change about yourself and why.

Day 30 :: A letter to yourself. Tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm Going to be My Own Muse (yikes).

I've been absent from this space for the most part over the last couple of months, I've been going through a bit of a shift and haven't been sure what to write about, or how to express it. One thing that I have been doing is practicing massive amounts of gentleness, and noticing of the judgements I pass on myself on a regular basis. The noticing helps me tremendously, and those are the times when I've really been able to step into being gentle. It's been an intense time of growth, stretching, quiet, looking inward, being present, and lots and lots of breathing.

I recently had a birthday, and I don't know what it is about this feels like it's going to be a big one. A hugely blessed year. And I'm off to a helluvah start. Understanding things about myself that have eluded me up to this point. Seeing the world in new and exciting ways. Feeling this g i a n t heartspace ready for whatever is yet to come. And leaning into some things that really scare me.

One of the scary things that I'm doing is participating in Vivienne McMaster's You Are Your Own Muse e-course, focused on self portraits. Being photographed makes me squirmy to begin with, and then my own insecurities of not being a photographer come into play. If I've ever been asked to list something (some secret desire) that I have an interest in doing, photography is always there. Do I carry a camera around with me? no. Am I the one at parties, and on vacations snapping all of the photos? no. Do I hear the whisper? yes. One thing I will say, is that as scared as I am, I'm also excited about it. I'm looking forward to seeing myself in new and unexpected ways. And I'm looking forward to seeing the other lovely participants through their eyes. Leaning into the fears, and loving myself along the way. It's going to be one big beautiful messy experiment.

Vivienne is leaving registration open for a bit, and there are just a few spots left. The musing begins on November 1.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Bit of San Francisco.

On my recent trip to San Francisco I stumbled across the Women's Building in the Mission District. I had been told to see it, but then happened upon it without even trying. The murals are stunning. And the singing and dancing coming out of the open window made my heart full. I think I could've stayed all day and listened to the sounds emanating from the building.

I was also bound and determined to get to Tartine for their morning buns. It was my birthday morning, and so we went. Behold my morning bun....(insert angels singing)

We also tried their brioche bread pudding with seasonal fruit, which was so good too. Another place I could've stayed fact, I saw a few other things that looked amazing (perhaps next trip?). We walked Valencia, and went into some shops...made a few purchases, and then drove around the area a bit. C is obsessed with getting his bearings in new places, and exploring neighborhoods. The day brought some challenges due to the fact that we were driving....and let's face it public transportation is the best way to get around the city. Due to C's aforementioned obsession, we drove. It was really fun to see the neighborhoods - I could look at homes/buildings/architecture all day, so in the end we were both happy. Oh! and did I mention that right after breakfast we went over and had ice cream at bi-rite? Nothing wrong with a little sugar overload first thing in the morning right? It was so worth it! I'd love to spend a little more time in the mission. There were so many shops and eateries to experience. I think a girls trip is in order. Any takers?...

I'll be sharing more pictures soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Celebrating Me.

Thinking of birthdays, and celebrating me. Honoring myself isn't always easy. I am three weeks away from entering a new decade, and so I will celebrate where I've been, and what is yet to come. All things big and small.

This year, there is a bit of sacredness around my birthday. There is both tenderness, and hope. There are tears, and happiness. I'm embracing it all, and am ready to look forward to what's ahead. I'm going to be taking a road trip to Northern California with C, and spending a couple of days in San Fran. Enjoying the coast all the way - up and back down again. This year, more than parties, I long for circling up with those that I love, and celebrating life as it is. Intimacy, and love. That's where I'm at. Oh....and I also long for shoes. And boots. I've been feeling a little obsessed lately. I think I will be doing some shopping while in SF so if you've got any great spots, please share.

This weeks five things, celebrate me.

I went to school for interior design and paid for it myself, despite not being supported or understood by my family. They didn't think I could make any money doing it. I did it anyway.

I've always had my own sense of style. I've gotten a lot of "that's so you" in my lifetime. When I was younger it hurt me sometimes. Now, I say thank you.

I can make a mean turkey meat loaf. In fact, C said when he got home today, that he could eat it everyday. I have a couple of meals that I do well, and I take pride in them.

I am not, nor ever will I ever be interested in spending so much of my time cleaning that I have no time for fun. Fun always wins out. And because we don't love living in a mess, we work it out. I like this about myself.

While I am no domestic diva, my house is filled with love. And that's something I can celebrate.

It's amazing how hard I had to think to come up with this list. My darling little inner critic chiming you don't want anyone to think that you're too full of yoursef, so be careful. I hear you dear one. And while I'll admit that I walked the safe line, I'm happy that I did it anyway.

What things about yourself do you celebrate? And is it hard for you?  I'd love to know.

Monday, September 6, 2010

We All Have Our Own S#@t.

I left the house this morning in sweats, and a baseball cap hoping to make it to Costco before it got crowded. As I turned the corner onto a main street along the way, a truck came barreling up behind me. The driver got angry, swerved into the lane to the left of me, and then....just about took off the front end of my car while swerving back in front of me. I have to admit, it pissed me off. I was irritated, and shaken by the aggression that was shown. I moved over a lane, and as I came to a stop at the light, the truck started backing up, I rolled my window down, and so did he. "What did you say bitch?" is what came out of his mouth, I had said nothing yet. But my adrenaline was pumping, and I said, "You need to get a grip".

I was not prepared for what happened next. He screamed at me. And screamed at me. And called me names. And called me more names based on judgements he made about me. And as this was unfolding, I said quietly to myself - oh. I get it now. In that moment I felt so much compassion for him. All I could see was his anger. His face all twisted up and red. His rage. And I knew that it could not possibly be directed at me. This was something deeper. Luckily, the light changed. He got in front of me, and slowed way down, and flailed his arms, and looked like he was still screaming. I stayed back as far as I could, until he sped away. And I shook for about an hour afterward.

I haven't been able to stop thinking about him all day. I've been wondering what must be going on in his life to make him act out that way. I have been sending loving thoughts, and peaceful energy his way. One of the things that I wished I would've done differently is to not engage him. To not have rolled down my window, and said anything. As I write those words, I also can't help but wonder if I was supposed to have that interaction...maybe he needed a little good energy sent his way today.

We never know what is going on with someone. And it's so easy to get caught up in emotions. To call names, and to judge people. We are all people. Flesh. Bones. Hearts. Souls. What if we could just remember that all people are more alike than different? Remember that we all have things going on in our lives. What if we could separate from political ideals, from skin color, from gender, from sexual orientation, from social class, from religious beliefs? And just remember that we all have our own shit. Our own happinesses. Our own heartbreaks. Our own challenges. Our own victories. Our own defeats. And remember that the only thing that really matters is love for one another. Love for another human being, no matter what.

I wasn't going to be able to sleep tonight until I wrote about this. I have to say thank you to this man, this human being. For making me feel today. And for making me think. And for giving me the opportunity to love.

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's Been a Wild Week.

It's been a wild week. I had amazing, quiet moments of reading. I read Pema Chodron's "When Things Fall Apart", and it's so good. Seriously. Good. In fact, I turned around and started it all over again this morning. I also overcommitted myself to things that don't serve me. I was offline more than I wanted to be, yet I think I needed it. I started a new eating routine. Experienced more technical difficulties with the computer than I care to discuss. Had the world's worst PMS. Felt all out of sorts with my life, and out of touch with the things that bring me joy. Sat in the feelings I was having. Overcame a huge mental block with yoga, and finally went. Saw places in my life that I am not setting boundaries, and also set a few boundaries. It's been a roller coaster. And at some point, I finally sat back and decided to enjoy the ride.

5 things I'm grateful for this week -

watching my pup in the side mirror of the car, with his ears and his lips flapping in the wind.

time to read, and the peace and quiet that came along with it.

the opportunity to see the issues I have with setting healthy boundaries.

y o g a.

the support of good friends. friends who care about you, and your well being. out of pure love.

Where have you been this week? And what are you grateful for?

photo {source}

Friday, August 27, 2010

you can do anything.

This was shared via facebook this morning by Danielle Fraser, and WOW is it good stuff! The things we know as kids, and forget along the way....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hello Friday.

I'm sitting here looking back on my week so far, and I'm feeling grateful for my phone's camera. I snapped more photos this week than I have in a long time...and I'm so happy I did! This week's 5 {8} things is going to be in photos....(ok, so half of them). My week has been full of so many blessings.

My funniest moment of the week. I tried to tweet about this incident, but it was really hard to convey in 140 characters. I got the biggest and best belly laugh. It started with me running an errand, and I wanted to take the pup along. I put him in the backseat, and noticed the trash cans needed to be pulled in (glamorous real life detail), so I ran out and did that. I promptly hopped in the car and drove off....It wasn't until I was halfway to my destination that I became aware of the pup acting strangely, and noticed the golf clubs in the back seat (with the dog!).

I called him up to the front seat...thinking that he would sit on his butt and ride like the gentleman that he is (most of the time), and he simply could not wrap his brain around sitting (actually sitting down) in that seat. So he rode like this the whole way, with me laughing and laughing, and trying to explain sitting in the passenger seat to him. This was the best shot I could get, since he is so big and I was so close.

Me just moments after checking into the hotel on our mini vacation. On the deck of the balcony...breathing in the ocean air.

Sitting outside at the hotel restaurant, and enjoying happy hour with friends. Sun kissed cheeks, the sound of the ocean, conversation, cocktails, and laughter. Nuf said.

Me the day after we returned home. Working on a painting (which is calling me back to finish as I write this). I was feeling the call of duty and responsibility...unpacking, house cleaning, e-course work, etc. and yet the whisper to paint was greater. So I went with my heart. Resumed work on two canvases in progress, and one that was blank and waiting for love. It was a very good choice.

The other great part of my week, has been feeling the urge to dabble in design again. It's calling me, and I'm happily looking at ways that will work for me. One of which is to hold a local sale with a fellow design friend...featuring some of the flea/vintage finds I am collecting! (note to self...snap photos while out shopping).

I also had a chance to reflect on, acknowledge, and let go of an old story. We were driving near UCSD, and I was reminiscing about being on campus with an old friend. I remember feeling a sense of reverance standing in a lecture hall, loving the beauty of the campus, and wishing I could go there. This made me remember a similar experience on the campus of UCSB. The tears flowed. I was telling C that I always wanted to go to University, and that I just don't think that I believed that I deserved it. I let the tears fall, and I said...I'm sad for that girl. And I am so happy that today I know that she did, and I do.

Getting some love notes/tweets from happy ring purchasers. Oh, how I love that. It makes me happy to know that so many amazing women are out there wearing my rings.

Oh...and reconnecting with people you love on facebook (Chloe). Highlight of the week for sure!

I hope that your week has been full of blessings, realizations, belly laughs, and connecting with people you love.

Monday, August 16, 2010

all sorts of courageousness.

A couple of years ago I signed up for Kate Swoboda's newsletter. I had found her through one of the other blogs I read, and I felt drawn to her spirit. When I found out that she was taking a leap, and leaving her day job to start The Courageous Year (amongst other things), I knew I had to participate. I went through all of the excuses I could come up with. The biggest of them was, I can't afford it (see my - lack story). My desire to participate, led to my decision to dive in anyway. I went with it and trusted that everything would work out. And I'm so glad I did!

I can't even begin to tell you all that I have gotten out of being a participant in the Courageous Year. The changes that I have experienced have been a mixture of clearly evident, and very subtle. Some of the shifts I've seen in myself have snuck up on me. For instance, I started noticing that when I was out and about, I was more present, and interacting more with people that I came across throughout my day (see my - I'm shy story). I notice that I am tremendously more aware of the stories that I carry with me, and how they affect my life. I can identify when I'm living out of the story, and not in the present moment. And I've come to realize that my inner critic is not out to get me, she just chooses safety over anything else. It's all been such good stuff. Seriously.

Kate is super generous, and gives of herself so freely. She uses her own personal experiences as a means of teaching, and you can really see how the tools she shares are used in her own life. On top of that there are the forums, where I have met some really amazing women, and it provides another opportunity to be witness to the tools being used in real life. I told Kate that the money that I have spent on this e-course is the best investment I have ever made, and I meant every word of it. It's been a great investment in me.

I am honored to have been interviewed by Kate over at her blog, and wanted to share a bit about her with all of you. You can read her love letter to the world here. And if you haven't watched this video of hers yet, you should. She is so crush worthy, and I could go on....however, I will leave you to find out for yourself.

A Brief Bio:

Kate Swoboda is a life coach, teacher, and writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She supports women from around the world in making powerful choices and rocking out their lives (side note: this involves a lot of courageous laughter, love, acceptance, and not taking ourselves too seriously). When she’s not writing, leading retreats in Italy, or connecting with other courageous women, she can be found sipping chai in libraries, buffing up on her Italian, taking photographs, or getting all bendy-stretchy on the yoga mat. Learn more at .

About the Courageous Year E-Books:

Courage is: Feeling afraid, diving in anyway, and transforming. The Courageous Year is a series of four downloadable e-book course modules that support you in courageous living. Organized topically and starting from a place of going deep into you and your individual journey, the Courageous Year also adds in a dose of connection (via the online Courageous Community) and one-on-one support (via sessions with Life Coach Kate Swoboda). The content, videos, and worksheets are designed to be worked at your own pace, making it ideal for people who want to step into their vision for their life while also having a life! Combined, all four course modules support you in making real shifts that you can work in manageable doses. Ultimately, it’s work that’s about heart, living big, and not just nurturing dreams but also creating real pathways for them to happen. For more information, see .

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hello Friday.

 I'm so lucky to look at skies like these every night.

Happy Friday lovely ones. Every Friday, I've been posting some sort of fun facts, and last week I posted a list of things I loved about my week. This week, I'm doing both!

5 things about me -

I've discovered the beauty of contradictions. I used to think that it was unacceptable that I was both quiet, and full of moxie. That I was afraid to try things, and tenacious. That I was strong, and weak. etc. What a wonderous thing to embrace both all sides, and how really spectacular it is to be all of these things instead of any one. I cherish the conversations I've had on this subject.

Music is one of the things that I cannot live without. Somehow I forget for a few days or weeks, and then I put it on and my heart expands tenfold. And I remember again.

I once got up in the middle of the night to watch a meteor shower with my Grandpa, and it is one of my fondest memories ever. I think I was in my early 20's and living with my grandparents at the time. We laid on lounge chairs in the backyard looking up at the sky. Pure. Beauty. Simplicity.

I had a mole diagnosed as melanoma on my back in early 2009, and it changed my life. It was caught early, and removed. I kept almost all of my fear to myself, and I had a lot of it. What a lesson that was. It was such an intense experience...I would love to share a bit of it with you - a post will come.

I have been feeling the need to simplify, and de-clutter for some time. I've officially begun the work, and it feels good. Letting go to open up to what is yet to come!

Five things I love about my week -

painting! I worked on a piece that I've had half done, it's on its way... C said why did you ruin that piece? The truth is,  I never looked at it as anywhere near being done. I can smile because no matter what anyone else thinks, I see and love the process and progress.

framing some of the prints I've had laying around. Now I can't wait to play with where they will hang....

sending off 2 lovely rings this week, and getting a love note once one of the girls made it to her new home. There is nothing better than hearing how happy someone is when they receive one of my packages. Love.

getting my hair colored! this was a much needed and wonderful treat this week.

fun with friends this weekend. We are heading down to San Diego for some R&R, and did I mention I'll be indulging in great food?

ok I'm sneaking in a 6th thing -

discussing details of a designer tag sale! Think fancy yard sale...with flea market, vintage finds, and maybe a few new unique things - mostly home related (at least for the first one). In Fall. As we figure it out, I'll share the deets.

As always, I'd love to hear from you. Either something you love about your week, or a fun fact. Please share it feels good.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

yellow shoes. dog hair. and smiles.

What's making you happy today?...For me, it's my new yellow shoes, they are collecting dog hair - and still making me smile. What simple pleasure is making you smile today?

Friday, August 6, 2010

5 things.

five things I love about my week.

love from friends.

finishing something that was challenging me in ways I can't even explain.

buying art supplies.

finally donating those bags of clothes that have been riding around in my trunk.

love notes all over the place - reminding me to make it easy.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Rings.

I just wanted to give you a sneak peak at the new rings that I've either listed, or will be listing in my etsy shop in the coming days. And there are even more (not shown)! I'm so excited to be sharing these with you, I hope that they bring you as much joy as they do me.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Getting It.

My weeks have been flying, and I haven't been spending much time here. I've been making time for play, reading, and really just being where I am. I've also been playing with squarespace, trying to build a website...and feeling a little lost in the process. I signed up for their free trial, to see how everything works and if I can maneuver my way turns out that it's a little too technically fancy for me, but I'm thinking about giving it a shot anyway. I may just have to learn some code, and/or get someone to help me a bit.

One thing that I've realized over the last few weeks, is that I have the tendancy to make things hard. So, I'm currently working on a piece of art to remind me to "make it easy". I'm trying making it easy on for size this week...and am looking forward to seeing how it goes. I will definitely report my findings.

I'm so happy to have learned that it's possible to to rewrite your story. There are certain lessons that you come up against, over and over, and each time you take something away from it. Lately, I have been experiencing so many "oh, NOW I get it" moments. It's in those moments, that I am so grateful to be on this path. It's so worth it to realize not only with your head, but with your heart, and your entire being, the things that are truth. Your truth.

This is my big one right now (it's a lesson that I've faced many times...but this time it's sticking) -  that the way I do things, and have done things, is ok. That where I'm at is ok. That my choices are ok. There is no wrong in them. There is nothing that can be done to change them, and that's ok too. There will always be more choices to be made...the weight of the world is not hanging on any one thing. It is, what it is. I am who I am. In this moment. And that's really freeing. To not have to spend so much time agonizing over making decisions, and overthinking everything. So much suffering goes out the window, at this point. yowza! I think there will always be more lessons to learn, and I'll continue to have the smaller needed lessons...the ones that lead to the bigger now I get it moments. That's ok too, in fact, I want them to continue coming. The beauty in getting something with your whole being, integrating it, is that it can no longer slip away. Of course there may be moments that I head back into the worry, and indecision...but the stay won't be as long, I can always come home to the truth. It's a part of me now, and because of that, I will always have access to that knowledge.

Friday, July 30, 2010

random fun.

Hello Friday. You are a fun day aren't you? In your honor, and in keeping with the new tradition I've's time for Fun Facts.

I cry at parades, dance recitals, kids school programs, during the olympics, and pretty much any other time when I am watching people do something that they have put a lot of time and effort into. Especially, when it's kids...but I am known to be an equal opportunity tear shedder. It's the empath in me, I'm sure. It's like I feel every bit of what they are feeling, and it's such a beautiful thing to see people sharing their performance with you.

These roller skates (not this particular pair of course) were one of my favorite things when I was a kid. My driveway was not level so we skated in the next door neighbors driveway next to their airstream (oh, how I loved that thing). And of course I went to the roller skating rink too.

What I'm smelling right now? My dog....and it's not good. 100lbs of it, is really bad. Perhaps a bath is in order this weekend.....

I have been having really vivid dreams for the last month or so, and can remember them clearly in the morning. Last nights featured a little white mouse that C found, he was holding it up to my face and all around me, trying to tease me with it. I felt a little squeamish about it, but that eventually passed. Hmmm. A little dream interpretation...sit with the squeamishness, and it will eventually pass? Or is there some symbolism with the white mouse?

I love birthdays. Mine, yours, anyones. I love em.When I was 19ish I bought a handpainted plate that says Happy Birthday in hopes of starting a future family tradition. Since we don't have our kiddos yet, C and I use it. C's birthday is on Christmas so I make sure that we always have bday time too - he gets the plate with breakfast.

I'm makin' it easy this week, so I hope you had fun with the random facts. Anyone want to take a stab at dream interpretation? Or share another one of your fun facts with me? I love that some of you have been playing along. Happy Friday!

*Did you happen to read this post this week? If not, you should.

Friday, July 23, 2010

How'd You Sneak Up on Me Friday?

a boy and his mom
Here we are at another Friday. Yowza time flies as you get older! I am sitting here feeling a bit like today is a sacred day, I'm not sure why. I don't know that if I did, I could articulate it. I do know that my heart is full to bursting, and I am feeling such deep gratitude for the people in my life. I am a lucky girl. If you are reading this, then you are a part of the reason I feel so blessed. Thank you ♥

Since we are at Friday, I must share some Fun Facts....

In the photo above (taken yesterday) I was sporting two little buns that didn't show up (in shadow) as well as I would've liked. They made me feel cute!

I don't like raw onions (at all), but I do love the sweetness of one that is cooked to melt in your mouth goodness. My Grandma told me I would grow out of this, I guess she was half right.

I secretly love to sing. I was once told by my Dad that I sounded like a wailing cow, and that one comment knocked the wind out of my sails (despite being told by others that I was a good singer). Now I sing in the car when I'm alone, and around the house with C - he accompanies me on eukelele, and sings along sometimes too. Singing in front of people is something I have on  my list of to do's.

I have blue eyes, and they are super sensitive to light. Because of this, you won't find me outside without my sunnies. Even on a grey day.

I cry, smile, and giggle everytime I watch this video . It's full of joy, self expression, beauty, and gets me every time!

I have a few more fun facts in my bag of tricks...but I have to keep it to 5 at a time. Seriously, what if I run out?!

Anyone else want to share? A tidbit, a video link that makes you happy, something you are grateful for? Anything?...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Connecting the Dots, and Big Dreams.

Standing on the edge of big things. That's where I am. Now if only I were wearing such cute shoes! I find myself living in flip flops these days, though I certainly won't complain about that. I have been sitting on some ideas about where I would like to take my creative business, and really working on dreaming big. I am going to take a leap and mention some of the things that are running around in my head these days. I have only told a handful of people, and I'm thinking now is the time to put it out there for all to hear.

As you know, I'm an interior designer, and have been for 15 years. At the tail end of working for a large company which was about 5 years ago, I got really burned out. I wasn't getting satisfaction from my job anymore. The emphasis had become more about turn and burn...budget over good design, and about piling on as many clients/projects on me as possible. The truth is, I was miserable. I began my own design business, but the burn out and all of the anguish I was feeling as a result of the prior few years, was ruling my life. As a result, I have sort of thrown the baby out with the bath water, as far as seeing myself as a designer. I feel myself missing it more and more. This is part of the puzzle.

During this time, I began making my rings, doing a little soul searching, realizing that I had put my identity as an artist into a box, and exploring the things that make me really happy. Things that make my soul feel good. Part of this is getting back to painting. You see, when I was doing a lot of design work, that is when I was most happy...when I was procuring art, framing art and art prints, pulling people's art together into collections, etc. There has been this artcentric thing happening with me the whole time. Another part of the puzzle.

I also, over the last few years (really, a lot longer but that's story for another time) have dreamed of having a little lifestyle shop. One where I offer flea market and vintage finds for the home (and including a rack or two of vintage clothing), artwork, jewelry, as well as some specially selected items. Also, part of the puzzle.

Along with all of that, I have always had the feeling that in this lifetime, my work is to encourage / empower girls and women. What that would look like...I haven't been too sure. I really want to make a difference. I want to give back, and be a part of something that is bigger than me. Another puzzle piece.

I have this thing for connecting the dots...that's how I ended up going to design school in the first place. There is something to be said for looking back - all the way to childhood. There are answers there. I looked at everything that I've ever wanted to do, and thought about whether there was any kind of common thread. And in those things, I discovered that everything I had ever wanted to do was about how the physical space involved would look - the reason why I enrolled in school to study design. Lately, I have been connecting the dots again. And when I look back, there was a common thread of bringing women together. Gathering women in spaces that feel good, that light the soul, spaces that are uplifting.

A couple of months ago, I woke up out of sleep and had this stream of thoughts running through my head. A sort of connecting of the dots, or putting together of the puzzle pieces. Leading up to this night, I had been thinking that I would like to use my design skills to create spaces for women in transition.

On this particular night, here is what my stream of thoughts looked like...I could donate my time to design spaces for women who are going through some sort of life change, and need a boost. Would I need to form a non profit? Would I get people / companies to donate furniture, etc? I could use my love for vintage, and flea market finds to source some of the things that would go into these spaces. Oh, I could have a little shop that I set up to house and sell those items, and maybe that would help me raise money to design the spaces! What if that store could grow into a larger space, that could act as both a shop and a place to gather? I could use art from the artists / photographers that inspire me in the spaces (and maybe some of my own!). The larger space could have workshops taught by other creative women (and maybe a few by me), to help women explore and get in touch with their creativity. Classes / workshops in things like mixed media art, writing, painting, knitting, photography, jewelry making, etc. It could be a little safe haven for women to come and play, shop, commune, and grow. Maybe there would be specific classes that have a class going on at the same time for little ones, so that Moms that don't have baby sitters can still come and have time to create. And of course...conveniently, it could have a little cafe next door so everyone could hang and eat yummy healthy food. All of this supporting me designing these spaces, full of fabulous things, and art that is both beautiful and has positive meaning. Your space is a reflection of you and who you are; it's so important to have your surroundings reflect the real you...not the chaos, or drama or whatever may be going on in your life. That's what I would love to help achieve.

I let myself go even bigger and farther than what I've written above...I will do a part two soon. There is a lot to this, and I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure of how this could work. I have also been feeling a sense of excitement and wonder at it all. This is what's really been going on in my head these days. I thought that this may just be the best place to start...putting it out there into the universe. Saying some prayers. Practicing a little magical thinking. And allowing myself to be seen and heard.

If you have thoughts, insights, are somehow part of how the universe is going to help me make this happen, or just want to write me a love note, please do in my comments. Or you can send me an email at - olive and hope {at} gmail {dot} com

{photo via sfgirlbybay} and it's for sale too : )

Friday, July 16, 2010

Suggested Reading.

I am back for more, I'm feeling inspired today and wanted to share a couple of things that rocked my world this week. It was a quiet week for me, full of reflection and sitting with, and just being where I'm at. In turn, it's been quiet here at ye olde blog as well. So today you get 2 posts for the price of 1.

I read too many to share three posts this week that really spoke to me, and I wanted to pop back in for a sec and share them with you. Spreading a little world rockin' / sock knockin' on this Friday afternoon!

This post and it's follow up by Havi Brooks has me thinking...BIG and dare I say advanced?!

This post and this one by Danielle La Porte . Honestly, any post by either of these women is worth a read.

Hope you have an inspired weekend!

More Bits and Pieces.

It's looking as though my Friday's F posts, are quickly turning into a regular Fun Facts series. I'm going with it, and not thinking about it too much because right now, I'm mostly interested in being invested and showing up. Even if showing up is all that I can do. So here goes ~

I am an only child. Born to parents that were barely out of their teens, and who often chose partying over parenting. I'm so thankful to know now that they did the best they could.

My Grandma on my Dad's side, always joked that she was my Fairy Grandmother. We had a lot of fun together. We watched sports (the beginning of my allegiance to the Lakers), played board games, colored and drew pictures, watched crime dramas on tv, went shopping, and read books. She was child like, and we connected deeply. We ate lots of carbs together, one of her signature dishes was beef stew and cinnamon rolls. She was one half of my Wonder Gram Duo.

My Grandma on my Mom's side, is really creative, though I don't think I realized that growing up. She is the one who knits, sews, does needlepoint, and cooks delicious food. Honestly, I don't know if she realizes how creative she is. I learned about eating healthy in her household...even if I didn't embrace what I learned until I got older. I was inspired by all of the fun things she does for hobbies - knitting, sewing, and needlepoint. She is the other half.

I could go on and on about my Grandmas, and all of the things I learned from them. It's amazing to be able to look back and clearly see the balance of what I was exposed to. One very liberal household, and one very conservative. One very religious, and one not so much. One household that always had pets, one that didn't. One that had a meat and potatoes kind of diet, and one that baked fresh bread, ate whole grains, and lots of lean meat and vegetables. One household was active and exercised regularly, and one that didn't. These are a few examples.

I am grateful for the family I was born into. All of it - the good and the bad. I believe I chose my family and that all was exactly as it should have been. My household with my parents was more chaotic than that of my grandparents, but I was provided with plenty of support in the form of family and friends. I have always been taken care of. Always loved by all of them. And today I stand firmly rooted in gratitude for all of it.

I have learned throughout life to keep things quiet. That it's better to not share what's going on, than to risk people really knowing. It may cause embarassment, or shame, or godknowswhat. This story is no longer serving me. It's made me an uber private person, and I have found myself regularly feeling nervous to write on my blog because of it. So I chose to share some of my history growing up as a way to dip my toes in the water. To test out talking about things that may make me a little squeamish. I don't want my blog to be just about struggles / life stuff, and I'm working out how to mix both the business side of what I'm doing with where I'm at. I would love for it to be a balance of both. I am who I am because of where I've been; I wouldn't be on my current path without all of it. My desire is for my blog to represent me - living authentically, creating, loving, running a creative business, finding my way, and stepping into my power. In order for it to be that, I must risk being seen. This is what my intuition is telling me. Over and over again.

Is your intution or inner voice whispering something to you? If so, what is it saying?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fun Facts.

Short and sweet. Friday's F today - fun facts.

I have all four of my wisdom teeth. I had four other teeth pulled when I got braces, and I guess that made room for them to slide on in.

I was legally blind until I had Radial Keratotomy which was the surgery before laser was FDA approved. I'm talking...not able to read the Big E on the eye chart! I remember one of the first things that I saw that shocked me - there were trees on the mountains, that I had lived at the base of since I was born. Man, was that a eye opening - literally. I did know there were trees up there, I had just never been able to make them out, until I was all the way up the mountain ;-)

Because of being legally blind until I was 21, and the impact it had on just about every aspect of my life...I have been on a mission to find a cool vintage eye chart to hang in my house. So if you ever come across one, let me know.

I have never been outside of the U.S. I have a wish list of trips, and plan to take them...don't you worry. Ironically, I married a man with massive travel anxiety - enough for both of us. Not so fun of a fun fact! *note to self, find travel companions.

I prefer dark chocolate. This is a new development...does this come with age?

If you feel like sharing something about yourself, please do. I'd love to get to know you better. Happy Friday!

photo {source}

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Delicious Morning.

It's official. I am schedule obsessed. Really. I'm starting to think that it may be a little unhealthy. I was writing my morning pages, and feeling totally blissed out. Then my brain turned to the time. I started down the road, you know the did it get so late? I haven't gotten anything done! This is proof that I need a better schedule. You see the pattern. Then it came, a moment of wisdom. I took a breath and listed the things that I'd already gotten done this morning. It was a pretty good list, and I celebrated that. Then, I took another breath and listened to the quiet. Ah, bliss. Enjoying coffee, writing, feeling centered, and I thought this is a delicious should just enjoy it. And so I did.

It's now later in the day, and I'm back to the beginning. Ruminating over the things that I need to get done. It's time to breathe again, love the fact that I printed out Charlie Gilkey's free planners for July, and play with them a bit. It's all a practice, right? Bringing it all back to the here and now. Bringing it back to the center. And from that center...try things out, practice, allow things to be, see what works. For me.

My gift to myself this week? Permission to Experiment. What gift will you give yourself?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

5 Years.

Today is our 5 year wedding anniversary. And as I mentioned in an earlier post it's also 7 years together. I can hardly believe that it's been that long! Really. We have had our share of good and bad, and we are not perfect by any means. We are however, good together. We get each other. When others don't get us...we always do. It's such a beautiful thing to have a partner who is in it all the way. I'm so thankful for that, each and every day.

I thought that I would celebrate my love for my man with a gratitude list.

Thank you for...

 loving me fiercely.
 making me laugh.
 being my best friend.
 dancing in the kitchen with me.
 seeing in me all of the things that I don't always.
 believing in me.
 playing the eukelele and teaching yourself new songs.
 being such a fabulous cook.
 always having my back.
 loving our dog like he is our child.
 singing songs with me.
 holding my hand on a regular basis.
 loving road trips as much as I do.
 seeing me.
 hanging with me, even as I'm kicking your butt at wii bowling.
 waking up at the crack of dawn to take the dog out.
 opening your heart to me.
 doing your own laundry.
 loving to go to shopping for candles and goodies for our home.
 being completely invested in us growing old together.
 braving traffic everyday so that you can bring home a paycheck.
 taking your job so seriously and being a rockstar at it.
 loving to read.
 accepting the fact that I am no domestic diva.
 putting up with my snobbish hotel standards.
 believing that I am an artist, before I could.
 making it a priority to save money.
 being both sweet and cantankerous.
 the exploding fist bumps.
 helping me to trust again.
 smelling like home to me.
 teaching me how to make alfredo sauce and admitting mine is better.
 accepting me for who I am.
 loving to decorate for holidays with me.
 sleeping with the windows open - even in winter. (I've adjusted!)
 supporting me in going after my creative dreams.
 giving me my space when I need it.
 being one of the most loyal people I know.

I look forward to the rest of our lives together. The adventures that we will have. Building our family together. I am filled with hope for the future, and I know that big things are ahead for us. Things that we cannot even imagine are possible today. I have so much respect for you. I believe in you, and us. And I want to say thank you for walking side by side with me through life. Happy 5 years.

Friday, July 2, 2010

She's Earned Her Wings.

I've officially graduated from flying lessons. Today I am donning my cap, my gown and my wings. I learned so much from taking this e-course, and I look forward to putting all of what I learned into practice. Some of the things that I want out of this life are to make good money, while running my own creative business. Have time for play, and friends and family. And to make a difference. I have some big thoughts on this subject...they actually came into being prior to me signing up for the e-course, and now since completing it...I can see that it's possible to do all that I want to. The most important place for me to start, is believing that it can become a reality. In this moment, I do. And when I have those feelings of overwhelm, and fear (which are sure to come) I will take a deep breath and come back to the start. Breathe. Believe. Begin again.

She takes off her cap, tosses it into the air and does a happy dance...Glass of bubbly anyone?

photo {source}

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Renegade Craft Fair - LA.

It's almost time again you guys! The Renegade Craft Fair. Hundreds of indie crafts artists and designers come from all over to be a part of this. We're talking handmade and unique, people! There will be clothing, housewares, posters & prints, plush items, ceramics, jewelry, stationery & more. I wanted to go to this last year, and missed it. So I thought that since it's on my radar again, I would share it with you guys (to either remind you or introduce you). If you are in the LA area (or even if you're not), maybe I'll see you there. I'm jumping up and down in anticipation!