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.