my three

Posted by on Apr 6, 2012 in Authenticity, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning, Wholehearted, Writing | 1 comment

Day 37 of VerbTribe asked us, What commitments will you make to yourself about writing? Create a list of three commitments (no more) that you will make to yourself. I commit to showing up daily to the page. I commit to opening my heart allowing it to flow. I commit to seeing more, looking three times, popping open my third eye and sense of wonder. I commit to letting go fully and standing with arms wide open ready to receive. I commit to embracing every ending as the new beginning it is reborn as. I commit to living gratefully for the abundance I am blessed to have. I commit to embracing those ‘shitty first giraffes’! I commit to laughing until ‘tears roll down my legs’. I commit to being still and hearing my wise voice within. I commit to living out loud so my stories will ‘reverberate off the red cliff walls’. I commit to leaping off dramatic edges; beyond slinky shadows; over impassable mountains; into a net of faith—every time. My three: Show up. See. Let...

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the phoenix rises

Posted by on Apr 2, 2012 in Celebration, Challenges, Inspiration, Intention, Learning, Wholehearted, Writing | 1 comment

On Day 30 of Verb Tribe, this was our prompt: Gather up all your writing from this class–all those paper bags, all that filler paper. Take a photo ofeverything you have done.And then burn everything.Writing is process, not product. I couldn't do it. I'm a keeper. I rationalized that I wanted to make a piece of art out of them. Reality: I was attached to outcome and product. My proof. I took photos of every page. I made blog posts out of several of my favorites. Then yesterday, weeks after this prompt, I shared this with my Tribers: I've been clearning for the past few weeks (cleaning and learning) letting go, giving away, repurposing. I gave my mom's shells to a young woman I had seen doing crafts in front of a local cafe. Huge letting go. Today, April 1st is the anniversary my husband and I celebrate; the day we met twenty-nine years ago. Last night at midnight I tapped the final words of my screenplay—a year long endeavor wrapped in the last 31 days of March. All of these moments coalesced and today I was ready to release my words to the elements. I clutched my pages to my chest all the way to the grill on the patio. Dear God it's like letting go of a child… I lit the brown paper with my Zena Moon matches and whispered a prayer to my muse and the universe and my dead loved ones. Here is my offering. Here is my heart—be gentle. Once the pages caught I was giddy with seeing the colors and patterns and reading words before they ceased to exist. The brown paper bloomed into a fiery rose and cooled into an ash cabbage before wisping away on the breeze. Gorgeous. Exhilarating. Realization dawned. I could burn my book and start again. Knowing that the story was IN me was a breaking open AHA moment. The phoenix rises from the ashes. I am grateful I waded through resistance to gift myself with this glorious burning...

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the things we carry

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 in Learning, Spaces, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

On Day 26 of Verb Tribe Patti invited us to empty out our purses and describe the contents and what we might deduce about their owner. This was an enlightening and lightening exercise in letting go! Here’s what I wrote: This exercise was funny and fun for me! I have SO much stuff!  I have resisted carrying a purse for years and had a wallet in my back pocket which was simple and freeing. As I have transitioned to a part time job outside of my home (and clothes sans pockets) I have accumulated enough items and resigned myself to using a purse regularly. I usually still take my small wallet with me in my pocket and leave the bag in the car. 😉 My bag contains 20 items: Battered sunglasses, key ring with six keys (3 deadbolt, 2 auto, one mailbox) a 'save the tat-tas' fob and a Planet Fitness ID, two lip balms, one hair-clip, one wallet with ID, debit cards and twenty dollar bill, one wallet with membership cards, two wrapped toothpicks, one nail file, one small pink bottle of lotion labeled 'body lotion', one clear plastic case of business cards with beach photo, one tiny travel bottle of eye drops, one note pad reads 'love is everything' on cover, one ball point pen (free from biz), three mini yellow post it note pads, a travel bottle of Advil, one pair of reading glasses in flowered case. This woman does not drive a new model car—no electronic key fob, possibly out of thrift or a preference for older dependable less complicated cars. She either has several deadbolts on her front door or more than one key at a workplace, she receives her mail in a locked box so may live in an apartment or complex where mail is not delivered to each house. She has a sense of humor: save the tata’s. She is conscious of her fitness and belongs to a health club but there is no evidence she attends. She has a spiritual awareness: ‘love is everything’ on notepad yet the pages are blank; she chose a nature scene for her business cards, the beach, possibly a sacred place for her. She is thrifty (and ingenious) note the scotch tape on the sunglasses. They are extremely worn and scratched yet still salvaged—she likes what works and is not ready to let go of the old and invest in the new.  Note the thin men’s style wallet filled with membership cards: Sam’s Club, three movie clubs, a library card. She is a movie fan, probably attends matinees: the movie cards hardly have any magnetic strip left on them and not the two wrapped toothpicks possibly for dislodging stray popcorn kernels. This woman is prepared: for chapped lips, dry skin, headaches, dry eyes, putting hair up. Possibly over prepared! Yet note the lack of a swissarmy knife or cell phone.  This woman may be in need of succulence as she prepares for lack of moisture: lotion, lip balm, eye drops. This woman travels by plane often enough to use travel size approved and labeled items: lotion, Advil, eye drops, lip balm. This woman carries little cash but the tucked away twenty dollar bill may be for emergencies or make her feel secure knowing that she could splurge on that one indulgence she sees if she really wants to. This woman is probably in mid her mid-forties and wears contacts (eye drops are contact lens moistener) but she also needs reading glasses on top contacts to see up close. The glasses are not prescription but drugstore designer...

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The Digh Tribe

Posted by on Feb 25, 2012 in Authenticity, Community, Connections, Creativity, Inspiration, Intention, Learning, Wholehearted, Writing | 6 comments

When I learned about an online writing course that author Patti Digh was offering called Verb Tribe I was immediately intrigued and eager to learn more. The tag line is “Because writing is a verb: something you do, a daily practice.”  A daily practice, huh? Almost a year ago I committed to joining my friend Kathy and my husband Jeff in writing daily. We each work on our own projects with our own tools at our own time and pace. Every day.  WriteNiters meets one night a month and we have dinner at a different restaurant each time; read each other’s work, offer feedback and encouragement, vent, brainstorm, and laugh. And of course drink wine! Both smart moves to develop a writing practice that works:  a loving fun support system as well as external accountability.  My first distraction to creating a writing practice: I have struggled with writing on the computer, all my previous creative writing was done by hand. It’s a completely different act and I resisted. But since I can’t read my own handwriting consistently and I didn’t want to have to type it after I’d written it, that felt like writing it twice—aaack—I tap, tap, tap. My purple laptop helps make typing inviting and I have unlimited options for where I write. Where and how do you write dear reader? Daily for a year I have shown up to the page and written—something. Well, most every day. Even if it was crap, I stuck to my commitment to myself and to my fellow writers. I have compiled 63,982 words on 264 pages. The intention was to practice showing up. Yet, the closer I get to the end of my screenplay the less often I have been showing up. Lots of distractions, higher priorities, and excuses run rampant. No wonder Verb Tribe’s slogan grabbed me, because ‘writing IS a verb’ and I wasn’t DOING much writing. I participated in Patti Digh’s live webinar launch for her newly revamped website 37Days and afterwards she offered participants a discount to VerbTribe (I even won a virtual doorprize!) When I read the offer it ‘thrummed’ in me. When my gut tells me I’m on the right path or about to move in the ideal direction I feel it throughout my body. Like the surge of a low musical note running through my veins. And it wasn’t my brain but my body that said: I’m in. My experience of writing daily prompts (for 37 days), copying poems and passages by hand, and taking daily notes about the world around me has been joyfully transformative. As a person and as a person who writes. Patti uses Ruzuku for participants or The Tribe as we call ourselves, to receive daily prompts and to post their writing, thoughts and discoveries, photos, or videos.  It was exciting yet daunting. It was taking a leap before an edge was in sight. This space was ours to create and what we have chosen to manifest is an example of love in action. Our Ruzuku space and our live calls are places where we can be fully seen and fully heard. As people and as people who write.   And then there is Patti. Wise. Articulate. Funny. Talented. Real. Inspiring. Balanced. (Maybe that last one would make her laugh but from my vantage point I see she has actualized a balance of doing and being)  She lives fully—and she writes. She’s a mom first. And she writes. She’s wife to Mr. Brilliant. And she writes. She has a successful business. And she writes.  She has a gift for...

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top ten questions for 2012

Posted by on Jan 27, 2012 in Authenticity, Challenges, Creativity, Intention, Learning, Virtual Assistance | 1 comment

I'm taking baby steps on my Planning 2012 project so here's an update from my 100 Questions post. I found the exercise to be daunting at first and only wrote curioius questions like, How does electricity work? and Why is purple my favorite color? There were broad and often unanswerable questions like, How long will I live? followed by, DO I want to know? Eventually I got down to the nitty grity and experienced a shift to focused specific questions that I truly wanted to answer. Then I had to choose the top ten questions that resonated with me truly-madly-deeply. Ten? Only ten! I ticked and crossed off and bit my lip and then I put it away. I didn't want to choose only ten. When I was ready to come back to it weeks later (at least I came back, that's huge for me!) I decided to tick off ALL the questions that were particularly close to my heart and I came up with twelve and decided the extra were okay for now. I'm playing by my rules after all. They are in no particualr order other than how they came to me. Here's a sampling: What do I want to learn how to do more than anything? What adventure do I want to have in 2012 like paragliding? What do I want to create? Who are my sheroes for aging with attitude? What do I need to do to be ready for my ideal client?   My top twelve questions led to creating my goals for 2012. Which I divided into categories of: Healthy Living, Learning, Biz, Creativity, Relationships, Play, and Writing I answered this burning question: If you could accomplish only ONE thing in 2012 what would you want it to be? Why? What would your biz/life be like without it. What would your biz/life be like with it? I did this both personally and professionally . These answers gave me my Intentions for 2012. To reach and maintain my fitest, healthist self. Create financial freedom via a business partnership with Jeff. Next, I considered this question: How are you going to make your intention a reality? Glenda suggests SMART goals: specific/measurable/actionable/realistic/timebound My committment to this process is consistency over intensity! Brian Johnson reminds us, "If we work diligently, patiently, persistently, and playfully we're bound to be successful." I will continue on to the next level of Palnning 2012 and create action steps for each of my goals. Glenda recommends three so as not to try and do too much. (Who me?) Then the steps actually need to be scheduled. This is the peice that gets me every time! Yes, I have my intentions and goals but I don't designate a time to take action on them. This planning prcocess has been extremely illuminating the process of 'making real' doesn't happen in my head—it begins there with an idea or desire but then I need to take action to begin the actualization process. I knew this logically but now I know it in my heart where it's blossomed into the power and inspiration to transform my dreams into...

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I’m okay with that

Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in Challenges, Creativity, Learning, Spaces | 2 comments

My Christmas gift to myself was to redecorate my bedroom. I wanted paint, carpet, trim, the whole shebang. I used this project as a guinea pig to test new processes to break a task down into action steps. It felt overwhelming as a whole. When I’m overwhelmed I take no action. So I created a storyboard and the visual steps felt extremely foreign to me but were particularly helpful: Here’s what I needed to learn again. Patience. Process. I set aside my vacation week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. We took our time and did tackled one portion a day. The first time we painted it was with a base coat Jeff had surprised me with, a soft lavender color which he thought I would love. Is there another color besides purple? When we finished Brin stood back and said, Momma it looks like a Unicorn puked in here. Sadly I agreed. It was the perfect color for a bedroom for a four year old princess. Back to Lowe’s for more paint.I was okay with that. I agonized over shades of purple so long and completely that Jeff was able to make his escape to another part of the store without me stopping him. Once I was alone I put all the paint chips named purple mist and grapesicle back in their little slots. I took a deep breath closed my eyes and felt the feeling I wanted when I opened my eyes in bed in the morning. I started picking color brochures of landscapes: the ocean, the mountains, the forest, and then…canyons. That was the feeling—the sun illuminating the oranges and yellows in the canyon wall. Who knew? Huh. No purple? I was okay with that. The green is called Willow Tree but as we slathered it on the bookcase it looked more and more like baby poop. So it’s a doo over—and I’m okay with that. I couldn’t be more surprised by my attitude towards the completion of this long overdue project. I’m in tune with the process and have faith I will find the ideal hue for the bookcase and have not bemoaned the expense of the baby poop paint as a waste. It was an investment in discovering what worked for me and what didn’t. Now I know. And I’m okay with that. Have I suddenly evolved into a patient-in-the-moment person instead of the impatient, controlling, I-must-get-finished-so-I-can-be-happy person I used to be? Huh. What happened? I made a decision. I chose to immerse myself in process and be present instead of getting to done.  The walls and ceiling are painted, the trim is stained but not yet installed, the carpet has been laid, there is only a bed and a nightstand in the room, there’s no curtain on the window ( I tack up a piece of material at night), it still smells faintly of paint. The room is in transition and I am along for the ride. I’m okay with...

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