Showing posts from January, 2013

Note to Myself No. 31

Too many times,  I've stood at the precipice of possibility, gasped, and sought the refuge of familiarity and perceived safety.
I think the gaping hole of the unknown kept me mired in a toxic marriage for far longer than was good for me.
When the breaking point came, I refused to be treated shabbily going forward.
Better late than never.
When I realized he was perfectly content to repeatedly break my heart if it served his purposes, which it seemed to do all too often, I told him that our marriage  was no longer working for me.
I'm not convinced that was at all traumatic for him, despite our 23 years together and two amazing sons, because he'd already prepared a soft place to land.
As for me, I'd put all my eggs in one basket and suddenly found them scrambled to hell and back.
There's an old saying that when you jump you'll sprout wings.
I can't say that I had trust in that idea, but staying in the relationship  as it was structured was no longer an option, so I leaped into the great un…

Share the Joy: Sunsets, Rainbows, and Art Journaling

As some of you know, I was vacationing last week  and was unhooked (mostly) from technology. As a result, Share the Joy went by the wayside.
But here it is again.
Over the past week,  I found joy in the colors of sunsets,

the breaking of waves on the shore, warm days and cups of shaved ice.
Unhooked from technology, I found time to finish The Sparkling-Eyed Boy (Amy Benson) and to read  Licking the Spoon (Candace Walsh).
I started my very first art journal,

painting the blank pages with liquid watercolor, then collaging, doodling, drawing (a little), and adding text.  This page has been altered since I took this picture of it, but that's the point, isn't it?
I also checked the Pearl Harbor memorial off my bucket list.

We motored out to the USS Arizona's resting site in the rain and it drizzled most of the 20 minutes or so we were there. But perhaps five minutes before it was time to go back to shore, there was a brief clearing and with it, a rainbow that seemed to originate from the Arizona and arche…

Note to Myself No. 30

When we want something and hesitate to make our desires known, by starting, then stopping ourselves by saying "Never mind," either to the person to whom  our communication was directed or to ourselves, we engage in self-sabotage.
I've read that saying "never mind" or similar things that blanket our truth is something that people learn in families where an individual's truth is unwelcome.
That seems especially likely in situations where one's role in the family is to smooth things over and keep the peace.
Speaking your truth involves risk.
When you're asking for something you need, the risk is that you will be rebuffed, that you will be told that you can't have what you're asking for.
Or even worse, that you'll be ignored.
Speaking up when you've been silent too long risks creating an uncomfortable shift in relationship dynamics, with all the uncertainty and possible conflict that accompany even slight variations in the status quo.
The next time you hear yourself…

Note to Myself No. 29

If you were born with it, cherish this trait.
Learn how to edit, of course, to avoid boring other people stiff and in the interest of getting to the point quickly. . . 
but relish the details privately.
They make great material for memoirs.

Note to Myself No. 28

We all have something to contribute.
It may be our compassion, a quirky sense of humor, our capacity to be truth tellers.
It may be the beauty we create  with our hands, words, or voices.
It may be the peace we create within and radiate outward.
It might be our unique way of problem-solving, the way we laugh, how we help others connect  with just the right people, our curiosity and enthusiasm.
But like Dr. Seuss said, there's nobody who is you-er than you.
Celebrate you.
You're one of a kind.

Note to Myself No. 27

I know a lot of you are dog people. Some of my friends are even wary about cats, at least until they meet mine. So bear with me here.
Cats have enormous amounts to teach us. They are fully embodied beings. They don't spend their lives in their heads, ignoring the parts that are attached.
They eat until they're full and then walk away from the bowl. No emotional eating in felines. And when they're hungry,  they let you know it. Sometimes in polite little mews, sounds that grow increasingly more insistent if you try convincing them that they'll  just have to wait.
They're fastidious about grooming and practice daily yoga, especially loving (forgive me, canines) the downward dog pose and the cello player pose.
If they have a multiple cat household, they'll bathe each other as a gesture of  affection and solidarity. . . though sometimes one will get a little too bossy and the other will hiss and storm off, saying, "Back off, buddy!" with ears twisted back and flattened.
They love find…

Note to Myself No. 26

This is, I'm afraid, an aspirational message to myself. I'll admit to gossiping, telling other peoples' stories and passing judgment about their choices.
It's one of the things I like least about myself. One of those shadow things.
When my mother-in-law died, about the time my marriage was imploding, one of the most remarkable consistencies in the comments of those who knew her well (I'm talking friends and colleagues here) was that she never gossiped. Didn't discuss other people or say negative things about anyone. Including her ex, who she just  flat-out never discussed  and believe me, she must have had a wealth of buried material.
Instead, she kept things on a higher plane.
Isn't that a beautiful eulogy to aspire to?

Note to Myself No. 25

Does this thought make you squirm?
"Me, a shaman? Ridiculous."
I've had enough experience with the mystical, the unlikely, things that can't be rationally explained to kid myself any more.
I walk in two worlds.
I can use my power for soul healing, for dream weaving. For making magic with words and images.
How are you using your power?

Note to Myself No. 24

Before you get all bent out of shape, let's be logical.
Most issues have two sides pro and con and all that.
But some things are so beyond debate that reasonable people can't disagree unless they're just being disagreeable.
The earth isn't flat. The sun doesn't revolve  around a stationary earth.
Some issues have more than two sides. Four or five or ten.
Peace, for example. Everybody agrees in principle that it's a good thing. But nobody  (at least nobody with political capital) can agree on how to accomplish it.
You'd think it would be simple. Just stop using weapons and other instruments of power to exercise your will to the detriment of the "enemy." Understand deep in your gut that your only enemy is fear and that hatred grows out of fear.
Live simply. Take turns. Share. And know when enough is enough.

Share the Joy Cancelled this Week

Due to vacation-related tech problems, Share the Joy is cancelled this week. Please join us again next week when I am settled back in my cosy home base.

Note to Myself No. 23

A few days ago, I talked about my essence statements.
Who I am, both personally and professionally. I really don't feel a discrepancy between the two personas. . . I think I'm fully me the vast majority of the time (although in my attorney persona, I'm a bit more serious and official and straight-line than the rest of the time, though these days I'm not inhabiting my attorney persona most of the time).
A young woman, in her teens or slightly beyond, asked me about that and how to really be her authentic self 100 percent of the time no matter who she's with.
She was feeling like a chameleon, changing her colors depending on who she was with.
Remember in the movie The Runaway Bride that the Julia Roberts character loved her eggs best when they were scrambled, poached, or sunny-side-up depending on the preferences of the man she was in love with at the time?
You can't be authentically yourself until you've had time to grow into your fullness and say I am who I am, with all of my quirk…

Note to Myself No. 22

Our lives are full of stories. Sometimes we underestimate the value  of our every day experiences.
 Each day brings decision points. Challenges. Blessings.
What we make of our situations, how we handle the challenges, what we think about what has happened creates the story.
Often, we're so busy living the story that we don't stop to think about how we're shaping the narratives or what value our lived wisdom might have for others.
As for me, I'm totally convinced that the sole function of online dating sites is to create new characters and scenes to write about.
I can either laugh or cry,  some of the dates have been so bizarre. Mostly I just put the super-ridiculous situations into words and before you know it, there's a point to the anecdote and the makings of a new chapter.
Score! I AM a dating success.

Note to Myself No. 21

Trauma seems to sear memories into our brains in a way that more lovely, gentle experiences don't.
That makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. We need to remember those things that caused us harm so we can recognize the signs and flee (or fight) before catastrophe sets in.
But do we really want our mental hard drives filled up with awful?
Better to learn the lessons and move on, storing the distilled wisdom and separating out the searing trauma.
So there is room for the good stuff.
Like the giggles and pretend of little boys playing with Matchbox cars and Legos. . . . not the X@%**! when you step on one  in your bare feet.
That's the easy stuff, of course. It's a different magnitude when you're talking about memories of abuse, betrayal, war,  criminal victimization and the like.
Meditation can retrain your brain. A gratitude practice also helps. The secret is in your thought-life.

Note to Myself No. 20

Sometimes I have a little trouble letting myself be silly.
It's not that I don't want to, you understand, it's that I'm concerned about looking silly. Undignified. Ridiculous, even.
Will I ever get over that? (Only in the right circumstances, with enough encouragement.)
Do you have trouble being silly and cutting loose?

Note to Myself No. 19

I'm a mild introvert, which means that I prefer to process my thoughts before I speak them aloud and that I recharge my emotional batteries by spending time alone.
(In fact, if you're familiar with Myers-Briggs  Type Indicators, I'm an INFP: Introverted (mild) Intuitive (extreme) Feeling (barely a preference) and a Perceiver (meaning I am more enthralled with process than concerned about closure, though I have learned to function like a "J" when it's expedient). 
In new situations,  I have a tendency to hang back and observe until I get the lay of the land and figure out the dynamics of the situation.
By contrast, extroverts process their thoughts by verbalizing and in group situations, they jump right in. Speak right up. And get energized by crowds.
As an introvert, I have to push myself to be bold. . . to express myself and my position calmly and with precision and to not be overrun by those E's who just love to take the floor and stay there.
Which are you?

p.s. If you want a quick …

Note to Myself No. 18

One of the things we did in coach training was to create what I call "essence statements." Descriptions of who we are at our essence.
We did two, actually. One for who we are personally and the second for who we are as coaches.
The personal one I did morphed over time. The first version had phrases from colleagues and some of them just didn't wear well.
But, as it finally evolved, it went like this: I am God's magic on display; mystic beloved; intrepid creative explorer;  seer, sage and storyteller; and midwife of meaningful change.
When we got to the
"who am I as coach?" portion  of the training, the new statement read: I am soul healer, dream weaver, life artist, joy activator and midwife of meaningful change.
Somewhere in the midst of the words is the essence of who I am.
So, who are you?
Can you put it into words?

Share the Joy: Too Much on My Mind

Peggy emailed me this morning, saying she was confused about when Share the Joy was up and running.
She's not confused. I normally post on Wednesday  at about 5 pm Pacific time.
This week I totally forgot!
That's because I've been so distracted, preparing for my girlfriends' trip to Hawaii, starting the final segment of my coach training  before certification, and all the Notes to Myself that I just plum forgot.
Please forgive me.
And since I'm the Queen of Distraction, it would give me great joy  if you followed these instructions.

What gives you JoY?
Share the Joy. 

1. do a post that tells and shows what gives you joy.
2. capture the URL of the specific post and paste it into  the Mr. Linky box along with your info.
3. Visit other players and let their joy infect you. Leave them a comment because everyone  enJOYS getting positive feedback.
Let's start an epidemic of JOY!

Note to Myself No. 17

Once upon a time, I had a better handle on dream time than I have now.
I could program myself to dream solutions to problems or even to rerun a dream that was especially rich. Sometimes I chose to run scenes from movies.
Now I'm lucky if I remember a dream when I wake up.
Yet every once in a while, I have the most curious and amazing dreams. Dreams of future events. Visitation dreams. Reminders of my competencies. Messages from my guides.
I need to remember each and  every curious dream.