The Story of My Dream Car Almost Crushing My Dreams

Mama's gotta brand new ride! #minicooper #dreamcar #visionboard

I bought my dream car last week. The kind of car you give yourself permission to buy when you no longer tell yourself you have to be practical or realistic or whatever other stories I used to tell myself.

I never counted on it being such a huge lesson in patience, determination, forgiveness, and self-love.

That’s because I never counted on buying a manual. But as it turns out metallic blue, convertible Mini Coopers with my exact specifications AND with an automatic transmission are pretty rare. I know. I searched nationwide for what I wanted. We almost hopped planes to AZ, NJ, and southern FL to bring one home. But again and again the deets kept coming up bad – bad dealerships, bad CarFaxes, bad vibes man.

So when one popped up in our neighborhood that was a manual, I figured we could at least go look at it and give it a test drive. I told myself I wouldn’t settle for a manual. I want what I want and I was cool waiting until I found it. I’m past that point in my life where I give in too easily or tell myself I’m not worth it.

But she was so pretty, and she had what I wanted, and she was RIGHT THERE WITHIN REACH.

And so I changed my mind. Because that what you can do instead of “settling”. You can just change course.

I reminded myself that I do, in fact, know how to drive a manual; I’m just a little rusty, is all. Plus, this has always been one of those Bucket Lists things I’ve wanted to master. And I reminded myself that I am a strong, confident, 21st century woman, and so how hard can it really be?

That was T minus 48 hours before I found myself devastated and stranded in a parking lot.

I have never experienced so much stress and tension in my body as I did those first few days of re-learning a manual. I’ve never felt anxiety until I came up to a red light or stop sign after I’d only just got it into second gear. I’ve never felt so much pressure as when I stalled 12 times in the first hour with a pile of cars behind me. I’ve never felt my ego so bruised as that day when I decided, “I’ve got this. If every other woman I know can handle this, I can totally get to the post office by myself. Because again, how hard can it fucking be?

So I said to myself, "Suck it up buttercup. If @ficklefig can do this shizz, you totally can." So I attempted to drive to the post office by myself. It took me 6x as long and I tried to drive with the e-brake once. Then I had a panic attack and got stuck...

It took me 10 steering-wheel-clenching minutes just trying to pull out of my neighborhood. Another 10 minutes to make a drive that should’ve taken 2. Then another 2 minutes trying to figure out why I can’t reverse out of the parking spot without stalling (hello, emergency brake). Another 3 minutes cursing the fact that every place of business in this town seems to be inside a bowl, and stopping on hills is a curse given to us by the Manual Car Gods.

And then on my way home, thanks to the adrenaline and anxiety coursing through my veins at this point, I panicked before I hit the next red light, pulled into the closest parking lot (which thankfully happened to be the mall), and sunk into a pit of despair.

I waited an hour for Justin to come get me.

He sat beside me, quietly and in full presence (because I has already warned him against anything else) and then softly suggested we pull around to the back of the parking lot and practice again.

Now let me just say…there is this place inside you, when you’re feeling like you’ve bashed your head against a wall one too many times, where you don’t see the purpose of one more brain-rattling bang. It’s called hopelessness, and as melodramatic as it sounds, I was swimming in that place.

It wasn’t about the car, so much as the story I told myself about the car. About my Self. About what I thought I was capable of, versus what I’m actually capable of. About what it made me if I couldn’t get this down: Weak. Small. And countless other layers without words.

I know, I know…melodramatic.

But the thing is Life gives us a million small experiences to feel big, terrifying, overwhelming, or soul-crushing things. It’s never, ever, ever the experience itself that’s too big or too much. Each challenge is ultimately pretty small when held up against the trajectory of the Universe (or held up against our highest and healthiest Self). It’s always our perception, our thoughts and emotions that get stirred by these small things that truly shakes us up. That’s how a car that can almost fit in my closet could crush my spirit in ways I couldn’t fathom.

Because it wasn’t the car. It was what the car represented. My “Dream Car”. A reflection of myself. A deliberate decision to own my own personality. My ego. And the deep, dark story of that Ego that came pressing down on me when it had something to teach me: a lesson in humility, in confidence under pressure, in imperfection, in embarrassment, and the willingness to try again. Lessons that are never really over.

So, I sat in the parking lot that afternoon with Justin, deliberating my decisions.

I could sell that damn thing…

Or I could make the choice to not allow the story in my head oppress me, own me, keep me small. I could instead choose to take action, take a risk, and take back my own confidence.

So despite my feeling small and stupid, I began again.

It’s been a week now. I’ve only stalled once since that parking lot and although my chiropractor is gonna love our business from all the whiplash I’ve given my guys, and despite the fact that Zeb calls it a Decepticon (i.e. it’s a Transformer, but one that keeps trying to kill us every time I drive), I’m getting the hang of it.

And my own confidence is coming back. But in very different ways.

I was reading this fascinating article called The Confidence Gap, where it talked about the risks men are willing to take while women statistically hold themselves back by their own need for perfection and approval (coupled with maddening levels of self-doubt). And the thing that stood out to me was the discussion on the willingness to try and fail and try again leading to the resiliency of failure or rejection.

As I woman, I know I fear rejection…even from the strangers giving me the bird as I sputter through the intersection. I know I overthink things, imagine every scenario, and run through the steps again and again in my head. In fact, while I won’t say I fear failure per say, I do fear what failure might “say about me”. And I know the limitations these fears can create.

But I also know that when I’m awake to it, Life is always giving me opportunities to examine these unhelpful habits and refine them into something else. And maybe this is why I never felt like I “settled” for a manual I was adamant against having. Because Life brought me to it, not by accident. Not because it is necessarily fun yet, but because before it can be fun I have to master the obstacle keeping me from enjoying it – my own thoughts and the willingness to take a risk, screw up royally, and flick it off again, in order to find the resiliency and deeper sense of trust for myself.

(And as a bonus, when I master this thing, I’m gonna look pretty badass rolling in my Mini.)

The More I Know Myself, The Less I Care

The more I know myself, really and deeply know my Self, the less I’m finding I care…

I don’t care what I look like.
I don’t care that I make mistakes.
I don’t care that my thoughts go off on wild, unhelpful tangents.
I don’t care that I get afraid or triggered.
I don’t care to spend so much time Digging Deep. (Gasp! I know!)

The more I know myself, the less I find I care about others too…

I don’t care what others think of me.
I don’t care if they agree or disagree with me.
I don’t have endless opinions or fears on the choices they make either.
And I don’t care if I’m accepted or rejected.
(Yes, despite my equally strong drive to not blindly follow the norm, this was very much a big thing for me.)

Your peace of mind is always tied to your self-love and self-acceptance. -

I just don’t have the energy anymore, let alone the desire, to spend so much time and brain power on ridiculous or exhausting things. There is no part of me that wants to get dragged into it. And that’s a big deal folks! I can go into deep, messy, and uncomfortable places like those people on Hoarders. I like that stuff! It’s my job! So the fact that I want to and actually can so easily let it go and move on is kind of a Christmas miracle.

This wasn’t something I was expecting, although I think it makes perfect sense. When you know yourself, you come to a place of peace with Who You Are (and also, who you are). You come to a place of acceptance and trust and ease, too. And when you feel those things you just let go of the emotional drama you tend to feel, create, or get sucked into.

Because you just don’t flipping care to anymore.

This is the place of nonattachment, or pretty close to it. The place of neutrality, of things that once registered loud and clear no longer ringing the dinner bell, of being unaffected by the things that once paralyzed or catalyzed your every cell in the wrong direction.

When you get to this place your direction is clearer. You know what, when, and how to respond to the world around you. Your judgment isn’t clouded by the cares of what you can suddenly see were actually trivial from the beginning. You simply move when compelled to move; you experience a flow that is natural. There are no more blocks, barriers, or dams to impede you. It’s easier. You’re freer. You can see, feel, and react from something that is true and real, not founded on overwhelm, self-doubt, perfectionism, anxiety, or all the other words for fear.

I won’t say I’m 100% there. There are still things I care about that I’m working to let go (like the unhealthy actions of people that I love – that shit is hard). And there are some things that can only be described as my being “so freaking over that crap“, but that totally imparts a sense of annoyance, exasperation, and impatience, which tells me I’m not totally neutral or at peace with it yet, even though I’m so freaking ready to be.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking.

“How the hell am I suppose to be at peace when my child is hurting themselves or my mother is a crazy-maker? How am I suppose to be neutral when the world is falling to shit, and no one is doing anything about it?”

To that I have three responses to chew on:

  1. It’s hard work. It won’t happen overnight.
  2. Will your negative emotions help you respond better to the situation?
  3. Will a lack of negative emotions really keep you from responding at all?

The point isn’t blindness, ignorance, or even my flippant use of the term “not caring”.

The point is to not be so hot and bothered that Who You Are is negatively impacted by the way in which you respond. being at peace with what is doesn’t mean being inactive in its solutions… on the contrary, it usually means gaining access to clarity and wisdom on the Right Action.

You might just need to experience it for yourself to not think I’m crazy, though. (I know I didn’t get it until one day it clicked that no amount of despair or suffering would change my world for the better.)

And it’s okay if you DO think I’m nuts. I don’t mind. ;)

P.S. I’m going to be adding Digging Deep, Organic Parenting, etc to The Library in July and the price will increase to reflect those additions. Or you can still buy it now at its current cost and get those extras for free when it’s updated. #yay :)

The Fear of Public Speaking and What It Really Boiled Down To

Self-love and self-approval instead of self-judgment. (Follow the link to find tools to get you there!)- www.theorganicsister.comI realized recently that I don’t get scared speaking anymore. Not when I’m interviewing someone big or important, nor when I’m teaching my essential oil workshops (online or in-person ones).

I used to get out of my mind scared: butterflies, tightness, heart racing, the constant urge to pee my pants (no joke), and crazy thoughts of all kind of madness that could ensue, which usually involved images of people with pitchforks.

But without all those emotions and thoughts getting in the way I’ve found I actually have a strength and passion for teaching, presenting, and speaking. (If you had asked me that five years ago I would swallowed my tongue just thinking about it.)

I’ve spoken to some pretty amazing people in my life, people I admire or had a mild crush on – Steven Tyler (!!), Ricki Lake, Dr. Peter Gray – all with various amounts of nerves and confidence leading up to the moment. Interestingly enough, in all those situations I was never nervous IN the situation, always before when I was still in my own head about it (or after when I climbed back in there).

Part of this shift just came down to doing the work to no longer see myself as “not good enough” and holding others as “better than me”. It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to, I feel at ease because I know I’m talking to a reflection of myself, another beautiful soul, a manifestation of something wonderful. The same as me, each person.

I assume good intent now, where before I assumed judgment preluding rejection. I now assume I’m talking to a friend, because truly, beneath it all, I am.

I wrote this on Facebook the other day:

It’s a big fucking Aha moment to realize that whether people love and approve of you actually comes down to a) whether they love and approve of themselves, and b) whether YOU love and approve of YOURSELF.

If you haven’t experienced that shift in perspective, try it on for size. Start loving yourself, start approving of what you do (and/or doing what you actually approve of), start telling the BS fear-mongering stories in your mind that you are, indeed, quite good enough and quite deserving. Start paying more attention to your thoughts than what you perceive to be someone else’s.

Watch how all your relationships change, starting with the one you have with yourself.

And I think that pretty much sums it up. When I chose to love and approve of myself, my relationship with myself and what I loved and did obviously changed. But it also gave way to so much more ease and fun to be discovered in my relationships with others.

Try it on for size:

Take a pause from caring about what the drama is saying (whether it’s the drama in our minds or the drama in our lives). Start focusing more on how well you’re loving and accepting yourself in each (easy or challenging) moment. Watch how it gradually changes every relationship you have.

My tools to do this consisted of the same ones I’m always harping on ;), the ones I love and share freely:

  • Essential oils that impact emotions, triggers and stress. Namely for me, it was bergamot and wild orange. (Click the link to see why those two worked for me. It might be a very different oil for you depending on your underlying needs.)
  • Digging Deep and the tools talked about within to overcome core beliefs, resistance, and fears. (This one can actually help you find the oils that will support you too by showing you those underlying needs/triggers.)

It boils down to this: Find your triggers. Find your tools. Use them consistently. Constantly. Watch your life evolve.

When Your Good Life Makes Others Feel Guilty

I’ve been seeing a lot of those posts on Facebook, where a person apologizes for loving their life too loudly, and reassures everyone that it’s not actually perfect. They explain that they tend to focus on the good for their own benefit, but then they might rattle off all the things that suck to assure others that they are not trying to make anyone feel guilty.

I’m torn on this.

I understand the intention. I know none of us wants to portray something that isn’t realistic. And I know we want to be mindful of how our actions affect another human being. But is bringing our mindfulness practice, our personal growth, our spiritual awareness, or joy, or our embodiment of love down a level really helping anyone (ourselves included)?

You all know I share the depths of my soul, my emotional tornados, and my process through it all quite freely. You know I’m all about emotional honesty (when it’s coupled with emotional maturity and taking accountability for one’s own feelings).

But not as a means to ensure the world knows I don’t have it “too good”.

Neither you nor I am responsible for another person’s feelings. That doesn’t mean we aren’t accountable for our actions, or emotional patterns in our life, or how our actions may impact the world. It just means that it’s not our job to ensure someone else does or doesn’t feel something.

That’s an impossible for job for anyone but the owner of those emotions.

If someone accuses you of “making them” feel guilty, it’s simply not true. YOU aren’t the one making them feel guilty. Their own thoughts, their own comparisons, their own desires or choices are inspiring their own emotions. You could be a total ace, the next Patron Saint of the Internet, with your heart totally in the right place and a deep desire to heal the world, and someone could still accuse you of being an a-hole. It doesn’t have much to do with you, except that you happened to be in the right place and the right time to bump against their sore spots.

Sweet, beautiful, mindful, conscious soul who is trying hard to focus on the positive, spread love, and speak kindly in all things….don’t apologize for your healthy state of being. Don’t apologize for making conscious choices that lead you to wonderful things. Don’t apologize for working so diligently on your own growth. Don’t apologize for shining light into the world. Even when that light inadvertently shines on an aspect of something someone’s been working hard to avoid.

Don’t feel guilty that others are made uncomfortable by good things.

Feel compassion.

Don’t apologize for something that is none of your business.

Send them love.

Don’t change what you’re doing or try to convince them “my life sucks too”.

Keep yourself focused on your own inner work; not theirs.

Feel compassion.

P.S. You know The Library? Well, it’s expanding soon to include all my products and the price will expand with it. But if you jump on it now, you’ll get all the future updates for no extra cost. Cuz I’m all about the sweet deal. ;)

Miracles Happen When I Get Out of the Way

That’s been my reminder these past few weeks. (Getting out of the way.) I have a tendency when funk hits the fan to get in there. To stress. To get upset, in the very charming woe-is-me-Life-is-out-to-get-me kind of way. (Really, you should see me some time. You’d probably have a lot more compassion for your own bad days. I know, you’re all surprised. I may have some wisdom and mindfulness, but I also still have an ego to work with and she’s a tough nut to crack.)

But the past few weeks have been totally breathtaking in those subtle ways we don’t usually realize even when we are paying attention.

Let me start from the beginning….

First, Justin was in a car accident. Someone ran a red light and he plowed the poor guy over. Because I had been doing my own practice of mindfulness, meditation, and breathing, this totally didn’t freak me out. I just walked down to the site of the accident, gave him a giant squeeze, laughed about having a big truck, and took over calling the insurance and making him a chiropractic appt.

Justin's car accident

Because I didn’t freak out I actually felt thankful. I just had a good feeling about it.

Slightly sadistic, I know.

But here’s what came of it: No one was seriously hurt but the other guy was well-insured. His peeps took great care of us and gave us a hefty sum to replace Justin’s truck (veg conversion and all), plus time off work, and miscellaneous whatnots, including chiropractic care. We were thinking we might be needing to upgrade the truck soon anyway, and we were needing to find a chiropractor but had kept putting it off, and it was as if Life just had a funny way of making it all come together. (Oh, did I mention we had JUST met said chiropractor not 2 days before? And that she’s new to the area too, and quickly becoming a new friend? Yeah, thanks for that, Universe!)

Next up was the replacing of the truck….

Justin found the truck he wanted in Houston, did his due diligence, then hopped a plane, and was really pissed off when he arrived to a truck not as advertised. This poor guy had been stressing over finding a new truck for two weeks (not me though! yay!) so you can imagine how upset he was when he arrived to find nothing. Any other week and I would’ve been freaking out too, feeling like “Life is hard” and nothing ever works out and blah blah blah (my old old story comes up like that).

But we reminded ourselves that all things happen for a reason, and that he was indeed in the Truck Freaking Capitol of the World. So he set off to search Craigslist and less than 24 hours later he found exactly the truck he wanted in nearly-pristine condition and ideal for the veg conversion – better than what he had originally intended to buy! He text me how happy he was that he hadn’t settled, and I reminded myself how happy I am when I just trust the damn process.

Happy Justin!

But here’s where it gets good and I get goosebumps….

Because Justin stayed longer in Houston he missed one of his chiropractic appointments. Normally all our stress would’ve been oozing from our ears and we would’ve a) completely forgotten about the appointment, or b) cancelled it.

But by this time I was fully in this phase of just trusting the ever-loving process.

And when I’m in that place I see opportunities, not issues. I hear intuition, not fear and stress.

So I had this little inkling of an idea to ask our new kick-ass chiropractor (who happens to donate her patient’s first session to the animal shelter, I might add – seriously, how perfect of a fit is she?) if she could see Zeb instead.

Now Zeb hasn’t been to the chiropractor in ages, and he had just a physical with a holistic physician a month ago. ONE MONTH AGO. In her exam, she checked his spine (this is something we’ve always kept an eye on because of my own scoliosis) and had mentioned he needed to correct his posture because of some slight kyphosis (basically, slouching), but didn’t notice any scoliosis. Now, I know that’s no reason to not take our kids to the chiro, but taking him was actually the furthest thing from my mind. With what could’ve been all the stress we were under, it would’ve stayed furthest from my mind too.

But my mind and heart were clear enough to hear Life tell me to take him in.

And you’ll never guess what she found?

Yup, my man-child has scoliosis.

Now this is one of those things that is hard to explain. It seems minor when I try, but because of my own experience I KNOW the value of finding scoliosis early, how hard it can be to spot, and the things that can be avoid surgery or even bracing, and the devastation when it professes because of these things. These are things that when you learn too late for yourself, you never forget. But when you spot it early it is so easy to correct and avoid. And we caught it super-duper early.

The thing is, this thought to take him wasn’t a push. It wasn’t a strong feeling. It was just a gentle sticky thought that was plopped in my head and happened to sound like a good idea. Life created this little pocket of events that lined up all the pieces and parts to come together in half a dozen scenarios and in ways we couldn’t have created or known needed to be created with our heads in the way. There was no big fanfare, no gut reactions, just gentle shifts in course to keep us heading forward.

I’m not saying all this shit went down to get my kid to the chiropractor or to get Justin a truck. I don’t think Life takes such drastic steps if it doesn’t need to. I’m saying all this shit went down because it just did; because shit happens sometimes.

But because we remained firm in complete trust that it’s ultimately all good, these things were able to be used in ways that supported and blessed us in half a dozen ways (and counting).

And THAT is the long-winded point I’m getting to.

Sometimes we can’t connect the dots simply because we’re too far in our heads to even see them. Sometimes our stress or fear or need to micro-manage the outcome keeps us from seeing the opportunities ready to take place. Sometimes our entire world might seem like it’s falling apart – and sometimes it actually does just that – but there are still miracles waiting in the wings to take center stage.

Our fear, our stress, our worry, our complaining will NOT help us. Not even a little. (It doesn’t even feel good.) So it’s clear to me (right now anyway – ha) that there really is no logical alternative but to chill the freak out, take a deep breath, and lean all the way in. Because it’s all an opportunity for a miracle to take place.

6 Months In and It’s Kinda Sorta Maybe Starting to Feel Like Home, I Think

Six months has flown by. Our lease is already half up. We barely feel moved in.

We flew home to Las Vegas last month to visit family and hold some doTERRA events with our team. While we were there we rummaged through my mama’s attic, condensing the remaining artifacts of our previous life, trying to cut ties to what we no longer want to carry around with us but can’t stand to throw away.

I found my Pinterest-before-Pinterest-existed files, Zeb’s baby clothes, love letters from middle school, books upon books, 47 photo albums from back in the day when we used to actually develop our photos, memorabilia that never found its own scrapbook, and random piles of utter shit that came with no explanation as to why we stored it in the first place.

All in all we were able to pare it down to under a dozen boxes, shrink-wrap it to a pallet, and $800 later it was sent ahead of us to FL. Because apparently memories do have a price tag.

Six months we’ve been in this house but it didn’t feel real until we made the decision to unpack my mother’s attic. Until this point we’ve been slowing plodding away at creating little pockets of sacred space, finding things we love to fill our rooms, carefully choosing only the things we “find beautiful or know to be useful” as we promised ourselves.

This has resulted in a pretty empty house as we pick through what we don’t love to find the few pieces here or there, at antique stores or flea markets, that we can’t live without.

But we’ve found some things we DO love.

Like my little art space with its new paint box…

Antique handmade table for an art desk with retro orange velour chair,

Organizing paint, art space, antique crate,

And this sweet little table we picked up to keep crap off the counter… ;)

Real wood side table, found at TJ Maxx,

And my colorful living room with my fave rug that we discovered makes a great puppy chew toy…we’re still looking for the perfect coffee table and we’re considering hanging a hammock from the ceiling (right now the twin of my retro orange chair above is in there)…

My colorful work in progress living room,

And the platform bed Justin made while I’m still searching out a bedspread that hasn’t been eaten by dogs…

Handmade platform bed with cubby's for baskets,

And the table he also made with an old sewing machine base…

handmade rustic wood table with sewing machine base,

We’ve been slowing picking up mismatched chairs for it that we plan to paint the same color (we also have a couple one-person bench/stools that double as our nightstands)…

Mismatched chairs to be painted,

And my office space which can’t be done justice because of the sheer amount of clutter I have in there. ;) But I’m slowing building up my bookcase with old crates, and Justin’s rustic wood and steel pipe desk is amazeballs.

Rustic wood and pipe desk with vintage crate bookshelf in the making,

If you haven’t noticed we have the hots for rustic wood and antiques. I guess I could say the style is colorful eclectic with a heavy splash of splinters. ;)

Paint is still a headache we’re trying to battle, but I’m in love with lots of bright white. I’m just not in love with painting. (Note to self: Paint first. Move in second.)

I have to admit though, it’s been a mixed bag. There is this part of me that rejoices at the collection of things we love and the mindful putting together of a home. There’s another part of me that gets antsy as each new piece feels like a thread tying me down. Indvidually, a thread is no big deal. But collectively they have a strength to make me claustrophobic. (Bringing back our attic-full-of-stuff feels like bringing up the past, almost like baggage. We want it and we don’t.)

Truth is, I still need to travel. Not in an RV, but with a backpack (on wheels, mind you). I also want my community and a garden (neither we’ve been able to create much of yet). I want chickens…that someone else takes care of so I can drop it all and take off to South America or Bali or Thailand or India.

I want wings and roots. They seem at odds with one another but I’m insisting they’re not. ;) I get unsettled when I settle for two long. I get ungrounded when I don’t.

Wings and Roots

But overall, I am in love this little home. It’s just the right size: not the McMansion we used to have, and still a lot more elbow room than they RV, for sure. ;) And although it stretches me to remember that I am indeed free, despite the things I may fill it with, it’s a good kind of stretch. The kind that allows me to examine and let go of my unfounded fear. The kind that reminds me it’s still just stuff, even if it does make me happy.

I remember when we sold it all the first time. I walked around taking pictures of my reflection and contemplating our last night. We knew then that should we ever settle down we’d be starting over from scratch. It’s weird to start over in your 30′s, to have nothing and need to pay to restock your walls. It’s also beautiful to find the intention to find our own style this time.

So yes, these are the things that rattle around the head of a grounded nomad 6 months in. The back and forth of desires and needs fulfilled and awaiting fulfillment. It’s a curious little process to ramble through. And I know we still have a long way to go. :)

Is fulfilling your purpose and passion selfish?

Is fulfilling our purpose selfish? No, it just takes us outside of our comfort zone. -

I got this question in my inbox the other day. The timing seemed to perfectly match the convos that have been floating around my circles the past couple weeks.

Could you guide me a little [in regards to] selfishness, and fulfilling a purpose. Is this a balance, or full out selfishness, or a little of balancing both. They say you can’t be half pregnant, so how does one live this life, with these two aspects drawing you into different areas?

I had to actually chew on your question a little bit. At first I wasn’t quite sure I understood it. I think that’s because I don’t relate to fulfilling one’s purpose as being something capable of being selfish. I think the selfish thing comes into play when a) we’re confronted by people who are scared when others upset “the way it should be” according to their limited perspective or conditioning, or b) we’re confronting our own inner voices telling us we’re not deserving of the things we love, value, and are passionate about.

I’m sure you can imagine my opinion on both those. ;)

Anytime we’re stepping outside of the parameters of mainstream we will stir up a little spiritual dust in ourselves and others. This is a GOOD thing. It gives us the opportunity for some internal housekeeping, sweeping away old beliefs we might not have realized were there and bogging us down, things that no longer serve us. It’s uncomfortable usually, but that’s where the magic happens.

That’s not to say following our purpose, passion, or dreams doesn’t create a balancing act…but it’s not a “me and my dreams versus [fill in the blank]“….it’s more of a “how do I meet my needs and help others meet their needs in a way that honors both of us” sort of thing.

It’s a subtle shift, but a life-changing one when we no longer view things as “versus” or “either/or”, but simply a matter of curiosity…”Hmm, how can I navigate this with grace and ease?”

This conversation lines up pretty well with what I was saying on Facebook the other day….

I’m not sure whether to find it tragic or funny that people are so closed off to or judgmental of those of us who work for ourselves. I’ve been snarked to, I’ve been told what I did would be more authentic if I did it for free rather than charge for it, and told it’s not okay to “make money from friends”. (Because it’s okay for strangers to support what you do, but if loved ones support you, well…you’re not deserving of that at all, right?)

Know what I say to that? Pfffffffttttttttttttttt. ;)

I let go of my money blocks, my feelings of unworthiness, and my desire to please others a long-ass time ago. I let go of the idea that I had to scrape by to make ends meet doing something I don’t love. I let go of the idea that I had to play small instead of make an impact in the world doing work that makes a difference. I let go of the idea that wanting to pay my bills in a way that fulfills me is somehow selfish. I let go of the idea that financial independence, security, and abundance somehow makes a person greedy. I let go of the idea that it had to look a certain way or be approved by the limiting beliefs and fears of others.

THAT is called freedom. And it’s a beautiful place to be. ♥

Before We Get the Opportunity To Change Anything, We First Get the Opportunity to Love It

Life lessons on self-love and self-acceptance

I had a dream several years ago that I was describing to my doctor what was hurting in my body by describing the one thing that wasn’t: my toes.

Then I woke up and as I went to stretch my stiff joints and aching muscles, I felt it….my freaking toes were throbbing.

You have got to be kidding me.

Pain has been nothing new to my experiences. Developing scoliosis at age 10, undergoing surgery at age 14 and chronic, even debilitating, degeneration of my body has since been a history I had long tolerated.

But that summer, I was in almost constant pain. I was struggling to walk, losing feeling in my limbs and settling into a recognition that I was “disabled”, broken; that my current experience was my medical destiny.

It’s hard not to feel resentful or depressed over something like that.

I was awash in the emotional anguish of everything I could not do. I couldn’t hula hoop, play at the park with my son, make love to my husband. Everything caused pain. And I swam in the pain it caused.

As is often the case, my lowest point – the point at which I felt useless and broken and resentful, the point when all light was drowned by the darkness of my suffering – was my turning point.

I listened to one woman’s careful introspection, one woman speaking of her body as though it were her child, asking herself what it would look like to love her body as she unconditionally loves her daughters…

Her words resonated so strong as I thought about treating my body the same, treating it as I would treat my child, with compassion and trust. Instead of focusing on or pushing it towards what I want it to be, simply loving it for what it is…

What might that look like for me?

I could regularly point out its strengths.

And show my appreciation for its abilities.

I would view its pain with loving compassion.

And actively and insistently seek out the foods and resources it needs.

I could be gentle and not push it to do things.

Slow down to its pace.

And find things that made it feel good.

I would most definitely spoil it with love.

Smile when I see it.

And seek out things it would enjoy.

I could listen intently to it.

I could validate it and the other people it affects (like my son and husband) without making anyone wrong.

I could accept it and love it unconditionally, for what it is, not what it’s not.

I remember my head swimming: Could I really do that? Could I love myself and my body with the same unconditional compassion and acceptance as a child, giving it everything it needs without excuses or resentment?

I quickly found out that it takes the same challenging, mindful practice as parenting, too. Because just like loving my child, the only thing that gets in my way is my own fear and mistrust, my own stories, my own selfish expectations. And just like any relationship, when I consistently choose to prioritize my own self-love, I soon see that my body responds with the same.

When you have dreams that include Michael Cane (as your son) who turns into Jesus when hit by a tidal wave all to the climax of the song "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" while you sob in joy and wonder of the miracle, then a giant lightbulb space ship lands

I’ve learned that before I get the opportunity to change anything I first get the opportunity to love it. 

And that’s not an easy road. It’s been three or four years since this huge realization hit me and despite the impact it made, I still find myself in self-neglect. I’ll work too long until my shoulders throb and my head aches. I’ll choose the food that are the easiest. I’ll feel frustrated when I wake up tired. I’ll forget to get up and take a walk or use my oils, or I’ll refuse to nurture my back out of nothing but pure exasperation that it’s hurting in the first place.

The patterns of love or un-love run deep. Sometimes they are attached to deeper roots than we realize and perhaps they are just the side effect of those roots, the earth that gets pushed out of the way as those roots grew. I’m learning they can change for months before slipping back into old ways of neglect. I’m learning it’s not just a habit but a practice, a spiral that takes you around and around the same topic, seeing new sides or experiencing the same things from new perspectives, maybe a higher one and maybe not.

We chastise, and we lecture, and we try to inspire one another to love ourselves better.

It’s an old story women have been telling for decades.

But maybe we ought to just remind ourselves that sometimes it just simply is and that our only real practice is in understanding it’s okay to start again. And then, without self-judgment or guilt, simply starting again.

100+ Things I Hope to Teach My Son

100+ Things I Hope to Teach My Son,

There’s this list going around the interwebs of 101 things to teach a daughter. As with all things online, everyone has an opinion, thinks it’s wonderful, thinks it’s horrible, thinks it contradicts itself (cuz life – or we as parents – never do that).

But mostly I just found it thought-provoking.

Like what are all the big and little things I hope to teach my son?

What do I hope he picks up from us, others, or Life?

What might I save him some time (or heartache) by showing him now?

I found myself going back and forth, between that maternal desire to impart to him the wisdom that might allow him to improve upon what my generation has done, and that cautious mindfulness that reminds me I really don’t know jack about what he needs in his own life compared to my limited perspective of his journey.

But despite my knowing that I ultimately know very little, there are some things – alright, apparently a lot of things – I hope he will come to know or experience.

  1. Perfection is a unicorn. That shit doesn’t exist.
  2. But practice does makes proficient.
  3. Another person only has the power you give them.
  4. The best education comes from travel.
  5. Learn when to jump on it and when to sleep on it.
  6. “Gay” is not a bad word. Or an insult.
  7. Always question authority.
  8. But do so with respect.
  9. Age or status doesn’t warrant respect.
  10. Character does.
  11. Never stop asking “Why”.
  12. Even when it’s driving us crazy.
  13. Mistakes can be a beautiful thing.
  14. Real success comes from tenacity + passion.
  15. Real education is only a by-product of those two things.
  16. Stand up for the oppressed, even at your own risk.
  17. Make friends with the quiet ones. (They tell the best stories.)
  18. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
  19. Speak your mind.
  20. But known why you’re doing it.
  21. And learn when silence speaks louder.
  22. Never fear alienation. (You won’t want to be part of that crowd anyway.)
  23. “Waste” your vote if it means honoring your beliefs.
  24. Get involved. This is when you most come alive.
  25. Love is not 50/50. Give more than you expect to receive.
  26. Wear vests more often.
  27. Your mind is like a puppy. Train it well or it’ll crap all over your home.
  28. Always carry something to give to crying children in the store.
  29. Don’t judge a person during their bad moments.
  30. We all have bad moments.
  31. Even you.
  32. And that doesn’t make any of us “bad”.
  33. Get to know your own warning signs.
  34. Learn to forgive instantly.
  35. But understand that forgiveness is more for you.
  36. And don’t mistake it for approval.
  37. Don’t waste your time on crazy-makers.
  38. Or excuse-makers.
  39. Only they are responsible for their behaviors and choices.
  40. Ditto for you.
  41. No one can “make” you angry. They can only offer you the opportunity.
  42. Choose wisely when to take it.
  43. Hateful people are really just hurting people.
  44. Every action is an attempt to meet a need, however misguided.
  45. Always seek to understand how a person got to where they are.
  46. Learn from their backstory.
  47. Everyone has fears, blocks, beliefs, triggers.
  48. Everyone.
  49. Be mindful of them, but don’t take responsibility for anyone’s but your own.
  50. No means no. In every situation. Period.
  51. Don’t judge your first step against someone’s finished product.
  52. Their first step was probably pretty hard too.
  53. Be the designated driver.
  54. Or the guy at the party who takes all the keys.
  55. Don’t be the guy who doesn’t know his limit.
  56. Treat others how THEY wish to be treated.
  57. Unless it contradicts your values.
  58. Always honor your values.
  59. And your needs.
  60. Be proud of being passionate.
  61. Learn how to love and accept yourself so much that you no longer notice who doesn’t.
  62. School is not for everyone.
  63. Education is.
  64. Make fun of yourself.
  65. But not others without their permission.
  66. Invite others to be honest with you.
  67. Don’t be offended when they are.
  68. In fact, only take personally what comes up from within.
  69. 20 min of direct sunlight a day makes all the difference in the world.
  70. There’s nothing wrong with being a “selective eater”.
  71. But please try new foods every once in awhile.
  72. When you fall in love, let yourself fall hard.
  73. Be stupid in love.
  74. But not so stupid you can’t come back from it.
  75. Memorize #27.
  76. But know your boundaries and draw them clearly.
  77. And know her boundaries so that you can help her draw them.
  78. The world is only a mirror. It shows you what you most get to learn.
  79. Nothing grows you as a person like parenting, partnership, and business.
  80. Those same things also offer you the opportunity to destroy yourself.
  81. Your own outcome depends on whether you’re paying attention.
  82. Marvel will always be better than DC.
  83. Please improve upon my own parenting skills.
  84. Hitting a child will always be a cop-out.
  85. But you undoubtedly will have moments where it seems like a good idea.
  86. So you can send them over anytime.
  87. Choose Dare over Truth.
  88. It’s okay to tell me I’m being stupid.
  89. Employment can be the worst kind of servitude.
  90. Self-employment is fucking hard too.
  91. Do what gives you a natural high.
  92. But don’t let it define you.
  93. Have something you love and won’t do for money.
  94. Money is just a resource, NOT the root of all evil.
  95. Have a lot or have a little. Don’t let anyone shame you for either.
  96. Make sure to spend some, save some, and give some away.
  97. If you’re feeling shitty, make someone else’s day.
  98. Preferably anonymously.
  99. Jump off cliffs once in awhile.
  100. Safely, of course.
  101. Eat real food.
  102. But not dogmatically.
  103. There is nothing wrong with not knowing.
  104. There is nothing wrong with sex.
  105. Cry freely. Forget anyone who’s uncomfortable with that.
  106. We’ll always back you up.
  107. Your body is a miracle. Treat it well.
  108. Learn how to breathe when you want to scream.
  109. Learn another language.
  110. Or three.
  111. Always have a dog. Always from the shelter.
  112. Life is not meant to be lived alone.
  113. But being comfortable being alone is sacred.
  114. Hold your shoulders back when you walk in a room.
  115. You will become who you hang out with.
  116. But they will always become like you.
  117. So keep mixed company.
  118. There are not enough gentle men. Try to remain one.
  119. Nothing is sexier than a man who knows himself.
  120. Except maybe a baby-wearing dad.
  121. Double-dates save lives. I’ll explain this one when you’re older.
  122. Life is too short to worry long about typos, pimples, or a dirty house.
  123. Your mother is a genius.
  124. I promise, you can tell me anything.
  125. But it’s still a good idea to preface it with either, “Can we talk?” or “Everyone is okay…”
  126. Cuz after all, I’m human too.


10 Songs I Can’t Get Enough Of

I’m not all serious and deep, you know. Actually lately, I’ve been mostly irreverent and marauding. Right now I’ve got this tiny little love affair happening with something called a “flow wand”. I’ll let you Google it. It’s magical. Literally. Almost.

Anytime I’m “flow wandering” I simply must have music going. Without music you have no flow. Kinda like life. I’ve been asked by several people lately what I’ve been listening to and where I find new music, so I thought, “Hey, I’m way behind in blogging. I could totally do a blog post on this.” Thus here we are. :)

FYI, I tend to find songs I love on Pandora. (If you’re not familiar with it, you can type in a song you’ve heard somewhere – I catch some of the lyrics and Google them to find the name – to create a “station” that plays similar songs. It’s fascinating.) My favorite stations are usually based on bands; here’s what I listen to most:

  • Edwards Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
  • Florence + the Machine
  • Avicii
  • Skrillex (yes, I’m over 21 – I just can’t help it, it makes for good “wandering”!)
  • OneRepublic

Here’s what I’m loving most….

OneRepublic – Counting Stars

Avicii – Wake Me Up

Avicci – Hey Brother

Avicii – Levels

Are you noticing any trends? ;)

Ellie Goulding – Burn

Bastille – Pompeii

Katy Perry – Roar

Yes, total crush on her and this song, especially.

Feist – Lonely Lonely

For when I’m winding down. ;)

Mountain Man – Play It Right

Lumineers – Stubborn Love

And just about anything else that comes from their mouths.

I hope you’re finding your flow these days too. ♥