Growth

Resolute

Howdy Partner, A new year is about to happen, and when a year is new everyone feels like they are too.  In celebration of that newness a lot of folks make resolutions.  The top 5 resolutions are: 1) To lose weight, 2) Getting organized, 3) Spend less, save more, 4) Enjoy life to the fullest, and 5) Staying fit and healthy.  (If you want to read 6-10 follow the link at the end of this blog)  My biggest concern is that staying fit and healthy is number 5… though spending more time with family is number 10, which I am sure has to do with the fact that resolutions come a week after Christmas and other winter holidays that push family time as the thing to do.

My second biggest concern is that while 45% of the US population makes New Year's Resolutions only 8% are successful while 24% of peeps who make resolutions never succeed and fail on their resolutions each year.  Then you have age as a factor with younger folks being more successful than older (over 50) folks.  Maybe as we age we have had too many failures around resolutions/goals so it is easier to get discouraged and give up than when we are young and still have a few shreds of hope.  :)  It seems that resolutions aren't really effective when you look at all of these stats.  Is there a point then?  Shall we just stop and let it all go?

Well, not so fast.  Resolution, or goal setting has success.  It is a fact that someone without goals never reaches their goals 100% of the time.  So setting a goal gives you a chance to reach them.  Direction leads you somewhere, at least, and usually leads you in the direction you desire.  So, giving up on goal setting may not be he way to avoid failing, instead changing the goals we set or how we set them could be the answer.

Inspiration is a beautiful thing.  Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something (Webster's Dictionary).  If we feel inspired we are more likely to act.  Your goals need to be inspired and inspirational… and the steps you take to reach them need to be inspired and inspirational as well.  So instead of losing weight this year, what is your inspiration?  Is it to wear certain brands, run a number of miles, do jumping jacks for a number of minutes, get your blood pressure down to a certain number, or feel good?  Maybe your inspiration is something else.  When your goals have meaning, a meaning you have thought out and delineated you may have a better chance of actually sticking to the steps necessary to reach them.  You may also do well to be honest, at least with yourself, about why you really want to reach a certain goal.  Know this:  whatever reason you have for setting a goal is valid.  Period.

When you put your heart into what you want to change, why you want to change it and what you will do to make it so… or rather, when you commit to a goal you no longer view it as something you can get out of.  You are in it.  You are dedicated.  You set up your world so that your goal is priority.  Maybe you have friends that encourage and hold you accountable, maybe you hire someone to help you reach your goals, maybe you stop making excuses.  However it is done, it is doable when you commit to it.

Good luck figuring out the direction you want your life to take in 2013.  It is yours to create, this future you dream of.  It starts with you, your vision, your motivation, your inspiration.

xo

a

http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

Sense of Safety

"Safety always comes from inside-not outside of-you." ~Dina Bachelor Evan Howdy,

We spend a lot of time figuring out ways to feel safe and secure.  We wear our seat belts, we read our exit row safety cards, we ask for people to make promises.  The truth is the only way to feel safe, to be safe, is to know that you are always ok.  You are always supported.  Knowing that, even when life isn't as you would desire it to be, you are exactly where you need to be, doing and experiencing exactly what you need to experience to move you to the next place, phase, level of your existence is where you may need to start shifting your viewpoint.  Your feeling of security and safety, when taken from the outside world, is always tentative.  When you find that security and safety from within it is untouchable.  You will be able to take on any sunny day or perfect storm feeling as ok as any other moment in your life.  Safety isn't something you find, it is something you remember, recognize and reignite.

Feeling a strong sense of being ok doesn't mean you feel like no harm will ever come to you.  On the contrary, you know that anything is possible in this human body and accept that no harm is coming to you right now.  If harm did show up you would deal with it then an.  Safety is being aware, conscious of the moment… knowing what you can control and knowing what you cannot, and accepting all of it.  Boundaries aren't only what you create between you and the world around you, it is also how you deal with your internal world.  How you manage your feelings, perceptions, emotions, expectations and thoughts.  When you set a boundary that only allows an understanding that you are whole and supported living the life you were meant to, life becomes quite a bit easier.  Shutting out fears around being safe will allow you to see how protected and cared for you actually are.  After all, most of the time you are taken care of, right?  You have been ok most of the time… when the thoughts we have don't support this fact we are slammed with anxiety, fear, dread.  When we forget that we are rarely in danger we live as if it were a constant threat.

When we recognize that safety comes from inside and that we can nurture it, just like we do love, joy grows, safety grows, we become much more giving to others.  Feeling safe gives us permission to be more of who we are, to heal the areas that we need healing, and it gives permission for others to do the same.  Finding that ability to create safety within ourselves means that you are no longer looking for someone or something (which will always change and let you down) to do it for you.  You aren't waiting on your White Knight to rescue you and protect you… instead you are your own savior, your own knight-in-shining armor (or sparkling amor for me).

One way to begin remembering that sense of self, safety, is to affirm it regularly.  Another step is understanding that we are not our bodies, we are so much more, and that more is always ok.

xo

a

It's Right, It's Wrong

Howdy!!! I recently told someone that I am never wrong.  I meant this and still do.  I also believe the same for others.  Wrong implies that there is a 'right' and that this 'right' is unshakeable, truth, reality, fact.  The only truth is that right and wrong are opinions…  and you know that opinions are like assholes… everyone has one.  So if everyone has an opinion and opinions determine right and wrong (or religion which is the same damn thing) then I would wager that right and wrong are more about control and less about love.  I believe that right and wrong exist to make insecurities less insecure.

I may do something that you don't like or appreciate.  I may do or say something that annoys or offends you.  You may decide that I am annoying or offensive.  To that I say, you forgot to put "to me" at the end of your sentence so it would read accurately, "You are offensive (or annoying) to me."  To which I would say, "ok."  I am not bothered by the opinion of others, that often, because I don't consider others' opinions my truth.  My truth lives within me and motivates me to do what I feel makes sense for the world that I live in.  We may find that vibrationally we relate to many others and then there are some that you just won't relate to, depending on where they are evolutionarily/vibrationally.  Just because it doesn't make sense to me doesn't mean that it is right or wrong universally… it may be not what works for the world I am creating daily, it may undermine my vision of joy and peace on earth, but that doesn't make it right or wrong in general.  I have not seen (or remembered) enough of what the universe has planned in order to know what the 'big picture' is.  So, I humbly move within the space I understand, and that is a place of love and acceptance that all that exists is meant to.

Once we stop the blame game, the judgement game, the less than or more than game, we may begin to play well with others.  Once we stop deciding that we know all there is to know and become curios about how another sees the world, we might begin to grow.  Once we stop creating a world where there is one side or the other we might get to see the vast array of all that there is and all that there will be.  Until then you will see things as right and wrong and so they shall be.

xo

a

Paradigm Shift

Howdy, Aloha, Good Morning, Moods, we all have them.  Some say Gemini's have a lot of them!  Ha.  Whatever.  The truth is feelings are information.  So how do we begin to get the information that we are being given.  Feelings aren't exactly what they seem to be.  It is like looking at a painting close up.  You have to get some distance in order to really take it all in.  Perspective.  Feelings are also a code to which we have the incorrect key more often than not.  The key we have is the paradigm of victim.

The victim paradigm looks like this:

Things happen to you.

You have no say over how you feel.

People owe you.

"Should" is a word that exists

Right and Wrong are used regularly

You wonder 'why me'

You have unspoken expectations or you expect others to know what you want and to do it

You believe your happiness is the responsibility of someone else

You don't do your own work

You 'don't know what to do' on a regular basis or you say it regularly

You believe others have more control or know better than you

When you live in this paradigm you expect the government to fix the economy.  You expect others to not cut you off when driving and you feel angry when they do.  You believe that your perfect mate is out there waiting and all you have to do is look pretty (or not) and they will show up and your life will make sense.  You believe that God created all things yet many of those things are wrong.  You look at what is and say it shouldn't happen.  You believe that if only x would do y everything would be ok.  You don't know why your life turned out how it did.  You throw your hands up and wonder 'why me???'  You get angry that someone didn't do something you never explicitly asked them  to do.  You believe that you deserve something from someone and that them not doing it means that they aren't right.

Do you know anyone who lives under this paradigm?  Do you?  Sometimes?

The paradigm of the person who sees feelings as a code to the secrets of the universe lives under the paradigm of the curious one.  The curious one looks at everything from the standpoint of "what am I experiencing this for, if anything.  When you are curious you are not judging.  You are asking, you are open, you are ready for what is.  You aren't trying to push things away and you aren't judging.

The curious one paradigm looks a little like this:

You are open

You want to know why but aren't attached to any answer

You do your work, you want to learn about you

You want to learn about others

You feel that things happen for a reason

You don't expect, you wonder

You know perspective is key

You see many sides because of perspective

You relate to others, you see yourself in their place

You see things as they are, from your perspective and you wonder how they would be if you weren't you

You ask questions

You take responsibility for your feelings

The 'Curious One' looks at the world from the place of awareness.  The CO is looking for the lessons of this existence.  We aren't here to condemn, blame, fall victim to or lament over life.  We are here to learn, love and grow.  Think about a baby.  What do they need?  Love, learning and growth.  That is really all we continue to need.  When you become that CO you begin to look at people as helpers.  They give you information about you.  You learn how you feel about things, what you want or don't want, like or don't like, need or don't need.  You get a chance to look at how you relate to the world through how others relate to you.  You also get a chance to see the world from other eyes when you are curious.  You ask questions, you listen to the answers and you believe that by changing your perspective most anything could make sense to you.  As the curious one, you do not deny, you accept.

How curious are you on a regular basis?  How can you bring some curiosity to your life?  Would you want to?

xo

a

"Anything that annoys you is for teaching you patience.

Anyone who abandons you is for teaching you how to stand up on your own two feet.

Anything that angers you is for teaching you forgiveness and compassion.

Anything that has power over you is for teaching you how to take your power back.

Anything you hate is for teaching you unconditional love.

Anything you fear is for teaching you courage to overcome your fear.

Anything you can’t control is for teaching you how to let go and trust the Universe."

~Jackson Kiddard

Success!

Aloha! The rain is coming down on Maui on my last night here.  It is appropriate since I will be heading into the rain of the Pacific North West.  The cruel truth is that rain here is warm and tropical, in Seattle it is cold and brutal.  My trip has been a fantastic journey, travel and food and working out and meeting awesome people.  However, I am very excited to come home.  I miss my bed, my things, a closet, a room without spiders and geckos.  Though the gecko is a spiritual creature according to Hawaiian lore, I am ok with not sharing space as much as I do right now.  Tonight, I picked up the sheets (to check for creatures) then lifted my pillow only to find a baby gecko that wasn't in a very safe place.  I put him outside only to see another baby on the other side of the room.  It is like they are gremlins; multiplying with water after midnight.

I also miss my work.  I was in college when I decided that I wanted to become a rowing coach.  It was my sophomore year and I was participating in National Team Testing.  I was new to sports and barely called myself an athlete, but I was good and I knew that much.  I was also good at describing the rowing stroke to my teammates and I loved helping.  I, after all, was a peer counselor in High School and an RA in college.  At the time I decided to become a coach I had a rather socially challenged Head Coach that needed a lot of assisting.  I filled the role of translator when I could.  It was then that I realized coaching was an option.  I thought the thought and then put it away.  I still had to finish school.  After graduating and picking up a coaching job almost immediately I was enthralled by the Olympics.  It was 1996 and cycling was being shown quite a bit.  I knew that I needed to find another sport to do alongside rowing and cycling seemed to fit.  It looked like it was mentally and physically grueling (a requirement for me) and I liked the way it shaped the body (another requirement).  I also sent into the universe ad dream of being able to work out for a living at the same time I was helping others.  I thought I would have to become an Olympic athlete (and I worked on that) or be a professional athlete in order to do so.  Turns out I was wrong with the means by which but dead on with bringing my dream to fruition.  Working out for a living is doable and exciting and literally a dream come true.

Because I love what I do it is hard to pull myself away from it.  So taking vacation becomes a challenge.  I do need space away from the daily grind in order to gain some perspective, stay fresh and study up.  However, it is a joy to come back to what I absolutely love to do day in and day out.  The music, the people, the love.  I am lucky because I worked my ass off for years.  When I began this journey I made $5300 annually for my first collegiate coaching gig.  I got a raise the next year to $5700.  Loving what you do and doing what you love means you may have to wait for the financial reward, but it is worth it.  No amount of money would stop me from teaching/coaching and training.  I always ask myself this question:  If I were to win the lotto would I stop working.  The answer has never been 'no' when it comes to my work with motivation and health & well-being.  When you would do what you do for free you know you have struck it rich!  That is what I would call success.

What are your passions?  Are you living them?  Are you going after your dreams???  Why or why not?

xo

a

I Want Some Things

Howdy! Tis the season to get stuff right.  Oh, I know most of you would say 'to give' but let's be honest… you want some things too.  We have this funny way of trying to be altruistic when it is a big ol' lie.  Seriously.  You weren't put here to not want something.  We want lots of things and there isn't anything wrong with it.  I mean, if you are being selfless and giving to others, who are the others and wouldn't they be trying to do the same thing if wanting things were so bad?  I believe that one of the reasons we 'get' things is because we are open to receiving them, and, if you look around, how much do you get?  I am sure you get a lot of things, which tells me that on various levels you feel deserving, you feel worth receiving.  Make the fact that you do want things something that you own instead keeping your wanting hidden in your subconscious (like a dirty secret).  When you bring it to the surface you are able to direct it a bit more, you can be more specific about getting your desires met.  Getting isn't a sin, wanting isn't a sin, asking isn't a sin.  When you want (which is all of the time in so many different ways) you are giving someone the chance to please you… and you, the altruistic one, knows how giving someone something they want or need feels.  It feels amazing.  We not only want to be loved, we desire to give it as well, in its various forms.

I believe that a life of service doesn't mean a life of struggle.  We have decided that those who want to help others shouldn't want to help themselves as well.  They should be selfless, oftentimes poor, in only a bit better spot to those they are helping.  How would anyone be an example of success by not being successful?  How is it wrong to have abundance and be of service.  Wouldn't you believe the person who has figured out how to have what they need would be able to tell you a thing or two about getting somewhere that you are not, like a place of abundance?  It is like asking someone who doesn't love themselves to love everyone else.  When you have done your work, figured out how to meet your needs or ask for help, serving is done in a much purer way.  It isn't being used to squash the very real fact that you don't feel deserving on some level; it isn't covering up a deep feeling of guilt.  In any case, that isn't really giving, in my opinion.  It is being selfish in a deep and unconscious way.

Own your wants.  Ask for what it is that makes your heart sing without judgement.  No one is served by denying who they are.  Speak your truth.  If all else fails, and you don't believe that it is ok to want, look at it like this.  The world isn't lacking in anything.  We have more people, more stuff, more food (regardless if it is getting to everyone or not, the capacity to feed is infinite), more ideas, more than ever before.  Scarcity is a lie.  When you have something it takes nothing away from me.  It is the argument of gay marriage somehow hurting heterosexual marriages.  One doesn't take away from the other.  There is enough marriage to go around and enough love to sustain the relationships that want sustenance.  My wanting stuff, experiences, my way, doesn't mean you cannot have your stuff, experiences or way.  We can all be in a place of abundance if we just wanted it, openly, without judgement.

xo

a

Be Happy Now

Hello there, How many times a day do you say no, silently, to your world, your life, to others?  How many times do you wish for something that isn't happening at the moment?  How often do you try to change what has already happened by going over it in your head and remembering it differently.  How many times do you try to get someone to be someone else, including yourself?  How do you think your world is affected when you deny, refuse, resist and consistently try to wish away what is?  Is life, your life, that unsatisfactory that wanting something other than what you have is more fun, more rewarding and overall more enjoyable?

Happiness is not something you shoot for.  Joy isn't a goal.  These are states we have always within us, totally accessible.  We spend so much time choosing to dislike what is that we never see the beauty in the moment.  We take for granted all that supports, loves and appreciates us because it isn't exactly what we want it to be or how we would like it to be.  The truth is we may never get where we want to go, we may not be around long enough.  Nothing is promised, certainly not an amount of time in this human experience, so, though planning for the future is important, being attached to it isn't.  The future has a mind of its own and it is better to bet on what is right now.

Learning to love this moment brings you to that state of being we call happiness.  Loving the moment doesn't stop you from wanting the moment to change or be something else.  It allows for you to spend less time efforting change.  When you are happy, when joy seeps from your pores the world is yours.  What you thought you had to force now flows easily in your direction.  What you thought was going to take forever and be a struggle is done with joy and realized sooner than you thought.  Most of all you forget to be miserable when you are busy being happy.  You forget to worry when you trust in the moment you are in.  When you give up resisting your life, your life stops resisting you.

Be expansive, be joyful, be love.

xo

a

Help Me

Hiya! In the past when I felt swamped or overwhelmed I would often stop reaching out, stay home, answer few calls and keep to myself.  In theory it is a good idea to cocoon myself so that I could renew myself.  However, reaching out can help make whatever I am going through smaller and more manageable.  When you let others know what is happening in your world you allow your world to shrink, not seem so daunting and you might just see a way out of the stress heap you are under.  Admitting that I needed help was hard, asking for help was harder.

As a life coach I am there for anyone and everyone that needs me to be.  I hold space for people so that they can better view their world and make the changes that they would like to make.  I help take their stress from keeping them stuck to motivating and initiating change.  I am always inspired by the amazing people who reach out and ask me to help them.  It is a HUGE deal to know that you cannot do it on your own, that you don't need to do it on your own.  Life is so much sweeter when lived with others… when you understand that we are here to learn about ourselves through our relationship with others.  When you allow help, when you give permission, you receive it faster than you can imagine.  Usually the only thing that is standing in the way between you and your ideal world is you not asking or asking for others to participate; giving permission for others to help you.

For some reason (conditioning from our society) we believe that we are here to do everything on our own.  The truth is we are dependent on one another no matter how much we would like to think we stand alone.  We need each other and always will.  You have what I need and I have what you need.  It is about sharing, assisting, helping.  Are there ways in which you could use help but you have a judgement around asking?

I ask for help now.  It is more fun to be a part of  team.  I like the fact that others are just as excited to assist me as I am to assist them.  Life is easier with help.  More fun.  Less overwhelming.  Better, overall.  Giving others the permission to assist was a big step from struggling to make it in my chosen life path and success.  Asking for help made me stronger than I ever would have been on my own.

xo

a

Dreaming My Dreams

Howdy, Do you remember your dreams?  What did you want to be when you were a child?  I wanted to be a journalist.  My best friend and I decided that when we were older (21 years old was 'older' to us at the age of 11) we would live together.  Our basement would be an ice rink and there wouldn't be stairs that led to it.  Instead there would be an ice slide from the bottom floor to the ice rink basement.  I can remember the conversation like it was yesterday and I still kind of want that ice rink basement idea. :)

Over the years I have had many dreams.  I have reached some (working out for a living) and let others go (School of Journalism at Columbia University).  I have noticed when I limited my dreams based on societal things and worked hard to allow my mind to wander into anything that would sound interesting to my soul.  I remember when I found out that Elmo was a black guy named Kevin Clash.  I was watching a talk show years ago where he was the guest.  It wasn't until that moment that I realized that I hadn't ever considered becoming a puppeteer because somewhere inside I had judged it as something black folks didn't do.  I had never seen someone black doing it and had completely counted it out as an option.  The funniest part was I am, in no way, stereotypical with how I live my life.  Still, no one is immune from those judgements about what is or is not possible.  We are surrounded by limiting factors every day.  After that moment, which was profound for me, I knew that I had some digging to do within myself.

Dreaming is so important.  Being limitless when you dream is the key ingredient to finding out what you really want to do.  Taking away the need to know how is the hardest part of dreaming.  We always want to make sense of something, so much so that when we dream we forget to just feel what you feel, think what you think and then see what shakes out.  So, I challenge you to dream.  Dream big.  Make a list of what you want to do, what you want to be, where you want to live, how you want to feel.  There are no limits, there is no right, there is no wrong, there is just you.  Before the phone existed someone wanted to talk to someone else who was far away.  Before hot air balloons someone wanted to float around in the sky in a basket.

You just never know where your dreams may take you…

xo

a

Ownership Has It's Privileges

Howdy, I was speaking to a relative about communication the other day.  She had never communicated what she wanted or needed but harbored much anger toward those who weren't meeting her needs.  I tried to give her insight into the idea that no one can be held responsible for anyone else's lack of action.  We are all responsible for ourselves and communicating our own needs.  Yet, through our culture of blame it is much easier to see fault in someone not just "knowing" what you need instead of owning the fact that you have to do the work to communicate (as many times as you have to in order to be heard) what it is you need… even if that means risking not getting your needs met.  See, speaking your truth doesn't mean it will be accepted by others… but you cannot get anywhere without trying, without risking, without speaking.  You most certainly have less of a chance of getting what you need if you never actually admit to having needs.

The fear, however, is so great that we hide behind the idea that people should know this or should have know that.  We actually believe that other people should be mind readers even though we don't do a good job of understanding what someone else wants.  We get angry with each other and literally resent people for not knowing what they were never told.  We argue over things being common sense or not, when the reality is, did they know?  Were they told?  Nothing is really obvious when it comes down to it.  If it isn't explicitly communicated you cannot expect it to be understood (even then you may need to do some work around it).  We spend so little time communicating our needs that we don't truly know how to.  Our fear of not being heard or our fear or judgement that we aren't deserving, mixed with our resentment for not getting our needs met create a scary combination.  It is a wonder how any relationship survives (in my opinion).  How many times have you expected someone to treat you one way or another only to have them do something else?  How did you respond?

We are a culture that blames.  We blame the government, the weather, God (if you have one or more), fast food, alcohol, other people, TV, guns, etc.  I don't believe I have ever turned on the TV or listened to the radio to hear our media discuss how each person contributes to their own personal issues, let alone the world's joys and pains.  I don't believe I have ever overheard a conversation where someone was saying, "I must take a long hard look at myself and what I am bringing to this situation that is perpetuating it."  I have heard that they did this, or they did that or they need to stop doing these things and everything would be ok.  It is no wonder why we oftentimes feel powerless over our lives.  It is no wonder why we go to war or have road rage.  It is no wonder why our world is in such turmoil.  We are all pointing the finger at someone/something else, rarely seeing where we can start to make a shift in the world.

How can you take ownership for yourself today?

xo

a

You, All Of You

Howdy! How much do you hide in order to be loved?  What about yourself are you ashamed of and would prefer to never see the light of day?  When did you recognize this thing that you so revile was a part of you?  Do you claim it or do you try to ignore it away?  Have you ever been with anyone that has something similar to that thing you have that you try to deny?  How did they handle it?  We are very sensitive souls and we are very afraid little beings in so many ways.  We all at least one thing that we do, have done, would do, that we would prefer no one know about (maybe you have done your work and have gotten through it, but we can all relate).  There are lengths that one goes to in order to get rid of something that they are ashamed of and those lengths are never long enough, never deep enough to hide who we are and push away what we need to accept.

Love, we all want it.  We all crave it.  We all go in search of it.  Some of us have found it, others are on the hunt.  We do things specifically to get it.  Much of the time what we do lacks in authenticity and is covered in judgement.  We show others the parts of ourselves that we have decided are lovable.  We withhold the areas we would prefer to not have from the one we would like to have.  We try our damnedest to be all that we want to be instead of embracing who we actually are.  We don't share with others the parts that we think they would judge as harshly as we have.  Still, we want to be loved fully.  How is it possible for anyone to love us fully if we don't actually do the same.  You are  telling someone that you don't love yourself but you would like it if they could love you.  That is telling someone that you don't want to be yelled at and yelling at everyone else around you.  It is hypocritical.  You are not doing it, you aren't loving yourself.  You are hating on something you are or a behavior that you display and yet you want to be loved fully.  If you don't see how all of you is worthy how will anyone else?

There may be things in your life, history, behavior that you would prefer to change, this is the case for all human beings.  We are always working on progress.  Hating it won't actually make it disappear.  If you want something to change you will need to actually look at it, find out what, why, when and where.  You may find that you don't want that behavior gone or the history erased.  It actually makes up who you are and in some way has a purpose.  We are here and we are deliberate.  We are not mistakes.  When this is a reality in your world it is easier to look at all of you and allow the various parts to be acknowledged and even given space to exist in a way that allows them to show up when you want them to, not on accident.  The very thing you have been trying to hide usually bites you in the ass at some point, so you might as well make friends with it so that you can be its master instead of the other way around.

You may also want to show this to the one you would have love you.  If you aren't showing someone who you are, really, how will they have the opportunity to love who you are, really?  When you decide for someone else what they would or wouldn't like you don't give them the opportunity to decide for themselves.  You may have failed relationships (intimate or otherwise) that have more to do with your inauthenticity than anything else.  Be yourself, be brave, be fearless and you will be loved.

xo

a

Great Expectations

Hello!! Best laid plans...  So often we want something to happen, we hope something will happen, we expect something will happen… and then something else happens.  Disappointment ensues.  Sadness follows and, depending on the gravity of the disappointment, an alteration happens within us.  It may be small at first, but as it get compounded by more and more disappointment we begin to expect the disappointment.  Before expecting it, or sometimes after, we then start to paint the things that we were focused on being what we wanted them to be as inherently disappointing.  Or as a disappointment waiting to happen.   We will find ways to avoid the potential disappointment by saying we don't want what we want (which is not true and doesn't work), we stop having expectations (outwardly) or that hope is a waste of time and a little foolish.

The thing is disappointment is information (like everything else).  It tells you that you had an expectation, hope, want, desire that wasn't met.  Maybe you didn't communicate what you needed clearly enough to be heard by whomever didn't do what you wanted, desired, expected etc.  Maybe they don't want to give you what you want, need, expect etc.  Or maybe it isn't a person that you are expecting, needing or desiring anything from.  The bottom line is you are being given insight into yourself when you are disappointed.  You are being shown things that are deep, you may even regress a bit when you become disappointed.  If you are regressing then you really want to pay attention to and acknowledge your feelings.

Once you notice where you go when you are disappointed (ages 3-9 usually) you can communicate effectively around the issue or area that triggered the disappointment.  I know that I rarely am disappointed but when I am it is hard to come out of.  I feel like the whole world has conspired against me and that everyone and everything should have known what I wanted, needed, and felt.  Then, I grow up.  This happens whenever I grow backwards.  The truth is you have to own your disappointment and know that you are in charge of your happiness, your wants, your needs.  It is your job to get those needs met.  It is your job to make sure people who you expect things from are aware of what you want so that they don't suffer the ridiculousness of not knowing what you want but being held responsible for it.

So, say what you mean, mean what you say.   Know what you want and make sure you communicate it to the people, the universe, anything or anyone else that can possibly help you get it.

xo

a

Life Is What You Make It

Howdy! When people stop looking back they can move forward.  I have been guilty of looking back at past relationships, lamenting over what did or did not go well.  I have wondered if my life would have been different if I had made different choices.  I have been that guy who tried to rekindle a past relationship in case I had made a mistake.  I have spent time living in days long gone.  I know what it is like to not want the moment I am in to be when in reality this is all that is.  Because I have been here, it would seem like I would be super understanding when others dive into shoulda, woulda, coulda as well.  I am not.  I mean, I understand, but I know the damage that it causes all too well.  Tell me, would you let someone play with fire if you have been burned?  Would you not warn someone about the water being deep and the rapids fast so you could seem understanding?  I want to shine a light on the time wasted when spent on looking back, living backwards and being less than present.

I have heard so many people say so many things about wondering how things would have turned out.  I have actually been told that things would have been easier if I hadn't been born (by a loving family member).  That may have been the case, if it had been the case… but the reality is I was born and I am here.  The past doesn't change.  You can either get over it or you can live in it forever and ever and ever.  There is a way to integrate what has happened with where you are now.  There is no dishonor in not being depressed by your history, being happy in the moment and dealing with those things you have the power to change while letting everything else go.  This acceptance is truly freedom.  This freedom is a gift.  I would like to give that gift to you if you are open to receiving it.

One of the issues is that receiving the gift of accepting where you are right now and that you cannot change what has happened is you have no one to blame, no thing to blame, no past or situation to blame for your world right now.  All you have is power and responsibility.  This may seem exciting on the surface, but with power and great responsibility comes a shitload of work.  You have to take care of the now.  You have to own what you do, why you do it and know that the only constant in your world is you.  You are the only one who has put you where you are now.  It is a harsh reality.  I think that most of us would rather be depressed about the past than own our present and create our future.

Take a good hard look at your life.  Where are you placing the responsibility of your life?  Who have you allowed to be in charge.  Where do you see yourself, victim or ruler?  You do have a choice whether you choose to believe it or not.

xo

a

Now Is The Power

Hi there, In the moment that you feel lost you can be found again.  When you relinquish control of knowing, of what will, should, could happen, you find that space of what is.  In this you can find freedom that exists only when you accept each and every detail of each and every moment.  It is not something that we learn to do, we do it from birth, we actually have it taught out of us.  We get told to look back and look ahead and rarely do we get told to be where you are… sit in it and enjoy each breath.  If you do that for your family, bravo… it is a gift and a rare occurrence.

In our society the things that are imaginary take front and center.  From having holiday cards out in September to candy canes right after Halloween.  We have to prepare for our future… college funds, 401k's, etc.  We set goals based on a certain future when the two words together sound ridiculous to me… there is NOTHING certain about the future.  We create it as we go, though we keep on repeating what we know, instead of creating something new.  We are asked to tell others what we did over the weekend, last year, when we were kids.  Basically most conversation is built around things we cannot put a finger on anymore… things we can distort and things that aren't happening right now.  We focus so aggressively on the past or looking forward that we rarely see what is happening for us right now.

I used to run to audiobooks…  I was listening to Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now some years ago and trying to be ok with my situation (working at SUNY Buffalo for a verbally abusive Head Coach).  I kept having to go back to the part where he told me to just observe my thoughts.  Don't judge them, just allow them to happen without diving in and joining the noise.  I listened to it over ad over and then turned it off.  Then, I practiced.  I would run and just pay attention to each breath, each flower I saw, each step I took.  My breathing became easier.  The noise became quieter.  I became more empowered and finally left that crazy place.  When you are in your moments you can see where you are and what is happening for you.  When you are in your moments you can change them.

xo

a

I Am A Writer

Howdy, We all have a voice that lives inside of us and is aching to come out.  We all have things that we must put down on paper, shout about or sweat out that cannot be pushed aside.  Speaking what is true for us is freedom.  We all have a story or stories that long to be told, to a friend, lover, sister, brother.  We all have a story that brings us closer to our truth, that describes our selves… that reminds us of who we are.

I remember feeling like I had to write a certain way if I was going to be a writer.  I would need to be able to describe things in-depth, be super-duper articulate at all times and basically write like my mother.  It is funny how we try to model ourselves after various people in our world that have had some major impact.  My desire to write in a similar way to my mother actually stopped me from writing.  Every time I would sit down to try to write in her voice I became stuck.  It didn't work.  I am not descriptive in the same way, I am more conversational.  I don't have the fancy way about me that she does, I write, as I have been told, in a more raw fashion.  I live that way too.  It wasn't until I gave up trying to be someone else that I was able to write like myself.

Once I was done trying to be other than me I was able to write about anything and everything that excited me.  I could write about love, about pain, I could write about philosophical ideas or how annoying it is when someone touches my hair without permission. I could write about things that I have lived through and things I want to accomplish.  I realized that writing was a way to create the world that I wanted and remember the world I have lived.  It was a way to make sense of what seemed senseless.  It was and is a way to stay grounded.  Writing can be a way to connect, really connect to the world, to yourself, to the one.  We are all writers.  We are all speakers.  We are all story tellers.

What do you want to say?

I Want To Write by A.C.

I want to write about books and the way they smell when you love them. About the dog-eared pages that save my place, and how I wish that I could dog ear points in my life.

I want to write about infatuation and adoration and stupidity and trickery and the torment of knowing a lover too well.

I want to write about singers and songwriters and a musician that rocks back and forth with soul as if it were her mother.

I want to write about the sound of the ocean when there's no one else in sight and my hair is tangled and my lips are salty, dry and quivering.

I want to write about starfish and the rocks they cling to.

I want to write about mothers and daughters and safety and unconditional everything forever and ever amen infinity.

I want to write about lunacy and madness.    About rocket ships and words on arms and mathematical equations I will never understand.

I want to write about her and her and the one that walked away with no wounds, and left me with all of mine to lick alone.

I want to write about want and need and co-dependence, about turtle shells and animals that protect themselves with outer layers, that at times I wish I had.

I want to write about faceless people, I have tried to forget,the ones who haunt me in the nite as I fight with sleep.

I want to write about cold hearts and hot coals on the bedroom floor.

I want to write about a girl, my girl, and the words that fall short each time I try to tell her how I feel.

I want to write about needing, and wanting and aching and yearning.

I want to write about capital letters, punctuation, and form.

I want to write about death and birth and what matters most between the two I want to write about writing and how painful it is. About how necessary it is.

xo

a

What's Good???

Good morning! It is Tuesday!!  :)  Gratitude breeds more gratitude… isn't that awesome?   This only  takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer.  So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself.  Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well).  What are you feeling gratitude around?  Here are mine for this week:

Vegan Marshmallows.

Comfortable and Sexy Clothes.

Furry Animal Friends.

Spirituality.

Love.  

There are no right or wrong answers.  It is about what you are grateful for.   It is proven that doing this once a week for three months (actually just 9 weeks) makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights.  You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

I spend my time living in the now.  Some time so much so that I forget what day it is… like today.  Just realized that today was Tuesday and I wanted to send out What's Good???  I love that living in the moment makes each day exciting and new and without dread or worry.  It doesn't always allow for great planning, however.  Balance is key to keeping everything in order and is something that takes a lot of consistent work.  Being in the moment and keeping a solid and up-to-date calendar is my goal.  It is hit or miss for me at this point but I am striving for it and it will happen.  Whatever you are working towards, be gentle with yourself and consistent in your efforts.  Oh yes, and be grateful, for everything!!!

xo

a      

You are in charge of your world, your life is the creation of your mind, your thoughts, your feelings.  Go, have fun :)

Don't Stop, Get It, Get It

Howdy, Whatever it is that you are doing in order to reach some goal or another you will need one thing: discipline.  You will need to keep doing whatever it is that you are doing and not stop when you feel like the results aren't coming.  My favorite line from anyone is, "I have tried everything."  I want to complete the sentence with, "and stuck with nothing."  How can you wonder why you haven't gotten where you wanted when you give up on everything?

Getting somewhere you haven't been isn't some glamorous event.  At the end of your journey, when you have reached your goal, others may see it as some overnight transformation.  You are the only one that really knows (besides your partner, therapist and maybe a friend or two) what you went through to get to where you are, starting from where you were.  Reaching your dreams is a lot of work, a lot of struggle, a lot of letting go and a whole lot of holding on.

People ask me on a regular basis if I get sleep.  I do get sleep, but it comes around my getting my dreams accomplished.  I know what I want and where I am going and sleep sometimes gets in the way if it is hours long.  So two hours here, 3 or 4 there sprinkled with the 20-45 minute snoozes I do while waiting to do something else.  I get my rest, just not in the way most do.  I have a goal, several, and that requires me to do things differently than others may want me to do… or understand.  My goals aren't about others so why would how I reach them be about anyone else's idea either?  I also have to remind myself that I set this goal and why (especially when I am exhausted).  Discipline.  Doing it.  Making it happen.  Even when I don't want to.  In all honesty, I always want to do what works for my goals.  Do I always?  No.  But 98% of the time I am working in a way that will and is fostering my reaching my goals.

What goals are you currently wanting to reach?  How have you sabotaged, if at all, your goals?  What scares you about reaching your dreams?  How long have  you had them and how many times have you given up on your dreams?  Sticking with something is hard when you don't know the outcome.  Well, you never know the outcome of anything, save for life.  Death is always the outcome.  So what we do between the birth and the death is always the unknown.  You aren't actually sure of anything and risk things on a daily basis regardless.  So what exactly is the issue with doing something and not letting it go just because your goals haven't been reached in a month.  You will need to take steps.  We are, all of us, trying to be somewhere we aren't instead of embracing where we are and looking forward to the inevitable change that we are heading towards.  So maybe the first step is small and seemingly insignificant.  Do it anyway.  Who cares what and how you judge it, just do it.  Then do it again.  Then again.  Until it is just what you do, you see change, and then it will be off to the next dream.

xo

a

You First

Hello, When it comes to loving others, truly loving and being able to hold space or take care of what it is they need, the order would have to be you first.  Trying to give to someone something you deny from yourself isn't sharing love.  Trying to be what someone else wants when you don't know what you want isn't sustainable and at some point it will be too much for both or one of you.  Being there for someone requires that you know what that feels like, that you do it for yourself and/or have had someone be there for you in the ways you need them, not how they wanted to.  You are that someone…always.

Before you venture off trying to save the world, save yourself.  I am always baffled by the amount of giving people do for one another and at the same time think that giving to themselves is a sin or not the direction that they need to focus on.  Please understand, we are here to assist in the development of the whole but not by sacrificing ourselves… we are the whole.  Look at the world like a fractal, what I do to me just repeats and repeats on all levels.  And, it goes on and on and on.

Be that person that listens well with yourself.  Be the one who is always kind, with yourself.  Notice how well you treat you.  See if there is room for improvement in every aspect.  Do you like to be picked on?  Nagged?  Told that you suck?  Then why would you do it to yourself?  How would you trust someone who doesn't trust themselves?  Do you trust yourself?  Do you feel worthy of love?  Of joy?  Of happiness?  How would someone else really find that in you if you haven't found it in you?  How could you ask for something you yourself won't do?

You are the source.  You are the alpha and omega.  You are where the pain begins and where it can end.  You are where the love begins and where it can spread.  Focus on what it is that you are needing, feeling, seeing, hearing, afraid of, loving, wanting, deciding, thinking.  Make your work you.  Accept the things that you wish to change with the joy of a child.  Be curious about yourself.  You are amazing.  There was a day where your being born was the highlight.  You are enough just because you are… you exist.  Now get on with working on this existence, making it the best one you could imagine.  Share yourself and your growth so that others may shine their own light as well.  When we forget who we are chaos ensues.  When we believe that someone else holds the key we remain locked in place, rigid, unmoving.  We are the key, the lock, the sun and the moon.  When you feel yourself, whole, nothing can penetrate that.  You are much more effective when you are full of love than when you are looking for it.

See where you are taking care of or neglecting yourself.  Then look at your world.  Do you see you reflected?

xo

a

All Grown Up

Howdy! Sometimes you feel like a kid, like everyone is going to see right through your grown-up body and realize that you are just pretending to know what is up, where to go, how to do this or that.  Sometimes you feel small and the world seems so big and you just want someone to take care of you.  Sometimes you feel lost and lonely and believe that you are alone.  You have learned to pretend, you have learned to fake being an adult (whatever that is) and mature but every now and then the masquerade becomes a bit overwhelming and you just want a break.  Sometimes you are tired.

We are rarely kind to each other around the very things we ourselves go through.  It is amazing how we will see someone doing something that society has deemed inappropriate and we will judge it all over the place.  We will decide that we are better because we don't have the same issues (or no one knows about our issues).  We will decide that we are more enlightened or smarter, more spiritual, kinder, etc. because of someone else is demonstrating human qualities that we would rather hide.  If at these moments of self-righteousness we could remember feeling small, feeling like we didn't know it all, and relating to 'being found out'  we could be better at connecting, stronger in supporting and brighter in our show of compassion.

What are you afraid of others knowing about you?  What have you been taught to judge as wrong that you, yourself do?  How does that make you connect or disconnect from others?  Do you find yourself putting someone else down who has similar secrets. Often we do this to distract from our own shadow.  Point the finger at someone else feeling small so that you don't bring attention to your own insecurities.  The thing is, we can embrace feeling like we are faking it.  We can accept that we have faked it before and that being a grown up isn't what we have been taught and that there aren't hard and fast rules that one must follow.

When you accept that you feel small, alone, lonely and phony you will be able to communicate to others and find out how not alone you actually are.  Your fear becomes less scary and less exhausting.  We all understand what it is like to feel unprepared for life.  We all understand what it feels like to be overwhelmed and unsure.  We just have to call it up when we are with others who are feeling that way so that we can remember to be understanding and accepting instead of being judgmental and condemning.

Love each other… love yourself.

xo

a

Resonate

Howdy! We have all felt stuck.  We have all felt like we weren't able to get out of wherever we are.  We have all annoyed our friends because our lack of action to move away from what is seemingly hurting us.  The bottom line is you will stay where you are until you are ready to leave.  Period.  Know this.  No one can make any choices for you and you cannot rush being ready to choose.  There are things that you are learning, valuable things that you will never forget… it is hard to have perspective when you feel that you are in the middle of hell.

Remember that how someone behaves towards you is an example of how they are treating themselves.  It is hard to remember to not take things personally when you are the one being treated one way or another… but we are all bringing to us what we need to learn from and that is the difficult reality that most would choose not to face.  The universe hears us and has a completely different definition of love and compassion than the ones we would like them to have.  The universe knows that love is giving you what you need to learn what you must in order to move forward.  The universe doesn't play favorites, it isn't biased.  It answers our soul's longing for growth and creates what we resonate.

Resonate.  Resonate.  Resonate.  This is my message for you today.  Imagine you are a guitar being strum.  What notes will you produce if you were being played?  What music does your heart make?  If you were being played in a music hall, who would come to fill up the seats and listen?  What type of crowd would line up around the block to hear one note from your symphony?  Would you have people who were crying and lamenting being drawn to you?  Would your audience be pensive or melancholy?  Would it be a crowd that was filled with angst and anger?  Or would you have a crowd that was so filled up with love and joy that you were lifted up by their presence as they are by yours?  Resonate.  Resonate.  Resonate…on purpose.  Because you do it anyway.  Make the music you want to hear.  That music you make changes the 'where you are' to the 'where you want to be'.

Have a great day!

xo

a