life

The Age of Attraction

What is happening? I was recently discussing sexuality, which I think isn't discussed enough, with some friends.  We were talking about vaginas and the power of owning your sexuality.  The discussion led to the fact that shame is prevalent whether we admit it or not, in relation to sex and sexual expression.  There are so many rules, roles, assumptions that it is difficult to know what we actually want.  Admitting what we like, where we are in our sexuality and what we think about it is something that is shunned aggressively.  We are, after all, a society that will fine someone for flashing a nipple (at the same time we cover our children's eyes from seeing the .00005 seconds that it was shown) but watch news footage about 26 people, many of them children, being gunned down.

Like the universe works, I perused Facebook where a friend posted an article about a 6-year-old being in love with a character from Glee.  Sexuality seemed to be in the air tonight.  The 6-year-old is a boy and the character on Glee is a boy.  The article goes on to discuss how the mother and father love their son and have no problem if he is gay or isn't.  I think that it is great that parents will love their son even if he is gay, I just look forward to the day we don't have to announce that parents will love their kids even if they are gay.

So, after reading this I then scrolled down to the comments and stopped at one that touched on several things in regards to the article.  First they were not pleased with a 6-year-old watching Glee, then with the idea that a 6-year-old was obsessed about anything especially liking someone.  Third that, even at 11, that would be too young to have attraction.  Ok, I had to breathe after reading this, and after having had the conversation about shame that had happened earlier in the evening.  I know that attraction is as natural as breathing.  If you are a part of a family you (hopefully) see love, coupledom, partnership.  Children mimic adults.  It is how they learn to talk, walk, think, behave, love.  How in the world are they too young to be attracted?  I liked boys and girls for as long as I can remember and I certainly had attractions to all manner of things before the age of 6.  I liked certain colors, foods, music, and people.  The idea that attraction has an age is a funny, funny thing.  Babies are attracted to certain colors and sounds.  We are attracted to love and repelled by hate.  When we see something that resonates with us we are drawn to it.  This is being human.  The idea that we would want to discourage this natural way in others due to them being younger than we think they should be to have the feelings that they actually are having is ridiculous (yes, I am totally judging).

As a parent you may be nervous, because of your own hangups and judgments, around the truth of your child being inherently sexual.  I mean, the damn person was made while you were having sex.  How in the hell can we not be SEXUAL.  What is the problem people???  Let's take our heads out of our asses and start discussing sex, sexuality, love, desire, attraction in a way that doesn't make it shameful, scary, wrong, or inappropriate.

Here is a story that I love to share:  My sister is a massage therapist.  Her son, Miles, used to love to be massaged and loved to give massages, and he was very good at it as well.  There is nothing better than little hands on your shoulders massaging away your worries.  So sweet.  Anyway, during a massage she was giving him he asked if she could massage his penis.  Instead of getting all weird (which I think many of us would) she told him that she wouldn't because that was his to massage.  She let him know that he could massage it in private and that no one else was allowed to until he really wanted them to.  Or some such lovely message like that (I am sure my sister would correct the verbiage).  Either way, the message was clear:  She didn't make him feel that what he asked for was wrong, bad, inappropriate.  She used that moment to let him know the boundaries of his body.

Let's stop being craycray and start empowering one another in love.  Can we do this please???

xo

a

Smoke Filled Holiday

Happy Wintertime! We are almost to the New Year with Kwanzaa upon us, Christmas and Chanukah are behind us and family either still around or long gone.  Either way I am sure you have new stories and memories to savor.  It is a special time of year that seems to emphasize everything in your life for better or for worse.  People get ecstatic and people get depressed, families come together and are, sometimes, pulled apart.  Holidays can take their toll or leave us wanting more.

I don't celebrate the holidays very much, as I am not religious, but I do enjoy cooking, so I use the holidays as an excuse to become the culinary genius that I think I am.  Cooking also reminds me of growing up with my sister and mother, cooking amazing feasts for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and eating myself silly.  So there is certainly nostalgia behind my desire to cook.  Because I am vegan and I rarely use my oven, I had decided that it could be a storage facility.  I should back up… I have three little furry creatures running around my home.  Two cats and one dog.  Well, while vacationing on Maui a friend was watching the furries.  She came home to find all of the treats and cat goodies, once on the fridge, on the ground with the little dog's head stuck in the salmon treat bag.  The puppy was desperately trying to walk backwards to get the bag off of her head.  Upon my return I needed to figure out another place to put the essential animal crap.  Eureka!  The oven sounded like a great idea.

Well, I make candied yams during the holidays, and they need to be baked.  I never pre-heat the oven except for this one time, on Christmas day 2012.  Needless to say I need to get another container of catnip, more salmon treats and other goodies for the animals because I almost set the house on fire.  In my panic I didn't realize I was inhaling the smoke of burning plastic, which I do not recommend.  And a day and a half later I am finally feeling better.  Currently I am looking for another place to hide furry treats.

I did manage to make my yams (I let the oven clean itself) and have a nice holiday dinner.  However, I believe I won't be using the oven for anything except baking twice a year.  I learned more than just to not use my oven to store randomness.  Being forgetful in this situation was actually a good thing.  I was completely relaxed on the holiday.  Not over-thinking, not trying to get things done in a hurry, rushing kind of way.  I spend a lot of time on the go, so me taking the time to pre-heat was totally a sign that I am allowing things to take their time. Once I cleared the house of smoke I relaxed and watched a movie.  Life is full of excitement, some we want, some we don't.  I say roll with it… accept what is and move toward what you want.

Did your holiday test your calm?  Did you find yourself discombobulated or trying to be more on your game?  Do you use the holiday time to relax and let go?

Happy Holidays!

xo

a

Dreams of a Child

Hello there, When I was younger I dreamt of things like children do.  I saw myself in the home of my dreams, with the love of my life, with the career that I wanted.  At no point, as a child, did I ever decide that I was asking for too much or believe that my dreams were too grandiose.  I wanted these things and I thought about them as if they would happen.  Life was exciting when I was a child (and luckily for me it still is) and part of that excitement was dreaming, the possibility.  As I grew up and learned the 'truth' about various things in life (money being scarce (ha!) and true love being rare) my dreams changed to fit what I now knew.  I stopped thinking about owning a home as a given, I changed what I wanted in a partner and I changed my mind about my career once or twice.

Still I grew older and things changed even more.  Though I am an optimistic person and tend to dream and desire more than many more "realistic" or "pessimistic" folks, I became discouraged in various ways that I never would have as a child.  I decided that relationships had to be 'work' and that jobs had to include parts that you possibly hated because you can't get everything, right?  You had to take the good with the bad, right?  Those were the 'Facts of Life' were they not?  I mean, everywhere I looked people were compromising their dreams to live a life that didn't quite fit, but did the job.  And for those who weren't compromising or settling, they were considered immature, needing to grow up.  "You can't always get what you want" after all.  We are trained to believe that settling is just growing up.

I question these ideas of grown-ups regularly.  Why wear an ill fitted life?  Why not hold out for your dreams?  Why not work hard to realize what you always wanted.  Why settle?

When you consciously choose your life you have to face the reality that some of what is currently happening in it may not work for you anymore.  Recently I have chosen not to settle in any aspect of my life.  From the time that this decision was made things fell away.  Loss happened.  I ended relationships and began new ones.  I approached work differently and still do on a daily basis.  At the same time, things began falling into my lap.  Struggle became joy, life became love.  Things weren't so 'hard.'  The biggest thing is being honest every day with how I am where I am because I choose to be, and, if I want my life to be different than it is I can choose differently.  I am remembering what I wanted as a child and not judging it as fantasy only.  It is a goal, the foundation for reality.  When you stop compromising your dreams you have to start living your life differently.  You are responsible for making your dreams a reality.

If you knew that you could have it all, would you work for it?  Would you open yourself to it?  What if that meant closing yourself off to what you are currently doing, who you are currently with, how you presently view the world?  What would you do to live the life of your dreams?

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."  ~Walt Disney

xo

a

Some Thoughts on Death

Hello there, I believe that death is not unnatural.  I believe that it is the most natural thing that exists, right next to life.  People die just about every second.  People are birthed at a similar rate.  I don't know how helpful it is to tell everyone that death is unnatural or that for someone to die at one age or another is not "right."  It is as if life is a promise and not a gift or experience.  It is as if we still, after all of this time, don't get how fragile this human experience is.  We have this tendency to decide that life is only valuable after being lived a certain amount of time.  That if you haven't grown up, or had your own children, a job, sex, etc. that death shouldn't touch you.  Now, let me clarify for those who may be freaking the f*ck out.  I don't believe we need to kill one another regardless of how natural death is (and the same goes for killing animals).  I just don't believe death is unnatural and I believe that we could help the healing process for all involved in losing loved ones (that would be all of us at some point) if we changed the language around it.

When we are told that death is wrong and that a mother should never lose her child we set all the mothers who will lose their children (and that is a large number of people, babies and children die all the time!) to feel a hell of a lot worse than if we let them know that, yes, death can come to your baby because your baby is a human being and once that baby exists it can cease to exist.  If we stop looking at death as this horrible, horrible thing and look at it as a part of the process of life we may not feel like we were cheated out of something that we were never promised.  We may be able to feel a little less victimized by the death and be able to actually deal with the means by which (especially when a child has been murdered).

It is so maddening to me that we don't discuss death.  It is so damaging to all who will lose their children, that we haven't had the conversations prior so that there is space to talk about it, so that after the ones who will not see their children grow up don't feel so alone in their grief.  So they can discuss their experience of death openly and get support around it.  Death isn't contagious, it is promised.  Death isn't bad, it just is.  We all will go through it.  We all will lose someone.  We have to, at some point, stop behaving as though ignoring it will make it go away.  Talk about it and sex.  The two things that we either make naughty or wrong are the things that are often used to cause the most pain.  Think about it.  When we categorize things as bad they become those things for us.  When you change the way you see things the things you see change.  It is true.  We are powerful enough to stop being victims.

Now taking someone's life is a completely different discussion.  Why, how, when, what?  All of those things need to be dialogued about as well… I will say that it cracks me up (in a not so funny way) to see everyone so up in arms (pun intended) about violence in a country that was built on violence, that uses violence to solve all issues and perpetuates it every way that it can.  If we wanted peace we wouldn't support war.  If we wanted peace we would never flip someone off and curse them out.  If we wanted peace we would be peaceful.  Period.  Start with yourself.  Start with your own heart.  Start with how you treat yourself and see how that changes the world.

xo

a

Our Responsibility

Hello, We are responsible for each other in a way that may not seem obvious.  I don't mean as mother and child, husband and wife, brother and sister.  I don't mean in the way of volunteering by handing out food and clothing to the disenfranchised.  I don't mean by taking care of an elderly neighbor's lawn in the summertime or helping someone across the street.  All of these things are wonderful and natural ways we show love to one another but there is a responsibility that I feel we have failed miserably in meeting.  We don't allow others to be who they are.  We don't give people the space to become who they are and support needed to blossom into their ideal selves.

What we do is quickly give humans the rules to what is right and what is wrong.  Humans get bullied from very early on.  Before we ever find out what someone wants we tell them what is and isn't ok to want.  We set up a system (in every culture) that is  based on things we were told, that were based on things that the ones who told us were told, etc. without giving that much thought to whether or not most people are ok with the system or whether the system actually works.  When someone doesn't fit into the structure that was set up before they existed they are either crazy, evil, an abomination, wrong or a misfit.  There isn't a lot of room to be accepted when you don't fit the norm in most societies.  When we create right we create wrong.  You cannot say something is good without deciding that there are things that are bad.  When you create an extreme you create it's opposite; is this what being responsible for one another means?  To determine who is bad and who is good.  What do we base it on?  What the majority are doing or not doing (that they will admit to)?  What some religious document says?  What happens to those who are wrong in our society?  What happens to the misfits?

I truly believe that we are responsible for those who feel left out, bullied by a society that never gave them a chance;  told that they were wrong for feeling, thinking, saying something that went against what society has determined as ok to say, think or feel.  When we set up a system that automatically rules out certain types of people as worthy in a systematic way (the way that we do in this country) we have neglected our responsibility to love each other as ourselves because we are connected.  We have forgotten that we cannot exist separate from one another.  We are all necessary and important and responsible for each other in a deep way that never touches on aiding with groceries to someone's car… though that is important and it does matter.  However, we are responsible to each other in the way to not cause harm, to not destroy, to not judge.  When we decide that someone is less than we tear a part of them away.  We build up rage that at some point will have to come out.  We create dangerous situations and hazardous environments when we push others down for being who they are.

I believe we need to allow what is.  We need to allow everyone to communicate who they feel they are, what their desires are and how they see the world.  We need to learn boundaries at a young age so we can become aware of where I begin and you end.  We need to help others love who they are and find their own voice.  We need to discuss what it means to be aware.  We need to be very careful with each other's hearts. We need to take ownership of our feelings and not blame others for the things that don't belong to them (like our feelings).  We need to understand when we judge others we are judging ourselves.  We need to understand that we cannot always be comfortable and things aren't always going to be the way we would prefer them to be, nor are people.  We need to understand that it isn't our responsibility to put one another down or to marginalize each other, but to uplift and propel each other forward.  I believe we need to first do this for ourselves, once we are no longer in the direct care of others.  Once we have given ourselves permission to feel what we feel and be who we are without the judgement, we can decide if it is what we want to keep or not.  Acceptance is power; the power to change, the power to heal; the power to move on.  Our responsibility, in my opinion, is to accept each other.  Embrace each other.  To love.

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

Things Always Work Out

Aloha, Travel.  I enjoy it once I have reached my destination.  I don't always enjoy the packing, organizing and all of the questions that come along with whatever trip I may be taking.  I am no grouch I just don't travel the way others do… Let me explain.  I am not a fan of structure in certain areas of my life.  I am quite particular in most areas of my life.  How I make my mixes, what jog bras I like to wear, what clothing works for my body, what work I take on.  So when I get a chance to be relaxed I take it.  Balance is key.  I am not one who needs to 'know' everything.  If I get a phone call and it isn't someone I have saved in my contact list I don't worry about picking up right away (unless I am told to do so intuitively).  If I miss an exit, I miss an exit.  If someone cuts me off, I may say something under my breath but it is gone before it ever sunk in.  I certainly don't get pissed off.  When I travel, I don't make hotel arrangements (if I am alone) or create an itinerary (except that I will workout at least 90 minutes each day) until I am close to leaving (the day of or before).  I just wait until the time is 'right.'

So I am on Maui and loving life.  Sitting outside in the sunshine writing.  Pretty sweet!!!  I found a lovely big house to stay in with 3 people in the main space and two others that have their own private cottages.  We share the bathroom and kitchen.  In this big house is a man named Dahi.  He is humble and brilliant and may have been one of the reasons I came to Maui.  A mentor he is to me at this point.  Then there is Mateus.  Let me backtrack.  I walked around the airport on my way to Maui looking for food.  This friendly soul spoke to me and was hungry too.  We quickly discovered we were on the same flight and decided to meet up later after we fed ourselves.  At that time (during my layover in LA) was, in Aina fashion, securing a place to stay for the first few days on Maui.  I found something reasonable and booked it.  When we arrived on the island we exchanged info and vowed to meet up sometime soon.  I rented my car and was on my way.

The place I picked was supposed to be a private room with a mountain view and wi-fi.  It turned out to be a really dirty room with no wi-fi and no mountain view.  Human hair that wasn't mine took up about a quarter of the space (ok maybe 8%) and I slept in my clothes waiting until I could cancel my reservation and get my money back.  It was gross.  Around the time of me arguing (yep, I had to argue) with the owner's daughter to retrieve my monies, Mateus texted me.  He was at the beach and wanted to know if I wanted to join him.  YES!  Finally something relaxing.  So far my trip wasn't at all a vacation.  I relay the traumatic event to Mateus who quickly tells me about a place he just found.  They might have another space available.  We hang on the beach for some time, then take off to see the space I am now staying in.

If I hadn't had a shitty time upon arrival I may not have hung w/Mateus, I would have never met Dahi (more than likely) and I would not be sitting where I am right now writing to you about the necessity of following your intuition.  Trusting that things work out.  Understanding that you don't have to force nature.  All things in time.  Most people would look at me having a shitty room as a result of my lack of preparedness… instead of what I needed to open up to Mateus that I needed a place to stay.  Thank goodness I don't need to know, to plan or to organize that much.  I feel like a lot of life is missed when you do.  Before I left a lot of my friends asked me if I wanted connections here or if I knew where I would stay.  I have always had things work out for me.  (So have you).  I trust that this will continue to happen.  It is, after all, the norm.  I feel very fortunate because I am and so are you.

Where can you let go and allow instead of control?  Where can you breathe instead of worry?  Where can you let life unfold instead of planning it out?

Have a groovy rest of your day!

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:

Airplanes.

The Tropics.

Internet.

Time To Reflect.

Genelle Benker.  

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:

We don't often realize what a profound impact we can have on one another until something tragic happens.  Someone dies, leaves, hurts us in some way.  Then we see how affected we are.  What if we realized this with every person we met?  What if we understood the miracle of connection and how we all take care of one another with every breath we take for ourselves?  How would the world look if we began to appreciate everyone as divine, necessary and love?  What if we started with looking at ourselves this way.  We are divine.  We are necessary.  We are love.  I am going to keep telling you these truths until they sink in.  Love is relentless, love is forever, love is all.

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

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

The Gift of Feeling Blue

Hello!!! When you are feeling the most lost, the most downtrodden, the least confident is when you are the ripest, most ready for a growth spurt.  Sometimes you may feel like you aren't yourself, you have lost your way, you aren't happy, that there is something wrong.  Maybe you notice a disconnect between who you thought you were and who you are recognizing you are.  Maybe you feel like your aren't living your 'best life' (as Oprah would say).  Maybe you are just feeling blue with nothing to pinpoint the cause on.  It is during these times when you are beginning.  You are starting again.  You are about to be given a lot of information and your feeling so low is readying you to be able to receive.  It is hard to take things in when you are all filled up.

If (which I find hard to believe) or when this has happened for you what was your response.  So often we look towards food, drug (including alcohol or any other recreational indulgence) or outside stimulation to numb us to feeling.  This may be a temporary fix but it isn't sustainable and it blocks the information that will bring you to the next level of awareness that you (or at least your soul) is seeking.  When you numb yourself you don't allow yourself to feel how the blueness changes with the gifts you are receiving almost immediately upon feeling lost.

Let me explain… the feeling of being lost is in itself a gift.  It is a signal that change is coming.  That there was something that wasn't working.  This is awesome!  It is the signal that tells you that you aren't on track.  This is a great warning, there was danger ahead that you are now alerted to.  Numbing yourself doesn't allow you to avoid it.  When you feel lost for some time you begin to ask for help.  You actually reach out for someone to assist you.  You may ask for different perspective, you may ask for company, you may ask for some other form of support.  This is fantastic because we aren't islands.  We aren't put here to fend for ourselves.  We are here to help each other and in that way we help ourselves… and it goes the other direction as well.  It is one and the same.  When you are feeling like you are not where you need to be you move!  You change.  You GROW.  You make choices you wouldn't otherwise make.  You do things that you wouldn't have thought of if life didn't push you towards them.

Take a moment, if you are down, when you are down and thank the universe for the gift of change.  Then, keep your heart, eyes, ears and intuition open.  The answers, my friend, are blowing in the wind.  They are abundant, they are for you.  The universe gets really excited when you are ready to listen… so much so that the answers can be so loud as to be deafening, if you really listen.

xo

a

Love Not Fear

Happy Friday! The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure." ~Sven Goran Eriksson

Fear is unbelievably powerful.  Fear motivates us to change what we do, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves.  Fear will get us to give up our freedoms.  Fear will get us to hurt others.  Fear basically will kick our ass.  Fear also makes certain that love is lost.  With fear being present there is no space for love.  You are not allowed to live immersed in both.  Yet so many people will fall into love with someone based on the fear that there aren't any better options, that they should, that they need to be partnered at a certain point or age in life.  Fear will keep someone in an abusive relationship with someone else and/or with themselves.

Often we are afraid to be who we are, fully.  We show only the parts that are shiny and nice.  We hold onto and hide the parts that we have deemed unlovable.  We have taken the parts that we feel would push someone away and shown them piecemeal, after we feel secure that the person loves "us."  Well, what "us" are they loving if they don't have all the information?  What you have you given them the opportunity to fall for.  How would they stay with you when they don't know who you are?  What do we expect when we don't give someone the opportunity to know all of what they are getting into.  It is like we want to get someone attached and then show them the stuff that they would run from otherwise but won't now because they are obligated through promises made when ignorant of the truth.  Think about it.  Is that what you want?

Why would you enter into anything not being your authentic self?  What do you have to gain?  Well, it isn't always that black and white.  Most of the time we don't know we aren't being authentic, we just aren't accepting of who we are.  We haven't actually spent time loving up on the parts that we hide.  Yet, we hope that someone will love us enough to have to deal with the shit they never knew existed when they first fell in love.  We get into relationships and wonder why they don't work.  We leave or get left, we fear abandonment and aren't understood.  The truth of the matter is that the fear of being left is realized when we don't show up for ourselves.  When we abandon all of ourselves we don't allow others to stick it through with us.  We show others that we aren't worth staying.  When we deny the truth of who we are, others don't want to live that lie.  When we base our lives on who we want to be and not who we are we end up feeling lonely and lacking.  You must be the person you want to be with in the world.

What do you want?  How do you want to be loved?  Do you want someone who knows you, all of you and loves you because of it? Do you want to hide yourself and live a life pretending to be other than who you are?  Are you willing to accept the parts of you that aren't what you want to sing and dance about?  Do you feel worth putting yourself out there so that the one who will love you for all of it can actually find you?  When you hold back on who you actually are you don't give someone the opportunity to love all of who you are.  We are way to caught up with catching someone than being caught.  We are way to afraid to be who we are and have faith that we are worthy of love, deserving of unconditional love, destined for true love.  You are enough.  You are exactly right for someone.  You, all of you just need to come out of the dark, let go of the fear, walk towards yourself with open arms, then show yourself in all of your glory to the world and let your love find you.

"Fear is faith that it won't work out."  ~Anon

xo

a

What's Good???

Good afternoon! 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:

Being able to replace things when they break.

Cable TV.

Fresh Fruit & Veggies.

Reconciliation.

Lululemon Pacific Place.  

 

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:

What if you realized you were limitless.  What if you realized that you aren't constrained by your body, by the perceived world, not even by your limited beliefs and ideas.  You are energy manifested.  You are more than what you see with your naked eye.  Sit in this idea.  If you allow yourself to let go of your ideas of scarcity, of lack, what is left?  You have everything you need, right now, to do whatever it is that you want.  You are a creative being that longs to create.  How will you use your power?        

Feel love.  Feel peace.  Feel strength.  And it is so.

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:

Peace.

Space.

My Girlfriends.

HGTV.

Tattoos.  

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:

When we are hurt we want to find someone who is to blame.  Someone must be at fault if we feel any negative emotion.  All emotion is necessary and none of it is actually negative, inherently… and no one is to blame for your pain.  When you own your decisions, your reasons, your excuses; when you own your life and your role in it you stop blaming others and you begin to experience pure joy.  No one owes you anything, believe it or not.  You are not a victim.  You are an all-powerful being that, at some point, will come into her power.  Take some steps today to come into yourself a little more.  Claim ownership.  Be in charge.  Stop finding a villain and start living.         

See love, feel love, be love.  See peace, feel peace, be peace.  See strength, feel strength, be strength.

xo

a

Healing

Happy Day! Healing is a process, sometimes long, sometimes painful, and almost always surprising.  Sometimes healing occurs when you are just ready to move on from repeating the same things over and over.  Sometimes healing happens because there is nothing left to do with the pain anymore.  You have squeezed every ounce of every emotion out of it.

I remember years after my marriage ended and I ran into the minister that had married us.  She had been a close friend of my spouse's, a godmother actually, and I hadn't seen her since things went to the dogs.  We bumped into one another and were genuinely happy to catch up.  I remember feeling excited to hear how my ex was but I didn't have any underlying feelings or wishes that they were available, pining after me, or any other such nonsense.  I was curious about someone I had loved and that was that.  I felt so good after I left that interaction because I felt like a major part of me had healed from letting go of what I had planned on being the rest of my life.  The funny thing about healing is that it is as layered as baklava.  That healing, the getting beyond wanting the relationship again, had healed.  I have never gone back.  There has been no revisiting it in a nostalgic way or with any longing.  I am, as they say, over it.

However, the other parts of a relationship, and there are many, that were affected by that ending were then able to surface.  Over the next few years they came up, one by one and sometimes more, depending on the situation!  Sometimes the universe would give me one issue to deal with, others it would drop a bus on me.  Either way, I was able to manage my way through each issue around my past that sprung up in my present.  Healing takes time, patience and timing.  Often the time that is needed is to allow yourself to actually gain some perspective.  Looking back you are able to see things from a less emotional place which often means you are not taking things so personally.

Healing is sometimes as painful as the event that elicited the pain to begin with.  When we have held onto hurt we often don't know how to let it go, it becomes a part of us.  We get used to being the damaged person and when the time comes for the healing to happen you may find that you are resistant to it.  You may find that you set yourself to repeat what you have done before just so you are able to remain in a place that is well-known to you.  Often pain allows you to hold onto whatever was lost.  Letting go of that can mean finally letting go of whatever or whoever triggered the hurt to begin with, which, amazingly enough, we don't actually always want to do.  This is the timing part.  When you are at a point where the pain no longer serves you it is easier to let it go.

Being patient with yourself is the next bit.  Healing happens when healing happens.  There is no right or wrong way.  Allow yourself to be where you are.  No one has the right to decide when you are done with whatever has happened in your life.  One day we will begin to allow each other the space to be who we are, when we are, where we are.

Love yourself as you would love a newborn baby.  Remember that you are learning.  Remember that you are growing.  Remember that you are doing the best that you can.  That is all you can do.  That is all we ever can do.

xo

a

Move.

Hi there, When you show up things happen.  Generally, when you show up, the things you want to happen, happen.  I sometimes say that I want to win the lotto, followed by, I need to start playing.  The bottom line is, things rarely just fall in your lap, you have to bring opportunity to you by putting yourself in its way.  I know that I am lucky because I work my ass off.

We all have dreams.  We all have hopes.  We all want things to work out in our favor.  What exactly do we do to make our favor, favorable?  Too often I see people make excuses for not beginning something they would like to see finished.  Complaining about a present situation but doing very little to make that something a thing of the past.  Gone are the days of "I don't know where to begin."  After all, we have Google :)  You can literally type anything on a computer and there will be some answer somewhere that may not be the right one but it may get you thinking about possibilities you hadn't thought of before.  Even if you don't google your hopes and dreams you can most definitely ask people you know what they would do… or better yet, you can sit still with yourself and pay attention.

Then you have to act.  Nothing gets done without action.  Complaining, ignoring, denying, blaming and otherwise doing nothing will leave you complaining, ignoring, denying, blaming and otherwise doing nothing.  Even if you start in a direction that you aren't sure of, at least you are doing something.  So often people allow themselves to be paralyzed by the fear of not knowing what the outcome will be (like you can read the future, really), judging a choice to act as wrong/right or because they put the onus on someone else (or something else) to do something for them.  You are the one that can change your life.  No magic pill, no job, no person, no-thing can decide for you.  It is your responsibility to see after your self, tend to your dreams, encourage your hopes and own your decisions.  Your life is a gift, a magnificent experience that deserves more than complacency and fear.

I urge you to move your body, stimulate your mind, make some choices and go for it.  Seriously.  Even if that choice is being still, own it, know that you are the one deciding to be where you are until you decide to be somewhere else.

xo

a

Gift Giving

Howdy, What is your gift?  I was talking to a friend today who told me about a culture where each person's gift is identified at a young age and celebrated throughout the tribe.  How fantastic is that???  So unlike what we are used to in our culture.  Here we are either told we are special for no reason or told to be modest and not big-headed.  Super confusing and not at all helpful in my opinion.

What if what you were great at was communicated and celebrated… for all of us?  We all have gifts to share with the world and most of us have such a hard time figuring it out for ourselves because we live in a society where only a few types of talents are held in any esteem.

Some people are great at shaking things up.  Some people are great at being inclusive and diplomatic.  Some people are great at dancing.  Others are great at singing.  Still others are fantastic at reading quickly or focusing on details.  In some way all of what we do well could be a wonderful thing for our communities if we actually cared to place people into situations where they would not only excel but be happy.  Instead we focus on a few things and we all try to excel in them, leaving our gifts to be focused on rarely, if ever.

What if we acknowledged our gifts openly and were supported?  What if you, knowing that we all have at least one gift to share with the world, looked for it in others.  If we expected the special in each of us how would that change our behavior?  How would that change how you felt about yourself if people looked for and celebrated your gifts?  Would you want to share it more?  Would you want to do the same for others?

My gift to you is this information:  There is a way to change the world to a more loving and cohesive place.  We have to, each of us, take responsibility for our thoughts, our words and our actions with the understanding that what we do matters.  How we do it matters.  When we do it matters.   When we actually realize how special we all are, all of us, we will change things so that we all benefit.

xo

a

"You should exercise unrelenting discipline over your thought patterns.  Cultivate only productive attitudes… You are the product of everything you put into your body and mind."

~I Ching no. 27

Practice Fearlessness

Howdy, What happens when we let go of our fear?  It is funny how many times we need to be reminded of who we are before we begin to listen.  We are the creator of our world.  So when we fear we create that which we want the least.  What would your world look like without fear?  It is a fantastic exercise to put into practice regularly.  Start now.

My world without fear looks like this:  I reach out more and ask for the support that would allow me to do the work that I do with more ease.  I would call up a couple of people and let them go from my world.  I would contact the people who I admire and ask for advice, mentorship or just talk.  I would only eat fruit (I am almost there).  I would let go of past pain since I hold onto it to keep me from being hurt in the same way (funny, huh?).  So, I see myself, eating better than I do, allowing assistance and loving fearlessly.

Write down what your world would look like.  You can email or respond in the comments section.  Either way, imagine it.  See you without the limitations you place on yourself.  You will overcome your fear when you are ready or when you have to.

xo

a

Body Talk

Howdy Dooodee, How connected to your body are you?  How important do you think it is to be connected to you body?  Would you know what it was saying to you if it needed help?  Have you in the past?

Whether it be disease, infection, exhaustion, allergies or any other ailment, our bodies try to speak to us on a regular basis.  The big issue isn't that we don't hear it, it is that we think it means other that what it does.  We have normalized so many things that are actually signals that something is wrong.  Do you have extra weight (you know what I mean, no muscle definition and a nice layer or not so nice layer of fat over our body), do you have watery eyes, itchy or dry skin, do you have mood swings, do you get tired during the day even if you slept well, do you have feelings of rage, does your breath smell or do you have any other body odor.  How about your sleep, your joints, your muscles.  What are some of the excuses you make for feeling less than great?  Why do you make them?

We look around us, at all of the people eating like sh*t and we say, "everyone ages, everyone feels bad, everyone blah blah blah."  Who is everyone?  Are you talking about people who actually eat as much fresh food as they can, exercise regularly, have some sort of personal development practice for their soul, and are happy?  Or are you talking about most of the people who eat and live pretty crappy?  We believe when we only drink a few times a week, eat sweets once or twice a day and move our bodies 2-3 times at most a week that we should be FINE!  "My goodness" we say, "what is the deal, I work out, I eat good food, yet my body just doesn't cooperate."  Hmm...I hear about people eating good food all the time, yet I know people aren't eating good food, it may taste good, but it isn't healthy or what your body is wanting.  We lie about what we do to ourselves, on all levels.  What about your thoughts.  Are you thinking thoughts that support your health and well-being?  Do you know what kind of thoughts are supportive your self?  

On top of it, we believe that doing any more than what we already do is "extreme."   What if our bodies actually needed to be taken care of 90% better than we take care of them to actually function normally?  What if we don't know what "normal" is because we are all sick?  What if the secret to feeling great all of the time was never touching drugs, meditating in some way and eating foods that have high vibrations?  Would you do it?  What if it brought you to a place where you were rarely tired, never achy, always energetic, positive, completely trim, super strong and generally happy?  Would you put in the work to take care of yourself or would you grab that drink that tastes so good because it tastes so good?  At some point we will have to cease blaming our taste buds for our lack of cherishing our bodies/temples.

Look, I love yummy tasting things as much as the next chick.  I love my sweets.  I find them in the form of bananas, grapes and whatever fruit I can get my hands on.  I get the feeling of letting go of what you have been doing around your health ad well-being.  However, when you know what is at stake, your health, there really isn't any excuse to not take care, all of the time.  If you don't take care, someone else could possibly be burdened to do so for you.  I believe having compassion for the world includes taking the best care of yourself that you can so that no one else will have to… not that it won't happen, but to minimize the chances is a loving thing to do.

xo

a

Got To Be Real

Howdy party people! I had a groovy Friday and completely failed to write, which is fine, but interesting because I kept thinking, "I am forgetting something important."  Ha!  So, you get TWO today!  :)  That is the way it goes sometimes.  Ya know.

I am basically a nightmare for anyone who doesn't want to be present, shown themselves, called out, held accountable, loved in a non-attached way and independent.  I absolutely reject co-dependence in favor of a healthy interdependence and friendship in all of my relationships.  You can't 'sleep' when you are my partner and for most that has proven difficult.  The same holds true, on a less intense level, for being my friend.  You are challenged to take care of yourself, show up and overall be honest, as honest as you can be.  I enjoy growth and challenge those around me to keep on sprouting.

Honesty is something I work hard at moment to moment, knowing what I feel, owning what I want, making my life what I desire it to be.  Most of us, however, lie to ourselves on just about every level.  Honesty about our feelings, desires, fears, dislikes, beliefs and abilities.  So many of us are doing what we think our ideal self would do at the cost of denying our present self.  It is awesome to see where you want to go, but you cannot get there if you don't admit to where you are in this very moment.  Now, we aren't all doing this dishonesty dance on purpose.  Many of us are clueless to the lies we tell ourselves and others.  Many times we lie to get what we think we want.

Take, for example, when you meet someone you like.  How do you lie to them?  How do you show only the parts that you believe would be appealing?  I know that it isn't conscious, always, and it most certainly is not malicious… but that doesn't mean that it is honest.  We tend to be shiny and bright to attract, which is normal, and only show the sides that need polishing when we are pretty sure of an attachment on both sides.  Our insecurity about being lovable comes out when we meet someone new.  When we put ourselves on a pedestal by showing only the glittery bits, we don't allow others to actually enjoy the parts that make you you.  The parts that are totally true too.  It ends up being difficult later on when you have to actually be all of who you are.  The truth is you are lovable, I am lovable, all the parts private and public are absolutely worth loving.

Do you feel lovable?  Do you feel that you are worth someone fitting you into their world and possibly teaming up to create one with you?  Have you asked yourself these questions?

When you look at your motivations for doing what you do, your excuses for not doing what you know how to do, and the questions about yourself and your life that have remained unanswered, you begin to get an honest view of yourself.  Facing the parts of you that you hide from others is a great place to start letting go of the dishonesty.  Looking at what you would never want anyone to see is a jumping off point for amazing growth and a deeper love for yourself.  When you embrace all of your bits everyone else can too.  That sounds like a plan to me, what about you?

xo

a