Love, Sweet Love 2.14.13

Hiya,

Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday.  I love the hearts, the colors red and pink, the candy (though I am not eating sugar at the moment), the setting aside of one day that is for love and lovers.  I love it all.  I love to decorate my house with balloons and hearts and dress up in red and play love songs.  I love love.  It is awesome.

More often than not when I tell someone that VDay is my favorite holiday, they reply in disbelief.  Let's think about this… I have heart tattoos all over my body with many visible to the person passing me by.  I spread messages of love out into the world as a practice.  I sign my name with a heart over the 'i' in Aina.  And it is a f*cking kick ass holiday.  I mean, hearts are everywhere!!!  So much of people's disdain for it is due to being single, not liking being single, being unhappy, believing that they are too cool for school  The bottom line is, no one would be angry if they got loved on for Valentine's Day.

So on this day, where love is the focus, instead of being annoyed that Hallmark makes money, spread love.  Make this the day you begin to practice being sweet as a rule.  Maybe you let someone know how you feel about them with a little Valentine.  Maybe that person is you.  Take yourself out and paint the town red.  Love on yourself if you aren't partnered and love on yourself if you are partnered.  Say sweet nothings to the one you love and enjoy the idea of love being celebrated countrywide.  Imagine if we all harnessed that energy of millions of people setting the intention to love?  What if we took this day to create a shift in the world by keeping the focus on love, what we loved, who we loved, that we love?  What would be the outcome do you think?

Now, to begin my day with love...

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

xo

a

What's Good??? 2.12.13

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.  

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:

Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea.

Juice Fasts.

Text Messages.

Growing Up.

Remaining Curious.  

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:

Take time to love one another.  Take time to care for yourself.  Take the time to learn from your life.  Slow down, walk, breathe, love.  Life is so wonderful and filled with such joy.  Most of the time we are concerned with what could, should or would happen if something imaginary is done.  We rarely sit with our breath enjoying the moment we are in.  So many people judge where they are as not good enough so being present is misery for them.  They run away, look toward what they would like to have, where they would like to be, who they would love to become as an escape.  These are the sins in life.  Being anywhere else than where you are.

Sure you can plan for future events.  Yes you can reminisce over days long gone.  It is the length of the visit that can be your downfall.  Spending too much time under water will harm you, you must come up to breathe.  Remaining on the surface is key.  You are here, this is what is real in the moment…this moment.  What you can control, manipulate, be in charge of is all in front of you.  The past is over, though you try to rewrite it daily… and the future is just a moment ahead.  Thinking about either too long creates discord and certainly won't bring you to the place where your moments are filled with joy.

Next time you worry, take a deep breath, focus on it.  Follow it into your body and follow it out.  Repeat that a few more times, truly focusing on where your breath goes.  What is it doing inside.  Imagine all of the reactions that are going on to keep you alive in this moment.  Breath, what a lovely thing.  Once you have done this see how your approach to your worry changes, shifts.  What you have is a gift.  The gift of each and every second of each and every day you are here.

xo

a

To Be 2.11.13

Hello!

Not everyone is supposed to solve the world's problems.  Not everyone is supposed to be a healer at this moment, not everyone is supposed to see the Virgin Mary in a pancake they make this morning.  Some are supposed to struggle, be confused, wander aimlessly and believe in Satan.  Regardless of where anyone is, that is where they are supposed to be.  If you haven't found the guide to the universe yet it might be because you are looking in the wrong place.  You are the universe.  Look to yourself.  Trust in your process, your journey.  When you figure things out in your life you inevitably move everyone else along.  Trust that your working on you is as important as Tony Robbins holding a talk for thousands.  We are all a part of the whole and the whole at the same time.

We tend to have a hierarchy of who is or what is important.  So many people devalue the journey to self as not enough… as not being a part of helping the world  You are the world.  Within you is the universe.  You cannot heal the world if you are leaking love, wounds, confusion and fear.  Your goals are misguided if you don't use yourself as the reflection of the world.  Where are you hurting, where are you fearing?  You don't have to be the one who brings gifts to others in the same way Gandhi did.  Your work on you is big enough to create changes that ripple out in huge ways.  No act of love is too small to create a huge change, especially when you spend your time putting love into you, into your heart, your mind, your words, your actions.  When you walk around and are able to just raise the energy level of a room just by being, words are unnecessary, preaching isn't needed, energy is universal.  When you put the energy into you that you want others to feel, they feel it.  We are connected and there is no getting around that.  You cannot do to yourself without doing to others.

So often when we discover a new piece of information we want to give it to others.  This is a beautiful thing.  I know that I have been there.  I learn something new, something profound and feel the urge to spread the word.  Sometimes it is ok to let the information actually sink in.  To incorporate it into the fabric of your life is to share it in a way that is much more profound and effective than telling others what you "know."  Living your truth is a much more powerful tool than telling it.  Besides how do you know if you don't give it a shot.  How can you go from point A to point Z without visiting a few letters in-between?  We are a society of fast food, quick fixes, and drive through enlightenment.  We, are often missing the point.  We are often spinning in circles hating where we are.  The point is so simple and so anti-climactic for many that even when they are told it they would rather find a more seemingly complicated path.  Honestly, being is not easy.  Which is why so many people are doing… doing things to get somewhere, doing things to know things, saying things to hear things… instead of just being.  Most of us have no clue how to be.  We seek out ways to get away from ourselves with drugs, food, or other distractions.  We find projects to take up our time (things or people).  We do any and everything we can to get away from the real lesson and that is to be, who we are, where we are no matter what.

Try being today.  Try being where you are and loving every moment of it as if you knew you were exactly where you were supposed to be, doing the GREAT work.  See what comes.

xo

a

Preparing or Procrastinating 2.9.13

Hello Love,

I was told recently that I was procrastinating.  Now, this isn't something that was shocking, as I am a wonderful procrastinator.  However, I felt that maybe the person who was reading me was a little harsh or just didn't know what they were talking about.  It wasn't like I was sitting around watching paint dry.  I was and am working in so many ways.  I teach, write, connect, counsel, train.  I mean, if that is procrastination then what is hard work???  Since that very direct conversation I have been told by three other people that I am ready to live my dreams… not as direct as the first conversation, but clear to me.

The first conversation was obvious, no deciphering needed.  The next few nudges were subtle-ish:  First a client telling me how she and her partner are not going to put off moving abroad and starting their retreat business like they had planned.  They were going to open up a restaurant and establish themselves so they could then open up what they really wanted in South America.  Now they are just moving, getting it done without the prefunk business.  Second nudge: a friend telling me to listen to a podcast and then finally saying, you could do this and people would listen…  This reminded me that I have had this on my "to do" for 3 years.  Hmm, procrastination anyone???  Third:   Another friend wanting to get my website and anything else I needed around that done for me.  Fourth:  a request to be the fitness expert for a TV spot.

So.  Have I been procrastinating?  Am I procrastinating???  Possibly maybe and sometimes yes.  I think when you don't go after what you know you want you are procrastinating.  You can tell yourself you are preparing, you are readying yourself.  You can say you don't know how to begin.  I have said all of that and more.  However, I know that movement attracts movement.  Movement in the direction of my dreams will attract movement in the direction of my dreams.  Though I am moving in that direction, there may be a more direct approach (to put it directly ;).  Sometimes we feel like we need filler to go where we are going, certifications, recommendations, validations from this person or that.  Those are all well and good… I mean you cannot practice law without passing the bar.  However, you can push yourself as far as you can with what you have and not worry about what you do not.  If you aren't challenging yourself you aren't growing yourself.  Growth is life and I love to live.

Where, in your life, are you being nudged?  Pushed?   Beaten over the head?  What do you feel like your life could be?  What are you doing to get it there?  Seriously?  What is "holding you back" and what are you waiting for exactly?  I say jump.  Go all in!  Life is short and worthy of being enjoyed at all costs!

Risk is freedom.

xo

a

Being You Is Your Gift 2.8.13

Howdy,

I can be blunt.  I am blunt.  I am not from Seattle after all.  I like to say what I mean and totally mean what I say.  I fear that I am getting soft on those fronts the longer I live in the Pacific Northwest.  But I must've needed to get a little softer.  I feel like it is all for a reason.  I love it here.  I still tend to rattle people with my ability to just get to the point, but it saves time and I like saving time.  I also like wasting time, and watching TV and reading and walking and cycling and just being on my own or with others.  I am who I am.

There were times when I wanted to try to be more this or more that.  Those attempts lasted about 5 minutes each.  I realized quickly that I am best as Aina Ifetayo Oyewole-Williams as she is in this moment.  Doing anything else is simply wasting the gift that she is.  So both times I tried being someone I wasn't I gave up.  Quitting was the best solution in those situations.  I know that I am blessed.  I know that feeling like being myself is the bestest idea in the entire world is not how many of us feels.  Many of us feel like we aren't enough, worthy, exciting, fun or attractive inside and out.  I know that this is a struggle for the masses.  Searching for ourselves, never happy with what we find… feeling like there is something missing.

Nothing is missing per se.  Maybe there is a shift that needs shifting, a viewpoint that needs viewing, a breath that needs breathing.  Nothing is missing.  We are all parts of the whole, complete in ourselves and each other.  When we approach our lives as broken or needing fixing we totally degrade the perfection that we are.  The gifts that we have to share become burdensome or unloved because they aren't embodied in the person we want to be.  So they get ignored, taken for granted or just not seen as gifts.  The greatest thing you can do in this life is accept who you are.  Even if it is someone who is trying to figure out who they are, or someone who doesn't want to know who they are.  There is a secret to acceptance that I will tell you now.

When you become fully yourself the rest is easy.  When you accept who you are and give up trying to be more, less, different you experience joy more often than not.  You are not full of angst, longing, desperation, sadness.  You are driven from a different source.  You want more in a way that isn't about accumulating, it is about creating, about showing the beauty that you have been brought here to give, experience and enjoy.  Be yourself, it is what you are best at… and you look really good doing it.  Seriously.

xo

a

Open To Love 2.7.13

Hello!

Vulnerability.  The definition is being susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.  With a definition like that why in the world would anyone want to be vulnerable?  It is no wonder why we are all guarding ourselves, guarding our hearts.

I remember when I was most open to attack, exposed.  It was about 11 years ago and I had been dumped after less than a year of marriage.  There was nothing that I could do to try to pull it together.  I was a mess.  I felt like my world had crumbled.  I remember crying any and everywhere.  I couldn't pretend that I had my shit together.  I didn't.  I was devastated.  I remember feeling this deep sense of strength in owning where I was.  In my moments of absolute breakdown I felt whole.  I felt authentic.  I felt real.  I wasn't censoring myself.

I feel this way more often than not at this point in my life… whether I am teaching classes, coaching clients or speaking to large groups or simply hanging with friends.  I lose myself and just am.  I know that when I feel that connected to soul, spirit, the whole, I have put away ego and caring what judgments are out there waiting to be placed on me.  Fear is gone and all is filled with love.  There is nothing more freeing than being embraced inside and out by love.  It is overwhelmingly calming and exhilarating all at once.

There are still areas where I hold back, where I don't let go.  In these moments I work on pushing through the fear or being susceptible to attack by realizing that when you are open you are open to love, not just harm.  The fact that the definition is so focused on the negative keeps all of us a bit paralyzed around letting go and being open.  The very word itself has attack as it's definition.  Why would you want to be vulnerable…?  Isn't that setting yourself up to be hurt.  Well, I want you to think about it like this. Being open means you are receptive.  You can choose what sticks, you can choose what hurts, you can choose to believe that everything is really benefitting you… and not harming.  You can choose to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Recently I wrote about some of my fears around vulnerability.  Here is an excerpt:  "I am working on risking, being absolutely open with all of my feelings.  I am getting back to being vulnerable, strong. I am reclaiming whatever life and love I gave away when I let fear of rejection matter more and paralyze me.  I honestly am tired of feeling fear around caring.  It's awful.  Caring is so wonderful. Love is so magical and healing.  So, you will get letters from me until I am brave enough to speak my heart without feeling like I will be judged, made fun of, rejected, laughed at or told that I am wrong, too girly, weak, or alone in my feelings.  These are my fears.  I know that this is a part of my healing and a part of me getting to the place where I am in front of that crowd, teaching.  Exposed. Strong.  Vulnerable. Grounded.  Ready."

What are your fears around vulnerability?  What scares you?

xo

a

What's Good??? 2.5.13

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.  

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:

FlyWheel.

Green Drinks made by Janelle.

Early Mornings.

Laughter.

Risk.  

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 love growth.  I love it.  I also know that it comes with tears, resistance, fear and discomfort… but it comes and when you are open there are less of those things and more of the joy, revelations and breakthroughs associated with change.  So often change is thrust upon us without warning.  We don't always seem to be at the helm when our lives are tossed around and change is the result.

What we are in charge of is how we choose to handle what we are given.  When we are shown our lives moving in a direction we hadn't intended them to go we can choose to put the work in to resist the movement that is seemingly inevitable or breathe into the possibility of it being what we need.  The choice is personal and there is no right or wrong answer.  It is your life and within it your free will.  Only you will know what you need to do.  You may think you don't know in some instances, but even that is a knowing on one level… knowing that you need to make no decisions and be still.  Or make no decisions and push for answers, if you so choose.  All is with purpose just not always with awareness.

When you become aware of the fact that you choose how you receive, see, and give everything, you will rarely be confused.  You will rarely be unsure.  You will rarely be knocked down.  You will feel very much like the conductor or at least the first violin in your life.  Isn't that cool?

xo

a     

There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe... The soul of the world is nourished by people's happiness.

- Paulo Coelho

Expect The Unexpected 2.5.13

Hello!!!

Sometimes things come to you in packages that don't match your wish list.  You may have dreamed and wished and hoped and prayed and meditated on your present for days, weeks, months, even years.  You may have designed, in your mind, how it would come to you, what it would look like exactly and the wrapping it would be in.  You might have become satisfied, almost, with the dream of your present.  You might have been ok with the wishing and in some way the wishing became a placeholder… or not.

Then you receive something.  It doesn't look like your present, not the one that you asked for… It didn't come in the wrapping you had asked for and gone over detail by detail in your head.  It may not even make you feel the way you thought you would.  You might feel absolutely opposite of what you thought you would feel, or you might feel deeper about it than you would have imagined, could have imagined.   Basically you couldn't have planned this, this was something else… this was the doing of the universe.

I am sure you have received something you were expecting but not in the way it was delivered?  Of course you have.  Maybe it was a job, a pet, a lover, a friend.  Maybe it was a change in your life that came in the form of everything you owned being burned in a fire.  Way to start over wouldn't you say?  Maybe it was getting an opportunity to spend months on end alone and becoming the best friend you were looking for.  You just cannot predict how your gifts, your wishes will come true.  Just know that they do.  They certainly do.  We just need be aware of the fact that we cannot dictate how we get something but we can be ready for it to come.  Open, receptive, accepting, loving.  We can be curious.  If nothing else, be curious.

So, the next time you ask for the same thing again or something new, remember you may be ignoring it presence in your life now.  Your gifts are all around you, everyone you meet is something you have asked to come to you in some way or another.  Take none of it for granted, look beyond the packaging, beyond your expectations to see the true nature of the universe being a creative universe wanting to give to you without reservation, just with its own twist on things, its own spin.  Life is fun when you let go.  Life is exciting when you stop trying to always 'know.'  Trust and openness are the lanes in the land of happiness.  Curiosity is the drive towards it.  Enjoy the unexpected.

xo

a

Change Is Growth Is Life 2.3.13

Hiya,

I find that my writing and my life flows effortlessly when I am authentic.  When I write what I need to regardless of what someone might feel when reading my words the writing is more like exhaling.  Anytime I attempt to write for a specific audience my voice is muffled.  Then there is the fact that I don't really know what you would think or are thinking at this very moment, yet I have, in my middle of the night/morning writing sessions, tried to gauge my audience before expressing my thoughts.

What a waste.

We all do it though.  We all wonder how we will be received.  We all want to be accepted and loved and to reach those we are reaching out to.  What we, including myself, forget is that those who we reach were reaching towards us as well.  Those who need you are who you need.  It is a completion or meeting not a strong-arming situation.  When you say what you mean, do what matters, love without reservation, those who need to hear your words, receive what you offer or are open to your free loving self are there, ready.

Those who need to hear me are listening.  I need do no more than speak or write.

The only thing you could possibly do against creation or yourself would be to stop doing what matters to you.  The only thing you could do that would dam up your growth is to stop risking, living, doing things regardless of what someone might think.  Telling ourselves stories about what we could happen or did happen or will happen, in order to keep us where we have been, is like pushing someone down, underwater.  It is death.  It is not breathing.  Movement is the natural state of things.  With movement sometimes there is friction (and sometimes that is great) and sometimes there is flow.  Either way there is change and change is growth and growth is life and life is to be lived.

So speak, dance, write, love, be any and everything you desire.  Don't worry about whether or not I love it, like it or want it.  If it is in my world it is for me and I will take it how I need to.  You just keep on keepin' on.

xo

a

I Will Listen Until I Hear 2.1.13

Howdy,

How long do you stick it out?  This is a question that I am posed often and pose myself.  There is no right or wrong answer.  The real question is what are you getting out of the situation you are continuing to experience?  Why are you motivated to stay and not leave?  We all know someone who is in a situation we feel should be elsewhere.  We all have seen someone stay in a relationship or a job that seemingly wasn't what they needed or wanted yet they couldn't leave it.  For those in the situation and those observing, this dance is sometimes infuriating and at other times simply dumbfounding… but there is always a reason.

We don't do anything we get nothing out of.  We are all self-serving by nature.  It isn't a judgment at all, for being self-serving is natural, like breathing.  Nature has built us so that we need each other in ways that won't allow us to discard one another.  We all need to feel loved by others, we need touch, we need companionship on various levels, we need to connect.  Our figuring out ways to serve ourselves serves others and vice versa.  It is a wonderful intertwining of things that is harmonious and lovely, in my opinion.  When we are in a relationship that seems to be unhealthy or unsatisfying and we don't have to gumption or impetus to leave it is worth looking at a bit deeper.  We all fulfill a purpose.  The universe is like a bunch of wheels and cogs and we all serve an integral part in making things go.  Including the relationships between and amongst everyone.  They are like bigger cogs in bigger wheels.  We may not be able, from the outside to figure out why someone would stay in a situation that seems like a lose, lose… but know that when they stay, they are staying on purpose.

When we blame this or that on why we lose sight of the power of the individual's soul choice.  We usually bring up someone not getting enough love as a child, someone being hurt deeply by another so now they cannot open up, etc., etc., etc.  Now, I am not saying that these things don't play a role in the choices that we make.  But if it were A+B=C we would see everyone who was neglected as a child having difficulty trusting.  It just isn't the case.  There is much more to all of us than our past… there are a lot more reasons we do what we do than it being learned from our parents.  Where we are is a choice, whether it is conscious or not.  Somewhere we decide to do a, b or c.  I know that this is not fun to think about because we have labeled certain things as good and others as bad.  And, if you have ever had "bad" things happen you might be questioning why anyone would ask for that or choose that.  I appreciate taking things literally, really… but this isn't about choosing to be raped, or choosing to be neglected… it might, instead, be choosing to overcome something that is life altering.  Or, it could be choosing to know what it is like to feel broken in order to connect with others.  If you are to believe you have a soul then you may begin to see how that soul has plans for you that you aren't completely cognizant of.

When we see people choosing to stay in anything that seems to be "wrong"  we are ignoring that they are there for a reason.  The reason may be to accept the help of others, in order to get out of the "bad situation" this may the only way to do it.  So I am not going to say to you, "no, don't help those in situations that you deem shitty."  I am saying, when you do help, don't judge.  Know that they are where they need to be, you are where you need to be and the wheels are turning at the exact right speed, giving you and everyone else the exact message we all need.  When we have received the message loud and clear the wheels shift…

Next message…

xo

a

What's Good??? 1.29.13

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.  

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:

Cleansing.

My new phone.

My home.

Clarity.

Touch.  

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 are pretty crazy… at least I am.  I can follow a thought right down the rabbit hole and back up again several times in under a minute.  I am quick.  Left to my own crazy self I can go a bit off of the deep end if I let myself.  The trick is to use those moments to practice the unrelenting discipline that is needed to maintain as clear a view as we can have looking out through the filter that is us, our history, our perspective.

We certainly create our own world.  When we worry or when we fear, what we are concerned with is as real as anything else. We bring that thing into existence.  When we focus on something that something gets larger.  There is little the outside world can do to compete with a well-trained mind and a focused emotional state.  When you choose joy, love, compassion and when you see the awesome abundance that exists in your life right now, everything shifts.  Appreciation, gratitude, thankfulness are powerful feelings.  Overwhelming feelings that can create a tsunami of positive change if we let it.

Make a consistent effort to send out thanks to the universe… to appreciate all that you have had and have, not only on Tuesdays when reading What's Good??? but everyday… see what comes.

xo

a     

There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe... The soul of the world is nourished by people's happiness.

- Paulo Coelho

Multifaceted 1.28.13

Howdy,

Different aspects of ourselves show up based on who we are around and how we respond to them.  It is imperative to be around a number of people throughout our lives in order to see all the facets of our selves.  It is right when you think you know yourself when someone shows up and brings out a side that you just didn't think existed.  A side you may have judged in others or thought you were above.  A side that you thought you had buried.  A side of you.

When we are faced with ourselves through an interaction with another we have any number of ways of dealing with it.  We can give that person credit for bringing something out that no one had, we can blame them for making us feel this way or that, or we can look at it all as information about our present state and decide what, if any, work needed to be done around said behavior.  Most of us opt for blame.  We desperately want someone else to be the reason for our behavior, our feelings, our issues, especially when any of those things are unpleasant.  We have a really hard time being responsible for our feelings, reactions, thoughts, emotions.  We behave like spoiled brats most of the time and it is no wonder we are always at war, unsatisfied, and unappreciative.

Just as you are triggered by others, you are also a trigger.  You may be in someone's world simply to piss them off.  It is true.  You might be a reminder of something that someone needs in order to move through the issue that it wasn't safe to move through when they were younger… phew, that was a long sentence!  At any rate, you are on both sides, being blamed and blaming.  Being the reason and looking for one.  Just as it is important to take ownership of your shit, you will also have to release ownership of other's shit.  Basically, you will have to relinquish your superhero status.  You are not the cause, my sweet.  You are only a tool.  :)

Once you let go of being responsible for how someone feels you can be fully responsible for how YOU feel.  You can then choose to bring the energy that you want reflected back.  You can choose to trigger the joy or the pain in yourself and others.  You can make the world you live in awesome or not so much.  Though we aren't responsible for others feelings, we can decide what we would like the energy of our world to be and send it out and send it in.

xo

a

Second Movement 1.27.13

Howdy,

When you are ready you will get it done.  Over the years working with students I have had to reiterate this to them time and time again.  We almost always want a quick fix, an immediate solution.  Very few of us want to sit in our shit and sort through all of the bits and pieces that are found in it.  It is hard, stinky work… it doesn't feel good.  But this is a process by which we move to wherever it is we are going.  You sometimes have to wait… for the right time.

The word 'waiting' might give the wrong impression… the work that is being done while you aren't making the changes you so desire is anything but waiting.  It might feel like limbo, you might feel like you are repeating and repeating and repeating.  But it is like going over lines that you must memorize.  You may need to read and reread and reread again to find the nuance, the meaning behind a meaning, a word that you didn't catch, a tone that comes up only after you are familiar with the script… a pattern, a spark…. you will have to repeat until you actually get it.  I mean GET IT… and when you do you will know.  You will move on.  You will be ready for what is next.

All moments are learning moments… and whether you think you are or are not, you are getting something from them.  You have had this happen, the moment you know you are done with something and ready for something else.  You cannot explain why it happened at the moment it did and not the moments before.  You just know you are ready.  It is a glorious feeling that is the same way for everything in your world.  Whatever it is that you are asking for, whatever it is that you want you deserve.  You have the same right to joy as everyone else on the planet.  No one is more entitled than another.  You have the same right to change what you do not want as well.  All of this brings about joy.  However, when you aren't getting either, what you want to come into your world or what you don't want to leave it… it is because you are getting something that you need and you aren't ready yet.  

When the student is ready the teacher will come.  When the change is needed the change is inevitable.  When you are ready to stop doing the same things that you have been doing you will find a way to make it so.  There will be no question, no if, ands or buts about it.  The help may fall in your lap, you may stop at nothing to seek help out, or it may be spontaneous… either way there is no rushing these things.  Get out of each moment, each opportunity, each lesson all that you can.  Your life is a symphony.  It is just that each instrument is being heard out of context at times.  You have to step back and be still and listen, to hear the grand orchestra play the work of your life.

xo

a

Now We Are Here 1.24.13

Hello there,

I do my best living in the present.  That does not mean that something happening in my life that may be exciting and mind-blowing (or potentially so) doesn't get me dreaming of the future.  I sometimes look back on an interaction with someone who I may be interested in or in a romantic relationship with to work on figuring something out between us.  Often this is when communication hasn't been direct and is in need of clearer explanation.  Any time I do either the potential of me being dissatisfied with my present moment increases.  Being taken out of the place where I am most certain, which is the NOW is a recipe for less joy than more so I work on nipping that in the bud.

We are a culture that promotes going back over the past, over and over and over.  As a life coach I work on helping others move forward in whatever way they need to.  One of those ways is to be more present with an understanding of what was being non-existent (though important) and what will be being imaginary.  We can't live in fairy tale land.  What we can do is set goals based on our desires and spend each moment holding that goal in our hearts and in our heads so that our future (the present moment) becomes more and more what we have dreamed.  The past has its place, this is true, but it needs to stay there and be used accordingly instead of being the guide and mentor (not even well-meaning mentor) that it usually is for most.

It isn't easy, now living.  It is harder than doing 500 push ups.  At least 500 push-ups have an end.  Staying present is ongoing until your flame is extinguished.  In order to stay in the moment, living from a place of openness and calm, you have to be diligent and unrelenting, especially as you reprogram yourself to let the voices get quieter and quieter.  We hear a voice talking about what he or she said before and if they really meant it, then we go on with another voice and discuss how it is obvious that they don't care or do care or want to care or whatever… and then maybe you have another voice that says that everyone is making a big fuss out of nothing (it is crowded in that head of yours).  What we normally do is stop everything and become rapt with attention to the voices.  We may run a red light listening so intently to the arguers in our head.  We may forget what we went into the kitchen in the first place… we may forget a meeting because we are so preoccupied with the drama in our head.

Getting off of that merry-go-round is challenging at best, damn near impossible seemingly.  It can be done.  It must be done.  Even when living in a war-torn country you have moments of peace.  You have moments of quiet.  You have moments where there is no one yelling at you, torturing you, arguing with you.  Living in your own war-torn country that is your head is a never-ending groundhog day from hell.  It doesn't have room for the present moment, so you are stuck on repeat.  Repeating whatever the feelings were, whatever the issues were, over and over.  All the while you miss the moments where nothing is happening, nothing awful or stressful… and most moments, the vast majority are absolutely lovely.  You decide:  peace, calm, love vs.  panic, worry and fear.  These are your choices when you are living in the now or living in the not now.

What will you choose?  How often?

xo

a

What's Good??? 1.22.13

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.  

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:

Beets.

Contracts with myself.

Sleep.

My animals.

Connection.  

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:

All resistance is fear.  We buck against things because we aren't comfortable, we are nervous, we are fearful.  Maybe we feel a loss of power and control.  That will scare the bejesus out of most… losing power.  What if we remembered who we are?  What if we totally understood that nothing has power over us that we don't allow in?  What if resistance was replaced with curiosity?

Imagine a world where we asked questions instead of shot each other down?  Imagine a place where people weren't afraid to say what they were thinking because they were curious about the response and not fearful.  What if those listening were curious about the person speaking, about how they came to think in the way they did.  So often we forget how it is totally socially acceptable to be polite, to say "have a nice day."  Yet, when the idea to create another social norm, this time around being open and accepting, we tend to feel like it wouldn't be possible.  Well, with that attitude change will certainly be uphill.

The best way to begin the shift is within yourself.  Where can you be curious instead of judgmental?  Where can you give someone the floor instead of showing them the door?  How can you bring less resistance into the world?

xo

a

A Contract For Change 1.22.13

Hello there,

Sometimes you have to put your foot down.  When your life seems to be spiraling.  Circling back to what it has done, to what you have done.  When you are exhausted by the same story being repeated and repeated and repeated again.  Sometimes you just have to get off of the merry-go-round.  Have you felt this way before?  Have you wanted to stop behaviors that aren't serving you?  Have you wanted to open yourself up to change?

Sometimes you have to make agreements with people, contracts they call them.  You make a contract or a pact to end certain things either now or in the future (or start them, depending).  The big issue behind actually fulfilling these pacts is that you have to mean what you are saying.  You have to feel it.  Feeling is the gateway to change.  If you are conflicted your change is going to be pretty difficult to carry out.  If you have feelings of truly wanting change, no matter how hard it will be (because it will be hard), then you are in a much better place to be successful.  When you decide to do things differently, as I have mentioned before, you are going to be uncomfortable.  You are going to have to say goodbye to some and hello to others.  You will experience pain.  You will experience loneliness.  You will experience disorientation.  You will certainly experience regret and the need to go back to status quo.  That pull towards status quo will be so strong that you will feel like you have to physically restrain yourself and your thoughts.

Some of the pacts/contracts I have made with myself are:

Being a superhero:  I am many, many things.  A superhero I am not.  I am human and experience life.  How I do it may not be the same as many but I want to maintain my humanity.  I am in this body, in this life to experience this being human thing… and I plan on doing that until this body is done.

Being on my own:  I have, since I was 15, taken care of myself.  My mother stopped parenting me then and I felt ready to go and start my life.  At that point I have felt like I was in this by myself.  I have, over the years through relationship with friends and lovers learned how to create a family, a team.  There are still some vestiges of that 15-year-old around but I refuse to go it alone when we just don't have to.

Not speaking my mind when my heart is on the line:  I have always been someone who would confront an issue… unless I was afraid that I would be hurt (specifically in romantic relationships).  It has been a long time since this has been the case but that doesn't mean it won't creep up if I am not diligent.  It is manipulative to communicate indirectly when you are hurting or want something from someone else.  When you put the energy out there without directly communicating what is happening for you, you do everyone a disservice.  So way back when I vowed to, even if I am going to be hurt by what transpires, to risk, to give myself and the other person the benefit of the doubt.  To not imagine the outcome that hasn't happened yet.  But to speak from love and authenticity.

When I have meant what I said with all of the feeling behind it, changes happened immediately.  It began to be easier to speak, people responded kindly, I found those who could see me as a person first and also see divinity in me.  One doesn't cancel out the other.  It was magical.  When you decide, truly decide, that your way isn't your way anymore things happen.  Change becomes the only option.  You may be pushed in ways you never dreamed of, you may not even be that happy about it.  But you will be moved.  You will be pushed.  A change will come.

Time to shed that skin that you allowed to hold you in.  What pacts will you make with yourself?

xo

a

Nothing Stays The Same 1.20.13

Howdy,

Change is inevitable.  It is all you can truly count on.  To quote one of my favorite songs, "there are not many thing in life you can be sure of, except rain comes from the clouds, sun lights up the sky, and hummingbirds do fly."  However much we want things to be different we almost always buck when the change we were seeking seeks us out.  It is hard to go with the flow of change because often it isn't how we had hoped it'd be.

When I was married I was unhappy.  I was unhappy because I wanted things I wasn't getting.  For one, I wanted a partner.  Someone who would take their share of the responsibilities of the home.  Aub being a doctor meant long hours away.  So fair share was relative.  I did my job of nagging about this or that like a good wife does… when in actuality I was ignoring what needed to be dealt with.  I had felt a lack of commitment forever, since before we walked down the aisle.  I was insecure and unsteady and instead of confronting those issues I nagged.  I worried about household duties.  I wanted the relationship to change.  I wanted the relationship to be more solid and I wanted to feel safe.

The change I was seeking came, though not in the way I had dreamed.  Once I began to own my real feelings and confront the lack of commitment I was perceiving there was nothing left for Aub to do but leave.  We weren't in the relationship together.  I was alone.  I had felt that correctly.  Once it was over, after a long time I began to feel safe.  I wouldn't have if I hadn't dealt with what was actually happening for me.  I had gotten the change I had been seeking, but not in the way I had planned.  See we were supposed to end up happily ever after, right?  Well, I wanted to be safe and have a solid footing on the relationship and be happy…  Well, I was safe, the relationship was clearly defined as being over and I found my happiness (many times over) in the arms and minds of others.  Don't get me wrong, I waited for almost 6 months before I embraced being left.  I was holding on for dear life to something that I didn't even want… because change is just that scary.

When you ask for something to come into your life… something different, new, a change to happen, understand that it may not look like the fairytale you envisioned.  The universe has a funny way of unfolding that is nearly impossible to foresee.  Just know that when you are open to things being different the differences may just knock you off of your feet.  When you are looking for the motivation to move ahead, you may just get a swift kick in the ass.  Change is challenging.  Change is scary.  Change is what we all do daily whether we are aware or not.  Embracing it as best we can, with as much grace as we can muster, may just be the way to move through it with a little more ease.

"Everything must change, nothing stays the same, everyone must change, no one stays the same."

Where are you resisting growth?  What scares you about the challenge of change?  How can you embrace what is and let go of what could be (but isn't)?

xo

a

True Story 1.18.13

Hey,

We make excuses for our way of life all of the time.  We are amazing excuse makers.  I hate insects.  They scare me.  Why?  Who the hell knows.  I mean honestly, save for the assholes who bite me, I have nothing to be concerned about when it comes to insects.  But forever I have justified my killing them if they landed on me or made their way into my home.  I have justified harming a little being because I was afraid.  It probably was too.

There are horrible people in the world.  They do horrible things.  They deserve the most horrible thing you could do to them that isn't torture, cause that is illegal and our country doesn't do those things (hah).  So let's kill them.  I have always known that killing someone stopped everyone else from killing.  It is the best idea that has ever existed.  I mean, an eye for an eye is how you teach compassion right?  What if we gave the person who had done something against humanity their humanity back?  What if we put love all over and through and around them?  Have we ever, ever tried to harm less in the face of fear?  Have we ever tried to bring love to someone who is obviously lacking it?  No we haven't.  Instead we make excuses as to why we have to kill this or that person.  They aren't able to be rehabilitated, they are evil, they are an abomination.  We are a warring country.  This country was built on the blood of so many of my ancestors, and yours.  Pain and suffering is a part of our heritage and we just make excuses and glorify it.  What if we looked at it, our history, for what it is.  War, theft, abuse, rape, misuse, lies, deceit.  Instead we talk about freedom and say that immigrants don't belong??? What the fuck?

We eat animals.  Yep.  Wait for it.  We don't just hunt because we are hungry.  It is not about necessity.  We have animals that are bred just to be killed.  Just to have babies to kill them.  We farm souls.  We farm beings.  We don't care that they are horrified.  We don't care that they would get so far away if they could.  We don't care that they don't want to die.  We like the way they taste.  We laugh.  We think it is funny.  We create lies about nutrition so we feel like we HAVE to eat them.  How much pain does it take before you feel something?

Why so many excuses?  Why so many lies?  Where is our compassion?  Where is our love?  Sometimes it all gets to be so much that I feel overwhelmed with sadness and then I remember:  I need to have compassion.  We are learning.  We are growing.  We turn our heads away from the truth when it hurts.  We hate to hear anything that  might make us have to take responsibility for what we are actually doing.  I refuse to turn away anymore.  I refuse to let you turn away if you are open to loving and hearing me… I won't let it or anyone else go.  I am here to speak up, to stand up, to give love unconditionally.

Until we stop making excuses, until we stop denying how we are treating each other the pain will continue to grow.  You matter.  Everything you do, no matter how small matters.  Stop the excuses and make a difference.

xo

a

Fear Not 1.16.13

Howdy!

"Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain."  ~Mark Twain

Fear is so fucking annoying.  Excuse my french.  It paralyzes some and pushes others into re-action like their asses were on fire.  Look, I feel like cursing so I am gonna litter this blog with words that emphasize what it is I am trying to convey.  Deal with it.  Fear will eat you for dinner and then look around for seconds.  Fear will take an otherwise lovely moment and jack it up.  Fear will make you think that something isn't what it is.  Fear takes away all joy, all contentment, all ease... fear is the opposite of love.

What are you afraid of?  For most of us it is that we aren't lovable.  Seriously.  Admit it.  You are afraid that something is wrong with you.  That you are not worth someone else risking everything for, loving with their whole being and holding onto you no matter what.  Do you believe you are worth unconditional love?  Be honest.  Do you have shame or judgement around your choices, your past, your thoughts, your desires?  If you are reading this and saying, "hah, I am soooo confident that I am the cat's meow I just let my cat do all the talking", you are full of it.  We all have our issues around feeling worthy.  Some just way less than others.  Maybe you feel that someone should love you because you are the bomb diggity.  Maybe that isn't where you feel less than.  Maybe you feel less than in your area of occupation, your fitness, your financial prowess.  Maybe you don't feel deserving of having what you need or experiencing what you want.  Your fear could be that of success or of leaving a zone that has been comfortable most of your life.  Face it folks, fear has some part of you in a choke hold.

So, what the hell do we do about it?  You know, the truth of the matter is fear creeps up when you least expect it.  It is insidious and masks itself as 'normalcy."  Fear becomes our everyday way of being.  So you are going to need to figure out where you have shame, judgment, limitations… you are going to need to a be a love sleuth.  Find out where love resides and is in charge within you.  Do you approach your successes with love or shame?  Do you feel deserving of things or do you try to downplay your success.  Do you self-sabotage????  (It's a trick question, we all do, just an FYI).  Once you have done a thorough assessment (with or without the help of a coach or friend or what-have-you) of the areas where love is in charge and where fear has a foot-hold, you can begin to steadily push fear out-of-the-way and let love rule.  It is a sometimes slow process but it is worth it… because you are.

"He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

xo

a