Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Desert Calls

One of my favorite "hangouts on planet Earth is in Moab. There's something deeply mysterious, healing, sacred and special about that area. Maybe it is the fact that it's so unique and unlike any place that I've been to. It is HOT and therefore wild, untamed and not about to be controlled. It has a unique vibration that I can't even put into words. It's something to feel and embrace and once it's energies permeate your being, they embed themselves and there's no getting free. 

I make a pilgrimage to the arches whenever I am called.  It's a LONG drive but more than worth it. Earlier this month, I was guided to the words of one of my favorite books. Edward Abbey describes the area with great eloquence. His words are like poetry and I find myself longing to return as I read them. 

The kids will return to school very soon, so this week we will take a journey together to celebrate the culmination of summer and spend some much needed time together. I invited their input for the adventure. Where would you guys like to go? What do you want to do?" The answer, without any of my influence, was "Moab". 

I was silently turning kart-wheels! "Really?" I asked, "We've been there before. I thought maybe you guys would want to go explore a new place." "Nope, that's where we want to go."

I find this delightfully interesting. Was it the desert that called them, just like it's been whispering to me?  Who is doing the planning here anyway? Are we the ones that choose the adventure? Or, does the location and adventure choose us? 

Do you have a favorite place to return to? If so, please share in the comment section below. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Here's what I did with the birthday money~ Thanks, Mom and Dad!

I've always loved nature and being outside, even when it is blazing hot. I appreciate AC, and when I'm around home base, I will turn it on if the house feels like an oven. I'm just as likely to turn it off and open the windows though. The only draw back are the incessant barking dogs. 

I am home for a few days to do my weekly lawn mowing, laundry, bill paying, etc. While on errands in North Platte I decided to purchase a few camping supplies with my birthday money (thanks, Mom and Dad!) A random thought trickled through my brain and before I knew it, I was unpacking, repacking and gearing up for a spontaneous night out. 

Pictured above is my minimalist camping spot. Yes, that would be the kids' play tent. I wanted a "trial run" and I didn't feel like dragging out the slightly larger (and as it turns out, much more spacious) dome tent from it's neat little pouch. I grabbed a twin memory foam pad, blanket and pillow and threw down right there on the ground. 

I'd love to say it was a restful night but that would be.........false. It was glorious to watch twinkling starts, breath fresh night air, hear the ripple of water and locust attempt to lull me to sleep. I missed more than a few winks trying to get comfortable but I have overcome the ability to sleep in. I am officially a morning person when I camp because I couldn't stand to sleep on the rock hard ground a second longer. That's the best motivation yet. 

The good thing was that there was no one for miles to share my grouchy mood with. The birds clearly didn't care that I was trying to rest. I was rewarded with a pretty view and a really nice hike. While this isn't the mountains, it was a great change of scenery. The solitude was glorious and the weather was actually very pleasant. I was grateful for the stadium blanket and old NorthFace jacket that I haul around.

The picture is a little blurry, but I am most proud of my breakfast arrangement. Usually I am not a breakfast person but somewhere around 4 pm, Maple Syrup sausages with shredded cheese started to sound really good and so did the Starbucks Mocha Java. I've had this little camp pot for several years. I bought a stove burner, the propane tanks, and small skillet. I impressed myself (mind you, that doesn't take much!) I enjoyed a lovely breakfast by the lake.

While this may sound a little tongue-in-cheek, and YES, I am poking fun at myself, this was really a significant personal victory! I've wanted to do this for a long time and I always manage to talk myself out of it. I've realized that this is something I've done a lot. Prior to this summer, I played out and planned out multiple adventures, ideas, schemes and scenarios in my head. And that is where they stayed. They never actualized. I thought about them, played them out, got into the energy of how it would feel and that's all the further it got. 

I've become more aware of what (and who) I am putting my energies into, where my focus is and what I am doing to make things "real". As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm not planning much of anything. In fact, I rarely have a clue of how my days will go. For example, I had the guidance to call for a tire balance and alignment today. I'd noticed my car's been shaky. I called at 8:20 (because, well, hey, I've been up since 5 and 8 felt pretty late!) They could get in by 10. 

Since I was still in full on camping mode, I hustled home, did a quick recovery prep (ball cap, ponytail teeth brushed) grabbed my computer and checkbook and headed out the door. I am typing this from the library, enjoying a coffee and the shade. Did I plan this? Nope. Am I enjoying my day? Sure! A special kind of grace has arrived in letting go of structure and controlling how my day should/needs to go. I have no idea where I'll be tomorrow or the day after or the day after that. I'm learning to live more fully in the moment. At times, I still flounder, the old default program can be hard to let go of if I forget where I'm still hooked. For the most part though, I'm feeling more free, definitely more grateful and much, much more excited about life and living. 

Part of my journey this year is finding myself and rediscovering things that I've given up or pushed aside. Camping is definitely one of the activities that I've always loved and have found again. While it wasn't necessarily comfortable, it was an adventure and these types of activities are what help us recognize and remember who we really are, how to play, how to create, how to generate and how to have FUN. 

What is something that you've forgotten, gotten away from, pushed aside and are ready to re-discover? Whatever it takes for you to jump back to it, I encourage you to actualize it. You'll be delighted that you did! Please share you adventures in the comment section below! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


This morning marks the 42nd year of my arrival on the planet. As I watched the sun peek it's way through the tree while drinking my morning coffee, I reflected on the myriad of experiences that life has gifted me. I've been blessed with such abundance; amazing, loving, supportive, children, family and friends. I live in a safe, quiet, friendly community. I have the freedom to choose how I will spend my days, how I can contribute to a greater living experience and the type of influence and inspiration I can be.

I used to wonder what life would be like "at this age". When I was younger I didn't necessarily see 40 as being old because truthfully, age has never been related to a specific number. I have had few judgments pop up around the idea of "getting old". If they've stayed around too long, I investigated where the ideas/beliefs came from and always found they were concepts that I bought into, they were not mine. I kindly "returned them to sender with consciousness attached" (Thanks, Gary Douglas!)

I do not feel like I am old or young, I feel like...... ME. I am very grateful to be where I am today and more importantly who I am. Notice I didn't use the words, "who I am becoming". I am already that. I have arrived. I don't say that with vanity. There's been quite the struggle to excavate the real me and this past year certainly brought all that to a head. At times the project felt heavy, dense and confusing, at other times, freeing, empowering and enlightening. I have a wonderful and dedicated tribe of "Soul Scientists" that were in place to help me dig up the tools of forgiveness, faith, strength, truth, insight, awareness and choice. Like deeply buried relics, those tools and more seem to have been waiting for "just the right time" to be dusted off, reclaimed, polished and brought to the surface. I've used "knock off versions" prior to this year; now I know what those tools are REALLY about. They've been tested and strengthened under fire.

My personal armor was not so fortunate. It did not survive. It all melted. I no longer have a need to defend and protect. I'm willing to be vulnerable and sensitive and claim ALL the power and potency that I am. I've come to see that the "wrongness of me" is actually some my greatest, most empowering gifts. I am here to share with others how to expand one's view and appreciation of self, others and life lessons. All the places that you thought you'd made mistakes and messed up are most likely the gateways to creating a life you didn't even know was possible! Blame, shame, regret, guilt, anger, jealously......all of those are really distractions to who you are and what you came here to share and experience. The greatest self-abuse is to believe that it is impossible to change your life and to go on believing that lies that you've told yourself and others have told you. I urge you to take a good, long, honest look at where you are right now. The choices you make from here create the life you experience. Choice is one of the most powerful gifts we have on the planet.

I have much, much, much more to create here, I am just starting to put in place new foundational pieces for the empire I am building. I am calling in my "tribe" and those who are ready to create something different, something beyond what we've experienced thus far. This vision clarifies daily. There are no goals, intentions or conclusions. Every day is a new day and instead of me being the one directing it all, I just tune in and ask questions. I don't have to know the answers, my job is to follow the energy.

Today I am in a place of deep gratitude and reverence. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be HERE, to share my life and experiences with those I know and love and those I will meet. I am expanding and filling up every cell of my being with the vibrations of life, love, laughter and joy! I am reminded of the guiding word that came to me in January: SHINE. I am still exploring the concept and meaning and......I'm certainly enjoying the many ways it is acting as a beacon in my life.

Thank you, with all of my heart and appreciation for walking this path with me, dear ones! You are all such amazing contributions in my life and I adore each and every one of you. Thank you for the phone calls, text messages, emails and Facebook posts/messages. Wow!!! How does life and living get even better than this?!?!?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Slowing D O W N

As much as I LOVE to travel and be on the go, I also enjoy time at home, with my children.  I've become much less of a homebody that what I ever have been before. In fact, this summer is the most mobile I've ever been, and I have to say..... IT ROCKS! I've been looking on-line at VW camper vans and wondering what it would take to make one of those my home for awhile, preferably near a lake or river? 

Prior to this year, "home" meant a lot of work. That's all changed now. I've crafted an entirely different experience so the translation of "home" has taken on a new meaning. I've downsized incredibly and that effort is now paying off. We have time to relax, to play badminton, cards, golf, swim, go to the river, visit friends, read, ride bikes, and even do a few necessary chores like laundry and lawn mowing. The things I used to have to effort and squeeze in, are now easily accessed. I have to say, it's been strangely odd at times to experience the spaciousness and freedom that comes with not having so many "irons in the fire". I'm living the change that I asked for. It didn't come easily, it didn't come quickly, in fact it arrived in a way that I barely recognized....... but it did arrive. 

While I am always ready for the next adventure (my backpack is at the ready, just in case) I am leaning into slowing down. While I am at home, two of the ways that I keep things "light" are lounging in the hammock whenever the mood strikes and finding old books to read. This is the one I'm investigating today. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Magic or Mistake?

I adore flowers, I think it is the combination of delicacy and pops of color that attract me. I used to have a lot of flowers and a huge garden. I didn't spend the money or the time on either of those this year. My focus has been on travel, movement and experiences. I am home long enough to mow the lawn, do a bit of laundry and leave for the next adventure. 

This week, as I was walking out the door, I saw a blast of pink out of the corner of my eye. I had to do a double take..... here, seemingly out of the blue, was this adorable little flower! I didn't put her there. In fact, I have no idea how she got there!

Instead of wondering, I just thanked her. I thanked the consciousness of what brought her to this spot, this unlikely location, right up against my sidewalk. I gave her a drink of water and have smiled at her every time I've come in and out of the house. 

These kinds of miracles are all around us, if we choose to look at them this way. These can be mistakes or miracles, depending on the point of view we hold. Some could look at this as a mistake, an accident and think nothing of it. Or some could look at is through the eyes of mystery, compassion, grace, surprise and gratitude! What turn of events planted the seed that became this flower? How did this get organism land here? 

The answer is irrelevant. The reality is........ she's here, right now, for a time. She may not always be here. Like any living being, she will have her time, she will shine and then her life force energy will dissipate and she will return to the earth from which gave her a foundation. She isn't going to look back and lament the fact that she only had so many days/weeks on this planet. She isn't going to hold out hope for living in a garden or even being able to become a lilac bush or a mighty oak tree. She's going to be the brilliant flower that she just is. 

I have agreed to follow suit in that I will appreciate her while she's here, provide hydration and appreciate her beauty. I will release the tendency to hold on and keep her here (because when I fall in love I tend to get attached and I want that being close by!) I'm letting her teach me the delicate art of appreciation without holding on so tightly. The ability to be fully present and in joyful celebration while not becoming fixated and attached. And when it is time for her to depart, I will allow that too. Thanks to technology I have a pictorial reminder of what was, not as a way to draw sadness for what I no longer experience, but as a way to recognize and celebrate this gift. 

The power is in the present moment: We look to what is here, right now. We celebrate the cheery pink and white and revel in the miracle of a flower that found a way to grow beside a concrete step. 

What miracles are springing up around you? 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Skin

Part of my "Keep it Light" motto began with shedding a lot of layers during Spring of 2013. I felt such constriction and compression that at times I struggled to breathe. I had an inkling of how very much my life would change, though I had no vision of where I would be this day. I was very present to the process of shedding, even when it hurt. As I look back, even in the lowest of times, I knew I had a purpose and a reason for being here.

I've noticed that when I coach clients in the process of letting go of material excess, there is a deep-seated pain that can accompany the purging process. It feels overwhelming, heavy and sad. It doesn't have to though. It's the accumulation of all the memories, opinions, judgments and beliefs around that items that makes it hard to part with. It's usually never the item itself.

Recently a dear friend of mine and I were having a conversation about buying less. Neither of us were in the mood to shop and nothing was all that appealing. We both came to the conclusion that we are much more into "experiences" rather than "stuff". As I walked through an REI store (a previous favorite with shoes + clothes + backpacks!) I found there was nothing that I needed. I have the money to purchase whatever I want, so this doesn't come from a perspective of lack, it comes from a place of being totally fulfilled. I'm not looking for the image that a material item can give me. I've let that habit go as well.

While shedding has previously been focused on reducing the amount of objects and clutter, I've come to an even more expansive definition; it's the letting go of emotional entanglements and debris. Although that shouldn't be difficult and it shouldn't hold that much significance, I've cried more freaking rivers over hurt feelings than anyone else should in this lifetime. Goodness! I'm almost embarrassed at how bad I've felt, how hard I've fought and how much of an emotional quicksand abyss that I've let myself flounder about in. I suppose there's a part of me that wanted that experience and somehow got off on it. I am glad that there's a stronger part of me that finally got fed up enough to "call it" and say, "that's enough!"

I've had a lot of awareness coming to me, insights and view points that I wasn't aware of before. It seems that the more peeling back of layers that I am doing, the more clear and expanded my viewpoint becomes. I now know that I have a choice in wallowing in the past, hoping that certain "wrongs" will be "righted" or I can let that go, show up each day, and start over. Completely start over. Brand new.

This is a very powerful position. When we release who we were yesterday, all the thoughts, opinions, judgments against ourselves and others, insecurities, worries, fears, injustices, we are shedding heavy emotional baggage. Free space is created when a lot of letting go is getting done. That's where I'm at. My basic needs are met. I have a clearer idea of who I am, what I am about and how I can be of service to those around me, the world, the planet. I am grateful for my children, my family and friends. I am so blessed to have a roof over my head, a comfy bed, a car and food. Beyond that....... I haven't got a clue of what will happen next!

In that de-shedding process one of the things that I've let go of is "control". For the first time in my life, I am at peace with not being in control. (I'd like to thank the Universe for that big 'ol kick in the pants---I GOT THAT LOUD AND CLEAR!) I usually have an idea of where I'll be and what I will be doing, but there's a great deal of room for the mystery, fluidity and unplanned events that crop up. I do look ahead,I just don't stay there for long. I've mostly given up daydreaming and hoping for an ideal life, I don't think that such a thing exists. I have experiences that I am certainly creating and if they don't show up, I have faith that something even more amazing will show up.

I don't plan on anyone being in my life; I welcome everyone who chooses to be. There's no profit in planning on any certain concept, situation, relationship and experience in the future because the future is continually being reshaped in the present.

This is me letting go. It's been an interesting process to release those layers. I'm in a place where I can really stretch out and relax. I may still be "tender" at times, though I am more and more of ME, every day. I'm not here to follow along, to hope that someone rescues me or that everything will work out "perfectly." I know that wherever I am, is where I am supposed to be. I have strong faith that there are forces greater than I that are leading the way. I really don't know how this "new skin" will appear to those on the outside, I can say I am finally comfortable being in it.

Pink Cup. Planners. 5:2 Weekly Review

Light Me Up: This week's inspiration is an adorable cup I snagged after we hiked Rocky Mountain National Park. The Aspen and Evergreen ...