Tag Archives: life

The Question That Stumped Me

17 Mar

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition this year, and am almost ten weeks into the program. It’s been incredibly interesting and really fun work to be doing. There’s this workbook that we have that is more focused on the business aspect of the schooling, and we’ve been chugging slowly through that the past couple weeks. The beginning is very much about intention setting and sussing out your goals for the the school year(s) and your application of what you’ve learned (including any business you want to grow out of it). I love this kind of stuff. This might be a surprise to some of my friends… but I’m a huge internal planner. Goals, lists, check-ins… I do this multiple times a year. So the first couple chapters of this workbook have been fun. An extension of some of the things I already do.
Then I hit this one question, after a string of school and work focused questions.

“What is your life purpose?”

And I froze.
Actually, quite literally, paused. Pen suspended above the workbook, staring at the question.
Absolutely empty-headed and awash in a sea of blank space.
Completely stumped!

Let me repeat… I think about this type of stuff A LOT. It’s a constant record in my head… How do I want my days to go, to look, to feel… How do I want/need to be spending my time, where do I want my energy to go, what are my priorities. I can tell you lists of goals, things I want to do, experience, accomplish. In the next couple months, this year, over the next two years, the next five… I have goals that I know will resurface twenty years from now.

But my life purpose?! That’s a question outside of goals and plans. An intention stripped down. A purpose that would be yours whether you were a massage therapist or a social worker or a stay at home mom or a business owner. Whether you were married or not, had three kids or none. Whether you lived in New York or in Modesto. And I think it’s been a really long time since I’ve even thought to consider a question like that.

So I’m here… still letting the question marinate… but hoping that some friends can give some little shout outs, and help me out as I mull this over.

Do you know what your life purpose is? Have you thought about it? Are you willing to share?

Daily Intention: Believe

10 May

Art inspires.  Words, in particular, resonate with me.  Conversations, articles, blog posts, books, movies, even tv shows.  TV gets a bad rap.  I criticize it often myself… but to be honest.  I find almost as much inspiration and relate-ability, and as many quotable words in some television shows as I do in my favorite books.

Believe that dreams come true everyday.  Because they do.”

No, that’s not a line from a Disney movie.

Yes, it was my inspiration for today.

I was writing this morning, and I remembered the quote from a One Tree Hill episode I watched recently (don’t shake your head at me!).  And it got me to thinking about my own dreams.  Secret and not so secret wishes for my life.  I wrote it all out.  My ideal life.

Some things I wouldn’t change.  My relationships, my friends, my family.  The way we work together, love each other, grow together.

Some things I would change.  The nature of my work, some activities I love that I’ve let fall out of my life, the place that I live (though I love Santa Barbara dearly).

But what was really cool to see… was that even my most bold idea… my most outrageous dream for the future… wasn’t that far out there.  Everything that I want for my life, I’ve either started, ever so slowly, into motion… or if I haven’t, I realized how completely attainable it was.

Time and energy and persistence and patience and trust and dedication and keeping up the dreaming are all necessary things, of course… but when I think of dreams that I’ve had in the past that are true and real today… I’m struck by it.

As cheesy as it may sound…

“Believe that dreams come true everyday.  Because they do.”

Clearing Space

10 Mar

Clearing Space

It happens on occasion… this desire to clear away the clutter.  Weed out the unused and the stagnant.  To clear out anything that isn’t nourishing, supporting, inspiring.  I’m talking about stuff, of course.  But I’m also talking about food.  Thoughts.  Activities and habits.  Anything in my realm that’s occupying time, energy, space, cells.  All those things… my time, my energy, my space, every molecule that makes up my body and that of those around me… are just feeling really precious to me right now.  And the urge to preserve their integrity is so strong right now.  I want to clear through everything in my house, our yard, the car, my computer.  My fridge, and my eating habits.  I want to  spend time and energy only on those things that make my loved ones and I feel brilliant and staggeringly beautiful, strong and so powerfully at ease.  I want our life to support the healthy tension between choice and flow.

I don’t know if it’s because Spring is coming up quickly?  I find that I’ve grown more sensitive to the changing of seasons as the years go by.  Or if it’s a side effect of this new way of eating I’ve been diving into over the past couple weeks… I think the almost dizzying effects of eating real food is starting to set in.

I’m not sure what the cause is… but this is where I am now.  And why I’ve been a little absent from this space, perhaps.  I’m trying to rediscover the areas where I want to remain devoted to.  And redistribute a little, so that my actions are more intentional than habitual.

A story, not yet fully told. Part 1

24 Jan

Santa Barbara bluffs

It was at the end of April in 2010, and Mark and I had only just started dating.  I had big plans to move to New York with a couple of friends, very ready to wrap up my Santa Barbara life.  Skating around the topic with Mark, because I was quickly falling in love with him, and didn’t want to have to think of how to reconcile those two facts.

It was at the end of April in 2010 when I found out I was pregnant.  I sat stunned in the free clinic as the two women who told me my results then proceeded to go into depth about my various options.  It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I had to tell them I hadn’t heard a word they had said.  I left the clinic with several flyers, got into my car, and started to drive.  Well… got into a car.  I didn’t own one at the time, so it may have been Mark’s, it may have been a friends, I can’t really remember.

I drove.  Across town, up a hill, along the cliffs of the ocean, parked on a dead end street.  And I bawled.  I cried huge, gasping, confused sobs.  This was so far out of my mind as a possible life step right then, that I moved from shock, disbelief, to utter despair.  I couldn’t even think straight I was so overcome.

Eventually, I drove back down the hill, pulling over to burst into tears again over the phone with my New York friend.  And waited at Mark’s house for him to come home.  I didn’t want to call him at work.  I didn’t know what his response would be.  I didn’t even know what my response was yet.

We had only been dating for two months.  We’d known each other for a few years, been friends, secretly adored each other, but only recently started dating.

I was so nervous.  He came home, I told him we needed to talk.  And then, yet again, I burst into sobs.

 

Somehow, without any words, without any explanation.  He knew almost immediately what had happened.

We weren’t careless.  We were very careful, we were very protected.  A pregnancy was in the highly unlikely category… but not impossible.  Apparently.

What blew me away was his response.  I don’t remember exact words, I don’t remember much of anything very clearly from that day… but I do remember that his response is what made my decision.  Right then and there.  Subconsciously, perhaps.  But the second I felt his support. His arms encircling, his sense of love, and courage and acceptance.  Like there wasn’t a thought or an option of leaving me to deal with this on my own.  Togetherness.  I knew we would figure it out.  And I knew that before that moment… every prediction I would have made about my reaction to this situation would have been dead wrong.

Building Courage

18 Jan

smelling the flowers

I’m building up the courage to write about the miscarriage.  Miscarriages.

And I’m a little surprised that I have to build it at all.

It’s a shame that the arrival of new wonderful things in life, a baby boy for instance… don’t just erase the lingering traces of old heartbreaks.

The fragments that led me here… To the place where I’m realizing I still have to sort through these feelings…

The dream I had, the details of which are unrealistic, of course.  But left me with the sickening feeling that I’d lost everything I had built.  My life, my family, my sense of peace and joy and wonder.

The electric bill, that I’ve felt like I should keep under my name.  Just in case.

Pieces of a talk by David Whyte.  About how much potential love and adoration there is in the face of a family you’ve created, and how terrifying it is to give in to that love because what would you do if you lost it.

The strange hesitation, something like nervousness… like it’s the very first time, even though it’s obviously not.

So I’ve been biding my time…

Not biding really…

Dawdling.

Trying to gather strength to dive into my own muffled pain.

Part of me accusing myself of melodrama.  But I know I’m entitled to the traces of pain.  As much as I’m entitled to the sifting.  As much as I’m entitled to the releasing of it.

There’s a part of me that really wants to tell my story with my own voice.  Right here.  It just feels like I could own it more that way.  Bare a little more soul.  And leave less room for editing.  But I don’t have the equipment to do that.  So I may just buck up and write it all out.

Just know that I want to do this.  I’m just a little scared.

2012 | One Word

5 Jan

over the pass

There’s this practice that I picked up from the blogosphere a couple years ago.  I’m a big fan of plans and lists and therefore, resolutions… but I tend to make little resolutions to myself sporadically throughout the year, when I feel I’ve gotten into a rut.  And so to do it at the years end/beginning… not such a special thing.  Doesn’t really set the coming year apart from the one that’s just wrapping up with the manner of intention that I think it deserves.

So, this practice is one of choosing a word.  Just one word.  To help guide you throughout the new year.  Like setting an intention at the beginning of a yoga class or meditation.  It’s something that you can remind yourself to come back to when you feel you’ve gotten a bit off track from yourself.  When you feel untethered.

When 2011 was on it’s way, there were two words I was trying to decide between…. fearless and intention.  I went with intention.  Although looking back at my year… I think both had an influence on me.  I know that I made a conscious effort to be very intentional in my actions and reactions, words, behaviors, and the things I engaged in.  But man I was pretty fearless too.  I mean, in one year… I got married and had a baby.  Those are big, lifelong, committed YES’s to two things I really didn’t know if I would EVER do.  I’m so proud of myself for having the guts to say yes to these two events that brought these two amazing guys into my life in such permanent ways.

I remember first reading about the word for the year idea nearing the end of 2010.  Maybe October or November and quickly adopting the word comfort for the remainder of that very trying year.

By the time this past December came around…. I only had to contemplate for a few moments before I knew what I needed this year.

It had started percolating… simmering… cultivating ever since Mason was born.  Maybe even a bit before.  The idea that I needed to pay more attention to life.  To each day as it happened.  To the moments I was being given AS they were happening.  Not just looking back over photos.  Especially with this new little boy growing and changing daily before our eyes.  I wanted to savor every millisecond.  You know… as much as humanly possible.  They say that the years go by so fast.  I always say the time goes by so fast, even before Mason, and definitely so much more now.  The sun just seems to set so quickly… just as soon as the day has started to get going.

But not only that.  I’ve also learned in the past few months, that the times when I am at my most frustrated, are the times when I’m focusing on a moment other then the present.  When I’m trying to rush whatever is going on at the moment… putting Mason down for a nap, cooking, reading a post… so I can get onto the next thing.  And when I’m able to catch myself, breathe, and bring my focus back to the moment at hand… my stress levels go down.  I’m so much more content.

So my word this year is Attention.

Because life is just so rich.  With so many impossible, unbelievable moments.  I want to be paying attention, not just racing through the days.

“If I’m not happy in this time, in this place, I’m not paying attention” -Jodi Hills

This is me.

28 Dec

This is me.

This is me.Right now.

Right here.

Not  separate from who I was.

Not just a floating island  composed of the circumstances that make up who I am today.

But a culmination of everything I have danced with and walked with until this point.

Every thing.  Every thought.  Everyone.  Every event.  Every friend.  Every fight.  Every smile.

Every pause.  Every leap.  Every breakfast and every cup of tea.  Every cocktail and every cigarette.  Every kiss and every shock.  Every heartfilled emotion-exploding moment.

I am my ten year old self.

I am my single wandering self.

I am my married and in love self.

I am the self that is a mother.

a new mother.

long skirt and laceI am someone who feels pretty and enlivened, wrapped in a long soft skirt and lace.

I am someone who relishes the time alone with black tea, cream, agave, some music, and someplace to write.

I am someone who will never stop singing.

I will always feel magical around strings of lights.

I will always feel more at home in my life when I am creating.

my familyI am someone who needs to be around people I love.

I love that I am with a man who loves everything that I am.  Who says he’s proud of me almost on a daily basis.

I love that this same man who loves me for who I am helps me to hold myself to the standard of all that I have the potential to be.

And this man… this gorgeous, kind, silly, patient, dedicated, endlessly loving man also helps me to be gentle with myself whenever I fall short of that potential.

I think that it’s my turn to be on top of the world.

I am trying to be very conscious about enveloping myself in every moment of this new life I’m creating.

The moments that are happening right now are the quickest to slip away.  And I want to be sure that I am living up to it all.

In my own way.

Who I was, and who I am… while so very different in some ways, are the same person.  Traveling among hints and wisps of who I am becoming.

And I love that.

watching my babe sleep

I love the layers and complexities, and how much love can bubble up inside one human being’s heart.

I love feeding my baby, and watching him sleep.  I love every facial expression he makes and every crinkle of his brow as he tries to understand all he can about the world around him.

We’re similar in this way.

Maybe we are all similar in this way.

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