Saturday, September 5, 2015

If you're like me - the feeling of success.

If you're like me, you want to be successful. You yearn to be successful. To be able to hold your head up high and walk amongst your family and peers and say - Finally! I am successful. And of course they applaud and cheer, and you walk away - heck you strut away - sure that you have the respect and admiration of the world.

If you're like me, you're concerned that being successful will change you in unpleasant ways . You could become mean, or selfish in a bad way. You might quit hanging out with the "little people." You might, as so often happens in movies and books, be overwhelmed by the sycophants and forget what's really important. You might buy a house that's too big or clothes you hate wearing or… or… or…

But, if you're like me, you've been this journey for a while, the journey of self-discovery. You've deconstructed and reconstructed yourself so many times, you're not always sure it's really you strutting down the street (and tripping over the invisible lip in the sidewalk, and laughing because you don't care who saw you, shit happens, keep strutting.)

So, if you're like me and you really want to know what you'd be like when you're successful, let's take a little trip. 
Through our very own space.

What would your home (be it house, apartment, car, tent) feel like, if you were successful? How would it change? Before you end up moving into a different house, apartment, car or tent… because, if you're like me, you're pretty happy where you are right now, so being successful is going to come before any moving.

If you're like me, you'll start in the closet. Stare around at the clothes, the shoes. The piles. The laundry basket. When you are successful, what will this closet be like? How will the clothes change? Will there be more shoes? And who will do the laundry?

Moving on. Bedroom (or rooms). What will change in there? What about the bathroom? New towels? New products? Kitchen. Living Room. Oh, here's a biggy. Your home office. How will that change? New electronics? More pens? Again, will someone else do the cleaning? The cooking? Will there be more organizing? Less?

Looking honestly at where you are and what you have, and knowing who you are, can you get a feel for what success will look like, what it will feel like, in this space?

For me, personally, the biggest change will be (I hope) the clothes. They will suit my personality and my body type! Of course, in order to get those clothes, I'm going to have to go to a "real" clothes store. And probably find a personal dresser, or whatever they're called, so I can find out what my style is. Which means one of those scary stores, with bright make-up counters, and clothes easily visible on the racks, and space between the aisles, and clearance items discreetly moved to a whole different building. THOSE stores. Success is not going to change my ability to walk comfortably into one of those stores. Only practice can do that.

Hmm. Maybe it would be more accurate to say success in my closet will look like having the clothes I am comfortable finding and buying.

Kind of like what I have now.

The furniture we want to replace, we'll replace, regardless of the label of success. The electronics run on their own time table which has little to do with success (though more efficient tools might actually help move toward success!) The food won't change; I'll probably still do my own laundry, which means I'll probably still shy away from dry cleaning and the ironing will still be more wish than deed. (so much for finer clothes.) 

In fact, when I look at it that way, the only thing that will really change in this place with success is having someone come in and clean the bathroom. Every week. Rain or shine. And since he/she is here, maybe I'll ask her to clean the kitchen and run the vacuum too. 

I don't even know if we'd want to move. Sure, there are some annoying factors, like only 1 bathroom and air conditioning units outside the window; but other than that, we love our location, the quick drive to the main streets, the view out the back door. Maybe I'd appreciate a little more room to do Tai Chi - I don't know if a water buffalo could lie down in that space.

Now, I do know that one change will be having an actual office outside of the home. Maybe an office suite. Heck, maybe a whole building. Then I can do my Tai Chi there. And my dance parties.

But, to get back on the subject, if you're like me, not much is actually going to look or feel different with the label "success". Maybe finalizing a few changes you already plan to make, but those change don't HAVE to wait for success.

So, if you're like me, success won't really be changing you at all. Success is gonna pretty easy. Pretty normal. No big deal.

In fact, maybe success is closer than we think, and any changes that might have been for the worst have already been dealt with. Pretty awesome. 

So you know what? If you're like me, let's bring on the success!

I hope you have a great day!


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Do I want to be a professional?

Recently, at my writers' group, the facilitator brought up the question - how professional do I want to be?

Which makes one think, what is professional?

The easy answer is, a professional gets paid for her work while an amatuer does not. By those lights, I am a professional writer. People have purchased my books.

But I do not feel like a professional writer. I do not feel like a professional anything.

We could go the usual route, and find definitions and talk ourselves into (or out of) professionalism. But let's try something else. After all, I am a big advocate of uniqueness and personal choice, as opposed to following status quo and others' opinions. So let’s ask this question…

…Why don't I feel professional?

A professional, from my perspective:
·         dedicates time to her craft
·         is knowledgeable (like a professor).
·         respects and is respected
·         wears a suit.
Wears a suit. Okay, that's not going to happen!

Well, perhaps, maybe, if I stop and think, I mean, I wonder... After all, a suit is just a matching jacket & pants/skirt, right? So, who knows what will make its way into my wardrobe? But more relevantly, suit isn’t really the right word. There are plenty of professionals who do not wear a suit in the pursuit of their profession: cooks, sports players, bus drivers. They do have uniforms, however.

Is there a uniform for writers? Tools of the trade, yes, but uniform, I don’t think so. So, we’ll take that off the list of necessary for professionalism. The clothes do not matter (unless I’m in public of course. Then clothes would probably be appreciated.)

A professional respects and is respected. I respect everyone. Even when I'm wishing someone was anywhere else but in front of me on the highway, I respect her!

Being respected, on the other hand, isn’t something I can control. All I can do is be the best me possible and let others form their own opinions. Maybe, from that view, being a professional is like being a shaman – it’s a title your peers or your community gives you. It is an outside opinion. Nothing I can affect (or effect) there. Let’s move on.

A professional is knowledgeable. All right. I admit I don't always feel knowledgeable about writing. I don’t have a degree in writing; I’m not always sure of the grammar rules. I’m even hazy on the difference between a dash and a hyphen. (side note – I did use both "affect" & "effect" on purpose.) I definitely don’t know the rules for publishing and marketing and submissions. Which publishing house is best for which genre? Is there a writers’ union? What kind of conferences are there? For my purposes, is publisher better than agent better than self-publish? And what is a hybrid writer? (I just heard that phrase on Shark Tank.)

What do I know? I know which authors I enjoy, what writing styles, what dos and don’ts make a great story for a reader like me. I know how I write (my writing and editing process). I have learned how to cut out whole sections if they don’t feed the story (or post).

Therefore, I have learned the most important thing -- Knowledge and skill are attainable. It takes time, and practice, but they are attainable.

So, all that's left is dedication of time.

A professional dedicates time to her craft. Besides the time spent getting the product out there, the professional works at her art consistently. Not just gathering ideas, and making plans, and doing the administrative chores, but actually creating. Writing, cooking, driving, teaching, selling, buying. Actively doing whatever the profession is. Putting energy into the work itself. Being attentive and productive and consistent.

A hobby is something done when I'm in the mood. A profession... ah, a profession is something I find a way to do, regardless of my mood.

And interestingly, that's the most difficult part for me. Because writing is fun. I love writing. I rarely don't want to write. If you know me, you know I always have a writing instrument nearby. I love the flow and the getting lost in creating. I love the ideas and the possibilities. I love the insignificant little things that strike sparks in the idea machine. I just love everything about writing. Well, about actual writing.

And because it's fun, it feels totally unprofessional. Cuz shouldn't professional mean boring? Just a little drab? But how could it be drab, if one loves one's work?

And if one is dressing the job, respecting the job, knows the job inside and out, and is dedicated, doesn't that infer passion? Even love for the job? I mean, some people even look comfortable in suits!

So. There it is. The two practical things I need/ want if I want to attain professionalism in my own eyes. Knowledge about the writing field, and permission to dedicate time to the practice of writing itself. Just writing. Fingers to the keyboard, butt in the chair, writing my stories. Creating my awesome, weird, and wonderful worlds. Dispensing my words of self-realization. Being present as a writer.

Yes, I love the act of writing, and I am ready to dedicate time to it. More time. Consistent time. And I am ready to try new ways to share my worlds.

So, here we are, on the next step to professionalism.

Are you enjoying the journey?

I am. Yay!

I hope you have a great day!


Friday, July 3, 2015

Book Review - A Cure for Dreaming (by Cat Winters)

If you're like me, and you start reading A Cure for Dreaming, you'll want to finish it. But you might not want to read it before you go to sleep.

I rented A Cure for Dreaming (by Cat Winters) through the 3M library app; I rented it because it was listed under new teen fiction, and the teaser mentioned hypnotism, suffragettes, and a rebellious daughter. It suggested that messing with the psyche can have interesting results.

I easily read through the first chapter or 3. The writing style flows in a straight forward manner; the language is definitely teen, possibly preteen. The book is written in first person, from the perspective of Livie, the daughter of a dentist and an actress. Livie is definitely an intelligent, free thinking, compassionate girl trying to find herself. Livie's father is definitely a man who believes a woman should be quiet, malleable, and attentive. Livie's mother left.

If you're like me, soon after your get settled in for a comfortable read, you'll start grimacing. Because as the story progresses, it becomes melodramatic and horrifying (as in a horror story).  If you're like me, just the descriptions of what the dentist does (has to do?) is enough to make you put the book down for a minute. But, if you're like me, you persevere.

The dialogue starts feeling staged, even preposterous. Which reminds you the book was written for a younger crowd -  10 years old by the language; young adult by the subject matter, the torture, and the romantic scene. The author does an excellent job making the adult reader uncomfortable with her monstrous descriptions, but perhaps it would just be deliciously gruesome to a youth.

So if you're like me, you start skimming because this really isn't your kind of book but you do want to see how it ends. Is the end worth it? More yes than no. I didn't immediately want to read another Cat Winters book, but I didn't think "Oh, thank goodness that's over."

Do you feel the plight of the suffragette? Well, it was sort of buried under the melodrama & hard to relate to.

Is the hypnotism interesting? Oh, yes. That part certainly made me think, especially the part about floating in relaxation.

If you're like me and you're willing to balance the horror for some of the cool ideas, and a slight glimpse into a possible past, you'll might be glad you read A Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters.

Of course, if you're like me, you're not a teen or a preteen. This might be an excellent book for them. I'd definitely recommend it for those who loved Lemony Snickett.

I hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

If you're like me... Mourning the Wicked (a review of the play)

If you're like me, you do mourn the Wicked.

If you're like me, you are enjoying the trend of fairy tales retold: Cameron Dokey's Once Upon a Time novels; Mercedes Lackey's series 500 Kingdoms; Malificent; Ever After High; Phantom of the Mall; Witches Abroad. You like it when storytellers reference a fantasy you love, and give you a different perspective. (Of course, you ignore all the ones you dislike, which we shan't mention here because they don't really exist.)

If you're like me, you remember OZ fondly - both the original series by L. Frank Baum; and the world it became as other stories crept in to add depth to your Oziverse: movies like The Wizard of Oz and Under the Rainbow; the play The Wiz; the book Number of the Beast .

If you're like me, Oz is a  haven, a place for believers who need to escape. A place where no one dies or grows old (and no one is born). It is eternal, like a Neverland, or a Heaven.  Dorothy is 12 and sings beautifully;  Glinda is a calm, goddess-like woman who travels in a bubble; animals can talk; and there is a wonderful spa.

So when you heard that Wicked was OZ from the viewpoint of the Wicked Witch of the West, you were intrigued.

If you're like me, you tried to read the book Wicked, but found Gregory Maguire's writing style to be dense and depressing - nothing to do with the glory of OZ. So you shrugged it off.

Then the stage musical came into being. You heard some of the songs - "Defying Gravity"; "You Changed Me for Good" - and you thought, "Hmm. Theater is pretty awesome. Many of my friends like the show. All right. Let's go see the play."

I'd better put in a disclaimer here. This review (diatribe, soapbox) is not about the players, it is about the play. "The play's the thing" which to my heart such sorrow did bring.

And yes, this review contains some spoilers.

I saw Wicked at the Buell Theater in Colorado, in 2015. The performers did an excellent job. The set was astounding. The amount of tech work had to be huge. Kudos to everyone involved.

Except for the writers. And since I don't know how closely the play follows the book, I don't know whether to name G. Maguire or Stephen Schwartz & Winnie Holzman as the reason for my dismay. Maybe it was a combination. So I will simply use the title Author.

In my opinion, Author tried to destroy OZ. In writing Wicked, (s)he exchanged one malicious person and one wise woman for a race of vapid, mean, spiteful, selfish, nasty, horrible Ozians; and one (maybe two) persons trying to find herself(s).

Not a fair exchange at all.

And how distressing to be so transformed. Rather like the animals losing their voices, or being forced to fly.

It's true. Humans can be judgmental, scared, petty, conniving, finger pointing, blindly following, fear-based creatures. Of course, that's not all of us. Many of us can take responsibility and think for ourselves.

But more relevantly, OZ is not Earth, and Ozites (or Ozmites)  are not humans.

Perhaps the original story was a political satire. Maybe it was the first American Fairy Tale. It might have been simply a story for children. Regardless,  Munchkins, Winkies, Quadlings, Gillikans, and other Ozites do not have the same fears, needs, or morality that humans do. Perhaps the closest Ozites would come to humans are the human child -- open and wide-eyed, trusting in the awesomeness of Wizards, and believing in a pure division between Good Witches and Wicked ones.

The play Wicked appears to be a melodrama based on infidelity and a green potion. It certainly displayed the baseness of human nature. Did any one of the Ozians evolve into a better being than she started? Not that I could see. Everyone seems happy to be dragged into the fear-based world of evil animals and Wicked Witches. Even Glinda, who's original motives were pure and generally kind, became driven by fear and sorrow.

Oh, wait. I am wrong. One person evolves - Fiyero stands up for his heart. Yay! And is gruesomely executed for it. (What?!)

Worst of all, even though Author gave Elphaba a persecuted and tragic history, the supposed heroine never triumphed. Despite her battle cry of being unlimited, I never felt she truly found herself, or her center. I never felt happy for her. I'm not even sure Elphaba ever knew what she wanted. I think she would have been better off as the Witch who went after what she wanted by choice, than as  the hunted animal rights activist who made an aborted effort to right some wrongs.

To me, it seemed all Elphaba did was run away and regret her choices.

If you're like me, you mourn the play Wicked. But because you are more "Ozite" than "Ozian", you will always believe that Oz is a special world, suitable for children, comforting to the lost, and home for humans who wish to be more. Hopefully, Elphaba found her way there. And finally feels  beautiful. Brighter.

Truly unlimited.

I hope you have a fantastical day!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sacred Silence

In my current stage of self-exploration and practice, we (path partners) use the word "story" a lot. It covers everything from the babbling of the monkey mind to the fear of the lizard brain to the personal soundtrack which runs rampant (at least for me) in witness mode.

Everything is an idea, and every idea can lead to a story. It's what I do. If I wrote down every story that enters my head, well, I'd have a lot of writing, though very little time to refine, publish, breath, even experience. Happily, not every thought which passes through my brain has enough pull to be writable.

Though, to be honest, I do have to write down a lot of stuff simply to remember it.

But the point, the practice, is to allow some stories to evaporate. To not write blogs, not make remarks, not personalize every  moment or event. To not dramatize any event. To allow the moment to be what it is, and to only be that moment, not all the rest of the moments of my life.

Is it ironic I am writing a blog about not writing blogs? Obviously, some of "allowing a moment" requires a posting, a writing it out, because I know what I speak is what I need to hear. Or because I really want to discuss it. Because it is an impactful thought, a thought which, if practiced, might bring me happiness. A thought which covers many moments.

There are moments for partying and yelling and screaming and dancing and crying and singing. Definitely moments for advising and teaching and entertaining. But there are also moments for silence. Moments that need no discussion - and in fact, trying to talk about those moments when there's nothing to say brings up all sorts of weird, unrelated, and probably wrong stories. And you're left, I'm left, with the feeling like I just pulled my world down around me and I’m not even sure where the angst came from.

Turns out, I created the angst, the drama. Because I had nothing to say, at the moment when the conversation came around to me. And since I didn't know to say "I'm still processing" (since I didn't even realize it was the truth), the monkey and the lizard and the storyteller and the singer and the mystic, all joined hands and spun a glorious story, attempting to match the deep contemplative state I felt.

And instead of shying away, saying "no thank you", I took that dramatic heavy story and ran with it.

As I said, it's what I do. I see the possibilities, I build worlds. I create stories.

Which means I now get to learn the advanced work of NOT using my skills; of knowing when to allow the silence.

Happily, I worked through the story. I saw it for what it was. It took time and the complete absence of other people, but I found the silence below the smoke screen and had to laugh at myself a little. And give myself a big hug. All that tortured drama, just because I didn't have anything to say, but wanted to join the party. Wanted to exercise my skills. Wanted to be involved.

Interestingly, because I do like to sing and dance and entertain, I really love the silence. The completeness of the moment when there just is. And yeah, being a Doctor Who fan, and a Buffy fan, I had to work a little to not cringe at "the Silence".

But this silence is choice, not infliction. And that does make all the difference. I can be involved in any experience, any moment, just by choosing to be. I can say "I don't have anything to add" and still be in a moment. Even if the moment is hugely story worthy, it might be a story that's only really relevant to me. It might be a story full of moments that can't be voiced.

I am a story teller. It's what I do. But I can walk away from the moment without any additional stories to tell.

I can be silent, and so be true to my voice.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

If you're like me - Too Many People

If you're like me, you've been looking for your people.

You do not spend all your time staring into faces, but you do glance surreptitiously from time to time, especially in a crowd. There's a sense of anticipation, every time you go to a new place, which lends additional excitement to each adventure. Perhaps I'll find someone here.

If you're like me, you've begun to classify people. You find there are similarities in people. There are brands, or types. Classes.  Beyond, or maybe crossing, lines of race, culture, gender, economic status. You expected your travels to bring you more variety instead of less; but perhaps there are only a finite number of ways to create a human body. Maybe it's natural that a specific body type will gravitate toward a certain style of dress; after all, it looks really good on them. And I have noticed that they also tend to gravitate toward similir activities, music preferences, forms of expression.

If you're like me, this classification process makes things both better and worse. Better because you can quickly feel comfortable with a person simply because you know their type. Worse because you might have a tendency to use those categorizations a little too much, place expectations or labels on people just because they look like someone else. (hmm, is that how prejudice gets started?)

If you're like me, you've even discovered a few people who are your type. You've seen yourself up on stage, behind a desk, with three children in tow. A portrait of all the choices you've thought about making. A quantum flux of "If onlys" right in front of you.

And none of these are your people. Cuz if you're like me, you've already made a decision about the look-a-likes. And you don't really want to be friends with yourself (though maybe that's something to work on.) You know yourself way too well. And there's that whole paradox thing you're concerned about. (don’t cross the streams!)

So how do you find new people? When you are at the gathering of singers, or accountants, or dog walkers. How do you find your people?

If you're like me, you look for the ones you don't recognize.

You look for the people who stand out, to you. Maybe even the ones you admire. Obviously, if there's something you admire about someone, there's an attraction. A calling? A chance for a connection. But it could just be someone who feels totally foreign. If you, if I, actually see someone well enough to know I don't know them, that means they have something interesting to me.

 So, I put myself out there. I ask. I practice making the connections. If she is not part of my clan, I'll figure it out. It's all practice anyway. There are no wrong choices. And I'll admit, this part, this "networking" is much easier in the midst of people I feel I already know.

And what an interesting exercise, for me, to see how I choose people. To see what kind of people I think are "cool". I'm still not sure what attracts that first look, that focus.  I don't seem to judge by height or hair or voice. Clothes? Maybe it is a light, a spark, a vibration that hums subconsciously in harmony.

Also interesting, how pleasant it is not to feel I have to befriend everyone! I'm not saying I snub a person on purpose, but to feel free from the need to know every single person, to be nice and acceptable to every single person. How lovely.

But the most interesting thing I've noticed is, once I've identified someone as a possibility, once I've made the mental  connection, I don't need to cling to them. They're on my radar. I'm probably on theirs. And we'll get together again when there is time. If there is time. It doesn't even have to be on this plane. It might not even be in this life! Who knows? The urgency was in identifying the connection, saying yes or no to the invitation, or sending out an invitation. Finding my people. And making myself known to them.

If you're like me, there are a thousand thousand people out there you know, in one form or another. Almost too many people, as the Up With People song says. But there are only 6 in every thousand who might be one of YOUR people.

I hope you are finding your clan as well as I'm finding mine!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Soapbox of Perception - Imagine (as seen in Newsletter)

I would like to lead you on a mental exercise.

Think of your day, from beginning to end. You wake up. You break your fast, and groom yourself. You start your projects. You go to work or stay to work. You pick up groceries. You come home. You eat. You hang out with friends or family or both. You relax. You retire.

How many times did you pull out your wallet and give money to someone?

If it was none, yay. It was once or more, try again. Go through your day without giving money to anyone. Go through the day without receiving money from anyone. Keep everything else the same, including the picking up of groceries. Just take money totally out of the equation.

No, you're not stealing anything. You walk into the store, or get online, search for what you want, put it in the basket, even go through checkout for inventory or delivery purposes. And you leave the store or site. With no one chasing you. With no guilt. With the pleasant (or slightly annoyed) feeling of having accomplished another necessary chore.

Imagine that in your day. All the regular activities without money.

Imagine it in your week. Your month. Your year.

It's difficult to wrap your head around. It's taken me a long while to get past the reflex reaction of… if there's no money, how will I pay rent? How will I get food? How will I have electricity?

But imagine there is no money. Do the houses disappear? Does the soil quit growing produce? Do the cows quit giving milk? Do you stop?

During the Great Depression people didn't just cease to exist when they ran out of money. They may have killed themselves, or each other, but they didn't poof out of sight. The buildings stood vacant and fell into disrepair, they didn't vanish when the rent could no longer be paid. Think of this last economic crisis. The electricity didn't suddenly become unavailable when a person couldn't pay for it. It was turned off.

Despite the way we phrase it, money does not run the world. People use money to try and run other people. People use money as a status symbol, as power. And because money is the tool we use for goods exchange, people do a lot of things because they need money.

But what is money, really? It is an IOU. It is a form of barter using a middle man. Instead of working directly for the farmer and receiving milk and eggs and veg, you spend your time and energy at work. In exchange, work gives you money. You go to a store and trade the money for the edibles. The store has traded with the distributor, and the distributor trades with the farmer.

But money no longer represents the amount of energy expended.

Did I work any harder as an accountant than I did as a fast food clerk? No, I didn't. In fact, considering the smell and the quick tempo, the hazardous conditions, and polyester rash, fast food was probably a more difficult work environment than at-home bookkeeping.

And frankly, I work just as hard at writing as I did in the drive through station during rush hour. It's just different work.

So why is the monetary return so different, between energy expenditures: writer (zero); fast food worker (minimum wage); accountant (which could be anything from "nice" to "ridiculous"); retail; lawyer; teacher; insurance agent; doctor; politician; soldier; movie star?

Yes, yes. School and popularity and trends and fashion and science. So many philosophical and psychological discussions to tackle! And in my opinion, those are all, well, opinions.

For this article, let's just take money out of the picture.

Imagine: your health care doesn't depend on what you can afford. Imagine you can have whatever house brings you happiness, in whatever state or country you wish. Imagine you can train for whatever occupation you wish. Imagine wearing the clothes you like. Imagine driving the car you want to drive.

Imagine, more importantly, you could try a hundred different options until you found one that really truly suited you down to the ground. What are you doing with your life? What opportunities, options, possibilities for happiness have just opened up?

And, yes. I hear you. If there is no money, why would anyone work? Who would provide the health care, the houses, the street cleaning? What would motivate us? How would there be enough cool clothes, or cars, or food?  And how would we decide who gets which houses? Which cars? Which fancy stuff and which crap stuff?

Good questions. I hope to explore this subject further in a future article, now that I've actually managed to articulate the thesis. That money is not an accurate representative of the energy expended.

Perhaps you have the answer.


I hope you have a great day!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

If you're like me.... Today, happiness is... Not.

If you're  like me, it's been an interesting few days. Where interesting can be translated as "painful", "frustrating," "difficult," "mind-bending," "weight gaining," "bad hair," and "suck-ass". 

So what do we do, with all this pain, all this frustration, the desire to simply return to the shell, the womb, the bed, the other world? When all of our tricks and tips and tools seem useless against the waves of anguish? When you look in the mirror and really don't like what you feel? When it's all you can do to be civil - and bright and cheerful is no longer an option? What do we do?

Between all the posts on FB, and my personal feelings, the first thought in my head is we just push the red button! But. That's not the advice I would give to anyone else. And knowing we teach that which we most need to learn, I shall reach a little deeper than the pain and say…

We let go and we accept.

We stop trying to analyze. We stop hyperventilating. We stop forced deep breathing. We drop the bootstraps. We lower our chin. We drop the load and we stop grinning.

We give in. "I am in a nasty, sulky mood." "I feel awful and sad and frustrated." "I feel like giving up." "I feel pain." "I just don't care."

I have to tell you, the minute I started thinking that, my mood elevated. Because I was free of the self-imposed prison of who I ought to be.

I am allowed to be crabby. I am allowed to feel less than 100%. There is no reason. No rhyme. I don't know where the pain is, and I don't know why I feel it today. I don't what I'm allergic to. I don't know what's annoying me. I don't know how deep the grief is and if it will ever end and what will set it off this time. I don't know what tomorrow brings. And I am so tired of answering these questions. Tired of asking these questions. Tired of working.

I give in. Today, I give up. I am not going to push against the walls of anything; I’m not going to resist the grumpy mood, and I sure am not going try and accomplish anything when my mood is like this. I'd just have to do it over.

So I accept. I release. I let go. And I ply myself with as many caramel chocolate yogurt shakes as I want.

Because, if you're like me, when you're happy, there is no struggle. There is no resistance. There may be fear, uncertainty, and definitely a lot of practice. But none of this "oh, shoot me now!" despair. None of this blind beating against an invisible wall.

And if you're like me, you want to be happy all the time, yes?

But, if you're like me, you're human, and the weather turns, and we age, and stuff hurts. So. In order to be happy, we have to allow all the emotions to have play. The grumpy, the angry, the righteous, the goofy, the dopey, and the sad. To be in our truth, we have to be IN our truth, even if that truth is not bathing for a week or binging on alphabetizing everything in the home.

If you're like me, you eventually accept yourself, even when you're the Bitch from the Back of the Beyond. You give in. You declare. You celebrate.

And, in the middle of your pity party, you find a small gleaming nugget of happiness. Because, if you're like me, accepting your truth of the moment has set you free.

I hope you have a(n) [insert adjective here] day.


Friday, April 10, 2015

If you're like me... who shall cut your hair?

If you're like me, having someone else cut your hair can be, shall we say, challenging. Even when you've practiced explaining how you want your hair cut, expressing it to a stranger is a difficult task. And then, when it all goes wrong, you're not sure where to place blame. (and if you're like me, you don't even like the word blame.)

If you're like me, you also have that introvert thing going on, with a hefty dose of "Be polite!" in your upbringing. So when you find yourself being interrogated by a complete stranger... Who is cutting your hair.... You have to be nice, don't you?

Now, imagine walking into a place that does NOT feel like a steel and glass torture chamber. It's light and airy. It smells nice too. Before you wonder if you're in the right spot, you see the salon off to the side. Out of the way. NOT in the immediate view of anyone who walks in off the street.

Because this salon is also a metaphysical store. Cool. If you're like me, you relax a little more.

There's a nice little cubby for your purse. You give up your protective sweater. And you sit in the salon chair.

You tell the woman what you want (ooh, well done. Articulate and everything. Yay you!) You get a shampoo. You brace yourself, just a little.

The woman talks about herself and the store. And then, and THEN, as you're staring at yourself in the mirror, she says... "So, tell me a little about yourself. But only if you want to."

If you're like me, you actually turn your head and stare at her.

"I wouldn't want anyone to feel uncomfortable," she says.

At that moment, it wouldn't have mattered what she did to my hair. I'd still be singing praises right now.

However, each time I have looked in the mirror, I have said, "all right". I think she, and therefore I, has done good. 

I think I actually look forward to looking into the mirror tomorrow (after having slept on it. The true test of Lila hair appreciation!).

I am feeling pretty darn confident about looking in the mirror 2 weeks from now.

I don't think I have found the hair style I am looking for, but I'm pretty sure I have found my salon. I'm a little giddy.

A witch cut my hair, and I like it. And if you're like me, you'll like it too. Please check out

I hope you have a great day!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Enlightenment is Awesome - and Light

As in not heavy. As in expansive. As in free.

Perhaps enlightenment isn't about ascending, or about feeling smarter or holier. Perhaps enlightenment is about weightlessness. The bright bubbling joy of feeling light on my feet. Light in my head. Light as air.

With air, we fly. We may need to use a lot of heavy machinery to get there, but we are spacious and expansive in the air.

And even when the water freezes, we find ways to move lightly across is. To be light. To flow smoothly. To fly. 

What about summer, when we remove all our clothes, open up to the sun. Free ourselves from the shelters we've created. We stretch and lighten up. The earth itself expands, opening out to accept the light.

And do we not dance? Light on our feet? Flashing like the fire that skips and bubbles and pops when it is doing what it was created to do? Dancing, are we not connected with every other flowing being, through the sound of music and the flow of movement and the flashing light?

Enlightenment - that joyful, airy, nirvana moment of peace and acceptance and balance -- perhaps it is about light. Being light. Being expansive, embracive, feet won't touch the ground and everything is dancing and flowing, we are all connected, and the smile won't leave my face, light.

I hope you are EN LIGHT every moMENT you desire it!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Thoughts to Ponder: Colder than a Witch's What?

Why is the saying "colder than a witch's tit"?

When it's cold outside, my toes are the first to let me know. Then my fingers. Ears. And of course lungs and nostril hairs. My teats are snugly warm under layers and layers of clothes. And a big fuzzy coat.

Even if we're saying that a witch is a woman with a huge green nose (like Witch Hazel from the Looney Tunes) - surely that nose was sticking out much further into the frigid air than her breasts. Which are also happily covered with cloth. Warm black wool cloth. And most likely a shawl.

Let us officially change the terminology, please. We may say it is colder than a witch's nose hairs.

Cuz it surely is, right now. Colder than a witch's anything.

Especially as all sensible witches are tucked inside with hot toddies and a good book.

I hope you have a warm day!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Life in Runes

Capricorn 2014 - 2015

The rune for the coming month is no rune at all. 

If you're like me, it's a little difficult to swallow that.  It feels like we barely made it through the last moon cycle with our sanity intact.  And now you're telling me "You've got this?"  I need guidance!

But the universe says I've got all I need.  So, what do I have?

Well, I have all these gifts, all these dreams, all these foundations I have been creating.  Personally, I have some catch phrases, some new services, some identities.  I have a book ready for publishing.  I have a beautiful place to live - and some allergies and some new questions about the weather and my desire to tolerate it.  I have belief and determination.  I have some very strong opinions.  And I have a lot of practice under my belt.

I guess that's enough to build on.

Grudgingly,  the universe did gave one little nugget.  If I really need, if you really need, something to guide our thinking, to ground the whirlwind of thoughts and ideas, if you need a rope to grasp onto…
…think about the flow.  The flow from the past to the future.  The flow of the pack.
  Is it a flow you want?  Or a flow you don't?  Is it a connection you wish to maintain, or one to release?

Dear ones, the time of the individual is on the rise.  We are not fighting for our pack or our nation or even for humanity's continued existence as a race.  Humanity has definitely dominated the earth in numbers.  We are now working to each be our own unique block in the quilt, to accept ourselves so we can accept the differences of each other.  To be a better race, a race of quality. 

Find your individual quirks.  Revel in your personal passions.  Dream.  Practice.  And celebrate.

I hope you have a great month!