the snow globe

This piece was written during November 2009, and documents my transition from part-time to full-time coaching.

If I chose one metaphor for my life in the past year, it would be the snow globe. In general, everything has felt so shaken up, so topsy-turvy, but in a beautiful way (the kind of way where you might be tempted to shake it up again, just to watch it happen), and now the pieces seem to be slowly floating down into a slower space.

The odd part about all of it is that underlying everything that happens lately, I have this larger sense of fate. I feel as if I have stepped off the track of being the arbiter of my life, someone who has sat down to identify goals in a purposeful way and then worked her ass off to attain them, and that now there is something bigger and more magical at play and I am just riding that ride. There is a lot of deja vu, a lot of hanging back and then when something happens kind of shaking my head at the “rightness” that I feel, and then sensing that, yes, it was all supposed to turn out just this way.

For instance, even with the troubles we’ve had with the house that we’ve just moved into–the plumbing lines that backed up, and the newer problem that has presented itself with the electrical system (!)–despite those troubles, I don’t question for a second whether this is the right place to be. It just feels right. In other houses where we’ve been when troubles have arisen it only confirmed what I knew–what I’d felt leading up to the signing of the papers, the red flag warnings that had been whispering at me to think about the choice just a bit more. For whatever reason, with this house it is my story that because it feels right, it is right despite the challenges. Thus, living here feels perfectly okay (in fact, I feel inordinately proud that we made the decision–walking in the house, I feel that sense of “Ah…” that I have been missing the past few years).

There is a kind of magic (energy? presence? spirit? who knows) that seems at work in the background, and I think it is always there but in this particular cycle of my life I feel more present to it. I feel guided by it, protected by it. I feel more committed to doing only that which resonates and trusting that if something does not resonate–even if it’s something that “should” resonate for some reason–there is something to that. I feel willing to listen. I have felt this way to varying degrees since Italy. Sometimes I think to myself that the only thing any human needs to get “right” on what they want is a week away from their everyday life. I find that every time I take myself out of my daily routines, issues that I think I’m challenged by become more clear, and then I can return to the routines with that insight.

I feel really grateful because I know I have felt this guidance before in my life and then it slipped away (or perhaps it’s something that just naturally cycles through, changing like seasons, waxing and waning?). It feels good to have this, especially now, because I also have big waves of fear come up–there is so much more money flowing out of my life in this moment than into it, and my inner little kid, happy as she is that I will no longer force her to do a job she is ready to let go of, is looking at the money part and going, “What the fuck are you doing? Who put you in charge?”

In a few minutes, I’m going to slip out of the house and head to one of my favorite places, Cafe Gratitude. They’re holding a workshop on abundance and I feel all sorts of things–afraid, resistant, excited, open–but mostly I’m hoping that this workshop is just an opening to sinking deeper into a sense of being held by the world. I’m also really, really grateful that there is a place I can go to get even further insights into stepping completely into being abundance. I’ve done a lot of money work in the past few years, and I’m proud of all of it, yet in many ways it feels like an onion being peeled as I discover another way that old patterns around scarcity or lack show up in my life (most recently, by the way, my old learned story about money, “Rich people are selfish and out of touch with the suffering of others” has shown up in feeling sudden bits of self-consciousness that someone might come into my home and think that because Andy and I are paying more rent and buying new furniture, I’ll be viewed as “selfish and out of touch with the suffering of others.” That was a huge wake up call for me yesterday–just when I thought that that story had played itself out fully…)

I’ll be excited to report back!

the grumpy place

This post was written in November 2009, and documents my transition from part-time to full-time coaching.

I wrote a bit ago about “the happy place.” 

For the past week, I have noticed myself existing in “the grumpy place.” 

I used to not understand why these moods would come upon me–why it was that life would suddenly feel negative, pissy, irritable, frustrating, like everything was “happening to” me. Now I get why these times happen–it’s a buildup of negative emotions that I’m not releasing in a healthy way, combined with not enough self-care. It’s also something that can be seriously agitated by not enough sleep and/or being sick.

I am reminded again and again in my life that it is always better to do the daily work than to clean up the mess later. I’ve mentioned this in regards to relationships, before–it’s always better to face those ugly parts, clear the withholds, have the difficult conversations–than it is to clean up resentments later. I’ve had more than one friendship or relationship in my life where, by the time we finally started to clean things up, there was so much to clean up and so much trust had been broken that it was really, really complicated to figure out where to go from there.

The same holds true for self-care. One simply cannot bounce from working on getting an e-course going, to teaching, to grading papers, to moving an entire house and living amongst boxes and chaos, to using all spare time to paint/organize/unpack/unload/sort/buy furniture, completely neglecting yoga and exercise and even eating well (I had brussel sprouts for the first time in quite awhile this past week, and I was SO EXCITED to be getting a green vegetable in my mouth–it has been a “mix up a pack of instant oatmeal for dinner” kind of time).

This lack of self-care has manifested itself in a few ways, the most critical of which was noticing that during my coaching sessions this week, I felt “off,” not as easily able to tune in intuitively to what my clients needed. And that–that–really was a huge wake-up call that things had reached mission critical point. Self-care is not just about me, it’s about the space I hold for others, too.

I don’t do “balance” perfectly–frankly, I don’t believe anyone really does–and yet I honor myself for all that I have learned, especially with my ability to notice, so much faster, where I’m getting out of balance. It is really, really difficult to say no to things I wanted to do, but I am braver about noticing when it’s needed and speaking into that. For instance, I had this whole fantasy of cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner here at the house (our new house, our perfect little house that we searched so long for that is exactly what we have always wanted ever since we moved in together!) with some of Andy’s family, complete with bonding over how to cook a whole turkey and learning new cooking moves and just hanging out around the fireplace (yup, we have a fireplace) as the day slowly tucked away into night. 

And earlier this week, I noticed that every single time I thought of this dinner, I felt completely overwhelmed. I don’t want to cook all day–I want rest. I don’t want to have people in the house all day–I want time with my love and equal parts solitude, to reconnect with me. I feel so very, very stretched and the to-do list is really big. What I really need right now, more than anything, is some time to have absolutely nothing on my plate. Quiet time with my love. A cozy couch and a blanket and a kitty and a pile of movies, good food to munch on, walks outside to stave off the bloat.

The Thanksgiving fantasy of a grand dinner in this house will need to happen next year. I am disappointed and don’t want to disappoint others, and yet I know deep down that if I try to fit onemorething in, I’m not taking care of myself.

This doesn’t mean that the day won’t be meaningful in some way. We were invited to do dinner at someone else’s house and so this means we will get out for a few hours, say hello to others, toast, share what we’re so grateful for (and there’s so, so much).

Between deciding to let go of this big, grand (and energetically consuming Thanksgiving fantasy), as well as finally getting a solid night’s sleep for the first time in a few days, I am feeling better. I am feeling less irritable and snappish. I have taken things really, really slowly this morning. There is still a pile o’ stuff on my office floor–stuff that I’ve left there because I refuse to do anything with it until I know exactly where it will go, what I will keep and what I won’t. I’m making a goal of finishing my office by this evening. It’s a good goal. There is a little sigh of relief that I know comes whenever I have my own little space.

this moment, now

This post was written in November 2009, and documents my transition from part-time to full-time coaching.

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It dawned on me today that one month from today, I’ll be holding my last class sessions. For the past few months, I have struggled greatly with just being here, now, where I am, in THIS life, with THESE circumstances, and not rushing to get to THAT life with THOSE circumstances that I somehow think will be so much better. I am very, very aware that THAT life, the one I’m transitioning into, will still be full of challenges to grow into/past.

I keep thinking to myself, “How different would my life be right now if I completely embraced the idea that every single thing that has ever happened to me, is a gift? What if I embraced the idea that every single thing that is happening in my life right NOW, is a gift?”

When I am in my strongest and most empowered moments, I believe this completely and truly and fully. When I’m not feeling empowered, when I feel like a victim of circumstances, it seems like everything “happens to” me.

I have been thinking of this a lot today because it is one of those days where, despite eight hours of sleep, I am dragging. And it has been a day full of little complaints and critters and “have to” and all of that muckity-muck. Yet I know that there have been times when I’ve been equally as tired, but in a space of pure joy, such that I didn’t even care that I was tired. I was just simply excited about living, and that made all of the difference.

I’ve been fielding phone calls today–still trying to get things squared away with the plumbing issues that we had, little odds and ends–and then in between all of that, trying to get some odds and ends of work done, between teaching two classes. It’s a full day, and the voices in my head today have been whining a lot about all of this work and how the house still isn’t unpacked (!) and it’s not faiiiiiirrrrrr.

That inner little girl wants to go out and play, and is sick of that being put off for another day.

I was driving down the street and was trying to reason it all out in my head. “Okay. I love the saying ‘If you’re not having fun, why are you doing it?’ Yet in life, stuff still needs to be done. These phone calls and repairs still need to be made. I don’t get to just blow it all off; that’s not realistic. How exactly can I marry “Fun” with getting it all done?”

And the very next thing I thought was: “Make it a game.” Right then, my spirits lifted. Of course! Make it a game. Make it a game; challenge myself to see just how much fun I can have, how loving I can be to the people I’m coming into contact with, give myself five points for every time I’m patient, list as many things as I can think of to be grateful for in the next thirty seconds–Ready, Set, Go!

The thing is, none of us get any points for being miserable. We get no kudos for being snarky. We get no life awards for being a victim. Every single synapse in my brain wanted to spend the entire rest of the day complaining about how bad I had it, all the things that were piling up, how tired I was, how grumpy/cranky I felt…at a certain point, after acknowledging and owning those feelings, it was time to shift it. I’m trying to convey how badly I didn’t want to shift it; how badly I just wanted to stay in a comfort zone of complaints.

I chose to challenge myself to come up with thirty things that I’m grateful for in thirty seconds.

I felt amazing afterwards.

This stuff works. We are completely in choice about how we can live our lives and what we’re capable of. If there is anything at the top of my list of gratitude, it’s that I’m in the process and have committed to stay the course in doing work that is about getting really real about all of the negative emotions while simultaneously refusing to stay stuck there.

Okay, then. Now I’m off to arrange for trash disposal service, hit up the post office, take some phone appointments, teach a 3-hour night class, and collapse back in bed at the end of it all. And again the old habits rise up of how I
“don’t wanna…”

…so I wonder what game I’ll choose to play, next.

This moment, now–ready, set, here!

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