Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

A New Digital Home – Allowing Myself

After a few months of stalled work, the help of an awesome tech-savvy gal, and some general finagling, I’m happy to announce that I’ve moved to my own site.

I invite you to come check it out here: Allowing Myself

This will stay up as a reference for now. All content from this site was transferred, so you can update your bookmarks and check-in with me any time at the new location.

As always – thanks for reading. xo

Recently (February 2015)

finishing editing meeting minutes for a big deal meeting. this is much harder than I anticipated.

rolling with doing work when I have the energy, ignoring time and day of the week

going to so.many.places, starting with Austin next week.

updating the blog, moving it to a new home with a new look. Stay tuned!

watching Fargo (my Martin Freeman crush is deep). Walking Dead. Hockey. Can’t wait to binge-watch House of Cards.

reading Station 11. Just finished The Bone Clocks and Me Talk Pretty One Day.

remembering being read to as a kid, especially Charlotte’s Web at school and Little Women by my grandmother at home.

quitting alcohol, going on 3 weeks

thinking about creating a podcast

celebrating my birthday

loving H’s support, and how he’s obsessed with listening to a book on tape.

drinking hot chocolate with coffee

dreaming of babies #notpregnant

wearing a random assortment of pajama-like clothing

missing Stephanie

listening to Book Riot, Raise Your Hand Say Yes, Dabbles vs Doers and the Nerdist podcasts.

planning many, many trips

embracing the next few months are not what I thought they’d be, including 6 flights, but it should all still be pretty awesome.

spending less money, despite said trip planning travels.

wishing I could read in the bathtub all day, everyday. Actually, wishing for a better tub in general. (Birthday gift?)

feeling grateful this post-event season feels easier than other years

obsessed with Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (you’re welcome)

Check List for Worthwhileness

We had Monday off from work – and there is nothing I love more than a Monday holiday. A perfect day for some climbing outside (it’s been months) at Stoney Point.

Making a 1/2 day trek to LA’s urban outdoor rock gym is right in line with my adventuring for 2015.

It requires some planning, getting up early on a day off, packing a bit, and the whole hustle it takes to actually get going. Then, once you’re there, you scout around for the routes, re-route your plan if other people are already there, discuss anchor points, look at maps, stand in the hot sun and set anchors (this part mostly done by H), and then finally – almost 2 hrs after you left the house – you’re ready to climb.

And climbing is a metaphor for life itself, but we don’t need to go into it right now. Instead, what I want to point out is, all of the above is hurdle enough to keep people (and by “people”, I mean me) from doing anything interesting with their time.

So a day like this is really just a check-list for embarking on anything worthwhile:
Plan a bit
Pack a bit
Invite someone cool to travel with
Stare at maps some
Scout a bit
Route + re-route as needed
Tie in / buckle up / walk off the cliff (whatever, you get it)
… and enjoy it

Spring Plannings

For good or bad, spring has officially sprung here in LA. While the east coast is pummeled by snow storm after raging snow storm, and spring seeps gently in other states, here, it is as if someone flipped a switch.

We went from chilly air, cool breezes, weak sun and foggy mornings to the full-blown technicolor that is California sunshine. Where in the shade it’s perfect, under direct rays, it can feel like you’re on the wrong end of a kid’s magnifying glass experiment of fried bugs.

While the heat is not my thing at all, the sudden burst of vibrant pink and white from the magnolias and jasmine plants is brilliant.

And the smell… swoon.

The internet says Leo Tolstoy wrote, in Anna Karenina, “Spring is the time of plans and projects” and that is what this week feels like to me. The past 2 weeks, I spent quite a bit of time catching up, digging out of email, and running errands – basically recovering from the first month and a half of the year.

Now that I’m caught up, Mercury’s direct, and my birthday is this week, I am ready to dive into those plans and projects – lining up with the seasonal shift, the glow of nature returning.

Five Year Plan

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ~Annie Dillard

I believe that small, daily habits build our lives, so of course I love the idea of this 5 year, one-line-per-day journal. Since I received this little book as a Christmas gift (thanks E!) I started January 1st 2015.

Each night, I write a little bit about the day. So far, I’ve missed an evening or two (usually b/c I’m tired and turn off the light before I remember) but it’s simple enough to fill it in the next morning. It has 5 entries per page, with each page being one day of the year. You fill in the year and a little blurb about your day.

I’m only 6 weeks into it, so there’s no spectacular a-ha moment. The nightly reflection is nice, but the real reward will be over the next few years, as I revisit my previous entry for each date. So much can happen in 5 years…

Since 2010:
– this blog was started
– we adopted Carter Cash
– we got engaged (and then married)
– we went on our epic Grand Canyon trip (and had yet to visit Hawaii or Alaska)
– my job was different and has only gotten better
– my siblings didn’t live near me in CA
– my relationship with my parents was not so good
– I attended my first retreat, and took many an online class
– a few of my really good girlfriends still lived here
– I started therapy
– I was just beginning to experiment with photography again
– I’d never had a life coach
rock climbing was not a thing
– I was still in my 20s
– I didn’t know how to take care of myself. I certainly hustled for my worthiness.
– I hadn’t read Harry Potter yet.

So yeah, a lot can happen in 5 years. Looking forward to having this small, memory-keeping habit capture and reflect on my days and our lives.

Library Haul – February 2015

The other day, I was feeling pretty crappy, but after a hot shower & a mug of hot chocolate spiked with coffee, my energy was on the mend. I ventured out to run a bunch of errands (including buying my bridesmaid dress for L&T’s wedding – woo!), and found myself at the public library.

I fucking love the library.

The quiet, the stacks of books, the gathering of people all minding their own business. It’s an introvert’s dream. Any time I feel out of sorts, a trip to the library always helps. Not to mention it feeds a need to have new items – but the great thing about library books is, if I don’t like them, they’re due to be returned in 4 weeks or less. #winwin

Recently, all things reading have taken up residence in the forefront of my mind. I have a stack of fiction books waiting for my attention (explains why most of the titles above are non-fiction). I discovered BookRiot and Reading Lives podcasts. I even had a reading date with Billye where we both sat together on her front porch, reading our own books, separately, together. It was great.

Hoping to share more of my reading life here, since I think a lot of you are readers yourselves. So we’ll start with my library haul updates and I’ll share what I’ve been reading soon. And I would love for you to share anything you’d like about your reading life in the comments.

You can check out my (outdated) history of reading here. I find it hard to be recommended books, but Lindsey has yet to steer me wrong. Happy reading.

Big Three Oh List – Update

Last year, I made a Big Three Oh List. In my last week at 30, I thought we’d check in.

Spoiler alert – I only accomplished 1/2 of the list, and that’s being generous – but I still had an awesome year.

Learn to make a latte at home, or a cold brew, or something fun with delish coffee. Sort of. We didn’t buy a fancy glass pour-over or start grinding our own beans, but H and I are making coffee at home more & more. He likes vanilla powder from Coffee Bean and I’ve become obsessed with hot chocolate spiked with coffee. Not sure if I want to expand or just leave this as is.

Host a story bowl. Sadly no, but I am considering one soon.

Bake bread. Again, no. Not even once. I don’t know why this stays on my list when I never make the effort to actually do it, but my friend Jo sent me a recipe that I will get to eventually.

Take a trip alone. Attend a retreat. Technically, no, but I did start monthly Day Alone trips, and I plan to continue that ritual.

Visit friends in Chicago, visit friends in NYC, visit Denver. Well, yes, in fact, I did make it to Denver. Woot! I made it to New Hampshire, Joshua Tree (more than once), and Vegas. And I traveled to Boston 3x, which is almost too much.

Create a second income stream / Launch an e-course or e-deliverable. Not yet, but the seeds of ideas are planted. Also, I did a 30 day challenge on the blog (sort of a first) and learned I do not like 30-day challenges.

Rock climb outdoors. Yes, yes and yes. Also, yes and yes. Rock climbing, hiking and being outdoors were a large part of my 30th year. Dubbing 2014 the “year of gear” (only half joking).

Hang plants in the apartment. Gah. Why is something so simple, so difficult? I walk into Home Depot and freeze. My succulents in the window are dying. Maybe I am not meant to have plants.

Make a photo collage on a wall in my apartment. Also, hang twinkle lights, preferably in a cute shape. Nope, again. It’s seems that when I have a super cute our-apartment-NEEDS-this idea, I should execute it within 2 weeks or forget about it entirely. Otherwise, not happening. We did get new floors though downstairs, thanks to H, and they are life-changing

Get the hang of Pinterest. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. Can’t I just stay on Instagram forever?

Write a song. just one. No, but please note that I did pick up the guitar a few times. Just a few.

Get a tattoo. Another for the “No” column, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. A lot.

Write a letter to my parents thanking them. Working on this now.

See the LA Phil. I mean, come on, who was I when I made this list?? Great idea, but it didn’t happen. I did, however, see Jimmy Eat World 2x (Ventura and Los Angeles) and go to Stage Coach.

Do a juice cleanse. Hahahahahahaha. ::sigh:: No, but I do make juice at home a lot, and I’m much happier ordering fresh juice over alcohol when we eat out anytime.

Visit Alaska. OH EM GEE – YAAAASSSSS. It was magical, beautiful and everything I dreamed it would be, all the way back to my 2011 post about it.

Celebrate two lovely friends at their wedding. Yay! This also involved laying out underneath the night sky with friends, looking for shooting stars. Awesome weekend.

Learn to give myself a manicure. No, but I did paint my own nails a bit more. I made it to the nail salon a total of zero times. Clearly, not a priority, especially with all of that rock climbing.

Create a meditation practice. While I didn’t create & sustain a practice, I did have a few golden streaks during the year, thanks to Susannah Conway’s meditations from her Sacred Alone class. Can’t wait till she releases an album of more.

Get a blogging mentor or writing group or something related to this. Boy, do I feel like I’m failing at this left and right. No group. No mentor. Not yet, anyways.

Create a mini-book. I wrote this hoping to make one for my sister. Instead, I ordered her Sticky9 magnets from our StageCoach weekend and called it a day. I did, however, make a few scrapbook pages and I looooovvveeedddd them.

Learn more about tarot. Yes to this one. I use this deck, which is both gorgeous and scary depending on what you pull.

Run a 5k. Maybe even a 10k. Or that elusive 1/2 marathon. Nah. Lately it seems rock climbing is the end to the means of the rest of my physical activity. Running takes it’s toll on my body, but I run 2m 3-4x per week. Also, HIIT is super fun.

Put myself, and creativity, first. More and more, yes. More and more, a habit, not a goal.

Switch to natural products. Ummm… I did stop wearing anti-aspirant and bought some Burt’s Bees face lotion, which is lovely. Close enough.

Change our floors or move to a new apartment. H took care of this for me back in April mostly by himself. Again, life changing. I never did write a blog post about it. You can see them in this picture (one of my favs) though they’re blond, so yes, the floor matches the dog.

Ride a horse. Just never made plans for this. I did, however, go stand-up paddle boarding for the first time. Not the same at all, but another new, cool activity we tried out.

Visit somewhere outside of the country. No, but we have tickets booked for a trip soon!! ::insert heart-eye emoji::

Go kayaking. Yes! In Alaska, we sea kayaked and I loved every second of it.

2015 One Little Word: Adventure

2015 was off to a slow start on the personal end coupled with a roaring schedule for work. This required turning in, focusing my energy where it was needed – on myself and my job.

Now that the knot of work loosened, I am excited to shift focus to my own projects. What better way to get clear on my intentions than by sharing my One Little Word for 2015?

Adventure. Yes.

While most of the past 10 weeks are a blur of holidays, work and not-so-great events, my OLW came to me before that. In the midst of traveling to Denver, Joshua Tree and Boston – on flights, during road trips, while climbing rock faces – I started to feel an inkling of something new. A whisper of forward movement. A feeling of needing to shake things up.

I could already feel the Saturn shift happening, and the planet of hard work was moving right into adventure-loving Sagittarius.

Perfect timing.

 

Denver Trip, November 2014

In November, I visited Chelsea, one of my longest standing and bestest friends, at her home in Denver, CO. It was a spontaneous trip, whose incarnation went like this.

Me: H and I would love to visit Denver in the spring.

Chels: Well, what if you planned to come with H in the spring, but first booked a trip in the next few weeks…by yourself?

Me: Um. Actually, sure. I could totally do that.

That simple. Being 30, with a steady job and few responsibilities has its perks. Spontaneous travel to see one’s best friend is one of them.

Over the 4 days, we hung out at her apartment, sampled a bunch of beer, visited the famous Fancy Tiger craft store and made our own crafts at Upstairs Circus (a bar with crafts? crafts with a bar? whaatttt??), ate VooDoo Doughnuts (my first one) and tacos and fancy pancakes, had an amazing dinner with probably too much wine, visited the Dushanbe Tea House, talked about and browsed books, and spent some serious quality time together.

Chels’ apartment is all of these separate rooms laid out in an L-shape, with wood floors, very tall windows and a cozy, old-building feel (nothing like we have in LA). The VSCO app filters on the photos remind me of the cold outside and the warm, heated air inside. It makes me miss fresh air, brick buildings, snow… and Chels.

Wandering Through the Garden

“Working on ourselves is a lot like cultivating a garden.” ~ lois wilson

My friend Steve shared the quote above on yesterday’s post where I spoke about my slow entry into this new year. The garden reference supports what I’m feeling – that the past 2 months or so were a time to rest, to let the fields lay fallow, to drawn in.

But with the new year energy (all those motivating pins on Pinterest! all those big resolution posts on Facebook!) it make sense to feel a little behind. And then one of the biggest shifts in astrological news coincided with Christmas week – Saturn moved from Scorpio (underworld, emotions) to Sagittarius (curiosity, actions).

It’s like the whole Universe is a classroom full of kids being let out the day before summer break. It’s hard to ignore that type of energy, that cosmic shift.

Astrobarry wrote about here:

…and if there’s one central theme we can confidently associate with the taskmaster-planet’s recent occupation of the archer’s-sign, it’s that our job is now to move decidedly forward, straight into the heart of the action, the adventure, the excitement, to the obvious next-destination on this journey and/or toward that which really matters to us. Life’s too short to get caught replaying details of the past…

That is what I’ve been feeling – a serious focus on forward movement. Future. Dreaming, but with plans. Ideas but with outlines. Projects that lead to goals.

But for all that energy, it doesn’t mean we know what to do with it yet:

For the time being, many of us are sort of wandering through our new year, still acclimating to the different Saturn vibe. We aren’t sure quite how quickly or dramatically to move forward, caught between eager optimism and recalcitrant fear. Even as circumstances change, our minds remain in a struggle to catch up, as suggested by Mercury’s current retrograde (continuing through Feb 11). In this unfamiliar territory, it makes sense to proceed by feel, sensitive to our surroundings, somewhat meek or tempered with the force of our actions, still assessing the astrological temperature before taking more confident ownership.

I think that’s what I meant yesterday, I’m feeling my way through right now – not pushing myself to go any faster or work any harder than I need to. And I’m OK with that.

I know from experience that for each down turn there is an upswing. Like for each winter there’s a spring. xo

 

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