Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: ali edwards

2014 One Little Word


Flow first came to me via the INFJ business class I’m in. Abby spoke about working with our preferences, energy, cycles, seasons – “designing for flow” she called it.

Genius.

As I thought and felt through the last weeks of 2013, I tossed around a few words: hum, resonance, depth, grow. I wanted a word that could embody growth in an upward, expansive way, but also in a deep / depth way. I wanted a word that gave me the feeling of being one with energy, with people, with my life, and supported me in the way that “trust” did in 2012. Mostly I wanted a word that would move me forward through another spiral of life, *and* would be comforting.

The more I thought about “designing for flow” the more I realized this could be my word.

Here’s what flow means to me at the start of this year:
-Go with the flow, overcoming resistance. Energize focus.

-Cycles & seasons – following the planets, the moon, my own energy / body, a time to work, a time to harvest, a time to lie fallow. Respecting these rhythms. Aligned.

-Creativity – depth, bringing things together, allowing creativity to fill in the gaps of my days.

-Finding flow – the actual state of engagement and productivity.

-Waves, oceans, currents, tides. Sacred energy. Heidi  Taylor mentioned “sacred idleness” on Twitter – that seems to resonate here. So does my Year of Ocean project.

-Movement – clear space, energized focus give and take. Set up systems & structures to flow through.

-Priming the pump, filling the well, and taking care not to overdraw my reserves.

-Power in Ease (path of least resistance) – let go or be dragged, trust.

I’ve found that my one little words ask me to look at their opposites. The opposites for flow I see now: resistance, stuck, scarcity, lack. When I’m experiencing these feelings through the year, I want to remember to come back to flow.

Aligned + moving. Riding the waves. Living by the moon. xo

Interested in choosing your own word to guide you this year? I suggest two resources: Ali Edwards One Little Word series, as she’s the creator of this online project and Susannah Conway’s Unravelling booklet. Missed this in January? Don’t let whatever month it is keep you from choosing a word to carry with you the rest of the year. 

Advertisements

Hello Story or My Introduction To Scrapbooking

I’m in the third week of Ali Edwards Hello Story – a 12 week scrapbooking class – and I’m loving it. 

Total noob here. This is my first scrapbook 12×12 page… EVER. It’s a timeline of important events in my life. It’s actually missing a photo still – I’ll add that once it’s printed.

But excuse me while I take a moment to jump up & down with excitement that I was able to create this page. It felt so creative and engaging to make something. I was totally in flow and was racing against the clock to finish it before a dinner date.

I was surprised by how much color I wanted. And that I added the water-color background not having a freakin’ clue what I was doing. When I thought to use feathers as a symbol for my own trust / lifeline, my heart jumped. And I am so so so proud of myself for cutting those colored paper feathers from a patterned paper – and not feeling frustrated that I didn’t have the “perfect” embellishments.

I loved getting paint on my hands, following where the layout went,  telling my story and improvising. 

I’ve been working on Project Life since January but I’m still not sure about it. While I’m printing WAY more photos than I ever have, it seems like an awful lot of paper to be accumulating as the years go on. I’m committed to documenting 2013 via the 2-page weekly spread, but I may rethink this for next year. 

And the Hello Story class is so inspiring. Ali does a really great job of offering scrapbooking as a vehicle to dig deeper into your life story. She says “scrapbooking is an opportunity to tell stories that give perspective to our overall life experience”. 

This is why I journal, take photos, keep this blog… I want perspective, understanding, deeper meaning made out of my life experiences. And I want to read / hear others’ stories too.

So, there’s magic here. As I wrote yesterday, trying my best to keep the supplies low and the production high. But I think I’m on to something.

Not Your Momma’s Scrapbook

So, all of a sudden, I have a small scrapbooking hobby. It seems a natural progression – journal, take photos, combine writing + pictures = scrapbooking.

But this ain’t your momma’s scrapbook.

There are no cheesy stickers of soccer balls for soccer-themed photos, no cutting photos out into odd shapes, and certainly not just a bunch of bits and pieces glued down in a book (though that can still work).

Now it’s less theme-y and yet still all about capturing our lives. It’s about preserving stories, showcasing gorgeous photos and playing with paper.

I still haven’t found my groove yet. One reason is that I’m hesitant to dive into this hobby full-force. What if it becomes a pile of unused supplies? And where the hell am I going to store the final products when H already has nightmares of my journals overtaking our living room???

My entry point was some combination of Project Life, reading Elise’s blog and listening to a scrapbooking podcast without actually scrapbooking. I’ve been doing Project Life since January and I’m about 8 weeks behind. I am OK with this. (Apparently many people start to freak out they’re “behind”. I am just impressed I still care about this project).

I’m enrolled in Ali Edwards’ Hello Story class – and while I’m loving the IDEAS, I’m still hitting resistance in actually making anything. I’m confident this will work itself out.

Asking myself these questions:

  1. why do I want to tell stories?
  2. how do I want to tell them?
  3. how do I want to share them?

That is all.

Just a quick marker for where I’m at, and a list below of the sites that I now visit since I care about this niche. Also note that I am super-duper trying to not fall into the consumer panic of new products / over-shopping / hoarding. Instead, I’m hoping I can get creative and make what I need rather than buying it.

We’ll see.

My style is potentially some combination of these:

Project Life (Becky Higgins)

Elise Blaha Cripe

Ali Edwards

Marcy Penner

 

Minimalist & gorgeous:

Pink Ronnie (Rhonda Mason)

Paislee Press (Liz Tamanaha)

 

Much brighter / busier in design but so FUN:

Amy Tangerine

Kelly Purkey

Ann-Marie Morris

 

Other resources:

Paperclipping Round Table podcast

Big Picture Classes

Day In The Life: Live Is Being Lived

Lately, I’ve been up and down emotionally. When this happens, I never know exactly why and therefore randomly try things to help me feel better. Most don’t seem to work and the best plan is just to wait it out. Monday was anxiety, Wednesday was frustration, and Thursday was something close to depression.

But when I remembered it was June’s “day in the life“, I perked up. Here was something that could anchor my day. Something that would remind me to notice the moments and to choose the “better” task hour to hour.

So, I went through my day, taking photos. And I remembered my horoscope from Astrobarry last week:

In case you haven’t noticed by now, Pisces, the horoscopes I’ve been writing you lately have been pretty fucking awesome. They have mostly centered around accepting yourself for who you are, right here and right now (instead of mooning over what could’ve been or might someday be), and just reveling in the giddiness and gorgeousness and general good-time feelings wherever and whenever you can find ’em. Now, I don’t want to be a sugarcoating bliss-ninny and give you the mistaken impression that everything in life will be sunshine and rainbow and tutti-frutti ice-cream cones from here on out—hell, I bet even at the best of times, there are still some things that are functioning poorly and/or mainly serve the role of ‘giant pain-in-the-ass’. And yet, here comes a year full of Jupiter-in-the-5th, starting early next week, which is one of the loveliest astrological happenings a sign can experience: an increase of encouraging planetary energy in the house of love and romance, children and child-like wonder, pleasure and play, and all leisure-time activities which bring creative self-fulfillment. Raise the roof on that one, dear fishy! While this will not magically remove all bumps-in-the-road or thorns-in-your-side, it does support you whenever you take steps to improve your appreciative enjoyment of the world. Knowing you, the hardest part just might be determining what you most genuinely enjoy… without unduly considering everyone else’s preferences and pressures. Doing more of what you really really love, by the way, is an incredibly attractivequality.

And I focused on doing what I wanted to do.

This is the hardest thing for me. I may seem all bad-ass and confident, but sometimes the slightest look from a friend or word from H can send me off into the hustle for worthiness.

This week had plenty of that as I prepared for my annual review. Even though I just received a promotion, even though I rock my job, it sent me into a panic. Thoughts swirling about if I’ve done enough and will make the cut. If I’m liked

But I kept my focus on taking those photos. And the ideas from above: “just reveling in the giddiness and gorgeousness and general good-time feelings wherever and whenever you can find ’em… pleasure and play, and all leisure-time activities which bring creative self-fulfillment“.

And I realize now as I write this that the act of taking these photos, of noticing my life, gives value to where I’m at, allowing myself to do what I want with these precious minutes I’m given each day. And it brings creative fulfillment, which brings me deep happiness with myself and my life.

*The picture of the 3 of us on our family walk is my fav

—Related—
Ali Edward’s Day In The Life
Susannah Conway’s e-courses, especially Unravelling
Liz Lamoreux
Brene Brown

2013 Summer Manifesto

At first I thought, “No way. Not another list with more pressure added to having the perfect experience, trying to live my days like the unachievable images on the interwebs.” Ahem, Pinterest.

But then I got to thinking. We’re young, married, renters, child-free with good incomes — we could have the best.summer.ever. Minus the pressure. We could set some seriously fun intentions for the next 2 months.

So I wrote up a sort of wish list. It ended up being exactly 30 items, though some things (like “revamp the apartment”) will have multiple steps. Even if I do 10 of these things, it’ll make for some awesome memories.

Kind of already got a head start when my parents were in town. Mom took me out for a mani/pedi and we spent a good chunk of time Newport Beach, welcoming in summer. So we’ll see how the rest goes. Thinking it’s gonna make for a pretty sweet collage come September.

See the sunrise
See the sun (set at the ocean)
Eat at Malibu Seafood
Read 4 books, 1 LA noir
(Currently reading 3… World War Z, The Untethered Soul & Made To Stick)
Take a weekend trip (Visit L&T 8.16.13)
Do a LONG hike (8/2/13 Probably only 3m, but it was TOUGH)
Eat a perfect peach (8.8.13 delicious sliced peach in a fruit salad during a work mtg)
Dive into Ali Edward’s Hello Story (7/24/13)
Hang some plants
Participate in August Break (Started 8/1/13)
Play Cards Against Humanity (7/27/13)
Take a silhouette photo
Get a mani/pedi (6/20/13)
AZ River Trip (7/27/13)
Swim in a pool (6/30/13)
Spend the entire day on the beach (6/15/13)
Bike to Playa Del Rey (walked this path on 7/7/13 but still want to bike)
Run – a trail, the beach path, a 5 miler
Create a feather wall
Finish up my digital scrapbooking class
Write a song and record it (with H)
Eat a tomato from our plant (7/22/13)
DTLA art walk
Make and eat s’mores (7/6/13)
See fireworks (7/4/13)
Celebrate our one year (Weekend of 7/5/13)
Take a day off just for me
See an action movie (We binge-watched 70+ episodes of Battlestar Galactic – this so counts)
Grill a perfect steak (8.11.13)
Revamp the apartment

*Inspired by Ali Edwards and Kelly Purkey
*
*If you’ve written up a summer manifesto, please share it with me. I love reading them. xo

Addendum
Since this summer has been so awesome, I wanted to add a few items that weren’t on the list. Most are from our trip to Philly – and I plan on a better recap post – but adding these things here for now: kayaked for the first time, climbed a rock wall for the first time, swam and jumped at Dutch Springs, saw a Phillies game, ate a cheesesteak, visited Love Park, ran the Philly Art Museum stairs (like Rocky), saw a concert with friends, had my sister babysit Carter, clean our apartment and buy us flowers, started organizing the wedding planning scrapbook, H had our wedding photos printed up, and ate at Wawa (3x – ugh).

A New Hobby

Maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to the Paperclipping Round Table show for a while. I have no recollection of how I found it, but I’ve listened to over 100 episodes. It gets me through my commute and running mileage.

Maybe it’s because I found Elise Blaha Cripe’s blog.

Maybe it’s because I want to capture and tell stories, and to use my free time to be creative.

Regardless, here I am at the start of week 3 of 2013 and I’ve completed 2 weeks of Project Life. (You can go here for more info). It’s awesome it’s finally here, that I’m taking photos daily and trying to work in bigger picture journaling here on the blog, with my very acute writing of morning pages in the AM, with the short stories & pictures of the PL spreads.

I’m aiming to find a balance, some type of niche for each that serves its purpose. I’m running my weeks Sunday to Saturday, and working on it on Monday evenings.

It’s all helping me focus on what matters. It’s allowing me to find a rhythm. And it’s giving me a sense of ease.

I don’t know if I’m obsessed or “so in love” with it, but I feel it in my gut as a year long project that I want to complete, even if it evolves. Last week I thought I didn’t have anything to tell, but I had more photos than I knew what to do with. It’s awesome.

In an effort to not go product crazy, I haven’t bought anything and am using only what my husband bought me for Christmas. I do want some stickers and tags, but saving money and capturing the stories is most important. I plan on printing my photos once a month and probably won’t share actual spreads as I can’t imagine doing anything crazy with mine.

If you’d like to see a few people who I’m digging check out: Elise Blaha Cripe, Ali Edwards, and Marcy Penner. Somehow this is all feeding into my One Little Word, which I haven’t written about here much yet, and my need to love what I love. Structure, classy, sparkly, clean and story. Yes.

Finding a Rhythm

This about sums up how I’m feeling…

Today a possible job offer came through. I’m excited for the opportunity, but with mercury retrograding I’m leery of how it will pan out. Can’t let myself be whole-heartedly into it until things are agreed upon and papers signed.

Until then, I wait, but waiting involves this whole tension, this feeling in your gut that sends your mind racing, “But what if…?” and you either can’t sleep a full night or you find yourself in bed at weird hours. Like, 3pm.

I took Carter for a longish morning walk in the rain. I listened to a podcast interview of Jamie Ridler with Ali Edwards. Ali talks about disliking the term “finding balance”, since what seems “balanced” today may feel like chaos tomorrow. Instead, she focuses on rhythm. I found this ridiculously interesting – it resonated in my core.

Months ago, when I was still trying to find my own “balance”, I would fantasize about going for long runs, reading lots of books, having time to write, etc. The weird thing was, I had more than enough time. What I didn’t have was permission from myself to live my life. I knew I was dissatisfied with my job, guilty that gratitude was hard to come by, and the rage-filled crying fits were kind of a red flag too, but some layer of thinking kept me caught up in the doing instead of being.

What was wrong was that I was numbingly unfulfilled. I was deeply angry and silently, sleeplessly anxious. I thought I was working harder than anyone and yet I was missing what everyone else seemed so easily to grasp. A life. ~Hand Wash Cold (pg 8 )

Through a weekly meeting with my therapist I began to learn just how mean I am towards myself. How I was struggling with either “permission” or “pressure”. And that I’m so petrified of breaking the rules that I don’t make a move.

The past few months I’ve found a rhythm. Each morning is some combination of feeding & walking the dog, writing my morning pages, feeding myself, exercising and showering. I answer emails, do work, make phone calls and accomplish tasks. I cook food, wash my plates, drink tea, run the vacuum. My mom will call or I’ll meet someone for lunch. Today I even did a spontaneous 20 min of yoga, alone in the office with huge 10ft windows facing east towards the clouded sun.

And the other night I played guitar. I strummed a simple progression and H played a little lick over it and we jammed for less than an hour, but it felt good.

I can’t tell you what world this re-opens for me. It’s been years since I’ve played guitar without anxiety and the other night my head was clear, my hands felt good. I wanted to be playing and I wanted to keep playing.

Whatever iceberg that’s been frozen around my heart is starting to break up.

It’s not easy to be done with your own sob story. We might set it down for a time, but we hardly ever get rid of it. Provoked, we haul out the old emotional wadrobe and put it on again. We’re so accustomed to familiar, wounded feelings and self-serving narratives…that we mistakenly think they’re who we are. We think we are our thoughts; we think we are our feelings; we think we are nothing more than our buldging basket of past experiences.

Can we really find happiness by letting go of what we know of ourselves? It is the only way.   ~Hand Wash Cold (pg 18)