Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: blogging

Piqued

We know I love dogs (see above). If you’ve ever met Carter Cash, you know he knows a ton of tricks. Sit pretty, speak, hit the bowl, up, off, wag your tail. I kid you not. H claims he’s “the most trained dog” he’s ever owned. I’ve sort of run out of things to teach him. But this is a new bar – I could teach Carter to DRIVE A CAR. Also, videos like this, where animals are loved and proud break my heart in the best way. I want to adopt them all.

On a sadder pet note, my sister-in-law lost her bunny last week and I felt terrible hearing the news. She wrote this sweet little post about her bun and the Postagram I sent her and her boyfriend. RIP Ellie xo.

Sarah Von Bargen (of Yesandyes.org) consistently blows my mind with awesome blog content. I loved this post of innovative blog ideas. Can’t wait to try the shortest travelogue one on our trip to Alaska in T-2.5 weeks!

Jillian at The Noisy Plume takes the most spectacular photos, and writes posts that pull me into her world of nature and adventure. Check out her photos of a lightening storm in Taos.

Found Walking On My Hands via Lindsey Mead (who also recommended All The Light We Cannot See, which I’m loving) and this post, One, got me.

And getting to hear Jill Salahub speak about her creative journey on Creative Living with Jamie was a total treat. Congrats Jill.

Hope your weekending is splendid xo

See more Piqued posts here

 

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Piqued

I spend a lot of time online – reading and absorbing. And I’ve seen how other bloggers post link round-ups, but I hesitate to do the same b/c I don’t want to create more entry points to the black hole of the internet. So I’ve decided to have a (hopefully) weekly post where I collect things that have caught my eye, sharing them with you, but mostly throwing down a snapshot of my brain in web-links.

Oh, and it will (hopefully) include a weekly photo of Carter Cash b/c…
Carter Cash.

Last night, we sat in OVER AN HOUR of traffic at MIDNIGHT because the 405 was CLOSED. Happy Mercury retrograde!!!

Abide With Me and Staying Near, by Lindsey Mead (and the quote below) made me feel and think, but I’m finding Lindsey’s writing often does that to me:

Just being – ourselves, with someone else, aware – is no small feat for most of us. Being present to someone else with our conscious self. Bearing witness to someone else without judgment. Listening to someone else without agenda. This is a true gift.

Medium: started by the founder of Twitter & Blogger, Ev Williams, a new platform for longer stories. I’ve been thinking about longer stories and how I want my blog to hold space for that kind of writing. Will share if I actually sign up & post on Medium.

As the art critic Harold Rosenberg once wrote: “Being loved is a kind of fame.”
And, in America, we seem to see anonymity as being the polar opposite of what we all believe we value most: authenticity.
Authenticity is this God-term that encapsulates what we as Americans find sacred and it is the heart our culture of romantic individuality.
I’ll define authenticity as that which what we feel is most real, true and original about ourselves.
And authenticity has this interesting correlation with fame.
As in: the more I’m seen and known, the more famous I am, the more authentic I am.
Despite the fact that fame, as we all know, is in its essence a kind of persona or mask and also a kind of un-reality.

(Above quote) Speaking of longer stories, my friend Steve, who is the person who suggested that I should try therapy b/c I would probably enjoy it – is blogging! We have these epic 3-hour-long lunches where we talk & discuss & delve deeper than regular conversations, and reading his blog gives me that same feeling, and though it doesn’t replace our convos, it’s a good bridge till the next time.

I met Jen Lee and watched her film, Indie Kindred, when she toured last year. I felt so special Jen took time to chat with me one on one – it was like she was there just to see me. She’s one of my creative heroes and I’m happy to share Indie Kindred was released in streaming form online this past week – and also, I’m included in the trailer. Weeeeeeee!

I have to admit, when I heard Elise was launching a podcast, Elise Gets Crafty, I felt jelz. Like, really. I want a podcast haha. But I’m only 6 episodes in, and I have to say, where it lacks in polish, it more than makes up for it in awesome information & discussions. It’s a testament to having an idea, launching, and figuring it out as you go – which is more than most people can say. Episode 3 is my fav so far.

West Coast – Lana Del Rey. This song is officially my summer jam. I don’t know many songs that make me want to dance and make out.

Down on the West Coast, they got their icons
Their silver starlets, their Queens of Saigon
And you’ve got the music, you’ve got the music
In you, don’t you?

Down on the West Coast, they love their movies
Their golden gods and rock and roll groupies
And you’ve got the music, you’ve got the music
In you, don’t you?

 

Annnnddddddd a few of my favorite link round-ups:
Something Good, by Jill Salahub
Five on Friday, by Kelly Purkey
Web Time Wasters, by Yes and Yes

 

Writing And Me (Blog Hop)

I’ve been journaling for 17 years, but I haven’t thought of myself as a writer, really, ever. I’ve thought about being a writer, like someone who wants to be a firefighter or president when they grow up. Now, I believe it’s the action that’s important (ex: if you want to be a runner, get outside and run. If you want to be a writer, write.) Yet, even after 530+ blog posts, I’m just beginning to think of my writing as significant enough to call myself a WRITER.

So it’s only fitting I was invited to a blog hop by Jill Salahub (a blogger I love AND get to actually chat with online) and have the honor of sharing with you a few awesome friends who will be posting next week.

1. What am I working on/writing?
I’m always writing morning pages, reading (books and blogs), intuitively taking in information, having deep conversations, taking photos, writing blogs posts and creating my life.

I began my blog in 2010, the same spring that I adopted a dog, bought a beach cruiser and began therapy.

Therapy was a game-changer for me. I finally started to understand all of my anger, hurt, and exhaustion and began valuing both myself and the life I was creating. I felt a need to capture my life in a more thematic, coherent way – outside of just stream-of-conscious journaling.

The same friend who suggested I try therapy (that I would actually like it) said my creativity came out in all aspects of my life – how I trained my dog, how I loved my husband, how I cooked, how I blogged and how I spent my days.

This took time to sink in but it’s how I see life now.

So I am always working on my life – learning new things, capturing moments, processing experiences, writing about them and then sharing them on my blog.

Creativity through living.

2. How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
When I go into a Wild Write (as taught by Laurie Marks) I find my writing dives deep into the emotional experience of a situation. I’m all feelings, nostalgia, fleeting time and heartbreak.

My blog writing tends to be more day-to-day life, but focused on the themes of self-care, self-awareness and growth, details of my days, fun experiences and the larger threads that tie my experiences together.
When I began my blog, I had parameters. I would be truthful of my experience but also respectful. I didn’t want this to be an angsty online journal, I wanted it to be a creative space in line with the blogs that gave me great comfort (see a list of them at the end of this post).

I knew I wanted to share my experience. And the lens of my life include becoming more and more true to myself as I go through my late 20s, being in a committed relationship, the details of my days, anything I’m drawn to and the fleeting sense of time.

3. Why do I write what I do?
I am struck with how finite life is on a daily basis. When I’m falling asleep at night, I think “One day, I will be dead and gone” and this thought is both jarring and motivating.

Annie Lamott posted on her FB last week:
“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”

This is it. THIS is what I’m trying to capture in my own blogging, in the blogs and books I read, in the conversations I have, in the people I spend my time with, in how I spend my days.

This is why I write – to capture the world around me and my own experiences, because I know it is all so fleeting, that it’s passing me by even as I notice it passing me by.

There are still days I forget that I am in control of my life and I have the power to choose how to spend my days, but blogging reminds me of how far I’ve come, where I’m at and where I’d like to go.

And I write to touch people – for my writing to resonate with them and their experiences. To be a light or a companion for them. The hope that my little example guides their way – to give them permission to love their life, to let go, to slow down, to truly be themselves and love what they love – even when life feels chaotic, stressful and impossible.

4. How does my writing process work?
I don’t feel like I have a conscious process, but it seems to flow in three parts:

  1. I am thinking a lot, all of the time, about everything
  2. I write things out in my morning pages, and
  3. Then I tie experiences together through my blog posts.

Every morning, I wake up and write morning pages in bed, while H leaves for work and Carter lays in his crate, patiently waiting for me to finish. Afterwards, Carter and I head downstairs where he eats breakfast and I down a glass or two of water. We head out for a run, bike ride or walk so he can get his exercise in while I do too.

Throughout my day, I take photos, think a lot, jot down thoughts, save articles and blog posts to Evernote, have conversations with people and live my life.

When I have an idea that feels whole enough to tackle or I have the urge to blog, I sit down, go back through my memory, photos and notes, and pick something to write about.

Because I think so much – and tend to intuitively take in my life and then process it outwardly by writing or talking – most blogs posts come quickly. From years of journaling, it seems, most blog posts come out mostly-formed. This doesn’t mean that they do not need editing – but they usually don’t feel like work. They feel like having a nice conversation with a friend. I have something to share, and I share it.

Blogging has gone hand-in-hand with becoming more ME than I’ve felt in a long, long time. As I listened to my needs and wants, I wrote it down. As I found myself through therapy and creativity, blogging helped me find my voice. And track that trail.

My blog is a reflection of this process and it’s a work in progress. I want to understand, reflect on and enjoy my days through my writing. Recently, I am actively raising the bar. I want my blog to reflect me as a person and my life experiences even more, I want to expand into telling longer stories, other people’s stories, posting more regularly, and seeking out readers. I am now comfortable enough with what I’m building that I want to share it. I am not embarrassed or self-conscious about my blog. I’m proud of it.

LIST OF BLOGS THAT I LOVE
Drawn to Laurie Marks Wagner @27 Powers, Andrea Scher, Jen Lee, Susanna Conway (who’s blogging e-course I recommend!), The Noisy Plume, Esme Wang, A Design So Vast, Pink Ronnie, Elise Blaha Cripe, Ali Edwards, Jill Salahub, Jamie Ridler, and Abby Kerr.

AND… these lovely ladies involved in the blog hop:

Jill Salahub | Thousand Shades of Gray
Jill Salahub is an Introvert, INFJ, Highly Sensitive Person, Scorpio, and Four on the Enneagram – in other words, a passionate mess. She’s a wholehearted practitioner of writing, yoga, meditation, and dog. She is generous and gentle, loves laughter and pie. Her mission is to ease suffering, in herself and the world. Jill writes about the tenderness and the terror, the beauty and the brutality of life, and of her efforts to keep her heart open through it all on her blog, A Thousand Shades of Gray, (which she started writing long before those books).

Katie Arnold | Talk Less, Say More
Katie is a music industry professional, healthy living enthusiast and fitness fanatic.  Her blog Talk Less, Say More is a place for her to share all of her life passions in one space – writing, music, good food and fun workouts.  She believes all things in moderation are the key to living a healthy and happy life, and loves inspiring her friends, family and others around her to live their best life too!

 


Jessica Defino | hell or high fashion
Jessica DeFino is a Los Angeles-based wardrobe stylist, writer, and blogger. With a focus on fashion, Jessica’s work has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar China, Remix Magazine, ELLE Mexico, RayLi, and B Mag Online.  Her blog, hellorhighfashion.com, is dedicated to helping others better their lives through the power of personal style.


Lynne Raspet & Suzee Ramirez | Two Poppies
We are sisters, the two youngest in a family of five children. Two Poppies is a place where we share our “art and soul” ~ our creative expressions, personal inspirations, thoughts and dreams. We are moving into the realm of blogging at our own very s…l…o…w… pace due the other directions in which our lives are pulling us.

Lynne is a mom of four who bounces all over the country (especially the South ~ in fact they are moving within the month to El Paso, TX) with her Air Force pilot hubby and loves discovering new places to travel and adventure everywhere they live. Capturing real life with her camera, including morning walks, road trips, and the baby squirrels they fostered is her idea of a good time. Her favorite ways to sweat right now are running and yoga. She believes in serendipity including an adorable kitty who appeared at midnight on Christmas Eve and became part of their family.

Suzee lives in Orange County, California (her entire life!) and has two lovely animal- & beach-loving girls (we’d have a farm on the ocean if they had their way) and is married to her fellow entrepreneurial husband. She enjoys being active, creative, adventurous, and living with a sense of curiosity, awe, and wonder. Her reading is mostly centered on spiritual discovery & feels very comfortable knowing that life is a completely miraculous mystery.

Our paths have included teaching (Lynne was a bilingual English/Spanish kindergarten teacher) and graphic design (Suzee has been in this field for many moons & was partner in a design group). We currently also own and operate Multicultural Kids, which sells all kinds of products that encourage children to discover and appreciate the amazing world and all of its people. We are in the process of producing our first book, “A Beautiful Rainbow World” ~ a children’s photography book with photos from around the globe which will be out in June

Monthly Nutshell – January 2013

Well, January was quite the introduction to 2013, no?
Here’s my month is a nutshell in case you missed anything.

…said Thank you to 2012 and Welcome to 2013

…wrote nothing is wrong with you, which was more about me telling myself, nothing is wrong with me.

… hiked with my sister (back from her road trip) and we got some epic (puppy) photos.

…(we) celebrated 6 months of marriage. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

Ease found me.

…tried an e-course that isn’t working for me, but I’m saving the emails b/c I think it will soon.

Carter found himself some freedom, accidentally and on purpose.

…read almost three books, experienced a terrible hangover and made pancakes here.

…started my Project Life pages.

…felt impermanence and rituals and time.

…spent time with friends. We experienced a killer of a Monday holiday, up at 5am.

…ran 5 events in 4 days. Then it was done. I practiced self-care. Cafe Gratitude came into my life. I rested some more. There is always an ebb and flow.

…participated in the cultivating courage e-course by Andrea Scher.

Thank You 2012

For the first day of 2013, I am saying goodbye to 2012. I posted this on Facebook earlier today:

Dear 2012 – thank you. For teaching me to *trust* in myself and the universe, for the celebration of H and my love, for all of the places I traveled, for bringing M & Ricky to the west coast, to H’s parents for their support, to Mom for her “transformation” and for Dad supporting her. Oh, and also to all of the amazing friends H and I have all over the country. Sending everyone love #bestyearyet ♥

You can read a long recap of my 2012 below – enjoy!

In January, we had our engagement photo shoot with Billy and emailed our Save the Dates – a video of us singing. I planned & executed a huge work event that swatted me off my feet, so I took a day off. The crappy feeling lasted until around my birthday.

February, I hosted the first of many women’s events for work. It was a smash. My brother crashed at our apartment for 2+ weeks while he found an apartment. I sent valentines instead of holiday cards. I celebrated my birthday with a hike and dinner with friends and then rested in San Diego on a quiet trip with a friend.

March brought the first Mercury retrograde. My debit card was stolen and we had the last blow-out family fight (I hope) of my life. Registry gifts arrived. I made a trip to Boston for work and Long Island for my bridal shower, which was a ton of fun.

April I finally quit one dentist and started seeing a new one. We hosted H’s bachlor party people at our apartment for the weekend. So awesome to spend time with our friends. Our wedding invites went out in the mail. I finally bought new running shoes.

In May I won a Package of Love from a blogger and began the official wedding countdown with my bachelorette party. I renamed my anxiety, excitement.

June brought work chaos and honeymoon planning and a bridal brunch. I picked up my dress! Things felt insanely good and terribly exhausting. Feathers started finding me. My “one little word” came out in full force.

July was hands-down the best month since we GOT MARRIED on 7.7.12 ! Though before that, I hit my limit. Then we honeymooned in Hawaii on the islands of Maui and Kauai. We returned home to rest as much as we could.

I tried a digital sabbatical in August and the heat wave begun (lasted until October).
We watched planes land. A friend gifted me yoga. I biked the dog to the grocery store a lot. I started Sundays Are For… Life took on the color I dreamed of in our westside living.

September was another up-kick for our social calendar. I wrote about owning my dog. There was more trust. There was the sibling weekend in Newport. We celebrated two weddings of friends, one east coast, one west coast. H started grad school and our lives got a ton more hectic. I felt it in my energy and moods. We committed to a crazy 3 days of travel and then I went to Boston for work (again). We celebrated 10 years together on 9.21.12.

We didn’t slow down in October – the craziest month of the year for me besides July. We saw the Black Keys play Staples Center. There was a weekend in the Sequoias with friends and a Vegas Family Vacation. My third weekend of travel in a row sent me to San Fran, which was one of the best weekends of the year. Carter has a terrible case of fleas that took weeks to eliminate. And last but certianly not least, my sister moved in with us.

November equaled hibernate. And another Grateful Season. We walked to our voting station and cast our ballots. I fell in love with Brandi Carlile after seeing her play the Orpheum. We had our Thanksgiving in LA with friends. The Maybe Baby course was in full swing. I started running again. My sister and I saw Karmin play the Troubadour and fell into a routine of entertaining ourselves. Things started to level out.

And to round out the year, in December we celebrated our first Christmas in LA – get a tree, buy ornaments and gifts, and mail out stuff to arrive on the east coast (almost) on time. I travelled to Nashville for work, which ended up being relaxing. It was my last travel for 2012. The weather turned cold. Ricky and I went line dancing. And now H and I are enjoying 10 quiet, stress-free and loving vacation days in our own apartment.

This Grateful Season – A Toast

 

A toast… to myself… past, present and future. May I continue to grow, to thrive rather than survive. I forget often how it really is all in me. I bring the awesome.

A toast…to you… whoever you are out there. May we continue to cross paths, to connect and cherish. I forget how often that’s all life is really about. You bring the awesome too.

Thank you for reading. I am grateful for this blog, a home to express myself and document my life. Celebrating my 300th post.

Cheers xo

Productive Monday Holiday

Yesterday was a Monday holiday for me.

Every week should be a 3-day weekend.

I was uber-produtive, creative, relaxed and happy… even with some weird head cold that’s brewing.

I cleaned the bathroom, ran 3 loads of laundry, washed the doggie bed, walked Carter Cash for an hour, worked on an e-course, created a new journal to go with the e-course, cooked food, took care of the carpet company estimate, talked to my family 2x, read a book, journaled, worked on a video, vacuumed downstairs, dusted and vacuumed my bedroom, changed the sheets, responded to emails, and watched football (the Jets are depressing ::sigh::). All of this with energy and never really feeling pressured or upset I was doing so much cleaning alone.

(Thank you moon void of course)

Today was a pretty good day at the office, though I am right on the precipice of completely freaking out with all the work I have to do. I tried to list all of the projects and “next actions” I could think of a la Getting Things Done (GTD). It seemed to help, but more and more things keep pouring out of my head. The crazy part is – how was I not going crazy already with all of that in there? Well, I guess I was.

There’s a lot of stuff percolating – three upcoming trips, three work events, this e-course which I’m sure will dredge up some buried items and MY SISTER RELOCATING TO LOS ANGELES and sleeping on my floor for a few weeks.

It’s funny how I post here so often and hardly mention the people in my life. It’s because I don’t share this blog with anyone (though I understand it’s out in the internets) and yet I feel like I have to ask permission to write about other people on here, which would mean I’d have to talk to them about the existence of this blog. Round & round.

Anyways – I’m working on that. The above is enough for now, I think, especially if you didn’t have yesterday off and / or are a Jets fan. ‘Night.

 

A Month Ago (Traveling Again)

A month ago I was in San Diego, thanks to an invite from a good friend. That trip was just what I needed to decompress and reorient myself after a stressful January and February.

It’s hard to believe March has gone by so quickly, and that I’ll be on a plane tomorrow to Boston. While I’m looking forward to the trip, I can already feel my energy gearing up for the traveling, meetings, people, and living out of a suitcase. This trip I’m determined to get enough exercise, rest, water and real food in my body. I’ve packed workout clothes, my journal and my Kindle. Hoping to get to work emails and reading-for-fun during my flight. Maybe even catch up on my Blogging From The Heart class, which I’m thoroughly enjoying! (Maybe you can tell from all of the recent posts?)

I haven’t ever blogged on-the-go so it’ll be cool to see how that fits into my schedule while I’m out of town. So much of our rhythm changes in new places – but as someone who likes that sense of adventure, I’m excited to see how it affects my thinking and writing. Until the next post 🙂