Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: grateful

Grateful Season 2014

Thankful for healthy family, a great husband, a smart dog, a good job, flexibility, love, peace, dreams. Trips to Boston and Denver and Joshua Tree. Rock climbing, hiking and the ocean. Time outside. Alaska. Really good sleep. Good coffee, and tea, and chai. Good books. Really good books. Cooking, biking and running. Podcasts and comfortable boots and snail mail. Internet friends, long distance friends, best friends. Laughing till I cry and clear, starry nights. Awesome coworkers and working from home. Movies in the theater and vinyl floors and green juice. Visits from friends and family, bright orange sunsets and paper crafts. Blogs, social media and sharing ideas. Deep conversations and time alone.

Writing here and you out there, reading.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

xo

Point Dume Climbing

People throw around things like #sograteful and there is a Thank You chain-letter of postings going around on Facebook (of which my friend Steve’s are actually amazing to read). And I know it’s hard to be happy when you’re in a bad spot – arguments with a boyfriend, a manager who isn’t very nice, not being able to pay your bills. Whatever.

But I’ve found that each day, life presents us with tiny opportunities to actually live.

Rock climbing is something I thought I wanted to do, but it wasn’t until H signed us up at a class 6 months ago that I actually tried it. So it’s kind of mind-blowing to me that last week we climbed Point Dume, an ocean-side cliff.

I mean, come on.

Of course it wasn’t perfect. Traffic was stupid getting there. The wind was whipping sand in our faces, piling in our stuff and our ears. The setting sun was blinding on some parts of the route. The wind made it impossible to hear each other. The waves were raging due to a storm surge. And the view + wind made the whole climb much scarier than it should’ve felt.

At one point, I was singing to myself, to focus my mind on the next move right in front of me. (If you start looking at an entire route, it can get pretty daunting.)

But I would be an idiot if I didn’t say this was one of the best freakin’ ways to spend an afternoon.

As we packed up to drive home (to pack up and travel to a wedding weekend), I told H and his friend we were climbing with – that we are some lucky human beings to be outside on a Thursday night, at the ocean, climbing rocks. You just can’t beat that.

So if you don’t mind, I think this is an entirely appropriate time to write #blessed.

TGIF xo

How Many Of These Do We Get?

Last week, I had coffee with a new friend. This was only our second conversation, but it was long and deep. Her mentor passed away suddenly at the end of January, and so instead of our original plan of co-working, she spoke about the shock and absorption of this kind of news. Of losing someone so important without warning. And while she didn’t cry, I could see tears well up when she looked away, or her lip quiver on certain words. I sat quietly, holding space for her to speak out loud about her loss.

I listened to Merlin Mann on Back To Work, talk about waking up at 5am, not able to sleep. He spent that morning slower than usual, reading comics with his daughter while his wife made muffins. His pointed out he could talk about sleep issues or time management, but the reality is this – what is happening to us in each moment is our life. And “how many of those times do I get?” he asked. How many mornings of reading comics with his young daughter will he have the privilege of experiencing?

Friday night, H and I drove around trying to decide where to eat dinner, find a parking spot, and wait for a table to open up. The drive felt frustrating, I was super hungry, the first restaurant sat us at a very small, noisy table. We got up and left. We walked over to another place we like to find all of the patio tables full. As we waited for a spot to open up, he asked me if I wanted to stay. And I said yes – we may as well wait – because this was going to be better than wandering around for another option at the prime dinner hour. I stood on a step so I could be taller and leaned my face into his neck.

A table did open up, near a heat lamp, and the waitress let us quickly put in an order before the clock struck seven and happy hour ended. We sipped our drinks, chewed warm bread, and ordered steamed clams and a seafood pasta to split.

We talked about our jobs, our hopes for us as a family, our week, our loved ones. And it’s just magical to think how far we’ve come since we first met at 18, neither of us knowing anything, really, about what we wanted in life, or from each other.

And I thought again about my friend’s loss and a man reading to his daughter, and us sitting there at what is becoming our favorite happy hour spot – the patio’s twinkle lights and the good music mix smoothing over our moods from the workweek and allowing us to come back together as us.

How many of these do we get?

Thirty

I admit, I am quite apprehensive about this milestone birthday, but today has been a normal day off at home. In fact, I probably “wasted” it by sitting at the kitchen table, scrolling through blogs, Instagram and Twitter, sipping tea and reading The Goldfinch (which I still can’t get enough of).

But as my sister texted – it’s not a waste if I’m happy.

Amen to that.

I also received many a Facebook posts, text messages, phone calls, IG comments and tweets. My awesome colleagues used Facetime to sing me happy birthday complete with inflatable instruments, and another had his entire office sing happy birthday to me over speaker phone. A few friends sent videos of well-wishes and H left me notes all over the apartment this morning.

Tonight I’m headed out with 15 of my friends to all-you-can-eat-sushi and then a dive bar. Considering I haven’t drank any alcohol in 3+ weeks, I don’t plan on going out in a blaze of glory. It will be fun nonetheless.

I’m grateful for this time alone – finally starting to feel my energy coming back, the sun moving into Pisces, and the internal wheels of project ideas and plans spinning once again. If anything, I am at least grateful to have better perspective this year after all of those events, and understanding my own cycles is helping immensely. By not fighting how I feel, it all seems to be flowing through me eventually.

More to come, but for now, I’m off to the usual routine of taking the dog out for a walk. Birthday or not, some things still need tending to.

 

 

 

I’ll Take It

If this is what we get in return for my sister crashing with us for 6 months – I’ll take it!

Thanks Ricky ❤

Cafe Gratitude

 

 

 

Almost cried with joy when I walked into Cafe Gratitude on Saturday for a women’s work brunch.

I want to buy a house and renovate it to exactly like this restaurant. Glass bottles with words craved into them, menu items with names like I am Happy, I am Awesome. Succulent planters on the tables. White wood, marble counters, gray stools. Giant windows that reminded me of my favorite San Francisco stop.

My order: I AM TRANSFORMED Two organic corn tacos with sautéed seasonal vegetables, guacamole, black beans, salsa fresca and cashew nacho cheese. Served with a side salad.

It was fantastic and I can not wait to go back.

 

Heartaches for the Impermanence

I’ve been thinking about ease, about changing my one little word (which I have yet to write about here), about cold and seasons and God and creativity.

But mostly I’ve been focused on getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, running my miles and staying leveled… not doing anything to tip the scales, to allow the demands of work to take me away from myself.

Wasn’t sure what to write about tonight and then remembered I’d marked this passage in the book I’m reading – Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott – where she recaps advice a priest gave her when she was considering an abortion:

“Get quiet for a moment, and then think about having the abortion: if you feel a deep secret sense of relief, pay attention to that. But if you feel deeply grieved at the thought of it, listen to that”

What a perfect way to describe our own ability to choose, to listen, to trust the inner guide.

And then this yesterday in The Right To Write by Julia Cameron:

Practice means what it says: writing is something to be done over and over, something that improves through the repetitive doing but that needs not be done perfectly… Consistency is the key to mastering the instrument that is you.

You, the writer, are a spiritual instrument. If you allow yourself to write consistently, you will become more and more finely tuned. You will become more and more fluid and expressive. As you become more fluid and expressive, you will become more vibrant, more vital, more alive.

I’ve been thinking about repetitive actions, the daily happenings, the differences within the sameness. Rituals. The idea that we’re all stalking our lives like animals, thinking it’s something to take down, eat alive, thrash about. Or we’re so dejected, we don’t even bother engaging. So disappointed that adulthood is just more laundry, more email, more snow.

But I’m learning to see the immense magic in all of this – how I want to take a photo of every freaking palm tree against a blue sky every.single.morning. How I want to show you my boots next to a patch of ice or aligned with a parking spot marked with my favorite number. How I spend every morning the same way – wake up, write, feed the dog, run, shower, eat… and I have yet to tire of this.

Instead it’s these rituals that keep me going when the pressure of work is on, or when the push and pull of days ruffle my feathers.

Tonight I called a good friend. She was in tears, dealing with the grief of losing a mentor, and talking about how it just makes everything so much more real. That we’re only here for such a short time. That the socks on the floor, or the dirty dishes aren’t really that big a deal.

That the ice I stood next to yesterday may be the only ice this year.

And I am so grateful to be in a head-space where I can fully appreciate these moments. That I could show up to support one friend last night and another today. That I can kiss my husband. That I can have my sister snuggled on the couch with my dog.

And yet my heart aches for the impermanence of it all. For the season changes, for the growing older, for the books read and unread.

There isn’t enough time, I keep thinking, over and over again.

I need you so much closer – Death Cab for Cutie

This Grateful Season – On The Other Side

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And here we are – one the other side of November as it turns into December – from the grateful season to the holiday season. We decorated last week but still have ornaments to make and a tree to purchase and trim.

Now I have an understanding of what I’ve gone through in the past 3 months. Each Autumn I think I’ve got this covered – H will go back to work, my event season will kick in, we’ll be on coming off our summer vacation. Even though it’s a transitional period, now that I know it, I can handle it, even use it to my own good.

But no. The travel, events, lack of routine, big changes (grad school. sister) Saturn shift and Mercury retrograde slammed over me like waves, again and again. It was a busy season. It was a learning season.

And in many ways, the upswing of intensity and then halt of energy, like a boiling pot with a lid on it, arrived right in time to sweep me along and teach me a few things. It all brought me back to myself.

The Maybe Baby course is coming to an end. I’m concentrating on giving myself what I need, not depending on others. Acknowledging that I’m picking up other people’s energy but I don’t need to carry it. Getting my running shoes on. Napping. Organizing and doing work, but trying to release the pressure. Enjoying the time I have. Seeing the urges of (future) motherhood manifesting in the need to nest and for long-term projects. Thinking about plans, but still just letting things settle.

I have high hopes for December to close out this amazing year of trust, love and learning. And I am grateful – oh so grateful.

____________

For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

This Grateful Season – The Coolest

Thankful for having such an amazing life. Whether I’m up or I’m down, I know I am blessed. Went out last night with my husband and sister for drinks. Enjoyed their company and watched them party (designated driver). Then got up early this AM for a 5k run with some awesome girls on the beach strand.

If you had told me, even three years ago, that this would be my life, I would’ve balked. I’d carried around so much pressure, baggage, crap, self-abuse and perfectionism I couldn’t see past getting up in the mornings and slogging through a day. Sure, I had people who loved me and good times and laughter, but it wasn’t like this.

And a friend said that now that I’m on the other side of it, I can see it clearer, but I realized this week it’s more than that. I’m on the other side of that journey, those lessons, but life’s path seems to be a spiral and I’m working through the same issues all of the time, just at a new level.

The past 8 weeks have been bleached out, void of color or the brilliance I’ve come to know and love. When I treat myself well, I thrive. When I beat myself up, I falter. It seems to be that simple, and yet, it’s a lesson I need to keep learning. Practicing.

We’re here to love one another and shine our goodness all around. Many thanks to those who love me and let me shine. I am so grateful for this life. It’s the coolest.

____________

For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

Therapy After Therapy

Today I went for a little retail therapy (after my traditional therapy appt) at Urbanic Paper Boutique. Definitely spent too much, but it was worth every penny. 5 wonderful people will be getting some sweet mail in the next week, I have two new pens, one new journal, a polka-dot role of washi tape and a sweet smelling candle to burn.

I haven’t spent any money at a paper store since I bought guitar valentine’s back in January (another awful sluggish time), so I don’t feel too bad. Writing encouraging notes to people I love is great self-care too. Give what you’d like to receive.

Sometimes I think my sole (soul) purpose in this life is to reflect people’s light back to them.

It’s important I record these fluctuations so that I can come back and revisit my own guidance for support. I’ve felt great like this before and I’ve felt shitty like I did the past month. Maybe it was Venus in Leo as that planet just shifted yesterday. I kid. Kind of…

Obviously life has ups and downs, but I’m really proud of myself that I worked this knot free on my own. Well, not without help but that I was my own best support, finally, and once that clicked, I felt better.

So, yes, I’m feeling better. Tomorrow’s a very full day with work tasks, meetings and celebrating a friend’s birthday. Hoping the energy release continues.

Did you feel a shift in energy this week? xo