Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: plans

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.

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And just, begin

When it comes to tarot, I have no idea what I’m doing…but I decided to pull a few cards on my birthday to see what little bits of wisdom would shine.

The gist of what I could decipher was a message for me, about me.

As I say goodbye to twenty-nine, I’m moving on and forgiving myself for restlessness and lack of progress. Or I’m restless b/c of a lack of progress. Burnt-out even. That maybe I’ve been too passive which has led to stagnation.

As I say hello to 30, I’m welcoming creative projects, messages in dreams (which are vivid lately), my own trust and intuition. I’m embracing a sense of freedom – living how I want to live. This is about renewal and beginnings.

At the same time, there are warnings of lack of foresight and obstacles to long-term goals. Recommendations of breaking down plans into smaller tasks.

Looking even more forward, there is a tone of wishes fulfilled, bliss, happiness, personal integrity and completion. Balancing ideas with action. And again a note of lack of progress or planning, short-term focus, must create plans to pursue goals. A possible recommittal, focusing on the long-term more, moving beyond material satisfaction. And hey – a note to relax, lighten up and give myself space around frustrations.

To me, this little path speaks volumes – I have not been giving myself priority, and that if I want to really achieve anything for myself, outside of my day job, I’m going to have to have goals + actions, and then follow through. I see all of this in relation to my own drive to be creative, to grow my own community, to expand my reach in this world.

And then today – less than a week into being thirty – I pull The Fool. A card of potential, beginnings, and free spirits “…represents the beginning of all creativity and a desire to accomplish new goals (or to, at least, start the process of working towards those goals). The Fool indicates that anything can happen and the opportunities are just waiting to be taken advantage of.”

Which feels about right as I just want to sit with a cup of tea and a notebook and jot down all of the ideas swirling in my head. To really have goals but also a road map. To get the ball rolling, as they say. To acknowledge I am just starting out, but to actually, also, begin.

Keep Your Shit Together

So, how does one act like they have their shit together, when they don’t?

Is there something in the way they carry themselves, the words they use, the fingerprints they leave (or don’t) on glasses they sip from (or don’t) on tables they wipe clean (or don’t)?

You may think I have my shit together because I value self-care. Because I went for a run this morning, after I wrote in my journal, before I showed up for 3 meetings and called a few caterers for an event. The event that, every year, makes me feel like I don’t have my shit together. (Here is 2013‘s and here is 2012‘s)

And each year, I think, I’ll do better this time – and I rally the troops (it’s just me) and make lists, send emails, gathering my courage… and still, something goes wrong. Someone nit-picks and no matter how many people are in the room, how much applause there is, the response is – we can do better next time. But all I hear is, you will do better next time which really means you didn’t do good enough this time.

I’ve done enough work over the past 4 years to know that my work is not my worth. That even if this event crashes and burns, even if it is cancelled for reasons of horrible planning or no one RSVP’d, I am still worthy of love and connection. I am still worthy of being here.

But it still gets to me, y’know?

Do you know this feeling? Do you hike up your pants and strap on your highest heels and show up and smile, only to see yourself deflated post-whatever? Because you weren’t good enough?

Because I’m pretty sure I have my shit together AND stuff still goes wrong. That’s the point isn’t it? Showing up and facing whatever it is because no matter how much we prepare, we don’t know until we’re in it. Like, knees deep, maybe even waist-high IN IT.

So, how do you do that? Well, I can only tell you what works for me…

  • I make a list of everything involved in said issue and organize it to be tackled in a logical approach
  • I vent to people who believe I’m awesome and also understand what a shit-show this thing really is
  • I actually keep up on my self-care practices (for me: writing, running and reading)
  • I say “no” to other things that could splinter my energy even more
  • I tell big, dramatic, funny stories to people about how ridiculous it all is going / feels
  • I ask for help
  • I allow myself to feel how I feel because there are some things my logical brain can’t process
  • And I  reassure myself to trust – because my version of the outcome is usually a small, often marginalized version of the possibilities that are out there… and if I can just use the above points as support and keep feeling my way through, the actual outcome will be so much more magical than I imagined.

I know this list won’t always be the right combination. Because just as I catch on to what works, my life changes, and I’m back to being in a new situation, learning new things. Like right now, with this big event coming up. It’s bad enough it’s a pain, but now I am completely revamping it due to the usual venue being booked.

But I digress…

I will keep you posted on this event, and how things pan out, if you will share with me what works for you. I would love to hear about it. I think it’s important we compare notes. What does it mean to you to “have your shit together”? How do you keep you keep it all together?

xo

Hello Summer 2013

Today is the longest day of the year. Happy Summer!

The Sun moves from the fun-loving social, sign of Gemini into the home-loving, nurturing sign of Cancer. Being that this always feels like my luckiest and happiest time of the year, I am welcoming the transition with open arms.

Kicked off Summer 2013 a little early with my parents in town this past weekend and a trip down to Newport Beach. My brother lives 4 blocks from the beach (and you thought I was spoiled.) We visited him, laying on the hot sand, dipping toes in the ocean and enjoying the sun.

Our visitors and work has kept me from here for a bit, but I’m working on a plan to be here a lot more often. Hope you’re all well. xo

 

 

Unraveling The Year Ahead

Each year, Susannah Conway puts together an “unraveling the year” beautiful workbook that helps you review the year and dream for the coming months. Printed it up in color today – one copy for me, one for my sister – and we spent a few hours this evening journaling, thinking and writing. It’s helped me grasp the enormity of 2012 (wedding, marriage, family, siblings moving to LA, honeymoon, other travel, so many work events, changes at work, my own ups and downs). I didn’t realize until tonight that by choosing “Trust” as my 2012 One Little Word, I also brought “Doubt” into my life. (Hopefully more on this soon).

I’m toying with a word for 2013 – I feel I’m on the brink of it being secured. In the workbook I chose a word, but I’m also feeling it’s not quite there yet. Still, it’s exciting and fun to dream about the year ahead. I ended up writing way more than my sister and tired out before I finished – so I’ll work on it again. Hoping to complete it this weekend, but maybe it needs to simmer some. We’ll see.

Get yours here: Let’s Make 2013 The Best Year Ever

Tea for Two Tuesday

Today was another shining example of the philosophy I’m testing out. In layman’s terms, it’s go with the flow. (More on this later)

The sun was too bright through the slider this morning, the Capricorn moon dragging me down. Yesterday’s full moon still pulled at me with its energies and I felt my energy slump. It was all I could do to get out of bed.

To counter, I made myself go for a run with the dog. The exercise sucked, but the wind was strong and sweet. It reminded me of spring in Boston. I wasn’t a runner when I lived there.

While running, I spoke to myself. It’s OK. We have this under control. Just do one thing at a time. I may have even asked God for some help. Good thing I did, because the rest of my day fell right into place.

  • Moved tea date to later in the afternoon to create more time for work
  • Work on work, feel unsure
  • Have call with boss / coworker. Reevaluate work and continue on
  • Have dinner plans magically cancel. Relief about gaining more time at home
  • Say aloud, “I’m being a perfectionist and they don’t care this much at all”. Keep moving along with what I need to do, and don’t get bogged down by sinking feeling of despair.
  • Get to tea break and enjoy being outside, the sun, the tea and KT, who is probably moving out of LA soon, but it’s good to see her when I can.
  • Leave tea date with what I think is plenty of time to make my haircut appt
  • Traffic is slow, so I return phone calls
  • One work friend suggests I call the salon and explain I’ll be late
  • After 40min in the car and still not out of West LA, I call
  • They promptly reschedule me just as I turn around and pass the on-ramp to get back on the freeway
  • I return home energized
  • I use said energy to work on more work, return work phone calls and draft my wedding ceremony
  • H cooks dinner, freeing up more of my time
  • We eat dinner and watch TV. He heads to the store for work, I blog.

Maybe it doesn’t translate as well, but really, all of these twists and turns in my day made everything fall right into place perfectly. It was effortless. I mean, I’m tired and look forward to bed, but I trusted each alteration to my day’s plan and it kept getting better and better.

And the real bonus is, I feel awesome despite the tiredness and constant changes. Days like the above would’ve left me in hysterics even 9 months ago. Now, days like this make me proud. I adapt, I ask for help and I trust.

T Minus 54 Days

We’re officially 54 days (or 7.7 weeks) away from our wedding. Eek.

Some days, 7.7.12 can’t come soon enough, and others, well, I wish it were 7.7.THIRTEEN or some other far off distant date. But we gotta go through with it at some point – I mean, we’ve been engaged for 2.6 years, together for 9.6 years and living together for almost 4 years. Those numbers add up. Plus, all of the deposits are in, and my dress is hanging in my closet (needing to be altered) and the invites are out so it’s happening whether I like it or not.

And it’s scary. The cost, the logistics, the amount of people involved, all of the tasks to be completed… I’ve been joking that wedding planning is actually a huge coup to keep you from understanding completely that you’re ENTERING INTO MARRIAGE. Like, forever commitment and “death do us part” and all that jazz.

I don’t have any wise words to impart on anyone about this. Just putting up a post b/c I have a commitment to myself to accomplish one small, daily task in regards to the following: blog, exercise, work project and wedding.

If I can offer anything, it’s that I am in love with this website and wish I’d found it 17 months ago. It’s what I’ll be combing through over the next two days as I draft my ceremony. Yes we’re writing our own ceremony and you’re welcome: A Practical Wedding.

Last night, in the dark, H was holding me in what we affectionately call the “nurturing” position and he stroked my forehead and said, “Don’t let all of this wedding stuff make you crazy. We’re doing as low budget as we can, despite how expensive it is to us, and it’ll all be fine”.

I know this. I know the day will be gorgeous and he’ll be the handsomest and that we’ll have some of the best people in the world in attendance, but it’s a helluva big production to plan and execute.

Best news though? T-54 days till the wedding means T-58 days until Hawaii 🙂

 

11 Things on the 12th

There is so much I want to eliminate in my life and so much more I want to add…

ELIMINATE

  • Sugar, especially soda and over-sweetened tea
  • Mindless TV watching
  • Extended, complaining phone calls
  • Putting pressure on myself about anything
  • Mean thoughts, about myself or others
  • Overeating
  • My “story” – thoughts that cause me pain
  • More debt, especially my car loan
  • Guilt – that I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing, that I’m making someone else unhappy, or that I’m not “doing enough” with my time
  • Self-counscioness – to just go for it, to laugh loud, to be silly
  • Freezing in stressful situations.

REPLACE WITH

  • Delicious tea, lemon water, coconut water and juice
  • Reading, writing, podcasts, kissing
  • Warm, friendly conversations
  • Allowing myself to just be
  • Awareness, forgiveness
  • Healthy food, small portions
  • Inquiry
  • Budget & saving
  • Gratitude for everything I’m able to do and be
  • Silliness, smiles and spontaneity
  • Take a breath, think and then speak honestly


Challenging | Walter’s Wiggles

Triumphant, but only half-way

There are all sorts of challenges in life – physical, emotional, project, interactive – but really it comes down to how we view these challenges. By view, I mean think about them – the name we give them, the context we think they exist in, how our feelings about our past and our future attach themselves to the current issue at hand.

My significant other retitled homework assignments as “learning opportunities”. Sounds a lot more inviting now, doesn’t it?

After my last post, I’ve kept up working with Inquiry and it’s helping. A lot. I don’t have the energy to go into it now, but I can say it’s allowed me to take a leap professionally, however small, that I didn’t want to take. Or, thought I didn’t want to take.

If you’ve ever hiked Zion’s Angels Landing hike you’d know that the thrill of the view, the summit, is so worth the fear of falling over the edge at any moment… but what I want to write about right here is Walter’s Wiggles.

Walter’s Wiggles is a series of 21-switchbacks that make your thighs explode. This is also the last section of the trail before the open landing of Scout Lookout and the beginning of the Angels Landing trail. Of course, the goal is to ascend Angels Landing and have a wide-reaching, stunning view of the canyon. Which I did. But that’s for another post.

Because tomorrow I am facing a symbolic Walter’s Wiggles in my own tiny career path. No, it’s not the tricky summit or the steady climb of the path, but a quick bunch of hoops to jump through on my way to bigger, grander things.

So, it’ll be OK if I don’t make it past this juncture. Climbing the Wiggles and making it to the open space of Scout Lookout probably could have been enough. I’ve learned it’s important to celebrate the milestones. To climb the ladder one rung at a time. And while I hope this trail leads to another more challenging route, I am just happy I’m moving, putting one foot in front of the other, and not feeling that sticky stagnant depression.

Life has its plans for me and I’m willing to see them unfold.

Why Are You Here, Right Now?

It is much harder to put something off than it is to actually do it. We talk, think, try to come up with a new angle, improve the plan, clear the clutter, get more sleep, stay up later, put more time in or take more time off – the cold truth is, if we just DID whatever IT is, we’d be able to move on, free and satisfied in our accomplishment.

IT can be many things – call the repair man, make the doctor’s appt, read that book, talk to someone about something important, quit any number of substances, write a few pages, finally step into the gym… What keeps us from anything we think we want to do (but just can’t make ourselves do) is RESISTANCE.

“Resistance is monumental; I feel it like a massive brick of fear… I also know from experience that the alternative to doing my work is a hundred times worse than the pain or fear of doing it.”

~Steven Pressfield  { More Here }

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