Another successful road trip in the books! Thank you for having us, Sedona + Phoenix. We so appreciate your sunshine, stunning views, and oodles of good vibes.
I have always loved B's sense of loyalty to his longtime friends, and extra appreciate when those friends extend the same loyalty and commitment towards him, and us. It's 10x's better when those friends have wives so easy to love and adore -- so incredibly easy to be around, whose company I thoroughly enjoy. Icing on the cake? When they also have precious toddlers who make you giggle while they tickle your love's beard and he growls like a bear! Heart melting (ovaries stirring?), I know ;)
Spontaneity, travel, adventure. These are core values in my relationship. We drove 12 hours straight to get home on Friday evening, and I cannot lie -- it was not a miserable experience. Music, snacks, chatting about the next trip...about our future, our life, and yep...even our feelings on various topics (though just briefly, as I can't squeeze too much emo out of B at once or he'll shrivel up). Some of the hardest laughing I have done is in the car with B on a long drive. I used to *hate* being "stuck" in a vehicle. But now? It ain't half bad.
"You’re just left with yourself all the time, whatever you do anyway. You’ve got to get down to your own God, in your own temple. It’s all down to you, mate."
Nom nom nom. I love this snack so hard! Easy peasy to make, lots of fiber, super filling.
Drain a can of chick peas, then blot with a towel to dry.
Toss in olive oil, and whatever spices you happen to be feeling that day. For me, it's usually garlic powder + rosemary.
Pop in the oven, spread out on a baking sheet at 450, for 30-40 minutes or until crispy.
Coaching is the softness of real acceptance; proof that coming home to one’s self can equal pure, satisfying comfort.
Coaching is room to breathe, infinite space, and immense possibility. Being wild with your words. Freedom, like folk rebellion. The heart skipping view from both the base, and the top, of a powerful waterfall. It is the first, exhilarating plunge into cool water on a hot day. Baptismal. Blessing. Forgiving. Inviting. It’s the magic and mystery of trusting the process; the adventure and awe possible within our time here, in this life. It is calming, yet igniting. Getting back to the core; the Truth. Perhaps finding it for the very first time.
Coaching offers a library of endless resources, food for thought, paths to connection. (Connection, never correction). It is a carefully curated tool box of meaningful treasures. Coaching is that resonant feeling of brainstorming on a topic that makes your heart race and your imagination let loose; that takes a yes to a hell yes. It is ideas with a pulse.
It’s like cooking your favorite, nourishing meal in a big, open, sun lit kitchen; side by side with a close friend, listening to soulful music and sipping delicious coffee or teas as conversation flows easily between you. As a home, coaching looks like exposed brick and repurposed wood; touches of beauty in the forms of art, thriving plants, or photographs. It is inviting spaces, nooks and crannies to create, or to rest within. Coaching is like a snail mail delivery of unexpected, handwritten letters containing encouragement, hope, love you hadn't known you fully needed. Notes from various, surprising sources, including yourself. Most importantly, from yourself.
Coaching is understanding, then committing, to doing this thing, or that, simply because it is what your soul requires of you -- and that this is the requirement most vulnerable, most valuable, to our efforts. Coaching is transformational because you are worthy of being transformed. It is powerful because we are.
It is forever, because Coaching is a natural translator of intention to reality, of vision to fulfillment.
And it is learning how to choose this fulfilling reality again and again, as though there weren't really any other option.
So, dear one, how do you want to show up in the world?
The inspiration behind this mini essay came from a homework assignment, given to me by a friend and exceptionally wise business coach, in which I was to outline and answer the very common question (in our line of work) of "What is Coaching?" (or more accurately, "So what the hell is coaching, anyway?")
I began by referring to this page on my business site, but soon realized there was something missing from the break down I provided....namely, my particular style of writing that encompasses my particular style of coaching. The two, in all honesty, go hand in hand.
The version on my business page felt a bit like a socially acceptable, watered down version of what I really wanted to say. While it is often important to get straight to the point when advertising a service, coaching is so deeply personal that it seemed like a betrayal to not speak more vulnerably from my heart.
I love assignments like this. What started out as a reminder to update my website (right, yes, I still need to get on that) became a meaningful exercise in allowing myself to be wholly seen; to call in the clients I can be of the most service to, by being myself.
How might I be of service to you?
Do Good, Be Well.
In Gratitude, always,
ps -- I chose the throw back image above because it contains said exceptionally wise business coach's beloved old man pup, little Leo :) And, it's me doing what I love to do most...connecting, chatting, listening, loving, offering, cuddling. (Don't worry, my coaching is done over the phone so you are safe from the cuddling piece).
"What if our job was to leave evidence that we loved and inspired others?"
It hardly ever gets better than a fresh batch of guacamole, amirite?
This is my go-to favorite recipe, with a little added oomph courtesy of Arbonne's Greens Balance. I am not always the best at getting my full servings of fruits and veggies each day (week...month....yikes). Especially fruits, which I have a tendency to be quite picky about. The Greens Balance mix has been the perfect new companion to help me bridge that deficit: a delightfully full mix I can scoop into my smoothies, sauces, soups, dressings, etc. I highly recommend it!
Give this a whirl, and let me know what you think:
3 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion
1 jalapeno (remove seeds unless you've got a super spice-loving palette)
Juice from one sweet lime
1 diced tomato
6 garlic cloves
Leaves of one cilantro bunch
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp Greens Balance
We are in some serious need of love -- a revolution of insisting on it's existence in our spirits, and the choices we make.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought I'd have a fun little giveaway to help spread some good ol' fashioned heart.
Behold, pictured above, the Love is Love mug from Pottery Barn, William Sonoma, West Elm, and The Human Rights Campaign!
50% of the purchase price is donated to The Human Rights Campaign, America's largest civil rights organization working to end discrimination against LGBTQ people – and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Naturally, I had to buy 3. One for me, one for a Valentine, and one for...... maybe you?!
And luckily, I did it on the day they were announced because they are already sold out at Pottery Barn and online at HRC! As of this post you can still get a set online at William Sonoma (though they are not sold individually there), but I'd imagine they are going fast, too!
So, with this little giveaway, one lucky guy or gal will win....
Here's how to enter via this blog post:
1. "Like" the post via the social link below.
2. Add a comment about who/what/why you love.
Via my private FB page (though the post is public):
1. "Like" the post
2. Tag a person or people you simply love, love, love.
Via Instagram (my public page @thegratefullifesf ):
1. Heart the post, and follow my account.
2. Tag a person or people you absolutely just love, love, love!
Both you and the person/people you tag will be entered to win! All 3 ways to win have equal value (ie you only have to do one of them), so no worries if you can only access some. Please feel free to tag as many folks as you'd like, although only a single entry for yourself will be counted.
UPDATE: Contest has ended, with lucky winner @cprosp242 via Instagram!! Thank you all for participating!
Contest ends with winner announced on Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2017. My trusty partner, B, will help me pull a random name from the group -- probably via video, since he's just so cute to look at :)
Entries from ANYWHERE around the globe are valid....because....humanity, ya know?
Please no spam. (Yuck. Nobody needs that).
Please let me know if you have any questions! Sending you all much love.
Do Good, Be Well,
The original masterpiece.
A gift from God.
Worthy of our reverence, protection, and awe.
Please, let us keep these beautiful blessings safe.
Please, let us take care of these treasures we have been given.
Please, let us not be naive to how our lifestyles take, and take, and take from her.
She is strong, yes, but she is not invincible.
She is capable of great pain, suffering, and even death.
She will put up a good fight.
She will continue to rise and fall, release and recycle.
She will stay true.
But we have become so strong in our insatiable needs;
In what we think are our needs.
So cunning, so arrogant.
When did we forget to be guided by our bare feet and full lungs?
By touching her precious, healing, nourishing skin?
When did we stop seeing her wild as our hope?
She mothers us all.
Please, let us be worthy of this love.
Tahoe Sunset, 2017
Arms out stretched wide, deep, deep breaths of sea air mixed with green, brown, earthy, dirt elements. Heart thumping from the steep hike up, a warm flush in the cheeks and sweaty...well...everywhere else... but relishing the sunlight on my face after weeks of rain, rain, rain in the city (though this, too, has been deeply appreciated and valued).
These moments feel like invitations. Reminders, and invitations, to continue turning my time into something worth experiencing. I want my time to be truthful, and for my truth to be more than just a practiced party trick -- whether here on this space, my beloved TGL blog, or out in the non-digital world.
That's why I didn't mind how "silly" I looked, standing on top of the mountain in Catalina. I didn't mind that there were other people within earshot as I spoke out loud my gratitude for life.
Turning budding energies, those which linger beneath the surface (like gratitude, kindness, or any hope for our futures) into kinetic energy -- The kind that invite more in, moves us forward, and affirms our honest ways of being is the key to living, vs. merely existing.
And this transformation of energy has to start somewhere.
I first learned the art of this from one of my spiritual gurus 10 years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since: once a day, stand with your arms open wide, and say out loud with whatever heart you can muster, "Thank you, life!" It sounds silly, I know. It certainly feels a bit weird the first, oh, hundred times or so. I still occasionally laugh at myself if it comes out too loud or too phony or I accidentally swat someone I didn't see standing near me when I fling my arms. But I have found it to be a meaningful gesture of acceptance to this truth, in both good times and hard: "...if you love life, life will love you back". - Arthur Rubinstein
So, I love you life. Thanks for loving me back.
Dear Grateful Lifers,
So things are kinda scary for our country, and our world right now. I am not scared to admit that yikes, I am scared.
I am scared for many of my friends, and scared for what I feel I might need to do in order to support and protect them in the coming months, and years. I'm anxious to see how it all unfolds.
It was quite a 2016. Yowza.
Not exactly a clean space to begin a fresh year, with meaningful intentions, ya know?
To unpack the fearful clutter, I lit some candles, took a deep breath, and settled into a comfortable seat. As an avid traveler, with eyes closed, I chose an image of our favorite hiking bag; first removing any lingering scraps of 2016's adventures, then imagining what this empty sack could hold moving forward.
I simply asked:
What is calling to my heart?
Where can I show up differently...better, even?
What is true, and what is real, and what will get me closer to both?
Finally, what do I want to bring with me into 2017, that won't weigh me down, but provide sustenance, support, guidance, and abundant joy?
Thankfully, despite all of the troubles that seem to lie ahead...despite the stances my communities are likely about to armor up for...there are two beautiful, secret weapons in our arsenal that will never, ever run out: Hope, and Love.
With my secret weapons loaded in the forefront of my mind, here is what my meditation provided for an Intention- Filled 2017:
January: Irrational Kindness
February: Love InDeed (a concept created by my friend and coach, which essentially promotes the power within small, genuine acts of love + kindness).
March: Extreme Self Care
April: Service + Sacrifice
June: Wonder, Amazement, Magic
July: At Ease
August: Miracles Mindfulness + Manifesting
September: Divine Feminism
November: Meaningful Ordinary
December: Audacious Hope
Cheers to you and yours! Sending much, much love to each and every heart.
Do Good, Be Well,
PS!!! Ok, ok. Let's be serious. Not *all* of 2016 was doom and gloom. A few tiny, precious humans came into the world and my heart expanded with oodles of joy and gratitude. There is still so much good out there, and it is paramount we continue to acknowledge these treasures; to hold them close, and let them make us feel like the luckiest little beings on earth.
It will make all the difference moving forward....
My life in California would not be what it is...would not have been what it was from the very begining...if it weren't for my red headed treasure named Jenny.
Her friendship is at the heart of my final few days of November gratitude (posted, of course, a day late), not just because she deserves more than a single day of thanks from me, but because as of this week she and her own family are making big moves cross country. So, we won't be seeing each other for a while. And, my heart feels pretty tender about that.
When I think about the strength and truth behind listening to that tiny voice that guides us, I always think about Jenny.
I remember strolling down Chestnut Street just a few weeks after having moved from 3,00 miles away. I remember how I had no plan, little money, and a marriage that was, sadly, over long before it really began. I remember feeling permanently guilty, anxious, and unsure. I remember wanting to run far, far away, but settling for California since it was already pretty damn far from everything I had known for so long. And I remember just barely glancing at a "Help Wanted" sign in the window of a tiny boutique one afternoon, managed by a stylish red head...with the rest, of course, being history.
I think about this time in my life a lot, while trying to send extra ounces of gratitude to my past self -- to the person who had so much confusion swirling in her mind that eventually she had no choice but to listen to that small, calm voice amid all the chaos. Even when it was random, and made no sense. Especially when it was random, and appeared senseless. Without her, I would have never found an incredible, irreplaceable friend in Jen. And, an incredible, deeply loved godson in her precious baby.
Honestly? It was really sad to say goodbye. We may have cried, and hugged. Then cried some more.
But damn. How lucky I am to have someone so worthy of those tears.
If any of my lovely readers dwell in or near the Charlotte, NC area -- I would love to introduce you to a truly remarkable woman.
(Just don't get any funny ideas about replacing me...)
This week of thanks (ha! do you like how I just changed to "week of thanks" instead of daily, to accommodate my horrible dedication to this month's practice? yea. I did that.)....
This song (and the band in general). Makes me bop around the house like a little wild one. It was on repeat during our road trip.
This book of soul aching, heart melting, truth speaking poems. She is incredibly profound in such few words, and her work moves me deeply.
These afternoon pick-me-ups. Fizz Sticks have taken coffee's place come afternoon slump hour, and though I never have liked soda very much, I now never have to touch it again. It really is just so incredibly bad for you. (And yes, I can hook you up, so let me know if you want to sample them! I'd be happy to mail one your way, so be sure to message me here!)
This revival. Duh. Like every other 20/30-something woman I know, my Friday consisted of a turkey hangover, sweatpants, and all 4 episodes of GG. Fingers crossed they come back one more time, because sheesh did they really leave us hanging!!
This recipe. I brag about it every single year at this time, and every year many people give me a wrinkled nose + side eyed response..."Shrimp? In stuffing?"...and then every year at least some of those people actually try it and they are hooked for life. As my mom says, it sounds weird but it is so so yummy.